Compelling Content, Downloads Top Performing Email Marketing

Whether you market in the B2B or B2C space, you likely use email as a primary tactic for lead generation. When used properly, attribution can be tracked from the email open rate to the site visit, and eventual appearance in-store or on your client list. In fact, in 2017, 205 respondents representing Business to Business marketing professionals named email as their top lead generation tactic.

So what should your email include in order to perform better than your competition? With surveys, trivia, or games and loyalty programs at the bottom of the list, many of the ideas that once served you well are becoming obsolete.

Compelling Content for each
Stage of the Buying Process

B-B2Bemail-icon-1content Compelling Content, Downloads Top Performing Email Marketing

56% of respondents named compelling content as the number one priority of any email campaign. Your customers will grow to trust that opening your communications provide a benefit. This may take time and dedication, but loyal clients are well worth it.

Downloadable Content

B-B2Bemail-icon-2download Compelling Content, Downloads Top Performing Email Marketing

Offer the material they just read as a download. But be sure you aren’t just restating already consumed content. The download should be more illustrative, provide further insight, or some other element to surprise and delight the audience — rewarding them for their click and print.

Audience Segmentation

B-B2Bemail-icon-3audience Compelling Content, Downloads Top Performing Email Marketing

Not everyone cares about every topic, and your audience should be able to opt in or out by sharing their preferences. You don’t want to send an existing client the introductory offer, or the new client the 20% off for the item they just purchased. Know who you are messaging, and be sure the content of the email is relevant to him or her.

Automations

B-B2Bemail-icon-4automations Compelling Content, Downloads Top Performing Email Marketing

Emails should be sent to your clients based on actions they took, or “triggers.” Take the thank you email, for instance. The completion of a transaction should always trigger a message of genuine gratitude for their business, without the hope of something in return.

80% OF MARKETERS IN NORTH AMERICA NAME LEAD GENERATION AND BRAND AWARENESS AS THEIR TOP REASONS FOR CONTENT MARKETING. Begin with these tips for your email campaigns, and measure the results. You’ll find what others have found — that compelling content curated for your exact customer will build trust and the feeling of “special.”

Learn More:

Mackinac Island Named Number 1 Summer Destination in America by TripAdvisor

The TripAdvisor ranking is based on seasonal hotel booking interest from spring to summer, including the average one-week vacation costs for hotels and airfare. As Mackinac’s Agency of Record, Advance 360 is thrilled to celebrate this well-deserved recognition.

B-Mackinac-quote1 Mackinac Island Named Number 1 Summer Destination in America by TripAdvisor
B-Mackinac-quote2 Mackinac Island Named Number 1 Summer Destination in America by TripAdvisor
B-Mackinac-social Mackinac Island Named Number 1 Summer Destination in America by TripAdvisor

Advance 360, the Mackinac Island Tourism’s Agency of Record, has worked diligently to achieve this notoriety, but also dramatically improve the revenue of the island and the length of the peak season. Both have made tremendous inroads — growing by more than 30% in revenue since 2013.

In 2013, Mackinac Island Tourism identified a need for a refined, laser targeted digital campaign. Since that time, the budgetary commitment to this proven digital strategy has more than doubled, and the results speak for themselves.

Products Used:

• Paid Search
• SEO
• Display and Re-messaging
• Responsive Rich Media
• Sponsor Content
• Social Media Management and Amplification
• Web Design and Development
• Video Pre-Roll

Strategy

The primary goal has always been to increase total room revenue on Mackinac Island. Advance 360 knows that increasing site traffic and conversions on mackinacisland.org are the leading indicators of how the island will pace with regards to room revenue. Adjusting and solving for the appropriate increase in web visitors during target months, the strategy lifted traffic and with it, room night revenue.

Because the island is open only May through October, the window of opportunity is short. Using historical data, travel research, and audience profiling, Advance 360 was able to predict peaks in bookings, understand target audiences and messaging, and lift conversions. Insights from SEM analysis dictated a full year marketing campaign that elevated bookings in both early and late season, adding to increase of total room revenue for the island.

Advance 360 is still the DAOR for Mackinac Island and 2018 pacing is currently on track to exceed campaign key performance indicators.

Results

From 2013-2018, since Advance 360 has become Mackinac Island’s Digital Agency of Record, they have seen the following increases:

B-Mackinac-graph Mackinac Island Named Number 1 Summer Destination in America by TripAdvisor
B-Mackinac-stats Mackinac Island Named Number 1 Summer Destination in America by TripAdvisor

CREATIVE EXAMPLES

Digital Ads:

MackinacIsland-300x250-20180518-mb-IsForQuiet6 Mackinac Island Named Number 1 Summer Destination in America by TripAdvisor
MackinacIsland-300x250-20180518-mb-IsForCouples3 Mackinac Island Named Number 1 Summer Destination in America by TripAdvisor
MackinacIsland-300x250-20180518-mb-IsForAdventure3 Mackinac Island Named Number 1 Summer Destination in America by TripAdvisor
MackinacIsland-300x250-20180518-mb-IsForFriends5 Mackinac Island Named Number 1 Summer Destination in America by TripAdvisor
MackinacIsland-300x250-20180518-mb-IsForQuiet Mackinac Island Named Number 1 Summer Destination in America by TripAdvisor
MackinacIsland-300x250-20180518-mb-IsForCouples5 Mackinac Island Named Number 1 Summer Destination in America by TripAdvisor

Website:

B-Mackinac-web Mackinac Island Named Number 1 Summer Destination in America by TripAdvisor

Your Biggest Marketing Challenges

If you are like most marketing professionals, you know that the list of challenges is long and sometimes overwhelming. As life-long practitioners of the craft, we seek ways to make things easier, better, convert more readily, generate more sales. We champion brands, strive for awareness, and pain to grow engagements. But we aren’t alone. From a North American survey of marketing pros, here is their list of challenges. Maybe it mirrors your own.

B-MarketingChallenge-graph Your Biggest Marketing Challenges

Source: Statista

Learn More:

How Much of Your Budget is Digital?

In December of 2016, just 25% marketing budgets averaged 70% of their dollars to digital efforts. 11% of those polled responded their budget less than 10% digital. Yet nearly half of the marketers cited content development as a leading tactic in their marketing.

80% of marketers in North America name lead generation and brand awareness as their top reasons for content marketing. But it isn’t enough to develop compelling and engaging content if you don’t take steps to bring your audience to it.

B-step1 How Much of Your Budget is Digital?

Ensure that your website is mobile friendly. The smartphone is the preferred access point for 87% of users. If your site can’t be easily viewed and your content easily found while in line for coffee, the site and its architecture needs work. You must build the foundation for your business first, and that foundation is your website.

B-step2 How Much of Your Budget is Digital?

Use pixels wisely. A re-messaging pixel is simply a device for finding someone that visited a page of content a second (or third) time. What you re-message these visitors with should be consistent with content they read, and over time introduce new topics and calls to action. These re-messages can drive your audience further down the funnel, introducing concepts or products that will pique interest. But don’t lean to heavily into this budget. Dial the re-messaging up too high, and your audience may be served multiple messages from you on the same page—wasting your precious dollars.

B-step3 How Much of Your Budget is Digital?

Social Media is a great place to start if you haven’t dedicated much of your budget to digital. With it you’ll learn how to target an audience, set a budget, and even list-match. These concepts can be expanded more broadly in digital display messaging, as you (and your budget) are ready. But don’t expect to “post and run.” Social media is a long play: you can’t disappear for weeks at a time. You must pay to play in this space, though you can start very small.

B-step4 How Much of Your Budget is Digital?

Open the digital floodgates. Sync your social media efforts with your digital display ones, using your learnings about what is most engaging. Segment audiences that you know have a propensity to convert, and experiment with frequencies to influence them to do so.

B-stepname1 How Much of Your Budget is Digital?
B-stepname2 How Much of Your Budget is Digital?
B-stepname3 How Much of Your Budget is Digital?
B-stepname4 How Much of Your Budget is Digital?

Whatever your budget, recognize that when used properly, digital can dramatically reduce the amount of waste in your marketing spend, by highly targeting your exact audience and serving messages in their natural internet travels. Lower cost per acquisition? Check.

Learn More:

Creative Tells the Story

Tideline Ocean Resort and Spa is a unique client. They have a strong sense of self, understanding what niche they want to fill for their clientele: a chic, boutique hotel experience with exceptional amenities, offering ocean view banquets and weddings and al fresco dining in West Palm Beach. Unfortunately, their changing ownership and management companies, along with a deflagging from a franchise hotelier left them without a usable logo, identity system or creative assets.

In addition, they needed a web presence worthy of the property itself. The vast majority of their reservations were taking place with online travel agents (OTA’s), and unnecessarily sacrificing margin to those third party entities. The return on marketing investment was untraceable, as the technology was not being used to its potential. In short, this resort needed an identity and a campaign, quickly.

Our team first performed a market analysis of competitive properties in the area. Our review included all that would appeal to the core customer of Tideline Resort, rather than focus on like-sized or properties with similar entities. What we discovered: The property’s beach was exceptional, better than the competition in space and size. The dining offerings were fresh and desirable, with a credible sushi chef and sought after brunch buffet. The spa offered traditional services, specializing in bridal groups. All of the pieces were in existence, the hotel simply needed to generate the creative assets to tell the story.

The Advance 360 Creative Team then came on site to collect video and still photo assets, staging hotel spaces, vignettes, and amenities in order to capture just the right pieces of the story.

From there, a new website/digital environment was produced and launched, as well as a campaign to generate lift in brand awareness and site visits, and reduce third party booking agents.

tideline-statsROI Creative Tells the Story
tideline-statsWeb Creative Tells the Story
tideline-logo Creative Tells the Story
tideline-photos1 Creative Tells the Story
tideline-photos2 Creative Tells the Story
tideline-photos3b Creative Tells the Story

Creative Examples

tideline-web Creative Tells the Story
tideline-print2 Creative Tells the Story
tideline-recs Creative Tells the Story
tideline-leader Creative Tells the Story

Basics for Your Travel Social Media Strategy

According to a recent study by Sprout Social, travelers are turning to social media to influence them more than ever before. In fact, only 48% of those that used social media to research travel followed through with their original plans.

Blog-BasicsTravelSocial1 Basics for Your Travel Social Media Strategy

As a destination, you certainly rely heavily on word-of-mouth marketing, so this is a trend that you simply can’t ignore. What are you doing to take advantage of these trends? At Advance 360, we recommend a few places to begin.

Develop Goals

Without a headline, call to action, or supporting text, an ad is just a pretty picture. Any ad unit you craft must have a goal and a purpose before it’s created. If you seek an increase of 1.75% in revenue over the next quarter, draft advertising units for the social spaces that push your customers or visitors toward that goal. Or if you rather change the makeup of the visitors to your property, seeking to expand your footprint to new geographies? Social media’s audience targeting can help with that, too.

Craft Something Beyond the Click

It isn’t enough to have a great ad. You also need something to explore once you’ve gained the click. You earned that click – but you won’t earn it again unless there is value to the action you’ve enticed.

Be Useful

Serve up tips, tricks, and the unexpected, and curate it well. Four Seasons, the luxury destination properties that nearly everyone knows, saw a 1000% increase in daily average visitors to their site, using this kind of strategy on Pinterest.

Don’t Bite Off More than you Can Chew

If you can’t manage SnapChat, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and a YouTube account, don’t go there. Take on only as much as you can, and then grow only once you’ve achieved success in that platform. Your audience will feel that you’ve diluted your identity and your product, and you probably won’t disagree while you’re feeling stretched too thin.

Monitor All, Measure, Repeat

Track everything. Google Analytics will help you see your work from ad to conversion. Manually analyzing metrics across platforms is time consuming and cumbersome. Instead, use the aggregating tools available to you to automate as much as you can, and make more impact.

83% of travelers trust recommendations from family and friends. Use the social space, where those conversations take place, to your advantage.

Micro-Moments Influence Travelers

The most important takeaway: if you want to be found, you better be mobile friendly. Here’s the mobile reality – in 2015, there were 1.8 billion smart phone users in the world, and 64% of the U.S. population owns a smartphone. Of that U.S. mobile population, 75.1% of them access the internet from their mobile phones, and that percentage is rising every year. With those kind of numbers, chances are that your customers are on mobile or soon will be. On top of being mobile friendly, you have to be in the customer’s path when and where they are looking for your service. What’s the best way to do that?

Travel Audiences: What’s Important to each Generation

Travel Audiences: What’s Important to each Generation

As marketers, we must be aware of how each generation consumes content to be able to reach them in a more efficient and effective way. In general, marketers should really start focusing on building experiences for travelers – experience being the main focus of every generation of traveler. As the Experience Era of Travel continues to evolve, marketers need to listen to each generation of consumers to adapt their strategies so they speak to each one.