Tuesday, 28 February 2012 by Peter Bell

Can you handle the Pressure of Performance Marketing?

It is said, You are only as good as yesterdays leads. 

Performance Marketing must be one of the most scrutinised areas of modern marketing. One day you are weeding out lead fraud and validation issues and others you are constantly tinkering with optimisation options to extract more conversions from the same budget. Every day could be good, bad or indifferent. This is a daily grind or a daily pleasure, depending how well you are doing!

For Performance Marketing Executives to manage their time effectively and be successful, it is vital to streamline and automate as many lead marketing tasks as possible:
  • Set auto volume caps and quality thresholds by publisher and channel to optimise performance
  • Loop back real-time sales information rather than chase people for spreadsheets that have to be reformatted anyway
  • Experiment with staggered trigger welcome email frequency rather than blasting manually at unplanned times
  • Use APIs to take real-time feeds into the database to save on manual uploads and internal IT resource
  • Create a repository of email/banner/co-reg creatives that be easily modified and reskined for different campaigns
  • Use tracking technology that requires as little manual intervention as possible

With these elements taking care of themselves it will free up more time where the real world experience and gut-feel of a true performance marketer can make the biggest impact i.e. the fun stuff!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012 by Peter Bell

Is your database built on quicksand?

Ive got 5m names on my email database!  Well, Ive got 10m on mine!  Weve all heard the boasts of having humongous prospect databases without being backed up by any similar boasts about performance. Whether you are an email list owner or a blue-chip brand with a enquirer file - the problem remains the same.  In times of need when you email said database to generate revenue on a penny broadcast basis, it still returns a pitiful amount of value for the effort.  You can test all the subject lines, times of day and creative treatments in the world but if your database if not highly engaged with your brand it wont make a blind bit of difference.

So honestly ask yourself the question - Is your database built on quicksand?  Are you constantly topping up whilst the bottom falls out of it every month?  This strategy of diminishing returns cant go on forever!

In the case of databases, size simply doesnt matter.  The boast should be Ive got a database that generates 10k customers for me/my clients every month!  Care about the size of the return not the number of random email addresses on file. This is something Groupon perfectly exemplifies as a marketing machine.  Their model tells them exactly how many customers they deliver for their advertisers every month. It is the role of the advertiser to package up the right incentives and margins to create long term value from the campaigns.

So try to change the mindset away from size of database towards size of return.  This focus will help build the proper foundations for a database judged on engagement and value. Then pretty soon youll be boasting about its performance but never its size.

Thursday, 26 January 2012 by Peter Bell

Wanted - Co-reg Copywriters

For the many millions of lead generation budget that is spent on co-registration (co-reg) its amazing how little time and money is spent on creating a compelling advertising creative that consumers want to engage with. Essentially marketers have a 6 word header and a further 50 words to convince a consumer to opt-in and respond to the offer.

I tend to use freelance copywriters for campaigns that is 1,000 times more effective than your average co-registration copy. Remember great copy not only increases the volume of leads generated but also raises the quality by recruiting people more relevant and in tune with the brand. Far too often, copy is left to the last minute and involves rehashing promotional blurb from a homepage - I admit Ive been guilty of this in the past.

Great advert copy neednt be expensive and when you are spending millions generating leads online it is a small price to pay when you consider better copy can uplift conversions by min. 10%.

At the very least, if you are a last minute copywriter by default rather than choice, I recommend reading Olgivy on Advertising to get the creative advertising juices flowing.

So if anyone out there describes themselves as a co-reg copywriter then be sure to drop me a line? - I think you are alone in this profession in the UK!

Friday, 13 January 2012 by Peter Bell

UK Exclusive - Google Affiliate Network is here

It has been rumoured for a long time, now Google has launched (albeit quietly) their very own UK affiliate network using the adsense publisher base. Is this good or bad news for the performance marketing industry? Only time will tell...

Should you want to sign-up to Google Affiliate Network, youll get this bounce-back message:

Thanks you for your interest in Google Affiliate Network, a leading provider of affiliate marketing services and technologies. Please note that we are currently in limited beta outside of the United States and are only working with a small number of advertisers at this time. Well keep your submitted information on file and contact you as soon as we expand our product offering.

Google Affiliate Network

As predicted at the start of the year, Google is turning up the heat in the lead generation and performance marketing space - making 2012 the most exciting yet. Watch out, you have been warned!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012 by Peter Bell

Detox your Lead Generation campaign before it's too late!

Last year, sales were walking in the door and your performance marketing garden was full of roses. Now things that used to fly arent flying so high any more. That hard won extra budget only seems to be propping up a stalling campaign. Theres no extra cash but something needs to be done - quick!

Dont be tempted to simply cut your way to your CPA target by negotiating down your leads costs and employing cheaper marketing tactics. Instead, put your lead generation campaign on Detox by giving it the five point health-check:

  1. Creative - Time to freshen-up advert copy, email creative, subject lines and from addresses
  2. Relevance - Are your prospects still as interested in the 2011 brand proposition?
  3. Audience - Tighten up the targeting to remove dead wood thats bringing down responses
  4. Incentive - Is that 5% off really pulling in the punters in todays aggressive discounted markets
  5. Conversion - Analyse leaks in the follow-up process from tele-script, email copy to DM pack that can cause those sales to fall through at the final hurdle
Put this plan into action and come Spring youll be enjoying the results of a fresher more effective campaign.