Don’t Let Your POV Hurt Business

There’s no clearer form of dangerous myopia than substituting our own point of view for that of customers. Just consider a few notorious examples of self-sabotage in tech marketing.

It seemed like a good idea…

In the late 1990s, Motorola pumped $5 billion into launching 66 satellites meant to deliver global wireless service to every corner of the planet. It quickly turned into one of the biggest tech fails of the last 20 years.

The lesson? Don’t confuse your own perspective on what the market needs and really wants. Motorola thought people wanted mobile service over 100 percent of the planet, but they simply wanted affordable service that could reach the majority of the people they needed to talk to.

The risk of universalizing our own experience

It’s a natural assumption for a marketer that consulting with our own internal developers is a good proof point for ideas. Instead, do hard research with real prospective users to balance all that internal enthusiasm.

Confusing customer needs with your own white whale

Back during Steve Jobs’ exile from Apple, the company focused on trying to beat the Wintel competition at its own game. That included trying to mimic the Microsoft business model. They had become fixated on beating Microsoft rather than understanding the company’s core value proposition to its customers.

The innovator’s dilemma is a form of narcissism

Sun Microsystems was a hardware-first company, where its software offerings, like Java and Solaris, were meant to be “wrapped in metal” — Sun Micro hardware. Until the advent of the cloud, they’d had a long and profitable run.

By failing to see past their entrenched mentality about selling servers and hardware first, Sun lost out on any chance to launch a standalone software business when their own innovations had given them a perfect opening. Customers moved on to new approaches that made them more productive.

Empathy for customer needs is the true north

No surprise: The solution to any of these pitfalls circles back to nurturing empathy for your audience. By having a richer understanding of what drives them, you’ll know how to serve them the right way.

Increase Email Replies With Your Closing

We sometimes spend hours, maybe even days, perfecting an email. We contemplate each word, each phrase, looking for just the right combination of words to appeal to our reader and encourage a positive response. But how much thought goes into how you close? “Sincerely”, “Thanks”? A study by email productivity provider Boomerang states that the words you chose to close an email can have an impact on whether the reader responds or not.

The study states that emails including a closing saw a higher rate of response, 47.5%, when compared to the average response rate.

The most popular eight email sign-offs appeared over a thousand times each:

  1. Thanks in advance
  2. Thanks
  3. Thank you
  4. Cheers
  5. Kind regards
  6. Regards
  7. Best regards
  8. Best

But not all closings are created equal.

GRATITUDE IS BEST

Of all closings, an expression of gratitude resulted in a 36% increase in average response rate. “Thanks in advance” scored highest, with a 65.7% response rate. “Thanks” got 63%, and “thank you” received 57.9%.

The higher response rate with “thanks in advance” makes sense with the email’s recipient being thanked specifically for a response that has yet to be written, and that could prompt the person to follow through. “Even though there’s a bit of posturing involved with this closing, and you do risk coming across as a little aggressive, it turns out that  it works pretty well.

It goes back to an underlying basic tenet of graciousness. It’s saying, ‘I know this is taking up your time and I’m glad you’re reading it.’ It doesn’t always fit, but when it makes sense, it’s a good idea to use it.

GENERIC’S OKAY, TOO

Generic sign‐offs, such as “kind regards,” “regards,” and “best regards,” had the lowest response rates. And a simple “best” received the worst response rate among popular email closings, at 51.2%. While some perform better, all eight have higher response rates than average as a whole.

How To Get More Leads

 

The burning question on every marketing client’s lips. How to get more leads for my business? Here are some hacks that will help you refine and improve your marketing and truly excel at lead generation.

UP YOUR CONTENT GAME

We are not just referring to the quality of the content, but what type of content you are using. Content marketing goes far beyond blog posts. Consider investing more so you can deliver a premium level of content.

SIMPLIFY YOUR WEBSITE DESIGN

Dynamic isn’t always a good thing when it comes to trying to get across a message. Keep your website design clear and to the point, with a succinct message and navigation bar. Use website real estate for the essentials for getting leads, like forms and contact info.

REVISE YOUR CTAS

You want to ensure your CTAs are to-the-point, noticeable, and well-placed. As small as the unassuming CTA may be in the overall scheme of your strategy, these are actually one of marketer’s’ most powerful lead generation tools.

CHECK YOUR LEAD SCORING

If you want to get quality leads, you first have to determine what a quality lead is. Lead scoring is a simple system to help differentiate leads based on their likeliness of becoming a customer, or even a repeat customer. You assign points to prospects based on the actions they have taken. 68% of successful marketers have found switching to lead scoring based on content and engagement to be an effective move.

PERSONALIZE YOUR EMAILS

The email clickthrough rates average hovers around 4 percent. A simple trick  to increase your clickthrough rate is to use more personalized messaging. Research has shown that personalization leads to 6 times higher email transaction rates. With your target audience in mind, see if your emails make more of an impact with a more conversational tone.

KEEP REFINING

You don’t necessarily have to revolutionize your marketing strategy to get more leads. You may see the results you’re after simply by making a few changes or trying new techniques. Try these hacks. Measure their impact. Then keep making them better.

Building Trust With Your Content Marketing

Trust is the glue that binds together any relationship including the brand-customer bond. When consumers trust your brand, they will feel more confident in your products and services.

BE CONSISTENT IN YOUR BRAND STORY

Take a look at your online presence and make sure there are no inconsistencies. Not only will consistency build trust, but being inconsistent is a great way to tarnish your reputation.

RESOLVE CUSTOMER COMPLAINTS

Admitting our errors is what makes us human. When a customer has a complaint, react to it via the most appropriate channels. Take steps to apologize and correct what you can. This shows there is a genuine desire to provide a value-driven product or service. pixaby.com

BE PERSONABLE

This is where serious customer data comes into play to help segment your buyers and target your customers with better-personalized marketing. One of the best ways to convince your customers to trust your brand is to let them know there are real, live human beings behind the scenes.

DEMONSTRATE TRANSPARENCY

Transparency is essential not just for your relationships with your customers, but also with all stakeholders. The less information people have, the more they have to guess or assume what the truth is.

USE SOCIAL PROOF ON YOUR WEBSITE

Social proof is one of those tactics in marketing that seems too easy. But it works. It’s one of the graceful meeting points between marketing and psychology. What other people do influences our perception.

JOIN THE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY MOVEMENT

Millennials, in particular, are pushing for more social responsibility, and are more likely to interact with a brand that addresses it. TOMS One for One campaign, SolarCity’s GivePower Foundation, Microsoft’s YouthSpark are all excellent exam. Want to build a reputation as a brand that consumers can count on? Add finding a way to change the world to your marketing strategy.

BE AUTHENTIC

Authenticity isn’t just a buzzword in marketing. It’s the shift from advertising to inbound, brand-centric to customer-centric. Consumers are more aware, have access to more information, and are becoming more sophisticated in the experience they want from the brands they choose to interact with.

SEO Semantics: Tricks and Tips

There is a gradual evolution in trends and tactics in search. These are the five most important actions you can take to make sure that your marketing aligns with where search is going.

Adapt to Semantic Search: Target Topics, Not Phrases

Google is officially a semantic search engine, which means it’s connecting visitors to pages with the meaning they’re looking for, not just the letters and words they typed into that little box.

To adapt to this, you need to target a broader topic, not just the specific phrase. Spread your meaning out, using related phrases, covering the things that are semantically linked.

Adapt to Voice Search: Use Full, Natural Sentences

Every day, more of us are doing hands-off searches. Voice-based queries tend to be longer phrases usually questions.

To adapt your content to this trend, optimize your content by using sentences that provide the complete meaning, both questions and answers.

Adapt to Future Link Spam Penalties: Build Your Network of Content Creators

As the last artificial link building tricks link spam tactics are penalized, there is one sure way to dodge future changes and potential penalties: focus on relationships, not links.

If you trace back the process from lead to traffic, traffic to ranking, and ranking to links, you’ll find it starts with people.

Adapt to User Interaction Signals: Use Formatting and Media that Keeps Visitors Longer

Quality affects rankings, right? Better articles rank higher. But how does Google know what’s good? The answer is in your Analytics.

Visitors who come to your page from a search engine sometimes leave without visiting another page. This is called a “bounce.” It’s a powerful indicator of quality and relevance.

You may be able to see the correlation between rankings and time on page in your own Analytics.

Adapt to All Future Changes! Make the Best Page for the Topic

Here’s some advice you hear far too little on SEO posts. But it’s the single most important piece of advice we can give. Here goes: Make the best piece of content on the internet for your topic