Remarketing is an integral part to any company online selling products to remain competitive. With so much competition on the internet it is important to re-establish a connection with your customers once they leave your site. It helps direct more people back to your site as well as convert more visitors into paying customers. This is a quickly growing form of marketing with 30% more of the top 1,000 e-retailers using cart abandonment emails in 2012 than compared to 2011. (“Transactional Emails,” 2013)

In order to develop and analyze great key performance indicators (KPI’s)  companies must benchmark their current marketing ROI to get a baseline. First and most important would be to figure out what kind of revenue your current marketing programs are driving to the business prior to implementing a re-marketing strategy. Other important figures to know is unique and returning visitors, number of customers and cost per customer. Once you have this data, it would be a good time to begin drafting up a remarketing strategy.

One of the best parts of online marketing is all the data that comes along with it. It makes it very simple to fine tune your marketing techniques to be as efficient as possible. Because of this data, developing KPI’s is simple and easily measurable. A few KPI’s that businesses engaging with remarketing would be; conversion rates, engagement rates, revenue per message and unique/ returning visitors. Remarketing should in theory drive up conversion rates due to that fact its pulling shoppers back to the site and if they do not increase, it would be a good sign that your remarketing program is not working.

Email engagement rates should go up within the remarketing messages. “Experian Cheetahmail indicates that on average, cart abandonment emails result in 20 times the transaction rates and revenue per email than standard bulk emails.” (Experian, n.d.) If your remarketing messages aren’t seeing dramatically higher engagement rates, you should revise your email content strategy. Lastly, remarketing messages should result in dramatically higher, about 24 times, revenue per message than your standard bulk mailings. This is another simple way to monitor your remarketing strategy’s success.

Since we live in the era of big data and real time monitoring, it is very simple to measure the success of online marketing campaigns almost immediately. It is important to ensure that your marketing strategy is working and using industry stats as baseline KPI’s for remarketing along with comparing this data with your business’ benchmarks prior to implementing a remarketing program should set you on the path to success.

References

The Remarketing Report (PDF). (2010, January). Retrieved May 12, 2014, from Experian Marketing Services website:http://www.experian.com/assets/marketing-services/white-papers/EMS_remarketing_WP.pdf

Transactional Emails. (2013). Retrieved May 15, 2014, from http://www.emailstatcenter.com/Transactional.html

Email marketing is a crucial part to any online marketing strategy. It is an inexpensive and effective way of communicating with customers and nurturing prospects. In order for this channel to be effective marketers must build up their database. There are a few key ways to do so and it is extremely important to the success of a company’s email marketing strategy.

Buying or building lists by scraping the web for peoples emails is frowned upon and even regulated due to the Can-Spam act. In short the Can-Spam act is “a law that sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have you stop emailing them, and spells out tough penalties for violations.” (Federal Trade Commission, 2009) It protects users from getting bombarded by unwanted and irrelevant emails. It is because of this companies must be strategic with how they build their database. These databases ideally are very large and consist of a company’s target market and customers.

The first and simplest way to build your list is to place a newsletter sign up widget on your site. This can be done very simply through Mailchimp or Constant Contact by setting up how you want your form to look, then copy and pasting the HTML code into your site. It gives users the ability to add themselves to your email database.

This next form of marketing has a few different names, some call it inbound marketing, some call it content marketing but at the end of the day its just another way to generate leads to build your list and fill your sales funnel. This is a relatively new concept and companies like Hubspot and Marketo are very successful due to the fact that their software automates this process. The way people do this is by developing content that speaks to their audience. The content strategy is key! Some examples of content are blog posts, social media Posts, web pages, etc. (Hubspot, n.d.) Once you get visitors to your site from these you generate offers and put more in depth content behind a form on a landing page. Once a stranger fills out the form, they are then part of your database! You can then nurture these people via email marketing until they are ready to buy.

Another way of building your list is a very controversial one. Many people are very much against it, others have whole affiliate marketing programs in place to handle it. It is called media buying or affiliate marketing. According to Brick Marketing Affiliate Marketing is “a technique where other publishers and websites will promote your business. Basically the way it works is that an affiliate is rewarded every time a visitor, customer or sale for your business is generated through an advertisement on their web site.” (Brick Marketing, n.d.) We use this form of marketing where I work because we have gotten to the point that in order to scale the company at the rate we want to, we need to build the database faster than we would be able to without utilizing this strategy. Just to clarify, this is very different than buying a list! Publishers host our content on their websites and when people download this content, we are charged a small fee and we acquire that persons contact information. A list buy is just when you buy a random list of names and blast them with emails when they have never interacted with your company.

The last way is to make sure all your customers are in your database. When people buy from you, you can either add to the terms of service that you’re allowed to email them or put a check box within the checkout process that asks if they would like to receive email notifications. Your customers should be the most engaged part of your database. When we send out emails to our customer base we see upwards of a 35% open rate whereas when we send to prospects we see around 20%. Email marketing is a great way to keep your customers in the loop, communicate sales and inform them when you release new products. They already have shown interest in your company so there is a much higher chance they will buy from you again!

These are the few top ways of acquiring emails to build your database which will in turn help drive more revenue to your online business. When it comes to list building you should be thinking quality over quantity. Companies can waste a lot of money blasting millions of emails out to an disengaged group which will , in turn, negatively affect their sender reputation and cause their emails to go to spam. Once your emails start going to spam, your ROI on your email marketing strategy goes down the drain!

References

Brick Marketing. (n.d.). What Is Affiliate Marketing? Retrieved May 3, 2014, from http://www.brickmarketing.com/what-is-affiliate-marketing.htm

Federal Trade Commission. (2009, September). CAN-SPAM Act: A Compliance Guide for Business. Retrieved May 1, 2014, fromhttp://www.business.ftc.gov/documents/bus61-can-spam-act-compliance-guide-business

Hubspot. (n.d.). Inbound Methodology. Retrieved May 1, 2014, from http://www.hubspot.com/inbound-marketing

This is some thing I have been observing over the past couple years and after reading some materials for one of my marketing classes it confirmed it. Traditional forms of direct marketing where you email blast, cold call, buy leads, or direct mail huge amounts of people to fill the top of the funnel are changing. The vast majority of buyers no longer rely on companies for information which is why there has been a shift to inbound marketing. Because of the Groundswell movement, they are doing their own research and finding all the information on their own rather than relying on companies and institutions to do so.  Now with that said, you cannot completely discard these direct marketing techniques. I think they are still important to generate awareness and get the ball rolling. The key is to guide people’s research process in the direction of your products.

The major change from the past is, sales people would prospect, generate interest and after a few meetings, sell the product or wait for people to contact their company. A trend I have been noticing now is, once the awareness is generated, people wait to talk to sales until they are completely ready to buy. The amount of time buyers are discussing with sales people has be decreased dramatically. Essentially sales people are only there to discuss pricing and close the deal rather than do a whole lot of selling. This is because there is an abundance of information on the internet for people to do their own research. This coupled with peoples widespread trust issues with salespeople leads to a change in the way sales organizations operate. Because of this, the lead funnel looks more like this:

New Lead Funnel

New Lead Funnel

This is why you see such a shift to inbound marketing which is what I spend my day-to-day doing. With all that being said, there are ways your company can help combat this change and make sure your sales people are using their time more efficiently, because lets face it, they are never going to listen to that voicemail you left them.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

This is probably the most important. When people take to the internet to do their research, they will not spend hours fishing through the hundreds of pages of Google results. In fact according to Search Engine Journal 75% of users don’t scroll past the first page. This means it is paramount for your business to rank within the top results.

Content

To aid with search engine optimization you must create content. The more stuff your site has pertaining to your offerings, the more Google will find when it crawls the web and the higher you rank. You must also be clever about how you curate this content to make sure its set up to capture leads. Landing pages with forms in front of whitepapers and other assets are a great way of doing this. This helps get people into your awkwardly shaped funnel.

Re-targetting

This is a great thing to add to your inbound marketing strategy. The way it works in a nutshell is; say a person visits your site while in the process of researching a certain solution then they leave without doing anything. When they go to your site, a cookie (small piece of magical internet data) get stored in their browser. Now when they visit sites with display ad space, you can advertise whitepapers, offers, and other information pertaining to what they were looking at on your site. Again, you would want to put a landing page with a form in front of this content to capture them and poof they are in your funnel.

Now for you sales guys that thought you were off the hook, its your turn to step in and seer the convo. Us inbound makers look to get rid of the need to cold call people and spend time prospecting. We generate and warm up the leads so you can call or email them once they are in the funnel to move them along. Offer help and statistics to aid in their research efforts because at the end of the day, the information they gather will ultimately lead to their purchase decision.

With all that said, there are still companies that prefer the traditional buying process. I have noticed a lot of the bigger companies, and fortune 500’s go through this process because they have trained buyers on their staff to help evaluate these decisions and have the bandwidth to talk to hear every prospective vendors pitch. The majority of companies don’t have the luxury of having seasoned buyers on their staff so thats when these inbound marketing tips really pay off!