Scott and Chris have joined since our last newsletter. Scott works with Tikhon in the email marketing side of the business. Scott comes from a background in IT, education, knowledgebases and analyst work. He has previous experience in email campaigns for fundraising, along with databases and web development. Chris works with Abby in our […]
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less – By Greg McKeown I loaded this book up on my Kindle two hours before stepping onto NZ 245 for a nine-hour flight to Bali. Little did I know that my 15 year old daughter would fall ill during the flight so Claire and I would spend most […]
Each year we pick a charity for Christmas and make a sizable donation on behalf of our customers. This year we asked our customers for their help and based on their feedback we will be sending these three charities a donation of $500 each. The Salvation Army SPCA Cancer Research through the Cancer Society Our […]
In May this year, Google updated the Maps desktop version to make it easier to use. It also allows you to solve new problems like – which cafes are near my client’s office for a quick catch up? Or which of my friends has reviewed a Japanese restaurant in Auckland that will make my decision […]
Last month’s article on email marketing and the conference call on the same subject area achieved the desired result.Afew more customers have launched their first email marketing campaign and are now starting to reap some of the many rewards this strategy can produce.All good news.
Nevertheless, there are a few customers out there – we know who you are 🙂 – who are stubbornly refusing to move forward into the land of email.So for them I present these six online marketing myths all busted with an explanation on how an effective email marketing strategy can come to their aid.
With the interest in this month’s coaching call, here’s an article on email marketing I wrote earlier that may help those looking to improve their efforts.
Google AdWords – Speed isn’t always your Friend
Google makes starting a new AdWords campaign a very easy task indeed. Within minutes you can gather together a selection of keywords, write an small text ad, load up your credit card details, and “baboom” – start sending them money and your website traffic. Most should achieve this in 30 minutes or less. At first this seems like good news for the time-starved executive. You are now advertising online on the country’s most visited search engine. Time to sit back, relax and just wait for the phone to ring or the email inbox to fill up with contact requests. Ideally both.
Practical Email Marketing – August 2011
For the last five years I have been involved as co-tutor for the Practical Email Marketing Course put on by the Marketing Association and the University of Auckland Shortcourses department. It’s always a fun two days. Fitting it all in is always a challenge. Amanda and I start the day with a proposed agenda packed full of content and what is really just a guide to how long each session should take.
I have a friend who has been going through a rough patch these last few months. Nothing financial, nothing tragic, just a general and overriding feeling of not being the happy type of guy he once was. Fortunately, by sharing this change with a few close friends, he found himself referred to an elderly, grey-haired guy at a beachside residence just out of Auckland.
Within every Great Online Marketer there is a McDonald’s Restaurateur Waiting to Get Out
It still amazes me how a bunch of pimply adolescents can successfully run a bustling burger store whether it is in Tokyo, Los Angeles or Masterton. Orders are correctly filled, fries are properly cooked and only a small proportion of the patrons are poisoned in the process! It’s a testament to the strength of the business system that supports McDonalds’s, which ensures that all this happens while a maelstrom of hormones are rushing through the place as fast as cars arrive in the drive through.
Of course, burgers are not the only products that survive on the strength of a great system. Car manufacturing has its own wonder system. For instance, Toyota is a worldwide practitioner of Kaizen (Japanese for continuous improvement). Each year tens of thousands of small improvements are made to their manufacturing process as a result of small changes being made under the Kaizen system. Some claim this is the main reason why they are the most profitable car manufacturer on the planet.
Great systems can produce great things, so how can we harness this theory for our own online marketing efforts?
Well, I think that Online Lead Generation is a sitter for a system or two. The obvious one would be the Kaizen approach to gradual improvement, but to make this work you need to have a complete system to start with. This is where a large proportion of lead-generation websites are lacking.
Each month we manage dozens of lead-generation websites on behalf of clients. Each site we look after has its own system of turning new website visitors into sales leads. Some of these lead-generation systems follow a path similar to one that others selling products of the same level of complexity have used before.
The rest use a process that is as unique to them as the markets they work within. Nevertheless, each has its own lead-generation methodology to follow that is built to attract, persuade and then nurture their online prospects.
Once a winning system such as this is established then our work follows the standard Kaizen formula of continuous improvement. Analytics tools tell us where any improvements can be found, while our testing tools allow us to deploy and monitor the success of any changes that are required. However, while any improvements to Toyota’s production line will be assessed in terms of reduced defects, the elimination of waste or the speeding up of production, our changes are aligned to just two goals – improving our customer’s lead quality and quantity.
This work of continuous improvement would fail miserably is there wasn’t a complete system to work with or, even worse, no system in place at all. Fortunately, not many new customers arrive at Permission with no system; however, most marketers have issues in developing a complete system. Yes, they will have a website and some idea of what they want it to do but, no, they haven’t fully documented the complete ‘system’ the website needs to follow to help them achieve their goals.
For instance, I had a call a few weeks ago from a business manager who wanted some advice on how to use their website to sell their mortgage broking services (currently not a market for the faint hearted.) But, while demand may be down, this is still a rather cluttered market of similar service offerings. Just Google "Mortgage Broker", look at the AdWords ads and see what I mean – they all look very similar.
When I first spoke with them, they commented on how they saw their website’s role in their lead-generation system as taking just two steps. Step one involved it receiving paid traffic from Google AdWords, and step two encompassed the site accepting this traffic and convincing the prospect to pick up the phone and call them. From here the steps went offline – they accepted the call, booked an appointment and then visited the prospect to sell their services. A phone ringing was a sign that the website part of the system was working. Needless to say, things were quiet around the office.
We started optimizing the website process by breaking it down into more measureable and manageable steps. Installing Google Analytics on the website helped us here. Using this tool, we could see what AdWords keywords delivered website visitors who stayed long enough to read any content on the site (there was a reasonable proportion that left within 3 seconds – for the moment these were paused).
Then, from all those who stayed on the site long enough, we tracked those who visited the actual appointment request page. Finally, we looked at the behaviours of those who actually completed the form: where they looked on the page, how long they spent reading, and the problems they were experiencing in filling in their details.
By now our system was looking like this. Step one, attract people who are searching for certain keywords in Google; step two, entice them to a specific page on the website; step three, have them stay long enough to read the copy on the web page; and step four, convince them to fill in the form and request an appointment.
So, where there had been two steps we now had four, and we had a clearer understanding of what needed to be done at each step to achieve improvements. From here, the whole system will get better and better. From what we have seen, the more detail you can add to the steps your website needs to achieve, the easier it is to work on any changes you want to apply. For instance, some of our clients have over a dozen steps to their online lead-generation system, each of which we monitor and manage for them on their website.
And that’s why every part of your McDonald hamburger’s life is fully documented and learnt BEFORE anyone anywhere turns on a hob or fryer to create your next Big Mac. It’s not step one, turn on hob; step two, deliver finished burger. I would imagine there are probably twenty or more steps to be completed before the job is done and your hamburger is ready.
So why not spend some time today to break down your online lead-generation system into at least twice as many steps as you have now? Then you should begin to see how this makes your own Kaizen experience of continuous website improvement an easier job. Or failing that, call us on 09 929 9130 and we can talk you through some of our proven lead-generation systems that may suit your needs.