When you deliver the perfect message directly to the perfect qualified audience, great things can happen. That’s why we’re seeing more and more customers opt for our Custom E-Mail solution.
Gone are the days of simply “blasting” anyone and everyone. Today our customers can target the exact prospects they want to reach and craft a message that inspires those prospects to take action.
We’ve worked with hundreds of customers over the years to send successful Custom E-Mails. Here are a few tips that lead to the best results:
1. Determine Your Purpose
Everyone has a different reason for sending a Custom E-Mail. For example, if you’re looking to drive direct sales, your messaging and call-to-action will be different than if you’re simply announcing a new brand initiative.
If you sell a product with a long sales cycle, it may not be feasible to expect prospects to make a purchase based off one email. However, enticing them to learn more about your product with a video or whitepaper can be a good way to move prospects further along your sales funnel.
Think about the objective of your email and make sure your content supports that objective. If the goal is click-throughs, a clear, concise call-to-action is important.
Also consider taking advantage of our targeting capabilities. With a custom list, you know the exact prospects you’ll be reaching and can tailor your message to have the most impact.
2. Optimize Your Subject Line
Your subject line has the biggest impact on the success of your email. The best email in the world won’t do any good if no one opens it.
We’ve seen that the best subject lines offer value to the recipient, rather than just a sales message. In fact, the most successful subject lines rarely include brand or product names.
Test, test, test (and we can help you out there!). Subject line testing can help you learn what types of subject lines work best for your target audience. Just give us your two subject line options and we'll perform an A/B subject line test for you. Step it up a notch and try our Champion Blast option, where we perform the standard subject line test to 20 percent of our audience, let it settle in market, then send the version with the better performing subject line to the remaining 80 percent of the list.
These are just a few examples. Contact me to discuss specific ideas and suggestions for your campaign.
3. Use Engaging Media
Videos and other interactive media are driving click-throughs better than anything else. This is a clear trend we’ve seen develop in the last year or so.
Emails with a prominently displayed video will encourage the opener to click-through to view it. Other media options driving engagement include whitepapers, infographics, photo galleries or customizable “build your own product” interfaces.
Not everyone’s goal is to drive clicks. But if yours is, enticing the recipient with content-rich media is a good way to do so.
4. Consider the Length
It can be tempting to put your entire sales message into the body of the e-mail. And with the right layout and supporting imagery, this has worked for some customers. But typically, keeping things concise is best — especially with professionals who are on-the-go. Remember, roughly half of your e-mail openers will be on a mobile device. Keep the message clear and concise.
5. Think About Your Landing Page
You’ve piqued the curiosity of your prospect with a great subject line. Your call-to-action inspired them to click-through. Now what?
Does your prospect land on a page that’s mobile friendly and supports the messaging in the email? Are you doing anything to try to capture the prospect’s name and email address?
Not every Custom E-Mail needs to drive web traffic. But if that is the purpose of your send, consider what happens when the prospect gets to your site and what you want them to do. Does the email link directly to the corresponding product page or will the reader need to navigate from your homepage? Is there an easy form to complete for more information?
These are just a few tips to help you make the most of your Custom E-Mail. Of course, every business has different objectives and circumstances. If you’ve purchased a Custom E-Mail, or are considering it, talk to me about how to make the most of the opportunity.
Tips For Post-Trade Show Follow-Up
If you’re reading this blog, you’ve likely been to a few (or for some of you, a few hundred) trade shows. You know the routine. You spend weeks, most likely months, preparing for the show. It finally arrives, it’s exciting, you meet tons of people, gather leads and then in a matter of days it’s over. When you get back to the office, how do you make sure you capitalize on your interactions with the prospects you just met?
Companies spend a lot of time and money preparing for and attending shows. However, the greatest returns only happen when you take action afterward.
1. Categorize Your Leads
Not everyone you met at the show requires the same action and urgency. Some prospects might be ready to buy and require a phone call ASAP, while others are better candidates for email campaigns or follow-ups further down the line. But just because someone isn’t a “hot” lead doesn’t mean they should be ignored. Categorize your leads into hot, medium and cool groups (or whatever lingo you want to use) and then determine which follow-up methods are right for which group.
2. Respond Promptly
The sooner you can respond to your prospects post-show, the better. According to a 2012 study by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research, less than 50% of exhibitors send an email to their leads within a week of the show. With every day that passes, the likelihood of your lead forgetting your interaction, losing interest or getting too busy back in the office increases. Make it a priority to follow up as quickly as possible.
3. Be Personal
When possible, a personal response whether by phone, email or both is proven to be more effective than mass communications. Not every single lead will require a personal follow-up, but for your most important ones, it is worth the time. In the same study referenced above, its conclusion states:
Customizing follow-up email communications, tailored to attendees, who they are and what they articulated interest in, makes sense. It demonstrates to the attendee that an exhibitor was listening. It motivates an attendee to pay attention. In today’s marketing environment where consumers demand personal attention, targeted communications are a must.
And that was three years ago! The same truths are more apparent today.
4. Have a Call-to-Action
When you follow up with your leads, particularly via email, give them a clear call to action. Of course, the end goal is to purchase your product, but for high-dollar items, that may take some time. In the meantime, maybe your goal is to get them to visit your website, sign up for your newsletter, or have them follow you on social media. All of these actions build your connection with the prospect and give you another way to reach them. Whatever your company’s goal may be, give the prospect a clear and easy way to take the action you desire. Bombarding them with too many options can backfire.
5. Include Content!
Adding value to your follow-up communication by providing useful content can be a great way to nurture leads. You had a great conversation about a particular product? Send the prospects a link or maybe a video with more information. Someone expressed a particular problem on the job site? Send them solutions you can provide or a tutorial on that subject. Of course, to do this, you need to have a method of remembering the discussions you had with specific show attendees. Jotting a few notes on the back of a business card can help, or, if you have a lead-gen service, add a note when you scan their badge.
What methods have worked best for you when following up on trade show leads? Feel free to share your tips in the comments below.
There’s a new trend in advertising sweeping the nation. And as the author of this marketing blog, I feel compelled to tell you more about it.
This advertising medium is driving web traffic, helping brands separate themselves from competitors and leaving an impact on niche audiences from wood flooring to antiques. So what is it?
That’s right, trusty old print advertising is the “New ‘New Media’” according to the Columbia Journalism Review.
“Print is beautiful,” author Chava Gourarie writes in this piece published on CJR’s website.
It can’t notify you when a work email arrives, can’t be tweeted mid-sentence, and won’t die without a charger. Even better, it’s finite.
It’s also supposed to be dead. For years, the new media vanguard has preached “digital first” and the death knell has sounded again and again for print, as legendary magazines moved online or ceased publication altogether. Now, 20 years into the digital revolution, print is making something of a comeback.
In fact, 2015 saw the launch of 204 new print magazines according to Samir Husni, the University of Mississippi professor known as “Mr. Magazine .”
This article underscores a trend we have seen at Wood Floor Business, as well.
Many clients I work with are surprised to learn print advertising is the most popular form of advertising among our customers, but Gourarie has a great theory for why that is. Magazines, especially those with niche audiences (such as B2B magazines), foster tight niche communities that are appealing to subscribers and advertisers.
“People want to be part of a tribe, and magazines with tailored content for an ardent readership reinforce a strong sense of community,” Gourarie writes.
In our industry, I believe it can also be attributed to the visual, tangible nature of hardwood flooring. When it comes to marketing your brand, there’s nothing more impressive than a fantastic room scene of a well-done hardwood floor.
The importance of print advertising is just one of the reasons we recently invested in rebranding our magazine.
A magazine is “like a membership card you receive once a week, or month,” says Husni.
This sentiment is backed up by Wood Floor Business’ own subscribers, 77 percent of whom are the owner, president or CEO at their company.
And as an advertiser, the print magazine gives you a unique opportunity to connect with that community in a setting where the reader is not distracted by the chime of a new email or the next “to do” popping up on their computer.
Of course, integrated marketing remains important. Digital advertising can help you reach tens of thousands of prospects in addition to those who receive the magazine. But the next time you’re looking do something special with your marketing budget, take a hard look at print advertising. Your prospects are doing the same.
Typically, this blog is all about looking ahead. We’ve discussed how to create a marketing plan, how to make your workdays less stressful and gave you a sneak peek at our newly rebranded magazine. But before we get too far into 2016, it seems like a good time to do a little reminiscing.
The wood flooring industry as a whole seems to be getting stronger each year. And it was no exception for us at Wood Floor Business. Thanks to our loyal audience and advertising partners, we enjoyed a record-setting year in 2015. In today’s blog we share a quick breakdown of some of our statistics from 2015 and more important, why they matter to you.
WFB’s audience is growing and becoming more digitally savvy. More industry professionals are choosing to engage with us online in addition to print. In addition, we are seeing more people using woodfloorbusiness.com and reading our E-News on mobile devices. This goes to show that an integrated marketing approach is the best way to reach prospects everywhere they are choosing to engage.
Why it matters:
Our audience is highly engaged and look to the E-News as their twice-weekly source for industry news and information.
WFB is on every platform, connecting with our audience in every way they choose to engage. More people are choosing to become active on social media. This doesn’t come as a huge shock, but it’s interesting to note that 75% of our Facebook fans are male.
We care about improving all aspects of our brand, from print to digital. Click here to see more on how our rebranded magazine benefits advertisers.
We wanted to share these numbers with you not to pat ourselves on the back, but to show that WFB is continuing to find ways to connect with highly qualified industry professionals wherever they are choosing to engage. With our audience growing and getting more digitally savvy each year, it’s important that our advertising partners know we’re right there, connecting you with our audience on any platform, any time. We are dedicated to helping your business in the hardwood flooring industry succeed.
In my last blog we discussed four recommendations for a successful marketing plan. The fourth point, and perhaps the most important, was “determine how success will be measured.” In other words, what is your return on investment?
Measuring your ROI is sometimes easier said than done. With so much data at your disposal in digital advertising, what metrics do you need to be tracking? How do you measure if your marketing campaign was truly a success? That is the topic in today’s marketing blog: Five ways you can effectively measure your return on investment.
1) Set Clear Marketing Goals
The first step in tracking your marketing ROI is to set the objectives for your campaign. Will it be a branding campaign or a lead generation effort? A new product launch or trade show support? Maybe a push to drive traffic to your website and social media pages? This is important to discuss up-front with your media partner and work together to create a plan that will best achieve your goals. Different goals will have different advertising methods to achieve success.
2) Determine How You Will Measure Success
Success can mean many different things when it comes to marketing. If you are selling a high-dollar manufacturing machine gaining just two solid sales leads may be well worth the investment. However, if you are running a branding campaign two clicks isn’t going to do the trick. It is important to determine what you consider to be the key measurables of your campaign. Is it leads? Impressions? Clicks to your website? What does “success” equal to you and your company?
3) Track Everything (or Make Sure Someone is Tracking it for You)
These days prospects follow-up on advertisements in many different ways. The truth is most people just don’t pick up the phone and call your 800-number anymore. At least not before visiting your website, social media pages and Googling your company name. At Wood Floor Business we’ve worked hard to install some detailed data capabilities. We can track basic stats like impressions, clicks and email open rates or even help you with some more advanced targeting efforts. Our advanced database can help you target prospects based on everything from job title or geographic location all the way down to behavioral factors like articles read on our website or emails opened. The best part? We track all of this for you and deliver it in an easy-to-digest report.
4) Dig Deeper
It’s important to remember that not all stats are created equal. Before you judge the success of your campaign based on raw numbers alone, take a deeper dive into what they mean. Your e-mail campaign may have had a lower unique open rate than you were hoping for. However, were there key prospects that opened the email several times? Maybe even a few that forwarded it on? On the contrary, your Custom E-Mail may have been opened by 15,000 people but none of them were qualified decision makers. Take a step back and look at what the numbers really mean. Not sure what to look for? Just ask us. That’s what I’m here for.
5) Remember the Power of One
What does one new customer mean to you over the course of their lifetime? Gaining a loyal customer has double the value – their purchasing power but arguably even more valuable, their recommendations to others. According to Nielsen, 77 percent of consumers said advice of family and friends is the most persuasive when looking for information about products. What does one new customer mean to you?
Of course every advertising campaign is going to be unique. If you’re considering advertising with Wood Floor Business, I encourage you to reach out and discuss your goals and objectives. We’ll create a campaign that fits your needs and budget. Then we can put these ROI tracking tips into action together.