It’s the time of year when marketers start to think about what they’ll do differently over the next 12 months. But, as well as leveraging trends and trying new techniques, there are undoubtedly certain things marketers need to STOP doing in 2019 too. Here are my top 5…
1. STOP split-testing emails
It’s been a technique that marketers have relied on for years. Instead of endlessly scratching our heads over what’s truly the best creative or the most eye-catching email subject line, we’ve traditionally whittled it down to two (or more) favourites, and let recipients tell us! This apparent subjectivity makes a lot of sense and has worked – until now.
Marketers’ time is becoming increasingly precious so instead of duplicating effort, the priority should be achieving efficiencies. We all care about ROI, but think about it with a level head – have you ever really been 100% torn between two approaches? You almost always have a gut feeling as to which is best and if you’ve ever been so torn, surely it means either is good enough to go?
Plus, given that an email campaign – for instance – should touch a recipient 3-6 times for maximum effect, why not roll out both approaches over the course of a journey? A 6-stage email journey may sound like hard work, but – seen as clever methodologies now exist to save time and reuse elements of previous campaigns – it shouldn’t take more than five minutes to build a great, personalised email! So if it’s taking longer, perhaps this is another habit that has to end now…
2. STOP focusing on vanity metrics
Let’s all admit that figures such as email open and click rates are purely vanity metrics. Yes, they could be evidence of great click bait but then what? And so what? An email with seemingly less engagement may have actually proven the key to driving enquiries, getting bums on seats or completing online checkouts, so it is time for marketers to start focusing on the metrics that really matter.
We spend enough hours in the month analysing data, so surely these hours would be better spent interrogating the data that links to bottom line business impact. The right data will vary from business to business, depending on the sector, size, objectives and so on. But a good starting point could be contact list engagement, segment evolution and lead scoring.
3. STOP building blogs to house important campaign content
Blogs are important pages of any website and they continue to act as powerful platforms to publish content that engages, educates and conveys a brand’s personality. But as martech has advanced so too has the ability to create dedicated, highly personalised landing pages that will drive up conversion rates. We’ve said before that ROI is important, so marketers should stop being so reliant on blog posts, just because they’re quick and easy to launch, especially when extremely intuitive, arguably fool-proof landing page builder tools now exist.
4. STOP accepting a disconnect between data
Martech has advanced so that brands can achieve data connectivity from top to bottom. It is possible – with an integration between savvy automation and a CRM – to tailor what people see on a social campaign, what they receive via email and what they then read on a website etc. The functionality exists but so many marketers are still pushing out blanket content with ‘Hi name’ at best, mistaking it as the easier option. But it’s not – plus it’s robotic and it does little to fuel engagement.
Data capture fields are more intelligent now too, meaning greater insight is consequently plugged in to the CRM to power even deeper segmentation and more personalised conversations.
Dynamic website content is proven to achieve 22-28% conversion rates in sectors where everyone else is achieving 4-6%. If forward-thinking marketers don’t act fast, it will soon become the norm and any strategic advantage will be lost.
5. STOP the disconnect between sales
Far too many sales and marketing teams still operate in silos, but – linked to point 2 – this is risky if management teams seek real evidence that campaigns are having an impact on business growth.
One of the easiest ways to remove the disconnect – even if only on a process level – is to establish a clean, considered and automated lead escalation strategy. By scoring contacts according to their engagement and passing them through to the right sales person at the right time, there is a far greater chance of conversion!