Nursing Questions and Answers

Nursing Questions and Answers To determine the severity of the symptoms for a patient with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), the nurse will ask the patient about a. the presence of blood in the urine. b. any erectile dysfunction (ED). c. occurrence of a weak urinary stream. d. lower back and hip pain. Answer: C Rationale: […]

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Plan of Care Nursing Essay Assignment Example

Plan of Care Nursing Essay Assignment Example SUBJECTIVE Fred, a 62-year-old male, presents to the primary care clinic with the chief complaint of fatigue. Upon further questioning, he also reports some difficulty concentrating and a decreased sex drive. Further review of symptoms reveals dry skin, left knee weakness, occasional heartburn, and polyuria and wheezing on […]

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Why Inbound Marketing Fails (and How to Guard Against It)

There’s no doubting the power of inbound marketing.

It’s safe to say that inbound has revolutionized the way marketing works in today’s world.

When it works, that is.

Because many times, it doesn’t. Or at least, it takes too long.

Crafting an inbound campaign requires audience targeting, multiple forms of content based on funnel stages, and perfect integration between marketing and sales. Which rarely happens in most companies.

And on top of that, inbound marketing tends to pull in a very specific type of buyer.

Hint: It ain’t the CEO of a Fortune 500.

Inbound is great for driving certain kinds of leads. But again, many of those are unqualified and can take months to convert.

And you can’t risk spending months or years producing content only to see a trickle of unqualified, small deals roll in your door.

Here’s why inbound marketing fails and how you can guard against it.

Why Inbound Marketing Often Brings in the Wrong Clients

Inbound marketing is like a box of chocolates. You never know…

Cheesy movie quotes aside, this one rings true.

You really don’t know what you’re gonna get when you start a new campaign. Especially when it comes to B2B clients.

Think of it this way:

What clients and client types do you want?

Most likely large corporations. The big-time players. The accounts that will take your business to six-figures overnight.

Now… what clients do you usually get through your blog?

Small businesses. Local shops. Cookie-cutter clients.

Sure, your box of chocolates might have one or two big-time clients. But you really don’t know and can’t always control the outcome.

So why does this happen?

It all comes down to the inbound “funnel.”

Look at the standard funnel stages, and which content/lead magnets are usually associated with them:

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Whitepapers, guides, webinars, and demos.

These are all great. They all work to one degree or another. And there’s no doubt about that.

But when it comes to bringing in top clients, the typical inbound playbook fails miserably.

The only people sitting on hour-long webinars and downloading whitepapers are lower-level employees or a small business’s workers looking to improve their day-to-day, tactical activities.

C-suite executives and decision makers for large corporations aren’t anywhere near this type of content. They’re too busy.

And topics like “XX conversion rate tactics to increase your growth by YY%” don’t appeal to them. Because they don’t do tactics. They hire people to do them.

This leads to a long list of unqualified leads. Ones who aren’t making a final decision to purchase. Or even have a budget worth discussing.

Don’t keep reaching into the chocolate box with your fingers crossed. Unless you have another plan or can supplement it to cover the flaws.

Here’s how to take matters into your own hands and prevent the vicious cycle of poor inbound leads.

How Account-Based Marketing Can Help You Land Better Clients

Scaleable marketing activities work at the top of the funnel. Or for companies with extremely low barriers to purchase (read: low-priced, transactional, or free).

But those very same tactics often fail when you move up the food chain.

They aren’t personalized enough. They’re not customized enough.

And that’s exactly what account-based marketing seeks to achieve.

It focuses on identifying and qualifying ideal prospects first, before trying to get them deep into your funnel.

Before you’ve wasted thousands of dollars A/B testing or sending email campaigns and remarketing ads.

Your typical inbound marketing strategy is like fishing with a net, dragging it across the web and collecting as many leads as possible.

Account-based marketing, on the other hand, is like fishing with spears. You’re carefully selecting a target.

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A great example comes from WP Engine and Terminus.

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Their entire funnel was focused on identifying prospects ahead of time, expanding that research, engaging with them, advocating, and finally measuring success.

Conducting all that account research ahead of time wasn’t cheap or easy. But they got engagement from 93% of accounts on their target list.

Open rates jumped from 27% to 43%.

Overall, they increased their sales opportunities by 28%.

And that’s not all. The WP Engine team targeted 87 accounts and closed 32 deals.

Instead of casting a wide net, they honed in on specific accounts that were desirable and compatible with their services.

Through detailed, one-on-one customization, they were able to land clients that otherwise were unreachable.

So, how do you put some account-based marketing tactics into practice? Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Conduct a Lead Search and Turn Them into an Audience

The first step in any proper account-based marketing game plan is to identify prospects first.

Creating a target list will allow you to get hyper-specific with your marketing messaging.

And we all know that personalization is critical.

Remember that ABM isn’t about marketing to 1,000 companies. Weed out prospects that aren’t going to convert.

Start by researching companies that could utilize your services and that match your target demographics.

You can do most of this directly on LinkedIn’s advanced lead search:

Once you’ve plugged in your data, you can start to add specific target accounts to your list.

Selecting these accounts will add them to your sales list, giving you constant updates.

Now that you’ve found accounts that fit your business goals, it’s time to do some deep digging.

Locate specific accounts and head to their profiles. Click “See all employees” to generate a list of employees at the company:

You can either scan for gatekeepers or use the keyword search to find them faster:

If you notice any shared connections, you have an even better shot at opening the door to a conversation.

And if you dig even deeper, you can often find the prospect’s email and social media accounts:

Start engaging with their content to get yourself out there. Sometimes, that’s all you need to start a conversation.

Take it a step further by researching these leads on tools like Socedo that allow you to target specific leads on social media:

Simply enter a few target keywords related to your products and services, and you’ll generate a huge list of leads.

Weed through the rest by narrowing your keywords down further.

Then simply repeat the same process of engagement and getting your foot in the door. You’ll quickly see which decision makers and buyers from which accounts are in-market.

Keep adding these accounts to a list or a Google Doc that you can keep track of.

The next step is to utilize LinkedIn’s Matched Audiences feature to target ads directly to your accounts.

These new audience formats are already proving to be extremely successful.

Advertisers see a 32% increase in post-click conversion rates with account-based targeting and a 37% increase in CTR for contact targeting.

To get started with these, fire up your LinkedIn Campaign Manager and head to the account assets section.

Click “Matched Audiences”:

Next, select the “Upload list audiences” tab and upload your own list of leads that you’ve collected through Socedo and LinkedIn:

You can upload lists of accounts or direct email contacts:

Be sure to format each with their own template listed in the upload process.

Now you can target high-quality ads their way, driving tons of brand awareness and getting a front row seat to their daily LinkedIn browsing.

Conferences Can Produce High ROIs

Most people think that conferences and conventions are a huge budget waster.

They cost thousands of dollars just to obtain a few tickets.

On top of that, you’ve gotta pay thousands in hotel and transportation costs.

It seems like an ROI nightmare.

Rand Fishkin from Moz estimates that a typical conference can cost anywhere between $4,630–$10,230. That could be your entire month’s marketing budget.

But what if that conference leads to you acquiring a new skill, discovering unique and groundbreaking ideas, or building relationships?

What if it nets you one of your best clients to date?

You could easily double, if not triple, your ROI.

Tons of high-level executives and business owners attend conferences every year. Rand himself has attended dozens over the years and believes they are an amazing investment.

Start by scouting conventions and conferences in your niche, specifically looking at the sponsoring companies of these conventions.

This will give you an idea of whether or not your target accounts are going to be attending.

For example, when you look at Salesforce’s Dreamforce conference page, you can see the exact companies sponsoring and attending:

Knowing that they’re willing to pay big money to sponsor the event and have their brand featured tells you two things:

  1. They have a large budget
  2. They are heavily invested in your niche

Those two elements are critical when it comes to driving a sale.

Conferences are a great place to engage in genuine conversation with current targets and even find new targets for your business.

Sure, it’s old school and “lame.” But if lame works, let’s all be lame together.

So, what’s next? What do you do after you’ve initiated a relationship?

Go Old School with Direct Mail

Initiating the relationship is the easy part.

The hard part is standing out amongst the dozen other people vying for the same client you are.

Thinking about sending a targeted email offer?

Think again.

Email alone isn’t enough to catch their attention (even if it has en emoji in the subject).

And CMOs don’t have time to read your email offer.

Remarketing? Forget it. They see thousands of ads a month.

The goal in this step isn’t to get them to convert.

They aren’t ready yet. Account-based marketing takes a long time, but it doesn’t produce subpar leads like inbound marketing does.

While both take time and money, ABM produces a consistent quality of leads with a higher response rate.

To get the attention of high-level executives and big companies, you need to reach them through uncommon mediums.

For example, direct mail.

One study found that direct mail had the third highest ROI of any marketing tactic.

Another found that direct mail open rates are 42%. That’s nearly double email open rates.

One Utah-based marketing company found massive success with a direct mail campaign to land high-ticket clients.

97th Floor in Utah sent out a direct mail piece to their top clients, encouraging them to give back to the community:

On the back of the piece, they gave each client $20 to use to give back during the holiday season:

They effectively connected their offline efforts with online goals.

On top of that, they connected it to a #20helps hashtag to generate more buzz on social media.

Direct mail is old school, but when combined with online landing pages, it’s massively effective.

Why? Direct mail alone isn’t enough. You have to connect it back to inbound and digital best practices.

According to a study, marketing campaigns that used direct mail in conjunction with digital landing pages experienced a 118% lift in response rates.

Meaning people are much more likely to go to your site if you connect direct mail to online activities.

Want to reach the leads you really need?

Think outside the box and flip the script:

Go old school with direct mail, and tie it back to modern times with a landing page.

Conclusion

Inbound marketing was a game changer when the concept came to life.

And it still is today.

But it’s nowhere near foolproof or all-encompassing.

Results can take months to come to fruition, and the leads you do generate aren’t the ones your business really needs.

High-level executives aren’t sitting on your webinars during their busy schedules.

Decision makers aren’t being swayed by what CTA button color you choose.

In the event that your inbound marketing strategy is failing, you need a backup plan.

Safeguarding by using account-based marketing is a great start.

It can help you reduce the “box of chocolates” effect that you find with typical inbound playbooks.

Seemingly old-school sales methods like direct mail can help you cultivate real, genuine relationships with big-time leads.

The biggest customers don’t sign up after a blog post.

They get referrals. They vet. And they build rapport through personalization before ever signing on the dotted line.

About the Author: Brad Smith is the founder of Codeless, a B2B content creation company. Frequent contributor to Kissmetrics, Unbounce, WordStream, AdEspresso, Search Engine Journal, Autopilot, and more.

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Will E-Commerce Benefit from Machine Learning or Face a New Threat?

The e-commerce revolution was built on the back of digital advances and automation, but is the next generation of machine learning and AI friend or foe?

Machine learning is the method today’s systems use to learn about you and the fundamental things that make you who you are. It looks beyond generalizations and characterizations on your age or gender and realizes that you’re a huge fan of cartoon dogs and emojis, but only the ones that have the same hair as you.

In the e-commerce space, machine learning is being used to slowly learn what customers prefer and how they want to see information to get them to make a purchase. It tests and adapts, using new options and information to slowly refine the best way to reach your customers.

It’s an amazing tool with plenty of opportunities, but hiding within that potential are some risks if you’re not paying attention. Let’s look at what can help or hurt.

Intuitive Search and Display

One of the more exciting applications of machine learning is going to be the ability for you to search for the things you want and need. Right now, to find a product on an e-commerce store, you have to search for it using the words you prefer and the e-commerce store owner must hope they used the same words for the search results to match what you want and what they offer.

Machine learning cranks that up by providing support for a broader set of synonyms at the most basic level. Smart machine learning looks for synonyms in the nouns you provide as well as similar phrases people use for the same type of problem. A leaking faucet and a dripping sink should pull the same results, but they don’t always in today’s search.

The extra layer that machine learning adds on top of all this comes from its capability to learn your site and metrics. So, smarter search engines can prioritize click rates and existing conversions, put products with higher customer ratings at the top, or even restrict results based on what’s currently in stock.

It’s possible to deliver dynamically different page content using search results and even display items and containers, from ads to sections on what customers also liked, based on each individual customer. The downside, or potential threat to your business, is that systems that are not closely monitored could limit the display of some products and search results.

If you let your system fine-tune continually without checking, it could stop promoting a product that isn’t selling, and the continued lack of sales would push any promotions or links down even further. Don’t let a runaway search hide any products.

The Potential of Chatbots

Recall any of the times you’ve recently had to call your bank, credit agency, or someone’s whose robot voice told you to pay attention because the menu options may have changed. On the Internet, whether it’s your e-commerce product pages, FAQs, carts, or any other location customer’s visit, you can ensure your customers never have to go through that frustration thanks to smart chatbots.

By understanding unstructured data — answers to questions like “how was your day?” instead of “what’s ten minus two?” — chatbots are now able to provide a realistic conversation that doesn’t feel fake or frustrate people with non-answers. Your customer service representative can now answer questions 24/7 with a wide range of data thanks to smart chatbots.

Chatbots mean small and mid-sized companies can provide round-the-clock support without needing to pay someone those hours. Machine learning comes into play because it allows a chatbot to be programmed with general information and respond to customer queries. As it interacts with more people, machine learning will enable your chatbot to learn the specifics of your online store and service.

Initially, chatbots can empower you to direct customers to basic information like shipping options, colors, size charts, and other formulaic options. Eventually, as you employ more sophisticated machine learning, you can have chatbots that identify potential upsells, ask customers questions to deliver coupons, or address long-term needs of your customers.

Unless you work in customer service, it’s hard to imagine chatbots being a threat. The tricky issue here is the system that learns your customers and their preferences. A significant amount of chatbots come from third-party services and they may be collecting or using some of your customer data for the purpose of answering questions or generating social media posts automatically.

Make agreements airtight when it comes to how data can be used and ensure that it is anonymized, or you may have upset customers who realize that they got an email for a service or one that includes their address after they’ve been on your site.

Pricing and AB Testing

Beyond chatbots, machine learning creates opportunities for a variety of virtual buying assistances that can do anything from email you when airfare drops below a certain price or reminds you to re-order your water filter every 30 days. E-commerce brands can take this data review a step further to look for opportunities such as coupons to drive down prices to a certain point or for savings ahead of a specific holiday or holiday season where your goods are purchased in order to encourage increased spending this year.

If I know that you buy t-shirts online when you can get two for under $25, I can send you a deal that gets shirts to that threshold right now. And next month, I can try with an offer that gets the price down to $27 and see if you’ll bite.

Machine learning removes a lot of the guesswork and manual labor required to identify those thresholds and send offers accordingly. Using profiles and purchasing habit data, systems can teach themselves to create a potential sale that meets a variety of threshold criteria around margins, existing inventory, and repeat business.

Higher levels of personalization require more customer avatars or marketing personas and ultimately this could be a large set that because it is hard to generalize new customers. So, there’s a need to balance cost ranges on products as well as how long an offer lasts. Customers may be upset if they see one price, don’t immediately click and then cannot find the reduced price again.

Value-Adds: Fulfillment Improvements

Machine learning has a significant potential to provide customers with something a little extra. We believe that shipping often makes the biggest difference and machine learning can not only determine preferred shipping options but test when a free bump to something faster will increase your sales.

Plus, smart systems can use your existing data to ensure that those promises match inventory levels and shipping time based on what your suppliers or distributors can match. You also have the opportunity to build in scarcity and promote sales — you might’ve seen something like this when an e-commerce giant says that if you order in the next 20 minutes you can get it tomorrow.

Bots also can provide consistent updates on package status and do trend analysis to help show the commerce brand when those messages are received, desired, and effective.

The true value-add of machine learning is that it can prevent over-promising and ensure you’re working on what best delivers an improvement for your website and the shopping experience you offer. Smart use of data and machine learning can improve your operations at every point of delivery, from when customers arrive and search your site to prompting them for purchase decisions and following up with reliable service and information.

Implementing Machine Learning in Your e-commerce Offerings

Now that you’ve seen the possibilities of machine learning, you’re ready to sign up and get it rolling for your company. Great! That’s the easy part. Adding it to your site is the hard part. There’s a lot to learn and review so that you can make your products, services, and site smarter.

Your IT team or partner will need a few things to get started on a machine learning implementation for you:

  1. A database or access to your existing database where the end-application can access the information it needs to know about your brand.
  2. The programming language, which can impact which services and partners are available based on their API.
  3. A description of the algorithm you want that is as complete as possible, including the problems or needs you want addressed.
  4. Examples of services or elements that you liked or operated similarly to what you want so your developer has a yardstick for comparison.
  5. The size of your audience. For example, if you need to work with a large set of customers or are planning a distributed application, you’ll most likely end up with a Hadoop ecosystem, while smaller sets of data and uses can rely on Java and C++ for the machine learning engine.

Creating a list of definitions, goals, needs, and uses will help you build a plan to bring to a developer or to give to your internal team to figure out next steps.

The good news in all that is more and more companies are lowering the bar to entry thanks to APIs you can start using immediately. So, there’s a chance someone has put together a package that you can use to achieve the results you want.

For example, Google offers a Mobile Vision API that allows an Android app to use the device’s camera to scan barcodes, recognize text, and detect faces as well as basic emotions or attributes.

There are also a variety of machine learning programs that have broader uses and you can define them as you go. Choosing an engine that operates like a decision tree will support A/B testing because you can feed it the ads or emails you’re using, information about the interactions or audience, and what you consider successful or unsuccessful results.

In this use case, an engine that works like a decision tree will eventually be able to learn what ads get people to click. By varying the coupon in your ad, for example, it can learn what dollar amounts or percentage off deals are more likely to lead to a complete sale. Eventually, you can use it to learn which deals are most likely to generate the highest relative sales value, and the engine can be used to set parameters for your marketing campaigns while adjusting coupons based on real-time results.

That’s a long road, but it is doable with technology available to you today.

Start with Chatbots and a Smart Partner

If you want to wade into machine learning slowly, we’d recommend you begin with chat options on your website because there are a variety of existing projects you can build on for a more immediate turnaround.

Head over to GitHub and you can find a host of chat bot engines that you can quickly power up and train. Training data is also available for free and purchase in order to assist you. Use a training walkthrough to see how you can generate responses based on what are essentially collections of known word strings and conversations.

By using or purchasing training and a language basis, you can have someone program the chatbot to answer common questions and then slowly begin to learn more about your customers. Your team or your development partner can also provide the chatbot with information on what to share and promote.

Chatbots with a machine learning basis are written in languages like Python so you’ll be hiring someone to help you unless you’re familiar with the language and code. Your professional partner will also be able to make recommendations on technologies like Google’s TensorFlow, which is useful if you’re building from scratch.

Today’s data world involves a variety of complex systems, and machine learning is one possible catalyst that will propel some e-commerce brands farther into the technology realm than they initially expected, while boosting their profitability too.
Realizing your potential will boil down to choosing the right technology and the right partner or team.

 

About Kissmetrics

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About the Author: Jake Rheude is the Director of Business Development for Red Stag Fulfillment, an ecommerce fulfillment warehouse that was born out of ecommerce. He has years of experience in ecommerce and business development. In his free time, Jake enjoys reading about business and sharing his own experience with others.

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6 Tips For Sending Your Email Newsletter At The Right Time

Have you ever noticed that it seems like every single company seems to send their email newsletter at the same time?

Usually they’re sent very late at night or extra early in the morning.

Which is, funny enough, when most of their audience is sleeping, so we wake up with an overstuffed inbox each morning.

I am guessing that you have also run into this somewhat minor annoyance.

But it literally is one of my biggest pet peeves.

If you are like me, the deleting of most of these newsletters has become part of your morning ritual.

It is pretty refreshing to send them all to your trash folder and get back to inbox zero.

I mean I love reading about data driven marketing tips but not at 7 in the morning.

We are constantly plugged into our email accounts with those supercomputers we call phones.

The days when you would check your email once in the morning and once at night is over.

But, alas, some companies still seem to be sticking to that email schedule.

This strategy is as outdated as that jewel colored iMac or Gateway computer sitting in your basement.

And all the effort you put into great content will be wasted if you pick the wrong time to send.

So I set out to find when the best time to send an email newsletter is, in the most scientific way ever, by signing up for 100 different newsletters and recording all of their send times.

1. Send it from 11-12PM, 1-2PM, or 2-3PM

If you were looking for the best time to send an email I would recommend selecting a time where there is little competition.

Like a time when almost no emails are being sent.

I mean why would you want your newsletter competing for your audience’s attention with a bunch of other emails?

That is just a recipe for low open rates and a drop in subscribers.

So to avoid that I would shoot for a period when no other emails are sent.

In fact, from 11-12PM, 1-2PM and 2-3PM not a single email was sent in our study.

Like not a single one:

Now you may be asking what is the best chunk of time out of those three periods?

And I would have to say that 2-3PM has the most potential.

From 11-12PM and 1-2PM are too close to the lunch hour and could get lost in the shuffle.

Unless your newsletter deals with a fun topic that they would want to read about on that break, I would avoid those two.

Instead try from 2-3PM.

Your audience will most likely be back from lunch by then and feeling a bit recharged.

They have already cleared their emails from the morning and are maybe looking for a little procrastination opportunity.

And boom, your email newsletter is there to help them out.

2. Or from 10-11AM

Now if you don’t want to be the only one sending an email during a certain time period, I have a perfect time for you.

This is another period where almost zero email newsletters were sent out in our study. In fact there were only one email sent out in that whole time period.

And I think that your email can handle a little competition.

This period happens to be from 10-11AM.

As you can see in the graph above there were a few other periods when only a few emails were sent.

But I do not think that they will be as fruitful as from 10-11AM.

For example, from 9-10AM is when a lot of people’s workday starts and 4-5PM is when it usually ends.

That means you are going to be fighting a lot more for their attention than just a few emails.

So to avoid these outside distractions I would choose from 10-11AM.

By then your readers will be settled into their desk, the coffee has kicked in and they are probably at inbox zero.

It is almost a perfect time for an interesting newsletter to pop up in their mailbox.

Additionally, I do find it a little odd that from 10-11AM has been pushed by experts and thought leaders.

But exactly one email was sent.

It really does not make sense, but it does present a new opportunity for your email newsletter to shine.

3. Never between 6-7PM

After carefully counting on both of my hands I was able to determine the worst time to send an email.

This time period was so crowded that more than 10% of all the emails in the study were sent during this hour chunk each day.

That is almost triple what an average hour should have received.

If you have read the graphs above you saw that 6-7 PM got the most emails of any period.

As you can see in the graph above if you decide to send your newsletter in this time period you are going to have some competition.

So I would avoid sending your newsletters during this period based on the jump in competition.

When you compare it to the times we already highlighted above there are 50x more emails during this period.

Even some of the times that got 5x more emails are looking pretty good to me right now.

Unless you want your open rates to plummet from that increased competition I would avoid sending from 6-7PM.

It does kind of make sense why brands would decide to send their weekly email at this time.

Their audience has made it home from their jobs and starting to relax. They should be pretty open to receiving a newsletter about their hobby, interest or activity.

But again, you are brawling in their inbox with a ton of other well-crafted emails for their attention.

Or it will be ignored and rolled into the next morning’s inbox clearing.

4. And avoid after 9PM or before 7AM

One of the easiest ways to fall into that morning deleting spree is to send your email late at night.

Like when your audience is sleeping, so they will see it in the morning.

I never really got the idea behind this practice.

Other than that brands think we want to read about the newest social media marketing tip at 6am.

I know that is the last thing on my mind at that time.

Now if it was an email about coffee being delivered to my bed that would be a different story.

But alas, I saw a ton of companies using this somewhat outdated topic.

We can access our emails at literally any time, the novelty of waking up to news or a newsletter no longer exists.

Or it is so far down the list in their inbox, they will never even see it.

Between 9PM and 7PM more than 60% of all emails in the study were sent.

With nearly 40% of them were sent between 9PM and 2AM. Or about double of what should have been sent if all things were equal.

That is a lot of emails your newsletter is going to be fighting.

Plus your audience is most likely not even awake, and the people who are up at that time probably don’t want to read your newsletter at that moment.

That means, you guessed it, that it will be put off until the next morning.

From there it goes right into the morning delete spree or simply forgotten about.

And all your hard work on the newsletter goes ignored.

Do not let your content be wasted because you chose the wrong time to send a great email.

5. Wednesdays & Saturdays Have Potential

Just like in the previous sections you are going to want to pick a day that has the least competition.

By sending your email on a day like this it is going to stand out like a beacon of good content.

The best day to send your email is Wednesday, with Saturday coming in at a close second.

As you can see they were some of the days to receive the least emails overall.

In our own tests we have seen Wednesday perform well, with some newsletters getting double the open rate of previous days.

I think that Wednesday is the perfect day to send your email newsletter.

Especially if your newsletter is related to their job or work.

They will feel a lot less guilty about losing themselves in your content for a few minutes.

Plus if it is really amazing they will want to share it with their coworkers!

And that means that if your topic deals with a fun hobby or interest I would send it on a Saturday.

Your audience will a lot more receptive to reading about something they could do later that day.

Or they will have a lot more time to absorb all of your fantastic content.

Either way both of these days are a great point to start testing to find what your own best day!

Before we go on I think it is important to highlight why I did not select Sunday as the best day.

I really think that it is too much of a wildcard day and the email could be lost in the shuffle of that day.

Then it gets pushed into the Monday morning mass inbox cleaning.

And although you may have loved to read the content you just don’t have time to.

This has happened to me too many times to count and I am guessing many people can relate.

6. Thursdays are the Worst Day to Send

Finding the best day to send an email was a little difficult and not very straightforward.

Thankfully the worst day was a lot easier to find.

And that day was Thursday.

thursday is the worst day to send an email newsletter

It received more than double the amount of emails when compared to Wednesday and Saturday.

Exactly 25% of all the emails were sent on a Thursday, with no other days really coming close.

That put it well above the 70 or so emails I received per day on average.

Some experts proclaiming that Tuesday and Thursday are the best days to send a newsletter probably cause this.

I am guessing that people have been blindly following this advice for the past few years.

And now we are in a situation where the best day to send an email has actually become the worst day.

Conclusion

So there you have it, the best and worst times for you to send an email newsletter!

I now need to go click unsubscribe on about 100 different emails.

Or I may just cut my losses with that email address from now on.

But that sacrifice of an email address was definitely worth it because I was able to get some interesting findings.

Those findings will hopefully keep you from sending an email newsletter at the wrong time or day.

Just remember:

  1. Send newsletters during these time blocks: 11-12 PM, 1-2 PM & 2-3 PM.
  2. Between 9 and 11 AM is another great block of time.
  3. If your newsletter is related to their job, send it during the workday.
  4. Do not send newsletters at peak work movement hours, like 8 AM and 5 PM.
  5. Emails sent during the night or early mornings are a bad idea.
  6. Thursday is the worst day to send an email.
  7. Mondays and Fridays should be avoided as well.
  8. But the best day to send a newsletter is on Wednesday.

And finally, it is important to remember to test all of these findings with your audience first. These tips should always be used a testing points for your new emails, not set in stone facts.

About Kissmetrics

Kissmetrics combines behavioral analytics with email automation. Our software tracks actions of your users across multiple devices allowing you to analyze, segment and engage your customers with automatic, behavior-based emails in one place. We call it Customer Engagement Automation. Get, keep and grow more customers with Kissmetrics.

 

 

About the Author: Ryan McCready went to the University of Arkansas and graduated with a degree in economics and international business. Now instead of studying the economy he writes about everything and enjoys stirring the pot.

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How to Outperform Sites Ranking Above You on Search Engines

That latest post took days to develop.

It’s instructive and inspiring and educational and entertaining.

Easily, one of your best yet.

But you come to check your traffic data only to find that you’re ranking 70th in the SERPs.

In other words, you ain’t gettin no traffic anytime soon. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

Unless some crazy person is actually clicking seven pages deep on Google. Which they aren’t.

All of that hard work, research, and effort got you almost nothing in return.

Meanwhile, your competitors are ranking in the top ten results, even though their content isn’t as long or thorough.

Why? Because of Google.

But really, the most likely answer is time and links.

Your post is new, so it’s going to take some time.

Knowing this, that doesn’t mean you can sit around and expect it to be on the first page without doing work.

Thinking that your new post will gain thousands of links on its own is foolish.

Outperforming your competitors on search engines isn’t an easy, one-off task. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

In fact, if you implement a few of these tactics, it’s likely that (in time) you will.

Why? Because your competitors are comfortable. They think the rankings won’t ever change.

You, on the other hand, are grinding to get ahead.

Here’s how you can outperform sites ranking above you on search engines.

The Top Two Ranking Factors, Straight From Google

When Google RankBrain was announced in 2015 on Bloomberg, it was made known that RankBrain was the third most important ranking factor.

But that was all they said.

What about the first and second ranking factors?

We got almost nothing for an entire year.

In 2016, we got some clear information (for once) from Google.

In a Q&A with Andrey Lipattsev, a Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google, we found out the two most important ranking factors:

Links and content. In no particular order of importance.

But that’s pretty much all we got.

It is something, though. It’s a start. And it was straight from the mouth of a high-level strategist.

It also makes sense when you look at recent studies and data sets.

For example, Backlinko recently analyzed one million search engine results pages and found that the top-ranking content had a significantly larger number of links:

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The disparity between the #1 position and the #10 position is massive.

Meaning if you’re looking to take over the SERPs, you need links. You simply can’t rank high without them.

And according to Google, it’s one of the top two ranking factors. So ignoring it is not an option.

Don’t believe the data?

I don’t blame you. Healthy skepticism makes the world go round.

I didn’t at first either. But do a simple Google search for a desired keyword, and you’ll instantly see that it’s very true.

Searching for “SEO Guide” on Google will return this as the first result:

The next few results are from Kissmetrics and Search Engine Land:

So, let’s put this to the test. Open up Moz’s Open Site Explorer and toss the links in.

Start with the first post by Moz. Here’s what the backlink profile looks like:

Yes, that’s real. This post has over 23 freaking thousand links pointing to it.

That’s more than most people will get on their entire site in their entire career. By far.

Now plug in the second result from Kissmetrics and here’s what you see:

The results are pretty clear.

Both sites have incredibly high domain authorities and page authorities.

They’ve both been around for years and years.

The content is pretty similar. It’s in-depth, informative, and optimized for the user experience.

But one is outranking the other, and the most likely reason (according to Google) is simply that it has more links.

23,000 more. Meaning Google is being told over 23,000 more times how relevant and informative that content is.

So, what about content?

It’s the same thing. It’s about the numbers. Word count matters:

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The longer the content, the higher chance it has to rank.

But not in the way that you think.

You know, the college essays where you inserted block quotes to add 500 words (yes, admit it, you did it too).

Yeah, that doesn’t work.

Word count for the sake of word count isn’t going to get you higher rankings.

That tactic died with keyword stuffing and will never return.

Long-form content wins on search engines because it’s designed to solve the entire user problem in one go.

Meaning that the content is designed to answer all questions, provide solutions, and then show the user how to fix it.

If your content accomplishes this, people won’t bounce back to Google to click on the next result.

To sum it up, links and content quality are the top two ranking factors.

If you want to outperform sites above you, focus on these two factors over anything else.

It’s just like a workout plan.

Want to lose weight? Don’t waste time doing isolation bicep curls.

Take the most effective route and target the top ways to accomplish your goal.

Here’s how to get more links and write better content to outrank your competitors.

Campaign For Better Links

Now that you know how important links are for rankings, you need more of them.

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But not just any backlinks. Directory links won’t do it. Paying for low-level, spammy links from the dude who cold emailed you is a recipe for disaster.

Most people get caught up in the total quantity and forget to focus on quality too.

Quantity isn’t enough. Let me explain:

When a website (like a directory) links over and over to thousands of sites, Google starts to notice that these links are easy to acquire.

So Google puts less importance on them. Why? They’re easy to get!

So stop buying links. Stop spamming forums and Pinterest (what even is Pinterest??).

Backlinko data agrees with this notion, too:

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The graph above essentially says that the top-ranking content has links from diverse websites.

Meaning you need many websites to link to you, not just one spamming your link over and over.

But that’s not all. You need links from high DA sites:

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So the real recipe is:

Total amount of links + large amount of diverse sites + all high DA = rankings boost.

Take that, Gordon Ramsay!

Now that you know, how do you do it?

There are a few proven ways to get more high-quality links on your site.

One of the best is by creating round-up style content. This is content that mentions multiple popular influencers in your niche.

For example, check out this post from Bill Widmer that took the opinions of 30+ experts on their favorite marketing channels:

(That cool dude is me, by the way, in case you were wondering.)

But the point is, these types of posts get links.

I’ll prove it to you.

Here’s the backlink profile for this exact blog post:

Nearly 70 links to a single post that was recently uploaded. Pretty impressive.

And not just any links. Notice the top linking sites? They were all mentioned influencers in his post.

Getting the input of trusted influencers and showcasing them in your post is one of the best ways to get great links.

People are more likely to share it when you mention and show them in an informative light.

Write Better Content More Often

Getting the highest-quality links isn’t enough.

Remember that another top ranking factor is content.

Quality and frequency play a huge role in content that drives rankings.

According to HubSpot, companies that post more blog posts more often get more traffic:

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And that’s not all. The more you blog, the more inbound leads you get:

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Why? Because you’re effectively giving yourself more chances to rank higher on Google.

And when you rank higher on Google, you get more traffic.

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If sites are ranking above you on search engines and you don’t have enough links to overtake them, post more often.

It’s one of the easiest ways to generate more traffic to compensate for a lower ranking.

The more often you post, the more indexed pages you have.

The more indexed pages, the more traffic.

Once you develop content, you can campaign for links to boost that content.

You can outperform sites with multiple approaches. It doesn’t always have to be outranking them for a single post.

Would you rather outrank them for one post or write five new ones that get more total traffic?

The answer is clear: more traffic.

Create Content for the User Experience

Google has one goal in mind when it comes to their search engine (besides profit):

Creating the fastest, best user experience possible.

This is evident by conducting any Google search and seeing how quickly they deliver results:

They even tell you about it.

It’s a subtle brag.

But it tells us some instant data on how much they care about delivering content fast and effectively.

It’s their top priority because if they don’t, people will jump ship to Bing or Yahoo, or Ask Jeeves (wait, does that still exist?).

This has larger implications than just result delivery speed though.

When Google delivers results, they still want users to be satisfied.

If someone searches for “seo” and doesn’t click, but instead modifies their search for “seo guide,” Google takes note.

They understand that “seo” search results weren’t what they were looking for.

Similarly, if someone finds your post on Google but bounces fast and clicks on the next, Google notices.

They notice that your content isn’t solving user problems. And if it’s not, you can kiss those rankings goodbye.

So, what does this mean for SEOs and optimizing content?

It means you’ve gotta stop worrying about how search engines view your content and start caring about the user experience.

That means putting real emotion into your writing to trigger a response.

Or telling a story that people can’t resist reading.

Keywords are great, but stuffing “seo guide best 2017 content” into your title makes you look stupid.

Trust me – I’ve been there.

A searcher and reader are going to take one look at that title and never come back.

A great way to optimize your content for a real user is by taking advantage of Google’s free data mining.

It’s easy.

What’s the next blog post you want to write about?

For example, let’s say it’s about content marketing.

Conduct a simple Google search for that basic term and scroll to the bottom of the page:

You’ve got instant, real keywords that people are searching.

You could easily compile several of these into a single long-form piece of content that is a one-stop-shop when it comes to solving a problem.

For example, write a content marketing strategy guide and include examples and types of content marketing.

Now you’ve effectively hit three real searches with a single post. That’s relevancy.

If you want to outrank the sites above you, you’ve gotta improve your content.

It has to be tailored to fit the user, not the search engine.

Search engines are getting smarter and more realistic. Rankings will follow if you focus on real people.

Conclusion

When you’ve written a new blog post, you can’t risk it slipping into the oblivion of the SERPs.

Anything beyond the first page isn’t going to get you any noticeable traffic.

And you can’t just expect a post to generate traffic and links on its own.

You’ve gotta put in the work to get real results.

If you want to outrank your competition, you need better links, real keywords, and better content.

Plain and simple:

You need to produce better content for the end user than the person above you.

Once you’ve done that, campaign for links.

The more high-quality links you land, the better shot you’ve got at ranking higher.

Outperforming sites ranking above you in the SERPs will drive more traffic to your site fast.

About Kissmetrics

Kissmetrics combines behavioral analytics with email automation. Our software tracks actions of your users across multiple devices allowing you to analyze, segment and engage your customers with automatic, behavior-based emails in one place. We call it Customer Engagement Automation. Get, keep and grow more customers with Kissmetrics.

 

 

About the Author: Brad Smith is the founder of Codeless, a B2B content creation company. Frequent contributor to Kissmetrics, Unbounce, WordStream, AdEspresso, Search Engine Journal, Autopilot, and more.

Use the Order Button Above and get a similar or related assignment. Contact our live support team for any assistance or inquiry.

How Voice Apps will Change E-Commerce Forever

Marketers say that in order to anticipate what the customer wants, you have to know what they’re thinking. With voice apps becoming more and more commonplace — now the customer can actually tell you.

Perhaps the biggest evidence that shows a marked shift in how customers search is found within the biggest movers and shakers in both e-commerce and search — Amazon and Google.

Google search voice queries show explosive growth of voice search queries (Image Source)

Within 2016 alone, voice-based search went from zero to 10% of all search volume. Today, 20% of all searches have voice-based intent, and by 2020, ComScore estimates that half of all searches will be done by voice. But there are a few notable stumbling blocks.

The Issue with Accuracy

Back in 2013, Google’s spoken word accuracy was below 80%. A few years later, it has improved to above 90%. Chinese search engine Baidu’s voice recognition accuracy rate is above 95%. This sounds great on paper, but 99% accuracy is what everyone is striving for. The difference can be profound — as in the old joke of Jeff Bezos asking the Echo to buy olives at Whole Foods when instead, it understood that he wanted it to buy “all of Whole Foods”.

We’re not there yet, but we will be soon — and when that happens, you can expect voice-enabled search adoption to explode.

Skewing the Playing Field

Beyond the accuracy of the spoken word, however, there are also significant differences in how we speak to search versus how we type. While you may search for “pizza places near (your city)”, you’re much more likely to be conversational with a voice-enabled device. Amazon Echo understands that you want a “pepperoni pizza with extra cheese” from Dominos, and can have it delivered to your door. No typing necessary.

You can see how this would blow right by competing ads — both paid and organic — and instead skew the playing field in favor of those companies that want to invest a sizeable amount in being the preferred provider for that product or service. Service providers like Uber, Kayak and Dominos have already made huge gains in setting themselves up for such a voice-based brand domination windfall.

In the meantime, there’s a rush from both Amazon and Google to dominate the automated home assistant market. With the release of the Amazon Echo and Google Home, there’s a definite face-off between the leader in e-commerce and the leader in search. What remains to be seen, however, is just how much of a role these apps actually play in promoting a purchase.

Got Skills?

With the Amazon Echo, voice-based commands are denoted into specific categories called “skills”. Although Amazon won’t reveal how many categories there are or how many of their voice-based skills are branded, some estimates believe the number currently hovers around 25,000.

Using skills, you can, for example, have Tide help you get stains out, or question Nestle for a good dinner recipe. Patron launched it’s voice skill last July as part of a larger marketing campaign known as the Cocktail Lab. With the Cocktail Lab, fifty different bartenders from around the world shared their tequila-infused drink recipes. Over 350,000 users tried the Cocktail Lab, and 10% of those users came from using the Alexa (Echo)-based skill.

Traffic to the company’s website was up over 4% as well, and the research revealed that Echo users spent more time on site browsing and saving recipes as well. Worth the investment? Only time will tell.

Revealing Customer Intent

Not surprisingly, much of what can be done with voice-based search is centered around analytics. GoodNes, the Nestle app that uses Amazon Echo skills, lets you search recipes, see (or tell) what ingredients are needed, email you the recipe or show you nutritional information, among other things.

Determining how the user searches and what they search for using voice could very well shed light on potential new products or combinations. It’s the kind of one-on-one insight that traditional focus groups simply can’t compare to.

Change is Happening…Slowly

Much like how the early versions of web pages were simple brochures, the beginnings of voice apps are more gimmicky than practical. In addition to its selection of branded skills, Amazon also carries apps that start a “psychopath test” or “open a box of cats” (the app will meow or make an animal sound).

However, as these devices continue to gain more traction in voice accuracy and more proliferation in homes, you’ll start to see a marked trend toward asking them to help with nearly anything. Much in the same way that today’s websites go well beyond their brochure-based forebears, to be accessed and interacted with from smartphones and other devices, so too will voice-based search make it easier to quickly browse and order the products and services you use most.

Should Business Owners Be Concerned?

Although it seems like only big brands will be able to take advantage of the shift in voice-based searches and purchases, we’re only truly scratching the surface of the full potential of these types of apps. Both Amazon and Google know that it’s not in their best interest to simply become a herd pen for branded apps — and that relevancy is the name of the game.

For business owners, the push is on to keep doing what we’re doing — cultivating customer engagement, open discussion, problem-solving and an overall helpful experience. No matter what the underlying technology driving a customer’s inquiry, excelling at these skills will set you far ahead of your competition.

Even though we’re in the infancy of voice-driven e-commerce now, the breakneck pace with which new devices are made, coupled with the increase in voice-based accuracy, are going to create more and more opportunities for apps to transform the e-commerce marketplace.

In a year or two, it’s possible we’ll look at text-based search the way we look at our old MySpace page — with a twinge of nostalgia and an overwhelming sense of relief over how much better, faster and more intuitive things are today.

About Kissmetrics

Kissmetrics combines behavioral analytics with email automation. Our software tracks actions of your users across multiple devices allowing you to analyze, segment and engage your customers with automatic, behavior-based emails in one place. We call it Customer Engagement Automation. Get, keep and grow more customers with Kissmetrics.

 

 

About the Authors: Sherice Jacob helps business owners improve website design and increase conversion rates through compelling copywriting, user-friendly design and smart analytics analysis. Learn more at iElectrify.com and download your free web copy tune-up and conversion checklist today!

Use the Order Button Above and get a similar or related assignment. Contact our live support team for any assistance or inquiry.

3 Shortcuts for Business Owners to Market Effectively Without Wasting Time

9-to-5 jobs are never truly 9-5.

There’s always something that comes up that needs to get done. ASAP. No questions asked.

Thank your boss for that one. Actually, don’t. That’s probably not a good idea.

But running a business is a whole new level of busy. Being a business owner in today’s world is damn near impossible.

Want to have a normal work-life balance? Good joke.

Need to take a vacation to refresh your brain? Sure. If you’re okay with a business-level apocalypse.

Family asking you to go apple picking this weekend? It isn’t happening.

As a small business owner, you’ve got to run every single department, constantly making sure everything’s running smoothly.

That means creating new content, generating big ideas, speaking with clients, landing sales, checking emails, and running marketing reports.

The list goes on.

You simply don’t have enough time in the day to complete all of these tasks.

You can’t scale your business to new heights if you ignore any of them though.

They need to get done. Your business and livelihood literally depend on it.

So what do you do?

You need to automate. Put boring, tedious, time-consuming tasks on autopilot to save yourself hours every week.

Marketing automation isn’t easy, but it’s necessary if you want to scale your business without dying from sleep deprivation.

Here are the reasons why you need marketing automation and three tips for small business owners to automate and scale.

How marketing automation can be your saving grace

Marketing automation is just what it sounds like: automating marketing-based tasks.

If you’re not too familiar with marketing automation, here’s a simple definition from Google:

The goal is to save you time and increase your ROI.

Automation does this by cutting out time spent on tedious processes. Meaning you’re using less labor. And less labor means less overhead.

But here’s the biggest benefit of all:

Less time spent working means more time looking at pugs.

Yes, it’s a real addiction that affects thousands every year (source: N/A).

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The more you can automate, the better.

According to the latest data, the vast majority of marketers using marketing automation strategies are successful in achieving their objectives:

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Another study discovered that 50% of marketers using automation tools found either some increases or massive increases in leads:

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But effectively gaining leads isn’t all that comes with marketing automation.

It shouldn’t even be the main focus.

Sure, it’s great that marketing automation can increase leads; don’t get me wrong.

That’s amazing.

But the goal here is to reduce time spent working without reducing profit.

If you don’t see a massive spike in leads, but you’re cutting out 10 hours of marketing work each week with automation, you’re effectively increasing profit by reducing labor.

See what I mean?

Even if the process doesn’t generate 10x the amount of leads, you’re spending less on labor.

Less labor = less overhead = more profit.

This is where people tend to go wrong. When you only focus on lead increases, you lose sight of profit and business growth.

There are dozens of ways to achieve profit and growth that don’t include landing more clients.

And according to Aberdeen, companies using marketing automation can reduce their marketing-to-close time by 49%.

That potentially means completing your work in half the time.

If you’re strapped for time and haven’t slept in weeks, it’s time to implement marketing automation.

It will not only cut down on your working hours, but it’ll also reduce your labor costs and help you generate more leads.

Here are three great ways you can automate your growth today.

1. Automate your Content Promotion

Content promotion is critical to business growth.

When it comes to driving new organic traffic and leads, nothing competes with top-notch content.

But having good content alone won’t always drive traffic.

So most marketers turn to promotion on social channels like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

All of these platforms are an easy way to generate more leads.

But it takes time. And lot’s of it.

In fact, Statista found that the majority of marketers are spending anywhere from one to 10 hours per week on social media.

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By scheduling content and loading it into your Buffer queue, you can quickly waste a few hours every week.

Coming up with tweets and trying to squeeze your content into 140 characters sucks.

Especially when you’re re-sharing that post five different ways.

Content sharing is a necessary process that’s tedious and often time-consuming.

On top of that, it doesn’t always equate to a perfect return on investment.

So it’s sometimes thrown on the backburner.

But that’s not an option in today’s world that’s obsessed with social media.

Thanks to marketing automation, it doesn’t have to be.

You can automatically share content from your blog to social media without lifting a finger.

Here’s how.

Start by creating an account with Zapier.

It’s a popular automation tool that connects thousands of different SaaS tools that you use daily.

Once you make an account, click on the explore tab and head to the “Marketers” section:

Next, you should be able to locate the following “Zap,” or automation process:

This is legitimately a lifesaver.

If social media is the bane of your existence, you will save hours every week from trying to post and come up with new ideas.

Click “Use This Zap” to start a new automation workflow.

Next, you’ll have to link your public blog RSS feed.

If you’re not sure what that is, you can set up an RSS feed in just a few minutes with this Google tutorial.

After plugging in your feed URL, you can head to the “Action” step, which is where your social post will happen:

All you have to do here is link your account, and you’re good to go.

So next time you publish a blog post on your site, Zapier will trigger this automation process and craft a tweet for you instantly.

You can use this automation technique for all of your social channels. If you don’t want to use an RSS feed, Zapier allows you to connect WordPress too:

Ditch the hours spent crafting tweets and social posts. Automate it instead.

2. Only Focus on the Important Emails

If you’re like me, you spend too much time checking your email.

It’s obviously not because you want to, but simply because your inbox is jammed with emails.

HubSpot’s latest research shows us that marketers spend an average of nearly four hours just sending emails every week.

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That doesn’t include checking your email. That’s just typing and sending emails.

Brutal.

Email sucks. It’s boring and often filled with junk.

Yet, your iPhone is blowing up every two minutes from new emails, distracting you from the task at hand and killing your productivity.

So, how do you only get notifications for the important stuff? How do you cut out those nearly 4 hours of sending emails each week?

By automating your email process.

In Zapier, you can set up an automation workflow that allows you to get notified only when specific people email you:

Do you have important clients that email you frequently?

Or even employees that ask time-sensitive questions?

Then you need this. It’s extremely easy to set up, too.

Click “Use This Zap” to get started. Be sure to connect your Gmail account to Zapier and select your work email as the inbox.

Next, you need to type in the search string that will trigger this process.

For example, you can enter a few different search strings:

Try using direct email addresses from clients, employees, or even another boss (like your significant other).

You can also set up simple subject lines like “from:client name.”

Once you save this automation workflow, you’ll get pinged on Slack whenever an important email comes in.

Meaning you can respond instantly and only spend time on the most important emails.

So silence your email notifications, get some work done, and respond to the big-ticket clients.

Stop spending four hours weekly on email with this automation tip.

3. Automate your lead flow

Collecting leads is awesome.

You just drove some quality traffic to your site and converted a few of them.

Great. Now what?

Do you download the data and upload it into a CRM? Or into your favorite email campaign platform?

Lead flow processes can quickly become tedious and time-consuming.

From downloading, formatting, and uploading lists, you could be spending hours on it weekly.

Plus, if you don’t follow up with a lead fast, you risk losing them.

Automation is critical when it comes to perfecting a lead flow.

From automatically sending nurturing emails to uploading lists without doing the work, you can quickly cut down your hours.

One of my favorite Zapier integrations is adding new sales leads directly to a CRM or email platform without doing the actual work.

You have much more important things to do besides uploading lists and creating new campaigns.

With Zapier, you can actually automatically upload new leads from your site or social media ads directly into a CRM or email campaign.

Zapier is great for this simply because of the integrations they offer.

You can connect it with the top services like MailChimp, HubSpot, and more.

If you use it, they most likely have it.

This is one of my favorite Zaps:

If you don’t use Constant Contact or Gravity Forms, don’t fret.

You can connect nearly anything with Zapier.

This is just an example of two integrations that are amazing.

If you set up this Zap, you are automating the process of lead gen to nurturing without ever having to worry about it.

With your favorite email platform, you can usually turn on settings to send newly-added leads a welcome email, too.

Meaning you are virtually skipping these steps:

Checking your leads, downloading the lead list, formatting it for your platform, uploading it, creating and sending a new campaign.

That’s potentially hours of work every week.

If you’re a lazy business owner like me, you can get tons of value from automating lead flows.

Conclusion

Running a small business is one of the toughest ventures you can embark on. Besides kids.

Don’t get me started.

From sleepless nights (or weeks) to chasing the ever elusive “work-life balance,” you’re always strapped for time. Your plate is constantly full to the point where nothing gets done.

Your workload exceeds human capabilities. And unless you’ve got the hookup on some new age brain transplant technology, you’ve only got one option:

Automation.

If you notice that tasks are piling up and taking up your time, you need to automate.

Do you want your business to have any shot at scaling and achieving new growth? If so, you’ve gotta cut out the junk that, though necessary, doesn’t directly contribute to growth.

But you can’t ignore it full scale. You just need to automate it, filter it out, or delete it entirely.

Freeing up time doesn’t just save you time. It can also help make you a lot more money in the long run.
 

About Kissmetrics

Kissmetrics combines behavioral analytics with email automation. Our software tracks actions of your users across multiple devices allowing you to analyze, segment and engage your customers with automatic, behavior-based emails in one place. We call it Customer Engagement Automation. Get, keep and grow more customers with Kissmetrics.

 

 

About the Author: Brad Smith is the founder of Codeless, a B2B content creation company. Frequent contributor to Kissmetrics, Unbounce, WordStream, AdEspresso, Search Engine Journal, Autopilot, and more.

Use the Order Button Above and get a similar or related assignment. Contact our live support team for any assistance or inquiry.

7 Trials and Tribulations Of Email Outreach

It’s the grand old way of getting your website noticed online, but despite its long-in-the-tooth reputation, the effectiveness of email outreach is showing no signs of slowing down – despite what some experts might have us believe.

An old-fashioned email campaign can seem like the loneliest method of promotion available in the 21st Century. It’s not unusual to write thousands of outreach emails knowing full well that well over half of your messages will never even be read.

Neil Patel believes that a reasonable expectation from an outreach campaign is to get around five links for every 100 emails sent, amounting to a success rate of 5%. Meaning that 95% of the time you spend composing messages and hitting that ‘send’ button will be a fruitless endeavor.

So why do we bother? In a world where cold emailing is heavily frowned upon, and a third of all emails are opened based solely on whether the recipient likes the subject line or not, you could be forgiven for thinking that it might all be just a waste of time and resources.

However, this isn’t the case. Email outreach is an extremely powerful tool when correctly utilized, but effective email etiquette is a minefield – and many people struggle to run engaging campaigns.

So it’s for this reason that I’ve decided to offer a list of the seven biggest trials and tribulations that face email marketers today.

1. Making Sure your Campaign isn’t too Spammy

It’s the first and perhaps the biggest point to make. Absolutely nobody wants to be on the receiving end of a cold email. They’re annoying, irritating, frustrating and every other synonym of awful. Think about cold calls – where you pick up the phone and listen to somebody with no idea of whom you are speaking from a script with the intent of getting you to give their business money. It’s soulless and often insulting. The cold email is just that in written form.

Like with many websites that aim to expand their network, we try to avoid the risks that come with cold emailing by adding a personal touch to our campaigns. It’s a tricky business because personalization takes time, but if you treat your target audience with respect, it can pay dividends.

In a bid to reach out to people personally, while keeping our quantity of outreach emails high, we’ve constructed a template to customize based on the individual we’re contacting. This enables us to utilize a personal touch that impersonal general marketing emails are devoid of. Here is the one we’re using:

Hey NAME,

Hope you’re doing well!

My name is Dmytro Spilka, and I’m a Head Wizard at Solvid, an Inbound Marketing Blog based in London, UK.

I recently stumbled upon your post on POST TITLE (LINK TO THE POST), and found it incredibly useful. In the post (point #7 to be precise), you mentioned a POST THEY’VE MENTIONED by NAME OF THE PERSON THEY’VE MENTIONED. Although it’s a great resource, it feels slightly outdated and incomplete to some extent.

Anyway, the reason I’m contacting is that I’ve recently put together YOUR POST TITLE (YOUR POST LINK). SOMETHING UNIQUE ABOUT YOUR POST. Basically, did everything to create the ultimate go-to resource.

In fact, our post has been recommended by Rand Fishkin (founder of Moz), Brian Dean of Backlinko and Smart Blogger (BE HONEST HERE).

I would really appreciate if you could please take a second to scan our post and see whether it could be of any help to you and your audience as an additional resource.

Apologies for eating up your time!

Best Wishes,

Dmytro

Web: https://solvid.co.uk
Email: [email protected]

As you can see above, we’re using a few personal touches.

  • The actual name of the person. Believe it or not, a lot of ‘outreachers’ use phrases like Dear Webmaster, Hello Editor, Hi Sir, etc.
  • We’re mentioning the exact location in the article where they’ve mentioned a resource. This shows that we’ve actually looked at the article and know what it’s about.
  • We’re using influencers to add value to our resource. Be honest here. If, in fact, your post hasn’t been featured or mentioned by anyone – don’t make it up – this can easily undermine your credibility.

2. Nailing the Subject Line

The importance of the subject line can’t be emphasized enough. This is your big hook to get the recipients to read on – and there are plenty of theories behind the recipe for an irresistible heading.

Convince and Convert state that 69% of recipients report emails as spam based solely on the subject line, while 35% open emails because of the allure of the heading. These are substantial figures that underline the importance of the few words that pop up first in your recipients’ inboxes – so nailing your subject line is imperative.

So what’s the secret formula behind the perfect email subject? Throwing their two cents into the ring is Adestra, which believes that the use of words like ‘Alert’, ‘Daily’ and ‘Free Delivery’ bring marketers the best responses.

However, our outreach campaigns try to show honesty without the use of superfluous superlatives – our subject line is simple:

‘Typical outreach email’ shows that we have no interest in click-baiting our intended audience. It also indicates that we have enough faith in our service that we don’t need to rely on tricks of the trade to lure prospective customers in. That being said, email subjects will vary on a case-by-case basis. Hence, we’d suggest to A/B test different subject lines to see which one performs better. In our tests, ‘Typical outreach email’ performed much better, improving an open rate by roughly 20-30%.

3. Optimizing your Open Rate

You could be marketing the best product or service on the web, but if your open rate is lacking then it means that your recipients aren’t interested enough to even look beyond the subject line of your emails.

According to research conducted by MailChimp, the average open rate varies between 20 – 25% – depending on the industry you’re in. This is unsurprising and disappointing in equal measure, but it’s also a great benchmark to incorporate a bit of trial and error into your campaign.

All sorts of factors can influence your open rate, from the aforementioned subject line, to the relevance of your target audience, to the time of day that you send your emails out (no, really – RingLead have compiled stats that suggest the sweet spot for posting outreach mail is between 2 pm and 5 pm on a Tuesday afternoon).

Premium services like reply.io, buzzstream and outreach.io not only offer the opportunity to personalize automatic outreach emails, but also provide very useful stats on open rates and click-through rates, allowing you to monitor what aspects of your campaign is working better than others and giving you the chance to fine-tune your messages.

For instance, here are some open rate stats for our latest outreach campaign:

In all honestly, 71% open rate is pretty decent (even our regular email subscribers aren’t that active).

4. Sussing out Whom to Target

Figuring out whom to target is risky business – if you pick the wrong recipients, then you’re in danger of wasting valuable time.

There are many great services that can scout out relevant email addresses to aid your campaign, and hunter.io is a good example that offers a free email search engine (albeit with limited usage for non-premium members).

A good alternative to hunter.io is Voila Norbert.

To find an email address, simply enter the name of the person and a domain name of the company they work at.

Although the information isn’t 100% accurate all the time, this way of finding the right email address can save a lot of time, especially if that particular domain has hundreds of registered emails.

5. Finding the actual recipients

It pays to be attentive in finding which website staff to email – if you believe your blog has a resource that you feel should be added to a website’s list, you could contact the author of an existing article in which you believe your site would make a good reference point. However, a generic ask for a link would not bring the numbers, as it’s likely to be regarded as spam. Answer the following questions before asking for an inclusion of your link:

  1. Is the site relevant to my resource?
  2. Is my resource of an exceptional quality and is better than the rest?
  3. Does the site look trustworthy?
  4. Do I have the name of the website owner or the author of the article?
  5. Do I have the right email address?
  6. When was it published? If the article is 4-5 years old, it’s very unlikely that someone will update it for the sake of one additional resource.
  7. Did I use enough personal touches? See point 1 for examples.

If only 2-3 of these questions fall under the category of ‘No’ or ‘Negative’ then it’s not worth the effort outreaching – simply because your email will appear spammy.

You need to be observant – if you’re targeting an author of an article that you feel your work would benefit as a reference, be sure to check whether the author is a guest poster or a member of staff for the business. If it’s the former, you’d be better off contacting the editor – though getting in touch with the original content producer may lead to your work being linked in future publications.

Many websites now shy away from publishing emails of editors and content producers in favor of using website contact forms, but if you’re looking to get your posts or resources noticed, the best way of having your message read by those who matter is to find the details of the content producers themselves.

6. Keeping on Top of Your Follow-Ups

It can be easy to neglect a follow up to your outreach email. If the recipient didn’t want to reply the first time, why would they bother a second time? While chasing a less responsive target may seem counter-intuitive, it works as a great simple call to action and indicates to them that you’re serious about showing off your work.

Our follow up template is a simplified reminder of our original email – our intention is to drop a subtle reminder that we have a great product that would benefit the user and their readership:

Hey NAME,

Just a quick follow-up on a message I sent earlier (attached below) about our awesome POST TITLE (LINK TO THE POST): I would really appreciate to hear back from you.

Best Wishes,

Dmytro

Web: https://solvid.co.uk
Email: [email protected]

We use the reply function on our initial email for ease of reference for the recipient, while including a transparent subject line informing our target that we’re simply following up to an original email.

It’s important to refrain from trigger-happy follow-ups. Becoming a nuisance outreacher risks alienating your audience and even damaging your reputation. Therefore, we wouldn’t suggest going for more than 2 follow-ups after the initial outreach email.

7. Managing the Scale of Outreach

The business of outreach is a long-winded one that carries no guarantee of success. You could invest days of hard work into emailing 1000s of recipients and receive no interest in return.

Luckily you can maximize your chances of success and minimize the time spent chasing poor leads by doing a little bit of market research.

Try to understand who your target would be and whether they would have any affiliates or backlinks that would also benefit from utilizing your work or service.

It’s better to have 100 quality recipients than 1,000 poorly researched ones – this is how we got 20-25% success rate of our latest email outreach campaign.

We like to run tidy outreach campaigns, so take the preemptive measure of identifying leads to investigate to assess whether associated websites would benefit from using our work. If we feel that they would, we add their information to our spreadsheet and invite them to take a look at a relevant piece that would make a good reference point.

Conclusion

So there you have it – with some good prep and honest marketing, the age-old slog of email outreach doesn’t have to be such a pain.

As long as you’re outreaching to a relevant personal with a resource that can potentially bring value to that website’s audience while keeping your emails reasonably personal (without being too creepy), you should see a positive return for the time spent.

Now it’s time to get out there and put your website on the map!

 

About Kissmetrics

Kissmetrics combines behavioral analytics with email automation. Our software tracks actions of your users across multiple devices allowing you to analyze, segment and engage your customers with automatic, behavior-based emails in one place. We call it Customer Engagement Automation. Get, keep and grow more customers with Kissmetrics.

 

 

About the Author: Dmytro is a Head Wizard at Solvid, a creative inbound marketing & software development agency in London, UK. His work has been featured and mentioned in a wide range of publication, including The Next Web, Business2Community, Huff Post, Crazy Egg, Sitepoint, SEMRush, and more.

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6 Engagement Marketing Metrics & How to Improve Them

“Engagement.” It’s a term often dismissed as “fluffy” that lacks true value towards primary business goals.

But we live in a world where customers can engage with us in real time. And with this comes an expectation of delivering the best experience possible.

It’s not just about letting your customers feel heard. Engagement metrics, while often seen as “vanity metrics,” are important indicators of how well your marketing is performing.

In this article, I’ll share six engagement metrics you must measure throughout the funnel to ensure your marketing is working. I’ll also share actionable tactics on how to improve them and, as a result, your bottom line.

1. Content Reach

You put in the grind and work hours to create a superb piece of content. You know it will serve your audience, but…

Crickets.

While often considered a vanity metric, Reach is still a great indicator of your content’s performance. If you’re promoting visual media through social platforms or blog posts, Reach dictates how well it will perform.

A simple definition of Reach is: “the total number of people who see your content.” It’s a metric that indicates the unique users and readers who see the content you promote.

There are a few elements to consider when measuring Reach:

  1. Unique users: As explained above, this is the standard method of measuring the reach of your content. Typically, unique users are measured through a 30-day window (thanks to cookies.) Bear in mind that not all views are created equally: a visitor to a landing page for a lead magnet will be more valuable than blog post readership.
  2. Geo: Understanding where in the world people are consuming your content helps you allocate budget and resources effectively.
  3. Device: Are your users reading your content on a desktop or a mobile device? Understanding how people consume your content will help you optimize and format the design experience of your content.

Another metric to keep an eye on is social shares. Calculated as part of your Reach, shares can provide an indicator on how well your content is resonating with your audience.

How to Boost Content Reach

Thanks to algorithm updates, organic reach is now tougher than ever. Last month, we saw the biggest ever drop in Facebook organic reach to date.

So how do you combat this? The most obvious way is through paid promotion. Many brands are allocating budget to boost the reach of their content.

Sponsored posts on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, are more popular than ever. For example, Barry Feldman invested in sponsored Facebook posts to announce his new eBook. While this post only generated 100 organic views, his paid efforts reached over 2,400 users:

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Amplifying content using sponsored social posts and other paid media can be an effective way of extending reach, as well as generating a fresh stream of traffic. When it comes to earned media, influencer marketing is more popular than ever. In fact, 84% of marketers planned on running at least one influencer marketing campaign in 2017.

Consider starting by engaging with micro-influencers first. Unlike celebrities or public figures, they’re individuals who operate in specific verticals.

Their follower size is between 1,000 to 100,000 – which makes them more affordable and accessible than traditional influencers with an audience of 1M or over. They also tend to have a much higher rate of engagement.

Stitch Fix uses Instagram as a method of collaborating with micro-influencers. In the example below, they linked to a Q&A post with a fashion blogger to add value to their community while tapping into a wider audience:

“I want every woman to know that being fashionable is as much about confidence as it is about style.” Read more about how @sassyredlipstick embraces her shape at the link in bio. #MyBodyMyStyle

A post shared by Stitch Fix (@stitchfix) on Feb 6, 2017 at 7:30am PST

Identify the micro-influencers relevant to your brand, and then engage with them via social media before reaching out. Alternatively, get connected with influencers quickly using a platform like Upfluence or Hype Factory.

2. Time on Page vs. Scroll Depth

When you create an awesome piece of content, you want people to read it. However, if it takes ten minutes to read and users are only spending two minutes on the page, this might indicate a deeper issue.

“Average time on page” is a Google Analytics metric that helps you understand how users are engaging with your content. Before we cover this metric, it’s important first to understand average session duration.

Calculate average session duration by dividing total duration of all sessions (in seconds) by the number of sessions:

Total session duration (secs) / Number of sessions

The session duration for an individual user varies by how a user engaged with the last page of a session. For example, if a page contains a video, the session duration is tracked until the moment they hit “play.” Otherwise, the time spent on the page does not count towards the total session duration. Analytics Edge puts it best:

“If you track things like file downloads with events, and if a visitor downloads a file at the end of the last page, then the session duration is calculated to the time of that event (note: This does not happen if the event is a non-interaction type).”

So, why is “average time on page” such a tricky metric to measure?

“Time on page” and “time on site” are measured between timestamps of hits. So, if a user bounces, no time is recorded.

Furthermore, time on page is recorded even when a window or tab is inactive. This means that time on page is an average of users who didn’t bounce from that page.

Many marketers prefer monitoring scroll depth to time on page. It can provide a more accurate engagement metric for content, as the further someone scrolls through content, the more engaged they’re likely to be.

The truth is, you should measure both. Scroll depth alone can be misleading, as many users scroll through a page before deciding whether or not to continue reading.

You can access on-page metrics on Google Analytics using the Chrome extension (In-Page Analytics was removed from the GA interface this year.) Another solution is CrazyEgg or Hotjar’s Scrollmap technology, which shows you where on your page users are most engaged.

How to Boost Content Engagement

The more time people spend on your content, the higher the chance they are to convert.

Start treating your content as a marketing asset. Run regular A/B tests on pages with the large opportunities. You can find these opportunities by identifying pages that generate large amounts of traffic with low engagement. Head to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages on Google Analytics to access this data.

When Alex Turnbull wanted to improve engagement on the Groove blog, he ran an A/B test to see what effect storytelling would have on readership:

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The result? A 300% increase in people scrolling to the bottom of the page.

Look at your content and put yourself in your user’s shoes. Where are you failing to get their attention? At what stages might they get bored of your content?

Identify these potential points of friction, and then experiment with different headlines, introductions, and design layouts to improve engagement.

3. Social Comments & Conversation Rate

Reach is a great indicator of how many eyeballs view your content. Engagement with that content is often neglected and is arguably the most important aspect of social media marketing.

Therefore, comments should be regularly measured. Not only that but the overall sentiment of the conversation (i.e., positive or negative.)

Comment count is an exciting metric but can be meaningless without context. You must also measure the conversation rate. Calculate your conversation rate using this formula:

Total comments / Followers * 100 = Conversation rate

For example, a post that generates 30 comments may not seem like much to some. But for a Facebook page of only 250 likes, this number is significant. Using the formula above, the conversation rate for this post is 12%.

However, not all of your followers may see your post, and the above calculation doesn’t account for “non-followers” who see your content. With this in mind, another way of calculating conversation rate is against total reach:

Total comments / Reach * 100 = Conversation rate

With the above calculation, you’re measuring engagement against the number of users who actually see your post i.e. total impressions.

This metric helps answer the question: is this post interesting enough to initiate a discussion around?

How to Boost Conversation Rate

Using the question above, you can assume that the higher the conversation rate, the more your social content can be considered “interesting.”

Therefore, to increase engagement with your brand on social media, your content must be more interesting!

Ok, great. But “interesting” is subjective. What may be interesting to one audience may be boring to another.

To find out what content to create, look at the data. Look at your social media analytics over the last year and see where the spikes in engagement and reach occurred. Ask yourself:

  • What’s so interesting about this content?
  • Does the caption/headline hook in your users?
  • Is the image funny/inspiring?
  • Was the topic topical, or emotionally driven?

Use Unmetric’s free Discover tool to uncover popular content around specific topics. Search for relevant keywords/hashtags, select “Organic” under Post Type and then sort by “Most Comments:”

Using this approach, you can let the market tell you what it finds interesting. Use the data available to you and do more of what works.

4. Brand Name Search

Many marketers consider “branding” another fluffy term. It’s still important, and can often be the first step towards a sale.

The fastest way to measure your brand awareness is through brand query searches. To uncover this metric, head to Google Search Console and navigate to the Queries page and select the “Impressions” box:

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This page gives you an accurate estimate of how many people are searching for your brand name.

Other ways of measuring brand awareness include:

  • Social mentions: Search your brand name on Twitter and look at the total number of tweets in contains. Alternatively, use a tool like Mention to monitor social posts that mention your brand.
  • Inbound links: Using Webmaster Tools or Ahrefs can show you which pages link to your website.
  • Reviews: Sites like GetApp and Trustpilot can give you an idea of how people rate your brand’s products and services.

How to Boost Brand Awareness

The more content you produce, the more your brand awareness will grow over time.

Use retargeting ads to maintain top-of-mind awareness. Use Google’s display network and Facebook Ads to serve ads to those who have visited your website.

Retargeting ads can also help increase conversions using the Facebook pixel. For example, Expedia uses Facebook retargeting to capture users who viewed hotels without booking:

Content creation and PR also helps with brand building efforts. If your content is useful, entertaining or insightful, you’ll increase brand awareness over time.

5. Email Marketing Engagement

Email marketing is still one of the most effective marketing channels. When it comes to measuring engagement, there are:

  1. Open rate: One of the top metrics measured by all marketers. Put simply; this tells you the total number of people who open your email.
  2. Clickthrough rate: The percentage of recipients who click on one or more links on your email. Calculated by dividing total (or unique) clicks by the number of delivered emails and multiplying that by 100.
  3. Conversion rate: The percentage of email recipients who clicked and completed an action on the landing page.
  4. Forwarding/sharing rate: The percentage of recipients who forward your email or click a “share” call-to-action.

Conversion rate is especially important. This metric is the biggest indicator of email marketing success. The ultimate goal of your email is to make a sale or persuade leads to take the next step in the funnel.

Using a tool like Return Path can help give you further insights into how your recipients are engaging with your emails. It shows you which devices and browser’s users use, as well as insights on when and where they view your emails.

Furthermore, it allows you to segment emails by demographics, mobile use, and custom tags.

How to Boost Email Engagement

The best approach to improving your email marketing results is to optimize each stage of the journey.

Open rates, for example, can be optimized by testing subject lines and which days of the week to send them. It’s also worth segmenting the users who open them most frequently and analyzing their behavior.

Many factors will affect clickthrough rates. For example, if your opening sentence doesn’t hook readers in, they’re less likely to read the rest of the email.

But your main focus should be on conversion rate. Test the following elements to improve conversions and, ultimately, ROI:

  • Opening sentence: Hook the reader in and guide them towards the call-to-action
  • Calls-to-action: Experiment with different text/buttons, e.g., “Click here” vs. “Get your free guide now.”
  • Landing page: Ensure the copy of the landing page compliments the email copy. The journey should flow seamlessly.

The example below from Freshbooks used social proof to reduce anxiety when releasing a new integration. It featured a testimonial from a customer, including a headshot to add an extra layer of personalization:

It’s the same approach you would take when optimizing a landing page. Test every element, from subject lines (headlines) to call-to-action text and buttons. Remove any unnecessary elements to make your emails as clear and persuasive as possible.

6. Net Promoter Score

As marketers, we’re always striving to make our audience happier. Net promoter score (or NPS) allows us to measure how happy they truly are.

Developed by Fred Reichheld of Bain & Company, NPS is a measure of how likely a customer is to recommend your brand.

Customers are categorized into three different segments: Promoters (score of 9 to 10), Passives (score of 7 to 8) and Detractors (score of 0 to 6.)

NPS can be calculated by simply asking the question, “How likely would you be to recommend our product/service?” Use this question within your website, SaaS platform or in an email survey.

How to Boost NPS

To improve NPS is to improve customer satisfaction. It’s a score that indicates how well your entire business is doing. Your goal is to generate more promoters, while converting passives and detractors into promoters.

It all boils down to delivering a delightful experience from the very beginning of the marketing funnel all the way to your product and service delivery.

NPS shows your product and marketing teams what users love about your product and where their pain points are. Use customer development to uncover where these sticking points are for your detractors.

So, then, the question is: what do you do with your promoters?

Referral and ambassador programs can turn happy customers into an entirely new acquisition engine.

Lululemon is a great example of this in action. They empower their ambassadors to lead yoga classes all over the world, and get support directly from the brand in the form of guidelines and content:

The key is to make them feel a part of something. Give your promoters the tools to easily create user-generated content (UGC) around your brand and to spread your message.

Conclusion

While engagement is often associated with “vanity metrics,” they can still be a key indicator for success.

The fact is your audience is active on many different platforms at once. Not just your blog, platform or website. The question is how do you get them onto your own media and into your marketing funnel?

Nurturing your audience on the platforms they’re active is the best way to do this. Improve each touchpoint on every channel you communicate with your audience on. This is how you convert attention into traffic & leads.

How do you currently measure the conversation with your customers? What are you doing to keep them engaged?

About the Author: Juuso Lyytikkä is the Head of Growth at Funnel.io. Funnel is a marketing analytics tool for online marketers that collects data from ALL advertising platforms and allows marketers to send and visualize this data anywhere. Book a demo to get a free trial.

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