Category: Email Marketing

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If you’re in Marketing, you know that you are constantly asked to justify the results of your campaigns and efforts. When it comes to their success or failure, the numbers don’t lie! If you are reporting your numbers back to the CEO, it’s important to identify the right key performance indicators, or you may not tell the whole story. Below we outline some guidelines for reporting the right metrics.

Less is More
While it is tempting to include every KPI available, a long report can be daunting to read and may not end up read by the people that matter. Not every metric should be included. Focus in on the most relevant metrics to your specific campaign. Continue reading nt-violetta

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Open for Business sign

Overview of why online marketing is best for new businesses

Business marketing has many methods of working, depending on the goals of the business. It’s a way to let people know about a business and what products or services are offered. A popular and most often used form of marketing includes traditional, offline marketing, which is a method that a lot of new businesses start off with before they move to online marketing. However, there are a lot of businesses that only do online marketing and are very successful at it. It allows new businesses to get into marketing quicker and compete effectively with other businesses in its industry. Young companies also gain a marketing advantage because it can penetrate some of the same markets as larger, older businesses by using the same or similar online tools and software. Overall, it is the most effective form of advertising and one that is the best solution, especially for new businesses.

Online marketing is an efficient and productive way to cull a branding image and online position. Creating a brand can is more than designing a logo, creating a slogan, using certain images or colors that all go towards the company’s “look.” These different methods that businesses use online makes it ideal because it’s quicker, more effective, more cost efficient and much easier to adapt to as compared to other methods.

Technology has advanced to a level where most all businesses are expected to have a website or an online presence of some sort. This is essential for profitability because consumers now look for and expect businesses to have some sort of web presence. This is especially critical for e-commerce and some types of service businesses because consumers like to compare before they purchase. Companies who do not have a presence often lose out on potential business to other competitors in the same industry. The majority of online buyers need and want to have a comfort level with a business before they buy. Because it is so easy and affordable today to have a website presence, every new business should take steps to create one and make its presence known in its industry.

Online marketing provides new and existing businesses with a way to offer stellar customer support. With traditional offline businesses, this can be a challenge. But online marketing allows 24/7 services because technology creates that availability. Business owners or staffers can respond to customers almost immediately, versus long response times. With email and online chat features, any business can be more effective with its service offering. Customer retention increases and so does profitability.

Online marketing also provides a way to make information easily accessible for clients. Technological capabilities allow customers to find out information about the business, find product related content and updates and company changes. Depending on the business and the type of customer base, customers like to research and read about a product or service before they purchase. They will depend heavily on the information provided on a business’ website before they make a selection.

New businesses benefit from an online marketing presence because it provides an ideal solution for doing business. Just like with customer support solutions, prospective customers access the business via the business’ web presence. Proper and effective marketing a storefront business creates a way to increase the customer base and provide quicker customer sales. This is much more advantageous than a traditional brick and mortar business and usually more profitable. Customers also enjoy the convenience of surfing and shopping and making their selections or requesting more information that they can read at their convenience.

Online businesses can design, build and grow any business effectively and profitably with the right tools and design. The economy is leaning heavily towards online businesses because of customer’s preferences and convenience. Online marketing makes it easy for customer’s to find information and  verify a business before doing business with it.

For more information on how to promote your business online, please contact the internet marketing experts at BMGcreative.

 

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9 ways to market your business online & BMGcreative Logo

There are many methods use to market online. Some are more compatible than others depending on the business, what is offered and how the method is utilized. The online landscape is exceptionally large and any online business can use more than one method to bring traffic and exposure to its online doors. Listed are nine ways to market your business online to bring maximum results.

1. Local Listings and Classifieds

The online marketing environment encompasses a wealth of untapped potential for local businesses. Local listing advertising is a powerful but highly under-utilized marketing method by many new businesses that may not understand how best to attract local clients.

Businesses that wish to delve into advertising through local listings should first ensure that the website is optimized by using specific keywords relative to the business. This helps customers find local businesses when they’re searching for specific products or services. Make this action more effective by placing your local street address and business phone number on the landing page(s), content pages and each internal page of your website.

2. Search Ads

Businesses use search advertising for customers to find them in the search engines or within specific web pages. Search ads can be modified to target particular demographics or specific consumer interests. The type of advertising most utilized, search ads can be targeted to specific groups, products, locations or topics. Using search advertising is highly profitable and can include paid or free campaigns for efficacy.

Businesses use search ads to attract consumers with specific buying interests by using targeted key words in its marketing campaigns. When consumers launch specific searches, they are returned a list of relevant businesses. To make full use of this type of marketing, businesses should focus on advertising through the search engines and culling rich content that will draw traffic to the website.

3. Contextual Advertising

The online consumer drives contextual advertising by providing the template that businesses use to pitch products or services. By using the information gathered through online search results, businesses can create specific marketing campaigns targeted at what the user is seeking. Search engines gather this user information that relates to specific search topics or products. The consumer drives this search because the engine is tracking particular keyword(s) and terms.

To maximize the potential in contextual advertising, businesses should design ad campaigns that center around specific search terms. To broaden marketing appeal to a specific demographic of consumers, ad campaigns should include a range of media advertising methods that include video, text and graphics.

4. Geotargeting

Businesses can further maximize their marketing methods by utilizing geotargeting, a method of sending specific messages to consumers by using the GPS location devices on smartphones and mobile devices. This type of location-based target marketing is used successfully by businesses that provide specific products or services or businesses that want to market to consumers in specific locations.

Geotargeting finds customers based on their location and funnels specific marketing content to them through various channels that can include online ads, video marketing or content-based marketing. It can include both organic and paid methods, depending on business goals and budgets.

5. Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing has been a popular marketing method for quite some time. It is rising quickly in popularity and businesses are starting to use this method to market online and draw more traffic to business sites.

To make social media marketing successful and flow easily, businesses should employ a social media manager software or tool like Buffer or Hootsuite. This will assist in a myriad of tasks like managing social accounts, scheduling posts or tweets and creating cohesion across all social media platforms.

Through this style of marketing, it is easy to connect with your audience, whether those are buyers, clients or readers. Establishing a connection is usually done through friend requests, requests to join groups, interacting on pages or live forums or even having others follow your business on social platforms. After connecting, businesses should start interacting through blog posts, articles, video marketing or through a Q&A dialogue.

6. Organic Content vs. Paid

The biggest difference in organic content from paid content is how and at what speed customers arrive at your site.

While consumers may land on your site via search engines through organic content, paid content increases the chance that your content will appear on the first or second page of the SERPs. Organic content can also land on the first or second pages, but it will take longer and more work (building content, keyword focus, etc.). The question then becomes, how quickly do you want your business to appear on the top pages.

Paid content results will end when the ad expires. Organic results will continue because it has no dependency on advertising results.

7. Display Advertising::: Affiliate Marketing/Cross Promotion

Display advertising represents different formats that can include text, images, video or audio. Its main goal is to deliver the advertisement and content to site visitors. It’s important to use display advertising within context and couple it with methods that are conducive to the business.

Businesses can use cross promotion activities to promote or highlight a particular product or service. Businesses use cross promoting methods that highlight other products and increase potential sales. As an example, this may include highlighting a study guide that complements or pairs with a textbook for sale.

Affiliate marketing is a method that benefits the affiliate marketer and the brand. When the affiliate promotes the brand’s product, he earns a commission. Online businesses will find this method easy to implement because it’s simply getting affiliates to market and promote your products to target markets.

8. Online Videos

If videos aren’t already a part of your online marketing strategy, they should be. Videos are not only a great way to engage a customer. Depending on your business you may want to create videos that convey a message to your future customers reminding them why they want to engage your business or shop at your store. If you’re selling products online, product demonstration videos may be helpful to consumers as well.

Online videos are also a useful tool for search engine optimization. Typically videos that are viewed often and well-rated will rank higher than blog posts. The key to success with online videos is creating videos that are engaging and fun to watch while portraying the image that your brand represents.

9. Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing is growing very rapidly as consumers are using their smartphones more to shop, find deals or discounts, and connect. Businesses can capitalize on this growth by implementing mobile marketing in its online campaigns.

To reach more potential customers, ensure that there is a business presence on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, among others. The business website should be continually updated and optimized for mobile marketing, making it easier to connect with your customers without having issues.

You can use mobile marketing to build and grow your email list as well. By using applications that integrate with your business email marketing program, you can capture email addresses (with permission) and create marketing messages to target your audience and specific demographics.

 

There are numerous options for promoting and marketing your business online. Each of these methods may not apply to every business model; however, it is reasonable to expect that application of a few them can yield profitable results. Some of them may require adjustments to fit your business model. Simply test each one that seems applicable to your business and develop the online marketing plan that is most successful.

To learn more about how to market your business online, contact the marketing experts at BMGcreative for more information.

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Many businesses already use email marketing to build and maintain relationships with prospective and current customers. However, many of the world’s largest companies are moving towards marketing automation. No matter the size of your business, you may be wondering what the difference is between email marketing and marketing automation. How can you figure out which option is best for the marketing needs of your company? Here’s a closer look at both options, as well as some helpful information on how to choose the option that works best for your needs.

What is Email Marketing?

Email marketing allows you to use email service providers to send out mass emails while tracking the open rates and click-throughs of those emails. Unfortunately, most email service providers have limited functionality, which means you need to invest resources in ensuring that emails get to the right targets at the right time. While email marketing offers many benefits, it is a manual process to groom and grow your list and it doesn’t deliver leads, so it can be challenging to scale basic email marketing campaigns alone as your company’s marketing needs expand.

What is Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation uses technology to help you nurture leads via automated campaigns. It has the ability to take a company’s marketing to the next level while conserving company resources. Marketing automation has the ability to build upon current email marketing strategies, offering even better results. This tool makes it possible to figure out which stage of the purchasing process customers are in, giving you the information needed to guide them through the next stages until they finally make a purchase.

Which Option is Right for Your Company?

How do you decide which option is right for your company? Start by thinking about your company’s goals. Instead of thinking about what each option can do, start thinking about your company’s marketing requirements. If you’re running a company that has a longer buying cycle or need for consultative selling, then nurturing leads is essential to bringing in sales. In this case, marketing automation offers many benefits. However, if you have an offering with a shorter path-to-purchase and don’t have a dedicated sales team, then email marketing may be the better option for quick, one-time purchases.

Of course, it’s important to note that marketing automation solutions do require a much larger investment than email marketing software. Since marketing automation is more complex, it also takes more time to implement these solutions. This option also requires that you have more quality content that is targeted to prospects at different places in the sales cycle. While email marketing is more affordable and significantly easier to implement at the beginning, it is time consuming to manage. Regardless of your industry, sales life cycle or marketing budget, all companies should begin planning to incorporate marketing automation in the near future because if you don’t, your competitors will.  Don’t look at it as a more expensive marketing tactic, view marketing automation as an investment in increasing your bottom line.

Are you still trying to figure out if it’s time to consider marketing automation? If so, here are a few signs that marketing automation may be a good fit for you:

  • Email marketing alone isn’t driving sales
  • You have a customer buying process that lasts longer than seven days
  • You sell multiple services and products to different target markets
  • You want to figure out which marketing campaigns provide the best results
  • Your company’s sales team doesn’t have the time to complete all required sales tasks with current resources

If these signs fit your company, it’s time to start learning more about marketing automation and how it can take your company’s marketing to the next level.

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email-marketing

Email marketing campaigns have more of an impact than you might realize, often delivering real results. According to Yahoo’s Small Business studies, those who receive email from an email marketing campaign purchase 28% more often than others who visit your website. In most cases, those individuals will also order 44% more than they normally would. Make sure you have an e-mail newsletter going out to your customers to encourage them to spend money with you.

Offer an initial incentive to get them to subscribe to the newsletter. In most cases, you’ll end up making the initial cost back later as customer continue to come back and shop more.

 

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call-to-actionWhen you’re requesting–or writing–content for this holiday season, take some time to think about what you want and to brainstorm topics. Refine your content approach to be something your readers are really interested in hearing. If you’ve heard of a new product that is similar to what your customers are using or if you’ve got a new way to use something, post it. The more innovative your content, the better it’s going to be received by your customers, no matter what time of year, but particularly during the holidays.

Create better, results-oriented calls to action. Whether you want your readers to download an ebook or to buy a piece of software, you need to make an innovative call to action that entices them to respond. Offer incentives to your writers, if possible, providing a small bonus for the writer who pens the most often clicked call to action.

 

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Write-Engaging-ContentContent is king. Your marketing needs to include a fair portion of content, but the content isn’t for the search engines; it’s for your customers. The average customer knows when content is written for keyword use by search engines. You need to use those keywords but don’t let them drive your content.

The content that appears on your site needs to add real value and bring in not only the search engines but also your customers. Give them something new, something interesting and something they don’t know. Articles can draw in the search engines while also engaging your customers. Make sure they begin in an interesting way and don’t leave your customers hanging.

 

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email-marketingWhile naysayers may tell you that email marketing is no longer a viable option claiming that only 2% of people open emails, the fact is that email marketing is still a viable option with unique benefits. If you want to build a good relationship with your customers and create a dynamic relationship that sees them coming back for more, nothing beats a weekly or bi-weekly email that lets them know what you’ve been doing.

It’s simple and easy to send out one or two emails every week that ask questions, offer ideas and provide tips on current products. This demonstrates that you still care about the customer after the sale is made. If you’re not already doing it, offer some kind of a free and valuable enticement in order to get email addresses. Then keep a nominal amount of emails flowing to the customer.

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Online-Forms-that-EngageTo your website visitors, online forms are like optional extra credit in school. If they are already passing a class, most people don’t want to spend time completing extra work. That extra credit only becomes attractive when they need the points to pass the class. Your visitors won’t look at your forms with interest unless it promises to help them achieve something of value to them. If they can find the information they need through your blog or the products they need through your store, they have little incentive to spend time filling out an optional form.

The solution is not to give up on forms altogether but to create engaging online forms that have value to your visitors. You start by being upfront about what they will receive in exchange for the information asked for in the form.

For instance, you may tell visitors that they can obtain more in-depth information not featured on your blog or website content if they sign up for your newsletter or that they can get discounts on future purchases by signing up for occasional email messages. Think about what benefit a visitor may gain from a specific form, and make sure they understand that benefit. Then place the form in a convenient location on your website and follow these additional tips:

1. Only ask for the information you really need.
The more information a visitor must provide, the less likely they are to fill out an online form. Forms with a lot of fields look complicated and require a larger investment of time. Simplerforms are faster to fill out, so your visitors are more likely to consider the time investment worth the payoff they receive at the end.

2. Use terms that everyone can understand.
If your website is dedicated to a specific industry, don’t use industry lingo. You want to ensure that everyone inclined to fill out your form will understand what information you are requesting. When something is unclear, visitors will abandon the form before it is complete.

3. Design your forms to limit frustration over errors.
Have you ever gotten to the end of a long form only to be presented with a message that there were errors on the page? Going back to fix the error can double the time it takes to complete the form. This is often caused by not using dashes or other small mistakes. If you simplify your forms by accepting data in whatever manner your visitors want to enter it, you can eliminate this frustration and ensure your visitors stick around long enough to fully complete the process.

4. Customize your online forms to your user.
Use your analytics to determine what country most of your visitors come from, and then put that country at the top of your location dropdown list. Small things like that can simplify the form process so that more of your visitors make it to the end of the form.

Notice that these tips are aimed at making your online forms fast and easy to complete. The promise of something valuable on the other end will get many to start the form, but these tips are what will ensure they finish the form.

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Subject-LineIf you knew that something as simple as changing a few words could make your email marketing campaign more successful, how long would it take you to implement those changes? You would probably implement them immediately because you want to maximize results from every campaign. That’s good because you are about to learn about some of the simplest mistakes that email marketers sometimes make. If you identify them as problems for your own campaigns, get ready to take action and fix those errors.

Say What You Mean

Creativity is fun to play around with, but it doesn’t always work well with email subject lines. Recipients want to know what is inside your email and why they should spend their time reading it. You can add fun symbols like hearts and stars, but your recipients are just as likely to be annoyed by that as intrigued. You can create slogans that grab attention, but if they may not make a reader curious enough to open the message.

You don’t have much space to make a subject line work, so use it wisely. Get to the point and speak directly to your reader. Why should they spend their time listening to what you need to communicate to them? Give them that urgent message directly so that they want to hear you out.

Keep It Positive

Internet marketers are experts when it comes to playing on the emotions of their targeted audience. Unfortunately, playing on negative emotions like fear do not work for most consumers when it comes to email subject lines. Studies have shown that readers are far more likely to open a message that makes them feel hopeful or happy rather than fearful or scared.

Any word that is associated with a negative experience or emotion could hold your email campaign back. Some words to watch out for are “cancelled,” “reminder” and “eliminated.”

Make It Exclusive

Can you offer a “limited” deal to “select” customers? What about an “exclusive invitation” just for special customers? When you make individuals feel special, they are likely to click your message open and see what you have to offer. You don’t have to limit the number of people who receive these email messages. The goal is to make every recipient feel like they are a member of a select or chosen group.

A Note on Personalization

It is now commonplace to add a recipient’s name into their email in order to make a personal connection. While that has shown to help with opening rates to some extent, research is showing that it isn’t always enough to get someone to open a message. If you can add the name of the recipient and somehow hint that time is running out or the deal is only good for a limited amount of time, then the personalization may work more in your favor.

If you have the technology to insert personal names in your email subject lines, it doesn’t hurt to add that personal touch. Just don’t expect that alone to get your recipients to click your message open.

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