How to spot errors in your marketing strategy and discover if you spent your money wisely?

Mailrelay , Invited guest @ Mailrelay

Investing in marketing is something every entrepreneur should do periodically. In fact, only those who do that get the best results from their strategies, regardless of their industry.

To keep growing, you’ll have to reinvest some of the resources to further optimize your strategy or apply new techniques such as link building or targeted email marketing campaigns.

But how can you tell if you have done things correctly and should continue to invest your resources in what seemed a priori a good idea?

It is very common to see how brands and professionals make marketing investment decisions based on what other companies are doing, or because someone who doesn’t have accurate data about the niche said it would be a good idea.

So to prevent you from making this mistake, in this article, I’ll talk about:

·  3 factors that will alert you when your investment is not working

What investment criteria you should consider when implementing an email marketing strategy in your business. 

While it is true that this is not a bargain, because you should always value the professional or vendor who will advise you and help you implement all the necessary marketing actions in your business plan, in many cases, the investment doesn’t bring the expected results.

The reasons may vary, but if the results are not good, something happened, perhaps with your strategy or probably with your goals.

Next, I’ll show you the three most obvious indicators that your marketing investment may not be working:

1) Negative ROI

If you are not familiar with this term, ROI stands for Return On Investment.

This is an indicator that tells you about the return on your investment. That is, how much money you generated from the marketing campaign you have paid for.

Today, we will talk about the resources you are spending on marketing. But the first step will be to check your budget and your other resources.

Once you know how much you are spending and the results you are getting, you will be able to generate reports and check your ROI.

When the ROI is positive, it means that the actions taken are paying off, and the investment is profitable. But if it’s negative, it’s just the opposite.

Therefore, a negative ROI is a clear indicator that your marketing investment was unsuccessful. 

Your competitors are getting your customers

2) Your competitors are getting your customers

Another sign that your strategy is not doing well is when you detect that your competitors are taking over your space. If they start to grow and you have no progress whatsoever, it’s time to ask yourself why and take steps to resolve it. 

Obviously, don’t believe what is posted on social media because, on many occasions, inflating the results is usually part of a marketing strategy (more or less ethical, an issue we won’t address here).

To closely monitor the competition, you should apply what is known as “funnel hacking” and use powerful analytical tools such as SEMrush or HypeAuditor.

Funnel hacking is a “spying” technique used by many companies. What they do is to subscribe to their competitors’ databases and monitor what they are doing.

For instance, you could subscribe to a personal email address and use an advanced system to check their actions. This is a legitimate strategy that can help you spot changes in the planning of other companies  in your industry.

This way, not only will you be able to bridge the gap between other professionals in your industry and you, but you can also take advantage of it all.

3) Lack of results

If it has been a reasonable time since you made your marketing investment (about three months), but you are still in the same place and have not advanced at all, it is likely that the actions you have taken are not going in the right direction.

In this case, you should stop and audit to detect where the problem is. When you find it, the next step will be to rethink your investment and direct it to another path that yields better results. 

Different factors are involved in the success of a marketing strategy, and you must identify which one is failing and correct it.

Aspects you should consider when investing in email marketing

· Aspects you should consider when investing in email marketing.

Admittedly, email marketing is one of the most direct and effective channels for communicating with your audience, but it won’t be helpful if you don’t have measurable goals set.

According to HubSpot statistical studies, there are already over 5.6 billion active email accounts. And that means most of your visitors will have at least one email address; If you are offering relevant information on your site, they will be willing to subscribe to your newsletter.

While there is no doubt that email marketing offer advantages for virtually every type of business, you should know that specifically this strategy is:

● Cheaper than other advertising campaigns. You could even send email marketing for free; you only need to create an account on an email marketing software like Mailrelay.

● Measurable. Email marketing platforms, such as Mailrelay, offer statistical reporting. Once you’ve sent a campaign, you can set up the criteria you are most interested in measuring and, with one click, get advanced statistical data about your newsletters. 

 Highly profitable in terms of ROI. When you spend 1 Euro on email marketing, you can make a profit of up to 40 euros.

● Scalable. This means that with the same investment of resources and time, you can reach 500 people or 50,000 (depending on the size of your audience). 

In this sense, we could say that investing in email marketing is a very lucrative solution. 

However, before looking for new alternatives, you should work to make the most of the human and technical resources you already have. 

To get better results with your email campaigns, you will need to plan the steps you will take in advance and seek technical or professional information to help you. The list of experts working with you should include:

  1. Funnel and automation specialists.
  2.  Marketing consultant in related areas (SEO, blogs, social media.).
  3.  Copywriter or editor specializing in email copywriting.
  4.  Programmer or expert in HTML design and layout.
  5.  Responsible for the process.
  6.  Experts in interpreting results and making decisions.
  7.  Advanced Email Marketing software.

Regardless of whether or not you have qualified professionals to work with these aspects on your team, before deciding whether to invest resources in email marketing, you should analyze your assets. Once you know what you have in your hands, you can look for tools and professionals that can help you improve your chances of getting good results.

And to detect if you are investing in new features correctly, let’s look at some criteria that will help you make the right decision in this area:

Profitability Compared to other marketing actions 

Profitability Compared to other marketing actions 

Email marketing is the most effective channel so far  more than social media or offline marketing. But if you don’t invest properly, it will be very difficult to get positive results.

If for example, your staff knows how to work with campaigns on Facebook or Google Ads, it may be more profitable to bet on this channel before seeking third party support to send an email marketing campaign (although of course one thing is not at odds with the other).

Therefore, my recommendation is that when you decide to invest in email marketing, before researching the different options, you should identify which one can deliver the best performance.

►  Actual use of different tools

Before you start working with an email marketing software, check out what resources your business will really need.

If you don’t understand your needs, you may end up paying for a plan that does not meet your needs; If you pay for something you will not use, you are wasting money and lowering your profit margins.

Don’t spend your money on services you won’t need. Why should you pay for something you will only need in the future?

This way, your investment will be successful, and your ROI as high as possible. Additionally, most tools, such as Mailrelay, offer a free version that you can use to test your first campaigns and make the best decision. 

Some of the most basic features you should check are:

● Packages to send a newsletter. That is, you should check available plans and prices.

● Automation. If you want to create automated email sequences, this feature must be enabled in your account. Most tools include it in all their plans; however, when you choose one of them, make sure your  project will allow it.

● Segmentation. This feature is handy for sorting your contact list by interest and for sending a newsletter based on this data.

● Drag & drop editor. If you are unfamiliar with HTML, this feature is essential for you. With this kind of editor, you can create your emails simply and effortlessly.

●  Reports. As I said before, you must get metrics from your campaigns so that you can verify that your marketing investment is delivering the desired results and make changes when needed. You should always check your reports to understand what is going on with your email campaigns.

● A/B testing. Sometimes something fails, and you don’t know why. To find out, you can create two versions of the same email and measure which one works best. This will be vital to spotting problems before they start to affect your digital marketing strategy.

►  Past Campaign Experience and Results 

When investing in marketing to create a new campaign, you must consider whether or not the person in charge has previous experience in strategic management.

The reason is that the experience brings security, and probably if the manager has run similar campaigns before, the results will be more promising than if this is the first time he is facing this challenge.

However, you can refer to past metrics to compare results and conclude whether the investment was worth it or not. And for that, you can see data like:

● Open Rate. The number of times your subscribers opened your newsletters.

● Click-through rate. That is, the number of users who clicked on the links included in the email. 

● Conversion rate. The number of users who purchased from you or who did what you requested.

● ROI. Remember that this parameter must always be positive for your marketing investment to be profitable.

● Bounce rate. The number of email addresses that could not receive your email marketing campaign.

● Opt-out rate. Or the number of people who unsubscribed from your mailing list after reading the email.

Whether internally or externally, you must have control of all these metrics before, during, and after campaigns to make good decisions that favor your marketing investment.

After reading all this information, do you think the investments you have made so far have been profitable for your business?

I’d like to invite you to review your strategy to check your results.

If these results are not satisfactory, change direction as soon as possible. It is normal to make mistakes, but correct them quickly before the consequences are irreversible.

Daniel Bocardo

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