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Understanding E-mail Marketing Metrics

Understanding E-mail Marketing Metrics

3 Key Metrics

It was recently pointed out to me that some of our franchises doing e-mail marketing may not necessarily know how to make heads or tails of the results they’re seeing. Let’s talk about the 3 Key Metrics of e-mail marketing you should care most about:

  1. Open Rate
  2. Click Rate
  3. Unsubscribe Rate

Open Rate

Open rate is simply the number of times your e-mail was opened on a device (be it desktop, tablet, or mobile) divided the number of total recipients you sent to. A good benchmark for open rate in our industry is about 30%.

The best way to impact your open rate is by spending time crafting a great Subject Line. Unless your customer is expecting your e-mail, this is the first glimpse they’ll have at what your e-mail is about and they’ll decide whether or not to open it within 2-3 seconds. To get tips on writing great subject lines, check out my article here.

Your open rate is a great indicator of how interesting your subject line makes your e-mail appear. If your open rate is in the 10-20% range, you have some work to do.

Click-Through Rate

Another great metric to watch is your Click-Through Rate. This is another simple formula of how many clicks your e-mail generated divided by the number of unique opens (meaning, it ignores when someone opens it multiple times and only counts the first time). HOWEVER, sometimes an e-mail service provider will calculate your click rate based on number of recipients rather than opens. I don’t like that method.

It’s not unusual to see a click-through rate of 20% or higher if your e-mail is pretty solid. The key thing to remember here is that CTR indicates action being taken by your customer. You should never mail them without aiming for some sort of activity. Usually that means you’re trying to solicit a phone call, but you could also aim to have them watch a video, fill out a form, or forward to a friend.

Another key is to give your customers a taste of what you’re offering and entice them to click and learn more. That means you don’t spill all the details in your e-mail. Simply allude to how awesome your offer or content is. Something like “During our Winter White sale, we’re offering discounts of up to 60% OFF our cleaning services! Call now for your free estimate.” Admit it. You’d probably call if you got an e-mail with that kind of offer.

Unsubscribe Rate

Now, the unpleasant one. No business owner likes it when a customer unsubscribes. Your unsubscribe rate on e-mail campaigns is the number of unique recipients who clicked on “Unsubscribe” divided by your total recipients. Usually, your “unsub” rate should be under 2%.

Here are some things to remember:

It’s unavoidable. Every now and then, you’re going to get someone that decides they don’t want to hear from you anymore. It could be because they’ve moved and your e-mails are no longer relevant to them (even though you’re super cool). Just remind yourself that you’re not going to please everyone. You might step over the line every now and then and make someone decide they don’t want an e-mail anymore. That’s okay.

You can avoid a high unsub rate by keeping your content helpful and relevant. If you’re always pushing sales or specials, you’re probably going to see a higher rate. BUT, if you sprinkle in a helpful tip every now and then making no mention of promotions, you may be surprised at how well you do.

Big Takeaway:

There are more metrics that you can pay attention to in e-mail marketing, but I would place less emphasis on them. The big 3 are:

  1. Open Rate – impacted most by the quality of your subject line.
  2. Click-Through Rate – every e-mail should be focused on action.
  3. Unsubscribe Rate – you’ll lose a few here and there. Just make sure you’re being useful and you’ll be fine.

If you’d like help putting together an e-mail campaign or just want to show me what you’ve done, click here to schedule a 30-minute coaching call with me. Otherwise, you can simply reply to this e-mail or call me directly at 435-890-1055.

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PPC Done Right

 
There’s a saying that goes back a long, long time. “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.”
It’s applicable in so many ways, but today I’d like to apply it to Pay-Per-Click advertising. I’ve stated many times that I’m confident enough in PPC that I’d be willing to stake my personal and professional reputation on it – when it’s done right. Let’s talk about what that looks like.

Before We Get Started:

With VERY few exceptions, I would not have you get our theme confused with “If you want it done right, do it yourself.” Just like it’s worthwhile for your customers to hire you to solve their problems, I would recommend that you hire someone to handle PPC advertising for you. It’s not a “set it and forget it” sort of platform. It needs daily maintenance and management, which is not necessarily entrepreneur-friendly. You have a lot more important things to worry about, so it’s worth handing off to an expert that can focus on it.

What “PPC Done Right” Looks Like

Pay-Per-Click advertising on all platforms (Google AdWords, Yahoo!, Bing, Facebook, Instagram, Doubleclick, etc.) is a very complicated and intricate practice that’s not easily mastered or maintained. It takes a very specialized skill set to appropriately organize and execute campaigns.
In order for PPC to be done right it needs the following elements to be dialed in:
  1. An appropriate budget
  2. Impression Share
  3. Targeting
  4. Click-Through-Rate
  5. Conversion Tracking
I’ll touch on the first two today and the last three next week.

A Good Budget

I recently wrote about how to come up with an appropriate PPC budget. While I think that explanation is pretty good, let’s take another look at it.

Say you’re wanting to grow your business by 1 job a day. You know you usually have the capacity, so you’re just looking to expand a little bit. At an average cost per click of $6.00 (which is very low for some markets), every time someone clicks on one of your ads, you’ll average in cost at about $6.00. If one out of every 5 clicks turns into a job (average call per click rate is 1 in 4), then that means you’ll pay $30.00 to get a job every day. Multiply that out by 22 working days a month and you’re looking at a budget of about $660.
I’d venture to say that if you’re not willing to spend at LEAST that amount on PPC, you’re probably not going to get much return. If you’re only willing to spend $10 per day, that amount probably won’t last you long. A daily budget of $10 means that you would likely only get 2 clicks in a day (at $6 per click), which means you’d go 2.5 days of clicks before getting a job.
This is where calculating impression share with your vendor comes in.
Big Takeaway:
PPC is a complex and time-consuming practice, but it’s worth doing. Those that aren’t are going to struggle to keep up with competition.
  1. Find a trustworthy vendor to run your PPC campaigns and get them off your plate.
  2. Figure out your budget based on your business needs. If you need help, schedule a call with me to get one established.
Appropriate digital marketing practices offer a bright horizon for your business and reaching new customers. Click to receive updates about future webinars on digital marketing.

Impression Share

I get questions from business owners all the time saying, “I’m budgeting $1,200 per month in PPC. Should I spend more than that?”
The answer is usually “It depends on your impression share.”
Impression share is the percentage of times your ad is shown out of how many times your ad could have shown. For instance, if there are 1,000 applicable searches for “carpet cleaning” in my area and I show up 350 times, that’s a 35% impression share.
Now, is a 35% impression share good or bad? Well, that also depends. Ideally, I would want your business to show up as often as your budget will allow. Meaning, if you live in a smaller market with little competition and have the ability to show up 90%+ of the time, go for it! Otherwise, if your budget only allows you to have a 45-50% impression share, have your vendor do as much as they can to analyze peak performance criteria for your ads to maximize your budget.
Impression share gives you a great insight into your campaign performance and is something you should be asking your vendor about on a regular basis.

What Can Happen

Since impression share serves as a barometer for how you’re keeping up with your competition, it’s a useful tool to know when something’s going wrong.
Let me paint you a picture.
Suppose you’re watching your impression share to keep an eye out and it takes a sudden nosedive.
That could be due to a new competitor coming into town with a HUGE marketing budget (maybe someone with a palindrome for a brand). They start spending inordinate amounts of money on PPC and drown you out.
You and your vendor now have some research to do in order to figure out what your next move is. Do you increase your budget? Do you stay at your current budget and just try to ride it out, hoping that they’ll run out of money? (They will eventually.) Or you can go Braveheart on them. Your choice.

Big Takeaway:

It’s pretty easy to see how knowing and understanding your Impression Share can be a game-changing factor in your business.
  1. Ask your vendor what your impression share is. They should be able to find it for you.
  2. Analyze where you’d like to be vs where you can afford to be and formulate a plan with your vendor to make that a reality.
  3. Keep an eye on your Impression Share to know where your competition is.

Targeting

You know that phrase “barking up the wrong tree”? I feel like a lot of business owners take that approach with PPC. They choose a shotgun approach to advertising instead of focusing in on talking to the people who are actively interested and have the highest likelihood of becoming a customer.
Here’s what I mean. PPC is an amazing tool in that you can get very granular with your settings on various campaigns. You can target customers based on location, the search they’re making, the device they’re using, the time of day, or even their gender (if Google can detect it).
What I would do is target locations (zip codes, more likely than not) where I know I have interested customers that can afford my services. I would also be willing to pay more for a click from a customer on a mobile device because I have a higher likelihood of getting a phone call from that customer.
In fact, a recent development from Google is the advent of what’s called a “call-only ad.” These ads do just what they sound like – they get the customer on the phone immediately. It might cost you a little extra every time someone clicks on one, but wouldn’t you be willing to pay another dollar to increase your chances of getting a booked job?
Another aspect of targeting is “keyword” or “topical” targeting. When you start advertising, you have the option of doing a blanket bid for all things you want to show up for. It would treat all bids from carpet cleaning to carpet dyeing the same, which you can understand is not optimal. Instead, you can target customers by what they’re searching for. Example: If you have a customer that’s searching for something along the lines of “pet urine removal”, you should probably be willing to pay more for that type of customer because you know you can make good money on that job. You should consider bidding higher on other high-ticket services too.

Click-Through-Rate (CTR)

Of all the metrics you should learn about when it comes to PPC (and as a non-vendor, I wouldn’t expect you to learn a ton of them), Click-Through-Rate (CTR) is in my top 3.
CTR is a result of dividing the number of clicks you’ve received by the number of impressions you earned. If your ad showed up 100 times and you got clicked on 3 times, you have a 3% CTR.
The reason it’s important for you to learn about it is because CTR is primarily an indicator of how good your ad/offer is. An ad with a high CTR is more likely to be shown by Google than one with a poor CTR. It’s also an indicator of how relevant your ad is to what people are searching for.
Ideally, your CTR for most ads should be between 3-5% on popular searches. On searches that are less common, you can expect a much higher CTR on a well-written ad.
In general, CTR is a number to focus on with your vendor for different search topics to always work on improving your ads.
Big Takeaway:
Pay-Per-Click done right gives you the ability to talk directly to people who are actively looking for your services. You wouldn’t ignore a phone call. Why ignore what makes the phone ring?
  1. Write out characteristics of your ideal customer and what they’d search for.
  2. Work with your vendor to come up with targeting options that fit your needs based on location, device, search terms, and other information.
  3. Ask your vendor about your current CTR to see how they’re doing on ad content. Ask them to share some ads with you and think about whether or not you’d click on it.
As always, if you have any questions about your PPC advertising, feel free to get in touch and get input. My door (phone) is always open.
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Courting Your Customers – Part I

If you’ve been following my blog for the last little while, you’ve probably noticed that I’m on a bit of a reviews kick. That’s because it’s something that’s so easy to do that can have a HUGE impact on your business.
I’d like to take a different spin on it today, though. Let’s look at it from your customer’s point of view.

The No-Longer Blind Date

Remember the last blind date you went on? I do. It was… awkward. Largely because, no matter how much the people who set me up told me about my date, I still had no idea what I was getting myself into. The people who set me up are only going to say good things about my date because they want me to have a good time and make a connection. If only there were a way to find out more about my date… Oh, wait! There’s this new thing called the Internet!
That’s right. Thanks to the magic of Facebook, Google, and the like, we can hunt down just about anyone and find out more about their personality – especially the weird stuff.
So, when a potential customer gets a recommendation from a friend to call your business, you have the opportunity to have many of your past customers vouch for you. They talk about their experiences with you and set up expectations. And if you’re working on your social media presence, you can talk about things you’re going to do for your customers.

Building a Reputation

The best and easiest way for you to build a reputation online is through reviews – especially Google reviews if you can get them. But here’s the trick – you can’t expect customers to be so elated that they just can’t wait to look you up and write a glowing review. You have to ASK them.
I wrote a while back about how to create a link to send via text message for customers to leave a review. It’s not complicated and it pays off. The key is to catch your customers in the apex of their emotional satisfaction – as soon as they see how good everything looks/smells. That’s when you say, “Mrs. Jones, I’m so glad you liked what we did today. Would it be alright if I send you a text message with a link to leave us some feedback online? Would you prefer Google, Facebook, or Yelp?”
Darryl and Teresa Adcock of Northern Utah Chem-Dry started doing this in February of this year and, as of today, have TRIPLED their Google reviews. It works! Now whenever a customer is thinking of calling them, they know they can call with confidence.

Coming Next Week

We’ll continue this topic next week with what you could/should be putting out into the world on Social Media and other places online that will help to enhance the impression you have on potential customers.

Big Takeaway:

Customers hate gambling with their business. If you can do things to make them feel more confident in calling you, you’ll gain more market share and lifetime customers.
  1. Be aware of what people are saying about you.
  2. Make sure you have Google, Facebook, and Yelp listings for your business to collect reviews.
  3. Create links that can be sent via text message to take customers directly to leave a review.
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Call Tracking Metrics Numbers

Unless you’ve been ignoring my e-mails (you know who you are), you’ve almost certainly heard me talk about using how Call Tracking Metrics can influence the way you market your business – especially online.
Here’s the thing: Google likes uniformity. They’ll penalize your business and listings if you show different addresses, names, and phone numbers in different places. They don’t like it. And your business will suffer if you do it. But Call Tracking Metrics offers an alternative.

Dynamic Number Insertion

Put in very basic terms, Call Tracking Metrics uses a technology called “Dynamic Number Insertion” which takes the phone number that would normally appear on your website (your actual business number) and swap it with a tracking number that’s specific to how the customer got there.
That means when a customer gets to your website from a Google Search, instead of seeing this:
your customers will see this:
See the difference? Now when a customer calls the number I’ve circled, Call Tracking Metrics will note that you’ve gotten a phone call from your Google Organic search results.
This works for any online traffic source including Facebook, Yelp, Yahoo, Bing, AdWords, and ChemDry.com.

So How Much Does it Cost? 

Harris Research saw a lot of value in this service for our franchise owners, so we’ve made some special arrangements with Call Tracking Metrics.
With HRI’s deal, there’s no subscription fee (usually $19/mo), and you save $1 off every local phone number you use. PLUS, your per-minute rate is decreased by about 20%.

How Many Numbers Should I Get?

 
That’s really up to you. The idea is to be able to track just about any advertising you do – especially from tricky-to-track sources like Google. I’ve seen franchises use CTM for anything from SEO to ValPak and they love the information they get from the call logs and recordings.
I’m a very data-minded person, so I’d buy up a bunch of numbers to use as I like. I can use one for all my e-mail marketing, one for PPC, one for ChemDry.com (or multiple depending on how many listings you have), and one for Yelp.
Take a look at how many different marketing/lead sources you have listed in onTrack (or your other software), and figure out which ones are hardest for you to track. Consider acquiring one number for each of those sources.

Okay, Scott. How Do I Sign Up?

If that was enough to convince you to try Call Tracking Metrics, great. You can click here or on the icon to the right to set up an account through HRI’s Web Marketing Services website. Or you can click on the CTM logo at the top of the screen to get there too.
If you’re still not sure about it, click here to schedule a call with me so we can talk about what your franchise’s needs are. Let’s work on this together to help you spend your marketing money smarter.

Big Takeaway:

If you don’t know how much business you’re getting from your marketing sources, you don’t know how well it’s working. As a responsible business owner, you need to know that.
  1. Count how many marketing avenues you’re usings.
  2. Sign up for a Call Tracking Metrics account.
  3. Decide how many sources you want to track, and acquire numbers for each of them.
  4. Call Scott to get the numbers working for you.
Take control of your social media today and establish a better future for your business. Then register to receive updates about future webinars on digital marketing.
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“Ch-ch-CHANGES!!”

If you’ve done a Google search in the past few weeks, you may have noticed something different – the search results page has changed! All of a sudden, the ads that used to appear on the side bar have disappeared, and there are more ads at the top. You might be asking yourself, “What gives?!”
Well, here’s the gist of it.sidebar-elimination-example.sm_
Google has decided that it would like to increase the value of its prime real estate at the top of the results page by doing away with the sidebar ads and moving the “organic” (unpaid) results down the page. This is especially the case for what Google terms “commercial queries”, or searches that they feel indicate someone is ready to make a purchase of some sort.
So what does that mean for you as a Chem-Dry franchise owner looking to advertise on Google?
Let’s see.
Pay-Per-Click Ads
I’d be lying if I said this won’t have any impact on your PPC campaigns, because it certainly will. This move on Google’s part is going to mean they can charge top dollar for those precious 4 spots at the top of the page. But you don’t necessarily need to worry.
The way ad placements work within Google’s AdWords “marketplace” is such that your placement results are the product of an insanely complicated algorithm that changes daily and considers five primary variables (in no particular order): 1) your maximum bid, 2) the quality/relevance of your ad to the words in the search,  3) the page that your ad is being sent to, 4) time of day/week, and 5) popularity of the word(s) that were being searched.
So, yes. You’re going to have to be willing to spend more money on PPC ads. But that’s only one variable. There are more important things to Google.
You see, they’re in the business of getting people as much relevant information as they can – as quickly as they can. A way to combat the cost of prime advertising real estate is to have a solid ad that: a) is relevant to the search, b) well written, c) use a very solid landing page (like ChemDry.com).
Over the past couple months, I’ve helped multiple franchise owners maximize their PPC ads by utilizing a premium listing and landing page on ChemDry.com, and aiming for the #2-3 spots in the ad rankings. By doing so, they’ve experienced up to a 40-50% decrease in their cost per click on carpet cleaning campaigns.
Why Use Premium Landing Pages?
When determining how much your ad bids are worth to them, Google considers the quality and relevance of the “landing page” where you’re directing advertisement traffic. ChemDry.com is now consistently ranked in the top 5 nationally for words like “carpet cleaning”, “rug cleaning”, “tile cleaning” and others. Because Google recognizes ChemDry.com as such a good source for information about these topics (at least, better than “ScottsChemDry.com”), they are willing to give you a break on the cost. When they see a relevant website as the landing page for an ad, they realize that that website is probably more likely to get clicks and will make them money.
A Premium Local Search Directory page give you a personal branch off of ChemDry.com and lets you leverage its search engine dominance. So you benefit from all the work that HRI has been putting into getting ranked.
What Now?
So, what do you need to do to take advantage of such a breakthrough?
  1. Get a Local Search Premium subscription. Call Web Marketing Services for more information.
  2. Talk to your PPC vendor about using it.
  3. Practice writing PPC ads. Focus on the right words, rather than the right deals.
If you ever have any questions about how your ads are performing, reach out to me and we’ll talk about them – whether you’re using a vendor or doing it yourself.
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Thumbtack – The NEW Way to Grow Your Business Online

thumbtack

Company Logo

Some of you may have heard about a new service called “Thumbtack.” It’s a new way to market your business online. Here’s how it works:

When a customer is searching online for a service of some sort (like carpet/tile/upholstery cleaning, you know – all the stuff you specialize in), they go to www.thumbtack.com, enter their location and the service they’re looking for (i.e. cleaning 3 rooms and a sofa). You then receive a message informing you of the opportunity. If you’d like to do the job, and if you act quickly, you can bid on the job and send them a message bragging about how you’re the best darned carpet cleaners in the area. You specialize in exactly what they’re looking for. You’ll clean, sanitize, and protect their carpets. You’ll get that embarrassing stain out of the sofa. You’ll be bosom buddies, and take long walks down the beach together… Wait that’s a different website…

Anyway, sound interesting? Here’s their video giving you the rundown of their service:

There is a small fee every time you bid on a job, but the best way to do it is to purchase bid packages (essentially buying the ability to bid multiple times). It comes down to less than $2 per lead!

Dozens of franchise owners have had GREAT success growing their customer base and avoiding the bait-and-switch tactics of things like Groupon. This way, customers know exactly what they’re getting, what the price is going to be, and you get the chance to set their expectations so you can blow them away.

Sound good? I think so!

Check out Thumbtack and start growing your franchise today! If you have any questions about how to get started, comment below, email, or call me.

  • Scott