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Campaigns Don’t End When You Hit Send: The Importance of Feedback Loops

This article is part of our series on customer experience where we focus on topics relating to connecting data, intelligence and experiences. Further reading: Why Inconsistent Messaging is Undermining Customer Experience.

While many marketers are enamored with the advantages of martech, it is worth remembering the activity should always be optimized. After all, marketing technology is only as good as the data feeding it, and customers’ behavior is constantly providing new data.

Feedback loops used to be directly communicated in person, during a one-to-one conversation. But as we’ve moved from an offline social culture to transacting primarily online, we need to find new ways to understand our customers.

It is now necessary to read customers digital body language to reveal purchasing power, location, interests and intent to buy – among thousands of other attributes.

For many marketers, feedback loops are a significant step up in the quest for better performance.

Targeted marketing is a standard practice. Though, ultimately the output is only as good as the data being input. Too often campaigns are verified through metrics that, in an effort to assess overall performance, fail to provide the granular level of data needed to optimize campaigns.

Fortunately, each customer touch point in a campaign can provide a feedback loop, offering different forms of verification and the potential to close data gaps — provided the right metrics are used.

Take an email campaign as an example. It may use good data segmentation based on a well curated CRM to push out the message. Traditional performance metrics would be the open rate or the click-through metric. They indicate that the audience you targeted actually interacted with that campaign. But the campaign doesn’t end after the email is sent.

The feedback loop would identify not only whether an email is opened or not, but who has and has not clicked through. Each outcome provides an opportunity to improve segmentation and optimize the campaign.

This process relies on an ability to tie actions to the individual. However it is not necessarily about identifying individuals. Digital body language is 100 per cent anonymous. Therefore privacy is maintained as global concerns are raising over data use and privacy mount.

Nevertheless it is a feature often lacking in many marketing metrics and ultimately produces disconnected experiences.

Not All Metrics are Equal

Many of the existing marketing metrics provide useful insights but fail to really optimize campaigns. For example, a media agency may offer measurements aggregated by region or messaging. It shows a campaign has reached a certain percentage of a target audience. It is useful information, and not to be disregarded, but at the level of an individual it fails the optimization test.

There is disconnect, because you don't know which of those people you targeted in the campaign actually engaged with it. It is not enough to know what percentage of an audience clicked through. You need to know who has clicked through, who hasn’t, and why they did so.

The solution is to include metrics that can be interrogated at a granular, individual level – digital body language. When that information is available, it produces immediately actionable insights and a finer level of segmentation. Connecting these metrics to the technology stack improves customer verification and eventually customer data insights.

Through proper feedback loops, campaigns are adjusted on the fly with the ability to target individuals who do not initially engage.

We can also reduce advertising spend by not targeting existing customers and increase our add efficiency by targeted those customers most likely to buy.

In ASEAN, the availability of third-party data on targeted customer accounts might still be an issue for advertising. However, over the coming years we’ll be seeing a lot more data become available as large players start to make their data available via third-party marketplaces such as Oracle’s Bluekai. 

Our customers who have used our Oracle Marketing Cloud to run multichannel automated campaigns (using email, push, and SMS) have realized significant increases in open rates and conversions.

While it appears an advanced use case of data and marketing technology, the current pace of change may mean it is soon table stakes.

Want to learn more? 

Download Seamless Marketing: Elevating the Customer Journey to New Heights


Oracle Blogs | Oracle Marketing Cloud

7 Types of Emails to Send Customers to Keep Them Coming Back

As everyone says…

You need to build an email list.

Email marketing provides the highest ROI for most businesses at $ 40 for every $ 1 spent (on average).

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I’m sure you see a ton of content on a regular basis that shows you different ways to build that email list. Great.

But how much do you see that tells you how to interact with that list effectively?

I think it’s safe to guess not much.

I wouldn’t be surprised if you had questions such as:

  • What do I send my subscribers?
  • How do I keep open rates high?
  • How do I make my emails exciting?

While I can’t show you all of that in a single post, I’m going to show you 7 different types of emails that most businesses can send.

These types of emails are emails that your subscribers and customers will enjoy getting, will interact with, and will help you build strong relationships. 

1. Exclusive offers make subscribers feel special (but which kinds are best?)

It’s nice when someone, whether a close friend or a relative stranger, goes out of their way to do something nice for you.

As a website owner with an email list, you’re hopefully somewhere in the middle of that friend-stranger spectrum in the eyes of your subscribers.

If you can do something for your subscribers that they really appreciate, it will do many important things:

  • Make them think more highly of you
  • Make them more loyal (to stay a subscriber and to buy in the future)
  • Make them more willing to reciprocate (if you ask for a share, referral, or something else).

The question then is: what can you give them?

For most businesses, an exclusive offer is the best thing they can give.

Let’s go through a few real examples and then some more general situations.

First, you can offer a live event that only your subscribers are invited to. Not only will the event be valuable because it’s live, but it will also be well attended because it’s exclusive.

Bryan Harris often does this, so it must work well for him. For example, here is an email with an offer to attend a private mastermind:

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He sends a few emails leading up to the event and one or two at the last minute. They aren’t complicated—just a brief description of what to expect in the event.

What else can you offer subscribers? Another thing of value that doesn’t cost you much, if anything, is early access.

Matthew Barby created a WordPress plugin and sent this email to his subscribers, giving them free access to it:

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That’s a pretty sweet offer. In reality, Matthew is also gaining his first group of users, which is another win for him.

If you’re launching any big guides or tools, consider getting early feedback from your subscribers.

What else can you offer?

  • Discounts
  • Secret products (like limited one-on-one consulting)
  • Webinars
  • A sneak peak at original research
  • Free samples

Be creative. If you can think of any other ideas, tell me about them in a comment at the end of the article.

2. Give subscribers the gift of convenience

Take care of your subscribers because your list is one of the most valuable assets you own.

You can give value in many ways. Some may be big gestures (email type #1), but even small things go a long way.

If someone is on your list, that means they’ve already told you that they like your content (if they signed up from a blog post, for example).

However, just because they want to hear your thoughts and advice doesn’t mean all your subscribers want it in the same way.

Typically, you’ll email all your subscribers about any new content you create. When you do this, consider giving them alternative ways to consume the content. Make it as convenient as you can.

For example, Tim Urban created a long post about SpaceX. He then sent out this email to subscribers:

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On top of the regular link that he had already sent his subscribers, he sent this email with two other options: a PDF version and an audio version.

It takes a fraction of the time to re-create the original content in a different form, but it adds a lot of extra value.

Nathan Barry offers another way to make your content more convenient.

After he hosts a webinar, he uploads it to YouTube and sends an email with a link to all his subscribers.

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It’s something that I know most subscribers really appreciate, and it also exposes his webinar to those subscribers who forgot to sign up for the event.

Convenience typically comes in the form of different mediums of content.

If you wrote a blog post, particularly a long one, consider emailing it to your subscribers with more than one version:

  • PDF
  • a cheat sheet
  • audio version
  • video summary

Or if you created a video, reformat that into:

  • an e-book
  • an MP3 download
  • a video download
  •  a cheat sheet/summary

You don’t need to create all the formats. Just think about which ones your subscribers would like most and which make sense for the content you made.

3. Short value emails can be a nice change of pace

Think about your subscribers’ email boxes.

Day after day, they get several emails from friends, families, and businesses they like.

What do most of the business emails consist of?

  • “Read our content”
  • “Buy our stuff”

About 90% of business emails fall into these two categories.

And it’s not that those types of emails aren’t valuable to your subscribers—because they are, but some subscribers will get fatigued by them.

If you’re looking to maximize your subscriber happiness as much as possible, consider sending emails that focus on nothing but teaching something interesting to your subscribers.

No links to your content or anyone’s website.

No asking for replies—just a clear show of value.

Bernadette Jiwa is known for her story-telling talent.

She sends out this exact type of email I’m talking about on a regular basis. Sometimes her emails have links underneath, and sometimes they don’t.

Here’s an example of such an email (yes, that’s the whole thing):

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It’s short but gives her subscribers an interesting thing to ponder, which helps them tell better stories (their goal).

It’s a nice break from overwhelming amounts of content (which I may be guilty of myself).

4. Highlights need to be interesting

Email newsletters are nothing new.

Any email sent out on a regular basis that summarizes what’s been happening on a site can be considered an email newsletter.

They’re supposed to consist of highlights.

But like the name implies, they need to consist of the very best of your site.

Whether you have user-generated content or content produced by your writing team, highlight emails are an option.

However, make sure you’re not including everything. But don’t select content randomly either.

You should be giving previews of the most popular content on your site for that particular time period.

For example, Quora (the question and answer site), regularly sends users the most upvoted questions from their feeds.

Here’s what it looks like:

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I would guess that these are automatically generated by the most upvoted questions during the week.

5. One way to show that you really respect subscribers

One goal that every email marketer should have is to form deeper relationships with subscribers.

Admittedly, this is difficult. It’s tough to break down that barrier over email only. You’ve probably never met your subscribers, and by default, they think of you as just another business.

Even if they like your business, most subscribers will still be skeptical about your claim that you care about them and not just their money.

One thing I encourage businesses to do is find employees through their email list.

I’ve done it before, as have many others. Here’s an example of Ramit Sethi sending an email to his list while looking to hire for more than 10 positions:

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When you do this, you make it clear that you think of them as people whom you respect and who you believe have valuable skills.

And it’s good business too. Your subscribers likely have an in-depth understanding of your business and obviously think in similar to you ways (since they like you).

Even if someone doesn’t apply or doesn’t get hired, it’s clear to them that you’re looking to develop partnerships and relationships with people on your list.

It’s one way to break down that barrier a bit and become more than “just another business.”

6. Don’t fall victim to the “curse of knowledge” (deliver your best stuff)

Many bloggers suffer from the “curse of knowledge.”

The curse of knowledge is a fairly old concept. It basically states that it’s hard to understand what lesser-informed people are thinking.

If you’re an expert in math, it would be hard for you to even fathom that someone doesn’t understand something like basic calculus.

It’s the reason why some people are geniuses but absolutely awful teachers. Conversely, someone who just learned something can often teach it best because they understand the perspective of someone who doesn’t know it.

Let’s apply this to your subscribers and content.

Over the years, you might write hundreds of pieces of content. At that point (possibly present day), you’re naturally going to assume that your average new subscriber is more informed than they used to be.

For me, as an example, it’s easy to assume that every new subscriber understands on-page and off-page SEO as well as concepts such as white-hat and black-hat link building.

From that perspective, it’s hard for me to send them my advanced guide to SEO because I’m assuming they already know everything in it.

Chances are, though, your average new subscriber won’t change much over time.

And it’s very likely that my average new subscriber could benefit from more general SEO knowledge before I get to the specific tactics I currently write about.

The autoresponder “crash course”: If you think that this is a problem, one way to fix it is with an autoresponder sequence.

Think of what an average subscriber knew even a year or two ago, and make a list of what they need to learn to get up to speed with the rest of your content.

Then, put together an autoresponder sequence that you send to all new subscribers, where you showcase your old content that teaches these basic concepts.

For example, if you sign up for Wordstream’s list, a PPC optimization business, you’ll get a few emails like this:

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The guides are all older content, and the field may have advanced since it was written, but the fundamentals hold true, and new subscribers will greatly appreciate learning them.

The takeaway from the “curse of knowledge” is that you’re probably giving subscribers a bit too much credit. Don’t assume they’ve read every single post you’ve ever written—because they haven’t.

Don’t be afraid to send emails featuring the best of your older content.

7. Preview big events that subscribers will be interested in (be your own hype man)

You need to give subscribers incentives to open that next email.

There are many ways to do this, but one way is to build hype in advance.

Think about any popular TV show. They show previews for the next episode in commercials and at the end of episodes.

These get you excited, and you make sure you watch the next episode.

Brian Dean does a similar thing really well, but for content.

For example, he sent this email to subscribers:

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In that email, he shared his story about struggling and then finally succeeding with SEO.

It’s an interesting story that draws you in and makes you curious about the specifics of his success (building hype).

At the bottom of the email, he teases subscribers with bullet points that outline what he’s going to show them over the next few emails:

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Right at the end, after building that hype, he tells them to watch out for his next email in which he’ll send the first post about how to succeed with SEO like he did.

You’d better believe that he had a fantastic open rate on that email.

You can do the same. When you’re planning to publish a big piece of content or a new tool, first send an email that focuses on the benefits of it.

If possible, tie it into an entertaining story to suck in your subscriber even more. That will only add to the anticipation.

Conclusion

It’s not enough just to build an email list—you have to use it effectively.

Emails are a great personal way to communicate with subscribers and customers.

Use as many of these 7 types of emails (where they make sense) to start building more meaningful relationships.

If you’re having trouble deciding exactly what to send to your subscribers, just fill me in on your situation in a comment below, and I’ll point you in the right direction.


Quick Sprout

Mobile+Web DevCon 2015 Can Send Your Career into the Stratosphere in Just 3 Days!

When Bastille Day rolls around, will you be lighting up the sky with fireworks or sending your career skyward thanks to your smart decision to head for San Francisco to attend Mobile+Web DevCon 2015? The decision is an easy one if you’re like Frank who’s sick and tired of reading about the successes his contemporaries are enjoying while he toils at a job that neither fulfills nor rewards him — a job in which he never feels appreciated. Will three days at Mobile+Web DevCon change Frank’s life? Very likely. If you know what’s good for you, join him on his rocket ride into the future between July 14th and 16th in San Francisco.

What to Expect from Mobile+Web DevCon 2015

When you glimpse everything that awaits you at Mobile+Web DevCon 2015, you may not believe your eyes. Workshops will cover an exciting mix of information that include native, cross-platform and web development insights and if you don’t want to sit still at one that’s of no interest, you’re encouraged to switch tracks and move on to one that grabs your attention.

Speakers talk about their successes, their failures, their victories and their defeats so you never get an unrealistic picture of what you can expect as you move into the future. Pre-conference, hand-on labs are available to whet your appetite in small group settings that put you ahead of the curve and if you think you knew all there was about coding, you’d better be prepared for revelations! Walk away with enough practical takeaways to impress your boss and convince him that he was wise to encourage you to attend. Don’t be surprised if you make friends, too.

Mobile+Web DevCon Speakers

Aside from being your ticket to a career rather than a job, Mobile+Web DevCon 2015 is a three-day, action-packed forum featuring the best and the brightest development whizzes on the planet. They’re young, they’re brilliant and they’re willing to share their secrets with others because there’s plenty of glory to be had by those savvy enough to know that education is the key to everything from money to power.

High-profile speakers representing industry giants like AOL, IBM Watson, McGraw Hill, SpeedCurve, MobiZen, Peterson/Kandy, Change.org and VOKAL, will fill your mind and imagination, and by the time you read this, that speaker list will likely have grown.

Speakers

How to Register

Register immediately to make sure Mobile+Web DevCon 2015 doesn’t fill before you’re in, to secure your place, pick the workshops or labs you prefer and make sure you advise organizers of your need for special accommodation or dietary restrictions so they’re ready for you. Register for the entire three-day itinerary or just register for the lab or conference that best suits your needs. Some experiences cost only $ 495 USD and of course, all major credit cards are accepted. Rest assured, nobody will share your personal registration data.

Where to Stay

At the headquarters hotel, of course. No chasing around San Francisco to get from your lodgings to your workshops, seminars, one-on-ones, social meetups and other appointments because you’ll be quartered in the heart of downtown Union Square at an accommodation that’s so inspiring, you’ll feel the energy of the U.S. Marine Corps throughout your stay. Amenities include bathrobes, complimentary wireless and high-speed Internet so you can stay in perpetual contact with your office and each room has a ‘fridge to stow leftovers from all of the food-related events associated with Mobile+Web DevCon 2015. Conference planners have seen to every detail, but when you go out on your own, the rooftop restaurant and steakhouse are ideal places to meet up with the people you encounter throughout your stay.

Venue

Why Attend Mobile+Web DevCon?

Because, like Frank, you know that there’s more to your future than your current gig and you know that education is the secret to everything that awaits! Gain the latest knowledge about iOS and Android features and tools, find out how color and typography can turn a so-so site into a masterpiece and master best practices in Android architecture, UX and accessibility.

Agenda

Do you need more project and team management skills? Done and done as you rethink strategies for product roadmaps, learn to lead others in the exploration of robust mobile strategies that define product vision and return home to show just how savvy you’ve become at promoting collaboration between techies and creatives.

Whether your objective is becoming more expert at cross-platform development, web development or both, your mind will expand exponentially as you embrace all of the subjects you’ve been eager to master. And if you miss a talk, you’ll not be left high and dry! While pre-conference workshops aren’t recorded, regular sessions are, so avail yourself of speaker decks and MP3 resources after the conference ends.

What’s in it for Sponsors and Partners?

Believe it or not, Intertek, GSMI, OpenTable and Braintree all feel professional obligations to encourage, train and promote the careers of the best and brightest international mobile and web developers. They know that the future is in the hands of the best-trained men and women and by opening minds to the most advanced theories and practices in development, they’re ensuring a productive future for everyone on the planet in need of technical advancement. It’s almost impossible to walk away from a conference planned by these industry giants.

Sponsors

What are you waiting for?

Save $ 200 by registering now! That’s enough to underwrite your plane ticket if you’re in or near California.


Onextrapixel – Web Design and Development Online Magazine