Tags: idea

Stuck? Here are 7 Awesome Ideas for Your Next Email Marketing Campaign

Beyond • May 14, 2015

If you’re doing weekly or even monthly email or newsletter campaigns, it can be challenging to think of something new and different to say. The next time you’re stuck thinking of how to spin an email campaign, consider some of the ideas here. Awareness Dates There are so many awareness dates in each month that it’s impossible not to piggy back off one of those and craft content around that. If you’ve wondered, for example, why so many people last month were talking about mental health and autism, it’s because there was a mental health awareness week and autism months. These dates trigger conversation, so why not get on board with that and see how it can fit into your business. If you’re a university, talk about the trend of accommodating special needs into your curriculum. If you’re a retailer, maybe have a campaign where either during the month or on a certain weekend a set % of proceeds will go to a related charity. Video Try including a video in your email campaign rather than just another round of copy. Talk about your services, client testimonials, or just a “behind the scenes” look at your day to day life. Rethink the Holidays Rather than have the holidays be about the holidays or your products, try thinking outside the box. For February, embrace a different way of thinking about love for example. Are you offering a gift certificate for a loved one or partnering with other businesses to host a special Valentine’s Day contest? The idea is to get creative so people start talking about you and know that you’re sending more than just self-serving campaigns. Surveys Because people love giving their opinions and you need to know what your customers are thinking. Be sure to offer an incentive for taking the survey. Create a Series If you’re doing weekly newsletters, try having the last week of the month be about some ongoing series. If you’re a retailer, have it be about vignettes on the history of retail. But make it fun. Use a lot of pictures and go with stories you know your audience will love, like “What did Coco Chanel Have for Breakfast?” or “What was a woman’s go-to makeup in the 1910s? Discount Codes What makes your email campaign stand out? Why should your consumers always be checking your emails or even subscribe to them? The answer is simple if you use email to send exclusive discounts. Turn it Over Instead of talking about yourself, how about profiling your favorite customer or vendor? It doesn’t have to be someone who does business with you. If you’re a patriotic company, you can take the opportunity to profile a veteran each month. Some companies have begun opting for quarterly email newsletters in order to make it easier on the backend in gathering ideas and crafting content. Others might opt for this because they don’t want to inundate inboxes. However, it’s important to stay active with your audience and opt for weekly and even monthly newsletters rather than quarterly ones. If you’ve got something important or even interesting to say, you need to say it on a regular basis to stay at the forefront of everyone’s mind. Quarterly newsletters should be reserved for print publication.


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Top Holiday Gift Idea for the Office

Top Holiday Gift Idea for the Office

Beyond • December 10, 2014

One of the more stressful activities during this season’s holiday festivities is your yearly office holiday party. While it’s an opportunity ripe for creative expression, it’s also a time when there’s a magnifying glass behind which is an entire staff closely examining your gift of choice. What you ultimately decide to wrap up and place under the tree at the office is going to say a lot about who you are as a team member – and sometimes even as a leader. For the idea challenged, I’ve come up with an idea sure to get you kudos for creativity and prime you for success this holiday season. Most creative offices now have a reading nook, be it a bookshelf or a private collection that showcases thought leadership. This collection is usually a composite of some industry books paired with some heavy hitter titles written by the genius minds of Malcolm Gladwell, Seth Godin and the like. Your holiday gift this season will add to that collection – moreover, in the eyes of the recipient, it will forever link you with that brilliant collection because one of these books came from you. What Do You Do With An Idea? is that book. It’s a children’s book, technically, but sometimes a children’s book isn’t just a children’s book. Especially if you work in a creative field that values the power of innovation and entrepreneurship. If that sounds like your office environment, you might want to consider this book written by Kobi Yamada. As one Goodreads reader phrased it, “This is a great book for motivating anyone that has an idea that needs to be nurtured and protected. In this fast paced world so many forget about the small ideas that have had an impact on others lives. This book is a refreshing reminder of the importance of ideas and why we should strive to keep them going.” The core concept in the book is that as your confidence grows, so does your idea. The idea is presented as an egg with a golden crown on. As you turn the pages, the book slowly ripens with color as this idea grows. Growth is shown in the increasing size of the egg and by how the main character, a little boy in this case, interacts with the idea – like carrying it in a knapsack on your back. Finally, you possess the idea; it isn’t just some external manifestation anymore. Once the idea is yours, the crown on the egg is now on your head, and your world bursts with color. It’s brilliant and scores ten points for creativity. Another Goodreads reader had this to say, “The main character…at first was overwhelmed by the fact and didn’t know what to do about [the idea]. He tried abandoning it, but he grew closer to it and started to make it better, and believed in it, showing it to others. The only real conflict was mental for the boy, first he was afraid of it, but then he gets put down by others.” What Do You Do With An Idea? covers all your gift-giving bases. Your office gift giving should be a reflection of both you as a team member and of your recipient. You want to show originality and thought leadership, but you also want to show you understand the spirit of your team and the preferences of the recipient. This time of year, especially in more relaxed office, it’s very common to get extra cheers for giving gag gifts – but real leadership isn’t about making people laugh. It’s about making people think. Your gift should be a point of conversation and not the topic of a joke.


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David Ogilvy’s ‘Mad Men’ Rules For Successful Email Marketing

David Ogilvy’s ‘Mad Men’ Rules For Successful Email Marketing

Beyond • February 23, 2010

Although David Ogilvy, the genius \"Mad Men\" co-founder of Ogilvy & Mather advertising agency, did not live to see the day of universal email marketing, he set out a series of rules in his books of the Fifties and Sixties which are just as applicable to modern email marketing as they were in placing a full page ad in Life or a 60 second commercial on The Ed Sullivan Show. Ogilvy stated that he hated \"rules\" yet his books laid out rules for proper advertising which remain somewhat equivalent to the Stone Tablets of Madison Avenue. \"I am sometimes attacked for imposing \'rules\'. Nothing could be further from the truth. I hate rules. All I do is report on how consumers react to different stimuli.\" Research demonstrates what hits a chord with your customers and what doesn\'t, so it pays to do the research and then most importantly structure your efforts so that they fit the research results. Creative Is Good, But Effective Is Better \"I do not regard advertising as entertainment or an art form but as a medium of information. When I write an advertisement, I don\'t want you to tell me that you find it \'creative\'. I want you to find it so interesting that you buy the product.\" You must never let your goal waver from the essence of your message which is to take action. Although email marketing can be informative and educational, the bottom line is that it must sell. This Ogilvy \"rule\" accompanies his: \"You cannot bore people into buying your product. You can only interest them into buying it.\" How many times have we composed an email message by rote without taking the care to truly delve into why it is, again, \"so interesting that you buy the product\"? Honesty & The Big Idea \"It takes a big idea to attract the attention of consumers and get them to buy your product. Unless your advertising contains a big idea, it will pass like a ship in the night.\" Great email marketing contains an idea so big that your readers literally stop and take notice. It has to be so unique that your more savvy customers must wonder why they didn\'t think of it themselves. \"Don\'t try to imply that your product is better. Just say what is good about your product and do a clearer, more honest, more informative job of saying it.\" The reality of competitive commerce is that it likely is very true that although your product or service may have some leading features it\'s not necessarily the end-all. Your readers will appreciate your honesty in proving that it\'s the right one for them. Stick With What Works \"If you are lucky enough to write a good advertisement, repeat it until it stops selling. Scores of good advertisements have been discarded before they lost their potency.\" This may just be one of the truly great dictums for email marketing. If you find something that really works, stick with it. Due to the nature of email marketing you can\'t just repeat the same message verbatim, but when your metrics show an essential approach which is a winner, you can be confident in establishing your campaign on it. The Subject Line Is Your Headline \"On the average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy. It follows that unless your headline sells your products, you have wasted 90 per cent of your money.\" All we need to do is replace headline with subject line, and the overarching truth is so evident it needs no further explanation. Although David Ogilvy wrote these words when cars had fins and backyards had bomb shelters, the cosmic truths they contain can still serve as a beacon to email marketers in our world of instantaneous global interactive communication. Although he never knew it, David Ogilvy was a great email marketer.


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6 Ideas for Great B2B Email Newsletter Content

Beyond • October 26, 2009

When it comes to your B2B email newsletter, you need to ensure that you provide your readers with content that keeps them on their toes! Take a look at some excellent ideas that you can incorporate in your newsletter content! 1. Note down interesting ideas and create a topic bank You could come across an interesting subject or topic to write on just about anywhere. Make a note of a subject that has grabbed your attention and write it down in your list of topic ideas. Some great topics to write about are: Common problems and ways to solve them How-to-do articles that explain how to carry out certain tasks A list of tips pertaining to a particular activity A subjective opinion on a chosen topic, industry, event etc An article that discusses how you feel a particular sector or industry will do in the long run, followed by an article on whether you were right or wrong Problems faced by people in their business and how they were overcome A case study with relevant figures and details relating to your products/services Write reviews on interesting and useful products and services that are available in the market Discuss educational content Inform people of upcoming events Direct people towards helpful resources like useful websites, online tools etc Answer questions sent in by your readers Conduct interviews and write about them Report statistics and news Create a fun, interactive quiz (this can even relate to your products or services) 2. Don’t place entire stories in your email The purpose of an email is to provide simple and brief information that gets your point across. Grab the attention of your readers by giving them a glimpse of the story to come. Pique their interest and then provide them with a link to the whole story. If you have successfully raised their curiosity they are sure to click on the link to read more. 3. Tell subscribers what to do Inform subscribers as to what you want them to do. Give them clear instructions regarding the call to action. Tell them if you want them to buy your ebook or enter a giveaway contest. It is also very important that you tell them what they will get by following your call to action. 4. Use exciting and relevant subject lines You can create your subject line after you have finished writing your email. This way you can be sure that your subject line accurately portrays the content in your email. Good subject lines contain commonly faced questions, mentions the recipient’s name and focuses on benefits. When faced with creating an effective subject line, be creative, sensible and practical. Keep testing out subject lines and see which one works best for you. 5. Give your audience what they are looking for Your content must cater to the needs of your audience. If you have promised to deliver content relating to a particular subject, stick to that. Avoid promoting your products and services and be reliable in terms of your emailing frequency. If you send your newsletters in an HTML format then make sure it includes a text only version as well. Always proofread your newsletter before sending it out and ensure that all unsubscription requests are dealt with immediately. 6. Make use of table of contents, sidebar boxes and columns If your newsletter contains information on two or more topics, it would be a good idea to provide your readers with a table of contents. This will help them get a good idea of what your newsletter contains and will prevent them from getting confused. You can even provide a link to each different topic in the table of contents to make it easy for your readers to go straight to the relevant area. Using sidebar boxes and columns is also a great way to help your readers directly reach the information they are most interested in reading about. Can you think of any more tips to improve your newsletter content? Tell us about it!


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