Tips & Tricks

Email Marketing Tips & Tricks

Happy 2021! We’re 2 weeks into it, and it just feels really great not to have to say the year “2020” anymore. Not only are we putting the negativity and bad vibes of 2020 behind us, we’re putting bad email marketing practices behind us, as well. We have a few tips and tricks up our sleeve that we figured we’d share with you. Let’s toast together to better email marketing in 2021!

Your New Year’s Resolution

In a time of highly digital experiences due to current day trends as well as the pandemic, email marketing is as important as ever before. In some cases, it’s a marketer’s only way of communicating with his or her potential and current customers. But…email marketing is only as effective as the tactics used to send it, and having (and keeping) a successful email presence is about as tough as sticking with your new year’s resolution. You have to work for it, by creating and maintaining quality content, imagery, and strategy to really get your target customers to stop, read, get to know your company or product, and ultimately purchase.

Raise a Glass to the Stats

We’re not kidding when we say email, and email marketing, is being used more than ever before. We also know you’re aware of that, since you’re probably getting at least 6 emails a day (at the absolute minimum), and about 3 of them are not from coworkers, friends, or family, but from stores and online businesses. 4.3 billion email accounts send 196 billion emails every day, and, 91% of U.S. consumers use email every day. Not only are a ton of emails being sent – but many of them are marketing focused. And, marketers trust that they’re working. 85% of US retailers see email marketing as a highly effective tactic to acquire new customers, and 89% of marketers say email marketing is their primary channel for new leads. And they’re right in their positive opinions of email marketing, as 44% of those who received email marketing in 2020 purchased at least one product because of promotional messaging, and 71% of purchasing decisions were influenced by email.

In 2021 and 2022, email is expected to ramp up even more, with daily sent and received emails rising to 347 billion. Also in 2021, digital advertising channels (including email) will account for 46% of ad spend. Needless to say, we’re about to invest more time, money, and energy in email marketing campaigns, not less. And, in an era where forming customer relationships is made difficult with a lack of personal interaction, email is an excellent tool to create lasting impressions, without all the noise of other online web experiences or social media platforms. So, as a result, we should get well equipped and get our tactics in line for the email marketing world of 2021.

Don’t “Drop the Ball” (Unless it’s Midnight) with These Tips & Tricks

Messaging

Busy, stressed-out, hustling and bustling readers have become more interested in short, to the point, clear and concise emails. As the reader scans their phone while standing in the subway, walking into work, taking a break from a project, walking their dog, or waiting for their food delivery, they never have enough time to digest a ton of content. Short and sweet phrasing and messaging helps the reader process the email with ease. Consider using a unique and thought-provoking subject line that will catch them as they scroll through their inbox, but, be sure to form a bit of a relationship with your customer before using anything too out-there. Remember to create clear call-to-actions and arrange your messaging in a way that logically makes sense, so that readers can immediately tell what you want them to know and more importantly, what you want them to do.

Also, be a human, and remember that the person receiving your emails is one, too. Do more than just sell to them, but provide them with tips, experiences, and valuable information, while again, keeping the message short and showing that you value their limited time. Make sure you always acknowledge and answer responses as well, even if a response is not necessarily required. Let the human on the other end know you’ve received their message and that you appreciate their reply.

Tone

It’s always important to keep a branded, unique tone throughout your e-blasts or recurring marketing emails. Make sure your potential customers can easily recognize you, your brand, and your mission. Make them feel like they’re getting to know your company, and that they can trust you and what you have to offer them. Remember to consider how your target customer talks, thinks, and acts. What message and language would they most likely respond to?

Templates

Creating email templates isn’t only time-saving, but allows for a more consistent brand look and feel. Having certain brand elements within all of your outgoing emails will help your customers recognize you from the get-go. Templates can also help you include certain call-to-action elements, such as images, buttons, and links, and can help you incorporate social platforms, website, and additional company information.

Management

When managing your emails, it’s best to use groups and distribution lists instead of lumping everyone in the same category or viewing each person as a completely separate recipient. Using an email distribution service can help you get information out to targeted groups of people, and also allows you to easily eliminate uninterested prospects as they unsubscribe. Grouping and sorting your recipients also limits or completely removes the tendency to send mass emails and not consider the end user’s wants and needs. And don’t worry, you can segment your customers in many ways – by behaviors, demographics, purchase data, engagement, and more – the possibilities are pretty much endless. Most importantly, managing and sorting your emails will make for better reporting and tracking, ultimately improving future emails and practices.

Personalization

Using names, dates, companies, and other recipient data can help catch the attention of current and potential customers. But, be careful not to use too much data – you’ll risk coming off as creepy and the user will be more likely to hit “unsubscribe”.

Testing

“Don’t guess. Test.” 2020 didn’t work, so we’re trying again in 2021, and that’s okay. If you’re not getting traction with certain email subjects, messaging, imagery, or call-to-actions, try something different, and test again. Use A-B email testing to your advantage and find what works the best to catch the attention of your desired audience throughout your campaign.

So, are you ready to say goodbye to 2020 and make the most of your email marketing in 2021? Contact us and we help you brainstorm and execute your next smart email campaign.

How to Make the Most Out of Your Direct Mail

Are you a kindle girl, or a paperback jack and hardcover lover? It may be nice to “always have your books with you” with a digital user interface, but you really can’t beat the touch (and even the smell) of a real book. Ain’t nothing like the real thing. Who knows the journey it’s been on – whose hands it’s been held by? It’s exciting, authentic and holds a story, literally and figuratively. These, among many reasons, are why people ultimately prefer physical books. “67 percent of Americans have read a paperback in the past year, and 39 percent of people only opt for print. Contrastingly, 29 percent of readers use both formats, and only 7 percent exclusively consume books digitally,” (Oprah Magazine).

Does this idea transfer over to the physicality of direct mail? You bet. Unless we’re somehow completely avoiding technology (which these days is impossible), we’re constantly bombarded with digital ads and emails. To be specific, Americans receive an average of 605 emails a week, compared to only 16.8 pieces of mail. Basically, for every 36 emails coming in, only 1 piece of physical mail is received. Physical postcards, packages, pamphlets, or whatever else people can get their hands on all work to cut through the digital noise.

Pages…Chapters…No, Books of Stats

Not only does direct mail stand out among digital mail and ads, but its’ impact lasts much longer. “The average lifespan of an email is 17 seconds, compared to direct mail’s average lifespan of 17 days,” (Compu-Mail). What’s more? Direct mail has some serious ROI…

Direct Mail for Dummies

Here are some best practices if you’re new to direct mail or looking to improve:

Economize Words

As humans, we don’t like to read more than is absolutely necessary (unless we’re looking to get lost in a good book). The best direct mail uses clear and concise points. And, when in doubt, ask one simple question: Is this sentence absolutely crucial to the point/pitch? If it’s not, cut it. The best mailers are short and sweet.

Prioritize Graphics

The best parts of your favorite childhood book were the enjoyable illustrations and unique pictures. The same goes for eye-catching direct mail. Clean, attractive graphics can convey complex information while cutting down on copy. And, don’t forget to keep your brand standards in mind when picking graphics. It will help to remove the guesswork for your recipients.

Consider the End Product

While you’ll want to focus heavily on images and copy, remember to carefully consider format, envelope, finish, feel, etc. – and don’t be afraid to think outside the box (or in this case, the envelope). Remember, humans are tactile beings, and first impressions are lasting ones. Give them that nostalgic feeling they have when physically turning the page, or opening up an envelope or package.

Recommendations & Specifications

Trying to economize mail expenditures and use the most cost-effective option? If so, it’s best to follow the Post Office’s guidelines for postcard mailers:

Must be…

  • Rectangular
  • At least 3.5” high x 5” long x 0.007” thick
  • No more than 4.25” high x 6” long x 0.016” thick

Want to stand out and attract attention?

Consider opting for:

  • Larger postcards (6’’ x 9” or 6” x 11”)
  • Bi-folds, Tri-folds, Iron-cross formats, or Extra-large (9’’ x 12”) mailers
  • Dimensional mail that use boxes or bubble envelopes

Final Edits

A lot of writing, editing, rewriting, and finalizing goes into a good book. The same goes for direct mail. It’s only as good as the considerations you make before sending it. Here are some questions and considerations to keep in mind when creating your next piece of direct mail.

Questions

  • Who is my target audience?
  • What would resonate most personally with my audience?
  • What could I do with direct mail that hasn’t been done already?
  • Am I taking full advantage of personalization?
  • Can I convey my message faster/more clearly?
  • What tangible offering would best capture the attention of my audience?
  • How will they respond or access more information?
  • What response mechanisms will best serve my organization?

Considerations

  • Creativity counts – think about what will stand out in a crowded mailbox.
  • You’re only as good as your data – reliable list compilers make a difference.
  • Response is a direct reflection of the offer – make sure it’s enticing and engaging.
  • Provide as many options for response as possible – PURLs, QR Codes and BRCs are all great options.
  • Tie in a corresponding digital ad component when possible – multiple connections maximize results.

The Paperback & The Kindle

Remember when we mentioned that people saw some serious ROI from combining digital and direct mail? That’s because it’s the best of both worlds – the old nostalgic world, and the new fast-paced world – combined. Marketers have noticed some remarkable returns from the combo, like 40% conversion rates, 68% increased website visits, 63% increased response rates, 60% increased ROI, and more.

So, are you ready to get the most ROI out of your direct mail and cut through the digital noise? Contact us to start brainstorming your next campaign today.

How to Tackle Display Ads, Correctly

Simply leading a handful of players to the football field and saying “give it your best!” isn’t enough to win the game. Quality players in the right places – and a strategic game plan to back them – both go a long way.

The same idea can be applied to your display ads. You might have a few ads displayed in various places online, but if these ads are poorly placed, lack information, and are missing cohesive call to actions, visuals, and strategy, they won’t have the impact you’re hoping for. In other words, they’ll likely go unnoticed, and you won’t win over prospective customers. Whether they’re on a computer, tablet or mobile device, when set up and designed correctly, display ads can get your brand front and center quickly, with minimal effort and spend.

Game Play Stats

Generally, if display ads aren’t in your playbook, you may want to do a bit of re-strategizing. Over $500 billion is spent globally on advertising each year, and, not surprisingly, a large portion of that spend is used on the tried-and- true display ad – because it works. Currently, 84% of marketers are investing in display ads because they’re almost always within budget and can accurately target your specified audience (if you’re utilizing “good data”). According to SEMRush, Google’s Display Ad Network reaches 90% of global internet users and mobile advertising spend (which consists primarily of display ads) is now higher than TV advertising spend. Additionally, if you’re looking for lead conversions, retargeting ads are your best bet, with 53% more views than general display ads and 70% more likelihood of conversion.

The Rulebook

So, now that your eyes are on the end-zone, here are the key players to you should consider when creating your high-scoring display ads:

The Path to Touchdown – Include Eye-catching CTAs

The single most important thing on your ad is a relevant CTA that ties in directly with the creative. It can do wonders for your CTRs and provide a better sense of the info users can expect to see once they click on the ad. Most importantly, don’t overthink it. A simple button can get the job done.

Remember the Offensive Line – Design with a Mobile First Perspective

Did you know 70% of all ads are shown on mobile devices? That’s why we recommend designing your mobile ads first, then you can scale up into other sizes for desktops & laptops. Keep in mind that no matter what size you’re working with, brand logos and colors should be prevalent, each asset should have its own space, and you should avoid overlapping whenever possible.

Don’t Overcomplicate the Play – Keep Content Short & Sweet

While there are no strict limits, a general rule of thumb is that less is more when it comes to copy. Wordier ads can be harder to digest, especially if they’re viewed on smaller screens. And when in doubt, mirror your favorite billboard (or sideline) ad – short headlines that can be absorbed in just 1-2 seconds.

Recs & Specs

Although you may be tempted to utilize a trick play, it’s usually best to stick to the playbook. Here are the most common display ad sizes, with “leaderboard” size being the most popular (and we’re not surprised!).

And of course, along with leaderboard ad size, there are a few more MVPs. As a general rule, you should include the following sizes within any campaign:

Other Things to Consider Before Kickoff

While we’re not telling you to call an audible at the last second, there are still a few things to consider before kickoff. To eliminate the chance of a fumble, keep these practices in mind when finalizing your ads:

  • Acceptable file types include JPG, GIF or HTML5
  • Your max file size should be 150KB
  • Ads should be static or animated, non-expanding, non-rich media
  • JPG or GIF back-ups are required but shouldn’t be larger than 120KB
  • JPG or GIF back-ups must be submitted as files vs. embedded tags
  • 1 pt. borders are required and must be a color that’s different from the creative
  • Stay away from transparent backgrounds and anything that blends into screen content
  • GIF ads with partially black or white backgrounds need a border that’s different from the background
  • Strobing, flashing, or other distracting backgrounds are discouraged
  • Animation length should be 30 seconds or shorter
  • Animated GIF ads must have a frame rate of 5 frames per second or slower

Additional Draft Picks

Just like a good trade adds to an already prosperous team, display ads are even more effective when combined with omnichannel tactics like direct mail and/or email. In a study conducted by USPS, research showed that when combining direct mail and digital ads, 68% of industry professionals saw increased website visits, 63% noticed increased response rates, and 60% observed increased ROI.

The Hail Mary

In case you still need some visual representation, here are a few examples that follow the rulebook to a tee.

Ready to see your digital ad strategies cause a real spike in sales? Contact us to see how we can help with everything display ads, from creation to implementation.

Oh, and P.S…Go Eagles.

Say Goodbye to Duplicates and Hello to Increased Campaign Success

As marketers, we do everything we can to streamline our campaigns to run as smoothly and efficiently as possible. In the never-ending quest for peak performance, one of the most consistent frustrations we deal with is data quality.

We all know bad data is frustrating to deal with, but beyond that, the reality is that bad data represents wasted effort, and wasted effort represents a loss of money.

We have access to a ridiculous amount of data, and in many ways, that’s a good thing — more data translates to more targets, a better understanding of those targets, and more avenues by which we can interact with them.

The problem is that all data is not created equal. In addition to generally corrupt data, duplicate data is prevalent, including name and address, household, and family (if multiple families live at the same address). 

So, how do we ensure that in a world of abundance, we’re separating the wheat from the chaff?

Step 1: Educate Yourself with Regulative Processes

It’s worth doing some exploring and familiarizing yourself with postal address regulations and how they affect your deliverability rates. Luckily there are numerous services and mail management software that can help you through this.

For example, Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS) is a USPS developed software that ensures mailing addresses are complete and accurate. In other words, it determines if an address actually exists. CASS also standardizes an address into a format the USPS prefers, which is an invaluable tool for creating easily comparable data points when checking for duplicates.

Another great resource is the National Change of Address (NCOA) registry. The NCOA is a dataset of permanent address changes filed by individuals, families and businesses, and can be important for weeding out which address to keep — and which to toss — in your datasets containing multiple addresses for the same customer.

Step 2: Double Check Mail List Data for Common Errors — By Hand

While it’s easy to be lulled into the convenient trap of relying too heavily on software solutions, it’s important to comb through your data — yes, manually — for common errors. Even the most advanced mail management software still requires human interaction and understanding for optimal outcomes.

How? It’s not uncommon for things like commas, missing spaces, or data simply entered in the wrong field to throw CASS off. Simple mistakes can cost you big when it comes to getting rid of duplicate data sets.

Once you’ve used software to get your data into a great starting point, it’s important to remember that that’s all it is — a great starting point. It’s up to you to do the manual work and ensure the data is uncorrupted beyond that.

Step 3: Remove Excess Info from Your Files

Since we’re solely talking about mailing, it’s important to remove as many variables as you can from your mailing lists, and that means dumping the excess information.

This excess information includes things like email addresses, phone numbers, revenue, years in business, etc., all of which aren’t pertinent to your direct mail vendor.

In short, avoid the clutter and dump the details for your mailings. Keep it simple and save that info for later.

Step 4: Choose Your Direct Mail Vendor Carefully

Much like data sets, not all vendors are created equal, and some will prove to be nightmares to work with. This speaks for itself. You want to consider attributes like experience, referrals, and knowledge of the postal regulations.

A good tip? Make sure you’re working with a vendor who proactively takes initiative when it comes to cleaning lists.

Step 5: Enjoy A Job Well Done

Cleaning and getting rid of the duplicates in your mailing list can be a process, but one that is well worth the effort. When it comes to direct mail campaigns, remember: the better the data you put in, the better the data you get out.

Need a hand with your direct mail marketing? We have the knowledge and experience to help you every step of the way. Contact us to see how we can help you design and execute and effective direct mail program.

Mapping Out You’re Next Hyper-Personalized Campaign

Hyper personalization – it’s something we’ve touched on a lot in our blogs (check it out here), and for good reason. Consumers are experiencing mass communication fatigue and in today’s uber-competitive business landscape, hyper-personalized experiences make a difference. It’s all about what stands out.

So, while in the past we’ve given you the low-down on why hyper-personalization is important and why it makes such an impact, today we’ll hit on the who’s, what’s, and how’s, and give you the info you’ll need in order to map out your next customized marketing experience.

Getting to Know Your Audience

In our previous blog, we mentioned how marketers can use technological advances like big data, AI, and machine learning to collect behavioral data and take generic customer characteristics to the next level. But with that, there comes a catch – it’s not a one shoe fits all deal.

Before you begin mapping out your hyper-personalization game plan, be sure to define your ideal customer. This can be anyone from a top prospect to a target at a specific high-value account – but it’ll be specific to you and your business.

Data for Success

After you figure out who you’re going to target, you’ll want to implement tactics to get in touch with them. Think of this as a time to strategically gather data points for your outreach.

When it comes to gathering data points, your end result will only be as good as the effort you put in at the beginning. It’ll take a lot of trial and error, and a mixture of using data you already have along with various data collection tools for optimal results, but the end result will be worth it. Here are just a few tactics to consider:

  • Analytics platforms to aid in the collection of data
  • Customer Relationship Management Software (CRM) – your hub to customer info
  • Post-click landing page platform
  • Data management platform

From there, segmentation is key. As the data pours in, segmentation will allow for new personalization opportunities, and the ability to integrate it into your emails, direct mail, dimensional mail, digital ads – basically anything and everything in your omnichannel campaign arsenal. It may seem like a simple concept, but it’s important enough to make all the difference at the end of the day.

A Couple Clicks to The Goldmine

Once you’ve defined your ideal customer, gathered your personalized data, and segmented it, it’s time to marry them together and execute your hyper-personalized campaign.

According to InstaPage, nearly 79% of consumers will likely only engage with a brand’s offer if it is directly tied to their previous interactions with the brand making, so it’s smart to start with simple personalization such as gender and/or age. From there, put yourself in the shoes of your customer and think about what YOU would like to see next, then tailor your campaign from there.

The level of personalization in your messages should be at a happy medium between information you already know about your prospect at a level that they’re comfortable with, but not so much that they’re “creeped out” by how much you know about them. Balance is the key to success here. Show them you care about them, without scaring them away.

Give the People what they Want

It’s an obvious assumption – giving your targets what they want will help ensure trust and build lasting relationships. Consumers hate the feeling of being sold to, but they sure do love it when they feel like someone “understands” them. So, look at hyper-personalization as a way to “sell” without ever presenting a cheesy pitch. It’s a win-win.

We get that hyper-personalization may seem intimidating, but with time and some tweaking, it will make all the difference to your marketing efforts. If it helps, think of your hyper-personalized campaign like a sales process – it starts with initial prospecting that leads to an approach and then the wraps up with a closing and a follow-up. The follow-up in this case with be the continual testing of your campaign. What’s working? What’s not? Who else can be reached within each segment? Consistently ask yourself these questions and alter audience segmentation as needed for optimal results. If it turns out your strategy is working, why fix what isn’t broken.

If you’re sick of just getting by with generic marketing strategies, contact us to see how we can help.

Executing Your ABM Strategy

Innovation: It’s crucial in the world of business. At Strata, we follow this motto very closely and history has shown that innovation in one area can churn to great success in other areas.

But that means as marketers, we need to always be on top of our game when it comes to new trends in the land of marketing. What’s working? What’s not? What can actually cut through all of the noise?

Enter virtual reality – or as the cool kids call it, VR.

What is VR?

There are endless options of MarCom tools available to us, but one tool we’ve really seen evolve in the last few years is virtual reality. Even the name sounds like something you want to Google, doesn’t it? While this technology isn’t exactly going to transport you to a literal virtual reality, the visual concept can surely do the trick if it’s incorporated into a marketing campaign. Here’s how it works.

Virtual reality is basically a “near-reality” or a type of reality emulation. To put that simply, using a special headset or gloves fitted with sensors, a person can use sight and sound to transport themselves into a computer-generated, life-like environment.

Opportunity Awaits

So, here we are. It’s 2020, we’re in a global pandemic, and businesses have been forced to operate from home. Things like in-person meetings, tradeshows, and direct outreach are all up in the air. As a result, we’re all taking a dive into the innovation pond and scrambling for marketing alternatives that can supplement human interaction and reach people at the right time.

Can VR be that alternative we’re looking for while we’re all away from each other? If you ask us, the answer is yes, but it needs to be done correctly and be part of a larger omnichannel campaign.

How It Can be Used

With VR, you’re “there” without actually having to be “there”. It gives you the ability to visually send a message to your audience without having to be with them. So, while the true human interaction is still absent, this is a great alternative that will get you “in front” of your audience before the competition. Do you see my point?

But how do you actually provide this VR experience to your audience? Here’s our solution. Approach the idea as part of a larger omnichannel campaign that can start with digital ads and email. Then you can include a low-cost cardboard VR viewer inside of a high-impact dimensional mailer. It’ll have the ability to cut through all of the digital noise we’ve been experiencing lately, provide a hyper-personalized experience, and give that much desired human interaction that we’re all craving. Image how you would feel if you received that type of package – wow!  

But here’s the thing. These types of campaigns aren’t always the cheapest. If this is the road you want to go down, make sure that you truly think about your audience, qualify them, and target only your top prospects and clients. This way, your ROI can justify the high price of a VR dimensional mail campaign.

Looking to the Future

When it comes to marketing, the name of the game is innovation and evolution. Unprecedented times call for new, outside of the box tactics. What might seem like a wild idea now (VR) may be the norm in the future – and in our opinion it’s always better to be a trailblazer than a crowd follower. That’s when you really make an impact with audiences.

If VR – or any other outside of the box tactic – is on your mind, and you’re looking for a way to incorporate it into your next omnichannel campaign, contact us to learn more.

Executing Your ABM Strategy

Welcome to the exciting conclusion of our six-part Account-Based Marketing (ABM) series!

To recap the series thus far, we’ve touched on the basics of ABM like aligning your sales and marketing teams, identifying target accounts, doing thorough research, and creating great content.

In part six, it’s finally time to put it all together and execute your strategy. Here’s how to do it in four easy to follow steps.

Let’s get started.

1. Identify Online Habits for Ideal Engagement

The first step is to identify where your stakeholders spend the bulk of their time online and the ways they like to view content. To illustrate this, we’ll base our example around an ABM approach to social media.

Once you have their habits and preferences identified — for instance, a preference for Facebook vs. Instagram — it’s time to carefully coordinate your messaging across key touchpoints. This means a multi-faceted approach.

For example, you might get the ball rolling by demonstrating value through social media engagement. In this scenario, you’d find groups and conversations decision makers from your target accounts are participating in. You’d then join the conversation, ideally with some relevant content your team has created.

Hopefully this would lead to a more direct dialogue — after you’ve established yourself, you can further the conversation via direct messages on social media. This is a great strategy, particularly when supplemented by more traditional means of approach, like personalized email outreach.

2. Build Out Customized Channels for Engagement

Having an attractive and convenient means for deeper engagement is crucial to building your relationship with those in control of target accounts.

This “means for deeper engagement” most effectively takes the form of a multi-channel approach to promotion such as:

  • Building custom landing pages tailored to the needs, questions, and concerns of accounts
  • Offering gifts for engagement and interaction (e.g. prizes, swag, and discount codes) while utilizing dimensional mail and PURLs
  • Distribute content such as blog articles across channels that are relevant to each account (e.g. website, social media, and emails)
  • Creating ad campaigns and social ads to target different factors such as location, skill, and job title
  • Inviting contacts to (physical or digital) events and asking attendees to invite their colleagues

3. Forge Strong Relationships with Buying Committees

Here’s an obvious statement: swaying the buyer is the most important part of making the sale.

So how do we do that? Buyers rarely fall for glitz and superficial offerings, which means you need to take the right approach.

The right approach is basically comprised of the following:

  • A focus on educational, value-add pieces
  • Hyper-personalized content
  • One-to-one (not one-to-many) communications
  • Hosting events and webinars that speak to your target buyers

4. Measure Success and Plan for Your Next ABM Campaign

Once you’ve launched, the execution isn’t complete. You’ll need to look back on your efforts and evaluate their success. Remember, ABM is a long-term strategy, not a quick one-off.

You’ll want to turn to easily interpreted metrics for our evaluation separated into three categories: awareness, engagement and relationships.

The best ways to measure awareness is by evaluating things like website visits, social media mentions, and social shares.

To measure engagement, you’ll assess website behaviors like page visits, number of return visits, time spent on site, content downloads, product demos, and email sign-ups/response rate.

Finally, you’ll want to look at your relationships. To put numbers on what appears to be an intangible, take a look at things like the number of decision-makers reached, meetings set, proposals submitted, trial sign-ups, etc.

A Final Note On ABM

Over the course of our six-part series, we hope one thing has stood out above all others: the importance of relationships.

That’s really what ABM is all about — relationships founded on providing opportunity. Above all, ABM is about meaningful connection to create mutual success.

We hope you’re enjoyed this series. For more information on Strata and launching your own ABM strategy, contact us to see what we can do for you.

Understanding the Ins and Outs

MarTech – we throw around the term as if it’s universally understood, but plenty of people aren’t entirely sure what it is, exactly.

Don’t panic. That’s normal.

We don’t have to tell you that technology is playing an increasingly larger role in all businesses, and MarTech (Marketing Technology) is simply an extension of that — it’s a catch-all term referring to any piece of software designed to make marketing easier.

Here are some quick examples:

  • Software tracking promotional use of coupons
  • Automated email campaign software
  • Social media automation

The answer to “What is MarTech?” essentially boils down to this: MarTech is any piece of software that executes a marketing process so you don’t have to.

The Progression of MarTech

Think of the progression in the same way we experienced the evolution of apps for our smartphones. What started as a few hokey, low function tools exploded into everything from day trading platforms to photographic check deposits and real-time delivery tracking.

In much the same way, MarTech has boomed and currently offers a precise solution for nearly every need of the modern marketer.

MarTech’s Role Today and Tomorrow

A hallmark characteristic of the most successful marketer is their willingness to embrace and utilize new technology.

Smart marketers embraced MarTech early, and since its inception, MarTech solutions have become an absolute industry standard. These types of MarTech have typically been focused on a few core functionalities, like automating emails and processing the data into easily digestible reports.

While many MarTech tools, like MailChimp or Hootsuite, have asserted themselves as a consistent presence in the marketer’s toolbox, a new era of MarTech is on the horizon. Technological enhancements, like AI and machine learning, are honing the cutting edge of MarTech capabilities.

This incorporation of advanced tech means powerful new tools, like AI-fueled CX marketing, more adaptive lifecycle marketing solutions, better conversational marketing, and more precise data-driven marketing. These are all tools to market like never before, redefining what it means to be a marketing professional and deeply, inseparably linking our jobs with MarTech.

Exploring Our Options

One advantage of modern times is the seemingly limitless options we are presented every day, whether that be shopping on Amazon or unlimited streaming packages. We’re simply spoiled by choice, and MarTech is no different.

Over a diverse range of needs, like CRM MarTech, Web Analytics MarTech or SEO MarTech, there are literally thousands of (7,040 to be exact) MarTech solutions geared towards each and every niche of the marketing spectrum.

There are so many options, it can even be a little intimidating.

To simplify our choices, we can look at this handy Periodic Table of MarTech. It outlines 24 main subcategories of MarTech software and services providers within those categories. So, if you’re trying to decide what MarTech is right for you, this is a great place to start.

Benefits of MarTech

The primary reason MarTech has become an industry standard is simple: MarTech gets results.

Let’s look at an Ascend2 report on MarTech’s performance in the workplace.

Ascend2’s surveys suggest that 87 percent of marketers believe that MarTech is improving performance in their organization. In the same report, 67 percent of marketers thought that their organization could benefit from introducing more MarTech. This shows that MarTech is an advancement welcome across the board and the level of integration into the day-to-day workflow will only increase.

What’s Right for Me?

The simple answer is that your demands will dictate the right MarTech for you — identify useful tools and ignore ones without obvious practical application.

What is really important — and what we want to stress here — is what not to buy, and that is anything that does not have a proven functionality within your organization. MarTech can be expensive and with so many good options available, there’s no reason not to invest in anything less than ideal solutions.

That said, there is something out there that’s right for you — MarTech is one of the most exciting things to happen to business in a long time, it’s proven and it’s here to stay.

The only question is how you’ll embrace it.

Are you interested in creating or adding to your existing MarTech stack? Contact us to see if our cloud-based MarCom solutions are the right fit for you.

Six More Marketing Tips to Help You Succeed in 2020

Welcome to Part 2 of our holiday marketing series, 12 Days of Smarter Marketing.

Let’s pick up where we left off with six more great tips to close out 2019 and start 2020 off on the right foot.

A/B Test Campaigns and Content

If you’re putting time and energy into the creation of campaigns and a steady stream of content, it’s crucial you’re getting the maximum return possible. This includes A/B testing different approaches to fine-tune your offerings for maximum effectiveness.

Take the opportunity to gather data on what’s working, what isn’t working and discovering why. It’s a simple strategy that will make a big impact on the overall performance of your future output.

Taking Control of Your Brand

The new year is a great time to implement new strategies and solidify standards when it comes to branding. Introducing style guides, for example, is a great way to ensure organization-wide consistency.

Creating a centralized marketing hub is another great way to maintain brand consistency. Housing resources like logos and content in one central location (along with other digital assets) is an excellent strategy to deliver a clear, on-brand message time and time again.

Try Something New

Try new things in the New Year. Exciting marketing options like dimensional mail may be the boost your marketing needs to stand out from the pack and get your message heard.

Similarly, new email campaign tactics — whether that’s formatting, tone, or core campaign concepts — can inspire creative evolution in tired, repetitive campaigns.

That said, it’s important to not lose sight of your brand. Make sure that the new move is a logical step for your brand and not a complete off-brand departure. Exploring a new direction while maintaining the crux of your brand is the ideal to strive for.

Educate (and Appreciate) Your Employees

There is little that’s more valuable to your business than the people who run it, and when those team members are happy, your business runs smoothly. Take time this holiday season to show appreciation to your employees.

Also be sure to take the New Year as an opportunity to go over clear goals, detail new missions, and run refreshers on standard operating procedures (or introduce new ones). This is an excellent time to brush up on training.

Keep Your Content Going Strong

Great content is the key to successful followings, and producing that content should be a priority for your business. Focusing on the quality of the content — the insight that it offers, the value it provides, and the way it reflects your brand.

The aspects above are what separates quality content from spam — the type of content put out for the sole purpose of putting something out or overly self-promotional purposes.

When you’re creating your next piece of content, make sure to ask yourself why you’re producing it and what value it provides for its end consumer. This type of questioning will ensure that your content is where it needs to be.

Continue to Evolve

The marketing world is ever-changing and “business as usual” is not a successful long-term business strategy. If you see something that isn’t working, change it, and don’t look back. Be fearless when it comes to taking thoughtful risks and deviating from the norm. It will pay dividends.

Get ahead of what your customers want in 2020 and give it to them before they ask. Embrace the change and watch your business continue to prosper.

At Strata, we wish you well going into the New Year and hope that your 2020 is full of innovation and prosperity.

To learn more about how we can help with your marketing solutions for 2020 and beyond, contact us.