6 easy steps to start using email marketing like a Pro

6-easy-steps-to-start-using-email-marketing-like-a-pro2

Email marketing continues to be one of the most popular and cost-effective marketing mechanisms to engage, reach, nurture and influence your target audience. Here are some insights for you to consider as you use email marketing as an effective strategy to achieve your marketing objectives.

  1. Keep the design simple and make sure it works across devices

Do not go overboard with your design. Make sure that it works across multiple devices. Considering that most of the emails are now consumed on mobile devices first, ensure that you are able to make an impression.

  1. Innovate with your visual layouts

Break the monotony. Play with your visual layouts. Visual layouts are equally important as the message that you are trying to communicate. Finding the right balance between images to text ratio is very essential. To structure your email strategy do consider your open- and click-through- rates and experiment with various types of images and text content for email. Make sure that the images/visuals are used effectively to attract reader attention, where needed.

  1. Get the message across

Before starting to draft the mail, make it a practice to set out objectives for the program and the target segment it is supposed to reach. One of the most important aspect of any email is relevant content. Relevant communication with recipients will always give you good results. Having said that it is impossible to be relevant for everybody, so segmentation and relevant messaging for relevant segments makes a lot of sense.

  1. Segment your target audience

Every recipient wants to find out ‘what’s in it for them’. Make sure that you answer that question. For this to work, it is very necessary that you segment your lists well, so that relevant messages can be sent to relevant people in your lists. Segmenting your database into groups with similar characteristics, enables you to send more relevant and targeted messages.

  1. Lists / Database Quality

Email marketing ROI and data quality go hand in hand. Your campaigns can only be successful if the quality of lists that you have is good. Make sure that you message your lists to validate the info that you have on record. Also use segmentation as mentioned below to improve relevance. Verify and validate contacts and their email addresses often to avoid high bounce rates. Remove undeliverable/redundant email addresses frequently to improve quality of lists.

  1. Analytics/Reporting

Getting above 5 points right will get you on track, but the most important point remains tracking and analysing your ongoing email campaigns. Find out what’s working and what’s not and make sure that you incorporate the learning in future campaigns so that you can have a predictable success ratio across your campaigns. Optimize your efforts to ensure that you are getting the most out of your campaigns.

Each of these suggestions can be done in multiple ways and can be tracked down to perfection to ensure success of your email marketing program. For details on how you can effectively leverage email marketing in combination with several other marketing channels, kindly reach out to me or wait for my next articles in this series.

The author, Atul Dhakappa is a Founder & CEO at Xenia Consulting, a professional digital marketing firm. An avid marketer with 22+ years’ experience across corporates, MNCs and SMEs, Atul has helped several companies achieve their growth objectives by leveraging the right digital marketing channels. Across all engagements he has always believed in strong accountability and transparency delivering measurable value and business impact to customers.

Whether you are in the initial phase of your marketing strategy or an operational phase, Xenia Consulting can help ensure that you are consistently achieving business growth objectives.

Follow us on Twitter @xeniaconsulting

Like our Facebook Page

Follow our LinkedIn Page

Posted in Business Development, Campaigns, Email Campaigns, Email Marketing, Lead Generation, Lead Nurturing, Leads | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

2 golden rules to help define your content marketing programs

2-golden-rules-to-help-define-your-content-marketing-programs3

We did read in the previous 2 articles, that content is king and Now that you have developed Content, what next – all you need to know, and how do you go about slicing your content. In my early interactions with business owners and marketers, I often find them asking me the question – How do we define the content that is going to be a part of the content marketing programs. They will often come back to me and tell me that they want to send out some brochures/flyers/case studies or some infographics of how they are offering services and great value to their clients. According to me, all of these pieces of content are futile for the anonymous user and will not help you meet your objectives.

Why do I say this? Simple. The person who is just about visiting your website or visiting your social profiles or any other digital asset is only interested to finding out if you are able to solve his problem. He does not really care about ‘How you do’ and ‘what you do’. He is interested in getting his question answered ‘what’s in it for me’. If you can answer that question in the first 20 seconds or so,  there is a chance that he will navigate further on your digital property, else he is on his way out in any case.

I feel content needs to be designed, keeping this core objective in mind. How do you stay ‘topical’ to your potential client’s needs and how do you keep their curiosity, so that they keep coming back for more or increase stickiness and longevity on your digital properties. Now what I said is no greek or latin, but is a known truth for years. Just take a look at any publishing site, newspaper, TV and you will find that they are trying to generate curiosity all the time and they are always talking about what the audience wants to hear. There are so many sweet spots for you to identify, what the audience is looking for and your challenge is really trying to figure out ‘how to weave’ your content into a trending story.

Let’s split this into 2 parts, 1) Identifying the trending content that matters & 2) weaving in your content into this trending content

  1. Identifying the trending content that matters

Based on the industry, you are in, you will find so many sources of information to help you decide what is trending. Some of the common ones, which are usually helpful include

  1. Speaking agenda at Events – Look at what people are speaking about in events that matter to you. You will usually find that the topics are selected in such a way that will ensure maximum attendance
  2. Media articles – Look at what the trades are talking about. They want to be relevant to their target audience and so will publish content pieces that matter to their target audience.
  3. Competition – Look at some of your competition and what they are talking about in terms of webinar topics, white paper topics etc. You tend to learn a lot from your competition.

Setting up an ongoing rigour on these activities and structuring your research will help you identify content candidates for your programs. You can make a decision, based on what matters the most to you and where you feel you can contribute the best.

              2. Weaving in your content

Now this is what needs some level of expertise. The content needs to be ‘weaved in’ without sounding overly promotional. Deep Knowledge about your products and services and how they impact the target market will be very handy. Initially, we will obviously need help from your side, but over time, we have managed to take this task up, completely within the agency. We will of course continue to value you as a consultant or advisor.

There is no ‘one way’’ that is right. It does involve some amount of ‘trial’ and ‘error’ to get things right. But it is worth the effort, as the content pieces that you will generate will help you achieve several of your content objectives. For details on how you can effectively design your content marketing programs, kindly reach out to me or wait for my next articles in this series.

The author, Atul Dhakappa is a Founder & CEO at Xenia Consulting, a professional digital marketing firm. An avid marketer with 22+ years’ experience across corporates, MNCs and SMEs, Atul has helped several companies achieve their growth objectives by leveraging the right digital marketing channels. Across all engagements he has always believed in strong accountability and transparency delivering measurable value and business impact to customers.

Whether you are in the initial phase of your marketing strategy or an operational phase, Xenia Consulting can help ensure that you are consistently achieving business growth objectives.

Follow us on Twitter @xeniaconsulting

Like our Facebook Page

Follow our LinkedIn Page

 

Posted in Content Services, Email Campaigns, Email Marketing | Tagged , | Leave a comment

5 ways to slice your content and make it last longer

5-ways-to-slice-your-content-and-make-it-last-longer1

I had mentioned as a part of my earlier blog, Now that you have developed Content, what next – all you need to know, that it is important to slice your content. But how do you go about doing that. I intend to cover that in this post.

Most of the marketing programs today run on content that has been generated. The content is generated, keeping in mind the potential customers and marketers spend hours of time trying to identify content ideas, that prospects will find it interesting and engaging. Without doubt, the toughest job is to create the original piece of content.

A lot of marketers are also to blame, as they do not use the content that they have created well enough to feed their marketing programs. Well come on, you cannot be generating that many pieces of fresh new engaging content every month. How does one make sure that they are able to use the content that they have generated effectively as a part of their marketing programs.

The answer is of course to slice the content into smaller pieces, which can be used as independent content pieces. Imagine a big birthday cake. Each piece of the cake is just as good as the original cake and it can make so many people happy. Exactly in the same way, it is possible to slice content and use it at different points of time in different marketing programs.

          1. Slice your white papers/webinars

You will spend significant efforts to put together that white paper or webinar                          content. Having generated the white paper, think about breaking the white paper                  into individual blog posts, LinkedIn article posts, create short podcasts from the                    ideas. Promote the ideas in different ways as a part of your social media posts

          2. Re-purpose your podcasts/videos

You have captured expert views over a podcast/video. Why not convert that to                       branded content that you can publish on your channel. You can also convert that to               an article or blog post that can be posted and promoted on social media

          3. Leverage email delivery

At a birthday party, you will take the cake out, but people will consume smaller                      slices, won’t they? Do the same way with content. As you deliver ideas to your                        potential customers, try and serve them small slices at a time. That way, your                          content lasts longer and your ideas stay with your potential customers better. Use                  email to drive the content slices that you have created to your target group

       4. Create curiosity for your big rock content

For a moment, consider the whole cake as the big rock content and continue                           handing out small slices. Through the small slices, keep generating curiosity about               the big rock content and keep them coming back to you.

      5. Expire your content at the right time

Most importantly, continue to track all metrics across your promotions. If you feel                that your content is not doing the job for you, be ruthless and make way for fresh                  content. Planning to use your content well is a good idea, but if performance numbers          show otherwise, being ruthless and expiring that content makes better sense

Each of these suggestions can be done in multiple ways and can be tracked down to perfection to ensure success of your content programs. For details on how you can effectively manage content marketing across several marketing channels, kindly reach out to me or wait for my next articles in this series.

The author, Atul Dhakappa is a Founder & CEO at Xenia Consulting, a professional digital marketing firm. An avid marketer with 22+ years’ experience across corporates, MNCs and SMEs, Atul has helped several companies achieve their growth objectives by leveraging the right digital marketing channels. Across all engagements he has always believed in strong accountability and transparency delivering measurable value and business impact to customers.

Whether you are in the initial phase of your marketing strategy or an operational phase, Xenia Consulting can help ensure that you are consistently achieving business growth objectives.

Follow us on Twitter @xeniaconsulting

Like our Facebook Page

Follow our LinkedIn Page

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

12 killer tips to get your email marketing programs to deliver

12tips_to_email_campaign

It is very common to hear that content is king. But as I mentioned in one of my earlier blogs Now that you have developed Content, what next – all you need to know, once you have developed content, it is very important that you get it in front of your target audience so as to start influencing their buying decisions.

Email marketing has been around for quite some time and it is one of the most inexpensive means of getting in front of your target audience discreetly. Email marketing must drive engagement, conversions, and most importantly, revenue. Marketers have varied success with email marketing though and several people stop considering it as a weapon in their marketing armory because of its non-performance.  However, there is certainly more to it than meets the eye. With the sophistication of the various tools at our fingertips and an overcrowded work desk, it’s easy to overlook the fundamentals of email performance There are several ways in which you can get your email marketing programs to be successful. Here is a checklist of 12 tips and techniques to inspire email marketers that you can implement

1. Personalize & humanize your communications

Emails sent from a person (e.g., “Atul Dhakappa”) engage far better than emails sent from a company (e.g. “Xenia Consulting”) — unless, of course, you are a well-known and recognized brand like Nike. For the ‘From’ name in an email as well as the email ID used in the communication, it is better to use an individual ID. At the back-end, you can even configure that ID to be a forwarder, which your email recipient may not know.

2. Keep the subject lines curious

After the sender name, subject line is the next thing a recipient sees. Make sure it is worth his while to open the email. Subject lines perform best when either long or short. Subject lines that are 60 to 70 characters drive neither open rates nor click-through engagements. Research shows that subject lines over 70 characters increase click-to-open rates, while those under 50 characters increase open rates. Apart from the length, make sure that you are generating curiosity with your subject lines and avoid spammy words like free, offer, promotion, right now, etc.. so that it does not affect deliverability of your emails

3. Stay focused on the objective of the email

Great subject lines can drive opens, but if they are not relevant to the content of the email, you are losing an engagement opportunity. Even worse, an off-topic subject line could move a recipient to mark your email as spam. You might have a great subject line, but the topic is not even touched in the email. That will create distrust and your emails will most likely be marked as spam.

4. Be concise with your email copy

Don’t overload your emails with endless walls of text. You can’t sell everything over the email. The objective of your email is to get the recipient to respond back. Given the average read time for an email is 11 seconds, you’ll lose your reader if you overload them with copy. Instead, create short, concise emails that whet the appetite of the reader and focus on one topic. If you have more details to offer, you could include them on the landing page that the reader will see after they click.

5. What’s in it for me?

It is very easy to stay close to the features and functions of your product. Realize that it is not about your product, but what it can offer to the recipient. Only then will he be interested to consume that content. Features and functions don’t engage. Benefits do. In your email,  write about the amazing benefits that can be realized by using your product instead of the boring features and functions. Craft the message so it directly impacts the prospect to encourage engagement and action.

6. Consider placements of your call-to-action buttons

Call-to-action buttons belong above the fold — not hanging out all alone at the bottom. Don’t be afraid to have multiple call-to-action buttons, but ensure that at least one is above the fold.

Should all call-to-action buttons go to one destination, or should the reader have choices? Not a simple answer. With the increased sophistication of today’s email reader, I’ve seen communications using various target locations outperform a single target location. Keep one thing in mind that with the additional locations you are trying to map the human mind and trying to address their hidden fears.

7. Increase click-ability

As you start your email copy, introduce links in the first few words of the first para. That’s where the eye lands when the email is opened initially. Having that as a hot link increases email clicks.

8. Make your call-to-action copy interesting

Use resonating benefit-based content in your call-to-action buttons. Generic words like “Download,” “Submit” and “Click here” are less likely to generate any meaningful lift. Instead, use copy like “Join the Fun” or “Enjoy the Benefits Now.”

9. Accuracy trumps personalization

Personalization is great, when it works well. Starting your emails with “Dear [Recipient Name]” can backfire if your email subscriber database isn’t accurate. Consider just using “Hi” and skipping the contact’s name unless you’re 100 percent sure that your contact names are accurate and formatted correctly. There’s no bigger turnoff than an email that starts with a mistyped name like “Dear Johnking.”

10. Create a responsive, easy-to-read layout

Design your emails so that they are easy to read in any environment: mobile, desktop or tablet. Use large fonts in a one-column layout to increase legibility. Litmus goes as far as to recommend limiting email width to 550pix.

11. Use color wisely

Color helps draw attention to places where you are seeking it, but that doesn’t mean you should use five different competing colors throughout your email to highlight the various sections. Stay true to your brand colors in order to be professional. To the extent possible, use a single bright color that is part of the email’s color palette to make the call-to-action “pop.”

12. Utilize high-quality images

Images engage email readers. Use clear, appropriately-sized images that support the email copy. Faces of engaged and happy customers (or even the sales person) also work well — eye-tracking studies show that people are drawn to facial features when looking at images.

Each of these suggestions can be done in multiple ways and can be tracked down to perfection to ensure success of your email marketing program. For details on how you can effectively leverage email marketing in combination with several other marketing channels, kindly reach out to me or wait for my next articles in this series.

The author, Atul Dhakappa is a Founder & CEO at Xenia Consulting, a professional digital marketing firm. An avid marketer with 22+ years’ experience across corporates, MNCs and SMEs, Atul has helped several companies achieve their growth objectives by leveraging the right digital marketing channels. Across all engagements he has always believed in strong accountability and transparency delivering measurable value and business impact to customers.

Whether you are in the initial phase of your marketing strategy or an operational phase, Xenia Consulting can help ensure that you are consistently achieving business growth objectives.

Follow us on Twitter @xeniaconsulting

Like our Facebook Page

Follow our LinkedIn Page

Posted in Campaigns, Case Studies, Content Services, Demand Generation, Email Campaigns, Email Marketing, Marketing Collateral, Marketing Content, Messaging | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Now that you have developed Content, what next – all you need to know

Marketing has certainly changed over the last 3-5 years. Content marketing is the buzzword now and ‘Content’ is truly the king. I interact with lots of companies who tell me about the processes they have put in place to develop some great content. This could be in the form of press releases, articles, blogs, white papers, podcasts, or webinars, just to name a few types. My question to them usually is ‘How are you making sure that this content is helping you drive your business acquisition process’

Well, I get varied answers to this question. Some have organized processes to promote this content and get in front of the target audience. They may or may not be tracking metrics across the marketing channels to figure out what is working for them. Most others end up under utilizing the content that they have produced and thus are not able to achieve their marketing objectives, which is to win new business and help your company to grow.

Here are some ways, I feel, a company can utilize the content effectively to achieve its business objectives.

1)     Slice the content

Do not consider the content you have as just one piece. Think about slicing the content and creating multiple content assets, that you can utilize across your marketing channels. Make sure that each slice is attractive enough and can stand in isolation to help you get the eyeballs. If you have created a white paper, create multiple short article/blog posts about it and promote it separately, linking it back to the ‘big rock’ content. If you have written an article/blog post, slice it to create short promotional posts, either text or image posts or both to make sure that you promote it in front of your target audience.

2)     Sustained email marketing campaigns

Plan a mix of HTML and text based campaign taking your content to your target audience. You obviously created content with them in mind, so why not take it to them in all ways possible. Generate curiosity about your content and make sure that people come and fetch the content on your digital assets (website, landing page). Here is how we meet some of the requirements for our clients.

3)     Ongoing list building exercise

When we speak about campaigns, your campaign can only be as good as your lists. Make sure that you have built quality lists, which are segmented well. This way, you can ensure that the right message is going out to the right set of folks. If you do not have the right amount of focus on list building, make sure you invest the time to either validate archive lists, source/buy lists or generate target market lists from scratch using custom research. Here’s how we do it.

4)     Sustained social media promotions

You have created your social presence and are building relevant connections in your target audience. Why not take this content that you have developed to them? You can promote every piece of content in 10-12 different ways at different times, so that you have maximum chance of being noticed Use a mix of text and image based posts. Use rhetoric’s to engage effectively with your audience. You can also use automation tools to schedule these posts at different times over the next few days/weeks.

5)    Targeted social media ads

Use targeted ads to get in front of your target audience

This can be across Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Each offers several options to reach a specific audience. The ads could be pure text, or banners or can even be content promotional. The relevant landing pages could be build within these social platforms or you can direct them to a landing page on your website.

Each of these suggestions can be done in multiple ways and can be tracked down to perfection so that you know how effective each of this channel is, for your marketing efforts. For details on how you can effectively leverage each of this space, kindly reach out to me or wait for my next articles in this series.

The author, Atul Dhakappa is a Founder & CEO at Xenia Consulting, a professional digital marketing firm. An avid marketer with 22+ years’ experience across corporates, MNCs and SMEs, Atul has helped several companies achieve their growth objectives by leveraging the right digital marketing channels. Across all engagements he has always believed in strong accountability and transparency delivering measurable value and business impact to customers.

Whether you are in the initial phase of your marketing strategy or an operational phase, Xenia Consulting can help ensure that you are consistently achieving business growth objectives.

Follow us on Twitter @xeniaconsulting

Like our Facebook Page

Follow our LinkedIn Page

Posted in Articles, Blogs, Case Studies, Content Services, Demand Generation, Email Campaigns, Email Marketing, Graphic design, Marketing Collateral, Marketing Content, Messaging, Thought Leadership Content, White Papers | Leave a comment

Acquire new business for your customers with proven digital strategies

acquire-new-business-for-your-customers-with-proven-digital-strategies2

As a digital marketing firm, your clients look up to you for the most efficient ways to reach their target market and influence their buying decisions. It is quite likely that you have more emphasis on one of the channels and this has been giving you sub-optimal results. You want to move to other channels, but need not necessarily have the skills and capabilities in each of the other channels identified.

If you do not innovate and show results, it is quite likely that the client may move work away from you. What are your options

Work with an agency that has capabilities in the adjacencies that you are looking for

Having all the necessary skills is never possible for a single agency. You will have some strength areas and some weakness areas. It makes better sense to be conscious about this and build on areas, where you are currently weak.

For e.g. you may have great campaign messaging and execution skills, but do not have the resources or the bandwidth to maintain your lists clean. Also, while scheduling your campaigns, it is common, not to have all the necessary skills in defining the right landing pages and powerful call to actions to ensure effectiveness of your campaigns.

Work as per a clearly defined process metric and a plan, so that you can track down all activities to closure. Having a strong project management rigour also helps in ensuring timely execution.

By having a partner, who can manage much of the execution related to the new marketing channels, you can focus better on client relationships and showcase new ways of winning new business.

At Xenia Consulting, this is really ingrained as part of our culture. With a strong execution ethic, , we ensure that our clients objectives are consistently met, no wonder clients really trust us for their back-office marketing support services.

Hope you liked the post, Comments/Feedback welcome

Best Regards,

Atul Dhakappa

Follow us on Twitter | Follow us on LinkedIn | Like us on Facebook

 

Posted in Demand Generation, Email Marketing, Graphic design, Key Accounts Marketing, Marketing Content, Marketing Strategy, positioning, Social media marketing | Tagged | Leave a comment

Committed to meet marketing objectives

Committed to meet Marketing Objectives

Committed to meet Marketing Objectives

As an organization, it is common to set objectives across its different functions. Marketing is no different. Marketing objectives are defined for a year and broken down into monthly and quarterly goals.

As a digital marketing agency, when you work with clients, it is very important to understand these client objectives and then set clear paths to go out and achieve it in acceptable time-frames.

However, a lot of organizations fail either to meet the objectives or get extensively delayed leading to the project objectives being sub optimally met.

How can you make sure that your teams as well as your vendors stay committed to meet your marketing objectives?

1. Project Blue-print

Have a clear project blue-print and make it available to the team with the expected completion dates and a clear understanding of what these dependencies mean for the project. The client relationship managers and the project managers are best placed to put this in place, as they have already set expectations with the client on this topic.

2. Process metrics

Within your teams, lay down clear process metrics as to who is going to do what and the related approval workflows. Don’t load all approvals on the project leads. Keep the ownership of relevant tasks on individual team-members, so that they can innovate and excel at the work they are delivering.

3. Reporting dashboards

Invest in reporting dashboards by working groups, so that you get a clear view of the current status of the project. If any specific items are getting delayed, then the team gets a clear visibility and if need be, the client can be informed about such potential delays

4.  Buffer time for approval delays

Having a buffer time for approvals or any such delays, so that campaigns and other initiatives do not get delayed because of lack of approvals or operational delays from your client

Having a team that has strong accountability and transparency ensures that your projects stay on track and you are able to deliver, meeting customer expectations.

At Xenia Consulting, we go the extra mile for every customer that we work with. We offer back-office marketing support services and digital agencies and they completely rely on us for timely execution. Whether it is for email campaigns, SEO, PPC, Graphic design, list building or content, Xenia consistently delivers smiles to its customers.

Hope you liked the post, Comments/Feedback welcome

Best Regards,

Atul Dhakappa

Follow us on Twitter | Follow us on LinkedIn | Like us on Facebook

Posted in Blogs, Campaigns, Content Services, Demand Generation, Lead Generation, Marketing Content, Marketing Strategy, Social media marketing, White Papers | Tagged | Leave a comment

In marketing, how does ‘Always being on-time’ matter?

Always being on time

Always Being ON-TIME

On-time delivery is always important. When you work with your clients, they always expect that all activities move based on a plan and as per a defined time schedule. Consistent delays can result in client dissatisfaction and can also lead to you losing the contract.

Marketing is all about maintaining a consistent presence in front of your target audience. If across your initiatives, your team ends up creating delays, it is quite likely that your initiatives will have sub-optimal impact.

As an agency, how can you ensure that you are always on-time

1.      Make sure that you are staffed with the right resources based on the project plan. If you are expecting the same set of people to manage multiple clients and activities, it is quite likely that you are going to face delays

2.      Have a detailed plan and make that available to your teams, so that they know what is due when, and the dependencies are clearly identified. Ad-hoc working can cause a lot of damages.

3.      Allow time for approval delays, so that your campaigns and other initiatives do not get delayed because of approval delays from your clients.

4.      Make sure that right skills are working on the right projects. If the team members are less-skilled at particular tasks, then it is quite likely that they will not achieve their goals in time

Being consistently ‘on-time’ requires a different attitude and culture within your teams. They have to realize that it is sacrosanct to maintain delivery timeframes and ensure consistent execution.

At Xenia Consulting, this is really ingrained as part of our culture. By executing all initiatives on time, we ensure that our clients objectives are consistently met, no wonder clients really trust us for their back-office marketing support services.

Hope you liked the post, Comments/Feedback welcome

Best Regards,

Atul Dhakappa

Follow us on Twitter | Follow us on LinkedIn | Like us on Facebook

 

 

 

 

Posted in Business Development, Campaigns, Demand Generation, Lead Generation, Marketing Content | Tagged | Leave a comment

Improving metrics across your marketing initiatives

Improving Metrics

Improving Metrics

Long gone are the days when Marketing was viewed as art and craft. Over the period of time it has evolved completely as a data driven domain powered by conversion rates, click-to-open percentages, SEO, keyword analytics, and submission rates.

Marketing initiatives are the prime mover of any business and more often than not, a sound documented strategy is required to achieve it. As a digital marketing agency, as you work with clients, it is very important to define and understand these initiatives well for your clients and then set clear paths to go out and achieve it in acceptable time-frames. However, a lot of organizations fail either to improve the metrics or get extensively delayed leading to the marketing objectives being sub optimally met.

The most important & key metric to track when measuring the effectiveness of your marketing campaign is the cost to acquire a single new customer. This simple statistic will help you evaluate the overall rate of growth of your business.

So how can you ensure effectiveness of your marketing initiatives?

Have a clear project blue-print and make it available to the team with the expected completion dates and a clear understanding of the dependencies involved. Keeping the ownership of relevant tasks on individual team-members is important, so that they can innovate and excel at the work they are delivering.

There are also things that you have to take into account when measuring the effectiveness of a marketing campaign, but one towers over all the rest, ROI. Click through rates or response rates are great information to look at but if they do not result in revenue for the business, then you might be spinning your wheels and not getting any real traction.

Invest in reporting dashboards by working groups, so that you get a clear view of the current status of the project and improve.

At Xenia, our strong process metrics ensures that every activity that has been executed has clear metrics defined, which are tracked on a regular basis. It is because of this culture, that we are able to deliver results consistently to our clients. Having a team that has strong accountability and transparency ensures that your projects stay on track and you are able to deliver the scope and meet your client expectations.

We have a mantra. Listen to your customers, else you will have none.

Now the question arises how does it benefit you as an agency?

Improved process metrics ensures seamless execution of your marketing initiatives and thereby an improved ROI.  We provide all optimization metrics and a unified view of all communications across all channels and devices so that you as marketers look at bigger picture and plan out tactical needs.

Xenia helps improves metrics across your marketing initiatives.

Hope you liked the post, Comments/Feedback welcome

Best Regards,

Atul Dhakappa

Follow us on Twitter | Follow us on LinkedIn | Like us on Facebook

Posted in Email Marketing, Lead Generation, Marketing Outsourcing, Marketing Strategy, positioning, Products Marketing, Social media marketing | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Staying safe from Ransomware

staying-safe-from-ransomware

For people in both the public and private sector, cyber-attack has become a potentially life-altering and seemingly unstoppable threat that is beginning to define our everyday lives.

In few hours, 200,000 machines were infected. Big organizations were struck and crippled by the attack.

Ransomware has been a growing trend for the past two years, and this is just a culmination, a grand reveal to the wider world of just how big of a threat it is

This variant of ransomware is a type of malware that exploits backdoors in operating systems with no user interaction needed to spread. It is also the first ransomware worm seen in the wild and works by:

  • Encrypting 176 different file types, adding .WCRY as an extension
  • Displaying a pop-up message stating, “Oops, your files have been encrypted
  • Demanding a $300 Bitcoin ransom that doubles after three days
  • Deleting user’s files if not paid in 7 days

Unfortunately, we also learned that:

  • Decrypting ransomed files was not possible.
  • Paying ransom did not guarantee files would be decrypted or left unharmed by a hidden future threat.

History of ransomware

The first ransomware takes us back to 1989 (that’s 27 years ago). It was called the AIDS Trojan, whose modus operandi seems crude nowadays. It spread via floppy disks and involved sending $189 to a post office box in Panama to pay the ransom.

How times have changed!

The appearance of Bit coin, and evolution of encryption algorithms helped turn ransomware from a minor threat used in cyber vandalism, to a full-fledged money-making machine.

The WannaCry attack is a perfect example of this since it used a wide-spread Windows vulnerability to infect a computer with basically no user interaction.

That’s why each new variant is a bit different from its forerunner. Malware creators incorporate new evasion tactics and pack their “product” with piercing exploit kits, pre-coded software vulnerabilities to target and more.

Conclusion

Ransomware brought extortion to a global scale, and it’s up to all of us, users, business-owners and decision-makers, to disrupt it.

  • Creating malware or ransomware threats is now a business and it should be treated as such;
  • The present threat landscape is dominated by well-defined and well-funded groups that employ advanced technical tools and social engineering skills to access computer systems and networks;
  • Even more, cyber-criminal groups are hired by large states to target not only financial objectives, but political and strategic interests.

We also know that we’re not powerless and there are a handful of simple things we can do to avoid ransomware.

Stay safe and don’t forget the best protection is always a lot of common sense and keeping offline backups in addition to the online ones!

Best Regards,

Atul Dhakappa

Follow us on Twitter | Follow us on LinkedIn | Like us on Facebook

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment