A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about over-saturating the market with online business communication. While in the last post we gave you tips on how to tell if you are indeed over-saturating the market, we promised we’d do a follow up with some steps to take to help avoid it and to put out effective online marketing messages.
1. Consistent and timely messages. Plan, Plan, Plan! Decide ahead of time when you’re going to be communicating with your audience. In terms of email marketing, how frequently will you message? Monthly, Bi-Monthly, or Quarterly? Tuesdays or Thursdays? While your plan doesn’t have to be as detailed as blueprints, you should still decide when you are going to send and what you’re going to talk about. There are articles and case studies with varying results on when the best times of day to deliver are. Always keep your target demographic in mind. When are they going to have the time to read? I can promise you I won’t be reading any non-personal email after noon on Friday. Who cares at that point in time? Let me at the weekend. If you’re helping me decide what do to with my weekend maybe you should get me that during my mid week hump when I’m impatiently waiting for the weekend to roll around. If you’re tweeting or posting an update don’t overdue it and post daily until the day of the sale, event or whatever you’re pimping. You still need to be timely in your delivery. Again, when is your audience going to listen, care and be able to respond? Of course, don’t forget in social forums it’s not just about you, you must interact – it’s not about one way communication.
2. Only send something you would read yourself. Don’t send something just to send something. Often, companies find that the months slip by without sending out a message and then rush to put something together at the last minute when they need it. Tactic #1 will help you be prepared and avoid these last minute throw-togethers that could get multiple users unsubscribing from your list if they feel you’ve wasted their time. When it comes to social forums sometimes you can send something to send something but make sure you would read it. If it’s not interesting, insightful, entertaining to your target demographic don’t do it. Of course be sure it matches your overall marketing message and brand identity.
3. Define your Goal. What is the point of the message? Do you want readers to call in and book appointments? Do you want them to fill out a form requesting more information? Do you want them to purchase an item from your site? Are you being re-tweeted? Gaining fans or growing your network? Once you define what it is you consider a “conversion,” figure out how you will measure this goal, and move on to step 4.
4. Track. Track everything, and watch the numbers, read into them, and learn from them. If you see a significant portion unsubscribing from your list, or a decline in conversions, or fewer click throughs on your links perhaps conduct some testing to see if the decline was a result of the message itself or of the timing.
Tracking and measuring are almost as important as the timing and message itself, and the former should certainly influence the latter. The best part about planning ahead is that you will have a greater chance of learning from your mistakes and you’ll have time to adjust future messages to be more relevant and effective.
Posted on Thursday, May 27th, 2010
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