Tag Archives: target audience

Three Email Marketing Tips for the Bored Email Marketer

by Mana Ionescu

It is common for the seasoned email marketing strategist to notice a pattern of repetitive, typical and established email marketing strategies in the marketplace. There is notable emphasis on the email “holy trinity” – ” subject lines,” “creatives” and “images” – as if all email marketing only needed these three elements.

So after years of testing “subject lines,” “creatives” and “images” to get better “subject lines,” “creatives” and “images” email conversion rates are still dropping. What is the email marketer to do next?

If you, just like me at times, find yourself in this predicament, you may be what I call the “bored email marketer.”

Here are three techniques that boost creativity and help to break away from email marketing boredom:

1. Focus on concepts first not creatives and images.

According to a Merkle Interactive Services 2009 study 52% of email recipients have images turned off in their email reader (via emailstatscenter.com). So more than half of your customers will not see that carefully crafted email creative first. They will see your headline and the first few links you have most prominently placed.

So make a decision to not put creative first this year and focus on developing meaningful concepts that resonate with your target audience.

Take a good look at your goals and work back from them to map the path that will get you there. The first step in the chain that will lead to your goal is understanding the multiple ” personas ” that make up your audience. Based on those “personas” develop multiple concepts to test. Develop content to illustrate the concepts and then develop the creatives. So if you follow the analytics/ hypotheses/ test -planning/ content/ creative/ execution/ post-campaign analysis cycle, there are four other email strategy components to keep the email marketer from getting bored.

2. When you run out of concepts to test, retest concepts from a year ago.

A few years back, before Al Gore’s “fight for green” became mainstream, I developed a campaign to test if “going green” was a stronger driver for web usage than “de-clutter your life.” “Going green” failed the test. A year later, after Gore won the Nobel Peace prize and his global warming message became popular, we re-tested the same two concepts against each other and this time “going green” won.

What we learned here is that trends can change very fast, and we have to change with them, even if it means going back to an old concept. It may be old to the email marketer, but new to our customers.

3. Do the exact opposite of what you have been doing.

When you cannot move the needle enough with new tests it may be time to mix in something which is the complete opposite of what you have been doing so far. If you unsuccessfully tested images, throw in a no-image market-cell. If most of your emails have been short, try testing against a long email. If your communication language has been formal, test against informal copy.

I’m not advising here doing away with tactics that have been consistently proven, nor am I advising throwing away common sense. What I’m advocating is challenging ourselves to break away from patters that keep us stuck in an unproductive comfort zone.

Doing the opposite of what you have been doing may not prove the success you were looking for each time, but it will open up new perspectives, trigger new ideas, freshen up your strategy and keep you from becoming the bored email marketer.

About the Author

Mana Ionescu is President of Lightspan Digital, a Chicago firm that helps small businesses build their brands in their local communities through social media. Mana’s practical tips on digital and social media marketing can be found on her blog at manamica.com and Twitter @manamica.

Five Quality Marketing Gift Ideas

By: Gareth Parkin

man with giftOrganisations and business enterprises these days strive hard to find and choose the best marketing gift that will match with the company products and also win the hearts of their target audience. Marketing gifts are usually selected from the range of useful and practical commodities of daily use and personalised with the company name and message and designed with creativity. There are a wide variety of marketing gifts that companies use to gift their customers and clients.

However, going by the market trends and reviews five quality marketing gifts that are popularly used are jotted down below:

Pens and writing materials: although it is a quite traditional and age old approach to use pens and other writing materials like writing pads, pencils etc. as marketing business gifts, they are popularly used by companies even in this century. The significance and utility of pens is all pervading and is used universally by all age groups and gender. Pens and writing materials are used on a daily basis to serve the very purpose of business marketing.

Calendars: calendars also fall into the category of traditional gifts but their functionality and usage in 365 days a year make them valuable and effective marketing gifts. A calendar with nice, colorful pictures and your company name and brand printed at the bottom remind your user everyday about you and the brand. They also get your contact information and can reach you anytime with ease. Calendars serve as great advertisements to those whom you never gifted but they are associated with the user thus building brand awareness and popularity and attracting new potential customers.

Branded products: many companies prefer using branded gift items and branded products as marketing gifts for getting more visibility and importance in the business world. Instead of using simple ball point pens, they go for branded pens from Parker or Cross to make their marketing gifts distinguished from others and alluring to the customers and clients. Likewise branded caps, t shirts and many other products are used as marketing gifts as a mark of show and prominence.

Gift Cards: use of gift cards are in fashion for the past few years and have proved to be very effective in attracting traffic. Instead of gifting customers and clients with gift items that will be of no use to them and will be thrown in the trash bins, it is much wiser to present gift cards. They can use the gift cards at their own will. Such a gift reminds the users more about the company and the freedom of choosing the gift on his own is liked and loved by all.

Wine and gift baskets: marketing gifts are not only associated with business encounters and business dealings. They are often distributed in the peak holiday season like Christmas and New Year. Many companies make the holidays memorable by gifting their valued customers with gift baskets full of chocolates or candies, dry fruits or coffee and a bottle of wine along with a warm holiday message. Nothing can be better than such a marketing gift in the festive season which brings in warmth, a personal touch and in the long run helps to build stronger business relationships.
For a vast range and variety of promotional gifts and corporate marketing items visit www.ideasbynet.com . You will get a fair idea about which product to use as your marketing gift that will yield you maximum benefits

Marketing gifts are usually selected from the range of useful and practical commodities of daily use and personalised with the company name and message and designed with creativity. There are a wide variety of marketing gifts that companies use to gift their customers and clients.

Gareth Parkin is the co-founder of Ideasbynet, the UK’s leading online source of marketing gifts and supplier of marketing business gifts. He has taken the UK gift market by storm by the application of modern business thinking and the latest search engine marketing techniques. For more details visit www.ideasbynet.com

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