Inspiring action: tips and tricks the nonprofit marketer should know

Being part of such
a demanding and pressurized industry is not easy. For years, dotdigital has
been working to deliver solutions to many NFP pain points. That’s why Engagement
Cloud is the platform of choice for so many non-profit organizations. We decided
to unite our years of insight with the current trends in marketing and use cases
of the innovative work happening right now, in an event dedicated solely to
helping NFPs work smarter and deliver big.

(P.S. it was on a really big boat)

So, without any
further ado, here are the key takeaways we learned aboard HMS Belfast:

Make everything you do T.A.S.T.E-y

As
a not-for-profit organization, you’ve probably done extensive research into the
personas of your donors and volunteers. But, do you remember to apply it in your
marketing comms?

Probably
not.

Gavin Laugenie, Head of Strategy & Insight at dotdigital, broke down the simple tactics you can adopt to ensure your content makes an impact with every type of donor.

Trust

Without trust in your organization, no one is going to be willing to donate their time or money. NFPs, and charities, in particular, suffered massive blows to the amount of trust the public had in them in 2018. It’s more important than ever to the public that NFPs be open and honest about everything they do.

You need to continuously reinforce the message that your nonprofit will put resources to the best use. Whenever you’re publicly recognized in the press, or on social channels, be sure to include it in your emails. Especially in the early stages of the customers’ journey with you.

Altruism

Altruism and a general concern for the wellbeing of others is considered to be the most powerful reason people decide to donate or volunteer for a charity.

Utilize
this in your marketing. Include pictures of your volunteers at work. Create
videos of your work and your volunteers on the front line. Visuals like these
in your email marketing specifically can be very powerful. They show the real
impact you are making to your mission and spur your altruistic subscribers to contribute
in any way they can.

Social

Never
forget about the emotional connection people may have to your cause. It may be
that someone close to them cares about your mission or has been affected by it
personally. That’s often the reason married couples donate together, and friends
join fun runs as a group.

Tell
human stories that help people connect with your organization, and really drive
home the social impact their contributions have helped provide. Videos are particularly
impactful here. Just think about the impact the stories featured in Stand Up 2
Cancer have every year. If they can feel they can relate to your story, the more
likely they will be to get involved.

Taxes

This may not feel like a natural reason, but it resonates with a lot of people today. Especially your high-value givers. Tax breaks for charitable giving are well established in countries such as the US, but in the UK, it more often than not comes in the form of the Gift Aid scheme. And, this is only really brought up when someone is already in the process of donating.

In
your email marketing, creating targeted campaigns around Gift Aid, especially
around the holiday season, is a great way of generating awareness and driving
donations.  

Egoism

People donate or volunteer because of the way it makes them feel. They might not want to phrase it that way, but these donors or volunteers experience a positive feeling similar to a buyer’s high when the act is charitable.

Make sure you say, ‘thank you’ and ‘you’ve made a real difference today’. It’s a great way to encourage these donors and volunteers to repeat their actions. Also, using language like ‘even a little bit makes a big difference’ or asking them to donate time, not money, can make people feel good, without stumbling over the issue of financial constraints.

Breaking the status quo

Jamie Walker and Najmah Salam are still relatively new to Help for Heroes, but they’re at the start of a very exciting journey.

Aware that email is an unbeatable channel to engage audiences and drive donations, they have looked at today’s savvy subscriber and decided that they needed to do something new. Audiences are constantly bombarded by marketing on every channel. Cutting through the noise as an NFP is even harder because you’re not just asking someone to read your email, but do something – really do something – too.

As
a result, they’ve decided to adopt a new approach – #respectheinbox.

But
how? And what does it mean?

Automate for humans

Some people worry automated emails take the human touch out of the message – but this really isn’t the case. You just have to make sure you do it well.

Adding ‘Meet the Team’ emails to your drip or welcome campaigns can create a personal connection with readers. Asking for feedback demonstrates the value you put in their opinions. RSS feeds give a live update of what’s happening in your organization. It also makes it easier for you to take readers on individual journeys based on whether they’re supporters or beneficiaries.

These are just some easy ways to keep your messages personal while saving you time to do what humans do best: create, invent, and innovate.

Less is more

Always be mindful of decision fatigue. The average office worker receives around 121 emails a day. Handheld devices are checked between 80 and 150 time a day. If you overwhelm your email with too much information, it’s simply not going to go in and your impact will be lost.

Keep emails short and punchy. If
you’re asking for donations, sign-ups, or any kind of action, make sure the message
in your email is singular

Read the room

Understand the climate, practice
empathy, and remember that timeliness is effectiveness. This can come in many forms
such as asking for consent before sending emails around the holidays. For Help
for Heroes, this has recently been put into practice as they continuously keep supporters
informed about the progress of the new Office of Veterans Affairs.

This helps you build momentum,
and keeps subscribers engaged.

There’s a time and a place

In other words, don’t be a one-trick pony. Just because data proves that first name personalization in a subject line increases open rates, doesn’t mean every subject line needs to be.

Najmah Help for Heroes

By constantly testing and learning, you’ll soon develop a bank of magic tricks you can pull out to reach your audience at the right time, and in the right place.

By respecting the inbox, Help for Heroes is ensuring that the emails it sends are relevant and engaging. Donors have busy lives, so holding their attention is essential. Adopting this approach is helping Help for Heroes on their mission.

Don’t let fear hold you back

Barry McVeigh of Macmillan Cancer Support and Ralph Johnson from Felinesoft had a single objective when they started working together: help more people, faster!

Macmillan Cancer Support, like many charities in the NFP sector, had left its technology systems in the past as it focused almost entirely on its mission. With its objective in mind, Macmillan turned to Felinesoft to help it accelerate its impact through technology and innovation.

This
required a drastic change in the way the whole organization acted. Cultural
change is never easy, but the success of Macmillan and Felinesoft’s work proves
that you must never let fear hold you back.

Macmillan had a decision-making process that was almost too inclusive, a waterfall approach to information sharing and high demands for success. This slowed the process of change, making innovation hard.

Macmillan NFP event

Together, the two organizations identified the iterative process needed to successfully innovate:

Understand where you are

Start at the very beginning. Yes, you’ll have an end goal, but you can’t get there before you understand where you are today. Evaluate your key metrics, understand the user journey, and how the conversion funnel works.

Generate ideas

Once you know where you are, think about where you want to be. How can you improve your key metrics or the user journey? Empathy is essential to think about what the ideal journey should be.

Get feedback

Feedback from stakeholders is essential. But don’t forget, too many cooks spoil the broth. Get together small focus groups where you can work collaboratively on a solution. Small teams move faster and get to work quicker.

Build and test

You need to be focused on implementation if you’re going to get something done. Act fast and start building your solution as quickly as possible. Testing everything you do is the only way you’ll know if it’s working.

Always be optimizing

Arguably the most important
part, never be afraid to fail. By closely monitoring your goals and KPIs, you’ll
soon find out what’s working and what’s not. Without this environment of trust,
change is never going to happen.

First impressions count

Data,
data, data.

There really is nothing more important to the modern marketer than data. Without data, we can’t engage customers. And for an NFP, an unengaged subscriber is stopping them from getting closer to their mission.

For the founder of eFocus Marketing, Kate Barrett, the second someone subscribes to your newsletter, you need to work hard to engage them, and keep them engaged. Kate looked at a small sample of NFPs and identified three key mistakes that were far too common for a modern marketer.

Opting in was hard

60% of brands had no clearly visible email opt-in on the homepage.

When someone enters your website, they’re expressing an interest in you, so it’s vital to connect with them as soon as possible. Collecting details from these interested parties means you can inspire, educate, and nurture them until they’re ready to donate.

What’s worse is that Kate discovered 30% of NFPs didn’t even offer a newsletter opt-in at the end of a donation. These are people clearly committed to helping you achieve your mission, and they are passing you by, potentially shifting their interests to a more engaging organization with a similar proposition.

Whether you choose to use a popover or a form in your footer, making it easy to subscribe is essential.

Welcome programs were lacking

Even with nearly half of NFPs
sending welcome emails, there’s still a long way for brands to go.

Your welcome email is your first
interaction with a potential supporter. To really drive and inspire action you
need to be telling them your story. What do you do? Who do you help? Why is it
important? And, how can they make a difference?

Break these up into a series of welcome emails and make sure you keep the CTAs to 1 max. per email. Consider carefully what your important messages are, and make sure you’re communicating these from the start.

Communications weren’t continuing

A single welcome email or ‘thank
you for your donation’ is just the start of the journey. Making communications
personal to the reader helps you keep supporters coming back to your cause.

If they’ve donated, don’t leave it at thank you. Show them how their money is being used and the progress that is being made thanks to them. If they’re regular fundraisers, show them how much they’ve raised and whose lives they’ve made a difference to.

To avoid these mistakes, you need to know your audience. The data you have on them facilitates the conversation – you just need to use it to get maximum returns on your emails marketing.

The post Inspiring action: tips and tricks the nonprofit marketer should know appeared first on dotdigital blog.

Reblogged 2 weeks ago from blog.dotdigital.com

Interview with Matt Potter, RVP of Partnerships for EMEA at Movable Ink

Matt will be speaking at our sports seminar on Wednesday 7th August at Lord’s Cricket Ground, along with Partnerships Manager Chelsea Warrington. We interviewed him to get a flavor of what Movable Ink will be talking about. 

Tell me a bit about the relationship between Movable Ink and Southampton F.C.

We entered into our partnership with Southampton F.C. late last year and have already executed some exciting campaigns with them. There are a couple that spring to mind. Firstly, we have worked with the club on season ticket renewal emails that utilize data about the renewal and layer it onto creative – reminiscent of match-day programs – with the fan’s name and seat information on, using a club specific font.  

The second campaign was a year-in-review email which takes data from the season’s games and creates a truly personalized experience, detailing the number of games they have been to, home and away stats, goals seen, minutes viewed, and much more.  This enriching visual experience is designed to give back to the fans and remind them what an exciting season they were just a part of.

What is your talk going to be about?

We are aiming to address two areas where we think we can add real value to club communications:

1. What can sports marketers learn from other more established sectors? 

We understand that clubs are much more than a match day activity.  They are retail organizations for merchandising, travel organisations for ticketing and match day experiences, media companies for news and brand, and more like gaming companies for statistics and team updates. We will take the best from these sectors and show how they dovetail into the sporting world.

2. What can incredible sports organizations in the UK learn from the US?

This is not a new theory though. We have many sports teams in the US as customers and their governing bodies. These teams are driving huge engagement, filling stadiums, and creating worldwide fans using Movable Ink content.  There is a lot the UK can learn from this model and we aim to show the most innovative examples.

What’s the most important thing people are going to take away from the presentation? 

Our aim is to demonstrate how valuable the fanbase for a team can be and how Movable Ink can help clubs to really engage with those fans. It doesn’t matter whether they are hyper-engaged life-long partisan fans or a global audience who may never be fortunate enough to go to a match, but still consider themselves devout followers.

What are the three things to get right when marketing to fans? 

  1. Create experiences for fans around match day.  The build-up to the game, travel to the stadium, where to go beforehand, what concessions are available, the team updates, the game itself, and the post-match follow-up.
  2. Not all fans can attend matches, some may be thousands of miles away, but they can be equally passionate and will want to feel part of the club by wearing merchandise and living the club’s brand.
  3. Push engagement with the club, encourage people to engage and share on social media, use AR to put the person ‘in’ the club so they feel part of the team! Use interactive surveys and polls to allow people to give back to the club and vote on things that matter to them as fans.

What are you most looking forward to about the event?

The opportunity to get different clubs and sports marketers in one place at one time. There aren’t many marketing events set up for sport. Retail, travel, media, gaming, NFP etc., yes. But not sport. I’m excited to get my hands on all the knowledge and insight in the room!  

As you know, the sports seminar will take place at Lord’s. Do you like cricket?

People should be interested in cricket after our world cup win on that golden sporting Sunday. It was a tough choice between the Wimbledon men’s final and the Cricket World Cup. 

Cricket definitely highlights the richness of our English heritage, and we’ve certainly got many impressive players. I think we’ve re-gentrified the sport in the last few years. Yes, matches can take a long time, like golf, but they can actually be very fast-paced too and have some nail-biting conclusions. There’s definitely a big opportunity for marketing to have an impact on the new generation of cricket fans. It’s a great sport to get into, but like most sports, there needs to be more of a push for young players and women players in the clubs. 

So, to answer your question in short: Yes, I’m really growing to like cricket! 

Don’t miss Movable Ink’s inspiring talk on fan personalization!

Join us at Lord’s Cricket Ground on Wednesday 7th August for an empowering event followed by an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the grounds and the ashes.

We have a great line-up of speakers from Southampton Football Club, Science in Sport, Swansea City AFC, Movable Ink, and Othermedia.

There’s a hot breakfast and lunch provided for all delegates, too!

Get your fans closer to the action – register here!

The post Interview with Matt Potter, RVP of Partnerships for EMEA at Movable Ink appeared first on dotdigital blog.

Reblogged 3 weeks ago from blog.dotdigital.com

Interview with Rebecca Symmons, Head of Digital at Swansea City A.F.C

We interviewed Rebecca ahead of our sports seminar to find out about her journey to Swansea A.F.C., plus clues on what her talk will cover.

Tell me about yourself.

I’m currently living back in my
hometown of Swansea. I started out doing a degree in dance and fine art with a
view to becoming a professional dancer. But at 18 years old my career would
take a different path: I slipped my disc and could no longer dance.   

My father worked in the media, so I eventually got a job in advertising. Luckily the internet was emerging at the same time so there was a lot of opportunity. I worked myself up the ladder extremely quickly, moving from The South Wales Evening Post in Swansea to the Western Mail in Cardiff. This was the point of when the business started to acknowledge that the internet was making an impact. The digital transformation journey started back then, and I was lucky enough to be part of it.

Is it weird to say I’ve never really had to apply for a job? I’ve always been approached by someone else, other than my first role with Swansea City. When the job was advertised on the club website, I turned up at the stadium reception asking to see the head of media for a chat as it was my dream job. He still claims I stalked him!

Before the Swans, Yell.com (Yellow Pages) came knocking at my door when I was established at the Western Mail and that’s where my digital journey really went to the next level, as the big yellow book evolved its business into yell.com. My career in digital had taken off.

One of my counterparts started to
work at Amazon, so this was when I was asked to pop to London for a chat.
Amazon was a phenomenal experience and the brand was just a pleasure to work
for. While I was at Amazon we launched three different businesses and tested
them in the UK marketplace to see if they could work alongside the US. We
launched Amazon Tickets to rival Ticketmaster, which made so much sense when
Amazon had such a mass loyal audience. Why wouldn’t Adele want to sell directly
to Prime customers if she was launching her album in the same way?  

Anyway, I then found my dream role at my home club of Swansea City in November 2016 and have enjoyed a few promotions in my first few years. I held a season ticket at the club as a fan for 19 years, so that’s why I still see it as a dream job.

What was your first job?

I was a dancer at Butlins, Bognor Regis. (Honest!) 

What did you learn working at Amazon?

Amazon’s work ethic and leadership principles are what the whole brand stands for. You’ll notice that the arrow on Amazon’s logo points from A to Z. That means that there’s a reason for every decision, which comes down to either the data or customer. What I loved about Amazon was its data-based reasoning. It’s a business that can’t be replicated elsewhere, and its customer service is impeccable.

What is it like working for Swansea City A.F.C.?

It’s an emotional rollercoaster. The ups and downs are determined by 11 players on a pitch with a ball. Regardless of what you do on the front end, the majority of fans only care about the game. There’s a lot of pressure.

Today you might have the best players in the world and tomorrow you might lose them. The highs are so high, and the lows are really low. But I wouldn’t change it for the world.

I’ve held a season ticket now for 22 years. Now I’m on the senior management team heading up digital. We have produced several firsts in football, such as in-app ticketing through the Swans app that we developed with our digital partner, Other Media. To have headed up such a fantastic project has been special.

Do you like football?

Love it. I went to my first game when I was a few years old. I love football – it’s on the TV in my house every day of the week. My daughter went to her first game when she was two weeks old and I got her a season ticket when she was one. 

What are your career goals?

I’m different to other digital professionals in football. Many tend to move from club to club in order to progress. That doesn’t inspire me at all. I don’t want to follow that route. But although I’m at the club I love, I am still extremely driven to progress as high as I can.

What are the three things to get right when marketing to Swansea fans?

The right content to the right people at the right time. Those are the three elements for effective fan marketing. So many marketers still get this wrong. Personalized content nurtures fans and drives word of mouth.

The right platform matters too. Some people don’t open emails and prefer Twitter or Facebook. Why would you serve someone Instagram adverts when they only ever watch YouTube? Otherwise, marketing is pointless. It’s not organic and won’t feel right to the end customer. 

Marketing shouldn’t be forced.
For instance, we don’t send ticket promotions to a season ticket holder.
Instead we ask them to recommend a friend; they get something back and their
friend gets a special deal. It’s a win-win. 

Can you give me a clue about what you’ll be speaking about at our event?

Aside from personalized content, I’ll be talking about the evolvement of our fantastic app. It was one of the first apps in Premier League football. I’ve been told that it’s been used as a guide for other Premier League clubs. Even though we don’t compete at this level anymore, and as a result have far less staff and financial resources than before, I believe we are still competing at the top of the digital league. The work we are doing with Other Media is keeping us at the forefront of fan engagement.

We opened up a whole demographic we weren’t capturing before. The revenue we’ve generated from tickets and retail through the app, even after being relegated, was astonishing. This sexy stuff can make you much more revenue.

Random quick-fire round: I’m going to say two words and you have to pick one without hesitation. If you think of an alternative, you can use that one.

Chinese bun or Indian samosa?

  • Chinese
    bun.

Hobnob or chocolate digestive?

  • Hobnob.

Cat or dog?  

  • Dog.

Spain or France?

  • Italy.

City or countryside?

  • City by
    the sea.

Salt and vinegar or cheese and onion?

  • Ready
    salted.

Beach or history museum/art gallery?

  • Beach.

Netflix night-in or outdoor cinema?

  • Netflix
    night-in.

Extra avocado or halloumi on everything?

  • Halloumi
    on everything.

Hot summer’s day or snow day?

  • Snow day.

Don’t miss Rebecca’s talk on personalization and app engagement! Join us at Lord’s Cricket Ground on Wednesday 7th August for an inspiring event followed by an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the grounds and the ashes.

We have a great line-up of speakers from Southampton Football ClubScience in Sport, Swansea City AFC, Movable Ink, and Othermedia.

There’s a hot breakfast and lunch provided for all delegates,
too!

Get
your fans closer to the action, and register here!

The post Interview with Rebecca Symmons, Head of Digital at Swansea City A.F.C appeared first on dotdigital blog.

Reblogged 3 weeks ago from blog.dotdigital.com

20 Ways to Build Links Using Blogger Outreach

You probably know that an optimized website and great content are an important part of SEO and they can help you get found in the search engines. At this point in 2019, you’re probably no stranger to the other massively important ranking factor either. I’m talking about link building. Why Link Building? Link building, or … Continue reading “20 Ways to Build Links Using Blogger Outreach”
The post 20 Ways to Build Links Using Blogger Outreach appeared first on OutreachMama.

Reblogged 1 month ago from www.outreachmama.com

New Things I’ve Learned About Google Review Likes

Posted by MiriamEllis

Last time I counted, there were upwards of 35 components to a single Google Business Profile (GBP). Hotel panels, in and of themselves, are enough to make one squeal, but even on a more “typical” GPB, it’s easy to overlook some low-lying features. Often, you may simply ignore them until life makes you engage.

A few weeks ago, a local SEO came to me with a curious real-life anecdote, in which a client was pressuring the agency to have all their staff hit the “like” button on all of the brand’s positive Google reviews. Presumably, the client felt this would help their business in some manner. More on the nitty-gritty of this scenario later, but at first, it made me face that I’d set this whole GBP feature to one side of my brain as not terribly important.

Fast forward a bit, and I’ve now spent a couple of days looking more closely at the review like button, its uses, abuses, and industry opinions about it. I’ve done a very small study, conducted a poll, and spoken to three different Google reps. Now, I’m ready to share what I’ve learned with you.

Wait, what is the “like” button?

Crash course: Rolled out in 2016, this simple function allows anyone logged into a Google account to thumbs-up any review they like. There is no opposite thumbs-down function. From the same account, you can only thumb up a single review once. Hitting the button twice simply reverses the “liking” action. Google doesn’t prevent anyone from hitting the button, including owners of the business being reviewed.

At a glance, do Google review likes influence anything?

My teammate, Kameron Jenkins, and I plugged 20 totally random local businesses into a spreadsheet, with 60 total reviews being highlighted on the front interface of the GBP. Google highlights just three reviews on the GBP and I wanted to know two things:

  1. How many businesses out of twenty had a liked review anywhere in their corpus
  2. Did the presence of likes appear to be impacting which reviews Google was highlighting on the front of the GBP?

The study was very small, and should certainly be expanded on, but here’s what I saw:

60 percent of the brands had earned at least one like somewhere in their review corpus.

15 percent of the time, Google highlighted only reviews with zero likes, even when a business had liked reviews elsewhere in its corpus. But, 85 percent of the time, if a business had some likes, at least one liked review was making it to the front of the GBP.

At a glance, I’d say it looks like a brand’s liked reviews may have an advantage when it comes to which sentiment Google highlights. This can be either a positive or negative scenario, depending on whether the reviews that get thumbed up on your listing are your positive or negative reviews.

And that leads us to…

Google’s guidelines for the use of the review likes function

But don’t get too excited, because it turns out, no such guidelines exist. Though it’s been three years since Google debuted this potentially-influential feature, I’ve confirmed with them that nothing has actually been published about what you should and shouldn’t do with this capability. If that seems like an open invitation to spam, I hear you!

So, since there were no official rules, I had to hunt for the next best thing. I was thinking about that SEO agency with the client wanting to pay them to thumb up reviews when I decided to take a Twitter poll. I asked my followers:

Unsurprisingly, given the lack of guidelines, 15 percent of 111 respondents had no idea whether it would be fishy to employ staff or markers to thumb up brand reviews. The dominant 53 percent felt it would be totally fine, but a staunch 32 percent called it spam. The latter group added additional thoughts like these:

I want to thank Tess Voecks, Gyi Tsakalakis, and everyone else for taking the poll. And I think the disagreement in it is especially interesting when we look at what happens next.

After polling the industry, I contacted three forms of Google support: phone, chat, and Twitter. If you found it curious that SEOs might disagree about whether or not paying for review likes is spam, I’m sorry to tell you that Google’s own staff doesn’t have brand-wide consensus on this either. In three parts:

1. The Google phone rep was initially unfamiliar with what the like button is. I explained it to her. First, I asked if it was okay for the business owner to hit the like button on the brand’s reviews, she confirmed that it’s fine to do that. This didn’t surprise me. But, when I asked the question about paying people to take such actions, she replied (I paraphrase):

“If a review is being liked by people apart from the owner, it’s not considered as spam.”

“What if the business owner is paying people, like staff or marketers, to like their reviews,” I asked.

“No, it’s not considered spam.”

“Not even then?”

“No,” she said.

2. Next, here’s a screenshot of my chat with a Google rep:

The final response actually amused me (i.e. yeah, go ahead and do that if you want to, but I wouldn’t do it if I were you).

3. Finally, I spoke with Google’s Twitter support, which I always find helpful:

To sum up, we had one Google rep tell is it would be fine and dandy to pay people to thumb up reviews (uh-oh!), but the other two warned against doing this. We’ll go with majority rule here and try to cobble together our own guidelines, in the absence of public ones.

My guidelines for use of the review likes function

Going forward with what we’ve learned, here’s what I would recommend:

  1. As a business owner, if you receive a review you appreciate, definitely go ahead and thumb it up. It may have some influence on what makes it to the highly-visible “front” of your Google Business Profile, and, even if not, it’s a way of saying “thank you” to the customer when you’re also writing your owner response. So, a nice review comes in, respond with thanks and hit the like button. End of story.
  2. Don’t tell anyone in your employ to thumb up your brand’s reviews. That means staff, marketers, and dependents to whom you pay allowance. Two-thirds of Google reps agree this would be spam, and 32 percent of respondents to my poll got it right about this. Buying likes is almost as sad a strategy as buying reviews. You could get caught and damage the very reputation you are hoping to build. It’s just not worth the risk.
  3. While we’re on the subject, avoid the temptation to thumbs-up your competitors’ negative reviews in hopes of getting them to surface on GBPs. Let’s just not go there. I didn’t ask Google specifically about this, but can’t you just see some unscrupulous party deciding this is clever?
  4. If you suspect someone is artificially inflating review likes on positive or negative reviews, the Twitter Google rep suggests flagging the review. So, this is a step you can take, though my confidence in Google taking action on such measures is not high. But, you could try.

How big of a priority should review likes be for local brands?

In the grand scheme of things, I’d put this low on the scale of local search marketing initiatives. As I mentioned, I’d given only a passing glance at this function over the past few years until I was confronted with the fact that people were trying to spam their way to purchased glory with it.

If reputation is a major focus for your brand (and it should be!) I’d invest more resources into creating excellent in-store experiences, review acquisition and management, and sentiment analysis than I would in worrying too much about those little thumbs. But, if you have some time to spare on a deep rep dive, it could be interesting to see if you can analyze why some types of your brand’s reviews get likes and if there’s anything you can do to build on that. I can also see showing positive reviewers that you reward their nice feedback with likes, if for no other reason than a sign of engagement.

What’s your take? Do you know anything about review likes that I should know? Please, share in the comments, and you know what I’ll do if you share a good tip? I’ll thumb up your reply!

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Reblogged 1 month ago from tracking.feedpress.it

MozCon 2019: The Top Takeaways From Day One

Posted by KameronJenkins

Rand, Russ, Ruth, Rob, and Ross. Dana and Darren. Shannon and Sarah. We didn’t mean to (we swear we didn’t) but the first day of MozCon was littered with alliteration, takeaways, and oodles of insights from our speakers. Topics ranged from local SEO, link building, and Google tools, and there was no shortage of “Aha!” moments. And while the content was diverse, the themes are clear: search is constantly changing. 

If you’re a Moz community member, you can access the slides from Day One. Not a community member yet? Sign up — it’s free!

Get the speaker slides!

Ready? Let’s make like Roger in his SERP submarine and dive right in!

Sarah’s welcome

Our fearless leader took the stage to ready our attendees for their deep sea dive over the next three days. Our guiding theme to help set the tone? The deep sea of data that we find ourselves immersed in every day.

People are searching more than ever before on more types of devices than ever before… we truly are living in the golden age of search. As Sarah explained though, not all search is created equal. Because Google wants to answer searchers’ questions as quickly as possible, they’ve moved from being the gateway to information to being the destination for information in many cases. SEOs need to be able to work smarter and identify the best opportunities in this new landscape. 

Rand Fishkin — Web Search 2019: The Essential Data Marketers Need

Next up was Rand of SparkToro who dropped a ton of data about the state of search in 2019.

To set the stage, Rand gave us a quick review of the evolution of media: “This new thing is going to kill this old thing!” has been the theme of panicked marketers for decades. TV was supposed to kill radio. Computers were supposed to kill TV. Mobile was supposed to kill desktop. Voice search was supposed to kill text search. But as Rand showed us, these new technologies often don’t kill the old ones — they just take up all our free time. We need to make sure we’re not turning away from mediums just because they’re “old” and, instead, make sure our investments follow real behavior.

Rand’s deck was also chock-full of data from Jumpshot about how much traffic Google is really sending to websites these days, how much of that comes from paid search, and how that’s changed over the years.

In 2019, Google sent ~20 fewer organic clicks via browser searches than in 2016.

In 2016, there were 26 organic clicks for every paid click. In 2019, that ratio is 11:1.

Google still owns the lion’s share of the search market and still sends a significant amount of traffic to websites, but in light of this data, SEOs should be thinking about how their brands can benefit even without the click.

And finally, Rand left us with some wisdom from the world of social — getting engagement on social media can get you the type of attention it takes to earn quality links and mentions in a way that’s much easier than manual, cold outreach.

Ruth Burr Reedy — Human > Machine > Human: Understanding Human-Readable Quality Signals and Their Machine-Readable Equivalents

It’s 2019. And though we all thought by this year we’d have flying cars and robots to do our bidding, machine learning has come a very long way. Almost frustratingly so — the push and pull of making decisions for searchers versus search engines is an ever-present SEO conundrum.

Ruth argued that in our pursuit of an audience, we can’t get too caught up in the middleman (Google), and in our pursuit of Google, we can’t forget the end user.

Optimizing for humans-only is inefficient. Those who do are likely missing out on a massive opportunity. Optimizing for search engines-only is reactive. Those who do will likely fall behind.

She also left us with the very best kind of homework… homework that’ll make us all better SEOs and marketers!

  • Read the Quality Rater Guidelines
  • Ask what your site is currently benefiting from that Google might eliminate or change in the future
  • Write better (clearer, simpler) content
  • Examine your SERPs with the goal of understanding search intent so you can meet it
  • Lean on subject matter experts to make your brand more trustworthy
  • Conduct a reputation audit — what’s on the internet about your company that people can find?

And last, but certainly not least, stop fighting about this stuff. It’s boring.

Thank you, Ruth!

Dana DiTomaso — Improved Reporting & Analytics Within Google Tools

Freshly fueled with cinnamon buns and glowing with the energy of a thousand jolts of caffeine, we were ready to dive back into it — this time with Dana from Kick Point.

This year was a continuation of Dana’s talk on goal charters. If you haven’t checked that out yet or you need a refresher, you can view it here

Dana emphasized the importance of data hygiene. Messy analytics, missing tracking codes, poorly labeled events… we’ve all been there. Dana is a big advocate of documenting every component of your analytics.

She also blew us away with a ton of great insight on making our reports accessible — from getting rid of jargon and using the client’s language to using colors that are compatible with printing.

And just when we thought it couldn’t get any more actionable, Dana drops some free Google Data Studio resources on us! You can check them out here.

(Also, close your tabs!)

Rob Bucci — Local Market Analytics: The Challenges and Opportunities

The first thing you need to know is that Rob finally did it — he finally got a cat.

Very bold of Rob to assume he would have our collective attention after dropping something adorable like that on us. Luckily, we were all able to regroup and focus on his talk — how there are challenges aplenty in the local search landscape, but there are even more opportunities if you overcome them.

Rob came equipped with a ton of stats about localized SERPs that have massive implications for rank tracking.

  • 73 percent of the 1.2 million SERPs he analyzed contained some kind of localized feature.
  • 25 percent of the sites he was tracking had some degree of variability between markets.
  • 85 percent was the maximum variability he saw across zip codes in a single market.

That’s right… rankings can vary by zip code, even for queries you don’t automatically associate as local intent. Whether you’re a national brand without physical storefronts or you’re a single-location retail store, localization has a huge impact on how you show up to your audience.

With this in mind, Rob announced a huge initiative that Moz has been working on… Local Market Analytics — complete with local search volume! Eep! See how you perform on hyper-local SERPs with precision and ease — whether you’re an online or location-based business.

It launched today as an invitation-only limited release. Want an invite? Request it here

Ross Simmonds— Keywords Aren’t Enough: How to Uncover Content Ideas Worth Chasing

Ross Simmonds was up next, and he dug into how you might be creating content wrong if you’re building it strictly around keyword research.

The methodology we marketers need to remember is Research – Rethink – Remix.

Research:

  • Find the channel your audience spends time on. What performs well? How can you serve this audience?

Rethink:

  • Find the content that your audience wants most. What topics resonate? What stories connect?

Remix:

  • Measure how your audience responds to the content. Can this be remixed further? How can we remix at scale?

If you use this method and you still aren’t sure if you should pursue a content opportunity, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Will it give us a positive ROI?
  • Does it fall within our circle of competence?
  • Does the benefit outweigh the cost of creation?
  • Will it give us shares and links and engagement?

Thanks, Ross, for such an actionable session!

Shannon McGuirk — How to Supercharge Link Building with a Digital PR Newsroom

Shannon of Aira Digital took the floor with real-life examples of how her team does link building at scale with what she calls the “digital PR newsroom.”

The truth is, most of us are still link building like it’s 1948 with “planned editorial” content. When we do this, we’re missing out on a ton of opportunity (about 66%!) that can come from reactive editorial and planned reactive editorial.

Shannon encouraged us to try tactics that have worked for her team such as:

  • Having morning scrum meetings to go over trending topics and find reactive opportunities
  • Staffing your team with both storytellers and story makers
  • Holding quarterly reviews to see which content types performed best and using that to inform future work

Her talk was so good that she even changed Cyrus’s mind about link building!

For free resources on how you can set up your own digital PR newsroom, visit: aira.net/mozcon19.

Darren Shaw— From Zero to Local Ranking Hero

Next up, Darren of Whitespark chronicled his 8-month long journey to growing a client’s local footprint.

Here’s what he learned and encouraged us to implement in response:

  • Track from multiple zip codes around the city
  • Make sure your citations are indexed
  • The service area section in GMB won’t help you rank in those areas. It’s for display purposes only
  • Invest in a Google reviews strategy
  • The first few links earned really have a positive impact, but it reaches a point of diminishing returns
  • Any individual strategy will probably hit a point of diminishing returns
  • A full website is better than a single-page GMB website when it comes to local rankings

As SEOs, we’d all do well to remember that it’s not one specific activity, but the aggregate, that will move the needle!

Russ Jones — Esse Quam Videri: When Faking it is Harder than Making It

Rounding out day one of MozCon was our very own Russ Jones on Esse Quam Videri — “To be, rather than to seem.”

By Russ’s own admission, he’s a pretty good liar, and so too are many SEOs. In a poll Russ ran on Twitter, he found that 64 percent of SEOs state that they have promoted sites they believe are not the best answer to the query. We can be so “rank-centric” that we engage in tactics that make our websites look like we care about the users, when in reality, what we really care about is that Google sees it.

Russ encouraged SEOs to help guide the businesses we work for to “be real companies” rather than trying to look like real companies purely for SEO benefit.

Thanks to Russ for reminding us to stop sacrificing the long run for the short run!

Phew — what a day!

And it ain’t over yet! There are two more days to make the most of MozCon, connect with fellow attendees, and pick the brains of our speakers. 

In the meantime, tell me in the comments below — if you had to pick just one thing, what was your favorite part about day one?

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

Reblogged 1 month ago from tracking.feedpress.it

6 marketing strategies to build your online presence

Digital marketing has changed the way publicity and advertising work – you can reach millions of users globally with a random click or tap into thousands of opinions with a brimming fan base.

Inbound
marketing strategies help claim your brand’s online presence by helping you
focus on your target audience much more proactively and rapidly than outbound.

Below you’ll find 6 marketing strategies that can help you boost your brand’s online presence.

1. Content marketing – blogs

The first step to
establish your brand’s
online presence
is to create a responsive and visually-appealing
website – a platform where you can help your customers solve their problems.

Next, develop a marketing strategy that focuses on content. Not only does content build trust among your audience, it also fuels your other marketing activities such as email, social, and PPC. Like driving a car without wheels, marketing your brand without content will get you nowhere.   

Blog and guest-posting

Create a blog on
your website to attract your target audience towards your brand niche. For
instance, take a look at how Ahrefs, a
leading software developer
, markets its industry blog towards its
consumers.

The majority of
its blogs focus on the subtle promotion of its suite to attract customers to buy.
Its product blog, however, inspires customer interaction and communication. Covering
an array of industry news and trends, the brand uses content to pique the
interests of its readers.

These statistics highlight the regularity of blog publications. Publishing regular, high quality content will help your site become an authoritative, trustworthy source of information in your niche and search engines such as Google. Plus, the more thought-leading content you produce, the more customer trust you’ll earn.  

You can also write content for industry-related websites as guest posts and link back to your website by embedding URLs to your landing pages. This will help your target audience find you and learn about your products and services.

2. Content marketing – podcasts and videos

According to
Google, content
marketing
is compelling enough to turn visitors into leads and then into
customers. That’s because of all the different content formats which help to
simulate interest over time and across a large audience-base.

Try adhering to content types such as podcasts and webinars, or videos like tutorials and how-to guides. Moreover, collaborating with other B2B marketers to appear on their podcasts, webinars, and videos can boost your online presence.

3. Email marketing

Consumers have been activity using email to communicate since its very inception. Email marketing, which supports your content marketing endeavors, is the most popular channel for bolstering your online presence. 93% of business-to-business marketers say so.

If done right, email marketing can serve as one of the most lucrative platforms for boosting your online presence. According to the Data Marketing Association, every $1 you spend on your campaign generates on average a return of $41.

  • Nurture your visitors into leads by capturing their email address to send them your newsletter and other product-related emails. For instance, entice them through a ‘free download’ of an exclusive ebook (which you can create with Designrr) or special discount coupon. Maybe tempt them with a free video tutorial that’s only available to premium or paid users.
  • Segment your mailing list by targeting your loyal customers, such as repeat purchasers. Send product- or service-related news, trends, and blog links to consumers who’ve shown an active interest.
  • Try A/B testing: Send your subscribers targeted emails to assess which ones bring the most conversions and why. Split testing will also help you to analyze whether you should go ahead with your email marketing campaign or not.

4. Get on the search engine

With 53% of internet traffic and 92% of the global market share dominated by Google alone, search engines play a major role in promoting online visibility of a brand. Approximately 93% of ecommerce consumers begin their journey searching for competitive results online.

Promoting your brand on a search engine won’t only help Google accredit your reputation, but also motivate consumers to learn more about your business’s legacy.

  • Optimize on-page SEO by writing content for your website that has the capability to rank higher. For instance, search industry-related keywords on Ahrefs or any other paid or unpaid keyword research tool to discover words that people are searching for.
  • Consider using long-tail search keywords throughout your content, including your blog, web copy, meta title and description, and tags, since they are easier to rank due to less search volume and competitiveness.
  • Optimize off-page SEO content by referring to link-building strategies through earned media. Either collaborate with B2B partners and embed your website’s URL within the shared content, or link your landing pages by adding CTAs within your content on social media.

From 2009 to 2017, the aforementioned statistics for search engine results have skyrocketed, making it one of the most profound channels for boosting brand visibility and consumer engagement.

5. Social media marketing

Today, millennials and Gen-Z users are hoarding time on social media for reasons other than networking, such as passing their time scrolling through the internet. Social media marketing helps garner the attention of your target customers, and there are two ways which you can build your brand’s publicity:

  • Engage on the social channels that matter to your target audience; then you’ll be able to gauge their interests better
  • Use social media listening tools to assess the number of clicks and views your content generates

Pay attention to the stats above. Consider installing social listening tools to find out which platforms hold the majority of your target audience. You’ll also learn about negative and positive feedback, allowing you to improve your content proactively for better sales and conversion rates.

6. Paid advertising

Besides promoting organically via link-building strategies and keyword-ranking techniques, consider paid advertising. These ads, which are within third party ad spaces, will help to rank your website better.

  • Google AdWords uses Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising techniques to display ads on the right- or left-most bar of search engine results pages. Google’s ads can also be displayed on your preferred websites as well. With every click on the ad, you not only earn a visitor to your website but also revenue in return.
  • Learn where your target audience is. You can also choose Facebook or YouTube to display your brand’s ads for better outreach.

The above chart is a simple guide that helps you understand the cost per click on ad placement for display on Facebook’s news feed and the right-most column on the page.

The final verdict

Many brick-and-mortar store entrepreneurs still staunchly follow the old outbound marketing route, foregoing the lucrative opportunity of building a worthwhile online presence of their brand.

In order to build and boost your brand’s online presence, it’s high time you jumped on the digital bandwagon and catered to the whims of the internet. This will scale your brand’s recognition far and wide.   

For more digital inspiration, download this cheatsheet on how to target your customers.

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Newsletters we love, why we love them, and how to recreate them

While some think newsletters are outdated, there’s no better way to engage audiences. A boring, unappealing newsletter is hard to digest and can affect your growth. Amazing, engaging newsletters (like the ones below) improve brand awareness and sales. They take your brand marketing to the next level. They boost your organic growth by encouraging readers to share content. Creating interesting content will boost customer engagement and subsequently raise retention.

We’ll be looking at the examples below, outlining why we love them, and how you can replicate yourself.

1.) theSkimm

theSkimm’s daily roundups are an inbox must. Targeting female millennials, theSkimm breaks down news stories into short, punchy paragraphs. It even helps readers understand complex topics with easy-to-understand guides on its website.

Why we love it

theSkimm understand the importance of social proof. The
first CTA is at the top, well above the fold, encouraging readers to share
theSkimm with friends. After that, it offers readers further chances to share
on social, and repeats this at the end of every story.

It doesn’t need images to keep readers engaged. It knows its
audience well and the copy reflects that. theSkimm keeps its tone consistent,
no matter the topic. Its emotive style frequently leaves readers shocked,
excited or laughing.

How to recreate it

1.) Know your audience. Once you know who you’re targeting, it should be much easier to develop your tone of voice and to keep it consistent. If you’re not sure, check out our content marketing worksheet which has all the tools you need.

2.) Social sharing. Make sure you’re utilizing Engagement Cloud’s social links block with every email you build.

3.) Reward loyalty. Encourage newsletter sharing by making it part of your customer loyalty scheme. Engagement Cloud partners such as LoyaltyLion and Antavo can help you create schemes that customers love.

2.) Patch

Helping you create your dream urban jungle; Patch brings the joy of gardening to anyone and everyone. It packs every email full of helpful and highly clickable content. On top of it all, its images and design are sleek and appealing to the eye.

Patch newsletter

Why we love it

Patch is the epitome of keeping things super simple. This newsletter is easy to scroll and perfectly uncluttered on mobile and desktop. Its use of white space between blocks and clean images makes it easy for readers to take in information.

We also love it’s fun CTAs. There’s no unwritten rule out
there that says ‘Shop now’ is the best way to get people browsing.
Personalizing each button to the block is an awesome idea.

Finally, if you’re not too distracted by Megan the Siam Tulip or Musa the Mini Banana Tree, Patch finish with a bang! From educational videos to competitions, Patch engages readers with a variety of content.

How to recreate it

1.) Less is more. Make sure your design is sleek, uncluttered and makes the most of white space. This is simple thanks to Engagement Cloud’s easy editor. Spacer blocks and image padding ensures your newsletters are clear and easy to read.

2.) Try something different. Experiment with your CTAs. Make them stand out by using bold colors or try something new with your copy. Whatever you do, testing is essential. By testing your CTAs, you can optimize your newsletter be the best they can be. For help getting started with testing, check out our testing worksheet.

3.) Mobile-ready. Never forget to test your emails to check they render correctly, no matter the device. All Engagement Cloud email templates come mobile-ready as standard.

3.) Fitbit

Fitbit shows its dedication to transforming people’s lives in their weekly newsletters. Aiming to empower and inspire, Fitbit uses data to deliver a personalized experience every week.

Fitbit newsletter

Why we love it

Easy – because it’s personal.

Fitbit are in a more unique position than most brands, as
its products are designed to collect data. This gives them a wealth of data to
work with. But it’s the idea behind it we love. Keeping people on track and
connected to the brand using the power of data.

How to recreate it

1.) Keep it connected. The key to personalization is data, so wherever it’s stored, make sure your systems are synced. The benefits of this are endless, from breaking down silos to keeping data clean. With information at your fingertips, delivering personalized customer experiences is smooth and simple.

2.) 1-2-1. Never forget that it’s the little things that make the biggest difference. Basic personalization such as subscribers’ names and genders are essential and should be gathered from your first touch with customers.

4.) charity: water

charity: water‘s mission is to bring clean, safe drinking water to developing countries. The newsletter targets supporters and proves the real impact donations can have. Short and concise copy, with a clear message and goal, helps charity: water achieve its mission.

charity: water newsletter

Why we love it

Charities are shifting their tone to focus on the positive
impact of giving. charity: water’s tone strikes all the right notes. It’s
positive and affirming and sparks a desire to donate through the emotive story
it tells. When people can see the genuine result of their generosity, they’re
more willing to give.

Its design is simple and clean. It doesn’t over complicate
its message and drive readers to one end goal – donating.

How to recreate it

1.) Storytelling. An emerging trend, telling your brand’s story is a quick, easy way to connect customers with your brand.

2.) Automate. Nonprofits, in particular, can benefit from intelligent marketing automation. Programs such as customer nurture can help you tell emotive stories and boost donations.

3.) Attention-grabbing. Readers decide whether they’re going to read your email within 12 seconds. That’s why it’s so important to deliver essential, relevant information quickly. An eye-catching image and bold header is a good way to good.

Getting your newsletters right

Not to sound like a broken record, but newsletters are an
invaluable part of your email marketing arsenal.

You need to carefully plan your sends to ensure success. ‘Content is king’ as they say, but without a slick design, your chances of being opened are low, and converting is even harder. You don’t have a lot of time to make an impact. Create a killer template and the content will follow.

I hope you’re feeling inspired to shake up your newsletter, but if you need a little more help, why not check out our 5 simple steps to awesome email design.  

KISS design cheatsheet download

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Reporting: colors matter

At best, that’s frustrating for your reporting efforts. At worst, you’re failing on decisions that could impact your business.

To help improve the usability of reporting in Engagement Cloud, we have decided to update our data ink colors. ‘Data ink’ here means the important detail you read from charts, dashboards, and reports.

Meet our new palette, Viridis. Coming to Engagement cloud on July 3rd.

What was wrong with the old colors?

In data-ink terms, color should be about function not aesthetic.

What looks pleasing to the eye, or adheres to brand guidelines, is rarely what is needed to convey or enhance information.

Engagement Cloud’s previous reporting data ink used a combination of brand colors (pink and green) along with some generic colors. The charts looked on brand and the colors were distinct. 

However, the palette had some problems:

  • It didn’t work for people with colorblindness
  • Greyscale printing became impossible to read because the palette didn’t have a uniform luminance gradient; which determines the perceived brightness of colors
  • Colors were not perceptually uniform. Simply put: a change of the same amount in a color value should produce a change of about the same visual importance
  • Colors used for data ink should be able to show that something is less than, more than, before, or after, another value
  • The previous palette could not show clear graduations of good and bad (diverging values) on the same chart
  • The palette didn’t transition to a dark background. We wanted our charts to be easy to embed in our users’ presentations, whether they used a light or dark background

Viridis is a better color palette for data

With those thoughts, we are adopting Viridis for our data ink. The color palette was created by Stéfan van der Walt and Nathaniel Smith and is popular with data scientists.

As well as solving the specific data visualization challenges within Engagement Cloud’s reporting, Viridis also met the challenges around accessibility and colorblindness.

As you can see, irrespective of the type of colorblindness, the sequence of the colors is still understandable. For an eight-color diverging spectrum, that’s a huge achievement.

This is a hugely positive change, with benefits both to the increasing power of our data visualization and who you can share those visualizations with. Look out for these changes coming to Engagement Cloud on July 3rd.

For a sneak peek on what we’re working on, check out our roadmap here.

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5 stages of the customer lifecycle and which emails to send

What is customer lifecycle marketing and why is it important?

Data-driven, customer lifecycle email campaigns are designed to deliver messages to customers at a time that suits them. It’s an email marketing strategy based on the idea of delivering the right message to the right person at the right time, throughout the whole business cycle.

Marketers can adopt highly specific and targeted email marketing techniques, due to the sophisticated nature of data collection and ever-advancing developments within dotdigital’s Engagement Cloud. It’s time to make maximum impact.

Sending the same emails to
everyone on your list is wrong and hinders your growth

At any given time, each customer is at a different point in their relationship with your product or brand. Think of the customer’s lifecycle as a journey – everyone has their own journey in their own time. Rather than sending bulk generic emails to all your recipients, customer lifecycle emails are targeted to specific customers at crucial points in their own individual journey.

With the level
of advanced email tools available to date, batch-and-blast emails should be a very
small proportion of the emails you are sending. This mentality of quantity over
quality is no longer effective in today’s email marketing world.

Leaving behind the spray-and-pray mindset and focusing on lifecycle marketing is the key to increasing email ROI.

Customer lifecycle marketing is the key to increasing email ROI

Basing your
email campaigns on the customer lifecycle will produce better conversions,
because the email content targets the individual recipient. Even if your recipients
don’t convert right away, they’ll still find your emails valuable.

How you define your customer lifecycle is specific to you and your brand. The typical customer lifecycle includes these five stages:

1. Prospects

Prospects are people or companies who aren’t customers… yet. They fit in with your buyer persona and they’ve had a minimal level of interaction and engagement with your brand.

Make sure to encourage them to make their first purchase; incentivizing them with a discount always helps. Ensure you set up a welcome program to make that important great first impression.

Here are some nice welcome email ideas:

  • Nasty Gal prompts new contacts to check out the blog and connect on social.
  • Kate Spade’s compelling welcome message gives you four reasons to visit the online store.
  • FUNFIT welcomes new subscribers with a 15% off their first order along with useful CTAs.

2. Active customers

These are people who have already made at least one purchase. It can also apply to those who have made multiple purchases. I would recommend segmenting these customers into several groups based on their purchasing habits.

For example, you might split those who purchase seasonally separately to those who purchase weekly. You need to ensure you keep these customers engaged so they continue buying from you. Additionally, you should be sending these customers transactional emails and replenishment emails.

3. At-risk customers

I class at-risk customers as those who were previously active but whose behavior has since dwindled – i.e. they haven’t made a purchase in a while.

How you determine when a customer moves from ‘active’ to ‘at risk’ is entirely dependent on your products and customers.

If you’re an automotive online brand, you may only expect the customer to purchase once during their car’s lifespan. However, if you’re a women’s fashion brand you might place someone ‘at risk’ if they don’t make a purchase after 30-60 days.

Deliver tailored content to each segment

You need to turn these at-risk customers in to active customers before they lapse. I won’t sugar-coat this; it can be difficult to re-engage someone unless you know specifically why they lost interest.

In addition, one of the most effective ways to contact them is through email, which doesn’t help if they’ve learned to ignore your emails. Try and understand what caused the customers to disengage initially.

You can’t send every email subscriber the same content, you must segment based on their past interactions with your brand and deliver tailored content to each segment. Optimizing the frequency of your emails will also help so you don’t overwhelm your customers.

4. Lapsed customers

These are the customers who have long gone past the point they were supposed to make a purchase and don’t respond to your emails. You need to reactivate these customers. Like at-risk customers, I’d suggest running some win-back style email campaigns to turn lapsed customers in to active customers. It can be tough, but not impossible. Lapsed customers don’t work in our favor as they are further away from your brand. Trying to win back old customers will make you understand why it’s so important to keep your current ones!

And remember, acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing one. So, don’t let your customers drop off!

5. Advocates

Look after your advocates, for these are the people that not only purchase your products regularly, but also promote your brand – on social media or simply by word of mouth. They are at the height of the customer lifecycle.

You want to nurture and reward these customers, so they stay engaged and continue to promote for you. You may decide to send your advocates special content – make sure to include something exclusive in your emails to drive home the point that your recipients aren’t like your regular customers.

Here are a couple of ideas of loyalty-style emails:

  • Starbucks rewards customers with bonus stars when they buy coffee and extended happy hours.
  • Madewell thanks its customers for joining the Insider gang and outlines all the ‘just-for-you’ perks.

You need to map out your customer lifecycle and create emails for customers at each stage. This will improve your conversion rates and build a stronger brand following.

Although it may
require some time and resource for strategy and implementation, once set up, it
will deliver business results continuously. Your dotdigital account manager can
help with this – make sure you get in touch.

Want more great content? Check out the five key stages of lifecycle marketing automation here.

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