I have a confession to make.
The odds of my instantly deleting one of the many marketing emails I receive each day are about as good as Tom Brady and the Patriots making the playoffs — meaning it’s pretty likely to happen.
Unfortunately for all you email marketers out there, I’m not alone. According to email marketing service MailChimp, the average email open rate across industries is below 25 percent,with a click rate of 2 to 3 percent. That means that, on average, you’d need to send 100 emails to get two or three people to take any action. All that time and energy spent crafting the perfect email marketing campaign will be wasted if you don’t create a complementary strategy to get more sales from your hard-earned email list.
The good news is that you can use Google AdWords as your complementary strategy by simply leveraging the existing data you have on your email subscribers. Let’s dive into the best ways to make that happen.
Learn the ins and outs of Customer Match in AdWords
Customer Match in AdWords might be the greatest secret weapon for email marketers that Google has to offer. It allows you to target or exclude your existing customers on Google Search, Display and YouTube by simply uploading your customer email list to AdWords. Think of it as another way to nurture your sales leads besides sending them more emails.
The best thing about Customer Match is that it’s not that difficult to get up and running. Here’s what you need to do to get started:
- Click on the “Wrench” icon in the top right corner of your AdWords Dashboard.
- Click on “Audience Manager” under the Shared Library section.
- Click on “Audience Lists” from the Page Menu on the left.
- Click on the blue “+” button to create a new audience list.
- Select “Customer List.”
- Choose the option to upload a plain text data file or a hashed data file.
- Choose your new file.
- Check the box that says “This data was collected and is being shared with Google in compliance with Google’s policies.”
- Set a membership duration (this should be determined by the types of customers that make up the list).
- Click “Upload and Create List.”
Please note that these instructions are for the “new” version of the AdWords dashboard. If you’re interested in Customer Match but are still using the “old” version of the AdWords dashboard, see here for more instructions.
Segment your email list
Now that you have a better understanding of Customer Match, let’s take a look at how you might want to slice and dice your email list to more effectively target your sales leads on AdWords.
Take a look at the following email audience segments we use at AdHawk (my company) for a moment:
- New and engaged email subscribers who have not become customers.
- Email subscribers who have not opened an email recently.
- Email subscribers who are existing customers and would be a good fit for an upgraded product or service.
Each of these email audience segments has an entirely different relationship with our business and needs to be messaged to differently. If you have a similar breakdown of your marketing emails, you can repurpose your email list segmentation for your AdWords campaigns via Customer Match. This will allow you to tailor the messaging of your ads for each segment, and as a result, help to nudge your sales leads farther down your funnel.
Create a different AdWords strategy for each segment of your email list
Once you have your email audience segments in place, it’s time to develop a unique AdWords strategy for each segment.
I’m going to use the three email audience segments noted above as examples. Your approach might be different, and that’s okay. Just make sure you’re not using general ads for every email audience segment you have on your list.
Converting new and engaged email subscribers
When a new lead signs up to learn more about AdHawk, our team goes into “educate” mode. The goal is to get them to see the value of our product and services as quickly as possible so we can move them down the funnel.
Our “Welcome” email flow takes the first steps in educating our leads, and it performs pretty well compared to the industry average. But our secret weapon emerges when we take a list of our “new” sales leads and turn it into a Customer Match campaign in AdWords.
Here’s what a typical flow for this segment looks at AdHawk:
- Step 1: Potential customer signs up to learn more about AdHawk.
- Step 2: After signing up, the potential customer receives the first email in the “Welcome” email flow, with a call to action to book a time with our sales team.
- Step 3: A Customer Match segment is created for all “new” prospective customers that didn’t take action on the first email in the “Welcome” email flow.
By using a Customer Match segment for all new and engaged AdHawk sales leads, we’re able to bid up on more generic keywords that would be too risky to bid up on for a general search campaign. We’re also able to create Gmail Ads with a similar look and feel to our “Welcome” emails series that prompt a strong customer recall.
Converting unengaged email subscribers
Converting unengaged email subscribers can be a huge pain in the butt. They’ve stopped engaging with your emails, so the worst thing you could do is continue to bash them over the head with more emails.
Here’s the flow we use to re-engage leads that have left us hanging:
- Step 1: Potential customer signs up to learn more about AdHawk but does not engage with our emails for 30 days.
- Step 2: A Customer Match segment is created for all “unengaged” prospective customers.
- Step 3: A Remarketing campaign is created to target prospective customers that have not converted after 30 days.
- Step 4: We tailor the Customer Match and Remarketing ads to promote a special offer.
This group is the least likely to convert, so any new business scraped up is a huge win! It’s important to educate these stale leads on what we do and remind them why they signed up in the first place.
Upselling existing customers to a new product or service
Most marketers are so intent on attracting new business that they often forget that there is a wealth of opportunity under their noses. Don’t sleep on marketing to those that have bought something from you in the past! We use our existing customer segment to promote new features or products we feel they will be a good fit for.
Here’s the flow we use to target existing customers:
- Step 1: A Customer Match segment is created for our “Existing Customers.”
- Step 2: We further segment this list by renewal date to ensure that customers see our ads when their contract is up.
- Step 3: Tailor the ads to promote additional services we offer that our customers are not leveraging.
We’ve structured our flow this way because our product runs on a subscription basis. If you’re selling physical goods that can be repurchased often, break down your segment by the products your customers have shown the most interest in. That way, you can tailor your ads to the specific products you believe would resonate most with them.
Are you leveraging AdWords as part of your email marketing strategy? If you are, I’d love to learn more about what strategies you have used that have been successful.
Original thinking in the business world can be of great help, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn from others. Remember the old saying, keep your friends close and your enemies closer? Well, this may sound sneaky, but learning how your competitors do their Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can…
Original thinking in the business world can be of great help, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn from others. Remember the old saying, keep your friends close and your enemies closer? Well, this may sound sneaky, but learning how your competitors do their Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can really teach you a lot on how you can structure your marketing strategy.
Your competition is one of the obstacles your business will have to face in order to be successful. Keep in mind that in the world of SEO and digital marketing, there’s ideally no one closer to you than your competitors. In this case, why would you overlook learning about them when developing your strategy? You can find a wealth of information and achieve a competitive advantage by simply researching and analyzing your competition.
1. Identify your Real Competitors
When finding your real competition, I recommend that you include any website or company that you compete with for web visibility and traffic, regardless of whether you are selling the same product or not. A comprehensive competitive analysis is not a small task, but it will be worth it. Aim at making a list of around five to 10 competitors in your geographical location and your industry. Here is how I went about finding my top competitors:
- Use industry keywords to look for businesses similar to your on the major search engines
- Set up a Google Alerts to ensure you receive all the necessary updates on your competing products/services, and even keep up with industry news
- Find more competitors in your niche via associations’ member directories
2. Determine the Keywords You Compete For
Once you have determine your competition, it’s now time to analyze the keywords, including the long-tail keywords that you are competing for. You can actually begin analyzing who ranks for the same terms. The Google Keyword Planner tool is what I used for this, where you just enter the competitors URL and the tool will show you the keywords related to the topics and content on their website. You can even identify the level of competition and keyword volume with this tool.
3. Explore their Content Marketing
To improve your rankings enhance your brand awareness, and increase your organic traffic, you have to produce high-quality content regularly and consistently. This is one of the most effective tools in Search Engine Optimization, and gaining more leads. You can learn from the pitfalls of your competition, as well as from their strengths. Check how often they post, the quality of their content, whether they share on social media, and assess the number of views.
4. Social Media Behavior
What social media platforms do your competitors use? What kind of content do they post there? Are there any links to videos, articles, or infographics? Do they use keywords on their social media posts? Have a look at the groups they interact with and how they do it.
Some of the best information about your competitors you will find in blog comments. Comb through the comments you find and find out what the audience is saying. Work with the information you find to improve your product, so that it has everything the audience really want.
6. Product Analysis
Do a comprehensive analysis on the products they offer and find loopholes in the development where possible, this way, you will find features you can include in the products you offer. Or you can combine you expertise in their product, put an effective spin on it, and sell it at a competitive price.
7. User Experience
With online marketing, we are transitioning into the responsive formats to provide a consistent experience on all devices and screen types. The insurgence of mobile marketing means that user experience will still be key in customer satisfaction. Find out what your competitors are doing, so that you can keep up as the technology advances.
Before you start on your link building strategies, it pays to scope out what the competition is doing. You can find some potential link opportunities for your website. Use your detective skills to find out more about their high-authority backlinks, distinguish between spam and quality links, and to identify potential backlink sources.
9. Conversion Techniques
Some businesses utilize lead magnets or provide their audience with free offers to entice them to sign into their mailing lists. The kind of enticements and lead magnets they are using can provide you with an insight on exactly what you can do to increase the value of your offering, and therefore gain more leads.
10. Local SEO
It’s important to note the Search Engine Optimization efforts of your competitors in your local landscape, especially if you operate from a physical location. Find out if your competition has updated their local profiles in the popular online directories. Look for consistency in the contact information on their profiles and on their website, how well they have utilized their profile features, and if they bother to interact with local reviewers. I actually Created an ebook on this late 2016 of last year titled: Master Guide: To Dominating Your Competition in Local SEO.
This ebook is free and packed with strategies that are still current with resources for local SEO, along with how to overtake your competition!
Now that you have gained some valuable information about the Search Engine Optimization strategies your competition, get started! You are now at a better position to enhance your online presence, and to outshine them all.