Tags: ROI

The Top 7 Social Media ROI Determinations

The Top 7 Social Media ROI Determinations

Beyond • July 23, 2013

Determining the Return On Investment (ROI) of your brand’s social media activities is a complex multi-headed beast but there are various key factors which can indicate whether your social web presence is trending upwards or augering in. These seven ROI determinations will help you figure out if you’re climbing to the sky or crashing to the ground. Reach determination. The first determination is to figure out your total reach. This bit of math is simplicity itself: People who shared content x Their friends/followers = Your potential reach. Therefore if you have 1,000 followers and they’re all sharing content with an average of 100 people each you can then expect your potential reach to be 1,000 x 100 = 100,000. Note that this is an extended and theoretical number as no brand will ever realize its full potential reach. Value of each fan. When it comes to determining the value of each one of your individual followers the math gets just a tiny bit more complex but still well worthwhile calculating: The total dollar value of the transactions resulting from social media interaction / Actual reach = The value of a fan. Therefore if you’re grossing a million dollars a year from your social media activities and your actual reach is 100,000 then the value of each fan is $10. Share of voice. How many times is your brand being mentioned on social media chatter as compared to your competitors? This calculation will allow you to determine how effectively you’re achieving your social media goals versus the competition, and can easily be weighted by market share or volume. Therefore if your competitor has four times the market share but is only generating double the share of voice that you are, you’re doing twice as good a job as they are! Interaction per post. This calculation is simply the number of comments or replies you receive on each of your initial updates, posts or tweets. So if you take all your Facebook posts for this year or month or even on an individual post basis and calculate them according to the number of comments you’ve attracted you’ll obtain this critical figure. Just like a bank account, more is better so you should carefully dissect the posts which have had the best result and emulate them in your future social media efforts. Key influencer mentions. Not all social media mentions are equally effective. The ones made by key influencers who not only have large groups of their own followers but are also able to command powerful loyalty and respect from their networks have a considerably greater effect on your social media success. Tracking these key influencer mentions and doing everything in your power to increase them will do your social media campaign a world of good. Sentiment analysis. While the social web does seem to act on the basis that there’s no such thing as bad publicity, it is important for you to track the positivity or lack thereof of your comments. If your brand is being slagged in 90% of your responses then the sheer numbers you’re attracting may actually be counterproductive. You should consistently strive to minimize the number of negative and even neutral comments in order to boost the positivity rating of your sentiment analysis at all times. Social clickthrough. In many ways this is the Holy Grail of social media ROI calculations as it’s what we all want our followers to do: Click on the link! While the sheer number is of course important, the trend is even a more impactful factor on the overall success of your social media marketing campaign. If you’re showing growth in the number of clickthroughs then you can rest assured that you’re on the right track. If your clickthroughs are dropping, then it’s time to start fixing what’s broken. While succeeding in all of these seven social media ROI determinations is not necessarily the ultimate key to bottom line success you can be sure that if you’re failing at the majority of them your social networking efforts will be categorized as a bust!


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Playlist: Bands With Great ROI

Playlist: Bands With Great ROI

Beyond • July 22, 2013

This week’s series focuses on Return On Investment. That means getting the biggest bang for your buck. ROI is important for your business, but you want to feel like your getting the best value for your money whenever you’re spending it. Over the last several years, I’ve been privileged to gain media access for many music festivals and concerts. That means if I’m going to pay for concert tickets, the show better be great. With that in mind, I put together this week’s playlist of the best ROI I’ve gotten from concerts. “Jet” - Paul McCartney “Boogie On Reggae Woman” - Stevie Wonder “When The Night Falls” - Chromeo feat. Solange Knowles “Loving Cup” - Phish (Rolling Stones cover) “Thank You (Falletin Me Be Mice Elf Agin)” - Dave Matthews Band (Sly & the Family Stone cover) “I Got Love” - Umphrey’s McGee (Nate Dogg cover) “Loving You Is Killing Me” - Aloe Blacc “Pass The Mic” - Beastie Boys “Heart Of The City (Ain’t No Love)” - Jay-Z “Superstar” - Lupe Fiasco feat. Matt Santos Tweet !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?\'http\':\'https\';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+\'://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js\';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, \'script\', \'twitter-wjs\');Follow @BenchmarkEmail !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?\'http\':\'https\';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+\'://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js\';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, \'script\', \'twitter-wjs\');


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CLV & CAC = ROI: Understanding the Alphabet Soup

CLV & CAC = ROI: Understanding the Alphabet Soup

Beyond • July 22, 2013

If you get a migraine when you try to wrap your head around online marketing CLV (Customer Lifetime Value), CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost), and ROI (Return On Investment) formulas you might find relief by comprehending that you don’t have to be a math whiz to master these key calculations. Yes, they are indeed mathematics but if you spent most of your time daydreaming during high school math you can still apply some primary basic formulas which will allow you to comprehend how well (or how badly) you’re performing in the online marketing sphere. The importance of the CLV The first aspect to master is the CLV which is the amount of revenue that the average customer will generate for your brand during their engagement with you. Let’s assume that you are providing access to an online software suite based on the monthly fee model. The average customer is buying your $30 a month program and keeps the subscription going for two years. The calculation is simplicity itself: The amount spent per month ($30) x The number of months (24) = CLV ($720) The importance of the CLV is to determine the value of each new customer. Over the long run you can be assured that each new customer you can get to sign up for your online software subscription is going to generate $720 for your company. Does your CLV equal your CAC? Now that you know your CLV is $720 you have to determine what the cost was to acquire that customer, the critical CAC. If you’re spending a total of $72,000 and attracting 100 customers you might as well lock up the office and go to the beach to sip Mai Tais, as the CAC calculation is: Total online marketing budget ($72,000) / The number of new customers (100) = $720 Your CAC should never equal your CLV, actually most online marketing experts will tell you that if you’re arriving at a CAC number that is more than 10% of your CLV your campaign is in really big trouble. So for a total online marketing budget of $72,000 you should be attracting 1,000 new CLV $720 customers, not 100! E=mcROI You don’t need to be an Albert Einstein to take the next step to determine how to even further increase your ROI. Take the figures we know so far: Total Online Marketing Budget = $72,000 Customer Lifetime Value = $720 Customer Acquisition Cost = $72 Acceptable Number of Customers for Positive ROI = 1,000 So your ROI is: (CLV $720 x Number of Customers 1,000 – Total Budget $72,000) / Total budget ($72,000) = ROI $9 Therefore you’re making nine dollars for every dollar spent which is one exceptionally profitable ROI! Jiggling any of these figures around will change the ROI calculation considerably. Let’s say that you’re able to attract 2,000 new customers with all the other figures remaining the same: (CLV $720 x Number of Customers 2,000 – Total Budget $72,000) / Total budget ($72,000) = ROI $19 Now you’re earning nineteen dollars for every dollar spent which means that your retirement to Tahiti has just gotten that much closer. But there are other forms of jiggling which will get you to stratospheric ROIs as well, such as increasing the CLV: (CLV $1440 x Number of Customers 1,000 – Total Budget $72,000) / Total budget ($72,000) = ROI $19 Or increasing the effectiveness of your online marketing campaign to the point where you can attract the same amount of new customers with half the budget: (CLV $720 x Number of Customers 1,000 – Total Budget $36,000) / Total budget ($36,000) = ROI $19 Again, make sure that you’re not failing in attracting enough new customers and run into the ROI wall: (CLV $720 x Number of Customers 100 – Total Budget $72,000) / Total budget ($72,000) = ROI $0 Calculating an accurate ROI for your online marketing campaigns doesn’t require the computational capacity of the Large Hadron Collider’s computers, all you need to do is to apply these exceptionally common sense formulas so that you can maximize your return on every single dollar spent in your online marketing activities.


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Are You Overlooking Critical Engagement Metrics?

Are You Overlooking Critical Engagement Metrics?

Beyond • May 8, 2013

Only six out of every ten email marketers ever review extremely basic metrics such as click-throughs and opens, thus failing to take into consideration the critical aspect of prospect engagement. Due to this oversight, many email marketers have reached the limit of what the basic metrics of email tracking can tell them about their campaigns. A complete understanding of your marketing efficiencies, your ROI, and how your entire audience is reacting to your emails can only be achieved through meticulous monitoring of the more sophisticated engagement metrics. Select a Small Set of Relevant Metrics & Focus on Them This diligent process doesn’t mean agonizing over every single scrap of data, but rather selecting a relatively small set of measurements that you believe has the highest impact. Concentrate on how your campaigns are performing on those parameters instead. You should be wary of applying a focus that is overly narrow as much as overly wide, so don’t make a snap decision based on your first glimpse of the data. By taking a more holistic perspective you will be able to best determine: How these specific metrics are trending over months and years The modifications that can be implemented to improve response and ROI The ramifications of anomalous results and various outliers Email Effective Rate is a Major Indicator One of the most important metrics that many email marketers pay little attention to is the effective rate of the campaign: the percentage of prospects who actually click once they’ve opened the email. This data provides significant insight into how your loyalty-based and retention processes are being received by your audience. If you see that your emails’ effective rates are elevated, then it translates into your readers determining that the content was of direct relevance to their needs. On the other hand, if your rate is low, it’s a huge red flag warning that the recipients are not finding your content to be sufficiently relevant and targeted. Spam Reports Reflect on Your Entire Brand’s Reputation Spam reports are pivotal metrics, as they represent measurements of how your brand and its emails are being received at the very outset by the reader. Your spam reports should be steadily dropping, or flatlining at the worst. If your spam reports have been trending upwards, it is an indication that your reputation out there is floundering. The reason for this stumble may be brand related and not specifically triggered by your email campaigns, but it deserves immediate and deliberate action nonetheless. Many Email Marketers Accept Conversion Rates That Are Too Low Another critical engagement metric is conversions, and it is one where many email marketers unwittingly accept a far lower rate than they could easily achieve. Although there is no hard and fast rule as to what the conversion rate should be in any given campaign, there is usually ample room for improvement, which can be gauged by thoroughly and honestly answering these questions: Is your call to action as prominent and lucid as it can possibly be? Have you ensured that your design is clear, obvious and readable in both HTML and plain text? Are there any aspects of your emails that “smell of spam?” Are your landing pages laser-focused and firmly tied in to your email’s leitmotif? Are your forms fully prepopulated with the respondent’s data? Failing to take these key email marketing engagement metrics into consideration may be blinding you to the fundamental insights that can result in stronger results across the board. Vigilance is called for in not only fully comprehending what this data says about your campaigns, but also on how to administer effective strategies to fix what’s broken.


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The Double Edged Sword of Increasing Email Frequency

The Double Edged Sword of Increasing Email Frequency

Beyond • May 7, 2013

In the search for greater ROI from email marketing campaigns, brands often default to simply increasing the frequency of their email sends. Although this approach increases monthly gross revenue, there are additional charges that can wipe out any gains. 3 X Per Week Produces 40% More Revenue Per Month, But 40% Less Per Email There have been various studies to prove that increasing email sending frequency is a double edged sword. When mailings are increased from weekly to three times a week, the increased campaign produces approximately 40% more revenue per month. However, the average revenue produced per email sent drops by 40%... and there’s more bad news. The higher frequency’s unsubscribe rate is 140% greater than that of the lower frequency one. Therefore, if you’re averaging a 1% unsubscribe on a weekly frequency, you can look forward to a 2.4% unsubscribe rate at the higher frequency. The spam complaint rate per emailing increases by 600%, and over a full month, the increase is 1,300%. Therefore you can expect your overall spam complaints per month to vary from 0.05% at the low frequency to an uncomfortable 0.65% at the high frequency. High Frequency Email Sends Can Cost You More Than 1/3 of Your List Per Year Without even factoring in the increase in the hard bounce rate, the unsubscribes plus the spam complaints alone will cost you 3.05% of your list every month, or 36.6% a year. That’s more than a third of your subscribers gone, and with a bad taste in their mouths as well. In less than three years, there might not be a single original name left from your list today! Plugging in some financial factors brings the abstract percentages into a better perspective. Let’s assume that your weekly emailing is producing $2 million in revenue a year from a list of 500,000 prospects. Jumping to a thrice weekly format will increase that to $2.8 million. That seems great until you consider that you’ll be losing 183,000 of those customers per year, and if you calculate an average cost of $12 for replacing each of those losses with prospects of roughly equal value, keeping your list numbers consistent will cost nearly $2.2 million. There are also considerable additional costs to creating, testing and sending the millions of extra emails. When Seeking to Increase Your Strategy’s Effectiveness, Ask Yourself These Questions Of course very few email marketers engage in campaigns of this frequency, but the numbers do show that simply ramping up the frequency of your emails is not the wisest strategy. Therefore you should consider the other aspects of your email strategy to maximize its effectiveness by asking yourself these important basic questions: Do you have an email messaging strategy and is it effective? Can the success metrics of your brand be improved? What is your customer acquisition vs. loss rate? What is your customer acquisition cost? Are your customers more or less responsive to you than they were last year at this time? Are your customers spending more or less with you than they were last year at this time? Is your product or service facing competition of a type that did not exist a year ago? And most importantly… Is your product or service still interesting, attractive, competitive, well-priced, up-to-date and relevant? There Are Many Valid Options Other Than Just Ramping Up The Frequency This analysis will help you determine the basic current status of your overall email campaigns and branding efforts so that you can determine if your success (or lack thereof) can be attributed to your email marketing policies. There are many aspects to consider when you are analyzing your campaign strategies, and simply cranking up the frequency of your emails is not necessarily the best option.


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Marketing Automation Software Highlights (Part 2)

Marketing Automation Software Highlights (Part 2)

Beyond • December 29, 2011

Last week I introduced the best of the best when it comes to marketing automation software. Because marketing has diversified exponentially over the last five to ten years, marketing needs are now greater than ever. There’s a lot more to do and tons of ways to do it. So it comes as no surprise that businesses striving to meet the needs of marketers are swiftly competing to offer the best automation software, including the three below. Genius: Big Plans, Low Prices Genius – Divided into two main users, Genius recognizes two types of marketers: Small Business and Professional Marketers. Small business needs are unique in that they have the same needs as the big dogs but can’t afford the same price tag. They also are the DIY types that at best have a very small (likely minimally skilled) team to carry out a marketing campaign. “Genius Small Business” ropes in leads with manageable marketing that’s planned and easy to execute with no special training. On the other hand, “Genius Pro Marketer” is a more aggressive marketing outreach that includes social media marketing, tracking, real-time sales alerts and lead nurturing. It’s free to sign up for Genius, but to get more out of it you’ll have to go with a paid upgrade. Their packages range from “Genius Nuclear” ($330/month); “Genius Fusion” ($220/month); and “Genius Custom,” which lets build your own package for an adjusted rate. Pardot: Marketing Time in the Cloud Pardot tells you where to look. A cloud-based solution, Pardo helps your team track where most of your marketing time should go so you can maximize your return on investment (ROI). They also look for “buying signals” both on and off your site to track. They then teach you how to nurture these leads and convert them into sales. Geared for business to business needs, Pardot is designed for those that don’t need any frills, especially when it comes to the price point. You pay for what you need and aren’t committed to any long-term contracts. Small businesses that aren’t willing to pay the price need to step aside to make way for businesses willing to invest in results. Pardot packages start at $1K month – a price that, among other features, includes unlimited users, 50 lead nurturing programs, 100 MB file hosting, 50 Automation rules, social media tracking, 50 landing pages and live weekly training. Marketbright: Optimizing Lead Channels Marketbright – Also a cloud-based software, Marketbright focuses on collecting leads by optimizing all the channels through which leads naturally come your way. This includes your website through signup forms, white paper downloads, event registration and optimized landing pages. The software also empowers your sales team by making it easier for them to make use of marketing content syndication. Everyone knows it takes months to go from a lead to a sale, which includes a lot of courting with back and forth emails and calls. And when you have more than just one lead (as you should), it can be pretty tough to stay on top of it all; something always slips through the cracks. Marketbright’s dialogue automation makes sure that you’re on top of nurturing your leads with automated programs that “deliver a sequence of relevant and personalized communications (newsletters, case studies, white papers or invitations to events) at appropriate intervals.” The really neat feature here is that individual team members can not only quickly access content, but they can do so through their own Act-On accounts. Marketbright also hosts a very comprehensive resources page and a tools page to help you get everything you need out of it. With month-to-month contracts, Marketbright offers an affordable $500 a month price point, which includes all available capabilities. When choosing your budget, especially with a software like Marketbright, it’s important to consider how many leads you plan on contacting each month, including both old and new contacts via email marketing.


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Emotional Marketing: Reaching the Consumer’s Motivation

Emotional Marketing: Reaching the Consumer’s Motivation

Beyond • November 17, 2011

We\'ve long posted on the importance of ROI in email marketing campaigns, and the avenues of implementing metrics and analyses to optimize social media and email advertising goals. However, there\'s another aspect of marketing not so easily quantifiable by click-through rates and impressions: emotions play a major role in encouraging a consumer to perform an action or develop brand affinities. As a recent article from Fast Company called Ramping Up the Emotional Side of Marketing points out, \"How do you measure a kiss? And how many kisses lead to a marriage? ... Those instantaneous, irreplaceable moments when an authentic connection occurs, the one that grows an already deepening relationship ...\" - these are the real metrics for success, no matter what you\'re marketing and how. And it\'s as true for digital advertising as for traditional print and broadcast media. Innovative businesses get it: consumers are best reached when incited to emotional involvement. Look at then-Senator Barack Obama\'s 2008 Change campaign, which relied on grass roots rhetoric from the people, for the people and by the people to (dare we say) exploit the population\'s gut desire to hope. The Christian Children\'s Fund and animal rescue infomercials were exploiting our heartstrings long before the digital age, relying on basic imagery of the less fortunate and vulnerable to reach our consciences and pocketbooks. The new wave of marketing, tuckered out from talk of ROI, open rates and less-than-exact analytics, has added emotional involvement back into the advertorial mix. As it turns out, a little bit of authenticity still goes a long way. A study out of the University of Minnesota on forecasting and backcasting emotions reveals that a person is more positively affected by an ad if it first invokes their feelings instead of leading with a selling point. According to their research, \"a person who sees an ad for a Caribbean cruise in the dead of winter would expect to enjoy the trip more (and thus be more likely to make a purchase) if an advertiser’s copy read, \'Winter getting you down? ...Wouldn\'t a sun-filled tropical vacation help? Book one today,\'\" than if the advertiser initiated the campaign with an immediate call to action. The study shows that people make many decisions based on their emotional investment in the outcome, and that by playing to consumers\' future goals and feelings, marketers can increase their influence and traction. In short, set the hard sell aside and go straight for the soft underbelly of consumer motivation. So how can marketers gain more traction with consumers’ feelings? Start with the five main emotional factors that should be taken into consideration: fear, guilt, greed, pride and love. Engage these emotions through stories, videos, imagery, testimonials with current happy clients or someone within the company; speak from the heart in your copy, cold calls and customer service; help build your business around a genuine connection with your clients. However, bear in mind that it\'s very important never to sacrifice realistic attitudes and authenticity for emotional appeal. The other edge of the sword when you’re playing to human emotion is that you open your business up to instinct. The savvy consumer can smell a rat coming from a mile away. If you\'re still not sold, take it from the advertisers who do emotional marketing best: Hospitals. The New York Times documented a campaign for prostate cancer surgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Manhattan that seemed to rely more on emotional impact than factual assurance. Using superlative language like \"highest cure rates\" and \"lowest risk of side effects,\" the ad - like many cancer awareness ads - plays heavily on consumer fear of the disease. Vague and anecdotal evidence is acceptable for nonprofit medical centers, which are not held to the same statistical standards as medical science and research organizations, but the ad does imply that \"choosing a particular hospital could be the deciding factor in whether a cancer patient lives of dies,\" says Dr. H. Gilbert Welch, a medical professor at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical practice. According to the federal government, this sort of advertising is legal. But therein lies the problem. The laws around emotional marketing may be black and white, but the ethics? Those are pretty gray.


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How to Get More Clicks in Your Email Campaigns

Beyond • August 10, 2009

Every email marketer looks for ways to constantly improve his click through rates. Why? Because the more clicks you get in your email campaign, the better your sales and your ROI! So here are a few tips to help you get more clicks! Tip 1: Put in links Links are a great way to increase those click through rates. You can link your images, headlines, offers and even your videos to your product! When it comes to images especially, readers expect to be taken to a new place when they click on an image; satisfy their expectations by linking your image to additional information relevant to your offerings. Tip 2: Intrigue your readers Intrigue your readers by giving them a taste of the information to come. Draw your readers in by giving them part of the story and placing a link that takes them to the complete article. Placing a line like \'Click here to get the whole story\' is a good way to make your readers\' eager to read more. Just the way the synopsis of a book grabs a reader\'s attention and makes him want to read the whole book, a little information will go a long way towards intriguing your reader and will make him want to know more. Tip 3: Educate rather than advertise Your copy should be informative, educative and compelling. This means it is important that you write about interesting and relevant topics and at the same time ensure that you have adequate writing skills. Your email copy should not simply blatantly advertise whatever you are offering. Provide your readers with a valid reason to make them want to read more. Tip 4: Provide free gifts but with an expiry date Free gifts are a great way to increase your click through rate. Statements such as \'click on this link for your free gift\' are very effective ways of getting readers to click on your links. However, it is important that you place an expiry date on your free offers as this encourages readers to take instant action. If you are interested in increasing your click through rate, make sure that you read through all these tips and implement them in your email campaign! If you know of any more tips to raise click through rates, do let us know!


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