Friday, August 31, 2018

Here’s why you should crowdsource your programmatic creatives

Maybe you've experimented with influencers or user-generated content, but have you ever employed user-made-creative in your advertising campaigns? Contributor Grace Kaye shares tips and tactics, describing the experiences of one retail brand. The post Here’s why you should crowdsource your...

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

from Marketing Land - Internet Marketing News, Strategies & Tips

The ultimate guide to using Bing Webmaster Tools – Part 5

Contributor and Bing Chief Evangelist Christi Olson outlines the free publicity tools Bing offers in part 5 of our Bing WMT series. The post The ultimate guide to using Bing Webmaster Tools – Part 5 appeared first on Marketing Land.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

from Marketing Land - Internet Marketing News, Strategies & Tips

How to capitalize on the competitive advantage of real-time data analysis

Contributor Stela Yordanova explains how to capitalize on the competitive advantage provided by real-time data analysis. The post How to capitalize on the competitive advantage of real-time data analysis appeared first on Marketing Land.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

from Marketing Land - Internet Marketing News, Strategies & Tips

Marketing Day: Twitter tests, FTC asked to open new investigation on Google & more

Here's our recap of what happened in online marketing today, as reported on Marketing Land and other places across the web. The post Marketing Day: Twitter tests, FTC asked to open new investigation on Google & more appeared first on Marketing Land.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

from Marketing Land - Internet Marketing News, Strategies & Tips

Twitter suggested accounts to unfollow, says it was part of an ‘incredibly’ limited test

The test aimed to surface accounts that people were not engaging with. The post Twitter suggested accounts to unfollow, says it was part of an ‘incredibly’ limited test appeared first on Marketing Land.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

from Marketing Land - Internet Marketing News, Strategies & Tips

The newest Forrester Wave on social listening platforms expresses disappointment in the category

The report says there are too few differentiators and not enough integrated use of the data across the entire enterprise. The post The newest Forrester Wave on social listening platforms expresses disappointment in the category appeared first on Marketing Land.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

from Marketing Land - Internet Marketing News, Strategies & Tips

How to Increase Sales by Personalizing the Customer Experience

Successful brands put the customer first.

They monitor their customers’ behaviors and leverage their needs to enhance the buying process. You can also boost your revenue by optimizing the customer experience.

If you want to take this concept one step further, you need to focus on one important element that will increase sales.


Personalizing the customer experience is a winning strategy. In fact, 96% of marketers agree that their efforts to personalize their customers’ experience advance their relationships with customers.

Furthermore, 88% of marketers say they’ve seen a measurable improvement in their businesses after implementing customer personalization tactics.

But only 33% of businesses feel confident they have the tools to properly personalize the customer experience.

That’s what inspired me to write this guide.

Some of you may already know you need to create a more personalized experience for your customers, but you just don’t know what to do. Or maybe you’re trying to improve your existing efforts.

Regardless of your situation, I’ll explain what you need to do.

These are the best ways to increase sales by accommodating the needs of your customers and personalizing their experience.

Encourage your customers to create profiles

One of the first things you need to do is allow your customers to create profiles on your platform. Those profiles will help you implement other strategies as we continue through this guide.

Once the accounts are created, you’ll be able to monitor the behaviors of your customers based on their profiles.

Your customers are perfectly comfortable with you tracking their habits as long as it’s improving their experience.

monitor behavior

As you can see from these numbers, customers want you to:

  • make it easier for them to shop
  • give them relevant offers
  • provide them with a more personalized experience
  • improve their experience on multiple channels

Not only are your customers comfortable with you monitoring their behaviors through their profiles, but they actually expect it. In fact, more than half of consumers say they expect brands to anticipate their needs so they can receive relevant suggestions.

You’ll eventually be able to recommend products based on shopping and browsing behavior, but we’ll discuss that in greater detail later.

The best way to encourage your customers to create accounts is by making it as easy as possible for them.

They don’t want to take tons of unnecessary steps to set up their accounts. Make sure you limit your form fields needed for the account creation.

Think about what information you need from the customer that will help you personalize their experience.

Basically, anything they’d provide you with during an optimized checkout process is enough to create a profile.

Add a simple checkbox to the checkout that says something like “create a customer profile” to accomplish this.

Both you and your customers will benefit from this option. The personalized content on their profiles will improve their experience and ultimately drive more sales.

Segment your email subscribers

Collecting email addresses needs to be a priority for your business. But if you want to personalize the customer experience, you need to make sure you’re delivering relevant content to their inboxes.

The best way to do this is by segmenting your email lists:

segment emails

Although everyone who signs up to receive emails from your company might be interested in your brand, it doesn’t mean they have the same wants and needs.

You need to learn how to write marketing emails that don’t get marked as spam.

Grouping your subscribers into separate lists will ensure they don’t receive irrelevant information.

Let’s take customer profiles as an example. If a customer creates a profile during the checkout process, you’ll know their address because they need to provide you with shipping and billing information.

Your customers in Texas shouldn’t be getting the same emails as your customers in New Hampshire if your company is advertising a winter sale.

Those subscribers in Texas don’t care about discounted winter hats and ski pants.

That’s why segmented email campaigns can result in a 760% revenue increase.

Marketers say 58% of their revenue comes from emails that are properly segmented and targeted.

Recent studies show the differences between segmented emails compared to non-segmented campaigns.

Segmented emails have:

  • 14.3% more opens
  • 101% more clicks
  • 4.7% fewer bounces
  • 9.4% fewer unsubscribes

Higher opens and clicks paired with fewer bounces and unsubscribes put your company in a great position to increase sales.

Store information for faster checkouts

Again, customer profiles are important here.

Make sure you ask for the information required to complete a purchase only once. After that, you can store the information to expedite the purchasing process in the future.

Each step a customer has to take to buy something decreases the chances they’ll complete this action.

Having to enter their name, address, and credit card information into your platform every time is tedious. The whole reason why they created a profile was to improve their experience.

Take a look at how Delta uses this strategy:

delta 1

By saving credit card information in their customer profiles, people can book a flight fast and easily. They don’t even need to have their cards on them.

Every ecommerce company needs to incorporate this strategy.

Customers will be able to add items to their carts and complete transactions with just a few clicks. This will help you improve your conversion rates and drive more sales.

Implement geotargeting practices

As I explained earlier, you can use the customer’s location to personalize their experience.

In addition to segmenting your email lists by location, you can also tailor the content on your website based on the country your customers are browsing from.

Take a look at this example from the SAXX website:


Their customers are primarily located in the United States and Canada.

While the two countries may be similar, the company still wants to offer tailored customer experience based on the location of their customers.

For example, Canadian customers will want to see measurements of clothing in centimeters since they use the metric system. And people browsing in the United States will see “color,” while the Canadians will see “colour.”

Yes, any English-speaking person can understand American English, but not having the site customized to the customer location can still hurt the company’s sales.

By allowing its website visitors to choose their country, SAXX ensures they’ll be shown the right content.

Those of you who have an international brand need to take this process one step further. Look at the options on the Nike website:

nike 1

Your website isn’t the only platform that can be personalized based on location.

You can use your mobile app to pinpoint the exact location of your customers as opposed to broader locations, e.g., the state or country.

When someone downloads your app, ask them to agree to share their location with you so you can track it. Then, you can send them notifications using geofencing technology.

With geofencing, you can set up an area around one of your store locations. When an app user enters the location, they’ll get a notification that encourages them to make a purchase.

For example, let’s say you own a restaurant chain.

Someone with your mobile app walks within a block of one of your locations during lunch time. You can send them a discount off their lunch purchase that day.

Create a customer loyalty program

When you’re implementing customer personalization tactics, you shouldn’t aim to generate a one-time sale.

You want these efforts to lead to customer retention, resulting in recurring purchases. That’s why you should come up with an effective customer loyalty program.

Studies show 82% of consumers are more likely to buy from brands offering loyalty programs.

Plus, loyal customers spend more money. Just look at these numbers:


Customers who have purchased from your brand multiple times add items to their carts at a higher rate, have higher conversion rates, and generate more revenue per shopping session.

You can set up your loyalty program in a few different ways.

The most basic option would be to give your customers a reward after a predetermined number of visits or purchases. You’ve seen these before.

You may go to a local food truck outside of your office for lunch. They probably have some kind of a punch card that rewards you with a free sandwich on your tenth visit or some other reward scheme.

But the best customer loyalty programs reward their highest spending customers.

Set rewards based on spending tiers. This will give your customers an incentive to spend even more money.

Allowing them to track their progress on their customer profiles or from the mobile app will improve their personalized shopping experience.

Listen to customer feedback

According to research, 68% of consumers abandon a business because they don’t feel the brand cares about them.

That’s why you should use surveys and interviews to generate more money for your business. This will show your customers you value their opinions.

However, just asking your customers to provide feedback isn’t enough.

You actually need to make changes based on those suggestions.

But first, you need to analyze the results of the feedback. Don’t just implement changes for the sake of it—that won’t deliver a return on your investment.

But if you notice that a large percentage of your customers are providing similar feedback and suggestions to improve your process, you should take that very seriously.

Implementing these changes will make your customers realize they are part of your process and create a bond with your brand.

Recommend relevant products

I briefly mentioned this earlier, but I wanted to discuss it again in greater detail.

You already know you need to use the information provided in the customer profiles to personalize content for them. But there are certain pieces of extremely valuable information that you can’t get via a form field: what the customers are looking for and what they are buying.

But you can find out that information through the browsing and purchase histories of your customers. That information will allow you to suggest relevant products to them.

If you do, consumers will be more likely to buy from your brand, whether you operate online or in person:

browsing history

Recommending products to your customers also narrows their options.

Roughly 40% of consumers left a website to buy from a competitor instead because they felt overwhelmed by too many options. Don’t let this happen to you.

If one of your customers recently purchased a surfboard and a wetsuit, it’s safe to say they’ll be spending time at the beach and in the water. So you could suggest something like a paddleboard and sunscreen because it’s relevant to their purchase history.

Let your customers be part of the personalization process

Combine your personalization strategy with an interactive process.

If a customer doesn’t have a profile, you can still get more information from them to personalize the content they see.

For example, Warby Parker has a feature on its website I love. Obviously, glasses aren’t a one-size-fits-all product.

But with so many options, it can be overwhelming for consumers to find exactly what they’re looking for. To help narrow the results, the brand asks their customers some questions.

First, it asks if you’re browsing for men’s or women’s styles. Then, the questionnaire asks the type of fit you’re looking for.

warby parker 1

As you can see, the cartoon faces are all of men because that’s what I selected in the first step. It’s another subtle personalized touch.

Next, they want to know your color preferences for glasses.

After that, you need to provide them with the shapes of frames you prefer the most.

warby parker 2

The questions get even more detailed.

Warby Parker asks when you had your last eye exam. It also wants to know if you’re interested in eyeglasses, sunglasses, or both.

This relates to my last point about narrowing down the results. You don’t want to overwhelm your customers.

Now the product results will be based on the preferences chosen by the customer.

Write content from the first person perspective

Try to establish a personal relationship with your customers.

In theory, this is much easier for small business owners who actually see their customers on a regular basis.

But even if you’re an ecommerce shop or a global brand, there are still ways for you to create this type of relationship based on how you communicate with your customers.

By writing content from the first person perspective, just like I do when I blog, you will make your customers feel more comfortable. Write as if you’re talking to a friend.

You don’t need to be formal all the time.

Don’t get me wrong: you should still write using proper grammar and avoiding slang terms. Just write as if you’re having a casual conversation.

Do this with your emails, blogs, and content on your website.

Sign emails using your name. Your emails should be coming from

Don’t send marketing emails from non-personalized addresses, like

Craft personalized email subject lines and content

Let’s continue talking about your email marketing strategy.

In addition to segmenting your lists and writing content from the first person perspective, you need to learn how to craft subject lines that generate results.

After all, if nobody opens your emails, they’re useless.

Research shows that personalized subject lines have tons of benefits:

subject line

Your messages will get opened at higher rates and have more clicks.

As you can see from the graph, these clicks ultimately lead to improved customer satisfaction and higher sales as well.


Your customers want and expect a personalized shopping experience. It’s your job to deliver this to them.

Start by encouraging customers to create profiles on your website. When you add subscribers to your email list, segment them based on the information they provided you with.

Let customers store information in their accounts, expediting the checkout process.

Use geotargeting to show website visitors and app users personalized content based on their locations.

Implement a customer loyalty program. Listen to the feedback your customers give you.

Monitor their browsing and purchase histories to recommend relevant product suggestions.

Create an interactive personalization process to help your customers narrow product results.

Learn how to write content and email subject lines with a personal message.

Once you implement these personalization strategies, you’ll enhance the customer experience and ultimately drive more sales.

What strategies is your business using to personalize the customer experience?

from Quick Sprout

Top 5 Reasons to Attend a Modern Marketing Express Near You

By Jennifer Dennis, Director, Marketing, Oracle Marketing Cloud

Oracle Marketing Cloud is hitting the road. Bringing our customers, partners, leaders, and product and services experts together for visionary thought leadership. These FREE half-day events kick off in Toronto September 12, highlighting the latest best practices and innovative breakthroughs around Oracle Eloqua and Oracle Responsys.

Speakers include: Shashi Seth, SVP Oracle Marketing Cloud and Dave Helmreich, GVP Oracle Marketing Cloud Sales North America.

Here's a sneak peek of what you can look forward to at the event. 

There are many reasons to take a break from the office, but here are some your boss is likely to agree with!

  1. Maybe you missed Modern Customer Experience. Now is your chance to catch up on some of the highlights, specifically how you can increase your marketing campaign ROI with Oracle Marketing Cloud.
  2. You are hungry for more. OK, so you made it to Modern Customer Experience. You discovered solutions and made great leaps, but there’s always another challenge. Keep on learning!
  3. You want to win a Markie Award. Markie Award nominations open soon! Get ready to win with tips from Markie winners, highlighting what it takes to bring home the trophy.
  4. You want to expand your career portfolio. We’ll share productivity tips from Oracle product experts, so you’ll have more time to take on those stretch assignments that could help you earn your next promotion.
  5. You need some fresh inspiration. Network with fellow marketing thought leaders – they might just have the creative answers you need to help solve your problems.

BONUS: There is no charge to attend this event. And there’s one coming to a city near you!

September 12 – Toronto, Canada

October 3 – New York City

October 10 – Boston

January 23 – Austin, TX

February 5 – San Francisco

Date TBC – Atlanta, GA

Agenda includes both general sessions and breakouts dedicated to Oracle Eloqua and Oracle Responsys:

  • The Future of Digital Marketing
  • Marketing for The Win: Spotlight on Markie Award Winners
  • Advancements in B2B Modern Marketing
  • B2C Marketing and Customer Experience Innovation
  • Tips & Tricks to Create Oracle Eloqua Magic
  • B2C and B2B Marketing Collaborative Learning Sessions
  • Turbo-Charged Segmentation with the New CX
  • Using Digital Behavior to Drive Immediate Action 
  • Oracle Eloqua and Oracle Responsys Roadmaps

 See you on the road! Learn more and register today!

from Oracle Blogs | Oracle Marketing Cloud

‘Tis the Season for Holiday Planning (Now!)

By ​Kenna Hilburn, Director of Account Development, Liveclicker

🎶 It’s beginning to look a lot like … September. 🎶

Which means your holiday planning is in full swing! Instead of writing an article with vague ideas that only add to your growing to-do list, we decided to give four specific tactics you can execute NOW to better position your programs for a successful holiday season and Q4.

Tip #1: Test, Test, Test

The first item on your holiday prep list should be to A/B test. Now is the time to determine the right creative mix for subject lines and email designs so your content is fully optimized and ready for the holiday season.

It’s a real opportunity, especially when you consider a surprisingly high number of marketers still aren’t testing. In fact, research shows that nearly 39 percent of brands never or rarely A/B test their broadcast and segmented emails.

The good news is that there are tools that can help automate the process and deliver winning creative in real time. This reduces the effort needed to analyze results and send a winning version.

Your broadcast messages shouldn’t be the only touch points to benefit from a test – also consider testing your automated and triggered messages for maximum impact. According to the same research, successful email marketers are 70 percent more likely to A/B test their triggered emails at least once a year. Also, these marketers are 95 percent more likely to A/B test their transactional emails at least once a year.

Start your test now, and carry it through the holiday season with dynamic testing tools that continuously test creative versions to ensure the champion version is always deployed.

Tip #2: Refresh Your Welcome Emails

The next item to tackle is a welcome series refresh. Your welcome series is your chance at a first impression, and if you are not personalizing that content, the impact of personalization later in the journey can be lost.

Here are a few suggestions any brand can implement to improve their welcome series – and generate better results:

  • In welcome message No. 1, start your relationship off on the right foot by featuring first name personalization in a fun font over an image. 

text overlay of Micki

You can also begin to progressively collect user preferences via a poll to personalize future emails.

  • In welcome message No. 2, dynamically serve up category or product recommendations aligned with the preferences you collected in the poll using a targeted webscrape. This email is also a great place to start telling your brand story – feature an embedded video that brings your company story to life.

  • Finally, use welcome No. 3 and 4 to collect even more user preferences with additional polls, surveys, and other interactive devices. Just remember, use the preference data you collect to serve your customer with the personalized experience they expect.
Tip #3: Don’t Forget Transactional Emails

Think quick: What is the one message all converted shoppers receive in their experience with your brand?

Shipping confirmations are often an afterthought in the marketing strategy – sometimes they are even executed by a different team – but think of the opportunity these messages represent. WIth high open and re-open rates, as customers anxiously await and track their precious packages, these emails are the perfect opportunity to keep a customer in your branded experience instead of sending them to a third-party tracking site.

For example, digital retailer Evine uses live business context data to display live package location information in its shipping confirmation emails. This tactic increased month-over-month click-to-open rates by 16 percent. 

Tip #4: Plan Ahead with Time-Based Campaigns

Our last recommendation focuses on planning. The phrase, holiday rush, is not an exaggeration. Timely offers and communications are key for a consumer looking for the best deal, and driving urgency is one of the most effective tools in your marketing playbook.

This demand is the perfect opportunity to use time-based targeted messages. Create an hourly, daily, or weekly deals campaign, and drive urgency with a mix of countdown timers, add-to-calendar calls to action, and images that change in real time as offers expire and new promotions come online.

These types of messages successfully cut through the clutter by delivering dynamic content that is always up to date and never provides the negative experience of an expired offer.

A Gift Any Email Marketer Will Love

As you start developing this year’s holiday campaigns, don’t resort to the same old, same old approach. This year, get creative with innovative new strategies and technologies that are proven to increase important email metrics and improve sales. With these four tips, you can truly give the gift that keeps giving – highly engaging email campaigns your customers will love. 


Kenna Hilburn serves as Liveclicker's Director of Account Development, leading an international team of account management professionals in client services, satisfaction, and growth. In her role, she is able to share her expertise in both the email marketing and video commerce industries with clients targeting an ever-changing, global marketplace. 

from Oracle Blogs | Oracle Marketing Cloud

Digital Marketing News: Facebook’s User Ratings & Groups Pixel, Google’s Ad Strength Tool, & Surprising Gen Z Survey Findings

2018 August 31 News Google Image

Facebook moves to rate users on trustworthiness: report
Facebook has started assigning users a reputation score. Will the new user trustworthiness rating system, which has been refined over the past year, see eventual digital marketing uses? Reuters

Machine learning reveals crazy advertising ideas that actually work
Artificial intelligence aims to not only create but monitor in real-time which ads are creating the most impact, including some rather unorthodox ideas. VentureBeat

Facebook tests ‘things in common’ label to try to connect non-friends
Facebook has been testing new methods to help bring non-friends who share common interests together, with highlights to appear among user comments. CNET

YouTube ads are about to get a little less skippable
YouTube Partners has announced a potentially risky change that will allow costlier unskippable ads on all the video giant’s channels, expanding on earlier limited-audience tests. Mashable

Google Updates Structured Data Requirements
Google has updated its structured data requirements for advertisers creating responsive search ads, including publication and modification dates and a variety of testing tool changes and additions. MediaPost

Survey shows digital-native Gen Z prefers in-person interaction with brands
Gen Z’s complex relationship with technology and marketing is examined in a new brand interaction survey of college students. Marketing Dive

2018 August 31 Statistics Image

Podcasting continues its meteoric rise, creating more opportunities for marketers
Podcasting has seen widespread growth, with revenues that topped $314 million in 2017, an 86 percent increase from 2016, making the industry ripe for advertiser opportunities. A look at some of the challenges the medium presents. MarTech Today

People Spent 85 Billion Hours In WhatsApp In The Past 3 Months (Versus 31 Billion In Facebook)
WhatsApp users racked up some 85 billion usage hours over the last three months, more than double the time Facebook users spent. Combined with the Facebook-owned messaging and VoIP mobile app’s billion-plus users, the trajectory of WhatsApp appears to be strong. Forbes

Facebook adds pixel to Groups so marketers can track engaged audiences
Facebook has begun offering a tracking pixel features, allowing digital marketers new Group Insights user-behavior tracking options. DigiDay


2018 August 31 Marketoonist Tom Fishburne Cartoon

A lighthearted look at how to rebrand by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

Gamer Checks Facebook During Cutscene That Took 3,000 Man-Hours to Animate — The Hard Times


  • TopRank Marketing — No Celebrities Required: How to Create Great Influencer Content — Content Marketing Institute (client)
  • Anne Leuman — Don’t Overlook These Important Pieces of Expert Small Business Advice — Small Business Trends
  • Anne Leuman — What’s Trending: How to Make Your Content Sticky — LinkedIn (client)
  • Lee Odden — How to Create the Best Content Marketing World Experience — Nimble
  • Lee Odden — #CMWorld – It’s time to start packing! — Content Marketing World (client)
  • Lee Odden — 5 Tips for Better Content Marketing in 2019 — Practical Ecommerce
  • Lee Odden — Conference Blog Post Content: 20 Types You Can Steal — Heidi Cohen
  • Lee Odden — Influencers and Media Partners: How to Amplify the Reach of Content [Webinar] — SEMrush
  • Lee Odden — Main Stage Spotlight Speakers at Pubcon Pro Las Vegas — Pubcon
  • Lee Odden — Content Marketing World Authors Will Make You Smarter — Heidi Cohen
  • TopRank Marketing — 2018 Content Planning Report — DivvyHQ (client)

What are some of your top content marketing news items for this week?

Thanks for reading, and we hope you’ll join us next week for the most relevant new digital marketing industry news, and in the meantime you can follow us at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news. Also, don’t miss the full video summary on our TopRank Marketing TV YouTube Channel.

Email Newsletter Gain a competitive advantage by subscribing to the
TopRank® Online Marketing Newsletter.

© Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®, 2018. | Digital Marketing News: Facebook’s User Ratings & Groups Pixel, Google’s Ad Strength Tool, & Surprising Gen Z Survey Findings |

The post Digital Marketing News: Facebook’s User Ratings & Groups Pixel, Google’s Ad Strength Tool, & Surprising Gen Z Survey Findings appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

from Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®