Don’t Forget Mobile

Posted by Ad Hustler | Posted in Local Online Advertising | Posted on 14-04-2014

My business has been local, local, local for quite some time now.  It’s no secret that I focus on local online marketing.  One kind of common sense but also somewhat surprising trend that I’m seeing is the onslaught of mobile traffic.  To mention that a larger percentage of the traffic coming into our landing pages is mobile probably doesn’t surprise anyone but the percentage is staggering.  Well over 50% of our traffic has become mobile.  The problem with this is that we don’t find mobile to convert nearly as well as desktop traffic.

I think that people just don’t have any attention span when it comes to going to a website on a mobile device.  They want what they are looking for in a matter of milliseconds.  If they don’t find it, they leave.  We’ve been combating that with responsive landing pages that resize themselves based on the device.  I personally hate responsive sites but they do seem to perform a bit better when you look at the conversion data.  From a personal standpoint, I don’t want someone telling me how I have to look at their website and exactly what data I can see vs not see.  I can see however why it would perform better IF you are showing the data that the consumer wants to see.

I can’t say I’ve perfected mobile by any means but we are aware of the shift and we are testing solutions to increase conversion rates.  How are YOU combating the onslaught of mobile traffic on the local level?

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Local Online Marketing Facebook Group

Posted by Ad Hustler | Posted in Local Online Advertising | Posted on 10-01-2014

I’ve been busy busy busy with local online marketing/lead generation.  I decided to start a Facebook Group.  If you’d like in, please request access here.

Why Your Black Friday Sale Will #FAIL

Posted by Ad Hustler | Posted in Local Online Advertising | Posted on 25-11-2013

I’ve had it up to here with Black Friday on the local marketing level.  I know you can’t see where “here” is so it’s hard to see where I’ve had it up to but trust me, i’m done with it.

Every business is now trying to get into Black Friday which is understandable.  There is tons and tons of business done on Black Friday so why not get your piece.  There are very few “holidays” soley dedicated to consumerism so it makes sense to take advantage of it if you are a retail business.

The problem is that local businesses, DON’T GET IT!  I’d like to make a comparison.  Just because you get tattooed, buy fancy basketball shorts and wear the best Nike shoes, doesn’t make you a professional basketball player.  It doesn’t even make you an amateur.  It makes you a poser.  You may look the part but you don’t have the goods to back it up.  This is what’s happening on the local level.  Advertisers are spending thousands of dollars to make Black Friday ads in the form of commercials, emails, banners etc etc and they look the part.  It looks like they’re all setup to take advantage of this consumerist extravaganza.  The problem is these companies are posing, or at the very least, they don’t realize WHY the big box retailers are so successful and in not realizing, they FAIL.

Why is it called Black Friday?

Many merchants objected to the use of a negative term to refer to one of the most important shopping days in the year. By the early 1980s, an alternative theory began to be circulated: that retailers traditionally operated at a financial loss for most of the year (January through November) and made their profit during the holiday season, beginning on the day after Thanksgiving. When this would be recorded in the financial records, once-common accounting practices would use red ink to show negative amounts and black ink to show positive amounts. Black Friday, under this theory, is the beginning of the period when retailers would no longer have losses (the red) and instead take in the year’s profits (the black). The earliest known use, which like the 1961 and 1966 examples above presents the “black ink” theory as one of several competing possibilities, was found by Bonnie Taylor-Blake of the American Dialect Society in the November 28, 1981 edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer:

If the day is the year’s biggest for retailers, why is it called Black Friday? Because it is a day retailers make profits – black ink, said Grace McFeeley of Cherry Hill Mall. “I think it came from the media,” said William Timmons of Strawbridge & Clothier. “It’s the employees, we’re the ones who call it Black Friday,” said Belle Stephens of Moorestown Mall. “We work extra hard. It’s a long hard day for the employees.”

The Christmas shopping season is of enormous importance to American retailers and, while most retailers intend to and actually do make profits during every quarter of the year, some retailers are so dependent on the Christmas shopping season that the quarter including Christmas produces all the year’s profits and compensates for losses from other quarters.

Black Friday kicks off the Holiday Shopping season and hence get’s people to start shopping.  In order to do so retailers have loss leaders to draw people to the stores.  Most of the loss leaders are extremely limited but they are LEGIT deals that people would be thrilled to walk away with.

Back to Local.  What i’m seeing is, a lot of these local retailers, like auto dealers, jumping on the bandwagon.  They are spending on Black Friday advertising but they don’t have any legitimate deals that are any more exciting then any other day of the year.  They’re giving away free stuff if you buy a car (oh and by the way working that into the pricing), they’re opening early (uhh ok) and providing “breakfast.”  What they aren’t doing is advertising anything so spectacular that you’ll want to waste your morning there.  Imagine there was a car dealer who really got it and had a schedule like this for Black Friday:

6:00am – Opening.  First 100 people in the door registered for a Free Car Drawing.
7:00am – Free Car Drawing (Where they actually give away a free car or car lease)
7:05am – It’s announced that If you were entered into the Free Car Drawing and Didn’t Win, You Can Buy Certain Cars On The Lot For Dealer Cost. (Hence liquidating unwanted inventory)
8:00am – Anyone working a deal is entered to win something else free.
10:00pm – One Hour Only Deals – You Must Be There To Hear The Deals Announced
etc etc etc

Make this into an event and make offers that are legitimately great.  People aren’t stupid.  They can see through manufactured sales and ehh offers.  Local has the opportunity to snatch up Black Friday dollars but not if they don’t want to be true professionals and offer deals that truly are fantastic.  I’m sure i’ll hear some competing arguments like well, car dealers don’t do big business in the Holiday Season so they can’t have loss leaders the way retailers do.  OK, well if that’s the case then those businesses shouldn’t take part in this.  You need to look at WHY the holiday has been so successful in other industries and port the concepts over.  Otherwise you’re just mimicking and you are setting yourself up for failure.

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Never Trust Your Clients

Posted by Ad Hustler | Posted in Doing Business, Local Online Advertising | Posted on 07-08-2013

Seriously….whatever they say, just ignore.  Formulate your own data and make decisions based on YOUR data.  I have clients tell me left and right that no one reads the fine print.  They just look at the big number and decide if they are interested or not.  Not true my friends.  Eye tracking technology says differently.

Fine Print

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Zip Code Email Marketing To Auto Dealer Case Study Part 1

Posted by Ad Hustler | Posted in Case Studies, Local Online Advertising | Posted on 09-05-2013

We are solicited all the time by companies with the following pitch

“We have a huge database of opt-in email data based on zip code and demographics that we can mail your clients offers to.”

A long time ago I actually took a company up on the offer and it did very very poorly.  Recently we were contacted by a company that I kind of knew from the affiliate marketing space with the same kind of product/offer.  I heard them out and decided to give it a try.  I have a Lincoln dealer that’s looking for some more leads to boost up business so we decided to try mailing their offers through this companies system to see if this is a viable option.

The demographics and quantity we chose were as follows.

  • 10 Miles Around The Dealership
  • Household Income of $100K or more.
  • 83,334 Emails Sent (Based on Above Data)

The email creative we used was as follows (certain pieces blocked out for confidentiality)

LINCOLN EMAIL

Then when they click through the email they go to a VERY similar landing page with a contact form:

LINCOLN LP

This setup allowed for complete tracking of the campaign.  The landing page had the ability to track email leads generated back to this campaign only.  The landing page AND the email had tracking phone numbers so that calls generated from the campaign could be tracked back to this campaign only as well.

Before the campaign began I spoke to some of my staff to get estimates of how many leads they thought this campaign would generate.  Granted some are artists or social media specialists so I wouldn’t really expect them to make the best of estimations but here were the estimations nonetheless (I found this interesting so I thought you may as well)

  • Myself: 10
  • Artist: 60
  • Coder: 123
  • Social Media: 1,000 (I laughed too)
  • Other Artist: 80

So, as you can see our estimations were all over the map.

The email went out on Tuesday (as of this writing it’s Thursday morning) and these are the stats on the campaign:

AHLINCOLNEMAILSTATS

So that’s 83,334 emails sent, 7502 Opens & 1102ish Clicks over to the landing page.  That’s a 9%+ open rate which i’m actually really impressed with and it’s a LOT higher then I expected.  If you would have asked me before the email was sent I would have guessed a 3% open rate.

The unfortunate thing here is that 0 leads were generated.  That’s right ZERO.  Not ONE.  So everyone lost on the estimations (but I was closest even though I still would have lost on The Price is Right).  I’m actually really disappointing with the fact that no leads were generated.  I really would like to use this as a viable method of lead generation but every time i’ve tried it, it never provides a measurable ROI.

Even though i’m disappointed with the results I’m going to reserve judgement.  We have the ability to buy a list of the postal addresses of the openers and clickers (which i’m going to do).  I’m then going to ask the dealership for a list of everyone they sold a car to for the month.  We will then see if we can match any of these Openers/Clickers to a sale that was made at the dealership in the Month of May.  The theory here would be that the email triggered someone to walk in instead of email or call.  If there ARE matches then this could still be considered a success.

Find out what happens in Part 2

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