All posts by Whereoware Staff

Local Event: Email Breakfast Workshop with IBM and Ferguson – September 19

Email drives more engagement and revenue than almost any other channel, but consistently designing and sending effective emails is tough.

Local digital agency Whereoware is partnering with Ferguson Enterprises and IBM to host a comprehensive, but intimate, email workshop to help you boost email performance, while streamlining your email process.

In this free breakfast workshop, learn everything from email basics, to email process, to advanced topics – and get back to your office before lunch. (See our speaker lineup below!)

You’ll get:

  • A blueprint of email optimization fundamentals (from subject lines to email layout, to calls-to-action, and more).
  • An under-the-hood look at how Ferguson Enterprises developed a practical and effective email process to streamline email creation from inception through deployment.
  • An overview of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, and how email marketers can prepare for the future – presented by IBM Watson Marketing.

When: Tuesday, September 19
8:30 AM – 10:30 AM

Where: Whereoware HQ
14399 Penrose Place, Suite 450
Chantilly, VA 20151

Cost: Free!

One last thing — breakfast and coffee is on us!

Save Your Spot

Speakers:

Loren McDonald, IBM

McDonald’s role at IBM is to educate marketers and executives on digital marketing best practices and emerging trends including the application and impact of AI and machine learning. He has written more than 500 articles and delivered more than 300 webinars and presentations around the world. McDonald has 33+ years of experience as a consultant, marketing executive and thought leader at companies including Arthur Andersen, USWeb/CKS, EmailLabs, Lyris, Silverpop and IBM. He was named Marketing Executive of the Year in 2005 by the American Business Awards and 2011 Marketer of the Year, by the Email Evolution Council (division of the DMA).

Brittany Moreland, Whereoware

Brittany Moreland is the Digital Account Manager at Whereoware, where she manages a small team of marketers. She has eight marketing certifications and nine years of Agency and Marketing experience. She manages and facilitates client relationships and strategy, providing effective and strategic marketing recommendations. She also manages online content, optimizes digital marketing, and delivers a seamless e-commerce experience to clients.

Kelly Meyer, Ferguson Enterprises

Kelly Meyer is an Email Marketing Specialist at Ferguson Enterprises. She is the primary owner of our onboarding and re-engagement initiatives for all customers. In addition, she is responsible for the planning, strategy, and implementation of Ferguson’s HVAC, Showroom and Industrial email programs from conception to execution.

Alicia Sodoma, Ferguson Enterprises 

Alicia Sodoma is an Email Marketing Specialist at Ferguson Enterprises. She is the primary owner of local email marketing and SMS initiatives for all Ferguson branches in the U.S. She is also responsible for our testing initiatives in terms of coming up with campaign variables, analysis of tests and reporting on historical campaign results in order to shape future messages.

Click here to Save Your Spot!

Web Tip – How to Measure Statistical Significance of Your A/B Tests

This week, we welcome a guest post from our Digital Project Manager, Anna Pleshakova.

 Anna is responsible for behavior-driven email marketing campaigns and strategy for B2B and B2C clients and helping them navigate emerging digital trends. She also works on web development and data integration projects for clients.

As marketers, we always want to be testing to see what creative content fits our audience best. Is it a sneaky subject line that entices email opens? Or a particularly good call to action that gets the click on a landing page?

Multivariate, or A/B testing, is a great way to test and see what works and doesn’t. “Success” can be measured in numerous ways, but the results should be significant. If you’re scratching your head because we lost you at multivariate, read on to learn what A/B testing is and how you can measure the statistical significance of your tests.

A/B or Multivariate Testing

A/B Testing is a method of comparing two, or more if you’re using A/B/C/D testing, versions of web pages, emails or other assets to determine which one performs best (has a better conversion rate).

An A/B test works by splitting your audience into two samples: a “testing” sample, generally 20% – 40% of your audience, and a “remaining” sample. The marketer sets the metric that determines the “winner”. This metric is open rate, click rate, effective rate, or something similar, to define success. Then an end date and time is set for the conclusion of the testing.

When performing A/B testing on emails, the first thing you will do is send both the test and control versions of your email to the testing sample audience. After the test window ends, the “winner” is sent or shown to the remainder of the audience.

The A/B testing process for webpages is a little different than testing emails:

    1. Study Your Website Data to Observe User Behavior
      Start by using a tool, such as Google Analytics or crazy egg, to view data for each of your webpages. Look at your bounce rates, conversion rates, where visitors are clicking on each page to see if there’s a disconnect and identify the goal you want to achieve.
    2. Create a Hypothesis
      Once you see the bounce and conversion rates, you will be able to come up with a hypothesis. Perhaps, there is less conversion on one page more so than on other pages. It could be that the size of a button is too small and people find it hard to click on mobile, or the call to action isn’t enticing or informative enough.
    3. Test your Hypothesis
      After you create a hypothesis, develop your test version(s) for an A/B test you create a second version of your targeted page and make changes you believe will lead to an improvement of your end goal. Half your traffic is shown the original version of the page (control) and half are shown the modified version.
    4. Analyze Data and Draw Conclusions
      Review the data and see if there is a clear winner. The winner can sometimes be the test version or the control.

The statistical significance of the test results is imperative for drawing meaningful conclusions. Read on to read what statistical significance is and why it’s important in testing.

Statistical Significance

According to Optimizely, “statistical significance is a way of mathematically proving that a certain statistic is reliable. When you make decisions based on the results of experiments that you’re running, you will want to make sure a relationship actually exists.”

In other words, unless your tests are statistically significant, you will not be able to back up your claims of one version winning over another.

Statistics crash course:

  • Null Hypothesis: the email or variable you are testing
  • Alternative Hypothesis: the other email or variable
  • P-value (a number between 0 and 1) is used to help determine the significance of your results
    • P-value less than or equal to 0.05, null hypothesis rejected
    • P-value more than 0.05, null hypothesis accepted

If you run an A/B test with the outcome of a significance level of 95% (aka your p-value is equal to 0.05) or more, this means that you are 95% confident that the winner is real. It also means that there is a 5% chance that the winner could be an error caused by randomness. An error rate of more than 5% is considered too high.  You are not going to be 100% right all the time, but you can ensure you are as accurate as possible by keeping a break point of 5% in mind.

Measuring Statistical Significance

Are you thinking of calling up your old statistics professor for help? Put the phone done, we’ve got you covered.

There are some awesome free (and accurate) statistical significance calculators online that keep you from digging out your calculator, but allow you to run the calculations yourself. All you need to do is plug in the number of people in each test and the number of conversions (opens, clicks, downloads, views, etc.) each test received.

Here are our favorite resources:

A/B Test Guide
GetDataDriven
Neil Patel

One Last Thing

We want to stress how important it is to not make assumptions while A/B testing. Significance percentages give you confidence that your results, which ultimately power changes to your website or other assets, will be worthwhile and reliable.

We encourage you to start testing early and often with the help of a significance calculator. If you’ve already been testing, but haven’t been calculating statistical significance – use the easy and free tools we linked above!

Behind the Glasses – Jack Hisky

Each month, we’ll be interviewing one of our fab employees here at Whereoware. For August, we get to know Jack Hisky, our Help Desk Support Specialist, a little better.

WHO:

What’s your name?  John E. Hisky (Jack)
Job title:  Help Desk Support Specialist

BACKGROUND:

Favorite food:   There isn’t much I won’t try! Italian, Hispanic, and Chinese food are at the top of my list.
Hidden talents:   I coach ice hockey at the youth and high school levels. I also enjoy chess, ping-pong, writing code, playing video games, and reading books and articles about technology, sports psychology, finance, politics, and data analytics.
If there were a movie of my life, I’d be played by:  Dave Franco – my girlfriend tells me I look just like him!
One item you would bring with you to a desert island and why: It’s a toss-up between my MacBook Pro and a book by Malcolm Gladwell or Robert Greene.
My earliest memory: Playing street hockey and baseball with my neighbors in Catonsville, Maryland!
In a zombie apocalypse, my weapon of choice would be: Running away? Hopefully I will never have to worry about this in real life.

NERD QUIZ:

Facebook or Twitter: Twitter.
iOS or Android:   iOS.
‘Nerd’ or ‘Geek’:   Either/or. “Computer boy” always makes me laugh too.
Star Wars or Star Trek?  Star Wars.

What’s the best part about working at Whereoware? 

The fun work environment, sense of comradery, and team are second to none. Not only do we all work hard for the company, but we also push each other to succeed and improve in our roles. Since my first day, I’ve felt like I was part of something bigger than myself.

Google Analytics Tip – Using Demographics and Interests Data to Develop Personas

Marketers use email and website personalization to deliver a hyper-relevant online experience to every customer, but succeeding with online personalization isn’t easy.

According to Evergage, 88% of marketers say their customers expect a personalized experience, while 55% admit the marketing industry isn’t personalizing to those standards.  What’s more, 46% of marketers would give their own company’s personalization efforts a “C” grade, or less.

Developing user personas is key to executing a successful personalization strategy. Personas, fictional representations of key audience segments, help marketers understand the needs and interests of their audience segments, so they can make their customer journey more personal and relevant.

To get started, we collect and analyze available data (both qualitative and quantitative) to understand what makes different audience segments tick, so we can group them within logical and actionable personas. Today, we’ll walk through how to use Google Analytics Demographics and Interests data (a free tool) to capture additional quantitative data to develop detailed personas.

(Already have your data? Get detailed steps on creating user personas and our handy persona worksheet here.)

Continue reading Google Analytics Tip – Using Demographics and Interests Data to Develop Personas

Behind the Glasses – Jenna

Each month, we’ll be interviewing one of our fab employees here at Whereoware. For July, we get to know Jenna Tea, our Mobile Apps Project Coordinator, a little better.

WHO:

What’s your name?  Jenna Tea
Job title:  Mobile Apps Project Coordinator

BACKGROUND:

Favorite food: Snacks
Hidden talents: Organizing groups of people trying to decide where to eat
If there were a movie of my life, I’d be played by: Natalie Portman
One item you would bring with you to a desert island and why: A margarita machine, so I could make friends with the locals
In a zombie apocalypse, my weapon of choice would be: Dragon glass

NERD QUIZ: 

Facebook or Twitter: Facebook
iOS or Android: iOS
‘Nerd’ or ‘Geek’: Geek
Star Wars or Star Trek? Star Wars

What’s the best part about working at Whereoware?

The learning and growth opportunities! Not only does the company provide many opportunities through its innovation, but the people at Whereoware are really willing to help each other succeed.

Web Tip – 5 Tips to Boost Sales on Amazon Prime Day

Don’t miss out on Amazon Prime Day! This year, Amazon Prime Day begins Monday, July 10 at 6 p.m. and lasts until Wednesday, July 12 at 12 a.m.

It’s time to get your products ready for the busiest shopping day of the year. Today, we’ll walk through five quick tips to optimize your products for Amazon Prime Day.

 

What is Amazon Prime Day?

Introduced in July 2015, Amazon Prime Day boasts considerable discounts on tons of products, like Kindle e-readers, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Echo speakers, and more.

More than 90,000 TVs and two million toys were sold on Amazon Prime Day 2016, doubling sales from 2015 and receiving the “biggest day ever” praise of one online retailer.

Amazon Prime Day features three types of deals – Spotlight deals, Lightning deals, and Savings and Steals. Spotlight deals are the best deals of the day, and Lightning deals are only available for a limited time. New deals are released every five minutes.

Amazon Prime Day is exclusive to Prime members. To take part in the deals, sign up for a free, 30-day trial (just don’t forget to cancel it afterwards if you don’t want to retain your membership). Continue reading Web Tip – 5 Tips to Boost Sales on Amazon Prime Day

SEO Tip – Introducing Google Similar Items Search

Have you ever browsed through Google Images and found a picture of a model or celebrity wearing a dress or a jacket that you want? Did you then try to search for a dress in that same print, or for a jacket in that same style, but been unsuccessful? If you answered “yes” to either of those questions, today is your lucky day!

Introducing Google Similar Items
Using Machine Vision Technology, Google now lets you search “Similar Items” on both mobile web and Android Search app to find similar products to those in image search.

Machine Vision Technology can differentiate between the various accessories within an image, and show you similar items online.  You can find apparel and even accessories like handbags, shoes, and sunglasses. Continue reading SEO Tip – Introducing Google Similar Items Search

Email Tip – How email personalization increased offline event attendance



Who:

Pacers Running sells running gear and hosts races to promote a running community for their customers.

Challenge

Pacers Running needed to drive participation at the George Washington Parkway Classic 10 Mile & 5K (GWPC).

Solution

Whereoware designed a hyper-personalized, automated email program for Pacers to drive participation at the GWPC.

By integrating multiple race registration and tracking systems, the personalized emails reference each contact’s relationship with Pacers, place in the race lifecycle (pre-registration, post-registration, and race lead-up), and more.

See all the unique datapoints Pacers used to personalize their audience’s experience and boost attendance at the George Washington Parkway Classic 10 Mile & 5K.

Persona Worksheet – 4 Steps to Actionable User Personas

When you’re developing a content piece, website, or email, your audience sometimes morphs into faceless figures, instead of the real, everyday people you’re trying to reach.



To engage real people, you need to tailor your messages and incentives to be relevant to their individual needs, address their concerns, demonstrate your value, and persuade them to convert (all at an appropriate time in their purchase cycle and without being too aggressive or annoying).

Luckily, developing user personas – mapping out fictional characters representing your core audience – helps you engage individuals with the right approach, timing, and messaging to move them down the conversion path. (Our Persona Worksheet makes mapping our personas easy! Get it below.)

User personas work

User personas help you personalize interactions with your customers + personalization simply works:
Personalization-Stats-Updated

How to build actionable user personas

Identify characteristics that offer insight about customers and factors driving their decision making. The goal is to group similar customer representations together, until you’re left with a manageable number of personas, representing about 80% of your audience (3-5, depending on your organization’s size).

When developing user personas, you must collect actionable information that tells you something about the person, so you can respond to their behavior with persuasive, impactful marketing.

Remember, you’re trying to understand intangibles like motivations, concerns, turn-offs, and position in the buyer lifecycle, as well as tangibles like location, age, and education level, to paint a clear and divisive picture of the different types of people making up your core audience. You must also plan how you’ll identify these personas in your various channels (website, email, mobile push, etc.) to deliver the right content.

Continue reading Persona Worksheet – 4 Steps to Actionable User Personas