Author Archives: Meline Abram

Social Selling for Accountants Using LinkedIn

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With big changes causing instability and uncertainty, accountants are looking for opportunities to improve and stablise their businesses by responding to new conditions, and rightfully so.

The bottom line is: how do you not just retain your clients, but grow and increase billings?

First step is to focus on an enormous change that’s underway: It is expected that around 80% of accounting firms’ billings will be a result of advisory services in 2017.**

Seeing this as an opportunity and not a threat, your next steps will determine how your business weathers the change.

This is where new tools and techniques comes into play. This article focusses on social selling using LinkedIn, the pre-eminent business-to-business sales platform that has 484 million members globally and 9,000,000 in Australia and New Zealand***. Yes, it seems like every progressive business person is on LinkedIn… and that’s pretty spot on.

Social selling using LinkedIn is a huge chance for accountants to showcase their skills and highlight how they can help their clients with their number one concern: building their business. LinkedIn can be used to offer services, amplify thought leadership, position expertise, educate and build broader relationships with current clients. There are a few steps to do this:

  • You need to create and communicate your personal brand. Your profile image, banner, experience and summary sections should appeal to your network by showing them how your skills can achieve their aims and solve their problems. Don’t dot point your achievements, instead briefly write how you helped a client achieve a goal or solve a problem. There are a series of best practice tips for this, and you should research them thoroughly.
  • Show that you understand your clients and their businesses. Check their interests through what groups they belong to and see what you can connect on. This can show that you are truly interested in them and have a clear idea about their wants and needs.
  • Did you digitally connect with that new client you spoke to last week? If not, then you are making a mistake. Connecting with clients on LinkedIn is important in keeping you top of the mind. In the longer term, it can also help with relationship building.
  • Become a thought leader. Use created or curated content depending on whether you have the time or skills to write and create informative pieces for your clients. When sharing content, post frequent, valuable targeted updates to your network. This will keep them engaged and they may even share your content. If you can’t write, there are plenty of services available to help you. We use specialist financial writers for a range of clients.

 

So, what does all this achieve?

It showcases who you are and what you do to a massive, targeted audience, shows you understand your client’s pain points, that you care about your clients and that you have the experience and a passion for helping their business. It humanises you and the work you do. This will help in building trust and loyalty so that when you start cross-selling your advisory services, your clients are likely to welcome you.

Want practical help to create a LinkedIn strategy?

We run events throughout the year, and our Social Selling for Accountants workshop is one of the most popular ones. So that you don’t miss out, sign up to be alerted when we have our next one!

In the meantime, for more information or just a chat email us at ask@permission.com.au or call us on 1800 737 266.

 

References

  • *The new value equation Accounting and Financial Services Benchmarking Report, 2016, Macquarie Group
  • **https://www.receipt-bank.com/accounting-trends-2017/
  • ***User trends, LinkedIn 2017

Unlocking the value of your database in tough times

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Many companies have accumulated a wealth of data… but have no idea what to do with it.

If you thought something was valuable wouldn’t you nurture and manage it effectively? Ninety-five per cent of companies believe their database is important, but only 35% of them have comprehensive database management strategies in place.1

Businesses place great value on accumulating client data, but are at a loss as to what to do with it. They have forgotten the golden rule of marketing: returning customers are more valuable than potential customers. You should use your client database to cultivate existing clients, until they blossom and grow into a significant chunk of your business.

 

Make your database earn its keep

If you’re trying to increase revenue you must first consider if you are really using your current customer database prudently to maximise selling opportunities.

Your database is a powerful marketing tool. It can show you real time customer behaviour, is a direct line of communication with your customers, gives helpful insights, and can assist in targeted marketing.

You can use it to deliver the right message at the right time to the right customer. Is your database reaching its full potential, or mouldering away on some forgotten hard drive?

 

Out with the old, in with the relevant

In order for your data to be useful you should give it a spring clean, just as you do your home. Items that are unusable, out of date or irrelevant should be consigned to the dumpster.

Read this article on how to manage your database that gives useful information on updating.

Then once your database is clean, there are techniques to optimise the customer data within it.

Enter segmentation and marketing automation! Segment your database so that customers can receive personal and targeted information, promotions and communication relevant to them.

Use a marketing automation tool to help you better target customers, save time, maintain consistent communication, nurture leads and build detailed customer profiles. To learn more about segmentation and marketing automation take a look at these articles:

Personalisation in the Retail Sector

How to Optimise Your Marketing Automation System

 

What happens after you optimise your database?

Once you begin to optimise your database, you will see better email results such as higher opens and clicks, improved deliverability and lower unsubscribes.

But if you’re heading into this looking for instant results, you need to alter your mindset. Some results you will see instantly, others will be a slow burn.

The customer’s experience and journey with your brand will also improve, leading to increased trust, loyalty and a healthier long-term relationship.

 

Don’t delay, start your transformational journey today.

Want more information or need to talk it through? Contact us for a personable chat!

 

References

https://www.modlabs.com/sugarcrm-modules-blog/5-key-customer-data-statistics

General references

https://mumbrella.com.au/sitting-data-goldmine-406657

https://blog.kissmetrics.com/data-mining/

http://smallbusiness.chron.com/advantages-disadvantages-database-marketing-22810.html

https://thenextweb.com/entrepreneur/2015/05/20/9-ways-of-gathering-meaningful-data-about-your-customers/#.tnw_eNSlLBo9

 

How retail needs to up its digital game further to thrive not survive

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The year is 2017, it’s summer in Australia and its stinking hot. You don’t have air conditioning and are in need of a fan that will fit into your tiny apartment. You check websites that sell fans to see stock availability, and a chain store shows in stock the fan you want. Success! Off you head to your local shops and on arrival a digital sign for a competing store tells you they’re having a sale. Entering the store’s app alerts you to an “additional 10% off when you purchase heating and cooling appliances together”. You need a heater soon, so your day just got better – as did the retailer’s.

 

Unbeknownst to you, in the same centre was a smaller retailer offering the same fan at a bigger discount, however they hadn’t added it to their website which in any case hadn’t come up in your search, and they didn’t update the paper posters within the store to reflect it. How were you to know?

 

It’s moments like this where retailers can win – or lose out.

 

In order to grow, you must evolve to deliver customers’ needs 24/7 using the array of digital tools available from online pre-research and comparison to digital tracking, analysis and merchandising once they are through the door.

 

Is bricks-and-mortar retail sustainable without strong, integrated digital touchpoints right through the shopper’s journey, both online and instore? It’s debatable. But in any case, survival isn’t what you aspire to, growth is, and brands that understand the new consumer journey will win.

 

Take a look at the facts:

  • On average, brick and mortar retailers that opened a comprehensive online store are raking in 28% more revenue in under 6 months*.
  • 40% of social media users have bought an item online or in-store after sharing or marking it on Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter and 74% of consumers look to social media before making a purchase**.
  • 55% of consumers can recall a specific message that they had seen on a digital sign***.

 

Now in order for you to actually benefit from using digital channels, they need to operate in synergy, delivering a constant customer experience, with one channel complimenting the other.  In-store messaging also needs to be in line with online messaging which needs to compliment above the line marketing. Customers are no longer hoping to have a seamless experience across all touchpoints, but are demanding it.

 

Sure, most retailers of scale have now opened up most of the major comms channels, web, social etc. Maybe they’re even playing nicely with one another (though few have achieved that in practice). So what’s next? This is where personalisation and dynamic content come into play – communicate with consumers on a more intimate level to facilitate explosive growth. By communicating like this, customers feel valued, unique and are getting exactly the experience they want, and they’ll reward it with engagement, purchase, preference and maybe even loyalty.

 

That’s the why. Now let’s talk about the how.…

 

Email us at ask@permission.com.au or call us on 1800 737 266 for a chat.

 

References:

* https://www.bigcommerce.com/blog/ecommerce-presence-increase-revenue/

** http://www.adweek.com/digital/social-media-australia/

*** http://www.sixteen-nine.net/2016/01/27/18-surprising-statistics-about-digital-signage/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeremybogaisky/2014/02/12/retail-in-crisis-these-are-the-changes-brick-and-mortar-stores-must-make/#1f3c76831127

http://www.bobarron.com/8-reasons-why-you-need-digital-presence/

https://econsultancy.com/blog/62546-making-digital-and-traditional-marketing-work-together/

http://blog.one2team.com/us/retail-synergies-digital-channel-store

Start Listening and Stop being Boring!

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Are you a marketer who is tired of customers being unhappy with your brand and are experiencing low engagement and response rates? Not sure where you are going wrong or what to do next?

It might be time to consider that you are disconnected, aren’t communicating properly or are plain boring.

Don’t worry we can help you out. There are simple ways to remedy this that will help you in the long and short term that are cost effective. Listen to your customers because they want to be heard! Effectively communicate with them where you can to generate valuable insights. Once you listen to them you can get to know them better, and can then start to further segment your target market. Now that you know your audience, create valuable content that will interest them. Take our advice and in no time you will see happy and engaged customers.

 

Communication is a two way street

Too few companies actually listen to their customers. Monitoring your social media accounts everyday is a step in the right direction, as you can see everything that people are saying about you. You may find that customers are discussing the same point be it a complaint about service, a product feature or more. This can help you identify areas that you can optimise, improve or change.

Now you may be thinking, I listen to my customers, I know what they need changed and I am in the process of changing it. Well, have you told them? Share the transformational process with them and even get them involved where you can! Customers will not only be happy with the result but will feel valued that their input was appreciated and influential in the change.

 

Get to know your customers – for real

Customers can buy the same product but have vastly different needs to fill and interests to explore. Take the example of car insurance. Why do people buy it? Because they are required to by law, are looking for greater coverage than the one they previously bought, their family and friends use it, they’re fearful by nature or were dissatisfied with their previous provider. Each of these customers need to be marketed to differently, because they have a different need and interest in the service or product.

How can you do this? Using segmentation and through dynamic content and personalisation. Get to know your customer’s unique interests and send them personalised content specific to their needs. Not sure how to go about this? Check out our article on dynamic content or personalisation, that will really help you understand how best to use these techniques.

 

No one is going to read crappy content – Provide something worth looking at

People want original, engaging content and they want it now! They want an informative article, blog post, video or meme that is digestible, light and interesting. They will then generally share this content with likeminded people, so it’s a win-win for you and the customer!

Content marketers experience 7.8 times more site traffic than their counterparts who don’t have valuable content. Content marketing also costs 62% less than outbound marketing mediums, and it can also generate 3 times as many leads*. It is also a great way for you to showcase what you do, your expertise and skills and as a result drives higher conversion rates, because customers feel confident in what you do and offer.

Content is only useful when you keep the customer at the core – does it address their problems or help them? If not, you are creating useless content that you really need to improve. Once you have created this content and know what customer segment it applies to or what action customers need to take to get the content, go ahead and make it dynamic or trigger content when the customer does a certain behaviour.

 

All in all it’s not so hard to get customers to like your business when you actually humanise yourself through getting to know them, effective communication and by talking about things they care about.

If you have any questions, email us at ask@permission.com.au or call us on 1800 737 266 for a chat.

 

References:

* http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2016/08/content-marketing-stats/

http://neilpatel.com/blog/content-creation-how-to-create-better-content-for-your-customers/

https://insight.kellogg.northwestern.edu/article/five-ways-to-authentically-engage-your-customers

http://tech.co/ways-keep-customers-happy-2016-02

https://blog.kissmetrics.com/true-love-with-customers/

5 Email Blunders everyone seems to make

 

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Feel like your emails aren’t effective, with low opens, click throughs and response rates? Not sure what you’re doing wrong or how to fix it? Let us share our solutions to the top 5 most common marketing blunders so you can get the results you need.

 

  1. Having a boring, unclear, or misleading subject line
    Symptom – Low open rates

Your email’s subject line is the first thing that readers feast their eyes on, so you want to start with a bang. But don’t start with a bang so big it makes your subject line click bait however.  Have a catchy, interesting and personable subject line that draws people in for more. Remember, however, not to overpromise and under deliver.

Subject lines that are clear and consistent with the message in the body of an email can receive up to 541% more clicks than a subject line that is all flash***. Keeping things simple, light and easy to digest is a fail safe way to capture attention and to get your foot in the door of the reader’s mind.

 

  1. Sending image only emails and slipping through the cracks
    Symptom – Low click through rates

A mere 33% of email subscribers have images turned on by default**. Some even have their settings to receive text only emails, so if all your text and content is embedded into an image then you are in for trouble.

We’re not saying get rid of images completely, but ensure that about 50% of your email is text and the other 50% is images. Text only emails receive a 40% higher click through rate than emails with only images. **

So, what’s the solution? When using images, make sure you repeat all info into simple text so that readers have the option of either. As an added bonus, a link to the web version of the email is beneficial if something goes wrong with the version you send.

 

  1. Making the user experience unpleasant by not optimising your email across all platforms, including mobile
    Symptom – Low click through rates,
    high unsubscribe rates

43% of people check their emails on their mobile phone. If your email is not rendering correctly to their device, then you are in for a problem. Don’t test across different platforms such as Outlook and Yahoo? That’s strike number two.

This problem can be easy to fix by properly testing across all platforms and designing your email so that it opens perfectly on any device. That way no matter what platform or device the reader is using your email looks perfect and your message gets across!

 

  1. Assuming everyone is the same and sending a blanket email to all customers
    Symptom – Low click through rates, high unsubscribe rates

Do you think all your customers are the same? If your answer is no, then why send the same email to them all?

Personalisation and segmentation are key ingredients to creating a great email. People want to feel like they are talking to a real person, so a hint of personalisation whether it be in the subject line or email itself can make all the difference. Segmentation is also a great tool to use by sending relevant messages at appropriate times to people that are interested, therefore more likely to respond to a call to action.

 

  1. Promotion! Promotion! Promotion!
    Symptom – Low open and click through rates, high unsubscribe rates

Hammering readers with promotional emails that just seem like a sales pitch to sell are not as enticing as marketers think. Believe it or not, people want to build a relationship with a brand and engage with meaningful content that interests them.

Instead of sending promotion after promotion, send your readers content that would interest them such as blog posts, or white papers that are similar to products or services they have bought in the past or are similar to something they have viewed online.

 

If you have found the root of your email problem, then get started today to remedy your mistakes. If you are still unsure, email us at ask@permission.com.au or call us on 1800 737 266 for a chat.

 

References:

*http://www.superoffice.com/blog/email-open-rates/

** http://www.superoffice.com/blog/5-killer-email-marketing-mistakes-to-avoid/

https://zapier.com/learn/email-marketing/email-marketing-mistakes/

***http://www.cio.com/article/3150237/marketing/14-email-marketing-mistakes-to-avoid.html

If your Content Marketing isn’t yet automated, then you are losing out

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What is automated content marketing?

Content marketing is undeniably effective, but it can make great demands on time and resources. Marketers are under intense pressure to achieve ROI, however new content automation tools can transform their impact and effectiveness, saving time and money. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

Plus you can get ahead of the competition. Only 49% of companies are using any sort of Marketing Automation right now. Amazing when you consider that 80% of businesses using automation experience an increase in leads.

 

Why is content marketing beneficial?

Did you know that consumers spend over 17 hours engaged with content per day? This includes TV, social and email platforms. Exposure to and demand for content is ever increasing. It’s a hungry beast and if you aren’t automating your content you are definitely losing out on opportunities to connect with your audience.

That backlog of blog posts, videos, pdf’s, and social profiles you have worked hard on and are just waiting for people to check out?  You need automated content marketing tools to create, schedule and trigger content through systems such as Act-On.

Using content automation, prospects can receive material that is automatically selected and sent based on their habits and behaviour, so they can always engage with brands.

Automation means that marketers can not only meet demand but can track prospects’ behaviour and that data is crucial in providing enlightened reporting – all within the automation system. If you are doing these sorts of tasks manually than you are wasting your precious time and probably sending irrelevant content.

 

How to implement content marketing automation

You will first off need a marketing automation tool that can provide on-page analysis, website visitor tracking codes, behaviour-based trigger rules, email tracking and management, lead management, CRM and social media integration, reporting and analytics. In the system, you’ll be building personas of your target segments so that you can tailor social media posts to them, creating your social media content schedule that intersect your prospects at the most powerful moments.

 

Good news is a system like Act-on provides all the tools to manage all this and capture prospects data from the moment they visit your site right through to driving purchase.

 

Now you can sit back and relax while your marketing automation tool pumps out your content for you. Just kidding! While you are doing this, you need to monitor and measure how the prospects are progressing through the funnel. You’ll have all the data and tools to optimise your approach where needed. Keep in mind that just because a campaign or strategy works well once, it may not have the same effect a second time so track what performed best and identify why.

 

And there you have it, a sure fire way to meet prospects’ needs and optimise your content through automation. Using the right tools, it is not difficult to implement, however if you need any help email us at ask@permission.com.au or call us on 1800 737 266 for a chat.

 

References:

http://www.marketingprofs.com/opinions/2016/31025/its-time-to-take-content-marketing-automation-seriously

https://www.veinteractive.com/blog/11-marketing-automation-stats-will-surprise/

http://www.uberflip.com/content-marketing-automation

https://marketinginsidergroup.com/content-marketing/everything-you-need-know-content-marketing-automation/

http://spoonagency.com/academy/content-marketing-a-prerequisite-for-marketing-automation/

 

How to Revive Your LinkedIn – Before It’s Too Late

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NEW YEAR, NEW LINKEDIN

LinkedIn have completely revamped their site, and as we enter 2017, it’s important that you review your own profile or company page to take advantage of its continued power as a business building tool. While LinkedIn make constant updates to their site, after Microsoft bought them last year, permanent changes were promised that will affect everyone. These changes have started to take effect late last year and some are currently underway.

 

Now you’re probably thinking what’s the point? Should I continue using my LinkedIn? LinkedIn clocks in over 8 million users in Australia alone, which is crazy as in 2010 they only had 1 million*. 40% of users check their LinkedIn daily, which means a vast amount of your prospects are on LinkedIn. Now how about this for a reason – 13% of LinkedIn users don’t have a Facebook, 83% don’t use Pinterest and 59% don’t use Twitter**. So how will you reach them? LinkedIn is the answer.

 

The desktop version of LinkedIn will be cleaner and streamlined, so users can easily navigate the site.  LinkedIn users have expressed concerns about the difficulty in finding areas on the website such as support, which is exactly what this new change aims to remedy.

 

You may have noticed a completely different look on some company pages. LinkedIn are slowly but surely rolling this out across all company pages, so if this has not taken effect on your page it’s not too far off. LinkedIn have done this to distinguish company pages from personal profiles. The updated format is crisper and clearer, with the organisation’s updates and connections in the middle of the page, instead of to the side. If you haven’t already created a LinkedIn company page, do so as it is a great opportunity to tell your business story, showcase your products and services and amplify your reach. If you don’t create one, you are missing out on a chunk of your prospects.

 

With the many changes taking place, it is a good idea to save your current profile as a PDF or csv. You should also export your contacts by clicking the “My Network” link at the top of any page and then select “Connections.” Click the gear icon, and then choose “Export LinkedIn Connections” on the right-hand side of the screen. This will save your connections in case any major site changes affect your data.

 

DON’T JUST SURVIVE ON LINKEDIN,  SHINE ON LINKEDIN! HERE’S HOW.

Preparing for the above changes is not enough if you want your LinkedIn page to act as a beacon for clients and prospects. To engage them and gain their trust, follow our holy grail tips to improve your LinkedIn account today.

  • Fix your profile picture. This little square is the first thing people see on your LinkedIn account, so make it a good one! You don’t want them to be unable to see your face, like those people that take candid mountain top shots, you need to just look like you. Consider something that shows a little personality and makes you look professional yet approachable.
  • In your background or about us section, don’t be afraid to include all relevant and valuable info. Many company and personal pages lack substance about who the person actually is and their value proposition. If you are updating a company page, use first person plural such as we, to sound more personable. If you are updating a personal LinkedIn use first person I. LinkedIn don’t call it a “connection” request for nothing. People are asking to connect and want to know who you really are, so show them.
  • ‘Summary’ and ‘experience’ sections should wow by showing your contributions to the current and previous organisations you worked for. These sections can be lengthy so use sub-headings and paragraphs to make it easy on anyone reading it.
  • For a personal LinkedIn, your references and testimonials should impress and be the reason prospects or employers contact you. If you don’t have recommendations, people may not trust your word, so include them where possible.
  • Join groups that your prospects hang out in. Contributing and engaging in these groups will increase your credibility and visibility, and will attract your target market.

 

It’s a new year and you don’t want to be stuck in the past. To grow and advance, embrace these changes and embark on a new journey to better promote yourself or your organisation. If you are having any difficulties with your LinkedIn journey, don’t hesitate to contact us through email ask@permission.com.au or call us on 1800 737 266 for a casual chat or a LinkedIn audit.

 

References:

* http://www.smartcompany.com.au/marketing/social-media/70359-over-8-million-australians-now-use-linkedin-are-you-making-the-most-of-the-platform-for-professionals/

** https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/2016-linkedin-stats-you-should-know-updated-katy-elle-blake

http://venturebeat.com/2016/12/23/heres-what-microsoft-should-fix-on-linkedin-next-year/

http://thenextweb.com/socialmedia/2016/09/23/linkedin-social-changes/

http://www.kendraramirez.com/changes-coming-linkedin-prepare/

https://www.bluesteps.com/blog/linkedin-profile-changes-2017

http://www.arikhanson.com/2016/08/31/what-the-upcoming-new-linkedin-company-page-format-means-for-brands/

How to supercharge engagement with your eDMs

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So your lead gen campaign yielded lots of email address – congratulations! Now keeping them engaged with your brand and products across each stage of the buyer journey becomes the next goal to achieve. While it may seem like a difficult task, it is doable with the right approach. With a few well tried and tested techniques you’ll watch engagement soar – along with sales.

 

Let’s start at the beginning. The first point of contact that the recipient has with your email is the subject line. And it’s all powerful: 33% of readers decide whether to open an email on the subject line alone*. To grab their attention, ensure that your subject line is short and punchy, as this not only gets your message get across more effectively but 40% of emails are opened on a mobile phone so the reader can only see about 50 characters*. Create a sense of urgency as well, as it further entices the reader to open the email.

 

No one opens emails from people they don’t know, so ensure your sender name and from address are familiar. Never use a noreply@company.com address to send an email as it’s impersonal and does not give the option to send a reply. B2C readers tend to react positively to company name, while B2B readers tend to react positively to a mixture of company name and a person, such as the CEO’s name.

 

Always use personalisation and if possible dynamic content. Emails containing personalisation, such as Dear Tom receive a 14% increase in click through rates and 10% increase in conversion rates**. Dynamic content also increases reader engagement as content is tailored to the reader’s specific needs and interests. 74% of readers get frustrated when communication do not contain what they are interested in**.  Relevance is king – and that means segmenting your lists!

 

Keep in mind the timing of your emails. Give people enough time to respond. For example, if you have a sale on a Tuesday, don’t send the email on Tuesday morning. A good idea is to conduct A/B testing on timing and day, which will help ensure that you reach as many readers as effectively as possible. You can A/B test pretty much anything, from your subject lines, sender names and call to action. Check out our article on how to A/B test.

 

Captivating copy within the email is very important to not only increase engagement, but will ensure that your message is communicated to the reader. People won’t waste their time reading something lengthy and boring.  Although engaging copy will help, it is not enough, however pairing it with interesting images will increase views by 94%***.

 

Having a mobile friendly or responsive email template is more important now than ever, as 36% of online sales are done through mobile phones and tablets****. However, only 39% of organisations are using a mobile responsive template****. These companies are majorly missing out, as when people have a bumpy experience they don’t tend to come back for more.

 

Have obvious call to actions (CTA). Linked text is proven to perform negatively in comparison to a call to action button. Ensure that the size of the button is larger than the surrounding text and is also surrounded by whitespace, so that people can easily see it and not get distracted Also, use contrasting colours for the button, for example Netflix has a red Play button with a beige and black background which makes it super simple to identify and click the CTA.

 

Follow our best practice tips to see your email engagement skyrocket. Don’t forget – when taking measures to increase engagement, never lose sight of your ultimate goal, for example conversions, as it is easy to be caught up in perfecting processes. Want someone to talk you through it? Contact us on for a personable chat – call now

 

References:

  1. https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/improve-your-email-subject-line#sm.00ml4ebo193sdl7105e2grei4szm6
  2. https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/data-personalize-marketing-li#sm.00ml4ebo193sdl7105e2grei4szm6
  3. https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/visual-content-marketing-strategy#sm.00ml4ebo193sdl7105e2grei4szm6
  4. http://www.marketingprofs.com/opinions/2015/28541/15-stats-to-make-you-rethink-how-you-build-customer-engagement-and-sales
  5. http://www.adestra.com/resources/downloadable-reports/2014-email-marketing-industry-census/

How to manage and grow your database

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To be successful in increasing sales you must continuously be updating and growing your database. 30% of subscribers change their email addresses annually, so managing your email lists is now more important than ever*. Neglecting your database will result in outdated data, and using tactical cheats such as buying lists will only lead to emails being flagged as spam, hurting you in the long term.

 

Spring clean your database

You spring clean your closet, so why not your database? Here are some simple tips to clean your database:

1. Clean your database to make the most of the information you have
When people first enter their details, spelling errors can always occur such as .con instead of .com, so taking the time to check these will lead to valid email addresses and details, which you can then actually use. You can either check these mistakes manually or automatically depending on the features of your database program. You should also remove email addresses that produce hard bounces. Too many hard bounces may lead to emails being blocked, as some internet service providers do that. Also, removing these addresses will help you have accurate analytics.

2. Remove or re-engage non-responders
You may have a list of non-responders, that do not engage with emails or links. This is due to the content you are sending or the time it is being sent, so it is worth analysing. If you are confident in your content, and have a small number of non-responders, then it is time to let them go as they can skew your results and reporting. Alternatively, if you have many non-responders, it is a good idea to roll out a re-engagement campaign.

3. Revive a previously used email database
This isn’t cleaning, but is more like reusing a valuable item that you used to love. These could be users that used to use your service but you no longer contact, and it could be a good idea to touch base with them to peak their interests again. Develop a reactivation campaign, that will re-engage these users with your products, services and brand.

 

Growing your database

Once you have cleaned your database you can now take measures to grow your database. Here are some simple tips to grow your database:

1. Take advantage of digital word-of-mouth
Prompt current users to share or forward emails using social media details included within emails or including an “Email to a Friend” call to action. This is a simple and cost effective method to get existing subscribers to encourage others that are like them to engage with content that will capture their information.

2. Get competitive
Create an online contest where entrants must enter their email address to be in the running in the competition. Promote the contest on all your social media channels, that way you can capture a wider audience that are interested in you, hence are more likely to join in. You could even have a condition of entry whereby contestants also must like or follow a social media page.

3. Offer valuable content
Produce lead generation content that visitors must provide their email addresses to access. This could be resources, whitepapers, infographics, videos and more. This not only captures users emails and information but also engages them with your content and brand. With this content on your website, ensure you have clear call to actions to entice users to put their details in.

4. Don’t forget about face to face connections
Gather information at trade shows, events, conferences, in store, meetups and other offline means. Some users don’t actively look for information online, so these instances are perfect to collect their information. When you have amassed all the information, ensure that you send a thank you email in order for the prospect to continue on their sales journey to become a loyal customer.

Give these steps a try today to see just how much you can improve by. You will soon see a positive change in your email analytics and an increase in sales.


Want more information
 or need to talk it through? Contact us for a personable chat.

 

Interested in more?

Best Practices in Email Deliverability

Best Practices For An Email Marketing Strategy

 

References:

http://www.adestra.com/list-growth-strategies-break-acquisition-barriers/

https://www.act-on.com/blog/growing-your-database-responsibly-with-third-party-data/

https://www.impactbnd.com/blog/10-irresistible-ideas-to-help-grow-your-email-database

http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/32028/25-Clever-Ways-to-Grow-Your-Email-Marketing-List.aspx#sm.00ml4ebo193sdl7105e2grei4szm6

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-grow-email-list-with-social-media/

https://www.mailmunch.co/blog/42-proven-ways-to-grow-your-email-list/

http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/26404/4-Tips-to-Keep-Your-Email-List-Squeaky-Clean.aspx#sm.00ml4ebo193sdl7105e2grei4szm6

http://www.smartinsights.com/email-marketing/email-communications-strategy/inactive-email-subscribers/

*http://www.convinceandconvert.com/convince-convert/15-email-statistics-that-are-shaping-the-future/

Are you converting leads with Landing Pages?

high-converting-lead-magnet-banner

Tired of leads not converting? Only 52% of businesses that use landing pages actually assess them to find how to improve conversions?* In our previous article, we gave you practical tips on how to improve your landing page lead generation, if you missed it, check it out here. We have a few more handy tips to push those leads to convert.

 

Personalisation

Personalisation on landing pages is a way to create a unique and special experience for the prospect. Now you may have seen or used this for emails or websites, but what about on a landing page? Landing pages are a key point of lead generation and conversion, so why wouldn’t you personalise them? Personalisation allows you to generate trust and focuses on the prospect’s specific requirements. Personalised landing pages that are relevant to the prospects needs have a lower bounce rate and higher engagement levels.

 

What data should you ask for on a Landing Page form?

It is very tempting to ask prospects a million questions, but too many questions will require a great deal of effort that will end your prospects journey to a purchase. The goal of landing pages is to gather data to modify your sales and marketing strategies to help you contact the lead, show that you can fulfil their need, ultimately resulting in conversions. Identify the most important data you want to capture and stick to that.

We recommend the below fields as a minimum for B2B, and First name and Email address a minimum for B2C:

  • First name
  • Last name
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Interests
  • Job role
  • Company name

Once you have captured this data you can then nurture your leads with more content to ensure they become customers. This can be done through drip content into inboxes, to aid prospects to move through the funnel, consider the product or service, which can then softly prompt a sale. For more information regarding the prospect’s journey, have a look at our  Marketing Automation Strategy Guide.

Tracking/Metrics

Once you have created and tweaked your landing page you might think that’s it, but you have only just begun. In order to understand what is working on a landing page, Using testing and tracking methods can increase conversion rates by up to 300%. *

Some of the metrics include:

  • Bounce rate – How many people are visiting the page and then leaving without entering their information. A high bounce rate means that prospects are being directed to your landing page and are then leaving as the content does not cater to their need, the layout is unappealing or the questions asked are irrelevant, in which case you need to reassess your landing page.
  • Percentage of leads converting – How many people are filling out their information on the landing page and progressing through the funnel?
  • Time spent on page – How long are prospects staying on the page? If the average time they are spending is 5 seconds and there is a lot of content on the page this could mean prospects are disinterested. If prospects are staying for 5 minutes on a page and are leaving, this could mean the information or questions being asked of them are difficult to answer.

Attaining the desired lead conversion rate is not easy, and many businesses fall short.  Implement these measures and you will start converting leads today.

 

Want more information or need to talk it through? Contact us for a personable chat.

Interested in more?
How to improve a lead generation campaign
SEO 101 The Basics and Beyond
Is your digital and relationship marketing fit-for-purpose? Presentation at CeBit Conference

 

References:

* https://www.impactbnd.com/blog/statistics-about-landing-pages
http://blog.thechatshop.com/how-to-personalise-your-landing-pages-for-better-conversion-rates

http://www.evergage.com/blog/how-web-personalization-can-drive-better-landing-page-results/

http://www.adestra.com/january-2013-see-effective-content-personalised-landing-page-increases-conversions/

http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/34047/What-You-Can-and-Should-Ask-for-on-Your-Landing-Page-Forms.aspx#sm.00ml4ebo193sdl7105e2grei4szm6

http://www.b2bnn.com/2015/05/the-guide-to-knowing-the-right-metrics-for-b2b-landing-page-success/

https://www.semrush.com/blog/3-landing-page-metrics-that-actually-matter/

http://unbounce.com/landing-pages/ultimate-lead-capture-landing-page/

https://www.weidert.com/whole_brain_marketing_blog/bid/116966/Bounce-Rate-and-Average-Time-on-Page-More-Analytical-Ammunition