19 Reasons Why Email Marketing’s Not Dead Yet  (#15 is Critical For Your Bottom Line)

19 Reasons Why Email Marketing’s Not Dead Yet (#15 is Critical For Your Bottom Line)

“Nobody reads email.” “People get too much email already.” People keep saying variations of the same thing: Email is dead. And yet – despite all these predictions – year after year email continues to stay strong. 2015 showed that email is still the best way to reach your market and your goals. Goals like: Nurturing prospects to full-fledged clients Keeping current clients close and connected to your brand (safe from attrition) Put more offers in front of a receptive audience, through well-timed, well placed offers. A lot of people like to give huge laundry lists of stats with no context or meaning. They look VERY IMPRESSIVE and come in handy for people writing reports. But they can be a bit too much. What the heck do all those statistics mean anyway? Here are 19 important email marketing statistics, and why they matter. REACHING YOUR AUDIENCE STAT #1: 90% of emails land in the recipient’s inbox. (Forrester) WHAT IT MEANS: Email is the perfect medium to get the message across Email marketing has a ridiculously high delivery rate. According to Nate Elliot at Forrester, 90% of emails land in the recipient’s inbox. Now, let’s take a closer look at Facebook. The last few years have seen social organic reach plummet. As I covered in Why Email is Eating Social Media’s Lunch as few as 2-6% of your Facebook fans actually see your posts. Facebook seems to change the rules for ‘organic’ or unpaid exposure regularly. The general consensus is if you want to stand out in social media – you’re gonna have to pay. Look at it this way. If you...
The number one reason you’re not achieving your goals

The number one reason you’re not achieving your goals

Everyone’s been there – it’s mid-summer, over 6 months since you set those New Year’s resolutions: lose weight, focus more on family and friends, create an audience of raving fans for your business. You know – the usual suspects. The fact is, whether you set a resolution goal at the beginning of the year, or a business goal just last week – they both have the same problem: how do you improve your chances of success? You need a clearly stated goal, with a few extra elements that guarantee action. What I call a SMARTEA (smarty) goal. Here’s why. Resolutions Have a 92% Failure Rate Research from the University of Scranton suggests that only 8% of people are successful in achieving their resolution goal.  To get some idea why this would happen, let’s look at some of the most common New Year’s resolutions: health and fitness. According to The Nielsen Company, 69% of the New Years’ resolutions made in 2015 were about losing weight or staying fit/healthy.  However, 76% of surveyed consumers indicated that they didn’t follow a weight loss or diet program in 2014. The problem here isn’t one of intention or desire. Just look at what the surveyed consumers said they didn’t do: follow a program. Without a system or support structure in place for you to pursue and achieve your goals, you might as well be trying to cross the Sahara desert with a 20 oz plastic bottle of water, and a broken compass. So how do you solve this problem? How do you develop a goal success plan quickly? People who write down goals are more likely to achieve them. In 2008,...
User Experience Lessons From Taco Bell (Video)

User Experience Lessons From Taco Bell (Video)

Last year I had the pleasure of developing and leading a webinar about the synergistic power of User Experience, SEO and SEM in candidate attraction. It featured the remarkable Tracey Russell,the Director of Human Resources for Taco Bell as we explored her challenges in candidate flow and lead generation. We talked about the shift in mindset and strategy that lifted their free candidate traffic by 300%, produced amazing PPC results and, of course, increased their lead generation. Her challenges and the appropriate solutions apply across vertical and audiences. You can ‘cut to the chase’ of the webinar video here where we discuss user experience challenges and solutions, including the need to ‘think like your audience.’ As you watch it, just replace the ‘job seeking’ target audience with your own. The same rationale applies across audiences because users tend to have similar focuses even if the topic environment changes: How quickly can I find the information I need?, How can I easily complete my task/achieve my goal?  Want to find movie times? User Experience. Want to book a flight? User Experience. Either an experience is easy or it’s hard. And people leave bad experiences. One great indicator of bad experience abandonment is the device-specific trend where a growing number of people indicate that they will abandon bad mobile web experiences (61% indicate that they will leave a bad mobile experience). Here’s the thing: User experience matters. Everywhere. Always. We often think of user experience for digital environments. But UX is what drives end-caps in retail stores, or the assortment of impulse purchase items by cash registers. UX influences fast-food drive throughs. It’s everywhere. Because we – the...
Setting SMART Goals

Setting SMART Goals

You’ve probably seen some variation of a S.M.A.R.T. goal already, but I believe there’s a law mandating that any blog remotely related to marketing HAS to have a post about S.M.A.R.T. goals. That means this is going to be direct and to-the-point. Once you have a good idea of what goes into defining a S.M.A.R.T. goal, I recommend you read about ‘The number one reason you’re not achieving your goals,’ which puts your S.M.A.R.T. goal to work in a larger context. This also introduces two new elements to make a more effective S.M.A.R.T.E.A. goal. For now, at the very least, write down a first person statement of your goal – a powerful action statement that defines important details: Who (typically you, but it could be a specific business or department), What, Where, When, and How of your Goal. Think of it as making a powerful action statement. The example goal mentioned above to ‘make more money’ becomes, “By the end of 2015 (the when), my business (the who) is grossing an additional 70,000 dollars a year (the what) from new service clients (the how) within a 20 mile radius of my place of business (the where)”. Specific: Getting specific means you define as many of these as possible about your goal: Who (typically you, but it could be a specific business or department), What, Where, When, and How of your Goal. Think of it as making a powerful action statement. The example goal mentioned above to ‘make more money’ becomes: “By the end of 2015 (the when), my business (the who) is grossing an additional 70,000 dollars a year (the what) from new service clients (the how) within a 20 mile radius of...
Six ways to guarantee Google bans your website.

Six ways to guarantee Google bans your website.

Search used to be about keywords – now it’s about value and intent. You’ve probably heard about Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird – three of the most recent waves of changes to Google’s search algorithm. Without getting into technical details, the main point of these changes was to help ensure that search results provided more value. Less junk. Tweaking the algorithm wasn’t enough; Google wanted an overhaul. In 2013, Hummingbird was a total search engine overhaul – in a blog post at Search Engine Land, Danny Sullivan recommended thinking of it as taking the engine out of your car and putting in a new one. Google was ‘officially’ less interested in the specific words used in a search query and more interested in the meaning or intent behind the search. Now you can’t get away from keywords entirely – words are still what we use to communicate meaning, But there’s a trend here. Useless information is bad. Information that matches the searcher’s needs (not just their specific words) is good. While the exact details to the algorithm used to rank websites change multiple times in a year, there are some definite things that will lower your ranking significantly in search engines in general, and with Google specifically. In fact, if you do enough things poorly, Google may remove your site (or at least pages of the site) from their search directory completely. Below is a look at five dangerous techniques that may result in Google banning your site. 1. Use Bad or Outdated SEO Tactics The number one way to have your website banned from Google is to use a variety of bad SEO tactics....