Tags: mobile marketing

Post-Holiday Marketing: Email Lessons Learned from Cyber Monday

Post-Holiday Marketing: Email Lessons Learned from Cyber Monday

Beyond • December 27, 2011

With Christmas over and done with, we’re already looking towards the holidays yet to come. And what better way to analyze holiday marketing than to take a brief look back at last month’s Cyber Monday extravaganza? As Cyber Monday wrapped up, the digital marketing community finally got a chance to sit back and analyze their results. By taking a look at the numbers, the kickoff to the holiday season was a huge success for retailers. According to an online retail benchmark study conducted by IBM, Cyber Monday 2011 outpaced the Black Friday that fell just a few days before it by 29.3% in terms of sales. In comparison to the same Monday in 2010, its performance was up by 33%. That one day alone brought home well over $1 billion in sales. With numbers like this, it is easy to see why John Squire, Chief Strategy Officer of IBM’S Smarter Commerce division, hailed Cyber Monday as the clear cut victor of the 2011Thanksgiving shopping season. Retailers relied on a host of tactics to drive their promotional efforts, and many decided that email would be the workhorse to carry them to the finish line. Who were the winners and losers? While all that is still being determined, there are a few important lessons that have been learned from Cyber Monday. Email Marketers Weren’t Prepared for Mobile IBM’s research shows that mobile shoppers were out in full force on Cyber Monday. According to its study, mobile sales this year were nearly triple of what was calculated in 2010, a sign that brands who planned for smartphone and tablet devices and optimized to accommodate the mobile shopper made out nicely. What is interesting about this is how email marketers failed to capitalize on the mobile trend. Social Wasn’t a Big Factor Here’s a bit of surprising news. While social media did have an impact on holiday shopping, it was not as big a factor as you may have thought. According to the IBM study, social accounted for just 0.56% of all online sales on Cyber Monday. Its influence on Black Friday sales was even less at only 0.53%. However, social media may have played a bigger role than we will ever know by generating chatter that led to sales. IBM’s data shows that social discussion heading into Cyber Monday 2011 grew by 115% in comparison to 2010. Subject Lines Were Dressed for the Occasion Sometimes the difference between success and failure could be the appeal of your subject lines. That definitely looks like it could have been the case this year. Data compiled by eDataSource shows that 1,252 of the 7,520 permission-based commercial emails it monitored used “Cyber Monday” in the subject line. 1,440 of them used the term “Cyber.” While it is safe to assume that this subject line tactic was effective for some, I can’t help but wonder how many marketers struck out by using it. Unopened messages have a habit of blending in with the rest of the inbox when all the subject lines look similar on first glance. Cyber Monday was without a doubt one of the biggest parts of the holiday shopping phenomenon, but the metrics for Christmas are still to come. Will email marketers learn from their mistakes, or continue to swing and miss? With so many research parties working diligently to track down the results and transform them into comprehensive data, something tells me that we will all know soon enough.


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New Email Editor Video, Same Classic Weekly Wrap

New Email Editor Video, Same Classic Weekly Wrap

Beyond • November 11, 2011

Had an awesome lunch today with some co-workers. The topic of first concerts was discussed. Mine was the Who doing Quadrophenia (before John Entwistle passed away). Another was Culture Club opening up for the Smiths, and possibly my favorite was Nirvana opening for the Red Hot Chili Peppers. What was yours? Let me know in the comments, when you’re done checking out this edition of The Weekly Wrap. 5 Ways to Add Qualified Techies to Your Business #6: Wait outside of Comicon and lure them with candy, comics and video games. Discover the other 5 Ways to Add Qualified Techies to Your Business. Benchmark Email Video: How to Use the New Email Editor If you’re like me, you hate to read the instruction manual. No reading necessary with this video walkthrough of the new Benchmark Email editor. See it in action in this new Benchmark Email Video: How to Use the New Email Editor. Customize an Email Template for Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day! If you’ve ever wondered what that smell coming out of your fridge was, or found an ecosystem growing in there, I’ve got just the holiday email campaign for you. Before it gets out of control, Customize an Email Template for Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day! Workplace Motivation: Disney’s Electronic Whip Not to Be Emulated I wear a Mickey Mouse watch every single day. I feel naked without it. It did, however, make me a little sad to look at it after reading this post on Workplace Motivation: Disney’s Electronic Whip Not to Be Emulated. Siri Outages & iPhone 4S Battery Woes Sour Apple Fans I discovered this week that I was eligible for an iPhone upgrade. Being the giant child that I am, I wanted a new toy immediately. However, I was given pause due to the Siri Outages & iPhone 4S Battery Woes Souring Apple Fans. State of the Media: Social Media in Your Brand Marketing More interesting to me than the State of the Union, but less fun, since you can’t play a drinking game based on the amount of standing ovations (don’t act like I’m the only one who does this). Francis delivers the State of the Media: Social Media in Your Brand Marketing. Bing Bleeds and Siri Leads: The Future of the Search Engine Wars I don’t know about you, but this sounds like a George Lucas film to me. Read the book (blog post) first. In a world (said in the movie trailer voice), where Bing Bleeds and Siri Leads: The Future of the Search Engine Wars. Online Marketing Tips: How Global Consumers Shop Online Email goes around the world and so should the reach of your business. Do it with some help from these Online Marketing Tips: How Global Consumers Shop Online. Quora: A Dynamic Informational Database for Your Business I didn’t think I’d like Quora. I’m impatient. I enjoy the instant answers that Google offers. However, if you want an answer from an expert to the exact question you posed, ask Quora: A Dynamic Informational Database for Your Business. Social Media: What Comes First: The Impressions or the Profits? Did I miss something? Did we already figure out what came first, the chicken or the egg? Or have we already ‘crossed that road?’ Get it? Thank you! I’ll be here all week. Try the veal! And answer the question, Social Media: What Comes First: The Impressions or the Profits?


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Mobile Marketing: Web Marketing You Can’t Afford to Ignore

Beyond • October 29, 2011

When people think of online marketing, they often forget that users spend a big chunk of their time browsing the net from their mobile phones – making mobile marketing the most overlooked branch of web marketing. As Inc.com best phrased it, “in addition to thinking of mobile as a new advertising distribution platform, remember it’s far more powerful as a response, or ‘activation mechanism,’ to commercial messages we experience in other media, like print, broadcast, and more.” Mobile marketing continues to be on the rise. According to Forrester Research, Inc., mobile marketing is a billion dollar a year industry. Most of the money is going into e-commerce where due to an economic downturn more and more users are shifting to e-commerce spending for savings in gas and for lower prices and quick comparison shopping. If you’re an e-commerce business, you need to get on board with a growing trend. Forty percent of U.S. based interactive marketing agencies have incorporated mobile marketing into their services, with another 35% expected to begin in the next year. Agencies are expensive and if you’re a small business, chances are you don’t have that budget. But you can still apply this method of online marketing to your business. I’ve collected a sampling of top mobile marketing sites to make the process a little easier for you… iVision Mobile - Seeing the potential of a “market in every pocket,” iVision Mobile offers powerful text messaging software and mobile marketing platforms. With this clients can create interactive mobile campaigns, send text alerts, conduct mobile ads, create polls and coupons along with a host of other mobile-friendly applications that not only show your customers your relevance in a digital environment but also give them a way to interact with your company without being chained to a desk. The added benefit is that you can get powerful reporting and get a CRM system to manage data – making it easy to track your investment and progress. E-commerce can also take advantage of M-Commerce and mobile payment options through iPayText and Pay by Phone M-Commerce solutions. Customers can create an account, purchase on the go through a text-to-buy ad, order and pay via text message, get a purchase confirmation pin and then schedule to pick up or deliver their item. iVision boasts the capacity to cater to some top industries, as well as both small and large businesses. And with a diverse pricing plan, you can use iVision Mobile much like you would Facebook ad campaigns – by starting small and testing the waters or diving right in. InvolveMobile – If your business wants to focus more on short coded and/or bulk text messaging, you should check out InvolveMobile. Using a database that lets you develop and grow your campaign, users can create and send bulk SMS messages that are personalized, configurable, schedule for any time zone and target based on desired filters. You also get a “complete mobile message trail,” or result-based report on campaign history. Users can also export databases to Excel and import all data – making it a valuable marketing tool you can’t afford to miss. InvolveMobile also provides interactive text marketing campaigns that offer mobile coupons, contests, voting and analytics. Campaign costs start at just 2 cents per text message, plus a one time $75 setup fee and a $45 monthly fee, which includes: full inbound/outbound campaign functionality, CRM history and profiling, short code and keyword, 500 low priority text messages and web registration tools. Golive! Mobile – Choice number three offers $100 million in mobile content transactions, millions of app installations and SMS options, as well as a staff of 120 across five countries. Golive! Mobile is used by top dogs such as Coke, Sobe, United Nations, Kanye West, the FBI and Disney – off the bat telling me that this is for a small business with a big budget and is interested in making it big quickly. It also offers small businesses a great association and boasting rights that they’re within the same league as these top businesses (at least when it comes to their mobile marketing campaigns). The diversity in their client list also tells me that it’s clearly a great tool across all industries. With Golive! you’re not just launching a mobile campaign – you’re launching an interactive multimedia mobile messaging campaign from a state-of-the-art user interface that also allows for website integration and e-commerce marketing with Orbit Multimedia and a MobiCard billing module. If you’re a small business with the big bucks to invest in Golive! but perhaps not the personnel to research and market it, then I recommend doing a test launch for the first 3-6 months with one of the other two options.


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Apple iPhone 4S Siri: The Final (Email Marketing) Frontier

Beyond • October 4, 2011

These are the voyages of the Apple iPhone 4S, it’s ongoing mission: to boldly go where no smartphone has gone before. This morning, when Apple introduced the new iPhone 4S, there had been widespread rumors that it would have incorporated a revolutionary new voice-activated interface. However, not even the most fervent of Apple enthusiasts would have predicted Siri, the new iPhone function that leverages a highly sophisticated level of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to understand your voice commands and respond clearly and accurately. The prospect of conducting a conversation with a handheld device may be novel enough, but Siri presents a breadth of opportunities to online marketers that have never previously existed. As is usually the case when new technological paradigms are established, the early adopters who can come up with the most powerful and compelling applications for that technology are the ones who triumph over their slower competitors. A Game Changer Siri is nothing less than a game changer for mobile marketing, as it paves the way for fully voice controlled automated assistants that actually work. Siri is not the stereotypical voice recognition application that types “putter on a petal stool” when you say “put her on a pedestal.” By applying a remarkably advanced AI to its voice recognition system, Apple has been able to create the most lifelike and realistic voice ever to issue from the cybersphere. Through the implementation of Siri technology, not only can your email newsletter take the form of a realistic voice more like a phone call than a marketing message, but it can be interacted with in real time. Not for Kitchen-Table Programmers Granted, applying AI in an email marketing campaign at this hyperelevated state is not something for kitchen-table HTML coders to tackle. However, you can be certain that in the days ahead there will be a flurry of activity as programmers provide easy-to-use Siri interfaces that will allow you to place your entire product catalog into a voice activated conversational mode and be able to answer many of the questions that your customers might pose. Any queries that stump Siri can be readily directed to your Customer Service personnel: the ones with pulses who actually demand paychecks, benefits and take up office space. Mastering the Most Natural Human Interface The world of high technology is dogged by products that are overhyped and ultimately underdeliver. Anyone who remembers the promises of how the Segway was going to change the urban environment forever can testify to the truth in that statement, and let’s not even mention Microsoft Vista, Olestra or the Betamax. Therefore you can’t be blamed if you are approaching with trepidation the prospect of your email marketing being driven by customers happily engaging in conversations with a piece of plastic that result in your sales levels spiking. Unlike the overhyped technoflops that came before it, the key to the effectiveness of Apple’s latest innovation is that unlike almost all of the computerdom that came before it, Siri presents an interface that can be mastered just as easily by the IT manager of a Fortune 500 corporation as it can by your grandma who still gets up off her chair to change the channel. It is an essential aspect of human life to converse, and by mastering this most natural of all interfaces, Siri is destined to become the new standard in online marketing.


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How SMS Can Work with Email Marketing

Beyond • June 23, 2011

The phenomenon that is texting gives SMS tremendous potential as a marketing tool. That and the fact that just about everyone seems to have a smart or not so smartphone capable of sending and receiving these short messages. While this exciting new form of mobile marketing has a lot to offer, it is best suited for an integrated marketing strategy. This post will discuss how it can work beside your email marketing program. Add More Subscribers to Your Lists SMS marketing is like email marketing in many ways, especially when it comes to building your list. In order to engage users with your mobile content, you must get their permission, in addition to their phone number. And just like email, you need to give potential subscribers a compelling reason to hand over the goods. Maybe it’s a free gift, valuable information or just the promise of irresistible savings. Whatever it is, it should be integrated into the message you communicate at every point of interaction. This includes the cash register, direct mail pieces and the preference center you have online for your customers. Play your cards right and you may be able to capture SMS and email subscriptions in one fell swoop. Use Them Together in Your Communication Strategy The idea behind picking up SMS is not to replace email but to actually use them together for the greater benefit of your overall marketing efforts. Using both methods to engage readers with timely communications can help to ensure that your brand is always fresh on their minds. For instance, let’s say your ultimate goal is to build up attendance for your next seminar with event marketing. If so, you could use email to send along the initial invitation and get the word out, and then follow up with text reminders as the event draws closer. In this case SMS is best for following up because people are very likely to open and read just about every text message they receive. Know Their Strengths and Weaknesses Email marketing and SMS both have their respective strengths and weaknesses. Understanding them is the key to using both tactics effectively in a tandem marketing strategy. Many of us utilize email to connect our audience to relevant content through newsletters, promotions and special offers. Because SMS communications are generally brief in nature it would be best to send your mobile subscribers shorter messages that are quick and painless to read. You definitely don’t want people to have to scroll through a text message - because most won’t. SMS can provide you with an easy entry into the mobile marketing game, but that doesn’t necessarily mean having success will be a piece of cake. You have to be very cautious not to come off as intrusive even if you are sending messages to subscribers who willingly gave you permission. Spam could easily become a problem on the mobile platform if we as marketers are not sensitive to the consumer’s privacy and preferences.


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