Segmentation Strategies for Higher Deliverability and Click-Through Rates
Email marketing is the best ways to build your business, boost sales, and create a business that continues to grow regardless of algorithm changes and marketing method updates. Email marketing is really where the money is. You’ve heard it before: “the money is in the list,” and they’re not joking. It can actually be argued that with any online business, the list is your entire business.
One way to ensure that you get the most from email marketing is to segment your list for higher deliverability and better click-through rates. Here are the ways you can segment your list to get the most bang for your buck. Today, you need to look at your audience as a lot of individuals who want you to speak to them one-on-one.
Which segments you choose depends on your audience, your niche, and your goals. Choose wisely, but don’t do them just because this says to do it. Do it because you’ve studied the situation and know that it will help in your particular case.
This tactic is pretty obvious but may not have any use for you. It depends on what you’re marketing to them. If you have a lot of products that fit in with different age groups then this might work. You can change a campaign in very simple ways for the various demographics, such as simply changing out a picture.
Give Them a Survey
You can segment your audience based on answers to a survey. That way you know what they want to know about based on those answers. You can even create a special email marketing message or adjust them accordingly based on their answers.
Let Them Self-Segment
You can allow those who sign up for your list to choose how often they want to get email from you. If they’ve picked how often they want the info, they'll be more likely to open it.
You can do a lot with location, depending on your niche. For example if you’re in the fitness niche, it’s good to know that 40 percent of your audience is from Australia while you’re in the USA. Why? It’s winter in the USA when it’s summer in Australia. This can be important to differentiate in fitness-related email messages.
Putting your audience member on a specific list based on what they’ve bought is a very important way to stop marketing to people who have already bought. If you move people to the right lists, you can market to them in a more targeted way, including offering companion products or services.
One On One
People like to feel special. If you can segment based on the individual behavior, likes and needs of the audience member, that’s great. Think about how Amazon does this. If you buy something such as a movie and a movie like it is released, they tell you.
Your autoresponder software allows you to delve into what your audience does when they get your email. Do they read it all; do they respond or act based on your calls to action? Knowing who opened and clicked is powerful information that you can use.
It’s important to set a goal and develop your strategy around that goal. The more you know what you expect the outcome to be, the more you can plan ahead to target the specific segments of your audience that you need to in order to succeed.
Soft Bounces versus Hard Bounces
In order to improve delivery rates and click-through rates, it’s important to understand what “bouncing” is and the different types of bounces that you might experience when engaging in email marketing.
When an email bounces, it means that the email isn’t delivered to the recipient for some reason. Sometimes it is delivered, but it’s put into the spam folder and you still get a message that it bounced. In that case you’ll notice that you get a bounce notice for someone who did open the email.
Sometimes it isn’t delivered because the email address is false or it isn’t delivered because the server is down. In both cases you’ll get a notice that the email bounced. This notice might say something like “we’ll keep trying” on that delivery. Within each notice is information that will inform you about what type of bounce it is so that you can take appropriate action.
The two type of bounces that can happen are:
Hard Bounce – This type of bounce occurs when the email address doesn’t even exist in the first place or the server has broken or no longer exists. It might also happen because the domain is fake to start with. The important thing to understand about a hard bounce is that it cannot be changed, or recovered, and is permanent. The only thing to do when you get a hard bounce is to remove that email from your list and block them from being able to rejoin your lists with that email address or domain.
Soft Bounce – This type of bounce happens due to error and can be temporary in nature. It happens because the email box is full, the file might be too large for their box, and for many other reasons. Sometimes it is because your email triggers spam results and you get dropped into their spam box. You don’t have to remove these bounces immediately, but you should watch them and if it happens repeatedly, go ahead and remove them.
These two types of bounces are important to learn about because it will help you avoid deleting people for no reason. Sometimes people go on vacation and that can trigger a bounce due to their vacation autoresponder. It would be a shame to miss out. To deal with this type of bounce you could offer a 30-day break in emails to people. Email the people on your list who have this problem and let them know of the option.
Ideally you want to keep your bounce rate under 10 percent, if not lower. If you monitor your email autoresponder account and study bounce reports, you’ll be able to start identifying bounces and understand your bounce rate more. You’ll be able to lower your bounce rate substantially by monitoring and taking action.
A lot of people think that SEO is just a trick, or a bunch of shifty tricks to take to get people to come to your website. While it is true that some of the methods you read about seem somewhat unethical, the fact is that if you follow the rules of SEO without trying to mislead anyone, you’ll find that they are sound business practices that help you build brand awareness, get more traffic and make more sales in an honest and effective manner.
Consumers Are Smarter Today
Most people who are shopping online are clued in on the tricks of the trade now. They understand sales pages, and know what clickbait is and they don’t like most of them. You want to acknowledge that fact with everything you do. Respect their time and don’t trick your audience.
Mobile Optimization Is an Imperative
Today websites need to work seamlessly on any device, so mobile optimization is very important. Your audience needs to be able to read, learn, interact, and purchase through their mobile devices without missing a beat.
SEO Is a Long-Term Strategy
Working on the SEO structure of your websites and blogs will take time. It should not be considered an overnight success measure. Instead, it should be considered a long-term strategy that will work over time to affect traffic on your site.
Content Needs to Provide Value
If you know your audience and understand the message that you want to send to them, you’ll be able to create amazing content that provides a lot of value to your audience. The information should be trustworthy, expertly written, without grammatically errors, and interesting to read.
Keyword Density Is Old News
Keywords should be in the title tags, content, H1 tags, URLs, alt text on images, and within the image name. Keywords in content should be included in a natural way without any concern about “density”.
Satisfy the Needs of Your Users
This goes back to creating content for the different personas within your target audience. You have to put yourself in their shoes and know what they would find valuable and useful.
You Must Earn Links
Links tell search engines how authoritative your website is, what topic your website should be ranked for, how trustworthy your website is, and how valuable the content you create is. If people are linking to and sharing your content, engaging with the content, and visiting your website, you’ll earn links. In other words, skip the article directories, blog networks, comment spamming, and link trading. They don’t work.
Social Is a Must
The reason you need to use social media is to build community and relationships so that you can distribute your content and information to people who desire it, need it, and want it. You can simply help people out and then reap the rewards.
When you accept these new rules of SEO, you’ll be more successful with your SEO strategy – whether it’s on-page or off-page SEO. Remember that it’s a long-term process that will pay off many times over if you keep up to date on the new rules of SEO.
Every decision you make has an impact on your bottom line. But, sometimes when you look at the numbers it doesn’t tell the whole story. For example, if someone clicks through a Facebook ad and then signs up for your email list, then due to an email message purchases one of your offers, is that really how it went? Or did they see multiple ads on Facebook in the past? Did they attend a webinar or two and get to know you before they finally made their decision?
By looking at all aspects of your analytics you can determine a lot about how everything you do works together. For example, the content you create is a good example of multi-channel marketing. You create content for email marketing, social media marketing, your blog, and even for freebies. Knowing which content is performing best, when and where, is part of performing multi-channel analytics.
Look at Social Media Marketing
If you were to look at the analytics of social marketing, you might at first determine that social media underperforms in terms of conversions. You may even think that you’re wasting your time on social media. But, without looking deeper you really don’t know what the role of social media is. It may be softening up your audience before they visit your website via a landing page and sign up for your email list.
Set Up Multi-Channel Reporting
Within Google Analytics you can set up multi-channel reporting, which will help you to look deeper into how your buyers actually chose to convert. For example, you will be able to see whether or not they clicked through due to organic search, an advertisement on social media, or an article you shared on social media.
Upgrade to the Paid Version of Google Analytics
If you really want to unleash multi-channel analytics, then you need to upgrade your Google Analytics so that you can study your buying cycles for longer than a month. You don’t want to make the mistake of applying the 80/20 rule and eliminating a vital part of your marketing funnel without all the information.
Determine Multi-Channel Customer Experience
The great thing about analytics is that it’s science. When you use science to help you make better decisions, you’ll do a lot better with all your goals. If you know how your customers use mobile, web, social media, email lists and more, you can design your marketing materials better for the consumer.
Getting data from a lot of different sources about how everything works together will help you make better business decisions. Knowing how your business is interacting with prospects and leads across all channels is an important aspect of taking your business to the next level.
Running a powerful ad campaign without breaking the bank is very possible online today. You can use many networks in which to focus your ad campaign that are low cost but super effective.
Pick a Network
You have a few choices of low-cost networks in which to spend your advertising budget. The most popular and least expensive right now are the top three listed below.
Honestly, if you can’t find your audience on Facebook, you probably won’t be able to find them anyplace. Start with Facebook because their system is easier to use and you can easily set a budget and target your audience directly.
Set Your Budget
You can set your ad budget as low as five bucks a day and get success. This is especially true on Facebook where you can also specifically target your audience in a way that is almost unheard of elsewhere.
Create an Incentive
Use Engaging Imagery You need a lead magnet to attract your audience to your ad. You need to give them something in order to get them on your site immediately. It can be an information product, an eBook, a white paper, an infographic, a chart, an app… something that you know that your target audience needs and will want enough to sign up for your email list or click through further to purchase something more.
Images with attractive people, even yourself, seem to resonate most with viewers. So, give your image thought and don’t just pick any stock photography. Pick an image that evokes the emotions you want your prospects to feel.
Create Awesome Ad Copy
Your ad copy should be simple and use relatable language. It should show how you empathize with your potential customer in clear way. It should also tell your viewer how to sign up and get your product, service or lead magnet now.
Create an Effective Landing Page
Your landing page is super important when it comes to running a great ad campaign. If you’re getting a lot of clicks but no subscribers or no buyers, then blame the sales page or landing page. The best landing page focuses on benefits over features and seeks to connect to the reader emotionally.
Host a Webinar
This can be looked at as a lead magnet too, but it can also be a great way to get your advertising going. By marketing the free webinar on Facebook, you will get sign-ups that will go directly to your list, plus offer them free information at the same time. What could be better?
Know Your Target
One of the most important aspects of running an ad campaign is the targeting. Know exactly who you want to see your ad so that you can choose those people when you choose your audience.
If you really want to run a powerful and effective ad campaign without breaking the bank, this is the way to do it.
It’s really not that mobile is winning; it’s that different-sized screens and different browsers have become the norm. Due to that change in technology and the ease at which the public can access it, it’s imperative that you design all your websites for mobile first. When you design for mobile first, you automatically create a situation where your site looks fabulous and works well across all devices.
It’s about the User
SEO isn’t just about your ability to get more eyes on your content, it’s also about the user’s experience. When a user loves the website they’re more likely to keep coming back, consuming the content, and answering your calls to action.
Google Wants You to Go Mobile
Google gave directions to all webmasters to ensure that they build for mobile first, and that responsive design is best for this purpose. The fact is, most people still use Google for search, so due to that it’s best to get on the bandwagon as soon as possible.
Mobile Voice Search
Many mobile devices have voice activated tools and due to that, voice search for mobile is now a common thing. The fact that this exists will help people find your website even more easily from mobile – provided that you have the right content within your website and all pages are responsive.
Ensure Videos are Playable
Ensure that if you have a lot of videos on your website, you’re using a mobile friendly platform. You can make a mistake and have a mobile site other than the video. Test it out before publishing. Adobe Flash doesn’t work well on mobile.
Don’t Use Robots.txt
This is special code that tells search engines and web crawlers how to craw their website and blocks them from certain pages. This can cause loading problems for mobile devices.
Each Device Is Different
Keep in mind that each device is different. Use Google Analytics to discover which mobile device is most used by your current visitors and design for that device first, and then expand from there.
If you use redirects, it’s important to ensure that they work right with mobile devices. Some don’t work well. Test all your redirects to ensure that they work and improve them so that the flow isn’t interrupted for the user.
Optimize Landing Pages
A special landing page is often made for promotions, sales and each product or service that you are marketing. Ensure that your landing pages are fully optimized for mobile. One way to do that is to use services like LeadPages.net or Instapage.com to create dynamic landing pages that work across all devices.
Mobile SEO is one of the most important ways to ensure a user-friendly experience for your customers and leads. Don’t skimp on ensuring that you have covered all your bases when it comes to mobile SEO and designing mobile websites.
How to Comply with Google Panda and Penguin Updates
Doing effective SEO has evolved into a more “natural” and “social” process. Algorithm updates, particularly Google’s Penguin and Panda, are continuously changing the course of conducting search engine optimization. Penguin targets bad links while Panda goes after poor content. Google, through their algorithm updates, has reiterated that website owners and search engine optimization practitioners must create a better experience for users. And that trying to manipulate rankings through keyword over optimization, link schemes, and black hat methodologies will only harm your website — and your business.
See our Infographic:
Here are some Penguin and Panda update-compliant SEO methodologies.
Publish High Quality Content
The era of run-of-the-mill, duplicate, and poor content is over. If you want to get into the SEO battle and win, then producing high quality, compelling content should be in your arsenal. Great content is key to increased visitors, more engagement, more inbound links and higher rankings.
72% of B2B marketers use content marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy – BtoB Magazine
86% of B2C marketers use content marketing – Content Marketing Institute
90% of consumers find custom content useful. – TMG Custom Media
90% of CMOs say high quality content has a positive effect on audience attitudes – Custom Content Council
79% of marketers say their organizations are shifting to branded content – Forrester
72% of marketers rate branded content as more effective than magazine ads – Custom Content Council
60% of consumers feel more optimistic about a company after reading onsite custom content – Content Plus
Stamp it with Google+
Google+ Authorship & Publishership
Google+ is not just the search engine giant's answer to Facebook. Plus is a social layer that connects all your Google activities. Google+ authorship in particular is a powerful SEO tool as it stamps your content on your website or blog with your identity as an author or publisher; and you are given credit for every piece of content you publish. The accumulation of authorship credits helps you to rank higher on search engines.
Google+ is Growing Fast
Has 359 million monthly active users as of March 2013
This is way up from 135 million in December 2012
From only 100 million users in September 2012
Claim your Authored Content
By creating a Google+ profile and linking it to your website or blog, you can claim authorship of your content with your Google+ profile. Once authorship is claimed, your Google+ profile will show up next to your search results.
Get Indexed Immediately
Content posted on your Google+ will be indexed immediately into the Google search results, increasing the possibility of your Google+ network seeing your posted content in their search results. When your audience engages with your content it will be further advertised to your audience’s network. In this chain reaction, posts have the ability to go viral.
Great Content plus Google+ Influence Search Rankings
High quality and compelling content will most likely receive +1s and shares. These act like social recommendations, influencing what searchers see on Google SERPs while they are logged in to any Google account.
Create Content and Publish it on your Blog
Blogging revolutionized publishing content on the web and is the mother of social media. It is now, and more than ever, a great tool for providing high quality and fresh content to your target audience and for SEO.
Write informative and engaging posts that people want to read, make use of and share with their friends and you acquire back links without engaging in black hat techniques.
Companies that blog have 97% more inbound links – HubSpot
92% of companies who blog multiple times per day have acquired a customer from their blog – HubSpot
B2B marketers who use blogs generate 67% more leads than those that do not. –InsideView
Companies that blog receive 434% more indexed pages on average – HubSpot
Businesses that blog at least 20 times/month get 5x more traffic than those that blog 4 times or less – HubSpot
Do Articles, Press Releases the Right Way
Mass-produced articles and press releases are often tagged as duplicate or poor content, partly due to article spinning, anchor text over optimization and massive submissions. But when implemented the right way, well-written articles and press releases attract the right kind of site visitors.
70% of consumers prefer articles over advertisements when it comes to getting to know a company – Content Plus
80% of business decision-makers prefer a series of articles over advertisements when it comes to getting information about a company – Content Marketing Institute
Just make sure to AVOID:
Massive submission of articles and press releases
Submission to article and press releases farms
Keyword-rich, overly optimized anchor texts
Use Promotional Copy
Promotional content is a powerful tool. Consumers are attracted to promotional copy because people inherently like good deals. And it's also a type of content that they will share with friends. Consumers visit a site over and over again to check on their latest promotions. Promotions attract visitors, are shared around and produce back links naturally. Promotions attract traffic, leads, customers – and keep them loyal.
83% are likely to tell a friend about a company that uses sales promotions, such as special offers, discounts or coupons
76% said they have a positive feeling toward a company that offers online sales promotions
71% said they are likely to be loyal to a brand that offers online sales promotions
66% said online sales promotions improve a company’s image
65% said online sales promotions help finalize decisions for undecided buyers
Share It Socially
It's not enough to create high quality content. You need to share it with the world; make sure everyone sees it so that they can link back to your site and share it with their networks. Social sharing completes the modern SEO methodology of attracting social and natural traffic and links. Social media is beneficial not just to SEO, but also to sales as 90% of users listen to recommendations shared from friends.
92% of consumers around the world say they trust online recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising
70% read other experiences
65% learn more about businesses, brands, products & services
53% compliment brands
50% express concerns about brands, products & services
Users spend 30% of their time online on social channels where content can be shared. – AOL & Nielsen
“Natural and social” SEO focuses on creating high quality content users want to read, use, and share. High quality content can spread naturally across social networks as well as build natural links. This consequently results to higher Google rankings.
Google Penguin and Panda updates are meant to improve Google search results for users. Business owners can do their share in improving the user experience by employing SEO service providers that use natural and social methodology. Quality SEO will result in increased exposure of your website, higher rankings in the search engine, more traffic to your website, and result in more sales for your company.