Jill Harris

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How to create a killer call-to-action

Posted by Jill Harris on 01/02/19 10:09

Call_to_Action_0219A good CTA (call-to-action) is vital as it requires your customers to engage even further with your brand. A bad CTA puts you at risk losing a profitable opportunity. As an online marketer, you must understand the need for your customers to buy your products, subscribe to your services, and register for your events.


To help ensure your online marketing works as hard as it can, here are some tips on how you can create the kind of CTA that’ll get you killer results.

Simplify, simplify, simplify

What do you want your customer to do? Buy something? Look at some new content you’ve created?


Whatever it is you want them to do, make it as clear as possible, and as easily as possible to understand.

Less is more

When Zanussi reduced the number of CTAs in its email from four to one, it achieved a 42% increase in opens. Originally, they’d thought more buttons would equal more. It didn’t. It equalled confusion and misunderstanding with their customers.

Location, Location, Location

Where you put your CTA in emails or website pages or blogs is vital. Your ‘real estate’ is precious. Every bit of it should be working the hardest it can, so place the CTA above the fold in emails or web pages. That way, your customer will see what it is you want them to do almost immediately. Hide it at the bottom of an email, out of the way, and they’ll either miss it completely, or delete the email before they get there.

Choose your words carefully

Words are incredibly powerful tools. Choose the right ones, and your campaign could be a runaway success.


Use the wrong ones, and it’ll sink without trace. First and foremost, think about what it is you want your customer to do. Remember, only ask them to do ONE thing. For example:

  • Buy Now
  • Subscribe Here
  • Shop The SALE
  • Learn More
  • Download Now
  • Enter Here
  • See What We Recommend for You
  • Start your FREE Trial

Quick! Read this - immediately

Bet your eyes went straight to this, didn’t they? Most CTAs are time-critical. In which case, make it clear you want your customer to act now, shop now, do something – now.


However, research has found that some customers react negatively to being told to do something immediately.


We come on to A/B testing soon, but the different use of language in one CTA vs. another might be something you want to consider – and test.

Make it STAND out

A good CTA needs to stand out from the rest of the content to grab your customer’s attention. Don’t make the colours or design the same as your brand colour and design. Choose a different typeface. Give it room to breathe. What we mean by that is, try and make sure there’s plenty of space around the CTA. Don’t stick it right in the middle of a load of text.

One size does not fit all

Mobile is fast now the most popular method for consuming email. That’s why getting the size of your CTA

right is imperative. Clicking a link on your desktop is easy: touching a CTA with your thumb can be slightly more difficult.


Here are some guidelines for finger-friendly design:

  • Apple’s iPhone Human Interface Guidelines recommend a minimum target size of 44 x 44 pixels
  • Microsoft’s Windows Phone UI Design and Interaction Guide suggests a touch target size of 34px with a minimum touch target size of 26px

Testing, testing your CTA

See what kind of CTA works best for you. Try sending out two creatives using two different buttons: maybe one that’s blue and one that’s red,or try two different sets of copy. See what works best for you and your users so you can optimise ongoing sends.


For more on great CTAs follow this link>>>


Design and Optimise Calls-to-Action

Tags: call to action, calls to action, b2b cta, small business marketing cta, b2b call to action

Starting B2B Social Media Marketing in 2018

Posted by Jill Harris on 24/07/18 16:24

social media moinitoringIn the past, the job of looking after any social media marketing and their associated posts and tweets may have fallen on the shoulders of more junior members of your team.


But companies are now paying attention to the power of social media. They’re seeing its potential if used effectively and strategically, not just as something that needs to be kept ticking along. Plus, the benefit that it can bring by helping to build credibility and reputation. The problem is that companies are often time-short and pressure-heavy.


Let’s look at a simple solution to getting started on more strategic social media use, as well as some tips for getting the most out of it.


If you’re new to social media, or just don’t know where to begin when it comes to developing a strategy - then you’re in the right place. This article aims to help you learn more about the most important social media platforms and how you can work with them in a B2B environment.


But, you need to commit some time every day to get started, to get used to the platforms and to increase your knowledge so you’re better placed to then devise a strategy at the end of it.


After an initial period, your time commitment can be less, as it will be more about keeping the conversation going, once you have planned out a clear direction and your objectives.

Choosing the Right Platform

So where do you start? There are so many different social media platforms to choose from that it may seem overwhelming when deciding which ones to use.


So, choose the ones that will be the best fit for your business and your personas. Just focus on doing the ones chosen well. That will be far more effective than trying to do much across too many channels.


The two sites that are the most well suited for B2B social media marketing are LinkedIn and Twitter. Facebook may seem tempting as it has the largest number of users in the UK, and you may already use it yourself. But you’re looking for the ones that will give you the best return on investment for what you need to get out of it.


Remember, at an entry level these sites may be free to join but they all still come with a cost implication - whether that’s time you spend, money for more advanced functions or boosting your posts to hit specific personas, or even the cost of training.


To get going and keep it simple, the main strategy I suggest you follow is: have a fully filled out LinkedIn page that will act as a well-rounded, professional profile, then use Twitter for your quick updates.

Can you Delegate Social Media Interaction?

Of course, you can use the social media savvy people within your company, or an outside agency, to help you set up personal and company profile pages. But it’s not a great idea to outsource the management of your personal pages.


If you’re worried what to write then remember, always go for quality over quantity. Research shows it’s not the frequency that matters (if you’re not leaving it weeks between posts and always respond promptly to others), so don’t feel you have to post anything just to post something.


It’s almost like going to a networking event – what might you say? What you had for supper the previous evening may not be of interest to many people, but your attendance at an industry conference and snippets of advice you heard would be.


Your social media presence is representing you to the public. Everything you do, or don’t do, says something about you. Even the basics like spelling and grammar could potentially impact on your personas' opinion of you.

Sharing other People’s Content

If you come across interesting bits and pieces online, share them with your network. A quick RT (retweet) and a share on LinkedIn go a long way to keeping your audience engaged.


Be careful, usually sharing means association in some way, so if that is not something you want then you’ll need to post your own comments along with the link, not just post the link alone. Do this every time you come across interesting information.

Sharing your own content

When your company has interesting information, you should share that too. Be careful not to overdo it with the straightforward marketing material, keep it more about the PR items. And then what?


Get a feel for each platform. Then you will naturally find your own strategy and what works best for you. It is important not to give up. By watching what others are doing and refining your own strategies you will soon reap the rewards. People out there want to connect to you, give them a chance to do so.


In doing the posts and connecting the next area is monitoring social media for topics, potential clients etc. For more on this, follow the link>>>


Social Media Monitoring

Tags: social media marketing, b2b social media marketing, social media strategy, social media monitoring

Why use an 'Integrated' Small Business Marketing platform?

Posted by Jill Harris on 22/07/18 16:04

integrated small business marketingWe're asked this quite often. Many people involved in small business marketing, we talk to, are looking to update their website. So why should they invest in an integrated marketing platform rather than go down the traditional route of separate website, CRM system, email marketing platform, blogging system and social media posting platform?


The answer lies in the information 'flows' within your organisation. Where is data generated and what could you do with it given the right tools?

Where does your data come from?

Information about your leads has traditionally been captured by people within your company and this has often been the justification for a CRM system. A single system into which sales, marketing and other employees can capture information about leads and about customers.

The Internet however opens up a whole lot of new sources of information about your leads, much of which is hard or impossible to capture manually:

    • Visits to your web site by contacts and the pages they have viewed
    • Social media interactions with contacts
    • Email engagement - emails opened and links clicked
    • On-line forms completed and whitepapers downloaded

This is a lot of data that a CRM system won't be able to record or that will be recorded in an often fairly cumbersome way.

What can the data be used for?

Where is all this information going? How is it going to be used? Sales people want to select the most promising leads, management will want an overall view of the sales funnel, support people will want to view a customer's history, a small business marketing person would like to know the effectiveness of their campaigns.


Many of the people using the available information will in turn add additional data into the system. When a sales person calls a promising lead they will record the success or otherwise and schedule follow up actions.

As well as 'people', software can 'analyse' this information and do things that were previously not possible or practical.


Lead scoring as a means of identifying the most promising leads is a good example. A lead scoring system takes what's known about a contact and automatically generates a 'score' for that contact. The more information available the better the ability to accurately rank leads.


Personalised campaigns can also be driven by the flow of information. We call these 'stories' and a story is started by a 'trigger', which might be a contact completing an online form or when a lead's score crosses a specific threshold.


The story then unfolds at a rate appropriate to that individual and can vary as more information becomes available. These 'automated campaigns' take inputs from CRM systems, web sites, email tools and can generate 'actions' which might include: sending follow-up emails; logging a CRM sales call; adding the contact to a new list; increasing or decreasing the contacts 'score'.

Data flows

In an environment without an integrated solution you may be implementing different functions through different systems:

  • your web-site running on a CMS (WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Magento…)
  • contacts managed through a CRM (Salesforce, SugarCRM, Microsoft Dynamics…)
  • marketing email sent through a bulk mailer (MailChimp…)
  • sales emails to individuals are sent through the CRM system or through Outlook
  • articles managed with a blogging platform (Blogger or WordPress)
  • lead scoring handled by the CRM, limited to the information stored by or visible to that CRM system
  • automation?
  • on-line lead tracking and analytics?

This gives a set of discrete functions that either:

  1. don't communicate
  2. have nothing worth communicating
  3. have limited ability to communicate

It's very much like taking pieces from different jigsaws and hammering them together to make a picture. There will be gaps between the pieces and whole sections are likely to be missing.


Most CMS and blogging systems have no tracking information that can identify returning contacts so have little or nothing to add to the data. There may be integration between the mailer and the CRM system to automatically synchronise address lists and opt-out requests and sometimes more.


The picture below shows some of the data and control flows that we'd ideally like between people and systems within a company:


marketing automation flow chart


As an example of the scope of these flows I've highlighted in red those that could benefit lead scoring. Significant events might include:

  • clicking on links in emails
  • visiting specific pages on the web site (for example the prices page)
  • completing call to action forms such as downloading a whitepaper
  • your sales team receiving a call
  • your sales team making a call
  • receiving an email from a contact to your sales team
  • reaching the end of a personalised email story

Trying to integrate this information effectively across multiple systems is not trivial.

To take a simple example:

  • marketing: generating content and distributing this on the organisations own site and on third party sites
  • marketing: using the content to drive an email marketing campaign
  • lead scoring factors in email clicks, article reads, views of specific pages
  • articles and emails contain a 'call to action' leading to a landing page with a form
  • when the form is completed it adjusts lead scoring, emails the contact and creates a contact report in the CRM
  • when the calculated score for a lead exceeds a certain threshold a CRM 'sales call' task be scheduled

Putting a number of these functions into a single system allows these data flows to happen seamlessly and to be transparent.


A company’s processes can be made more effective by allowing information to flow freely and, where possible, automatically to where it's needed. The fewer systems involved in the process the fewer external links that need to be created, the fewer the places for data to get lost and the more optimised and complete the data that's recorded.


An 'integrated' marketing platform (really it's an integrated sales and marketing platform) fulfils a number of business functions within a single application enabling some operations that aren't possible with separate systems and making others easier and more intuitive.


It is possible and often necessary to integrate data from multiple places but this can create quite an expensive overhead for an organisation. The data available from each platform will not be completely compatible and even with good integration skills the result can often look like a set of ill-fitting jigsaw pieces from which parts can often fall or fail when you upgrade one of the systems.


For more on marketing automation follow this link>>


Lead Marketing Automation

Tags: small business marketing, small business marketing automation, b2b small business marketing, small business content marketing, small business marketing strategy

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