Archive for the ‘com’ tag
In the world of email marketing, several questions are repeatedly asked by those who strive to improve their email campaigns. Collectively they can be lumped together as pertaining to the elusive pursuit of best practices. And if you are prone to jumping to conclusions, you probably think the two words to which I refer in the title are “best practices,” but you’d be wrong. Before I reveal the two most important words in email marketing, let’s look at some of the commonly asked questions concerning best practices:
- What day of the week is the best for launching campaigns?
- What time of day is best for launching campaigns?
- What kind of tests should are the most important to conduct?
- When should a subscriber be labeled “inactive”?
- Is it ok to continue to mail to inactive subscribers?
- How should email campaigns be optimized for mobile devices?
- How important are welcome campaigns?
- What type of content should be dynamically generated?
True believers in best practices are likely to believe that there is a single, definitive answer to each of the questions posed above, and the many more questions not appearing here. According to BusinessDictionary.com, a best practice is, “A method or technique that has consistently shown results superior to those achieved with other means, and that is used as a benchmark.”
However there is a big of problem with this right out of the gate. If there really were definitive answers to every question involving email, and everyone practiced them, then no one would gain strategic advantage over his or her competition. To gain that advantage one would need to develop better than best practices. These, in turn, would become the new best practices. The result? All commercial email would hit consumer’s mailboxes on the same day and time. Every marketer would test the same thing at the same time. All subscribers would be labeled inactive at the same point in time. You get the idea.
Does this mean there are no immutable truths about email marketing? Of course not:
- New subscribers to your email are more likely to be engaged with you than older subscribers (use that to your advantage)
- Opens and clicks do not represent an accurate measurement of consumer engagement with an email (you’ve probably heard me say this before)
- Upselling and cross-selling via transactional emails it a great way to increase your ROI (lucky strike extra, it is also likely to irk your IT team)
I could go on, but that’s not the point of this article. So it’s time I got to the point. In my opinion, the two most important words in email marketing are “it depends.” It depends?! I know, that’s kind of a let down from the buildup to this point. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t the most important words.
Remember what I said about best practices earlier? If everybody followed best practices, no one would gain a competitive advantage. It all boils down to the fact that there if there is no definitive answer as to which is the best day to launch a campaign, then the best way to start answering that question is to respond “it depends,” because — at that moment — you are now beginning to solve a particular marketer’s unique marketing challenges. For that rather simple sounding question there are many data points to consider:
- It depends upon your product or service category
- It depends on what you are offering at that point in time
- It depends on who you are targeting
- It depends upon the complexity of the desired transaction
- It depends upon the duration of the offer
There are other possible “it depends;” this is just a partial list. And while it might seem very attractive to let the people like me who write about this stuff answer the question for you in a column, it will be much better in the long run for you to do the hard work of thinking through the “it depends,” and then testing some assumptions.
Let’s look at another question, “when should a subscriber be labeled inactive?” There are people like me who would tell you “only if that email address is no longer valid,” but we’re viewed as representing the extreme. For the rest of you, however, once again there are many data points to consider:
- It depends how long they’ve been in the database
- It depends on your ability to attribute offline activity to email campaigns
- It depends on the frequency of purchase of your product or service
- It depends upon your current reputation with the ISPs
I’ve noted in the past that clients of mine saw revenue around campaigns drop when they excluded those they deemed inactive from a mailing. So you want to do more than just follow best practices when addressing this question — you want to get it right!
It’s important to recognize that answering “it depends” to an important email marketing question is an absolute cop-out if you don’t then proceed to determine what the answer does depend upon. It’s one thing for a panelist at a conference to respond “it depends” and leave it at that. It’s an entirely different story if the strategists on your team or at your marketing partner leave it at that. It’s their job to provide you with the guidance and testing plan to arrive at the optimum solution for your particular needs.
The problem has always been that because email marketing is so inexpensive, it is really easy to get away with programs that don’t meet their full potential. With CPMs as low as they are, “good” results are seen as “good enough.” If CPMs were higher, there’d be greater pressure to maximize results. Of course it takes a lot of hard work to optimize your program across the board — and then to successfully integrate that program into your social and mobile channels. To paraphrase from something I read years ago, “Email marketing isn’t rocket science. It’s a lot harder!” But the hard work will always pay you dividends.
Chris Marriot is a data-driven digital marketing consultant.
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“A happy couple” image via Shutterstock.
Fish farming in estuaries and protected waters may seem to offer a more sustainable alternative to traditional deep-sea fishing, but it still causes effluent accumulation and interactions with wild stocks that can disrupt the surrounding environment. That’s according to Hawaii mariculture firm Kampachi Farms, whose Velella Project is raising fish in open-ocean “Aquapods” with virtually no negative environmental effects.
In an effort launched last year, marine biologists at Kampachi Farms have been raising hatchery-reared, native Kampachi fish in a 22-foot Aquapod tethered to a manned sailing vessel in the deep open ocean near the Big Island of Hawaii. The fish are fed a sustainable diet that has replaced significant amounts of fishmeal and fish oil with soy and other sustainable agricultural proteins, the firm says. The setup drifts in eddies off the west coast of the Big Island in Federal waters from three to more than 150 miles offshore and 12,000 feet deep. Marine biologists on board monitor and feed the fish while a GPS system tracks the vessel’s drift and transmits data to land-based research headquarters; the tender vessel’s engines are used minimally to correct course. “We’re very excited about the results so far,” said Neil Anthony Sims, the company’s co-CEO. “The fish are healthy, growing well and are where they’re meant to be – in the ocean. This technology has the potential to revolutionize fish farming, making it the most impact-free form of food production on the planet.” The video below explains the effort in more detail:
With support from a wide range of organizations including NOAA, the National Science Foundation, the Illinois Soybean Association, Lockheed-Martin, the International Copper Association and Ocean Farm Technologies, the Velella Project has made its environmental monitoring data available for public access on its site. Sustainability-minded entrepreneurs around the globe: one to get involved in?
David Carr stops short of saying that the American magazine business is headed for a dead cat bounce, but the recent numbers on newsstand sales are grim:
Like newspapers, magazines have been in a steady slide, but now, like newspapers, they seem to have reached the edge of the cliff. Last week, the Audit Bureau of Circulations reported that newsstand circulation in the first half of the year was down almost 10 percent. When 10 percent of your retail buyers depart over the course of a year, something fundamental is at work.
I talked to an executive at one of the big Manhattan publishers about the recent collapse at the newsstand and he said, “When the airplane suddenly drops 10,000 feet and it doesn’t crash, you still end up with your heart in your stomach. Those are very, very bad numbers.”
Historically, certain categories of magazine will encounter turbulence, but this time all categories were punished in the pileup. People was down 18.6 percent, and The New Yorker had a similar drop, declining by 17.4 percent. Vogue and Cosmopolitan were down in the midteens, and Time fell 31 percent. When Cat Fancy is down 23 percent at the newsstand, it seems that there’s little place to hide. Newsweek, it should be mentioned, was off only 9.7 percent at the newsstand, but that’s cold comfort.
It’s not just consumers who are playing hard to get: advertising is down 8.8 percent year to date over the same miserable period a year ago, according to the Publishers Information Bureau. With readership in such steep decline and advertising refusing to come back, magazines are in a downward spiral that not even their new digital initiatives can halt.
Carr closes with an anecdote about his recent recent doctor’s office visit, where a pile of magazines went unread, because all the patients were staring at their cell phones.
There will be something like magazines in the post-normal economy, once the internet has gobbled all media into its enormous maw and excretes it out as mobile. But the transformation will be so large scale that it’s hard to imagine the brands like Vogue, GQ, Newsweek or Cosmo with retain much value, if any.
Delivered-to-the-door subscription services are a popular way for consumers to try out a curated selection of products they might not otherwise have come across, and we’ev already seen this model is especially prevalent in the food industry – with startups offering gourmet food for men, organic baby food and high quality coffee on demand. Offering a new twist on the concept, GothamBox is sending out location-inspired foods enabling those living elsewhere to enjoy the cuisine of a particular city.
As part of a monthly ritual to help her son feel at home after moving from the West to the East Coast, the mother of co-founder Jonathan Chim sent a parcel of food to remind him of his hometown. Based on this idea, the aim of GothamBox is to provide people who have moved away from a location to carry on enjoying its unique culinary treats, or for those who have never been to get a first taste. Subscribers to the service can sign up to receive a monthly parcel of assorted foods – from coffee and biscuits to ingredients for entire meals. GothamBox has teamed up with small brands from each location – currently New York and San Francisco – to offer a sample of products unavailable elsewhere. A subscription costs USD 20 per month and the company offers free shipping. What’s more, for each member who joins the service, GothamBox donates a meal to hunger relief charities operating in their city of choice.
It seems the subscription model is still going strong across multiple industries and formats. Are there any areas left untouched?
Spotted by: Murray Orange
Eerder deze week lanceerde Facebook het e-mailadres firstname.lastname@example.org, een e-mailadres dat bereikbaar is voor iedereen. Dit e-mailadres is bedoeld om op een snelle en efficiënte manier vormen van…
LetsLunch.com is een nieuw online businessplatform, dat professionals aan elkaar koppelt om vervolgens een lunchafspraak te stimuleren. Op deze manier hoopt het platform professionals te helpen hun zakelijke netwerk uit te breiden. Katherine Kucherenko, betrokken bij de website, vertelt. Lees meer
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The SoLoMo Show is a weekly podcast hosted by Adam Helweh and Cory OBrien. Each week they discuss topics, trends and tactics related to social, local and mobile marketing. Every weekend we will publish the latest episode, related show notes and links to all of the topics discussed on the show here on Social Media Explorer.
Adam and Cory discuss what smartphone apps shoppers are using and how brick and mortar stores can take advantage of this mobile trend, Starbucks teaming up with Square and why this might signal a huge increase in mobile payments, Pinterest alternatives The Fancy and Svpply and how they are better matches to the needs of retail businesses, Land Rover’s Apple iAd case study and what you can learn from this big budget campaign, a review of Scribe SEO and how you can use it to optimize your content marketing, Facebook’s official estimate of their ‘undesirable’ accounts and if you should be worried, the return of Digg and whether or not marketers should be paying attention, brands that are active on SocialCam and what their results signal for the network, how to verify your Google+ business page, and more.
- What Smartphone Apps Do Savvy Shoppers Use The Most?
- Starbucks and Sqaure Team Up
- The Fancy
- The Fancy One-Ups Pinterest with Unique Referral Codes to Reward Users for Sharing
- Svpply: Window Shop The World With Our Store Explorer
- iAd + Land Rover
- iAd Producer App
- iAd Gallery App
- Scribe SEO
- Facebook Estimates 8.7% of Users Are Undesirable
- Brands Try Out SocialCam
- Verifying Your Google+ Page
SoLoMo Show Links:
InsideSales.com has raised $4 million from Hummer Winblad in a Series A Round that the
company will use to grow its big data analytics sales force automation (SFO) technology. Joining in the round were Josh James, co-founder and former CEO of Omniture.
Mark Gorenberg, managing director, Hummer Winblad, said before the funding, the company was profitable and had not taken any investment. He said the company reminds him of Omniture, which the firm funded under similar circumstances. Omniture was also profitable when it accepted its investment. Omniture was acquired for $1.8 billion in 2009 by Adobe Systems.
InsideSales serves small and medium sized companies. It uses predictive analytics to help serve inside sales professionals. Its algorithms are designed to tell the sales professional who to contact, when to contact and how to tailor the message for the sales target.
The company has increased its employees from 65 to 140 people. In the past several months the company has increased from 600 to 900 customers. It has recently started expanding into the enterprise market by adding customers such as Dell and ADP.
InsideSales is one of a growing number of startups to come out of Utah. The company is based in Provo, also where Qualtrics, the online marketing intelligence company is located. Qualtrics raised $70 million in capital earlier this year from Accel Partners and Seqouia Capital. Omniture was originally from Orem, Utah.
Microsoft’s Outlook.com email service hopes to offer stronger security than Gmail, programming text editor TextMate goes open source, WordPress for iOS updates with a slew of new features, and Foursquare updates its mobile apps with minor UI tweak. More »