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Best Email Marketing Services

Posted by on Apr 18, 2022 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Best Email Marketing Services

Best Email Marketing Services

Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.

What if I told you there was a single marketing channel through which companies are finding a 3,800% ROI? That’s earning $38 for every dollar spent.

This magic marketing channel is called email. Yes, just good old email. And that insane average ROI is one of many email marketing statistics that have held true for years now. 

There’s this perception that email is an outdated time-sink, but it doesn’t align with the statistics. 

If it were really too labor intensive to run an efficient email marketing campaign, the average ROI wouldn’t even be 1/1000 of what it is, year after year.

The key is finding the right email marketing service. You’re going to be able to send more emails with less work, and more importantly, you’ll be able to see how your campaign is performing. Figure out what’s working well and fine tune your messaging to stand out from the crowd.

Below you will find my top five recommendations followed by a brief buyer’s guide to help you find the right service for you.

#1 – Constant Contact Review — The Best for Ecommerce

Constant Contact offers some of the best email marketing services alongside top-notch solutions for ecommerce, event hosting, website building, and multi-channel marketing.

They average a 97% deliverability rate. This is only possible because the mature platform blends powerful behind-the-scenes functionality—like blocklists, proactive monitoring, and multiple forms of authentication—with an intuitive UI that helps teams craft effective messages that don’t bounce.

You can get Constant Contact up and running very quickly, and it will eliminate much of the legwork associated with email marketing. 

Automate product recommendations, for example, by sending shoppable emails based on the items a customer has in their cart, the weather, or tendencies of like-minded shoppers.

Trying to accomplish this task without an email marketing service would be extremely time-consuming. With Constant Contact, the process can be automated by just about anyone.

Some of the other reasons millions of people use constant contact include:

Unlimited email sendsCustom and branded templatesCampaign performance trackingSubject line A/B testingDrag-and-drop email editorRich ecommerce capabilitiesSubscriber management, segmentationRSVP, survey, and poll

Constant Contact helps with lead generation, too, via landing pages, customizable pop-up forms, and free hosting for a mobile-responsive website. This includes a blog, where you can leverage your email content as posts for SEO.

There are three pricing tiers for Constant Contact email marketing services and the amount you pay is based on the number of contacts. The plans are:

Email: Starting at $20/monthPlus: Starting at $45/monthPro: Starting at $195/month

Constant Contact Email and Plus are two of the most popular email marketing services available today.

Constant Contact Pro uses AI-driven marketing automation to provide personalized product recommendations, smart subject lines, behavioral segmentation capabilities, and more advanced workflows.

I would consider a Pro subscription if you are thinking about marketing automation, but aren’t ready to pull the trigger on a heavyweight product like Pardot or Marketo.

#2 – Sendinblue Review — The Best Ease-of-Use

Sendinblue is a unified CRM, chat, Facebook, SMS, and email marketing platform. It’s loaded with features that are super easy to learn.

In other words, lots of tools with very little training. Creating personalized, on-brand email campaigns is far less work with the drag-and-drop editor.

Unlike other options on this list, every Sendinblue subscription (including Free and Lite) comes with a sales CRM, marketing automation, real-time reporting, advanced segmentation features, and more.

How’s that for out-of-the-box function? But wait. There’s more.

With popups, landing pages, and chatbots, you can build out your contact list with minimal effort, turning website visitors and Facebook passerbys your next lead.

And once people are on your list, Sendinblue gives you a ton of great tools to nurture leads, build out customer journeys, and communicate effectively every step of the way. The key features include:

Unlimited contacts with any planMobile-friendly visual email editorRetargeting adsCampaign performance trackingA/B TestingCustomizable signup formsTransactional emailsEmail API, SMTP relay, and other core API featuresAdvanced email automation

Sendinblue offers a free forever version, and paid plans at several pricing tiers:

Lite: Starting at $25/monthPremium: Starting at $65/monthEnterprise: Contact sales

The amount you pay is based on your tier and the number of emails you send each month. You can store as many contacts as you want without affecting the price, which is not true with most other platforms.

Notably, Sendinblue’s pay-as-you-go plan includes the same great features as whatever tier you choose, except the phone support. This is also something you won’t find in other options, like Zoho Campaigns.

There is no prior knowledge or technical skill necessary to start using Sendinblue, and their free forever plan is one of the best available. 

#3 – Zoho Campaigns Review — The Best for Simple Campaigns

Zoho Campaigns is a lightweight, cost-effective email marketing service that comes with all the must-have features.

In Zoho Campaigns, everything has been trimmed, but not watered down. So you can still accomplish 80-90% of what you can do with an email marketing service that costs three to four times as much. 

The ease-of-use is on par with agile project management software like Trello. Not only can non-technical users navigate Zoho Campaigns, they can master their domain.

Intuitively control the following features:

Drag-and-drop email editor and template builderEmail autorespondersEmail automationMerge tagsSubscriber managementA/B testingTeam collaborationReal-time analytics

Keep in mind that Zoho Campaigns also has integrations with popular CRM, ecommerce, and contact management products. 

Tying these data sources in can help you better target and personalize your email campaigns, yet Zoho Campaigns will remain fairly easy to use. 

Integrating Google Analytics, for example, can enrich the amount of customer data you pick up on each interaction, providing data visualizations to help you make sense of relationships over time.

Pricing is straightforward for Zoho Campaigns:

Email-based Plan: starting at $3/monthSubscriber-based Plan: starting at $4.50/monthPay-as-you-go Plan: starting at $7/month

The Subscriber-based Plan is my favorite because it includes email automation, which doesn’t come with the Email-based or Pay-as-you-go Plans. At $263/month for 100k contacts with the Subscriber-based Plan, the automation will pay for itself many times over.

You can also try the Zoho Campaigns free forever version. It’s limited to 2,000 subscribers, but you get a lot of the marketing and content management features, as well as the chance to see if you like the interface. 

#4 – Marketo Engage Review — The Best for Segmentation and Personalization

Marketo Engage, from Adobe, is a full-service marketing automation solution ready to support your strategy across any channel. 

Centralize and analyze customer data in an intuitive environment that allows for email campaigns with fine-grained segmentation and dynamic personalization. 

You can customize intricate workflows with behavioral triggers that wouldn’t be possible on other platforms because they can’t capture as much information as Marketo does. 

Every feature is full-bodied. A/B/n testing, for example, lets you pilot multiple versions of the same site or email rather than just binary A/B testing, which is where many other products stop.

There’s also Adobe Sensei, which uses AI and machine learning to personalize content. Sensei analyzes the performance of all your assets, learns which content works best for whom, and updates emails accordingly.

Other great features that come with using Marketo for email marketing include:

Drag-and-drop workflow builderLead and account scoringDeep engagement and performance analyticsAttribution and ROI dashboardCustomer lifecycle managementOne-click campaign cloningChampion/Challenger testingA/B/n testing

You’ll have to contact Marketo to get a price. It’s going to have a higher total cost of ownership than a dedicated email marketing service, but if you want superior segmentation and personalization, this can get a lot more done.

#5 – Pardot Review — The Best for B2B Marketing Automation

Pardot is the marketing automation platform from Salesforce that’s built specifically for B2B marketing.

Do you need to hear more, or are you already sold? It’s as good and as deep as you think it is.

Pardot has 2,000+ integrations, a rich feature set, and a surprisingly intuitive UI. To be honest, the platform is a few steps ahead of its competitors in the dedicated email marketing space. 

It’s going to take some time and effort to build out the backend, but once everything is set up, Pardot gives you unrivaled visibility into your campaigns.

If you feel like the sophistication of workflows is lacking with your current setup or your analytics and data visualization tools aren’t giving you the insight into campaigns that you need, Pardot is the ticket. 

Some of the advanced email marketing features include:

B2B Marketing AnalyticsEngagement history dashboardsMerge fieldsVisual lead nurturing designerSocial profilingROI reportingMulti-touch attribution modelsDeveloper sandbox

Pardot is not a cheap option, but it is money well spent in service of a high-growth campaign. 

There are four pricing tiers:

Growth: starting at $1,250/monthPlus: starting at $2,500/monthAdvanced: starting at $4,000/monthPremium: starting at $15,000/month

Other marketing automation solutions, like Marketo, are going to be in this neighborhood price-wise.

There are certainly email marketing platforms you can get for a fraction of the cost, but they’re not going to give you anywhere close to the oversight and customization Pardot affords.

What I Looked at to Find the Best Email Marketing Service

Email marketing services are packed features to help you save time at every step of a campaign.

Every step.

My favorite products get you minutes back on every task. Professional templates, drag-and-drop email editors, list management tools—they make all the hard parts easy.

On top of that, many of the most time-consuming campaign processes can be automated with an email marketing service.

The minutes you save turn into hours quickly, especially if you’re churning campaigns on a large scale.

More effective campaigns. Less effort. That’s the goal.

Let’s walk through the core features available with email marketing services so that you understand which product is going to deliver you the best results for you.

Ease-of-use

Unless your marketing teams double as developers, it’s essential to find a tool that anyone on your team can use.

As you browse, pay attention to the templates and pre-set workflows offered by each email marketing service. Are you excited to use these or do you intend to create your own custom templates? Some email marketing services lose their reputed ease-of-use once you step outside their pre-defined pathways.

It’s a definite plus if your solution comes with visual design tools to build emails and workflows. A simple-to-learn editor can be used right away by the people who need it. They don’t need training, and aren’t stuck waiting on someone who’s comfortable with the editor.

The best email marketing services also provide support, documentation, and walkthroughs to educate users and ensure that their product is truly self-service. 

If reviews indicate that customer support is sluggish, or that answers are hard to find, that’s a red flag.

Integration and Implementation

An important question to ask: How easily is your email marketing service going to mesh with your existing stack? 

Solutions that integrate with products you use are going to speed deployment and encounter fewer issues moving forward. This is especially true of your existing customer relationship management (CRM) software and any other customer data sources.

Some products, like Sendinblue, come with their own CRM as part of the package, which can be nice for companies that aren’t looking to purchase multiple products in service of their email campaign.

Email Deliverability

The emails you send need to reach your recipient’s inbox. End of story. 

Without a high deliverability rate—I would be worried about anything below 95%—your email campaigns are dead in the water.

All good email marketing services ensure high deliverability in two ways. 

On the backend, they authenticate emails with DKIM, SPF, and SenderID, while also working with internet service providers to make sure that customer IP addresses aren’t blocked. 

Plus, quality platforms will provide ready-made email templates that are both visually appealing and compliant with privacy and anti-spam laws.

On the user side, email marketing services help you craft compelling subject lines and content that encourages customers to actually open your message. They also provide tools for managing subscribers so you can keep a clean list and avoid the spam folder.

Email Automation and Customer Journeys

One of the biggest defining (or limiting) features of an email marketing service is the level of sophistication your workflows can manage.

Entry-level tools can help you automate welcome series of emails for new subscribers, and other similarly straight-forward processes. 

If you want to start adding conditional or logical triggers that branch the customer journey into more personalized paths, you are going to need a more substantial tool.

You are also going to need to know a lot about your audience. Products that have really good list segmentation features will pick up tons of information on your customers, which in turn makes your automation more accurately targeted.

Segmentation really drives your ability to automate personalized emails, for example. You can set workflow triggers that respond to customer engagement, shopping habits, and other tendencies to ensure that customers are only receiving messages they’re likely to care about.

Subscriber Management

Quality email marketing services come with a lot of tools to manage the subscribers on their list. They will help you:

Import lists: Seamlessly integrate contact lists from CRMs and other databases.Keep a clean list: Identify and remote inactive subscribers and spam traps that reduce deliverabilityGenerate leads: Create new contacts with pop-ups, landing pages, and other multi-channel tools that start an ongoing conversation.Segment your list: Automatically group subscribers based on many criteria, including everything from what time zone they live in to how they signed up, and everything in between.

Campaign Performance Tracking

Email marketing strategies must be agile. 

Every service reviewed in this article comes with the ability to track traditional KPIs like:

Bounce rateClick through rateConversion rateDeliverabilityForward/share rateList growth rateOpen ratesUnsubscribe rate

By keeping tabs on these metrics, companies can tweak their campaigns accordingly. 

Many email marketing services offer A/B testing, which allows you to test different versions of emails or subject lines to see what performs better. 

Look for that, because it’s super helpful for adjusting campaigns in the right direction over time.

More advanced email marketing services will help you tie traditional metrics to revenue, letting you see ROI per email sent and other business-critical metrics.They’ll also let you see how content is performing with features like click heatmaps, which show where your customers are spending the most time. 

You’ll probably have to spend more for those features, but they can provide crucial information that pays for itself.

Marketing automation software, like Pardot, provides multi-touch attribution models that let you visualize each touchpoint in the entire customer lifecycle. Marketing attribution drives business growth and informs your future campaigns by spotlighting the key elements of each customer relationship.

Summary

The sooner you find the right email marketing service, the better. It empowers your employees, engages your customers, and supercharges the growth of your business.

Start with my top recommendations and explore these products further:

Constant Contact – Best for ecommerceSendinblue – Best ease-of-useZoho Campaigns – Best for simple campaignsMarketo Engage – Best for segmentation and personalizationPardot – Best for B2B marketing

There’s a lot of variety in this list, so check out my reviews to get a better sense of each one.

Zoho Campaigns is a really great starting point. These tools are easy to use and many have free forever options.

For companies that need more visibility into their campaigns but don’t want to struggle with a new platform, Sendinblue will be great. It’s also not prohibitively expensive, even at the premium tier.

Constant Contact is another great option in the SMB price range, especially for ecommerce. It comes with some of the functionality you find with marketing automation software, but there’s no loss to it’s ease of use.

If you need the marketing automation and business intelligence functionality of Pardot or Marketo, budget it in. After a certain point, dedicated email marketing services aren’t going to handle the automated journeys you have in mind.

If Pardot and Marketo give you sticker shock, but you still want true marketing automation, check out Freshmarketer, or one of the other best marketing automation software solutions.

Does Word Count Impact the Performance of your Posts? 

Posted by on Apr 18, 2022 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Does Word Count Impact the Performance of your Posts? 

Does Word Count Impact the Performance of your Posts? 

When I first got started in marketing, people told me that I needed to write 2300-word articles if I wanted to rank on page 1.

Now they didn’t have to be exactly 2300 words, but anywhere around that was good.

Let’s face it. For certain industries and topics, I don’t think people want to read that many words. Just think of someone searching for “how to tie a tie” on Google. Would you want to read 2000 words? Or even 1000?

Probably not. You’d rather just see a few images or a video that teaches you how to tie a tie.

These days Google looks at whether someone clicks on a search result and exits right away. If a lot of people are exiting out of a specific article, that tells Google it probably isn’t that great and shouldn’t be ranked so high.

But the question is, does word count impact your rankings or overall traffic, and how does it differ per industry?

To answer this question I didn’t want to rely on my gut, so my team pulled data from BuzzSumo, Ubersuggest, and Ahrefs to do a proper analysis.

We looked at over 10,000 articles that were popular in the industries below based on social traffic, backlinks, and SEO traffic:

EducationInvestmentEntertainmentTravelSportsE-CommerceRetailInsuranceEconomicsTechnologyConstructionAutomotiveReal EstateEngineeringEnergy

Here’s what we learned:

What is the average word count of content types related to each industry?

As you can see most people aren’t writing 2300-word blog posts. In most industries, it doesn’t make sense for all content to be super detailed.

The average for each industry we looked at was around 900 words or less.

Now let’s look at what type of content was produced for each industry.

It varied per industry but “How To”, “What” posts, and “Why” posts were popular for most industries.

Now let’s look at the word count per industry for each content type.

What is the average word count per industry for specific content types?

With this analysis we looked at the 4 most common types of posts:

“How to” posts“List” posts“What” posts“Why” posts

Here is the average word count for each of them per industry.

Compared to the average word count per industry graph that was first shown above, you can see “How To” posts tend to be much longer.

Engineering tended to be much lower, but when we dove into why, a lot of the engineering content was skewed more towards videos. That makes sense when you consider that a lot of engineering-based topics can be pretty advanced.

Plus we analyzed a bit more than 10,000 popular articles around the web. So it wasn’t the biggest sample size for every industry.

The average word count for “List-Based” posts for most industries was similar in length to “How To” posts.

Although, that wasn’t the case for “What” based posts.

On average “What” based posts were longer than “How To” and “List-Based” posts.

Lastly, the graph above shows the length of “Why” based posts per industry.

Now let’s dive into backlinks.

What is the average number of backlinks for posts at each word count threshold?

Here is the backlink count based on the article length.

Keep in mind we are analyzing the results of the more popular articles in each industry. Not all articles get this amount of backlink counts.

As you can see in the graph above, posts with a word length of 1001-1500 or 1501-2000 get over 1700 backlinks. Same with the word count lengths of 3001-3500 words.

From what this graph tells us, aiming for a content length within these 3-word count ranges has the highest likelihood of producing more backlinks… assuming your content is high in quality.

What is the average traffic received for posts at each word count threshold?

Backlinks aren’t everything.

Even if you have a ton of backlinks, it doesn’t mean you are guaranteed traffic. Here is the average traffic for posts based on word count.

Posts that were 2501-3000 words generated by far the most traffic. It was then followed by posts that were 3001-3500 words and then 3501-4000 word posts.

If you are optimizing for traffic, you can clearly see that sticking in a range of 2501 to 4000 words is the best way to go, but that may not be true for every industry. So let’s dive into the data a little bit more.

Here is what the traffic distribution by each word count threshold looks like for each industry.

Every industry is different as you can see above.

In the Education space, it’s clear that people prefer shorter content that is under 500 words. At the same time, posts that are 3501-4000 words do well in the entertainment industry, and 4,000+ words posts do well for Technology or Travel.

What is the average number of social media shares for word counts in each industry?

Let’s see what social media users liked.

For the graph below, we focused on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest because not all social networks would give us sharing data.

As you can see, some industries just aren’t as sharable as others. For example, I don’t think most people care to share articles on Engineering or E-Commerce, or Insurance.

Travel and Technology, on the other hand, did exceptionally well.

To get even more granular, here is the data broken down by industry on Facebook.

Here is the data for Twitter broken down by industry.

Lastly, here is the Pinterest data.

Based on your industry, and the word count you’re targeting for your article, the 3 charts above will give you guidance on which social media channels you should focus on to get more shares.

How many keywords are ranking on the 1st page of Google for content with different word counts?

For this analysis, we shortlisted between 80-100 URLs at each word count threshold that was looked at manually to identify the number of keywords in positions 1-10.

Approximately 8.5% of all URLs from the total analysis were used to answer this question.

Articles with 1001-1500 words tended to have a lot more page 1 rankings than shorter articles. Articles within the 2501-3000 word range also did well.

Now, this doesn’t mean that if you want more page 1 rankings your articles should be within these specific word count ranges. You should always focus on delivering quality at whatever word count range you end up being in.

The shorter your article means fewer words and less valuable content you are able to include. So, in theory, you would see fewer page 1 rankings on Google.

However, after a certain point such as with 1001-1500 word posts, Google has seen enough “words” to determine what your article should rank for.

What is the average word count of top-performing content for each industry?

For this section, we selected the posts from each industry that received:

the top 10% of trafficthe top 10% of total social media shares (Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest combined)the top 10% of backlinks

That way, you could clearly see the average word count for the best performers.

It’s clear that if you want to be in the top 10% in your industry the chances are your article will be at least 500 words and probably under 1500.

Conclusion: Does Word Count Impact Performance?

Word count doesn’t guarantee success from a social share perspective, backlink perspective, ranking perspective, or traffic perspective.

However, the data above will help guide you on roughly where you should aim for your article to be for your industry. When you pair that with your SEO and paid advertising efforts, you can experience a lot of success.

Generally speaking, you don’t want to have “fluff” in your content and you should keep it short and to the point. At the same point, you want your article to be detailed and thorough enough so people can clearly understand all the points you’re trying to make.

You’ll also want to use subheadings similar to what I did in this article as it makes it easier to skim your content especially if it is long. It can also help to take a look at your sources to see how you can get better data from your content to make better conclusions.

How long is your content and what word lengths do you usually target?

Best Marketing Automation Software

Posted by on Apr 18, 2022 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Best Marketing Automation Software

Best Marketing Automation Software

Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.

What if you could automate all of the repetitive tasks that go into running a successful marketing campaign?

With marketing automation software, you can put routine work on autopilot.

You’re still in control of where you want to go, but a lot of the important behind-the-scenes stuff happens on its own.

With the right software, you can save boatloads of time and make your campaigns run more efficiently and effectively.

Just be aware that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. You have to pick the right product for your specific needs and goals.

Over the years, I’ve found success with all different kinds of marketing automation software—from the most affordable options to enterprise-grade solutions.

Here’s my list of the top eight options on the market today. I’ve included in-depth reviews of each product, and a brief guide to help you find the right one.

#1 – HubSpot Review — The Best Sales, Customer Service, and Marketing Automation Software

If you’re looking for an easy way to supercharge your sales, customer service, and marketing processes with automation, HubSpot is an excellent solution. 

It goes beyond automating your business processes. Integrate and optimize different departments in one centralized location, streamlining your entire business’s workflow. 

Teams don’t have to jump from software to software to get the information they need and you can automate the data transfer process from one team to the next. 

HubSpot has long made its reputation in this field. Their marketing automation capabilities are powerful, with fine granular control.

Set up a drip campaign (or multiple) as complex as you like with delays, triggers, dependencies, and more. You can let email followups and campaigns run automatically with no fear.

Beyond email, automations within HubSpot can apply to contact and client organization, team notifications, lead qualification, data management, and much more.

All your workflows benefit from the HubSpot platform’s clean visual interface. See how all the disparate parts of your marketing department and campaigns can link and work together, plus find new ways to take advantage of automation through visualizing unique team and action connections.

No matter how complex your sales journey or pipeline, HubSpot has the tools and features to not only add useful automation, but improve every part of the customer lifecycle.

And, by using one of HubSpot’s suites, you also get access to essential features like:

Blog post and SEO planningAd tracking and managementSocial media managementAI-powered live chatForms and landing pagesRevenue attribution reportingA/B split testing

HubSpot offers basic features, like emails, landing pages, forms, and live chat capabilities for unlimited users absolutely free. So, you can try it the platform without spending a penny. 

Alternatively, you can sign up for a free demo to see all of their advanced features in action. 

The Starter Suite (sales, marketing, CRM, and customer service) starts at $50 per month for two users and up to 1,000 contacts, making it extremely affordable for most businesses. You can add another 1,000 contacts for $11.25 per month, and additional users cost $6 per month.

However, keep in mind you only get access to HubSpot’s Starter version of their Marketing Hub. So you’re going to be somewhat limited in automation capability. Some features you’ll only be able to use so many times per month; others are missing entirely.

The heavy-duty plans above Starter cost a good bit more, but remove those restrictions if you need everything HubSpot offers by way of automation:

Professional — $1,780 per month ($1,600 per month if you pay annually)Enterprise — $5,000 per month for everything HubSpot has to offer

Professional starts with 2,000 contacts, and you can add contacts in increments of 5,000 for $250 per month. Enterprise starts with 10,000 contacts, and it’s only $100 per additional 10,000 contacts.

There’s also the ability to build your own bespoke HubSpot product bundle. You can set which how many features you want for each Hub.

If you want to go heavy on marketing automation, but don’t need as much for sales, customer service, or operations, make your own bundle that includes the Enterprise-tier of Marketing Hub but Starter tiers for the rest.

Plus, if you’re a current member or alumni of HubSpot’s approved incubator, accelerator, or Venture Capital partners with a round of Series A funding under your belt, you can get up to 90% off your first year

#2 – Constant Contact Review — The Best for Engaging Social Media & Email Prospects

Modern marketing doesn’t happen on one channel. It’s happening all across the internet on a wide array of devices, all at once.

There are many multichannel solutions for marketing automation, but Constant Contact takes the cake for most businesses that need an easy way to join email and social media efforts.

With its unified dashboard that anyone can use, Constant Contact lets you stay on top of both marketing fronts with ease.

You can push new social posts and reply to messages on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn from the same place you can set up automated email sequences and drip campaigns.

Schedule out social posts for next month or quarter and then sync that messaging up with your email campaigns.

Plus, with the platform’s intensely customizable emailer, you can segment messaging with individual sequences that are based upon what you know about your contacts.

Whether you’ve gathered crucial info about your list members manually or you use Constant Contact’s custom form builder to capture it on your landing pages, you can set up individual email sequence tracks based on any of it that will automatically send based on triggers that you set.

So, set up a series of social media posts about the big game, then have unique email sequences for folks on the east coast rooting for one team and then a separate one for the Pacific coast dwellers rooting for the other.

That’s just a super simple example—with Constant Contact, you can make these nested, unified marketing campaigns as intricate and complex as you’d like.

Social monitoring, messaging, and posting is available on all of Constant Contact’s plans. But its most useful email features come in the Plus plan. In it, you can set up automated behavioral and welcome sequences, plus include dynamic content in your emails.

The Plus package from Constant Contact starts at $45/month for up to 500 subscribers, with the price scaling upward alongside the number of additional contacts you need.

If you just want unified email and marketing without all the advanced automation, you can still get unlimited email sends and automated email resends to non-openers with the standard Email plan. That’ll run you $20/month for up to 500 contacts.

Unify your social and email campaigns by getting started with Constant Contact.

#3 – EngageBay Review — The Best for Improving Your Customer Support

How does marketing automation help your support team? EngageBay knows you can’t have sales, marketing, and support existing only in siloes, especially if you sell a product or service where post-sale engagement is every bit as crucial as getting to a sale in the first place.

Specifically, EngageBay’s automation capabilities help your customer service in a couple of ways. First, the same automation tools that allow you to set up triggers, email sequences, and drip campaigns are also available to support reps.

In this platform, you can set up automations based on several service triggers:

Ticket creationTicket status changeTicket priority changeAssigned rep changeTags added or removed

EngageBay has an easy-to-use automation builder that allows you to set actions or conditions based on those triggers, making it easy to streamline the flow of support requests and lessen the pressure on your reps to handle backlog.

Priorities and assignees are set clearly and updated automatically, taking a lot of manual work off your plate. And that same convenience can be had in marketing and sales by automating lead segmentation, email personalization, and more.

That speaks to the second, and perhaps bigger, benefit: how well this integrates with marketing and sales automation to create a better customer experience from start to finish.

EngageBay’s automation tools can start from the moment a prospect expresses interest by joining your list. From there, through your sales funnel and beyond the purchase, this CRM can take care of routine touchpoints, nurturing, warming up, and more.

With all that information and interaction gathered, your support reps are well-prepared to handle anything your customers can throw at them with ease and grace.

That’s big, especially if your service team is handling more than troubleshooting issues.

Maybe your service team also provides continuing customer training (something that’s common in B2B SaaS) or often puts on their sales hats to handle adding services or upgrades.

With all of EngageBay’s automation tools capturing each customer’s entire journey, your support team is never without context or key information, so they can keep impressing the people who buy from you.

Maybe best of all, EngageBay can be tried out for completely free. They have a free-forever package that lacks the automation tools, but allows you to get used to the platform and dashboard.

For the full array EngageBay’s marketing automation features, you’ll need at least the Growth plan. That can cost as little as $39.99 per user per month if you pay for two years up front. That can handle up to 10,000 contacts and 25,000 branded emails per month.

Paying for a single year at checkout raises the monthly per-user rate to $44.99. If you want to pay month-to-month, you’re looking at $49.99 per user per month.

Need more contacts? Upgrade to Pro for $79.99 per user/month (for a two-year commitment) to have no limits on the number of contacts, plus get double the monthly emails that Growth offers and more advanced features.

Bring together your three core departments and provide them all the same useful automation tools by signing up with EngageBay today.

#4 – Sendinblue Review — The Best for Bolstering Your Ecommerce Efforts

Marketing automation isn’t just about marketing efforts. The same tool you use to generate interest in your company in the first place can also be your most powerful weapon for not losing out on important sales opportunities.

Sendinblue’s powerful automation features will help you seal up the holes that allow leads to drop out of your sales funnel.

For a lot of folks, their prebuilt automations will be enough of a life saver. With just a few clicks of your mouse, Sendinblue will set up a workflow to kick in when, say, a visitor leaves your website with items still in their shopping cart or when they’ve clicked on or visited a specific part of your site.

Then, all you have to do is build the email message that gets sent when the trigger action occurs.

And with the depth available in Sendinblue’s email features, you can craft the perfect message to capitalize on the moment.

Personalize the content based on who they are, what they considered purchasing, or where they clicked, then embed unique offers, add effective flair to the email design, and schedule sending based on when it will be most effective. You can even A/B test options to gather data on the smartest way for you to wield these automations.

Not afraid of getting your hands dirty? That’s great—the custom automation builder opens up a world of different ways to construct trigger and action sequences. You can even have multiple entry points feeding into one action or get really granular with qualifying conditions to make sure each action is tailored to proper audience segments.

What does this mean for ecommerce? Well, you can deliver coupons to people who abandoned their carts, personalize deals for previous customers that are delivered at just the right time (like needing to restock or the anniversary of a purchase), and much more—especially when you start building your own automations in the platform.

Sendinblue offers automation capabilities on all of their pricing plans. With the free forever and Lite (starting at$25/month) packages, you will be limited to targeting up to 2,000 of your contacts in your automated workflows.

Upgrade to either Premium (starting at $65/month) or the custom-priced Enterprise plans to get unlimited use of Sendinblue’s marketing automations.

You don’t have to resign yourself to chalking up every abandoned cart as a loss or thinking of each purchase as the end of the sales journey. Sendinblue’s automations can help you seize on missed opportunities that boost your ecommerce revenue today.

#5 – ActiveCampaign Review — The Best for Email Marketing Automation

Email is one of the most important aspects of digital marketing. All the tools on this list include email marketing in one form or another, but ActiveCampaign specializes in it.

So, it’s an excellent option if you want to hone in and focus on improving your email marketing strategy. It’s also a super affordable tool that includes numerous automation features for leads anywhere in your funnel.

With that said, they also offer omnichannel automation, including instant messaging and SMS, live chat, and Facebook. 

So, you’re not limited to just email marketing automation with ActiveCampaign. 

Their most popular features cover leads at every point in the funnel, including:

Engage – Automation maps, site tracking, and subscription formsNurture – List segmenting, dynamic/predictive content, and event trackingConvert – Contact and lead scoring, split actions, and win probabilitiesSupport – Predictive sending, SMS, A/B split testing, and ecommerce 

You can also set up numerous types of emails like autoresponders, targeted or triggered emails, broadcasts, scheduled emails, and automated funnels. 

And you can design those emails using their intuitive drag and drop designer, or start from one of their 25+ pre-made mobile-responsive design templates. 

Whether you’re just getting started or interested in scaling and optimizing your email marketing strategy, ActiveCampaign is an excellent choice. They offer everything you need to capture, nurture, and close leads at scale. 

ActiveCampaign offers four plans, with the price of each starting at:

Lite — $9 per month with up to three usersPlus — $49 per month with up to 25 usersProfessional — $129 per month with up to 50 usersEnterprise — $229 per month with unlimited users

Each tier includes more advanced features, and pricing is based on the size of your list, starting for up to 500 contacts. 

So, keep in mind that you will have to pay more than the prices above as your list grows. 

#6 – Freshworks CRM Review — The Best for Small to Midsize Businesses

Freshmarketer was one of my favorite marketing automation platforms. There was a lot of customizability to get campaigns just right, but it wasn’t required. I never had to hire a professional service to babysit the software in order for it to work.

Freshmarketer is now Freshworks CRM, and it’s phenomenal. Now, intelligent marketing automation is just one part of an exceptional platform that anyone in the office can use.

SMBs don’t have to worry about hiring a team of super-users just to run campaigns, but they get a lot of the marketing automation features they need to attract customers, nurture their audiences, understand their needs, and drive conversions.  

It’s my #1 recommendation for most users—and for a good reason.

From awareness to retention, you get all the automation features you need to gain more leads, turn those leads into customers, and keep those customers around for life. All while doing less work with better results. 

Plus, you don’t need any technical skills or a dedicated support team to get started. And it takes about a minute to get up and running. 

You also get access to incredible features like:

Email campaigns and contact managementVisual drag and drop customer journey builderWebsite, form, and offline event trackingConversion rate optimization toolsA/B and split testingAdvanced personalizationDynamic heat mapsAudience segmentationReal-time funnel analytics

Furthermore, the software seamlessly integrates with Freshworks’ other tools, so it’s an excellent choice if you currently use or plan to use any of their business software. 

You can try Freshworks CRM on their limited free forever plan or a 21-day free trial of their paid plans, which are incredibly affordable and accessible for businesses of all sizes. However, they depend on the number of contacts you have, so keep that in mind. 

They offer Growth, Pro and Enterprise plans of the full Freshworks CRM, or just the marketing services. Plans for the full CRM start at $29/month for 1,000 active contacts. Plans for Marketing Cloud start at $19/month for 500 contacts.

#7 – Pardot Review — The Best for B2B Businesses

As a B2B business, you market to other companies, which presents a unique set of marketing challenges. As such, you need a marketing automation tool built for the job. 

Pardot exists to help B2B companies build relationships and turn those relationships into revenue. You get a suite of tools perfectly designed for this mission, so you can accommodate an extended buying process and manage complex pipelines.

Plus, it’s a fantastic marketing automation software built around Salesforce the world’s #1 CRM. 

So, you know you’re in good hands. 

From lead generation to sales alignment, the software offers a wide range of features, including:

Dynamic content and data-based personalizationLead-nurturing email automationsProspect and lead scoringVisual multi-part automation creatorAdvanced segmentationLanding page builderSmart forms + drag and drop builderSocial media scheduling, profiling, and analyticsLead activity trackingCampaign performance reportingLifecycle and funnel reportingPardot Einstein for lead and behavior scoring

Furthermore, over 2.8+ million worldwide users rely on Pardot for their marketing automation needs, making it one of the most popular platforms on this list. 

But it is a bit expensive, so it’s best suited for larger businesses. Their paid plans include:

Growth — $1,250/month for up to 10,000 contacts and basic featuresPlus — $2,500/month for up to 10,000 contacts with deeper automation + analyticsAdvanced — $4,000/month for up to 10,000 contacts with AI and all featuresPremium — $15,000/month for up to 75,000 contacts with supercharge features

They also offer a few add-ons that come free in the Premium plan. Those add-ons include Salesforce Engage ($50/user per month), Analytics Plus ($3,000/month), and Engagement History ($300/year). 

All plans and add-ons are billed on an annual basis.

Oh, and one last thing: Pardot pronounced par-dot. The “t” is not silent.

Get in touch with Pardot today.

#8 – Acoustic Review — The Best Enterprise-Grade Multi-Channel Marketing Automation Software

Acoustic offers an array of marketing automation products for centralized cross-platform multi-channel marketing. From personalization and email campaigns to web content management and experience management, they offer something for everyone.

Acoustic Campaign is their marketing automation tool, encompassing mobile apps, push notifications, SMS, group chats, social media, ads, email, print campaigns, and more. 

You can also combine this with Acoustic Personalization and Acoustic Analytics for a powerful combination of campaign management, data, and using that data to deliver the right message at the right time. 

With Acoustic Campaign, you get access to powerful features, including:

Drag and drop campaign builderAction, logic, and AI-recommended triggersSeamless mobile and digital channel campaignsLead management and scoringSplit A/B testingCustomer journey mappingPlanning and budgetingOne-to-one ads and lookalike audiencesAdvanced personalizationReporting and analytics

Furthermore, they have a community forum where you can publicly ask questions. They also provide an online academy packed full of educational videos and training so you can get the most of your custom automation package. 

Note: Acoustic is built for moderate to large volume campaigns with countless moving parts. So, it’s perfect for businesses managing complicated campaigns across numerous channels. 

But it’s overkill for a lot of businesses and anyone running single-channel campaigns. 

Pricing isn’t available online, and you have to schedule a consultation to learn more. So, keep in mind that you won’t be able to sign up and get started immediately. 

#9 – Act-On Review — The Best for Marketing Agencies

As a marketing agency, you handle marketing campaigns for several clients (if not hundreds of them) at any given time. As such, you need marketing automation software with the ability to manage everything, including your own marketing campaigns, in one place. 

And Act-On offers the perfect solution. 

Their scalable software features unique child and parent campaign capabilities, meaning you can easily manage and handle all of your client accounts from a single Act-On login. 

Plus, you can completely brand and customize everything to deliver custom reports to clients in just a few clicks. 

With Act-On, you can learn more about your clients’ audiences to personalize and tailor their message to match. Not only does this make their life easier, but it also means your team can work less to produce better results. 

When you sign up, you get access to powerful marketing features, including:

Automated engagement programsWebsite and landing page trackingCustomer/prospect scoringBehavior and demographic segmentationPre-built email, form, and landing page templatesInteractive reporting dashboards

Plus, you can build custom real-time analytic dashboards for internal and external use, so you and your clients always know what’s going on. 

Furthermore, you can use this information to improve customer ROI, build better technology stacks, and optimize entire marketing campaigns on behalf of your clients. From lead gathering and nurturing to transferring contact information to sales, you’re in good hands. 

Sign up for a free demo to learn more and get started today!

What I Looked at to Find the Best Marketing Automation Software

I stand behind all of my top recommendations, but as you can tell, these are very different products.

Finding the right tool for the job is extremely important. Marketing automation software that serves one company perfectly might be a poor fit for another.

Below, I’ve laid out the major criteria you should use to evaluate each option. Use this guide to narrow your search down to a solution that meets your company’s marketing challenges.

Type of Business

B2B businesses have different marketing needs than D2C companies

Furthermore, marketing agencies present a new set of marketing automation challenges. Because of that, specialized software may be necessary to meet your specific needs at a reasonable price point. 

The size of your business matters too. Large companies run complex, massive-scale campaigns and have bigger pockets. So, small business tools aren’t a good match.

However, smaller companies will probably find enterprise-grade features confusing and wildly out of budget, which is why those small business tools exist in the first place. 

So, pay attention to who the software is built for when making your final decision. 

Number of Contacts

Most pricing plans depend on the number of contacts or leads you have. The larger your list, the more you need to pay to maintain it and stay in touch with them. 

If you have tens or hundreds of thousands of contacts, enterprise-grade solutions are probably more cost-effective. However, that’s not the case if you have a few hundred or even a few thousand leads on your list. 

Just be sure to keep this in mind and remember that specific plans may limit the maximum number of contacts you can have. 

And if you hit those limits, you’ll need to upgrade to a higher plan or pay an extra fee.

Your Marketing Channels

Different marketing automation software supports various marketing channels. 

From SMS and email marketing to social media and push notifications, it’s crucial to choose a software that handles everything you need.

Smaller businesses with simple campaigns may not utilize a wide range of channels and can get away using a more affordable tool. 

However, large businesses with complex campaigns spanning numerous channels need something more robust to manage all the moving parts. 

Furthermore, some software includes varying channels in different pricing tiers. So, you may start on one level and need to move up to gain access to more marketing channels. Or you may need to move to (or integrate) a new tool altogether. 

It may help to map out your upcoming campaigns and decide which channels you plan to use.

Automation Features

Automation is at the heart of every tool on this list. But some offer more advanced automation features than others. 

Do you need to score leads and prospects? Maybe you want to combine SMS, email marketing, and Facebook ads in the same customer journey. Or perhaps you need the ability to send hyper-targeted emails on autopilot. 

Regardless of the complexity of your campaigns, don’t forget to consider:

Split A/B testingAutomated email campaignsEvent and website trackingContact managementVisual customer journey mappingAutomated segmentation and personalizationProspect and lead scoringDynamic contentTransactional emailsAI-powered recommendationsAction and logic-based triggersReporting and analytics

You may not need all of them, and some tools don’t include them. So it’s critical to understand what you need (and don’t need) before making your decision.

Additional Features

It’s not uncommon for marketing automation software to include a handful of features typically found in a CRM tool, like live chat or customer support capabilities. 

Before making a final decision, it’s essential to understand which additional features you need to fill the gap between marketing and sales or customer service. 

You may already have these systems in place. So, you won’t need these additional features. But if you don’t, you might be able to save money, hassle, and time by choosing a software that includes everything you’re missing under one roof. 

HubSpot is an excellent example of this. 

It includes customer service, sales, and marketing automation tools in a centralized location to streamline data movement and foster automation across your entire business. 

Summary

HubSpot is my top recommendation for most businesses. It’s built for small to midsize companies interested in automating their marketing processes to grow their businesses and save time. 

Plus, it’s affordable, easy to use, and packed full of powerful automation features. 

However, it’s not the perfect solution for everyone. So, don’t forget to use the criteria we talked about as you sort through finding the best marketing automation software for you and your team. 

Here’s a recap of my top picks:

HubSpot – Best for sales, customer service, and marketing automationConstant Contact – Best for engaging social media and email prospectsEngageBay – Best for improving your customer supportSendinblue – Best for bolstering your ecommerce effortsFreshworks CRM – Best for small to midsize businessesPardot by Salesforce – Best for B2B companiesActiveCampaign – Best for email marketing automationAcoustic – Best for enterprise multi-channel marketing automationAct-On – Best for marketing agencies

What are your favorite marketing automation tools?

SEO for Roofers: Definitive Guide for 2022

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Marketing Automation: What is it, Examples & Tools [2022]

Posted by on Apr 18, 2022 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Marketing Automation: What is it, Examples & Tools [2022]

Marketing Automation: What is it, Examples & Tools [2022]

Marketing is important to your business.

Just call me Captain Obvious.

However, as customers evolve, so does the unpredictable marketing landscape.

This means you’re likely spending more and more time trying to keep up with the latest marketing tips and trends.

That’s wasting your precious time that you could use for other tasks.

What if there was a way to simplify? Or even automate those tasks altogether?

No, I’m not just talking about emails.

Keeping up with what you should be measuring or targeting can be exhausting, difficult, and time-consuming.

But marketing automation tools make your job a little more painless, so you and your team can focus your time and attention on other efforts that drive revenue.

Luckily for you, I’ve compiled a list of the best marketing automation tools with countless features and automated workflows that will make marketing less of a headache.

Here are 20+ tools (in no particular order) that you should try out if you’re looking for new, easy ways to streamline marketing functions.

What is Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation is the act of using software and technology to create and implement applications to automate repetitive tasks, such as (yes) email marketing, ad campaigns, tracking, and much more.

For example, brands could create an automatic lead generation funnel that gathers an email address, sends a recorded demo, then invites the prospect to schedule a live demo.

Marketing automation is not a nice-to-have strategy you can ignore — the industry is expected to be worth more than 25 billion dollars by 2023.

If you want to compete, you need to be using marketing automation.

The good news? Using marketing automation can save you time, money, and improve your marketing efficiency. Here are a few ways to add it to your strategy.

1. Let Constant Contact Deliver Powerful Emails Simply and Easily

Constant Contact is an extremely useful email marketing automation tool that has powerful automation capabilities to take your marketing beyond just the basics.

Its autoresponder is wonderfully adaptable. You can build welcome sequences, drip campaigns, and any other sort of automated email campaign with fine-tuned customization.

That applies to everything: timing, volume, subject matter, targeting, triggering, and even the content in your emails.

Plus, Constant Contact allows you to quickly embed custom forms on your landing pages. So, you not only get names and email addresses, but any other information you want to ask for.

Thus, you can send one welcome sequence to new senior VP-level subscribers, another one for sales folks, another one for regular Joes, and on and on. And that’s just on the basis of job title. You could thin slice on anything from where they live to their favorite kind of beer.

Make it as granular and intricate as you’d like. Set long-tail, automated campaigns for each track and let Constant Contact do the hard work for you over weeks or months. All you have to do is look at the reports and keep a finger on the pulse.

You’ll need Constant Contact’s Plus plan to really reap the benefits of the platform’s email automation. That starts at $45/month for up to 500 contacts in your list, scaling upward at increments of $25-$30 for each additional 2,500 contacts you need to accommodate.

2. Gain Opportunities on Abandoned Carts and After Purchase with Sendinblue

Marketing automation is a massive tool for ecommerce. With Sendinblue, you can close the gaps that allow sales opportunities to slip through your grasp.

And it’s a piece of cake to set up. Sendinblue comes with powerful automation capabilities out of the box. You can build your own automation workflows, but the platform comes with eight helpful, prebuilt options for ecommerce.

The two I love best are triggered by either a completed purchase on your web store or an abandoned cart.

In either case, Sendinblue sets up the first and last actions in a three-step automation: the trigger event (either completed checkout or a visitor leaves with items in their cart) and the action (send them a message).

You’ll determine the delay between the trigger event and when you want the email to be sent out and build out the message in those follow-up emails. The latter can entail offering a promo code to complete their purchase or for their next one, personalized reminders about the product they’re interested in, or a satisfaction survey, to name a few examples.

In minutes, you can have automations set up to generate sales from situations you may not have been able to capitalize on before.

Sendinblue offers automations on every plan, including their free forever package, but the tiers below Premium will limit you to targeting up to 2,000 contacts.

Try out Sendinblue’s free plan and see how easy it is to gain ecommerce opportunities through automation.

3. Automatically Engage and Grow Your Following on Instagram with MobileMonkey

MobileMonkey is a powerful Instagram automation tool that lets you automate everything from replying to comments, stories, and even direct messaging.

This is a huge advantage for busy marketers looking to get back more time in their day through automation.

And don’t forget the power of automation to grow your audience, your brand affinity, and your conversions from hot engagement channels like Instagram.

MobileMonkey Instagram marketing tools let you automate:

Replies to DMsDM replies to Story MentionsDM replies to post comments

And if you really want to juice the Instagram marketing funnel, set up drip campaigns to send timed follow-up messages to anyone who starts a messaging convo with you.

The Instagram follow-ups feature, which is included in InstaChamp as well as the multi-channel MobileMonkey messaging automation suite (along with messaging tools for Facebook Messenger, SMS, and web chat) is a convenient way to send offers and promotions to anyone who DMs your Instagram.

Best of all, these Instagram DM automations are 100% Instagram-approved because MobileMonkey is one of the only official partners for Facebook and Instagram marketing automation.

4. Generate Leads, Close Seals, and Manage Your Pipeline on Auto-Pilot With HubSpot

HubSpot is an inbound marketing tool with the goal of turning outbound leads into inbound ones.

It’s perfect for content marketing.

Their Starter package is $45 a month for all the free tools plus simple automation, conversation routing, task queues, and email support.

Their Professional Plan starts at $450 per month, which provides everything in the Starter package, plus marketing automation, goal-based nurturing, and custom workflows.

You also get Salesforce integration, smart content, attribution reporting, user roles, A/B testing for CTAs, and A/B testing for emails.

Enterprise pricing is $1,200 and includes revenue reporting, custom-event reporting, custom-event automation triggers, predictive-lead scoring, contacts and company reporting, and event-based segmentation are included.

5. Use Customer.io to Automate Timely Emails

Customer.io lets you send targeted messages to your customers that you can craft based on how they interact with your business.

The best part about this tool is that it integrates with your mobile app or website so you can see data in real-time and triggers actions by adding in predefined rules.

Basically, it makes personalized messages simple.

Other features include A/B testing, conversion tracking, customer profiles, and in-context conversations.

Pricing starts at $150 per month for unlimited emails, SMS, tracking, and technical support. Their Premium plan costs $995 a month and includes all the basic features plus dedicated customer service rep, onboarding, HIPPPA compliance, and premium tech support.

6. Supercharge Your Marketing Analytics Automatically With Pardot

Pardot, a Salesforce company, is a marketing automation suite perfect for boosting your revenue.

Amp up your engagement with CRM integration, email marketing, lead nurturing, lead scoring, and ROI reporting.

This tool is perfect for helping sales teams shorten sales cycles.

Their Growth plan pricing is $1,250 per month, and features include email marketing, in-depth prospect tracking, lead nurturing, and lead scoring and grading.

You also get ROI reporting, forms and landing pages, and standard CRM integration.

Their Plus plan is $2,500 per month and includes all standard features plus advanced email analytics, email-rendering preview, and spam analysis.

Email and landing page A/B testing, advanced dynamic content, and Google AdWords integration are all included.

You also get API access, multiple scoring categories, an integrated marketing calendar, and social profiles.

Advanced pricing is $4,000 per month and includes pro features as well as customer-user roles, custom-object integration, and API access for up to 100,000 calls per day.

It also includes a dedicated IP address and phone support.

7. Use AdRoll to Automate Ad Campaigns

AdRoll is helpful for retargeting customers through re-engagement on Facebook, Twitter, and the web.

With cross-device and cross-platform retargeting capabilities as well as flexible segmentation, you can provide customized experiences that dramatically improve marketing efficiency.

Key features include retargeting across devices and platforms, dynamic LiquidAds, flexible segmentation, transparent analytics, and expert optimization and conversion reporting.

AdRoll offers a free plan with limited features, or you can get their Growth plan for $19 a month.

9. Automatically Nurture Leads With Marketo

This marketing software lets you drive revenue with lead management, mobile marketing, and more.

Marketo, an Adobe company, is a cloud-based tool for companies large and small that not only helps build customer relationships but helps you sustain them.

There are no set-up fees, and the tool comes with a free trial, so you don’t have to commit until you’re sure it’s right for you.

Their first product was “Lead Management” in 2006, but the company has grown tremendously since then and now offers a larger variety of features.

9. Automate Inbound Call Analytics with Dialog Tech (Invoca)

Dialog Tech (now called Invoca) is great for voice-based marketing automation so you can boost ROI with call automation and analytics.

You can optimize voice interactions with Dialog Tech’s tools by measuring your success and adjusting accordingly.

Features include keyword call-tracking, phone surveys, caller-profile data, reverse lookup, conversation analytics, in-call scoring, geolocation routing, voice broadcasts, SMS, and more.

Keyword call tracking is a game-changer for voice interactions.

Otherwise, you really have no way of tracking that kind of data over the phone yourself unless you’re manually recording calls and playing them back later.

Even then, you’d have to manually track how those customers reacted after hearing certain keywords.

Unfortunately, they don’t publish their pricing. So you’ll have to get in touch with them to get a quote.

10. Deliver Personalized Campaigns Across Multiple Channels With Oracle Eloqua

Oracle’s B2B cross-channel marketing solution Oracle Eloqua lets marketers plan automated campaigns while simultaneously personalizing them.

The company was launched in 1999 with the goal of boosting lead generation.

Now, the tool has grown into an effective personalization device across various channels like email, video, and mobile.

Oracle Eloqua will give you all of the lead-management tools you need and segment your audience in specific ways to get them to buy.

Plus, you can track reports and insights into a buyer’s journey with just a few clicks.

They no longer list their pricing online, but previous plans started around $2,000 a month.

11. Track Marketing Interactions Across All Channels With Bizible

Bizible closes the gap between sales and marketing.

You can maximize AdWords ROI and use multichannel tracking to get a full picture of both sales and marketing metrics.

Big features include keyword-level metrics for AdWords as well as metrics for campaigns and ad content, UTM parameters, detailed lead history, custom reports, and integrations.

Bizable was purchased by Adobe, and now exists as a product under Marketo. You’ll need to reach out for a quote and more information.

12. Let Act-On Seamlessly Nurture Inbound and Outbound Leads

Act-On’s cloud-based platform lets you connect inbound and outbound leads to manage your nurturing programs. There are tons of other helpful features too, like landing page design.

With this tool, you can take your revenue to the next level.

The company was founded in 2008 and first sold software through Cisco exclusively.

The professional package starts out at $900 per month for 2,500 active contacts, 3 marketing users, and 50 users in sales. You’ll get 30,000 API calls-per-day.

Enterprise pricing is $2,000 per month for 2,500 active contacts, 6 marketing users, and 100 sales users. You’ll also get 30,000 API calls-per-day with this feature.

13. Automate the Customer Journey With LeadSquared

LeadSquared, founded in 2012, helps small and medium companies align their marketing and sales efforts.

Capture leads from inbound email, online campaigns, phone calls, your website, chat, and more with this tool.

LeadSquared offers a free trial, and pricing for automation plans starts out at $400 for the basic package (10,000 contacts).

The cost is $1200 for the standard one (20,000 contacts) and $2500 for the enterprise package (200,000 contacts).

14. Get CRM, Sales, and Marketing Tools Automated Together with Keap

Keap (formerly Infusion Soft) is for you if you want to get organized, increase sales, and save time.

Don’t we all?

If you’re a small business owner or blogger, this tool is perfect for you.

Keap makes it simple to create a new sales or marketing strategy and execute it so that you can capture and close sales more quickly.

Save time by automating repetitive tasks like follow-ups, billing, contact management, and payments.

Pricing starts at $79 for Lite plan, $159 for their Pro plan, and $199 for their Max plan. Each package covers 500 contacts, with additional costs for additional contacts or users.

15. Grow, Engage, and Acquire Customers with Genoo‘s WPMktgEngine

WPMktgEngine is a WordPress plugin designed to help small businesses implement marketing automation.

Capture lead forms, profile customers, and create new landing pages to drive results fast.

Key features include a centralized lead database with unlimited leads, landing page design, CMS, lead activity tracking, SEO analysis, and more.

Their Conversion Pro package starts at $166 per month for up to 15,000 leads. The Engage Pro package starts at $83/month for 5,00 leads, and their Inbound Pro packages starts at $44 per month for up to 2,500 leads

16. Attract, Capture, and Streamline Leads With Sugar Market

Salesfusion (now called Sugar Market) is another tool that helps B2B companies link sales and marketing more closely together.

The truth is, 70 percent of the buying cycle is complete before the customer ever contacts sales.

Sugar Market helps businesses build revenue funnels by creating custom digital conversations that marketing and sales representatives can use to convert customers.

The tools help your team say the right thing to the right leads at the right time and includes all the CRM features you could ever need.

Pricing depends on the number of contacts you want but begins at $1,000 per month for 10,000 contacts.

17. Segment and Automate Customer Experiences Using iContact

iContact provides marketing-automation software, email marketing services, and more so that your team can drive successful results every time.

Integrate landing pages, email marketing, social media management, and analytics together to outsmart your competition and reach more contacts.

Plus, you’ll have access to strategic advisors who can help you “optimize your sending strategy and inbox delivery for maximum conversions.”

This is the tool for you if you’re looking to grow your business and become notable in your industry.

Pricing depends on your number of contacts, but you can easily select your list size.

iContact is a minimum of $15 per month for 1500 contacts for the basic Email Marketing package, and $30 per month for 500 contacts for the Pro package.

The Pro package includes features not available with the basic Email Marketing package, such as:

Email, automation, and landing page reportingUnlimited landing page creation Custom API Smart sendingAutomation followupsWelcome, birthday, and event eriesSegmentation Behavioral targetingSocial monitoring

18. Get BuzzBuilder Pro to Automate Cold Email Campaigns

BuzzBuilder Pro is useful for entrepreneurs, sales teams, and marketers. Find prospects, generate leads, and nurture them more easily.

Key features include advanced email marketing automation, a website form builder, tracking and analytics, lead nurturing, scoring and ranking, social media marketing, and hot-lead alerts.

You will need to call for detailed pricing information.

19. Create Automated Marketing Workflows With Net-Results

Net-Results helps to automate almost every kind of marketing task imaginable.

Their goal is to help you save time while allowing you to better uncover and nurture leads so that your revenue will grow quickly.

Features include an email builder, form builder, landing-page builder, campaign builder, and A/B-test builder. Nurture leads, automate workflows, and more.

Pricing ranges start at $800 per month for 2,500 contacts and go up from there.

20. Streamline and Simplify Marketing Automation With GreenRope

GreenRope is “the ultimate dashboard for your business.”

This tool is useful for completing marketing automation and CRM all in one place.

Manage operations, sales, and marketing all from one dashboard that will help you visualize your performance and make key business decisions.

Features include interaction tracking, event and project management, calendar booking, SMS marketing, surveys, video tracking, and predictive analysis.

You can also trigger automation, lead scoring, analysis, prediction, and engagement.

Pricing starts at $99 per month for 500 contacts and goes up to $799 per month for up to 50,00 contacts.

21. Deliver Automated Email Campaigns Using MailChimp

With intelligent email marketing features, it’s hard not to love MailChimp.

This tool is perfect for contacting prospects or customers who are vital to your success. If you need an effective email tool, this is one you should definitely check out.

Features include email marketing automation, personalized emails, automated welcome emails, behavioral targeting, engagement monitoring, and more.

With this tool, you can trigger emails based on actions like sign-up date and website activity.

The cost is free for up to 2,000 contacts, and upwards of $425 or more per month depending on your total number of subscribers.

22. Automate Marketing Processes with Gliffy

Create organizational charts, high-quality flowcharts, UML diagrams, network diagrams, technical drawings, wireframes, and more with Gliffy.

It works in your web browser to help you visualize workflows and boost marketing productivity.

Key features include workflow organization, an intuitive interface, collaboration with anyone with access to a web browser, and more.

The best part? They have a free trial!

23. Use Inbound Marketing Automation with Jumplead

Jumplead turns website visitors into leads and then nurtures them until they become paying customers.

Jumplead is a go-to source for everything from lead tracking to CRM, analytics, and automation.

Features include lead tracking, CRM, behavior-triggered actions, email marketing, landing pages, and analytics.

The cost is free for 200 visitors and goes up from there. The pro package is $199 per month for 20,000 visitors.

Bonus: Add fresh data to your marketing campaign with DataForSEO

DataForSEO provides “comprehensive SEO data via API at a predictable price.”.

While they mostly work with SEO providers, you can use their data to juice up your marketing efforts.

Here’s a list of API’s DataForSEO provides:

Rank tracking APISERP APIKeywords data APICompetitor APIOnPage APIKeyword finder API

Marketing Automation FAQ

What is marketing automation?

A strategy that uses software that creates “rules,” which allows brands to create an efficient, often hands-off marketing process.

What are the benefits of marketing automation?

Automation allows you to get more done in less time, improve effectiveness, and provides access to far more data. For small or streamlined teams, it is ideal.

Are there any free marketing automation tools?

Some tools offer a free trial or free plan, including MailChimp, HubSpot, and Zoho.

What can I do with marketing automation?

A ton! You can automate email campaigns, reporting, lead nurturing, lead scoring, and much more.

Marketing Automation Conclusion

Good marketing has the ability to set you apart from your competition.

However, it can be hard to keep up with what marketing strategies work and which ones don’t.

Even when you do, it’s hard to focus on all of them at once. You don’t always have the time or energy to do it. Neither do I.

Thankfully, marketing automation tools exist to make marketing easier for you and your team.

By automating, you can spend your time and attention focusing on other efforts that will increase your company’s success.

Try out some of these marketing automation tools based on your needs and budget.

Kick back as they streamline your processes for you.

Then, pick your favorites and stick with them.

What marketing automation tools are you using?

How to Create a Wikipedia Page

Posted by on Apr 18, 2022 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on How to Create a Wikipedia Page

How to Create a Wikipedia Page

Wikipedia is an ever-evolving, user-generated encyclopedia that allows users to add content, including pages, articles, and general knowledge.

There are currently 58 million articles on Wikipedia in over 300 languages. Topics span from pinball to Prometheus and everything in between.

If you’re interested in creating a Wikipedia page for your business or marketing endeavors, you should know that getting a page added to the encyclopedia is notoriously challenging.

With a slew of guidelines that determine what content can be added to the site and the sheer effort of writing a highly-researched page about your business, creating a Wikipedia page is no easy feat.

To control what content does end up on the platform, Wikipedia has five pillars to guide creators, including:

Wikipedia is an encyclopedia.Wikipedia is written from a neutral perspective.Wikipedia is free, editable, usable, and distributable by all.Respect and civility must guide interactions among Wikipedia editors.The platform has no firm rules, only guidelines, and policies.

After a page is published, volunteer editors are deputized to edit and add to the page for the duration of its existence.

Although those guidelines may seem daunting, there are big benefits for marketers and business owners who manage to make the encyclopedia work in their favor.

What Are The Benefits of Creating a Wikipedia Page for Your Business?

The largest benefit of Wikipedia is its sheer size and reach. It is one of the most visited websites in the world, averaging nearly 2 billion unique visitors per month.

In addition to the size of its audience, the platform offers other benefits to marketers and business owners:

Earn traffic and drive backlinks to your site: Nearly 60 percent of SEOs say backlinks have a big impact on search rankings. When you become an active contributor on Wikipedia and start optimizing content, you can identify pages that are relevant to your audience. Search for relevant articles with broken links and those with missing citations, then use links to your site to update those pages. When you add appropriate links in the right spot, you’ll score backlinks and drive traffic to your website. Guide to your services and offerings: Given the structure of a Wikipedia page, you can provide readers with basic information like your brand story, location, and executive list. You can also include numbered lists of your services and offerings that allow interested parties a top-of-funnel interaction with your products. Through direct linking, you can then drive to the respective pages on your website.Build credibility: While Wikipedia is not a valid source for scholarly research given its user-generated nature, there’s no denying that people flock to the platform for information. By building a page for your organization on the site, you can further develop your credibility as an established company.

As we’ve discussed, publishing your page on Wikipedia can be a complex process. However, the benefits far outweigh the challenges.

In this post, we break down the ten steps on how to create a Wikipedia page as well as considerations to keep in mind.

1. Check to See If Your Business is Eligible to Create a Wikipedia Page

Not every business or topic is eligible for a Wikipedia page. According to Wikipedia, organizations must be “notable,” which Wikipedia defines as having “verifiable evidence that the organization or product has attracted the notice of reliable sources unrelated to the organization or product.”

Just because you have a business or a famous owner does not mean you are eligible to create a Wikipedia page for it.

It’s also worth noting that you must disclose a “conflict of interest” if you write or edit articles about your own business or have someone else you know do it for you.

If your organization or topic is notable (meaning reliable sources have written about your company), then you are eligible to create a page.

2. Create a Wikipedia Account

The first step in your journey to creating a Wikipedia page is registering an account on the platform.

While starting an account enables you to create pages, it has other benefits, including:

access a permanent user page where you can share a brief bio and a few photosaccess a talk page where you can interact with other usersbuild your reputation as a Wikipedia author customize the ways your pages appear

To register an account, complete this form.

After you’ve completed this step, you’re on your way to your first Wikipedia page.

3. Contribute to Existing Pages

While Wikipedia is home to exclusively user-generated content, to build credibility on the site, you should contribute to existing accounts and pages.

There are a few reasons for this. First, the most common way to create a new page on Wikipedia is to use their AfC submission template. This template makes it easier to format your new page and submit it.

The problem? There’s currently a three-month waiting period as each submission is reviewed manually.

However, you can get around this submission time. If you have an account with 10 edits and older than three days, you can just post a page directly without waiting for an AfC review. It doesn’t mean it would stick as editors can remove pages, but it can get you through the review gridlock. It’s also a great way to contribute to the Wikipedia community.

Start by editing existing entries regularly for clarity, factuality, and reliability.

As you engage more with improving content, you’ll boost your credibility on the site, increasing the likelihood that your page will stand a fighting chance of getting published.

4. Verify a Page Doesn’t Already Exist

Perhaps you’re an expert on a particular niche topic you’re certain no one has tackled in the expansive landscape that is Wikipedia. Maybe your business is just so cool that it deserves a Wikipedia page (and you meet their standards.)

Regardless of how unique you think your topic is, you should still dig to determine whether someone has already staked their flag on your topic. There’s also a chance there are related topics you could edit or connect to your planned page.

Use the search bar to explore any pages that may be related to your intended topic.

5. Research Your Topic and Gather Resources

Before diving into writing your Wikipedia page, be sure to fully research your topic. Whether you’re building a page for your business or developing an adjacent industry topic, be sure to include both internal and external sources to ensure that you are solidifying your reliability and notability in your draft.

Pay close attention to resources, articles, and publications you can use as resources. Wikipedia pages must have sources for information, so you’ll want to make sure you can back up your claims!

6. Create an Outline

After you’ve gathered your research sources, build an outline for your page. Break your information into digestible sections that can be indexed through the site’s table of contents that accompanies every page.

7. Write a Draft of Your Wikipedia Page

Take your time as you write your Wikipedia page. You want your content to be thorough, thoughtful, and helpful, providing searchers with what they want to know.

While Wikipedia pages can do a lot to benefit your marketing efforts, keep in mind that the true intent of the platform is encyclopedic and impartial. This isn’t just good practice–taking the wrong tone or bragging about your business can get your page removed.

8. Upload Your Page Into the Article Wizard

Once your page is written (and you ask someone to review it for you), it’s time to move over to the Wikipedia Article Wizard to draft your page. Don’t forget your resources.

Before creating your page, Wikipedia shares this disclaimer: “The topic of an article must already be covered in reliable sources that are independent of the subject. These include journals, books, newspapers, magazines, and websites with a reputation for fact-checking. Social media, press releases, or corporate/professional profiles do not qualify.”

Incorporating resources as citations in your Wikipedia page is vital to your page’s success. Citations are the vehicle that drives searchers to trust the information you share on your page.

So make sure you use those resources to back up your claims.

9. Submit Your Article for Review

After you’ve written and proofed your page, it’s time to submit your article to Wikipedia for review. This process can take a few months, especially if you have to use the AfC process.

As we mentioned earlier, publishing on Wikipedia is notoriously challenging; you may have your page or article rejected a few times before finally gaining approval.

10. Continue Making Improvements

Once you’ve completed your page and gained approval, it’s not time to rest on your laurels.

Keep in mind anyone can edit Wikipedia pages, including your competitors or someone who doesn’t like your brand. Although these edits likely won’t last long, keeping an eye on your page is a good idea.

Plus, as your page gains traction on Google, you’ll want to schedule regular updates and audits to ensure it provides the most relevant information about your offerings.

Frequently Asked Questions About How to Create a Wikipedia Page

Should I Build a Wikipedia Page for My Business?

Yes, you should absolutely build a Wikipedia page for your business (or for a client’s business) if you qualify. When you build a page, you earn benefits that include a boost in both search and backlinks, increased credibility, and more traffic.

In addition to these benefits, you can anticipate more exposure for your business given the sheer number of users searching Wikipedia daily.

Is Creating a Wikipedia Article Challenging?

It can be, yes. Not only does your page have to adhere to a number of guidelines set by Wikipedia, but you also must write a comprehensive, research-driven article about your topic or business in a neutral tone.

How Do I Know If My Wikipedia Page Will Be Published?

If you adhere to the guidelines established by Wikipedia and ensure your content is not duplicative, you have a good chance of getting your page published.

However, we will note that the creation of a Wikipedia page takes a lot of work. Essentially, you are creating a well-researched document that details your organization’s history, mission, and offerings.

How Long Will My Wikipedia Article Be Under Review Before Publication?

While we wish there were a straightforward answer to this question, publication review time varies from page to page, spanning a couple of days to several months.

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How to Create a Wikipedia Page: Conclusion

Whether you’re looking to increase traffic to your website, improve your search engine optimization, or simply build credibility, Wikipedia is a great outlet.

Through a number of strategies, marketers can make the user-generated encyclopedia work to their benefit, doing much more than simply providing information to interested parties.

As you begin to create a Wikipedia page, keep in mind that the process may be complicated. For your page to be approved, you need reliable sources that lend credibility to your page.

However, regardless of how long the process takes, the end product will be well worth it.

What strategies have you used for marketing on Wikipedia?

3 powerful micro-conversion strategies for paid social

Posted by on Apr 18, 2022 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on 3 powerful micro-conversion strategies for paid social

Conversions are the key KPI when defining the success of direct response campaigns for both B2B and B2C.

These days, conversions are so top priority that many companies don’t even spend money on brand awareness campaigns in their paid social strategies. 

When marketers get way into the weeds with conversions, they often forget about the benefits, and long-term impact, of micro-conversions.

What are micro-conversions?

Micro-conversions signal high intent and a strong likelihood that someone will convert on our primary conversion goal, resulting in a significant improvement in conversion metrics when put to use.

Think of a micro-conversion as one small task completion, or a secondary action a website visitor takes, that indicates they will convert.

For paid social, we consider any incremental step a user takes when showing initial interest in a brand as a micro-conversion. That could be:

Engagement with ads.Opening lead gen forms.Watching videos XX% of the time.Liking/following your brand pages.

A significant benefit of micro-conversions on social platforms: many are automatically tracked within platforms. All marketers have to do is leverage them.

What can you do with micro-conversions?

I’ve observed the following results using several micro-conversion strategies across social platforms:

60% decrease in cost-per-landing page view 71% decrease in cost-per-lead65% increase in conversion rate

If you have the potential to significantly decrease costs and improve conversion rates with these micro-conversion strategies, why wouldn’t you test them?

Ready to learn how quick and easy micro-conversion strategies can drive results?

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Here are three micro-conversion strategies to consider to drive impact on your next campaign:

1. Optimize top-of-funnel campaigns for website engagements rather than clicks

Decrease your cost-per-landing page view by optimizing for website engagements. Website engagements signal higher intent compared to link clicks. Optimizing toward users who are likely to take action on your website ultimately brings in better quality users with a higher chance of converting than those who just click. To illustrate this strategy, let’s focus on Facebook.

Here’s how to do it:

Identify landing page actions you want to track

A few actions to consider are social icon button clicks, CTA button clicks and clicks to watch videos on your website. You can also consider visits to resource pages, blog posts and case studies.

Use Facebook’s Event Setup Tool for the easiest and quickest way to set up engagement events

If you’re interested in tracking these events for other social platforms, such as LinkedIn or Twitter, place tracking tags on each action within your tag manager or directly within your website’s developer code.

You can find Facebook’s Event Setup Tool under the Events Manager in the All Tools menu. From here, you will select Add Events and then click From the Pixel.

Note: To use Facebook’s Event Setup Tool, you must have the pixel already placed across your website.

Click Open Event Setup Tool, type your website address in and click Open Website. Once you’ve done this, your landing page will open, and there will be a box to the left of your page that shows the options for using the tool.

Select Track New Button, which will allow you to start tracking those specific actions. In this example, we have selected the Contact Us button and instructed Facebook to track that under an event called “Contact.” You can continue with these steps to track and sort conversions you want to track and optimize.

Once you’ve finished tracking all the actions, just wait for the data to populate within Facebook’s Event Manager, and you’re all set to start optimizing for these events!

2. Build High-Intent Retargeting Audiences

Decrease your cost-per-lead by building high-intent retargeting audiences. You can create audiences based on specific micro-conversion actions to improve bottom-funnel conversion metrics. Instead of retargeting based on just website traffic, try retargeting based on a user’s time on specific landing pages.

Here’s how to do it:

Select Audiences under All Tools in Facebook’s Ad Manager

Create a website audience based on Time Spent

Select Custom Audience under the Create Audience drop-down menu. Next, you will select Website as your source.

Note: Take time exploring the other Customer Audience Sources. This section has tons of hidden gems useful for building high-intent audience segments based on micro-conversion actions. For example, you can implement retargeting based on users who have viewed or added specific products from your product catalog.

Under the Events drop-down menu, select Visitors by Time Spent

This option will give you a secondary choice to pick a select group of users based on the percentile of the average time spent on site. I recommend starting with 25% since that will give you the most sizable audience. If 25% works well, you may consider testing the other options.

Test and optimize your audience

Once your audience has populated, add it to an Ad Set to begin testing against conversion tactics. Test against a lookalike or an interest-based prospecting segment to compare performance.

3. Capture missed leads

Increase conversion rates by capturing missed leads. Using micro-conversions, you can track users who opened a lead gen form ad or began to fill out a form on your website. We can then take them back a step and offer more resources and brand education to help them convert at the bottom of the funnel.

To illustrate this strategy, we’ll focus on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Here’s how to do it:

Find your lead gen micro-conversions within the ad account.

LinkedIn and Facebook both have Lead Gen ad formats that automatically track users who open or submit forms, making it easier to track and retarget them. Navigate to the Audience section within the Ad Manager accounts on both platforms.

On Facebook, you will select Custom Audience and use the Meta Source Lead Form. You will choose Lead Gen Form on LinkedIn under the Create Audience dropdown menu.

Note: You can also use the same method in strategy #2 above to track form actions on your website via Facebook’s Event Setup Tool or by placing tags directly on your website’s forms.

Build your micro-conversion audience segments.

You can choose to create your audience based on users who opened or users who submitted the form. We want to focus on users who opened a form but didn’t submit for this micro-conversion.

On Facebook, we can only target form opens; however, on LinkedIn, you will have to create an audience specific to people who submitted the form and exclude that from your audience of form opens.

Test and learn from your segments

Once you’ve created your form open segments, just wait for them to populate in each platform, and then you can begin testing.

Try serving these segments with educational content, such as case studies, blog posts and other resources from your website that will push them closer to converting.

While they seem like minuscule actions, micro-conversions give us meaningful data to drive better results. Implementing these long-term enables micro-conversions to become more powerful and valuable in your optimization efforts.

Test micro-conversions for yourself

With social advertising becoming increasingly competitive, it’s so important to take advantage of available capabilities and data to maximize performance. Micro-conversions are a small but powerful piece of solving those efficiency gaps.

But don’t take my word for it. Test. Big wins await!

The post 3 powerful micro-conversion strategies for paid social appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Connecting individual-level data to drive outstanding results

Posted by on Apr 18, 2022 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Connecting individual-level data to drive outstanding results

Connecting individual-level data to drive outstanding results

How do you know when your marketing is excellent, important or had the impact you expected? Ultimately, it comes down to being able to measure marketing performance. Marketing performance is the key to knowing where to spend the next marketing dollar. 

If marketers can’t quantify the outcomes of their initiatives, it will prevent them from continuing to receive funding for their marketing budgets. And those outcomes have to be told in a way that the business will understand, care about and believe.

In order to do so, marketers must first align their marketing goals and their marketing outcomes. The focus must not only be on successful execution, but also on accurate measurement. Once you have the data, you have to act on the results so that you drive better audience management, better activation, better modeling and an overall better customer experience. 

How do you go about improving marketing performance and reducing cost per conversion as the ecosystem shifts and the effectiveness of third-party cookies continues to decline?

Join Acxiom’s Dana Goff, head of financial services strategy practice, and Gloria Ward, director of Identity Strategy, as they share real-world experiences on how to quickly access and leverage usable insights, create a long-term replacement campaign measurement and improve multi-touch attribution (MTA) results – with more visibility, more matches and better underlying data. 

Watch the informative MarTech session and learn how you can connect individual-level data across website visitors, conversions, paid media, direct mail and other channels. You’ll also learn the three main components for measuring marketing performance and how you can cut through the noise in a very technology-dense industry.
Watch the session here and be inspired to deliver more value to your consumers.

The post Connecting individual-level data to drive outstanding results appeared first on Search Engine Land.

5 ways to level-up lazy listicles

Posted by on Apr 18, 2022 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on 5 ways to level-up lazy listicles

5 ways to level-up lazy listicles

Most list articles — think “The Top 10 DSLR Cameras” or “The 5 Best CRM Products” — are written by armchair commentators.

They’re utilitarian, boring, and easy for rivals to copy.

Even if your lists rank well, their success is usually short-lived. Eventually, a competitor with greater authority (and perhaps a bigger word count) will swoop in.

Despite mountains of pageviews, try to measure their return on investment and you’ll find that… well, there probably isn’t one.

But there’s no need to fret.

Your list articles (or “listicles”) can be transformed into interesting, defensible, revenue-generating assets in five steps.

Here’s how.

1. Choose novel selection criteria

Most list articles are based on the same research methodology. If it had a name, it would probably be called “the first 10 things I found on Google.”

You search for your target keyword, scan the top-ranking content, and choose an assortment of popular things — software, products, people — to collate in your own article.

It’s a pragmatic process: deadlines are tight, original research is time-consuming, and compiling a list of popular “things” will never be controversial.

But this selection process is neither useful to your target reader nor defensible.

Your list risks recapitulating the same information as the existing search results.

It becomes another commodity among many.

Good listicles — like all good content — need a strong hook, a way to pique the reader’s interest and differentiate them from similar lists.

Your selection criteria can create this hook:

Try ditching the “best” qualifier and pick something more concrete and interesting (e.g., X Overlooked/Foundational/Overrated…)Target a particular reader or use case (e.g., X for Front-End Devs/Content Marketers/CFOs…)Focus on a particular product trait (e.g., The X Best Browser-Based/Freemium/No Code …)

2. Persuade the reader by surfacing your thought process

Many writers assume that listicles don’t need to be persuasive.

After all, they’re intended as an educational resource, a repository of objective information that allows the reader to make their own informed choice.

As a result, most list articles dump things on a page and leave the reader to reach their own conclusions.

But I would disagree with this assumption.

I think that it’s more important to be persuasive because the entire premise of your list hinges on a promise to your reader: that the items you’ve featured really are the best, most relevant, most carefully selected choices from a sea of myriad alternatives. Your job is to persuade the reader that your selection and your selection methodology are worth trusting.

A good way to achieve this is to surface your thinking and explain the rationale behind each choice. You had selection criteria in mind when compiling your list, so bring the reader along for the ride, and answer the questions they’ll be thinking:

Why did this particular thing warrant inclusion? “This is the most recommended…,” “This is the lowest-priced…”Why did you omit others? “We excluded any products without a freemium plan…”Is there something about this choice that defies conventional wisdom? “Though not a conventional CRM, this database tool is perfectly equipped to handle core CRM tasks…”

3. Share personal experience to demonstrate credibility

One sad reality of SEO is that good results — at least in terms of keyword rankings and pageviews — can come from bad articles.

In the case of listicles, “bad” means written without any firsthand experience of the items being curated. (My first published article, some 12 years ago, was a review of hair-curling tongs. Eagle-eyed readers will notice that I am as bald as an egg.)

Although these armchair articles can often rank for their intended keywords, they fail where it really matters: encouraging the reader to believe the advice on offer and make an actual purchase.

If your goal for content is to generate meaningful revenue — and not just rank for keywords — then it’s necessary to show firsthand experience of the thing that you’re recommending (and prove it to the reader).

Usually, this means some combination of:

Screenshots of the back end of the software being reviewed (any part of the interface that you can’t access without actually logging in)Real-life product photos that don’t look like stock photography (bonus points for including yourself in the photo)Personal anecdotes about usage and sharing experiences that only a user would have

4. Lean on the experiences of others when personal experience is impossible

One caveat to the “share personal experience” point: it’s not always easy to have firsthand experience. Some products are too complicated, situational, or downright expensive to experience.

Given the constraints of content marketing, it’s never going to be cost-effective to pay your writer to train as a systems architect or implement an enterprise-level data warehousing solution.

Crucially though, your reader won’t care about your constraints: they want to see credible advice regardless.

So if you can’t personally experience the thing, base your listicle on the experiences of those who have. That means surveying, quoting, and synthesizing the experiences of real firsthand users of the product, tool, process, or service.

If you don’t feel credible, find someone who is credible.

If you have access to a large audience — like surveying your client’s customers or their social media audiences — this process can become a differentiator in its own right, allowing you to market your article on the breadth of its research (how many other listicles can say they’re based on “surveying 50 systems architects”?).

If you don’t, a deep dive into one person’s expert opinion can still be enough to lend credibility to your list (e.g., “The Best Startup Data Warehousing Solutions, According to This Startup CTO”).

5. Make a single, opinionated recommendation

The primary goal of listicle content isn’t to rank for keywords or generate traffic; it’s to help the reader make a decision.

Most listicles are good at one part of this process: offering a wide array of suitable choices. But these choices are often less helpful than they first appear.

Does the reader really need to know about 20 DSLR cameras if they’re only ever going to purchase one?

Most articles hedge their bets because collating popular “things” doesn’t provide enough information to make a useful recommendation.

But if your article didn’t help you choose — how will it help your reader?

Great listicles provide options but also go a step further: they take a stand and make a single opinionated recommendation.

This is a potent differentiator.

By seeking out firsthand experiences of the “things” on review, it becomes possible to form opinions and make clear, defensible recommendations: we did our homework; here’s the one you should buy.

Wirecutter is a master of this strategy, pairing extensive research (for their “best everyday wineglass” list, reviewing over 250 glasses) with a single final recommendation.

Optimize for revenue, not pageviews

These recommendations probably sound great in theory, but are they actually worth implementing?

Do we really need to dedicate more time and money to listicle content if we can generate tens of thousands of monthly pageviews from articles with a less rigorous research methodology?

Yes.

Pageviews are only useful as far as they further our ability to generate revenue.

Long, meandering copycat articles, lacking clear recommendations and written without credible research, may generate pageviews (for now) — but they don’t generate revenue.

The post 5 ways to level-up lazy listicles appeared first on Search Engine Land.

10 Social Media Certifications for Beginners (Free & Paid)

Posted by on Apr 17, 2022 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on 10 Social Media Certifications for Beginners (Free & Paid)

Social media certifications can help you build the skills to secure a job in social media marketing without having prior experience or a related university degree. To help you find accredited certifications worth pursuing, we’ve reviewed and rated the best social media certifications available online. These certification courses will help you build the social media […]

The post 10 Social Media Certifications for Beginners (Free & Paid) appeared first on reliablesoft.net.