Is it just me, or did 2014 go by really, really fast?
Anyway, it’s time to say goodbye to 2014 and start planning for 2015!
For marketers, that means developing a marketing plan for next year; for most people, it’s time to make a New Year’s Resolution. How about you take care of both?
Here are some marketing resolutions to get you started for 2015. Share the ones you plan to accomplish with your social network!
1. I resolve to sync my CRM with my Marketing Automation system. <<Tweet this!
Updated, comprehensive data is the best kind of data! Most likely, the data in your CRM will be the most up-to-date information you have on your customers and prospects. But what about your marketing automation system? Just like your internal sales and marketing teams, your sales and marketing software solutions also need to work together.
Most marketing automation systems can integrate with CRMs; just ask your account rep which ones are compatible and how to create the connection. If the two solutions you already have do not integrate (a common issue), then an API is the way to go.
2. I resolve to clean up my data across all systems. <<Tweet this!
As said above, the best data is up-to-date, clean data. Think of all the sales you could be missing because you don’t have the right email address or phone number! Or, you could be trying to reach out to someone who doesn’t even work at the company anymore!
What better time to clean up your data than the beginning of a new year?
Do some research on your hottest prospects to make sure you’re in contact with the right people; reach out to your customers with an email campaign to confirm that their data is correct. Or, to completely clean up your data, though through a much more tedious method, is to go through your entire database and manually check that you have the correct information. It probably can’t be done in one day, but with enough people (and interns!) to help, you can ensure that your data is up-to-date.
3. I resolve to use social media technology to better manage my campaigns. <<Tweet this!
If you’re not using social media yet then that should be your resolution for 2015. Otherwise, take your social media efforts to the next level with technology!
Use something like Hootsuite to manage all of your social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. You can schedule posts, track brand mentions, and analyze the data all in one dashboard. TweetDeck is similar to Hootsuite, but is only for Twitter management and analysis. There many more social media monitoring and marketing tools out there for you to choose from, so pick the one that best fits your marketing needs and goals.
4. I resolve to do more email tests. <<Tweet this!
ABT: Always Be Testing! And there’s no better way to test messaging, content, and design than through email tests. Which subject line will encourage your prospects to open your email? Test it! Does the color or placement of your main CTA button have an effect on click-through rates? Test it! The testing possibilities are endless depending on your company’s goals.
Many email marketing software solutions include a testing function on their platform for you to easily create and analyze email tests, but this can be done manually, too.
5. I resolve to experiment with video marketing. <<Tweet this!
Video marketing is shaping up to be one of the biggest trends to keep an eye on 2015. Instead of watching your competitors get a head-start, jump on the video train and start producing content of your own!
Demos and explainer videos are a great start to your video library, but don’t limit yourself to just the basic ideas. Experiment with different messages and target audiences; try out animated versus live-action formats; test different platforms (paid and unpaid) to host your videos. The important thing for 2015 is just to try; once you’ve developed the videos and have some data to analyze, then you can start to optimize these campaigns for your goals.
6. I resolve to implement analytics across all marketing campaigns. <<Tweet this!
Hopefully, you’re tracking a lot of your marketing campaigns already, but in 2015 I challenge you to expand your analytics and tracking efforts to cover ALL of the marketing your team does for your company. By the end of next year, you should have a complete picture of what your team contributed to the company through marketing.
7. I resolve to create an optimized lead generation landing page. <<Tweet this!
One of your main marketing goals is to generate leads, and one way to accomplish that goal is with a landing page. However, you can’t just create the page, slap on some content, insert a form, and set it live! Like any other marketing campaign, it needs to be optimized to generate the leads that you want.
Briefly, an optimized lead gen landing page has:
- A core value add
- A short form
- Two calls to action
- Trust elements
- Readable text and content
For a more in-depth explanation, take a look at our anatomy of a software landing page infographic.
8. I resolve to stay up-to-date with and follow all CAN-SPAM legislation. <<Tweet this!
If there’s one resolution on this list that is more requirement than goal, it’s this one. The CAN-SPAM (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing) Act was passed in 2003 to “address the rapid growth in unwanted commercial electronic mail messages.”
Like any other legislation, it changes every once in a while so make sure you’re aware of the latest changes and what it means for your email marketing. CAN-SPAM only covers email recipients in the United States, so if your email lists include other countries, research how those countries treat commercial emails and if you should change any of your tactics based on those findings. We published a blog post this year after Canada made some changes to their anti-spam legislation that I recommend reading if you target Canadian customers or do business in Canada.
9. I resolve to improve my email opt-in rates. <<Tweet this!
Never buy an email list!! Those people don’t know who you are, probably don’t want to hear from you, and your IP reputation and deliverability could be harmed. There are many other ways to develop email lists that don’t include buying one. In 2015, start experimenting with different tactics that could improve your email opt-in rates and your overall list quality.
Start with a one-off blast to your current list reminding them that they’re on your list and can opt out if they no longer want to receive emails from you. To gather new email addresses, add CTAs to your website and blog that offer a special piece of content or an exclusive newsletter as an incentive for people to join your list. The best way to find the right tactic to grow your list is to TEST! Try a bunch of different opt-in tactics and see which ones get the best response, both in quality and quantity.
10. I resolve to develop a mobile-friendly website. <<Tweet this!
Here are a few interesting statistics to consider:
- 79% of smartphone owners also use their devices to shop
- Smartphone use most often occurs during travel (72%), in restaurants (64%), and in stores (63%)
- 62% of emails are opened on mobile
If those stats haven’t convinced you of the importance of mobile optimization, then I don’t know what will! Smartphone use globally is predicted to reach 2 billion by 2015. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly yet, next year it needs to be!
Make your website responsive so that it’s easy to use across all mobile platforms. Put your main CTA and contact information in an easily accessible place. Keep the design simple so that your site can load quickly on various data networks. There are even more ways to create a mobile-friendly website so do your research in preparation for 2015.
11. I resolve to automate more of my marketing tasks. <<Tweet this!
There just aren’t enough hours in the day for a marketer! Instead of burning you and your team out, automate some of those menial tasks so you can focus on the big picture. As implied in the name, marketing automation software can help you accomplish that goal.
It can send mass, targeted emails with just the press of a button; analyze data across all your campaigns; and send emails triggered by a prospect’s activity. Save yourself some time (and sanity) by learning how to automate your manual marketing tasks.
12. I resolve to gather more reviews of my product or service. <<Tweet this!
Reviews have become more and more important to customers before making a purchase, especially if it’s a significant investment. With the popularity of Yelp and Amazon.com, leaving a review is more common now. Customers want to share their experiences, and potential customers will read them. This means that it’s even easier to collect those reviews! Check out these three ways to get more reviews to help you get started in 2015.
13. I resolve to test and optimize social media ads. <<Tweet this!
Facebook and Twitter aren’t just for telling the world what you had for lunch today or stalking your ex’s latest activity. According to Pew Research, 74% of online adults use social media. That’s a huge potential audience to reach, so more and more businesses are using paid social ads to target their prospects.
Different social networks target different audiences. Use the network that makes the most sense with your message. If you’re trying to reach businesses, LinkedIn is best, since it’s a professional social network. If you want to target people with a fun piece of content, then Facebook is the place to promote it as those people are most likely looking to take a quick break from their day. Only through trying and testing will you find the right network for your message.
14. I resolve to personalize more of my marketing campaigns and messages. <<Tweet this!
Pop quiz: would you be more likely to respond to an email that started with “Hi, <FirstName>” or one that started, “Hi, Caroline”? Probably the latter (assuming your name is Caroline). Personalization creates a more familiar tone between the prospect and your brand, facilitating future positive interactions between the two.
Personalization is not just for emails, though. Based on a prospect’s behavior, you can serve them different ad messages. Were they looking at your deals on cruise trips? Serve them an ad of the exact trip they were looking at. Did they show a lot of interest in your content marketing blog? Suggest an eBook about content marketing in an email or in an ad. The great thing about personalization is that the possibilities are truly endless!
15. I resolve to move from an Excel spreadsheet to software. <<Tweet this!
Really? Are you still using a spreadsheet to track your company’s marketing data? Store all of your customer and prospect information in a CRM. Create, send, and analyze mass email campaigns with email marketing software. Nurture incoming leads and send them to your sales team once they’re ready with marketing automation software.
There are over 300 different categories of software that can help you part with Excel spreadsheets forever, and you can start your search today on Capterra.
What other marketing New Years resolutions are you making for 2015? Share them in the comments below.
Looking for Marketing Automation software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Marketing Automation software solutions.