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Tips From the Front Lines
it out for the C-Suite. Improve your FAQs. The real story on open
from AICPA Custom Media Solutions
The Internet is now the
main source of business information for two out of three (67%) top
corporate executives, up from 37 percent in 2004, according to a
recent Forbes.com study of C-Level executives. But it’s
not easy grabbing, and holding the attention of top execs. To get
them onto (and deeper into) your site, Internet Marketing Report
suggests these three tips:
- Add executive summaries
using bullet points. Top execs are even more impatient than the
average Web visitor.
- Give readers an estimate
of how little time it will take to read your important material
(i.e. “30-second wrap-up” or “two-minute drill”).
- Put your technical
information in the top exec’s language not yours. C-Level
execs aren’t swayed by technical wizardry and jargon. They
want to know ASAP how your product or service is going to help
them increase sales or reduce costs.
Lax With Your FAQs
Questions (FAQs) have been around since before Web 1.0, but they
can still work wonders for your Web site and take the pressure off
your customer service and sales teams. They’re also a critical
component of your site’s search engine rankings because they’re
full of relevant content if you take them seriously, say researchers
Leslie O’Flahavan and Marilynne Rudick of eWriteOnline.com.
Here are some of their
suggestions for improving your FAQs:
Think about logical groupings of FAQs (products, services, tools,
how-tos) instead of just adding them on one after the other as
you think them up.
Make sure you actually answer the questions you’ve posed
in each FAQ. Nothing irritates a time-pressed visitor to your
site more than teasing them with answers to problems they really
need to solve ASAP.
Make sure all your links work and take the visitor to exactly
the right page (not another busy “bus terminal” where
they have to keep drilling down).
- Real Info:
Make sure you’re providing objective, useful information,
not a veiled sales pitch. O’Flahavan and Rudick say if you’re
going to include FAQ’s like: “Why should I buy?”
then include an objective answer like: “73 percent of buyers
say our product is faster.”
Real Story on E-mail Open Rates
Before you give up on
an e-mail campaign that you think has bombed, you may want to dig
a little deeper into the results. Marketing Sherpa says
the stats you’re getting from your e-mail deployer, —
22 percent on average for business e-mails these days — can
be misleading, especially if you use a lot of images. Here’s
why. E-mail clients like Outlook, Yahoo, GMail, etc. don’t
count the e-mail as opened unless the image is served. But many
companies block images, forcing prospects to read e-mails from you
without them images. Also, many corporate e-mail filters strip out
the clear pixel used to track HTML e-mails, even when they allow
the e-mails to go through. That’s one reason why click-to-open
rates have been holding steady or rising, even as actual measured
open rates have declined.
In short, you can’t
just look at the open rate. You have to examine, clicks, engagement,
landing page time, the back end conversions and call to actions
you’re seeing as a result of the campaign. Many experts suggest
open rates are still useful for compare campaign response, but only
for campaigns you have run over a period of time no longer than
six months back. They’re not useful for comparing campaigns
one year and two years prior.