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Small Business Week: 6 Signs It’s Time to Hire a Digital Marketing Agency



3, 2021

6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Most entrepreneurs don’t want to be head of sales, operations, and , yet they take on additional responsibilities out of necessity. Those without marketing experience who find themselves making integral marketing decisions can be paralyzed by fear. Unfortunately, that fear is holding your back from additional revenue.

It’s easy to prioritize the wrong tasks when you’re not sure what you’re doing. Of course, there are excellent resources out there to educate yourself — expert and entrepreneur/marketing god are great places to start, but a couple of marketing blogs might not be enough. 

One of the biggest hurdles entrepreneurs face is lack of time. When time is scarce and you need digital marketing support now, it might be time to hire an agency.

Today, agencies are becoming even more niche, which is good news for entrepreneurs and . If you want to focus solely on or SEO, there’s an agency for that. There’s no need to hire an all-encompassing, pricey conglomerate anymore. By working with highly specialized experts, you not only take time-consuming responsibilities off of your plate, but you pass those tasks to the experts. 

agencies aren’t just for Fortune 500 companies with budgets to burn through. Hiring an outside agency is actually the smartest choice for entrepreneurs and small business owners. Here are six signs it’s time to hire a digital marketing agency.

1. You hate marketing

As an entrepreneur, you’re used to having your hand in almost every aspect of the business, but just because you know what you should be doing, doesn’t mean you enjoy the work. When there’s no passion behind an email, a tweet, or an industry report, your audience will know.

Plus, the marketing landscape is constantly changing. Staying up to date on digital marketing and SEO updates is a full-time job. In fact, according to cognitive psychologist and Marketing Scientist at , Dr. Peter J. Meyers, reported over 3,000 improvements to search in 2018, an average of almost nine per day. 

2. Your sales are down

First, review internally. Are you confident in your product or service, customer service, pricing model, and team members? If you answered yes to all four, then disappointing sales may be due to poor marketing. Find out for sure by scheduling introductory calls with two to three agencies you’re interested in learning more about.

Consider these conversations as the first round of interviews, for both your company and the agency, to see if there’s chemistry. The best part is their marketing and advertising experts will review your current strategy and offer feedback for improvement. This will tell you which campaigns (or lack thereof) are standing in the way of success as well as indicate which agency you enjoy working with the most.

3. You don’t know why campaigns succeed or fail

Have you ever had your website traffic skyrocket, but no idea where these people were coming from? Or worse, drop to Google’s second page and feel completely in the dark about what happened? Growth is almost impossible without a deep understanding of your marketing data. Even worse, you’ll waste valuable time on ineffective campaigns and strategies.

Do you know how many leads closed from your last paid social media campaign? How about the number of website visitors that viewed your Request a Demo page, but didn’t submit the form? Agency experts will be able to audit your existing marketing initiatives, tell you what’s not working, and replicate/build upon triumphs.

4. You want to start quickly

Agency employees are accustomed to working with a variety of clients and jumping from project to project. Your latest campaign can be up and running in a matter of weeks as opposed to the months-long process of promoting a job, filtering through resumes, interviewing, negotiating, hiring, and training a new employee.

As you consider whether your small business is ready to hire an agency, jot down your expectations, goals, and deal-breakers. Be sure to include all tasks you want to be taken off your to do list. Not only will this exercise help you better understand your current shortcomings, but will be valuable information for your new agency to get them up and running even faster.

5. You have a limited budget

It may seem counterintuitive to spend money when trying to save, but according to Glassdoor, the average salary for a marketing director in the US is $107k per year. Add on a digital marketing manager ($73k), social media manager ($50k), and graphic designer ($45k), and that’s $275k a year on salaries befoee the first team meeting.

With payroll tax, health insurance, software licenses, and campaign costs, a marketing department can require upwards of $500k annually. According to Sisu marketing agency, hiring an outside agency costs $4,000-$10,000 per month, depending on the services required. Plus, you’re able to keep your in-house staff streamlined or hire for growing departments.

6. Your creativity is getting stale

We all know the old joke about the definition of insanity. The same goes for your marketing. While it’s important to have an in-house style guide for consistency across your brand, many small businesses end up trapped within the confines of their existing designs, fonts, tone, and branding.

Hiring an agency offers a fresh perspective. Your new account managers are digital marketing gurus, so it’s their job to know the latest graphic design trends and copywriting tricks. The best agencies push their clients out of their comfort zone. You might end up finding success on TikTok, YouTube, or another platform you would have never had the time or energy to experiment on.

What’s standing in the way of your small business success? That’s not hypothetical. Do you know what the problem areas are within your company? How are you actively working to solve them? 

Try tackling these questions with a brainstorming session. Then, make a list of current barriers to keep on your desk. By accessing that list every day, you’re more likely to work toward solving each problem. For entrepreneurs, this list might include poor visibility, unqualified leads, and ineffective digital marketing.

This content was originally published here.

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12 Must-Haves For Tracking Your Digital Marketing Campaign – Small Business Trends




The last few weeks of the year calls for all businesses to brainstorm new product or service ideas and polish their business vision. It is the time when they review their internal procedures and revise their external communication strategy.

Similarly, it is great to put together a digital marketing strategy for your company to achieve a specific goal, i.e., boost brand awareness, level-up lead acquisition, or enter a new market.

Whatever your goal is, consistently monitoring and tracking your campaign’s performance is equally important to ensure you are not investing your resources in the wrong direction.

Tracking a Digital Marketing Campaign

This article discusses 12 must-have metrics that you must track to ensure your digital marketing campaign is a success. Let us dive in:

1. Online sales

This is one of the easiest ways to check how well your digital marketing campaign is doing and is simple to implement if you are using a web analytics platform such as Google Analytics. All you need to do is paste a small snippet of code on your website, and you will instantly be able to see which of your digital campaigns are driving the highest sales.

2. Leads from web forms

Most websites have web forms in place that visitors can use to book appointments, enquire about services, schedule personalized demos, get free downloads and so on. Many of the visitors who fill up your form could later convert into customers if they are approached promptly and nurtured right.

Another good way to track digital campaign success, therefore, is to track on Google Analytics which campaigns bring in the most web form submissions.

3. Phone call leads

If you have an official business number that potential customers may call for inquiries or to place orders, you will need to track the leads and sales from these calls too. Set up dynamic number insertion (DNI) so that different visitors see different phone numbers depending on how they arrived at your website. Then, you can look at your phone logs to see which campaigns brought in the most calls.

4. Live chat

Live chat is a great way to engage website visitors who want immediate answers to their questions. Once you have a chat tool in place on your site, you can use the built-in tracking programme or integrate Google Analytics into the tool so that you can keep track of which digital campaigns are driving the most live chat conversations.

5. Number of site visits

While website visits don’t necessarily lead to conversions or even a further enquiry, it is an important metric to track, especially when it comes to viewing traffic trends over a period of time. For instance, measuring site visits from organic SEO is a good way to see how well your site is doing on its own. It also helps you identify and correct potential problems if there is a drop in organic SEO traffic.

6. Pageviews per visit

While website visits are important to measure, they are not necessarily indicative of interest, particularly if the visitor leaves at once without exploring any of the product or service pages. Another metric to keep an eye on, therefore, is the number of page views per visit.

Google Analytics gives you insights on how people click through your website, including which pages they visit most often. This can help you promote the product pages or the blog posts that are performing especially well.

7. Time spent per visit

Analytics can help you track how much time people are spending on your website. While this is not a direct sales metric, people who spend longer browsing your pages are likelier to buy from you later.

A related metric in this regard is the bounce rate, or how many people hit the back button the moment they reach your website.

A high bounce rate could be indicative of a disconnect between your digital marketing campaign and your landing page content and could also lead to SEO penalties if Google flags your website as spam. Tracking your bounce rate, therefore, will help you spot problem areas and rectify them quickly.

8. CRM tracking

Customer relationship management (CRM) tools are primarily used to track your sales processes and prospecting activities. However, they can also be useful when it comes to tracking your digital marketing campaigns.

For instance, you can filter the prospects in your CRM by campaign or lead source to track in real-time whether your marketing efforts are working for them. Plus, most good CRMs such as SuperOffice include a marketing and email automation feature that lets you craft customised, relevant email content based on the tracking source of your lead.

9. Social reach

Tracking the social reach for the posts you share on your social media pages helps you see how many people actually saw what you posted. Ways to increase your reach include branding all your social pages consistently, having a regular schedule of high-quality content posting and engaging with your social community.

10. Social engagement

The main criterion to measure any digital marketing campaign’s success is your engagement rate. While social reach is always higher than the number of people who engage with your posts, you should aim for an engagement rate of at least 2-5%.

Likes, Shares, Retweets, Clicks and Comments all count as forms of engagement. Based on which of your posts garner the most engagement, you can adapt your content strategy to give your followers what they want and thus encourage them to engage even more.

11. Email open rate

Email marketingshould be an important part of your digital marketing campaign if it is not already. Your email open rate is the number of people who opened your email as a fraction of the number of people who received it.

>Ways to increase your open rates include properly segmenting your email list, sending emails at appropriate times and having an eye-catching subject line. A/B test your emails as much as you can so that you can achieve higher open rates over time.

12. Track your KPIs properly

Ideally, you should track your KPIs in one consolidated report so that the senior management can go through it at a glance. This also lets you quickly spot problem areas (such as significant drops or spikes over a period of time) so that your team knows what to work on and what to skip in the future.

Wrapping it up

But tracking KPIs can be a time-consuming process and if your resources are tight, you don’t want your marketing team to invest a lot of time making reports rather than running the digital marketing camping itself.

That is the reason why it is important for you to decide when you want to report – weekly, monthly or quarterly basis. Moreover, tracking is an overwhelming process for those companies or teams if they are running a full-fledged campaign for the first time.

Hopefully, this article helps in getting started. So, how do you usually monitor the performance of your digital marketing campaigns? Tell us in the comments below!

This content was originally published here.

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Email Marketing Statistics for Small Business Owners




Social media may be the shiny red ball in the marketing world. But the humble email has considerable power. In fact, 54% of small business owners still list email marketing as their most important tool for increasing sales.

We’ve compiled a list of email marketing statistics to help you establish an email marketing strategy. Use these stats to improve your email marketing, develop more leads, and make more sales with your email list. Let’s get started!

Email Marketing Statistics: An Overview

image: Businesses employ email marketing not because it is more inexpensive than other marketing tactics, but for it offers a superb return on investment.

In fact, companies generate 42 dollars for every dollar they spend on email marketing. So there is no surprise that 81% of small businesses rely on email marketing to find customers.

Of course, marketers are exploring multiple marketing channels, like content marketing, social media marketing, and SEO to drive sales. But email marketing is still a goldmine for marketers.

The benefits of email marketing can be observed in the following email marketing stats from OptinMonster:

  • 60% of consumers subscribe to companies’ email lists to keep tabs on promotional messages
  • 44% of consumers check their emails to find out if there is any deal/discount.
  • 60% of consumer state that they have made a purchase as a result of a promotional email

Do you wonder how much money businesses spend on email marketing?

According to WebFx, businesses expect to spend $9 to $1000 per month on email marketing if they self-manage their campaigns. And if they hire an agency, they can be spending $300 to $500 per month.

How many email users are out there? Do b2b marketers implement email marketing to generate leads? How b2c marketing see email marketing as a tool to grow sales? To answer questions like these, we have collected the following statistics:

Email Usage Statistics

image: emarketerThough marketing trend forecasters have stated many a time that email will be dead in coming years, email is going to stay. Why?

People prefer emails for both personal and professional communication. And emails are a popular way of business communication. In fact, 77% of employees prefer using emails.

Following are some key email statistics to prove why email marketing demands your focus:

It is not like just the number of email users is growing. People are spending a significant amount of time checking emails. According to a report, Americans spend a whopping 5 hours a day on emails.

With people spending a big time on emails, marketers are leveraging email marketing to serve their audiences.

The Content Marketing Institute reports that 87% of marketers use email marketing to nurture an audience.

image: When it comes to the user base, email outscores social media. According to OptinMonster:

  • 91% of people of age (15-24) prefer email, while 88% of people of the same age group use social media
  • 93.4% of people of age (25-44) make use of email, but 78% of people of the same age group utilize social media

image: As the age increases, social media users start to dwindle rapidly. For the age 65+, only 37% of people use social media. However, 85.5% of people use emails.

Being a small business owner who wants to implement an effective online marketing strategy, you cannot ignore email marketing considering these stats.

B2B Email Marketing Statistics

image: B2B email marketing is not the same as B2C email marketing, except for the tactics b2b and b2c marketers employ to avoid getting landed in the Spam folder of receivers.

Be it increasing open rates or writing irresistible subject lines, B2B email marketers implement different strategies than b2c marketers.

Following are some interesting findings from SuperOffice’s Email Benchmark Report:

  • 77% of B2B email marketers leverage email marketing to drive sales and visits to their websites
  • 89% of all b2b emails are sent from a company’s name
  • B2B companies, on average, send one email marketing campaign every 25 days

Small business owners who are active in the b2b domain can benefit from the above stats. For example, most b2b emails are sent from a company’s name. But receivers respond more positively to people than they do to a company’s name. So, using a personal name can help you increase the open rates and click-through rates of your email campaign.

Also, sending email marketing campaigns more than once every 25 days can help you generate more leads.

However, you should avoid spamming your audience’s inboxes with promotional emails that don’t offer any value. Create useful content that educates your audience, and send it to your subscribers.

Wondering if b2b marketers use emails to share useful content? The answer is yes.

According to a report from the Content Marketing Institute, 87% of b2b marketers employ emails to share content with their audiences.

Following are useful email marketing stats on the use of email in b2b marketing, which you need to know:

image: invespcroIf you are interested in knowing open rates of b2b emails or email frequency, then the following stats from Emfluence will certainly help your business plan better campaigns:

  • Unique open rate for b2b emails is 22%
  • Average click rate for b2b email is 6%
  • Average bounce rate for b2b emails is 1.2%

According to another data set reported by Campaign Monitor, the average open rate for b2b campaigns is 15.1% and the click-through rate is 3.2%.

To increase the open and click rate of your promotional emails, you should follow the best email marketing practices, such as writing personalized subject lines, including 1 call-to-action, and running segmented email campaigns, etc.

B2C Email Marketing Stats

image: aweberIf you are working in the B2C segment, including marketing emails in your marketing arsenal can be a good strategy to reach out to your audience. Why?

People spend 2.5 hours per weekday checking emails, reports a survey from Adobe. But it doesn’t mean you should make your email subscribers inboxes flooded. Doing so is a surefire way to lose subscribers.

The same Adobe report also mentioned the following email marketing sins that small business owners must avoid committing:

  • You should not send spam email that doesn’t provide your audience with any value. 45% of respondents don’t like frequent emails, which trigger them to end a relationship with a brand
  • Strictly avoid recommending products that don’t match your audience’s interest. 33% of respondents cited this as a reason for unsubscribing from a business
  • You should never send expired offers to your audience. 22% of respondents unsubscribe from businesses because of this reason

Are you thinking about how many businesses use email marketing? The answer is 69% of businesses spend time and money on email marketing, as reported by The Manifest. And the 41% of businesses send emails weekly, noted the same report.

image: Here are some additional email marketing statistics that you need to know:

When small businesses try to reach out to their customers through email marketing, they want to achieve higher open rates, higher click through rates, and good conversion rates. But what are benchmark numbers to gauge the success of their segmented campaigns?

The following stats from Get Response can provide you with a head start:

  • Overall average email open rate is 22.02%
  • Average click-through-rate is 2.13%
  • Average rate of spam emails is 0.01%

Whether you indulge in sending emails to create brand awareness for your newly launched product or you want to inform them about new discounts, email subject lines play an important role in the success of your campaigns.

Just randomly throwing words like Free, Sale, or Bonanza won’t make the cut. You should pay attention to the language your email recipients use and carefully pick the words. Make sure you do A/B testing as it is a surefire way to boost conversion rate.

If you’re running an eCommerce store, email marketing can also help you boost your conversion rate.

image: salecycleThe following stats from SaleCycle will make you understand why marketers rely on sending emails to grow sales:

  • Shopping cart abandonment emails convert 6.33% of consumers if you send them emails after 1 hour they leave your website
  • Segmented email campaigns boost conversion rate by 18%

When you’re sending abandonment emails, you should make sure that you send more than one email. This is because a series of 3 abandonment emails bring in 69% more orders than 1 email, finds Omnisend.

Are you in a dilemma of whether you should use a video in your emails or not? The answer is Yes. Email recipients love video emails. WordStream reports that video emails secure 96% more CTR than non-video emails.

Mobile Email Marketing Statistics

image: idgThanks to the deep penetration of smartphones and cheap data plans, mobile surfers have outgrown desktop surfers. As a result, your customers check their email more on their smartphones than on desktops.

According to a report from uplandAdestra, 62% of email opens are from mobile devices. Therefore, you must ensure that marketing email campaigns are optimized for mobile devices. The same report also notes that Apple iPhone, with 35% of all email opens happening on this platform, is the most popular mobile client for the email reading.

Here are some additional mobile emails marketing stats:

Business owners are increasingly adopting responsive design for their emails to meet the latest mobile technology trends. As a result, most customers don’t face any difficulty in checking emails on their smartphones. According to EmailMonday research, only 39% of respondents say that email campaigns are not well designed for mobile devices.

If your customers are young, you cannot ignore optimizing your emails for mobile phones 40% of people under 18 or under will always open their email first on their smartphones, reports Campaign Monitor.

Following are two important stats from on email marketing for mobile:

  • Mobile emails enable your business to reach customers anywhere. 3 in 5 of your customers check their emails on the go
  • 75% of your customers mostly use their smartphones to check personal email

image: fluentcoWant to get a higher open rate for smartphone/tablet email marketing campaigns?

Here are some tips that can help you:

  • Shorten subject lines
  • Segment your email address list
  • Write for just one person (personalize your email campaigns)
  • Craft irresistible preheader text

Last but not least, write concise email copy. After all, nobody loves skimming through a wall of text on their smartphones.

Cold Email Marketing Statistics

image: liveclickerRunning a cold email campaign is often like flying in the dark, shooting randomly, and expecting to hit the target. However, if you know the target well, it improves your chances of hitting it.

Following are some key stats to improve your cold email marketing:

It is worth mentioning that non-segmented email campaigns don’t earn good email engagement. So your target email address list should be tightly defined. Narrowing down your target can significantly increase the open rate of your cold email marketing campaigns, notes the Woodpecker research.

Also, you should make sure that you do A/B testing of cold emails sent to your consumers. Doing so will maximize the success of your email marketing campaigns. According to MailChimp, eCommerce companies that A/B test their emails earn 20% more revenue on average.

Here are some additional stats to improve your cold email marketing:

image: fluentcoRegardless of what many people say, cold emailing is not dead yet. However, non-segmented emails sent to prospects without personalization don’t make the cut.

Following email marketing laws, segmenting your audience, writing irresistible subject lines, personalizing your message, and using a call-to-action strategically can certainly improve your cold email marketing success.

Email Marketing ROI Statistics


Are you pondering whether email marketing is really worth it? The answer is a big resounding YES.

According to Litmus research, marketers receive $42 for every dollar they spend on email marketing. Some industries even see a higher return on their investment in email marketing.

The Litmus research further notes that every dollar spent on emails sent brings in:

  • $40 in the software and technology industry
  • $45 in retail, eCommerce, media, publishing, events, sports, and entertainment
  • $53 in travel, tourism, and hospitality

Business owners are always in search of ways to increase the ROI of their email marketing campaigns.

image: litmusHere are some additional statistics from Litmus research to help you boost your email marketing ROI:

  • Make the double opt-in process a part of your strategy. Using the double opt-in process can increase your ROI by 13% as compared to implementing just one opt-in process
  • Always do A/B testing of your email marketing campaign. Businesses that conduct A/B testing boost their ROI by 37% as compared to those who never A/B test their campaigns
  • Using Dynamic content can boost your ROI. Companies that leverage dynamic content earn 22% more ROI than companies that never or rarely use dynamic content

image: litmusAs email marketing offers handsome ROI, SMBs are increasingly making it a part of their marketing mix. In fact, 81% SMBs leverage the power of email marketing for customer acquisition and 80% of SMBs implement it for customer retention, reports Emarsys.

When you are looking at the ROI of your email campaigns, you cannot ignore the power of automation. According to Campaign Monitor, automated email campaigns drive 320% more revenue than non-automated ones.

What is a Good Open Rate for Email Campaigns?

A good open rate for email campaigns is 17.13% on average across all industries.

The subject line, the sender’s reputation, the time of the day, and the day of the week, are key factors that determine email open rates.

Also, email open rates vary with industries. For example, religious organizations have a 28.44% open rate and emails from automotive services have a 10.16% open rate.

The average click-through rate is 10.65% across all industries. Email click-through rate tells how many recipients have clicked call-to-action in the emails. (Source: Constant Contact)

How Many Emails Does the Average Person Receive Per Day?

The average person receives more than 121 emails per day.

With so many emails flooding the inbox, receivers don’t open all the emails they get. Many of these emails find their way into the spam folder.

If you’re curious about the top spam content category, the answer is healthcare.

As people surf the Internet via multiple devices, the mobile opening is not the same across devices.

Mobile devices rules when it comes to opening emails. In fact, 55.6% of emails are opened on mobile devices. 28% of emails are accessed on webmail, while 16% of emails are opened on desktop computers. (Source: Lifewire)

What To Do Next

It’s time to get to work. Small business statistics like these can help you with your email marketing. Use these stats to take marketing from your email list to the next level.

Image: Depositphotos

This article, “Email Marketing Statistics for Small Business Owners” was first published on Small Business Trends

This content was originally published here.

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3 in 4 companies would pick Croatia again as business and investment destination | Croatia Week




3 in 4 companies would pick Croatia again as business and investment destination | Croatia Week

ZAGREB, 10 June (Hina) – A survey by the German-Croatian Chamber of Industry and Commerce has shown positive trends in 2021 compared to 2019, revealing that considerably more companies (74%), would pick Croatia again as a business and investment destination, while a smaller number think that the current economic situation is bad.

The survey assessed the economic situation and investment climate in Croatia and compared it with other central and eastern European countries. It involved 122 companies and was carried out from 15 March to 16 April. At the same time, the survey was also conducted in 15 central and eastern European countries, covering 1,454 participants.

The results of the survey were presented by the AHK Chamber’s representatives at an online press conference on Wednesday. They said that the survey was not carried out last year because of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown, and that this year’s results were much better than expected.

Asked if they would choose Croatia again as a business and investment destination, 74% of respondents replied affirmatively and 26% negatively. These are much better results than in 2019 when 54% of respondents answered this question affirmatively, and they also surpass the results from 2018 when 68% of companies said “yes.”

The average for central and eastern European countries as regards the affirmative answer is 85% for this year and 79% for 2019.

Croatia the 8th most attractive among 20 countries

Croatia continues to be seen as quite an attractive country for investment among central and eastern European countries, ranking 8th among 20 countries for the fourth year in a row. By comparison, Slovenia ranks 4th, Hungary 10th, Serbia 11th and Bosnia and Herzegovina 17th. Estonia, the Czech Republic and Poland rank as the most attractive business and investment destinations.

Opinions on the current economic situation in Croatia are divided, as 7% of those polled described the situation as “good”, 43% as “satisfactory”, and 50% as “bad”. By comparison, 61% of respondents in the 2019 survey said that the situation was bad.

A majority of respondents expressed certain satisfaction with government measures to alleviate the consequences of the coronavirus crisis. On a scale of 1 to 6, 6% said they were “very satisfied,” 23% “satisfied,” 30% “averagely satisfied,” 10% “very unsatisfied,” 11% “unsatisfied.” and 19% were “averagely unsatisfied”.

The performance of the current government was assessed as satisfactory (42%), bad (43%) and good (4%), while 11% of respondents did not have an opinion.

Looking at all 21 aspects of doing business in Croatia that were covered by the survey, the average rating was 3.29, up from 3.55 in 2019, considering that 1 is the best rating and 5 the worst.

This content was originally published here.

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