Saturday, 22 July 2017

How to Increase Business Revenue with Marketing Automation Campaigns by @KunjalPanchal

Are you looking for ways to drive revenue to your business?

Meet today’s digital consumer: Kat. The web, social media, email, and other digital channels provide instant information at her fingertips.

She came across your awesome posts on social media and decided to check out your site. She loved your content and wanted more so she subscribed to your email newsletter.

You can’t win her only with old and traditional marketing tactics. These strategies have become less effective in this digital age.

If you want to convert Kat into a customer, you need to understand her needs and make your marketing more personalized. But as a marketer, you don’t have time to interact with each and every customer that comes your way.

Or can you? Enter marketing automation.

Why Marketing Automation Is Important

Marketing automation allows you to automate and measure your marketing tasks. It helps create a real-time and relationship-oriented approach to marketing campaigns. It improves your efficiency, productivity, lead generation, and revenue.

Here’s a concise definition from Marketo:

“Marketing automation is a category of technology that allows companies to streamline, automate, and measure marketing tasks and workflows, so they can increase operational efficiency and grow revenue faster.”

So why should you opt for marketing automation? Check out these stats:

Still not convinced? See what John McTigue, EVP of Kuno Creative, has to say:

Without marketing automation, you are just guessing – just hoping that people will take the bait and be ready to buy your products. Statistics show that buyers don’t do that. They want to learn at their own pace and be reached when they need more information or are ready to buy. A well-constructed marketing automation strategy makes that a reality.

Now that you’ve understood the importance of marketing automation, let’s explore how to automate your email campaigns to drive more revenue for your business.

How to Use Marketing Automation for Email Conversions

1. Welcome Series

Let’s get back to your customer, Kat. She subscribed to your email list. What’s the next step?

Send her a welcome email immediately. A welcome email isn’t about welcoming a new subscriber. It’s a first friendly conversation between you and your new subscriber.

A welcome email series will help create a positive impression of your business.

Meera Kothand, an email marketing specialist, shares her take on the welcome email series:

Every online marketer should have a welcome email sequence – a series of 3-5 emails that are sent out to a subscriber when they first join your email list. This is the most overlooked aspect of email marketing. A welcome email is good but what you want to do is ‘roll out the red carpet’ for your subscribers when they first sign up.

According to a study by Ciceron, the first 48 hours are when email subscribers are most engaged. You want to build a great first impression of you and your brand in this short period of time. A dedicated welcome email series will not only help you do that, but build trust as well.

Your welcome email should include something valuable for a new subscriber that lets them know what to do next. A welcome email series can then further educate your subscribers about your products or services.

Here’s an example of a welcome email series from SEMrush. In the first welcome email, they give a primer on next steps:

SEMrush Welcome Email

In the second email, they introduce some advanced features:

SEMrush Second Email

In the third email, they offer a free demo:

SEMrush Free Demo

2. Automated Follow-ups

Automation helps you send personalized follow-up emails to encourage customers to finish what they started.

Automated follow-ups help bring prospects back to your site, allowing you to build relationships with them which can lead to more numbers for you.

See how HubSpot Academy sent an automated follow-up email to one of my friends:

Hubspot Followup Email

3. Abandoned Carts

According to Baymard Institute, an average of 69.23 percent of online shopping carts are abandoned.

As marketers, we have to deal with the dreaded abandoned cart situation. People save products in their cart and abandon them before purchasing. They just aren’t ready to buy at that moment.

Automation will help you send a targeted email to these potential buyers (based on where they are in the customer purchasing journey) and ask them to complete their order. You can send an email series (up to three emails) with unique and creative subject lines.

4. Birthday or Anniversary Email

When you wish someone “Happy Birthday,” it makes them feel special. That’s why birthday emails have a 481 percent higher transaction rate than promotional emails.

We all expect gifts and presents on our birthday. So give your customers a special gift, free shipping, or incentives on their birthday. They will appreciate it.

Wondering how to remember their birthdays? You don’t have to. Automation will take care of it for you. It keeps track of every customer’s birthday and sends them a special offer email.

Check out this example:

Birthday Email

5. Product Suggestion

Use the power of personalized product suggestion emails to drive conversions. Write a creative subject line and create a sense of urgency in your email.

You can also gather all the data and information about a customer by doing surveys, as well as tracking customers’  website activity, recent purchase history, shopping cart, and more. Automation can then help you use these behavioral data to create personalized and targeted recommendations which your customers will find interesting.

Conclusion

Automation can be a game changer for your business. It can play a key role in converting a lead into a paying customer so start sending automated campaigns today.


Image Credits

Featured Image: a-image/Shutterstock.com
Screenshots taken by Author, July 2017.

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Author: Kunjal Panchal

The post How to Increase Business Revenue with Marketing Automation Campaigns by @KunjalPanchal appeared first on On Page SEO Checker.



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Friday, 21 July 2017

Accelerate your marketing with the MarTech Power Pack

Are you responsible for ensuring your organization thrives in this software-powered world? Then the MarTech Power Pack is for you. You’ll gain insights, ideas, and strategies you can use to accelerate your marketing and marketing organization.

Brought to you by the Martech conferences, the Power Pack includes:

  • An exclusive webinar presentation of “5 Disruptions Reshaping Marketing As We Know It”, hosted by leading martech authority Scott Brinker
  • A 20-page companion e-book to the webinar
  • A high-resolution MarTech Landscape graphic, open-sourced MarTech landscape database, and a behind the scenes podcast with Scott and Anand Thaker
  • More than 200 MarTech conference speaker presentations and videos from previous MarTech Conferences.

Click here to access the MarTech Power Pack today!


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Author: Marketing Technology

The post Accelerate your marketing with the MarTech Power Pack appeared first on On Page SEO Checker.



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Daily Search Forum Recap: July 21, 2017

Here is a recap of what happened in the search forums today, through the eyes of the Search Engine Roundtable and other search forums on the web.

Search Engine Roundtable Stories:

Other Great Search Forum Threads:

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Author: barry@rustybrick.com (Barry Schwartz)

The post Daily Search Forum Recap: July 21, 2017 appeared first on On Page SEO Checker.



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SearchCap: YouTube redirects, Bing search ad growth & expanded text ads

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

From Search Engine Land:

Recent Headlines From Marketing Land, Our Sister Site Dedicated To Internet Marketing:

Search News From Around The Web:

Industry

Searching

SEO

SEM / Paid Search

Search Marketing

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Author: Barry Schwartz

The post SearchCap: YouTube redirects, Bing search ad growth & expanded text ads appeared first on On Page SEO Checker.



source http://www.onpageseochecker.com/searchcap-youtube-redirects-bing-search-ad-growth-expanded-text-ads/

Marketing Day: Chatbots, content production models & Microsoft’s earnings report

Here’s our recap of what happened in online marketing today, as reported on Marketing Land and other places across the web.

From Marketing Land:

Online Marketing News From Around The Web:

Analytics

Content Marketing

E-Commerce

Email Marketing

General Internet Marketing

Internet Marketing Industry

MarTech

Mobile/Local Marketing

Social Media

Video


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Author: Amy Gesenhues

The post Marketing Day: Chatbots, content production models & Microsoft’s earnings report appeared first on On Page SEO Checker.



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Building an Amazon Alexa Skill is so easy, Grandma can do it

Amazon devices with the Alexa agent.

Amazon devices with the Alexa agent

Last holiday season, the Amazon Echo was at the top of everyone’s wish list. Amazon sold a lot more than they had expected, and they had difficulty keeping the product in stock. Estimates place the number of devices sold at over 9 million, about nine times what they sold the year before!

And this year’s Prime Day yielded similar, impressive success. With those kinds of numbers, as marketers, we really ought to be thinking about ways to capitalize on that momentum. One way is by building our own Amazon Alexa apps, known as “Skills.”

When I first got my Echo, I was excited to start programming my first Alexa Skill. I soon came to realize that although you can certainly build some awesome, more advanced skills with some programming chops, it isn’t necessary to write a single line of code if you just want to get your feet wet with Alexa Skill creation. It was so easy to make my first Skill, in fact, that I’m fairly certain my not-so-technically-savvy grandma could do it.

Oh, and here’s an SNL skit about Grandmas and Alexa.

Before we get into how to create our first codeless Skill, let’s briefly examine the different types of Alexa Skills you can create:

Types of skills

There are four main types of Alexa Skills:

  1. Custom Skills
  2. Video Skills
  3. Smart Home Skills
  4. Flash Briefing Skills

Custom Skills

The Custom Skill type is probably what comes to mind first when you think of an Alexa Skill. The sky is the limit when it comes to the Custom Skills type. As the name implies, it allows for a custom interaction model, enabling some of the more robust Skills like Jeopardy and Domino’s. This Skill type requires programming expertise. But the documentation is pretty robust, and there are plenty of code examples to reference in the wild or via Amazon.

Video Skills

Video Skills are a recent addition to the type of Skills you can develop. It focuses on control of video. In Amazon’s words, “Video skills target content and video services, which can include changing the channel, but also enables customers to search for content and choose content to play from search results.” So, you wouldn’t use this Skill type to raise the volume on your WiFi-enabled TV. If your intention is to interact with a video device, it will be easier to use the video API than to build a fully custom Skill.

Smart Home Skills

Smart Home Skills are for controlling connected home and home automation devices such as the Nest or Phillips Hue light bulbs. If your goal is to control these type of devices, it’s easier to leverage this Skill type, due to an associated API, rather than creating a fully custom Skill.

Flash Briefing Skills

Lastly, there is the Flash Briefing Skill type, the one we will be discussing.

A common activity for Amazon Echo device owners is asking Alexa about the news. Users are able to assign different news sources to be included, and news items are read out upon asking Alexa, “What’s my Flash Briefing?” or “What’s in the news?”

If you’re a publisher, it’s an absolute no-brainer to set up your own Flash Briefing Skill. It’s also very easy to set up this type of Skill, as it requires zero programming. Let’s explore how to do this.

Creating your Flash Briefing Skill

Awesome. You’re ready to create a Flash Briefing Skill. The first thing you need to do is set up an Amazon Developer account:

https://developer.amazon.com/

Once you’ve set up your Developer account, sign in and select the Alexa tab at the top of the Developer Console:

Click the “Get Started” button nested under “Alexa Skills Kit”:

Now, choose the “Add a New Skill” on the right side of the screen.

Choose “Flash Briefing Skill AP” for Skill Type, choose a language, and give it a name:

Hit “Next” until you reach the Configuration Stage.

Set an error message in case something goes wrong.

Mine is set to “Uh oh. The Search Wilderness skill got broke-ed broke-ed broke-ed.

Click the “Listen” button to ensure that Alexa will read your error message correctly.

Then, click the “Add new feed” button:

Add a preamble. For mine, the field is set to “From the Search Wilderness blog.

Give your feed a name. Mine is “The Search Wilderness Blog.

Set your content update frequency. Mine is set to daily, since I don’t update my blog that frequently. A publisher like Marketing Land that publishes articles multiple times per day would probably want to set this to hourly.

Choose your content type as “text” — although you can choose “audio” and opt to record mini-podcast audio files that it would play instead.

Select the most appropriate content genre. Mine is set to “other.”

Your feed

Now for URL, set the destination to your blog feed. You might be inclined to simply input your blog’s existing RSS feed for this. This process is easy, but unfortunately, it’s not that easy.

You need to ensure that the content on the RSS feed is (a) short enough for a quick news update, and (b) 100 percent pronounceable by Alexa.

[Read the full article on MarTech Today.


Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.


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Author: Paul Shapiro

The post Building an Amazon Alexa Skill is so easy, Grandma can do it appeared first on On Page SEO Checker.



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The name is Bot, Chatbot: How to shake up conversions with stirring conversations

Think back to five short years ago: Facebook IPO’d; Oxford American Dictionary named “gif” its word of the year; and your only options to order pizza were by phone or on a website.

Five years! It seems like forever ago.

Now, Facebook stock has only gone up since its much-decried stock market debut, gifs are old hat (though the “jif” vs. “gif” pronunciation debate rages on), and you can order pizza by text, chatbot, Alexa, Google Assistant, Cortana and more.

It’s not just pizza. New technology is changing the way we behave as consumers and marketers. The landing page, once the internet’s gatekeeper and conversion hotspot, is becoming unessential. It’s a middleman that’s growing middle-aged and might not know what “the cool thing” is anymore.

The new conversion platform for brands and commerce?

Conversation.

From AI with love

Where the conversation happens matters.

According to a 2016 Ovum study, 53 percent of American and German respondents stated that they favor talking with businesses through chat apps versus the phone, mainly because of speed and convenience.

Meanwhile, 50.6 percent of consumers responding to a 2016 Ubisend survey said they believed that a business should be able to respond to their queries 24/7.

So, we have soaring usage of messaging apps, and a considerable number of our customers who believe we should be contactable 24/7. But staffing a customer service center 24/7 is costly and expends human capital by the bucketload.

Enter stage left: chatbots.

Take stage center for explanation purposes: XiaoIce, sometimes dubbed “Cortana’s little sister.”

Created by Microsoft (my employer) in 2014, XiaoIce is an AI chatbot that is based in part on Bing’s search technology. She’s designed to have a high IQ, as well as high EQ (Emotional Quotient, or emotional intelligence), to help her build strong bonds and connections with humans.

She’s able to remember and learn from previous conversations, and she is sensitive to emotions. For example, if you chat with her about a relationship ending, she’ll put you on a 33-day break-up recovery plan, checking in with you throughout.

To say she is popular would be an understatement. In just her first three days, XiaoIce was added to 1.5 million conversations on WeChat. On Weibo, she’s one of the most popular celebrity accounts. Can you imagine a bot having celebrity status? She has approximately 40 million users in China, with incredible engagement stats. The average conversation with her lasts 26 turns, and one out of four users has even said “I love you” to her!

What we learned from Xiaoice is that people want their tech to be approachable and to adjust to the way we communicate.

WeChat has proven just how profitable that can be.

Did you know, over half of WeChat’s 938 million monthly active users have linked their bank cards to the app? They can easily do a staggering number of tasks — from booking a flight to booking a doctor’s appointment to ordering a new pair of shoes — all without leaving the app.

That’s got to be worth a lot of money, right?

According to estimates by Nomura, WeChat’s average annual revenue per user is $7, compared to $1 per user on WhatsApp.

Clearly, conversation pays off.

License to chat

There are three key steps you need to take to bring your bot from being a twinkle in your eye to the online version of your best salesperson.

1. Identify the problem

You can’t solve world peace with your bot (at least, not yet).

What you can do is consult with your customer service teams, conduct surveys and read customer feedback from as many avenues as possible in order to pinpoint key customer issues. Can a bot address any of these?

If not, then other options include building a bot whose purpose is solely to engage in a fresh new way with customers, or save time and resources relating to customer service.

Let’s think about a bank, for example. It’s quite likely that they spend hundreds of thousands of dollars each month handling repetitive calls like a balance inquiry.

Now, even though it’s a quick question, it usually takes three or four minutes, with the security questions and hold time factored in. It’s not the best customer service experience, and it costs the business a lot of money.

But what if the bank had a chatbot? It would be easy to just use the phone verification (fingerprint in iPhone, for example) and answer the question via a bot.

That’s so easy that a kindergarten bot could do it. More complex questions are well within bots’ capabilities, such as, “Hey, bank, how much did I spend on Uber in May?”

This bot saves the bank money and improves the customer experience. It’s a win-win. Think about how this could apply to your own business.

2. Plan the overall experience

Your users already have multiple options to interact with you, such as your website or app, so how can your bot compete for attention? Good planning is the key, especially when it comes to the user experience.

The experience needs to make sense to them and appear seamless. The most important consideration is making interaction as easy as possible for your customer. Look at the two options below. Which one do you think is easier?

Example 2 is easier because the user doesn’t have to type anything, and the options are foreshadowed and one tap away. A combination of typing, talking and tapping can make the interaction a lot easier for your customer.

In all of this, remember to make it feel as personal as possible. When the bot addresses the user with, “Hello, Anonymous,” it comes across as rude and impersonal, like an uninterested shop assistant. The bot should ask the user their name, creating a rapport.

[Read the full article on MarTech Today.]


Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.


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Author: Purna Virji

The post The name is Bot, Chatbot: How to shake up conversions with stirring conversations appeared first on On Page SEO Checker.



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