5 Tweaks in Your Online Marketing Producing the Most Change

By now, everyone has heard the story of how Target uses predictive analytics to better target their customers. So why does Target engage in predictive marketing? Is it worth their time and money?

Online Marketing SuccessAs an outsider, you can only measure their success through company growth. Understanding how much of that growth is attributable to analytical efforts is known only to those inside the company.

I have seen small changes in ad copy increase conversions by 50%. The fact is that every company has a set of marketing levers they can tweak to improve performance. Target may have the resources to become optimal, but small businesses can make use of powerful yet simple tools and tactics and still achieve higher results.

Below is a consolidation of channels and improvement guidelines where I have seen the most potential for growth.

Update Your Email Marketing

Email marketing commonly becomes a routine to the marketer. Therefore the offers and driving content usually becomes boring and repetitive.

According to this study by Exact Target, the 2nd most important reason people unsubscribe is that the content becomes repetitive.

To avoid falling under this trap, marketers should consider creating various types of offers to each of their customer segments, at different times during the relationship.

A,B,C testing all the offers, imagery and content helps you understand what works and what doesn’t so you can disregard those without much success and continue to use the most popular ones. Small changes in click-through rates can significantly increase sales and conversion rates.

Check Your Frequency

The problem of mass email is twofold. Consumers are bombarded with emails and retailers cannot capture well the consumers’ attention. Opting out of newsletters and offers has become a common practice and it is estimated that 15% of people once on your list will opt out.

According to the study cited above, the top reason is “email came too frequently.” You have data on how often people purchase and what content drives engagement.

A simple segmentation exercise based on last customer interaction, products purchased, and response history can provide insight on the ideal frequency for each customer.

Ad Placement is Key

The websites your ads appear on and page placements are the two main factors of click-through success. It’s been found that ads that appear above the fold and seven times more successful than those delivered below the fold.

Frequency turns out to be very successful. Ads shown 5 or more times to a user are 12 to 14 times more successful than ads shown less than 5 times.

I personally witnessed significant increases in click-through rates as a database marketing consultant. Simple tweaks in messaging and location improved our conversions and lowered costs. Trial and error is key in understanding what drives people to your sight.

Keyword Selection

Keyword research is more of an art than science (although everything can be measured online.) Search is becoming very specific when people look for a specific product for their needs. Many of these keywords go unnoticed by vendors. These are likely to be cheaper, drive less traffic, but provide higher conversion rates.

There are many analytical tools to measure keyword success so there is no gut feeling. If you clearly see that a keyword drives more that 85% away then one would want to adjust.

By continually adjusting, you will find the right set of keywords and messaging needed to position yourself in a stronger position than your competitors.

Content is Still King

What you put on your email newsletter, offers, website, blog, and even ads is the most important aspect of any campaign. Companies like Target cited above understand this concept very well: “The right content at the right time.”

In the article it said that Target even purposely sent offers about un-targeted products so it didn’t concern the shopper of privacy issues.

The secret to good content is adding value first. A coupon or offer can be helpful when one is in the market for a specific product and the coupon has the right price and ease of purchase.

Other times, marketers need to engage the customers by sending important and useful information. This is where you develop your customer life cycle campaign.

Content and messaging directed at increasing trust and engagement in a brand in pursue of a purchase at a later stage.

Marketing is about execution, trial and error, and value creation. Big ideas come from creative minds and having a high quality product still triumphs, but there are various levers to adjust and improve results. Continually study your online measurements, try new ideas, and be flexible to adjust.

Jaime Brugueras the CEO of Mineful – a customer retention and analysis software. Jaime writes frequently about marketing analysis, customer retention, and email marketing. He has been published in several industry publications including eCommerce Times. Follow Mineful on Twitter for industry insight and conversations.

Must-Know Lessons on Internet Marketing

Billions of people around the world log on to the Internet everyday for surfing social networking sites, learning Internet marketing strategies, seeking entertainment and news.

Surfing from every corner of the world means that no two people are the same. Views differ so greatly from one person to the next that it can be difficult to find your target audience. And even more so to find the time to market your products to all of them! So without further ado, let’s see our first step – Time Management.

Time Management – Don’t Let Those Hours Slip Away!

Internet Marketing LessonsIn any type of Internet marketing, it is crucial to pace yourself. Finding out what works takes patience. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your online business be.

Make a schedule for yourself and stick to it! If you know you only have two hours per day to devote to your business, make those two hours count! Break up tasks by day. A sample schedule might look like this:

Monday: utilize those two hours by calling current customers to check in on them, find out if they need to re-order. Get feedback on the products they have purchased, give them suggestions on new products. Show them you care and appreciate their business.

Tuesday: contact folks who have shown an interest in partnering with you, that is, become an affiliate member for your business. Tell them about the company and assess their interest. Meet with them for coffee (if possible) to show how the affiliate business really can work for them!

Wednesday: network with other marketers online and study the market trends. Having others to bounce ideas off of can greatly enhance your motivation and productivity.

Thursday: surf the web and make a list of places you would like to advertise your business. There are millions of websites out there so this can be an ongoing project! Use an excel workbook to keep notes on the URL, their audience and cost of advertising.

Friday: place ads on a few of the websites on your list. And make sure to check on traffic and sales from those ads. This will tell you later if it is worth marketing on those sites again.

Saturday: visit discussion forums and become part of the conversation! Make sure to place your website and blog address in your signature line to optimize traffic and networking opportunities.

Sunday: write on you blog! Blogging is an essential feature of an online money making business. You can personally connect with a wider audience through your blog marketing.

Now that our schedule is in place, it’s time to really understand the relationships between advertising, blogs and networking in forums. This brings us to our next step in Marketing.

Ripping Apart the Secrets of Internet Marketing Success – Right at the Seams

The biggest mistake in Internet marketing is that people assume they will place an ad on one website and they will be rich overnight. This does not happen.

Internet Marketing takes time, patience and a real understanding of your target audience. For instance, you would not want to sell dog biscuits on a website that caters to cat lovers. While you might get a few lucky hits, the majority of the traffic on our fictitious website will only be interested in cat related items.

Do your Research!

While Alexa Ratings and Google can give you a really good idea of the number of visitors a website is getting; data will not give you a feel for the audience. Go to the website, join the forum, and make friends before spending advertising dollars there.

The visitors who feel like they know you will be much more likely to spread the word about your business and bring you new customers than simply going to a website, paying for an ad and moving on.

Sell Yourself, Not Your Products!

People buy from you because they like you! Personality is the key to making any network marketing venture work. Let’s put it another way: since this is a really important lesson to learn, it is of utmost importance that you understand why your personality is your best sales technique!

For example, you want to buy a new radio. You go to the nearest electronic shop and take a peek around. The clerk at the desk shows no interest in you, instead he is playing a computer game. You walk over to the clerk to discuss a radio that you are interested in purchasing and the clerk answers your questions quickly and returns to his game. How likely are you to buy from that shop? Not very likely at all!

There is another electronic shop around the corner. You walk in and the clerk immediately responds, asking what you’re looking for, complimenting your jacket and making general conversation while you look around. This is the store you are going to buy from!

The other store clerk only showed an interest in his computer game. He was clearly not interested in you or if you were interested in purchasing a radio. The Second clerk was much friendlier and was willing to invest in the time with you in order to make a sale.

Like this, your blog should be an extension of your website. It should sell you NOT sell your products!

Make your posts interesting and upbeat, giving the reader a good sense of your personality. If you do product reviews, do them from a personal experience of your own or a customer. Use your blog to open discussions with potential costumers. For instance, if you are interested in glassblowing, give lots of information on glassblowing. Allow for comments on your posts to let others share in their opinions.

Remember everything takes time! There is no magic that will make you rich over night, but with persistence, each day will bring you a bit closer to that goal. If you dream it, you can achieve it!

Leave a comment on how you schedule your time and get closer to your goals…

Meeting “Demand” and “Supply” as Affiliates

If you are still struggling to increase your income and have not yet reached your desired financial independence, it could be because you still don’t have a good website marketing strategy as an affiliate.

To become a successful entrepreneur, you need to build a proper strategy. Most importantly, you cannot copy exactly other marketers strategies…some will work while others may not. The trick is understanding your target market and its demand, then figure out what strategies to implement to turn things in your favor.

No matter whether the business is online or off, the only thing that matters in business is “Buying” and “Selling” and “Demand” and “Supply” – the basic economics an internet marketer needs to know – ‘who is the customer?’ and ‘what can you offer’ to the potential customer.

What Does The Consumer Want?

Meeting “Demand” and “Supply” as AffiliatesAs a seller, you need to have a clear idea about what the customer is looking to buy. The way to know this is to put yourself into the shoes of the consumer and find out what ‘clicks’ with them.

Once you catch the pulse of the consumers, it’ll be easier to sell products.

Involve yourself in online consumer surveys and online forums to understand what the consumer is looking for.

As an affiliate, your marketing strategy will not only depend on the selected product but the consumer market you need to target.

What Can You Offer?

Now that you know what the consumer wants, you need to assess your offer. Find out what makes your offer better than your competition. Questions like;

-Why should the consumer buy from you?

-How do I create an irresistible offer?

-Can the customer trust you?

-How are you representing the company’s image whose product you’re offering?

A successful internet marketer needs to specifically answer such questions.

The crux – if there are millions of people buying online everyday, then whose fault is it if they are not buying from you?

The Four Phases of Internet Affiliate Marketing


Phase I – Online Research

Research is the primary factor. Before you begin to draft marketing strategies, you need to research the target market and determine your standing in the market. Online market research will include:

  1. Researching competitors – their marketing strategies, popularity, market demand, weaknesses, product quality, customer feedback and online presence.
  2. Researching your customers – their purchase power, product demand, online visibility, purchase considerations and their geographical location.

Create a graft sheet highlighting your findings. This preliminary in-depth research will contribute hugely to your internet marketing success.

Phase II – Data Analysis

What do you do with the data collected in phase I? You analyze it! It is not without reason that million and billion dollar companies recruit pools of data analysts. With the help of data analysis, you can break up the market and consumer demands into segments. Here are certain analytical tools you can use:

  • Correlation Analysis
  • Regression Analysis
  • Factor Analysis
  • Brand Mapping
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Conjoint Analysis
  • Logistic Regression Analysis
  • CHAID Analysis
  • Multidimensional Analysis
  • Structural Equation Modeling

Phase III – Development of Marketing Strategies

Strategy development involves a bit of planning too. As a marketer, you need to know about tools and methods to utilize in your marketing strategy.

Depending on the consumer data analysis, you can employ marketing methods like podcasting, blogging, SEO, PPC, video blogging, viral traffic generation, banner exchange, webinars, link building and social media networking platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

By ‘consumer data analysis’, one means using those web marketing tactics that the consumer also uses. Suppose the market graph of a cluster of consumers show use of video blogging to know about more products and communicating with fellow bloggers.

In this case, you, as the internet marketer, should target video blogging and utilize the medium to create a larger consumer base.

Similarly, if another cluster of consumers spend their time on Facebook pages, talking about products and discussing reviews, you have another ‘potential market’ in the making.

You can create a Facebook page of the product you sell and use promotional and advertising tools to draw in consumers. In fact, Facebook offers a very interesting tool, seldom used by new internet marketers, that is, a tool to target consumers on the basis of their geographical location.

For instance, if you want to target a market in Western Europe, then you prepare your Facebook advertisement on the same lines and the ads will be shown only on select pages of consumers from Western Europe.

Online marketing is definitely time-consuming. You need to invest in both time and money to gain momentum in consumer market.

Phase IV – Strategy Testing & Monitoring

You will never know if your strategies are working until you implement them and monitor them regularly. Of course, don’t expect miraculous results in a few hours. Monitor for weeks to see any progressive change in the consumer inflow. In between this time, your ‘efforts’ should not cease.

The strategy testing and monitoring would involve;

-Evaluating the amount of time consumers spend on your website

-Visibility of the landing page

-Keyword optimization

-Target market oriented keywords

-SEO terms customers are using to land on your website.

What Did We Learn?

There aren’t any ‘fixed’ internet marketing strategies for upcoming affiliates. Each business devises their own strategy after careful analysis of the target market and their own place in the ever expanding consumer market.

The internet is a vast universe. To make your mark in the world of internet marketing, you need to devise your own business strategy that will be different and specifically relates to your own targeted niche.

Understand the pulse of the consumer – What attracts them and what doesn’t? On what products are they willing to spend money? What are they looking for in a particular product? How can you satisfy the consumer needs?

Once you understand these questions, you can come up with your own answers, and that will be your stepping stone into affiliate internet marketing strategy development.