5 Key Questions Asked at Emma’s Marketing United Conference
By Patricia Lundy
(Aragon Research) – Last week, I headed to Nashville for Emma’s third annual Marketing United conference. The conference saw close to 1,000 attendees which made for an intimate experience inside the Country Music Hall of Fame, jam-packed with marketers and thought leaders alike. It was a welcome change of pace from mega-conferences like Dreamforce.
If you don’t know who Emma is, they are an email marketing platform, and their conference was focused on real advice that marketers could bring back to their teams. This blog recaps some of the key questions posed at the conference and takeaways from some of my favorite sessions.
1. How can you tell if your content is relevant to your audience?
It’s a pay-to-play world when it comes to getting your content seen, but there’s one thing you can’t pay for, and that’s shares. In his session Breaking Down Silos: How to be Fast, Iterative, and Smart with Your Content, John Lane of Centerline Digital made this point about shares (similar line of thinking with downloads), and how it can be a good indicator of if you’re content is resonating.
But what if your content is missing the mark?
Lane stressed to pay attention to the language your audience is using. Look at how they share their opinions on platforms such as LinkedIn industry groups. Are you using similar or familiar terminology? Is your audience concerned about XYZ issue, while your content is focused on ABC? Your content needs to hit the sweet spot between what your audience values and what you as an organization provide.
2. Vanity metrics are nice, but are they really helping your bottom line?
The short answer: no, they’re not!
In her session Big Brand, Small Team: Top Tips to Market Like the Best with Limited Resources, Jamie Dunham of Nashville AMA & Brand Wise, shared a great example of how vanity metrics can be deceiving. A small, family owned company called The Peach Truck, which sells Georgia peaches out of a traveling truck, was recently featured in an eight page spread in Food & Wine, one of the most prestigious publications in the food and specialty food industries. This was a quality advertising opportunity that reached thousands and affirmed the brand quality of The Peach Truck—and an opportunity that should have generated positive ROI.
Perhaps surprisingly, this opportunity did not increase sales at The Peach Truck by one peach! What did impact their bottom line, however, was posting about where The Peach Truck was headed next on Facebook; a line of potential customers would be waiting for The Peach Truck at the aforementioned location before it even arrived. The key takeaway is that while vanity metrics can make marketers feel affirmed, if they’re not increasing your bottom line, your resources are best diverted to the channels that are.
3. Why is it so hard to get website conversions?
According to Ben Jabbawy of Privy, 98% of your website traffic leaves without converting, which makes for a 2% conversion rate (on average). What leads to such a low conversion rate?
- Too much effort is spent on converting first time visitors: instead, spend efforts on converting returning visitors who are already familiar with your brand.
- Remove the friction involved in trying to get information: the less clicks required to download a piece of content or sign up for a newsletter, the better. Focus on removing obstacles to obtaining information, and your visitors will be more likely to convert.
4. What kinds of marketing risks should you gamble on?
Marketers always want to be ahead of the game when it comes to the latest technology—but it’s hard to predict what will work for your brand and what won’t. Jamie Dunham had this key piece of advice: allocate 10% of your marketing budget to investing in something new. If it pays off, invest more, and if it doesn’t, you’ve only taken a small hit.
5. What’s the secret to winning the email inbox?
Contrary to the trendy belief that email is dead, the average ROI of email is 3800%, according to Colby Cavanaugh of Emma. That makes the email inbox an increasingly competitive space, which is why it can be difficult to captivate your audience. Even if you have a great subject line, the battle remains to win the CTR.
Cavanaugh offered these tips:
- Avoid choice paradox: give your audience 1 clear, bold CTA, which can increase CTR by 1617%
- Leverage video in your email—it can increase click rates by 300%
- In every email you send, make sure to thank your subscribers, provide value, and ask them for something specific in your CTA
Marketing United Hits the Mark
Marketing United catered to marketers of all kinds—from B2B to B2C to non-profit; from big brands to small brands. I walked away with actionable insights into how to improve my existing campaigns and left feeling inspired and reinvigorated to take new risks. I’ll be on the lookout for what Emma has planned for next year’s conference!