It’s happened to the best of us: we spend months doing research and developing what we think is the perfect marketing campaign to reach our target audience and convert people, but once we send it out into the world, no one seems to care.
Emails go unopened. Links go unclicked. And even those people who do go through the right motions just aren’t spending much time with the content or engaging in an active way. But what can you do? How can you encourage people to get excited about what you’re doing?
Luckily, the internet is a medium that has given us countless easy ways to track all kinds of information and even interact directly with our customers. Using a combination of these kinds of tools, it’s possible for just about anyone to raise their click-through rates and improve the overall quality of their campaigns. What kinds of tools?
1. Ask their opinion. It’s simple advice, but not enough people take it! Asking your customers opinion is incredibly easy (and inexpensive) when you set up a survey through a site like SurveyMonkey. After you have it ready, you can add it to your newsletter or website.
Another great source for feedback is your social networks. Just post a question and see what responses you get. Neither will likely be completely accurate, but the data you collect can be incredibly valuable when attempting to learn what people like and dislike. If you’re giving people what they want, they’ll be more likely to stay engaged.
2. Perform an eye-tracking study. Where are people looking when they click on your email campaign or travel to your website? It may be that your design is unintentionally drawing them away from the most important content. People skim, they don’t read. So you need to grab their attention right away, or they’ll just move on to the next thing.
Don’t have the resources or time to run your own study? Take advantage of studies that other people have run. For starters, look at the Nielsen Norman Group focusing on email newsletters and this list of usability lessons focus on how people use websites from Crazy Egg.
3. Get Personal. A one-size-fits-all marketing message is a thing of the past. Today, you can segment email lists based on user data to better address individual needs.
For example, if you run a pet shop, you can send one newsletter to dog owners, another to cat owners, and a third one to people who own both dogs and cats. You can even get more specific and find out information on breeds, ages, and other details to hone your message even more. A user is more likely to click through if the message is directly applicable to Tony, their elderly Chihuahua, than if it’s just addressed to the needs of all pet owners as a group.
You can also segment based on customer behavior. If you know someone has visited a certain page, you can send them additional information on that topic. Or if they’ve already made a purchase in the past, you can offer them a related product. A very simple example is a customer who has purchased the first book in a series; you’ll likely find that your conversion rate goes up if you offer the second book in that series rather than trying to push an entirely different title.
4. Make it a two-way conversation. Do you allow comments on your blog? Are you replying to messages sent to your social network accounts? Is your customer service top-notch? Your goal should be to build a relationship with your companies. Some marketing campaigns are like that co-worker who always monopolizes the conversation, or that friend who is constantly asking for favors but is never around when you need help.
One thing you’ll notice about the most successful Twitter campaigns is that they elicit the assistance of their fans. For instance, rather than creating a web video and releasing it on the web, ask for people to make their own as part of a contest. Even if they’re not among those selected, they’ll be more likely to be curious about the final videos, and of course, those who did win will want to share their success with friends and family, widening your reach.
5. Rinse, Lather, Repeat. Found a method of engagement that’s working? Don’t just rest on your laurels. People tend to tune out again over time. Continually monitor your progress and try to improve on your old numbers. Regularly changing up your content, design, and general approach can help keep things fresh even for your oldest customers.
Set up reports to run frequently for each aspect of your marketing campaign. Don’t just look at metrics like page views, which can be artificially inflated by a single good mention on an external site.
Dig deeper to look at bounce rate and time spent on the site. Your goal shouldn’t be just to learn that people are engaged, but why they are engaged and where they are engaged. You can then use that data to tighten your overall marketing plan.
About The Author
Julianne Parrish is a freelance writer that specializes in marketing and advertising. She writes for sites like Optiva LED Signs, that help companies drum up new business. In her free time she enjoys reading and spending time with her daughter.