Marketing as a Growth Engine – Podcast with Erich Joachimsthaler
Recently I had the pleasure to sit down with Erich Joachimsthaler, the CEO and Founder of Vivaldi in his “Business of Platforms, Video Podcast Series”. Amongst other things, we discussed: · The transformation of marketing into a growth engine · The need to drive growth across the brand, the user base and user value · The principles of […]
When Customer Relationship Means Growth
When Customer Relationship Means Growth Marketing has evolved substantially, from the times of the “Mad Men” and witty creative ads and billboards, to driving user engagement and accelerating business growth. The vast amount of data at our fingertips and the evolution in technology has made marketing more targeted, relevant, measurable and more accountable. The change […]
The Always-On Customer Obsessed Organization
There are many anomalies in the business world today. None bigger than the intent to put the customer at the center of our ecosystem or being “customer-obsessed”. While 9 out of 10 organizations would claim to do it, 9 out of 10 actually don’t end up doing it. While the customer is at the center […]
No Such Thing As A “CRM Campaign”
I recently published an article on AdExchanger on why CRM was way beyond just a technology or a channel. In fact, I strongly question if CRM is even a capability that can be boxed into any single bucket — Consumer Relationship is an objective and if you do the right things, it’s an outcome. […]
The New CRM: Content Relationship Marketing
Advances in technology, particularly mobile, provide companies with expanding platforms to reach their target customers. Smartphones, tablets and desktop computers can extend audience reach, but is the content shared through these vehicles resonating with your intended audience? Is it building and/or maintaining relationships? Does it provide a third-party view of your organization? According to an About.com survey, 84% of respondents felt that brands need to prove they are trustworthy before they would interact with them. The survey further states that elements like accuracy, expertise and transparency were critical to establishing this trust. How do you create content that strengthens customer trust and loyalty? Here are a few tips to showcase your company so that customers better connect with your brand: Reviews – Client testimonials give insight into the company, from the quality of the product to the level of customer service. The more positive reviews that accumulate, the greater the regard for the brand. Even reviews through social media platforms, such as Facebook likes, are a way for customers to see that companies are revered and engaged with their audience. Social – Social media networks are growing just as fast as the number of mobile devices. Businesses need to ensure that the content or customer service support they share through these channels will be interesting and/or helpful to their clients. The same goes for other marketing emails or correspondence with customers. Consider where your clients are in the product/service process (e.g., new client, long-standing customer) and tailor the message accordingly to reach all levels. Video – A short, good-quality video can enhance a company’s level of transparency and showcase its expertise in customer service or product demonstrations. Video is the next best thing to face-to-face communication and can leave customers with a real personal connection and feel for the company’s character. Recognition – Third-party acknowledgments like awards, memberships or special certificates show a company’s leadership and strength in the field. Who wouldn’t want to work with a business that has been recognized for their exemplary customer service or product development? Panels and PR – Speaking engagements and media mentions exhibit your company’s experience and leadership. By providing media commentary, partaking in industry panels or lending expertise to a how-to/best practices webinar, customers become more familiar with your business and are more likely to use your product or service. Consumers are not only savvier when it comes to technology, but they are also well-equipped to look for background information on companies. They may be wary of businesses without reviews, videos, media coverage or social media pages, so it’s more important than ever to engage customers using these tools. It’s also essential to reward your ingenious clients throughout the customer-relationship building process. Coupon codes and special offers and discounts go a long way when customers are drawing comparisons between various vendors. Wouldn’t you be more likely to choose a quality product or service you could purchase at a reduced rate? Content is definitely still king, but a coupon code certainly never hurts.
Save The Cleverness And Keep The CRM
When online marketers think about developing email campaigns, they typically focus on two areas: open rates and conversions. And the open rates, as we all know, have everything to do with subject lines. There’s no question that very clever subject lines give emarketers terrific open rates. We’ve seen them all, and at one time or another we’ve probably used many of them: “Don’t Read This Email!” “Psssst ….” “What Don’t You Know?” “It’s Almost Too Late!” Sound familiar? These and many other “clever” subject lines are tremendously effective for getting people to notice and click on an email. Customers open the emails. Your open rates go up. Who’s going to argue with that? As contrarian as it seems, I will. Depending on clever subject lines only gets you so far. Let’s say that you have a list of these clever email subject lines, a whole campaign of them, in fact. Do you really think that you can simply attach a clever subject line to your regular email content, and call it a day? There’s a certain amount of inherent pressure to bring the email itself to the “cleverness” level of the subject line—and, believe me, it’s a lot easier to think up a clever phrase than it is to maintain that tone and language throughout an entire email. And maybe you don’t want to, anyway—it may not fit in well with whatever it is that you’re selling. And it can get worse. A clever subject line that leads to a hard-sell email raises complaints. I don’t know about you, but I’d much prefer to have people ignore some of my email campaigns than complain about them! But let’s go a little deeper into the analytics. Clever email subject lines may increase your opens, but do they perform well otherwise? The reality is that clever subject lines and email campaigns work best for borderline spammers who are trying to entice people with whom they have either a questionable relationship—or no relationship—to open their email. For CRM marketers, those of us who are deploying campaigns to opt-in lists, the results driven by clever campaigns are typically disappointing and can increase both unsubscribes and complaints. They fail because email campaigns need to have one very clear, very solid call-to-action, one that logically follows your business model. And the cleverness can become a call-to-action on its own, one that competes with—and detracts from—the call-to-action in the email. And one that will drive down conversions. What makes a great subject line? Clarity and sense of purpose are what make a great subject line and great email. The call-to-action in a successful email campaign should be clear after one second of viewing, and it is an expected next step after reading the subject line. Remember the marketers’ mantra: tell people what you are going to tell them, next tell them, and then tell them what you just told them. This is what makes for a successful email campaign. Let’s look at an example: Subject line: Early-bird special on new summer arrivals. Email: Summer arrivals are now in stock. As an early-bird subscriber you get the best selection and free shipping when you order this week. Link: Takes you directly to the summer arrival page (when possible with a personalized welcome to the early-bird subscriber). What we’re seeing here is a clear subject line, one that’s followed through into the email. Clicking it open, we see an email that carries a single message, a message that’s not cluttered up with secondary offers or distracting images. It respects your subscribers’ time by immediately letting them know the promise you’re making to them, and then, step by step, it follows up on the promise. Less is more in this case, and it’s truly the most effective way to deploy your email strategy. Don’t think that your subscribers will get bored with your email messages: it is excellent CRM to show your subscriber that you know exactly what you are doing, and that you take your subscribers seriously. A simple subject lines shows that you don’t have to be clever to win their business! Your customers will appreciate your clarity and take actions when appropriate, exactly as you want them to. Gimmicks can only get you so far. Building solid relationships through transparency, make-a-promise/keep-a-promise behavior, and outstanding customer support are the best ways to create, deploy, and return ROI on your next email campaign.