Did you know that more than 294 billion emails are sent daily?
How many unread emails did you wake up to this morning?
Email marketing is big business. In 2011, email marketing brought in an average of $40 for every $1 spent and this year, US retailers are expected to send more than 258 billion emails.
The ROI of Email Marketing
Well, a recent survey held by MarketingSherpa asked participants to estimate the return on investment (ROI) from their email marketing campaigns. The response was incredible, with marketers claiming an average ROI of 119%.
Schoffa, one of Finland’s fastest growing retailers for men and women’s dress shirts have seen their online sales rapidly increase since implementing a more frequent email marketing strategy.
Email marketing is a channel all marketers use, yet as much as 97% of businesses get it wrong. It’s common for brands to send one email to their entire subscriber list with a link to their home page and then expect sales to flood in. This is not the best approach to take and ultimately leads to a failed sales channel.
Email marketing is the most preferred channel
In April 2012, I wrote a blog post titled “Is email marketing still relevant in a world full of social networks?”. Due to increased social media marketing spend and an increase in the number of Facebook success stories, I came to the conclusion that email marketing was on its way out of the online marketing matrix.
I was wrong. In fact, a few months later, research came out that email was the most preferred method of marketing communication with more than 77% of consumers choosing email marketing as the preferred method of contact from a brand. The second most preferred method was direct mail with only 9%.
Lessons learned from the top 10 converting websites
One of the most insightful white papers I have ever ready is the Top 10 Converting Websites report from SeeWhy. The report explains why the top converting websites in the world are able to reach conversion rates of more than 35-40%! This is compared to the average conversion rate for an e-commerce site being 1-2%.
The reasons why sites could convert more visitors into customers include:-
- Provide excellent customer service
- Offer a wide range of products
- Focus on customer lifetime value
- Email marketing & Remarketing
By implementing the same strategy as Amazon, Office Depot and Pro Flowers (capturing the email address!), Schoffa was able to use email in a more strategic approach, which helped sales increase by more than 50%!
In the last 6 months of 2012, Schoffa sent 8 emails to their subscribers. During the first three months of 2013, Schoffa has sent out 14 emails. Your first response will be, how well are these emails performing?
The results of a sample of newsletters sent in in Q1 can be seen in the following table:
The statistics remain pretty consistent even though the frequencies has increased the subscriber base has grown.
What have we done differently?
- We now send out one email per week
- We send out the email on the same day and time each week
- The emails are more text based than image based
- The emails include a greeting and sign-off from the CEO
- The sender name is the CEO’s name
- The emails include multiple links to relevant sections on the website
The impact of frequent and personalized email marketing
The first quarter of the year has been exciting. Although the increased email marketing efforts were expected to produce great results, the overall performance has been beyond expectations. The results are as follows (compared to Q1 2012):
- Subscribers list has increased 31%
- Web traffic has increased 32%
- Online sales have increased 58%
- Average order value has increased by 245%
Capturing the email address of a web visitor is one of the first things you should focus on for your website. Once you have an email address, you can target more personalized offers to your reader, which results in higher customer satisfaction levels and increased profits. The days of ‘one-size-fits-all’ are long behind us and when implemented successfully, email marketing is quick, easy and highly effective!
How often do you send emails to customers? Do you think one email per week is too much?
Feel free to comment below.
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Alot of business executives are asking the same questions these days. What should we do on Facebook? How can our company take advantage of Facebook and other social media platforms? How can we improve relationships with customers/partners/employees/suppliers using new technology? How can we use Facebook to sell more, improve processes and cut costs!!
The principles for success are simple. The challenge is (and has alway been) how to implement in real life!
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg gave us some advice when he was asked at the World Economic Forum in Davos a few years ago about how companies can succeed with Facebook. Here´s a revised summary of Zuckerberg´s response:
“Your customers, employees, partners, suppliers already doing what they want to do. What you need to focus on is to make it easier for them to do what they already do.” (Details are on page 48 of the book WWGD written by Jeff Jarvis).
Facebook can help your business in many ways. It’s not about creating Facebook pages. It´s not about writing status updates, posting pictures and running competitions. Don´t outsource the task to ”social media experts” and communications advisers. As a business you need to focus on how you can make life easier for your customers, employees, competitors and partners to “connect”.
Your job as a leader is to point out the direction, make sure you have the right people on the job and move in the right direction. Management Guru and longstanding CEO of General Electric, Jack Welch, says that strategy is about choosing a general direction and implement like hell. This mindset has worked for many companies for over 30 years. It will work well for your Facebook activities as well. The details will fall into place after the first activities have been implemented! Therefore, the main advice is to get started! Just do it!
If you don´t know what to to, here are five specific tips for business leaders who want to succeed with Facebook.
1. Don´t block Facebook for your employees
How can your business succeed on Facebook, if you deny your employees access? Some companies have chosen to block Facebook for employees at work because they think employees waste time on Facebook or because IT says it´s a security problem. This is almost never smart. If you treat your employees like kids, they will behave like kids.Denying access to Facebook can become a frustrating annoyance – especially for young people. Most people have smartphones where they can use Facebook anyway. If you want motivated employees you should treat them as adults. If your employees are spending too much time on Facebook, Facebook itself may not be the problem!
2. Create an informal intranet for your employees on Facebook
Most of your employees are already on Facebook without you having to invest in expensive IT systems, boring training sessions and costly internal meetings. Take advantage of it. Create a closed Facebook group for your employees and let your employees communicate with each other there. You will be amazed by the benefits. Suddenly old and new employees can get to know eachother easier than before. People who know each other work better with eachother and often deliver better results (ref: Goretex and Dunbars number ). Just like there are formal and informal rules in the lunch room, you can introduce some simple rules for the closed Facebook group.
3. Create closed groups for better collaboration
E-mail is the biggest time waster in many companies. E-mail is, believe it or not, an outdated form of communication. Facebook (and other social platforms) work better in many cases. Think how many times you’ve received an e-mail CC and a long discussion dialogue on e-mail. Is it effective? Also check how your kids communicate on Facebook. A simple “like” is often easier and better than responding to all that you have read and agree but you have some questions. An e-mail from you can often end up stealing several hours working time from your staff! Explore how your business can use the modern social tools (not necessarily Facebook) instead of wasting time on e-mail!
4. Create open groups for your customers
People are talking about your company and your products already. Your business can use Facebook to gather customers in one place. Pick up valuable feedback from your customers and use the feedback to improve your products, customer service and marketing. There are of course other ways to do this, but why not use a tool that most people are familiar with already? You don´t need to invest in complex IT systems and expensive contact management software. Test it out on Facebook. If it works on Facebook, you can consider other options. Create an open group for your customers.
5. Create a Facebook page for your business
A company Facebook page is the tip of the iceberg. Facebook gives companies opportunities to market products and services. To get started with this you need to register a Facebook page and start producing relevant content for your audience. The content will often come as a result of the first 4 tips in this article. When people begin to communicate internally, relevant content and good ideas often bubble up to the surface.
Good ideas alone are worthless. To be successful, both the ideas and the capacity to implement be present. So therefore: Point out the direction and follow up with an extreme focus on implementation. This is according to Jack Welch, the recipe for success in business. Success on Facebook is about the same principles.
Focus on implementation: Make it easier for people to do what they already do!
* Bringing elegant organization to the work place: http://tribes.no/2012/11/02/bringing-elegant-organization-to-the-workplace/
* Ideas are worthless without action: http://stammen.no/effektivitet/ideer-er-verdil% C3% B8se-no-action
* How to get 100,000 fans on Facebook: http://www.inma.no/ARTIKLER/Blogg/innlegg/Hvordan-fa-100-000-Facebook-fans-pa-under-ett-ar
Tracking revenue generated from each organic keyword is a common report ran by SEO’s for e-commerce stores. Google Analytics E-Commerce Tracking is a powerful report that makes budget allocation a lot easier as you can see which channels generate revenue.
Lead generation websites are different. There is no on-site sale, no e-commerce tracking so therefore SEO’s need to be able to report the number of leads generated from their search efforts. The basic report in Google Analytics allows you to track conversion rate for any given keyword, but SEO’s also need to see which keyword generates the most leads by number, not a percentage. The following explains how to set-up a custom Organic Keyword Conversion Tracking Report that provides data on visits, organic searches, goal completions and goal conversion rate.
1. Goal Tracking In Google Analytics
Before creating this report, it is important to have goal tracking implemented. Without website goals, your analytics loses purpose. Whether your websites goals are sales, to capture leads or download a PDF product sheet, the goals of your website should reflect your overall business goals. Setting up goals will show you exactly how many goals were achieved but also how they were achieved and through which channels.
To create a filter, you can visit Admin > Account List > Analytics profile > Goals
The most common goal is URL destination. For example, if you want to track the number of newsletter sign-ups on your website, once the newsletter form is submitted, the “thank you” page URL is usually http://www.domain.com/thank-you. In this case, you would enter /thank-you and click save.
2. Setting Up The Keyword Conversion Tracking Report
To create the Organic Keyword Conversion report, you will need to visit Traffic Sources > Search > Organic and click Customize:
To create the report, you will need to add metrics to Report Content. The metrics you need to add are:
- Goal Completions
- Goal Conversion Rate
- Organic Searches
Note: If you do not add ‘organic searches’, the report will include keywords from your paid search campaigns.
You will then need to add ‘keywords’ to the Dimension Drilldowns section (you can ignore ‘filters’).
You can now apply the Organic Keyword Conversion Tracking report to all profiles within your Google Analytics account and then click save.
3. Getting The Keyword Conversion Tracking Report Data
Once the report has been saved, the data will be presented.
The report will show keywords based on visits to the website. You can filter by goal completions and to view all keywords that convert, change rows from ‘10’ to ‘100’ found at the bottom of the page. As per usual, the report will automatically show data for the last 30 days.
4. Exporting The Keyword Conversion Tracking Report Into Excel
Once you have the data, you can then export the Keyword Conversion Tracking Report to Excel and filter the report by branded and non-branded converting keywords. You can also use this data to find any increases in organic leads and view the progress of your SEO efforts.
The Keyword Conversion Tracking Report is a simple yet powerful report you can create to showcase your SEO investment is paying off.
Do you have any tips for custom reports in SEO? Feel free to comment below.
How to create an organic keyword goal conversions report in Google Analytics Tweet this!
During the last few months, two large Norwegian news organizations (Adresseavisen and TV2) have published articles where they explain how to get rid of ads on Facebook. From a consumer stand point this makes sense, but in a time when newspapers are struggling to find profitable revenue models online, should they be sabotaging the revenue model of a competitor?
And if removing unwanted ads is considered newsworthy for the readers, shouldn´t the news organizations also publish articles on how to get rid of ads on their own websites? Or should Facebook be treated differently?
Facebook: Ultra Local newspaper or direct mail?
Per Ravne Bugten the Consumer Ombudsman apparently believes that Facebook should be treated differently. He believes that Facebook should be covered by the same rules that apply to e-mail marketing and text messaging. The quote in the article indicates to me that he does not understand the underlying nature of the Internet. By definition everything that happens on the internet is direct marketing (if you define that all the information from commercial interests as advertising).
Facebook is a combination of ultra-local newspaper and a personal messaging system. It is completely voluntary to use Facebook and users accept the terms and conditions when they register. If Facebook is to be covered by the same regulations as e-mail marketing and text messages, it is quite natural that newspapers (Aftenposten, VG, TV2 and other advertising-funded agencies) are also covered by this legislation.
Individuals, media and advertisers must cooperate relevance.
The well-know Norwegian entrepreneur, Idar Vollvik and Netthandelen.no, a large Norwegian e-commerce company buy ads on Facebook in a similar fashion as they and others are buying ads on TV2 and VG. The difference is that Facebook requires that companies be more personal in their communication. In addition Facebook has obtained a massive amount of voluntary data from their “readers”. This allows for extremely targeted advertising far beyond what the newspapers will ever be able to.
The challenge for Facebook is that people have an expectation that Facebook should be personal and without advertising. This will change over time as people get used to advertising on Facebook and Facebook fine tune the way ads appear on. If you do not want advertising on Facebook, you can simply opt out or decline to login. It is not solely the advertisers responsibility to protect people from advertising! The advertiser, consumer and media must take responsibility for how advertising is presented.
Is all advertising bad?
The most critical people would argue that ALL advertising is undesirable and that companies should stop advertsing.
Thankfully most people have a more nuanced view on advertising. When you ask people: “If we stop advertising, how will you learn about new products and services?”. The answer is as often. “I will search for it online .. “Or” I hear about stuff from friends .. “. Google takes care of the first (search), while Facebook has made it easier to get news / tips / suggestions from friends and acquaintances.
In reality, Facebook is an improved newspaper where your friends are the news and your friends produce news for you. It is also a place where you can more easily get to know about products and services from commercial operators. It’s annoying that commercial messages are popping up increasingly mroe in the news stream. It’s also a bit scary that this news platform (and data) is controlled by a major U.S. company. These are the issues we need to continue to focus on! Let’s do it in a constructive way.
What will you focus on in 2013? We asked 7 online marketing authorities for their best tips. Here’s what they said.
|Brad Geddes | CertifiedKnowledge.org
|Rand Fishkin | SEOmoz
|Bryan Eisenberg | Best Selling Author
|Neil Patel | CrazyEgg & KISSmetrics
|Ben Jesson & Dr Karl Blanks | Conversion Rate Experts
|Stephen Pavlovich | Conversion Factory
|Linda Bustos | Get Elastic
What is your best marketing tip for 2013? Feel free to comment below.
7 out of every 10 customers abandon their online purchases, resulting in over 300 billion dollars of lost E-Commerce sales each year. The top 5 reasons for abandoning are split between price and timing. If a visitor leaves the shopping cart and does not return within the first hour, the probability of them returning to complete the sale is reduced by 90%.
With 90% unlikely to purchase from your site within the first 60 minutes of leaving, this means you have a very small window of opportunity to make an impact. Executing an effective remarketing campaign is difficult and why only 26% of e-commerce sites remarket.
Remarketing to web visitors that abandon your shopping cart is at the top of US marketers activity list, according to E-Consultancy, One of the main reasons for this is a recent report from Forrester Research that found that remarketing emails can generate nearly 4 times more revenue and 18 times greater net profits compared with marketing using simply non-ntargeted mailings.
Shoppers that abandon your website are visitors that almost purchased from you. It’s no surprise that real time, personalized emails within the first hour at highly effective. The more personal and relevant the email campaign is, the more likely the shopper will convert.
Many shopping cart recovery emails under perform because they look either like generic promotional emails or automated messages. Based on research from SeeWhy and E-Consultancy, there is a formula to getting the best out of your remarketing campaigns. Here are five tips for effective email remarketing:
1. Send your email remarketing campaigns within the first hour of abandonment in order to keep your brand at the forefront of the customers mind. Remember, they almost bought from you.
2. Personalize and tailor each remarketing campaign to the abandoned shopperr. Address them by name and offer your support in helping the visitor purchase your product or service. They may have left due to a technical error and are in need of assistance.
3. Tell your customer when his/ her shopping cart will expire. Make it clear that you will save the product/ service and you are happy to keep it until X(eg. 30) days before you put it back on sale on the site.
4. Show which item is in the shopping cart to remind the abandoned shopper what they almost purchased. Provide a clear image of the product and support it with guest reviews within the email.
5. Make your call to action prominent and link directly to the saved shopping cart. You want your abandoned shopper to see where to click within the email and that they arrive at the shopping cart checkout page. Do not send your shopper to your home page. Make it as easy as possible.
As online marketers look to find new ways to generate traffic and sales, get ahead of your competition and implement remarketing. For best in class campaigns, each email sent will probably be your most profitable campaign, generating up to 100 times the return that you would expect from a regular email campaign.
How you seen a significant increase in conversion rate since implementing email remarketing? Please share your comments below.
Softmedia, founded in 2003, is the world’s leading provider in penny auction software. On October 11th, they implemented CrazyEgg Analytics on the top five most visited web pages on their site. The goal was to identify areas for improvement on the website and increase lead generation.
CrazyEgg’s pricing is as low as $9 per month with a promise to “Increase your website’s conversion rate or revenues within the next 30 days… or your money back.”. With a low cost pricing model, Softmedia were happy to test the tool to see if conversion rate or revenue increased.
By visualizing problem areas on the website, we can remove distractions and increase form completion rates.
Twelve days after implementing CrazyEgg, Softmedia had collected more than 10,000 page views of data. Using the heatmap report, they immediately noticed distractions on the site that sent visitors away from the web form.
A “Do not click here” button was leading visitors away from the “request a quote” button (on the second most visited page) and by having a video demo on the contact page, the video acted as an incentive for users to be directed and navigate away. We removed these distractions immediately.
Providing these improvements were successful, traffic would increase to the inquiry form. The next step was to use CrazyEgg’s Overlay report. They wanted to make the form as simple as possible, without compromising the quality of the leads.
The overlay report allowed them to identify fields that are not being completed (note: not all fields are required). By removing fields that users did not complete and data that Softmedia did not use, they immediately improved the web form.
The recommendations found from CrazyEgg heatmap and overlay reports were sent to the web development team. The improvements made to the site took 10 minutes and the impact was immediate. According to Google Analytics, the site conversion rate has now increased by more than 51%.
By removing distractions on your website, web visitors will be more likely to complete your on-site goals and thus increase the number of leads to your business.
CrazyEgg delivered on their promise and for $9, Softmedia were able to increase conversion rate and the number of daily leads. Have you used CrazyEgg analytics and did it have a positive impact on your conversion rate?
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is one of the most important aspects of building a successful e-commerce site. If your website exists but users do not convert, you are losing business to the competition. This A to Z guide will help improve the user experience, your conversion rate and online sales.
A/B TESTING will help identify improvement areas to your website and increase conversion. Don’t make tests based on gut instinct – Use your web analytics data. Blivakker saw an 11% increase in sign ups when they ran an A/B test earlier this month.
Use BADGING on your best selling products to capture the reader’s attention and influence. Badge copy includes “Top rated product” or “Best seller!”
CAPTURE EMAIL address early and remarket to your subscribers. Make sure your email signup field is on the home page and above the fold.
DON’T ASK for what you don’t need! This includes contact forms, white paper download and your checkout process. Softmedia conversion rate increased by 170% by keeping the contact form simple.
EMPHASIZE the benefits of why customers should shop with you. Take 10 minutes and bullet point 5 reasons and paste these benefits all over your website. Hurtigruten increased online sales by $100,000 by making the benefits of booking online clear.
Shipping costs are still a major factor as to why users abandon the shopping cart. Think about FREE SHIPPING in order to increase online sales and reduce exit rates.
GO GLOBAL and localize your websites into high volume traffic countries using your web analytics data. Localize content, currency and online marketing efforts.
Prioritize your HOME PAGE CONTENT to increase cross-sell opportunities. Take your top 3 most popular products and place them prominently on your home page.
Take action and start IMPLEMENTING LIKE HELL. You don’t need to wait until everything is perfect – 80% is good enough to launch.
Remove your JUMP PAGE (or splash page). More often than not, these pages are not optimized and have a high bounce rate. You can use alternative methods such as IP detect if you want show the visitor that the website is available in another language.
Make sure KEY FUNCTIONALITY can be found on your home page. Key functionality includes newsletter sign up, step 1 of the order process or a contact form. Hurtigruten saw online sales increase by more than $20 million when launching key functionality.
Think LONG TERM and customer LIFE TIME VALUE. Don’t short change customers for the sake of a quick sale – Be generous to existing customers.
MAKE IT EASY to browse your offline material online. If you have a catalog, allow your users to browse your site by catalog ID. Use short URLs to promote your website offline.
Prevent “NO RESULTS FOUND” in your internal site search. Internal site search data is valuable. Make your search page list relevant results to boost conversion.
OPTIMIZE YOUR WEBSITE for tablets and smartphones. As much as 25% of total traffic is from mobile according to recent reports and this number will continue to increase. Make your site and shopping cart mobile-friendly.
Offer multiple PAYMENT OPTIONS in your shopping cart. Not all customers will use a credit card and approx. 30% of customers will abandon your cart if their preferred payment method is not offered. Multiple payment options can increase conversion by as much as 14%.
Ask for feedback from web visitors and use QUESTIONNAIRES and surveys. Web visitors are happy to provide feedback and this data will help improve the user experience.
90% of purchases are based on recommendations – Include product REVIEWS by real customers on as many products as you can. Localize the recommendations for positive SEO advantages.
SHARE SUCCESS STORIES – When something good happens, share it and make sure you celebrate your victory!
Be TRUSTWORTHY and make sure sensitive information requested is secure (SSL). Be true to your word and if you do happen to fall short, keep your customers informed at all times.
Run monthly USER TESTS using www.UserTesting.com. Identify usability issues and fix them quickly.
Implement inline VALIDATION on your web forms using both positive and negative validation. It will increase conversion rates by as much as 22%.
“Add to WISH List” is one of the best buttons you can have on your website. Implement it now, and remarket to those add products to wish lists.
Monitor your EXIT RATE and identify why users leave your shopping cart. Use the conversion funnel in your web analytics to fix pages with the highest dropout.
YOU or YOUR; write in second person to allow the reader to connect with the content. Try to avoid using “we” or “us”. Make the reader believe you are talking directly to them.
ZERO in on your target audience and understand their intent. Create landing pages that answer your visitor’s questions and needs.
Conversion rate optimization is an ever evolving process and you should always be testing, optimizing and improving your website.
What important techniques have I missed in this A to Z guide? Comments are welcome below.
- Case study: Remove 3 form fields – increase customer registrations by 11%
- Is the Biggest Barrier to Improving Conversion Rates You?
- 7 specific contact form improvements to turn visitors into customers
- How five minutes work resulted in $100,000 in sales
- Infographic: Free Shipping – Nice to Have or Essential for Purchase?
- How one website improvement increased sales by €15.8 million
- Boost Conversions with Internal Site-Search Optimization
- Payment options grow, as do security requirements
- Global Advertising: Consumers Trust Real Friends and Virtual Strangers the Most
- Inline Validation in Web Forms
Blivakker.no is Norway´s leading online beauty shop with approx. 20 000 visits per day. In September 2012, they performed an A/B-test of the site registration form using Visualwebsiteoptimizer.com. They were aware that the site had an overly complicated registration process, but wanted to collect actual data to support the suspicion.
Their goal was to prove that a small change in a web form would lead to an increase in the form registration conversion rate. The hypothesis (supported by experts…) was that by reducing the number of form fields, the conversion rate would increase. If they could show a significant increase in conversion rate by making small changes to a form, they would revise the entire purchasing process.
The original form had 17 form fields. They reviewed the form fields and chose to remove 3 fields immediately; account number, phone number and phone number evening. The goal was to remove even more fields, but this was difficult due to technical limitations.
They set up 3 different versions of the registration form step in the process;
- Control – the original form
- Skjema-light – the original form minus 3 form fields(account number, phone number, evening phone number)
- Skjema-uberlight – a completely stripped down form with fewer fields and less navigational elements
Here are the results from the A/B-test:
The red marker shows which fields were removed:
The tests showed that when you reduce the number of unecessary fields in a form, you increase the number of registration. The test also shows that it´s not optimal to remove too much information from a form. The most important consequense of this small test is that the company now understands the importance of fast registration processes. Within a few months, more key processes will be analyzed and simplified to increase online sales.