6 Ways to Use Business Data in Decision Making

If you want to start making better decisions for your business, here are a few effective ways you can start doing it with the help of data.

1. Business planning

When data was not yet as accessible as it is today, gut feelings and intuition were often the sole decider for a business move. Of course, there would be some help from surveys and focus groups but even that couldn’t be trusted since they were heavily biased.

With the help of data, you can make smart decisions for your business, all while reducing risk and saving time. No need to wait for months or years to do business evaluations when you have all the information you need to make that important decision.

In addition, you can set it so data and reports can be accessed by select people in your organization. With your team having access to these insights, each employee becomes empowered to do their part in helping the company succeed. You can even use this data to gamify and motivate your team members to reach their goals.

2. Advertising

By applying data-driven decision making to your business, you can fine-tune your advertising efforts to create the right message that reaches the right people. These days, there’s already tons of data available even with just one social media post! Seemingly irrelevant details such as the number of clicks or the words you use in your copy can be optimized so that every single cent you spend on an ad campaign is money well-spent.

3. Segmenting clients

Consumers are more likely to engage with your business when there’s a touch of personalization. A way to achieve that is through segmentation. This is where you group clients based on certain factors like age, sex, location, educational attainment, and much more.

Sending canned marketing messages just won’t do anymore. If you want to reach your audience, you have to make your message relevant to them. For example, with email marketing, you can segment your list so that members who have been with you for a year get a free coupon. Meanwhile, those who have just subscribed to you can get a 5% on their first order.

This is just one of the many ways you can personalize your marketing efforts with the help of segmentation. The more data you have about your customers, the better you can market to them.

4. Satisfying customers

You’ve delivered the goods. Now, it’s time to figure out whether your customers are happy with your product/service or not. Thankfully, data helps make it easy to figure out. However, before you can get that valuable data, you need to have avenues where customers can leave their sentiments. Some examples would be forums, review sites, feedback forms, and surveys. Using this information, you not only improve your customer service but also your business model.

One company that’s really good at using data to enhance customer interaction is Southwest Airlines. They go as far as analyzing the speech of one-on-one interactions between their staff and the customer to identify areas of improvement.

5. Automating repetitive tasks and decisions

It’s hard to imagine today’s most successful businesses run without automating their rudimentary tasks. For example, Amazon with restocking their products. You can do the same for your business by automating certain processes to . Stop wasting your employee’s time and mental energy on tasks that can be done by a machine. This doesn’t mean that you should replace your staff with computers. It just means more time for your team to use their skills effectively.

6. Hiring staff

For small businesses, sorting through dozens of resumes isn’t exactly a good use of one’s time. Instead, why not outsource the work to a machine-learning algorithm which can identify success factors for the position you want to have filled.

Once all the tire-kickers have been removed, you can focus on the most qualified candidates whose potential can only be determined by a real human being. You can’t really completely automate the whole process but at least you save time during the preliminary stages of the hiring process.

Data is very essential to running a business nowadays. Make sure to secure it with backup and recovery or at least have a disaster recovery plan. That way, if anything happens, you can be at ease knowing that all that hard-earned information can still be recovered.

Has there been other ways data helped you make wiser business decisions? Share your thoughts in the comments.

 

5 Ways to Do Outreach Marketing Like A Boss this 2018

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The outreach marketing landscape has evolved quite a bit over the past few years. With how promising the marketing method has become, 2018 is proving to be an ideal time for marketers to jump on the outreach marketing bandwagon.

Also called Influencer Outreach, outreach marketing has taken the spotlight in making your content shine with both organic traffic and SEO value. So, if you’ve never tried outreach or are doing it but getting dismal results, then this is the guide for you.

What’s Outreach Marketing, Anyway?

Outreach marketing, in basic terms, means connecting with the relevant people in the industry who have the means of promoting your business to a considerably large audience. And just from the name of the strategy itself, it’s all about extending your reach.

Outreach also involves plenty of email communication and writing compelling content, which is why it’s commonly grouped together with content and email marketing.

Part of why outreach marketing is so popular is because of how it utilizes the best of both marketing disciplines to produce amazing results.

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So, how do you do it without ending up wasting valuable time and resources? Good question.

In this article, we’ll talk about the five best ways to do outreach marketing that can improve brand awareness and build natural links that carry great SEO value.

How to Create an Outreach Marketing Strategy That Works

1. Know your goals

It’s the most crucial step, and one that many marketers would rather just skip. Having goals and objectives is how you can determine if your campaign is a success.

Without goals, you and your team have nothing to focus on. And you’ll end up doing a whole bunch of other things that won’t lead to any significant results.

Having clearly defined KPI for monitoring progress is also a must for measuring performance. If you have a campaign with the objective of getting high engagement, then your KPI’s would be social shares, page views, and link clicks.

2. Find influencers

Just finding influencers isn’t a big deal. It’s finding ones that are ideal for your business that’s the tricky part. Because you can’t target them all.

Some won’t be a good fit, while others don’t have the right audience reach. You can use a spreadsheet to list them down. Something like the following is a good start:

Some of the more popular tools marketers use today to find influencers are BuzzStream and Buzzsumo. They can provide a wealth of information on the influential people in your industry.

Buzzstream has an incredible influencer search engine called Discovery that’s been all the rage for marketers.

For example, if you’re involved in e-commerce and want to find out who the top online personalities are in that line of business, simply type ‘e-commerce’ in the search bar and voila!

(Source: BuzzStream)

For Buzzsumo, it can’t get any more straightforward. All you need to do is click on a section that says ‘Influencer’ at the top bar, then type in a keyword of the industry you’re in, like “inbound marketing”.

(Source: Proficient Blogging)

Other great tools you can use to dig up influencers are Alltop and Technorati. Both both still work like search engines that you can use to target individuals in a certain niche.

Now that you have some of the most powerful tools for influencer search, it should be easy enough for you to build up a nice long list in your spreadsheet.

3. Reach out

Here comes the most important part of outreach marketing: reaching out and letting influencers know about your business.

If you’re still using BuzzStream, this step is going to a breeze because you can do that right from their platform. Also, make sure to check out NinjaOutreach, which is used by some of the biggest names in digital marketing like Neil Patel and Rand Fishkin of Moz.

Want to do it the traditional way? No problem.

First, you’ll need to find out the email addresses of the influencers. Clearbit is a good option for that. Just use their Chrome browser extension and you’ll be able to find the email address of most influencers.

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Next, use an email verification tool like EmailListVerify to make sure your emails don’t bounce. And once you know which ones are still active, all that’s left to do is reach out.

How to do Email Outreach

The only way for you to get good results from email outreach is to make everything killer: that means killer subject lines, killer email bodies, and a killer pitch. Otherwise, you’re just wasting your time.

Here’s an example of a great email for outreach marketing:

Want to see more templates for outreach emails? Make sure to check out this guide from HubSpot for more ideas on how to write and structure them.

4. Build Lasting Relationships

While waiting for email replies, or even before you send out emails, it’s important to get familiar with the influencers you’re targeting.

Follow their social media profiles and engage with their content. And don’t be fake about it. Look for a tweet or LinkedIn update they shared that caught your interest and tell them what you liked or didn’t like.

Outreach marketing requires being interested in the things your influencers are interested in as part of your strategy. Promote their work, mention them, or send a short, sweet message.

5. Produce Kick-Ass Content

You can start creating compelling content both before or after you get in touch with influencers. That’s because you have the option of pitching ideas or ready-to-publish content.

Either way, you’ll need to bring your A-game when crafting content that will impress influencers enough to make them publish and share it.

If you’re writing a guest post, make sure to read this timeless guide from CopyBlogger. You’ll be crafting epic guest posts in no time.

You can also include a link back to your personal website in your author bio. But before you do, make sure your site is ready to handle substantial traffic. If your pages are suffering from slow loading time, try using a reliable CDN (content delivery network) and see if that fixes the problem.

That’s it — You’re All Set!

Outreach marketing can be one of the best things you can do for your brand or business. But you can’t expect great results if you don’t put in the effort. After all, nothing worth doing ever comes easy. And it’s the same for whatever marketing strategy you decide to pursue.

 

Email Marketing 101: Top 8 Mistakes You Should Avoid Before You Press Send

Photo courtesy of rawpixel.com

Before you press “send” on your next email, you should be aware of the cringe-worthy mistakes that can do more damage instead of benefit for your brand. To avoid these mistakes in the future, read on about all the things you should avoid when drafting your email marketing campaign:

1. You come up with annoying subject lines

  • Whether it’s a clickbait subject that doesn’t have anything to do with its content or it’s an insult of some sort to the recipient that aims to push them to open your email, shocking subject lines whose content don’t measure up in any way to its subject line is a no-no any way you look at it. Any forms of communication from your brand is a way to either close the deal or make them close their email so be careful in your words so that through careful planning and time, you can build the trust of your email recipients enough to make them a loyal customer someday.

2. You are spammy

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Photo courtesy of rawpixel.com

  • Now that we’re on the subject of annoying, nothing is more annoying than emails to receive unsolicited spammy emails. How your email sounds to your potential customers will spell the difference between those who knows how to write a marketing plan and those who doesn’t…. listen to the tone of your email as you compose your draft… does it sound like an overzealous sales person put under a time limit to sell houses at the mall? If so, know that hardselling a product never works at all. Instead on forcing your products/services down your email recipients’ throat, go for a helpful neighbor approach and provide a service or solution you have for their dilemma. Increase the value of your email by giving them something that’s valuable so that you can build a relationship with them. Once you are categorized as someone they can trust, it will be a lot easier to convince them to purchase your products/services in the future.

3. You ask a non-professional to design your email marketing campaign

  • Budget constraints can make it tempting to ask someone around who has a bit more knowledge in design than you to create the graphics of your email. Time constraints and budget can be a hassle for any project so in trying to cut costs and save more money, you may ask a non-professional graphic designer to create the lay-out of your email. Although seemingly a good idea in terms of economics and budgeting, asking a non-professional to design your email can lead to disaster rather than savings and benefits as a non-professional may not know anything about professional-looking lay-outs with the right spacing, the brand’s specific color combination, your logo and making a design that looks great yet can load easily on its recipient’s email.

4. Your email is too long

  • People are always in a hurry to do something else and coupled with the current generation’s short attention span; you wouldn’t want readers to flock away from your email at the first chance they get. So keep your emails short and direct to make it easier to read not just through drafting short content but also by making sure that the font is big enough for comfortable reading, the colors are not too bright and too many and there’s a right amount of contrast between your font and the background. To test if your email is too long step back from your computer and see if it’s one big chunk of email that’s hard to read. If it is, break it down into groups of sentences and dividing your email into bullets and sub-headings for easier reading.

5.  You use a no reply address

  • How can you hope to make a sale when you yourself don’t trust the recipients of your email? This is what you convey when you send your email marketing campaign from a “noreply” email or when you use a generic email such as “admin” and disable the email recipient’s capacity to reply. Remember communication is always a two-way street and always add a touch of humanity in your email communications by making yourself as available as possible for those who may reply with questions about the campaign or the product/service you are offering. So state your email address clearly in your campaign and encourage your target audience to send replies and queries.

6.  Your email is impersonal

  • Make your email void of any personality whatsoever just like any auto-generated email and I can guarantee that people will ignore you. When creating email marketing messages, inject a touch of your own voice so that people will feel like they are actually talking to someone rather than just being sent impersonal emails by bots. Showing your voice will assure readers that you are a business that won’t just sell products and disappear right after but someone reliable who will still guide them long after the sale has been created. As mentioned above, it’s not just about closing a sale but also building trust and relationship with people you will talk to or email for the first time. Make your email more personal by telling stories people will be happy to hear about or sharing insights and personal opinions that are helpful for the customers.

7.  You are not clear on what you want your readers to do

  • Drafting an email marketing campaign is not a time to be wishy-washy or vague about the action you want your readers to take. Focus on one action you want your email recipients to do -whether it is to visit your website, get a discount, register for an event and so forth- and be clear on instructing them to do it by featuring just one call to action button instead of creating a campaign with too many call to actions that may confuse and frustrate your recipients and induce them to simply close your email without getting to the bottom of it.

8. You hastily draft a last-minute email

  • One way to guarantee commission of mistakes is by creating a last-minute, deadline-pressure email marketing campaign. With very little time to go over the details, your email will be prone to grammatical errors and typos, formatting mistakes, wrong info and details and content and design that will have a “hurried” look.

As a final note, always draft your email marketing campaigns as if you are the one who will be receiving it and act as if you are reading an email from a random company and then honestly ask yourself: Is this email interesting enough to read till the bottom? Will I be compelled to do what it tells me to do? Does it give me value and offers me something I can’t get from anywhere else? If you can answer yes to these questions, then go ahead and press “send”.

Author: Ryan is a Digital Marketing Specialist at the Bradford based Digital Agency Harrison Mann. Being in the digital marketing field for 7 years now, he enjoys keeping up to date with the latest in all things digital and search. As a silent type, Ryan expresses plenty of his thoughts through writing.

 

12 Ways to Build Strong SEO Foundations

The secret to building a successful website doesn’t solely rely on wonderful UX and UI. To drive traffic and eventually drive sales to your website, you should apply search engine optimization on your website. However, the concept of SEO is as structural as other strategies could be.

A strong foundation in SEO can reflect your business’ objective goals. If your website’s SEO strategy lacks the foundation to make it “future-proof”, you definitely won’t see any ROI from your investment.

Google’s getting smarter; with its machine learning capabilities, what takes months to accomplish can now happen in real-life. So if you’re website’s not getting any traffic, you should look under the hood and check if you have the necessary components to rank in the search results.

Technical SEO: Building Foundations to Rank Better

Prevent risks by checking out this essential checklist you should work on your website’s SEO strategy:

Robots.txt

These crawlers would communicate with search engines spiders. There are only few who deals with robots.txt, a single overrule could knock you off on search engines. Robots.txt is pretty handy if you want to implement site-wide rules, but it is important that you check this first to see if you’re blocking important pages, especially those target pages that you want to rank in the SERPs.

301 Redirects

Redirects are a fickle thing to implement. While some SEOs prefer redirects because it is direct, sometimes that’s not the case that you want to implement. Generally, we recommend assessing pages that you want to redirect. Perform a redirect if the two pages are identical, for example, www to non-www pages. Beware of implementing 301 redirects as it may create an infinite loop if you’re not careful.

3. Canonical Tags

Joost de Valk of Yoast defined canonical URLs as a way that allows you to tell search engines that certain similar URLs are actually one and the same.

Canonical tags may be confusing for some, but let’s see this way. For example:

You have two pages, http://example.com/canonical and http://example.com/canonicalization.

Use 301 if: there are no technical reasons hindering you from doing so, then by all means implement that 301!

Use canonical tags: if redirecting will disrupt the user experience or it doesn’t make sense to redirect it because it’s just another version of the page, use canonicals.

Rand Fishkin of Moz has explained the best practices of using canonical tags in a Whiteboard Friday session.

4. Relative vs absolute links

This is a debatable topic for SEOs and web developers. While it may be convenient for developers to use relative links in a site, it doesn’t work the same way as for SEOs.

Relative links are coded as <a href = /page>, while absolute links are coded as <a href = http://example.com/page>.

Relative links are prone to scraping, duplicate content, and costing Google real money. Ruth Burr Reedy discussed this in a Whiteboard Friday presentation at Moz, and this is where it gets technical: Google has an allocated crawl budget that costs them real money. If a site doesn’t have their architecture in line, chances are Google wouldn’t bother crawling the rest of your site. Absolute links and a better architecture can make it easier for the spiders to crawl your site and get it indexed.

5. Search-engine friendly URLs

To give you a clearer picture, let’s say your page gives out:

https://www.example.com/good-url

instead of:

https://www.example.com/asdfgh123456

Ensure your URLs are easy to understand by users and search engines. Aside from giving reliability and assurance that your site is not just another hacked or spammy page, it simply abides the golden rule of not placing your business at stake as one of the poor and unusual URLs.

6. No-follow links

There are instances that your website is being linked up with something too far from your field. But sometimes you needed to credit a creator if you want their work on your end, in this situation you can add a no-follow tag to the link.

This will help search engine emphasize your website by being notified that the given link is not as important as your website. However, be cautious in applying no-follow tags on your links. While it helps you segment link juice to more important links, we reckon that you shouldn’t over use it. Maintain a healthy balance of do-follow and no-follow links.

7. Sitemap

If your website is ready to be indexed, you would need to take the chance of submitting it to the search engines. You can submit it too even if you’re re-indexing, and if you have several changes on your site.

Remember that we discussed a bit about crawl budget? You can help Google crawl your website better with multiple sitemaps. If you’ve been using a single sitemap, try create multiple sitemaps to get your pages crawled and indexed better. Using a WordPress plugin like Google XML Sitemaps by Arne Brachhold can help you create those sitemaps easier. If you own a smaller website, you can use the free version of ScreamingFrog to generate your own XML sitemap.

When you’re done uploading your sitemap/s, you can send it directly to Google via Google Search Console and Bing via Bing Webmaster Tools.

Metadata

The best rule one should think through regarding SEO is having content written specifically for humans and not for the search engine itself.

Metadata has three parts: links, descriptions and the title, of course. Appropriate keywords should be included in meta descriptions and titles but not to the point of placing everything on it to emphasize what your content is all about.

The best meta description one could ever provide is attracting and crave-worthy reasons in just 230 characters on why searcher should click your site.

You can always check your competitor’s code to see what they are aiming for in ranking.

Language tags

Language tags would rely whether you’re using one language on your content or not. But if you prefer having different language on your page, it’s better to use hreflang tag to ensure the searcher would be directed to the same leading page everyone has been guided to. Aside from avoiding a penalty for duplicate content, it will also help you present the same content you wanted to show off.

Search engines are really meticulous in detecting language. Use one language to your site as much as you can especially if you don’t need other languages to optimize your page.

Structured Data Markup

Structured data, also known as schema markup, is another type of code that makes your ranking boost in SEO. It also helps search engines organize, crawl, and display your content easier. Using Structured Markup can help increase your website’s click-through rate or CTR because there is useful information about your website that makes it more relevant or click-worthy for a user.

Working with search engines using structured data helps to communicate on what your data really means. It might be one of the most technical things you can do but placing effort into this is a very wise move.

Live pages

Posting your page live would really attract random people visiting it. So make sure that put your pages live if and only if you’re ready for searchers to check your content out.

If you’re using any kind of CMS, there’s a higher chance of your published page to be added to your sitemap that will ping the search engines. But if you really have to put out a live page and you’re not yet ready to have it scanned by viewers, using a no index tag before putting it live is the best option to rely on just remember to take it off later.

Page speed

Did you know that page speed is one of the ranking factors Google has standardized? They even made it easier to go faster with their Accelerated Mobile Pages project, applicable to almost every continent on the Internet.

SEO experts prefer to lessen page load time, so if you have ways of trimming of some MB packages on your site the better. You can always use page speed tools to see how your website is performing.

Moreover, remove unnecessary code bloat, you can also do file compression to diminish the size of JavaScript files, CSS, and HTML that are larger than the standard 150 bytes. This will ensure your server speed and spot-on ranking. If you want to go in-depth with your page speed optimization, we recommend downloading Lighthouse, a Chrome extensions SEOs can use to do a quick audit on their site.

These focal points are some of the basic but the most important foundation you would need to optimize your website and boost your SEO ranking. If you made some mistakes on your site, this is your chance to have it corrected. SEO encompasses a wide variety of tactics to optimize your site to increase its search engine visibility. A little bit of technical SEO can go a long way for your website; start optimizing your website today!

Sarah McGuire is a Digital Strategist for the Best SEO Company in Canada. She takes an in-depth, hands-on approach to startup social business strategy. She has experience in digital marketing, social media, content strategy, and marketing communications.

Fresno web design – Web Design and Internet Marketing service provider in Fresno. Chavezwebdesign.com offer website design and graphic design, SEO services with result and satisfaction guarantee.

3 Ways to Optimize Your Site for Voice Search in 2018

SEO can be an enigma sometimes, but it’s a lot easier to figure out when you accept that it changes a lot — and that occasionally, those changes are radical. In 2018, if you want to achieve pole position in the SERPs, you need to add voice search optimization to your arsenal of your tactics.

In this article, I’m going to show you how to do it the easy way by ranking for long-tail keywords.

Who doesn’t love the idea of voice search? It’s quick, super convenient, and it means users can search for stuff on the go.

Plus, it’s just undeniably hip.

What does voice search mean for Search Marketing?

In 2018, voice search technology is better than ever, while respected entrepreneurs and movers and shakers in the business world like Gary Vaynerchuk suggest it’s the absolute future.

The stats back him up. Half of all searches will be voice by 2020, while in the same year around 30% of all searches will be carried out without the use of a screen. This is largely because voice search is more precise than it’s ever been. In fact, its accuracy is now at around 92%.

All this means that you need to get on board with voice search optimization before you fall way behind your rivals and end up playing catch-up.

Why long tail keywords?

You might be under the impression that, since we’re slowly making the transition to voice search, keywords will no longer matter.

“Please tell me I never need to use a keyword research tool ever again!”

However, they still matter just as much as they ever did. Sorry! The only difference is that long tail keywords matter more where voice search optimization is concerned.

A short tail keyword is uber specific and can simply be just one word, such as “builder.” It’s a super broad keyword that’s hard to rank for.

Long tail keywords, on the other hand, are easier to rank for because they’re more specific and can pull in a descriptor or two. “Men’s black leather jacket for disco night” is a long tail keyword that’s hyper-specific, and which might be so exclusive to your niche that you climb to the top of Google.

Crucially for voice search, long tail keywords more closely resemble natural human speech. When people speak into their device, be it Google Assistant, Amazon Echo, or Cortana, they speak like they would if they were talking to a friend.

No one is going to shout “Builder!” into their phone. Instead, they might say something like “Affordable builder near me.” This phrase is longer and quite specific.

Let’s take a look at 3 ways to make the most of long tail keywords and optimize your site for voice search.

1. Answer questions with in-depth content

“Google, why does my dog have fleas?”

“Alexa, can you tell me that causes diabetes?”

“Siri, what do angel investors do?”

The above are examples of how search is going to look. Not next year or in 2020 but literally tomorrow, next week, and next month. Your customers are speaking into their phones using long tail keywords, asking questions and expecting answers. And unless you start to answer them, you’ll be dawdling at the back of the SERPs.

It’s time to start answering questions on your site. There are two ways you can do this:

  • Long form content
  • An FAQ page

An FAQ page can provide answers to common questions about your product or industry. The easiest way to come up with questions your customers are asking is to actually ask them. Alternatively, check out forums, Facebook groups, and your rivals’ websites.

Long form content will take more time, but it’s well worth it because it attacks the SERPs in more than one way. Firstly, you can start to rank for specific long tail keywords that your customers are using. Secondly, you get a shot at ranking on featured snippets.

What is a featured snippet? A featured snippet is displayed at the top of Google in response to a user’s query as per the image below.

It’s essentially an in-depth answer to a question. The answer is so in-depth, explicit, and contains the right long-tail keywords that it’s been chosen by Google as the best one. As such, it’s achieved the highly coveted position 0 on the SERPs.

When thinking of a question that needs answering, carry out the keyword research you usually carry out, but also search for question keywords, too.

2. Loosen up and be more conversational with your seed keyword phrases

Some of us struggle with seed keywords simply because we make them too stuffy.

For example, consider this sentence:

“Professional graphic designer Minnesota.”

It doesn’t flow naturally, and it definitely isn’t conversational.

When you’re optimizing your site for voice search, you need to start thinking conversationally. Here is how we could spin that above sentence instead:

“Where can I find a professional graphic designer Minnesota?”

Once again, we’re using a question phrase, and then we’re going to provide the answer. The sentence is now in line with something people will search for.

3. Get into peoples’ minds

Do you know how people think? Of course you do, you’re a human yourself! And from now on, it’s time to start thinking about how people speak.

Long tail keywords for voice search are all about how humans really speak to each other, which means you can’t keep using the same long tail keywords you’ve been using in the past. Clunky phrases like “content marketing manager salary” no longer cuts it.

To get into peoples’ minds and discover how they talk into their phones, you can try a tool such as Answer the Public, which appends search terms using words such as “with” and “for” in order to gauge what voice device users are actually looking for.

However you approach voice search optimization, remember to use your keyword research tool to pick out the right long tail keywords, and shift the focus to conversational speech patterns and questions.

Just remember that it’s pretty much all about mimicking the way we talk.

 

About the author: Aljaz Fajmut is an internet entrepreneur and founder of Nightwatch — a search visibility tool of the next generation.
Follow him on Twitter: @aljazfajmut

5 Amazing Tips to Get the Most out of Your Email Marketing

Email Marketing is much more than sending an email to a potential customer in order to engage audiences, generate sales and other marketing goals you can serve with email marketing. It needs a strategic approach and that’s what email marketing strategy is all about. The popularity and budgets for email marketing only seem to be increasing. The reason? The multiple benefits including highly measurable results, increased brand awareness, cost-effective marketing and easily shareable.

While email marketing can be done by anyone, not everyone knows how to do it well. Most email marketing strategies are ineffective because they are haphazardly planned, and companies and individuals ultimately give up on them. The truth is, you need a really good strategy to constantly produce, repurpose, and promote engaging email.

This article outlines the five tips leading to a successful email marketing strategy.

1. Target the Decision Maker

When you’re marketing to other businesses through email, you need to pinpoint and then target the right decision makers, i.e. there is no point reaching to someone who doesn’t have the interest or power to acquire your service.

My initial email marketing strategy targeted managers and then directors. The goal was to engage those who can execute my services. I gained a 23 percent response rate. While this is pretty high, these results are a bit misleading because 55 percent of those replies were being passed along to other managers or directors, and many of those were given up.

I then spent good hours segmenting the corporate hierarchies of 15,000-person organizations trying to figure out strategic entry points. This was time consuming and hard to measure. Instead, I decided to reach C-Level executives because to make it simple, people must consider emails that come from their coordinator.

If a company C-Level Executive passes down an email to a subordinate, that employee is going to follow-up. Once I started targeting C-Level Professionals, the pass-along rate of response increased to 80 percent.

2. Optimize Emails for Mobile

If emails pass on without optimizing for mobiles, you’ll are going to lose a huge portion of your target audience. Most of the people prefer to check at emails on their mobile devices: 67% of emails are opened on mobile and tablet, compared to only 33% opened on a desktop. The best strategy is to design emails that are mobile-friendly i.e. they should optimized to be viewed on a Smartphone, Desktop and Tablet!

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Each time you send an email, you should be aware that a maximum number of your audience is going to check your message on their phones or tablets — not on their desktop computers or laptops.

Your target is to not only get your emails checked and read, but also to make your audience experiences just as strong as if the messages were opened on desktops. A mobile responsive website design displays your content properly no matter how someone views your website, and you can ensure that the emails you send look great as well, whether or not you have mobile-responsive email template.

3. Make use of Plugins to Track Email Open Rates

Email prospecting is constantly developing. As soon as someone point out what works, everyone starts to make use of it. And then it no longer gets the results! The best way to keep up with effective marketing plan for your industry and audience is to use email tracking software for your own open rates.

Importance of Tracking Email Opens

All businesses can benefit from tracking email opens, especially businesses which is mainly based on email marketing campaigns. By tracking information like which emails are being checked and which are converting, you can see how effective your marketing materials actually are. You can use this information to find out what kind of offers and campaigns work best for you.

There are many helpful tools (paid and free) that will let you know exactly when your email is opened. Use the tracking tools to keep an eye on your emails, and try testing and comparing different approaches. You’ll get immediate idea on what works and what doesn’t work for you, your prospects and your target market. This puts you in control of your marketing plan and ensures you to stay on top of writing emails that your prospects actually read.

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4. Test your Emails

One of the most helpful aspects of email marketing is that it can be tested. Following common “best methods” or settled “rules” is not a way to reach your marketing goals because what works for one audience won’t necessarily work for yours. Testing is your biggest partner. You should always ‘test for the perfection’ in your email campaigns.

A great way to increase subscribers is by testing everything to see what has the most impact. By using testing on your emails the design, services, offer, GIF, subject line, and all the other elements of an email campaign – one at a time, you can decide what your subscribers want to see, which will help you lower the unsubscribe rate on your campaigns. Testing every element in email marketing campaigns is a continuous process, and you should use tests on a regular basis to determine what gets the most engagement.

Important Elements of Test

The subject line is the most important email factor to test, followed closely by the content of the email itself. But there are many other elements of your email campaign that are just as testable. Some things you can test in the message include:

  • Subject line
  • From name
  • Headline/sub-headline
  • Content
  • Promotion/offer
  • Post-click experience (landing page A versus B)

Here, are some of the benefits of Email testing I’ve brought to let you know how effective it can be for your next email marketing campaign.

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5. Personalize Your Emails

Personalization goes a long way. Some people choose to invest in systems that will allow you to add people’s names to the subject line and body of the messages, but this approach is not for everyone. You can segment your mailing list based on your requirement, for example, by geographic location, age or purchase history and then send messages written specifically for each group. Example: “This is a quick message to check in and make sure that you are happy with your purchase of our — Widget you bought from us last month. I also wanted to let you know about an upcoming sale we’re having on accessories for the —.”

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Make your emails relevant to the customer by sending emails based on their interests and purchase behavior. A trend that’s recently happening is automated email which basically uses advertising data collected based on customer’s behavior on other digital channels. It also helps with consistent messaging and branding so the user gets a complete experience that is not fragmented.

Take Action:

If you have an email list that doesn’t have an automated welcome email for subscribers, create one today. You may be amazed at the open and click-through rates you see!

It’s your chance to win it with email

2018 is going to bring great opportunities to engage your subscribers with interesting, beautiful and well-written emails, and these tips will help you get there.

About the Author:

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My name is Alexander Daniel and I’m a Content Marketing Strategist, with a focus on branding. That means I’m an analyst as well as marketer, motivated by great ideas. I’ve had plenty of experience working with brands of all sizes. At present I’m working for InfoGlobalData a leading provider of b2b email lists, specialized for its services and marketing solutions.

Lead Nurturing: 4 Steps to walking the buying path with your customers

Imagine you have a downloadable resource on your flashy and attractive website. Your online promotions bring visitors to your landing page. A user signs up and downloads the resource.

You sent him an engaging email offering your products/services. He again comes to your website and buys your offerings. Since you provide value along with your offerings, your customers act as your brand advocates. Promote your business on their portals and stay loyal to your brand. How easy and simple! Is it the usual case with almost all online businesses? The answer is a big NO!

Agreed, for any business, lead generation is the vital activity. However, that’s not the end; in fact, it is just the start.

According to Marketo, on average, 50% of the leads in any system are not yet ready to buy.

What all you need to do is lead nurturing so that your leads get converted into your customers and in future, they can act as your brand ambassadors.

Process of lead nurturing

Basically, lead nurturing is a four-step process.

  1. Attract – your targeted customers to your website
  2. Engage – with them and capture their attention towards your offerings
  3. Nurture – them and create their interest in your offerings, explain how your products and services address their pain points
  4. Convert – them into your customers by helping them in validating their buying decision

Let’s take you through the 4 steps to walking the buying path with your customers – a deeper insight into lead nurturing!

Build a relationship with the lead

Lead nurturing itself means building relationships. Once you get the information about your lead, start paying attention to their activity and interest on your website. The leads who are at the top of the funnel are called marketing leads and those who are near the bottom are sales leads. Once the marketing nurtures leads, they are passed on to the sales team in their CRM. To walk through their buying oath along with them, in the very first place you need to build a relationship with them. Well, it’s not that easy as it is said often. To win their trust and establish a rapport, ask questions, respond to their queries, follow them on social networks, share important information with them, and offer them FREEbies.

Educate lead based on his buyer journey stage

To close your sales cycle, first of all, you need to educate your leads. And this education should be done on the basis of his user journey stage. Education at awareness stage will not be the same as the way you educate him at other stages.

It is not easy to identify at what stage your lead is. However, it can be done by analysing their entry points to your CRM. Visit your analytics and understand which ages they have visited, to what extent they have scrolled, check their social profiles and know what they are talking about. No doubt, this exercise requires logic and analytical skills. After all, marketing is all about applying logic, isn’t it?

Nurture through emails, but not to the extent of torture

Remember two basic rules of lead nurturing – don’t email your leads on daily basis and don’t send each and every email to all your leads. Email marketing is the best lead nurturing technique, but you should not torture them by sending irrelevant emails at the irrelevant time. Rather send them personalized emails on the basis of their user journey stage. When your leads are towards the end of a sales cycle, personalized emails are extremely helpful in conversions.

Each of the email’s subject line and body content should be personalized in such a way that it provides solutions to their pain points. At the same time, it should have a human touch. One of the most common yet evergreen trends is to use their names in the subject line and body content.

In short, sending right email to the right lead at the right time results in faster conversion process than usual. And, this can be easily done with the help of CRM. We recommend InfusionSoft as one of the best automation tools to handle your lead generation, lead nurturing and conversion emails.

Repeat the process until you succeed

To convert your leads into your customers and later on brand ambassadors, this is the only tired and tested procedure. Repeat the process until you succeed and you will!

Whenever necessary, re-engage with your leads. At any stage, if you realise that they are losing interest in your emails or offerings, provide them value to create a sense of urgency. Add incentives, discounts, offers, coupons, vouchers and other Freebies to the extent you can.

Email marketing is the most effective but not the only technique of lead nurturing. At times, lead scoring also fails if it lacks enough data. If email lists and emails aren’t working well with you, reach out to them via social networks, where they roam online. Keep checking your email analytics to assess the effectiveness of your emails.

Time to start now..?

The quantity of leads does not matter in your conversion process if you don’t know their quality. Not all your leads will get converted. However, they are all equally important to you. How? Those who aren’t interested should never be ignored entirely. Those who do not buy anything from you can also refer the right person to you, provided they have a positive experience in your funnel. Lead nurturing can help you get not only customers but also brand ambassadors. So, it’s the right time to start now!

Title: Lead Nurturing: 4 Steps to walking the buying path with your customers

Meta description: The goal of lead nurturing is to help progress leads from initial interest toward buying intent. Read proven and proved steps to walking the buying path with your customers for conversions

Author’s Bio

Raj Gautam

This article is written by Raj Gautam. He is CEO & Founder of QL Tech, Located in Perth, Australia. QL Tech is one of the best agencies that offer unique Digital Marketing & Web Development Services by the virtue of its dedicated professionals. Our professionals are extremely proficient in offering Digital Marketing.

3 Popular Ways to Repurpose Your YouTube Videos

YouTube is a close-knit network that isn’t like other social platforms. Famous YouTubers may spend years building their channel and base of followers, but the amount of support they get is paramount.

There’s no doubt about it – YouTube videos require creativity and technical skills to make. The time, labor, and talent that you pour into this project is more intensive than what you invest in other content.

Know this: you don’t have to wait to be a famous YouTube figure to make the most out of your videos. If you want to know how to make money online by leveraging your YouTube video, your imagination should go beyond creating it.

Check out these 3 Popular Ways to Repurpose Your YouTube Videos:

1. Embed Your Video into Your Blog or Website

People can get easily tired of reading textual posts. Even if you include photos in your blog posts, some readers would only skim over your content to find what interests them most.

If you have an online business, this limited attention could mean the make or break for closing a sale. Why rely on textual posts alone if you can captivate your audience and influence their purchase decision through a video?

Unless they are your long-time avid readers, people are likely to stay on a page if they’re watching a video rather than reading a blog post.

Use your YouTube videos as the information hub on your blog or website. If you have an important campaign to announce or new projects to market, posting a video about it on your blog is guaranteed to generate high engagement ratings.

2. Sharing Your Video as Social Media Content

No social media virtual assistant yet? No problem! YouTube has social media sharing buttons that make it easy to post content on Facebook, Twitter, and other sites. Just remember that YouTube is a different platform compared to other social networks and what may be considered a hit in YouTube may be too long or too heavy on other sites.

Tip: You don’t have to post full-length videos on your social channels. Posting clips or trailers of the full video can rouse up viewers to check out the uncut version on your website, Tayloright, blog, or YouTube channel.

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3. Converting Your Videos into Podcasts

There are many ways to download and convert videos into MP3. If you’re a business owner whose target customers include working moms or young professionals, this move will give you a better shot at reaching your market. Your target customers may be too busy to watch full-length videos on YouTube or your blog, but they sure can listen to a Podcast while on the go.

Some people also favor listening to audio content over reading a blog or watching videos online. If you convert your content into a podcast, your audience becomes wider and more diverse.

Creating videos may be challenging but your finished projects can be used in multiple ways and in different platforms. Which of your YouTube videos are you going to repurpose?

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Catherine vanVonno, the author, is the President and Executive Director of 20Four7VA, a global Virtual Assistant (VA) Service Provider. She holds a doctorate degree in Applied Statistics, Research Design and Program Evaluation from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and has over 10 years experience in facilitating evidence-based strategic planning, product development, brand management, legislative communications, and medical policy. She is married and has four children. You can reach her at communications@20four7va.com.

http://20four7va.com/|twitter.com/20Four7VA

5 Simple SEO Tips for Beginners

Search engine optimization, backlinking, title tags. If you research on how to improve your website ranking in Google, you might have come across these terms every so often. While these are proven ways to increase your audience reach online, these concepts can be mind-boggling for beginners. You may even come across SEO materials that are designed for big companies with different goals and needs than yours.

What you need are search engine optimization (SEO) techniques which are crafted for smaller establishments. This is how you work with the resources that you have and add to your knowledge as you learn the ropes of doing business online.

Start with these 5 simple SEO tips for beginners:

SEO Tip #1: Maximize Internal Linking

You will read and hear about backlinking as you work to promote your website. While it is ideal to have third-party websites linking to yours to build credibility, it’s just as important to build links internally.

When you create a post, direct the readers to other helpful materials within your site. You can even do a series of posts about a single topic or cross reference your previous blog posts. Help your readers expand their search by promoting other pages in your turf.

When Google detects that readers spend a long time in your website and browse one page after another, your website value adds up. The result? Google will rank your page higher in its results pages.

SEO Tip #2: Invest in Social Engagement

Social media platforms are a gift to small business owners. Now, you won’t need to pay thousands of bucks to advertising agencies to let people know about your company.

Just create a page on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest to reach people easily and directly. Because people now spend more time on their mobile phones than watching TV or listening to the radio, you have a better chance of reaching them with social media.

Get a social media VA (Virtual Assistant) to take care of your regular postings, answer messages, and regulate comments. Because Google now considers traffic and activities in social websites for ranking, a proactive and engaging profile will increase your chances in results pages.

SEO Tip #3: Refresh Content

What posts in your social media or blog have gained optimum results? What topics roused the most reactions?

Update your content or draw inspiration from it to create a spin-off. This is a fast and easy way to make sure your posts retain its spot on the top of social feeds. If it’s a blog, it will keep your content up-to-date and relevant.

SEO Tip#4: Mind Your Site Speed

If you’re still building your website, it’s easy to get caught up designing it. That is why you need to watch the widgets, images, and videos that you add. While these may spice up your website, it can also slow it down.

Websites that take a long time to load make visitors frustrated and will likely make them abandon your page. No wonder Google added website speed as a ranking factor for websites.

SEO Tip#5: Get a Responsive Website Theme

Have you seen how your website looks like on mobile phones or tablets? When choosing a website theme or drafting a post, make sure that you select elements that will fluidly fit on any type of screen. You wouldn’t want your killer blog post to go to waste because it doesn’t load properly on a mobile screen.

Remember that people no longer access websites exclusively on computers. In fact, people will most likely come across your website on their smartphones. Recent studies have shown that the majority of web traffic now comes from mobile devices. That’s why Google updated its algorithm so that mobile-adaptable websites rank higher.

As a small business owner, you need to cover the basics and apply practical techniques to improve your website ranking in search engines. These 5 simple SEO tips for beginners are designed to help you do just that.

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Catherine vanVonno, the author, is the President and Executive Director of 20Four7VA, a global Virtual Assistant (VA) Service Provider. She holds a doctorate degree in Applied Statistics, Research Design and Program Evaluation from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and has over 10 years experience in facilitating evidence-based strategic planning, product development, brand management, legislative communications, and medical policy. She is married and has four children. You can reach her at communications@20four7va.com.

http://20four7va.com/|twitter.com/20Four7VA

How Are Businesses Benefitted by Social Media Marketing

Businesses whether big or small have come to appreciate the immense benefits associated with social media marketing and its growing importance in this highly competitive world to attract new customers and to stay relevant. Today, your secretary is no more your mouthpiece to the outside world. She is no longer the first interaction point between your company and the outside world-this role is being fulfilled by the social media platforms, profiles, and websites.

If statistics were to be believed 37 percent of netizens actually follow all their hot favorite brands on various social media platforms and around 30 percent of the Internet users actually are in the habit of using social networks for researching products. With more and more people embracing the social media and their mobile devices in the purchase process, there are numerous reasons for your business to make its presence felt on the social media.

Here are some of the key advantages of social media marketing for your business.

Boost in Brand Awareness

Social media would be effectively exposing or introducing your services or company to a new audience. With just a single click, a multitude of people would be seeing your message. Social networking platforms would be helping you in identifying customers who are interested in your business-these are actionable insights that allow you to widen your nets and reach more potential customers.

Know More about Your Target Audience

Social media helps you to get the right information about your target audience. You get insights about what exactly your target audience is up to. If you are able to know and understand your audience well, you would be able to come up with creative strategies to reach your potential customers via content or advertising. Once you are able to cater to the specific needs of your target audience, you would see a definite increase in your conversions.

In this context, you must realize that while running your small organization and fulfilling your passion, you may get happiness but that may not be paying up your company’s bills. It is, therefore, essential for you to keep in mind that the intrinsic purpose of any kind of business whether big or small is making a profit. You must never forget this and ensure that the finances associated with your small business are given top priority. You may seek debt relief assistance from reliable debt relief agencies such as nationaldebtrelief.com.

An Opportunity to Offer Excellent Customer Service

More often than not, your clients would not be reaching out to you when they encounter some issues. Instead, they would prefer to post a query or a complaint online. In this digital era, more and more customers are taking advantage of the social media platforms and exploiting them as an effective point of contact between the customers and the brand and would be obviously expecting a response. Statistics reveal that around 42 percent of the clients who are in the habit of reaching out to the precise brands online would be expecting a response from the company within an hour or so. This is a great opportunity for a business to provide prompt and effective customer support and service.

Get Prompt and Direct Feedback

Social media helps you to get immediate feedback from your customers. Now you can get an idea about the success or failure of a campaign or a product in a very short time. This implies that now businesses have the opportunity to respond and even resolve disasters in the quickest possible way.

Enjoy New Business Opportunities

Social media marketing would be presenting you with immense opportunities that you would have surely missed if you did not have any social presence. Thanks to the social networking, you have an access to negative comments and unsatisfactory experiences. You could promptly address and adjust those issues and keep your consumers satisfied. This would be demonstrating to your potential customers that your company actually cares about its customers. This goes a long way in expanding your reach and effectively establishing your brand authority and this is made possible thanks to the customer messages on social media profiles.

Conclusion

Social media truly proves to be advantageous for your business in multiple ways. Now you could constantly keep an eye on what your competitors are doing. This way, you are able to get a competitive edge. If done properly social media marketing could be effectively boosting your sales as people who are really interested in your products or services would be responding positively to sales messaging. This would lead to conversions. You must remember to stay relevant at all times if you wish to enjoy success.

Author Bio:

Kelly Wilson is an experienced and skilled Business Consultant and Financial advisor in the USA.  She helps clients both personal and professional in long-term wealth building plans. During her spare time she loves to write on Business, Finance, Marketing, Social Media. She loves to share her knowledge and Experts tips with her readers.