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Email marketing will be a success story in 2022

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Email marketing will be a success story in 2022


“2021 versus 2020, email was up 94% in volume. I would anticipate it to be up again in 2022.” Kate Adams, SVP Marketing at data and email solutions provider Validity, sees a bright future for the email channel. “If we could count the number of articles that had the headline ’email is dead,’ we’d all have a good laught, right?”

Thank goodness for email. One reason is that so many other channels were lost or constrained by the pandemic. “So many marketers, especially in this pandemic environment, were saying to themselves, ‘Thank goodness I still have email.”

The other trend she highlighted was personalization. “Personalization versus tokenization,” she said. “Lots of marketers think, cool, I’ll put your organization name in here, or I’ll use your first name, and that’s personalization. Really I mean next level personalization: ‘Hey, I know you were here and you were looking at this product and ou may also love these products. How do you do that at scale is the real challenge.”

Partnership with Adobe. Validity recently announced that it had joined the Adobe Exchange Partner Program. It’s currently working with Adobe to develop a tight integration between Adobe Campaign and its own Everest product. “Everest is an email success platform,” Adams explained. “It gives you the data and insights you need so that you can get more messages to more people; you can stand out in a crowded inbox; and you can understand where you’re landing in that inbox. There are a lot more insights that marketers need, especially with the release of Mail Privacy Protection that was in iOS 15 that came out in September.”

Although Validity had not previously been part of the Program, it had had a partnership with Adobe through 250ok, the deliverability solution it acquired in March 2020. “It was certainly not anything of the breadth and depth that this partnership will entail.”

Finally, be ethical. Adams’ positive vision for email marketing is closely tied to Validity’s investment in ethical marketing. “Ethical marketing is very close to our hearts and we believe that our platforms and tools enable marketers to do it. We believe there are vendors out there who are putting too many marketers at risk for doing something unethical without knowing it.”

Unknowingly emailing people who have not consented to be emailed is one area of risk. “Compliance is such an important componen t of ethical marketing,” she said, “but we also think about it as a skill-set which you can learn and teach yourself and your marketing team members. You want to be compliant and we can help you with that, but you want to be much better than compliant. That’s a low bar — how do you go above and beyond that?”

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Why we care. Adams is surely right to emphasize the importance of the email marketing channel to today’s marketers. We know that ourselves from the interest our readers show in email marketing stories. Email is not the whole story, of course, as B2B follows B2C into the new environment of customer journeys orchestrated across multiple channels. But it’s a critical plotline.

With the increased volume of email marketing does come increased risk, of course. The risk of being ignored, the risk of being tedious, and the risk of failing the compliance challenge. The latter is something we put great emphasis on (in addition to optimization and deliverability) when we updated and released our Email Marketing Periodic Table earlier this year.

About The Author

Kim Davis is the Editorial Director of MarTech. Born in London, but a New Yorker for over two decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space. He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020. Prior to working in tech journalism, Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.



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Uncover Your Most Valuable Keywords with Aira’s New Keyword Opportunity Estimation Tool

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Uncover Your Most Valuable Keywords with Aira’s New Keyword Opportunity Estimation Tool

The author’s views are entirely his or her own (excluding the unlikely event of hypnosis) and may not always reflect the views of Moz.

Whether speaking to senior management or just trying to figure out what direction our SEO strategy should take next, as SEOs we often find ourselves asking the same question: “but what could I get from this?”

Particularly when we’re prioritizing work across different keywords, it can be hard to know:

  1. What rank we can expect to achieve (rather than just assuming position 1 for everything).

  2. What we could get from that ranking in terms of traffic/conversions.

  3. What that means in terms of additional traffic or revenue

It can really trip us up if any of our predictions are based on wild rankings we could never achieve, or if we accidentally include traffic we’re already getting anyway!

So, what’s the solution to solve all of that, and ensure we focus on getting the biggest bang for our buck? Introducing Aira’s Keyword Opportunity Estimation Tool.

Get your copy of Aira’s Opportunity Sheet here.

What is Aira’s Keyword Opportunity Estimation Tool?

Built in Google Sheets, the focus of the tool is to:

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  1. Identify the highest probable ranking position for different keywords.

  2. Estimate what that could achieve in terms of traffic, conversions, and revenue, etc.

  3. Highlight the best opportunities so you can prioritize your efforts. This is done by subtracting current estimated traffic, conversions, and revenue from the estimations if you were to rank in the highest possible position.

The sheet takes a top-20 report from a rank tracking tool and:

  • Allows you to enter a list of domains you determine you are unable to outrank.

  • Removes any ranking positions for domains you’ve listed as those you are unable to outrank.

  • Allows you to toggle on/off a list of commonly hard-to-beat domains so you can quickly cut down the list.

  • Removes instances where you might be trying to compete with competitors on their own branded terms.

  • Automatically picks out where you’re ranking currently to see how much more traffic/conversions you might be able to get on a given keyword.

Here’s an example output:

Let’s dive into an example

Imagine you’re doing SEO for a new flight site. Let’s call it BrainAir.

You know that you can probably rank for quite a few “flights” terms, unless there’s a comparison site like expedia.com already ranking. So, you add expedia.com as a domain to remove and now the sheet will find the best possible ranking you could get for each keyword except for positions where Expedia is already appearing.

In the example below, skyscanner.net and expedia.co.uk are both listed as domains to remove. In this case, position 2 is the highest potential ranking position, as this sheet only removes the specific ranking positions for the domains listed. This means you can still get a better position if that is available.

When doing keyword analysis, you may also realize there are some terms in your list like “Easyjet iceland flights”. If you don’t think you could beat Easyjet for “Easyjet iceland flights”, you can tick a box and the sheet automatically ignores any time Easyjet is ranking for a search that includes the word “Easyjet”.

Why use this tool?

This sheet can be used to see:

  • How much more traffic you could get from an SEO project in general.

  • How much more traffic you could get from specific keywords.

  • Where you should prioritize your efforts first.

While no estimate is going to be bang on the money, many other approaches will likely wildly overestimate how much traffic you could get in total, as they usually assume a highest position of 1, which is not always attainable.

On top of that, other approaches tend to not look at current traffic estimates, so don’t factor in additional traffic, instead just focusing on total traffic. This leads to situations where you’re focusing primarily on keywords with the highest search volume, as opposed to focusing on the keywords capable of driving the highest amount of potential traffic to the site.

This can help with developing SEO strategies, such as:

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  • Prioritizing new page creation/re-optimization based on potential traffic opportunity. For example, if this sheet highlights an opportunity to drive a significant level of additional traffic for specific keywords, you may decide to prioritize building out new landing pages, or re-optimizing your existing content to target those keywords more effectively.

  • Prioritizing technical fixes based on potential opportunity. For example, if a tool such as Little Warden highlights technical issues , then this sheet can help you see the highest potential rank for specific keywords, should those issues be fixed.

  • Seeing which competitors are having the biggest impact on ranking positions for specific keywords/keyword groups. For example, if you see that the same domain consistently appears as one you need to replace in the rankings, then it will be worth investing time looking at their strategies and approaches.

How to use the sheet

Click this link to get your copy of the Opportunity Sheet.

Stage 1: Copy & Paste in your top 20 report

Import your top 20 report into the tab named [Input] Top 20 Ranking Report, pasting into cell A1. You should delete/override the existing dummy data. The top 20 ranking report can come from any rank tracking tool, for example STAT, Rank Ranger, Accuranker, Data For SEO, etc.

At this stage, the order of the columns does not matter.

Stage 2: Selecting which columns to include

Navigate to [Input] Column Selection.

Here you need to use the dropdowns to select which columns relate to:

  • The keyword column

  • The search volume column

  • The rank column

  • The URL column

The table on the right-hand side will automatically update as these different dropdowns are updated with the first six rows.

Please check if the data aligns with the correct columns (or the rest of the outputs are going to look really odd).

Stage 3: Defining which domains you’re unable to compete with

Navigate to [Input] Domain Selection.

The first step is to enter your domain. The example in this case is booking.com

Next, add the domains you feel you’re unable to compete with. These can either contain the protocol or subdomain, or not.

You can find your competing domains by using a tool such as Moz’s Free Domain SEO Analysis Tool. Alternatively you can go to [Output 4] Current Traffic/ SOV Per Domain, which displays all of the domains ordered by total estimated traffic and share of voice.

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We would recommend revising this list once you have seen the results, to include any additional domains you hadn’t previously included.

On the right side of the page, you can choose to include pre-defined domains in the list. This includes standard, hard-to-beat domains such as Google and Amazon, or social media domains such as Facebook and Twitter.

Finally, you can decide whether you want to exclude domains that contain target keywords in the domain name. For example, if you don’t think you could beat Easyjet for “Easyjet flights”, tick this box and the sheet automatically ignores any time Easyjet is ranking for a search that includes the word “Easyjet”.

Stage 4: Entering CTR, conversion rates, and average order values

Navigate to [Input] CTR, Conv Rate and AOV.

This section is designed for you to enter an estimated CTR for each position, average conversion rate, and average order value (AOV).

You can access the CTR position data yourself by using Google Search Console. It would make sense to focus on non-branded keywords, as branded keywords would skew these figures.

Advanced Web Ranking also provides an average CTR for each position for different industries based on a sample of sites. This can be found by navigating to the categories tab on this page.

Note: If you leave this column blank, traffic estimates will use the Average Non Branded CTR from Advanced Web Rankings.

The Conversion rate and AOV data can be found using Google Analytics, though it’s worth noting that these figures will vary depending on the type of page. For example, a blog is likely to have a much lower conversion rate than a product page, so it’s worth bearing that in mind during your analysis.

Stage 5: Output 1 — Keyword Breakdown

Navigate to [Output 1] Keyword Breakdown.

Here you can see the top 20 report with just the four columns that were previously selected: Keyword, Search Volume, Rank, and Ranking URL.

There are a number of additional columns:

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  • Domain: The domain of the ranking URL.

  • Can our site outrank this domain?: This column tells you whether you “Can Compete” or “Cannot Compete” with each of the domains for their ranking position, depending on whether they are included in the domain list in [Input] Domain Selection.

  • Is it our domain?: This signifies whether it is the domain you have inputted in the [Input] Domain Selection tab.

  • Highest Potential Ranking Position for your site?: This column shows whether the column is the highest potential ranking position for that keyword.

  • Domain Name Mentioned in the Keyword?: This column tells you whether the domain name is mentioned in the keyword.

Stage 6: Output 2 — Keyword Highest Rank

Navigate to [Output 2] Keyword Highest Rank.

Here you can see a summary for each keyword showing you the highest potential rank, estimated traffic, and conversions/revenue, as well as which domain/URL you could conceivably outrank.

There is also data related to your current rankings and potential increase in traffic, conversions, and revenue should you reach the highest potential ranking position.

These figures are based on your previous inputs, so go back and check what you have entered if you feel that any of the figures are noticeably different to what you would expect.

Stage 7: Output 3 — Keyword Highest Rank

Navigate to [Output 3] Keyword Opportunities.

This output provides the top-level summary focusing on the keyword, search volume, and which domain/URL you could seek to replace. The metrics in this output are focused on potential additional traffic, conversions, and revenue.

These figures are calculated by working out estimated current traffic, conversions and revenue based on current rank, search volume, conversion rate, and average order value and subtracting this from these figures should the domain rank in the highest potential position.

Stage 8: Output 4 — Predicted Traffic/SOV Per Domain

Navigate to [Output 4] Predicted Traffic/SOV Per Domain.

This output provides an overview of the total estimated traffic per domain from the top 20 report, which allows you to see which domains are driving the highest amount of traffic across your keywords.

There is also a Share of Voice column, which pulls in the share of voice for each of these domains. The calculation is total traffic per domain/total traffic across all domains.

On the right side of the page, your own domain’s current estimated traffic will be pulled through, alongside Share of Voice.

You can then enter competitor domains into the boxes below, which will provide total estimated traffic and share of voice with a comparison to your own domain.

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How does this Google Sheet work?

This tool is designed to allow you to import a top 20 rankings report for your priority keywords, select which domains you feel you aren’t able to outrank within your niche, and optionally enter in CTR figures by position, average conversion rate, and Average Order Value (AOV), if you have access to this data.

Then, in the [Output 3] Keyword Opportunities tab you’ll get a list of the best potential rankings you could get for each keyword, ordered by total additional traffic and revenue you could get from on top of what you are currently getting.

In order to make all this magic happen there is a fair amount of Google Sheets spice happening in the background, so if you’re a Google Sheets enthusiast, you may enjoy taking a look under the hood to see how we’ve pulled it together.

The main formula used is the QUERY function in order to pull specific data from one sheet to another, which automatically updates based on the user’s selection on the [Input] Column Selection tab. This logic is used in all the main outputs.

The domain selection uses REGEX in order to combine together a list of different domains which are used in the different outputs to determine whether a site can rank for a specific domain or not.

Whenever working with rows, we use ARRAYFORMULAs in order to ensure that the formulas are applied to the whole column.

In the example below, we are using the regex above in order to determine whether a domain can or cannot compete for different ranking positions.

The estimated traffic, conversions, and revenue positions take the inputs from the [Input] CTR, Conv Rate and AOV tab.In the example below, we are working out the estimated traffic by multiplying the highest potential rank (in column C), looking up the CTR for that position and then multiplying it by the Search Volume (in column B). The same logic applies to the conversions and revenue figures.

Working out the difference in potential vs. current position is done by subtracting the estimated traffic from the current estimated traffic. There is some additional logic in there to catch whether the current traffic is higher than the potential traffic (as we obviously wouldn’t want the potential rank to be lower than the current rank).

These are the fundamentals, but if you are interested further, do make a copy, unhide the hidden cells, and have a good look under the hood.

Final thoughts

Within SEO, it’s critical to focus on impact when delivering results.

When you have a list of keywords, it’s often tricky to know where you could potentially rank, what levels of traffic you can earn, and how this relates to conversions and revenue. Aira’s Keyword Opportunity Estimation Tool tries to answer these questions.

Please reach out on Twitter to let us know how you get on with it!

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