So let’s explore some of the realities of living in 2011 and the place of the web in our society. It’s pretty clear that internet uptake and daily usage has increased significantly in recent years 28% of users spend over 3 hours online every day and a further 23% spend greater than 1 hour online I would suggest that this activity will increase as broadband coverage and bandwidth improves – the National Broadband Network will roll out across Australia in the coming 5 years – internet protocol television and hi resolution video Obviously when people are surfing the web, they’re not standing in your bricks and mortar store buying your product – so you may need to employ strategies to engage with people whilst they are on the web.
Social media has now taken over pornography as the number one activity on the web. 8.7 million Australians – almost half our population – visited a social networking site in June 2010 – and 44.3% of Australians have a Facebook account. Just for interest’s sake – how many of you do not have a Facebook account? I bet your kids do… Clearly Australians are spending an inordinate amount of time on social media websites - do you have a social media presence that enables you to interact with these people?
It is predicted that mobile devices will be the primary connection tool to the internet in 2020 – not PCs or Macs A growing trend, Australians are increasingly accessing the web from their iPhones, iPads, Blackberry and Android devices. Retailers – can your website be navigated on a mobile device? Have you perhaps considered developing an app for your business?
Now many Australian bricks and mortar bookstores don’t even have a website through which to sell their books – so they can’t even begin to compete with the likes of Amazon and The Book Depository Meanwhile, Amazon is continuing to innovate and capture market share…here are two examples The Amazon iPhone app last year was upgraded to incorporate barcode scanning technology. That means, anybody with this app can go into any bricks and mortar bookstore, scan the barcode on the back of a book, and the user will be told how much it costs on Amazon. Generally the price is better than the bricks and mortar price. Tthe user can order the book within seconds and the bookstore loses the sale.
Another innovation – the Amazon Kindle, an electronic book reader that allows the user to store tens of thousands of books on the one device that can fit in your pocket and be taken everywhere. It has a soft eInk screen that replicates the look and feel of a paperback book and eBooks can be downloaded at any time via a wireless connection. There’s no need to visit your corner bookstore anymore – you can get your books instantaneously via the airwaves!
Clearly, the Australian populace is pretty savvy with the web and social media – we seem to be taking it up in droves, but this is not following through to Australian businesses and organisations Consider these statistics 75% of Australian SMEs DON’T do social media 30% of Australian SMEs rarely update the content of their business website 78% of Australian SMEs don’t use their websites for e-commerce (ie. selling stuff) Only 14% of SMEs use email marketing statistics And then our retailers complain that consumer spending is going offshore to overseas online retailers – but that’s another story
Notwithstanding the role of the parent private equity company, the web has contributed significantly to the demise of these businesses. Borders Big mainstreet leases paying millions of dollars of rent every year Huge floorspace Massive amounts of inventory Lots and lots of staff Huge discounting to compete with online retailers and discount department stores A recipe for disaster – and that’s precisely what’s eventuated.
Here’s one of the men indirectly responsible for the Borders demise – anybody know who he is? He’s perhaps the father of online retail – his name is Jeff Bezos, he is the founder and CEO of Amazon.com Now everybody knows about Amazon – founded in 1994 in Bezo’s garage in Seattle in the US, Amazon is now the world’s largest online retailer, not just in books but in many other product lines. Would you believe that Amazon is responsible for approximately 50% of all online book sales into Australia, - despite being overseas Amazon is often able to get books delivered to your door quicker than local online book retailers.
Amazon aside, here’s another nail in the coffin of Borders and Angus and Robertson…The Book Depository, which was set up in the UK by an ex-Amazon employee Being an online book retailer myself, I want you all to promise that you will erase this name from our brains when you leave this auditorium Stephanie Alexander example
Amazon aside, here’s another nail in the coffin of Borders and Angus and Robertson…The Book Depository, which was set up in the UK by an ex-Amazon employee Being an online book retailer myself, I want you all to promise that you will erase this name from our brains when you leave this auditorium Stephanie Alexander example
Having seen these statistics, purveyors of books should ask themselves: Are we doing all that we can? Or are we missing the boat? Do we need to be capturing some of that mindshare back and how? Are we perhaps missing the boat? The good news is that social media is free and you can have a disproportionately large voice via these channels
Very briefly, I wanted to provide a quick framework for creating a social media strategy in your business Don’t start with the technology first – what I mean by that is, don’t say ‘I need a Facebook page’ until you have looked at the people, objectives and strategies People – who are your target audience; who do you want to influence Objectives – what do you want to achieve with that target audience – Sales? Subscriptions? Strategies – how are you going to achieve the objectives – email marketing? Publishing content? Running competitions? Technology – finally, what technologies will you use to enact the strategies? A blog? A Twitter feed? A Facebook page?
I am interested to know how social media savvy you are Stand up - I want to do a quick straw poll Sit down if you do not have a Facebook account Sit down if you have less than 50 friends Sit down if you have less than 100 friends Sit down if you have less than 200 friends Stand up Sit down if you do not have a Twitter account Sit down if you haven’t tweeted in the last 72 hours Sit down if you haven’t tweeted in the last 24 hours Sit down if you haven’t tweeted in the last six hours Sit down if you’re not tweeting as I am speaking right now
Taking it to Amazon and the 'Big Boys': How your Bookstore can compete in the Digital World
Taking it to Amazon and the ‘Big Boys’How your bookstore can compete in the digital world Clayton Wehner - Blue Train Enterprises M: 0438 925 613 E: email@example.com
Scope7 sections:Context – the here and nowWebsitesSearchSocial mediaEmailAnalyticseBooks – Jon Page
The Vibe Relaxed, chilled out Lots of video and stuff Ask questions at anytime Don’t need to take copious notes…you can find this presentation at: http://www.bluetrainenterprises.com.au/takingittoamazon Recommend you print it off and use it as a guide
Aussies using tablets In January 2011, Amazon sold & readers… 115Kindle eBook Downloads for every 100 Paperback Book sales
Aussie organisations lag behind 75% of Australian small-to-medium enterprises DON’T do social media 30% of Australian SMEs rarely update the content of their business website 78% of Australian SMEs don’t use their websites for e- commerce (ie. selling stuff) Only 14% of SMEs use email marketing
And book retailers under pressure… Aussie dollar still very high Interest rates still biting A slew of overseas buying options with cheap shipping arrangements Big retailers up in arms about overseas operators avoiding GST Universal access to fast internet connections Growing trust in the security of online shopping Emergence of mobile shopping Greater complexity in life means that people seek convenience Copyright protectionism on Australian books makes pricing uncompetitive
‘Amazonification’ of books The ‘long tail’ = ‘make everything available and help me find it’ (Chris Anderson) Early Amazon innovations: 1-click ordering (patented) You might also like… Customers who bought this, also bought… Recommendations for you Frequently bought together And more recently: The Kindle
The Big Boys – Redefining the landscape Google eBookstore Google Play Store iPad Google Preview / digitisation iPhone Google Adwords iTunes Store Google ShoppingAndroid / Nexus / Chromebook Keep your eye on…
$24.70 AUDFree Shipping to AustraliaDispatched within 24 hours
How do we compete? Differentiate! Offer a different value proposition to customers Specialise in a niche Offer unparalleled customer service Broaden income streams beyond just books Be more than just a store with shelves Multi-channel retailing – bricks & mortar, online, mobile …and that’s what we’re going to talk about today…
Case Study: Dollar Shave Club Person in the video is the CEO, not an actor 7 million + views on YouTube Dollar Shave Club sells razors by subscription ‘Big Shave’ companies manufacture razors for a very low cost and then mark them up 4000% From the About Us page: Like most good ideas,The Dollar Shave Club started with two guys who were pissed off about something and decided to do something about it… Could you apply that same logic to your business?
Websites – tell us about yours… How many of your businesses have a website? How many of your businesses sell products via the site? How many of you are happy with your website?
Get your website right first… Your website is the core element of your web presence and your principal digital asset If you are serious about multi-channel retailing, then you MUST have a website Why? You own it (unlike other online properties, eg. Facebook Page) You control it You can change it It is discoverable in search engines It has a unique, memorable address and is the place to direct visitors to from your off-site advertising
Considerations for new websites I have a ‘methodology’ that I use for website project management – acronym BPADCOSM Business Requirements Platform Architecture Design Content Optimisation for Search Engines Social Media and ongoing content production Marketing and Measurement
Business Requirements Frequently overlooked! The mindset is ‘I’ve gotta get a website’, without considering the needs of the business Typically a web designer is engaged and produces something pretty, but often ineffective Doing some detailed thinking first and articulating your requirements will ensure that you get a better result
Business RequirementsP is for PEOPLE O is for OBJECTIVES S is for STRATEGIES T is for TECHNOLOGIESForrester Research
Business Requirements – POST method People Who are you targeting? Certain demographic, multiple demographics? Objectives What do you want to achieve? Sales? Subscriptions? Engagement? Awareness? Strategies How do your propose to achieve your objectives? Content, discounts, competitions, special deals, viral marketing Technologies Which technologies will you use to implement the strategies? E-commerce, Content Management System, Email, Facebook,Twitter, blogs, video, etc.Forrester Research
Platform – the foundation stone Like building a house, it’s necessary to build a strong foundation for your web presence. If you get the foundation wrong, then it’s mighty hard to dig it all up and start again Things to consider here: Domain name – important to consider up front because it’s hard to change it later on. The domain also has implications for search engine optimisation. Hosting – fast and reliable? Can it cater for the software required? Software – eg. A content management system, email marketing software, dynamic scripts, contact forms, etc
Architecture – how it fits together Time to consider the components, assets and functions that our website will contain, and where they will all go. Information architecture – how information is ordered and ‘discovered’ on the website; what goes where Pages and page hierarchy – what content do you want to display and how will the pages be arranged Navigation structure – top level navigation, subordinate level navigation, other navigation Page elements and included content (content that appears across the site) – eg. News feeds, buttons, widgets, graphics, banners, columns, textual content, etc.
Design – what it looks like This is where most web designers start – without thinking too deeply about the business requirements, platform or architecture - FAIL Design is extremely important, but no more important than the three preceding steps. Corporate logo, colours, fonts and styles HTML/CSS templates – the ‘look and feel’ of the pages Fixed graphical elements – banners, page graphics Rich and dynamic media – video, marquees, rotating banners, etc
Content – what users consume Another thing that designers aren’t very good at – copy writing. Compelling copy is critically important for your website. And not just for human visitors, but also to ensure that your website figures prominently in the search engines. Content is the reason why people visit – it must be good!
Optimisation for search engines You can have the most attractive website in the world – but looks won’t guarantee visitors to your site. Websites need to be optimised for search engines so that your site can be found by prospective visitors. Keyword analysis – working out which keyword combinations people should use to find your site On-page optimisation – tweaking the textual content, metadata to ensure keyword relevancy Inbound link building – obtaining links from other sites Directory submission – submitting your site to directories Technical optimisation – geekery!
Social Media & Ongoing Content Dev Not enough to simply publish a site on the web and just let it sit there. Need to constantly add and update content Article production – regular contributions via a content management system Blogs – a simple way to contribute and syndicate content Facebook – consider a Facebook Page Twitter – consider a Twitter stream Online video – consider regular uploading of online video using YouTube or similar And others… Slideshare, Flickr, Pinterest, Google+, etc.
Marketing & Measurement Once your web presence is ready, then it’s time to start actively marketing the site. Search engine marketing (SEM) – pay-per-click advertising on Google or Facebook Email marketing – an often neglected; it’s free and targeted Offline marketing – traditional marketing if you have $$$ Website & all marketing initiatives must be measured Use insights to make incremental improvements over time
Outsourcing your website development Use BPADCOSM to frame your requirements on paper Provide a verbal brief to 2-3 designer/developers, preferably referred by trusted colleagues Ask the designer/developers to respond in writing, providing information about their ‘approach’ to your project, a detailed project schedule, and their methodology (should be similar to BPADCOSM) Choose the best designer/developer from the response provided Insist upon weekly telephone/in-person reports and hold them to the project schedule!
Tips for dealing with geeks Always opt for web systems that you can maintain yourself – eg. A content management system, rather than a ‘static’ website Geeks often have no sense of time or deadlines – keep on their back, but be gentle Geeks often don’t document things – make them write everything down When you find a good geek, stick with them The best ones will move mountains for you – but reward them appropriately
What is a search engine? A web search engine is a tool designed to search for information on the World Wide Web (Wikipedia) Search engines exist to deliver the best possible search results to the user, for any given keyword combination. Search engines use complex algorithms to index and rank web pages programmatically.
About Google Brainchild of two college friends, Sergey Brin and Larry Page Their search engine was originally called BackRub In 1997 it became Google, a play on the word "googol," a mathematical term for the number represented by the numeral 1 followed by 100 zeros Google became the world’s biggest search index in June 2000 Google’s ascent as a ‘second mover’ was remarkable – it eclipsed the likes of AltaVista, Yahoo!, MSN, Lycos Today Google is a frontrunner in mapping and satellite technology, operating system software, office applications, mobile computing and much, much more…
Why is it important to optimise for Google? ‘Build it and they will come’ doesn’t apply on the web There are many fancy websites on the web that never get seen! Launching a website is the easy part… The hard part is getting qualified traffic to the site Need to satisfy two ‘audiences’: People or ‘real’ visitors Search engine ‘spiders’ or ‘robots’
Don’t settle for second best… The first result in Google gets as many visitors as position 2-4 combined The top spot drove 34.35% of all traffic in the sample, almost as much as the numbers 2 through 4 slots combined, and more than the numbers 5 through 20 (the end of page 2) put together." Result number 10 gets 143% more clicks than result number 11 The biggest jump, percentage-wise, is from the top of page 2 to the bottom of page 1. Going from the 11th spot to 10th sees a 143% jump in traffic.Chitika Report - http://chitika.com/research/2010/the-value-of-google-result-positioning/
Organic vs Paid Google displays two types of results: Organic results: these are unpaid listings that are ranked by importance/keyword relevance Paid results: these are pay-per-click listings that appear on the right hand margin and above the organic listings – anybody can bid to display their ad at the top of these listings Google users generally accord greater worth to the organic results Google employs over 200 algorithmic factors to determine where web pages rank in organic results
Are you in Google? site:www.yoursite.com Displays a list of pages from your site that have been indexed by Google link:www.yoursite.com Displays a sample of external pages that link to your site cache:www.yoursite.com Displays the cached image of the website that is currently on file at Google. info:www.yoursite.com Displays information that Google currently holds about the website. related:www.yoursite.com Displays pages that are similar to your website. If you are not in Google, submit your site here: http://www.google.com.au/addurl
Choosing the Right Keywords A keyword combination is used to obtain search results from a search engine Web pages can be optimised for particular keyword combinations Before optimising a website, it is necessary to identify the best keywords to optimise for
Choosing the Right Keywords What is the volume of traffic for different keyword combination? Have other websites optimised for those keywords? Would it be hard to get a high ranking? Who sits in the No. 1 spot for those keywords? What keywords are my competitors targeting? What do the keywords say about the searcher’s intent/mindset? Surfers Researchers Buyers
Example Consider these search terms for an online accommodation website Hotels Cheap hotels Hotels in Sydney Last minute Sydney hotel deals Sydney serviced apartment deals Bed and breakfast on george street Sydney Grand Mercure hotel Darling Harbour Sydney
On Site Optimisation On-site factors play a big role in determining your search engine rankings These are the things that you can do yourself or that you can task your web developer to do on your behalf
The TITLE tag Include your chosen keywords within the TITLE tag – preferably near the start of the tag Try to keep it to 70 characters Must be relevant to the page content Very important - each page should have a different TITLE tag
The DESCRIPTION tag A textual description of what the page is about Regularly used in Google search results Try to keep it to 150 characters; must be relevant to the page content Each page should have a different DESCRIPTION tag
Body Text Google loves original, high quality textual content Body text is extremely important for search engine rankings because this is what human users come to see Keywords, synonyms and variations of the primary keyword combination should be included in the body text, but not so that it reads ‘artificially’. It should read naturally.
Keywords in URLs URLs that contain keywords are better than those that don’t Quite easy to do if your website is static, a little more difficult for database-driven sites Don’t make the URLs too long because this will be seen as an attempt to manipulate the search results Good and bad: www.mysite.com/hotels/sydney/hilton.html www.mysite.com/search.asp?hotelID=435&locID=32
Heading Tags Heading tags – eg. <h1>, <h2> - within the HTML identify headings within the page copy and break up the text They are used by search engines to determine page content Use keywords in these tags, but don’t overdo it.
Link Anchor Text The ‘anchor’ text contained within hyperlinks provides Google with an understanding of what the linked content is about Every hyperlink on your site should have descriptive anchor text, rather than ‘click here…’ Inline links or contextual links are best eg. Blue Train Enterprises offers a free white paper on how to optimise your website for the search engines
Image ALT Text There is the opportunity to specify ‘alternate’ text for every image on your website The ALT text is displayed if the image doesn’t load in the user’s browser It also can have a positive effect on your website rankings The ALT tag should describe the image Keep it short and to the point Don’t use ALT tags as a place to stuff keywords
Inbound Links These are links on other websites that link to your site Good quality inbound links serve as a ‘vote of confidence’ for your site – if a good site links to your site, then by association, your site must be good, too Try and get links from ‘authority’ websites to your site Thematically-linked sites High ranking and well-known sites Government (.gov.au) sites Educational institution (.edu.au) sites It’s not the volume of inbound links that is important – it’s the quality
Outbound Links There is evidence to suggest that your outbound links contribute to your rankings Only link to good quality, thematically-aligned content on third party websites Only link to sites that would be of interest to your audience Be aware that outbound links take visitors away from your site – and that is not necessarily what you want to do.
Getting listed in Directories Being listed in major directory-based websites can boost your rankings considerably http://www.dmoz.org – aka The Open Directory Project - a difficult one to get into http://search.yahoo.com/info/submit.html http://www.google.com/places - a very important one that will see your business plotted on Google Local/Google Maps http://www.yellowpages.com.au/awu_freeListing.do http://www.hotfrog.com.au http://www.aussieweb.com.au http://www.truelocal.com.au http://www.bigroo.com.au http://www.webwombat.com.au/submit/index.htm
Other ways to get Inbound Links Articles / interviews published on other websites Press releases Forum posts Blog comments ‘Link bait’ – controversial is best!
The real key is …. great content Search engines are simply a means to locate great content Does your site have great content? Add content that people want to read and will pass on to others Text should be in short sentences, compact paragraphs, be well punctuated, and contain headings to break up the text – time-poor people don’t read, they scan Pages should not scroll and scroll and scroll… One page per topic (optimised for that topic) and cross- link; granularity
The real key is …. great content Add content that people want to read and will pass on – top ten tips, ‘how to’ guides, free white papers Text should be in short sentences, compact paragraphs, be well punctuated, and contain headings to break up the text – time-poor people don’t read, they scan Pages should not scroll and scroll and scroll… One page per topic (optimised for that topic) and cross- link; granularity If your site remains static, then it will lose its prominence in the search engines (and visitors won’t want to come back)
Add content regularly Some ideas for new content for your website: Author interviews Book reviews Surveys and Polls Top Ten Lists Book Award Lists Reading Challenges / Book Clubs Giveaways and Competitions Guest posts from authors New release information Bestseller Lists
Other technical things to do…zzzzz Remove multiple ‘instances’ of your site with a Permanent 301 redirect to elminate dilution of your website standing Implement a robots.txt file Implement an XML sitemap Ensure that your pages load quickly by streamlining your code and optimising your images Ensure that your site’s server has close to 100% uptime – if it isn’t live when the spider arrives, your rankings may be affected Make your site W3C compliant – http://validator.w3.org
What you should NEVER DO Hidden text (eg white text on a white background) Keyword stuffing Display duplicate content Cloaking – displaying different content to visitors and spiders Use Flash alone Use Frames
A final thought about organic search If you employ one of the strategies mentioned in this presentation, you will get some benefit in the search engine results pages If you employ a couple, you will get much greater benefit If you employ all of them properly, then you will most likely go to the top of the results The little things count and, when you employ them together, they can make a big difference to your site performance Remember Google uses over 200 different factors to rank websites
Paid Search You might like to try: Google Adwords Facebook advertising Bing!/Yahoo advertising
Pros of Paid Search You can get customers instantly Pay per click – you only pay if a person clicks through Motivated visitors – matched to keywords they have entered Highly targeted – by interest, location, time (Facebook, by sexuality!) Trackable and measureable Small budget OK Stop/start/edit at any time
Cons of Paid Search ‘Landing pages’ must be good and have a compelling offer – otherwise don’t bother Needs regular oversight, management & maintenance Can be a money pit, particularly if you target generic keywords and ‘fire and forget’ Google et al get richer and more powerful
How social media switched on are you? Who is on Facebook? More than 200 friends? Who maintains a Facebook Page for their business? Who is on Twitter? Anybody got a blog?
Evolution of the web Web 1.0 = ‘one way web’; reading static web pages; ‘brochureware’ Web 2.0 = ‘two way web’; interaction, community, collaboration Web 3.0 = The ‘semantic’ web; artificial intelligence; high levels of personalisation, individually-tailored web experience
What is Social Media? Social media is ‘media designed to be disseminated through social interaction, created using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques’ Blogs, micro-blogging, social networking, video/file sharing, wikis, social bookmarking, community sites and more
These are all ‘social media’ too… Location-based social networking sites – eg. Foursquare Other social networking sites – eg. MySpace, Google+ Really Simple Syndication (RSS) Social bookmarking sites – eg. Digg, Delicious, Technorati Wikis – eg. Wikipedia, Google Sites Content sharing sites – eg. Flickr, Slideshare, Pinterest, Instagram Blogs Discussion boards / forums – eg. Yahoo! Answers Crowdsourcing / outsourcing – eg. Elance, 99designs Virtual communities – eg. Second Life Voice over IP – eg. Skype Instant Messaging – eg. ICQ Podcasting The mobile web – iPhones, Blackberry, Android, iPads, Kindles
Become a consumer first… Join the online book community – learn, discuss and share info with like-minded people Get a Facebook account and become a ‘fan’ of book industry pages Get a Twitter account and ‘follow’ book industry people Get a LinkedIn account and ‘connect’ with your business associates, suppliers, clients etc Get a feed reader (Google Reader) and subscribe to industry blogs and RSS feeds
Blogs in plain English… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NN2I1pWXjXI
Get blogging Anybody can be a content publisher – not just the media companies Establish yourself as an ‘authority’; build credibility Write interesting, provocative posts to engage with readers Write short articles; write regularly – maybe twice a week Start at http://www.wordpress.com for free Transition to a domain-hosted blog later – ie. http://www.yourdomain.com/blog
No. 1 blog in Australia “I earn a six figure income each year from my blogs… it’s probably creeping more towards seven figures per year now…”
An exercise for you… Pair up Take 2 minutes to come up with one idea for a blog post that relates to books Share it with everybody…
Facebook it up for your biz Over 1 billion active users! Has overtaken Google in US as most viewed website ‘Facebook Pages’ are for businesses (not standard profiles or Groups) Set it up in seconds at www.facebook.com/pages
Twitter in plain English… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddO9idmax0o
Start Tweet, Tweet, Tweetin’ Micro-blogging; 140 character limit – basically ‘SMS on the web’ (but best done via a mobile device) You follow people, they follow you; your ‘tweets’ are seen by your followers, you see the ‘tweets’ of people you follow Many people write off Twitter: who would be interested in this seemingly banal, nebulous information?
What are those weird characters, man? Hash tag # - designates a topic (eg. #abaconf12) @ symbol – designates a Twitter user (eg. @boomerangbooks Allows Twitter users to search for tags and to isolate tweets that contain that tag
Automate & centralise posting Posts on a blog, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin etc can be ‘ported’ between one another using a variety of tools, removing the requirement to post manually on multiple sites. Twitterfeed (www.twitterfeed.com) sends blog posts to Facebook and Twitter Desktop tools (and mobile phone apps) like Tweetdeck and Seesmic can be used as a central hub for posting to multiple social networks at once
Integrate & enable sharing To grow your social media community, make it easy to connect/follow by integrating social media elements into your pages and enabling sharing options Social bookmarking buttons FB Like buttons Google+1 buttons FB Boxes Twitter widgets To implement, it’s normally just a small piece of code that is added to your page HTML – ask your geek!
Online video Video is the biggest growth area on the web as bandwidth and online storage increases Over 72 hours of video every minute is uploaded to YouTube YouTube is now the world’s second largest search engine Video can be done cheaply with a handheld camcorder Copy the file to your computer and then upload to YouTube within minutes Embed the video in your website or blog using the special code…
Principles for social media success 1.You have a mandate from the boss 2.You have organisational commitment at all levels 3.Your strategy integrates with your business plan and wider marketing strategy 4.Your strategy fits with the organisation’s website 5.You understand your target audience 6.You understand what your objectives are 7.You are using the correct social media technologies 8.You have a written usage policy in place
Principles for social media success 9.You have a staff training regimen in place 10.You have an appropriate allocation of resources – people, time, money, equipment 11. There is central coordination and accountability 12. There is devolved responsibility 13. There are regular coordination meetings (but also spontaneity) 14. There is a focus on sustainability and long-term results 15. There is compelling content 16. Content is well-written, error free and keyword-rich
Principles for social media success 17. There is an appropriate frequency of content 18. There is an appropriate tone and persona 19. There is two-way conversation and engagement 20. There is ‘authentic’ communication 21. KPIs are monitored 22. There are contingency plans in place if something goes wrong 23. There is constant learning about social media in the organisation – because it is constantly changing!
Why does email marketing make sense? It’s very cost effective – the only cost is the time it takes to put the email together It’s one-to-many, so it’s time-effective Most Australians use email every day so they can be reached easily via this means It’s easier to do more business with existing customers than to acquire new ones
Ad-hoc Email Marketing Using your existing email client for email marketing purposes Use of groups or lists to segment your contacts Use of the BCC: field to cloak recipients’ details from one another It’s OK for very small mailing lists…but soon becomes unviable
‘Pros’ of using your email client It’s cheap It’s quick You don’t need to learn how to use another application You don’t have to duplicate your contact database elsewhere because your mailings are done from your email client
‘Cons’ of using your email client Spam filters catch a lot of email sent this way – because it looks like spam There’s a chance that you will accidentally use CC: instead of BCC: – a privacy no-no Malformed email addresses will result in SMTP blockages There’s no way to automate unsubscription for the recipients There’s no way to automatically manage redundant email addresses on your lists You can’t track number of email opens, clicks
A more robust option Use of a dedicated email marketing software package Database driven applications that enable you to manage mailing lists and email campaigns Two types of email marketing packages that you can use: Software as a service – web-based with ongoing fee Download / install – single fee upfront
Subscription forms Email marketing software packages provide you with online forms that can be implemented on your website These enable you to gather ‘opt in’ subscribers – you should only send email to opt in subscribers Place subscription forms on every page of your website
Double opt-in v single opt-in Single opt-in adds an email address to a mailing list immediately after the subscriber submits their details via an online form Double opt-in requires the subscriber to click a link in a confirmatory email before they will be added to a mailing list Why double opt-in? Ensures that the subscriber is ‘bona fide’ Stops automated responses Don’t be accused of spamming – double opt-in is the way to go
Spam Act Under the Spam Act 2003 it is illegal to send, or cause to be sent, unsolicited commercial electronic messages. The Act covers email, instant messaging, SMS and MMS (text and image-based mobile phone messaging) of a commercial nature. It does not cover faxes, internet pop- ups or voice telemarketing. See: http://www.acma.gov.au/WEB/STANDARD/pc=PC_31029 4
Key Elements of the Act Consent - the message must be sent with the recipients consent. The recipient may give express consent, or under certain circumstances consent may be inferred from their conduct or an existing business or other relationships Identify – the message must contain accurate information about the person or organisation that authorised the sending of the message and how to contact them Unsubscribe - the message must contain a functional unsubscribe facility to allow the recipient to opt out from receiving messages from that source in the future. Unsubscribe requests must be honoured within five working days.
Format: HTML or Text Many subscription forms allow you to specify whether you wish to receive the HTML version or text version of emails Most email clients support HTML these days, but some people still prefer text Email marketing packages allow you to send both HTML and text versions using Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) – the email client determines which format to display
Customer segmentation Create multiple lists for different stakeholder groups – eg. One list for consumers One list for business-to-business clients Further segmentation Age Location Education Gender Hobbies Buying preferences, past purchases Best customers (eg. biggest lifetime spend)
Personalisation Which is going to be more effective? Dear Book Enthusiast,… Dear Steven,… Personalised emails can improve your reading and clickthrough rates up to 650% Subscribers feel like they have a relationship with you if you address them by their first name (even though this is automated when you send your email)
Unsubscribe links Email marketing software enables you to add an link that automates unsubscription if the recipient chooses One-click unsubscription will ensure make recipients feel more comfortable with your marketing – how do you feel towards a business when you cannot unsubscribe from their messages? Unsubscribes are not a bad thing – they help to clean up and improve the quality of your database over time
Bounce management A bounce is the email equivalent of ‘return to sender’ Many email marketing packages have automated ‘bounce’ management The software detects when there is a hard bounce (email address doesn’t exist) or a soft bounce (mail box is full) Hard bounces are removed automatically from the mailing list Helps you to keep your email lists ‘clean’
Statistics Email marketing packages embed tracking links in your emails so that the following metrics can be measured: Unique opens Opens Clickthroughs Unsubscribes
Steps to success Define your target audience Determine your objectives Produce your offer and message Test and measure Eg. Split tests - a split test allows you to send different versions of the same email campaign to your list and see which gets the better open and click-thru rates. Repeat Just like building websites, blogs, social media campaigns etc
Periodicity Maintain consistent frequency – every day, every week, every fortnight, every month Too frequently will annoy people Monthly or once every month is probably best for B2C email marketing – but depends on your business! Fortnightly or monthly is probably best for B2C email marketing – but depends on the business! Try and maintain consistency so that your readership knows when to ‘expect’ your communications – ie. Email newsletter is sent every Thursday at 10am sharp
Best time to send It has been proven that recipients are more receptive to email communications on Tuesdays and Wednesdays Monday is generally too hectic (and depressing) for most people at work There’s a case for sending your emails on Friday, as people are less guarded just prior to the weekend (they’re more likely to be in a good mood).
WIIFM – What’s in it for me? All content, whether it is sent via email or published on a website, needs to be written from the visitor’s perspective – what’s in it for me? With email it is even more important because you are intruding upon the recipient’s email box – they need to ‘do’ something with the email (read it, delete it, unsubscribe)
Design Clean, uncluttered, simple is best – the email will render differently in different email clients Lots of white space Don’t overuse images or colour Consistency – keep the design the same each time to strengthen your brand
Subject Line Perhaps the most important component of an email marketing campaign – you have half a second to convince people to open your email Get this right and you will dramatically improve the number of ‘opens’ Get it wrong and nobody will open your email 49 characters is best, as many email clients will truncate subject lines
Consider these subject lines… Newsletter 3, October 2010 October promotion New diet program available How to feel younger, have more energy and look fantastic
Body content Deliver good content – relevant, unique, valuable, educational, timely Catchy stuff needs to be ‘above the fold’ Use headings that delineate the content clearly Don’t just use images – many email clients will not display images by default (the user typically needs to ‘allow’ images) Small chunks of ‘teaser’ text - not big swathes of text Link through to content on your website – contextual links, ‘read more…’ One of the principal aims of your email marketing should be to direct qualified traffic to appropriate landing pages on your website
Avoiding spam filters Minimise use of words that may trigger spam filters Free, save, discount, sex, click here, viagra, etc Check your IP address isn’t blacklisted on major black lists databases – eg Spamcop, Spamhaus Don’t send attachments with your emails
More tips… Don’t SHOUT or use lots of exclamation marks Have your business name in the From: field for credibility Use a personal signature within the text for credibility Try and stir up curiosity and sense of urgency with a personalised salutation Fred, looking for discount books? Fred, a quick question for you Discount Day – details inside Today only – 20% discount Use standard blue hyperlinks Opt for editorial over blatant selling