ExecutiveJobspro.com — Email Marketing within the job search industry

This week, I was able to speak with Rob Mason, founder of ExecutiveJobspro.com. He provided several tips for marketers who are entering (or in) saturated markets and explains why email marketing is essential for success.

What is Executive Jobs Pro, where are you located, and how did you get your start.

We are a career matching service (10 different sites for different job categories), helping job seekers take control of their search and shorten the time it takes to finding a great new job or career path. Our HQ is in Newport Beach, CA. However, we have Account Managers throughout the country. I am the only member of our services group that doesn’t come from staffing. I was an out of work producer that decided to do a documentary on the job market. I was so frustrated with my search. What I was doing felt like I was handing control of my future to someone else. I went for it and after meeting a ton of corporate recruiters I realized that what they look for in winning candidates was not information I had as a job seeker. A business was born. I built a team of insiders with connections and knowledge that I believed job seekers didn’t have.

Your business seems to focus on two groups: employers and employees. What are some of the unique ways you approach marketing for each individual group?

The key to a successful job search is an actual job search strategy. Most employ the least effective tools to land a job (job boards, waiting for headhunters to call). Our marketing is designed to spark a conversation, a personal and informed interaction. Once a prospective member has a chat or phone conversation with us there is an “aha” moment. This is typically followed by the realization that they have been using the worst practices to find a job. But, this feeling is tempered by the realization that now they have an effective partner for their search. We drive all marketing to this one-on-one interaction. After all, our service is not a software system. For us, it’s about a deep personal connection with our members.

Has email marketing always been apart of your marketing model or is it something that was added in to the mix over time? What made you decide email marketing was a useful tool for your business?

Email marketing is the most effective marketing for us behind word-of-mouth marketing/referrals. It’s about delivering a message to your audience in a specific moment, when they are ready for us. If we relied on ad marketing we would not be able to deliver messages over an extended period of time with consistency. Email marketing is about being consistent and showing your audience that you have what they need. It’s also an excellent conversation starter. We have been using email marketing for 9 years.

It seems the job website market is fairly saturated. What are some of the things you have done to set yourself apart?

We provide a service that we believe no other company can, actual contact with former Fortune 1000 recruiters. Our Account Managers have corporate recruitment contacts that they leverage to find the right jobs for each of our members, while these jobs are in the all important network and referral phase. Additionally, these talented staffing vets are available to guide our members and non-members with job search strategies, resume help and, most often, a boost of confidence for their search. From the time you arrive on our site and chat with an account manager (again, an actual former Fortune 1000 corporate recruiter) through the sign up process where you are writing to us about your search (we don’t use pull down windows or automation) there is a human being receiving your information and working for you at every step. Again, it’s a very personal and human experience. By the way, you guys provide the same level of personal experience which is unlike the other email services we have worked with. It makes a big difference.

What are 3 tips you can offer to ActiveCampaign users who are either getting ready to or have recently entered into a market which has a lot of competition?

  • Read customer reviews on competitors.
  • Have folks you know sign up with competitors and let you know what they loved and what they loathed.
  • And, the biggest treasure, ask potential customers what they want from a service. Every change we have made that has worked for us came from what the customer told us they needed vs. what we wanted them to experience. My biggest lesson, take my ego out of the equation. The customers make the service.

In regards to email marketing, what are a couple of your favorite features and why?

  • Live stats are huge. I know what we are going to do in a day in terms of revenue within two hours of the launch of our morning campaigns. ActiveCampaign offers a really cool interface that allows me to see what’s happening with the campaigns. This sets up my day and has made us more efficient as a company.
  • My favorite feature is your online chat. When we have questions or hit a snag with campaign performance you guys are ready and I don’t have to sit on hold forever.
  • Lastly, the deliverability of your service has the others we have used beat by at least 20%, that adds up. Thanks!!!

Why do you consider email marketing to be value adding to the job finder industry?

Yes, all of the services out there use it. We know because we are signed up with most of them…gotta know what your competitors are doing.

Use PadiAct’s behavior targeting to build lists

Have you ever wished there was a platform out there purely dedicated to helping you build quality contact lists? However, you wanted something bigger and better than simply adding another subscription form to your website? Instead you desired forms which can help you get the right contacts at the right time. Wish no longer! I proudly introduce the latest addition to the ActiveCampaign APPS page. PadiAct.

PadiAct noticed a problem with typical subscription forms. By default, subscription forms just sit there. So the questions was asked; what if you were actually able to create smart forms? Forms that know which customers to target and when to present them with the option to provide an email address. This is exactly what the Padiact platform allows you to do. Through the use of behavior targeting, PadiAct allows their users to define the criteria of when a subscription form is presented and of course be in total control of what the form says / offers. The video below provides insight into how PadiAct will help you build a list of contacts worth having.

If you need details on setting up the integration within ActiveCampaign, we’ve prepared a beautiful help article for reference.

“Social Platform” uses email marketing + social media to grow businesses

 

For this week’s “Marketer’s Spotlight” I had the privilege to ask Tim Mayneord, CEO of socialplatform.co.uk a few questions about his views on social media and email marketing.

What is Socialplatform.co.uk, where is it located, and how did it get its start?

Social Platform is an inbound marketing agency based in central UK – It all started with a tweet! Social Platform has evolved as a “purely social” marketing and contact design agency all as a result of a Twitter conversation which took place in the summer of 2011.

With social media taking over the world how does Social Platform help businesses build the right strategy for them? What are some of the basic steps for a strong social strategy?

We work closely with our clients to understand who their target market is. We are surprised by the amount of business’s who overlook the basics and actually forget their “target avatar”, all too often they seem to be chasing their competitors clients. If we ignore basic principles of marketing, social media or any other for of lead generation for that matter will have little or no effect, it is really important to define a strategy through a process which really forces our clients to consider all elements of their business so we look at existing customer base profiling in addition to desired prospects, brand positioning, product propositioning in addition to competitor analysis. Remember the 3Ms Market, Message, Media -and its always in that order!

On your website it seems you focus on finding a real balance. What are mistakes you see your customer making before they come to you that throw off the balance?

Have you ever traded a car into a garage and 2 days later seen it on the forecourt, so clean you want to buy it back? The point is, you can clean a car but you are not able to valet it, you just don’t have the expertise or equipment to achieve a super deep clean and an “as new” paint shine. Most business leaders think they are able to achieve reach beyond their dreams, winning new fans, followers and ultimately build their list with quality leads, now to be fair to them, they probably could IF they had the right tools, resource and time – fact is they don’t! So the majority of our clients are those who have either tried a DIY approach and quickly realized that, if they are going to get serious, Social Media is well beyond “Billy in the bedroom” or they have realized that there is a world out there and that social channels are not full of kids.

With social media having many different channels, do you think people need to use all of them?

We’re back the to the 3Ms again. When you know your market and the message you want to broadcast we can then and not until then concentrate on the media, we use a hashtag to promote how and why we do what we do – #notonesizefitsall. One of the reasons we have adopted this is because we don’t believe that business need to necessarily use every channel, if your target market [sector] is not consuming information through Facebook for example then don’t waste your time using it, there is just no point, its a waste of energy, enthusiasm and money.

What role do you see email marketing playing along side of email marketing? What are a couple of ways you see them use successfully together?

Email marketing is a key component for our clients, why wouldn’t it be? We need to get one thing straight, Social Media has not replaced anything else its just something that needs to be done as well as traditional techniques, we also need to keep firmly in mind the consumption of information through segmented email. Everyone knows that people buy from businesses they know, like and trust. Think of your social media activity as being a tool to [really] segment your client and prospect base. You see through deep analytics and profiling you can really understand more about the people you engage and interact with, which then mean your list can be segmented with pin point accuracy, then, you can communicate to your audience with information of products or offers you know they will be interested in – your audience will open read and share the email you send just as long as it relevant. Use social media to promote offers and free downloads/white papers etc to build your list.

Within ActiveCampaign, what of the functions do you see as value adding to your customer and why?

All of our clients are reaping benefits from automated campaigns, most of which feature multi-level segmentation and CTA (call to action) triggers through to their linked CRM solutions. Most of our customers considered email marketing as being simply a bunch of sales letters which were sent out on mass and simply did not understand how powerful and dynamic a structured and complete clients ownership program can be and importantly how easy it is to maintain!

Can you please share with me 3 tips or strategies for being successful with social media and email within a business?

Sure, we actually have an 11 tip strategy plan which focuses on the formula to help maximize lead generation though social media for any business, So 3 key tips we would recommend
  • Know your market, make sure you sync’ your data too
  • Grow your list & grow your engagement.
  • Create compelling content – remember, we believe people like share and comment on anything as log as its relevant and in context.

If you would like contribute to ActiveCampaign’s “Marketer’s Spotlight”, please
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New DocumentLeads integration

One of the largest goals of serious email marketers is to grow and engage your contact list. As ActiveCampaign users know, we’re always looking for new ways to help accomplish this and once again another powerful tool has been added to the arsenal.  DocumentLeads is a fantastic service who recently approached ActiveCampaign  about building an integration for our users. They did not fail to impress! DocumentLeads allows you to  to capture contact information while presenting white papers and other digital marketing solutions.

A huge reason an integration like this can be so valuable to ActiveCampaign users, is it allows you to gather a great deal of contact information from a unique source (white papers) instead of simply the traditional website subscription form. People want to access the white paper or other document types and you now have the ability to create a incredibly strong subscription form in order for them to access it. Its the proverbial carrot on the end of the stick. Overall, the DocumentLeads user interface is very easy to navigate and use. Managing the documents, and the forms for each document is very simple to do and can often be setup within a matter of minutes. Lastly, with a built in CRM and many 3rd Party CRM integrations, DocumentLeads makes the process of not only obtaining contacts, but managing them as well very simple.

If you want to learn more, you can go to our DocumentLeads app page

How to handle the new Gmail tabs feature

Many of you have recently received an email from Google named “Welcome to the new Gmail inbox” where they explained how new tabs feature works. Google has decided to create preset tabs (it starts with Primary, Social and Promotions, but you can add new ones and edit these as well). The logic behind it is that Google will figure out what tab to put it in based on if it is a 1-on-1 correspondence, notification emails from your social networks, or the newsletters you are signed up for. For this purpose, we will, of course, discuss the latter.

When you send an email to your list, Google may classify your email as a “promotion”, and thus will not show it on the main (primary) tab.

Initially there was a lot of fear of what this meant for open rates, conversions, and whether your email would be ignored. For that reason, a lot of companies started to send out campaigns to their Gmail users with a message instructing them what to do. They would send you an email saying something like “Hey we are in your Promotions tab now”, and ask you to “fix it” by moving the message to the Primary view.  This is something you can do as well (will discuss that later in this post) but before we get to that, let’s see if its really the right move.

Is the promotions tab the end of email & newsletter marketing?

AdAge is reporting that despite the original panic, this is hardly the end of email marketing:

“Despite reports suggesting otherwise, Gmail’s redesign has not ushered in email marketing’s apocalypse, according to marketers and email vendors canvassed by Ad Age.”

Return Path has also seen some interesting affects this has had on inbox vs spam placement:

“Return Path measured a 17% read rate for July 2012 versus 15.6% for July 2013, but saw that placement rates — marketing emails making it into users’ inboxes instead of their spam folders — actually improved, said the company’s senior director of email research Tom Sather.”

Some are also thinking (and seeing results) that newsletter, updates, etc.. are beneficial to being in a tab.  The thought process being that people are using the primary inbox for non-stop email interaction and are more likely to discard, archive, or skim over content while when reviewing another tab they are in a different mode of email discovery.

Perhaps most importantly you should determine whether you need to focus your time and energy on Gmail Tabs or if you could improve your marketing by simply devoting that time & resources on creating engaging content that your contacts will love, interact with, and naturally be eager to open.

How to ask your contacts to move you to the primary tab

You can do the same using our system. It is easy to create a segment; you would create one that has a condition “email contains @gmail.com” to send only to people that use Gmail. Once you have a segment in place, you can create a message that invites your recipients to handle your emails differently. The email should contain a short instruction on what should they do:

  1. Click to open Promotions tab
  2. Drag and drop the message over to the Primary tab
  3. When prompted whether to do it for future messages as well, the recipient should select Yes.

Examples of companies asking to be moved to the primary tab

Form Mule – providing subscription forms,surveys, and much much more…

Whenever ActiveCampaign is approached by a 3rd party about a new integration we get excited. Why? There are so many amazing platforms which can help make our system stronger through a simple integration, and why not give our customers the best! So, with that being said, I proudly present FormMule! As their name implies, they specialize in subscription forms. However, FormMule is much more than a simple subscription form provider. With it you are able to “ build any type of form or survey and can even accept payments“.

When partnered with ActiveCampaign, tools like FormMule take your marketing and sales to the next level due to the simplicity of use and high level of quality in which they help connect you to  your customers, website visitors, etc. FormMule went above and beyond to create an easy to use, yet powerful form building tool that can be used by people of all technical skill sets. FormMule specializes in being a well rounded application which can meet many of the needs ActiveCampaign users might have that go beyond the basic subscription forms. If you have ever wanted greater diversity from the forms ActiveCampaign currently offers, be sure check out FormMule.

To learn more about this integration CLICK HERE or watch the video below.

Contactus.com provides new WordPress plugin

Many of our ActiveCampaign users operate their websites through WordPress. With that being said, we are always excited to find new ways to help the ActiveCampaign users build a deeper integration between WordPress and ActiveCampaign.

In early June, ActiveCampaign met another Chicago based company some called Contactus.com at a local trade show. It was obvious that our platforms would work very and together, and after meeting they built a brand new  lead capturing WordPress plugin with many customization options. ActiveCampaign  wanted to share this awesome tool with our users in order to let you know about the integration.  We also wanted to let our users know what ContactUs.com can do to help you be more successful with your email marketing. Below are a few points about the ContactUs.com worth mentioning.

  • ContactUs.com user account gives you a powerful online contact management system that is linked to your website forms.  This user account manages your form configurations, provides advanced contacting tools to help you track and manage your signups, captures web analytic data (including traffic source, pages visited, new/existing visitor), and allows you to manually add notes and missing information to individual subscriber profiles.
  • ContactUs.com’s plugin introduces a proactive approach to capturing more signups from your page.  Instead of a form placed in the margins of your site, you can place a “tab” callout that floats on top of your page margins.  Their research shows that this approach can be more than 200% more effective in getting signups.  (Note: the more traditional “inline” placement is also available in the plugin).
  •  Once you have your form configured, ContactUs.com makes is really simple to add a newsletter signup to your business’ Facebook page using the ContactUs.com app. In less than a minute, you can connect your ContactUs.com form with your Facebook account, and then you have a new place to generate newsletter signups.

Additionally, ContactUs.com has provided a how-to-video showing how easy it is to integrate and set up a form through their ActiveCampaign WordPress plugin.

To learn more about this integration, please CLICK HERE.

 

Golf Web Design – bringing digital marketing to the world of golf.

Erick from Golf Web Design was kind enough to participate in our Marketer’s Spotlight this week. He provides a great deal of insight  into how he and his team have helped Golf Courses succeed with email marketing.

What is Golf Web Design and what caused you to see a need for this type of business?

Golf Web Design is a web design and development company for the golf industry. We provide websites and digital marketing services for golf courses and golf professionals all over the country. We saw a need for a better, private label email marketing system that we could offer to our clients. Most of our clients already have large existing databases of customers and we needed a robust system that would handle their email marketing needs.

 Since this is such a niche market, what specific marketing needs do you most commonly see you customers needing to fulfill?

Our customers typically need a good email capture form on their website, the ability to drop customer information into segmented lists, the ability to send campaigns targeted at their different lists, and the ability to easily create a great looking campaign.

How has email marketing changed or influenced your marketing strategies for customers?

With the addition of ActiveCampaign, we have been able to offer a powerful new email marketing system to our clients. It’s been a great selling point for potential customers. When they see how easy the admin panel is to use, they are instantly sold on it.

Do you find that your customers are in need of a more modern digital marketing approach? If so, what do you help them do to improve?

Yes, most every new client that we bring on is in need of a more modern approach to marketing. Email has been their staple marketing system, but we have introduced them to social platforms as well as mobile marketing platforms such as push notifications within custom built apps  for their course.

I imagine many of your customer have very similar branding. What do you do to help them differentiate themselves from the pack?

Most of our clients usually have a unique market that they appeal to. Some are private courses, public, or resort. Each one has a target demographic and geographic market that they cater towards. The types of emails that are sent and the specials they offer usually differentiate one course from the next.

What email marketing tools have you found to be successful for your clients. i.e. segmentation, conditional content, email designs?

The biggest email marketing tool that we have seen success with is segmentation. A birthday month list has proven to really be a big hit with golf courses. Courses will usually offer a special discount within your birthday month if you are subscribed to that list.

What types of campaigns or call to actions have you found work for you customers?

Effective engagement for our clients begins with customers that actually want to read what they have to say in each email. From there, either a newsletter that features past results from tournaments or pictures of members are a big hit. Otherwise, coupons or special rates that the golf course has are the highest engagement emails.

What are the top 3 recomendations you have for digital marketers focusing on a niche market?

1. Be an expert in your niche. Make it your goal to know the ins and outs of that industry and add any kind of certifications or status to your credentials.

2. Target your niche through industry publications or outlets. When other people do the talking for you – it makes you seem that much more credible. Try to get others within your niche talking about you.

3. Follow through on what you promise. This makes your current clients become your biggest fan – which equals word of mouth. Word of mouth is single best form of advertising there is. It’s not a digital form of advertising, but through digital outlets you can make sure people are happy with your services. And happy customers equal repeat business and more referrals.

If you would like to get your company featured in ActiveCampaign’s “Marketer’s Spotlight”, please
click here

 

Canaflora

Tell me about Canaflora. How long have you been in business, what do you do, what is the drive behind the business

Canaflora is a gift delivery company, sending flowers and gift baskets across Canada. We’ve been in business for four years and have grown exponentially from when we first started. Our philosophy is delivering good product at an affordable price and with strong service.

Since our inception, we believed that our customers shouldn’t pay hidden fees like many other similar companies charge. From the get-go, we’ve offered free delivery and a pay-what-you see pricing model. If we say $49.99 (+ tax), they pay $49.99 (+tax). No ifs, ands, or buts.

We adjusted our business model, cutting out as many middlemen as possible to make sure our prices stay fair and competitive. We have also opted out of an expensive downtown location for the same reason.

What made you feel email marketing was important to your marketing strategy

The more the customers come back to us, the more lifetime value they hold to our company. Our retention rate is a very important part of our business and what better way to reach our database than with email marketing?

Since you work with vendors all over Canada, what are things you do as apart of your business model to ensure you keep customer loyalty strong and also quality high.

At this point, we’ve realized we don’t do enough.

When just starting the business, we believed that if we provide awesome product and service, our customers would come back. Most didn’t. Everyone expects a positive experience and that didn’t make our business stand out.

Currently we’re introducing measures to make our product unique and easy to remember. We’re also diversifying our marketing activity to make sure the specials, advertisements, and other content our customers see are as personalized as we can make them.

What tools do you use besides email to help grow Canaflora?

SEO and PPC. We are also experimenting with direct sales at this point — B2B is a rapidly growing segment for us. We are currently trying out white label websites and Facebook ads too.

I see on your site that you also offer products internationally. What has it been like setting up your network outside of Canada? Do you have any marketing, networking, or sales tips for web companies starting the international process.

The International section on our web site is just drop shipping. We just resell services of another company which operates a worldwide network of florists.

We do have multiple international partners for whom we do drop shipping in Canada and this is a growing segment of our business. Initially we got them all just by emailing them or chatting through a social network about the business.

I know you use segmentation. Can you explain about the uses of segmentation and why it is important. Also, how have you seen segmentation improve the email marketing for you?

Its all started with poor performance of our regular emails. We started to research and brainstorm about how we can slice our database to drive more personalized offers and improve conversions of our emails.

At this point we segment our database by:

  • Purchase history (new customers, active customers, dead list)
  • Occasions – As our product is occasion-driven, we track what the occasions it was purchased for and then set up the appropriate reminder campaign
  • Geographic – we drive personalized promotions based on the area where the customers live or where their order was delivered before
  • Email activity – we track the way users handle our emails and add them to appropriate segment as a result. For example, users who never open our emails are segmented and then aggressively targeted with Facebook ads or direct marketing

Because customer’s habits depend so much on factors in their life, segmentation has helped us with either offering the appropriate products or improve our timing (for example, we know they’re more likely to order flowers if someone’s birthday is coming up). Doing what’s more comfortable for our customers rather than bombarding them with email specials they may or may not care about definitely helps improve our conversions.

For any marketers who are new to segmentation, what helpful tips can you give them?

  • First of all put together a list of how you can segment your database – Gender, Age, Purchase History, Geographic, Email activity, Social media activity, Email provider, etc.
  • Then prioritise the segments based on what makes the most sense for your business and start sending emails. Wait for results. The point is that your segmented emails should perform better than broad emails.
  • Based on our experience, segmentation is a never-ending process, so you can keep going with more and more personalization. Remember to watch your results and make sure it makes sense in terms of time and money spent, but if you have an idea — even if you think it may not be the best idea — it may pay off to run a test, just in case.

Are there any other features in the ActiveCampaign platform you find really useful for your business?

The biggest advantage of ActiveCampaign for us is that we can fully automate our email marketing activity. We are heavy users of ActiveCampaign API and Webhooks, which are integrated with our CRM. Based on that our segmentation process is 90% automated.

Basically with the help of ActiveCampaign technology and our own efforts, in one month we built a marketing automation software which would usually cost from $3,000 per month if you use an existing provider.

Aria Agency – Putting the “A” in in mArketing!

What is Aria and what types of customers do you work with?

Formally, Aria is an award-winning, independent, full-service agency with more than a decade of experience in destination, real estate and economic development marketing. Based in Dallas, our team of 14 work in disciplines including branding, interactive technologies, marketing, video and publicity.

Informally, we’re just creative, fun people, who love to design things people want to use, create brand memories and push the limits of promotion.

How long has Aria been an Advocate of email marketing?

We’ve used email marketing from the day Aria opened its doors in 2000.  Email marketing is an integral piece of most of our marketing campaigns. Not only for clients but also for ourselves. Email is still a very effective way to communicate with your target audiences.

We’re constantly refining our approach to message, format, audience segmentation, and a dozen other details of email campaigns to find the most effective treatment for our clients and their constituents.

While I was checking out your site, I noticed you use lots of really stellar imagery. How important are quality images in today’s digital marketing world? Particularly in the small business environment?

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, right? And even that is probably an understatement for today’s fast-paced, me-first consumer environment.  People are busy, and it’s difficult to get them to slow down long enough to give you their attention and get your marketing message across. A well-crafted, beautifully designed piece can not only grab attention, but also leave a lasting impression with consumers, in a split second.

So, to answer your question in a word. Incredibly!

As you have worked with your customers, what are a few things you have found to be successful in designing emails?

Start with a simple design, and then simplify some more.  Keep it clean and ensure you’re encapsulating ideas in easy, bite-sized chunks to make it that much easier for your audience to digest. That’s what really ensures you get your message across. Also, we always keep in mind tech limitations with file download size and red flags for spam filters.

Since you focus a lot on brand development, could you give 3-4 tips and essentials when focusing marketing efforts on brand promotion?

Brand marketing is a pretty straightforward concept. It’s simply putting a comprehensive strategy around marketing with a consistent focus on imparting the brand components. It’s played out across the tactics you use to reach your audience.

It’s the execution of those strategies and tactics where businesses and brand managers often screw up.

A couple of tests you can use to avoid any misdirection in your own marketing efforts are:

  1. 1. Brand style guidelines are your measuring stick. The first thing you should always do is make 100% sure that each marketing component and promotional piece adheres to your brand guidelines. If the brand messages you’re sending out through social media, your website and your email campaigns are so vastly different that you don’t get a strong sense of brand cohesion when you look at all of those elements comprehensively, you need to reassess how you’re presenting your brand.
  2. Seek out, and listen to feedback from your consumers. Chances are you view your brand in a very defined way. And, a lot of times we find clients are surprised to find the public perception of their brand is completely different. And that’s what matters. Your brand is really how people describe you when you’re not in the room. Find out what the world thinks of your brand, and then tailor marketing efforts to change their way of thinking if you need to. What does Don Draper always say? “If you don’t like the conversation, change it.” It’s true.
  3. Quality over quantity. Remember your brand integrity and reputation is paramount. One awesome content marketing piece in support of your brand is better than 10 mediocre productions any day.

I see in your “Beliefs” section you state, “Traditional advertising alone yields unacceptably low returns compared to cost” – Can you explain what you mean by this and what is considered “non-traditional”?

By traditional, we mean print and broadcast. It’s the age-old tactic of blasting a message over and over again until it’s part of people’s nature. That really doesn’t work today where people are so inundated (every second of every day) by advertising, that it becomes background noise. It’s just part of the atmosphere — you start to tune out the neon of Las Vegas when you’ve been on the strip for a few hours.

Our aim with any client project (and our own) is to find the most efficient way to make our message as personal as possible. It’s really the only way to ensure you’re going to get the attention of your audience. If you can make it seem like you’re reading their mind, they’ll at least give you a few seconds to make your point.

We see social media, behaviorally-customized web experiences, and opt-in media (like email) as big players in this new marketing approach.

How can small businesses use email marketing to create an “experience” with their contacts, hopefully to build a lasting relationship?

Personalize, personalize, personalize. Use segmentation and personalization features to create content that your prospect wants and finds valuable. If you can add value through your marketing, things that enrich their lives in some way: it could be learning, it could be funny, it could be special offers, it could be advance notice, it could be tips, tricks and secrets… any way you can, make it about me, the recipient, and make it about what I’ve told you I want.

How important is it to make marketing, branding, etc personal in todays digital world? Can you share an example of how being personal helped a customer succeed?

See our previous response for how important we believe it is.

We recently undertook (and will be publishing results in our own case study soon) an interactive game for a client. It’s entire focus is on personalization. We’re using behavioral decisions (did they go to a museum or a concert, did they like a baseball player or a politician, etc.,) to create profiles of each individual. We’re using social media, text messaging, email marketing, and physical game components to personalize — down to the smallest degree possible — our messaging from here on out. And each decision from here on out only makes our personalization that much more specific and finite.

We’re really early in the stages of this new game, but we’re hoping for crazy engagement metrics compared to the one-size-fits-all approach of old.

We’ll let you know how it goes.

If you would like to get your company featured in ActiveCampaign’s “Marketer’s Spotlight”, please
click here