Achieving revenue and profit goals with digital marketing hacks
Published on 13 February 2020
Elize Hattin, SmartHub Business Manager sits down with Katie Joy from Digital Entrepreneur and Powerful Mothers, to discuss hitting revenue and profit goals through effective email marketing campaigns.
Setting a goal for your business is one thing; actually writing a plan and ensuring you have the skills to achieve those goals…that's where things become challenging.
According to Elize, there are two fundamental business areas which require goal setting: revenue and profit.
Owner of two digital marketing training organisations, Digital Entrepreneur and Powerful Mothers, Katie Joy, sets her revenue and profit goals for each financial year, then breaks these down to half-yearly, quarterly, monthly and weekly sub-goals.
For Katie, successful marketing is essential to achieving these.
"Marketing is what's going to bring customers in, how you're going to nurture them and then ultimately get sales, which then ties into revenue and profit," she says.
Elize shares this point of view, believing business owners are predominantly responsible for two things.
"The first one is the quality of the delivery of your product or service and to look after your existing customers.
"The second thing is ensuring there are people to serve. Customers is what we're after, getting our new customers to come through the door, to click on buy, to call us up and getting existing customers to do repeat business with us.
"The essential business skill is marketing for both of those functions," Elize explains.
To achieve any revenue and profit goals, business owners need a plan. For Katie, her plan always involves marketing because this connects her to new and existing customers.
"These days anybody and everybody is a digital marketer. If you have a Facebook account, you are a digital marketer, whether you like it or not. I believe it's important to know exactly what you are doing, what messages you are putting forward and how people are interpreting you.
"There are some really vital skills you need as a marketer, the first being an understanding of the customer value journey and 'the funnel' model of how people start to become aware of you.
"The second is to understand how to effectively communicate with your customers via email.
"Essentially, if you can't engage with your customers, if you can't get people to buy from you, then you're never going to achieve those revenue and profit goals at all," Katie says.
NAVIGATING THE CUSTOMER VALUE JOURNEY
Both Elize and Katie agree the key fundamental concept business owners need to understand is the customer value journey. But what does this mean and what does this look like?
Katie maintains this journey begins with AWARENESS. Customers see something about you online. You might post a photo or other content and then they start a CONVERSATION. The next step is ENGAGEMENT which continues through everything that follows.
"If you're in business, if you're talking to a customer, it's basically always an ongoing sales conversation you're having," Katie says.
Next, customers SUBSCRIBE to you in some way; you might give them something in exchange for their contact details. Then they may become a CUSTOMER by making a PURCHASE from you.
"It might be a small purchase to start with. Then they'll ascend maybe into getting more deeply involved with your product. Then they'll go, "This is amazing…just like The SmartHub is amazing. I have ascended to be a promoter for The SmartHub because I love this place." So, then they become a biggest fan or a promoter, which I am for this wonderful place…ultimately that's where you want to get to and then it all keeps going around and around," Katie explains.
Elize describes the journey as a map of how a relationship develops between you and your potential customer.
"They become someone who's aware of your business and then the relationship develops in a very similar way to a dating relationship, almost where you see someone and then you say hello and then you step them through a series of actions and encounters with you until they actually start dating and maybe get married," Elize muses.
With a firm understanding of the customer value journey, the next progression is realising you can only get so far with one-on-one customer interactions.
Katie says this is where customer conversations convert to email conversations, particularly email marketing.
"Once people have subscribed to you, how does that conversation continue on a level that's more scalable, that's not just one-on-one? This is achieved through email marketing where content is key," Katie points out.
Many businesses have mastered the art of sourcing email addresses by emailing invoices and receipts, building an entire database of their existing and potential customers in the process.
Katie cautions while it is important to have a customer database, effective email marketing is more than promotions and sales, revisiting Elize's dating analogy.
"When you're emailing someone, you don't just get their email then, it's as if you're dating and then next you go, "Oh let's get married" when you've had one date, you wouldn't do that. You've got to keep the conversation going. That's what email marketing is about.
"After the first date, what would you do next? You might be like, "That was great, let's have coffee again." Email marketing is the same. Your next email will be more about, "Hey, that's great. Here's my blog post, here's this." You just continue that whole dating scenario relationship," Katie explains.
To achieve effective email marketing that encourages customers to buy more and ultimately achieve your revenue and profit goals, Katie shares her Top 7 hacks:
EMAIL MARKETING: 7 MUST-HAVE HACKS
- Timing is everything
Katie says it is critical for your email to survive the so-called morning "email purge" when people look first at their email and start deleting before clicking open and reading. To get past this, Katie says to send emails only during certain 'windows', or the top times for sending emails:
- 8:30 am - 10:00 am
- 2:30 am - 3:30 pm
- 8:00pm - midnight.
"Obviously you want existing customers and potential customers to read your email otherwise you're wasting your time. By sending emails during these specific windows, you are enhancing your chances of people opening and reading your email.
"These times have been robustly tested, that is millions of dollars spent on email campaigns to get these results.
"Also ensure you are sending emails in your customer's time zone," Katies adds.
- The name game
Using a person's name in the headline increases the open rate by 23%. However, Katie cautions against using this tactic too often.
"If you use it too much, it's going to not have any meaning. Use it 20% of the time, at the right time and for specific things, it really is very effective at getting people to open your email," she says.
- Symbolic meaning
Adding symbols and emojis to the subject line of your email helps them stand out and increases the likelihood of opening between 10-15%.
"Specifically, the heart, umbrella and sun emojis are the ones that people respond positively too. Obviously, there would need to be relevance between the subject matter and the symbol, but it is an effective tool to increase readership," Katies says.
- Be provocative…but professional
The heart, umbrella and sun emojis will only get you so far, so the next tactic is being provocative with your email. While it may sound inappropriate and unprofessional, Katie explains it is more about building curiosity or conveying an emotion.
"One email I sent that had a really high open rate had a subject line that just said, "I was wrong." So, people were like "What was she wrong about?"…it builds that curiosity and they want to find out more," Katie says.
- Odd and specific numbers are more credible
According to Katie, no one believes round numbers because we always round up.
"If you're saying "I just made $5,000" or something, people aren't convinced because you don't just make that, so it's always better to use odd or specific numbers, such as "I made $4,972 or How I made $4,972," she suggests.
- Keep it short
Keep your subject line short – between 6 to 10 words or 25 characters. This formula means you are getting your whole message in the subject line bar and it can be read in its entirety.
"When people are scanning their emails, it takes them three to four seconds to decide whether they're going to delete you or not, so you want to get it, boom, right there," Katie recommends.
- Use the second subject line
If the first text in your email is “View This in Your Browser” or “Follow us on Facebook”, this is not helping drive your open rate. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if those first few lines were more descriptive or enticing to the reader?
Katie advises to always using the preview text to avoid your email provider choosing generic leads such "Follow this link" or "Click here".
"Make sure you use the second subject line because that's another chance for you to sell your message or try to get the click. You will want to write something that speaks personally to your ideal recipient," she says.
WORDS AND PICTURES
Marketing boils down to words and images. Elize maintains the less words you have, the more challenging it is to find the exact right words to engage a reader and draw them into the conversation.
"You've got to really think about the words you use. Some words have more emotional value than others. Choosing words with high emotional value is important in marketing," Elize advises.
Katie agrees, explaining the importance of emotional words in any form of communication, especially email marketing, is a core topic she covers in the copywriting course she delivers in Digital Entrepreneur.
"You'll be able to find emotional words for copywriting and there'll be lists and pages of them online. This is also helpful with content marketing.
"The content you write should speak to answering small, specific problems of your customer," Katie suggests.
To find out what problems your customers are facing, Katie recommends a range of free and paid tools to help you identify what searches people have conducted already on the topic.
Using the Smart Hub as a working example, Katie explains by visiting a search engine typing key words in the search bar, suggestions and topics will start to appear.
"With SmartHub, it would be coworking spaces, so you would type coworking + spaces + Rockhampton and then you will see the longer form text that'll appear at the end. It might be coworking spaces, Rockhampton free day. That means that that's a highly searchable thing. So then [Smart Hub] content should be free day coworking spaces in Rockhampton.
"Often at the bottom of Google, there are other suggestions that people searched for as well. So those are the indications of the problems your customers are facing," Katie explains.
SOCIAL MEDIA AND COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT
One of the most effective ways to monetize social media is through setting up groups and forums. Katie distinguishes there are different types of groups; the most popular ones typically being in the awareness stage.
"For SmartHub, the Facebook group could be for Rockhampton entrepreneurs, and then anyone who's entrepreneurial will join this group. Ultimately SmartHub is the admin and the influencer. It's another way you can tell people about the events that are happening…tell them there's a free day coworking and then get members through that," Katie suggests.
Katie says the social media community you create should be distanced from your business, using a collective name for the group of people you are gathering, rather than your actual business name. By communicating within the group, this audience become your potential (and ideally, real) customers.
"It's almost like emailing your database. Instead of emailing them, you're just communicating with them via Facebook with posts, then other people can post their events and different conversations.
"It's not just about you, it's about what they want. What they need as entrepreneurs in Rockhampton. It's not just brand centric. It's customer centric," Katie discerns.
FINALLY, DON'T BOOST FACEBOOK POSTS.
Katie urges businesses against boosting. "It's really not an effective use of your money. You should be going into Facebook ads and targeting specifically. Start looking into learning about that if you're currently relying on boosting Facebook posts as a marketing strategy," she says.
Katie also suggests exploring other powerful and emerging social media platforms.
"If you have an Instagram account between 500 and 5,000 followers, people are making an average of $114 per video for sponsored posts and $100 for an image post. People only with a small Instagram account of less than 5,000, that's how much they're making. If you have 30,000 to 500,000 you're making $775 U.S. dollars. So that's the type of money that's going around there.
"75% of US businesses, will be on Instagram by the end of this year, a trend which we think Australia will probably follow," Katie predicts.
When it comes to Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Tik Tok, Facebook, Instagram etc. etc…how do business owners decide which platform to use? Katie says the answer lies in understanding who your customer is and where they hang out, online.
"You need to understand each platform. Research it and find out the demographics, what people are using that platform for and whether it matches your customer. Talk to your customers as well and you'll understand deeper. But that's the number one easiest way," she explains.
Katie Joy from Digital Entrepreneur and Powerful Mothers is a SmartHub member. For her, The SmartHub is a place where start-ups like her can go for business advice and obtain support from fellow business owners.
The SmartHub encourages entrepreneurs and business owners to adopt technology and modern best business practice to make the whole business journey more profitable, more enjoyable, more effective and more efficient.
If you’d like to learn more about becoming part of the SmartHub, message SmartHub Rockhampton on Facebook or just head over to Customs House at 208 Quay Street, Rockhampton for a tour.
Why not join us at our next Lunch & Learn session on Thurs 25 February? Tickets cost $10 for non-members. Smart Hub membership costs $51 per month and includes these events for FREE. Visit the SmartHub Facebook page to book tickets.