Tuesday, July 24, 2012

3 Email Marketing Challenges and How We Got Personal

Email is not dead. Actually, it seems to be alive and kickin’ based on recent emarketer benchmarks for email marketing.  Good news for all you marketers out there.  But, we know there are struggles to making sure your campaigns are not only read, but create actions that deliver quality leads for your sales team.   Here are some of the challenges that we have faced and what we did to combat the problems.

1.     The most talked about – Open Rates.  Some say that this number doesn’t reveal an accurate picture.  Depending on which type of computing device you use or how you go about deleting your email, you may open something that you don’t even read.  We agree. Often times this number has no bearing on true ROI.  However, we can’t raise our CTR without folks opening emails as step one.
2.    Low CTR or Response Rate – This relates back to messaging. If we don’t offer our leads and clients something they want via timely messaging, promotions or giveaways then we end up in the trash very quickly.
3.    How Many Emails Are TOO Many? How Many Emails Are Not Enough? – This is an issue of timing.  Have we figured out when and how many emails to send during a week, during a month?

Can you relate?

We saw the answer to our problem being an issue of relevance.  And, we aren’t the only ones who think so.  Hubspot recently released a report from the Science of Email Marketing to reveal that relevancy was the main reason for choosing to follow certain company’s emails.

Here is what we did to solve some of our challenges:

First, we implemented event data and triggers to let us know what is happening with the company lists we are currently following. We added an extra layer of granular segmentation into our process. We made it personal. 

The Problem of Open Rates: We created targeted subject lines that highlight personal achievements based on temporal event data. This means that some individuals get emails when they had a sales win, or an M&A, or a new management change.  Using event triggers, we have been able to hone in on the relevant messaging for our leads and clients. 


Subject Line: Your CFO named 2012 Smart CXO

Subject Line: Your New Sales Executives

Subject Line:  Congrats on Your Sales Win

Low CTR: We offered a webinar that was relevant to their sector. Our CTR improved because our lists felt that our email was sent to them personally, not just based on their behavior on our site, but because we were paying attention to what happens to them and their affiliating companies.  We have done our research, but spent very little time researching.  We received alerts that allowed us to target our messaging. See some email responses we received from our targeted messaging:

How Many Emails Are TOO Many? How Many Emails Are Not Enough? We implemented emails to go out to our lists only when we had something to offer based on their company’s events.  The timing worked itself out because we focused on our leads and clients and not on the timing we thought made sense, but based on THEIR events.

Share some of your challenges and solutions.  We are always listening.

To learn more, visit: www.ilantern.com
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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Tips From a True Marketer - [Caution] May Cause Sales to Fire Back

A couple days ago, I spent the evening at a social meet & greet hosted by MarketingProfs outside of Boston in a beautiful museum called the deCordova.  One of the highlights of the evening besides the yummy hors d’oeuvers and open bar, were the two speakers for the evening, in particular Lou Imbriano, former CMO for the Patriots and current CEO and President of TrinityOne.  Although a sports marketer and not specifically in the B2B tech sector, he offered some particularly good nuggets of insight into how to think about Marketing.  Several quotes that I want to explore further:

“ABC – Not, Always be Closing, but Always be Creating”
This doesn’t mean intellectual ideas that show little ROI, but content, promotions and relationships that will build trust sooner and get you to close deals faster.

“If a salesperson is really good then they are actually a marketer”
This one is sure to cause some contention especially when I mentioned this to our CEO. But isn’t that what blog posts are for—a vehicle for heated debate? The less offensive part of this quote is that building relationships and discovering the messages that truly resonate, is actually mandatory for success. This should always be the salesperson’s goal, not just to be focused on the money signs.  In VC meetings, I have always been told: “Ask for money and you will get advice, but ask for advice and you will get money” I’ll give you that tip, free of charge.  Treat your prospects more than just $ signs, and figure out how to nurture those relationships and you will see better results.

“Always be a custodian of your brand”
Care about what you sell as a marketer and a salesperson.  If you see something that isn’t right – fix it.  If you hear something that doesn’t make sense – stand up for your brand.  Your leads and prospects see details – they are looking for what is the differentiation – so be different and be attentive, and always remember to stop and listen.

“If your idea doesn’t create revenue or build relationships then it is a sucky idea”
Well, this one pretty much speaks for itself.

“Sales people should report to Marketing” (I know this one is sure to stir the kettle.)
Marketing ultimately decides what the go-to-market strategy is going to be.  One of the channels is usually direct sales, but realize that this is only ONE of the multiple channels that are available at marketing’s disposal, so it makes sense that sales, as one of the channels, would report back to marketing. In turn, marketing can then provide the resources for the sales team to be successful.

How does this connect to what iLantern does:
Good question.  We sell tools the to help make all of these proverbial quotes easier.  We provide uplift.  We give you the technological tools to build relationships by using temporal event data so you can: send the right message at the right time, and therefore, shorten that cumbersome sales cycle.  What does that mean? More ROI faster. We say, diminish the divide between sales and marketing and realize that with some simple tools and a strong team effort, you can have your artillery fully-loaded and watch as your wins increase.

Visit us at: www.ilantern.com
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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Triggers in Everyday Life

We know that most of you are outside barbequing, fishing, lounging, swimming, or any other fun outdoor family activity.  But, it is also important to pay tribute to the reason we celebrate July 4th.  Our company, iLantern, is actually named after Paul Revere’s famous ride. You remember from your history books: “One, if by land, two, if by sea”.  Depending on how many lanterns were in the North Church window was the indicating trigger/signal to let everyone know which way the British were coming. 

That was a monumental trigger in American history, but today we have triggers that happen all the time in our every day lives.

At iLantern, we are always looking for triggers.  If you aren’t familiar with the term triggers, here is our definition:

1. A condition or event/s that have occurred in any given company that precipitate a sales and marketing opportunity to deliver the right message to customers and leads at the right time.

You ask: what does this have to do with everyday life?  Triggers are everywhere.  Once you start noticing why you make the decisions you do, when you are barbequing, fishing, at the grocery store, playing tennis, golfing, or walking your dog, you will see that most of your decisions are based on event data that has occurred.

Here are some examples:

1.     Fishing – Did you look to make sure the tide is right and the fish are actively feeding?
2.     Barbequing – Have the coals reached that perfect grey color, so you know your burgers will get the perfect sear.
3.     Tennis – Did you read your opponent’s body language to see that they are going down the line or cross-court and move accordingly.
4.     Golfing – Did you check for rolled greens? How fast and how far is your ball going to go?
5.     Grocery Shopping – Did you find the specials that are on sale this week, take an inventory and plan your dinners?

Back at work, you are constantly looking for event triggers to let you know if your leads and clients are in a position to buy or, equally important, not to buy.  With Big data as all the rage and marketing automation to help measure behavior and create actions, triggers help to make those actions that much more timely and that much more relevant.  It is the difference between preemptively reading the signs (the tide is perfect and the fish are feeding) or responding after someone has told you that the tide is perfect and the fish are feeding.

The value of triggers to help craft our decision making process is invaluable in both our business and our every day lives.

Go make a mental note to seek out triggers and you will begin to see them everywhere.  Let us know what you discover.

Visit us at: www.ilantern.com
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