How to Measure Email Success in 2015: A Call to ROI

No matter what your marketing resolutions this year – more content, better creative, etc. – no improvement matters if you can’t measure it. Since email continues to be a dominant channel for most B2B marketers, let me suggest that a good candidate for #1 on your “to do” list for 2015 is to improve the way you measure email campaigns.

email metricsImproving email campaign measurement won’t generate more leads or better leads, in and of itself, but it will help accomplish both those goals by providing the data necessary to identify what’s truly working. Unless you’re measuring true email performance – no change you make to copy, design, mobile-friendliness, offer, deliverability, etc. will matter because you’ll never know if those changes are having a genuine impact.

As a B2B agency, our firm creates and executes dozens of email campaigns every month, and that experience tells me that a large percentage of B2B marketers, even at companies that otherwise do a very sophisticated job at demand generation, fail to measure or compare email campaign performance using any metrics other than opens and clicks.

News Flash: opens and clicks do not measure the success of an email campaign.

The only way to really gauge email success is to measure the impact that leads generated by a campaign have on pipeline and revenue. Nothing else really matters. A campaign can generate a phenomenal open rate, an astonishing click rate, and even hundreds of leads, and yet contribute virtually nothing to the business. Conversely, an email campaign can “fail” at all of those metrics and yet make a real impact on the bottom line. Read More »

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Steal This Technique for Your Next Sales Email

One of the basic rules of good, direct marketing copywriting is that a call to action should always be specific. In other words, it’s always better to present the reader with a very precise, preferably tangible reason to respond. So, for example:

sales email tips“Click to download our free white paper”

is infinitely preferable to:

“Click to learn more”

and “Call me for a free 10-minute consultation”

is more effective than:

“Call me to discuss how we can help.”

The less you put the onus on the reader to decide why he/she should click or call, the better. Conversely, the more the reader is forced to decide or ponder the reason or topic for that click or call, the greater the likelihood of hesitation. As the saying goes, he who hesitates is lost.

I was reminded of this principle earlier today when a colleague forwarded an email received from a inside sales representative at a technology company looking to partner with our agency. We get bombarded by these emails every day, and my colleague had been ignoring this particular rep steadily, until he received this email (company name omitted): Read More »

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Infographic: 17 Tips for Generating Leads from Social PPC Advertising

Looking to include social media advertising as part of your demand generation mix in the new year? Before you get started, check out this infographic (adapted from an earlier post) for handy tips on how to make the most from advertising on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

Which social media platform makes most sense for your business? What’s the difference between the various ad formats? How can you avoid sky-high bid prices while still optimizing ad performance? Is it best to start with CPM, or CPC? Learn the answers to these questions and more. Click on the infographic to view full size. Read More »

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5 Simple PPC Landing Page Changes that May Improve Your Quality Score

As most PPC advertisers already know, Google’s Quality Score measures what Google perceives to be the quality of your keyword ads. Every keyword in a campaign receives a quality score, ranked on a scale from 1-10, that, in combination with other factors – not all of which Google discloses – helps determine your cost per click (CPC), ad position, and other variables that contribute significantly to the success and cost-effectiveness of your PPC campaign.

Google Quality ScoreIn short, the better your quality score, the lower your cost per click, the more likely someone will see and click on your ad, and the less you’ll pay for that click. As with most things, Google doesn’t disclose the precise algorithm by which quality score is calculated, but they do identify contributing factors – for example: expected click-through rate, the relevance of ad copy to the search query, and (notably) what Google calls “landing page experience”.

Google also defines the key factors through which an advertiser can improve that landing page experience. Those factors are:

• Providing relevant, useful and original content
• Promoting transparency and trustworthiness
• Providing ease of navigation

You can determine whether or not a particular landing page needs help by going to the Keywords tab in your AdWords campaign and placing the cursor over the speech bubble next to the status of any keyword. If the landing page experience is designated “below average,” there’s room for improvement. Read More »

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Report: Trade Shows Generate Highest Quantity & Quality of Leads

Marketing software research firm Software Advice have released their 2014 B2B Demand Generation Benchmark Report, a handy reference for anyone planning 2015 marketing spend. Based on responses from more than 200 BtoB marketing professionals, it provides useful insight on the types of demand gen programs and content that are trending in the marketplace. (You can access the complete report on the Software Advice blog – no registration required.)

demand generation effectivenessAs with any research report, however, it’s wise to look at the data, and the conclusions drawn from that information, with a critical eye. In this case, to their credit, the analysts at Software Advice are candid about their sample population (mostly large companies) and where their results align with, or depart from, other recent industry research. However, they also draw some fairly dramatic conclusions from the data that, in this view of this writer, don’t stand up to closer scrutiny.

The conclusion that most caught my eye is the one that titles this blog post. To quote the report, “Trade shows were most commonly cited as generating both the most and the best (leads) …” And indeed, the data supports that observation: 77 percent of respondents said that trade shows generated either “somewhat” or “very high” quantities of leads, and 82 percent said that trade shows generated leads of either “good” or “excellent” quality.

The report, however, goes further – ranking trade shows as far and away the most effective demand gen channel in their “BtoB Channel Effectiveness Quadrant,” surpassing (by some margin) even demand gen workhorses like email marketing and PPC. And here’s where I think that analysis goes astray: Read More »

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