How to Price a Marketing Proposal: Four Proven Approaches

Pricing can be one of the most sensitive parts of a marketing proposal, but these four tips can help your prospects focus on the value of your services rather than the dollar amount—and give you their Yes. Read the full article at MarketingProfs


How to Measure Your Content Marketing Efforts [Infographic]

How do you measure your content marketing efforts? Start by looking at key metrics at specific stages of the customer journey: awareness, consideration, and conversion. This infographic walks you through how to do that. Read the full article at MarketingProfs

Email Personalization: What Consumers Want From Retailers [Infographic]

Consumers say the types of retail-email personalization that they value most are targeted promotions/discounts and tailored recommendations, according to recent research from Dynamic Yield. Read the full article at MarketingProfs

How B2B Marketers Are Embracing Brand as the Top Driver of Growth

What are B2B marketers’ priorities for growth? Branding, followed by innovation and customer satisfaction. The good news? Budgets and optimism are up. The bad news? Challenges still exist. Read the full article at MarketingProfs

4 Old-School Marketing Tactics Making a Comeback in 2018

Online marketing promises a holy grail of customer acquisition where you can flip a switch and watch leads waltz through the door.

But that fairytale notion is becoming exceedingly rare and infinitely more difficult to achieve.

More than 60% of marketers say their Facebook Ads aren’t working.

So the try organic posting. But, Facebook organic reach is hovering at just 2%.

Social media traffic in general? It’s half of what it was just a few years back!

What about pay-per-click (PPC)? In 2018, the average display conversion rate is less than 1%.

Email marketing is great…

…if you can reach prospects through the noise of the 121 emails they get daily (not including promotional ones).

So, what’s left? Search engine optimization?

With 55% of marketers saying that growing their website traffic is their number one priority, it’s becoming more competitive than ever before.

More specifically, 61% stated SEO and building their organic presence as their top project.

Every single modern advertising method is going through the same cycle of conception, testing, success and inevitable saturation.

Meanwhile, we’ve completely ignored dozens of old-school marketing tactics, getting caught up in the inbound noise.

We’ve left them in the dust where “they belong.” But they’re making a resurgence.

Here are four old-school tactics that are making a comeback in this currently saturated landscape.

1. Direct mail produces massive average ROI

Did you know that the average American worker gets over 120 emails every single day? That’s just for work.

That’s not including the 49.7% of emails that people get, which is filed under their spam or promotional folders.

People are getting hundreds of them a day beyond just work.

And they’re sending 40+ business emails daily.

According to the Washington Post, the average person spends 4.1 hours every single day on their email account.

That adds up to more than 20 hours weekly.

Using their online calculator, you can plug in simple numbers and get estimates of how many hours you will write work emails for in your entire lifetime.

It’s safe to say the data is shocking.

Even 79% of people say that they check their work email on vacations.

I know I’m guilty. It’s hard not to.

So, why does all this matter for old-school marketing tactics?

Because it proves the point that email is more saturated than ever.

And it shows a clear distinction between work emails and promotional emails.

People are ignoring promotions because they are already spending 20+ hours weekly on just business emails.

So all of your outreach emails to land leads, prospects, and sales are barely getting noticed.

People aren’t checking them. Not when they have 120+ business emails to respond to.

Breaking through the noise is becoming harder and harder. A fool’s errand.

Sure, if you can do it, it can pay off big time.

But with the current amount of saturation, it’s time to think of different ways to get attention.

And with direct mail, you can do exactly that.

Direct mail? I know what you’re thinking, is this a joke?

Absolutely not. In fact, the statistics proving it’s worth will shock you.

Let me explain:

First, direct mail volume, as in the amount of direct mail sent, has declined heavily over the last decade:

Wait, Neil, I thought you were going to tell us good news?

While the decline in direct mail usage might seem like a negative, it’s the exact opposite.

Why? We’re trying to avoid saturation.

In fact, the fewer people sending direct mail, the better. It means less competition for you.

According to the DMA, direct mail is thriving still. Over 100 million adults made a catalog purchase in 2016.

And of those who receive catalogs, 42% read them. That’s a high open rate compared to emails.

Well, what about direct mail response rates? They average at 5.3%.

Compare that to email and PPC marketing that average at just 0.6%.

To add to its efficacy, 70% of people think that direct mail is more personalized than online interactions.

So, what about return on investment? The average ROI ranges from 15-17%.

You can bet that if you put hard work and effort into direct mail that you’d be seeing double that ROI, too.

Overall, the average response rate is 10-30x higher than digital efforts.

Don’t believe what people tell you about direct mail. It’s far from dead. While it may be outdated compared to online methods, the data proves it’s worth.

In a recent case study, Intronis, a cloud backup and data protection company, implemented direct mail efforts to reach big clients.

Why? Because Aaron Dun, the Chief Marketing Officer of the company was struggling with saturation.

He couldn’t reach the prospects he needed through typical marketing channels.

There was too much noise and too many competitors vying for attention.

Instead, he sent multiple direct mail pieces to each client in attempts to drive phone call engagements with his sales team.

Outlining his target prospects, he was able to ensure that his message was received.

The direct mail piece consisted of an Atari replicated unit, and a sticker saying “Intronis got game.”

Prospects who responded to the direct mail via phone or email outreach got pushed further down their funnel.

They were targeted for a second campaign, upgrading them to a new gaming system like a Playstation or Xbox.

Going even further, qualified prospects that were close to converting were sent $200 steakhouse gift cards.

It’s safe to say that they went all out.

But the result was worth the high cost of acquisition:

They generated a 35% conversion rate on their target outreach list.

With an initial group of 50 leads, they got 50% of them to schedule a 30-minute sales call with the sales team.

22% of the 50 target prospects converted into full-time customers.

Overall, their return on investment was 700%.

I know what you’re thinking: I can’t spend $10,000 on a direct mail campaign.

But let me ask you this: why not?

What if you generated a 35% conversion rate and those customers spent thousands with you over the course of a year?

Then your acquisition costs wouldn’t matter.

That’s exactly what happened to Intronis. Dun said:

“We’re willing to invest a little more in the acquisition of those customers because our expectation is that they are going to spend more with us. And, by and large, that has been the case.”

By focusing on lifetime value, they allowed themselves to spend more on acquisition, making a direct mail piece that would knock competitors out of the park.

And it clearly worked. Want to see the full story? Check it out:

This isn’t some one-off success, either. Conversion Fanatics, an SEO company, used direct mail to generate a 25% response rate and dozens of big-ticket clients.

Direct mail works and loads of companies are finding success with it.

You just have to get creative, think outside the box, and only focus on targeting big clients that would heavily impact your yearly revenue.

2. Use account-based marketing for big clients

Every marketer thinks they know “personalization.”

They slap a few [fname] brackets on their emails and call it a day.

But we all know that’s not real personalization.

Using someone’s name at scale is bottom of the barrel personalization. In fact, it’s just respect and common behavior.

It’s a weak attempt that customers see coming from a mile away.

Just because you’ve used their name doesn’t mean they will buy from you.

Not unless you use real personalization.

And data shows that the majority of customers prefer personalized offers.

Cookie-cutter marketing tactics won’t work in this saturated environment. And it’s definitely not going to stand out or build brand awareness.

Instead, you should be using account-based marketing. While it’s not directly old-school, it actually is:

Before the Internet, you had to talk individually to potential accounts. To woo them. To build real, one-on-one relationships.

And that’s what ABM is all about!

So, what exactly is it?

ABM flips the typical funnel on its head:

Where inbound marketing seeks to follow a buyer’s journey from awareness to purchase, ABM instead identifies targets beforehand.

You qualify prospects upfront, ensuring that you don’t waste money when your leads drop off further down the funnel.

You only target the best of the best and set yourself up for big wins and big clients.

ABM is a fundamentally different approach than standard inbound marketing campaigns.

With inbound, you are focusing on casting a massive net and roping in as many leads as possible.

With ABM, you focus on accounts as their own individual market.

This allows you to get extremely personal and build actual relationships with each prospect or target account.

Instead of blasting out email campaigns that aren’t personalized based on each prospect’s wants and needs, hoping to land a few percent, you send out individualized campaigns that directly tap into each account’s pain points for maximum impact.

Every marketing campaign you send is laser-focused on one account and their business.

Optimizely is a perfect example of this strategy in action. At a marketing conference, they unveiled their strategy of ABM and how they targeted 26 different accounts:

Using dynamic landing pages, they optimized each one for a different account. For example, in the image above, they targeted Microsoft as their own market.

Meaning Microsoft got a fully custom experience directly targeted to their specific wants and needs, rather than a generalized idea of those pain points.

Using that approach, they saw a 117% jump in account signups.

According to a survey, 97% said ABM had a higher ROI than other marketing mediums.

On top of high ROIs, 84% said it improved relationships between clients and their company:

While ABM isn’t exactly old-school, it’s built on old-school foundations of actually talking to clients and servicing their individual needs.

To the days when business lunches were key to success.

According to Marketo, the average returns for B2B ABM are huge. Using personalized campaigns for target accounts, you can expect 33% conversion rates.

Plus, your qualified lead gen rate will explode:

ABM is the go-to tactic that mimics old-school marketing with new-school efforts.

It follows a traditional model of a few key steps:

  1. Lay out your firmographics: what account demographics are most likely to buy from your business
  2. Find targets: identify businesses that could benefit from your product
  3. Produce content: create personalized content for each target account.

Once you’ve done those three steps, you can start to build real relationships that drive massive sales for your business.

Account-based marketing is thriving using old-school principles.

Combine it with direct mail and you’re on your way to building a huge business.

3. Attend a conference prepared for selling

Attending conferences used to be an amazing way to build connections that produced leads and sales.

It’s just like account-based marketing: you focus on a small list of people that you want to talk to in hopes of bringing in new business.

It’s old-school. It’s the classic way of business that’s all but been destroyed by inbound marketing.

But now when you bring up the idea, most people see it as a waste of time and money.

That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Most people just don’t do conferences right. They don’t have a plan.

They don’t have specific goals, objectives, and ways of reaching them.

Or they see it as too expensive. But remember:

Nothing is too expensive if your potential ROI outpaces your acquisition costs.

Spending $10,000 on a conference and business dinners is a no-brainer if you are likely to land five new clients, each paying you thousands a month.

By using a combination of direct mail, events, and telemarketing, one company generated a 300% ROI, landing 140 new clients.

HubSpot’s “unbooth” at Dreamforce generated 2,300 new leads and 362 product demos.

Attending conferences works.

You just have to come in ready and with a plan.

To start, begin by looking for conferences in your area.

Simple Google searches can net instant results for events in your niche:

For example, the first link gives me an interactive map of where the upcoming marketing conferences are being held:

It even provides a direct list of information including costs, direct location, description info, date range and website links:

Next, click on a conference that you think you’d want to attend or could attend for cheap in your immediate area.

For example, I selected the IBM Think 2018 conference in Las Vegas:

Directly on their website, you can start to look for sponsors and partners, giving you a clear idea of what types of companies will be attending:

With the sponsor list, I found an entire goldmine of company data:

From premium sponsors to multiple level sponsors, I can see exactly what companies are attending.

This single conference has hundreds of sponsors:

From smaller companies to massive accounts like Salesforce.

Now that you know exactly who’s attending this conference based on sponsors alone, you can start to research each company individually, seeing which ones are a good fit for your business.

For example, let’s say you have a SaaS tool. You sell heat mapping technology and want to land some big-ticket clients at this event.

You could use a site like BuiltWith, to analyze what software each company on that list uses:

Maybe they are even using your competitor.

You can then leverage this information into a sales pitch, undercutting them and potentially landing yourself a game-changing client.

Repeating this process of research based on your own company and product, you can identify exact targets to make connections with at the conference for big returns.

4. Pick up the phone and start dialing

In October of 2016, mobile and tablet traffic online passed traffic from desktops:

This historical change to the way we thought about Internet traffic has some serious implications.

Currently, 51%+ of traffic is now mobile and tablet based.

More than 50% of Google searches are done on mobile phones.

Almost all Facebook browsing is done with mobile apps, too.

The fact of the matter is, mobile traffic is exploding. And mobile searches lead to phone calls.

A new report found that 75% of phone calls to a business come from smartphones.

Mobile search is the main driver of calls out of any medium or source:

Now is the time to start picking up the phone and start dialing.

The old-school medium of phone calls is making a resurgence. And the numbers are positive.

That same report found that calls have, on average, 30-50% conversion rates. That’s virtually unheard of in most other mediums.

And current marketing technology for phone calls is outstanding.

One of my favorite tools to use to integrate old-school efforts of phone calls to online efforts like landing pages is CallRail.

Using CallRail, I can track each visitor on my site individually, generating a diverse profile of information from their phone number to location and their exact web session:

Meaning I can tell what pages drove interest.

Which ones sparked a desire to browse more.

And most importantly: what products, services, or content topics kept them on my site.

All of that data is invaluable in marketing.

It helps you sell with ease as you can quickly address pain points without asking tiresome questions.

By using CallRail’s Keyword Pool feature, every visitor on your site gets their own phone number, tracking their page views, keywords and interest:

With a tracking number, users that call into your business will be recorded on your dashboard with all of their information, too:

Now all that’s left for you to do is pick up the phone and start dialing.

Contact your customers and reach them on a medium that converts well.

Use your data to your advantage.

Knowing their browsing history will give you clues into their interests and even their funnel stage.

For example, are they a return visitor? If so, how many times have they visited your site?

Data shows that on average, users take 7-13 touches to become a lead.

Next, look at their specific history. For example, are they just reading your blog posts?

If so, they are likely still at the top of your funnel. They are becoming more brand aware with each visit.

If they start to view product pages and pricing or click on lead magnets, you can tell they are further down your funnel, nearly ready to convert.

Phone calls are a great way to connect with prospects.

In fact, according to State of Inbound, the most successful channel to connect with prospects is via phone:

And that goes for every single level of seniority in your company.

Phone calls can help you drive tons of sales, even in 2018.


Online marketing promises the world at our fingertips.

We click a few buttons, flip a few virtual switches and campaigns are live, published to the masses.

But soon, the traffic stops. Or it simply “doesn’t work.”

Why? Saturation.

As tactics start to become commonplace, they produce diminishing returns.

What worked five years ago doesn’t work with as much efficiency today.

You can’t run a banner ad and expect everybody to click it.

Meanwhile, we’ve all but neglected old-school methods like direct mail, account-based marketing and more.

But that’s actually a good thing. With everybody focused on inbound tactics, old-school ones aren’t as saturated as they once were.

In fact, customers are more receptive than ever to them.

To get started, consider running direct mail campaigns. They produce a 15-17% ROI on average. The average response rates are 10-30x higher than digital efforts.

Combine that with account-based marketing and you’ll be landing big clients in no time.

Consider attending a conference. They are still alive and well.

If all else fails, pick up the phone and start dialing. And most importantly of all:

Tie back old-school methods with new-school efforts like landing pages.

Sometimes, the old, forgotten marketing tactics can produce the best results.

About the Author: Neil Patel is the cofounder of Neil Patel Digital.


Using Email to Increase Repeat Purchases for your eCommerce Store

Getting prospects to convert to customers is one thing. But, how do you get customers to buy again and again after the first purchase? It’s more than just ‘nice to have’, consistent repeat purchases can be the difference between success and failure. This is where attentive, behavior based emails become important.

At Kissmetrics, we have a product that is built around the ability to powerfully segment your customers based on their behaviors so you can deliver the right engagement (ad, email, etc.) at the right time to the right customer and drive more repeat (and first time!) purchases. The better you align your messaging with actions your customers have taken, the more success you’ll have. This post focuses on email engagement, but check out our Connections feature which enables you to send Populations (segments) directly to Facebook and more.

So what kinds of emails should you send? How often should you send them, and what should they contain? Here are a few of the best examples of eCommerce follow-up emails and why they work so well.

One more thing – this is just a start. What are some of your most successful campaigns? Let us know below.

The Repurchase Reminder

Oftentimes, when you make a purchase on a website, they email you immediately after encouraging you to buy again. This marketing strategy is rooted in the idea that customers are likely to come back and purchase while your brand is still fresh in their mind. But oftentimes, companies send emails out immediately and when the customer (naturally) doesn’t respond, they no longer follow up.

If your repeat purchase numbers are flat-lining and your emails are stale, why not wait until more time has passed (depending on how often the customer uses the product) to remind them? Here’s a great example from Sephora, which reminds the customer to restock based on how much time has passed since their first purchase:

Sephora reminds the user to restock based on their past purchase. (Image Source)

Another creative spin on the restock email comes from Clinique. Since their data likely shows that women tend to shop online for beauty products more than men, they wouldn’t have as much luck sending a shaving gel refill reminder to men — so they advertised a refill reminder for him, to her. See how they did it:

An advertisement for men’s shaving gel — targeted to women, who are likely the ones shopping for beauty products. (Image Source)

We Miss You!

One alternative on the restock/repurchase follow-up email is tailored to the bargain hunter, like this email from Starbucks. There’s no better way to stay top-of-mind than with a coupon, and many customers actively wait to purchase until they get a deal. Knowing this, why not reach out with a discount?

This reminder from the Starbucks Store gets right to the point with a discount for customers that haven’t shopped in awhile. (Image Source)

Going Beyond “How Did We Do?”

For the customer who doesn’t have time to write up a huge review, but the company still needs their feedback data to work with, I present to you the Amazon 1-click review:

Amazon encourages busy customers to simply click to review the size of garments they’ve purchased online. (Image Source)

Of course, you’ve likely received plenty of emails asking for your feedback, and even some that go the extra mile by giving you a discount coupon, entering you into a contest and much more. But this one is noted for its pure simplicity plus its unobtrusive style. It doesn’t get in the way — one click and you’re done.

And speaking of Amazon, you already know that they’re the e-commerce leader simply because of how much they test, monitor, tweak and track everything about their site. One of the more famous changes was adding in the “Customers who bought X, also bought Y” feature. Now much more commonplace on e-commerce sites, this “Frequently purchased together” option often encourages greater purchase volume per customer.

But what happens when they don’t purchase all of the items together? Is emailing them about it a lost cause? Not exactly…

Frequently Purchased Together

Not all “Frequently Purchased Together” emails have to be a sales pitch. And if the customer didn’t buy them when they were originally presented, there must have been a reason.

Of course, the reasons why customers choose not to buy could be a whole other blog post in itself, but knowing what you know, why not steer the customer more toward educating them about the product add-ons or accessories rather than simply presenting them?

An example of a Thank You follow-up email from BabyFirst. (Image Source)

Since, in the example above, the customer is shopping for baby-friendly TV shows, the company naturally recommends a couple of DVDs that a baby or toddler might like, as well as a coupon and directions on how to get it for free.

The Window Shopper

With all of the email examples showcased so far, you’d need the appropriate data based on what the customer bought previously. But what if they haven’t bought yet, and are only looking? Are you out of luck? Not at all. Provided you have the prospect’s email address (a pop up that offers a discount emailed to them is a great way to collect more emails), you can still send them reminders, even if they haven’t added a product to their cart:

Recommendations on shirts and a reminder based on shirts and slacks previously looked at, from Calvin Klein. (Image Source)

Here’s another example that reminds the user of the products they browsed in case they want to take another look and don’t want to have to sift through their browser history:

An email reminding the user of the products they looked at. (Image Source)

*Major Tip*: Kissmetrics ties anonymous users to identified ones (aka: when you collect their email), so you can measure the average number of visits before someone makes a purchase and factor that into when you send them emails, serve them ads, etc.!

Use Demographics to Sell

As opposed to many of our other examples, these emails do not rely on previous purchases. They start fresh with new product recommendations based on the demographics.
For example – has it been raining in Minnesota for the past few days? Find all your prospects located in Minnesota and send them an email showcasing your umbrellas.

Many of your prospects are likely either searching for one because a) they don’t have one or b) the one they have is old, has holes, etc.

This is just a take on what we said earlier – good marketing is the right message at the right time to the right person.

This is a tactic used by some of Kissmetrics’ most successful customers – it might seem simple, but people in different regions shop differently and putting a little effort into making that obvious in your email campaigns will go a long way.

New Product Recommendations Based on Past Purchases

Finally, we have the “new product recommendations” email. Rather than always notifying customers every time you have new items in stock (and hoping they might like some of them), why not segment the new product announcement emails based on what the customer has purchased previously? They’re much more likely to buy, and they’ll welcome the added personalized attention!

Despite the different products and industries, all of these emails have one major thing in common — and that is a dedicated — almost fanatical attention to customer orders, browsing habits and preferences. And although you may be doing a great deal of e-commerce by email, there are still, as these emails demonstrate, new ideas and approaches that can be capitalized on.

About Kissmetrics

Kissmetrics is a data-driven segmentation and engagement solution built to provide marketers with deep behavioral insights to power more targeted emails and ads. If you’re an eCommerce brand looking to turn more window shoppers into repeat purchasers through better customer engagement, request a demo here.


Create Your Business’s First Mobile App in Eight Steps [Infographic]

When you’re creating a mobile app, it’s helpful to know whether your idea is useful to consumers, what to ask development partners, how to get set up in the app store, and more. Today’s infographic will guide you through those questions to app success. Read the full article at MarketingProfs