Author Archive

Email Marketing: One good reason to segment your list

June 3rd, 2014

I am a frequent shopper at J. Crew.

It is a great brand and I even have one of the store credit cards with the absurd interest rate because I‘ve shopped there to the point that I’ve convinced myself the perks far outweigh the costs.

After all of my online purchases and in-store interactions, I would love to think J. Crew has a tremendous amount of data on my purchase history.

So when I recently received an email from J. Crew that challenged those beliefs, I wanted to share it in this MarketingSherpa Blog post as a great example of why segmentation is so vital in today’s marketplace.


Every inbox is only one step from the trash

Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director, MECLABS, often says a typical email recipient skims their email inbox for what can be deleted.

I agree because I never can think of a time when I was relieved by the sight of a massive pile of emails that I needed to sift through.

I also trust J. Crew and have an interest in what it sends me, so when I read the subject line:

“Something very good for you is inside…”

It sparked my interest, especially when coupled with the preheader of “25% off (exclusions apply).”



It definitely got a click from me.

Here’s the email I opened after reading the subject line. The research manager in me can’t help but analyze its contents.



The body of the email, while being simplistic, has continuity from the subject line.

Well played, J. Crew!

There was also no superfluous content from what I could tell, which can distract recipients and even cause abandonment.

The call-to-action matched my expectations from the subject line and there was no attempt to make a sale in the body of the email.

All of these factors combined convinced me to click through.


And then it happened

Here’s a screenshot of the landing page J. Crew sent me to.



It did a great job at capturing my interest with the subject line and converting that attention into action – in the form of a clickthrough. However, it lost me on the landing page.

I landed here, looked at the page for a few seconds and left.

One thing the company should have known about me from my purchase history is that I’m unlikely to purchase women’s apparel.

Read more…

B2B Marketing: 3 simple tips for creating PPC ads

November 25th, 2013

Originally published on B2B LeadBlog

When it comes to PPC ads, writing copy with limited headline and description character spaces can be tough.

Copywriting in a confined space can feel more like an art, especially when you consider crafting social media PPC messaging for a highly targeted audience versus search engines ads, in which a keyword strategy impacts your message.

Overall, one thing I’ve seen in my experiences in working with our Research Partners is the basics of copywriting are often a first casualty in PPC ad design. Here are three basic tips for creating ads that you can use to help you communicate effectively with prospects.

Tip #1. Highlight your value proposition

If your value proposition is unclear, you are missing opportunities because prospects are naturally attracted to choices that provide them with the most value.

Your PPC ads should be focused on answering the central question that is at the heart of all your marketing: “If I am your ideal prospect, why should I click on your PPC ad instead of your competitors’?”

Delivering a marketing message that communicates value in less than 100 characters is difficult, but it’s not impossible and absolutely necessary.

Also, here are a few more questions every marketer should ask themselves in regard to value proposition development when crafting PPC ads:

  • What problems does our product or service solve for our prospects?
  • How will our products or services improve their business?

Tip #2. Prepare prospects for what to expect after they click

It’s important to remember the job of your ad is just to get a click from a prospect. A way to help you do this is by preparing visitors for the action they will be taking once they have clicked on the ad.

Including information about what visitors can use your website for such as “browsing,” “view pricing” and “save favorites” will clue prospects into what they can do on your landing page.

Tip #3. Relevant images matter

A PPC ad is a lot easier to change than a website. As I mentioned in the last tip, your ad needs to effectively communicate what the visitor can expect on the landing page. This idea is all about relevance.

LinkedIn ads specifically let you use images as part of your advertising, which is a boon to your communication efforts given the old adage that a picture is worth 1,000 words.

The screenshot above is from a few ads on my LinkedIn page that are a good example of why using the right image in your ads is important.

Maybe green neckties are somehow relevant to email marketing, but I’m not seeing the connection.

On the other ad, an image of Cornell’s logo and the 12-week certification copy make much more sense to me as a prospect. Granted, the ad also has some room for improvement, but the image and copy work together to set the right expectations.

To learn more, you can watch the free on-demand MarketingExperiments Web clinic replay of “Optimizing PPC Ads.” Also, feel free to share any recommended tips you have for PPC ads in the comments below.

Related Resources:

Social Media: How Motorola Solutions uses Facebook to generate more engagement

B2B Social Media Marketing: DocuSign’s targeted LinkedIn InMail strategy creates 3 large pipeline opportunities

Marketing Research Chart: What is the biggest B2B marketing challenge?

Search Marketing: 3 common mistakes marketers make using Google AdWords

May 17th, 2013

Through testing with our Research Partners, I’ve discovered a few common mistakes marketers make when crafting paid search campaigns using Google AdWords.

So, in today’s MarketingSherpa blog post, my goal is to provide you with a few fundamentals  to aid  paid search marketing efforts and, hopefully, help you avoid a few pitfalls along the way.


Mistake #1: Grouping all keywords into one ad group

Keywords are the heart of your ads and relevance is their soul.

So, if you lump all of your keywords into one ad group, the impact will be some keywords become highly relevant to the ad group while others are not.

This is a common mistake marketers make under the guise that the tactic will boost impressions. It will – but this approach is more expensive and those less relevant keywords that boost impressions are also likely to underperform.

Think of it this way … would you run an ad for plumbing fixtures in People magazine with the expectations that it will perform like an ad for the latest celebrity perfume line?


Mistake #2: Not testing ads

Another common mistake marketers make is not testing their ads.

Although testing is something we live and breathe every day at MECLABS, it’s important to understand in digital marketing, there are no sacred cows. Speculation on campaign performance is for the birds – unless you test, you’ll never discover what really works.

So, my suggestion is that you test. With AdWords, having two or more tests running is ideal as there is no other way to effectively benchmark an ad’s performance efficiently.

Read more…