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Why do companies engage in email marketing? Easy. Email marketing is the digital marketing channel with the highest ROI, and it’s not close. While email marketing does work, you still need to know what you are doing to be successful. In their article “ 17 Reason You’re an Email Marketing Rookie,” SparkPost covers 17 misunderstandings and myths of email marketing and why you should avoid them. This is an excellent read, here are a few of the highlights I pulled out.
1. Everyone wants to hear from us. No really, everyone!
I’m sorry to tell you this, but not everyone wants to hear your marketing message. The shotgun approach of sending your message to every possible recipient is not only costly, but ineffective. It can also lead to your emails being marked as spam, and that hurts your future ability to market via email. Targeting the right customer profile is critical to a successful email campaign.
3. Responsive design? What’s that?
Responsive design means that your email is dynamic in its ability to adjust the content to fit the size of the screen it’s viewed on. Without a responsive design, email creatives can look distorted or too small on mobile. The email becomes difficult to view and distracts from your marketing message. If your email creative doesn’t use responsive design, then it won’t look good on all devices. If it doesn’t look good and the design gets in the way of your message, then your campaign will not be effective. Contact our creative team at American Name Services for help on making your email creatives responsive.
10. Segmentation? We use a segment of one: everyone gets every email.
No. Stop. Again, you need to target your message to the right customer profile. Different products and services appeal to different demographics. Know your customer first, then tailor specific marketing messages to each of the specifics segments of your database. If you need assistance building a customer profile, American Name Services can help.
These are just a few of the highlights, head to SparkPost and read the other 14 ways you can avoid being an email marketing rookie, some of them could even save your business. For help with your next email campaign, contact us at American Name Services. We provide consulting, creative services, and can even manage your email sends. Let us help your business increase its ROI from email marketing.
This article review was written by David Brian Fiso, Digital Marketer and Creative Designer at American Name Services.
In the world of marketing there’s a constant debate over whether or not direct mail is a worthy investment. ANS has been part of the direct mail business for over 20 years and has seen the industry through highs and lows. As a company, we’ve become more innovative and have expanded our marketing tool belt, but direct mail is still the most popular and responsive service. In fact, direct mail has helped one of our current clients go from $0 annual revenue to over $130 million in just three years. Direct mail is very effective when done correctly, which is why we recommend it so highly. Target Marketing’s Carolyn Goodman also recommends direct mail marketing to her clients. In her article, “Direct Mail: Is It Old Fashioned If It Still Works?” she shares key reasons why direct mail is worthy of your attention.
Did you know that it’s common for direct mail campaigns to receive a 1 percent response rate when executed well? “If you executed a direct mail campaign to 10,000 targets, and achieved a 1 percent response rate, you’d gain 100 customers.” With high customer values, that’s a great ROI. Keep in mind, a high response rate also requires quality data, a compelling call to action with an attractive offer, and an eye-catching mail piece.
Digital marketing is cost-effective and it’s easy to reach millions of people with less effort, that’s why everyone else is doing it. The market is highly competitive and over-crowded. While ANS also offer digital marketing services, we typically recommend running a postal campaign in tandem with digital campaigns. Multiple points of contact through different mediums can be much more effective than simply adding to the digital overload. With good brand recognition, the mail piece and digital ad work together to increase response.
If you’re interested in more information on how a direct mail campaign can boost your marketing efforts, send an email to email@example.com, and your new direct marketing partner at American Name Services will be in touch.
Article review by Lindsey Lefevor, Social Media Manager at American Name Services
There is no doubt that knowing exactly who will be most likely to buy your product or service is the golden question, but how do you find the answer? Being able to effectively sift through data is an excellent place to start.
I recently read an article by Hal Conick from the American Marketing Association that reported that by 2026, companies are expected to spend $92 billion on Big Data. With information so widely spread there in an increasing influx of data being collected about consumer preferences. Conick cited an article by Brian Hopkins that reports 74% of companies say they want to be data-driven while only 29% say they can make actionable decisions from their data.
The fact of the matter is that the information can simply be too overwhelming. Even while companies invest in better process, new software, and ways to automate their data sifting—it is still difficult to gain the right insights out of all the information. Conick suggests 6 tips that can help you tie the link between the data and the value. I want to focus on 3 of the tips in this review, but I encourage you to read the full article.
Determine what’s actionable.
The first step in getting the most out of your data is to figure out what is actionable for your business. Conick says that if you start down the never ending hole of data without having a clear vision of what you want to achieve with that data, you will waste valuable time and energy. If you start with the problem before searching for insights within your data, you will improve productivity—as the saying goes: “begin with the end in mind”.
Understand consumer and business needs.
This is a key strategy in my mind for any aspect of marketing success. When working to find insights in the data you collect, put yourself in the shoes of your consumers. Take the time to do a little leg work by talking to those who use your product or service. Figure out what they like or don’t like. Conduct focus groups or studies, and improve your product or offering.
Find a data balance.
Having a large quantity of data is not as good as having highly quality data. In order to find the best actionable insights, you need to spend the time upfront to understand what information is truly valuable for your company to collect.
At American Name Services we love data. Providing customized lists to expand your targeting is what we specialize in. We know the importance of having quality data for your business, but we also understand that it is important for you know your customers. As you go through these steps to find insights about your customers’ preferences, we can help you narrow your search with a more targeted list. We would love to hear from you! Leave a comment below about how you gain insights on you data.
Article Review by Michael Peterson, Social Media Marketer at American Name Services
Looking to market your business on Facebook? The first step is to determine whether Facebook is a good fit for your company (which is likely). If you are a brick-and-mortar company that sells consumer products or services, it’s a great fit. Business to business marketers and those who have companies without a store front can definitely market successfully on Facebook, too, but the strategy may change a bit. Once you have determined Facebook to be a good marketing tool for your business, follow these 3 easy tips to get your business growing!
1. Complete your Facebook profile
Fill out the page or group information COMPLETELY. This includes (but is not limited to) a recognizable profile picture, website, contact information, and a complete “about” section. It’s helpful to have your profile picture match your other platforms, for easier recognition.
2. Upload your customer file to Facebook
Do you have a current customer file? If not, I highly recommend you start keeping track of customer information immediately. You can upload your current customer file, using phone numbers or email addresses, and use that information to re-target your current customers using boosted posts or targeted ads. Retaining a current customer is up to 25x cheaper than acquiring new ones, so this is an excellent option.
Your uploaded customer file can also be used to create lookalike audiences on Facebook. This means Facebook takes your customer file and creates an audience of completely new customers, similar to the traits of your current customers. Audiences with similar traits to your current customers generally results in higher response rates, so lookalike audiences are great for prospecting ads.
3. Use video
Facebook generates an average of 8 BILLION video views per day, and videos have an organic reach 135% greater than traditional photo posts. I really shouldn’t have to say more than that, but I will say that video quality is important. Make sure your lighting and audio are acceptable and that you upload the highest resolution possible.
One more video tip: LIVE video is viewed 3x longer than prerecorded video. Plus, the Facebook Algorithm places Facebook Live videos at the top of all of your page audience’s news feeds. That’s much better than the roughly 6% of people from your audience who will see prerecorded video or image posts.
Need more help marketing your business on Facebook? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 1-800-434-1851. I’d love to discuss how my team can help you.
By Lindsey Lefevor, Social Media Manager at American Name Services
What motivates you to get online? I would dare to say that at least one of your reasons is to get information. People often are looking for information, whether to know what is going on in the world or to find out the latest on hot products and services. Having a blog is the perfect way to let your customers and potential customers know about you and your business!
The perfect way to drive traffic to your site
If you are looking for a strong pull to get your target audience to your website, a blog is definitely part of the solution. When you post content to your blog on a regular basis, you are providing a space where people can come to get information about your business and your products or services. It is also a good idea to backlink to your website in your blog posts—this doesn’t just help with SEO, it’s also a simple way to invite your readers to your website.
Blogging helps you be seen
Page rank is a hot topic for any business. If you can get your business to appear on the first page of a major search engine then you’ve hit gold in your industry. If you can get up into the top five search results even better! One of the many attributes that will help you get that coveted position—where you have so many visitors to your site you almost don’t know what to do with yourself—is to have a robust blog on your website with quality content and frequent posting.
There are several things that will add to the quality of your blog and more importantly, the search engine’s view of your content quality. Using correct grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure will go well in your favor for getting a better grade from search engine algorithms. Other helpful tips are to have your blog reviewed and shared by your followers, including links to other trusted websites, linking within your own website, using quality images and visuals, etc.
A consistent blog can boost your clout
So how often should you be posting on your blog? The answer is the more the better! In an article published by Mike Kappel from Entrepreneur Magazine he suggests that you start out by doing what you can. Kappel says that if you can post once a month that is a good place to start—posting bi-weekly is better, but posting weekly is ideal. Basically, the more blogging you do, the better your results for driving traffic to your website.
A voice for your business
What content should go into your blog? The fun part about blogging is that you basically have free reign on what you want to say. Keep your content focused around your unique value proposition. Here are a few examples of good blog formats:
- Lists: Writing lists are easy to write and they are easy for your followers to read. Lists are a great way to add content to your blog. It can be anything from the 3 ways to do [insert whatever] to the top 10 at your business.
- Sectional: Sectional blogging is maybe one of the most difficult formats. A sectional is usually structured more like an essay. These can be great for reviewing articles or product reviews
- Media: A media blog post is perfect for keeping your followers engaged. These posts can highlight infographics, emails that you have sent out, podcasts, videos, etc.
By creating a schedule for posting on your blog where you plan out a variety of different posts you will create a voice for your business that will attract people to your blog and your website. The most important thing is that you just post consistently.
Investment for your future
It may seem that blogging is too much work to be worth the effort. It is as lot of work but the payoff is incredible. Again, the key here is to be consistent. Companies who post consistently and frequently report that as time goes on they are getting more and more contacts from older blog posts. Each new post will provide you with some quick leads, but as that post ages more and more people will be able to find the post and therein find you!
Hubspot showed how this works in the graph above. There is an amazing compounding effect that your blog will create as you keep posting relevant, timely, and quality content.
Blogging seems like a daunting task, but it is a key tool for your website in order to get the potential customers you want! Create a blog and start posting. Be sure to double check your spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Include links for any articles or websites you cite, and make good use of visuals in your posts. If you’re looking for a great way to drive traffic to you website, having a blog will help. If you build it, they will come!
We would love to hear from you! Leave a comment below and tell us what you think about this post.
By Michael Peterson, Social Media Marketer at American Name Services
Just watched a simple but on point video from Ben Angel called How to Get Your Emails Opened.
He asks, “if email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook and drives more conversion than any other marketing channel, then why are so many not seeing these kinds of results?”
Email Subject Lines
Ben gives 4 different types of email subject lines that will instantly increase your open rate.
Outcome focused subject lines tell you what you get when you take action. These short lines are direct call-to-actions with an immediate outcome.
Mystery driven subject lines satisfy human curiosity. Write something that makes the reader have to know what the rest of the email say. Use this type of subject line sparingly, though.
- SENSE OF URGENCY
Sense of urgency subject lines work because of the fear of scarcity. If you are made to believe that an offer is limited in some way, quantity or time of availability, people will take action.
- SOCIAL PROOF
Subject lines written as social proof not only given validation or credibility but also speak to the fear of missing out, to which most humans are prone.
My favorite portion of this video is toward the end when Ben begins to speak to the process of using these types of subject lines.
First, he talks about mixing it up, using a variety of these choices. He takes it further by challenging email marketers to not only mix it up but combine two different types of subject lines into one.
Second, he discusses the amount of time it takes to develop result producing subject lines. Marketers need to spend time diverging on subject lines, at least 10-20 minutes without pause or judgment. Then the subject lines must be evaluated for impact and share-ability. This can be done with your own internal metrics or with a variety of online headline analyzers.
I would add –
Email Preview Text
Often overlooked this snippet can be controlled by marketers. It is the second set of text email viewers see and is visible without opening the email.
As an extra, because this set of text is often not used by marketers, it is a great way to stand out from your competition.
Next time you are preparing the body of your email consider asking yourself, how I might say this same thing in 100 characters or less…
In conclusion, inbox appearance needs to be on every marketer’s email content check list. Inbox appearance includes; from name, subject line and preview text. Allot time in your email creation process to thoroughly develop email subject line and preview text and your emails will actually be opened.
An Article Review by emily white, creative specialist, at American Name Services.
Is direct mail still relevant?
I went to college and earned my degree in marketing over the last few years. With the digital age booming as it is, a lot of focus was placed on teaching digital marketing practices. My degree included classes like digital marketing, web analytics, and social media marketing. In fact, the focus was so heavily centered on digital marketing that I never really considered direct mail as something marketers still use. “Snail Mail” (as it is dis-affectionately called) is obviously an outdated, inefficient, and dying breed of marketing right? Wrong. Chris Hamblin in his article, Not Dead Yet looks at studies completed on the topic.
“Even more compelling results from the study showed that the overall response rate for direct mail was 600% higher than that of all digital channels combined.”
From the research cited in Chris’ article, we learn the truth about direct mail. The truth is that it’s not dead yet. While we can’t say that it will never be dead, boasting a 600% higher response rate than the sum of all digital channels shows us that it is more relevant than ever. Digital channels will continue to grow and improve. Technology is getting better, faster, and smarter. Online ads are now able to target customers based on their online behavior and can even tailor the message to individuals. The best marketing strategy, however, will always include new and growing trends along with a focus on what is proven to work and be successful.
Chris also discusses other factors and data that clearly shows that direct mail is not dead. Along with the response rate, it also boasts competitive ROI and cost per acquisition compared to digital options. From the data in the study, it is clear that Direct mail should absolutely be a part of your marketing toolkit. In considering your multi-channel marketing approach, be sure to consider direct mail with other channels like email and social media.
Do you need help?
Do you feel like you don’t have the skills and knowledge to get started with direct mail? Don’t worry. American Name Services has you covered. Contact us today and we will help you add this very valuable marketing tool to your next campaign. Visit our website or call us at 1-800-434-1851.
This article review was written by David Fiso, digital marketing strategist and creative designer at American Name Services