October 30, 2020

Email Strategy For Today: Integrating Email Into Your Marketing Plan

Remember when the world thought email was on its last leg…? 🙃 

Today we know more than ever just how effective email can be when done right. Jeanne Jennings, of Email Optimization Shop, and Todd Lebo, of Ascend2 Research, previously joined Eric Stockton, general manager of Perfect Audience, for a conversation around how email is used today and the best way to integrate it as a part of your marketing plan. 

Jeanne helps mid- to enterprise-level businesses optimize their email campaigns everyday. In this video, she shares with us the must-have insights she has gained from years in the industry. Whether you are already running a robust email program, or are just starting out, her tips are valuable take-aways you can use.

So, where do you start if you’re new to email?

List growth. Use your website to collect email and foster a relationship with your site visitors even before they become your customers! Jeanne explains more in the video below.

If you are already sending email, how can you supercharge those campaigns?

Use triggers and automation to increase efficiency, increase productivity, and get your time back! Plus, when you layer in other efforts (PPC, Retargeting, etc…) used in conjunction with your email campaigns, you amplify the impact of your offer/message and strengthen the consistency of your brand.

What happens after the email? How can you make every click count?

First, you need to take a look at where that click is sending the viewer. Does it match the email they were sent? To optimize the post-click experience your emails should be connected to personalized, relevant, dedicated landing pages. Post-click optimization refers to the process of ensuring that your post-click marketing (a dedicated landing page) has the same message as your pre-click components, whether that’s an ad or an email.

Secondly, attribution is INCREDIBLY important if you are going to do any kind of testing or reporting (which you definitely want to be doing). 📈  But, attribution can be tricky to master. Read up on it in Jeanne’s article Key Elements of a Realistic Attribution Model.

Pro Tip: Using the last click for attribution might be is easiest, but you may not be getting the whole story.

Watch the full conversation below!

Also, how to grow B2C email lists, increase open rates, and choose an email platform!

Our speakers got back together to answer some follow-up questions from the above webinar. Watch it below!

View the slides below ↓

10-29-Webinar-Modern-Email-Strategy-with-Jeanne-Jennings

Learn more about our speakers!

Jeanne Jennings, Founder & Chief Strategist at Email Optimization Shop

Jeanne is a recognized expert in the email marketing industry and a consultant who helps medium- to enterprise-sized organizations make their email marketing efforts more effective and more profitable. She is Founder and Chief Strategist at Email Optimization Shop, a boutique consultancy that optimizes bottom-line email marketing performance with strategic testing.

Todd Lebo, CEO and Partner of Ascend2

Todd uses the power of original research to discover what works in marketing and helps marketers apply those findings to marketing programs. He helped develop the Ascend2 Research-Based Marketing methodology, which is used by marketing technology firms and agencies to drive demand to their products and services.

Eric Stockton, General Manager of Perfect Audience

A pioneer and innovator in the areas of internet marketing, eCommerce, B2B demand generation, publishing, and online media, Eric has directly led $3MM+ ad budgets and $70M+ top-line sales organizations.

Transcription:

00:06

Hi everybody. Thanks for joining us today. I’m Kathleen with Perfect Audience and I’m joined here today with a couple of great speakers. So we’re just going to go ahead and get started. I know you guys are really excited to learn about today’s email strategy, so our webinar for today is modern email strategy, integrating email into your marketing plan. So before we get into it, I want to introduce our speakers. First we have Jeanne Jennings joining us. She’s our email expert. She’s been in the email space for quite a while helping medium to enterprise size businesses be more effective and profitable with their email marketing campaigns. And she is now the founder and chief strategist of email optimization shop, so welcome Jeanne.

00:48

Thanks Kathleen. It’s great to be here.

00:52

And next up we have Todd. So Todd is the CEO os Ascend2 and he’s done research on email for a number of years. So he’ll be starting off our webinar with some insights for us about how email is working for today’s marketers and how we can take more from that. And then finally we have Eric Stockton. He’s our general manager here at Perfect Audience. So we’re happy to have him on and he’s been known for growing sales businesses over the years, looking at a bunch of marketing sherpa events, email summit, and things like that. So without further ado we’re just gunna get started. So these are the things that we’re gunna cover today. But as we go if you have questions definitely throw them in the chat box at the bottom right of the screen and we’ll get to them at the end of the webinar. So Todd has some great research for us and I’m going to let him kind of start us off with this piece of information.

01:53

Thank you Kathleen. And as we were talking before this started, I think between my time here at Ascend2 and Marketing Sherpa, this is 12 years of research that we’ve conducted on email marketing. So it dates me, and it probably dates the tactic of email marketing as well. We’ve definitely seen, as Eric mentioned, probably 12 years ago, when they were saying that email was dead. And here we are 12 years later definitely seeing that email is not quite dead. And in fact I think we’ll kind of dig through a little bit of how you can boost your email campaigns. And looking at some research here I think kind of helps set the tone of why we kind of came to this topic today. Earlier this year in Ascend2 we looked at the challenges and barriers that marketers were facing with their email campaign. And a couple things I wanted to just point out with this, as you can see the results, but a lot of times with more mature tactics, whenever we see the percentages kind of pretty close between the top three or four tactics or components of it kind of really says that marketers are kind of at that point, where they’re just trying to find, what are the small things that can help boost my campaigns, you know as compared to an earlier tactic where there’s typically like one or two things that really jump out is either barriers or key components to success. And here you can see that engagement of course is a great challenge of how do I get people to start interacting with me, with the email campaigns getting down to the nitty-gritty of leads and sales, conversion rates, list size. I mean these are all like, Jeanne I know you’ve been dealing with these issues for a long time. And I think we’ll hopefully delve a little bit into things like this. You know, email list size, engagement – these are all things we’re all dealing with every day.

04:15

So I think we’ll get down to some very tactical components to this. So Todd you brought up the story, so now I have to actually, I have to talk about it. So it was 2007. I was sitting and they were doing interviews, we were at email summit in Miami, I remember it plain as day. And so we were at email summer, you know there were 8 or 900 marketers there. We were hosting marketing, the marketing sherpa email summit, and I was there like a press sort of a press junket or whatever. People just kind of come through and I would answer some questions and the question that I got, I don’t know six or seven times just in that series is, this is the year the email marketing is dead right? And you know, there were people like Google and there were social media companies that were up and coming at the time they were all sort of you know like talking around how email marketing is gone by the wayside, social media is on its way up. And you know, they wanted to sort of show these curves of adoption and everything else. And i think that could be nowhere further from the truth. In fact, I think right now, today, it is one of the most effective marketing tactics you could possibly employ.

05:46

I talked to advertisers all day long and it’s the question is, how do I drive more traffic to my website How do I drive more engagement to my website? And nine times out of ten my response is how are you growing your email list, which is weird coming from me, with coming from an ad company with Perfect Audience, but that’s actually my first, or maybe my top three questions, is like what are you doing to grow your email list? What are you doing to engage with your email list? And I think we’re going to probably find out in the subsequent slides why that’s most important. And I’m excited to dive into it. So this is going to be fun.

06:39

Yeah thanks Eric. So just like Eric said, we are about to go ahead and give into it. I’m going to hand it over to Jeanna and she’s going to start us out with what you can do to get started building your list. Yeah you know, your email list is an asset, there’s a lot of value there. And there’s value because you can send it out to generate leads and generate revenue. You can send out emails to drive people back to your site. It’s really the key pin to having a relationship with your prospects and your customers. So what I always tell people is, you probably have a primary goal for your website, be it having people buy something or generate a lead. Not everyone is going to be ready to do that on the first visit. And so the secondary goal of every website should be to get people to opt in to receive email. Because if they opt in to receive email from you, that gives you the okay. That gives you the go ahead to start that email relationship which can bring them back to the site drive them to take that primary goal that you’ve got for them. But if they leave your site without giving you their email address, you have no way to follow up with them. So email addresses are really really important. When we talk about list growth for email addresses, your website is usually ground zero. And the one thing that I drive home over and over again above the fold is really critical for your list growth.

08:13

You can see the diagram at the top right there. This is a case study I did with a client where their email opt-in was below the fold and we didn’t change anything about it. We just moved it up to the position where you see it in now, that orange box so that it was above the fold. And actually kind of right below the navigation and just the act of moving that box up increased their list growth by 30% immediately. And I don’t know about you, but that’s a pretty nice boost for something that really didn’t cost a lot of money. Now they were primarily an e-commerce site, so one of their concerns was would this drive less revenue for them because we had to move some of their content down below the fold. So we actually also looked at revenue and we found that having the opt-in box up in the top right. We actually increased the revenue generated. So again, just a win-win. So that’s the first thing when you have an opt-in on your website, think about where to put it. This is a perfect spot. It’s got to be above the fold. The other place that above the fold comes into play. Oh, I’m sorry we’re still on, that’s okay, that’s okay. It’s a busy slide.

09:26

The other place above the fold comes into play is on your registrations form. So for instance you might have a very simple registration where there’s a field on the opt-in box. And they put their email in and then a message comes up and says you’re on the list. But a lot of companies want to get a little bit more information from people. So this is an example of a client I worked with where they needed to get a little bit more information from the person. And what we did to that page, originally that page was very busy. It had the big newsletter logo, it had navigation on it, it had ads for other places to go, and all of the fields to sign up for the newsletter were actually below the fold. So what we found is we had a very very high abandon rate on this page. And my theory is, people landed there and they were expecting to see fields to fill in and they didn’t see them. And so they would go somewhere else.

10:17

Yeah so just by reworking it and making sure that those fields were above the fold, we actually we were able to get a 350% increase in list growth, which again for them was really huge. It’s great. It is that awesome. The other thing I always tell people is you should be able to get somewhere between 5% and 20% of your new visitors every month to sign up for email. So it’s really easy to figure out that calculation with Google analytics. Just take the number of new subscribers from the website, divided by the number of new not returning visitors you had, and shoot for 5% first, then go up from there. You’d be surprised when we do the math how many websites are converting like 1% or half a percent. So with just a little more effort you can really boost that number and it’ll really help you because then you’l have a healthy active email list. Jeanne I had a question for you, you’re talking about the 350% with the fields.

11:19

Yeah and so the combination of the above, the fold and the fields included, what’s your take on exit pops or exit intent pops or any kind of pop-ups for that matter. So they can be very effective as well. The problem you have with pop-ups, first of all is obviously pop-up blockers, which a lot of people use now. You can get around those by making it dhtml. So you know here’s the thing about those pop-ups, and probably we can all probably agree on this. A lot of us find them annoying. Personally, when we’re visiting websites, I know I do, but they tend to work. So that’s another option. Here’s the thing, I would never use a pop-up without having a solid foundation on the website because the pop-up should really only be there for kind of sweep for the people who haven’t already signed up. You don’t want to rely solely on a pop-up for your email list growth, that’s not going to be a great way to go. Absolutely, yeah. There’s no relevance or context, there’s not any depth to the site and the content. There’s a lack of trust when that exit pop actually happens. In face, it has the opposite intent. I’m asking because I’m actually going to pick on Kathleen for a second. But we were talking about Perfect Audience and I’m just going to use our own example, but with Perfect Audience we had a case study that we were pretty particularly proud of that was very relevant on that particular page. It wasn’t on every, it wasn’t site wide or anything like that, it was on a specific page. And we were literally, like we came up with the concept on a Friday, I don’t know at 2 o clock or something like that. We had it up and running by the end of the day and it was sort of shocking. I mean, I figured we were gunna pick up some subscriptions out of it you know, and opt-ins. But we were getting a seven, actually I’m looking at the stats right now. I just pulled them up as we were talking and it’s 7 and a half percent opt-in rate on an exit pop, and that for us, that’s equivalent to thousands of opt-ins on a given, you know weekly basis.

13:42

And that you know, those are email that we don’t hard sell or anything like that. It’s just a soft, just bring them back to re-engage with them and content and that sort of thing. And it’s working particularly well. But anyway I was just curious what your thoughts on exit pops, where I as a consumer totally understand what you’re saying, but yeah on the flip side they are absolutely one of the most effective tactics if employed right.

14:16

Totally agree. And that’s funny. I had a client years ago where the president of the company was like, there’s no way we are doing a pop-up, we are not doing it. And so we did a bunch of other stuff and we’re having some good list growth rates, and finally he consented to allow us to test it. Yeah we tested it and the same thing, it was amazing. It grew the list growth even further than everything else we had done. And then you know, we were kind of showing it to him and he’s like well, I guess we’re doing a pop-up now. And so you know, it’s really hard because you have to, sometimes you have to do things that work. You want to let your audience tell you what works. That’s right. You know, I may have an email that I think is ugly and I don’t particularly like it, but if it generates more revenue per email than anything else, I can put up against it, then that’s my, yeah and that’s also, I mean if you’re an agency and you’re trying to convince your client maybe there’s a hippo in the room that’s like nah, I’m not interested in doing something to that effect. If you do approach it like as a test right, this is a micro test you know, we’re going to run it against maybe 10% of your total traffic and let’s see what the data shows us and what yields and then let them take it back to them and let them make the decision, but more often than not the pushback that you get, I think is typically going to be from the designer or somebody on the web design team or something like that, it’s a subjective choice right, you know to do it or not do it in most cases not do it.

15:56

But when the data itself is laid out side by side, then you’ve got informed decision making that can happen. So yeah, and a lot of it goes down to the quality of your offer and how the benefit and the value you’re giving to the individual. So whether it be an exit pop or wherever you’re trying to grow your list, it has to be, it’s a value transaction you know, so they’re granting permission, but we have to give them value and benefit and we’ve dabbled with that Ascend2 on what are, what we’re giving them and are we clearly expressing that value to them in that short offer we provide. And I just note, you guys were both with Marketing Sherpa, I was a consultant to Marketing Sherpa for a number of years, I still when I give presentations and I need to talk about a value proposition in an email opt-in, the one that’s on the marketing triple website, none of us work there anymore but it’s still one of the best ones out there because it tells you exactly what you’re going to get if you sign up for email. And it’s not, we’ll send you email, it’s like you’ll get this value and so if anyone’s looking for an example to kind of use for your cut file or steal from check out marketing share books, they do a really good job of showing the value.

17:34

Yup yeah, you got to have the, Flint and Anne both would always say you know like, you got to have your three bullets, value, benefits, and then there’s always the special fourth one that’s an add on right? There’s always three bullet value props and then whatever the extra over-the-top one way. So I mean, one of the great best pieces of advice I got early on in my marketing career was just, you have your swipe file you know, so when you see something you like, yeah you do a screen capture, put it in the file and when you start working on something you can pull those up and start using some of those concepts.

18:16

Exactly. One more note, a few years ago people who designed websites got this brilliant idea that the email opt-in belonged in the footer. And so I work with a lot of clients where it’s in the footer. I talk to a lot of designers and they want to put it in the footer. And I got to tell you every time we test moving it from the footer to above the fold, we see a huge increase in the percentage of visitors that opt-in. So I’m not sure who started that move, I know it’s easier for them to put it down there, but it’s really not the best place. So if you’ve got a website and your designer’s like no no this lives in the footer, this is where they do it these days, just test putting it above the fold because I can pretty much guarantee you’re going to see better results from it there. It’s the same school of thought that, or the same person probably that created the image carousels and the top of the fold that just kind of like rotate through right? Yeah. For a while I had a client who wanted us to put them in email and when they worked, they worked. But when they didn’t work so awesome, well..

19:27

So that’s definitely a lot of information on how you can begin growing your list, but we’re going to move on to once you’ve done that, how do you kind of make the most of the program that you currently have. Todd, what were you drinking? What was it? I’m pleading the fifth. No every time you talk I take a drink. Oh okay because there’s this little cup and Todd’s like sipping from it, I’m like what is that. Okay okay got it. H2o. Anyway, so Jeanne tells us a little bit more about what’s the next step after you’ve got a list and you’ve got a program running, how can you make the most of that?

20:13

So one of the best ways to get value out of an email marketing program is to put triggers and automation in place. And what that means is just you have things that people do that will trigger an email being sent. So a very common one is a welcome message. You sign up, you opt-in for email on a website and for most ESPs, immediately a welcome message is triggered to that person thanking them for signing up and hopefully giving them information to start turning them into a fan because that’s really what a welcome message should do. It’s not enough to just say, hey yeah we got it, we’ll be back in touch. But the other thing you can do with triggers and automation which is a step above that or a couple steps above that is to actually create automated programs that run. So the idea that being that for instance, if anyone’s got a cart abandonment program that they use, that’s an automated trigger. And that’s one of the best ways to use automation if you’re in an e-commerce world. I had a client a few years ago and they were business to consumer, relatively big ticket item, every once in a while when the junior marketing manager wasn’t busy on a Friday afternoon, she’d actually do this manual process of pulling the names of people who had stuff in their cart. And then she’d loaded into the email system and sent out just a very basic cart reminder to have people come back. And when we did the analysis on her manual work, we found that she was generating $16 for every email she sent. Every email she sent. So that little man isn’t that crazy Eric.

21:55

Yeah that’s amazing. So you know, that was one of those things that was kind of a no-brainer. We were like well, this, we have to set this up. We have to automate it to make sure not only that it happens every week, but we need to start happening because it was a, we put in a series of three messages that started three hours after the cart was abandoned. So by the time we got that up and running they were actually generating even more money for every email sent. But the beauty of that is that it’s kind of set it and forget it. You set it up once and then it runs. Yeah. So it’s like printing money. So you want to definitely look at ways you can do that and this is a diagram, people often, they’re like yes I’m gunna do an automated system. So I logged on to my ESP to set it up and the best way to do these, you really need to start with an old-fashioned flowchart on a piece of paper, I usually start with pencil and then I usually put it in Vizio or another program so you get something like that so that you can really map our what you want to happen with it. Yeah yeah. So when you did the analog, I’m just curious, now you piqued my interest, but when you did the analysis you were looking back over like a time series of data. Did you see all these pops and you’re like what are these? Like every Friday or every couple of Fridays you see these huge pops like, well actually probably what you saw like like a pop and then it sort of long tails out right. But to your point about the automation, I imagine especially if it’s e-commerce or something like that, you create all sorts of headaches around all of these spikes right? If you’re thinking about production or you’re thinking about fulfillment of orders or whatever, you’ve got all these uneven spikes that cause your operational team to go and try to add more people or whatever to deal up you know, deal with the orders. But again, with an automation where you’re able to even that out a little bit it makes it a lot more predictable for order fulfillment. And that sort of thing too, sort of an added benefit I think yeah.

24:05

Yeah and truth be told, so think about it, the cart abandonment, the send quantities are relatively small. yeah so we didn’t identify that from spikes in revenue. We simply, one thing that I do when I work with clients is I want to talk to the people who are actually hands-on with the email program. And so that’s how we actually uncovered that. Because she basically said you know, it’s kind of a pain in the neck because I’ve got to manually pull this and then I’ve got to go over here and I’ve got to do this, and I’ve got to do that. And you know, that’s kind of a, I always ask people what’s a pain point. So that was a pain point for her yeah. And then when we did the math on it, it was like well this isn’t a pain point, this is a huge opportunity. But you know the thing about triggers is, and this is very important, you don’t necessarily want to automate everything because if you automate something that’s not profitable, that’s not going to make it anymore profitable. The key with automation is the relevance. Yeah so you know, a browse reminder email maybe you were looking at gas grills earlier today, and then you left the site to get an automated browse reminder about gas grills could bring you back to that site. Maybe you bought a gas grill but you didn’t buy any smoker chips to go with it. And it has a smoker. So a triggered email that says hey, we saw you bought this new gas grill, we have smoker chips. So that’s what really you want to use automation for, is that idea of making it relevant, and most automations are not necessarily high volume. But they’re high relevance which makes them high money.

25:55

Thanks Jeanne, that definitely makes a lot of sense. We’ve seen that with our pop-up. Kind of how Eric said, using just an email, automated emails from the pop-up trip taking as much value out of that as. you can, not just stopping at collecting their email. Exactly exactly. I was going to make one more point on your automation process is, it’s very efficient and helps with your productivity but also don’t necessarily forget about it from the standpoint of, go back and re-look at it and make updates and optimization. Jeanne and I actually go back, we used to work together at a publishing company and I was always amazed in publishing where. you really made your money in the renewal process, so you know it cost a lot more to get new subscribers. But you made your profit and renewals, but very rarely did marketers did we go in and actually spend time in the renewal process. We kind of set it up and many times you spend most of your money up in the new part as compared to renewals and that can be a mistake. So I mean, if you’re making good money with your automation process, put some time on your calendar every quarter, every six months, every year, go back and re-look at that process and see where you can optimize it well. Todd what did you tell me, you told me this story, I don’t know six months ago or something like that, where you were doing that analysis for a renewal product and you uncovered I want to say it was like seven digits worth of revenue or something. It was yeah, it was one of my first publishing jobs. And I did a test on a renewal process and it increased the renewal rate by 1% or one and a half percent. But then when I took and multiplied that across all the products that the company had, and you looked at the bottom line, it was a seven digit revenue to the bottom line when you looked at it in that context. Truly all those little details matter.

28:23

And so one thing we could apply across the board, and I think that’s the whole secret of optimization right. it’s you know, you find little winds here, little winds there and they have a compounding effect right? Exactly yeah exactly. And you know we always say automation is set it and forget it. But the truth of the matter is, because I’ve had people say, well don’t automate, that gets rid of my job. Well it doesn’t get rid of your job because if you’ve got the automation set up you should be going in and looking at ways to optimize and tweak it and make it more effective. And so the job goes from just manually getting this out on a regular basis to actually analyzing it and coming up with ideas, hypotheses to test the boost performance so it actually changes the nature of the job. And I think for a lot of people makes it much more interesting. Yeah you should be testing. That’s, you’re freeing up time, it’s not that, I mean yeah I love that, like I love that too. Because you know, our team, we talk about that a lot right? So we talk about automating as much of the things that you can automate so that you free up a little bit of headroom so that you can think about opportunities for optimization, whatever the next tests that we want to queue up, you know things like that where the kind of tasks are taken off your plate and not sucking up so much time. It’s a more efficient way of running you marketing team

30:06

Exactly, exactly. You get a lot all the time but we, we’re working on it. It’s always a work in progress. Always. Yeah absolutely. Always. That’s a lot about triggers and automation and how that helps you. But there’s also more things that you can do to supercharge your program right Jeanne?

30:29

Definitely. So it was great to have this discussion. My focus is really on email. But talking to Eric and Todd, they were chiming in about layering other efforts, things like PPC and retargeting to amplify the impact of that message. Yeah yeah yeah. So we were talking, what was it Jeanne, about a week ago or something to that effect and we were, you were describing the shopping cart abandonment process you’re describing, basket recovery or cart recovery, and I, and it all of a sudden, it’s sort of like you know, the lightbulb went on when you talk about connecting what it is that you’re the value that you’re bringing to the table with automated email series for cart abandonment. It’s very much like what retargeting is right? So with retargeting, what you’re doing is you are installing a tag, you’re collecting an audience of people who have visited a particular product or a page or an offer or your brand, and you are sending them a series of successive messages over time to bring them back to your site and get a second or third or fourth shot at them. That I mean, if you think about the parallels between cart abandonment and retargeting, it’s apples to apples. And then when you compare that or then, sorry, when you sort of combine the two together, you get a pretty powerful offering right? You have a multi-channel outreach opportunity to be able to get in front of somebody and your prospect and, or your customer for higher value transactions. You can do that and hit them sort of where they live right? So if they’re in their email box, they’re going to see a message, it’s going to have the creative around that particular campaign and then they’re on, then you know they’re somewhere else or on cnn.com or somewhere else. And they see and ad that has the exact same creative that reinforces the same message in the same campaign. That’s a much more powerful way of being able to get in front of your perfect customers.

32:45

Yeah, people tend to need to see things three to five times for it to sink in. So definitely a fan of multi-channel. And you know, I think that it’s actually more impactful to get an email and then see a display ad. And you know, and maybe thenyou’re on LinkedIn and you see an ad there. That stuff really helps, and it really helps amplify the message. It’s funny to me too. People are willing to spend dollar after dollar on let’s say PPC for example right, on a cost per click basis and that’s important. And you have to do that to continue to keep people coming in the top of the funnel right, keep driving people in, keep building your email list. It helps you do all of those other things. But what I find fascinating about the ad tech business and marketing really in general is, it’s you have to have the ability to create audiences right? So you have an email audience right? We call them subscribers or we call them lists or whatever. But they’re, it’s an audience, it’s an audience of people that all have a common thread right and a common series of characteristics about them. If you’re doing segmentation really well the more targeted they get and the more you know the more those audiences refine and they get better and higher quality and you can sen them the right messages around that and the same thing happens with your website audience. The behavior of somebody who comes in and visits your site and creating an audience around them, people that visited your pricing page for example, are not the same types of people that necessarily just visit your home page right? There’s a much more focused intent, buyer intent around that kind of individual or somebody who leaves, if you’re an e-commerce site leaves a particular shopping cart and you know, and they’re deeper in the funnel, in your marketing funnel, and so they are therefore in most cases anyway, going to be more qualified. So that’s a different type of audience. Same thing can be said for social media right? I mean you have audiences of people who follow you on LinkedIn or follow your page on Facebook. Those are audiences that sort of work on and curate and build up and invest in and those are assets. Your email list is an asset. You’re retargeting, your website audience that you build up is an asset. And one of the things that I see in the most successful campaigns, well just really marketing in general marketing teams is they understand that they understand those audiences are treated like assets. And not just sort of like one and done and the campaigns that I see doing the worst are gunna be the ones that are dumping money into the top of the funnel on the prospecting side or just dumping money into the top end of the funnel with PPC, and then they don’t have these other layers to be able to capture additional value out of those people. It’s just, it’s you spend it once and it’s gone right? That visitor’s gone forever.

36:12

But if you are able to capture them in an email list and create an audience around those people and you’re able to do that with a retargeting list or an audience. Social media, same function.You have this ever increasing asset that then you can leverage that you don’t have to pay for over and over and over again. Exactly. And you know, that’s every once in a while, probably once a year I have a client that’s over mailing their list to the point that we’re seeing diminishing returns and diminishing opens. And so that’s another place where thinking of it as a long-term asset you don’t want to erode it, you don’t want to over mail people to cause them to stop engaging with you. So there’s a lot of angles from which that whole idea of it being an asset, you really need to think about it that way. Yeah. And there’s a similarity on the retargeting side if there’s, if the frequency cap is et too high and somebody gets that same ad over and over and over again, they’re going to develop that banner blindness. That click-through rates are going to go down. Your costs are going to go up. And you’re going to just annoy your customer and you’re not likely going to get them back. So what counsel people do is just say hey, look, there is a couple of ways right? There’s limiting the frequency cap, then there’s also refreshing your messaging right? Refreshing your ad creative, making sure that you’re also segmenting the same way you do with email where you are able to come in and say, look there’s a time at which this person wants to be hit with a particular message right? So somebody again, using the same analogy, somebody who’s coming in contact with. your brand is not the same ad or messaging that you’re going to hit them with as if they had come and visited your checkout page or in your shopping cart right?

38:11

You’re gunna hit them with a different type of messaging or a different type of ad. So making sure that you understand the relevance is how you win. I’m sorry I think I maybe cut you off. Sorry oh no no. I was going back and thinking about what you said earlier. Twelve years ago people saying is email dead? And you know, the reason email’s not dead is like these other tactics. I mean it’s about relationship right? It’s about building a relationship and email still does that. So what’s dead are bad practices like spamming and putting people on your list who don’t want to be on your list. But that, but why it works is segmentation, messaging, and building relationships and understanding how things connect together between somebody who comes to your website or and somebody who you’re emailing and how that all fits together. Because at the end of the day I’m talking to Eric, I’m talking, I’m not an email, I mean he’s somebody who comes to my site. he’s somebody who signs up for my email newsletter and the better we understand that and treat people in the way they want to be treated.

39:32

You know I think you see higher optimization throughout your process. Yeah somebody, I can’t remember who it was but they were saying like just treat me like a person not a prospect right? No that’s very true. I think if you have that kind of mentality when you’re firing up and even, it’s hard right? Because you know the junior marketing person that’s in charge of sending out the email doesn’t necessarily unless they’re trained well and have that sort of perspective and that eye towards who the customer is and who’s on the list. You just sort of lose a lot of the effectiveness of the asset that you built up. Yeah that’s very true. And speaking of optimization, which Chad you were just talking about, we are going to move on now into the section of the webinar, fix or both focused on kind of what you do after the click.

40:32

So yeah I like it how Kathleen keeps moving us along like she’s, we’ve got a lot of great points so far and we’ve got, there’s a lot of information out here. And so if you have questions on it all, don’t forget to post them in the chat bubble. But for now we are gunna move on to post-click optimization. So I think we’ve kind of touched on this already and Eric talks about this a lot, being on the Perfect Audience side, but Jeanne I’m gunna go ahead and let you take this away. I know you’ve done a lot of work with this as well.

41:14

Yeah so you know, it’s important to think about what happens after the click, and I can’t tell you how many times I start working with a client and they say there’s nothing wrong with this email, it’s just not delivering and you do the analysis and what you find is that the email’s just fine. What’s the problem is that where they’re ending them after they leave the email that’s where people are dropping off. That’s where the conversion rate drops from. Three percent of the people who land on the page actually convert, so you really want to think about the whole thing as a flow and a process. Years ago I was working with a client and we had a problem and when I dug into the landing page what I found was a couple things. One thing I found is that there was a video toward the bottom of the page and people who actually watched that video, because we could see who watched and who didn’t, were much more likely to purchase. So that told me a lot. So not only did we move that video up to the top of that page, but we actually pulled it into the email. So a lot of times the problem’s not with the email, it’s with what happens after they leave the email. And you have to look at the whole process to figure out where to optimize. And I’ll tell you a 1% improvement you know right before they put it in their card is going to go a lot further toward driving revenue than a 1% improvement in an open rate.

42:36

Yeah that’s right that’s right. And the same applies for whether it’s an email or an ad. And Eric can kind of speak to that a little bit. So yeah what’s interesting to me too is we’re, oh well it’s actually, you’re going to talk a little bit about it in the next slide. Maybe I’ll keep my mouth shut. But the, understand to you point Jeanne, I mean understanding it from a holistic perspective and not I think where marketing campaigns go wrong so often is each department, each tactic is siloed on a team and well if you have a team that’s set up that way and when you’re talking about a marketing team, the email specialist or maybe it’s a consultant or somebody on the outside, and these, they’re measured with a specific KPIs for the email marketing tactics or campaigns is not necessarily the same one that’s over here on the brand side of somebody that’s in charge of demand gen, and I’m much more of a dan of taking a team and building around campaigns right? And so it’s a campaign based approach, almost like an agency would operate right? So an agency is coming in and they’re saying I’ve got my email specialist and I’ve got my paid search specialist and I’ve got my optimization specialist and whatever content and brand create, the creative director, and they all come together, they sit around a table right, and they start looking at how do we take this campaign from a holistic approach and drive more revenue, drive more engagement whatever the measurement is as opposed to breaking it up into silos on a marketing team.

44:32

So I love what you just said.. I mean I think that that holistic approach is super valuable. Yep it’s very important. Right yeah I know thank you both. And I gave you kind of a sneak peek of this slide just a second ago but the other thing that happens, post-click attribution and I think Eric you had something you wanted to add here. Oh no, it’s just my favorite topic. I can talk about attribution all day long. I know it’s probably like a geeky thing to do but, you know for attribution is such a misunderstood thing in marketing. People talk about attribution, we spend lots and lots of money on tools for attribution and really what it boils down to is understanding how to ask the right questions and then measuring around that and again coming back to what we just talked about which is that holistic approach for your marketing team. What ends up happening is, in sort of my past life you know what I would do, I would look at different companies or I’d look at investments or consulting for somebody and what would end up happening is you’d look at how they were measuring something. And the measurements were find right? They were completely find. But they were actually, it was really like the core issue was they were thinking they were getting one result and it was sort of in the silo as opposed to the holistic approach.

46:13

So in other words, we talk a lot about people marketing, the buzzword today is multi-touch right, multi-attribution, and weighting things in different ways. And that is so powerful if you know how to do it, how to set it up right. And you can, if you know how to weight the certain factors or elements that go to that lead to a conversion, there’s sort of clarity that clarity that comes along with that because it sort of rallies your team around the goal right, as opposed to this choppy siloed approach that you’re trying to piece together. And so that’s multi-touch. I can again, I can talk about attribution all day long. So yeah you know years ago I had a client and I was doing email work for them, but I worked for the CMO before and she pulled me in and said I need your help because I have each of these siloed teams working on different channels and at the end of every month they report up to me what revenue they’re responsible for. And she said after three months I realized that their number is like four times the total revenue we brought in this month, double counting yeah. So that’s when I really started diving into attribution and I like my numbers so it was fascinating. And actually came up with a model for them to use because that’s what you want. It’s that fine balance and in, when I teach at Georgetown University in the graduate school, and I do a lot of training workshops and there’s a section on attribution and based on the model you use and there’s last click and first click and partial and based on the model you same transaction can be attributed many different ways and it’s amazing when you’re dealing with marketers and they see this, they do this exercise and the light bulb goes off and I say to them, how many people know what attribution model your company is using. And they’re all like no idea, and I was like so we find out. But yeah, absolutely I love that, that’s a great story.

48:21

Well Eric you’ll be excited, I know you love revenue attribution and I don’t maybe even read stories to your kids at night to put them to sleep on revenue contribution, but this actually this week at Ascend we launched our monthly research topic and it’s actually on revenue attribution, so good information by the end of the month. Love it. We’re looking forward to hearing about that Todd. So there’s just one more thing here about attribution. This is kind of a pro tip from Jeanne. I’ll let you go ahead and talk about it more, but basically the gist is that, last click is probably something that a lot of marketers are using if you’re not sure what you’re suing it’s maybe last click because that’s just the easiest thing for a lot of marketers. But I’ll let you tell us kind of why that might not be the best idea.

49:19

Sure so last click attribution means the last click the customer takes before they buy, that gets attributed all the revenue and the trouble with that model is yes, it’s the easiest one to track hands down, no question, but buying decisions are complicated. Most of them involve a lot of thought. The more expensive your product is the more thought probably goes into it and so while last click is the easiest, you definitely want to think about what influenced that purchase, that happened before that last click. Again, I did some research years ago when I was consulting for a firm and we actually found out that it took, I think it was seven touch points before somebody bought. And so what we learned was even though that last click happened in this channel, we actually built a model for which channels we needed to touch them in over what period of time to get them to buy. And we started working out algorithms to make sure we got that in. So yeah I think about although the things that influence that purchase it’s not always about that last click. It’s about what led to it. I think when you’re running a team, I mean just talking about this for a second, there’s, there it is, so easy to game the system if you know what you’re doing, if you understand the numbers, if you understand the metrics, consultants especially can sort of you know well, that’s not true I don’t want to just pick on consultants because that’s true too, but careful, I know how to game the system.

51:00

But I don’t, right, well yeah so what I was actually going to say to that point is, consultant it’s just human nature, right? I mean you want to get acknowledged for the effort you’re putting in and you want to claim as much credit as you possibly can. And so that’s where you end up with four times the revenue than you actually generated because either you’re not measuring it right or, and that’s usually what it is right. I mean it’s very easily that but then there’s also scenarios where you’re, it’s just flat out sort of this incorrect hypothesis around what the value of your customers worth. And sort of again going back to the holistic approach, what I was going to say is, it’s very easy to do that. We see that a lot on our side where in our platform so we will measure a click-based attribution right, we’ll attribute a click of an ad to a particular channel, let’s say it’s Google or Facebook or wherever the publisher is or whatever, and if you, it’s very interesting right? I mean everybody has Google analytics, everybody has the Facebook pixel and they look at the analytics there, I would say I’m making this number up so nobody hold me to this, but you know 70% of the time roughly, what you’ll see is, you make a conversion, or you have a click, have some sort of conversion event, and look in your analytics platform and lo and behold Google has claimed that you know that conversion feedback has claimed that conversion and you got something else that sort of claimed that conversion and you only made one sale right, you only had one conversion, you only got one lead or whatever but your numbers are coming back much more inflated than you think they are.

53:02

So one of the things that we’ve been spending a lot of time on is just understanding for ourselves like as Perfect Audience and our own team I’ve been trying to understand how to attribute right click and the right conversion to the right channel and the right marketing tactic, the right campaign, all the way down to the ad or email right. And so you know taking that approach where we understand back to the beginning sort of like the whole buyer journey, the life of the lead from beginning to end is really super critical when you’re trying to figure out where to put your marketing dollars and where to put your marketing team efforts. So yep, yeah, great advice definitely, so that’s awesome. So we have mentioned a couple times if you have questions go ahead and put them in the box, we do have some already so we’ve got about five or ten more minutes so we’re going to go ahead and take some now. Our first one is from Julia. So she’s just asking about opt-in incentives, what how would that help me grow my list, and Jeanne you can take this one if you’d like.

54:16

Sure, so that’s a great question, so often I think it happens a lot on e-commerce sites, but it happens elsewhere too. Hey sign up for email list get 10% off first purchase. So incentivizing people to get on your list, and it’s kind of a double-edged sword. So it can boost your email list growth so in that way it can be very good. The problem you have is, if they’re more interested in that incentive than they are with having an email relationship with, you can turn it into a name on your list that then goes dormant very quickly and dormant means not opening it, they’re not clicking, and at that point they’re really just costing you money. If they’re really not engaging with your email at all that’s going to be something that’s actually going to pull down your metrics and actually just waste your money. So you want to use incentives cautiously. And one thing that I say to my clients when we put incentives in place we track not only whether or not that increases list growth which it usually does, but we take a look at the behavior of those people and see if it’s significantly different than people who came on the list without an incentive and that’s where you can really see it. The other thing we have now that are really big things are, I call them burner email addresses. But they’re basically one-time email addresses that are good for like 24 hours and then they basically self-destruct. So you really want to be careful, you want to make sure that these people are behaving in the way you want them to after they’re on the list because if they’re just there to get the discount that doesn’t really meet your goal.

55:52

Right yeah. It’s a vanity metric right. Yeah yeah so that’s great, that’s nice. So we’ll take two more probably. Our second question is from Miguel. if you’re, if I’m looking to boost my email program where is good place to get started. Sure you know, one place I always recommend is starting with segmentation. So looking at your list and is there a way to segment that list because right away, when. you do that you’re going to increase the value of your list because you’re going to be now speaking to people much more directly and giving them much more relevant offers. So that’s a great first way because list growth can take time, but less segmentation many times can be done very quickly. Awesome yeah. I mean we have a couple questions on segmentation so can we talk a little bit more about that. Eric can you kind of expound on that, how do you get started segmenting if you haven’t yet.

57:04

Oh you’re asking me okay. So I’m assuming you’re not talking about the tactical way you do it, but I’ll just start with the way that I would do it. Everything for me starts around the persona of a particular prospect that I am trying to build a list around, for example you know if I’m with Perfect Audience for example when we started building a list from essentially scratch, one of the first thing that we did is we said okay, well who’s using our platform and what kind of person, like what kind of characteristics does that particular person have and how do we get more of those people right? And so what kind of content do we need to create around that kind of content or sorry email content that we need to product to engage with those particular type of people, that sort of thing. So we spent a lot of time, and Kathleen sort of knows this, I mean like I’m ridiculously detailed when it comes to trying to understand who our perfect prospect and our perfect customer is down to like, we’ve given them names and like buyer personas with personalities and the whole bit. Really trying to put some meat on the bones right, try to understand who they are, get in their head, what kind of words do they use, taxonomy, things like that. And really trying to understand that. So we can say then, okay from there like those personas are wort of the tip of the sword so to speak on how you create segmentation on your list and I would argue it’s not just email segmentation, it’s audience segmentation right. So it’s your website audience, it’s your social audience, it’s your email audience right? And all of that really should connect back to wherever your ideal persona is. And I see a lot of scatter shot approaches where it’s like, let me just grow my list as big as I can. And that kind of goes back to the vanity metric comment I made earlier. it’s not about having 300,000 or 600,000 people on your list. It’s about understanding of the people of the subsets of those lists if you could break them into personas, 9 times out of 10 and I don’t know, Jeanne, Todd you guys could probably chime in here, but you find that the perfect prospects, the ones that are actually going to buy your product or subscribe to your service or sign up and engage with you is going to be like a small subset of that, but they are super super valuable and knowing who they are, knowing how to measure for those particular people and knowing how to speak to them and engage with them is, it’s everything right.

60:33

No that’s great. That’s exactly right. We are almost out of time, but I do want to, Jeanne was going to say something hang on. Oh sorry Jeanne, I was just a big fan of personas and customer journeys and I love doing that kind of stuff for clients but they’re actually really simple ways to segment that effective as well so for instance, I like to use observed data and email is a great source of that because with email you can see what people clicked on. I’m about to launch a holiday campaign for a client and we have an email that has all nine of their different product categories in it and we’re gunna watch what people click on in this category email. And what they click on it gunna determine how we target content going forward. One day a week going forward we’ll have a special send that is an email full of only the categories that they clicked on so that’s another simple way to target on observed behavior. And then there’s reported behavior what they tell you when they sign up. So I love all those fancy personas and customer journeys, but even if you’re not doing them or you don’t know how to do them, there are some really down and dirty ways that you can say that your list, it can be just as effective.

61:45

Yeah I like that. I think you’re absolutely right. I mean using marketing automation to be able to do that right, so there’s also the ability if you said here are my 10 topics or articles or categories in my email and then pushing them into a path around the particular kind of content or product categories that they like and then using marketing automation to be able to either dynamically populate right into your emails or into the content itself. That’s great, that’s actually great advice. That is nice. I actually love that you said that Jeanne because our last version that I want to sneak in here is about Black Friday and since you were mentioning the holiday season. So this is from Richard, the question is Black Friday is right around the corner, so how can I optimize my Q4 campaigns and for anyone who’s marketing, it’s probably already begun doing this by now, but just for anyone else. yeah yeah. So you know with the client I’m working with, I started working with them in mid-September and we started mailing holiday at the end of September, I don’t know if anyone else has noticed this, 2020 isn’t quite a normal year this year, has anyone else noticed anything weird about this year, nothing too different I thought this is pretty good this is a good year. Yeah so but what we’re seeing is I don’t know if you remember back in March, April, when Amazon prime two-day shipping became Amazon prime two-week shipping and I experience it. So I think that this holiday is going to be a little bit different for a couple of reasons. One is supply chain issues. People are afraid they aren’t going to get things in time for the holidays, so smart buyers are buying early, earlier this month in October we had prime day, which usually happens earlier in the year, they pushed it later. So there’s a lot of talk about how a lot of people who usually would have shopped Black Friday are shopping Prime Day, they’re shopping earlier. So I would say you don’t take a look at your typical schedule from previous years and bump everything earlier because people are afraid I think they’re going to run out of things, they’re afraid they’re not going to get it delivered in time. I think that’s a really big difference that we’re seeing this year. No that’s very true, that’s a good point, yeah.

64:11

So it’s actually really timely that you just asked that, because something that Jalali and I are going to be talking about is, we’re going to put a video out sometimes in the next few days, next week where we’re talking about what are the four practical things that you can do today for Q4 and a lot of times it sort of annoys me. Like I watch, I read articles or how-to videos or something and there’s lots of high-level talk but there’s nothing like meaty on the ground, these are the things that you can do. So that’s what we’re gunna do, we’re actually gunna talk about what are the things that you can do with the four things that you can do, that you theoretically by yourself on a one-man marketing, one-person marketing team, you were able to execute on a campaign and or you execute before the week is out. So just super quick and dirty here are the things that you need to do, that if you sort of follow those steps you’re going to be able to see an improvement and sort of feel better about your Black Friday, Cyber Monday holiday that’s coming up. So we’re going to be doing that here before too long. Like I said sometime in the next week so by the time everybody watches this video you’ll probably already see that one out too. We’ll send a link around for it. yes we will. We’ll be sending this recording and all of the relevant links along with it but that I think that wraps up today’s webinar. So I just want to thank everyone for joining today. I hope you got something out of it. Again, send us your questions or email us at support Perfect Audience if you have more questions. Thank you so much Jeanne for coming on and giving us so much valuable insight. Thank you, the same as well. Thanks for hanging out with Eric, and I today, thanks so much pleasure, thank you great day everybody. Alright have a good one.

<a href="https://blog.perfectaudience.com/author/eric-stockton/" target="_self">Eric Stockton</a>

Eric Stockton

General Manager - Perfect Audience: A pioneer and innovator in the areas of internet marketing, eCommerce, lead generation, publishing, and online media, Eric has directly led $3MM+ ad budgets and $70M+ top-line sales organizations. Eric has been a keynote speaker at MarketingSherpa events, eCommerce Retail Executive Summit, Email Summit, B2B Demand Generation Summit, ContentBiz, and Affiliate Summit.
Post categories: Perfect Audience, Webinars

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