How Often Should You Update and Review Your Buyer Personas?

As a marketer, you determined your company’s buyers when you created your marketing strategy—you researched their priorities and pain points and crafted content that will resonate with their professional needs. But nothing stays the same; business models change, companies merge and search for a new direction. And the personas that once were your marketing strategy’s main focus are now outdated.

Buyer personas are only effective if they are accurate. Updating them should be a routine part of your marketing strategy, to ensure your content is effectively reaching those who need it most. Let’s look at key indicators that you should revisit your personas to determine whether they are still the right fit or if you need to create new personas.

Buyout or Merger

When companies combine, it’s likely they are bringing together two different sets of strategies and even different ideas for implementing similar strategies. Expanding business services will open the doors to buyers who may not have been relevant to one company or the other.

For a successful merger to happen, it’s smart to revisit who each company originally targeted and determine the still-relevant personas and the personas that no longer work with the merger. Such a drastic shift in business will impact where the newly blended company focuses future efforts.

In this case, it may help for representatives from both companies to work through this together. A discussion about why each persona is important can help determine whether it will continue to be relevant to future marketing campaigns.

Shift in Business Strategy

Perhaps your company is changing its direction. Similar to companies merging, it’s important to re-evaluate whether the current personas are still relevant to the future path your company will take.

Start by discussing with those directly involved about defining your company’s new direction. Learn more about which audience will be affected and who the company hopes to target with the new strategy. Compare this against your current personas, and determine whether this is in alignment. If not, you will need to update your personas.

Keep in mind it is common for business strategies to change, and change often. Because of the nature of change in the business world, consider whether the change is so extreme that you need to create new personas from scratch or can rework the current personas.

Products or Services Change

If your company is introducing a new product line, you need to make sure you’re targeting the right personas. Expanding your offerings increases the number of buyers to target. For example, perhaps your products previously only targeted women and you’re adding offerings for men.

This is a clear prompt to create a new persona (or more than one, depending on the product). You will need to conduct buyer research on your new audience, which has different needs, goals and pain points from your original audience. Once you’ve developed your new buyer personas, compare them against those already in place. Noting these differences when creating content will help you connect with your new audience. In the above example, men and women make very different purchasing decisions, which means it’s important to incorporate those factors into your personas for future content.

Or perhaps your company once offered many product lines but has decided to focus on fewer products. You will need to revisit your original personas and consider narrowing down, combining or eliminating some of them to align with the fewer products.

Other Triggers

If there are no major events in your company’s immediate future, it’s important to revisit your original personas at least yearly so you can keep up on the latest trends that affect them, and incorporate new information you learned while shaping your marketing strategy for them throughout the year. You could uncover new research about your personas or unearth information that makes a once-relevant persona obsolete.

This may also happen when attending a trade show, conference or other industry event with thought leaders sharing their ideas that could shape the future of your personas. Keep this in the back of your mind when listening to others speak about your industry and think about how they tie back to your personas. Is there a big change coming? Could it wipe out or add a persona?

A good time to do this is at the end of the fiscal year when you’re wrapping up the current year and looking at the year ahead in many other areas of the business. When developing your goals for the upcoming year, review your personas to establish whether these goals will help meet the needs of your prospective buyers as represented by your personas.

Remember that personas should evolve with your business and the direction it’s going. Reviewing them regularly will help you create content that is more likely to generate qualified leads and make readers feel you understand their needs.

AUTHOR: LARA NOUR EDDINE

How Often Should You Update and Review Your Buyer Personas? Read more at http://www.business2community.com/marketing/often-update-review-buyer-personas-01714238#WHHe0tL1qsOhmx8A.99

Marketers will spend more on ClearFluence.com networks in 2017 with Mobile, Instagram, & Audience Networks by Facebook.

https://shar.es/1EGE64 via @eMarketer

You really need to contact us if all of this seems confusing, expensive or hard... Its NOT, NOT and NOT... 

Three-quarters of US marketing professionals said in August 2016 that they plan to increase their AdWords budget in the next 12 months, according to a survey from pay-per-click optimization firm Hanapin Marketing. Nearly as many said the same about mobile budgets and Facebook ads.

 

Over 50% of those surveyed say they'll spend more on Bing. With 41% saying they’ll spend more on Instagram, 34% on LinkedIn, 21% on Twitter, 18% on Pinterest and 15% on Snapchat, along with the 69% who will increase spending on Facebook, it’s clear that social is eyed as massively important to US marketers.

In fact, the same survey highlights that both brands and agencies said in August 2016 that the most important tactic or metric for the digital marketing industry over the previous 12 months was social advertising.

 

Over 50% of brands cited social advertising as most important over the prior 12 months, while 46% of agencies did the same. But with social, it isn’t only about advertising—38% of agencies, for example, also called social commerce one of the most important. Brands, however, find it less critical: Only 26% of respondents called it most important.

But marketing love for social media doesn’t necessarily prove it be effective. While 42% of respondents did call social effective, mobile, remarketing and text ads all got higher marks in the survey about pay-per-click ads.

eMarketer estimates a total of $15.4 billion spent on US social network ads in 2016, which accounts for 21.3% of all digital ad spending.

From Insight to Action: How Data-Driven Marketing Is Supporting Big Decisions

Data analytics can work wonders. Highly data-driven organizations are three times more likely to report significant improvement in decision-making, according to PwC research.(1)Yet, 62% of executives still rely more on experience and advice than data to make decisions.(2)

Why? We all like to believe in our own instincts, but while that may be natural, it's not sensible. Today's true leaders in marketing and data analytics are ignoring hunches and using advanced technology and machine learning to increase speed to insight—and to action. And those organizations that have committed to turning data into action are transforming their businesses.

Progressive, the 79-year-old insurance company known for its fictional spokesperson "Flo," is one company where data doesn't just talk, it drives action. "Data is really the bread and butter for us," said Pawan Divakarla, data and business analytics leader at Progressive. "It's not a person or a thing; it's virtual bits and bytes. But we have a reverence for data and when you think of it that way, you treat it with respect."

Harness the right data

Critically, that reverence for data must begin at the very top. At Progressive and elsewhere, executive support is an essential component for selling the value of data analytics throughout an organization. In a recent McKinsey Global Survey(3), participants ranked senior-management involvement as the factor contributing the most to their effectiveness with data and analytics.

But welcoming a deluge of data and getting support from the top still isn't enough. If it's not the right information, it won't support big decisions. Companies must harness the right data to uncover insights. Only then can business decisions made previously on instinct be guided by data.

"Traditionally, we have relied on experts to gather these insights from data," said Sagnik Nandy, distinguished engineer at Google. "A data-driven organization wants this to happen automatically." And now it can.

To learn how top marketers like Progressive and Macy's overcame their biggest challenges with an insights-driven approach to decision-making, access the full white paper from MIT, "How Analytics and Machine Learning Help Organizations Reap Competitive Advantage."

Putting the focus on data can be daunting at a time when consumers have real-time expectations for companies, and brands need to be there in the moments people need to know, go, do, or buy. "It's challenging to be in control of your data universe because there's so much happening," Sagnik said. "There's application data, customer-survey information, attribution, advertising. There are millions of pieces of data floating around."

Mobile takes the lead

Mobile is just another source of data that can be integrated to provide a more holistic view of the customer journey. More Google searches are taking place on smartphones than on desktops and laptops—globally.(4) And across the millions of websites using Google Analytics, more than half of all web traffic is now coming from smartphones and tablets.(5)

But many companies struggle with exactly how to manage and integrate mobile data. "People are still thinking of mobile as something different," Sagnik said. "But we're at the point where mobile is the status quo."

At Progressive, data insights helped improve customers' experience with its mobile app. "When we launched our mobile application, it was just quote-only," Pawan said. But the team recognized its mobile users wanted to do more than simply get information. "We said, 'It looks like, from the data, people are attempting to buy, and so we should put buy-related software up there,'" Pawan explained. "It was a really big 'aha' moment."

To lead successful data-driven initiatives like Progressive, analytics executives must overcome challenges in three areas: accumulation, analysis, and action. Put another way, analytics leaders need to be able to easily integrate more data sources, harness advanced technology for faster and more sophisticated analyses, and extract insights that lead to improved business performance.

By using analytics solutions, including Google Analytics 360 Suite, to integrate data sources and machine learning to analyze the data trail that people constantly create, organizations like Progressive can gather more (and more valuable) insights and improve the customer experience—often without human intervention.

"People have very fundamental needs when it comes to analyzing information, and machine learning can help them focus on what really matters," Sagnik said. "Rather than just reporting information and telling you what's wrong, machine learning technology can help you fix it." And if things are going well? "Machine learning can help you do more of what's working—and do it automatically."

Businesses like Progressive and Macy's that successfully value data over intuition tend to focus on three A's: accumulation, analysis, and action. For more on all three, access the full white paper from MIT, "How Analytics and Machine Learning Help Organizations Reap Competitive Advantage."

Sources
1 PwC's Global Data and Analytics Survey, "Big Decisions™," Global, base: 1,135 senior executives, May 2016.
2 PwC's Global Data and Analytics Survey, "Big Decisions™," Global, base: 2,106 senior executives, May 2016.
3 McKinsey Global Survey, Global, base: 519 executives representing the full range of regions, industries, and company sizes, Sept. 2015.
4 Google Internal data, Global, Oct. 2015.
5 Google Analytics Data, U.S., Q1 2016.

 

https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/articles/data-driven-marketing-decision-making.html?utm_medium=email-d&utm_source=newsletter&utm_team=twg-us&utm_campaign=20160929-twg-us-think-monthly-edition-a1-OT-GM-CS&utm_content=Measurement-hero&mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiT1RNM09EbGpaalV6WXpFeiIsInQiOiI3Mk5hbFRnNkVxa2ZvcE1RcmJ0YThlOXBLRjl5T3AzenBMVEZUc0w3UTZtWVB3TVkxY1V2dWlLeTRITW5TTUErSU1sd0U2VEJyQ2lqTnFkXC9RSG9xQ29nTm9mczFEQzQxcElGazEwdFcyXC9jPSJ9

 

Local Ads moving to Facebook...Duh

Small business marketers - PLEASE take a read below. A recent study from good friend and long time business associate, Gordon Borrell of Borrell Associates reveals what we all are finding to be true - what was once only really possible with Direct Mail we can now do with the massive Audience Network Facebook has assembled. Do yourself a favor and check us out athttp://www.clearfluence.com or call and ask for the Online Marketing & Data Department. Or Email me, CDO, Jim Bonfield at jimb@clearfluence.com.

The effectiveness is incredible but so are the data skills needed to do this well - please let us help.

We have served in this capacity as the region's premier direct mail and data company for years. This is what we do and we do it well.

Contact us today to learn more!

What's In Store For Mobile Advertising

Mobile Advertising is sweeping through every type of marketing campaign and now is the time to get on board with your company. From email marketing to social media, mobile advertising is a powerful tool in capturing your leads on-the-go. So how do you keep up with mobile marketing? Below is a cheat sheet for what's new in 2015 for mobile advertising. Catch up today!

Social Media and Mobile Advertising

Facebook is the social media king and when you're wondering what is the best way to reach your market with the Facebook app, it's never been easier. Facebook advertising has their own section of their site dedicated to teaching you dimensions, best practices, and mobile optimization for every ad. In fact, when you boost a post you can now be confident that every single ad looks great on mobile. See below image for an example of how to use the Facebook Advertising tools to create mobile ads that look great!

Responsive Landing Pages And Mobile Marketing

This year, many landing page companies are releasing a much more customized version of responsive marketing. This means that rather than your site scaling down for your visitors on a mobile device, you can completely rearrange the page to make the mobile version better suited for a phone. A huge part of mobile advertising is creating an online environment that is easy and straightforward to use for clients no matter what device they are on. Mobile advertising is more than looking for gimmicks or sending an SMS campaign, a large part of it is simply creating great graphic design. Below is an example of a recent Admail West mobile landing page. Note the simplicity and straightforward call to action.

Email Marketing On Mobile Devices

The thing we are the most excited about for 2015's mobile advertising is responsive emails and automated programs. What's so awesome about email softwares we work with are their heightened ability to create really custom graphics. You can do so much more than simply scale down your images. Some softwares now let you swap out different images for mobile compared to desktop and if that's not a huge step forward in mobile advertising, I don't know what is!

Interested in a Mobile Advertising Campaign?

Signup today for a mobile marketing strategy with Admail West. Our team can help you combine all your marketing efforts into one large and effective campaign. Get a free consult from our marketers today!

Website Analytics: Change The Way You Market

Website analytics are what great companies use to get a deeper look under the hood of their marketing efforts. However, not everyone is an expert in statistics and so getting analytics and understanding analytics can be two different things. Luckily, Admail West has a few tricks up their sleeves that can help beginning marketers improve their efforts without trying to become an expert overnight. In fact, some of the programs and tools we are going to recommend can completely revitalize your understanding of digital advertising with data management. Here is a list of helpful online tools to better view your website Analytics and their prospective pricing. (Keep in mind, with an Admail West Contract, you get access to nearly all of the below  and our expert analysis as a complimentary added service for being our client.)

Google Analytics

(Price: Free) This is the fundamental website analytics tool for every single marketer. You can install Google Analytics on everything from emails to your website and use the information to see whats working and what isn't. One of the most powerful aspects of Google Analytics is that it shows you were your website views are coming from and on what page they are leaving your website. It is a great tool for following your visitors around the internet and better understanding them.

Facebook Analytics

(Price: Free) Facebook provides quite a bit of detailed information about who your followers are. In fact, you can pull a detailed demographics report that breaks down your followers by interest, gender, and age group. Understanding these analytics allows companies to ensure their adspend is being put to the best use possible and their ads are being targeted towards people who are proven to respond.

Raven SEO Tools

(Price- $99/Month) This is a fan favorite around the Admail West Office. Raven generates powerful, interactive reports that tie together all aspects of your marketing. Their program includes connecting Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools, any and all Social Media platforms data, MOZ, and so much more. They even include their own site crawlers that details what's broken in your SEO, coding and other segments of your site to act as a guide to better marketing. Raven is a catch all as far as tools and is very much worth the money when it comes to website analytics.

Majestic SEO

(Price: $49-$399/Month) Majestic SEO uses all search engines to better explain your SEO visibility for organic rankings. They tie together things like backlinks and what pages your site is on for each keyword to show you the ways you're doing well and the ways that need some extra TLC. Majestic is extremely important when it comes to local visibility and beating out local competition. Their website analytics offer up information about how you fare in your area and globally.

Admail West Website Analytics

(Price: Varies on Need) You can get a detailed Admail West analysis done for varying prices at varying levels. Our team pulls data from all of the above and many more to create reports that fully capture your online success. Then we pair the data with a full initial strategy for online leads. Consider it programed information with a hands on touch from a marketing expert. You can rank higher, get bigger, have more followers and data, and win in your industry with Admail West. Contact us today for an analysis demonstration and a list of our website analytics.

Top User Experience Tools For Great SEO

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Developing an SEO strategy is key to building an organic online presence that leads to ROI long after you've stop spending money on it. In fact, SEO is one of the best ways to create a sustainable online marketing strategy that can provide your company with long term results like you've never seen. Using your website to create ranking on Google is simple and effective when you use the following tools.

  1. Social Media- Blogging for your website isn't enough SEO in its own. You need to get links to those blogs out into cyberspace where people will click them and Google will catalog them to promote your site. A great SEO rule of thumb is to always pin, tweet, and share all your new website additions on your social media. This provides branded and regular content to your profiles AND provides essential backlinks that work like SEO gold.
  2. Online Review Sites- Wondering how to make a more dynamic keyword strategy for SEO? Take the negatives and spin them around. A great SEO strategy should outrank Yelp, Google Places, and other review sites. Consider the bad reviews as words you need to capitalize on and start to outrank them with your website. Taking cues from your haters and your fans alike will bring you rankings benefits!
  3. Google Analytics- No marketer in their right mind would start any campaign without a thorough report from Google Analytics. Just because you think you want to rank for a keyword doesn't mean it's being looked up. Take some time to research for yourself and get your hands dirty with the data. Google Analytics is Google's way of handing you the best SEO strategy.
  4. Visual Content- Make sure that your content is so much more than just words on a screen. People respond positively to visual aids for everything. Creating dynamic tables, infographics, and charts ups your Google user experience rating and therefore ups your SEO rankings. Take pictures of your products, your team, and your progress. And, hire a graphic designer to create awesome custom graphic content.

There is a lot that goes into great Google rankings. Make the most out of your SEO today with the above tips and tricks. And, don't forget to hire an SEO agency to help along the way!

Optimizing For Mobile Marketing And The Benefits

Mobile Marketing is taking over the internet and it’s time for your company to jump on board. So how do companies do it? Responsive design is the backbone of a mobile friendly design and strategy. To start using mobile campaign, you’ll need to apply mobile design concepts to every aspect of any marketing strategy. And why do you need it? At this day and age, you have the ability to reach your clients in their element on their cell phones, long after they have have stepped away from TV’s and computers. Mobile marketing is the strongest aspect of big data and it’s time to start using it.

Landing Pages

Landing pages are psychologically one of the easiest ways to close a sale or convert a lead online. Now take that same logic and apply it to mobile marketing. If people are clicking on your ads online from their cell phones, they need to be routed to a mobile friendly page or site. When it comes to landing pages on mobile devices, you can ditch a lot of your design and stick to the bare bones for responsive layout. When it shrinks down there are only a few important aspects: a header with your logo, a phone number, and a form to fill out. Try and focus on those and you’ll see high conversions in your mobile marketing.

Forms

While many forms are small, they are not automatically responsive all the time. Mobile optimization for great marketing starts with a testing everything for mobile. You need to be sure about how it works from the users perspective. Keep in mind that long forms can be extremely difficult to fill out on a form so stick to the essentials for a truly mobile optimization.

Website

If your website is not responsive, it’s time for a new design. According to many web consultants 31-45% of your website traffic is generated through mobile devices. This means if your site doesn’t scale beautifully, you’re going to miss out on leads and fans. Keep a sleek design that is easy to navigate online for the ease of your clients. If you’re unsure of how your website fare on a phone, pull out yours and look now. The number one rule of understanding mobile marketing is testing it out for yourself. Look at your site on a mobile device and a tablet and keep notes on what is up to par and what could use some extra help.

Email

Emails need to be responsive because more than half your subscribers will check their emails on a mobile device. This means, if an email newsletter doesn’t render correctly or in a visually appealing way, you’re going to miss out on opportunities and potentially lose some of your followers. Optimization for mobile is an essential aspect of email marketing so ensure that your marketing firm or email designers really understand the task at hand. Emails can be condensed or stacked. Just remember that as some aspects shrink others may become larger so be cautious of buttons getting too big or written CTA’s getting to small and you’ll be set.

Facebook Ads

Advertising on social media has many options for mobile layouts. When you post an ad, places like Linkedin, Twitter, Google PPC, and Facebook will allow you to make an alternate for mobile views. Always utilize this option to really maximize on your adspend. If you don’t make a specific mobile ad, then these programs will try to make them for you with an automated program. We can guarantee it will never be as nice as if you make it intentionally. A little bit of extra time on responsive design will be worth it in leads when the time comes.

Apps

We are frequently asked by clients if they should offer a mobile option for their clients in the form of an app. This comes down to a few things. First, what industry are you in? Not all companies can benefit from an app. We encourage people in industries like insurance, retail, online sales, and entertainment to consider apps. However, if you’re selling something like solar or a non-profit service, there aren’t a whole lot of reasons to get an app. Another important thing to consider is how much you are willing to spend. You will need to make sure that your database, your website, and your app sync automatically. While you don’t need to spend a fortune, you’ll want to make sure the job is done right because a malfunctioning app can do damage to your online reputation fairly quickly. In any case, an app can be a very beneficial tool to you in mobile optimization.

To find out more about how to mobile optimize your marketing campaigns, contact us at Admail West today. We want to ensure excellent customer service and remarkable results in all your advertising.

Positioning Yourself in A Competitive Market

Finding your place in a competitive market is what sets apart each and every company. An organization’s ability to demonstrate what they bring to the table and offer sought-after services is essential to commercial success. But what makes one company superior to another or at least more competitive? Advertising and marketing firms like Admail West help you position your company and leverage your brand for higher levels of success. We exist to make your company, and it’s assets, known by the right consumers looking to buy. Here are a few ways to better understand what it means to position yourself in the same markets as your competitors and succeed.

Brand Development

Looks are everything in the marketing world and with the digital platform easily displaying what your organization has to offer, your brand makes your sales.  Branding a company is so much more than a clean logo and a slogan, it’s a way of talking about yourself to your prospects. Voice and style consistency can propel you to the leading role in your industry. The following checklist is a great way to tell how close you are to reliable brand development.

  • Consistent Logo
  • Consistent Tagline(s)
  • Standard Color and Font Deck
  • Stylized Social Media Posts, Collateral, and Emails
  • Stylized and Functioning Website
  • Unified Voice In Content and Sales Reps
  • Speedy Sales System and Support For Clients

Audience Targeting

Once your branding is complete and unified, you need to define your target audience. Staying ahead in a competitive market means only spending money on advertising that keeps you in front of likely prospects. One way to use audience targeting for lean marketing practices is to make sure you never run a campaign you can’t learn from. Every campaign and analysis should tell you more about the type of people your buyers are. A great place to start is to hire a company to do a thorough analysis of your existing client base. It is important to look at your long time clients are understand who they are. Also, when it comes to growth, test out several new markets with polished campaigns. Companies that excel in their competitive industry are the ones that are flexible and well informed. Click here to request a demographics analysis from our strategists.

Online Advertising

With your audience and brand out of the way, the way you use the internet is what defines if you thrive or simply survive in a competitive market. Positioning your organization as an industry leaders means taking advantage of the social media age and iphone era. Mobile marketing via email and social media provides every company with an equal opportunity to reach the global marketplace. Facebook, Yelp, Google, and more are the major players in building up a competitive company. If you’re not using online advertising, it’s time to start. For information on how to get an online following and claim your place in a competitive market, fill out the form to the right. Our strategists can help.

Is Your Social Media Hurting Your Brand?

Social Media is an amazing outlet for your company to develop a personal voice online. With millions of users and customized demographic targeting, many companies in many industries take advantage of the reach social media provides. However, social media is an art and when done incorrectly it could create a poor representation of your brand. Studies show that most customers do online research before making a purchase. If your social pages rank high and are not accurate representations of your company, you could be missing out on conversions. Things like unbranded posts or irrelevant content may be creating a misleading customer experience but luckily, with the right experience, each issue can be resolved fairly easily.

Branded Posts

Social media posts that do not represent your brand or at least have your logo pose a major threat to your pages. Part of the issue is that your content can be stolen or used by other companies on their social media. What makes posts powerful is that yours stand out and represent your company. Support your brand by creating professional and unique posts to your page. Include a wide variety of images, statuses, and shared links that all represent some part of your company and services. Furthermore, don’t repost anything without giving the proper credit. And finally, brand your page. Make sure your profile photo, header, and about your business segments reflect your website as closely as possible. Aim for professional and inviting.

Relevant Posts

Many companies enjoy sharing memes and other humor from the internet. Before you post, shy away from anything that isn’t consistent with the people in your client base. Avoid curse words and other crude humor (unless that’s your niche) and don’t repost anything that doesn’t look nice. Being active on social media is so much more than throwing some things on your timeline here and there. Be sure that your posts are relevant to your following AND your company. For example, if you’re in the restaurant business focus on food and drink or luxury items. Or if you’re in insurance post articles about local stories relating to insurance. Relevant posts show that you understand your audience and engage with current events.

Posting Consistently

A major part of social media posting is creating regular content. When client’s look at your page, they are able to tell that you’ve only posted a few times in the last six months and this shows a lack of attention to detail. If you have a small team, make sure someone posts once a month. Spreading out the responsibility lessens the hard work and makes it more varied in applicable content. If you have an adspend, hiring a marketing company like Admail West to create your social media posts is another efficient way to not only get a great branded social media page but also turn it into a lead generator for your company.

Adspend And Demographics

The last way your social media could hurt your brand is when there are not correct demographics applied to your advertisements. When you boost a post the money needs to be allocated to the right group of people in order to turn into ROI. This requires testing and an understanding of marketing tools. Advertising firms like Admail West offer social media marketing services that can help craft ads and target the right people. To better reach your demographics, ask Admail West for an analysis of your social media platforms. You just might be surprised with the results.

5 Things You Must Know Before Web Redesign

Web design allows your company to create an office space online where customers can visit and understand your services. A website communicates your unique brand and offers that can help make the difference between a page on the internet and an online marketplace. With major advances in coding the past few years, more industries are seeking updated websites, but before you sign a redesign contract, there are some vital factors to take into consideration. A website is an investment in the future of your company and with Admail West, your company’s needs are put above all else.

1. Your Web Design Goals

There are varying levels of skill required for each type of website design. Some things like custom social media platforms and forums require expertise you can’t always find in an out of the box, website template. Before you decide to use an online service with strangers, make a list of what is most important in your website redesign. Do you need a high or low level of customization? Our web design services offer a wide selection of tiers and pricing that can help you break down your needs into affordable bits. Whether it’s just a new homepage or a completely new look, we’ve got it.

2. Necessary Integrations

Many companies in all industries use a CRM like Salesforce to keep up with their leads and sales process. Nonprofits frequently use a donation software. These are important aspects of a website that go much deeper than the graphic design and they require a lot of knowledge about apex coding and integrations. To ensure you get an accurate quote, list out any integration needs you might have. This will save you time by making sure it’s done correctly the first time.

3. Branding Your New Website

Do you have a consistent brand deck? If not, a website design is the perfect time to evaluate your brand needs and guidelines. Many development companies offer a dual service in both re-branding your company and re-designing a site. This helps to extend your new identity long past your url into social media, collateral and beyond. Take the web development process as a step to get your entire brand in line with your organization's vision. Create a brand voice that speaks even when you’re not present. If you do have a brand clearly defined, then this is the time to make sure you communicate your requirements.

4. Project Timeline

Website builds, depending on the level of customization, can take quite awhile. Make sure that you have an accurate depiction of your time needs. Once you establish your list of needs from above, have your design company draw up a strict timeline with a start and end date that you are comfortable with. Make sure there is extra time for delays and collaboration.

5. Portfolio Of A Web Development Company

The most important aspect of any web development job is to know that you’re working with someone you trust. Any web design company should have a solid portfolio that displays capabilities that line up with all your needs. At Admail West, we only sell services we are completely confident we can deliver. Fill out the form to the right for a sample portfolio of our most recent web designs!

Understanding Social Media Analytics

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Social media analytics may be a company’s secret weapon to creating high conversion campaigns, but do you know how to decode the stats? With Admail West, our marketing team has taken the time to breakdown social media lingo so you can turn your Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and more into your highest lead generators. Learn how the following numbers can tell you what’s working for your social media and what isn’t. Because in the end, data driven marketing is how you get results.

  1. Impressions- This social media analytics tool tells you how many people saw one of your posts and could potentially engage with it. It’s a gauge of how widespread your current demographics are.
  2. Engagement- This is how many people saw your post and interacted with it in some way. This includes shares, likes, comments, and clicks to your website.
  3. Share- This social media tool is the term applied to when someone takes a post from your wall and places it on theirs. This greatly increases your visibility without spending more money.
  4. Like- This term applies to many social media platforms and it captures how many people, not only saw a post of yours but also connected in some way.
  5. Comment- It’s a simple term but we don’t assume. This means that someone wrote you something back.
  6. Click Through Rate- This is what percentage of the impressions actually clicked your link and visited your site. This starts to attribute a lot of value to your posts and in the end is the second most important number next to conversion rates.
  7. Conversion Rate- This means how many people that clicked your site link actually completed your desired action. This could be filling out a form, buying a product, or booking an appointment.
  8. Reach- See Above Impressions
  9. Cost- When you apply money towards your social media advertising, you apply a blanket amount per day or campaign. Cost breaks down exactly how much you spend on an engagement.
  10. Frequency- The number of times your ad was served to the same person overall.

For more useful social media analytics, ask us how you can get a complimentary social media analysis. Learn more about what works for you!

Direct Mail Trends of 2015

Direct Mail marketing puts your brand right in the hands of your clients, it allows your product to become something tangible and encourages prospects to become buyers. As 2015 starts, Admail West wants you to be aware of the amazing ways that we create one-of-a-kind direct mail pieces. Allow us to express what makes your company both different and compelling in direct mail campaigns that wow your client lists. The following are unique direct mail trends that we are proud to offer.

Variable Print

An effective way to use direct mail is to create something custom for each of your prospects. Variable Print takes one aspect of your direct mail piece and customizes it for each individual person on your list. Imagine receiving a T-shirt catalogue with your name spelled out on the model’s shirt on the cover. It’s compelling and thoroughly encourages a relationship between customer and company. At Admail West, we utilize these tools to create custom print jobs for you.

Die Cutting

Think outside the rectangle. Our extensive die cut patterns and customizable die cuts, allow you to create unique folds, shapes, and packages. Taking the time to make a one of a kind piece with cut means that you’re much less likely to have your direct mail piece jumbled up with all the other mail. 2015’s trends include making your mail piece an experience for your prospect. Try creating unique die cuts that hold your package together in a neat and professional manner.

Data Driven Mail

Direct Mail campaigns without analytics are a thing of the past. With data processing software, mail houses can better categorize their list demographics to create pieces that appeal to each unique set of people. Similarly, by including tracking codes and personalized URL’s we can provide you with insight on how successful each campaign has been. Understand that Direct Mail is a highly sophisticated marketing outlet. It’s our goal to provide you with successful strategies with high conversions.

Mailing your campaigns allows your brand to make direct contact with your prospects. We believe in using creative and well-thought out tactics to turn each mailed piece into ROI. From getting custom in your print to creating unique shapes, don’t forget Direct Mail as an awesome use of your marketing efforts in 2015.

Contact us in the bar on the right to hear about our direct mail capabilities.

Sales Funnel For Success

How is your sales funnel doing? Many companies could benefit from a clearly defined sales funnel that makes landing a client much easier from initial contact to signing the contract. At Admail West, one of our biggest services is creating a lead generation process that clearly defines roles and needs for each of our clients. From creating an entry point where leads are captured to flowing it into your CRM, let’s break down ways a more defined process can truly benefit your company.

Step 1- Lead Capture

There are a wide variety of ways to capture a lead for your organization. The first step is to define whether you’re looking for an online sale or simply a filled out form as the initial point of contact. The multitude of ways that Admail West can capture this information is in the following:

  • PPC Advertising
  • Social Media Ads
  • Email Marketing
  • SEO and Organic Rankings
  • Website Development

All of these provide opportunities for prospects to fill out a form or buy a product, whichever is your desired action. We use our strategic marketing efforts to capture and deliver exceptional results.

Step 2- Your CRM

An amazing benefit of hiring a company like Admail West is that we can navigate your leads into a CRM like salesforce or raiser’s edge. Any customer relations management tool is an option. What we do is help it flow into your existing system so that your sales reps can easily contact leads with as much information as we can gather. This makes for better communication between marketing and sales while also increasing the conversion rate through your sales funnel.

Step 3- Closing The Deal

The biggest way that Admail West helps your organization close the deal is by promoting your product in a way that is true to form. We offer you a wide variety of tools from consistent branding to follow up emails during the sales process to keep you and your product in the forefront of your client’s minds and computers.

Bonus Step- Re-marketing

The most brilliant part about online marketing and sales funnels is that once someone has converted into a lead, it doesn’t mean we have exhausted them as a client. Instead, we take your existing client base and remarket through social media and emails to give them a better taste of your other offers. Our customizable programs help you re-market for years to come making 1 time customers, life-long customers.

Why Your Company Needs Our SEO Audit

SEO is the most affordable way to beat out the competition online but that doesn’t mean it comes easily. While you’re not paying for your rankings, it does take time and skill to get search engine optimization right. The vast amount of factors that go into a high ranking website need to be monitored daily and Admail West has just the solution. For all our clients, we offer an SEO audit that gives you a complete look at what your site is doing right and what could use a little more work.

Front Page of Google

Our SEO audit works with Google Analytics to see where your site pages rank with the rest. We upload a list of your most important keywords to our software and see where you fit locally and globally. This is a foolproof way to see if all your hard work on search engine optimization is paying off or not!

Content Ranking

Is your content keyword rich? Our software takes a dive into the layout, structure, and wording of your website. With Google’s readability test and keyword searcher, we can see just how many of your keywords are placed strategically.

Meta Detail Errors

When you have a massive website, it’s easy to lose track of what is up to new algorithm standards and what is not. Our software scans your site for any broken pages or coding and meta information that is too long/too short/or duplicates. This provides an excellent map to navigating and correcting site errors to improve organic rankings within just a few days. This feature alone is one of the most important reasons why you need our SEO audit.

Interested in an SEO audit? Contact the marketing experts at Admail West for yours today!

New Trends In Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing is your company’s best friend when it comes to reaching your prospects every single day. Through mobile strategy, organizations can reach new lead generation heights and gain valuable data on their target markets. The following are just a few of the powerful ways your company could benefit more from a little strategic mobile marketing.

Click To Call

Mobile marketing is nothing if not efficient. The click to call strategy is the strategic placement of clickable phone numbers on your company’s emails, websites, social media, text messages and more. All it requires a consumer to do is press your phone number and they’re instantly in contact with you. Click to call allows you to increase conversion rates by cutting out forms as the middle man. Mobile marketing solutions like this take a few minutes to program making them simply non-negotiable for any digital campaign.

Social Media

More than half of social media users use it primarily on a mobile device. In fact, it has become so overpowering in the user market that platforms like Facebook offer and sometimes require, mobile friendly advertising. Taking advantage of mobile optimized social media campaigns can help increase social media conversion, follows, and engagement by over 75% in just the first month. At Admail West, we have found that focusing on mobile devices for our client’s adspend significantly increases the chances of their prospects interacting.

Responsive Design

If your website and webforms aren’t mobile friendly, this is an absolute must. Mobile marketing solutions include a responsive (re-sizeable) design for your websites. It means that when users see your social media ads (reference point above), they can follow through and convert on your website without ever leaving their portable device. The American population is constantly on the go and by catching up to speed, your company can guarantee a following. Responsive layouts are the first step to a strong mobile marketing campaign so start there.

Email Apps

Less and less people need to type in their email login as they now received emails instantaneously to their phone email apps. Email apps are just as effective as texting and your prospects likely check it on an hourly basis. If you’re using email marketing, make sure that responsive and mobile friendly emails are part of the equation. While it can take some more time in the design aspect, it’s ROI far outweighs the cost of a few added hours.

If you are interested in making your online campaigns mobile marketing friendly, contact the experts here at Admail West. Our team of strategists, designers, and data analysts can develop an integrated marketing campaign that covers all your necessary platforms.

Social Media Marketing: Then and Now

In the beginning, Social Media Marketing was only relevant for businesses targeting the under 25 demographic. The days of Myspace and early Twitter offered limited advertising opportunities for companies outside the entertainment and adolescent sales industries. But as time progressed, and social media rapidly changed, advertising online has quickly become a global sales environment where any company could find their target market and deploy ads in just a few clicks of a button. Advertising on social media has become so quintessential to the 21st century that most companies wouldn’t dream of going without it.

Facebook Advertising: Then and Now

Originally Facebook only allowed those with a college email address to join their platform. It was intended to connect young Americans to like-minded people and their current peer group. As it began to explode, Facebook opened their doors and before they knew what happened, people from every country and every age group joined the ranks of the online community. With this transition and the development of business accounts on Facebook, any company was able to clearly define just who saw their ads and when with millions of individuals at their disposal. Now, Facebook offers some of the most advanced demographic and audience targeting available to those interested in advertising on social media. This powerful tool, allows your organization and your products to be the first and last thing potential consumers see every single day.

Let’s Get Mobile

Alongside the boom of .com’s like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, and so much more was the development of the smartphone and the app store. Now, advertising isn’t confined to the hours people spend on their computer but instead is available on their mobile devices which never disconnect from the internet. According to the Daily Mail, an average adult checks their phone of 1,500 times per week. This opens up the door for continuous contact with your brand and products. The spread of product awareness, word of mouth, and advertising opportunity means that companies who use social media actively have an average of a 237% increase in website traffic and client interaction. (Read more at Hubspot). Social media marketing tools are now among the most powerful asset for any budding company.

Viral Movements

On top of increased exposure, word of mouth in the form of viral campaigns is nothing short of explosive. While this means the bad reviews spread more quickly, the flipside significantly outweighs the risks. A viral campaign can have amazing effects consider the #x for awareness about not texting and driving or even more powerful the “Ice Bucket Challenge’” that raised over $100 Million for ALS research. Whether you’re a non-profit or a corporation, these social media marketing tools are unbelievable powerful.

How To Get Started With Social Media Marketing

The first push is always the hardest, but generally speaking with 2-5 months of dedication, your social media campaigns could easily become the highest ROI generator. To get started, first claim and brand all your accounts. The next step is reaching your current client base via email, promotions, and your website to “like” or “follow” your account. Once the account is established, it’s time to test where and which platform yields the best results for your company. The best way to do this? Hiring an advertising firm like Admail West, that uses data-driven marketing to bring your organization to new digital heights. With intensive strategy planning, you can start to see growth quickly!

Contact us today to find out more!