Important: The Lonely Marketer Has a New Location

January 20, 2007

Thank you very much for coming to my blog!

I’ve moved the Lonely Marketer to www.lonelymarketer.com.

If you’re a subscriber, your feed should update and you should be redirected to the new site. If you’ve bookmarked the Lonely Marketer, please stop by my new site and bookmark me there or subscribe.

Thanks again for coming! I look forward to your feedback on my site.


The Lonely Marketer is Moving!

January 19, 2007

moving.jpgMy posting will be light the next couple of days as I pack up and move the Lonely Marketer to a new site. I’m planning to have everything up and running by Sunday and a full week’s worth of posts coming next week.  Please keep an eye out for the official launch!


Using Transactional Email for Cross-Selling

January 11, 2007

I hadn’t come across this topic in awhile, but transactional email can be an effective – and low cost – method for cross-selling and gaining valuable customer insight. A transaction email is, for instance, a confirmation email sent from you to a customer after a purchase or download of some sort. Many times, transactional emails are plain text generated from a customer database. Why not make them more?

A quick article written by Dave Lewis of StrongMail Systems (www.strongmail.com) in a recent BtoB Email Marketing Insight newsletter offered a few tips on developing a program to take advantage of transactional emails.

“Compliance. While marketing messages are allowed in transactional e-mails, you do need to follow the provisions set out in CAN-SPAM. It comes down to keeping the focus on the transaction in your subject line and placement of content. Of course, you’ll want to consult with your legal adviser for the exact parameters before implementing your program.

Relevancy. Any messages or offers inserted into a transactional e-mail need to be relevant. Relevancy is even more important with transactional e-mail, as you risk losing an active customer with indiscriminate marketing offers that don’t reflect previously established interests and preferences. Helpful information related to the transaction can go a long way in establishing brand loyalty and inducing follow-up sales.

Branding. Take full advantage of HTML to reinforce your brand. Without taking focus away from the transaction itself, HTML also allows you to insert marketing messages and offers in a much more prominent, visually appealing way. Text-based offers too easily get lost at the bottom of a transactional e-mail.

Technology. Sending out relevant, highly branded e-mails requires the right technology to enable HTML and integrate with your customer databases. As a supplemental marketing channel, you’ll also want to make sure that you have the e-mail management systems in place to properly track delivery, open and conversion rates. Whether you use an in-house solution or outsource to an ESP, make sure it provides the required integration and management capabilities.”

If a quality email tracking program is in place, a small business could track what a customer may also be interested in by where they click in the confirmation email. That information could be used by the sales team for the follow-up thank you call or for future marketing efforts. Promotions on related products or services purchased could also be communicated via the email.

Yes, building a back-end program generated from a database for this program could be costly and/or challenging, but the benefits and the upside could easily offset that.


Monday Morning “Marketing” Quarterback

December 18, 2006

As a Minnesota Vikings fan, Monday mornings are a great time to play Monday Morning Quarterback. There are always many instances in Sunday’s game that can be reconstructed, second-guessed and talked about around the water cooler.

But, I encourage you to also play a round of Monday Morning Marketing Quarterback. I’ve made the habit of grabbing a cup of coffee, opening my results tracking spreadsheets and figuring out what worked and what did not from the week before. Which banner ads got the most clicks? Which Google Ad converted the most new customers? Which text seemed to connect most with its intended audience? I check all my landing page URLs and check to see which had a high bounce rate and which sent the prospect deeper into the site. I’ll count up leads and where they came from – giving me an indication of which ads hit the mark.

As a small business marketing manager, results tracking is key to any program you run. Otherwise, how do we know what worked and what did not? What spend was worth it and what was not?

I came across an article on iMedia Connection by Reid Carr talking about metrics and how analytics programs can give you insight as to how your web site is running.

So, take some time this morning and learn from last week – and of course check ESPN to see what the future holds for your team as well.


Tips For Better Email Marketing Success

December 14, 2006

In a recent BtoB Online Email Marketer newsletter I received, Mark Organ – CEO of Eloqua Corp. – wrote a good, quick article outlining some valuable tips to increase open rates and overall experience of email newsletters. Email marketing is getting tougher. I’m experiencing this as I work to increase my own click-through rates and decrease bounce rates on my landing pages. Blogs, RSS Feeds, and Podcasts are jumping to the forefront as methods people are using to get the information they want. Plus, corporate email filtering is getting tighter. Email marketing is not dead despite what some industry analysts think, but the road to success is not a smooth ride. The main tips from Mark’s article are:

 

  • Success begins with the subject line. Keep your subject line succinct, around five or six words. Stay away from personalization-such as using the prospect’s first name-in the subject line. The golden rule is to make sure that your subject line is something you would feel comfortable sending to an existing prospect.
  • They’re in … now what? Your prospect must be able to quickly determine the benefits of the e-mail. Integration with Web marketing tools such as forms and landing pages can impel a prospect to explore these benefits. Include many clear links to click on high up in the e-mail, “above the scroll.” Make sure that hyperlink words conjure up a benefit in the reader’s mind-such as “Learn more”-and avoid using passive words.
  • Lead them to a landing page. Drive prospects to a campaign-specific landing page, not your company’s home page. Your e-mail and landing page should be designed with the same look to smooth the transition. Within the e-mail, include a link that offers an immediate call to action. On landing pages, be sure to minimize required information on initial registration forms; prefilling registration forms with known contact information can increase response rates. Creative imagery at the top of the landing page can show the prospect what he or she will get for moving forward. Last, an auto-response e-mail should always be sent when a form is submitted.
  • Hone in with dynamic, personalized microsites. Include links to microsites that have personalized URLs and messaging. Dynamic content can be triggered by the prospect’s region, language and industry. Both the personal URL and targeted experience can dramatically increase response and conversion on the site (a 200% to 300% increase from initial rates).

 


Turn Those Google Searches into Buyers

December 14, 2006

I’ve come across another great article on turning search engine searchers into customers. I recently did a post on how paid search has to be more than just click-throughs – it has to be a focused sales campaign with the end goal of converting the searcher. This article on iMedia Connection by Dale Hursh talks about this very topic.

“To maximize search marketing ROI, you must manage the entire search marketing lifecycle, from Search-to-Sale. This includes finding and driving traffic to your website, as well as converting the visitor by persuading them to take the desired action.”

Check out the article