Choosing an email marketing software

The digital channels are developing rapidly on, and there are constantly new technologies.

It is not easy to always be on the cutting edge. In this fast-paced digital world, we are increasingly dependent on reliable, effective and accurate software to solve complex problems, giving us a competitive advantage and providing maximum added value for our business. This represents an enormous pressure for companies – and also for the software provider.

With email marketing software, the choice is wide. From simple CSS tool that lets you design your email template, to comprehensive platforms for the implementation of complex, automated and carefully segmented campaigns. How can one make the right choice?

Stay with confidence. Because we will give you a list of the main features by which email marketers should look for when selecting email marketing software.

Why is it so important to use the right email marketing software?

Compared to social, direct marketing and other channels, email has the highest conversion rate . The effectiveness of this channel is very largely due to the use of marketing technology. 82% of companies are now using an email marketing software. And 75% or more are expected to buy a marketing automation solution within a year .

The question is how much do companies need to pay if they want to include a provider of technology services to their corporate and marketing strategy?

Fundamental considerations like price, deliverability of emails, usability, scalability and customer service will continue to influence the decision-making process. But in what important ways, the solutions for e-mail marketing differ?

As with any relationship companies must consider what long-term effects will the software. You need the customer requirements of today understand – and anticipate tomorrow’s. You need to recognize problems – and opportunities. You need to distinguish between useful and useless data. And they have to find a provider who can help you with all these points. The right technology makes it easy.

Here I highlight the main features that you should have in your email marketing software:

  • Integration– Deliver integrated customer experiences, based on the buying behavior of your target groups. To respond to all relevant channels in a timely manner to meet the needs of your customers.
  • Automation– The right email marketing software delivers new revenue opportunities. 75% of e-mail sales generated by campaigns in which the email is triggered by a specific event ( “triggered campaigns”). Therefore, the automation is a top priority for e-mail marketers. 91% of all successful online marketers say that automation is a key success factor for their marketing across all channels. Use of automation allows marketers to perform an unlimited amount of customer dialogues by individual events – such as: – trigger for customer loyalty campaigns, registration, purchasing, shipping.  Automated programs provide relevant communications at the right time and thus open the door for even closer relations of the company to its customers.
  • Personalization– Collect relevant data, derive valuable information from it and communicate it on the basis of these findings, individually – which forms the basis for targeted, personalized dialogues on all channels. If you want to use personalization for your marketing, you should ensure that your technology can process with the speed that is necessary for a true personalization.
  • Segmentation– It has long been proven that small, segmented mailings are more effective than large, non-segmented. An analysis of data on the behavior, demographic and geographic criteria, on each sales stage, the purchase history and the habits and preferences of customers, provides insights that can increase the success of email campaigns considerably. 30% of the e-mail turnover is generated by selectively targeting specific audience segments. Segmented behavioral data provide valuable information from which future buying habits and decision patterns can be derived. Segmentation is a very useful component of good email marketing software .
  • Cross-Channel– Another factor for successful marketing is to overcome internal silos. Use the findings from all marketing channels to provide customers with a consistent, seamless brand experience – and thus increase customer loyalty and improve your return on investment. For successful cross-channel campaigns e-mail marketing software should support various online marketing channels such as social media, mobile and web. So you can perform segmented, automated campaigns that allow you to use the full force of all your online channels.
  • Analytics– Most providers of e-mail marketing deliver standard metrics like conversion, quantitative and qualitative ROI, performance and test results. By contrast, use modern applications algorithms for data analysis, which assist the user in choosing the right content. Good Analytics summarize the relevant data from different channels to provide an accurate picture of the consumer, which can be used proactively of marketers.

Final considerations

Each e-mail marketer has their own requirements and objectives. The functions described herein are generally applicable to e-mail marketing today. Of course, every company must ask itself whether a particular technology for online marketing meet its specific requirements – the current as well as future.

Where will your company be in five years, and where your competitors will be then? The solutions are to increase sales and profits and improve ROI, but marketers need to think further and use solutions that can predict the habits of online shoppers, which are constantly changing.

 

 

Focus on Above the Fold for better search results

As Google and other search engines are constantly updating their algorithms, there are more mysteries than answers.

Things have changed entirely since the beginning of SEO. However, regardless of how the industry has evolved over the years, algorithms are getting smarter and search engines are getting better in indexing user content.

SEO is still the number one option for practitioners looking to boost their organic traffic. The best solution for SEO practitioners is learning how to improve On-Page SEO by optimising for users and largely focusing above the fold.

Optimization – The term optimization reminds me of “Google Hummingbird”. As you all know, Google has been the leader among Search Engines. The term “optimization” refers to how relevant search results are based on the user’s intent. With each introduction & update of Google algorithm, the browser makes an attempt to think more like human and deliver the best search engine results. With Hummingbird, Google attempts to become “human” in order to deliver relevant content to its users in the least possible time.

Good UX/ User Experience – More and more companies are learning that in order to stay competitive, they need to be investing in user experience. The exact definition, as outlined by the International Organization for Standardization, is a “person’s perceptions and responses resulting from the use and or anticipated use of a product, system or service.” Or, more simply, user experience is how you feel about every interaction you have with what’s in front of you in the moment you’re using it.

I am detailing out few measures of user experience so that you can use it to test your website –

  • Page Load Time– Page loading time is obviously an important part of any website’s user experience. And many times we’ll let it slide to accommodate better aesthetic design, new nifty functionality or to add more content to web pages. Unfortunately, website visitors tend to care more about speed than all the bells and whistles we want to add to our websites. Additionally, page loading time is becoming a more important factor when it comes to search engine rankings. You can check your website loading speed using GTMetrix, Pingdom Tools etc.
  • Placing most important information “above the fold”– The term above the fold has been used in newspaper industry for ages. It just means above the fold! In the online world the term translates to mean above the scroll down line. You don’t need to put all important content above the fold. This part of the page, however, creates a visitor’s first impression, so it deserves special attention. The job of the above-the-fold content is to engage people enough to get them to take some action—something other, that is, than clicking the back button. The desired action might be clicking a button or filling in a form, but it can just as well be scrolling down to read the rest of the page.
  • Responsive Website & Easy Navigation– If your user needs to access your website’s sitemap to find the desired information, this is not a good sign. Rather, strive to make your website as simple and responsive as possible so that users can intuitively navigate through whatever they are looking for. On an average, if it takes 4 or more clicks to access the desired information, this is too many clicks!
  • Limit Pop-ups– Are you trying to entice your visitor with a pop-up announcing a freebie or a discount, are you asking them to enter their email address and subscribe to a marketing newsletter or buy a product from an affiliate or whatever. Visitors dislike bombarded with pop-ups and this leads to higher bounce rates and ultimately leading to lower rankings.
  • Create informative and engaging content– Finally, above and beyond all other factors, web users today are browsing for high quality content. They want information they can use right now. They are searching for original, shareable, potentially viral content that can help them achieve their own online and professional goals. Create content that precisely matches the search terms your users enter. You also want your user to be able to nab it, blog about it, share it, or use it to make purchase decisions — whatever they desire to do — in as few second as possible.

 

 

Prioritizing your SEO Checklist

To get the most out of your SEO strategies, it is important to fine tune your checklist and prioritise it based on your needs.

Here I give you few strategies, which can help you get good results in search engine results pages or SERPs.

  • You need to prepare a Master To-Do List – Here you have to list all SEO tasks you have been doing and what you would like to include for the future, preferably in MS-Excel/Spreadsheet. It can be anything like fixing dead or broken links to publishing relevant content twice or thrice a week. This can include implementation of new SEO tools to starting a social media campaign. The wish list can go on, so keep updating your checklist regularly.
  • Allocate Resources – As a business owner you must have struggled to allocate appropriate staff to consistently produce quality articles for your blog. Your staff may also need training on SEO tools. Are these tools available in hand? If you want to make SEO a priority, then you must allocate both time and money in order to cover the costs of your staff and the SEO tools
  • Prioritise Tasks – There are several ways you can prioritise your SEO tasks. First and foremost, ensure to complete the spreadsheet and have allocated the necessary resources and staff. Lets look in detail as what all tasks need to be prioritised.
    1. Initially look out for low-hanging fruit i.e. tasks that take a very little time to implement on a regular basis. These are the tasks that minimise resource costs or maximise your profits.
    2. Look out for opportunities that may not be as easy as said, but which have a high ROI either by way of more traffic or sales.
    3. You many also seek or hire SEO professionals to help you.
    4. Use automation tools to perform multiple tasks. These will cost you money and takes time to learn, but it can be worth in the end. There are initial setup costs and you may not be able to divert your time or money to these items immediately, but they should be on your list of tasks that you could end up making your business more successful and productive in the long run.

Below is a list of tasks – you are free to add more to it :

  • Fix Broken Links – Check out your website for broken links. Remember, search engines cannot crawl your website efficiently. Moreover, visitors who come by clicking on a broken link will get frustrated and leave your website. Ensure that all your links are working.
  • Fixing Poor Link Structures – Check whether your blog posts are linking to other relevant content on your site. If not, you are missing a golden opportunity to keep your visitors engaged on your website.
  • Get indexed for major search engines – You will not be found via searches if you are not properly indexed with search engines. Use Google Webmaster Tools to monitor issues pertaining to your website and also resubmit your website after making any major changes. This ensures that Google will index your website.
  • Add Social Media Buttons to your Blog Posts – Check out whether each blog post has a social media button embedded into them, so that your visitors can share them with their friends & followers. The helps you in improving your search results. You can also share the same amongst your social network.
  • Make your website Responsive to all devices – If you do not have a responsive website i.e. accessible through desktop, tablets, smartphones etc., than you are automatically ranked lower by Google for all those pages. Outsource this task, if necessary. You can connect with http://skartec.in who are experts in responsive web design.
  • Update your website’s appearance – Does your website look good across all platforms & browsers? If nor redesign your website.
  • Implementation of Social Media Automation Tools – Use this to automate publishing schedules with various social media tools, track the results of your campaigns and much more.

 

 

Conversions: The art of achieving quality & definite clicks

Have you ever wondered in what way –

  • Consumers are motivated to shop online
  • How do they make their buying decisions
  • What aspects would be fundamental for a customer to make a purchase on your website
  • Will you have repeat customers
  • Will they recommend your website to others

What matters most?

What really matters nowadays is how we can guide the customers/ visitors to do what we would like them to do on our website. That the reason conversion is so important both in e-commerce & online marketing, because it is the starting point that makes the difference between a visit and a purchase, or filling-up of forms, subscribing to a newsletter etc.

In order to get the required response from your visitors we need to implement some conversion optimization techniques and some key metrics should also be taken into account. We need to study more about consumption psychology and neuromarketing and how these affect the unconscious decision making process of the customer more significantly. {Neuromarketing is a field that claims to apply the principles of neuroscience to marketing research, studying consumers’ sensorimotor, cognitive, and affective response to marketing stimuli.}

We need to ensure Trust, Orientation, Motivation and Comfort to win the customer’s loyalty and interest from the beginning until the end of the buying process. A survey made by BrainSINS say that 70% of shoppers improve the perception of a brand when they see a positive review on forums, social networks and review sites. 

At this stage, it is also important not to lose sight of the “Conversion Funnel”, if you want to optimize this path. An e-commerce shop conversion funnel is as below –

conversion-funnel

The above figure shows that every micro conversion is important. Customers like to feel valued. 90% of marketers believe that individualized marketing is the future because it enables brands to build significant interactions with their customers.

In line with this, websites increasingly offer personalized content depending on their customers’ location, taste, and shopping behavior. Measures like this help in increasing conversion rates effectively. These days people use multiple mobile devices to access the Internet and hence brands need to focus and take advantage of the numerous opportunities that are available. Companies are also developing mobile optimization improvements to cater to this sector.

 

Steps to ensure your website attracts relevant & quality traffic

Everyone wants more traffic to their website. Not all traffic is of equal value.

You need to discover how to attract the right type of visitor to your website.

Here I will detail a process that you can use to attract relevant and quality traffic –

Creating Buyer Personas : First and foremost you need to create buyer personas. Ask questions like – Do you know who is your ideal customer? Do you know how they take buying decisions? How much money do they spend and what is most important to them in the buying process.

Knowing the answers to these questions is all about creating a buyer persona. You must ask yourself that help you target your ideal customer. Some key information you need to collate viz. Gender, Income, Profession, Age, Pain Points and Education etc.

According to HubSpot – Having a well-defined persona can help you build a better marketing plan in the long run and help you target your marketing campaigns and offers to the right groups of prospective consumers. At the end of the day, personas put a face to your customer and help you identify their needs and wants.

Identifying your buyer personas will give you a clear idea of who exactly you are looking to attract to your site. Take time to do the necessary ground work and research in getting the questions answered. A well-defined buyer persona will help you to tailor your content to reach your target audience.

Understanding your ideal customer and their wants and needs will help you craft marketing campaigns that are more relevant and powerful.

Identify where your ideal customer can be found : After the above process, you will have a greater insight into how you can best reach your customers. Few things you need to understand are – where your customers spend their time online, where do your customers go to get information on products and services they are interested in and which all social networks your ideal customers frequently use. Add this information to your buyer personas.

Develop quality content for your customers : Less than 5% of website visitors will convert on their first visit. We need to ensure they keep coming back for more!

How do we address this –

  • Use your research to build lead nurturing programs targeting your different buyer personas.
  • Reach out to each buyer persona in a personalized way by providing valuable content in the way they are likely to respond
  • Learn to measure the conversion rates for your website.
  • Produce content that adds value to your customer.
  • Understand the pain points and challenges of your customers and provide them relevant content.

This knowledge will give you more insights into what information your website visitors are looking for and help you in developing relevant content.

Promote your content where customers are found – In point no.2 above, we identified where your ideal customers spend their quality time. Next we developed relevant and quality content to solve your customer’s problems.

Now, we need to promote your content in places that your customer intents to see it. Your ideal customer is more likely to respond to your content if it is found in online channels that they are using regularly. Try engaging these potential customers with a conversation by highlighting your expertise in the industry, your products & services. Develop a relationship with your potential customers and establish a trust factor.

As customers come to trust your company and view you as a thought leader, the odds of them becoming your premium customers increase. Thus ensuring you get a high level of conversion and expected return on investments.