Earlier this year, I consulted with an internal marketing team that wasn’t seeing the desired results from a year long, in-bound engagement effort.
At first glance, they had a competent strategy and appeared to be ‘by-the-book’ in regards to accepted methodologies for email, landing pages, paid social and re-targeting. Yet despite that effort, engagement numbers were shelving in the lower single-digits, a situation that would make any marketing staff and c-suite understandably anxious.
This lack of campaign feedback is not only frustrating, it obscures information about what isn’t actually working -and what could be done to change course. Additionally, large marketing efforts are at times prone to myopic thinking, so even a well-meaning internal team could miss improvements obvious to those outside that circle.
My recommendations below provided a small, but powerful first step in objectivity, coupled with the option of utilizing existing frameworks for rapid adjustment and deployment.
Engage The Mind, Guide The Eye.
Break away from standard email/landing page templates to craft a look and feel consistent with your brand and website. Utilize a tertiary ‘action color’ coupled with engaging graphics and strong type faces.
First Impressions, Within A Single Line.
Within the rapidly growing mobile viewport, subjects lines are seen before any graphic content. So, if your subject line does not engage, open rates will reflect this. Ask a question, make a bold statement, be a contrarian.
Keep It Simple, Progress Towards Complexity.
The first round of email engagement should be short, impactful and direct to an obvious CTA button with a compelling offer. As a prospect moves down the conversion funnel, reward that participation with rich meaningful content – be sure to avoid information overload and unnecessary page depth.
Motion Evokes, Emotion.
With yearly gains in online bandwidth aligned with the SEO/analytics benefits from maintaining a YouTube channel, static content is rapidly becoming obsolete. If you have a wealth of content focused on feature sets, education or your value proposition re-purpose into video. Fast and focused 30-90 second vignettes should be utilized to provide, impactful and visual information to top of funnel prospects across all outreach formats.
Vertical or Horizontal (or Both)?
The natural inclination is to focus on horizontal pain points that apply across your silos, which is fairly easy and historically yields results. However, I am a strong advocate for speaking to verticals as well, the obvious benefit being a segmented and strong database that targets specific industries.
Both a horizontal and vertical campaign can be deployed simultaneously – so why not go the extra mile and A/B test both methods?
Keep in mind, while my recommendations are helpful, in-bound marketing stalls are typically due to a range of issues and a more comprehensive review of your strategy may be needed.
In my follow up piece, I’ll tackle the pitfalls of relying on scraped prospect data and list purchasing.