There’s never been a better time to be a marketer. Tools abound, information flows free on the internet, and the marketing landscape has widened to include the whole wide world – making possibilities endless on many fronts.
While technology has, without a doubt, leveled the playing field to give small and micro businesses the opportunity to compete with their bigger counterparts on the global stage, there are certain things that can push your marketing momentum to a grinding halt.
What’s worse, these are technologies and techniques that are commonly used by virtually every marketer out there.
This article lists four of the most common.
1. IP address
Your IP address can be a liability when you’re a search marketing specialist. If you’re not from the UK, for example, and you’d like a clear picture of certain search results from the region, a virtual private network (VPN) service masks your IP address and subsequently allows you to “get inside the head of a potential customer or reader,” says an Egg Marketing PR article.
Armed with the necessary information, you can then tweak your processes accordingly to attract more readers to your content.
And with the upsurge in the number of VPN providers in recent years, it’s wise to diligently consider comprehensive, unbiased VPN reviews when looking for a trustworthy provider. Once you’re in the trial phase, VPN coupons can soften the financial impact of a full purchase.
On the email side of the digital marketing equation is deliverability, which is hinged on sending reputation. Sending reputation is dependent on two things: domain reputation and IP reputation.
Organizations can choose between a dedicated or shared IP address to send emails. With dedicated IP addresses, while more expensive compared to the shared ones, you maintain control over your sending reputation because you need not worry about other entities’ bad email marketing practices that can also adversely affect your reputation.
2. Hosting provider
Before you run any serious online marketing campaigns, ensure that your website is ready for primetime. Because what use would it be to you if your hosting provider can’t handle a sudden surge in traffic brought about by those campaigns?
Not only do you lose potential customers, your site also loses credibility with Google and the other search engines, especially if the downtime extends to several days or even weeks.
In the same vein, you may have heard of the attention span of humans dropping to eight seconds, which is a second shorter than the attention span of a goldfish. That’s a four-second drop from the recorded 12 seconds in 2000.
What this means is that website owners and administrators should recognize that they only have eight seconds to capture the reader’s interest, and if within that eight seconds all the visitor does is wait for your website to load, expect them to go elsewhere without so much as a backward glance. The back button is just a click away, after all.
Email is definitely not dead, as the following 2016 statistics in a recent Capterra article suggests:
- Mailigen, an integrated marketing tool provider, says that 89% of marketers use email as their main lead generation channel.
- Email opens on mobile jumped to a whopping 55% in 2015 from 8% in 2011.
- 75% of Gmail users, which total 900 million, use mobile devices to access their email accounts.
- In terms of email clients, the top three were iPhone at 33%, Gmail at 15%, and iPad at 12%.
And because email is a far more effective customer acquisition strategy than social media by as much as 40 times, it’s not surprising that businesses use it often. But when can email actually sabotage your marketing success?
In-house communication and collaboration
According to a ComputerWeekly.com article, IT experts agree that email volume growth, as well as the increased number of spam, doesn’t help much with productivity because of the number of tools and required amount of time and dedication to successfully manage email every single day.
The solution, according to Peter Thompson of LHS International and IT director David Barry, includes improved backup, archive, and restore functions that can take the form of content management systems, databases, and intranets.
In the case of email marketing and the abundance of email marketing platforms to choose from, many of which are even offered free to small and micro businesses, the problem is generally not the technology. Often, the strategies adopted by digital marketers are what weigh them down.
To make email marketing campaigns work in your favor, a few things to keep in mind:
- Subject line
The subject line works the same way as headlines. If they’re not catchy enough, your email just might be ignored, no matter how good and well-crafted the message. Resort to sensational, misleading subject lines, and you just might make everyone in your list unsubscribe.
If you think grammar or punctuation errors can’t negatively affect your readers’ perception of your business because they’re not that narrow-minded anyway, think again.
In a 2011 BBC report, online entrepreneur Charles Duncombe said that “an analysis of website figures shows a single spelling mistake can cut online sales in half.” Which is why it’s important that you spell-check and proofread before hitting that Send button.
In email marketing, relevance is key to building solid relationships with customers. The ability to effectively pinpoint which stage of the sales funnel a customer is on allows you to craft relevant messaging that resonates with them and addresses their pain paints.
For example, you don’t send product brochures to leads that aren’t yet ready to make a purchase. Instead, you give them whitepapers or downloadable resources that can help them further their research.
4. Marketing automation
You’ve heard of marketing automation as a huge benefit to many businesses, no matter their size or industry. But there’s also this thing called “death by marketing.” In a nutshell, this is when you send out automated emails to as many email addresses as possible to make a sale.
In this age of inbound marketing and personalized service, too much automation can kill your business. Instead, make it a habit to customize your emails according to what your target audience needs – educational materials, whitepapers, articles, blog posts, webinars, product demos, and discounts or coupons.
Technologies to streamline your marketing campaigns and make marketers’ lives easier abound. While they can be extremely useful, they can also result in dire consequences when not properly used. It pays to be a smart marketer by thoroughly understanding the technologies and techniques available to you.