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.

Yelp Online Marketing for Small Business Owners

Are you one of those who started a new business a few days ago? Or the one who has already had the business but struggling to get customers / sales?

In both cases, there is an urgent need for the best small marketing strategies which can bring you customers from your business area, either local or national, depending on you.

Online Marketing for Small Business OwnersThe term ‘marketing’ is generally interpreted by small business entrepreneurs as something which requires a heavy financial investment.

However, websites like Yelp.com helps small business owners to market their business free of cost. Yes, that’s correct. There is no need to spend money for marketing your business. Just subscribe yourself to Yelp.com and it will help you grow your business.

How Yelp can help with online marketing for small business owners:

Day in and day out, a number of users’ search Yelp, looking for a particular service they want and Yelp provides such users with the catalog of the best possible services regarding the chosen search criteria.

However, this system works at another level too. Yelp, at the same time, notifies chosen registered business owners intimidating them about users / customers searching for their services, giving the business owner a chance to follow up with the lead.

For example, if a user wants to find a discounted furniture store in Dallas, Yelp provides the user with a detailed list of furniture stores in Dallas and nearby areas.

Then, if the user logs in with his/her user id, Yelp will then forward the user’s details to all the store owners. Now whether the store contacts the user or not is not of any concern for Yelp. This way, Yelp provides a platform for your business to reach customers and bring new possibilities to expand your business.

Working with Yelp.com

You can register your business on yelp.com with your personal and business details. Mind you, Yelp actually helps its users to find out business services in their local city and area.

So, while submitting business information, do not forget to give your full address with which people can locate you and interested clients around your business location can take full advantage of your services. Never give fake or inactive business addresses or contact numbers. Do so at your own risk!!!

Moreover, Yelp categorizes businesses. So, while adding information, make sure that you categorize your business in such a way that when users comes hunting for your kind of business, you can be on the top of the list amongst your area and users have the ease to reach you with full contact details.

Marketing with Help of Service Buyers

Probably, one of the best features on Yelp is that they provide users the facility to provide feedback about the organization from where they buy services.

So, if you will cater to them with top-class service, they will give you a perfect 10/10 (ten on ten) ratings which will rank your organization higher in the search list order and with time, you will be on top of your category of business. Basically, this is one kind of “word on mouth” promotion but restricted to online strategy only.

Many business owners have asserted that with the help of Yelp, they were able to gain more customers or expand their existing business base.

What this did for them is to grow their business gradually by providing their services to new customers and with time, these customers became their loyal customers and these were the ones who brought new customers for their business as well.

As they say, “customers are god.” Therefore, while servicing customers, look to give your best and that will be the best way to earn more and more customers for your business.

Offer Discounts through Yelp.com

Once you subscribe to yelp.com, you have subscribed to one of the best business marketing websites that provides you the interface to showcase your services online.

This includes displaying the pictures of the products you sell as well as your business setup. For example, you have a furniture showroom, you can display furniture products you are selling and the setup of your furniture showroom on Yelp.

Not only that, Yelp also provides registered business owners the facility to sell products online as well. This actually gives you an opportunity to setup a virtual online store with zero cost.

To add more, you can also put forth discounts on offers towards the products you are selling as well as the service charges you are applying.

Let us take the same example of the furniture showroom here. If somebody wants to buy furniture online, provide them with the facility of home delivery and you can mention delivery charges as well discounts on an offer for the particular product.

This way, your virtual online store will bring you more business than a physical store can provide you. With customer details, you can also inform your customers about special events like annual sales and more.

Analyze Your Business

Now, if you look at the above feature from the perspective of a business owner, this is the most impressive feature that Yelp can give. Why? If you were to set up an online store independently, you have to spend thousands of dollars for setting up.

Add to it the cost of maintenance. At Yelp, you get all the facilities for free and even if Yelp charges, the amount would be much less as compared to the cost of setting up an online store independently.

Moreover, Yelp gives you the option to view daily and monthly traffic to your business page. This allows you to monitor your business statistics and the customers you are earning for your business. It also allows you to analyze the buzz about your business in the market.

Yelp.com also allows you to respond to the reviews your business page gets on the site both privately as well as publicly. This provides you a chance at personal interaction with the customers and an opportunity to stay in contact with your clients.

Yelp also allows you to generate reports on consumers: you can know who your customers are, where they are from and how did they find you.

This information will basically allow you to expand your business in other local areas from where you are getting your most prestigious customers.

Getting an idea about what your customer needs helps you run a better business and to gain goodwill.

Yelp bring those online tools to you through which you can remain in touch with your customers and remain engaged with your business.

So, click on yelp.com and start marketing your online business today.