There are many marketing options out there, and it can be overwhelming to sift through the information and determine the best fit for your company. There are several key factors to consider that will help you compare apples to apples and identify the most appropriate and effective marketing vehicle for your company and the outcome you are looking to achieve.
1) Define Your Goal
Are you looking to generate brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, gain “likes” on Facebook, promote a new product, maximize your trade show investment—or all of the above? Who is your target market? Are you looking to target specific business types or geographic areas? Outlining short- and long-term initiatives will help set the scope for your marketing plan and allow you to evaluate options more effectively.
2) For Print Circulation: Is It Audited?
It’s important that your media partner is able to guarantee that your message is reaching the intended audience. The best way to ensure you are connecting with the most qualified, engaged prospects in the industry is to look at a publisher’s audit statement. The auditing process is done through a third party and verifies each reader is a qualified industry professional who is a decision-maker in their company and has requested the publication. View AQUA's recent audit statement and check out the graphic below to see the AQUA audience breakdown for our printed publication:
3) For a Digital Audience: Evaluate Integrity
In today’s world, your prospects are consuming information on many different platforms, from email to websites to social media. To ensure you’re connecting with your best prospects, you must evaluate the integrity of the audience you are paying to reach. Some important questions to ask:
4) Seek Proven Statistics
One of the wonderful things about digital advertising is that it is trackable. By asking the questions outlined above, you will have a good idea what to expect going into a campaign. If a media partner is unable to provide you with proven average statistics over a period of time, that should be a red flag. A reputable media partner will often partner with a third party to track the analytics of your campaign and should provide a stat report on a regular basis.
Click here to view AQUA’s digital stats.
Want to learn more about how AQUA can help with your marketing needs? Contact:
When you deliver a message directly into an inbox of targeted prospects, great things can happen. That's why we're seeing more and more customers opt for our email solutions. Today our customers can target people they want to reach and craft a message that inspires them to take action.
1. Determine Your Purpose
Everyone has a different reason for sending a Custom E-Mail. For example, if you’re looking to drive direct sales, your messaging and call-to-action will be different than if you’re simply announcing a new brand initiative.
If you sell a product with a long sales cycle, it may not be feasible to expect prospects to make a purchase based off one email. However, enticing them to learn more about your product with a video or whitepaper can be a good way to move prospects further along your sales funnel.
Think about the objective of your email and make sure your content supports that objective. If the goal is click-throughs, a clear, concise call-to-action is important.
2. Subject Line, Subject Line, Subject Line!
The best email doesn’t work if no one opens it. That’s why your subject line has the biggest impact on the success of your email.
We’ve seen that the best subject lines offer value to the recipient, rather than just a sales message. In fact, the most successful subject lines rarely include brand or product names.
Subject lines with “Why” or “How” in the subject line prove to perform well. So do subject lines that indicate numbered lists. For example, “5 tips to build a better business.”
3. Use of Engaging Media
Videos and other interactive media are great ways to share more of your story.
Emails with a prominently displayed video will encourage the opener to click-through to view it. Other media options driving engagement include whitepapers, infographics, photo galleries or customizable “build your own product” interfaces.
Not everyone’s goal is to drive clicks. But if yours is, enticing the recipient with content-rich media is a good way to do so.
4. Consider the Length
It can be tempting to put your entire sales message into the body of the email. And with the right layout and supporting imagery, this has worked for some customers. But typically, keeping things concise is best — especially with professionals who are on-the-go. Remember, roughly half of your email openers will be on a mobile device.
5. Think About Your Landing Page
So you’ve piqued the curiosity of your prospect with a great subject line. Your call-to-action inspired them to click-through. Now what?
Does your prospect land on a page that’s mobile friendly and supports the messaging in the email? Are you doing anything to try to capture the prospect’s name and email address?
Not every Custom E-Mail needs to drive web traffic. But if that is the purpose of your send, consider what happens when the prospect gets to your site and what you want them to do.
These are just a few tips to help you make the most of your Custom E-Mail. Of course, every business has different objectives and circumstances. If you’ve purchased a Custom E-Mail, or are considering it, talk to me about how to make the most of the opportunity.
You might have noticed the last few issues of AQUA look a little different. Everything from our logo to the magazine’s cover to the content inside received a facelift. The new look made its debut in our August issue.
Our team spent months fine-tuning every detail of the rebranding and the positive reaction from readers has made it absolutely worth it.
“I really have to give you a high five for the overall change in the design and content of the magazine,” wrote Gibb Teel of Team Teel Spas, an AQUA subscriber. “It looks amazing visually.”
But as an advertiser, you might be asking yourself, “so what?” How does our rebranded magazine benefit you? That’s what we wanted to address in today’s blog.
1. A Better Vehicle for Your Brand
Our magazine is the biggest reflection of our brand. When our readers receive the magazine each month we want them to enjoy every page. And while other brands are cutting back on print products, AQUA invested in making ours better.
“There is so much talk about digital, digital, digital,” says Ron Reason, a nationally renowned design consultant who advised AQUA on the redesign. “But print is still the biggest reflection of your brand. AQUA clearly understands that and committed to creating the best product possible for readers and advertisers.”
When you partner with AQUA, you are aligning yourself with our brand. That’s not something we take lightly. We always strive to present our magazine — and in turn, your advertising message — in the best way possible. The clean, fresh look of the rebranded magazine helps us do that better than ever.
2. More Content = More Time Spent
The rebrand is more than cosmetic. It also comes with an array of new content helping us build an even stronger connection with our subscribers. Around the same time we launched our new look, we also partnered with APSP as its preferred media partner. The rebranded magazine now offers an APSP section, helping readers say in tune to best practices and new initiatives from the Association.
The APSP partnership also brings a new landmark issue to the AQUA lineup. The Awards of Excellence issue debuted this fall and featured images and details on 70 of the best pool and spa projects in the world. Look for this issue each October.
3. More Engaging, Easier to Read, Yields Bigger Audience
AQUA has always been known for its great content, but now that content is easier to find and more inviting than ever.
“Using some lingo from the pool and spa industry, think of the rebranded magazine like a retail store that just received a major update,” Reason says. “We’ve made it easier for people to find their way in, find what they’re looking for, keep them engaged while they’re there and keep them coming back.”
With more of our subscribers spending more time with the magazine, that means greater exposure for our advertising partners.
4. A Better Advertising Landscape
Finally, there are some subtle changes that might go unnoticed if you’re not a design expert. The magazine has more white space and images no longer “bleed” off the page, helping your advertisements stand out. We’ve given staple features like AQUA Architecture subtle updates. There are more images throughout the magazine.
“Our readers have always loved the beautiful photos of pool and spa projects, new product features and very useful editorial content so I was really just trying to make a great thing even better with a clean, functional design and space for new content,” says Scott Maurer, AQUA’s art director who created the redesigned magazine.
“I work with a great team of people and working with them new ideas to make the magazine more functional and enjoyable was very satisfying.”
AQUA’s Buyers’ Guide is the pool and spa industry’s most comprehensive resource. If you can name it, you can find it among the 230+ pages of the Buyers’ Guide: Products, manufacturers, brand names, distributors and manufacturers representatives.
To help our advertising partners (and even non-advertisers) make the most of their exposure in the Buyers’ Guide, AQUA media advisor Jared Fish checks in with some helpful tips in this short video update.
It’s hard to believe, but 2015 is already winding down. Along with falling temperatures and changing leaves, the end of the year also means it’s time for AQUA’s annual Buyers’ Guide. Our staff is hard at work on this edition which will arrive in the hands of our 15,000+ print subscribers in December.
If you can name it, you can find it among the 230+ pages of the Buyers’ Guide: Products, manufacturers, brand names, distributors and manufacturers representatives.
This is one of our most anticipated issues each year and the great news is, there are many perks for advertisers in the issue. Here are a few of the best:
1. Year-Long Visibility — Online and in Print
“We regularly hear stories from our readers who keep the Buyers’ Guide nearby at all times, even after it’s torn and tattered from being referenced so often,” says Scott Webb, executive editor of AQUA. “We love stories like that.”
As an advertiser in this issue, your company name is bolded throughout the Guide. Your listing also features a callout listing the page number of your advertisement. Additionally, your advertisement is guaranteed to be placed in the section of the Buyer’s Guide that you desire.
When you combine your Buyers’ Guide investment with an AQUA Microsite, you’ll receive additional exposure all year long on aquamagazine.com. Microsites are totally customizable — add video, product releases and catalogs — and they automatically “pop to the top” of search results on AQUA’s online Buyers’ Guide.
2. Your Prospects Are Out There, Help Them Find You
In addition to the 15,000+ people who receive the print edition of the Buyers Guide, thousands of people find it online each month. With your AQUA Microsite — available to Buyer’s Guide advertisers at a 60% discount — you’ll ensure your prospects easily find you no matter where they look. Each month the online Buyers’ Guide receives more than 2,400 pageviews.
Your customizable microsite includes a “Request a Quote” button, where prospects can request a quote right from your listing.
3. Stand Out Above Your Competitors
As prospects search the Buyers’ Guide, both online and in print, issue advertisers are more likely to be found. In print, your listing is bolded, while non-advertisers are not. Take a look at the example. Who will your prospects notice first?
4. Our Audience Loves It!
The Buyers’ Guide remains a tried and true resource for our audience of pool and spa professionals. We hear positive feedback all the time from readers who keep the Buyer’s Guide on their desk at all times.
As Webb says, “It’s one of the few products that can still beat Google head to head these days.”
AQUA is owned by AB Media, which owns two other B2B publications. In each industry we serve, the Buyers’ Guide is a staple for all of our readers.
“The Buyers’ Guide for me, I want the book,” said one reader we interviewed recently. “I like grabbing the book, finding who I need to talk to and when I need to make a purchase, what do I go to? I go to the Buyers’ Guide.”
And with AQUA, you know your Buyers’ Guide investment is reaching a powerful audience of dealers, service professionals, builders and designers.
Interested in helping your brand reach quality buyers in the 2016 Buyers’ Guide? Have additional questions you’d like answered? Just want to chat about your marketing goals and objectives? Give Jared or Stan a call today.
Want to learn more? Jared has some tips for advertisers and non-advertisers alike in this Buyers’ Guide video blog.