A dirty list is a cancer to your business…

by | Jan 25, 2018 | Actionable SEO Tips

Digital MarketingIt’s a New Year and a fresh start for all of us, which is why we want to briefly recap the top takeaways of 2017 that we discussed at the end of last year.

We hope these insights will help you lay a solid foundation for your campaigns and the success of your business in the year ahead.

A dirty list is a cancer to your business

2017 has been yet another year in which we saw many new developments in the world of digital marketing. While all these “shiny new objects” have given us many reasons to get excited, as digital marketers we must always remember the foundation of what makes our businesses work.

I’m talking about your email list. Since 85% of your revenue likely comes from email, nurturing your list and staying at the forefront of best practices is something you need to hold close to your chest. Doing this will safeguard the future of your business.

We have now reached a point where getting your email into a customer’s inbox is becoming more and more difficult. Part of the problem is that sending emails can put the core of our business at risk. If you are sending emails to a substantial list size, the risk increases.

This may sound like scaremongering or an exaggeration, but more and more businesses are now being blocked from getting into readers’ inboxes, or worse, blacklisted and labelled as spam. In a previous MasterCast, we talked at length about key components that can improve your deliverability and help prevent your emails from being marked as spam, like testing your email template design and easing the reader into the conversation (putting thought into the content in your entry and reengagement gauntlets).

Something that needs to be highlighted right now is spam guards, like Spamhaus. These spam guards can shut down your business with the flick of a finger. Unfortunately, once this has happens, there is no legal recourse to get around it.

Spam guards primarily look at spam traps, which are email addresses that are inactive or they don’t engage. A simple way to work around this and to keep your list (and IP) clean, is to keep a close eye on list engagement. Really focus on your most engaged readers – those who have clicked and purchased in the last 180 days. The ones who don’t fall into these two categories should be dropped onto a reengagement list (with a different IP).

The topic of email deliverability certainly is something that we’ll keep coming back to because the future of our business depends on it. So, keep your eyes peeled for future articles, webinars and podcasts on this very important subject.

The bottom line: A dirty list is a cancer to your business. – Brian York (Managing Director)

Strong creative is the cornerstone of your campaigns

No amount of button pushing can replace the impact of strong creative. This includes good copy for ads and landing pages, clear and easy-to-use landing pages, striking landing page design, strong promotions and solid offers.

Try as you may, without all of these elements working together and supporting each other, your campaigns will struggle to succeed. – Natalie Eagling (Account Director)

Turn things around with Social Media login options

Add a social media login option on your landing pages (like a Facebook login button), instead of only using a regular signup box. This can increase your signup rates on Facebook by 20% and decrease cost per lead by 16%.

A major benefit of doing this is that people tend to use their primary email address when they log onto their social media accounts, instead of a redundant or secondary email address.

By collecting the primary (or preferred) email address during signup, you improve your chances of seeing more orders or paid conversions further down the line. – Brian Swift (Account Manager)

Artificial Intelligence and the art of making marketing decisions

Artificial Intelligence is a powerful tool that can help you to better understand who your customers are – how they behave on the web and what their preferences are. A platform like Lytics enables you to gather far more granular information than what you’d get from simply looking at purchase histories. You get a snapshot of who the individual person is – what sites they visit and what their affinities are, etc.

Having access to this “three dimension” picture of your customers allows you to hyper-target your marketing efforts towards individuals with specific and tailored content, promotions and products, creating a very personalized and unique customer experience. – Ryan Beagen (Director of Operations)

Chatbots: The future of connecting with your customers

Chatbots, like Facebook Messenger bots, have evolved extremely fast in 2017. There is a number platforms that you can use to put these bots on your page including Flow XO, Chat Fuel and ManyChat.

One of the main benefits of using Chatbots is that they allow you to collect an email address in the Messenger platform. You can also send these email addresses straight to an email-broadcasting app like MailChimp or IRIS (application built at The Agora), which enables you to drop new names into your email funnel.

Another great feature of Chatbots, like ManyChat, is that you can start your conversation with a user on your website and can keep it going while the user (potential new customer!) is on the move.

By keeping the conversation active, you can continue to send your customer broadcasts and promotions, and create a single uninterrupted experience for the customer using just one channel. – Amy Webster (Marketing Production Associate)

Repurposing good creative and content

As content publishers and marketers, we often think that we must come up with new thoughts and ideas for every new social media post, article, video or podcast. That’s because there tends to be a different audience for different channels.

However, if you already have good copy and creative, repurposing existing content for different channels allows you to be more aggressive – getting your message to the right person at the right time through the most appropriate channel, whether it is a video, a podcast or a social media post.

Repurposing good content is especially important for SEO. So make sure you have a transcript for your webinars, podcasts and webinars. It will give you a better chance at greater visibility to potential customers. – Scotti Cutlip (Product Manager)

Popups: Is this golden goose egg a thing of the past?

Popups have been around for almost as long as the Internet itself. Customers and website visitors hate them, but they work. Every site that we audited this year that did not have a popup when we first looked at it saw an increase in conversions of up to 50% after we installed a popup.

The biggest concern around popups right now, is the fact that they’ll be under a lot of scrutiny with Google launching its new built-in Ad Blocker come early 2018. We’ll have to put your creative thinking caps on to find new and inventive ways to work around these Google changes. – Colm O’Sullivan (Online Marketing Associate)

Mobile indexing could be an SEO game-changer

The growing importance of mobile should not be underestimated, especially if you consider that the latest iPhone has a processor as powerful as a MacBook Pro. This proves that the small device people carry in their pockets are becoming more and more powerful.

Google has also recently rolled out mobile indexing. Where in the past Google indexed the desktop version of your website, moving forward they will be doing it from mobile sites. This means Google will create and rank its search listings based on the mobile version of your content, even for listings that are shown to desktop users.

Mobile indexing will certainly have a big impact on how we approach SEO and create content specifically aimed at improving ranking. – Brendan White (Digital Marketing Associate)

Know your tribe: Network with other likeminded marketers

It’s impossible for a single marketer or even a team of marketers to figure out all the big wins, when they operate in isolation. With platforms like AdWords and Facebook rapidly evolving, working and networking with likeminded marketers will help you leverage your own success by learning from their successes and failures. – Tye Binuyo (Account Manager)

Avoid the disruption of account suspensions by diversifying

We spend a lot of time as marketers talking about the “next big thing”, and that’s great because “the next big thing” could potentially have a big impact on our business. However, having spent a lot of time in 2017 working through numerous compliance hurdles, I realized the value of diversification.

It’s great to test offers, copy and creative, and you should continue to do so. However, if you only have one source of traffic then all your efforts could amount to nothing, especially if that single source of traffic takes exception to your copy or offer, which can lead to account suspension.

Diversify your acquisition offers. Do one-step and two-step and don’t rely too much on just one network. If you notice that most of your traffic and leads come from one network, your next test should be to move to another network. – Christina Clapp (Account Manager)

Go back to what you know “works”

It’s important to always remember the core of what makes direct response businesses “work”. All these shiny new objects are important for lead generation, but they will have no effect if your email funnel doesn’t work. Since 80-85% of our revenue still comes from email, this is where our focus should be.

We’ve spent years perfecting our email campaigns, but we shouldn’t think that we have it all figured out. There is always something new to learn and something we can do better. That applies to automation and gauntlet series, segmentation of your lists and focusing on using email for testing. – Grant Perry (Associate Publisher)