Automated Email Marketing
 

Automated Email Marketing

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As marketers, we know the importance of timeliness — being in front of the client with the right offer at the right time — and, fortunately, email automation makes this possible. With triggered ...

As marketers, we know the importance of timeliness — being in front of the client with the right offer at the right time — and, fortunately, email automation makes this possible. With triggered campaigns, we are transcending from when-we-can marketing to just-in-time marketing and it’s making a difference. Triggered email marketing enables us to reach our leads and prospects at a time that is most relevant to them (and not when most convenient for us). These campaigns, targeted with applications of explicit and implicit data, are making great strides in:

Response rates
Cross-sell and up-sell activity
Relevance of messages and offers
Timeliness of delivery

If you’ve been considering just-in-time marketing through the use of a triggered campaign, the checklist below may help you to think through your current state of affairs and perhaps understand whether or not your team is ready to dive right in or if you need outside help:

You’re reading this eBook because you’ve heard of triggered campaigns but do not understand them well enough to launch one on your own.

You know that a triggered campaign is the answer, but you’re not sure where to start.

You’re ready to take on your first campaign, but are short on talented resources.
Your creative team is top notch, but you don’t have specialists for SEO or analytics implementation and recommendations.

You have loads of in-house talent and are fully prepared to execute on all of the tasks required, but are concerned about the impact on your production schedule for jobs to which you have already committed.

You have all the content talent you need, but your website is managed by a third party and deploying landing pages, forms, and updates to your site must be scheduled well in advance.

Your customer database is lacking functionality and efficiency, you have no idea how often they are being contacted by your sales team or other company stakeholders, and you’re concerned about spam.

Triggered campaigns are challenging at best and though they share many of the same requirements as single-event campaigns, they have moving parts that far outnumber most other types of events. With that said, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed no matter how much staff or experience you have.

In this eBook, Spider Trainers shares with you our collection of tried-and-true lessons and advice, but honestly, if any of these statements above fits you, it’s probably a good idea to give serious consideration to hiring outside help — at least for your first campaign.

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Automated Email Marketing Automated Email Marketing Presentation Transcript

  • Automated Email Marketing Using triggered email to put you in the right place at the right time.
  • Automated Email Marketing Using triggered email to put you in the right place at the right time. by Cyndie Shaffstall C Shaffstall & Son, LLC DBA Spider Trainers PO Box 280487 Lakewood CO 80228 303 468 8713 303 865 7774 Fax http://www.spidertrainers.com To report errors, please send an email to spidertrainer@spidertrainers.com Notice of rights and warranties: All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher. For information on getting permission for reprints and excerpts, contact spidertrainer@spidertrainers.com. The information in this book is distributed on an as-is basis without any warranty. While every precaution has been taken to ensure accuracy, neither the author nor publisher shall have any liability to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damage caused or allegedly caused, directly or indirectly, by the instructions contained in this book or by the processes described herein. Notice of trademarks and copyrights: All companies with products, services, or websites mentioned in this book are listed in the references and credits section of this book. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Any omission of such trademarks from any product is regretted and is not intended as an infringement on such trademarks.
  • You have heard of automatic, triggered emails, but don’t know where to start. You are in search of best practices for deploying triggered emails. You know that you need to nurture your client list, but don’t know how. You need help in understanding the value of the names in your list. You need to get better at overall list management. You need to learn more about budgeting and using outside resources. Spider Trainers can help Marketing automation has been shown to increase qualified leads for businesses by as much as 451%. As experts in drip and nurture marketing, Spider Trainers is chosen by companies to amplify lead and demand generation while setting standards for design, development, and deployment. Our publications are designed to help you get started, and while we may be guilty of giving too much information, we know that the empowered and informed client is the successful client. We hope this eBook does that for you. We look foward to learning more about your needs. Please contact us at 651 702 3793 or cmeyer@spidertrainers.com. You should read this book if: ©2013 Spider Trainers. All rights reserved. Page 3
  • Introduction................................................................................................2 Chapter 1. Reaching out just in time .......................................................4 Types of triggers..........................................................................................................5 Types of triggered campaigns....................................................................................5 Key points ............................................................................................................6 Analytics make the difference ....................................................................................6 Chapter 2. Choosing a software................................................................7 Chapter 3. Planning your event.................................................................9 Define your goal..........................................................................................................9 Buckets ........................................................................................................................9 Chapter 4. Campaign components..........................................................12 Checklist for campaign development......................................................................12 Launch email .............................................................................................................13 Response email.........................................................................................................13 Nurture emails...........................................................................................................13 Sign-up form .............................................................................................................13 Form-confirmation landing page......................................................................14 Form-confirmation email...................................................................................14 Targeted landing page .............................................................................................14 Design considerations.......................................................................................15 Survey or poll ............................................................................................................16 Database ...................................................................................................................16 Segmentation ....................................................................................................17 Chapter 5. Designing content .................................................................18 Content/design .................................................................................................18 Think before you add*...............................................................................18 Programming.....................................................................................................18 HTML vs. text ............................................................................................................19 CTA............................................................................................................................19 Testing CTAs......................................................................................................20 Personalization ..........................................................................................................21 Mobile (responsive) designs.....................................................................................21 Chapter 6. Writing subject lines ..............................................................22 Using subject lines to develop analytics .................................................................25 Chapter 7. Testing, tracking, and tweaking ............................................26 Feature testing..........................................................................................................26 Be sure you have enough data ................................................................................27 Chapter 8. Lead scoring...........................................................................28 Point values ...............................................................................................................28 Explicit and implicit give a better picture ................................................................29 Chapter 9. Following up .........................................................................30 Auto responders .......................................................................................................30 Traditional follow up .................................................................................................30 Personal follow up.....................................................................................................31 Tips for follow up ......................................................................................................31 Chapter 10. Surveying recipients ...........................................................32 Chapter 11. Retiring names.....................................................................33 Chapter 12. Social sharing ......................................................................34 Embedded in your email...........................................................................34 Embedded in your landing page..............................................................34 Embedded in confirmation emails (response emails)..............................34 Chapter 13. Learning from your campaign.............................................35 Email analytics...........................................................................................................35 Site analytics..............................................................................................................35 Chapter 14. Budgeting ............................................................................38 In-house development .............................................................................................38 Outsourced development........................................................................................39 Costs..........................................................................................................................40 Choosing an agency.................................................................................................42 Costs..........................................................................................................................42 Return on investment (ROI) ......................................................................................43 Chapter 15. Conclusion............................................................................44 About Spider Trainers...............................................................................................44 Specialties..........................................................................................................45 Spider Trainers contact......................................................................................45 Phone..........................................................................................................45 Email...........................................................................................................45 Website.......................................................................................................45 Address.......................................................................................................45 References and credits.............................................................................46 Table of Contents ©2013 Spider Trainers. All rights reserved. Page i
  • I recently read an article about how venture capitalists like to think that they are marketing geniuses. As I see it, it’s not limited to VCs. The article pointed out that if you sit in on a C-suite meeting, the CEO reports on the overall health of the company, the CFO gives an update on revenue and expenses, the CIO reports on the infrastructure. Everyone nods their head in feigned understanding or sighs with concern. The CMO stands to give his report and suddenly everyone vies for an opportunity to pontificate on their opinion. This reminds me of more than a small number of senior-staff meetings in which I have participated, I’ve watched in complete disbelief as the CEO took a slightly hostile stance concerning the subject lines of emails being sent to promote a new product. [Seriously?! The CEO doesn’t have more pressing concerns than the subject line of an email?] The article went on to point out that the reason [investors] have such strong opinions about marketing is that this is an area where they can fake it far more convincingly... [Here, here.] — Cyndie Shaffstall, founder, Spider Trainers
  • As marketers, we know the importance of timeliness — being in front of the client with the right offer at the right time — and, fortunately, email automation makes this possible. With triggered campaigns, we are transcending from when-we-can marketing to just-in-time marketing and it’s making a difference. Triggered email marketing enables us to reach our leads and prospects at a time that is most relevant to them (and not when most convenient for us). These campaigns, targeted with applications of explicit and implicit data, are making great strides in: Response rates• Cross-sell and up-sell activity• Relevance of messages and offers• Timeliness of delivery• If you’ve been considering just-in-time marketing through the use of a triggered campaign, the checklist below may help you to think through your current state of affairs and perhaps understand whether or not your team is ready to dive right in or if you need outside help: You’re reading this eBook because you’ve heard of triggered campaigns but do not understand them well enough to launch one on your own. You know that a triggered campaign is the answer, but you’re not sure where to start. You’re ready to take on your first campaign, but are short on talented resources. Introduction ©2013 Spider Trainers. All rights reserved. Page 2 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales. Lack of lead nurturing is the common cause of this poor performance. — MarketingSherpa Your creative team is top notch, but you don’t have specialists for SEO or analytics implementation and recommendations. You have loads of in-house talent and are fully prepared to execute on all of the tasks required, but are concerned about the impact on your production schedule for jobs to which you have already committed. You have all the content talent you need, but your website is managed by a third party and deploying landing pages, forms, and updates to your site must be scheduled well in advance. Your customer database is lacking functionality and efficiency, you have no idea how often they are being contacted by your sales team or other company stakeholders, and you’re concerned about spam. Triggered campaigns are challenging at best and though they share many of the same requirements as single-event campaigns, they have moving parts that far outnumber most other types of events. With that said, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed no matter how much staff or experience you have. In this eBook, Spider Trainers shares with you our collection of tried-and-true lessons and advice, but honestly, if any of these statements above fits you, it’s probably a good idea to give serious consideration to hiring outside help — at least for your first campaign.
  • Getting your name out there is critical to building and maintaining your brand and establishing a good professional reputation. Regular distribution of emails will help in this process as clients come to learn about your company, products, or services. Emails can also be used to establish your company as an authority and a trusted advisor — to factor that influence in to search-engine optimization as well. Most importantly, emails enable you to be in front of your client when the time comes for them to make a purchasing decision. We call this just-in-time marketing. As marketers, we know that a client may take days, weeks, months, or even years to make that purchasing decision and we need to be at the forefront of their thoughts at that critical moment. Sending emails over a lengthy span of time could quickly become too burdensome to manage, if it were not for email automation. Automated campaigns, also known as triggered campaigns, makes staying in touch not just possible, but easy and timely. “Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got,” lyrics from the TV series Cheers theme song, Where Everybody Knows Your Name, could be the official theme song for marketers throughout the world. It contains two very important rules of thumb for any triggered email campaign: Ensuring the client remembers your name.1 Ensuring the client is glad you came.2 Technological advancements in software have made event-triggered marketing an indispensable part of long-term strategies and one that can easily remind your customer of who you are with an enjoyable message. Triggered campaigns typically require less effort than a string of one-off emails, but there is an up-front expense in both time and resources that must be managed. Start by mapping out well-defined goals for both your new and existing target audiences and include the C-suite, upper management, and sales team in developing triggers, conversions, and ROI measurements. Chapter 1. Reaching out just in time ©2013 Spider Trainers. All rights reserved. Page 3 Work with your sales team to learn what they believe it takes to convert leads into customers. Collaborating with the sales team, marketing team, and management will make designing your campaign messages much easier. While it’s not always possible to convert personal interaction into digital interaction, for the parts that can be, triggered events are ideal. Nurturing Campaign. A series of emails designed to develop leads as sales ready. The process is used to build relationships and develop trust with prospects in a way that is both consistent and relevant. Drip Marketing. A communication strategy that sends a pre-designed set of messages to customers or prospects over a span of time — like the constant drip of a leaky faucet.
  • ©2013 Spider Trainers. All rights reserved. Page 4 Figure 1.1 In this example, Lange Graphics used triggered marketing to promote their Welcome to Creative Hell poster. (You can still get one for free at http://www.langegraphics.com/free-poster-request and if you’re reading this eBook, it’s a poster you just have to have.)
  • Types of triggers When you deliver emails (or any marketing event) based upon a response to a recipient’s action or interaction, you are engaging in triggered marketing. While there are many types of triggered events, for the most part they fall into one of three categories: Transactional triggers. This type of triggered event is based upon a client’s action, such as making a purchase or submitting a form. This action can also trigger a response message (e.g., thank you for your order or thank you for submitting our contact form). The follow-up response is an ideal opportunity to not just confirm their action but also to provide additional links and information and extend their engagement with your campaign, social-media accounts, content, or website. Recurring triggers. This type of event is designed to launch based upon information that you know about the recipient (e.g., birthday, anniversary, or last visit) and is often referred to as a loyalty campaign because you are remembering something of importance to your lead and this is shown to build loyalty. Threshold triggers. This type of event is triggered when the recipient reaches some type of threshold (e.g., flying a million miles, buying $100 worth of goods, or other action for which you can provide tracking and measurement). Types of triggered campaigns While there are three main categories, you can use these campaigns for several different types of purposes. Here are just a few ideas: Re-engagement campaigns. This type of campaign is designed to reconnect and re-• engage clients with whom you’ve lost touch or that have simply stopped responding to your marketing — gentle reminders that you’re still interested in fulfilling their needs. Demand generation. This campaign will use email marketing to drive the demand for• your company's products and/or services. Lead management. Categorize your leads and understand their behavior by• designing events that will disclose explicit and implicit data. With this, you can better manage lists and therefore improve future marketing and sales efforts. Lead scoring. Accumulating lead score values is a great benefit of the automated• process. Each email opened, link clicked, page visited, and form submitted provides your sales team with mission-critical information and can indicate advancing sales readiness. ©2013 Spider Trainers. All rights reserved. Page 5 Event-triggered messages have a response rate that is 5X higher than that of non- targeted push messages. — Gartner Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at 33% lower cost. — Forrester Research Only about 5% of marketers use a full-featured marketing-automation solution. — Jeff Ernst, Forrester Research
  • Lead nurturing. Nudge your leads and prospects down the sales funnel and remind• them of their relationship and engage them with your company. Lead generation. Create new leads and prospects that have an interest in your• products or services. Campaign analysis. The disclosing or distilling of information about not just• messaging, but also other data such as send times or dates, design, device usage, region, and content. Lead qualification. Verify that lead and prospects are worthy of continued outreach• and discard those who are not your target audience. Sales effectiveness. Test assumptions that the company has made about the• effectiveness of sales approaches and techniques. Key points To ensure that your audience continues to welcome or accept your emails, use all three types of campaigns to focus on information that is relevant to your audience. For deployment of your triggered events, create a schedule and stick to it. Keeping your message deliveries consistent and the content relevant carries substantial weight when it comes to subscriber retention. Furthermore, you should periodically send a survey that enables the recipient to manage both the email topic and frequency. This empowers your recipients and shows them that you care about their wishes. Typically a triggered campaign is designed in advance (all creatives are completed), loaded, and each event fires off automatically, without user intervention. Building in advance means you stay in touch even when you’re overloaded with work and don’t have time to create a new message. Analytics make the difference Sending a series of emails on a regular or an irregular schedule does qualify as a triggered campaign, but it doesn’t necessarily guarantee a successful triggered campaign. The success comes from the testing, tweaking, and tracking of the interaction between your recipients and the campaign. Each event should be designed to disclose as much information as you can glean — opens, clicks, opt-outs, spam complaints, design, colors, subject lines, calls to action, buttons, formats, and even the device on which it is read. You won’t get everything from one email, so design your campaign to accumulate additional data over time. ©2013 Spider Trainers. All rights reserved. Page 6 Figure 1.2 In this screenshot, you can see the analytics for the last few emails sent and how they stack up against one another.
  • Automation is important to triggered campaigns. While nearly any email application can send a scheduled series of emails, triggered campaigns can become unmanageable if you are required to launch every event, gather statistics, and segment responses into buckets manually. There are a number of applications from which to choose, including HubSpot, Eloqua, Marketo, Pardot, InfusionSoft, Silverpop, ExactTarget, Genius.com, Vertical Response, but we chose Act-On Software — for not just our clients, but our internal use as well. The automated programs and list-maintenance features make creating triggered campaigns a viable option for a company of any size. Chapter 2. Choosing a software ©2013 Spider Trainers. All rights reserved. Page 7 We’re sharing with you a number of best practices that we have learned after having developed and sent thousands of emails. Many of the figures show that we’ve not done as we suggest. In some cases this is because the email design predates the lessons we’ve learned, but in other cases this is because, in the end, we do as the client wishes. Vendor Full Automation URL Act-On Software Yes http://www.actonsoftware.com Constant Contact No http://www.constantcontact.com Eloqua Yes http://www.eloqua.com ExactTarget Yes http://www.exacttarget.com Genius.com Yes http://www.genius.com HubSpot Yes http://www.hubspot.com InfusionSoft Yes http://www.infusionsoft.com MailChimp No http://www.mailchimp.com Pardot Yes http://www.pardot.com SilverPop Yes http://www.silverpop.com Vertical Response Yes http://www.verticalresponse.com Table 2.1 There are a number of great applications from which to choose — whether you choose to deliver your triggered campaign automatically or manually.
  • Alongside the importance of manageability is the need for visibility; one must be able to monitor the success of the campaign and act quickly to make last-minute updates and capitalize on the isolated successes (and failures) of any component. With tracking options for web visitors, social media, clicks, opens, bounces, and more, you will always know what works and what doesn’t. We believe that Act-On Software is the best option because it is easy to use and enables our clients the opportunity and ability to participate in their programs, even though they rely on Spider Trainers for the creatives and building of the triggered campaigns. Constant Contact and MailChimp are fine applications — perfectly suited for sending business emails — but as of this writing, do not offer full email automation, which is required in order to automatically deliver emails based upon action or interaction of the recipient. As you begin the evaluation process, here are some features to consider: Create and send one-off emails Scheduled email delivery Auto-responder email delivery Forms Iframe forms Double-post forms Email analytics Web visit analytics Social media analytics Resource analytics Explicit segmentation Implicit segmentation SEO management Spam check Asset management CRM integration Webcast integration Design editor Social sharing functions Lead scoring User-roles management ©2013 Spider Trainers. All rights reserved. Page 8 Auto-responder email. An email sent automatically using an email-automation system to confirm an action made by a recipient. For example, an email sent as a confirmation that the recipient has completed a form, clicked a link, or visited a website.
  • It’s quite easy for a triggered campaign to become unwieldy and provide you with more information than is useful to your company. To rein in the collection of too much data, we recommend that you map your program using a schematic of some sort. Our application of choice Is OmniGraffle (an example of which appears in figure 3.1), but you can use Excel, PowerPoint, or any drawing application that allows you to track and plan what to send, segments, and information to be gathered. This schematic shows the strategy and the rules for a triggered campaign. Bucket icons indicate analytics or segments. With this series of emails, we should learn which of our launch calls to action (CTA) is most effective (in each segment), which of our passive emails are most interesting, and whether or not our pricing is on target. Define your goal To keep your campaign on target and establish its success, you must define a goal and track and measure quantifiable results. It’s best to have campaigns targeting new and returning customers separately and to first test a smaller campaign before launching into a complex triggered event based on unproven assumptions about your clients, your lists, or your design concepts. Goals are not necessarily all about converting leads to customers. Your goal might be to increase your Facebook fans, build your list, drive visitors to your website, or qualify your list for a new product. Whatever the goal, get it firmly in your mind and develop the campaign out from that point. Your goals (Click Here to Purchase, Download the White Paper, etc.) will guide the call to action, or CTA. Buckets The action your leads and customers take in a triggered campaign should be used to categorize the recipient’s position in the purchasing or engagement process. Recipient names are dropped into buckets so that future interactions can be targeted based upon that (implicit) action. An example of analytics that can be used to generate buckets is shown in figure 3.2. Chapter 3. Planning your event ©2013 Spider Trainers. All rights reserved. Page 9 A schematic is used to visually map out your strategy, rules, and responses — and to act as a map for the building of your creatives and triggered events. Active lead/subscriber/contact. A term to identify members of a contact list who have clicked on a link that can indicate a level of interest or engagement, e.g., fill out a form, visit a website, or download a resource. Passive lead/subscriber/contact. A term to identify members of a contact list who have neither unsubscribed nor clicked on any message links. We do not count social sharing links or forward to a friend links as message links. Call to action (CTA). Words that urge the reader, listener, or viewer of a sales-promotion message to take an immediate action, such as Write Now, Call Now, or Click Here.
  • ©2013 Spider Trainers. All rights reserved. Page 10 Figure 3.1 In this triggered campaign schematic, we have shown the implicit (lead status) and explicit (company revenue) segments of our lists. Each segment will receive A/B testing for the call to action. If a recipient clicks the call to action, they will be directed to a form and will receive and auto-responder message thanking for their interaction. If the form is submitted, a second auto-responder will notify the sales rep and marketing team (and whomever else we choose) that contact has been requested. If the recipient does not unsubscribe, visit the website, or socially share/follow, their name will be moved to the nurturing bucket (called the passive path because they did not engage with the offer). After a series of six emails they will receive a survey enabling them to unsubscribe or set their preferences for email frequency or content type. If a recipient of any nurturing email clicks the call to action, their name will be moved to the offers bucket (called the active path because they have actively clicked to engage) and will receive a series of offers. The series is designed to disclose which offer converts best. If the recipient clicks on any call to action of the active path, they will be presented with a form and if they submit the form, the auto-responder emails are sent to both the recipient and the sales team. If the recipient never clicks on a CTA of the active path, they will be moved to the passive path.
  • For example, a recipient who clicks on a social-media link goes into one bucket, while clicking a link to visit your website goes into another bucket. A follow-up email to the first group might be thank you for following us socially and the second bucket thank you for visiting our website. Depending upon how they interact with the second email, they could be shuttled off into yet another bucket. Buckets are not necessarily a physical or actual moving of the recipient’s name into another list, it might simply be the ability to track the action performed by the recipient. In figure 3.2, we have identified recipients (and therefore buckets) to whom the email was not sent/suppressed, those who opened, bounced, did not open, clicked, opted out, and reported the email as spam. We could create a segment or list for any one of these groups in order to further manage the names and send auto-responder emails, but we typically use the information exclusively for analytics. The opt-outs are a group that we will want to remove from the active email list (they are automatically moved to a separate list by Act-On Software), so in this case a physical list (or bucket) will exist. In the case of the did-not-open group, this is a list of names to which we will likely resend the message under a different subject line. In this case, we will create a segment or list of this bucket. We will segment our list further using the information provided in the click-thru report as shown in figure 3.3. We have offered our recipients the ability to manage their preferences: this is done through the use of a short survey or form with check boxes. As someone ticks a check box, a list-maintenance program automatically drops their name into a new bucket so that in the future they receive only the types of email they want or only at their preferred frequency. If a recipient clicked through to the sign-up form and submitted it, they would receive a submission-confirmation email and a salesperson would follow up with the lead and, if all goes well, convert the lead to a member of the VIP program. If the recipient opened but did not unsubscribe, shared the email through their social network, or visited the website, their name was dropped into a bucket indicating that action. We also assigned a score value of 1, 2, or 3 respectively. We’ll delve deeper into lead scoring later in this eBook. ©2013 Spider Trainers. All rights reserved. Page 11 Figure 3.2 Any triggered, nurturing, or drip campaign should allow you to create buckets, segments, or lists, based upon implicit actions or interactions on behalf of the recipient. Figure 3.3 Not all buckets are actual lists to which we send email. Some buckets, like those who have visited the website, are simply a set of analytics that we track.
  • Not every triggered campaign will have all of the possible components, but understanding the role of each is important. In the table below, we have outlined the broadly general steps of a triggered campaign. For you, there may be more or fewer steps, but this will give you an idea of the scope of the project. If you are using an email system that does not support full automation, you can look forward to quite a few more steps than those we’ve listed here. Checklist for campaign development Checklist for campaign development Define campaign (give it a name) Define your goal Define strategy for achieving goal Define measurable metrics (so you know whether or not your campaign is successful) Rent or purchase third- party lists Draft launch messaging Draft triggered messaging Develop a schedule for triggered releases Write, proof, and edit copy Design creatives Develop A/B or other testing points Code HTML and CSS Create email Create sign-up forms Create response pages and emails Create landing pages Check all HTML for CAN- SPAM compliance Test all HTML for browser compatibility Develop automated program Deploy tests Implement any needed changes, corrections, additions, etc. Import house lists Import purchased or rented lists Remove duplicates Segment lists Define lead-scoring values Deploy live launch email Chapter 4. Campaign components ©2013 Spider Trainers. All rights reserved. Page 12 Do not include sign-up forms or other JavaScript directly in your email, or you will run a much higher likelihood of going directly to the recipient’s spam folder.
  • Launch email The launch email is the initial email used to get your campaign rolling. At Spider Trainers, we typically design our launch emails with four to ten versions, depending upon the size of the client’s list, the goal of the campaign, and the benefits/features being promoted. If it’s a B2C email, we might try various offers of the similar value; for instance, save $10 against save 10%. If it’s a B2B email, we might test the value of various resources (videos, white papers, and the like) at their site. At the very least, we will test a small handful of subject lines — especially with rented or purchased lists. Response email The response email is at least one other email triggered automatically based upon some action or interaction on behalf of the client. We might, for instance, send an automatic email to each recipient who visited the client’s website or shared the message socially. Inaction, such as not clicking the unsubscribe link, might also trigger a response. Nurture emails Nurturing emails are typically a series of emails (though it is possible that your nurture campaign would include only one email) sent after the initial launch. The emails that follow nurture your leads and prospects along the path to becoming a customer. The messaging within this series will vary greatly depending upon your audience: new, existing, B2B, B2C, your product, your offering, and other factors. Sign-up form A sign-up form should be displayed on a landing page, either at your website or hosted in your automated email application, like we do with Act-On Software. Act-On also enables us to pass information from their system forms to a web form, but we rarely find this necessary. The form’s landing page should focus on exactly what information the visitor needs in order to get them to complete the form. It should also closely (nearly exactly) match the design of the email in which the original link was provided, as this assures the visitor that they have come to the right place. Resist the urge to fill this page with links that distract your visitor from the primary goals of filling out the form. ©2013 Spider Trainers. All rights reserved. Page 13 Figure 4.1 Rather than create a landing page with a button to get to the form, embed the form in the landing page. This will reduce clicks and is more likely to keep the recipient engaged. A high bounce rate can be an indicator that the landing page isn’t relevant to your visitors or that their expectations were not properly set. Try better educating the recipient about what they will find when they get to the landing page. This should be used for both email and PPC advertisements. Be clear, be honest, and deliver on expectations. While you may reduce your click-thru rate, you will also reduce your bounce rate — and search spiders are watching.
  • Form-confirmation landing page Upon submission of a form, this displays a confirmation of successful submission in the same browser window. This landing page should use many or all of the same design elements. In this page, you can display other links, such as your social icons or direct access to other downloadable resources at your site, since your visitors have successfully completed the form and taken the one action you wanted. If you link to other pages, have those links open in a new browser window so that if the new page does not interest the visitor, they can close the window and still have your message open. Form-confirmation email Like the form-confirmation landing page, this is a message to confirm to the visitor that you have received their form submission. The difference is that this is an email sent to their inbox and provides you a great opportunity to tell them about additional resources you have available for them. The longer you can engage this recipient, the more likely they are to remember you in the future. As a side benefit, you will help your search-engine rankings when you offer links to multiple areas of your website — pages with videos or galleries, and pages that list multiple resources that will extend their visit as they read through the options. Targeted landing page Landing pages are web pages (hosted within your email automation software or on your website) that provide you with additional real estate to sell the recipient on the offer or just provide additional details. The landing page might contain a form, video, links to downloadable resources, testimonials, or any other information that you believe will further the recipient along in the call-to-action process. ©2013 Spider Trainers. All rights reserved. Page 14 Figure 4.2 We’ve tested landing page color, size, CTA, content, format, and even shape. We were quite surprised to find that this email and landing page design converted at twice the rate of standard pages.
  • Sometimes you’ll need targeted landing pages to support your campaign beyond those required for the email recipients. This is the case when you talk about the content of the email within your social media accounts, blog articles, press announcements, website, or in any other medium or digital presence, such as an ad. Each individual mention of your campaign’s content must be met with a targeted landing page relevant to that group. For instance, if you mention the email message’s offer or content within your Twitter account, create a landing page with a greeting at the top welcoming Twitter followers, likewise for other social accounts or mentions. This targeted landing page has three primary benefits: Visitors feel special when you welcome them1 specifically. Tracking analytics is much easier when you can see2 the originating source for every page’s traffic individually. You can easily A/B or multivariate test the3 effectiveness of components within the various landing pages to see what messaging, design, or elements increase your conversion rates. Design considerations If your landing pages do not contain a form, there may be myriad other concerns. Will it contain a video, links, tracking, or scripts? Whatever links or content must be included, the landing page enables you to display your company’s branding. There are a number of other items you should check off as you develop this page, as well: Be polite and say thank you. Use a design consistent with the other event components. Start with a strong, appealing headline followed by logical subheads that neatly break up the content. ©2013 Spider Trainers. All rights reserved. Page 15 Figure 4.3 Your campaign components should share a consistent design like this email, sign-up form, confirmation email, and nurture email for Cell Gate USA.
  • Provide a graphical, clear call-to-action button to indicate what they should do (click now, watch the video, buy now, and so on). If you have a standard button, try adding a big, colorful arrow pointing to the button or odd shape and see if your clicks increase. Remember that your page is about the visitor so answer questions quickly and tell them what you can do for them. Talk about benefits (what’s in it for them), not features. Make sure your pitch contains a clear value proposition. Close the page with who you are, how to contact you, and how they can learn more about you. If appropriate, add a link to your privacy policy to lessen concerns about filling in any form within the landing page. Survey or poll All triggered campaigns should at some point in the process enable the recipient to set their preferences for messaging and frequency. The simple addition of a poll or survey to your campaign will reduce the number of unsubscribes and confirms that the people in your list want to be there and want to hear what you have to say. Like the other components, be sure it is design-consistent. Database Even the most effective campaign design can fall short when sent to a bad list — and coming up with a good list gets harder each day. Most experts agree that the best list is the list you build through standard business practices such as attending events, outbound calling, direct mail, partners, and offering valuable content for download. Unfortunately, these standard practices take time — in some cases, years — to develop a lead or a contact list that performs well. With that in mind, it’s no wonder that at some time or another nearly all companies will resort to list rental or purchase. ©2013 Spider Trainers. All rights reserved. Page 16 Figure 4.4 We use our preferences survey to automatically segment our list (drop names into buckets) so that we can send relevant messages, or in this case, requested messages, to each group. According to data gathered in 2012, larger lists experience lower bounce rates. The average bounce rate for industries with 25 – 499 members is 2%, for 500 – 999 members, 1.6% and for 1000 or more members, 1.2%. These results may seem counterintuitive since larger lists have more members to manage. However, their list subscription and management procedures may be more refined.
  • We understand this business need and strongly believe that a long-term triggered campaign is your best chance for converting a less-than-desirable list into a valuable asset. Testing and tweaking your campaign will ensure that you are sending relevant messages to the list and prompt removal of opt-outs will guarantee your message is being sent only to those who wish to receive it. Segmentation Segmentation is the division of a large mailing list into smaller lists based upon some type of demographic and will enable you to send targeted messages to each division. For instance, if you own, purchase, or buy a mailing list of print shops in the US, you could develop an email message that specifically targets commercial shops, one for digital shops, and one for quick-print shops. A single message is not likely to be appropriate for all three groups, so segmentation is key and produces: Improved message relevance• Better A/B and multivariate testing• Targeted subject lines that increase open rates• Improved click-thru rates• Higher sales• Improved keyword association between your brand• and your offer Once you understand the need for segmentation, the next step is to know what types of segments to create and how much is too much. ©2013 Spider Trainers. All rights reserved. Page 17 Figure 4.5 Use surveys to learn more about your recipient list. In this sample, we are asking our recipients about the type of message and the frequency with which they wish to hear from us and then use their responses to segment our list. One of the most- challenging aspects of marketing is making certain that you are sending relevant messages to your audience. Segmentation improves your ability to identify your audience and create targeted messages.
  • An inbox is a very noisy place and the importance of design cannot be understated. Most email applications offer templates, but templates rarely represent the uniqueness of your company, brand, product, or services. For a small investment companies such as Spider Trainers can create a custom template that visually promotes your brand, matches your website, or is completely new and unique. In a phenomenon known as tunnel vision, users may focus on only that content that specifically interests them. Unfortunately, this often means that they will ignore all other content — even if it is important or critical. Good design, planning, and grouping helps to overcome this narrow view. Whether you are B2B or B2C, these are the key elements that you should include in most messages: Content/design Visual connection to the brand• Personalization• Call to action• Permission reminder• Unsubscribe link• Share with a friend link• Legally required details (click here to learn more about the CAN-SPAM act)• Think before you add* Social-follow links• Links to your website (beyond those included in the CAN-SPAM required footer)• Other links• Programming Well-formed HTML with inline CSS• Responsive layout• Plain text version and web version• Group important items closely together• Chapter 5. Designing content ©2013 Spider Trainers. All rights reserved. Page 18 Personalized emails improve click-through rates by 14%, and conversion rates by 10%. — Aberdeen Group 4 of 10 emails are being read on a mobile device and just under 40% are reading email on desktop clients — a percentage that likely represents business email. — Return Path 40% of mobile usage is related to consumer products, 38% for real estate, and other verticals, for example, banking, indicate that 60% of emails are opened on desktops. — Return Path *As you’ll read more about in the next section, our advice is that you do not dilute your call to action by including links and information that distract from the goal — click here, watch now, buy now, or whatever your CTA may be.
  • HTML vs. text Among your first considerations, as you develop any email or series of emails, should be the topic of email format: HTML vs. text. This topic is sure to create a number of debates and myriad issues such as the message, the audience, promoting the brand, deliverability, spam complaints, design, cost, and more. Given the number of emails we’ve sent, you’d think we could settle this debate once and for all. Well, that’s it: There is no right answer. Choosing HTML over text or vice versa will depend upon all of the topics we’ve just noted and more. The only way to know for sure is to test, and in some cases, both formats are right. Marketers always want to include graphics, since this is typically how open rates are measured. Text-only content does not offer the same level of visibility for those of us invested in the analytics of our campaigns; however, have a conversation with any outside salesperson and they will tell you that the plain-Jane emails that they send from Outlook have extremely high delivery rates (100% is not uncommon), so they will often advocate the same format with a triggered campaign. Most email-automation clients have the ability (and by default) send both an HTML and text format, and if the recipient’s email client is set to only allow text, the text format will be delivered. When you do choose to send HTML-formatted emails, give lots of consideration to the graphics and how they are used. In the Spider Trainers’ infographic shown in figure 5.1 (available at http://www.spidertrainers.com/resources), The ROI of Images, we talk about the different types of email formats, the different ways to include images, and some interesting deliverability statistics to boot. CTA As you work on the design of your campaign elements, remember to stay focused. Provide only one call to action or you run the risk of diluting your message or worse, confusing the recipient. If you have more than one offer, send more than one email. Stay focused and your recipient will too. Arguably, the most important content within your triggered campaign are the calls to action. These little nuggets are the engagement point of your event — the reason to click. There are several studies on which CTAs are most effective, but like everything else about your campaign, CTAs require testing. What works for your competitor or parent office may not work for you — at the very leastt, you have a different contact list. ©2013 Spider Trainers. All rights reserved. Page 19 Figure 5.1 In this infographic, we talk about the various ways you can include or exclude images from your emails.
  • Here are some ideas for CTAs that we have found to perform well across most clients’ campaigns: Live webcasts• Recorded webcasts (videos, posts to YouTube or• Vimeo, and the like) Slide decks or PDFs of presentations• Portfolios and galleries• New articles added to your blog• Tips and tricks• Infographics• White papers and case studies (with testimonials)• Free tools, templates, and checklists• Survey results, stats, and trends (present these as an• infographic to boost interest even more) Relevant news articles• Press releases or news announcements• Numbered and top-ten lists• Testing CTAs Calls to action are great fodder for A/B and multivariate testing, as long as you follow the rule of one message, one call to action. By way of example, a recent client told us that all of their emails offered a discount toward the purchase of their software — it was standard operating practice to discount their product right out of the gate. This was done not just in outbound messaging, but also by their field sales team. We recommended a triggered campaign that never discounted the product but rather offered resources in order to nurture the purchase (videos, white papers, customer testimonials, case studies, etc.). Each email offered a different resource (one CTA). With this in mind, the goal of the campaign was to learn if the software was appropriately priced and if it was, for our client to stop leaving money on the table through discounts. ©2013 Spider Trainers. All rights reserved. Page 20 Figure 5.3 In this email for Azuga we have a video screen shot that is our CTA button in the email and in the video-player landing page, large, engaging CTA buttons with arrows that direct the recipient’s eye right where we want them to go.
  • Personalization Most studies on the effectiveness of personalization in email indicate that click-thru rates are higher when the message is personalized, but not when you personalize the subject line. We’ve found that this needs to be tested for each client and for each of the client’s lists. It’s not as simple as it never works or it always does. We recommend you test, track, and tweak. Personalization is not limited to your greeting, look it beyond that to find opportunities to make your message very specific. Include information such as the last purchase date, recipient’s birthday, their web address, or avatar. The more tailored the message, the more likely your recipient will feel a connection. Of course, there is such a thing as TMI, so don’t go overboard — stay professional, not creepy. Mobile (responsive) designs According to a 2012 survey (as of the last quarter) the desktop computer still dominates most email interaction and accounts for 64% of opens overall, with the mobile (tablets and smartphones) making up the other 36%. That’s up from 27% at the end of 2011. Of course, these numbers represent a broad spectrum and may not hold true for you. The only way to know what devices your audience uses, is to turn to your analytics reports and develop accordingly. If your mobile users account for even as few as 10% of your list, it’s probably time to consider sending responsive formats (emails that scale to fit the device’s screen size as shown previously in figure 5.2). ©2013 Spider Trainers. All rights reserved. Page 21 Figure 5.3 In this example, the desktop version of MedPro Staffing’s branded template are shown on the left and the mobile version on the right. This is a responsive template in that the format scales and reconfigures automatically for display in the narrow window of a mobile device.
  • There are countless articles about writing successful subject lines and twice as many opinions on what works and what doesn’t. Some schools of thought follow best practices while others go entirely against the grain. It’s well established and common sense that subject-line content needs to grab your audience’s attention and get them to continue reading — anything short of that and you’ve wasted your time — but word length plays an equal role and has its own list of dos and don’ts. It is partially the reason why subject lines are the most commonly tested factors in an email campaign. A study conducted by Communicorp (Henderson, 2011) looked at 100,000 email campaigns spanning a wide range of industries with various mailing list sizes ranging from double digits to millions. The open rates for this study were between 2% and 95%. The findings were that size does matter. Subject lines with five to six words had the highest open rates. Subject lines with three or four words had lower rates. For those who still feel that fewer words can create a higher impact — they can and do. Single-word subject lines such as: Sale!, Hurry!, and News! carry quite a lot of impact, yet too few words may not properly convey the message or set the recipient’s expectations. If that is true, will too many words water down impact? The answer is “no,” according to Dayne Shuda, a contributing blogger to Email Critic, it’s all about the subject itself, no matter how many words are used in the subject line field. It can be ten words in length, according to Shuda, just as long as it piques the recipient’s interest. When your email lands in my inbox, the first thing I want to know is, what’s in it for me? (Which, BTW, is the same question I ask when I visit your website.) Your subject line needs to answer that question quickly, or you run the risk of meeting up with the dreaded delete key. While the tips below will give you consideration points, above all, set the user’s expectation. You can be funny, direct, ask a question, or be a bit pushy, but always be honest. If you get a reputation for misleading recipients, you will just as quickly become permanently relegated to the spam folder — no matter how creative your subject line. Chapter 6. Writing subject lines ©2013 Spider Trainers. All rights reserved. Page 22 Subject lines with 49 or fewer characters had open rates 12.5% higher than for those with 50 or more. Click-thru rates for subject lines with 49 or fewer characters were 75% higher than for those with 50 or more. — Return Path Subject lines with five or six words outperformed subject lines of any other length.
  • To create an interesting subject line, consider these points: Convey a sense of urgency. Time-limited offers, last-chance reminders, and any combination that drives action with that sense of urgency are winning strategies. Value proposition. If you offer something of value to your recipients, it’s not always necessary to get clever with your words. Offer tips, information, helpful hints, and so on, and be clear about the offer. Not only will your open rates improve, but so will your conversions. Timeliness. If there is a current event making the news, capitalize on it: Super Bowl Recipes, New Year Diet Tools, This Winter Save Your Back/Lose the Shovel, and the like. If the topic is popular, and your product or service is aligned, pounce on it. Calls to action. A call to action doesn’t need to be relegated to the content only. It can be used in a subject line as well: Sign Up for Our Newsletter, Get a Free Window Treatment, Kiss This Offer Goodbye, Get 50% Off Your First Order. Give it a number. Using numbers adds interest and makes the message seem quantifiable. It’s easy to include numbers if you simply consider the number of benefits you are providing the recipient: 5 Steps to a New You, 3 Days Until This Offer is Gone, 7 Reasons You Should Read this Email. Look for inspiration. Check your inbox for inspiration. See which subject lines got you to open. It’s not necessary to always be original, just be interesting. Ask a question. Depending upon how well you know your target audience and what traits they share, give your recipients something to consider: Can You Improve Your Rates?, Is Your Dog More than Three Years Old?, Are You Ready for Simpler Tax Returns? Be clever, use a pun, or try risqué. Leave the recipient guessing and use a clever leading introductory subject line: You’ll Never Guess What’s in Store, What are Your Holiday Hours? (on an email that pointed out that if they had an online store, they would be always open), or The Printer Down the Street is Kicking Your Ass (which, as a point of interest, was Spider Trainers’ all-time, best-performing subject line). Use segmentation for a personal touch. While personalization in the subject line doesn’t work for everyone, crafting your subject line to connect with your audience will improve open rates in nearly every case. If you are sending a message about a new GPS tool for cars, segment your list by vehicle type and then use subject lines such as: New ©2013 Spider Trainers. All rights reserved. Page 23 Figure 7.1 Look to your inbox for inspiration. We found that this design got us to open, so we tried it out with our clients. The subject line wrote itself.
  • GPS for Your Truck (Car, Jeep, Motorcycle, and so on). Work hard to get this right. It’s pretty irritating to get a message intended for a Jeep owner when I have an F-150 truck. Keep it short. Many email-automation applications limit you or at least caution you about keeping your subject lines short and sweet. Vertical Response, for instance, strongly recommends 50 or fewer characters and provides warnings if you go over that. Act-On Software, on the other hand doesn’t have such limits, but still, you should consider brevity for other reasons. Take a look at your smartphone’s inbox and it’s easy to see why the shorter, the sweeter. Write it last. Most email-automation applications prompt you to create your subject line first and then develop your campaign. In many cases, saving your work requires the subject line. For this, we have a single, default subject line used during development (as a reminder that it is development) and save our subject writing line for last. It’s much easier to write a subject line when you can see the design, read the message, count the benefits, and so on. In the campaign shown in figure 7.1 on the previous page, we reworked a concept that made it to our inbox and the subject line virtually wrote itself: Act Now or You Can Kiss this Deal Goodbye. Test, track, and tweak. At Spider Trainers we test every subject line. With rented or purchased lists, we usually send the first email and then resend the same email with a new subject line to all recipients who did not open in the first round. We repeat this process up to five times, or until the open rate peters out to less than 2%. Not only does this increase the overall open rate, it also provides analytical statistics for comparing keywords and subject-line messaging. Of course, there’s always the anomaly — those who did not follow the herd and had great results breaking the rules. A few marketers have debunked the commonly held best practice to never use CAPITAL LETTERS in subject lines. Some have found that a few words capitalized in the subject — keywords — are attention grabbers. Others still, and more recently, are using special characters in subject lines with varying degrees of success (the special characters do not display correctly in all email clients). Personalization in the subject line needs to be tested for each client and for each of the client’s lists, as mentioned previously in this eBook. It’s not as simple as it never works or it always does. Disney uses their subscribers’ names in one out of every four emails with good results. However, it’s paramount to make sure that any strategy continues to be effective by regularly testing it. ©2013 Spider Trainers. All rights reserved. Page 24 Figure 7.2 This email subject line was, What are Your Holiday Hours? and sent around the Christmas holiday season. It is a pun, because we were pointing out that if they had an online store, they wouldn’t need to post holiday hours — they would be open 24/7.
  • There was a time when spam filters were set up to filter out certain words such as FREE, but today emails are more likely to be filtered out based upon a company’s reputation. If your email content is reported as spam, your reputation is weakened, and it will get you on a black list. However, as long as your reputation is strong, you can try using some words that may have been considered spam in the past. Using subject lines to develop analytics Subject lines are a great source of analytic data. Of course you want to be creative and improve your chances of having your email opened, but testing is what will make you a better marketer. Given that your audience is made up of lots of different types of people with various tastes, wants, and needs, it’s critical to gather recipient data and compare the numbers over time so that you can learn about what appeals to them and what gets them to engage. This will allow you to adapt your content based upon response rates in order to capitalize on and gain optimal results. ©2013 Spider Trainers. All rights reserved. Page 25 Figure 7.3 This snapshot of our Act-On Software dashboard makes it easy to compare the subjection line analytics.
  • Testing the effectiveness of your campaign components is essential to gaining insight into recipients’ behavior so that conversion rates can be increased. At Spider Trainers, we divide testing into two categories: pre-open and post-open. We’ve found it’s essential that you understand what about your email you can affect when you implement testing processes. Deciding what to test will be based upon the goals for each component of your campaign and for your entire campaign. You will likely start with what we deem pre-open testing so that you can learn what it takes to first improve your open rate. If you already have high open rates, you may choose to skip this part of the process. Testing ideas and improving conversions doesn’t end when your campaign performs well. By testing, tracking, and tweaking your results could improve even good results by tenfold or more. Testing your campaign could include: Feature testing In addition to A/B and multivariate testing, your campaign can be used to test the importance of benefits, features, and site content. In the examples shown in figures 6.2, you can see two email formats that test the various benefits of each client’s product. We have provided three large icons and each is linked to a landing page at the client’s website. Using this format and monitoring clicks, it’s easy to tell which of the three benefits is most appealing to their audience. To further verify the analytics we were collecting, we first segmented the list into three groups and changed the order of the button for each. As we discussed earlier, sometimes a recipient will get tunnel vision and focus on one area — in a design like this, typically the top button. To ensure that the results are not skewed by the position of the buttons alone, three segments enabled us to test position as well as benefits. Chapter 7. Testing, tracking, and tweaking ©2013 Spider Trainers. All rights reserved. Page 26 A/B testing. An experimental approach to campaign design, which attempts to identify changes to the campaign component that causes an increase in action or interaction or that maximizes an outcome of interest (e.g., open rate, click-thru rate). In an A/B test, two versions (A and B) are compared, which are identical except for one variation that might impact a user’s behavior. Version A might be a personalized subject line, while version B is a generic, non-personalized subject line. Tracking and comparing open rates of the two versions will help the marketer to understand which format is more effective with their audience. Multivariate testing (MVT). Testing of two or more design or content changes at the same time. In many cases, MVT is more difficult to distill since it may be a challenge to ascertain which of the design or content changes caused the better response rate. In cases such as this, the MVT can be followed by a more targeted A/B in order to hone in on the elements that cause the better results.
  • Be sure you have enough data If you are testing a call to action and sending two versions of the email (with the same subject line) but have an open rate of only 1%, you will not likely have sufficient data to effectively measure the call-to-action results. A call to action is a post-open testing point. For this A/B test to be effective, you will need to first focus on pre-open testing points in order to increase your open rate. ©2013 Spider Trainers. All rights reserved. Page 27 Campaign Analytics Pre-open Post-open Open rate Spam content Design (color, layout, buttons, button placement, and so on) Click-thru rate Format Call to action Opt-out Subject line Messaging (headline, subheads, and text) Spam complaints Personalization (subject line) Coding (HTML and CSS) Undeliverable Images Landing page bounce rate Format (standard vs. responsive) Device (browser) Form length Compatibility Navigation Personalization Figure 6.2 This is an example of message testing. In both cases, we are trying to determine which benefit most appealed to their audience by measuring clicks on the icons. Figure 6.3 In these two examples, we compared the conversion rate of the two different main graphics.
  • Within the scope of triggered marketing, lead scoring is the process of ranking prospects against a scale that represents their sales readiness. The resulting score is used to determine which leads will be further engaged, in order of priority. For best results, both explicit and implicit demographics and data should be used to calculate the score. To establish your lead-scoring system, it’s critical that you work with the sales team to understand and incorporate their current scoring system — marketing and sales need to be on the same page. Lead scoring will ensure that your sales team only works with leads who are ready to hear from them and that will make everyone happier — client, sales, and marketing. Act-On Software and other email-automation systems can pass lead-scoring information to some CRM systems, such as Salesforce through the use of a connector. Without a sales team, lead scoring is still quite valuable. It can help marketers determine sales readiness too and provide in-depth looks into ROI and interaction trends. Point values Once your organization has agreed upon criterion that accumulate and identify a sales- qualified lead, you will need to assign a point value for each milestone as it is reached. You may set any point value that is meaningful to your group, but make it easier on everyone involved with a point scale of 0 to 100 and assign higher-value numbers as the recipient engages at a more committed level. For instance, your implicit scoring might look something like those shown table 8.1 and would, of course, be added to the explicit values: A prospect or lead’s score will change with each campaign you send and, when available, using the connector to push the data to the CRM, your entire organization can be armed daily with updated information. Chapter 8. Lead scoring ©2013 Spider Trainers. All rights reserved. Page 28 Marketing is Latin for let’s try new s*** and see what works. — Mike Dewey, HuntingInsider.com Explicit demographics are calculated based upon demographics or information such as company size, industry segment, job title, or geographic location. Implicit data is accumulated through the value of the recipient’s actions or interactions, such as those who open, click, download a resource, watch a video, visit your website, share your content with their social network, and so on. 79% of B2B marketers have not established lead scoring. — MarketingSherpa
  • Explicit and implicit give a better picture Lead scoring can be as simple or as complex as necessary to meet the needs of your organization, but as we mentioned earlier, the best type of lead scoring comes from the sum of both explicit and implicit data. Both will help you to create targeted, relevant messages, build buckets, and, thus get better responses. With your email-automation software, monitor the lead score and set up automatic alerts to notify the appropriate team member when a lead or prospect reaches an ideal score. It’s natural to want to delete leads and prospects with very low lead scores, but resist this urge and instead develop a special nurturing campaign designed to specifically address why the lead isn’t qualified. ©2013 Spider Trainers. All rights reserved. Page 29 *In addition to providing a score for visiting web pages, you could also assign values to specific pages, for example, more value for product pages and less value for the press release section. Implicit value Lead score Receive 1 Opened 2 Shared with a friend 3 Shared in social media 3 Clicked web link 3 Visited web site (per page)* 3 Clicked to download 4 Clicked to view form 5 Submitted form 5 Clicked to watch video 7 Clicked to register 8 Submitted registration 9 Clicked to purchase 10 Downloaded a demo 20 Requested a trial version 30 Requested a person demo 40 Purchased/ordered 50 R eivecR e emaileive email Open emailOpen emailOpen emailOpen email Shar Shar e email with a frShare email with a fr e in social net e email with a fr e in social net e email with a fr k iende email with a fr k iend Click a w Shar Click a w e in social netShar ebsitClick a w e in social net e linkebsit e in social net e link we in social net e link korw k V Click a w isit one or morV Click a w isit one or mor ebsitClick a w isit one or mor e linkebsit e wisit one or mor e link eb pagese w e link eb pageseb pages Click t V Click t isit one or morV o doClick t isit one or mor wnloado do isit one or mor wnload e wisit one or mor eb pagese web pageseb pages View a fV ora ffo mor W ch a videotaW ch a videoch a videoch a video Submit a f R Submit a f istegR Submit a f oer ffoist Submit a f or an evenor an ev istr ten tion,istr or a w Submit a f or a w Submit a f ch videotaor a w Submit a f ch video m or rorffo ch video m or r istreg tion,aistr tion, Click a purClick a purClick a purchase CClick a pur Tchase C ATTA D wnload a demooD wnload a demownload a demownload a demownload a demo R R R equest a trRequest a trial vequest a tr ersionial v , livequest a personal ersion e demoR M equest a personalR ake a purM equest a personal ake a pur equest a personal chase or placake a pur equest a personal chase or plac e demo, livequest a personal chase or plac e demo e an orchase or plac e demo dere an orderMakeM e a pu chase or placake a purchase or placchase or place an orchase or plac dere an order Figure 8.1 In marketing, an engagement funnel might look something like this. As your recipient shows higher levels of engagement (making it further down the funnel), they will accumulate more and more points that add to their total lead score. The conversion funnel may have different labels when developed by the sales team. Your final funnel should incorporate both. Figure 8.1 This is a very simple example of lead score values.
  • Auto-responders As noted earlier, in order to develop your campaign, you must first define your goal. Your email-automation software should enable you to automatically send messages to the person who has interacted with the campaign and key stakeholders — internal triggers that notify marketing, sales, or whomever that a follow-up step is in order. Both of these types of emails (to the recipient and to the stakeholder) are called auto-responder emails. When it comes to the sales team, use auto-responder emails to notify stakeholders as the recipient’s lead score improves. When received by the stakeholder, it’s important that the notification be acted upon quickly and there are several ways you can do this. Each type of follow-up allows you an opportunity to foster your budding relationship and increase the value of the lead or prospect to the company. For the recipient, auto-responder emails should focus on trust — deliver on their requests and be as personalized as you can. This follow-up communication is also a great opportunity for you to offer additional information designed to advance the lead’s sales readiness, such as links to relevant articles on your site, social media accounts, downloads, testimonials, and the like. Traditional follow-up Few types of contact are as welcomed as handwritten notes. When you think about the best way to follow up, this is a vehicle that carries great influence, but one that must be balanced by the statistics that show the vendor who responds most quickly may well be the one that wins the client. That means a lead or prospect searching across several sites for a solution, is more likely to purchase from the marketer or sales team that has the best auto-responder process. In some studies, 50% of the time, the quickest vendor is the winner. Follow-up, however, should not be limited to a single touch. In fact, reaching out across multiple vehicles not only reminds your potential client who you are, but it can go a long way in convincing them that you care about their business. With that said, a handwritten note may not be the best first touch, but rather a second touch that includes a recap of your phone call. Chapter 9. Following up ©2013 Spider Trainers. All rights reserved. Page 30 35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first. — InsideSales.com The best lead-to-sales processes are established jointly between marketing and sales. Be sure to establish sales follow-up guidelines... As those guidelines are established, make sure to communicate the sales processes to the marketing and telequalification teams, so that those departments can always set clear next steps with each lead. — MarketingProfs
  • Personal follow-up While mailed notes are typically met with delight, phone calls may be a different matter and one that should be approached cautiously. If you decide to have your sales department make a phone call to a prospective customer based upon their visit to your site, it can — and most likely, will — give the client a moment of pause. Many people are not even aware the level of information that marketers can collect about their actions and are shocked when a follow-up phone call occurs within minutes of a visit to your website. This shock or surprise could possibly even hurt your opportunities for future sales depending upon how welcomed your call is. As you deploy your triggered marketing campaign, ideally you should be working toward building trust with your recipients so be careful when you choose the phone as your vehicle for connecting. Your follow up should never take away from establishing you as a trusted source. Tips for follow-up Having a light touch with regard to personalized follow-ups — rather than a heavy hand — can make all the difference. As an alternative to the phone, perhaps you should consider following them socially and sending a private welcome or thank you through their account. While some may still find this a bit invasive, depending upon the social platform, it is a passive approach to interacting that offers the benefit of immediacy. Regardless of your follow up, be sure your message is relevant. Sending a canned note, whether emailed, handwritten, or posted online, is fine but straying off topic or sending something so generic that it doesn’t further the trusted relationship is bad. If your recipient has filled out a form and provided you with information about him or herself, be sure that your follow-up message specifically calls out their responses. This confirms to the lead that you are listening and that you are grateful they took the time to provide you with that information. Be polite, be relevant, and say thank you. ©2013 Spider Trainers. All rights reserved. Page 31 46% of marketers with mature lead- management processes have sales teams that follow up on more than 75% of marketing- generated leads. — Forrester Research Companies that try to contact potential customers within an hour of receiving queries are nearly 7X as likely to have meaningful conversations with key decision makers as firms that try to contact prospects even an hour later. Yet only 37% of companies respond to queries within an hour.
  • Building a solid and trustworthy relationship with your email recipients involves knowing what kind of information they wish to receive from you and how often they would like to receive it. Allowing them to make their own decisions by providing them with a preference survey will help you achieve that goal. Preference surveys are easy and depending upon the questions can be serviced automatically using a triggered marketing campaign for each type of response. In most cases you will be able to repurpose design concepts and messaging from your campaign to simply deliver at a different rate for another bucket. For instance, if you have a triggered campaign set to deploy every Tuesday morning and you send a survey that allows your recipients to choose to receive emails once a month, you could simply duplicate the weekly campaign and change the delivery from weekly to monthly to deliver to those recipients that you have moved from the weekly bucket to the monthly bucket. There are various types of subscription surveys such as: Subscribe or opt-in• Ask your recipient what they would like to receive and how often. Keepo it simple with only two or three options. Unsubscribe from all emails• Otherwise known as opt-out, this situation can provide valuableo information. Ask the recipient why they are opting out using a short form to help you improve future email campaigns. Subscription email preferences• A request for particular content type, such as newsletters, offers, oro resource downloads Follow up all preference surveys with a confirmation email. Let them know they’ve been heard. Chapter 10. Surveying recipients ©2013 Spider Trainers. All rights reserved. Page 32 Lead nurturing emails have a slightly higher unsubscribe rate (1%) than individual email sends (0.5%), indicating their effectiveness in removing unqualified leads from the sales funnel. — HubSpot
  • Chapter 11. Retiring names The value of keeping your mailing lists updated and current must not be underestimated. Neglecting your databases can have a negative impact on your campaigns and, therefore, take a toll on your outcomes. On the other hand, simple list maintenance improves delivery and open rates, reduces the instances of email going to spam folders, and helps maintain a solid sender reputation. By removing stagnant leads, duplicates, those who have unsubscribed and opted out, and just plain old contacts, you are building upon your email campaign’s effectiveness, which will automatically boost your success rate. Maintaining a clean (hygienic) list involves regular scrubbing. Following are the types of addresses for which you should keep an eye out and that should be banished from your email databases: Duplicates• Hard bounces• Soft bounces (has bounced three or more times)• Opt-out requests• System email addresses (e.g., helpdesk@abccompany.com, sales@abccompany.com)• Recipients who have not interacted with your content in an amount of time that your• company deems as indication of expired interest Addresses that have triggered spam traps• Once your list has been scrubbed, there are a few techniques to help keep it clean: Send a preferences survey with a reminder of their current settings.• Include an unsubscribe link and set your preferences link in every email.• Be very cautious when importing lists that you have not developed through standard• business practices. To sum up, keeping an updated list is critical to the health of your campaign and your sender reputation, while ignoring or neglecting your lists can and will be harmful to all of your efforts. ©2013 Spider Trainers. All rights reserved. Page 33 The average email list depreciates by 25% annually. — MarketingSherpa
  • There are several approaches to integrating the promotional value of social networks in your email campaigns, some are embedded in the email itself while others are best left to the landing page (they require JavaScript which is often marked as spam content when embedded in an email). It’s important to remember the purpose of your email, however, as you choose which links to include. Your email should have a single call to action. When you add social sharing, social following, and other links to the email, you distract from the call to action. For some emails, you’re hoping for sharing and forwarding and in this case, links are appropriate and encouraged. The more, the merrier. Embedded in your email Social sharing code so the recipient can share the message within their social accounts.• Share with a friend link.• Embedded in your landing page Retweet this code in your landing page (not appropriate for all landing pages).• Like this on Facebook code (not appropriate for all landing pages).• Pinterest Pin-It code in your landing page (not appropriate for all landing pages).• Embedded in confirmation emails (response emails) Social sharing code so the recipient can share the message within their social accounts.• Social follow code.• Email is one of the best ways to connect with customers, and it is essential to engage with customers via social networks. So it makes sense that the value of email and social media is even higher when they’re used together. Not all networks are created equal; however, and some are more appropriate for your business or your offer than others. Determine your best-performing social networks and capitalize on them to add additional lift that goes well beyond your in-house contact lists. When sharing your message with your own networks, turn back to the section on targeted landing pages if you need a reminder about the benefits of providing this group a specific web page. Chapter 12. Social sharing ©2013 Spider Trainers. All rights reserved. Page 34 Social sharing. Buttons or links within your email that enable the recipient to share the message contents within their social network. Forward to a friend is also in this category. Social following. Buttons or links within your email that enable the recipient to connect with you within your social networks. Facebook is the top social network displayed or promoted within emails, followed by Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest respectively. Unique open rates for Twitter follow us mailings are 9.5% higher than those for other mailings. 60% of brands that sent emails with Facebook in the subject line averaged a 27% increase in traffic to their website from Facebook the week following deployment.
  • Launching your fully automated triggered campaign seems like the perfect opportunity to push your chair back and put your feet up as you watch the lead scores tally or orders come in, but before you start the self-congratulatory (and well-deserved) pat on the back, log in to your Google Analytics and email-automation application. Be on alert for anomalies that might indicate an exceptional win or a failure in the system. Be prepared to tweak. Email analytics Whatever your choice for an email automation application, post-send analytics are the cream of your nurturing-email crop. In order to understand and improve upon results, you need an application that will provide you with ample visibility into the metrics — from send to purchase, and all the steps in between. Each application has its own shining point when it comes to analytics, but at a minimum you need reporting on sent, opened, delivered, opt-outs, spam, and click-thrus. If you can get data beyond that, it’s a bonus. In figures 13.1, you can see reports from Act-On Software and Vertical Response. Both platforms provide additional information beyond what’s shown. Site analytics Our first rule of thumb for any campaign launch is that the client must have the site depth to support the campaign. That means that there must be several pages at your website that will further the message of the campaign. It is a fact that most, if not nearly all, recipients will attempt to validate your company or your offer at your website — especially if this is the first correspondence they have received from you. Make sure you have enough information at your site to convince them of the validity and your trustworthiness. Of these pages, at least one should be a targeted landing page (whether the page lives within the marketing software or at the website, a landing page is a must). Most businesses do use analytics of some sort, and my guess is that nearly all marketers use analytics to some degree, but we’re often surprised at how low a degree that is. Chapter 13. Learning from your campaign ©2013 Spider Trainers. All rights reserved. Page 35 Figure 13.1 Snapshots of Vertical Response and Act-On Software email-delivery reports.
  • Website analytics are critical to the success of your campaign and not just because you can track your events from end to end, but also because monitoring your analytics will enable you to identify landing pages and other website pages that are not engaging your audience. Pages with high abandonment or bounce rates typically indicate that the content on the page is not what the visitor was expecting. These pages need a careful review to ensure that they are aligned with the campaign message and that you are delivering on your promises. If you say click here to learn more, you must deliver; if you don’t, your customers will leave, and leave quickly. This has a distinct impact on your overall search-engine rankings since search engines monitor how long each visitor stays on your website, what links they click, and in general, how engaged they are. We’ve found that most marketers are simply intimidated by the sheer volume of data available to them and that they feel unequipped to sift through it all trying to identify what data is meaningful and what is not. When it comes to monitoring analytics for a better understanding of the success of your marketing campaign, there is no set report or collection of data that is right for everyone. If you have an eCommerce site, you will monitor different analytics than those of a company that relies on an outside sales team to close deals. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by copious data points, approach it more simplistically and in small doses — don’t try to ingest it all at once. Focus only on time spent on page or the bounce rate, both are easy-to-understand bits of data that will help you with your campaign and provide you with a primer into analytics. If you’re looking for ideas for your triggered marketing campaign, your analytics can help here too. In your analytics report, find the search terms that people used before visiting your site. If your visitors are looking for white papers on widgets and you don’t have one, write one. Then include that as an offer in one of the nurturing emails. Site analytics and search-engine optimization is not just about attracting lots of visitors; it’s about engaging those visitors. Site analytics are designed to help you understand what your visitors find most interesting within your site, what pages aren’t worth keeping, and what pages convert visitors to customers. Look for indicators and capitalize on what you’re doing well. ©2013 Spider Trainers. All rights reserved. Page 36 Figure 13.2 My favorite report is the Act-On Software Daily Digest of Website Visitors that is delivered to my inbox every morning. This report alerts me if one of our customers has stopped by our site and is perhaps looking at additional services, or if there is a particular domain that is showing interest. The search terms help me to understand the visitor’s intent. Google Analytics is used by about 56% of all websites — up from about 50% a year ago. — Web Technology Surveys
  • Google Analytics is committed to privacy, whereas your marketing software is focused on associating the leads, prospects, and customers in your list with how they behave at your site. Like Google Analytics, it’s about tracking and disclosing behavior, but with an email- automation solution that tracks recipients through to their visits, it provides additional specificity as shown in figure 13.4. With most email automation software, you will receive information on who’s opening, clicking, and buying within seconds of deployment. Despite this, marketers are apparently still having a hard time with campaign measurement. There are dozens of books out on Google Analytics in addition to videos on YouTube and other training sites. Don’t feel as though you need to learn it all at once, take it in chewable bites and learn as you go. Not every event in your triggered campaign is going to be a blockbuster, however, every event, whether a winner or a dud, will provide you with valuable insights. Your ability to improve any of the individual events or the entire program hinge on how well you’re able to identify what worked, what didn’t, and how to move forward. Study your events (and the entire campaign) to better identify the best messages and tactics to reach your audience and be prepared to tweak. ©2013 Spider Trainers. All rights reserved. Page 37 Figure 13.3 Instead of trying to understand everything about Google Analytics, focus on just one thing that can help your campaign, such as the bounce rate or time spent on each of your targeted landing pages. Figure 13.4 In this website visitors report within the Act-On Software application, we have even more data that helps us to understand how people are interacting with our site. Notice that the name of the third visitor in the list is provided — this is a level of detail not provided by Google Analytics.
  • Chapter 14. Budgeting For many companies, marketing is an afterthought and the approach to marketing is to simply not budget at all. According to Counselors to America’s Small Business (SCORE) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), companies should invest as much as possible in marketing, especially in the first few years — even up to 15 – 20%. Yet in difficult economic times, we find that many companies look to marketing first when cutting costs. Most companies spend well below this recommended amount annually, believing that by not spending on marketing they are saving money rather than considering the additional revenue that proper spending will generate. There is an old adage that those of us in marketing have heard and repeat often: “You must spend money to make money.” As you set out to define your marketing budget, keep in mind the development and advancement of your brand and what that is worth to your company. In 2011, Focus Research reported that marketing automation had seen the fastest growth of any CRM-related segment in the previous five years. Forrester Research found that companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost. With statistics like these, it’s clear that a well-executed, automated campaign is a sound investment for a company of any size. In-house development At first blush, many companies believe that all marketing and ad work should be kept in- house — it’s seen as a more-efficient use of budgets and team members — after all, you’re already meeting the payroll for your crack team, so why not apply that expenditure to your long-term marketing needs in the form of a triggered-campaign development? Additionally, in-house ownership would seem to ensure that you are not competing with other clients for priority, but as anyone in the corporate environment knows, you simply trade clients for departments and projects. No matter where your development ends up, there will always be competition for the creative team’s attention. Marketing, like many jobs in the business world, is labor intensive and can have substantial overhead. If you personally do all your own marketing, you’ll need to budget more time and less cash for marketing, but just because you can do it in-house doesn’t mean you should. ©2013 Spider Trainers. All rights reserved. Page 38 Businesses that use marketing automation to nurture prospects experience a 451% increase in qualified leads. — The Annuitas Group Companies that combine marketing automation and ROI metrics report an increase in the outcome of total marketing revenue contribution, with 69% of marketing automation users also using ROI metrics to assess their effectiveness compared to the 19% of marketing automation users using only traditional, non-financial metrics. — Lenskold Group/Pedowitz Group
  • Outsourced development If you suspect that outside help is the solution, you’ll need to evaluate the fit of the agency with your needs. Ask first to see an overview of the services they offer since some marketing or production agencies specialize and others generalize. As an example, if you intend to offer videos, white papers, eBooks, slide decks, and other resources during your nurturing campaign and do not have in-house talent — or available in-house talent — able to create the required inbound content, make sure your that the agency can provide these services or be prepared to blend the services of your in-house team and multiple agencies. Outsourced development offers your firm several benefits, including: Exposure to advancements. As savvy as your internal team is, they may not be as1 motivated as an external agency to stay on top of technological advancements and industry trends. A production team such as Spider Trainers is only profitable when they can deliver projects on time and deliver ROI. This means they need to stay atop technological advancements that reduce overhead in the form of time spent to produce a project. If you want a project to stay on budget and on target, you’re much more likely to have a winning combination with a team motivated by real ©2013 Spider Trainers. All rights reserved. Page 39 Job title Responsibility Annual salary Director of marketing Define marketing goals, strategy, and approach; work with sales team to understand conversion requirements; manage team and orchestrate delivery against deadlines $150,000 Marketing coordinator Administer the email automation software $35,000 Art director Develop design concepts $90,000 Graphic designer Develop designs $50,000 Copywriter Write all copy, proofread, and edit $53,000 SEO specialist Optimize for search engines all content $69,000 Social media specialist Promote campaigns in all social media accounts $55,000 Public affairs specialist Promote campaigns through analysts, press releases, and news announcements $57,000 Computer programmer Create HTML and CSS content $75,000 Web developer Create and implement landing pages and in-site forms $61,000 Analytics specialist Review and present statistical information on success/failures of the campaign $86,000 TOTAL $781,000 Table 14.1 This table shows the national average annual salary of the various staff typically put to task to deploy a triggered campaign. Optimizing email for mobile devices is no easy task and can add substantially to development overhead. With more than 7,000 handsets available today, marketers need to ensure their messages are rendering properly. — Epsilon Q1 2012 Email Trends and Benchmarks
  • consequences (losing a customer and unbillable hours) and who make an on-going investment in working to make sure their skill set is far above average. Objective third party. All too often, internal teams tend to be reactive instead of2 thought leaders, giving far too much time and credence to what their competitors are doing instead of focusing on their own core competencies. Using the test, track, and tweak approach, your outside agency is on the hook to produce campaigns that result in conversions — no matter what your competition is up to. Additionally, the experience your outside service brings to the table has been influenced by a broad spectrum of disciplines, client types, target audiences, and industries. You’ll spend a lot less time in the learning curve when you start with such vast experience. Extensive specialties: Spider Trainers, as an example, is a network of more than 803 contractors marshaled by a team of six company principals. The network spans the entire globe and includes programmers, designers, copywriters, editors, press agents, researchers, social media posters, search-engine optimization experts, and much more. This level of expertise is rarely available in-house and, even when it is, the time required to produce a campaign is extended due to the unavailability of different team members throughout the development process. No matter what external team you choose, the likelihood is that they will have more available resources than you have in house and that span far more specialties. Costs As an example of costs involved when outsourcing, let’s take a look at a sample budget for a small company with $500,000 annual revenue. If we extrapolate the campaign in figure 3.1 to last a full year, there will be 12 events (launched monthly, each event including at least an email, landing page, form, and auto-responder email and landing page). Using the average cost of $1750 per event, this campaign would cost about $21,000. In this example, the triggered campaign is the primary marketing effort of the company and, again, spans the entire year. In table 14.2, you can see that if the campaign events are launched weekly, the expense becomes $49,400. Medium- and large-sized businesses may find that one triggered campaign will not meet the needs of multiple product lines or business units. In this case, the spending for each event should decrease with additional commitment on your part. Turn back to chapter 1 for suggestions on the types of triggered campaigns you should consider. ©2013 Spider Trainers. All rights reserved. Page 40 Marketing is like sex. Everyone thinks they’re good at it. Everybody thinks they’re a marketing expert. Your boss, the CEO, the IT guy — I bet half the people in your company think they know more about what customers want than the customers do. Everybody’s a focus group of one. — CBSNEWS.com
  • In order to determine how much of your budget should be allocated to a triggered campaign, these points will give you some food for thought. Use your responses as an exercise in developing a justification document to present to senior staff and see if the answers make or break your case: What is the goal?• What is the target ROI?• How will you measure success?• Do you have management’s buy-in for a consolidated campaign of this type?• Do you have on-staff skilled resources? (Turn back to table 14.1.)• Do you have an overall marketing plan?• Is your department currently creating and sending email?• Is your current email marketing effective? If not, do you know why not?• Can you repurpose current campaign creatives for a triggered campaign?• How much time should this campaign span?• How many events will be within this campaign?• Do you have enough time and resources to manage and develop all of the necessary• creatives? If you do not have sufficient internal bandwidth, do you have available budget or• budget that can be reallocated for outside resources? ©2013 Spider Trainers. All rights reserved. Page 41 *This percentage also assumes you have margins in the range of 10 – 12% (after covering other expenses, including marketing). If your margins are lower than this, consider eating more of the costs of doing business by lowering your overall margins and allocating additional spending to marketing. Your marketing budget should never be calculated on revenue left over after all other expenses are paid. Metric Annual marketing budget (% of revenue) Frequency Event cost Campaign cost % of budget for triggered campaign $5 million $375,000 (7.5%) Monthly $1750 $21,000 5.6% $10 million $650,000 (6.5%) Weekly $950 $49,400 per campaign 7.6% $100 million $5,500,000 (5.5%) Weekly $950 $49,400 per campaign .89% $300 million $12,000,000 (4%) $49,400 per campaign .41% Table 14.2 In this table, we’ve gathered recommendations from a number of business-advice sites, including the SBA. Companies that invest in marketing automation solutions see 70% faster sales cycle times, and 54% improvement in quota achievement. — Bulldog Solutions 59% of CMOs expect to increase effectiveness and efficiency of marketing by implementing automated marketing solutions. — Bulldog Solutions
  • Choosing an agency Answers to the questions below will help you to internally evaluate the feasibility and provide conversation starters as you interview outside agencies, freelancers, or contractors. That conversation will be next and should also include: What makes their agency stand out and more appropriate for your project?• How long have they been in business?• Do they understand your business or capable of understanding your business?• Do they work with any of your competitors?• Do they have a portfolio and does it include work that is in line with your expectations• for your campaign? Do you get along well with the agency’s team members with whom you work?• Do they provide services beyond emails? (For example, market research, analytics,• social media, writing, design, search-engine optimization, and web development.) Do they provide social promotion (e.g., blogs and news announcements)?• In what email-automation software do they specialize?• Does their pricing include the email-automation software-licensing fees?• What will each event or campaign cost?• What is their hourly rate?• Do they provide support to help you with parts of the campaign for which you will be• responsible (e.g., database management, list rental/purchase)? Do they provide support for your IT department?• Is their agency available after hours?• Does their agency provide training?• Costs Your campaign will be a living, breathing document that needs constant testing, tracking and tweaking after each event is deployed and many agencies include these modifications in their initial proposals. Make sure you have the resources and the budget to cover these costs or that they are included in the base bid. If you’re a small company, automated-marketing campaigns can consume the majority of your marketing budget, but they are consistently one of the best tools a company can use to reach revenue goals and this will easily justify the cost. ©2013 Spider Trainers. All rights reserved. Page 42 66% of companies with integrated marketing automation claim to be outgrowing their competitors, with only 50% of those companies without marketing automation reporting such growth. — Lenskold Group/Pedowitz Group Lead nurturing results in a 225% increase in the volume of prospects that convert to sales opportunities. — SHIPSERV
  • When you choose to hire an agency, you can expect to pay between $1500 and $4000 per event in your triggered campaign. While the cost is often calculated by the number of email templates, it is a complete project that includes: understanding of goals in order to draft the schematic• designing the creatives• writing the content• building the campaign• identifying and creating triggers and responses• establishing A/B and multivariate testing• monitoring analytics• updating and deploying changes• Return on investment (ROI) ROI means different things to different people. It’s more than just measuring the traditional monetary value of your campaign. ROI often now includes goals such as acquiring more Facebook or Twitter followers, brand awareness, improving reputation, drawing more visitors to your website, and so on. No matter your objective, if you have met or surpassed it, you’ve achieved a return on investment. True ROI, for many companies, is conversion. In the most traditional sense of the term, this also means a measurable impact on revenue. There are several free ROI calculators offered on the web that range from simple calculations, like the ones shown on Marketing MO to the more complex, such as the one provided on Marketing Today’s website. There are times when marketing efforts simply help move a business and a customer in the right direction toward one another with the eventual goal of conversion. Triggered campaigns are one of the most cost-effective ways of achieving that objective — whether you choose in- house or outsourced development. ©2013 Spider Trainers. All rights reserved. Page 43 As a business professional, I get a kick out of internet people talking about my ROI. Most of them have no idea whatsoever what an ROI is, much less how to improve mine. What has been so impressive about Spider Trainers is that they really take time to understand what I think about my current spending, my current measurables, and current ROI; and then we agree on the improvement metrics that are needed. It is a totally different, and very refreshing, approach. They are smart, aggressive, experienced, and fast. That is an unbeatable combination. And sure enough, they have improved my ROI in a pretty dramatic way. I am sold on Spider Trainers; they have made me a customer for life. I would be happy to talk to you about my experience. — Mike Dewey, publisher, HuntingInsider.com
  • Spider Trainers has sent millions of emails on behalf of its clients and the only steadfast rule that we’ve found that applies to every client is that with testing, tracking, and tweaking your campaigns will improve and you will gather the knowledge required to achieve true ROI — for many companies that’s the true definition of conversion. As you have seen in this eBook, triggered campaigns have far more moving parts than traditional email sends. It because of all these moving parts — now automated — that the results are so impressive. Even though the automation makes the process user-friendly, it can seem overwhelming. We believe that Act-On Software is the best option because it is easy to use and enables our clients the opportunity and ability to participate in their programs. While it is our hope that we have provided you with plenty of in-depth information about how you can get started, if you still don’t feel comfortable, consider hiring outside help. Once you have your first campaign going, you’ll be on your way to effectively reaching your clients, getting them to engage, and meeting your goals. About Spider Trainers Spider Trainers provides multi-touch online and offline marketing and web development to make your brand more visible, elevate search-engine rankings, attract appropriate visitors, and enable educated purchasing decisions. Spider Trainers has created a process for marketing initiatives that provides optimization for your product, services, company, and, through the exposure of your executive staff’s professional accomplishments, also builds validating information to provide additional search- engine lift. Spider Trainers has decades of experience in print, web development, go-to-market initiatives, and sustainable, behavior-based (online and offline), traditional and emerging marketing strategies. Chapter 15. Conclusion ©2013 Spider Trainers. All rights reserved. Page 44 Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. — Though often attributed to Winston Churchill, author is unknown
  • Most companies approach marketing and web-development in the same manner — build it and they will come. As hundreds of site owners the world over have come to know, this is rarely the case. If you want to sell online, you must market online. You must announce, contribute, promote, link, analyze, test, modify, analyze again, and so much more. If you build a social recognition throughout the web, then they will come. It can be build it and they will come, but somewhere along the way someone told someone about a baseball diamond in the middle of an Iowa cornfield. Rely on us to tell someone about yours. For more information about our company, visit http://www.spidertrainers.com Specialties online and offline marketing• search-engine optimization• web development (including mobile)• ad and campaign design and deployment• Act-On Software campaign deployment• Spider Trainers contact Phone 651 702 3793 Email spidertrainer@spidertrainers.com Website http://www.spidertrainers.com Address PO Box 280487 Lakewood, CO 80228 United States ©2013 Spider Trainers. All rights reserved. Page 45 “We chose Act-On Software because they provide truly fabulous campaign, social media, sharing, and web analytics. In fact, the collected data points they provide go well beyond the email deployment and walk all over territory formerly held by Google Analytics and other site-analytics software. Of course, other email- automation software offers varying degrees of tracking, so it’s not required that you abandon your current platform in order to glean an accurate view of your marketing landscape, but if you’re in the market, we recommend you give Act-On Software serious consideration.” — Cyndie Shaffstall, founder, Spider Trainers
  • Spider Trainers, http://www.spidertrainers.com/resources1 Aberdeen Group, http://www.aberdeen.com2 Act-On Software, http://www.act-onsoftware.com3 Annuitas Group, http://www.annuitas.com4 Arrowhead Promotion & Fulfillment, http://www.apfco.com5 Azuga, http://www.azuga.com6 Bidsketch, http://www.bidsketch.com7 Bulldog Solutions, http://www.bulldogsolutions.com8 CBS News, http://www.cbsnews.com9 Cell Gate USA, http://www.cellgateusa.com10 Communicorp, How Subject Line Word Count Influences Open Rate,11 http://www.communicatorcorp.com/blog/post/steve-henderson/2011/08/03/how- subject-line-word-count-influences- open-rate Constant Contact, http://www.constantcontact.com12 Copy Blogger, Email Marketing: How to Master the Campaign Platform of Kings, by13 Kelton Reid, http://www.copyblogger.com/email-marketing-that-works-2/ Crown Mvelopes, http://http://www.mvelopes.com14 Eloqua, http://www.eloqua.com15 Email Critic, http://www.emailcritic.com16 eMarketer, http://www.emarketer.com17 Email Experience Council, http://www.emailexperience.org18 Epsilon, http://www.epsilon.com19 ExactTarget, http://www.exacttarget.com20 Forrester Research, http://www.forrester.com21 Genius.com, http://www.genius.com22 HubSpot, http://www.hubspot.com23 InfusionSoft, http://www.infusionsoft.com24 InsideSales.com, http://www.insidesales.com25 Knotice, http://www.knotice.com26 Lange Graphics, http://www.langegraphics.com27 Lenskold Group, http://www.lenskold.com28 Marketing MO ROI calculator, http://www.marketingmo.com/how-to-29 articles/marketing-metrics/how-to-calculate-roi/ Marketing Today ROI calculator,30 http://www.marketingtoday.com/tools/roi_calculator.htm MarketingProfs, http://www.marketingprofs.com31 MarketingSherpa, http://www.marketingsherpa.com32 Marketo, http://www.marketo.com33 MailChimp, http://www.mailchimp.com34 MedPro Staffing, http://www.medprostaffing.com35 OfficeWorks Software, http://www.officeworksoftware.com36 OmniGraffle, http://www.omnigroup.com37 Pardot, http://www.pardot.com38 Pedowitz Group, http://www.pedowitzgroup.com39 Prisme Technologies, http://www.prismetechnologies.com40 Return Path, http://www.returnpath.com41 SCORE, Annual Marketing Budget template, http://www.score.org42 ShipServ, http://www.shipserv.com43 Silverpop, http://www.silverpop.com44 Social Triggers, The 7 High-Converting Places to Add Email Sign-Up Forms to45 Build Your List, by Derek Halpern, http://socialtriggers.com/email-signup-forms- build-list/ SRFax, http://www.srfax.com46 Vertical Response, http://www.verticalresponse.com47 Vimeo, http://www.vimeo.com48 YouTube, http://www.youtube.com49 References and credits ©2013 Spider Trainers. All rights reserved. Page 46