Here are The Marketing Automation Alert’s best marketing automation-related articles curated today, Monday, 3/25/13. Receive a daily summary of The Marketing Automation Alert directly to your inbox. Subscribe here (your privacy is protected). If you find this valuable, please share by using the links below:
Featured Marketing Automation Article
The best marketers use both sides of their brain in building brands and possess these skills.
So, what skills are important for a top marketer? A highly skilled marketer should possess each of these skill sets:
- Psychology – understanding human motivations in a deep way, knowing what makes people “tick”
- Selling – intuitively knowing what words, phrases and approaches connect with customers and cause them to want to buy what you are selling
- Communication – outstanding and persuasive written and oral communication skills
- Interpersonal skills – good listening skills, personal charisma, being likable, connecting with others easily
- Analytical skills – understanding budgets, financial statements, marketing research design, data analysis and statistics
- Broad cultural knowledge – knowing what your customers are exposed to and what is informing their fears and desires
- Broad exposure and experience across multiple disciplines – to stimulate creative connections between seemingly unrelated things
This couldn’t be more true.
Marketing Strategy – Landing pages aren’t dead—or even unimportant—but you shouldn’t be treating them as a standalone strategy. Rather, you should be focusing on the big picture: optimizing the entire customer experience.
Landing page optimization is the act of testing and fine-tuning the design elements on individual pages, and perhaps introducing rudimentary rules-based segmentation. CXO, on the other hand, is the goal of using sitewide visitor data, such as individual users’ behavior and preferences, to personalize all site content (including landing pages and their numerous elements).
With 2013 in full swing, now is the time to think about how you will go beyond landing page optimization and start putting the customer experience at the heart of your marketing strategy.
Here are five steps to take to help you get there.
- Create a culture of testing
- Put the customer at the heart of your organization
- Start using loyalty program data to personalize
- Harness the power of social media
- Get your mobile and tablet strategy right, or get left behind
On the surface these points are fairly obvious, but if you take a few steps back, you see the point that perhaps we get too caught up in multivariate testing, big data, the scientific methods, etc. Bear in mind the CXO, and balance the science with the client.
Learn 10 ways to give your inbound marketing strategy, social media and business blogging a huge boost in 60 minutes or less!
We enjoy Jasmine Henry’s posts and content, and strongly recommend following her.
If email is your only automated marketing activity, here are 5 other ways you can use marketing automation in your inbound marketing campaign.
Social Media Publishing
Are you taking 15 minutes or more a day to post on ALL of those social media sites your company is on? Marketing automation has now made social media publishing even easier, as well as helping you get back much needed time. Consider using social media publishing tools like:
Instead of just sending each lead every single email you draft, you can target specific lists with content related to their previous actions to help nurture and push those contacts down the sales funnel.
These are steps that should be a basic part of your marketing automation usage. Smart Lists refers to HubSpot’s Smart Lists feature.
But how can you ensure that these conversion opportunities actually are driving new business, and not just sitting there gathering dust? Check out a few tips below to help fuel conversion rates on your site:
1. Ask for what you need, and only what you need.
The more steps you put between a lead and the conversion point, the higher the likelihood that they’ll fall out of the funnel.
2. Leverage customer reviews and testimonials.
If you have positive feedback from your clients, display it on your site. Make sure that case studies, reviews, and testimonials are easy to access, view, and download.
3. Get your top level execs involved on social media.
An eMarketer study found that 77% of buyers are more likely to buy from a company whose CEO uses social media; 94% said that c-suite social media participation enhances a brand image.
4. Make sure your content is worth promoting.
Just producing any content isn’t enough. It needs to be great content in order for it to bring in leads with the potential to convert.
5. Keep copy short.
People love to scan. If you have a landing page, email, or just a generic page on your site that’s full of detailed, informative copy, a consumer will rarely take the time to read it word for word. It’s more likely that they’ll pick out bolded words, bulleted text, and maybe the first sentence of every paragraph. That’s why it’s important to keep your copy short and focused — especially on pages with a call to action. Limit paragraphs to three sentences, break copy into bullets as often as possible, and consider pulling in images to describe things that lend themselves to visuals.
The basics, like blocking and tackling…
LeadFormix shows you why storytelling is a must-have skill for B2B marketers. Read about story hook, technique, language, length, images and reportage.
Use a Hook
Start your story with a hook to captivate your audience. It can be a powerful quote, a question or an anecdote based on a real life experience.
Have a Technique
- Start by writing the headline. Then you know what you want to write about.
- Write down the main points you want to cover.
- Flesh out each of the points.
- Just like in movie making, you don’t have to write in chronological order but remember to tie up all the loose ends.
- Erase your mind. Read your writing like you’ve never seen it before. Check for: flow, structure and your message.
- Edit, edit and edit.
- Do a peer review and be open to suggestions.
People often decide whether they want to read an article/post within the first five seconds. Your language is one of the most influential factors that can coax the reader to stay. Keep your language simple, yet tasteful.
A Picture Is Truly Worth a Thousand Words
So every time you write a blog post, a landing page or an article, plan for an accompanying visual.
Reportage Is Powerful
Reportage is powerful. It lends you perspective, insights and opinions. Interview industry experts and analysts. Quote credible surveys and research data that substantiate your argument. Needless to say, give due credit.
Keep your stories as short as they can be. People tend to read shorter posts and articles online. Aim to contain your pieces to 500-700 words. Keep your post/article on a single page with infinite scrolling rather than on multiple pages.
One of the better posts on writing style. There’s additional detail in the post, so please click through.
Now there’s an inexpensive WordPress marketing automation solution available. Managing and following up on leads has just gotten much easier.
The ORBTR Plugin & Service
Marketing automation has come to WordPress and here’s how it works. As a developer, you install [the ORBTR] plugin, activate it, and enter the code you get from them when you sign up for the service. Then you go to your Gravity Forms (or Jet Pack forms) and activate the ones you care about. Then you navigate to its dashboard and watch the results.
I’ve had the plugin activated for two days (the weekend) and already am in love. As you can see, I can see how many page views (and can drill down into details) per form entrant I’ve had. I can link their behavior with their demographics.
And if you look on the left, you’ll notice ORBTR isn’t just for capturing leads. It offers landing page and mobile solutions (which I haven’t leveraged yet).
But what I really appreciate about what these guys have done is that they’ve not created their own outbound email infrastructure. Instead, they’ve integrated with MailChimp – so that I can put these leads into existing lists.
We don’t normally scoop product announcements, but this one is fascinating. The whole notion of marketing automation as a WP plugin is astounding.
If you want to include a phone number in your AdWords ad, you’ll need to use the call extensions feature. Starting in April, Google will begin disapproving any ads that include telephone numbers in the ad text, according to a recent policy update.
The official word from Google:
In the next few weeks, we will no longer allow phone numbers to be used in the ad text of new ads. Advertisers who would still like to promote phone numbers in their AdWords advertising can use the call extensions feature. We’re posting this alert now to provide adequate lead time to make ad changes.
In April 2013, we will begin to disapprove ads that were using phone numbers in their ad text before the March 2013 policy change.
Eloqua had a captive audience for gaming mechanics in its Topliners community. Adding leaderboards and game elements energized its community.
Adding the gaming module has raised engagement—blog posts, status updates, comments, and so on—by 55 percent, according to Jive’s own measurement tools, but it’s also improved the quality of the interaction.
People who previously would have swooped in, found an answer to a question, and left are now compelled to post, Foeh says. Lots of people who aren’t even customers check out the community. “The community is open,” she says. “It’s actually helped us close a lot of deals.”
Gamification is still relatively new to the B2B marketing world, and a tremendous way to build engagement, as described in this case study.
Here’s another example, sent to us from Philippe Ingels of Wakster who created this game for SAS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/big-data-overload/id584441349?mt=8
A new report says that Google’s Penguin update is getting stricter. Initially, websites with about 80 percent manipulative links saw their rankings demoted. Now Google Penguin is hitting sites with link profiles composed of 65 percent of bad links.
What does this mean for webmasters and SEO professionals? Continue to diligently clean up your inbound link profile. Identify bad inbound links, then remove them or disavow them. Google’s next iteration of Penguin could lower the tolerance level for spammy inbound links even further; this might even be what Matt Cutts was referring to when he stated at this year’s SXSW that the next Penguin release would be significant and one of the more talked about Google algorithm updates this year.
As B2B marketers, we all know that the best path to SEO success is smart inbound linking and strong content. Bear the aforementioned excerpt in mind.
Facebook Ads: Do They Even Work? See How Facebook Advertising Compares to the Google Display Network.
This is very cool…and FREE! Have your Google Analytics account compiled and presented as an Infographic each week!
Personalized promotional and triggered emails deliver stronger open and click rates than their non-personalized counterparts, and also generate higher transaction rates and revenue per email, details Experian Marketing Services in a new study. For promotional mailings, emails with personalized subject lines had an average open rate of 19.5%, compared to 15.1% for those without personalization.
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