By Kristen Pulver | Director, New Verticals
Direct Marketing is a term overused by many marketers who don’t quite understand what it actually means. As someone who has worked in direct marketing for nine years, I’ve seen my fair share of executives and team members who not only don’t understand what direct marketing is, they don’t know how to best implement the practice or why direct marketer’s make the decisions they make.
What is Direct Marketing?
Direct marketing is a three part marketing system:
- Directly reaching the consumer through various media channels – TV, Radio, Online, Text Message, Phone calls, etc.
- Including a call-to-action (CTA). Asking the target to take an action– call now, click here, or some text as simple as “Start Saving Now” is a call to action that is maybe less noticeable.
- The most important step — reading and measuring results. This allows you to determine if your ads working. (more…)
By Keith Trivitt | Director, Marketing and Communications
It’s been claimed by many that email marketing is dead. But that’s not quite true. As our Daryl Colwell outlined in a recent column published in Direct Marketing News, email is far from dead, especially in the customer acquisition spectrum of online marketing.
Now, comes some encouraging news that email may be getting an even more prominent place in marketer’s playbooks. As eMarketer recently reported, the next great frontier in email marketing is video.
On paper at least, the blending of video content and email seems like a perfect fit. After all, opt-in emails offer brands an engaged audience that has already confirmed its desire to receive your content. And consumers have shown an insatiable demand for video content. (more…)
By Daryl Colwell | Senior Vice President
Editor’s note: The following post was first published Sept. 11, 2013, in Direct Marketing News.
Today, practically every business does some form of email marketing. Let’s face it: Email isn’t going anywhere, despite numerous prognostications in recent years that email is dead.
But how effective is your email marketing? More precisely, are your email campaigns helping you acquire more customers or just aimlessly filling up consumers’ inboxes?
Marketers have historically viewed email as a profitable customer acquisition channel. Only a mere 2% of marketers rated leads generated from email marketing as “high cost,” according to asurvey by Software Advice, thereby making email the lowest-cost online marketing channel. In fact, customer acquisition via email has quadrupled over the last four years, according to a report from customer retention firm Custora.
With these datapoints in mind, it’s time to enhance your customer acquisition email marketing campaigns. By employing these five tips, you should see improved email clickthrough rates that will generate more qualified leads and sales. (more…)
By Sean Keenan | Senior Manager, Design
Optimizing email design is imperative given that the main goal of emails is to reach end consumers and generate some type of action. A great email design means nothing if it does not reach the user’s inbox, or if the message does not display properly.
Here are five quick tips to enhance your email design:
- Use clear call to actions. Make sure any buttons or links are clearly visible and have a direct message.
- Avoid spam filters. Steer clear of too many words that may get caught in the spam filters, like “free,” “guaranteed,” etc. Avoid writing these into the “From” and “Subject” lines as well as in the body of the email.
- Reduce load time. File size and dimensions play a major role in user load times, particularly on mobile and table devices. Don’t mail large images or videos that take a long time to load or force the user to scroll. This is especially important since many users open their email on a mobile device. Focus on reducing load times while getting your message across with a strong call-to-action that drives a customer action. (more…)
By Kyle Hanzas | Director, Business Development
Over the past three years online education inquiry generation has undergone a major shift in responsibility. Previously, it was about a 50/50 partnership between schools and marketers. Marketers used creative messaging and various online advertising channels to attract prospective students while the schools utilized strong recruitment and CRM practices to gain new enrollment.
As new legal and regulatory guidelines emerged around marketing messaging and recruitment practices, the responsibility of enrolling a quality student has shifted more toward the marketer. The quality and intent of the prospect needs to be well defined before she is passed to an admissions counselor. A university’s ability to develop the prospect’s enrollment intent is more limited than ever.
Schools are left to consolidate efforts to their highest-quality partners and online channels. The aggregate traffic model and an inquiry driven to multiple schools are no longer of great value; rather they are considered more of a “volume filler.” Admissions counselors can’t get into a sales competition for inquiries who express interest in multiple colleges. An admission representative should not be a salesperson, but rather a guide that aids in the process and helps the prospect make an informed decision about attending their college of choice. (more…)
By Sultan Riaz | Marketing Coordinator
Editor’s note: “Ask the Performance Marketer” is a regular series in which MediaWhiz’s performance marketing, SEO and digital media experts answer some of the most popular questions we from clients.
To get more answers to your performance marketing questions, download our free eBook, “The CMO’s Guide to Performance Marketing.”
Mike Sisto, MediaWhiz’s director of performance marketing, has worked in performance marketing for 14 years. He’s seen it all, from the earliest days of the industry to the current evolution in which media, mobile, content, SEO and many other digital media channels are mixed together. Needless to say, he knows how to help his clients engage, acquire and retain customers more profitably.
Recently, we sat down with Mike to discuss some of the most common questions he gets from clients about accountability in affiliate marketing campaigns, email acquisition and optimizing lead quality.
How do you ensure accountability of affiliates for campaign and creative materials compliance?
We first establish accountability with each affiliate by employing a suite of external and internal tools to monitor advertisements. We hold publishers accountable for compliance violations. Once our high standards are made clear, the possibility of losing out on business due to compliance violations exerts pressure on affiliates to comply with advertiser guidelines. With adherence, publishers have the opportunity to cultivate a long-term business relationship with MediaWhiz as they continue to provide quality traffic via compliant marketing practices. (more…)
By Keith Trivitt | @KeithTrivitt | Director, Marketing and Communications
Welcome to The Friday Five, curated reads about marketing, advertising and digital media from the team at @MediaWhizLLC. Read previous Friday Five posts here.
Pinterest Fosters Unique Shopping Behaviors | eMarketer
A new eMarketer report delves into the retail activity spurred by the latest social network to make headlines — Pinterest. The visually focused, aspirational site has grown tremendously, and it offers a lot of promise for retailers, assuming they can get users to link images with product offerings and purchases.
Welcome to The Friday Five, curated reads about marketing, advertising and digital media from the team at @MediaWhizLLC.
How a Brick-Shaped Heineken Bottle Almost Changed the World 50 Years Ago | Adweek
Fifty years ago Heineken went beyond the standard focus-group testing and developed what may be the coolest packaging for a product ever known: a brick-shaped beer bottle. Why is that so cool? As David Kiefaber of Adfreak explains, the bottle wasn’t meant to just be used to consume beer. No, it had a much higher purpose in life: it doubled as a “giant interlocking Lego brick, and was made for building eco-homes back in the early 1960s.”
Mobile Wallet Is Expanding, But Hype Doesn’t Match Reality | MediaPost
MediaWhiz’s Daryl Colwell writes in MediaPost that the mobile wallet appears to finally be growing up. But there are concerns that the hype surrounding it doesn’t match consumer value. “With two key factors — ease-of-use and rate of adoption — moving in the right direction, mobile payments may finally reach their lofty potential. But there is still a long way toward mainstream adoption,” says Colwell. (more…)
By Keith Trivitt | @KeithTrivitt | Director, Marketing and Communications
Growth in the email marketing industry shows no signs of abating. Analyst firm Forrester Research forecasts U.S. email marketing spend to reach $1.7 billion in 2012, a 12-percent increase over 2011. Fueling that growth is the increasing combination of email with social media and direct marketing that many businesses are using to deliver more targeted and relevant campaigns to consumers.
Much of this improvement is based on data and learned information about customers.
New technology has created an evolution for direct mail marketing, allowing companies to seamlessly integrate it with email marketing. This delivers better leads for brands while ensuring their direct mail and email marketing campaigns are actually read by consumers.
Recently, MediaWhiz President Ed Kats was asked by Inc. magazine to offer his thoughts on how companies can effectively integrate direct mail marketing and email marketing. Below is a summary of his responses:
- Know your audience and business model and then integrate direct mail marketing and email marketing to either be a 1-2 sales punch or complimentary to each other. For example: direct mail is meant to compel customers into a store through the use of coupons or advertisements. An email is generally meant as an “Act now!” retail sale for non-considered / non-essential purchases. For considered purchases (those that consumers think about purchasing before going to a store or brand website), companies should use direct mail and email marketing in tandem to drive consumers to either call or visit a website and “learn more” about the product.
- When used for customer relationship management (CRM) campaigns, businesses should plan their event calendar well ahead of time and make sure they have different conversations with customers across direct mail and email marketing that are complimentary to each other. It’s important, however, that those marketing pieces are segmented by tactic and channel to ensure quality and consistency with how your customers have responded to direct mail and email offers in the past.
What are your tips and best practices for integrating email marketing and direct mail marketing campaigns? Share them in the comments section.
By Steve Goldner | @SocialSteve | Senior Director, Social Media
Editor’s note: The following post was originally published in iMedia Connection.
Web hosting company HostPapa’s new infographic comparing email marketing and social media marketing has given marketers a new lightning-rod topic to debate.
Despite no shortage of proponents in each camp, we think the conclusion is simple: it’s pointless to compare email marketing with social media marketing. Each has a unique value. More importantly, we believe that email and social media should be used in tandem, not against each other, for effective digital media and marketing campaigns.
The problem with comparing email marketing and social media marketing is apparent: one (social media marketing) is a brand strategy while the other (email) is a direct-response strategy. Each requires the other in some form to be effective, and each builds off the other for greater value and efficiency.
The infographic isn’t without merit. It offers some valuable insight marketers can use to understand how, when and where to use and integrate email marketing and social media marketing to improve their lead-gen and digital engagement efforts.
But first, it’s necessary to look at the facts.
Email Still Generates Results
Email marketing continues to produce eye-popping results. According to HostPapa, business spending on email marketing campaigns has increased 60 percent in the past year, accumulating 17.4 percent of U.S. brands’ digital marketing budgets in 2011. Email open rates continue to rise, too, improving 12.6 percent in Q1 2012, according to a report by Epsilon and the Direct Marketing Association.
Those are no small feats; especially for a form of digital communications many believe is dead/has died/will die. (more…)