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Split Testing for Better Results

  Image Source_ www.360logica.com

I love marketing. So much of it is like working in a laboratory trying to find the perfect formula or cure for a disease. While you may not need to get as deep into marketing tests as a professional agency, there are a few simple tests you can run in your own campaigns to see what works best. The easiest way to do it is with a “split test“. Let’s take a look at my favorite avenue – PPC – to see how to apply a split test.

The Key to a Successful Split TestSource_ NeilPatel.com

When scientists conduct experiments, they start with a base (known as the “control”) and then re-conduct the experiment only changing one variable and noting the difference in result.

In marketing, we do the same thing by having two ads that are identical with only one difference between them – an image, an offer, headline, etc. Just make sure you only change ONE thing.

PPC Split Tests

Let’s take a look at Pay-Per-Click.

Without getting too technical, it’s easy to perform a split test with PPC ads. All you have to do is create two different versions of the ad based on the same list of keywords (this happens by simply creating two ads in the same ad group on AdWords). Now you can see if an offer in the headline or a catchy line works better. Or maybe test a dollar discount vs. a percentage discount. Take a look at what I mean.

Compared to:

A small difference in the offer can be very interesting to watch. Now, whether one offer is more beneficial to you, that’s up to you do decide.

***Quick Tip*** If you are doing split tests between two ads, make sure that you have call extensions on the ads (making your phone number appear on them) so you can not only track how many overall clicks you get, but also how many calls came through.

Other Options 

Of course, you can use split testing with other aspects of marketing too. From postcards to Facebook ads, the only limit of what you can do is your own creativity.

If you’re working with an online digital marketing vendor, you can also have them create custom landing pages for your ads to see what converts better or generates more calls. Ask your vendor what testing they’ve done for your ads and see what they can show you.

Big Takeaway:

Your business may be missing out on potential revenue because your message or delivery wasn’t quite right. In today’s ever changing world of technology and customer engagement, you should be trying new things.
  1. Create a test between two PPC ads that will show what’s more enticing to your customers.
  2. Talk to your marketing vendor and find out what tests they’ve conducted recently. They should have things ready to show you.
Take control of your online marketing today and establish a better future for your business by testing new things. Then register to receive updates about future webinars on digital marketing.
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On the Subject of Subject Lines…

Image Source_ Hubspot.com

When was the last time you unsubscribed from an e-mail campaign? For me, it was last Wednesday.

What?! Why?!

I recently subscribed to a mailing list because I was interested in finding out more about a digital marketing tool. The assigned account rep committed two of my cardinal sins of email.

1 – He used spammy subject lines.
2 – He emailed me too frequently.

On average, this account emailed me every 36 hours. He also used overly hyped subject lines that were okay at first, but didn’t deliver on what the actual content of the email is.

It begs the question, how am I doing with my emails? I’ve come up with a few little tips for you to judge the content and approach of your emails.

Subject Lines

When it comes to subject lines, I’ll pick my favorite two of these 5 rules:
1 – Don’t be spammy. If you use ALL CAPS, more than one “!”, or you’re overly vague like the guy above by saying “Check this out!”, you’re not only likely to get flagged by spam filters, but you’re also likely to get thrown away by your customer. Quickly.
2 – Keep it short. You have about 3 seconds to convince someone to open your email. If they can’t read your subject line in that time, you’ve likely lost them. Keep it under 45 characters (that’s 7 to 8 five-character words including spaces). Under 5 words is best.

**BONUS TIP:**
If you have a super special message for your customers (i.e. a huge discount, a very timely offer, or something more than a newsletter), try using a subject line that references them.  Something like “Your Next Chem-Dry Cleaning” or “Your Granite Counter Tops Will Thank You.” HOWEVER, doing this too often will cause it to lose its efficacy, so use this tactic VERY sparingly.

How Often Is TOO Often?Image Source_ Speckyandginge.com

E-mail marketing is so cheap, that we’re often tempted to use it as often as we can. But we MUST resist this urge. I’ll tell you why.

E-mail in the service industry is best used as a “CRM” (Customer Relationship Management) tool. The biggest reason to use it is to stay “top of mind” with your customers. E-mailing them more often doesn’t necessarily get them to buy more often. Think of getting your carpet cleaned like getting your oil changed. You don’t do it until you need to. Your customers are the same way.

Much like a greeting card, the best use of e-mail for a Chem-Dry franchise is to remind your customer how much you love and appreciate them. Reaching out too often just gets creepy.

In general, if you’re emailing once a month, you’re fine. I wouldn’t go more often than every 3 weeks. I would also email at least once every 3 months. Any less than every 12 months, you might as well forget it.

Big Takeaway:

You only have a few seconds to gain your customer’s attention. Make sure you don’t blow it!
  1. Keep your e-mail subject lines short, enticing, and relevant.
  2. Don’t e-mail your customers too often, or you could risk alienating them.
  3. Look at your own inbox and look at one of the e-mails you get from a vendor or website. How often do they come? Would you want to hear from them more or less often?
Take control of your e-mail today and establish a better future for your business. Then register to receive updates about future webinars on digital marketing.
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Constant Contact That’s Custom

Last week, I talked about how you should be focusing on marketing to your most valuable resource as a business owner – your database.

I’ve had several people approach me and ask for some help with creating a custom template with Constant Contact. Well, here it is.

It’s as Easy as 1, 2, 3…

To break it down for you, it’s really very simple.

If you haven’t signed up for an account with them yet, click here.

After you log into Constant Contact you select that you’d like to send an email.

Then you pick a template. You can choose from pre-designed templates from HRI.

Or you can choose any of the HUNDREDS that Constant Contact has already put together.

Found one you like? Great. That’s step 1.

Step 2 – Making it Work

As a Chem-Dry owner, you need to make sure any communications you send out are brand compliant. To help with that, you need to have a copy of the Chem-Dry Official Rules & Guidelines booklet. It will have all the brand color HTML (RGB) and hex codes for your email text and backgrounds, which will be very useful.

Now, change up the font and color of the text to match the guidelines. I also recommend changing the color schemes of the template to match Chem-Dry green or blue. Whatever color background you choose, make sure that there’s enough contrast between it and the text color that it’s easy to read (i.e. light/white text on a colored background, or dark/black text on a light background).

Step 3 – Making it Yours

Now comes the fun part. Time to change up the content. Add text, photos, links to videos, coupons… Just a few rules:

– Keep it relevant.
– Keep it short.
– Keep it interesting.

Big Takeaway:

You need to be e-mailing your past customers. It’s cheap. It’s effective. It’s EASY.
  1. Make your own Constant Contact template. Watch the video to learn how.
  2. Send it out to your customers. They need to hear from you.
  3. Lather, Rinse, Repeat next month.
Take control of your marketing today and establish a better future for your business. Then register to receive updates about future webinars on digital marketing.
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Your Marketing Foundation – Your Database

database-marketing-cloud

A recent analysis of franchise marketing activities has indicated a shift in online job acquisition.
Over the past year, the percentage of jobs acquired online has risen by approximately 40%, which is GREAT! However, a deeper look brings something important to light – the majority of those jobs are new customers, which are more expensive to acquire. I think we may be failing to focus on more fruitful opportunities online – your database.

E-mailing Your Database 

This isn’t the first time I’ve talked about e-mailing your database, and it won’t be the last.

Here’s the thing – e-mail is one of the only marketing activities you can do that reach your past customers wherever they are. Upwards of 66% of emails are now being read on mobile devices, which go EVERYWHERE.

One franchise I’ve worked with just recently started e-mailing their database with monthly newsletters. With the first email in September, they had a back to school offer which brought in 3 jobs totaling over $500. Since Constant Contact costs around $30/mo, that’s a return of nearly 17:1. How would you like to book a job that only cost you $10 to get?

But What If I Don’t Have Their E-mails?

You’re probably saying, “Scott, I don’t have any customer’s e-mail addresses. How can I start getting them?”

Great question.

The first and simplest answer is this: ASK. When you’re booking a job, when you’re leaving a job, or calling to follow up on a job, ask the customer for their email address. You’d be surprised how many of them will just give it to you.

To help ensure you get valid email addresses and to improve the likelihood of getting the email, give them a reason why you would like it.
– “I’d like to send you an email confirmation.”
– “I’d like to email you a receipt.”
– “I’d like to send you some tips about preparing for the cleaning appointment.”

You can use the great sign-up form tools in Constant Contact. They can connect with your Facebook page, or create a sign-up form for your website. Any entries into the form automatically go to your Constant Contact mailing lists.

If you want to collect e-mail addresses in Facebook, try offering something like a drawing for a free 3-room basic cleaning, or a year’s supply of spot removers. Whatever you choose to offer as an incentive, it needs to be valuable enough to entice them to hand over a REAL email address.

If you just say “Join our Mailing List”, you’re much more likely to get a “junk” e-mail (admit it, you have one yourself).

“I’m More ‘Analog'”

It’s okay if you’re not big into digital marketing. That’s why I’m here. If you’re not doing yet, start collecting customer email addresses NOW.

In the meantime, you should at least be mailing to your database of customers. Use programs like Fill My Schedule (one of the MANY great reasons to use onTrack), Postcard Guru, Signpost, or others. Make an offer they will want to use.

Another *hot tip* I’ve discovered with franchise owners is to mail your database with a short action window. For instance, today is October 5th. Mail out to your top 20% of customers with a great offer that’s only valid if they book on or before Halloween. When you add a deadline, you see increased reaction.

Big Takeaway:

The best customers are your loyal customers. Make sure you’re marketing to them and getting back into their homes.
  1. Email your customers on a monthly basis with new offerings or a deal just for them. Segment your database and market to past services if you can.
  2. Add a “lead collection” form to your website and Facebook page. Offer something for free if they join.
  3. At very least, send a postcard to your customers that haven’t cleaned yet this year.
Take control of your marketing today and establish a better future for your business. Then register to receive updates about future webinars on digital marketing.