Q&A: Decoding Online Marketing Success: Your Guide to Planning, Reviewing, and Executing


The key to growth for your business or nonprofit lies in attracting, engaging, and nurturing your audience. 


Whether you're taking your first steps into online marketing, seeking validation of existing strategies, or hunting for proven ideas to ensure success, having a solid foundation and plan will propel you forward.


We're taking the most popular questions from our latest webinar and expanding upon them to assist you with planning and setting practical goals, review your marketing tools, and get ready to execute with simple actions you can take to boost your productivity.


You can view the webinar directly through Wistia or right here on the Blog!




Have a question left over from the webinar? Leave us a comment below.



How do I start to make my plan?

Get specific with your marketing goal(s). “Increase revenue” is a good goal but depending on the business, there are a multitude of ways to accomplish this. Do you want to increase the average transactional amount? Branch out to other channels with advertising (social media, e-commerce, etc)? It’s great to have lofty goals but if they’re unattainable, it can get frustrating to follow through on them. It’s always better to reach a goal or exceed it rather than trying to reach an unrealistic goal.


Once you’ve determined your goals, it’s time to get to work. We suggest breaking them down into bite-sized actions and focus on a few items at a time. Make sure to create a timeline and actually set aside time to work on them, whether that’s daily or weekly. 


You can use the Marketing Calendar built right into your account to plan out those emails and social posts that help to support your goals.


Blog post: 2024 Online Marketing Calendar: Template and Marketing Holidays

What channels should I be using once I’ve determined my goals? Is one better than the other?

Each channel (website, Email Marketing, Social Media # , SMS Marketing ) has its own strengths and weaknesses. In most cases, you can’t run your marketing solely through one channel. A website is your home; the hub where you’ll point customers towards once you get them in the door. Email marketing is direct communication with customers who have engaged with you or have just started to. Social media opens the door to finding new people. Finally, SMS marketing is valuable for businesses or organizations that are using more time-sensitive communicatio

How much should I be spending when advertising on social media?

A good rule of thumb is 3-6% of your revenue.

What metrics or reporting will be most useful for me?

Again, this depends on what channels you are using. Each channel has it's own available reporting and you should use it to evaluate your current marketing tools and results. Some quick hits:

  • Website: traffic source, bounces
  • Email: clicks, bounces, A/B subject line testing
  • Social: page follower growth, demographics, engagement
  • SMS: conversions, bounces, unsubscribes


Blog: How to Measure Digital Marketing: 10 Metrics to Watch



When I start doing emails, do I need to build my template from scratch? Can I save it so I don’t need to create a new one every time I send?

Creating a reusable template will save you time since it will already have your branding (colors, logo, social media, etc). When your contacts open your email, they’ll know exactly where it came from. When you copy the template, all you need to do is insert your content and send it. 


If your marketing plan involves sending seasonal email campaigns, we offer templates right inside your account that are related to the current season or holiday.


How do I use the automated tools in my account to support my goals?

There are lots of possibilities here. Let’s go back to the goal posed earlier with wanting to increase revenue. Use the automated abandoned cart email to remind a customer that they had items in their shopping cart. This is a hands-off way to bring in a sale which may not have happened. Sending an automated birthday email celebrates a customer's special day and there's an opportunity for you to include a coupon, enticing them to do business with you.



How would you go about improving engagement with an existing audience? Context: we are a nonprofit church that's struggling to get people to volunteer. Often, I find that churches are sending one email that includes multiple items in a newsletter.

If your goal is to get more people to volunteer, you could start sending one focused email when you have a volunteer opportunity to promote

In your regularly scheduled newsletter, add content where your existing volunteers share stories about their volunteer efforts and why they volunteer. You could even share some statistics and benefits of volunteering and how it benefits everyone involved. Include a section where you recognize your previous volunteers for different projects and let them know how thankful you are for their service.


Another thing you can do is to start to build out a list of just your volunteers. Find out who is volunteering by seeing who is clicking on your information about volunteering and work to build out that particular audience. You can use the Click Segmentation tool in Constant Contact to target those people you know who are interested. Use that group and have them submit their stories about their volunteer opportunities and why they do that. You can repurpose those stories in your regular newsletters.



Can you briefly go over the pay-per-click ads and what was meant by "pay-per-click" and "Immediate"
"Pay-per-click" means you are running an ad pay every time someone clicks on your ad. The term "immediate" means you can quickly drive business or results from running an ad versus SEO which is a long-term strategy used to drive more traffic to your website. If you want to send a coupon or certificate - would direct mail be best for that? This would be for 1 free item - we feel that email will allow people to print/use the coupon more than once. You can send a coupon in many different ways. If you want to bring in brand new people to your business, direct mail can be a good option. You could also use social, email, or even text marketing to send a coupon to your existing customers/subscribers to reward them for their loyalty and drive more repeat business.


What is a good/bad frequency for email?
There isn't a standard answer to this question. Good and bad frequency for email varies based on your business and the expectations you set with your audience upon sign-up.

In short, you want to send at least once a month so your subscribers don't forget about you. But if you set the expectations appropriately with subscribers and have enough valuable content and information to share, you can send more frequently. Test out different frequencies to see what works for your organization. Watch your reporting, especially unsubscribes, clicks, and conversions to see the effect and adjust your sending frequency accordingly.



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