How to use Storytelling in Direct Response Marketing

A weary marketing manager sits down at her computer, once again, to review performance results from her most recent direct response campaign. “All of these long hours, the expenses, the planning,” she laments, rubbing her forehead with tired fingertips. What’s the use hiding her frustration? There’s no one left at the office to see or hear her. “Our products are phenomenal!” she cries. “And our customers agree—so why,” she asks the tracking spreadsheet in front of her, “aren’t we attracting new leads?”

Want to know what happens next?Read more


What’s In the Direct Response Marketer’s MarTech Stack?

Do you hear trendy MarTech terms like “machine learning,” “contextual marketing,” and “natural language processing” and shrug your shoulders? Do you wonder if your company should be getting into “artificial intelligence” and hiring robots to write your copy? Well…maybe not. But for even the most technically proficient among us, it’s all a bit overwhelming.

But bear with us, because marketing technology is empowering marketers like never before. The MarTech landscape continues to grow by leaps and bounds—and the fruits of its labor are helping marketers understand, reach, connect with, engage, and delight customers in incredible ways that impact lead generation, conversion rates, sales, and more.

MarTechAdvisor defines “MarTech Stack” as a business’ selection of tools chosen to make marketing operations and processes more effective and efficient. It’s important to consider which apps can help you streamline your processes and meet your specific direct response goals, so let’s take a look at what types of solutions are out there—and what specific tools you might want to start using.

The Building Blocks of the MarTech Stack
We’ll start with a wide-angle view of MarTech to give you a feel for the scope of the industry. The folks at ChiefMarTech.com have been producing what they refer to as the most loved-and-hated slides in marketing: the MarTech5000. In 2011, it contained just 150 solutions; in 2018, it contains over 6,000 solutions from just as many vendors!

Here’s an overview of the main categories and sub-categories, each containing myriad MarTech software solutions, tools and apps to meet the most specific of needs:

· Advertising & Promotion: mobile marketing, display, and programmatic advertising search and social advertising, native/content marketing, video advertising, PR, and print.

· Content & Experience: mobile apps; video marketing; email marketing; interactive content; content marketing; optimization, personalization, and testing; digital asset management and marketing resource management; SEO; marketing automation and campaign/lead management; and content management system and web experience management.

· Social & Relationships: call analytics and management; account-based marketing; events, meetings, and webinars; social media marketing and monitoring; advocacy, loyalty, and referrals; influencers; community and reviews; bots and live chat; customer experience, service, and success, and customer relationship management.

· Commerce & Sales: retail, proximity, and IoT marketing; channel, partner, and local marketing; sales automation, enablement, and intelligence; affiliate marketing and management, e-commerce marketing, and e-commerce platforms and carts.

· Data: audience/marketing data and data enhancement; marketing analytics, performance, and attribution; mobile and web analytics; dashboards and data visualization; business/customer intelligence and data science; iPaaS, cloud/data integration and tag management; compliance and privacy; data management platform; and customer data platform.

· Management: talent management, product management, budgeting and finance, collaboration, projects and workflow, agile and lean management, and vendor analysis.

As you can see, there’s a piece of software available for just about any marketing function you can think of—and what’s on an offer to marketers keeps evolving.

So What’s In Your MarTech Stack?
Even though there are nearly 7,000 MarTech solutions on the market, your company probably only needs a few. After all, Cisco’s marketing stack has “only” 39 technologies. What matters is that you’re leveraging marketing technology in some capacity to help you work smarter, more efficiently, and better meet your customers’ needs.

Today’s direct response marketer is focused on many things, with emphasis on lead generation and nurturing, conversion optimization, and delivering intuitive customer experiences meeting increasingly digital expectations.

With this in mind, and based on our marketing team and customer experience, as well as the research findings and recommendations of industry leaders including Neil Patel, Boardview, G2 Crowd, and MarTechSeries, here are some MarTech solutions you may want to consider:

Zoominfo– gives you access to a comprehensive consumer database and provides a platform for identifying, connecting, and engaging with qualified prospects. For the direct response marketer: more qualified prospects for your next campaign.

SalesForce – offers various cloud-based customer success tools to help you connect with customers across sales, marketing, customer service, communities, and more. For the direct response marketer: keep everyone on the same page while nurturing sales leads and customer.

Hootsuite – provides a single dashboard for managing all of your company’s social media and social media marketing efforts. For the direct response marketer: no need to manually toggle back and forth between social media channels.

Google AdWords – offers online advertising services to help you reach and connect with web users on Google’s search engine or consuming content within the Google ad network. For the direct response marketer: run highly targeted PPC ads while controlling spend.

Optimizely – makes it easy for you to for optimize digital campaigns using their experimentation platform. For the direct response marketer: takes your testing to the next level with sophisticated tools.

Crazy Egg– helps you understand, through visual reports, how visitors are engaging with your webpages. For the direct response marketer: identify where CTA sweet spots are by seeing where visitors are clicking.

Brightcove – supplies you with an online video hosting platform and online video player solution. For the direct response marketer: makes it easy for you to get started using video in your promotional efforts without having to hire a production team.

What About Customized Solutions?
The Weinstein Organization’s custom web portals for national retailers and sales organizations allow store/branch managers or sales reps to quickly create personalized and customized campaign materials (like flyers and mailers) that are brand consistent and legal department-approved. And now, they can create custom ads—with local copy personalization and images—that fit the exact size and output specs required by a publication. For the direct response marketer: enables national brands to make targeted offers to local markets, simple and affordable.

Contact us to learn more.


Tips to Optimize Your Offer’s Thank-You Page

When your offer’s thank-you page greets the smiling face of a prospect or customer, that’s when the magic happens: the fulfillment of a conversion! But the thank you page is more than a destination—and the fun doesn’t have to end here. Aside from simply confirming a purchase or delivering content, the thank-you page can take prospects to the next stage in the customer journey and nurture them through the sales funnel.

After all, your prospect has made the effort to fill out your form—and has found your offer valuable enough to give you their contact information—so why not pack your thank-you with some punch? Here, we’ll share our tips for optimizing the thank-you page for ongoing engagement.Read more


8 Ways to Convert Your Social Media Followers Into Customers


For many consumers, the easiest way to stay in touch with a brand is by liking their Facebook or Instagram business page or following their Twitter account. B2B consumers may follow a company’s LinkedIn page or, better yet, personally connect with someone on their sales team. But that doesn’t mean they’re actually buying from a business…not yet, anyway. Let’s explore what it takes to convert.
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Choosing the Right Channels for Your Direct Response Offer

Offline and online, traditional and digital, there are so many ways you can reach your customers with direct response marketing offers today. Email, postal mail, Facebook groups, SMS, LinkedIn ads, mobile ads, Twitter, referrals, webinars, magazine ads, signage, telemarketing…and so on.

Our multi-channel world is a dynamic place. From one campaign to the next, there’s always an opportunity to try (and test!) a new communication channel to reach people, make a connection, and drive engagement. That’s what makes this exciting—and perhaps a bit daunting.

“How do we choose the right channels for our next campaign?!”
There’s no single communication channel mix that’s going to work for everyone—or for every campaign, even if you hit on the perfect mix for your last offer. You can’t expect the same results every time unless you’re promoting the same offer to the same audience. (But even the best campaigns need to be tested from time to time!)

Since it’s easy to get overwhelmed, we’re here with some sound advice. When you’ve crafted a terrific offer for a defined audience and you’re ready to promote it, consider the followingRead more