If you are sending “e-blasts” to your customers or supporters – please, stop doing it now. This outdated style of email marketing has the same results as fax broadcasts of press releases; your message is ending up in your recipient’s trash.
While email marketing is still an effective way to communicate with an audience, the one-way communication style of the “e-blast” is over. Messaging your subscribers today means doing more than sending emails with commands like “buy, buy”, “click, click”, or, “register now!” If you want to communicate with your subscribers effectively, think “engagement”.
Engaging your subscribers means looping them into a two- or multi-way communication versus subjecting them to one-way communication. The fact is, social media have raised the overall expectations of e-communications to this level. The prevalence of social networks and their popularity in comparison to Websites suggests that subscribers are more drawn to engagement and the communication arena where they are able to give feedback and participate.
Here are examples of steps you can take to make these three popular email marketing asks more appealing:
1. Donate. You’ve stated your worthy cause and have asked for a generous donation. Make it engaging by inviting your subscriber to join a community of volunteers, attend a Meetup in their area or present an opportunity for your would-be donors to get up close and personal with a beneficiary or your organization’s leadership. Even if most of your subscribers don’t take up the invitation to engage, the fact that you present this opportunity will help to legitimize your fund-raising effort.
2. Register. You’ve stated the what, where, when and have asked your recipient to “REGISTER NOW!” Make it engaging by inviting your subscribers to also meet other registrants in your organization’s social network on Facebook or elsewhere. Email solicitation for event registration typically have the recipient asking “is this worth my time and money?”, “will I know anyone there?” or “who’s going?”. Creating a social network around your event is a great way to create buzz and a community that will engage your subscribers – and hopefully motive them to register.
3. Buy. You’ve included a nice big picture of your product with an attractive sale price – and a big “Buy Now!” button. Make it engaging by including the opportunity to share or “Like” the product on Facebook and other networks and allow subscribers to share their thoughts, enthusiasm or questions about your product in their network of friends and family. This simple step could help promote your product further than you imagined.
A popular concern for marketers considering a more engaging e-communication strategy is negative feedback. But the best approach to managing negative sentiment is to create the space for it and be a part of the conversation. So say goodbye one-way communication via e-blasts, and hello to engagement and higher conversion rates!
They say, ‘any publicity is good publicity’, but embattled U.S. Congressman Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) may not be in agreement with that statement these days. The Congressman’s ‘x-rated’ sexting has made him both a laughing stock and a trending topic. But while his colleagues were busy rebuking him, Spirit Airlines’ marketing team were busy launching their “Want To See Our Weiner?” e-mail marketing campaign – all puns intended.
Thousands of Spirit Airlines customers got an email today with the subject line “Want To See Our Weiner?”, announcing their “BIG Weiner Sale” with “Fares Too HARD to Resist” (yes, emphasis on ‘big’ and ‘hard’ included). No word yet on open rate, unsubscribe or click rates but this bold move is bound to have businesses wondering if it is ever a good idea to capitalize on trending topics from negative press.
If you are not sure jumping on a negative trending keyword is for you, here are three steps you can take to get in the limelight.
- Start your own trending keywords – promote your events, sales and overall business with keywords that are powerful enough to anchor your campaign. Seasonal keywords are great examples – “summer”, “Memorial Day”, “pool party” are just a few.
- Associate your brand with positive trending keywords. “International Women’s Day”, “Yoga”, or “love” could do the trick.
- Find your customers funny bone – How? Ask them. You can get a sense of whether your customers might find something funny or irritating by asking them about their favorite TV shows, songs and pastime. You might be surprised by what you learn.
One thing’s for sure – if Spirit Airlines’ “Want To See Our Weiner?” e-mail campaign is a success, we’ll be seeing a lot more bad puns in future interactive marketing taglines.
“Should I create a Facebook page or group?” That’s a question interactive marketing professionals hear all the time. Well, Facebook just made answering that question easier by announcing they are archiving all Facebook groups created using the old group format (‘old’ meaning groups created before April 1, 2011). In fact, the company has flatly stated, “If you’ve been using your old group to promote your business, we recommend you create a page instead.”
According to Facebook, the archiving process will involve converting all old groups to the new group format–but without several key functions and content. For example, old groups will lose members and will not show ‘recent news’ or information about the group’s network and branding.
Here are three things you can do to avoid losing your community of supporters to Facebook’s archive:
Step 1. Upgrade to Facebook group 2.0. If your old group had a lot of activity, you should be able to upgrade to the new version of group; a notification above your group’s wall will allow you to activate the upgrade. Alas, if your group had a steady following but lacked activity, the next time you log in you’ll get a notice that says, “This group is scheduled to be archived.”If this happens you can do one of two things:
- Get some activities going in your group – this might help recover the opportunity to ‘upgrade’ and save your group from being archived.
- Jump to steps two and three below.
Step 2. Start the group-to-page migration. If you have been using a Facebook group for your business or organization, you’ll need to create a Facebook Page pronto – and start inviting your old group members to join your page. You won’t be able to interact with your old group members after Facebook archives your old group so you’ll need to act fast!
Step 3. Start a new group. If you have been using a Facebook group to keep up with friends and family, you’ll need to create a new group and re-invite your friends and family from the old group to join the new one. Facebook wants group managers to use this product to communicate with “…small groups of people in your life“, so don’t start a group if you expect a lot of members – start a page instead.
There are lots of cool features in the new Facebook group format; users will be able to post updates, questions, and photos, host group chats, create shared documents and schedule events — plus take advantage of new privacy settings.
Starting today, the iPad 2 is finally available at an Apple store near you. The revamped device is 33% thinner, 15% lighter, and outfitted with HD cameras, improved battery life and other delights. Apple fanatics the world over are excited and ready to test Apple’s latest gadget – but what about Microsoft? Is Bill Gates intimidated by Apple’s latest smash hit? What does the Microsoft founder think of the iPad?
Well, just last year one brave soul dared to ask Mr. Gates that question after a lecture at Stanford University. The CEO did not give any indication that he was intimidated by Apple’s iPad, instead he explained that portable devices like the iPad are “great advances” for computing and said that Microsoft is still a key player in the industry.
“Computing is destined in a way to almost disappear because all the walls [and] desktops around you will be capable of displaying, and you’ll be able to do input though gestures, and through voice — that’s not to say that keyboards and pointing devices will go away,” said Gates, “but they’ll be supplemented by an ubiquitous type of computing where every surface is a output and every action is an input.”
He also stressed that getting prices down, and improving the quality of content are improvements he’d like to see with portable devices such as the iPad. Mr. Gates also acknowledged that iPad computing could be key to the digital delivery of textbooks – something his foundation would regard as good for the environment.
Checkout his lecture to Stanford MBA students on ‘Education for the Real World’ – and let us know what you think of the iPad.
Twitter is a micro-blogging platform accessible via the Web and mobile phones. In just 140 characters or less, users can share thoughts, ideas, news, feedback, images, video and more. Twitter is also a searchable database of shared content and user generated ideas. It is a primary source for many realtime search engines and is useful for tracking trends and measuring sentiment about brands, events and topical issues as they occur. Continue reading “How to Tweet”
Everyone loves a holiday – especially smart marketers. There is no better time to promote a product, service or cause than when your target audience is in a celebratory mood. The reason some top brands spend millions promoting holiday festivities is clear – it’s great for sales and brand awareness.
If you don’t have a seasonal campaign calendar, it’s worth it to start thinking about putting one together. A seasonal campaign calendar will help you anticipate upcoming holidays so you can turn them into sales and marketing opportunities for your business.
Running a successful seasonal campaign involves more than sending a ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’ type email. You’ll have to come up with cleaver ways to engage your audience, pair your brand with the festivities, and present an opportunity to convert your audience to customers.
Here are three smart steps you can take towards seasonal campaigning –
1. Get a list of holidays that work for your product, service or cause. Start with the holidays your client’s are most likely to celebrate; if you don’t know what they are – ask them. Demographic information could also offer some clues. Holidays that align with your brand are also great places to start – for example, if you are running an Irish pub, St. Patrick’s Day could be a winner!
2. Engage your audience. How do you communicate with your target market? Get your modus operandi into holiday mode. Your e-newsletter, Website, social network presence should be dressed up for the party!
3. Convert your audience to customers. Create a buzz with giveaways, events, coupons – whatever will get your target audience in the door to sample your wares and have a great time.
If you came up with some great ideas you’d like to share – let us know!
If you are using a Facebook page to promote your business or organization, you already know that come March 2011 your Facebook page will have an ‘updated’ layout. Some of the updates are great for page administrators – but from a marketing perspective, some of the updates are a headache. Here are three potential hitches and what you can do about them –
1. Hello photos, goodbye tabs. Info that was once accessible via tabs at the top of your page has moved to the left column – as ‘links’. Photos have taken over the space that was once dedicated to tabs. This might have been a great update for profiles since people enjoy looking at their friend’s photos – but are people as interested in photos from the businesses and organizations they choose to ‘Like’? This update is not going to bode well for businesses that use customized tabs for promotions.
What to do: Set your preferred customized FBML tab as your landing page.
2. Where is my ‘Like’ prompt? Most customized tabs have an arrow or some kind of prompting text reminding visitors to ‘like’ the Facebook page. You may need to update the alignment of these prompts as your Facebook page now has a breadcrumb navigation that pushes the ‘Like’ button to a new position.
What to do: Embed a ‘Like’ button on the customized FBML tab.
3. They traded my wall size for…? Your wall got narrower – and the ad space to the right got wider. Businesses and organizations are not going to be happy about losing 50 pixels of messaging space to ads from competing brands. Marketers on the other hand will be happy about having more space to promote their wares.
What to do: Run ads to promote your business and organization – social media advertising is always worth it.
Getting ready to launch an app for your business? Don’t forget marketing. What’s the use of a great app if no one knows about it? Fact is, if you wait until your app is complete to start promoting it, you’ll have to wait longer for it to gain traction with an audience.
Here are three tips for promoting your apps before they get to market-
1. Create a splash page. As soon as you start building your app, create a informational Web page to let your visitors know that your app is coming soon. Allow visitors to join a mailing list to learn more or be notified of the launch.
2. Use promotional videos to build interest in your app. Demos, how-to, and video reviews are great ways to get tech blogs to write about your app and build a buzz.
3. Invest in advertising. Word of mouth and getting your app in an app store is great, but an advertising plan will certainly boost sales.
And here’s another tip – if you are working at developing a slew of apps, don’t release them all at once. According to the experts, releasing your apps one at a time is a better way to create a sustainable buzz.
Check out our webcast of the recent Google Talks event, “The App Economy: How mobile developers attract users, win fans and make money.”
Jon Potter, RPG Strategies
Leon Palm, Developer, Google Public Sector Team
Ken Yarmosh, Analyst, Developer, & Author: App Savvy (O’Reilly Press)
David Smith, Developer, AudioBookShelf
Natalia Luckyanova, Developer, Harbor Master
Robert Sarvis, Developer, Wertago