When sitting down with clients to go over their digital marketing strategy, there’s a moment where it all becomes overwhelming. A short list of things marketers could be doing is still long: automation, dynamic content, SMS activity, social media marketing, live offers, web recommendations, and so on.
With all these options, the biggest question is “where do I start with my digital marketing strategy?” Going through the following three questions may help determine where you can put your next efforts.
1. Do I want to acquire subscribers or retain subscribers?
Acquiring subscribers means going out there and finding even more people who like you. In the world outside of work, this would be dating. Social media will be your best friend here. Promote yourself in mediums you may not be using – links to your website, events coming up, or industry news will attract new subscribers. Think about including a registration form on your website, or on your social media site. This will help you acquire subscribers in new ways than you’re used to.
If you want to retain subscribers, only one word matters: relevance. This not only means relevant communication, but in the relevant mode, and at the relevant time. Segment your audience based on demographics, automate your messages to get to your subscriber at the right time, or even use SMS to reach those subscribers who prefer mobile communication. Your subscribers aren’t the same, you shouldn’t market to them like they are.
2. Where am I excelling?
Is your click rate through the roof? If it is, your subscribers want to read what you have to say. Take your success from email to social. Social media provides a new platform in which you can build that same loyalty. Start posting your content on platforms like Linkedin or Facebook. Or use the content that’s doing so well in your email marketing campaigns, and promote them on Twitter. Reach more subscribers on alternate channels. Don’t assume they’re all on your email lists. One warning: don’t post the same content on each channel. Mix it up a bit, and reward followers on Twitter with different content than your email subscribers. Not only will they feel they’re getting added value, they may want to explore your other channels for more information.
Do you host successful events? Try using SMS activity during your next event. Attendees get access to more information without having to open their inbox, and in real time. Let them know when events during conferences are starting, if there are room changes, etc. A huge success I’ve seen at a conference: letting the audience text in a keyword during a presentation to get a whitepaper emailed to them immediately instead of finding a website to fill out a form, or emailing someone to get information.
3. Where am I experiencing difficulty?
Are more and more people unsubscribing? The biggest possibility is that your message isn’t relevant enough to them or you’re sending them at the wrong frequency. Segment your audiences and send them messages that they want to read. You have the data; use it.
Getting stuck in the status quo? It’s easy to create an email, hit send, repeat. Digital marketing has evolved, and that’s not what your subscriber wants. Email messages are marketing efforts and should be thought of as such. Trying new things breaks you out of the status quo, and can help develop a strategy that’s more than just clicking “send”.
Answering these questions can help put you on the right path, but the biggest differentiator between successful and unsuccessful campaigns is testing. Going all in with a single strategy may pay off, but it’s better to see the results on a small scale. Try out new designs, change your call to actions, play with preheaders, or segment your audience differently. Reflect on the changes you see, and then put that information to action. Once you see a quantifiable change, then start building your strategy around what you already know works.
About the author
Kelly O’Connell is the Solutions Consultant at Hallmark Data Systems. She consults clients on digital marketing strategies, covering Hallmark’s solutions of Dragon, eCom and Illume. Kelly helps communicate advanced technology concepts and illustrates the financial benefits from leveraging Hallmark solutions over all digital marketing efforts (email, landing pages, web forms, social, SMS).