Joey Taravella

Live Email Optimization from MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2015

August 6th, 2015

“The number one obstacle we face with our emails is not a lack of brilliant copywriting, the right graphics or an understanding of personalization. The real enemy of underperforming emails is confusion,” Flint McGlaughlin, CEO and Managing Director, MECLABS Institute, said in his live optimization session at MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2015.

During this session Flint McGlaughlin makes live edits to several emails submitted by the audience, offering feedback on everything from preheaders and titles to body copy and calls-to-action.

The first page submitted is from Kelly of RoadRunnerSports.com and is discussed by Flint and an audience of Kelly’s marketing peers. The live optimization of this page shows a discussion of principles from personal marketing experiences.

Of the many changes that were recommended by the audience, one that was particularly important was an edit to the calls-to-action and their color and contrast to the rest of the page, specifically the background image.

Flint makes the point that the CTAs do not look like CTAs and, “every time you ask your customers to make meaning for themselves, you lose customers … That is far too much unsupervised thinking.”

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Categories: Landing Page Optimization Tags: , , , , ,

Gregory Hamilton

Creating Product Names to Maximize Digital Exposure

August 3rd, 2015

While generating the maximum exposure isn’t always the first thing your product development team thinks about when developing a product, it falls to marketers to inform our company’s prospective customers about this new and exciting product.

Unfortunately, rarely is the marketing team able to lead the product naming conversation; thus, by the time the product is ready to go to market, we are often handicapped in our options.  Below you will find three guiding principles for product naming that enable maximum exposure once your product hits the market.

After all the hard work of developing a product, why name it in a way that reduces your ability to market?

Following the guidelines below when choosing a product name gives you the best chance to achieve the maximum amount of exposure while expending the least amount of resources.

Each rule below can be broken or ignored if necessary, but doing so will mean increased marketing costs over the life of the product.

 

Principle #1: Don’t allow search engines to guess

While massive strides have recently been made by modern search engine algorithms in their ability to determine the user intent behind a given search query, they are not perfect. In order for your product to achieve the maximum level of exposure, your greatest weapon is to remove as much guesswork from the equation as possible.


Principle #2: Don’t create product names that resemble a mistake

Avoid misspellings

Search engines automatically make adjustments for queries they deem to contain spelling errors.

Google has even gone so far as to automatically show users the results for what the algorithm assumed they were intending to spell. This greatly reduces exposure of your product until your misspelling is adjusted for in the algorithm.

Examples:  Sinc, Sync, Reli, Mi, EZ, Lazer, Xport

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Kayla Cobb

Email Marketing: Tips for tech support selection and contract negotiation

July 30th, 2015

In the world of marketing, there’s always a push to stay ahead of the curve and, more importantly, ahead of competitors.

However, it’s hard to dedicate the time, money, manpower and technical know-how to launching truly eye-catching (and revenue-generating) campaigns. This is especially true for smaller companies with marketing teams consisting of only one or two employees.

Enter the potential best friend to most campaigns: the vendor.

At the MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2015 Media Center, Erin Hogg, Reporter, MarketingSherpa, sat down with John A. Caldwell, President and Founder, Red Pill Email, to discuss the finer points of vendor negotiation. Specifically, John explained what to look out for when considering tech support vendors and what you should — and shouldn’t — negotiate when it comes time to draw up a contract.

Watch the below interview to learn tips on how to handle vendor negotiation:

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Ken Bowen

The Psychology of the Searcher: How knowing how our prospects search can help us to optimize our campaigns

July 27th, 2015

As marketers, most of us are familiar with the basics of search engine optimization, and how we can leverage certain industry-specific keywords and headlines in order to increase page visibility for our target audience.

Without a robust understanding of how prospects are actually interacting with search engines, how can we be confident that our SEO strategies are grounded in reality, rather than based on hunches or our own individual search biases?

Blue Nile Research recently carried out a study to discover how real customers are actually searching the Internet. How long are their queries? What form do they take? Are there universal patterns in the way that people search?

For this study, a sample of randomly selected test subjects were asked to search for solutions to three routine scenarios:

  • A technical problem (broken coffee pot)
  • A health issue (injured ankle)
  • An ecommerce scenario (buying a new laptop)

When testing was complete and researchers aggregated all of the search queries, the most interesting finding wasn’t that one search pattern outperformed another. Rather, researchers were fascinated to find that few underlying patterns existed at all in the search data.

Instead of there being a learned, established protocol for the way people search, the search terms, length and form that subjects used appear to be the intimate expression of the individual human that created it.

It seems that, just as our genetic makeup is unique to each of us individually, so is the way in which we choose to search the Internet.

 

Key Findings

When analyzing the data, Blue Nile found that subjects were split evenly in terms of searching in short fragments (“sore ankle”) versus fully-formed terms (“causes of sore ankle”). This suggests that users are equally predisposed toward either speed of search (fragments) or depth of search (more specific terms).

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Categories: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tags: , , ,

Courtney Eckerle

Bet on Horses, Not Customer Assumptions: How the Kentucky Derby tested content for relevance with customers

July 23rd, 2015

Assumptions can be a dangerous territory — especially when it comes to being relevant with your customers.

When a brand has a large gap between purchases, keeping customers engaged becomes a consistent concern.

The team at the Kentucky Derby faced that issue when they decided to use the weekly newsletter to identify and validate customer segments.

“When we look to grow a brand like the Kentucky Derby, that breadth of engagement is really core to our growth path,” Jeff Koleba, Vice President of Marketing and Programming, Kentucky Derby, said in this session from MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2015.

To solve this issue, Jeff and Kate Ellis, Marketing Analyst, Kentucky Derby, decided to begin segmenting and directing content directly towards the customers who wanted it most. Within its established customer personas, the Derby focused testing on three segments:

  • Social content interests
  • Equine enthusiasts
  • Betting/wagering information

Once they set up segmentation and supported it with relevant content, the team began optimizing for maximum engagement.

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Categories: Email Marketing, General Tags: , , , , , , ,

Selena Blue

Website Optimization: How to reduce friction in purchase and registration processes

July 20th, 2015

Sometimes getting consumers to the landing page is the easy part.

The ingrained friction the buying, and even registration, processes create for users can cause them to hesitate in completing the process. After all, you don’t visit a site to register; you come to consume whatever information they have to offer. The registration part gets in the way.

When the registration process seems unusually long, you give up and leave the site. The value beyond the registration no longer outweighs the time and effort needed to get to it.

The same goes for purchases. When we create additional friction through design, copy and overall experience, it can push a customer to abandon their cart instead of pushing through the mental resistance certain elements create in their mind.

The good news is that we can indeed reduce the friction present in the conversion process. We can do that in two ways: length and difficulty.

For length-oriented friction, look at:

  • the length of your process as a whole
  • the layout of fields
  • the number of fields

For difficulty-oriented friction, examine:

  • the format of your pages
  • the number of options provided and how they’re displayed
  • the button design and placement

Sometimes it can be hard to look at a page and immediately pinpoint these things, so we’ve designed a checklist of sorts for you to go through while analyzing your processes.

We’ve also included some “Not this, but this” examples to show you possible alternatives. Remember, what might work with one audience doesn’t always work with another. That means you’ll want to test your changes to make sure you’ve found the best process for your customers.

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Categories: General, Landing Page Optimization Tags: , , , ,