Search engine optimization, deter­mining effective offers and measuring e-mail campaign success

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What are some search engine optimization tips that I could apply to my site?

“Major search engines will reward sites that have rich content and easy navigation with a higher ranking,” notes Linda Rigano, director of strategic alliances and business development at ThomasNet. “Of course, you will want to achieve a high ranking in the categories that will draw the most qualified buyers. Know what your prospects will be looking for.”

Be sure to identify the right keywords and make sure they're as specific as possible, she explains: “For example, use ‘acetic acids' vs. ‘acids' or ‘chemicals.' Provide all the information on your site that prospec­tive buyers will want: product descriptions and specs, pricing, applications, details on tech support and even CAD drawings if you're in manufacturing.”

Rigano adds that other ways to improve SEO are by adding outside links and maintaining your Web site's internal links.

CAMPAIGNS
What's the best way to determine the most effective offer for our DM campaign?

“Offer testing is one of the best ways to improve campaign response,” says Dr. Mark Klein, founder of Loyalty Builders LLC. “However, many companies don't test, relying instead on their instincts, because they think that testing is time consuming and expen­sive. It is, if all you use is split run, or A/B testing.”

Klein posits that the reason marketers continue A/B testing is because they mistakenly (in his view) think that changing more than one variable at a time invalidates the test.

“That used to be true, but with computers to do the heavy lifting, it's now feasible to do multivariate test­ing, sometimes called factorial design, varying dozens of factors simultaneously,” he notes. “You can even see the interaction between the factors to determine which combinations are best. With e-mail campaigns over in 48 hours and the availability of easy-to-use expert sys­tems to do the math for you, multivariate offer testing is the fastest way to improve response rates.”

E-MAIL
What is the best way to measure the success of your e-mail marketing programs?

“Some companies measure success of e-mail market­ing strictly by opens and clicks, while others measure solely based on sales revenue obtained through their e-mail marketing programs,” replies Lisa Cramer, chief sales and marketing officer at FirstWave. “What about something in-between? The marketing department can measure the success of ‘pre-qualified' or interested leads from e-mail marketing campaigns. If marketing uses behavior tracking and lead scoring with their e-mail marketing programs, they can clearly see which leads had the best interactions with the company.

Those leads, coupled with their other interactions with the company can be passed to sales, she adds: “The mea­surement then becomes how many pre-qualified leads were passed to sales from each e-mail campaign.”

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