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Digital Marketing Campaigns In order to start driving in-bound sales traffic the Leading Software businesses need to implement a process-driven, digital marketing strategy. It is proposed that this strategy consists of a number of elements as follows:
Website Optimisation All company websites should be easily discovered for potential customers or partners and easy to navigate. To achieve this we need search engine optimisation, good design and relevant and current content. The following steps should be carried out:
Identify people within the organisation who have good SEO skills. If unavailable then consider using consultants or training.
Appropriate meta-tags should be selected to reflect target search terms. Key words should be heavily reflected within site.
Pick appropriate domain names related to search terms i.e. if you are trying to sell carbon footprint software then use www.carbonfootprintsoftware.com
Ensure that content is relevant to your target audience. Home page should be brief but to the point.
Site should ideally include trial or video demonstrating features and benefits of product
Case studies are very important because they provide customer references
Customer are interested in “who has already bought it?” and “is it a quality solution?” so customer logos, partner logos and any certifications should be highly visible
News content should be updated regularly (at least monthly). There should be an identified content writer for the site
A newsletter is a good way of keeping contact with potential customers but there needs to be a discipline to publish on a regular basis so this requires a content writer to be available
Google Adwords Campaigns Adwords is a great way of “bootstrapping” a digital marketing campaign. It essentially involves “bidding” for ad space on the Google search page and their content network. This really is an expert field and requires an external consultant to ensure that the campaigns are designed correctly. This includes ensuring that the ad copy is relevant and that the appropriate research and analytics is performed to select the correct search terms at the appropriate price. If a campaign is designed properly then it will generate search traffic to your website and enquiries (assuming the website is designed to maximise conversion) which in turn will increase your search engine ranking. Adwords can be costly if not done correctly. You can spend a lot of money sponsoring the wrong key words. Targeted Email Marketing Campaigns Targeted email campaigns can be an effective way of prospecting opportunities from an existing database of contacts or a new list. The key steps of an email marketing campaign might include the following:
Create Target List Most companies maintain lists of contacts either in excel spreadsheets or within their corporate CRM system. These lists tend to be good quality because they contain details of existing customers or potential customer who have previously made enquiries about your products or services. The best way to build lists is to have an effective website that enables you to build opt-in lists of potential customers and uses automated email to follow up with site visitors. There are also a large number of email marketing companies who sell compiled lists of contacts for different market sectors or industries. One of the main challenges of using purchased lists is the quality of the information. If you are considering purchasing a list, it is important to get a guarantee on the on the level of email bounce backs and the number of duplicates. Most list companies will provide this. Cleanse List Details If you are unsure about the quality of your list it is essential to cleanse the data prior to running a marketing campaign. This can be done in a number of different ways. If you have available call centre resource then you could perform a telephone survey to update the information. Another way to cleanse the list would be to send an email to each contact asking them to verify their contact details and also to confirm that they are indeed the right contact for the product that you are attempting to sell. Design Campaign Workflow It is important to clearly define what you are trying to achieve with an email campaign. Even with the best product, market conditions and the best sales message you are not going to be inundated with purchase orders for a host of different reasons. The recipient may not open your email even although they might potentially be interested in your product. Another recipient might not be interested at the present moment but knows that they have a future need for your product. Other targets might not be directly interested in the product that you are selling but might have a need for another product/service that you have but are not advertising. Other people might just be sick of “spam” email and will only review printed information. So it is important that the campaign should be designed in a way so that it handles all of these and other scenarios. Ideally, this would be achieved by using an automated system that consists of a CRM, Campaign Design, Email and Response Management, Campaign Analytics and Print Handling. There are systems available that handles elements of this system such as Vertical Response and i-Contact. However, they do not have built-in CRM or response management. An example of the system followed by a process-driven marketing campaign are shown below: Automated Digital Marketing SystemDirect MailOutgoing Mail ServerWebsiteCampaign AnalyticsResponse HandlingEmail ManagementCampaign DesignerCRMDesign Templates Process-Driven Digital Marketing CampaignList of contacts Email or telephone survey Update CRM detailsCRM system Send email NContact customerContact to find out whyEmail Received? Y YEmail deleted? YNEmail opened? NNRequest contact? YYUnsubscribe selected? Request immediate contact N NAction taken?Interest in product AProduct A landing page Interest in product BProduct B landing page YDownload brochureRequest brochure Send out AutorespondersSet up product trialRequest product trial The idea is that there is a pre-defined process for handling every type of response so that a contacts information is fully exploited and CRM data is continuously cleansed. Ideally, the process could be configured using a workflow editor, within the Response Handling module, that would enable the process designer to specify the action for a specific response type. For example if the response was that the contact had not opened the email within 14 days then the choice of actions could be a) do nothing b) resend email c) mail out hardcopy brochure. In the case where something has been provided to the contact, for example a free trial of the product or a case study or a brochure, autoresponders could be set up. This is simply a prompting email that is automatically sent to the contact if they have not responded within a defined period of time. Design Campaign Content Content needs to be relevant and effective. Emails and landing pages need to have a simple, straightforward sales message. I’ve gathered some tips on creating content that drives results: Address Recipients with Their Name in Email Campaigns If I get a bulk email, it feels much less bulky if it greets me with my name. I feel more like myself, less like a number — and I'm more likely to read the message, maybe risk a click or two. If at all possible, you should personalize your marketing mails to greet and address recipients individually with their name. Often, you will use the first name only, but for some campaigns the last name will be more appropriate. Clear Call to Action One of the crucial elements of an email marketing campaign is a clear call to action. Lay out exactly what you want the recipients of your message to do, and design the message to make that path clear for the recipient, and easy to follow. Don't distract with too many links or offers, and make not only the call to action clear but also what recipients can expect when they click through. This can be as simple as "
Click here for a 20% discount if you buy before end of November."
Key Message in Outlook Preview Pane The Subject of your email marketing message plays a crucial role. If it's not intriguing or familiar, or if it looks like spam, your mail will be deleted immediately. You know that. But if your recipients have their email client's preview pane turned on -- and most do -- what is displayed there is just as important. If the top of your email marketing message, the part that is most likely to be shown in the preview pane, is well designed, you can build on the interest built with the Subject or even reverse the recipient's decision to delete your message. That's why things that can usually be found near the top of every mail to a list -- unsubscription instructions, unnecessary and long introductory copy, disclaimers -- should be moved down the page. You don't have to move it all the way down to the bottom, but it should be out of the typical preview pane. The preview pane should be filled with the unique selling point of your campaign, with your most intriguing benefit or your best offer instead. Get Subscribers through cooperation The primary source of opt-in subscribers probably is your Web site. Now it's time to look for other places to build your list, it's time for cooperation with the competition: Turn to the Web sites that people who might be interested in your newsletter are likely to visit — even before (or instead of) your own site. Cooperate with the owners of these sites in some way that can profit both of you. Exchange sign-up forms, for example, and append them to the site-specific forms. Make sure the content and target group of the two sites and newsletters are close, but not identical. Make Landing Pages Fit Your Email Marketing Campaign Landing pages are an essential part of every email marketing campaign. If I follow a link from an email marketing message, I expect purchasing to be easy (by finding forms prefilled with relevant data, for example), and I expect the landing page to fit the design of the email I got. If it does not, I'll be irritated and reluctant to make a purchase. That's why you should make sure the design of the landing page matches the design of the email campaign it belongs to. Pay attention to the colors, the images, font size, but also to the wording and tone of the landing page. Motivate People to Sign up with a Bonus Making visitors of your Web site sign up for your newsletter is getting increasingly difficult as people are more reluctant to give away their email address (and they're perfectly right facing all that spam). A bonus (in addition to the great newsletter) can motivate people to sign up. For example, you could offer a white paper or -- preferably -- a detailed case study for all those who subscribe to your newsletter. The possibilities are endless, but make sure the bonus is the right bonus for the right people. Whatever you offer, it must be directly related to the newsletter. Ideally, the motivation to sign up for the newsletter is the same as the motivation for getting the bonus, and the bonus acts as a multiplier, not as a separate motivation. Email-Based Learning Add value to your website, build trust in your visitors, establish your credibility and collect more subscriptions to your mailing list by setting up an email-based learning course. To do this, simply create a series of autoresponders (for example, 5) containing unique content. Then, schedule the first one to be sent after 24 hours, the second after 48 hours, etc. Tuesday / Wednesday = Increased Response Studies conducted by online research analysts have shown that the best days to perform a mail-out to your list are Tuesday and Wednesday, as this is when people are more receptive to communication. This means that they are more likely to read your content and click on links, meaning more sales. On Mondays, everyone is still recovering from a hectic weekend. On Thursday and Friday, people are already too busy looking forward to the weekend. We’ve actually experimented with this, and received the best results by sending out emails at around 2-3pm (GMT) on a Wednesday.