No one on the internet is searching for second-rate content.

People want content that answers their questions directly, thoroughly, and concisely. Quality content fulfills these requirements while also staying true to a brand’s style and tone. To rank on Google or another search engine requires a balance of keywords, readability, and classical writing structure. To connect with an audience and have them coming back for more takes an excellent understanding of personas and decision-making.

Even the most skilled content creator needs time to make that happen.

Time has always been an imposing restraint on content creators. To make the most of the time you have, you should focus on creating the right kind of content to connect with your audience, rather than merely creating more for more’s sake.

Create Something Great

When it comes to content creation, first determine how much content is needed to support your marketing and business goals. Then create just that amount and no more: instead put that time into improving your other pieces. In the same way that creating more content is not always better, improving a piece of content doesn’t always mean adding more to it. On many occasions, you may find that good editing will make written content shorter. Learn to be okay with that.

Use It Well

The point of content creation isn’t only to create content; it’s to nurture potential clients, re-engage former customers, keep current customers, or add credibility to your business. Focus on creating content that supports these goals, then make the most of it.

The point of content is to use it.

If a potential customer has seen a content piece once, they probably haven’t noticed it at all. You need to give your content the best chance it has of being seen and consumed. That means sharing it across social media, in newsletters, even directly through emails. Once you’ve created a great resource, come back to it again in campaigns or on social.

Great content deserves attention.

Repurpose

Unless you’re just starting out, you probably have some content sitting around; old blog posts, old interviews, videos with so-so production. At this point, you don’t necessarily need to start all of your content from scratch. Revisit content from a few years ago and give it a new touch, something more aligned with current goals and values, add new perspectives you’ve gained since then. If you didn’t create the specific piece, edit it for flow and form. Get creative with what you already have to drive some of your content creation. Improve what you have. Make the most of it. Quality content is made with a balance of practical knowledge and writing finesse. With the time restraint that most content creators work with, limiting your production schedule can help you develop better content, and content that’s worth promoting. Revisiting these content pieces over time allows you to keep things relevant and aligned with your current values and goals. Try narrowing your focus to creating quality content, instead of straining to create more.

Make something great, make the most of it, and repurpose as-needed.

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Many people have many different opinions when it comes to the best email marketing practices, from length, to CTA’s, to color palette, but what’s the point of optimization if you can’t see how well it’s working?

The question you need to be asking is, “What is the ideal outcome of this email?”

Your ideal outcome can be multifaceted or simple, but you need to know either way. For each outcome, different metrics will be more or less helpful to track.

Open Rate

Open Rate tells you what percent of people open the emails you are sending. This way, you know how many people get past the subject line to actually see the email’s content.

Open Rate is best when used to compare emails sent to the same list, or as a general indicator of email success, as it tends to be somewhat unreliable — emails are not counted open unless the images are downloaded, and many who use an email client have image downloading turned off by default.

Clickthrough Rate

Clickthrough Rate, or CTR, is often considered more valuable than the Open Rate. It indicates how many of those who received your email actually interacted with it by following a link. This can be calculated with either total clicks or unique clicks, depending on your preference.

Clickthrough Rate tells you how much your list is engaging with your content, clueing you into who may be interested in your product or services.

Conversion Rate

Conversion here means to complete a specific and desired action, like filling out a lead form or downloading a white paper. Conversion Rate is the percentage of those who receive an email who follows a link and then complete a desired action.

The goal of email marketing, as with any marketing, is to generate leads and secure sales. Conversion is a vital step in this process, and therefore commonly considered the most important metric of email marketing.

Bounce Rate

Bounce Rate measures the number of emails that aren’t being successfully delivered to inboxes. There are two kinds of bounces that are important to know; what we call “soft” bounces and “hard” bounces.

Soft bounces are the lesser of the two problems. Soft bounces are temporary problems, usually an issue with the recipient’s server or a full inbox. These emails might be delivered once the problem is resolved.

Hard bounces are emails that cannot be delivered at all and result from closed or non-existent email addresses. These can affect your status as a reliable sender, perhaps getting you labeled as spam mail. Each metric has it’s own value, and are best when used in conjunction. Regardless of your end-goal, be sure to keep an eye on these metrics to ensure your campaign’s success.

If you’re unsure about your numbers or want to know more, feel free to reach out for a conversation. We’ll be happy to help.

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What exactly is the Act-On Beacon? What does it do?

The Act-On Beacon is the primary retargeting mechanic of Act-On. It is a relatively simple JavaScript tracker that places a cookie into the visitor’s browser cache and records when that cookie is recorded on the tracked page. This data is sent to Act-On’s Fact Database and recorded for use in the Act-On Contact Report. To download a PDF of all of the information presented here, click below.

How Can The Beacon Help?

1. Marketing Target Definition

Using data collected from the Act-On Beacon, marketers are able to target messaging based on specific tracked behaviors.  Through Act-On’s native segmentation, marketing is able to create audience segmentation based on the number of page visits in a time range, or visits to specific pages on the website.

For example, Tactical MA could target users visiting this blog post, then our About Us page, and then our Contact Us page who don’t submit our Contact Us form. I could then nurture these persons with Automated Programs in Act-On.

2. Act-On Lead Scoring

Once a person is being tracked by the Act-On Beacon, the next step in the process is the “Known Visitor Conversion”. A person becomes known to Act-On when they click on an Act-On email or submit an Act-On form. Act-On associates the cookie ID it has been tracking to the individual’s email address which enables Lead Scoring for that individual. Because all tracked behavior is now associated with the person’s email address, any list that person is in now has a universal Lead Score it can reference based on your configuration. Additionally, if you are using an integrated CRM like Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, or SugarCRM, these lead scores and behaviors are visible directly in CRM.

3. Sales enablement using Act-On

When you pick up the phone to make a sale you want to be confident the person on the other end wants to hear what you have to say. There is nothing worse than guessing wrong and being lit up because of it. The Beacon provides Sales with direct insight into the prospect’s activities, research, and interest areas before they initiate any outreach. When combined with effective views, this also provides enhanced prioritization based on Lead Scoring or specific indicators. The typical impact is a ~50% increase in sales productivity.

4. Create alerts and triggers

Using the Beacon in concert with alerts and automated programs transforms Act-On marketing automation into a control panel for insight and awareness. The Beacon is the core of audience insights that can be used to configure automated alerts based on page visits, qualification levels, indicators, or specialized follow up. Advanced uses cases for this included monitoring for specific sets of behavior (e.g. alert the assigned Salesforce owner if [email protected] visits our website) or the absence of behavior (e.g. alert customer support if [email protected] has not visited the login page in the last 30 days).

What are the risks?

low
PERFORMANCE RISK
The Beacon is extremely lightweight.
The total run time for all events associated with this script is approximately 150 ms. When placed in the footer of the website, it should have no measurable impact on page performance.
low
SECURITY RISK
No known security risks exist for the Act-On Beacon.
The simple script uses common cookie tracking technology. Examples of similar technology include Google Analytics, Facebook, and LinkedIn advertising scripts.
medium
PRIVACY RISK
The Beacon is intended to collect, store, and track user behaviors for marketing purposes.
While its data collection is limited, consideration should be given to governing and regional authorities.

Where do I configure the Beacon?

Act-On Beacon configuration The Act-On Beacon is configured in your Act-On account. Simply navigate to Settings-> Other Settings-> Beacon Settings.  Here you will see the current status of the Beacon, as well as your configuration options. Once configured, simply copy the Beacon code to your clipboard and add this to the footer element of the page or site you want to track with the Act-On Beacon. Full Act-On documentation for the Beacon can be found here.

Too Complicated?

The road to good marketing automation begins with a single step. We believe that the Beacon is an essential tool for unlocking all sorts of practical automation. Not sure where to start? Contact us today for a consultation and we can help round out how to get the Beacon set up on your site and feeding you data that you need.

To download a PDF of all of the information presented here, including a flowchart of the Beacon’s technical process, click below.

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