WhatsApp? You Need to Know

Do you know what WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, QQ and Skype have in common? They are the top messaging apps and are benefiting from a trend of moving away from social media. With collectively more than 5 billion active users, messaging apps eclipse traditional social media users worldwide.

This continues a trend among younger users that was evident back in 2014. I documented some of the data in the post, For Teens, It’s All About the Apps.

Today, across the board, users spend more time on messaging than on social media. A Facebook study of 8,000 people in 2018 found messaging is the single most preferred channel for customer service. This seems to be part of the overall trend toward personalized communication with brands.

Messaging apps lend themselves nicely to the types of person-to-person communication that people crave. Ways to meet this need for your target audience are:

  • Add messaging to your Google My Business listing
  • Use Facebook Messenger as part of your outreach on the platform.
  • Add chat or a similar tool to your website that allows real time connections.

Be sure to have a plan for meeting expectations on any channel you enable. People who send messages will expect a timely, personalized response. Brands that are able to deliver will positively advance their online presence.

5 Ways to Up Your Email Marketing

Email is still one of the most effective tools available for your digital marketing toolkit. Here are five ideas to improve your email marketing effort.

Make Every Message Count

Provide value or don’t send an email! In boxes are crowded. To earn an open, you need to provide something that’s valuable, tangible, and resonates with your subscribers.

People will open emails if there is value in it for them. Make sure to clearly communicate that message in the subject line, teaser text, and body of the email.

  • Answer a question that is on their minds
  • Address a common pain point
  • Provide updates on valued products and services
  • Provide valuable offers that aren’t otherwise available
  • Share exclusive content

Focus on the Needs of Newbies

Your newest email subscribers are the most likely to open your emails and take action. Capitalize on this enthusiasm by welcoming new people with a series of welcome emails. Keep it simple.

Focus on the action you most want people to take. Refine the welcome series over time as you learn what works and what doesn’t.

Personalize and Segment

Personalized emails deliver higher transaction rates. Personalized subject lines are more likely to be opened.

Email personalization can be as simple as adding the first name to the subject line and body copy. More complex approaches can change the content based on subscriber preferences.

Personalization is most effective when combined with list segmentation. Most, if not all, of your messages are not relevant to every subscriber. Take time to target the set of subscribers that receive each message.

Update Your List

Don’t forget to add new contacts to your list! When you connect with someone who you would like to add, ask for permission and then add them. I work with so many clients who are working with the same subscribers as the day they started the list.

Don’t count on your email tool to remove bad addresses. Keep your list accurate. Do you know that someone is no longer interested? Remove them. Do you have a new email for a contact? Update your list.

Did your last send get auto-replies that tell you a person has left a job, provided a new contact or listed a new email? Make the necessary updates.

Touch base with your subscribers periodically to allow them to update preferences and give you feedback about what they care about.

Set Expectations and Stick to Them

When your audience opts-in to your email list, be clear about what they will get and how often. Let subscribers know how often you will communicate with them, what you will communicate to them, and how they will benefit.

If you add people to your list after they register for an event or download a white paper and don’t tell them how often you will email them, you are not starting on the right footing. Be clear and stick to your promises.

I recently signed up for a business email list. I was amazed to receive emails daily. When I clicked the unsubscribe link, there was an option to receive fewer emails. I tried that. After two weeks of more daily messages, I completely unsubscribed. I am still interested in the business, but the lack of clarity and control means I am no longer connected at all.

Don’t put your email marketing on autopilot. Pay attention to signals from your subscribers as well as emerging email best practices offered at this blog and other places. Refine and adjust to make sure you continue to get the best use of this tool in your toolbox.

Is Google Ignoring You?

Every day there are more than 3.5 billion searches on Google. If you aren’t showing up on Google, you are missing a lot of opportunities to be found. You cannot afford to be ignored.

The problem can be more serious than amping up your website and online presence. Google can be actively NOT including you for any number of offenses.

Every business needs to pay attention to Google’s search console and webmaster tools. Here you will find any issues that are preventing Google from ranking your content. Some are more technical than others, but awareness is the first and most important step.

Some things that Google does not like:

  • Automatically generated content
  • Link farms that aren’t relevant to your content
  • Redirects or links to poor quality websites
  • Content that is copied from other sites
  • Duplicate content within a website
  • Unmoderated comments that let spammers and bots post irrelevant content and links

There are more ways to get flagged for bad behavior by Google. Be sure that part of your marketing plan is to periodically check in to make sure you don’t have any issues that are getting in the way of your visibility in search.

Related: Why the Google My Business App Matters to You