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Top 6 Email Marketing Myths

Marketing-Myths

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The evolution of digital marketing has produced a keen development of “best” practices to follow when it comes to email marketing, but as the digital landscape continues to evolve and expand, more and more, these practices are changing and adapting to the needs of the audience.Businesses are now using analytics and data based on their tailored audiences to determine the best way to market to their customers. Below we take a look at some of the more popular email marketing myths and see if they hold true when examined closely.

There is a set best day or time to send your emails.

Everyone who uses email as a marketing tool asks the same question – when is the best time to send emails? In the morning? At noon? On a Wednesday? The only way to really know is to study your audience.

Different types of emails fare well at different times. A news update or information on a sale might be best sent out early in the morning during the middle of the week, whereas a content email featuring a short video may do well on a Friday evening or even Saturday, when most people are home relaxing.

When choosing the best time to send your emails, A/B testing and experimentation are key and studying your data and analytics helps you learn from your own unique audience.

Email campaign platforms like Emma and Mailchimp have done some research in various industries and can provide excellent information relevant to the state of email marketing.

Only send email campaigns once a month. 

This is one of the most subscribed to email practices to date, but is progressively practiced less and less as smartphones become the more popular device to engage users on. The increased use of mobile devices allows for companies and brands to engage with customers more frequently and in turn, these users are more open to receive increased emails from the companies they support and subscribe to.

Sending one email monthly isn’t necessarily a bad practice, however, it’s a mistake to think that it is the “standard” practice. Relevancy plays a huge part in sending emails and a lot depends on the audience, industry, and the type of content that is being delivered.

In actuality, users who receive email from the same business often, as long as they have opted in, will be more likely to click through on the email and attach more trust to the brand. In many cases, monthly emails can be overlooked and even considered spam.

marketing myths   Google Search

Only send out content emails. 

One of the things that can trip up businesses is the self-created pressure that in order to engage customers you need your own content. This is a myth that can stall growth if not debunked quickly. While creating your own content is definitely something you want to implement into your marketing campaign, it’s not an end-all, be-all for sending out emails.

Different emails serve different purposes. 

You can always repurpose other content to include in your emails or use automation to deliver important messages and follow up on events with emails to customers. Customer service emails also go a long way when enforcing your brand and nurturing leads and consumer relationships.

You should only look at how many people are opening your emails. 

Too many email marketers and businesses focus solely on the open rate metric. They do this without putting the open metric in context with other important data, like click-through-rates, unsubscribe rates, and social follows.

Focusing on this metric alone doesn’t paint the whole picture of how to improve and change your strategy. Looking at multiple data sets allows you to see what is working and also where improvements can be made.

Marketing Myths Debunked_1

Keep that subject line short! 

Following this practice without A/B testing and experimenting means that you’re missing out on what really resonates with your audience. Subject lines are all about engagement. Shorter subjects can work, but whatever engages and attracts is really what matters, even if it’s a few extra characters long.

In many cases, businesses find that a descriptive subject line that’s a bit on the longer side can really stand out and arouse a user’s interest. Plenty of websites and blogs breakdown best practices in email subject lines, but just to reiterate, find the subject lines that work best with your audience.

Email marketing is less effective than social media. 

Email marketing ranks consistently as a top tool for businesses to turn leads into customers. In the all-important sales funnel, emails are what really drives a customer into that final stage of a conversion. More importantly, email facilitates discussions with customers after they’ve made a conversion. This keeps them in the loop and connected with the brand.

Each business’ audience has their chosen social media sandbox to play in, and some people utilize multiple platforms, but email is the universal channel that we all share, regardless of what our social media preference is and it is a powerful marketing tool that is here to stay.

Segment, engage, study, repeat! 

As email marketing continues to develop and transform, it is important to always be concerned with the needs of your own unique audience. Using segmentation and engaging content ensures that your emails will reach the right readers.

Further studying and analyzing data will help you determine what really works with your audience and can help you continue to plan successful campaigns in the future.

 

Google Vs. Amazon, How Do They Compare?

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The battle between Google Shopping and Amazon has certainly reached its apex points over the past few years. Off the top of the head, you might think that Amazon is number one and bows to no one.

However, Google has spruced up and refined its shopping platform over the years to be incredibly competent and simple to use. With its numerous revamps, Google Shopping has become one of the top product ad platforms, in many cases outshining even Amazon.

How Are They Similar?

Both giants collect a huge amount of data about their shoppers and use the data to keep customer interests in mind. Google and Amazon rely on data mining and ad placement to target specific product searches to customers.

On the multimedia side, both competitors have introduced products into nearly all media platforms. Google Chromecast vs. Amazon Fire TV Stick, Google Play vs. Amazon Kindle, and Google Express vs. Amazon Prime.

Companies and products have the ability to utilize an extensive ad campaign on both platforms, just with different processes.

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How Do They Differ?

When it comes to functionality and implementation, the two platforms offer very different services. Google Shopping centers its product campaigns on PLA’s or product listing ads. These product listing ads are the driving force behind Google Shopping, which is managed within Google AdWords.

Bids are placed on the products themselves and Google applies the best keywords based on the bids. Since Amazon has discontinued its use of product ads, Google reigns supreme in retaining product search conversions.

In the world of paid advertising, Google PLA’s take up a majority of top 20% retail ad spend with Macy’s taking the top at $3,000,000 in the first quarter of 2015.

Much of the reason retailers prefer Google Shopping is due to the fact that PLA’s lead directly to retail websites. With Amazon, the products go through the Amazon platform which can benefit from Amazon’s search statistics at the cost of not being able to differentiate themselves from the clutter.

As well, companies forgo the opportunity of developing more sales leads from customers by directing customers to another site besides their own.

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Why Not Just Use Amazon?

With Google Shopping, retailers have the ability to direct people to their own site. This means retailers:

  • Can track where users come and go from and can track customer flow in Google Analytics and Adwords
  • Retain customer data and can account for each customer who buys a product
  • Learn about each customer as an individual
  • Follow up on leads driven by each customer and gather key info like email addresses and other metadata

Once a retailer is on the Amazon marketplace, the retailer itself in essence becomes another vendor of Amazon, with no ability to retain any customer info or accumulate key customer data to follow up on leads.

While Amazon commands a strong percentage of those who purchase products directly from a platform, Google commands 64% of searches according to a 2015 study provided by comScore.

A key analysis taken from this study is the cannibalization of product search for Amazon. While many people go to Amazon to purchase directly, Google still gets a piece of the pie from links clicked.

Key Breakdowns

  • Amazon benefits from top-of-the-list search postings for products in Google Search.
  • Amazon and Google are closer than you might think in search volume, with Google ahead on a year-to-year basis. Marketing Analytics firm Jumpshot snapshotted 46% of product searches were on Amazon in 2015 vs Google’s 54%. This test was done from July 1st, 2015 to September 2015 with a population of around 120,000.
  • Google Shopping utilizes its own AdWords platform which offers direct SEO functions related to product posting.

While both platforms offer access to a huge and diverse audience, the means in which they do so differ. Most top businesses place most of their resources in buying Google PLA’s which offer more flexible functionality and a more robust system.

While Amazon has the unique ability to introduce users to a huge array of products on one platform, Google Shopping uses Google’s vast infrastructure to target products effortlessly amongst enormous amounts of users.

Happy New Year!

On behalf of JXT Group, I’d like to wish you and your company a Happy New Year and a successful 2016!

“Drink from the well of yourself and begin again”
— Charles Bukowski

Happy New Year

Three Creative Ways To Increase Social Interaction On Your Website

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User experience can play a significant role in determining a website’s success. In fact, 88 percent of online consumers are less likely to return to a website after a bad experience. So, how can user experience be improved on a website? Users should more connected to the site through social interaction.

Contact forms, email links and traditional forums provided basic elements of social interaction in the past. Now, with the increase of social media, users are looking for more personalized ways to connect with businesses through their websites and with other users. Several techniques can be used to incorporate more social interaction on your website. Here are some suggestions:

Utilize creative content and blogs

Content is one of the most important features on a website. Not only does it help users find the site through search engines, it plays a significant role in keeping them interested in the pages. Content can be found in the form of website text, photos and captions, videos and even blog posts. Utilizing these various platforms can promote more social interaction on your website.

Blogs are a unique form of content because they can be updated much more frequently than website pages. Some blogs may be updated monthly, weekly or even daily, depending on the company. Blogs can be a place for businesses to genuinely connect with customers and clients through interesting content and stimulating images. Knowing your audience is the first step in making an impression on them.

These online journals often are less formal than traditional website pages and can feature more up-to-date content relative to your business, industry or field. Blogs could be a way to educate readers, but also a platform to initiate a conversation. Users will be able to read and share content on social media, making them more involved all while spreading your brand. Try using questions or polls to get readers active in a discussion.

Providing a comment section on blog posts lets businesses get a sample of what readers may be thinking with an easy avenue for responses. For example, if a home goods retailer includes a post about new design trends, customers may provide insight into what products they would like to see offered. This type of interaction could be effective for growing your business and customer loyalty.

Build an online community

Businesses often focus on building an online audience, but more effort should be put into building an online community. Users tend to be more involved and more social if there is a sense of collectiveness, rather than a one-way form of communication. Having users register on a website could be an easy way to get them more involved.

Website registration can be cumbersome for some users, but the process can be simple. It works best if users know why registering and providing their email is beneficial. Clothing retailer ModCloth provides those who register with personalized recommendations and allows them access to blogs where they can connect with the company and other users. The site also includes a personalized style gallery where customers can showcase their unique fashion with the company’s goods.

This builds a unique sense of community, rather than just an online forum. Users who register with the site can feel more connected to the brand, learn more about company products from former customers, review products and connect with other users. Additionally, this could simplify the checkout process for customers, combining practicality with fun.

Website registration also could lead to creative email marketing, which could foster another form of social interaction. Sending users emails about new blog posts, new products or information in the form of a newsletter could help to keep them involved in the online community. This brief contact could give them incentive to return to your website.

Add engaging promotions and stimulants

Varying the content on your website is another way to increase social interaction and create a better user experience. Instead of having only text paragraphs throughout the pages, businesses should consider other ways to stimulate website visitors. One creative technique is through gamification, or the use of game-design elements.

Adding game-design elements to a website is a widely used marketing technique for user engagement. This can be done through games, trivia questions, puzzles and other interactive elements that keep users on a website page. Quizzes relating to your industry or business also could increase user interaction with your website and give users something to share on social media.

These games can be used as a way to market your business or new products while keeping users active. For example, national chain Potbelly Sandwich Shop launched a “Mac and Cheese Name Generator,” a game to promote its new menu item. The short game provides questions, and the user’s answers determine his or her personalized mac and cheese order.

Once the game is complete, users have the opportunity to share their results on social media with the company’s personalized hashtag and enter a gift card giveaway. This game-like design keeps users connected to the company website and increases their likeliness of spreading brand awareness. It’s something simple and fun that users will remember.

Conclusion

These are some creative ways to help businesses promote social interaction on their websites. However, maintaining this level of communication is pivotal to its success. Anytime someone interacts with your brand, whether it is through a comment, sharing a video or registering with your website, let them know their actions are appreciated. This could mean replying to a comment or sending an email, whichever method works best for both parties. The smallest hint of gratitude can keep the conversation flowing.

About the Author

Cristine Sommers is the Chief Marketing Officer for Soar Payments, a payment processing company that helps eCommerce businesses obtain affordable credit card processing solutions.

JXT Group Hosts Digital Happy Hour at Google

On Wednesday, October 29th, JXT Group and Google co-hosted a Digital Happy Hour at the Google NYC office. The happy hour offered insights to the latest Google products and highlighted their growing online marketing opportunities. The two speakers included Candace Jordan, Google Agency Account Strategist and Menachem Ani, JXT Group Founder & CEO. Guests were able to enjoy delicious appetizers and drinks while watching outstanding presentations from these two industry leaders.

Micro-Moments

Candace kicked off the happy hour with a thought-provoking presentation about Micro-Moments, the  new battleground for brands. Candace made the audience realize, that as marketers, our biggest opportunities are in the smallest moments, some more important than others (especially when cellphones are involved).

Some key takeaways from the Micro-Moments presentation:

  • On average people check their phone 150 times per day (some people a lot more).
    • How do we have time for anything else?
  • How mobile has influenced these Micro-Moments- instead of researching on a laptop/computer, we now reach for our devices in the moment of need to access information faster than ever before.
    • There has been a 20% increase in mobile’s share of online sessions
    • There has been an 18% decrease in time spent per visit
    • There has been a 29% increase in mobile conversion rates
  • There are so many different Micro-Moments experienced throughout the day, and as marketers, we need to make sure to capture our audience at the right moment.
    • New-day-new-me Moments
    • One-step-at-a-time Moments
    • Help-me-choose Moments
    • I-want-that-look Moments
    • I-need-a-smaller-car Moments

5 Advanced Digital Marketing Strategies

After Candace finished discussing Micro-Moments, Menachem took the stage to discuss 5 Advanced Digital Marketing Strategies, and how they can be used to grow your business.

Some important points about these 5 digital marketing strategies:

  • Search-
    • 82% of shoppers begin their journey with search
  • Mobile-
    • Mobile searches have surpassed desktop.
    • Last year, nearly $1 trillion – 28% – of all retail sales were influenced by shopping-related mobile searches.
      • 53% of those who shopped online used smartphones or tablets, up for 40% the previous year.
    • 57% of users won’t recommend a business with a poorly-designed mobile site.
      • 40% have turned to a competitor site after a bad mobile experience.
  •  Shopping-
    • You must be relevant to purchase intent
    • Take advantage of ad extensions to stand out from your competition.
      • Reviews, special offers, etc…
  • Remarketing-
    • 96% of people who visit a website leave without completing the actions marketers want them to take
    • 70% of people abandon their shopping cart without completing a purchase
    • How do you get potential customers to click on remarketing ads?
      • Be Relevant
      • Be Engaging
      • Be Actionable
  • Video-
    • 67% of millennials agree that they can find a YouTube video on anything they want to learn.
    • 58% of YouTube-watching moms that were surveyed agree they’re likely to search for videos about a certain product before making a purchase.

Cardboard

We concluded the Digital Happy Hour with a Google Cardboard demonstration. Our guests really enjoyed playing with the cardboard!

Thank you!

On behalf of JXT Group, I would personally like to thank Candace Jordan and Darius Ameri and Google for their help in making this event a huge success! I would also like to thank everyone who attended the happy hour, we were excited to see some familiar faces in the crowd, as well as meet many new attendees! I hope that you were able to take away valuable information from the two outstanding presentations, and have fun at the same time!

We can’t wait to host another event like this in the future!

Keeping Your eCommerce Site Safe and Secure


eCommerce is a multi-billion dollar industry; for some shoppers, big box stores are now literally no more than showrooms for items they can often purchase for less on the internet. For business owners, eCommerce means less overhead and the ability to reach a wider market.

By going to the company directly to buy products, the consumer can be assured that they are receiving the items as they are described. Sometimes dubious online marketplaces sell products that claim to be manufactured by specific companies, yet they really aren’t. When the customer receives their item, they might form an opinion about the product, thinking that the manufacturer is at fault, when really the product was counterfeit and illegally sold.

Things like this are fairly common in recent times, so knowledgeable consumers are sticking to online eCommerce websites that have a reputation as being safe and reliable. But how can you keep your eCommerce site more secure, as well as provide a safer experience for your customers? Well actually there are several different ways…

Accounts

First, you’ll want to make sure that anyone who is signing up for an account on your eCommerce site has their information well protected. Allow visitors to your site to sign up with strong passwords; it’s recommended that you set up your site to inform new members during sign up whether or not their password fits the bill.

Strong passwords consist of numbers, both uppercase and lowercase letters and symbols. They should be at least eight characters long, contain more than one word (some use a phrase) and of course, exclude any sort of personal information. Be sure to apply these password tips to your own passwords as well since you too are responsible for protecting your customers’ accounts.

It would also be wise to use two-factor authentication on your site. Basically this means that anyone who is logging in on your page will have to provide more than just a password and username to access their account. This adds an extra layer of security for your customers, though like anything else, it isn’t without security vulnerabilities.

Payments

Some shoppers can be a bit weary of using their credit cards online to begin with, and if your company happens to be the victim of a data breach, you risk losing not only business, but also your good reputation. It’s extremely important that you take the proper measures to ensure that your clients are using a secure website when completing their orders.

Start with SSL certificates if you don’t already have them installed on your web server. This will protect the data shared between your customer’s computer and your website during check-out. It would also be wise to avoid storing your customer’s credit card information for future use.

Though it can be more convenient for your customers for their accounts to have their card information on file, it poses a security risk. Even big box stores have had their customers’ data compromised from storing it in their online database.

Device Security

Speaking of protecting the information of your customers, did you know that you could be putting both theirs and your data at risk just by using an unsecure device? When you access your database, work on your eCommerce site or even use the internet on a computer that has personal information stored on it, you’re putting your business at risk.

If hackers access your computer or any other device that you might be using to connect to the internet, they can easily obtain crucial pieces of information and data that can be used for malicious purposes. The reputation of your company could plummet if you allow your data to become compromised, but luckily, safe-guarding your computer is actually simple.

Anti-virus programs are free, and although there are paid versions of these programs available, the free versions aren’t lacking in quality or protection. Some of these programs even offer anti-theft features, which will help a lot if a thief decides to take off with your gadgets. There’s an additional program you should consider installing as well: a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

Using a VPN service is the best way to protect your data from hackers. VPNs protect your computer a bit further than an anti-virus program does because it shields your device from more than just malware. They encrypt your connection and mask your IP address, so not only will your location be hidden, but you can also use an unsecured internet connection without any issues.

Hackers can easily make their way into your device when you’re using public WiFi or other unsecured connections, which is why a VPN is recommended. A VPN is actually a remote server that you route your internet traffic through; beyond the security features it offers, you also gain the additional benefit of being able to access geo-restricted content.

Backups

In the event that you ever do have your site compromised, you’ll be glad that you have a backup on hand. For tutorials on how you can download a backup of your website, refer to your web host’s page for help. When saving the backup file from your website, it’s wise to make more than one copy and store them across multiple devices.

You may want to store your backups in an encrypted folder (tutorial can be found here) for added security. Another option is to store them online by using one of the many storage services available, though like anything else online, the security of these services can be somewhat limited.

Updates

Any software that you are using for your eCommerce site should be updated as frequently as possible. Software updates typically include patches to common security vulnerabilities within their code so by using the most recent version of the program, you have a better chance of keeping your site secure.

Speaking of updates, don’t forget to monitor your website regularly as well. It’s also important that anyone you may have hired to work on the site also checks it on a regular basis. Monitoring your site not only helps it remain safe, but also ensures that a problem can be fixed quicker so your customers also remain protected and your eCommerce page continues to run smoothly.

Fraud Management Services

When you’re dealing with a large customer base, it’s wise to invest in fraud management services. These can automatically scan through your orders to ensure that everything looks alright and nothing suspicious is occurring without your knowledge. Fraud management services will also prevent chargebacks, help you save money by preventing potential fees, stop shipments and overall, minimize payment fraud on your website.

Training

One of the most important steps to ensuring that your eCommerce site remains secure is to thoroughly train your employees about internet security and confidentiality. Maintaining an online business comes with the possibility that your customers may be calling or emailing your company with their questions quite frequently, and by doing so, they could be putting their personal information at risk. It’s important that your employees are aware that they should not be discussing payment details via email, and in the situations where they must discuss payment over the phone, they should be asking for several forms of verification of identity from the customer.

Overall, the safer your company and eCommerce website is, the safer your customer is!

About the Author: Cassie Phillips works at Secure Thoughts and is a blogger who strives to help and encourage others to protect their personal information online. Over the years she has experienced her fair share of internet security breaches, which has inspired her to learn more about how she can safe-guard both her website and computer.

Join us for Happy Hour @ Google NYC on October 28th

Google Partners
You’re officially invited to join JXT Group and Google for an exclusive digital happy hour on October 28th. Food and drinks will be provided!

Hosted at Google NYC, this is a fantastic opportunity to learn from digital marketing experts about the latest industry trends. Featuring presentations by Menachem Ani, Founder & CEO of JXT Group and Candace Jordan, Google Agency Account Strategist, this is one you don’t want to miss.

Please RSVP as soon as possible, space is limited.

RSPV→

Common Mistakes Made By E-Commerce Sites That Lose Money

Experts at RJ Metrics estimate that e-commerce sites account for about 10 percent of all websites. Yet, it estimates that just 110,000 of those sites generate revenue of any “meaningful scale,” proving that a “build it and they will come” approach doesn’t apply to the world of e-commerce.

Here’s a look at some of the most common mistakes made by money-losing e-commerce sites.

Surprising the customer with costs.

Your e-commerce site may be legally required to charge customers a certain amount of tax,; and their shipping method of choice may present an additional set of fees, too. Customers may inherently know that buying online will present such costs, but e-commerce sites must still be transparent about exactly what those are — and how they may change as the customer adds or removes items from a shopping cart — in order to convert an online browser into a buyer. In fact, in WorldPay’s Global Shopper Report, more than half of the 19,000 customers surveyed said unexpected costs are the primary reason they’ll opt not to buy from an e-commerce store. 

Slow load times.

A study by Kissmetrics revealed that 47 percent of customers expect the desktop version of a Web page to load in two seconds or less before they’ll abandon a site. Though not all site-loading issues are within your control, optimizing your e-commerce and m-commerce sites to function as seamlessly as possible is a direct investment in your site’s bottom line.

Complicated navigation.

Nearly a quarter of respondents to WorldPay’s survey said they abandon an e-commerce site when navigation is too complicated. Ideally, it should not take your customers more than three “clicks” to find the information they seek. While menus can help structure your online shop, it should include no more than seven headers, and have no more than three subsets within each header.  Use navigation that people recognize based on the functionality of leading e-commerce sites. For example, a left arrow usually indicates that a person can “go “back,” — be sure to design your site to follow the same navigation norms.

The terminology you use to describe various product categories on your site must also be relevant to the terms your target customer uses to find products and services. Though using clever terms to describe product categories may seem like a way to develop a unique brand voice, it could make it that much more difficult for customers to find the information they seek.

Clunky checkout processes.

E-commerce checkout processes should instill customer confidence. Display familiar logos (like VeriSign and major credit card or payment acceptance symbols) that reassure the customer your payment processes are secure. Allow the option to checkout as a guest or to sign in using social media credentials. Prefill information like shipping and billing addresses once the customer inputs ZIP code. Provide checkout flows that are responsive based on the type of device the customer is using, so it’s as easy to complete a purchase on a mobile device as it is a desktop.

About the author:

Stephanie N. Blahut is the Senior Marketing Manager for Highland Solutions. Highland Solutions is a global provider of collaborative, enterprise solutions. Stephanie oversees the Highland Solutions website and has co-created their lead generation program.

 

 

 

Menachem Ani- New York eCommerce Meetup Panelist

On Wednesday, September 9th, JXT Group’s Founder and CEO, Menachen Ani was a panelist at a New York eCommerce Meetup hosted by Hara Partners.

The Online Marketing Panel was led by David Markovich, Founder of Online Geniuses. Ilan Nass, Founder of Takital, and Jonathan Eisenberg, Founder and CEO of Spark Hospitality Group, were the other featured panelists.

The informative trio discussed their favorite online marketing tactics and gave insights on how they would personally market some of the different businesses that were mentioned during the Meetup.

Retargeting was another big talking point at the Online Marketing Meetup. The panelists discussed different ways that businesses use retargeting to sell you their products. They also discussed how lookalike audiences worked, and how they lead to an increase in conversions and sales.

This panel gave great eCommerce insights and helped many people understand how to better market their businesses online.

Click here to view the New York Online Marketing Panel.

 

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