Gifts for marketers that they will actually enjoy

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Marketing is an ever changing profession. There’s the everlasting traditional marketing and now there’s digital which encompasses everything on the web including social, PPC, SEO, and more.

It can be tough for the busy marketer to dive into every new strategy and concept during a hectic workday. For the holidays, take some time to really enhance and grow your marketing skills with a few of the gifts below. There are also a few other gifts that are fun or will help you get through those stressful days at work.

Marketers love a good gift, especially one that is useful. If you have a marketer in your family, be sure to browse this list. We put this together as marketers for our fellow marketers and hope you find a few items you can use for the 2017 business year.

Kindle
Alright, this one is a given. As a marketer, many of us are voracious content consumers. If you don’t already have a Kindle, you need one! Pack it with all those books you’ve been wanting to read and keep it in your bag for down times where you can just start reading.

Notebook
Really, any notebook will do. A Moleskin, or a Japanese brand like Midori are perfect for keeping all those thoughts in your head from escaping. Pair this with a nice pen and you have a great gift any marketer will love!

Office Lunch Box
This stackable box is perfect for bringing lunch to the office. No more empty stomachs or running out for an $8 sandwich.

Coffee Subscription
Marketers are coffee addicts by nature. Get a subscription to Blue Bottle, one of the best roasters around.

Skills Class
Marketers love improving their skills, no matter if it’s in design, coding, or just some other form of marketing. Ask for a class this holiday from a site like Codecademy, Skillshare, Udemy.

Manage Your Day-To-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind Book
This collection of essays from the awesome site 99U is perfect for the overwhelmed, over-extended marketer.

Noise Cancelling Headphones
When you need to get in the zone in an airport or even the office, a pair of these headphones will be your savior. They’re a bit pricey if you go for the Bose version, but there are some other cheaper ones out there.

MarketingProfs Subscription
You can never know enough when it comes to marketing.

Spotify Subscription
If you love streaming music or podcasts at work, in the car, or out on walks you’ll want to get a Spotify subscription (or Pandora or Rdio).

Premium Apps
Marketers have favorite web apps and smartphone apps they use daily. But some of us still don’t want to shell out for the pro or premium version. Ask for an upgrade for Evernote, Dropbox/Box, Feedly, a project management tool.

 

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What impacts page load speed?

Your page loading time can often be an overlooked aspect of your website, but its crucial for keeping a low bounce rate and not scaring off potential customers.

When you get a website designed or have a redesign, you should be asking about the page load speed. You want to make sure it is loading quickly on all major browser types (Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari).

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PageSpeed Insights for Uber.com

One of the best ways to check your page load time is to use Google’s PageSpeed Insights. Here, you can see how long it is taking your site to load on all types of devices, and it will give you suggestions for improvements. Some of these improvements can be done by novices, but others will require a website designer or developer.

What is impacting my page speed?

Large Images

One of the biggest factors of a slow load speed is having large image files. These take the browser a while to render, and can lead to a site that loads extremely slowly. The best thing to do is to compress the images to save space.

Redirects

A redirect refers to your pages redirecting to another page. If you search on your phone for website.com it may then redirect to www.website.com and then m.website.com. Each time it is redirecting, you are adding more time to your load speed.

Optimizing Code

Your code can be impacting your page speed. Lots of spaces, comma, and unnecessary bits of HTML, CSS, JavaScript can be causing your site to load more slowly. Use a tool like YUI Compressor to optimize JavaScript and CSS.

Cache

Allowing the browser to cache your pages will help reduce load times. This means that the browser doesn’t have to generate this same page every time the visitor comes to the site, instead it will cache the latest version and display that. If you use WordPress, there are many plugins you can use to do this.

Why does page load time matter?

For one thing, it could be killing the amount of visitors that are going through and looking around at your site. If you have high bounce rates and a low amount of time spent on the site (you can find these pieces of information in Google Analytics) then those could be key indicators of a slow load time. If your pages are loading slow, people will just leave, period. They may not even bother coming back and will instead go to a competitor with a faster site.

By having a fast load speed, you are instilling trust and confidence in your customers about your site. A slow site may signal that you are not paying much attention to it or don’t care to fix it. Customers expect fast load times, and if your site isn’t hitting that mark then they will leave.

You need to pay attention to both desktop and mobile page speeds, as they can drastically differ.

Resources

Speed Is A Killer – Why Decreasing Page Load Time Can Drastically Increase Conversions

Google PageSpeed Insights

Page Speed | MOZ

 

 

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When is it time for a website redesign?

Your website should be your baby. Even if you have a storefront, your site should be treated as if it were its twin. Ok, what I’m trying to get at is that your website is important! It shouldn’t be thought of as the stepchild to your brick and mortar storefront, and if you’re only online-base your website should serve an even more important purpose in your business.

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A client’s old site

But the sad fact is that many businesses still aren’t investing the time and money into building a great website. Maybe your nephew who just learned HTML set it up for you, or you hired an overseas developer on UpWork. These options are fine for getting started; you’re a business owner, you aren’t expected to know how to build your site, but that’s why there are web developers!

What could be wrong with your site?

If you’re not tech savvy, you may not think there’s anything wrong with your website. It loads, shows photos of your products, has the basic information. But there are tons of things behind the scenes that you may not notice are impacting your website.

Load Speed

Loading speed refers to the amount of time it takes for your website’s pages to load. This can cause your bounce rate to jump because people expect very fast load speeds. Check your websites speed here.

Broken Links

If you are linking out to different website, be wary of broken links. This means if you have an article and it links to a post on Forbes.com, if that post gets taken down, now your link is broken.

Missing or Broken Images

This is usually an easy fix. If you load your site and notice that images are coming up as errors, you’ll need to reupload those images. It’s important to catch these early, as a savvy customer may take it as a sign that you don’t regularly check your site.

Bad URL Structure

Have you seen webpages with a URL like www.website.com/12902/gen.pl?id=standard? You can do better than that! You want your URLs to be easy and somewhat memorable such as www.website.com/FAQ. This way, users can easily navigate to those sites, and your website is more SEO friendly.

No Form or Call to Action

This is a huge mistake on older sites. Email marketing has really come into popularity in just the last few years and many sites do not have forms to capture lead information. If they do have forms, the forms offer no validation, and no autoresponder to let the lead know their information was successfully sent.

Not Mobile-Friendly

This is a huge one! How many people do you see walking around looking at their phones? It’s easy to see why mobile web browsing is becoming so huge. If your website is not mobile friendly or responsive, then you may be losing out on these potential customers. A responsive site will change the layout of the site to fit the screen it is viewed on (desktop, laptop, tablet, phone) to offer a better viewing experience.

Why else should I redesign my site?

One of the biggest reasons a company would go about redesigning their site is to update the look and design. After a few years, styles and tastes change and you want your website to feel up-to-date and fresh. With an actual web design agency, you’ll get a designer to create mockups of your future site and a web developer to implement everything.

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Client’s new website

Another key reason is for an updated backend. If you are a shop, but don’t offer eCommerce, it’s time to do a redesign. A web developer can help you figure out what the best eCommerce backend is, even one that is user friendly enough for you to use later on. You’re missing out on potential sales if you don’t have this on your site!

When it’s time to find a team to redesign your site, reach out to us at info@markit-group.com and check out our portfolio at MARKIT-group.com.

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Are you segmenting your leads?

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For many businesses just starting out, they’re happy to get a handful of leads each week. For more established businesses, they expect dozens each week to feel satisfied.

When you’re just starting up, you are more concerned with getting the order or service fulfilled on time and within the client’s/customer’s expectations. You probably aren’t too concerned about segmenting all the leads that are coming in.

It can feel overwhelming to think about how to segment:

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Nationality
  • Language
  • Industry
  • Profession
  • Income
  • Location
  • Product purchase type
  • Product purchase behavior

There are way more than just these, but this is a small sampling of how you can segment leads.

What is the purpose of segmenting leads?

Segmenting leads is all about putting them into categories relevant to your business. That means, you don’t need to be segmenting by age, sex, and language if that has nothing to do with your products/services.

If you sell web design services, you don’t need to be segmenting by age, sex, or language, but maybe you do want to segment by industry or company size. It’s up to you how you want to segment your leads.

The purpose is to help you better target your messaging and marketing to these groups. Using the web design service example, if you want to target the construction market and the insurance market, you don’t want to necessarily send out the same generic material to both industries. Instead, you can segment them and send out specialized marketing that talks to “construction” or “insurance” companies and how your web design service understands the needs of those industries.

What are the best ways to segment leads?

At MARKIT Group, we recommend that our clients utilize marketing automation software. With this software, segmenting leads is automatic.

The system can be set up so that when someone fills out your contact form, say for the web design company, they must choose their industry type. Once they submit the form, they are now added to the “Construction” industry list if that was their chosen industry, and the system can automatically send out a thank you email and additional information related to “construction” companies.

If you don’t use marketing automation, the best way to segment is to have some field on your form that helps you differentiate your leads. You can have:

  • A drop down list for income groups
  • Radio buttons for sex
  • List of languages you support
  • Product/service interest

It all depends on how you wish to segment your leads. It’s best not to make your form too long, or ask for too much information, you want to keep it to the basics.

Resources

30 ways to slice your email database for better email list segmentation

The Complete Guide to Lead Segmentation

How to Effectively Segment Your Database for Lead Nurturing

 

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Great emails from real companies & why they work

Email marketing seems like a buzz word nowadays. Some businesses think it’s a passing trend, while others just don’t know how to start. For now, email marketing is one of the best ways to get your product or service out in front of your audience in a timely, semi-unobtrusive manner.

Email marketing is popular because it’s an opt-in channel. Banner ads, mailers, and the like are spray and pray approaches to reaching your audience. You hope that at least a few people respond to your ad, but you know that 90%+ will not. With email marketing, the only way for people to get your emails is if they are interested enough to sign up. That means most people on your list are a captive audience (as long as you haven’t bought a list or signed people up yourself).

Just engaging in email marketing is not enough. Back in the 90s, you could get away with an email that boasted about your products and services and expect a decent click through rate. But now, you are competing with local and global businesses that also have email marketing strategies. Big companies have teams of people working on their emails, while you may just have yourself to rely on.

We want to give you some inspiration to help you come up with unique, fun emails that engage your audience and make them actually want to open them up.

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Google Express
Abandoned Cart

Why is this email great?
It’s written in “human” language as opposed to business-speak. And it’s a simple nudge to let the customer know that they didn’t finish shopping.

a-whole-new-way-to-chick-fil-a-is-coming

Chick Fil A
Announcement

What is this email great?
It’s minimal, simple, and gets the point across. The call to action is to download the app, nothing more.

big-news-and-bigger-thanks

MindBody
Announcement

Why is this email great?
It’s a heartfelt thank you from the CEO that you actually want to take the time to read. It celebrates a win, going public, and thanks customers for helping with their success.

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CD Baby
Order Confirmation

Why is this email great?
This is a classic in the email marketing space. It’s very fun and a joy to read. It’s a way to make the CD Baby brand seem more human.

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Mention
Engagement

Why is this email great?
It’s a way for the company to nudge you to come back to their site and it celebrates a “win” for the customer.

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3 Companies Doing Content Marketing Right

Content marketing seems like the way to “win” at marketing online these days. Everyone is doing it. Every website seems to have a blog, infographics, videos, the works. But is it actually working?

For many companies, they see content marketing as just writing blogs. “If I write it, they will come” is often the mentality. They share the blog a few times on social media and that’s it. If they’re lucky, it gets a hundred views.

Why aren’t companies taking content marketing more seriously?

  • They don’t have the resources to invest a good amount of time
  • They don’t understand the value of an article that takes 5 hours to write
  • They’re not getting into the mindset of their customers and finding out what they want to learn

Despite the majority of companies doing content marketing wrong, there are a ton that do it right and they benefit greatly from it.

Buffer

Buffer is very well known for their detailed articles about social media. Since they’re a social media scheduling tool, they know that their target audience is interested in social and wanting to learn more. They invested greatly in terms of both time and money into their content marketing team.

They have a few blogs: One about social, one about workplace culture, and one about developers.

Content they create

  • Blogs
  • Infographics
  • Videos
  • Podcasts

Examples

How to Get Hired as a Social Media Manager

The Complete, Always-Updated Guide to Facebook Advertising

tim-ferriss

Tim Ferriss

Tim isn’t necessarily a company, but he is his own brand. He’s known for his Four Hour series of books (Four Hour Work Week, Four Hour Chef, Four Hour Body). He continues to promote his work through writing on his blog, bringing in guest writers, and hosting his podcast, the Tim Ferriss Show.

He knows that his audience is looking to improve themselves, that’s why they buy his books. So his content is about improving and optimizing yourself when it comes to everything from eating to exercise to work. Tim interviews people on his show and tries to dig into the reasons they’re successful and good at what they do. This includes people like Tony Robbins, a Navy Seal, and Chris Sacca.

Content he creates

  • Blogs
  • Podcast

VideoFruit

Bryan Harris at VideoFruit is always putting out top-notch content. His blog is what really got him noticed in the online marketing space. He has his own voice and people notice that in his writing and videos.

His latest project is a series of well made videos interviewing entrepreneurs that made money through their email lists. The videos subtly promote his email marketing course and it’s genius! They don’t feel like ads, they are videos you actually want to sit and watch.

Content he creates

  • Videos
  • Blogs

 

 

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How to delight your customers

Competition is fierce out there for businesses. Not only do you need to have a top notch product and service, you need to be ensuring you keep customers from abandoning you or switching to a competitor.

Creating brand loyalty is one of the best ways to ensure your customers stick with you. Brands like Nike, Patagonia, Moleskine, and Harley Davidson have mastered the art of instilling a sense of loyalty into their customers. Once you buy a Harley, you join that community and have a sense of loyalty and kinship to the brand.

As a small, medium, large, new and old businesses struggle with creating this feeling, and that’s because it’s tough! You have to walk a fine line between satisfying all customers and not alienating anyone. Sure, companies like Nike or Harley Davidson may have some customers that had an unpleasant experience and now dislike those brands, but the majority of their followers feel a strong sense of identity with those brands.

What can you do to delight customers?

Well, if I knew that I’d probably be a millionaire. It’s the million dollar question brands across the world have. But there are some ways in which you can start slow and build loyalty with just a few people.

One tactic is to delight customers. This can mean many things from sending a handwritten note to a loyal customer or sending them a box of goodies at random. This is strategy that doesn’t scale well, but if you do it right you can reach a wide audience through social media.

One of the top companies that is known for delighting customers is Zappos. They’ve made their name for their top-notch customer service. You can return shoes 365 days a year, when many companies will only let you return within 14-30 days. The customer service personnel is also authorized to make their own decisions. They don’t need to speak to supervisors or get permission to do something, making sure your question or issue gets solved on the spot.

Sujan Patel put together an excellent guide to creating customer delight from designing a website with customers in mind to referral programs.

He has quotes from entrepreneurs like Maria oz of Femtrepreneur who says she includes “a handwritten thank-you note with each order from her vintage shop business.”

Megan Minns, a growth-platform expert, said, “I like to send special welcome packages and even a surprise personalized item in the middle of our project. I think wrapping up a project is such an exciting time, so I love sending clients a little goodbye package as well, just to show my appreciation for working with them.”

And real estate agent Naomi Hattaway makes goodie bags for kids of her clients to keep them occupied as they go house hunting.

Sujan mentions the concept of “Under promise and over deliver” and while some people disagree, he thinks this is a good policy to follow. One example he mentions is that of restaurants. You get there and are told the wait is 45 minutes. But lo and behold, 20 minutes later a table has opened up. It’s best for that restaurant to extend their wait time so as not to disappoint you. If they told you the wait was 10 minutes and it took 20, you may be a little upset. But priming you to think it will take 45 and it only took 20 now puts you in a happier mood.

Customer Support & Customer Delight

These two concepts go hand in hand. It’s frustrating to deal with customer service when you have a problem with a company. I had a friend who was double charged by a car rental agency and has been trying to get her money back for 2 months. This type of experience has now soured my view of that company and has lost her as a future customer.

But if that same company had issued the refund right away and also offered her a discount on a future rental or 1 free rental day, she would be extremely happy to continue being a customer.

The best way to provide excellent customer support is to empower employees that occupy that role. If you give them the leeway to make whatever decision will most positively impact the customer, you will end up with very happy end users.

Surprise Customers

Who doesn’t love a good surprise? Now what if a company you recently purchased from surprised you? You’d probably be very pleased and delighted.

mortons-shankman

In Sujan’s article, he mentions an example from Morton’s Steakhouse. Peter Shankman, an author and investor, tweeted to Mortons that he was flying to Newark and wanted a porterhouse steak. It was obviously a joke, because who would expect a restaurant to do that? But Morton’s really did meet him at the airport with a 24 oz porterhouse.

You can be sure that Shankman shared this with his huge Twitter following and probably tells everyone who goes to the area that they have to eat at Mortons.

And companies don’t just do this for those with huge followings, Sujan mentions a quote from someone who tweeted to Nordstrom:

“I tweeted Nordstrom once with a shipping issue (including the security tag left on my new coat) and the store sent an employee *to my home* to remove the tag. I have 46 followers.”

Now this doesn’t mean you need to go to the airport when a customer tweets at you, but it does mean you should be paying attention to what customers are saying to or about you online and respond in a timely manner. If a customer complains about an issue with a product they received from you, write them back and offer to replace it. Rather than lose a customer, you can turn them into an advocate.

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