All posts by Dave Chaffey

Dave is CEO and co-founder of Smart Insights. He is editor of the 100 templates, ebooks and courses in the digital marketing resource library created by our team of 25+ Digital Marketing experts. Our resources used by our Expert members in more than 80 countries to Map, Plan and Manage their digital marketing. For my full profile, or to connect on LinkedIn or other social networks, see the About Dave Chaffey profile page on Smart Insights. Dave is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Emarketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing.

Updated report shows the why, what and how of selecting social listening tools

‘Listen first!’ is the first step in almost all advice on creating a social media strategy. To listen effectively you need to choose the right tool. There’s certainly no shortage of choice. Back in 2009 (and updated since) Smart Insights created a comparison of 36 of the best-known online reputation monitoring tools including free and paid tools. Since then, there has been an explosion of new tools on the market, making the selection process now even more bewildering. Our free tools guides has a select number of services.

[si_guide_block id="70611" title="Download free resource – Essential Digital Marketing Tools" description="This guide will recommend the best types of tools and the most popular alternatives in each category based on our experience and talking to other marketers."/]

In order to enable companies and individuals to make effective decisions about the selection…

Chart of the Day: New experiment on outbound links shows their impact

A lot of discussion of SEO is around the right type of backlinks, links into a site, and rightly so given their continued importance to ranking. But what about links out from a site, do they have an impact? These are discussed less often, but can have an impact as the chart from this experiment by Reboot Online shows. The experiment involved purchasing 10 new domains which mentioned the niche term "Phylandocic". Each article mentioned 2 authoritative, related websites. On 5 of the websites, mentions are in plain text whilst on the other 5 sites, they are hyperlinked. The domains were all registered at the same time to remove any domain age influence. All domains contained 10 random but pronounceable characters and all domains were confirmed as having 0 search volume produced in Google. All sites were co-hosted to minimise any…

Our compilation comparing average conversion rates for retail sites and other industry sectors

As you will know, conversion rate is often used as a KPI to review the effectiveness of Ecommerce sites. Naturally all site managers and owners want to know, "how do our conversion rates compare?" In this post I have compiled different free industry sources focusing on retail Ecommerce conversion, but towards the end of the post, a chart shows average conversion rates for a range of sectors including B2B conversion. Before we get to the stats, one other caveat on analysis of conversion rates: When benchmarking conversion rate, we think it's important to explain to marketing managers that they should go beyond headline conversion rates to segment conversion by different types of visitor. To see why, see Dan Barker's excellent post explaining why conversion rate is a horrible measure to focus on.

November 2016 update - retail conversion rates by device

The…

Chart of the Day:  How often should businesses mail their subscribers? Research reveals the average number of monthly contacts.

These are classic 'tough questions' for email marketers which always raise a lot of debate. A question on our LinkedIn group about email reminder frequency for events had 20 comments. Choosing the best frequency for sending email emails is challenging since we are looking to maximise response, but avoid 'over-mailing' which can lead to unacceptable levels of unsubscribes and an increase in inactives since our audience may feel they are being spammed. Even if they don't unsubscribe they will become "emotionally unsubscribed". Worse still, with overmailing, the business may have email delivery problems and messages aren't getting through to the inbox at all. On the other hand, with 'under-mailing', opportunities to explain the proposition and promotions or to get the right product in front of the right subscriber and sales may be lost. The DMA's National Email Client Report 2016 now known…

Chart of the Day: New consumer research shows why it's important to get into the primary inbox

Here's some useful insight for email marketers who are looking to understand changes in the inbox behaviour of consumers. It's a new report from the DMA showing how busy consumers manage their busy inboxes. The research looks at a range of issues including 'ghost' accounts; unsubscribes and in-depth focus on the behaviours of younger consumers, including 'Millennials and what motivates consumers to share their email address.

How many email addresses do consumers have?

This is the specific question we'll look at here. The answer is... more than you might think, although as a marketer you may have more than most.The chart shows two is most common which will typically be because people have a work and an inbox email. The proportion…

A comparison benchmark of add-to-basket rates with conversion rates? [Chart of the Day]

Do you call it add-to-cart or add-to-basket? It depends where you are based - cart is most common in the United States, basket is more common in the UK and Australia. Regardless of what you call it, adding an item to the cart is an important micro-conversion step to measure and benchmark for retailers. While it is common to compare conversion rates, naturally this measures the efficiency of the overall process including both category or product views, basket adds and checkout. Add-to-basket rates give additional information about how appealing individual products are based on description and visuals on the product page. It shows intent to purchase by interactions with the site (Act in the Smart Insights RACE Planning conversion funnel). Google has several definitions in its Enhanced Ecommerce tracking and they neatly avoid the use of basket or cart. These measures…

Which are the best options to increase reach for online retail sites?

The answers to these key questions for online retailers are revealed in the Custora Ecommerce Pulse which summarises online retail sales sources by channel. Although retailers will know their current mix of traffic which is driving sales, it's always useful to benchmark this mix against others. This chart gives the latest data from 2016 to inform your strategy into 2017. If you are under-performing in some channels, this benchmark enables you to compare to see what is possible. If you apply the 70-20-10 rule, this chart shows that 70% of your effort should go into the 3 main channels or organic search, paid search or CPC and Email marketing. Affiliate marketing is also important. When interpreting this source, it's worth remembering that these stats don't show traffic…

Automated customer lifecycle marketing will be the future of email marketing

To look forward to the future of email marketing 2020 - a report I have contributed to from Litmus, I believe we need to look back to appreciate how little the support for marketers from email marketing platforms has evolved to deliver customised lifecycle messaging. Frankly, I have been amazed how few companies have adopted email as a strategic communications tool for personalised, behavioural based email across the years since I started training on email marketing in 2001.

Research on the adoption of email targeting still shows us a reality where the majority of email marketing involves either no segmentation at all or targeting of just 4 to 6 segments.

So, by mid 2017 I’d like…

A listing of 3 categories of product recommendation services for retailers to increase conversion and Average Order Value

These website personalisation tools enable you to segment visitors and then deliver personalised messages within containers as with the classic Amazon personalized recommendations – read their published methodology from this fascinating whitepaper from back in 2003. I originally wrote this post in 2010 when there were fewer options. I have updated annually since with the help added by commenters - thanks! This is the latest 2016 update. [si_guide_block id="57383" title="Access resource – Web Personalisation guide" description="Our E-learning topic will show you the options for delivering more persuasive, relevant dynamic web content at relevant points in the onsite customer journey for B2B and B2C sites. As well as the techniques and tools available for personalisation based on audience characteristics and behaviour."/]

Category 1. Personalization integrated with web analytics

When web personalization service first appeared they were part of…

How the the Multichannel Majority varies between different sectors

Our mobile marketing statistics summary shows how mobile use has increased such that it now exceeds desktop use in many categories. Following the lead of Google and others, you now often hear marketers and designers talking about adopting a Mobile-first design approach when upgrading their websites. Many responsive designs are led by the mobile experience. This often leads to a simplified design approach which is positive for users and conversion. I was recently working on  a consulting project in the insurance sector and it was interesting to see how insurance comparison sites like Money Supermarket, Confused.com and the AA have all adopted a mobile-first design philosophy with simplified designs and reduced copy. While this is positive, I've chosen today's Chart of the Day to show that it is an over-simplification. The reality is that while smartphone use is overwhelmingly popular for some…

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