9 Ways to Reduce B2B Email Campaign Unsubscribes

Posted by frank harris on 22/10/18 10:49

email deletionHow can B2B email campaigns keep their database plump and receptive and reduce unsubscribes? Here are 10 ways:

 

1. Make it clear what the user is opting into

 

There’s a balance between maximising ease of email sign-up and the user options for subscription.

 

Giving the user tick boxes to choose from e.g. newsletters or monthly updates, could potentially decrease conversion of your signup field, even if it stands to increase subsequent engagement of subscribers.

 

What is paramount is that users know they are indeed signing up to receive B2B email campaigns, and understand what these emails will include.

 

Testing email frequency is important, and indeed it will be one of the main factors influencing unsubscribe rate.

 

However, there’s a lot to consider when it comes to frequency - implications of engagement levels can be difficult to tease out.

 

For example, users sporadically interact with some B2B services and companies but that doesn’t mean these companies won't benefit from a branding perspective by emailing every week. Customers, too, may be happy to keep these companies front-of-mind, in preparation for a big annual purchase, or simply on the off chance that an enticing promotion is offered.

 

In one of Parry Malm’s fantastic email articles for Econsultancy, he discloses positive results for the so-called re-send method, used by MusicRadar.

 

Re-sending a newsletter daily for seven days to non-openers was shown to be advantageous, giving a 255% uplift against control, with greater than 99.9% confidence.

 

Re-sends in this experiment were also more successful than re-activations (using different creative to encourage a recipient to re-engage) in this experiment.;

2. Get feedback from unsubscribes

A rather obvious one, this, but there are different ways in which you can do it. It’s common practice to offer users a list of reasons for unsubscribe and necessitate that one is chosen in order to complete.

3. Allow for a change of heart

Immediately after a subscriber hits unsubscribe, they’re allowed to recant.

 

I’d love to see data showing how often the 'no' option is chosen. My hunch is not very often, but it’s an interesting tactic, making sure that no recipients unsubscribe in error.

unsubscribe

 

4. Take a break or promise to take it easy

Unsubscribes may not want a complete cessation of messaging. If they’re unsure whether a regular email is of use to them, they make take the opportunity to enjoy a break for a week or two.

 

Also offer the option of changing email frequency, which is best practice for email preferences.

5. Automate

Tying email timing and content to the customer lifecycle / sales cycle allows brands to deliver more relevant messaging that can help to increase engagement and reduce unsubscribes. This can include:

  • A programme of welcome emails
  • Notification of products back in stock
  • New stores opening near you
  • Incentivising product reviews
  • Basket abandonment emails
  • 'Recently browsed' emails
  • Loyalty rewards

6. Recognise unsubscribe trends and re-engage

Set criteria for what an inactive subscriber is and move these recipients to a re-engagement segment.

 

The soon-to-unsubscribe might be characterised by a drop-off in opens and clicks at certain points in the customer lifecycle.

 

Looking at hurdle rates can help e.g. 30% of purchasers have clicked or opened within the last six months

7. Segment

Segmentation may be considered by some to be the old-fashioned cousin of automation, but designing content for different personas is obviously still a valuable strategy.

 

For example, if an estate agent wanted to send out some content/research about UK house prices, it would get more engagement if it tailored and targeted this content to specific regions in the UK.

 

A B2B company may want to segment an audience into purchasers, decision makers, CEOs etc. knowing that each audience desires different information.

 

Ultimately, a marketing department should be able to use knowledge of its products, content and audience to ramp up customer interest.

8. Test subject lines

Optimising open rates by testing subject lines doesn't mean unsubscribes will dwindle. Just because more recipients are opening your messages, doesn't mean they're any more relevant.

 

However, it's clear that the more intriguing subject lines are, the more an impression of value is conveyed. This may be enough to placate some users.

 

People May be attracted to 'sale', 'save', '% off' and 'free delivery' in subject lines but test for your personas.

9. Establish communication elsewhere

Lastly, it's important to note that relevance doesn't have to be created solely within the email channel itself.

Communicating with a customer offline or through other online channels can add context to email communications.

 

Partly, this is rationale for automation, but it's also a reminder that a phone call or direct mail can be your most powerful engagement tactic.

 

For more on how email marketing has changed follow the link below>>>

 

Lead Generation using  your Website and SEO

Tags: b2b email marketing, email marketing, b2b email lead nurturing, b2b small business email marketing, email segmentation, behavioural email marketing

How to Build an B2B Online Marketing Community

Posted by frank harris on 18/10/18 10:12

b2b online marketing communityWhat differentiates you from your B2B online marketing competition? Your product and its features? The relationships you build with your clients? I think that every category has, somehow, become commoditised.

 

When you produce an innovative product, it isn’t long before your competition catches up. This leaves little for the customer to base buying decisions on apart from perceived value.

 

Also, there’s a lot content out there. Marketers are pouring more and more into content strategies, but most of the time they simply add to the content which most consumers are becoming more accustomed and immune to.

The Challenge?

If traditional marketing is old hat, how do we create a unique positioning to become the go-to supplier for our products and get a step ahead of the competition?

 

You can do it with excellent customer service and great retention strategies, but the best ways are through emotional and psychological bonds marketers can build by creating a sense of community.

 

Marketers have now realised that it’s possible to build a flourishing B2B online marketing community around values and beliefs which initially attracted them to your brand.

Why should marketers build a community around their products and brand?

  1. To Increase Perceived Value - When you increase the perceived value of your product, you increase the actual value.
  2. To Create a Content Experience - If someone visits your website and then returns on a mobile or tablet, can you identify them?
  3. To Move to The Next Stage in the Customer JourneyDespite GDPR, we’ll still give our email addresses in exchange for value. But creating an experience is key to delivering a deeper level of engagement. Marketers should build a destination so that prospects feel like they belong to a thriving community where people share their values.

What is a B2B Online Marketing Community?

The popularity of LinkedIn groups and email for discussing industry interests show that people value coming together with others in different ways. These groups are based on shared interests, values, and a desire to share content they feel is relevant to them.

 

People like asking for advice, and develop camaraderie knowing that there are people with similar experiences facing similar challenges. Thus, they build long term loyalty and trust.

 

But size isn’t always important. A micro-community with only a small number of members can be very successful if it has the right audience that is engaged.

 

How to create communities

  1. Identify your Customers

It’s important to know who your personas are. Beside demographic information age, income, and occupation, understand their lifestyles, attitudes, and beliefs. Develop your buyer personas - fictional profiles of the people who you want to sell to. They help you understand their point of view and the problems they need solving.

  1. Your Values

Besides knowing what makes your customers tick, it’s essential to understand your company’s values. An established company has developed values over time, and even a start-up has an idea of how to do things. However, values may not be explicit. Putting them into words is a good way to get them crystal clear.

  1. A Sense of Belonging

When you know your values, use them to create a sense of belonging by showing your personas how they relate to their worldview. They may not appeal to everyone, but that doesn’t matter as it can be helpful to alienate some people to strengthen the community’s sense of belonging.

  1. Opting in

Creating a shared purpose brings your customers closer. You can communicate messages using quality content e.g. online blogs, videos and articles. While some content should be freely available, customers must opt in to your community to access others.

 

Opting in is not onerous - just means providing a name, email address and perhaps signing up to your newsletter. Quality content that helps personas solve a problem is the key to encouraging them to opt in.

  1. Logging In

Logging in is a step up from opting in. People log in to access services like Facebook and Netflix - and it indicates they highly value the experience.

 

From a marketing perspective, it’s useful when customers log in because you gain more valuable data and can track people across different devices and anticipate where they’ll go and what they’ll do next. 

  1. Experience and Engagement

Once logged in, people need to feel they are getting value from the experience. They’ll return and make a long-term investment of their time in the community.

 

When developing a community, quality Not quantity is key. It’s better to have 100 members who regularly log in and contribute, than 1,000 occasionally.  Recruiting a community manager can initiate conversations, draw attention to relevant content, and introduce new members.

  1. Monetisation

Your community’s developed, your customers know and trust your brand, and share an outlook. So, you now know more about your potential customers and have an effective channel for sharing new developments with them.

 

Content develops the conversation. Don’t push too much sales information on the community immediately. It’s important to keep using great content to develop discussions, so your customers feel they are getting value. Once they trust you, they will like you, and your brand will come to mind when they have a problem to solve.

Conclusion

Brands need ongoing engagement, a way to continue the community conversation to build advocacy, engagement, and lifetime value.  You can communicate with prospects at different stages of their life cycle and promote the right content, at the right time, and in the right context - and to the right people. For more on developing content follow the link below:

 

content marketing for small business

Tags: b2b online marketing, small business marketing strategy, b2b small business marketing, b2b customer experience, small business internet marketing services, b2b customers, b2b marketing agency

How to Make People Love Your B2B Blog

Posted by frank harris on 16/10/18 11:02

love blogPeople write B2B blogs for a variety of reasons. Some aspire to be an award-winning author, and others need it for their business.

 

Whatever your reasons might be, having a blog is a wonderful way to express your opinion without having to kowtow to a publication’s rules and guidelines.

 

But, after a while the passion fizzles out. You start asking yourself, what is the point of writing if there is no one reading it. It’s a fairly common phenomenon, and if you are already at the verge of quitting, don’t. Try to make these changes instead.

What you need to do

This article is to help you understand what you need to do when writing for personas.

 

Truth is people in general don’t really care about your thoughts. This probably explains why your blog has a much lower readership count than you would expect.

 

However, you can do to rectify this, by making changes to the way you write.

B2B Blogs aren’t about you!

Blogs often start with personal thoughts and therefore are filled with personal details.

 

But if you want to write for a larger audience, say 1,000 strong, you need to put some thought into writing things that other people can relate to.

Giving Readers a Reason to Read your Work

In writing, it’s easy to write about things that you yourself can relate to, identify with and be passionate about. Now all you need to do is translate that into something your personas can relate to, identify with and be passionate about.

 

And of course, that is difficult, because how are you supposed to figure out what your readers are thinking?

 

Try using your common sense and put yourself in your readers shoes.

Making your Material Relatable

You can turn something into areas they would care about. For example, instead of telling people what your clients bought last week, share instructions on how they used it to get more sales.

 

Give your readers something they can take away after they read one of your posts, and as the readership pool changes, you will get a steady stream of people interested in what you share.

Be Humourous and Friendly

It’s important that whatever you have to write leaves an impact on your readers. The easiest impact to aim for is humour. Doesn’t mean it is easy, I’m just saying it’s the easiest by comparison. Even if it means corny jokes, that’s fine for certain personas.

 

Sometimes a technical piece works well with certain audiences and you can use jargon or make inside jokes that you are sure your targeted personas can follow and understand.

 

However, don’t let humour be the centre of attention. If you have a point to deliver in your post, make sure you do, if not in a funny way, at least in a nice way. And whatever you do, don’t annoy your readers.

Don’t be Creative with Punctuation

It would be nice for all bloggers to have some respect for punctuation. For example, there are blogs that use ellipsis (…) in place of commas and full stops (or periods). There are also bloggers who don’t break their writing into paragraphs, and the group who like to write content then align their writings centre.

 

Look, the three dots have their own function so unless you intentionally omit certain words from your writing, please stop giving your old English teacher more heartache.

 

Secondly, whilst longform is a style you can conform to, people do prefer to have their reading material in smaller, more digestible forms.

 

And lastly, have you ever read paragraphs aligned centre? It’s hard to pick up where you last left off because we don’t know where to put our eyes next. This is not "flaunting creative license", this is mental torture.

 

So is alternating the upper and lower cases in the same word or sentence, making your article as colourful as an artist’s palette or not giving thought to colour contrast.

Don’t Ramble

If you want to ramble, get it off your system on a piece of paper. Then if you still feel like this is a thought worth pursuing on your B2B blog, organise your thoughts, remember the readers and give them reason to follow through the whole post without wondering if there is a point to the post and of course, stay true to your readers’ punctuation needs.

One Last Thing

Writing a blog is going to give you exposure to total strangers, sometimes fellow bloggers and people whose attention you don’t have the intention to seek in the first place.

 

This is unavoidable.

 

Having a B2B blog about your business thoughts and opinions is like giving a TV interview. People are going to see and hear, and in the case of a blog, read about your opinions. And they will have their opinions to throw back at you. Other times, they will ask for favours.

 

This is unavoidable.

 

But when this happens, when people make it clear that they want your help in doing something point your readers in the direction of your giveaways – that means that you are being successful.

 

People now do read your writings on your blog. However, if you need more help on the subject, just download the eBook from the link below:

 

How to use Blogging in Small Business Marketing

Tags: b2b blogging, small business b2b blog, small business blogging, small business blog, b2b marketing blog, business blogs, business blogging

7 Factors that Affect your B2B Website Search Traffic

Posted by frank harris on 10/10/18 10:32

B2B_SEO_TrafficIf you produce content you must have stumbled upon the great SEO chanting, ‘Don’t write for search engines but for your readers’. Personally, there is no point in developing great content if it doesn’t get the proper exposure it needs to attract your B2B website search traffic.

 

From back linking to choosing good web hosting, SEO experts try every possible technique to get more traffic via Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). They burn the midnight oil to ensure that the website is SEO friendly.

Already started feeling nervous? Well here are seven factors that can help you affect your website traffic.

  1. Content

Unique content is the entrance by which your company interacts with your customers. Therefore, if your content is not engaging enough, your customers will fly away. Especially, as Search Engine ranking depends greatly on the quality of your content.

 

Keeping them glued to your website, you’ll need to provide your user with engaging, valuable, passionate and relevant content.

  1. On-Page Optimisation

The content pages need to be optimised for Search Engines. The keyword and key phrases are the main factors by which a Search Engine determines whether a page is relevant to a search term or not. Therefore, your content should contain relevant both keywords and key phrases within a permissible density, not “keyword stuffing”. Apart from the content body, your keyword should be included in your URL, in the title tag and your page’s image alt-texts. This helps a Search Engine to find your page.

  1. Backlinks

Backlinks are the links that point to your site from other sites. In SEO, backlinks are a key factor in determining the authority, popularity and usability of any website but, not every backlink is worthy, so don’t be happy with the number of backlinks your site gains, it’s only about quality backlinks that matter. Backlinks that come from other high authority websites in the same niche are counted as quality backlinks.

  1. Social Signals/Social Buzz

Social signals play a great role in Search Engine ranking. When content gets shared on Facebook or Tweeted and re-Tweeted on Twitter etc., the Search Engine treats that content as useful and popular and pull it up to a better ranking position, thus increasing your traffic opportunities. The quality and quantity of Social Network shares also play a great role in increasing your B2B website search traffic.

  1. Choose a Smart Hosting Service

Your website is like your shop, it carries your identity on the web. Your web hosting services acts as the developed land on which your shop is built. A web hosting service keeps, serves and maintains your website files and make them available via the Web. Technically, there are three kinds of web hosting services:

  1. Dedicated Hosting
  2. Shared Hosting and
  3. VPS hosting (Virtual Private Server hosting)

Selecting a good hosting for a website is the utmost factor for Search Engine ranking as it involves with other factors such as page loading time, website availability, etc. and in this niche Linux VPS hosting is better than shared and dedicated hosting as it provides the freedom of owning a private server at a very low price.

 

Consequently, webmasters tend to choose a local VPS web hosting for better good results as the physical location of the VPS hosting server is also important for Search Engine ranking. If your hosting server is located in the US, then the Search Engine will assume that the website caters for US internet users, this will also be reflected in the search results. Geotagging can be helpful in this case.

  1. User Signals/Site Usability

Statistically, web users return to those websites which are rich in valuable information. A good, responsive design for all screen sizes is also a factor of good user experience. A search engine considers a user engagement matrix which includes how much time users spend on your site, the number of new users, number of returning users, etc. Apart from these, Search Engine also considers click-through rate, bounce rate to determine the usability of a website and rank it accordingly or penalise it.

  1. Website should be Easy to Navigate

Usually, online readers aren’t patient. Therefore, if they must dig deep to find the next page, they will fly away. To ensure you don’t drive your audience away, you will have to make your website navigation is as simple as possible to keep visitors happy. So, try to make a clear and concise design for your website  navigation for offering a hassle-free reach to every single corner of your website. This will not only help your users to find all your pages smoothly, but, it will also help Search Engines to find and index all your pages quickly.

 

This is a quick analysis of how to get the traffic you need. For a fuller explanation check out this blog and to show how to convert your traffic into leads follow the link below:

 

b2b lead generation

Tags: b2b website marketing, b2b traffic, b2b seo programme, b2b seo program, b2b customers, b2b website search traffic

3 Steps to Creating an Inbound Marketing Content Inventory

Posted by frank harris on 09/10/18 15:57

content marketing 0918In inbound marketing, we spend a lot of time creating content, and it can be a struggle to constantly come up with fresh ideas. 

 

However, the key to creating effective content is to know what you have already in your content inventory.

 

Creating a register of effective content means mapping your content to the appropriate stage in the buyer’s journey.

Once you know what content you have, you can identify opportunities and holes, and then create new content to fill gaps in your content library.

 

Here are 3 steps to help you create the content you need to align with the buyer’s journey.

  1. Gather your Inbound Marketing Content

Sometime in the future you realise you have no idea where your content is stored or how much you have.

Good, quality content that you’ve invested time, effort and expertise creating gets lost. There are lots of places where you can look to find your lost content. Consider:

  • Shared Drives
  • Folders
  • Your computer
  1. Create a Content Inventory Spreadsheet

First, you need to set up a system to capture important information about each piece of content.

 

Setting up a spreadsheet about each content offer in your digital library will enable you to access your content for use in campaigns and marketing initiatives.

 

Identify the categories that are specific to your business and the appropriate values. I'd recommend at least the following:

  • Buyer Personas - identify which buyer persona a particular content offer is most relevant to. Since buyer personas are unique to your company, list your company’s buyer persona choices in your spreadsheet. 
  • Topics - when you get to 3 below, you’ll want to specify content subjects. To do this easily, prepare a list of your business’ topics of importance.
  1. Map Content Offers to the Buyer's Journey

In inbound marketing, you want to deliver the right content, to the right person, at the right time.

 

To achieve this, know which stage of the buyer’s journey readers would likely find your content offer most helpful. 

 

Each stage of the buyer’s journey is characterised by unique behaviours, motivations and information needs. Review content and determine which set of the above needs your content aligns with. Here are descriptions of the stages in the buyer's journey.

Awareness stage 

A prospective buyer starts identifies a problem and begins research to understand the problem more clearly, develop context, and finally define their problem and give their problem a name. They are seeking educational information that helps them understand the problem.

 

The person in the awareness stage is self-involved and not ready for product or vendor specific information.

 

This self-indulgent time spent learning about their own problems in the awareness stage will help them prioritise their research and articulate their needs for features later in their journey. At the end of this stage, the buyer has defined their problem and is committed to finding a solution.

Consideration stage 

The prospect researches all available solution options in the marketplace. They consider technologies and ways to solve their problem. At the end of this stage, they’ve chosen the solution strategy for their business and their problem.

Decision stage

A prospect is building a list of potential vendors, products and services and seeking information to help them reduce the list to a short list, make a decision and based on that decision, they’ll make a happy purchase.

In pictorial form the journey vs the content looks like this:

 

buyers journey 1

Use the steps in this article to consolidate your content into a content inventory and then sort each content offer into its appropriate stage in the journey. Once your content library is nicely ordered with your content inventory spreadsheet, you’ll be able to take action by using this content in the following ways:

  • Do a Content Analysis - to gain actionable insights, identify holes and spot content opportunities that will influence your content strategy, drive your content roadmap, and fuel your content creation efforts.
  • Repurpose content - select content from your inventory that you’d like to increase exposure.
  • Create new content offers -  to create new content to fill the holes and gaps in your current library.

To help you define and construct the content just use the toolkit you can find by clicking below:

 

content marketing for small business

Tags: inbound marketing campaign, inbound marketing, b2b content marketing, small business content marketing, small business content

6 Ways Online Marketing Automation can use GDPR to your Advantage

Posted by frank harris on 27/09/18 16:28

marketing automationA lot of companies not using online marketing automation are concerned about the possibility of having to pay GDPR based fines. But GDPR is not about fines; it’s about respecting markets and individuals.

 

The key solution is showing how these concerns can be turned into opportunities. How can we find new ways of interacting with personas to create long-term business?

 

Here are 6 ways to use GDPR to win over more clients and expand existing relationships.

  1. One user-friendly database

A large part of GDPR is being able to show what data you have about your contacts and prove how you acquired it. But it’s difficult to be compliant if that data is scattered across multiple marketing technology (martech) applications.

 

For example, salespeople may keep their own contact records and don’t share them. Marketers often create various, disjointed spreadsheets and lists filled with customer and lead data. Even HR teams make lists of current and potential employees. With an online marketing automation solution, all this information is collected and managed in one centralised hub.

 

This provides a more holistic view of contact records, making it easier for you to prove where your data came from and allows you to more share knowledge across your company.

 

Then, businesses now use social media as an additional medium to reach personas, since the opt-in requirements of GDPR may make it harder to reach some prospects through email alone.

 

With automation, you can rebuild a contact’s engagement score by posting a personalised message on their Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn account, even if they haven’t opted in to receive your emails.

 

Everywhere, SaaS (software as a service) solutions offer protective measures that you can’t guarantee if you’re using multiple different systems.

  1. Focus on engagement to keep people opted in

Email is still one of the most powerful weapons for marketers, but it’s been abused by senders of unsolicited content and fraud. GDPR strives to help mitigate this problem by only allowing businesses to communicate with contacts who’ve consented to receiving emails, but the law can only go so far in controlling what businesses are doing.

 

Luckily, more effective solutions to prevent businesses from spamming their contact lists have been developed. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like Google, Microsoft and Apple have moved their focus toward engagement, rewarding reputable senders by getting more of their emails into the inbox instead of the spam folder.

 

ISPs track domain names, IP addresses and content to determine which businesses are sending to

engaged recipients, and which ones are spamming their contact lists.

 

This is a great solution for honest marketers, but even we can end up falling victim to these

regulations if we don’t take the right precautions.

  1. Managing the right to unsubscribe

Customers have the right to unsubscribe from your newsletters, commercial communications, questionnaires, invitations, and more.

 

But what if someone wants to unsubscribe from your newsletter, yet still be invited to your promotional events?

 

With online marketing automation, your leads and customers can opt to unsubscribe from specific communications, while remaining opted in to others. Since consent is such a central part of GDPR, giving people the option to unsubscribe is critical.

 

Leads who haven’t opened emails, visited your website, or completed forms in a long time may no longer be willing to provide consent.

 

But don’t forget – the best communication is personal. Just because you’ve received initial consent to email a contact, or permission to re-engage them, doesn’t mean you should bombard them with generic content. The more personalised your communications are, the less likely people will be to unsubscribe at all.

  1. The right to be forgotten

Your leads and customers also have the “right to be forgotten.” This means that if they request it, you must delete all personal information you have about them.

 

All you must do is maintain a list of who asked to be deleted, when they requested it, and when you deleted their information.

 

GDPR forces marketers to minimise their databases, so once someone asks to be deleted or unsubscribes from your mailing list, you mustn’t re-subscribe them. However, when it comes to your remaining contacts, the power is in your hands to keep them engaged and prevent them from unsubscribing.

  1. Cookie consent made easy

Proving how customers came into your database and how they’re interacting with your brand is now more critical than ever.  You must have a cookie policy where you disclose what cookies you’re using and for what purpose. You need to have your own privacy policy in place and keep privacy, cookie and legal documents up to date and in a central location.

  1. The customer’s right to know what we know

Under GDPR, your leads and customers have the right to request all information you have about them. If a lead or customer does this, GDPR obligates you to hand that data over, especially if you can use the data for profiling reasons.

Turning GDPR into an Opportunity 

Your reaction to GDPR shouldn’t be fear and frustration. Rather, you should think of it as a chance to do business in a new way. Besides having new processes in place to standardise and protect your

data, we also get to be part of a new era of marketing, where we have countless new opportunities to engage leads and customers.

 

I believe strongly that an online marketing automation is the solution. To find out more about how automation can help you, just follow this link>>>

 

Lead Marketing Automation

Tags: b2b marketing automation, small business marketing automation, marketing automation, gdpr compliance

Improving Results from your Inbound Marketing Database

Posted by frank harris on 25/09/18 15:46

email deletionSo, after GDPR, what does an unhealthy inbound marketing database or email list look like? Simply it’s one where the recipients are likely to delete your email without reading it or reporting it as spam.

So, identifying these contacts is where to focus your attention.

 

When you first uploaded your database to your CRM or email marketing system you were probably asked some questions. For many inbound marketing CRM and email marketing providers the quality of your list is essential, as they don’t want their servers blacklisted for sending spam. The questions they ask you are usually along the lines of:

  • Does everybody on this list have a prior relationship with your business?
  • Do you have an unsubscribe list?
  • Did you purchase, rent, or lease the list from a third party?
  • Will the people on the list be expecting your email?
  • Have you emailed these contacts within the last 12 months?

For this article the first one is the most important. You’ll have a healthy list if the contacts know you and have a prior relationship with you.

 

So, if the contacts have signed up to hear from you or have filled out a form to download your content, they have initiated a relationship with your business. This is the best way to build your database, growing it organically with people who are interested in your business and have chosen to hear from you.

 

A contact who you’ve inspired to request to hear from you regularly is much more valuable than someone who is receiving your content because you’ve purchased their details.

 

To maintain a healthy list, you should publish regular content that encourages new subscribers to sign-up to hear from you regularly.

 

Then use this content to keep in touch with your database so that they get used to hearing from you and expect to receive your emails on a regular basis.

 

Thirdly, don’t hide the unsubscribe option or even leave it out of your emails. If people really don’t want to hear from you, it’s much better to let them unsubscribe than to annoy them with emails they don’t want.

That covers growing and nurturing your list, how can you go one better? The answer is you need to prune it.

How to improve/update your inbound marketing list

Over time, the quality of your list will diminish. People change jobs, their interests evolve, they change email providers or unsubscribe from your list. The changes will probably affect around 25% of your list every year.

 

Therefore, run regular campaigns to re-engage your existing contacts and develop new contacts. It’s like tree pruning, clear out the dead wood to help it bear more fruit. Clearing out your email list gets better results.

 

Re-engagement campaigns are the most effective way of pruning your database. This reawakens inactive subscribers and identifies the email addresses in your inbound marketing database to remove. It’s much better to remove inactive email addresses than persuade yourself that your email database is bigger than it is.

 

Focus re-engagement campaigns on stale contacts. These are the ones that have been on your list for a long time, but aren’t engaging with your emails by opening, reading or clicking through from them. Ideally you should run these campaigns regularly to keep your database clear.

 

First, create a sub-list of contacts that haven’t engaged with your content. How strict you are on this will be down to your business. If this is new, then send regular emails to identify and create a list of anyone who hasn’t engaged with your emails in the last 6 months.

 

When you’ve done this, design and write an email with a well-crafted offer to attract these inactive contacts to engage with you again. Your offer must grab their attention and reawaken their interest.

 

After sending your email, check the open and click-through-rates to understand which contacts to keep and which to remove. The first time you do it, removing contacts will be tough, but you need to make the space for something better. Don’t worry it’ll get easier the more you do it – especially when you see improvements in your engagement rates.

Get started today

That’s what you need to do to keep your inbound marketing contact database healthy, so I’m sure you’re keen to take action.

  • Work out how you want to segment inactive contacts, e.g. those that haven’t engaged with your emails in the last 6 months and create the appropriate list
  • Design the offer that is going to attract them back in - perhaps with exclusive content. Remember it has to be good to get them to re-engage.
  • When you’ve decided on the offer, craft an email that’ll stand out in their inbox and motivate them to take the next step.

Then send the email and analyse the results. Remember don’t be afraid to remove those contacts that didn’t engage. For more on improving your email campaigns just follow the link below:

 

Lead Generation using  your Website and SEO

Tags: b2b small business email marketing, inbound marketing, inbound marketing campaign, email marketing automation, email marketing, b2b email lead nurturing

What is Right Time B2B Online Marketing?

Posted by frank harris on 24/09/18 11:15

Right Time B2B Online MarketingThe definition of real-time B2B online marketing is evolving.

 

The buzz around Big Data and the age of the “multi-channel, empowered consumer” has made marketers believe that a real-time and instantaneous interaction with consumers is the answer to all marketing situations. Yes, real-time is important, but there has been a subtle shift from a purely real-time mode of thought to that of Right Time Marketing.

 

Right Time Marketing is a sophisticated way to boost customer acquisition and retention, provide seamless customer experiences, and create revenue by understanding a customer’s characteristics, channel preferences and in-market purchase signals. Right Time B2B Online Marketing is built on a foundation of rich customer data and taking the massive opportunity that marketing data presents and getting it right.

The 4 R’s of Right Time B2B Online Marketing

Right Time Marketing matches offline and online data sets to drive right real-time connections with today’s consumers.

 

Traditional marketing discusses the 4 P’s – Product, Price, Place and Promotion. Big Data is based on the 4 V’s – Volume, Variety, Velocity, and Veracity. And Right Time Marketing has evolved to embrace the 4 R’s –Right Person, Right Channel, Right Moment and Right Answer.

  1. The Right Person

    Identifying the right person through a combination of internal customer and prospect data, as well as third-party demographic and firmographic enhancement, digital data, and in-market purchase signals.
  2. The Right Channel

    Once the right persona or audience has been identified, marketers must use a multi-channel approach to target today’s consumers. As consumers go from device to device and use as many as 8 channels or more for research and purchases, marketers must continually strive to provide a seamless experience for the customer, however or whenever they decide to interact with your brand.
  3. The Right Moment

    Consumers today are constantly bombarded with marketing messages and advertisements. Cutting through the clutter requires that you serve up the most relevant messages at the right time.
  4. The Right Answer

    By integrating the right data across multiple channels to understand a consumer’s behaviours in the moment, companies can find the Right Answer to meet increasing customer expectations. When targeted to the right person, through the right channel, and at the right moment, every customer interaction is an opportunity to strengthen customer loyalty, reduce churn, and boost revenues.

Data: The Foundation of Right Time Marketing

With the constant influx of bigger and faster data, marketing data solutions have evolved from copy, paste characteristics to dynamic and multifaceted profiles that require input from a variety of constantly fluctuating sources. As potential customers increasingly move to online channels for researching, and buying, traditional offline ways of marketing are simply not enough.


Data-as-a-Service (DaaS) solutions integrate both offline and online data sets to deliver real-time data at just the right moment of opportunity. DaaS is a revolutionary way of mining today’s massive data environment to find just the right data and delivering these assets to a company’s channel systems or digital marketing platforms at just the right time.


The importance of data to drive all aspects of marketing has become so profound that today’s marketers agree that data is at the foundation of successful marketing strategies. GlobalDMA and the Winterberry Group conducted research study that demonstrated marketers’ commitment to data-driven marketing.


Key findings included:

  • About 80% of survey respondents said that data is important to their current marketing activities, and more than half (57.1%) described data as “critical” to their efforts.
  • More than 90% of respondents said that data is becoming more important to marketing efforts, and over three-quarters (76.7%) said that data is growing “substantially” more important.
  • A vast majority of survey respondents (77.4%) said they are confident in the data-driven approach to marketing.

When survey participants were asked to describe the primary focus of their data-driven marketing activities, 68.5% chose “Targeting of offers, messages, and creative content.” When survey participants were asked what factors were responsible for driving their investment in data-driven marketing, the 52.7% stated “Demand to deliver more relevant communications to customers/be more ‘customer-centric.’” In other words – the right message to the right person, at the right moment.

 

The evidence is clear – Right Time Marketing is the next wave of innovation to change the way industries acquire and connect with consumers. The question is, is your strategy ready to keep up?

 

To get nearer to Right Time Marketing for lead generation just download my eBook from the link below:

 

b2b lead generation

Tags: b2b online marketing, real time marketing, right time marketing, integrated online marketing, online marketing strategy, online marketing services

5 Simple Strategies to Improve your B2B Blog’s Search Rankings

Posted by frank harris on 23/09/18 16:38

blog 0818With a B2B blog, there’s ample opportunity to boost your search engine rankings through blogging. However, you can’t implement a short-term approach to build a long-term source of organic traffic.

 

When you’re doing SEO, you need to be cautious. Some of the strategies that worked in the past will now get you penalised and some strategies that weren’t worth your time are now essential.

 

If you want to build a sustainable web presence, then you need to adapt to the changes of Google’s algorithm, whenever they happen.

 

As you align your content to the updated algorithm, you’ll gradually generate organic traffic. But more importantly, you’ll be able to attract prospects that could potentially become loyal customers.

 

Popular avenues for generating traffic to a business’s website include blogging, SEO, social media and email marketing. Many of these should be used in conjunction with one another.

 

For example, B2B blogs account for a large portion of traffic for businesses - and if you continue to create relevant, high-quality content, it will increase your rankings in the search engines, especially by optimising your posts and promoting them via social channels and email.

 

Here are five tips that you can use to build a reliable source of organic traffic to your B2B blog site:

1.     Stop Focusing on Keywords in your B2B Blog

Over years, Google has concentrated on the value of the overall user experience. Their goal is to move away from seeing search queries as strings of keywords and towards understanding them as meaningful concepts.

 

Now, Google places greater emphasis on the value of your content than on the specific keywords it contains.

Does this mean that you shouldn’t optimise your content for keywords? No.

 

Google still relies on keywords to understand the relevance of your content, but it’s become better at understanding context and detecting spammy content - meaning that to achieve strong rankings simply by placing the main keyword in the title of your B2B blog and continuously repeating throughout the content are out.

 

The key is to create quality content that provides useful information to your personas. Stop looking for the shortcut in SEO which will do nothing but impede your visibility in the search engines.

2.     Share Content on Social Media

If you want to rank high in the search engines, then you need your content out into cyberspace. One of the best ways to do this is by building your visibility through social media.

 

Share your blog posts on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google Plus regularly. The more places your website is featured, the more data Google with gather on it.

 

Your social media fans are probably not ready to purchase your products. Unlike search engine users, they aren’t looking for an immediate solution to their problem. However, they are always interested in rich content related to the topics that matter to them and the problems they are trying to solve.

 

Create thoughtful, useful content and you will improve experience of your fans. As you continue to provide value, they will start visiting your website. This will increase the level of engagement on your social media channels, in addition to your organic reach and get backlinks to your content pages.

 

Building a social media presence enhances your brand’s visibility. When you distribute your content through social platforms, you’ll generally notice more links. The social media dynamic is like a “cocktail party.” Always lead with value, and don’t try to pitch your fans repeatedly.

3.     Quality Versus Quantity Links

The more backlinks, the better, right?  No.

 

Links are still a factor in the search engine rankings. However, the days of creating thin content and “link blasting” are over.

 

Buying backlinks is easy. But proceed with caution, because this practice could lead to a penalty (and potentially ruin your brand) if the following applies:

  • You receive a large volume of links in a short time frame.
  • The links aren’t relevant to the theme of your website.
  • The linking websites have a low Domain Authority.

The quality of your inbound links is what matters most. The change from “quantity” to “quality” can be attributed to Google’s algorithm, Penguin, introduced in 2012 aimed at websites buying links (bad or good) to boost their Google rankings.

 

Nowadays, any SEO impact from link building is based on the idea that they provide real value to users.

4.     Promote Content to “Earn” Links

If you want to enhance your brand awareness, you need to heavily promote your content.

 

If you don’t have an inbound marketing strategy to help you “earn” links, then it will be difficult to build sustainable organic traffic. First, decide who your personas are and what problems or needs they are looking to solve or fulfil.

 

Your content should address these needs. You should create a social media marketing strategy that gets your content out in front of your audience on a regular basis.

What are “earned” links?

They reflect the value delivered to your market. If a credible source in your niche links to your website, then you have “earned” a link.

 

If you don’t create useful content, then no one will link to it.

 

There are no shortcut strategies to increase the number of earned links to your website. The best advice is to focus on creating thoughtful, useful content that meets your personas’ objectives.

5.     Optimise your Website for Mobile

The technology trends in our society have diversified your personas. They no longer sit at their desk behind a pc to access the web.

 

Mobile has taken over. Google has adapted, so should you. The majority of monthly searches now come from mobile devices.

 

So, optimise your website via:

  • Layout. Ensure that your pages, menus and posts are optimised for mobile.
  • Behaviours. Your landing pages and sales pages might require different strategies on mobile.
  • Content. Is there a disparity in the content that mobile and desktop users want? Determine what format is generating the most traction with mobile visitors to your website.

Conclusion

Nowadays, SEO is a long-term strategy that encompasses all relevant aspects of digital marketing. The best way to increase your search engine rankings is by creating useful content for your personas.

Promote your content across a multitude of social media platforms, to build a reliable source of organic traffic to your website.

 

For more on improving your blog download the eBook from here>>>

 

How to use Blogging in Small Business Marketing

Tags: b2b blog, b2b marketing blog, marketing blog, small business blogging, blog content, business blogging, small business blog

How Small Business Content on its own brings Traffic, Links, and Leads

Posted by frank harris on 14/09/18 11:23

content-marketing-question-ss-1920Web marketers tell you that just publishing small business content does not achieve anything. I know they have never done it.

 

I’d like to say it’s easy to publish content that fails to attract traffic but when even spam blogs can bring in traffic, links, and leads you have to ask what these marketers are doing that they cannot even match the performance of spam blogs.

 

The “quality” of your small business marketing content has nothing to do with whether someone else links to it. People will link to anything that they believe is useful. In fact, many bad SEO articles earn links just because they were written by someone whom the linkers know, follow, or trust. That’s terrible, but the majority of link-earning SEO articles earn links for this reason more than any others.

 

There is no such thing as an objective standard of quality. Google certainly doesn’t apply standards of quality consistently. They admit they ensure consumers can find well-known brands in their search results even if the brands are caught violating search engine guidelines.

 

You’re not going to win any argument based on the assumption that merely publishing content cannot accomplish anything on the Web. The data and search results are against you. The mantra of you MUST promote your web content represents a distorted version of a truth: active promotion speeds up the acquisition of traffic, links, and leads.

Why Merely Publishing Content Is Enough

It’s a rare Website that fails to get indexed within a few weeks, unless the publisher takes steps to prevent indexing.

 

If you publish a blog you don’t have to do anything other than publish posts. Let a WordPress blog’s default behaviour of sending out PING notifications work for you. Your content will be indexed, sometimes within a matter of days, in the worst cases within a few weeks.

 

That is passive promotion. You do nothing but publish the content.

 

Of course, you post links to blogs on social media. I consider this to be active promotion.

  • Hyperactive crawlers look for RSS feeds and new content. Google runs hyperactive crawlers along with many RSS directories. Those crawlers index your content so that it can start earning traffic from search sites.
  • DNS-aware Websites are often disavowed by Web marketers who don’t understand that these sites are not only harmless, they actually help you. A DNS-aware Website monitors the activation of domain names. It may send out a crawler to scan the site or it may just publish “who is” information about the site.

These Websites exist for a few reasons. Most of them carry advertising. Some are tied to Web marketing competitive intelligence tools.

 

There is nothing wrong with these links, many of which drive traffic to your Website. Web marketers have a tendency to assume the search engines will punish them for having these kinds of links but the search engines know you did not create the links. They either ignore these links or give them very little weight. But they do drive crawl.

Random Queries Create Real Visibility for Your Content

Google sometimes defines a long-tail query as one that drives 10 or fewer visitors within a 28/30-day period.

There is no length requirement for a long-tail query. They can be 1-word queries or 20-word queries. The “long tail of search” consists of rarely used queries. There LOTs of these kinds of queries.

 

More importantly, these long-tail queries often reflect specific user needs. When your content is a clear match for a long-tail query you have a very good chance of making a conversion be they on high-traffic or low-traffic Websites.

 

Your conversion rate doesn’t depend on how popular the queries you rank for may be; conversions depend on how well you meet the visitor’s expectations and how well you earn their trust.

 

If you’re earning 1,000+ visitors per month through true long-tail query traffic, you’ll earn natural links and build brand recognition, meaning those people will remember and search for your site again.

 

All you must do is publish useful small business content.

Search Referral Optimisation Ignores Arbitrary Goals

An arbitrary goal is anything like “we need to rank for [2-word term]” or “we need 1,000 visitors per month”. You cannot optimise through arbitrary goals. In fact, they degrade optimisation.

 

You can build traffic outside the search optimisation channel. People do this all the time but they label it as “SEO” because they don’t know what else to call it.

 

Search referral optimisation creates the best possible relationship between a search engine and a website. A new Website does not earn traffic from high-volume queries unless its content goes viral.

 

Going viral is random, unpredictable, and genuine enough to occur on its own. If you are nudging your content into some sharing funnel it’s not true viral content even if you gather hundreds of thousands of shares or links.

 

Optimisation is all about improving how the system performs according to its maximum realistic potential. What you are doing isn’t SEO if you push your metrics beyond the limit of what natural search optimisation can produce.

The Length of your Content Doesn’t Matter

Long content has become the new Web spam.

 

On the Web it’s easy enough to identify small business content spam because:

  • It’s only there to provide context for advertising - OR
  • It’s only there to provide context for 1 or more promotional links - OR
  • It’s there to serve as a place holder and still tries to get some traffic

Long-form content spam adds to this list by pretending to be thorough, complete, and authoritative. A few examples of Long-form content spam include:

  • Articles consisting of many quotations with little or no transitional context
  • Articles that contain many images (especially screen captures)
  • Articles that contain many unrelated facts with little or no transitional context
  • Articles that are written to cover as many “long tail” queries as possible
  • Articles that are hard to read because of incessant popups and calls to action

Long-form spam sometimes earns lots of links and draws lots of commentary but tends to fall into content that is just there to get you to buy something, sign up for something, or register for a Webinar. The user experience is of no importance to this form of content.

 

If the content was important it wouldn’t be obscured by pop-up registration forms and calls to action or long sequences of page-wide images. These long articles just draw people in to pop-up forms and calls-to-action. They’re not trying to create a valuable, useful Website experience.

 

The fact the search engines reward Long-form Spam doesn’t mean it’s not spammy. It just means the search engines’ guidelines have not yet caught up to the latest spammy practice.

 

While it’s true that nagging your visitors gets them to sign up for whatever you are selling, aggressive nagging that obscures the user experience is a hallmark of Websites that search engines have long-since dumped as bad user experiences.

 

If you’re content to milk Long-form Spam for all it’s worth, don’t lie to yourself about what you are doing. It’s spam, plain and simple, and nothing more.

 

Short content articles are fine. What matters is whether they deliver the goods to the visitor. Artists, cartoonists, and even major news Websites still publish a lot of articles that run to fewer than 500 words and continue to top the search results for many high-volume queries.

 

If length really mattered my own 1,000+ word articles would have been buried by now. I never count the words and I stop when I can’t add anything of value. I expect people to read my articles. I’m a “content first” marketer. I’m not afraid to lose your attention because I know you’ll be back.

 

It never fails to work. Sometimes it takes a little longer than we want.

Search Engine Optimisation Includes Active Promotion

In case I leave you with the impression that I am saying you’re not optimising for search if you actively promote your content, that is not the point I want to make.

 

You can build links, target queries, and do all that SEO stuff and it can make a contribution toward optimising your site’s relationship with the search engines.

 

What is important to remember is that SEO must always support the business decision. If the business decision is to do absolutely no active promotion then the worst thing you can do is conclude that your hands are tied and the project is doomed to failure. Websites can succeed on content alone. Any social media sharing came later and remains secondary.

 

It’s the small business content that matters most, not how you promote it. Make content that you yourself will want to read and it WILL last (and it will do well). Just be consistent.

 

For a content toolkit that will help you produce your best content, follow this link>>>

 

content marketing for small business

Tags: interactive content marketing, small business content marketing, small business content, seo traffic, get more traffic, get more leads, b2b small business email marketing

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