5 reasons marketers should be addicted to users’ social data

June 10, 2014

This is a guest post by Rakesh Soni, CEO and co-founder of LoginRadius – the fastest growing social platform offering social sign-on, social sharing, user data and social analytics.

Know your consumer base. The most basic of business rules we all live or die by.

And what do we need in order to know who our online users are?

Consumer data, consumer data and more consumer data, of course.

Marketing teams spend enormous amountsRead more…

This is a guest post by Rakesh Soni, CEO and co-founder of LoginRadius – the fastest growing social platform offering social sign-on, social sharing, user data and social analytics.

Know your consumer base. The most basic of business rules we all live or die by.

And what do we need in order to know who our online users are?

Consumer data, consumer data and more consumer data, of course.

Marketing teams spend enormous amounts of time and money trying to understand their user base, what they want, how to reach them and how to keep them coming back.

The most common way marketers have collected online user data has been, until now, via sign-up forms. Yet we know that around 80%* of users dislike traditional registration forms and most of them will enter incorrect or false information.

As a result, marketers are well aware that asking users to fill out more than five data fields is really pushing their luck. So the question remains – how can I get more, reliable consumer data?

Social networks have finally found a solution for us, and it is simple: offer social sign-on – also known as social login – on your website.

Social login allows users to register on websites using their existing social network IDs – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter etc. – giving them a hassle-free online experience by removing the need to complete another sign-up form or remember yet another set of passwords.

Offering social login on your sites gives you access to more than 200 data points, including verified email addresses, gender, age, relationship status and personal interests.

With verified information at your fingertips, businesses can truly revolutionize their marketing strategies. Let’s look at five ways how.

1. Understand who your users are

Consumer data is absolutely key to knowing exactly who your users are and being able to strategize and plan around that information.

But until recently, website owners had been faced with an uphill challenge when it came to collecting accurate and detailed data.

Even if you managed to persuade someone to fill out a registration form in the first place, there’s an 88% chance they’ll enter incomplete or falsified information.

But the arrival of Facebook Connect in 2008 completely changed the login and data game. With users able to carry their personal data with them around the web, website owners can now tap into far more useful and accurate data on a scale never thought possible before.

Social login gives you access to hundreds of data points straight from the user’s profile, including verified email address, personal interests, name, gender, age, location and language.

With access to quality, first-party data, marketing teams can develop better strategies and targeted campaigns.

2. Segment your user base

In a world with more niche markets, intense competition and more demanding consumers, market segmentation is both essential and increasingly complex.

With a wealth of social data, marketers are now able to constantly analyze their user base. They can segment them in multiple groups and conduct targeted strategies and campaigns.

For example, you can target even more defined groups – such as selecting female only users aged between 20 and 25 who live in a particular region and are interested in beauty products – giving you a competitive advantage.

This will in turn translate into a high return on investment (ROI) on your marketing campaigns and higher satisfaction among your users because the get relevant content.

User segmentation also empowers management to build business strategies.

3.  Personalize the user experience

Social data gives you a direct connection with your user – instead of just selling to consumers you can now build a relationship with another human being whom you are growing to understand.

In today’s marketing landscape, there’s been a shift from old-fashioned B2C (business to consumer) selling models to H2H (human to human) relationships.

Businesses that personalize users’ web experiences around their interests and demographics record a 19 per cent increase in sales.

Social login allows you to map a user’s visits to your site, enabling you to better predict his or her online behaviours and intentions, and then build a personalized experience for that particular user.

4. Target email marketing campaigns 

Forward-thinking brands are already delivering targeted emails based on the superior data received through social login.

Once you have segmented your user base and mapped their past activities on your site, you are now in a position to send out targeted email offers to drive up engagement and revenue.

Clearly it makes sense to not only follow up on a sale, but to also offer the user related items they may be interested in.

If you have sold someone a top of the range cell phone, why aren’t you recommending cases, headphones and other accessories by email?

People are quick to hit the unsubscribe button if you send them irrelevant emails too often, running informed and targeted email campaigns is essential if you are to retain your users.

5. Gather leads (prospect information) on landing pages 

So at this stage, you’re pulling in stacks of data. You can segment your user base and personalize the user experience. Now, I want talk about how you can use social login to capture leads on a marketing landing page.

We all make beautiful landing pages with very effective messaging to attract prospects, but there’s one problem we all face: prospects don’t fill out the form or, even if they do, they enter incorrect information.

So we know nothing about the prospect, limiting our sales team’s ability to gather warm leads, nevermind close deals. That’s a significant impact on sales, isn’t it?

Well, social login can help you fix that by asking your prospects to connect with their social accounts before downloading content, participated in a webinar or taking part in any other ‘call to action’ you have on your landing page.

So now, instead of filling out a registration form, your prospects just connect to their social account in a couple of seconds.

Landing Page Social Login SS

Offering social login on landing pages will eliminate fake users and gather a wealth of correct  data about your prospects.

Your sales team would love that, wouldn’t they?

To learn more about how social login can improve the user experience on your landing pages, check out this post.

If you weren’t addicted to users’ social data before, you should be now.

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How to make your email campaigns more relevant using conditional content

February 20, 2014

This is a guest post by Adam Tuttle of ActiveCampaign, a leader in email marketing & marketing automation. As a member of the Clever Zebo community, you can claim a 10% lifetime discount on Activecampaign using discount code 1QVRDSBW2OD2WWS.

If you have ever used an email marketing service, undoubtedly you have sent mass email intended for a group of people from various demographics, interests, and many other data points which provide insight directly to eachRead more…

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This is a guest post by Adam Tuttle of ActiveCampaign, a leader in email marketing & marketing automation. As a member of the Clever Zebo community, you can claim a 10% lifetime discount on Activecampaign using discount code 1QVRDSBW2OD2WWS.

If you have ever used an email marketing service, undoubtedly you have sent mass email intended for a group of people from various demographics, interests, and many other data points which provide insight directly to each specific contact. Emails like these are typically very broad and lacking the focused marketing many consumers have come to expect in the dynamic world of digital. What if you could not only add personal elements such as first and last name which marketers do very often, but actually make the content of the email dynamic based on who is reading it? Enter, conditional content.

Conditional content 101

Conditional content can be confused for personalization tags, which allow you to add a unique pieces of data (such as the first name) to the email for each individual reader. This is a mistake. Although similar in some aspects, conditional content is anything but a personalization tag. Instead of changing a single word or data point dynamically per contact as a personalization tag does, conditional content actually changes entire portions of content based on data.

Example: I am preparing an email campaign to go out to 25,000 contacts with information about several new products in my online retail store. I have new products for both men and women and do not want to information to be sent about those products which are non-relevant to each reader. So, I take the first few images of my new mens items, and modify the surrounding text to be gender specific. I then make this conditional so only contacts whose gender is “male” can see this content section. Likewise, I repeat the process for a portion of my email which is totally designed for my female audience.

Although a generic example, the above is a simple explanation of how conditional content works. Now that we are all on the same page of what conditional content is, here are 3 quick tips for getting started with it.

  1. Use conditional content as much as possible. It allows you to tailor your emails specifically for each individual contact. If your readers feel like you are speaking to them instead of a general audience, they are much more likely to engage with you.

  2. Look for creative ways to use conditional content. Things like gender are great starting places, but any data point you have can be used. This gives you an incredible amount of possibilities for building emails which speak to your audience. I’ve literally seen a customer have over 40 conditional content sets within a single email. During the editing phase, the email campaign looked incredibly long, but when it actually sent, contacts were only getting a couple of pieces of key information based on the knowledge contained within his data base.

  3. Try different combinations to see what works. Just like any other aspect of email marketing, testing and revision is going to be the key for success. You might find some parts of your email do not make a difference if they are conditional or not; while some content types (text or images) can increase opens, link clicks, etc. As you learn what works for your audience, spend more time crafting the elements which prove to make a difference.

Optimizing data for conditional content

You’ve probably hear the phrase “knowledge is power,” and in the world of digital marketing, this is especially true. No longer does the shotgun-style approach of creating a blast, sending it out, and hoping it works, prove to be the best style of email marketing. In the context of email marketing, I cringe when I hear the word “blast” used because it often has such a bad spammy connotation. Email marketing can be very precise, being sent at the right time with the right message for each customer by using tools like conditional content. If you can gather data to help you make stronger email messages do so. Here are a few questions to ask when trying to optimize your data.

  1. Does your data add value? In business, there are value adding resources and there are non-value adding resources. For example: lets say you gather contacts physical mailing addresses, but never have the intention of using it; would you call that value adding or non-value adding? To many marketers strive to have “Big Data” mindsets with no idea as to how to obtain value from the data they have. As you try to optimize your data to increase the effectiveness of conditional content, ask if the data you will be using is value adding to the goals of your marketing process.

  2. Does it enhance the message? Conditional content is great, but it is not always going to be applicable for every situation. Before you start making every aspect of your email conditional, ask yourself if it enhances the message. Remember, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. Your customer will have no idea somebody else is seeing different pictures and text if you make aspects of the message conditional. With that being said, does it matter who sees what? If the answer is no, leave it be and focus on the things that do matter.

  3. Is there more? Although you might already have strong data which is all currently being used, I encourage you to evaluate and ask if there is more information you can gather to enhance your current conditional content options. Conditional content like most tools of this nature are only as strong as you make them. The better you make your data sets (with conditional content in mind) the more powerful and effective you’ll be able to make your overall email marketing program.

Conditional content is a great tool for taking your email marketing program to the next level. It empowers to you have focused marketing efforts dynamic to each person reading the email and their specific demographic. Instead of sending a “blast” and hoping your audience engages with it, use conditional content to send emails targeted to each individual reader and ensure you capture their attention.

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Maximize your Product Listing Ads sales in 4 simple steps

January 27, 2014

This is a guest post by Jacques van der Wilt, creator of DataFeedWatch, a web-based tool for merchants to optimize their data feed for Google Shopping and other comparison shopping channels. 

Most shop owners have read about the awesome sales results on Google Shopping, but many of them do not have a Product Listing Ads (PLAs) campaign.  Managing a PLA-campaign is quite different from a regular text ad campaign, but it’s not rocketRead more…

This is a guest post by Jacques van der Wilt, creator of DataFeedWatch, a web-based tool for merchants to optimize their data feed for Google Shopping and other comparison shopping channels. 

Most shop owners have read about the awesome sales results on Google Shopping, but many of them do not have a Product Listing Ads (PLAs) campaign.  Managing a PLA-campaign is quite different from a regular text ad campaign, but it’s not rocket surgery. Here’s a brief overview of how you maximize the performance of your PLA-campaign.

1. Get your feed right

The product data feed that you export from your store to your Google Merchant Center is the base on which your campaign is built. Google will decide which ads to show, based on the information (about your products) that they find in the feed. The feed has to be 100% right. Invest time to make sure that your pictures are great, all data is complete and your titles are appealing.

2. Set up your campaign: 1 target per product

You need to create product targets for (groups of) your products. We always set up a product target for each product. It enables you to see the performance of each product in your AdWords-account. You can see which products sell a lot (or not) and which get you a lot of traffic but no sales.

Managing 10,000 bids for 10,000 products is not very efficient. That is why we add a ‘management layer’ on top of the product targets: we create an ad group for each product type and group all product targets accordingly.  Now you have (e.g.) 50 ad groups for 50 different product types. That is manageable and you can set bids on ad group level. Based on the results per adgroup, you ‘drill down’ and review the individual product targets and start optimizing your campaign:

Product target product type and id

3. Basic optimization

a) Wait ……

The first rule of optimization of a new campaign is: do nothing. You need to get enough traffic and conversions before you can draw any conclusions. So, it’s ok to monitor your campaign from day one, but don’t start changing your bids based on 10 clicks and 1 conversion.

b) Negative keywords

Over time you will see that certain search queries are getting you clicks but no conversions. Make ‘cartridge’ a negative keyword if you find that ammo-buyers are clicking your ads and leave when they find out that you are selling ink.

Negative keywords

c) Conversion path

Always check the path from click to conversion. Fix any errors you may find and always ask yourself: would YOU end up buying this product?

4. Identify winners & losers and increase your RoI

Winners

You’ll know a winner when you see one: a product that gets sold a lot and has a handsome margin, even after paying for the clicks. Most merchants will get 80% of their revenue from only 20% of their products – for others 90/10 is even more applicable.

So now that you know where you are making your money, what do you do?  You bid up and see what happens. If you increase your bid by 10% and you sell 20% more, you are winning. But if your sales don’t go up while your CPA does, it was a bad idea after all. You may consider lowering your bid and see if your sales volume stays the same.

You may also put your winners in (a) separate adgroup(s). That does not get you more sales, but it’s easier to manage if you only need to look in 1 basket to see all your top-eggs.

Potential winners

Some of your best selling items may have a very high CPA (cost per acquisition).  Maybe that does not show on adgroup level, but it does if you drill down to the individual product targets.

So do the math before you start celebrating: you may sell 100 pillows per week, but with a gross margin of $5 and a CPA of $4.72, you are only making $28. With a few returned products this can easily turn into a loss.

So now that you know that you are not making money there, what do you do?  You bid down and see what happens. Maybe you’ll see sales go down to 50 per week, but if the CPA goes down to $3.88, you have already doubled your gross margin. Play with it. A $56 margin may not excite you either, but it’s $225 per month, it adds to your bottom line and it’s easy money for just 1 product!

Potential losers

Identify the products that hardly get any sales but that do get a lot of traffic.  There’s always a bunch of those. People are interested in the product, they click your PLA but they leave without buying. You paid for every click but you never got anything back for it!

So now that you know where you are losing your money, what do you do?

You need to find out WHY people are not converting. Maybe there’s something wrong in the conversion path. Check out your product page: is something crucial missing? And what about the price? Is it too high?

You basically have 2 options:

– you know what’s wrong and you fix it (or at least you try and see what happens)

– you can’t figure it out and you delete the product from your feed. Saving a wasted advertising dollar may be the biggest contribution to your RoI.

Losers

It is not difficult to identify your losers. There is no demand for these products (low impressions) and yet they take up time (yours!) and money (clicks).  So now that you know that you are losing money, what do you do?

If you run a long tail strategy, you may accept a lot of non-performing products, but even then you need to make sure that all those clicks left and right don’t end up costing you too much. If you get 80% of your revenue from 20% of your products, then do consider stopping advertising for all products that sell once a month, have a low margin and still take up your money and time. If there is more money to be made in those 20% top-sellers then focus all resources there and maximize your RoI.

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