Monthly Archives: September 2012

Pinfluencer shows the most important Metrics on Pinterest

Pinfluencer Shows The Most Important Metrics on Pinterest

Pinfluencer Shows The Most Important Metrics on Pinterest

No social network puts a person’s desires, goals, and personal taste on display quite like Pinterest. The virtual pinboard shares virtually no demographic information with the outside world, but in many ways, its contents are just as revealing as Facebook’s.

Pinfluencer is an analysis tool that tracks a website’s content on Pinterest. Founded in 2012, the company recently raised $1.4 million from Baseline Ventures and Freestyle Capital. Its newest offering, Pinner360, shows companies who their top pinners really are by showing them what they like.

Much like Twitter, Pinterest allows people to follow others without requiring permission or a follow back. Although pinning is more about finding images than finding people, users can still discover new things through others who have similar tastes. Pinfluencer shows which of a company’s top pinners have the most — and most engaged — followers.

Most people will need to work up to streamlining their contacts. Because many Pinterest users initially joined through Facebook, they start out by following their friends, who may or may not share their interests.

When users log in, Pinterest scatters the newest pins from their contacts across the homepage in no particular order. For this reason, the most important feature on Pinterest right now is the search bar. Pinners can find what they’re looking for by choosing a category from the pull-down menu or by typing in a keyword.

Pinfluencer can tell companies when is the best time to pin new images to reach people as they’re logging in. It can also show which boards are doing well and which pins have the most traction, giving each pin an engagement score of up to 100 points.

Pinfluencer can also track a company’s competitors to see what its followers are pinning from other sites. Companies can learn a lot by this, not only to see where they stand, but also for getting ideas on what to include on their boards.

Website owners will find that much of their content enters Pinterest straight from their websites, and not necessarily from their own “pin it” buttons. Pinterest users will simply copy and paste a link and add it to their boards. But the activity is harder to track, which is why Pinfluencer and other tools have popped up to fill in the gap by showing all the activity associated with a company’s website.

Pinfluencer also hooks up to Google Analytics to show how many clicks a URL gets per pin. If the goal is to direct traffic back to an e-commerce site or even a publication, a direct pin from a user is as good as a repin from a profile page.


Read the full article: Pinfluencer shows the most important Metrics on Pinterest »


Social Media influences less than 1% of Online Purchases

Ecommerce businesses should concentrate more of their efforts on traditional online marketing tactics like search and e-mail than social media. That’s the conclusion of a Forrester study released Tuesday, which examined 77,000 online transactions made between April 1 and April 14. The study found that less than 1% of them could be traced back to social networks like Facebook or Pinterest.

Determining how web activity influences purchases is tricky; although many often credit the last touchpoint for a sale, Forrester found that half of repeat customers and a third of new customers touch multiple touchpoints prior to a purchase. As such, certain funnels, like display advertising and e-mail, may be undervalued.

Nevertheless, ecommerce websites still convert more highly than any other channel, accounting for 30% of transactions. Thus it’s smart for retailers to promote their domain names as much as possible.

Following direct visits, organic search and paid search are the two biggest drivers of purchases from new customers, accounting for 39% of new customer transactions. That’s because the web continues to be a useful tool for what Forrester calls “spear fishers” — consumers who know what they are looking for and find it through search.

For repeat shoppers, e-mail is the most effective sales influencer: Nearly a third of purchases from repeat customers initiated with an e-mail. As such, businesses should up their efforts to collect e-mail addresses, and tailor their e-mail marketing messages to each recipients’ device and prior purchase behavior.

Social media’s potential as a shopping portal has yet to be realized. Less than 1% of transactions from both new and repeat shoppers could be linked to social networks, Forrester found. That said, the researcher believes social media can still be a powerful marketing tool, and that social media’s influence on purchase behavior likely can’t be measured in the 30-day attribution window the report examined. Forrester also asserts that social media is a bigger sales driver for small businesses, which were not included in the study.

Social networks may one day figure out a way to drive more purchases, but for now, retailers seeking higher sales conversions should concentrate on the products that have longed performed for them — search and e-mail marketing — as well as in the marketing of their URLs.


Read full article: Social Media influences less than 1% of Online Purchases »


25 little Email Marketing experiments that deliver big results

Well, we’ve never thrown out a definitively “perfect” email because it’s pretty much impossible to say one thing is better than another in email marketing. I mean, everyone’s audiences are so different! Not to mention the circumstances under which they opted in to your lists, and how you’ve segmented those lists since. There are just so many variables, it’d be ridiculous to assert that there’s just one perfect email out there that all marketers should replicate.

What there is, however, is email split testing to tell you what the perfect email is for your business. So while we can’t do the testing for you, we can certainly tell you the kinds of tests you could run that might give you some really impactful results. We run tests like these every time we send an email to figure out what works best for our audience — take a look at the ones you can run next time you’re gearing up for an email send!

Email Layout and Design Tests

1) Plan Text vs. HTML: You probably know it’s a best practice to always send a plain text version of your HTML emails in case there are rendering problems; but did you ever consider that a plain text email might just … perform better? We’ve tested email sends with certain segments of our list where this is actually the case — the recipients preferred seeing a plain text email, presumably because it felt less like they were being “marketed to.”

2) Image Selection: We encourage marketers to include images in their emails … but what kind? Take lead reconversion emails as an example. Do you see better conversions when you include, say, an ebook cover image? Or an image with stock photography? Or maybe even a meme? Test out different image types to see what strikes your readers’ fancy.

3) Image Placement: You can test more than just image choice. You can test the placement of those images! Should your template have a right aligned image, or left aligned? Or centered, perhaps? Heck — maybe no image at all!

4) Sender Headshot: Some email senders — particularly B2B marketers — also choose to include a headshot in their email signatures. Is this the best idea? It could make your email seem more personal, improving clickthrough rates. Or maybe it distracts recipients from your CTA. Only one way to find out ;-)

5) P.S. vs. No P.S.: If readers are drawn to your sender’s headshot, maybe they’ll be drawn to a P.S., too. It’s a common tactic — including a primary or secondary CTA as a P.S. at the end of an email. See if it works for you, or if it detracts from the clickthrough rate of your primary CTA when you include a secondary CTA.

6) Template Designs: You can use email templates or to even create your own email template designs if you’re so inclined. But we also encourage you to test the effectiveness of those templates, as some layouts and designs might perform better than others. Select a few variations to split test until you narrow down a basic template that performs best, then tweak minor design and layout elements from there.

Email Timing and Frequency Tests

7) Day of the Week: The day of the week when you send your emails matters. Do you know what day is best for your audience? For different segments of your list? Figure out which day delivers the best open and clickthrough rates for your email sends.

8) Time of Day: Similarly, the time of day matters. A lot. Test which day and time results in the most opens and clicks for your emails. When you combine both pieces of information, you’ll have a matrix of awesome times (and not so awesome times) to send your emails. That’s some handy dandy information right there.

Dynamic Content Email Tests

9) First Name vs. No Name in Subject Line: Through the magic of dynamic content, you can make your email marketing way more personal … even in the subject lines of your emails! Test whether including a recipient’s first name in the subject line has a positive effect on open rates, or whether they view the personalization token in a less favorable light.

10) First Name vs. No Name in Email: Similarly, you can test name personalization in the body content of your email. Again, some people might view it as a little old school, some might like it, and some might fall somewhere in between. See where your audience sits on that spectrum.

11) Company Name vs. No Company Name in Subject Line: You can have more fun in the subject line of your emails, particularly if you’re a B2B marketer. Perhaps recipients would like to see their organization’s name in the subject line of an email. You can know for sure by running a quick little test!

12) Social Media Information: If you’ve captured a lead’s social media information, you can use that to send social media specific emails to prospects — like a content just for Twitter followers, for example. This is really cool stuff! But just because it’s cool, doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for your email marketing contacts. Segment out a portion of your list to experiment with the results of including dynamic social media content in your email sends.
Email Call-to-Action Tests

13) Image CTA vs. Text CTA: Your email’s call-to-action is one of the most critical parts of your emails to test, because it’s what generates leads and reconversions! Start by testing whether you see better conversion rates from image CTAs, or text CTAs.

14) CTA Button Copy and Color: If you find that image CTAs are best, start testing the button copy and color. Hey, you’d test those elements for your site’s CTAs, right? Emails are no different!

15) Link Placement Within Text: If you find that text CTAs perform better than image CTAs (or you have the best conversion rates with both image and text CTAs), start to experiment with the placement of those hyperlinks within the email copy. You might find anchor text gets clicked on the most when it’s at the beginning of your email, near the end, or somewhere in between — it all depends on your recipients’ email reading/scanning habits.

16) Text CTA in Body Copy vs. P.S.: We talked a little bit about using a P.S. earlier in this post. If you find that using a P.S. works for you, you might want to test whether your text CTA gets the most conversions when it’s included in the body copy of your email, or in the P.S. And if you decide to use the P.S. real estate for a secondary CTA, test whether it aversely impacts conversions for your primary CTA.

17) Social Proof vs. No Social Proof: Social proof is the concept that consumer behavior can be impacted by the behavior of others — you might mirror other people’s behavior under the assumption that what other people are doing is “right.” So you might also find that if you include elements of social proof in your emails, your conversion rates improve. For example, CTAs that include three tweets vouching for an offer tend to have the best CTRs. Those with only one tweet, however, perform even worse than CTAs with no elements of social proof.

18) Offer Type: The type of offer you’re sending might also have an impact on conversions, particularly across different list segments. You might find through testing that certain list segments — whether based on persona, lifecycle stage, or some other element — prefer, say, ebooks to webinars. Test different types of offers to see which performs best for each segment of your list.

Email Sender Tests

19) Company Name vs. Personal Name as Sender: The name that appears in the email “From” field can have a huge impact on whether your email even gets opened. Test whether it’s best to send from your company’s name, the name of an actual person at your business, or a combination of both. For example, at HubSpot we’ve found that emails sent from “Maggie Georgieva, HubSpot” perform better in terms of open and CTR than emails sent from just “HubSpot.”

20) Sales Contact as Sender: Many email marketers may choose themselves, a CEO, or some other authority figure as the name in the “From” field. But have you ever considered sending from the name of a contact’s salesperson? With dynamic content, you can do it to see whether it improves email performance. I mean, if a lead is already in the sales process, it makes sense that they’d hear from a sales contact instead of a marketer, right?

21) Personal vs. Alias Email Address: You might also consider whether the email address from which you send your email needs to change. Does your list cringe at the idea of receiving an email from an alias, like “sales@company.com?” Do they prefer seeing something like “linda@company.com?” Maybe. Maybe not. Only one way to find out.

Email Copy Tests

22) Familiar vs. Professional Tone: The copy of your email can take a lot of different tones. Nailing the right one takes a thorough understanding of your buyer personas, as well as some plain ol’ trial and error. Test different tones — familiar versus professional, for instance — to see which resonates most with your audience.

23) Including “Free” in the Content: We recently wrote a blog post about whether including the word “Free” in email content impacted deliverability and clickthrough rate. The results are a handy starting point for any email marketer, but you should conduct your own tests to see whether the words turn your list on or off.

24) Longer vs. Shorter Emails: You could also decide to wax poetic in your emails, or keep it short and sweet. Truthfully, there’s a place for both. But you can only know the right time if you test it out. See whether you need to include more detail in your email copy, or whether you should have sent readers to a web page long ago.

25) Subject Line Copy Variations: Writing amazing email subject lines is a tricky mix of art and science. Think about it — would you rather get an email with the subject line, “How to be an excellent business blogger,” or “How to stop sucking a business blogging?” Probably depends, right? That’s why email marketers have to test different elements of their email subject line copy to see what gets recipients’ attention!


Read full article: 25 little Email Marketing experiments that deliver big results »


Why you can’t sell with Social Media (and 3 things to do instead)

Social media can give your company many different benefits. It can increase awareness and introduce you to new people. It can be used to help customer service, and follow-up with disgruntled customers. It can also be used to get the elusive, but effective word-of-mouth marketing. But it can’t sell. At least, that’s what people say.

Market research giants Forrester Research and GSI Commerce looked at online retailer data in 2010. They were trying to determine how many actual retail sales came from social media visits. The results aren’t pretty.

Less than 2% of all orders were from social networking shoppers. (Conversely, search and email marketing converted the most).

The most common objection to using social media is, “What’s the return-on-investment?”. And when you try to come up with an ROI, you get results like these (dismal, to say the least).

So what’s the solution? Give up entirely? Or should you just look a little more closely…

Most common Social Media goal metrics

Most common Social Media goal metrics


How a Toy Maker Used Social Media to Increase Revenue by 300%

The direct ROI of social media is usually dismal. But then again, so is almost every offline advertising method like TV, radio, print and billboards. However they obviously increase sales. They just aid indirectly, so it’s difficult to measure a direct conversion rate. Just like social media.

Try telling toy maker Step2 that social media doesn’t drive sales. Here’s a quote from the Wall Street Journal:

Step2′s use of PowerReviews and Facebook together provided some measurable gains. [Online Marketing Director] Tena Crock claimed sales from Step2.com increased 130 percent year-over-year after PowerReviews added loyalty and badges for reviewers and buyers in February 2012. Since October 2010, Step2 has recorded a 300% boost in revenues from visitors who arrive at Step2.com via the Facebook Connect button.

Step2 is seeing impressive online revenue growth, due in large part to their integration of social media. So who’s right? Does it drive sales, or doesn’t it? Or is it all in your approach?

How to Drives Sales with Social Media (Even if You Can’t Track It)

Social media doesn’t drive sales directly. But it significantly impacts sales indirectly. So here’s what you should do instead.

  1. Increase Awareness: The first step in marketing is to get your prospect’s attention. Selling is difficult for most companies online because… no one’s ever heard of you. And no one’s going to buy without recognizing your brand.
    Don’t use social media to sell, but to get attention initially. Promote content, run contests, and create an identity in your industry. And then think of fans and followers as leads, and nurture their trust over time to accelerate first-time purchases.

  2. Establish Trust to Accelerate First-Time Purchases: Email marketing is consistently one of the best performing marketing channels. But it’s not because companies are exceptionally good at it. It’s because following up with leads consistently over weeks, months and years builds trust and recognition. Just like seeing television ads over years or finding your brand logo on a sports team’s jersey.
    You can accelerate purchases with social media by providing information to drive need awareness, interact to overcome objections, and use authenticity so prospects pick you over the competition.

  3. Increase Purchasing Frequency: Netflix has built a thriving business on $8 a month. They’re successful because they can predict the average lifetime value of each customer. Most people don’t just sign up for one month. The average person may be a Netflix subscriber for 36 months… or longer. That predictable, recurring revenue is a powerful income stream.

    Marketing 101 says it’s cheaper and easier to keep an existing customer, than to acquire a new one. And using social media is an easy, effective way to increase your profitability by increasing the lifetime value of a customer. People will buy more products and services, or simply buy more often.


  4. Social media can drive sales… but it does so indirectly. People find you in social media through serendipity… they don’t typically go actively looking for products and services to buy.

    So your social media strategies need to gain attention, inspire trust, and then increase profitability. It takes a little longer to get started, but it can pay off significantly in the long run.


    Read full article: Why you can’t sell with Social Media (and 3 things to do instead) »


10 Tips and Tricks for powerful Twitter Search

1. Understanding Twitter Search Results

1. Understanding Twitter Search Results

1. Understanding Twitter Search Results
Twitter search results are divided into sections. On the left, you can toggle between these categories: Tweets, People, Videos and Images. These results are determined by Twitter’s search algorithms, as are the “top” tweet results.

In Twitter’s words, “We’ve built an algorithm that finds the tweets that have caught the attention of other users. Top Tweets will refresh automatically and are surfaced for popularly retweeted subjects based on this algorithm. We do not hand-select Top Tweets.”

For this reason, if you’re looking for an at-a-glance look at a topic, Top Tweets is the way to go. If you’re carrying out a more stringent search, be sure to click “All.”

2. Remove Retweets From Results
You can get retweet-free search results by adding the minus sign search operator. Simply enter -RT to see a list of original results — handy if you’re searching for a popular term.

3. Location-Based Search
You can look for tweets that come from or are near to a certain location. Type near:NYC within:5mi to return tweets sent within five miles of the Big Apple.

3. Location-Based Search

3. Location-Based Search

4. Search For Tweets With Links
If you want to only see tweets that contain links, add filter:links to your search phrase.

5. Search for Tweets From a Certain User
If you want to carry out a keyword search for one particular person, type from:username to search within his or her stream.

6. Positive, Negative and Questions
If you want to look up results based on sentiment, simply add :) or :( to your search.
Similarly, you can look for tweets that pose a question by adding a question mark ‘?‘ to your search query.

7. Search Up To/From a Date
It’s possible to search Twitter for content up to and after certain dates.
Typing since:2012-09-20 will show tweets sent since Sept 20, 2012, while until:2012-09-20 will show those sent up to the same date.

8. Search for Tweets From Certain Sources
If you’d like to see tweets sent via SMS, or from a particular Twitter client, you can use the “source” search operator to do so.
For example, source:txt will bring up tweets sent via SMS.

9. Save Searches
Did you know you can save up to 25 searches on Twitter?
Simply enter the search term you’d like to save, hit enter, then click on the cog icon at the top-right of your screen.
Hitting Save search means you can access that query again simply by clicking in the search box and selecting from the drop-down menu that will appear.

9. Save Twitter Searches

9. Save Twitter Searches

10. Bookmark Twitter’s Advanced Search
Finally, if you don’t think you’ll remember all the search operators, there’s an easy fix. You can just bookmark Twitter’s Advanced Search page, where many of these search elements are templated for ease of use.

10. Bookmark Twitter's Advanced Search

10. Bookmark Twitter's Advanced Search


Read full article: 10 Tips and Tricks for powerful Twitter Search »


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