Category Archives for "Mobile Marketing"

email marketing for contractors
Jan 26

Contractors, Here Are 7 Ways to Increase the Effectiveness of Your Email Marketing

Mobile Marketing

Email marketing has come back in full force, and brands that know their way around best practices can reap huge returns.

According to a survey of marketers conducted last summer, the average ROI from email campaigns was over 100 percent! This ROI beat out other marketing channels by over four times, including social media, paid search, and direct mail.

One study from 2015 even found that email marketing could generate as much as $38 for every $1 spent, which equals a mind-blowing 3,800% percent ROI.

For anyone trying to squeeze more out of their email marketing or turn around their lackluster campaign success, here are 7 pointers for increasing the effectiveness of your email efforts.

Segment Your List (Or Risk Being Irrelevant)

Talk to people about topics, products and ideas they are interested in.

According to an infographic by Mailigen, using segmented, relevant messaging more than doubles your open rate while driving 18x more revenue for your campaigns.

This approach makes a lot of sense if you have ever been to a party where someone is droning on and on about something you just don’t care to hear about or have any interest in. “Have you seen how expensive jogging strollers are these days?” they ask, not bothering to remember you don’t have kids and haven’t jogged since high school.

While the person talking may feel like they aren’t being terribly rude, to the recipient it can feel a bit more personal. “I don’t care what you are actually interested in” the person communicates. “Everyone is equally interested in what I have to say.”

Not having email segments is the same thing. Ensure your list is segmented by buyer persona so that every message is as relevant as possible.

For people who self-subscribe, you can even give them a chance to customize the content they receive by interest, product category and other choices from a pick-list. Just don’t count on them to do all the work of segmenting for you!

Using an email automation system like Constant Contact or Mailchimp is critical to keeping these segments organized, but you can also potentially do-it-yourself by just separating your mailing lists into separate content buckets.

Once you have segments established, take a moment to strategize the difference between each segment based on consumer traits, progress through sales pipeline and other situations. Then, outline the type of content that would be most relevant to each segment as well as what would be least relevant and should not be sent.

Taking a moment to get to know your audience can dramatically increase your open rates while lowering the amount of frustrated subscribers.

Use Personalization to Make Recipients Perk Up

When we hear our names — even if we know it’s someone else with the same name being called — we tend to take notice. Chances are good that your parents were pros at this technique. When they said your name before a sentence, you knew they meant business!

We have the same reaction when we see our names in an email. Personalization with a name and other details increases open rates by 26 percent, and it can even help drive brand affinity.

Note that personalization involves more than just adding a first name to an email. The entire message should be framed as if the recipient is having a 1:1 conversation with the sender. LinkedIn has become a pro at this tactic. They use personalization in a way that makes you sit up and listen.

contractor email marketing lists

Looking at moi? Go on, I’m listening!

The above message not only includes a name but signals that an exciting activity has happened. It says people are looking at your profile. Think of ways to mirror this effect so people get excited or intrigued just from looking at a subject line.

Segmenting your user base by the products they have bought (or expressed interest in) is another way to connect more deeply right from the subject line. “New Jeep Anniversary Fog Lights” can be a way for a Jeep Wrangler owner to have immediate interest, for instance.

Data shows that this type of personalization is table stakes for marketers with successful email programs. “88 percent of those that exceeded revenue expectations have personalization measurement systems in place,” says Inc.

Test Subject Lines Rigorously

A lot of marketers mess up promotional emails right from the moment they begin creating the subject line. You should scrutinize your subject line, get in-house feedback from a fresh set of eyes, and A/B test different subject lines before rolling out massive campaigns.

The first step is to make sure you are using some sort of subject line preview tool, like this one. Seeing your subject line visually helps you better-imagine how a recipient would react to it in their inbox.

Take special note of how the email looks on mobile devices since over half of email opens come via mobile. People tend to filter out what emails to read by the subject line alone. 69 percent of email recipients will report a message as spam based solely on the subject line.

Worst words to use include:

  1. FREE
  2. $$$
  3. Earn
  4. Guaranteed
  5. Whitepaper, journal, report

Some of the best words include:

  1. [Recipient Name]
  2. You/Your
  3. Thank you
  4. Account
  5. Monthly
  6. Subject 1 | Subject 2 | Subject 3 (e.g. “Bid Bonds | Liability Insurance | Worker’s Comp”)

Note that not every “common marketing knowledge” pointer like this list may work for you and your audience. Always test to be sure!

Promise to Not Waste Their Time by Always Signaling Value

Thinking like a recipient means coming up with ways to offer something they might actually want. For sales and promotional offers, think of the hottest product they might want or the best offer possible. Don’t just tell them there’s a “sale”; tell them what that means.

contractor internet marketing

Humble Bundle, which offers discount video game bundles, leads with its most popular game in the package.

When offering something non-material, like information, explain clearly how the contents of the email benefit the user. It could be something deep/important like “Want More 5 Star Reviews☆☆☆☆☆?” or even the promise that “You’ll Laugh Way Too Hard at These Marketing Puns”.

Many email marketers find great results by telling their audience how they can get more out of the products or services they already use.

The New York Times has gotten this down to an art. Since there is a million different pieces of content on their site other than what you see on the homepage, they take it upon themselves to inform subscribers about how they can learn and do more on NYTimes.com.

independent contractor email marketing

Get more from my subscription while spending less time? Sure, why not?

Use Powerful Images and Video to Get a Reaction

HTML-based email templates have transformed inboxes from a boring wall of text to a gorgeous place for showcasing compact content or well-designed advertisements.

Images are especially important for mobile since they make messages more colorful and intriguing as well as easier to read. Since 80 percent of email users are expected to access their inbox via mobile at least some of the time by 2018, thinking about their needs is vital.

contractor marketing strategy

Using human-centered images like this stock photo can invoke emotion and draw the eye to certain email sections.

Make sure you have text-only alternatives for image blockers, and try not to get too overboard with the images you use. Using images in a sloppy or unappealing way can sometimes hurt rather than help.

Using video embedded within email or as a link can likewise help you improve open rates and click-throughs. According to one source, just using the word “video” in a subject line can boost clickthroughs by 65 percent and opens by 19 percent.

Tell People What to Do with a Single Call to Action

This one is simple: every email should have a call to action (CTA).

Your CTA can be nearly anything, including:

  • Go buy this product
  • Take advantage of a limited-time offer
  • Try our tips
  • Go learn/read more at this page
  • Attend our event
  • Upgrade your current service package
  • Book a free consultation

Ensure that your CTA is crystal clear and compelling. Every recipient should know exactly what you want them to do and how to do it.

Providing a landing page after clicks to direct them more linearly to an offer can help simplify the process further. That way, your real CTA is just “Click Here,” and then you can drive more complex conversions from the landing page.

Avoid conflicting CTAs or multiple messages. No matter what you say, your ultimate conclusion leads the audience down ONE possible path. This practice will help your clickthroughs thrive.

Study Email Marketing Analytics Like You Have a Test Coming Up

Lots of email marketing strategies tend to work well across the board for a majority of industries, but there is no single set of hard-and-fast rules. Instead, every company has to study their own data in order to find what their audience seems to like/dislike about their emails.

Learn how to learn more from your email analytics, and use the lessons to optimize your approach over time. Trial-and-error is the only way to truly get better at something, and luckily email gives you plenty of lessons in the form of data.

Stick to Best Practices to Drive Success in Email Marketing

Mastering email marketing takes a lot of experimentation, practice, trial-and-error and attention to detail, but by following the best practices mentioned above, you can be well on your way towards greater success.

Just to recap your keys to success:

  1. Use segmentation to maximize relevance
  2. Personalize emails to get attention
  3. Test subject lines, mind your length and think like a recipient
  4. Promise true value to the recipient through your word choice and messaging
  5. Use emotional images in your layout
  6. Direct people to act with a single strong CTA
  7. Use analytics data to optimize your approach over time

Pay attention to what your data tells you, and keep up with the latest email marketing trends and advice on our blog to learn best practices that make you an email genius over time!

Dec 04

Contractors: Pay Attention to These Mobile Marketing Trends in 2018

Mobile Marketing

Contractors have to account for mobile devices within their marketing strategy in 2018. Otherwise, their competition is going to quickly leave them in the dust.

With every passing year, we rely increasingly upon our mobile devices to keep us connected. In 2014, mobile web traffic surpassed desktop traffic. Now, we spend an average of 5 hours a day using our mobile devices!

For business owners, this trend means that if someone is looking at their website, consuming digital content, or looking at an online ad, it is more likely than not occurring on a mobile device. Without awareness of the ways mobile has changed consumer habits, many contractor marketing strategies won’t just fall flat — they flat out won’t work at all.

To help you prepare for a mobile-mad consumer world, make sure you take the following six 2018 small business mobile marketing trends to heart:

People Increasingly Demand Mobile-Centered Website Design

contractor marketing websites

Just over half (51%) of all website visits now come from mobile devices. So, someone who is visiting your mobile website is most likely doing it on a tiny screen.

The first step to accommodating these mobile visitors is to ensure your site uses a reliable responsive design, which automatically scales down and rearranges site elements to look presentable. Most often, the change results in a website that navigates as a single scrolling page.

If you want to see if your website fits responsive design recommendations, you can use Google’s mobile friendly test.

Good Mobile Experience Tops SEO Demands

At this point, responsive design is table stakes for all businesses. Your website should therefore not just be responsive but intuitive to navigate on a relatively small touchscreen display.
Having a highly usable site doesn’t just encourage more visitors to linger. It also sends signals to search engines that your page is worth visiting, potentially boosting your ranking position above competitors. Conversely, events like someone clicking “Back” after just five seconds on your site can hurt ranking.

Elements that improve usability for mobile users include:

  • Simplified site layouts that contain no more than 5 main page categories, reducing needed clicks to navigate
  • An always-present navigation menu, most often the classic “hamburger menu” positioned in the top corner, although having a few additional icons helps
  • Easily presented information that follows an “inverted pyramid” approach with the most important details shown first

Kimberly de Silva of BiznessApps puts the approach best: “Cut your copy and content down to the bare essentials.” She stresses that you will want your design to, “seamlessly guide [visitors] to conversion without any distractions.” To improve clarity and directness, you can put non-essential information in side menus or in-text links within content.

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Boost Site Speed, UX and SEO

internet marketing & seo for contractors

Accelerated Mobile Pages (abbreviated “AMP”) is a project from Google and dozens of other tech collaborators intended at reducing page load times for website users. Developers code AMP pages to have as little getting in the way of quick load times as possible.

Fast-loading pages matter to mobile device users. They usually want answers now. Statistics show that people will be 90% more likely to abandon a page that takes five seconds to load compared to one second.

Google also offers a small search engine ranking boost to pages that use AMP guidelines.

Even if you don’t have the resources to switch your pages to AMP, you can still reduce your load times and improve user experience (UX) in other ways. Take Google’s PageSpeed Insights test for tailored suggestions.

Huge Shift Towards a Video-Centered Content Strategy

Videos are easier to watch on mobile compared to reading text — or even trying to digest colorful infographics. There are many reasons for this: video is passively consumed while text or large images have to be nudged around. Motion is easier to detect on small screens compared to discerning tiny static details.

For whatever, reason, people can’t get enough of mobile video. A third of online activity is now spent watching video. And video content gets snatched up quicker compared to non-video. For instance, adding a video to your landing page can increase conversions by over 80%. Blogs incorporating a video get three times as many inbound links.

Put simply: if you want more clicks, then try switching more online ads and organic-style content to video. You will accommodate your mobile audience better (who are 50% of your views, anyways), and you will drive improved engagement all around.

Micro-Moment Approach to Content and SEO for Contractors

video marketing for contractors

Not only is mobile-centered content moving towards video, but it’s also moving towards satisfying what Google calls “micro-moments” of need. A micro-moment refers to anytime you pull out your smartphone of tablet to answer an immediate question.

One common example is that people will search for a contracting company's name followed by “…near me.” So, instead of searching for “guitar store”, they might search for “guitar store near me.” Search results will display according to the user’s last known location. Ranking for “near me” requires a localized search keyword focus, so using “guitar store in Utica, NY” as a keyword emphasis on your website can help improve “near me” search rankings.

content marketing for contractors

Other micro-moments include times people need answers. So, someone might search for “how do I repair a broken peg on my guitar” and expect to find a quick video on the topic. Businesses can capitalize on this need by providing helpful content in addition to keywords mirroring the intended search, like “guitar repair in Utica, NY.”

When trying to satisfy micro-moments, there are two additional things to keep in mind: people may be searching for very specific content (long tail) and they may be asking their phone’s voice assistants to make the search for them (semantic search).

In response, try to offer a lot of quick, to-the-point articles and emphasize titles that reflect sentence-style questions people may ask. Using a music store example again, a semantic, long-tail search would be “where can I rent a trumpet near me?” compared to someone typing “instrument rental, Utica, NY.”

Forming Attribution Strategies and Tracing ROI

pay per click advertising for contractors

As a final note, contractors must take care to track how their efforts in mobile-centered marketing are doing. Yet, one in four retailers say they have no method for attributing mobile marketing interactions to final purchases.

Using an attribution strategy like having people redeem coupon codes in-person can help connect a mobile ad to a final in-store purchase. Other times, business owners estimate how many percentage of impressions and click-throughs generate to a final sales conversion. So, if 5% of web page visitors are spending an average of $42 in the next week at your store, then each page visit is worth approximately $2.10.

Ensure that, at the very least, you are setting marketing goals for your content and paid ads in the form of hard metrics. By tracing return on investment (ROI), you can optimize the amount you spend and chase better and better results over time.

Contractors Should Use These Small Business Mobile Marketing Trends to Find Success on the Small Screen in 2018!

By letting trends in mobile marketing and use influence your website design, your SEO strategy, and your approach to content marketing, you can improve your chances of success overall. You will also avoid giving up ground to competitors.

So, just remember: if you want to win big in 2018, start by thinking small!