Tags: Facebook

Email Is 40 X As Effective As Facebook & Twitter Combined

Email Is 40 X As Effective As Facebook & Twitter Combined

Beyond • March 7, 2014

A recently released report by McKinsey & Company revealed that the efficacy of email over social media is actually beyond any online marketer’s dreams. The study measured US consumer acquisition growth by channel in percentage of customers acquired, and found that email has been on an absolute tear since 2010 when this performance statistic was relatively equivalent to that on Facebook and Twitter. The growth in overall percentage of customers when charted creates a linear up up up graph which sees email hit a rate of... wait for it... forty times that of Facebook and Twitter combined! Ammo to silence the most strident email critics McKinsey & Company’s latest iConsumer survey entitled E-Commerce Customer Acquisition Snapshot shows that between 2009 and 2010 email actually declined very slightly in performance against the social media powerhouses of Facebook and Twitter. However, as the mobile revolution slowly began to take hold email marketing effectiveness took off with it, leaving the top two social networks behind in its dust. One of the most fascinating aspects of this report is that some of the statistics which are revealed in the study promise to absolutely floor any professional email marketer and provide more than enough ammo to silence even the most strident critic. No growth in social networks’ customer acquisition rate in 5 years The rate which the McKinsey & Company survey claims for email marketing’s advantage over social media in the field of customer acquisition is truly nothing short of amazing. Both Facebook and Twitter have essentially shown no growth at all since way back in 2009. This flatlining betrays the fact that social media followers are essentially in “for the ride” and a decade or more of online marketers’ best efforts to forge a powerful conversion machine on the infrastructure of the social networks have had essentially no effect whatsoever. When you consider that over the past five years there hasn’t been a single blip in the customer acquisition growth percentage of the two most popular social networks in the United States, you really have to wonder if social media will ever truly become the checkout powerhouse that so many believe it already is. Credible reputation & impeccable statistical science If it were not that the McKinsey & Company’s report is backed by an extremely credible reputation and some impeccable statistical science, you might think that it’s a fudged report concocted by an email marketing promotional company. The figures it provides over and above that remarkable forty times statistic are certainly worthy of a high degree of confidence from any online brand marketer. Champagne corks popping in email marketing offices The report reinforces the commitment, trust, and belief that savvy online marketers have in email. It concludes that only 9% of all American consumers fail to check their email at least daily, leaving 91% who do. Those emails certainly get the desired job done with remarkable effectiveness as the rate at which email missives prompt conversions and checkouts is more than three times greater than that to be achieved on social networks. If that wasn’t enough to set champagne corks popping among email marketing offices all over the country, consider that not only does email trigger more purchases, but the average order value is 17 percent greater than the ones generated through social media. If we combine those two statistics we find that the bottom line effect of email on order volume and value are nearly four times that of social media. Given that many brands would swear their undying fealty to a channel which provides a 10% increase in order volume and value, the prospect of being able to commit to email’s absolutely staggering 400% advantage is nothing short of a total revelation. While the social networks have completely flatlined in the last five years, email marketing has increased annually until it has become the undeniable champion. There is no doubt that social media will continue to have a place in the quiver of any online marketer, but when it comes time to pick the one arrow that has the best chance of a bullseye, it’s always email!


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12 Ideas to Explode Your Email List With Contests And Sweepstakes in 2014

12 Ideas to Explode Your Email List With Contests And Sweepstakes in 2014

Beyond • February 6, 2014

Doing better, bigger, braver. This is what I aim for this year. How do you feel? Have you dreamed of sending better emails? Or sending them to more people? I am sure you really want this latter one, and you are not alone. To help you we created an infographic from the best ideas so you can start the year with a big bang. 12 Viral Contest Ideas: One For Each And Every Month Of The Year Before going to the details, remember that the best part is that these promotions are fun to enter for the subscriber. Besides, who would mind a little bribe here and there? I am okay with being bribed! Actually these incentivized opt-ins are common. According to the research of Marketing Sherpa more than half of the most effective list building techniques include an incentive of some sort, like a whitepaper, a gift card or a coupon. Another positive side effect of contests and sweepstakes are that they are viral. Subscribers need to invite their friends to increase their own chances of winning, or to be eligible to enter. Facebook has some functions that help the promotion to spread (auto posting, sharing, etc.). That’s the natural space for your subscribers to share with friends. Anyway, here are the 12 suggestions: Okay, there are a lot of promotion types mentioned in this info-graphic. Let me shed some light on which one is for what reason: sweepstakes are mainly for lead generation, contests are more for engagement and reaching the friends of fans, and deals are mostly for driving sales. For sweepstakes (quiz, poll, draw) you can grant bonus entry points after they invite their friends. The more friends they invite, the better their chances of winning. For contests (video-, photo-, essay contest) the winner might be decided based on the number of votes they receive for their entry. So entrants will be asking friends to vote. Over to you What would you add to the list? Do you use contests and sweepstakes as a form of lead generation? Here are some case studies on Antavo’s site that may help with inspiration (some of them are extremely successful … instead of being jealous please be aware that you can do the same). Antavo is a Benchmark Email partner. The subscribers collected with contests and sweepstakes can by synchronized with your Benchmark account.


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Answer a Short Facebook Survey to Win a $20 Amazon Gift Card

Beyond • November 9, 2012

Our humble roots will always be in email marketing. However, we know that marketing doesn’t exist in a vacuum. One channel is seldom the right answer. Marketing is usually an all of the above type question. That’s why we launched our event management platform a few weeks ago. We want to get in touch with your thoughts on event marketing. A “help us help you” sort of thing. We’re hosting a short, three question survey on our Facebook page. Answer the questions and you will be entered to win one of five $20 Amazon gift cards. You must Like Benchmark Email on Facebook to be eligible to win. The survey will go live Monday, November 12 and end Monday, November 19th at 9:00 AM PST. We will announce the winners and get the gift cards to you with plenty of time for some holiday shopping. Thanks in advance for participating!


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According to Your Brain, Social Websites Engage More than TV

According to Your Brain, Social Websites Engage More than TV

Beyond • December 12, 2011

A recent scientific study by NeuroFocus examined the neurological impact of advertising in different contexts and has come up with some startling conclusions about the efficacy of website advertising when combined with the social element. The subsidiary of the giant Nielsen ratings provider, which bills itself as a neuromarketing company, compared the impact of the New York Times, Facebook and Yahoo on test subjects by clinically measuring their brainwaves. If you’re shifting around on your seat from the prospect of marketing researchers tapping directly into your gray matter, you’re not alone. The Brainwave Determination of a Premium Website Experience All three sites were able to garner a greater level of both emotional engagement and overall attention than the average for similar websites. That qualifies them in the vernacular of the researchers to be acknowledged as “premium website experiences.” The qualification as being among the elite premium sites is measured by the researchers as the extent of the neurological response. By measuring the brain wave pattern of the subjects when they were visiting the three sites, they were able to measure: Level of attention Emotional engagement Memory activation These three factors are essentially standalone measurements, as one site may engage a viewer in a powerful emotional manner but fail to make a long term impact and is thus easily forgotten. Therefore it would score highly on emotional engagement but poorly on memory activation. The three sites scored as follows: New York Times – Attention Level: 8.35; Emotional Engagement: 6.2; Memory Activation: 7.25. Yahoo – Attention Level: 8.15; Emotional Engagement: 6.2; Memory Activation: 6.7. Facebook – Attention Level: 8.3; Emotional Engagement: 6.65; Memory Activation: 7.2. We thus see that the New York Times draws a higher level of attention than Yahoo and Facebook but falls to the social network when it comes to engaging the emotions of the website visitor. Yahoo’s content is considerably more forgettable than either Facebook’s or the New York Times, meaning that it fails to make as much of an impact on the centers of the brain that are responsible for filing data away for future recollection. Surprising Gender Findings Although subjects from both genders responded similarly to most of the queries posed by the researchers, there were notable variances. Facebook was seen as resonating more with their own individual needs for men over women (a rather surprising finding), while Yahoo was seen by females as stronger in “advice” and “connecting” functions. Results Are a Boon to Advertisers Everywhere The most significant conclusion of the study is that the websites that creatively integrate social elements into every aspect of their presentations can create a level of emotional engagement that is quite close to the most engaging medium: Television. The budgets required to reach millions of people on television extend into the millions of dollars, with some corporations spending hundreds of millions per year. Therefore, the discovery that an advertiser is able to achieve a similar level of emotional engagement through a channel that is so relatively inexpensive as websites and social media is a major boon to corporate advertisers and small businesses alike. Similar or Greater Emotional Engagement than TV The researchers also measured overall neurological effectiveness to determine “a composite measure of the efficiency of cognitive processing – a weighted combination of attention, emotional engagement and memory activation. One of the most interesting of the various tests was a 30 second advertisement for Visa credit cards that they displayed to the subjects in three different contexts: In a TV pod On a Facebook product page On the Visa corporate website Overall effectiveness was highest on the Facebook page at 6.6, followed by the TV pod display at 6.3, with the Visa corporate site scoring a low 5.8. This significant difference can be attributed to the lack of social engagement in the Visa corporate site over the social network’s page. However, the revelation that the ad in a TV pod is actually less effective than on Facebook is certainly surprising. As creepy as reading brainwaves for marketing purposes may seem, these conclusions are definitely worth examining!


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The Weekly Wrap: Happy Holidays with B2B Email Marketing

The Weekly Wrap: Happy Holidays with B2B Email Marketing

Beyond • December 9, 2011

This is a crucial time of the year. Sure, it’s the homestretch for your holiday marketing. It’s also the time you need to make the key decision to eat healthy between Thanksgiving and the rest of the holidays, or just let loose and start anew in the New Year. Today I can help you with one of those things. The Internet Industry Opposes SOPA: Is It Too Late? SOPA sounds like a delicious restaurant. I wish it were, and not the Stop Online Piracy Act. See why The Internet Industry Opposes SOPA: Is It Too Late? How to Generate B2B Content It’s not as easy as turning a crank on the ol’ content machine (because they don’t exist). Check out these easy tips on How to Generate B2B Content. Facebook Dominates amongst India’s Social Media Users Did you know that Facebook Dominates amongst India’s Social Media Users? Benchmark Releases New Email Marketing Manual for Consultants If you were to consult with me, I\'d say you should check out our new email marketing manual for consultants. That’s right, Benchmark Releases New Email Marketing Manual for Consultants. How Facebook’s Privacy Policies Freely Sold User Data Oh no! Find out How Facebook’s Privacy Policies Freely Sold User Data. Why Video Is Dominating the Market and How you Can Get in on It I want to make a joke about dominating being in two separate headlines this week, but I also like my job. Make your own, then discover Why Video Is Dominating the Market and How you Can Get in on It. Try These Great Email Marketing Holiday Tips for Your E-Commerce ...but where are my tips on how to get more presents? Work on those, and Try These Great Email Marketing Holiday Tips for Your E-Commerce. How a Maverick Took on the Online Privacy Violators & Won Oh. So that’s what the Dallas Mavs are doing during the lockout. What? What do you mean not that type of Maverick? See How a Maverick Took on the Online Privacy Violators & Won. Self-Publishing to Get You Noticed and Build Your Brand This is also known as the Kardashian Method. Learn about Self-Publishing To Get You Noticed and Build Your Brand. 2011 Christmas & Holiday Email Templates from Benchmark Email See what has me cheery this holiday season (I know you’re all dying to know). Check out our 2011 Christmas & Holiday Email Templates from Benchmark Email.


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How to Create QR Codes for Print & Online Advertising

Beyond • November 9, 2011

Fads come and go in pop culture, fashion and even the world of business. There always seems to be a new bandwagon for marketers to jump on, and QR codes are among the latest to come along. Are they worth the jump, or just a part of another fad that is all hype and no substance? I don’t have the answer to whether or not this is a trend that will last, but I can tell you that they have a ton of potential. What’s the Rage All About? Although QR codes are being treated as a new phenomenon in the marketing arena, they are not exactly new per se. QR actually has a history that spans over a decade in Japan, where it was originally created. The QR stands for Quick Response; the actual codes themselves are sort of like the barcodes you see stuck on items in a retail store. They can be scanned in a similar manner, but the big difference is in the wealth of information they are capable of storing. What really gives these fuzzy looking, two-dimensional codes so much potential is how they work. A person with a compatible smartphone can use their device to scan a given code and instantly access the content it contains. It may direct a smartphone user to a YouTube video, special offers and coupons, or directions to an event venue. If this thing takes off, we could start regularly seeing QR codes on automobiles, billboards and clothing items. If you look closely the next time you\'re out at the mall, you\'ll realize they\'re already in most major advertisements. Bringing QR Codes to Life So how do you actually create a QR code? There are quite a few options, with the easiest being using one of the web-based generator tools available online. QRStuff, GOQR and Maestro are just some of the applications that can be used to create QR codes with relative ease. If you have a savvy developer on your staff, you can create them by grabbing the source code from open source software projects such as the Open Source QR Code Library or PHP QR Code. This is the best option for shaping the look and feel of your creation. Incorporating QR Codes into Your Marketing Mix There are so many ways to put QR codes to work for your business. Perhaps the best thing about QR codes is the degree of flexibility that gives them so many beneficial uses. While the ideal place to send prospects may appear to be your website, there is nothing stopping you from directing them to your social hangouts. The potential for growing your following on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter is tremendous. And QR codes make the jump from online to print seamlessly. In fact, they act as a bridge between the digital and the physical. When a user sees something in their daily life that intrigues them, a quick scan with the mobile in their hand leads them straight to your landing page. Coupled with a compelling reason to join, slapping the URL to your signup form on a newspaper ad or t-shirt could definitely help attract those new subscribers you’re after. As marketing tools, the possibilities of QR codes are endless. We’re already seeing a lot in terms of how they can be used, yet realize that we haven’t even begun to start digging into the surface with this thing. With players like Google and Microsoft getting involved, the future of QR codes looks bright for sure.


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Social Media: What Comes First: The Impressions or the Profits?

Beyond • November 9, 2011

When social media came to the table in 2005, marketers flew into a frenzy trying to create monetization avenues and figure out how to take the most from the opportunity, all while developing new web presence for their business units. Budgets shifted to compensate for potential ad revenue. Full time in-house roles were created solely to oversee day-to-day Facebook and Twitter account posts. Consulting, marketing and tech firms all scrambled to create analytics able to make sense of - and justify - these new online marketing spends. It\'s been six years, and what we do know is that the state of play has undergone a serious paradigm shift. But the jury is still out on the justification: what is the actual return on investment for social media campaigns? The first issue is that analytics have lagged behind technology. Social media is still a neophyte in the marketing arena, and has been indulged in the way most youths are: the future is bright, the possibilities seem endless in such uncharted territory and experimentation has been highly encouraged. Combine that wide-eyed wonder with the meta-nature of digital goods, and the result is social media budgets feel more like monopoly money than real dollars and cents. The second problem has to do with the qualitative modes of evaluation for existing analytics: What is the return on investment for a \"Like\"? When a company creates a viral video, how does a million YouTube views translate to profits? In a space defined equally by innovation and transience, companies are unsure of their objectives: a 2010 study by Internet Retailer Magazine found that 74 percent of businesses wanted social media to drive traffic to their websites, while only 56 percent wanted to use social media to increase sales. In essence, impressions are suddenly more prized than profits in a digital environment. Not that marketers are not trying to develop more accurate methods to capture the impact of their social media campaigns. Early this year, Facebook announced a new \"People Talking About\" metric meant to quantify user behavior with hard numbers. Other metric tools, like DX Social from Data X, are aimed at teasing out the spurious relationships between social media ads and consumer engagement; and the 20-year-old customer relationship management agency Merkle has developed technology to combine a company\'s extant client information with their Facebook interactions, allowing businesses to eventually determine a recipe for successful viral campaigns. But until that time comes, they opt to continue and even increase investments in social media advertising: a recent study from EMarketer projects that 3.1 billion dollars will be spent for these campaigns in 2012. The good news? According to Adweek reporter Erin Griffin, while the formula for viral success is still in its beta stages, it is also close enough to being correct that businesses can more or less identify what it will take to create a potentially sticky campaign. It\'s also clear that no matter what else you do, volume matters - and people value bonuses over brand. Give a consumer a steady stream of coupons and offers and they will continue to patronize your Fan Page. Finally, there is a comfortable similarity between the traditional marketing funnel and that of social media, from reach to engagement, followed by action and next sharing and advocacy. But understanding what all that sharing and advocacy means in real money? We’re not talking monopoly money any more: this is a whole new game, with its own set of rules.


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State of the Media: Social Media in Your Brand Marketing

State of the Media: Social Media in Your Brand Marketing

Beyond • November 8, 2011

It is hard to imagine a world without social media, but at one point in time that is exactly what we were faced with. Just a few short years ago, there was no Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn to fill that void of emptiness in our lives. As we all know, the digital landscape has undergone a dramatic transformation in a very short amount of time, and the social channel has been an integral part of its evolution. If you are one of the marketers who still believes this new age media is just a fad, listen up, because we have run across some research that may finally get you on the other side of the fence. Research firm Nielsen and NM Incite, a company born out of a joint venture between Nielsen and McKinsey, recently published “State of The Media: The Social Media Report,” which focuses on research looking at how consumers interacted with brands through social media during the third quarter of 2011. According to the report, people are increasingly using this channel to not only seek out brands, but to connect with them and share the experiences they have with them as well. The collective research effort shows that 60% of consumers who use multiple internet sources to research products discovered a specific brand or business through a social media website. 53% of active social users are engaging to actually follow brands and tell others about those experiences. The vast majority said they do this by relaying their experiences through reviews. As far as what compels social media users to share brand experiences, the report cites a variety reasons. 61% said they share them to commend the company for a job well done. 58% said they do so to protect fellow consumers, while 25% give reviews to punish the brand for a job not so well done. 41% of social media users said they share reviews because of discounts, which highlights the power of incentives. Whatever the reason, the fact that consumers are so willing to share their experiences and play such an important role in the branding process should be viewed as encouraging news for marketers. Identifying High-Value Social Media Users Although social media is arguably the hottest channel going today, it is just one of several in terms of platforms brands should be paying attention to. More research headed up by Nielsen and NM Incite focused on the digital channel as a whole to produce insights into the value of the one constant in today’s internet experience - the consumer. According to the study, brands are likely to find the most valuable consumers in the following three areas: Social Media - The research by Nielsen and company shows that 51% of users were influenced by advertisements on social networking sites that display how many of their friends like or follow the brand presenting the offer. Parents were considered the most valuable overall as 64% were shown to use the social web to discover brands. Local - The rising popularity of location-based technology is also reflected in the study. 45% of consumers acting on local offers are likely to recommend the participating daily deals site to others. Interestingly, only 5% cite using the Foursquare app. Mobile - Some of the most interesting data on consumer value can be found in the mobile category. Nielsen’s research shows that 38% of Americans own a smartphone, while nearly all mobile internet users visit some type of website. In what may be surprising to some, teens were viewed as the most valuable mobile users because they are more likely to respond to ads and upgrade from the free to the paid version of an app. Consumers are plugged in firmly to the digital channel. The brands who understand how they are interacting and adapt their strategy accordingly will be the ones who benefit from that activity.


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