April 15

Can personalised email campaigns work as a loyalty-generating tool? The Risks and Rewards Revealed

The most powerful tool for marketing, branding, and for building customer relationships turns out to be plain old, ordinary email (Sterne and Priore, 2000). The appeal of email communication is cost effectiveness and time efficiency. More and more companies turn to email thus, the search to understand the process through which email campaigns influence consumers’ attitudes and behaviour becomes important (Oxford College of Marketing Blog, 2018). Wreden (1999, p3) described email marketing as the ‘Internet’s killer application’ because of the precision with which email can be tailored, targeted and tracked.

 

Email campaigns done well

Charlesworth (2009) states to produce a satisfactory email campaign it is important to follow seven stages:

1, determine the objectives of the campaign

2, develop the mailing list

3, develop the content

4, develop the landing page

5, test the content

6, test the technology

7, send the emails and measure the results obtained

Understanding what needs to be achieved by email marketing is vital, these will be the objectives that align marketing and sales. An example of an objective can be generating loyalty; Sending regular messages to your customers is a way of keeping in touch with them so they don’t forget you (Cross-Channel Marketing Tool, 2018)

Developing is a clean mailing list is vital and here is why:

Overtime, email lists can become cluttered and full of dirty data, which can result in some serious consequences such as reduced deliverability, spam-flagging and wasted time and effort from the marketer’s part and more seriously, the brand reputation can be compromised (De Wulf and Vergult, 1998). According to Godin (1999), when consumers agree to provide information and receive commercial solicitations, marketing can become more personalised and more efficient. In the data driven economy is undoubtedly the engine of growth and the driver of value in this information age. It is therefore crucial that brand strategists, futurologists and government regulators keep up to date with fast changing attitudes to privacy.

Here are resources on best practices on clean data;

https://www.pinpointe.com/blog/email-list-hygiene

https://emailmarketing.comm100.com/email-marketing-ebook/clean-email-list.aspx

https://learn.infusionsoft.com/marketing/email-marketing/5-best-practices-for-email-marketing-list-management

http://www.addthis.com/academy/email-list-hygiene-tips/

When inserting links to the landing page, there is software that reports how many times those links were accessed. The main advantages of including links in the sent message are, on one hand the increase of traffic on the website, as well as the registered persons. The electronic message should be developed starting from the current positioning of the organisation (including its products / services / brands) and to materialise intro an attractive offer for potential consumers and strengthen the existing customer base, with exciting new news features or a friendly check in (Vegheş, 2003)

The final step Charlesworth (2009) states is to measure an email, this can be achieved using analytics. An advantage to using this channel of communication is results of an email marketing campaign can be easily measured using paid or free software, which generate reports based on the number of emails opened by the recipients.

The disadvantage of depending on open rate as the open rate is unable to provide any information beyond that the email was opened. It does not shed any light on what the recipient did after the email was opened. Did they click off the email immediately when they read the header? How much of the email did they read? The open rate tells you only how well people have responded to a combination of your subject line, and your company’s name, which is in the ‘from’ field. Therefore, there is no defined way to measure content in the email. (Blog, 2018)

Here are some great resources on how to effectively email marketing:

https://www.prontomarketing.com/2018/01/13-tips-for-effective-email-marketing/

 https://rewardstream.com/blog/ultimate-list-email-marketing-resources/

 https://blog.bufferapp.com/8-effective-email-strategies-backed-by-research

 https://blogs.constantcontact.com/email-marketing-best-practices-2/

 

Evaluating the risks using journal articles to add a critical, academic perspective

Research undertaken shown in table 1, illustrates how email marketing (direct mail and email) from 1990-2000 performed to generate customer loyalty. Peppers and Rodgers (2000, p 4), claim that ‘clear benefits, including high response rates and low costs are rapidly turning email marketing into an invaluable tool’. As we established in the last post, email marketing has been growing rapidly since as a number one tool for companies to use (Chittenden & Rettie, 2002).

Table 1

However, the use of email marketing can only be effective dependant on the targeting, the message, and the receptivity of the recipient. Briggs and Stipp (2000) have argued that the ‘lean-forward’ nature of the Internet increases involvement in streamed Internet advertising, this is a great alternative for a business without a targeted contact list, as email campaigns which are unwanted, untargeted and therefore negatively perceived are considered spam (Mehta and Sividas,1995).

There is a compelling argument to use email campaign exists as we established previously here. The challenges occur when using this channel to generate loyalty, measured through effectiveness.

Here are some links of how to measure effectiveness of email campaigns as a loyalty generating tool:

https://blog.smile.io/measure-customer-loyalty-online

https://bizibl.com/marketing/download/building-customer-loyalty-through-email-marketing

https://www.smartinsights.com/email-marketing/email-communications-strategy/building-customer-loyalty/

https://thenextweb.com/entrepreneur/2014/06/23/measuring-customer-loyalty/

A further concern for businesses is privacy, trust and attitude toward a company influence consumers’ intention to interact (Chelappa and Pavlou, 2002; Belanger et al., 2002; Eastlick et al., 2006). Consumers that have not being nurture or targeted may consider emails as spam, Turban et al, (2000, p360) define spam ‘as the practice of indiscriminate distribution of messages without permission of the receiver and without consideration for the messages’ appropriateness.’ It is therefore not considered good practice to send unwanted emails to those who have not asked for them.

 

What is important to know?

It’s important to know what else is competing with email campaigns; such variables include blogging, social media and viral marketing.

A study by Journal of advertising research highlights an alternative to email campaigns mass media advertising, in other words going viral.  Rogers (1995) states mass media channels are relatively more important for learning about a brand, whereas interpersonal communication is especially important for persuasion.

Thus, consumers communicating via email may persuade more readily than mass media advertising. Given other evidence, this is not surprising. A number of studies (e.g. Price and Feick, 1984; Udell, 1966) have endorsed the influence of interpersonal contacts on choices (Amdt, 1967). However, depending on the objectives of the marketing activity, it is important to understand what is trying to be achieved; this can range from brand awareness to customer loyalty generation

Forbes (2018) argue it’s important to use a clear subject line that tells the reader exactly what is inside the email, content that describes what benefit you are providing and creates an immediate emotion (curiosity, urgency, fear, etc.), and then provide an enticing call to action to drive to a landing page where the offer or content lives.

Its’s important to take away the advantages of using this channel of marketing however, equally vital to weight up the disadvantages, here is a previous blog that has focused on staying competitive and raising above the clutter when it comes to email marketing; http://blogs.brighton.ac.uk/hindswords/2017/11/23/hindadamou/

Here are some resources on what’s important to know for a successful email campaign;

https://uk.marketo.com/ebooks/10-tips-for-successful-email-marketing-campaigns/

http://eprints.kingston.ac.uk/2108/1/paper.html

http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.1023.9623&rep=rep1&type=pdf

 

To end, here are the best email campaigns out there that generate customer loyalty;

 

 

& thats a wrap! Happy campaigning! 

References

Blog, T. (2018). Is Email Open Rate a Good Measure of Marketing Success?. [online] Blog.hubspot.com. Available at: https://blog.hubspot.com/customers/bid/109608/is-email-open-rate-a-good-measure-of-marketing-success

Briggs, R., Stipp H.(2000), “How Internet Advertising Works: New Evidence and Directions for Future Study”,Esomar Pre-Congress Workshop.

Charlesworth, A., Internet Marketing – A practical approach (2009) Elsevier, Oxford, ISBN 978- 0-7506-8684-6

Chittenden, L. & Rettie, R. (2002) “An Evaluation of Email Marketing and Factors Affecting Response.” Journal of Targeting, Measurement and Analysis for Marketing. Vol 11, Issue 3. pp. 90-95

Cross-Channel Marketing Tool. (2018). 6 objectives that you can achieve with Email Marketing – MDirector.com. [online] Available at: https://www.mdirector.com/en/email-marketing-en/6-objectives-that-you-can-achieve-with-email-marketing.html

DeWulf, C. Vergult., 1998. Antecedents and Consequences of Irritation and Attitude towards Direct Mail in Consumer Markets, Direct Mark Ed’ Conf, San Francisco

Dma.org.uk. (2018). [online] Available at: https://dma.org.uk/uploads/ckeditor/Data-privacy-2015-what-consumers-really-thinks_final.pdf

Forbes. (2018). Forbes Welcome. [online] Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnrampton/2015/05/07/tips-for-a-successful-email-campaign/#316cf8c4326d

Mehta, R. and Sivadas, E. (1995), “Direct Marketing on the Internet: An Empirical Assessment of Consumer Attitudes”, Journal of Direct Marketing, v.9, n.3, p. 21 -31.

Niall, J. (2000), The Email Marketing Dialogue, Forrester, Cambridge, M.A.

Oxford College of Marketing Blog. (2018). Understand The Customer’s Buying Behaviour | Oxford College of Marketing Blog. [online] Available at: https://blog.oxfordcollegeofmarketing.com/2014/11/27/why-its-important-to-understand-the-customers-buying-behaviour/

Phelps, J.E., Lewis, R., Mobilio, L., Perry, D. and Raman, N., 2004. Viral marketing or electronic word-of-mouth advertising: Examining consumer responses and motivations to pass along email. Journal of advertising research, 44(4), pp.333-348.

Peppers, D. and Rogers, M. (2000),Email Marketing Maximized, Peppers,Stamford, C.A.

ROGERS, EVERETT M. Diffusion of Innovations, 4th ed. New York; The Free Press, 1995.

Roberts, M.L. and Berger, P.D. (1989), Direct Marketing Management , Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N. J.

Rask, M. and Dholakia, N. (2000), “Next to the Customer’s Heart and Wallet: Frameworks for Exploring the Emerging M-commerce Arena”, working paper. Available at [HREF6]

Sterne, J. and Priore, A. (2000). Email marketing. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Simon and Schuster, Godin, 1999. Permission marketing: turning strangers into friends, and friends into customers

Turban, E., Lee, J., King, D. and Chung, H M. (2000), Electronic Commerce: A Managerial Perspective, Prentice-Hall, New Jersey, N.Y.

Wreden, N. (1999), “Mapping the Frontiers on Email Marketing”, Harvard Management Communication Letter , 9 January.

Yeshin, T. (1998), Integrated Marketing Communications, Butterworth-Heinemann,Oxford,U.K.

January 8

How to audit one channel of an organization’s digital marketing presence: Twitter  

Firstly, let’s define what an Audit is:

“A marketing audit is a comprehensive, systematic, independent, and periodic examination of a company’s or a business unit’s marketing. It is designed to evaluate marketing assets and activities in the context of market conditions, and use the resulting analysis to aid the firm in planning” (Clark, 2017)

A Twitter audit is a diagnosis of your Twitter account’s performance. During a Twitter audit, you want to look at your Tweets, followers and the overall branding of your account.

The goal is to find any weaknesses or holes in your account, and potential opportunities for improvement. For social media marketers, a lot of focus gets put on growing your account, getting more followers on Twitter and increasing traffic. But unless you’re taking a second to audit everything you’re doing, it’s difficult to gauge whether you’re making the right decisions.

Here’s how to perform a complete Twitter Audit.

The process is broken down into 2 easy steps and proven methods to use:

  1. Auditing your Tweets using Dave Chaffey
  2. Auditing your followers using PR Smith’s SOSTAC®

 

#1 Auditing your Tweets

Let’s start by auditing your tweets with the use of one of Dave Chaffey’s channels: Social media Marketing Channel for Twitter

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An alternative method for Auditing you tweets: The 10 C’s of Online Marketing.

The 10 C’s of modern marketing was designed specifically for digital marketing by Chartered Institute of Marketing examiner Richard Gay, (2007).

Here are a few insights explained, but you can find a detailed guide here.

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Now you know the 10 C’s. Put them in to practice by applying each section to Audit your tweets and draw on conclusions from each section.

 

#2 Auditing your followers using PR Smith’s SOSTAC®

Knowing who’s following you will help you produce content that’s more tailored toward your audience. Sometimes when your Tweets aren’t getting as much engagement as you’d like, it’s because there’s a disconnect between what you’re sharing and what your audience wants to see. The first step in fixing that problem is analyzing who’s following you.

SOSTAC® is a planning model, originally developed in the 1990s to help with marketing planning by PR Smith. You should start by creating a plan for Twitter social media that follows the SOSTAC® structure:

  • Situation: An assessment of the current situation (both internally e.g. team capacity to manage SM channels, and externally such as competition, target audience etc.)
  • Objectives: A list of SMART objectives to be achieved
  • Strategy: A plan of how to get there based on insights about the audiences you are targeting and the content formats and types to engage your audience and hit your targets
  • Tactics: Which networks to use, how often to share content, who will be responsible, what content to share etc.)
  • Actions: Deliverables (what’s in and out of scope)
  • Control: A set of benchmarks and KPIs to help analyse results, as well to reporting against these

! Before looking at how you apply SOSTAC® at each step to create a marketing plan, my first tip is to use it to review your planning process and how you manage your marketing.

Ask yourself critically about the activities you personally and your organisation are good at. Maybe you spend too much or too little time reviewing the situation. Perhaps you’re not so good at setting SMART objectives, or developing strategies to support them or the control stage of assessing how effective your strategies and tactics are and adjusting them?

Below is a guide of the SOSTAC® planning system. Applying these to your Twitter followers can help you gain a view of the channel to identify where to enhance.

 

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Source: (Smart Insights, 2017)

Here is a video on how to use the SOSTAC® planning system.

 

To further understand your followers using platforms such as followerwonk will allow you to explore and grow your social graph. Dig deeper into Twitter analytics: Who are your followers? Where are they located? When do they tweet?

Here is a snippet of where an organization’s (Trust-hub Ltd) followers are located:

 

[ View large version here: 55-168n856 ]

Source: (Moz.com, 2017)

Using this tool, I can understand the reach of followers are located all over the world. This audit has allowed me to conclude the tweets need to be repeated for different time zones so other followers do not miss them.

 

& that’s a wrap, start your twitter audit now and change your social channel today!

 

References:

Clark, B. (2017). Marketing Audit.

Cleverism. (2017). How to Prepare a Marketing Audit to Shape Your Marketing Strategy. [online] Available at: https://www.cleverism.com/marketing-audit-that-shapes-marketing-strategy/ [Accessed 1 Dec. 2017].

Moz.com. (2017). Followerwonk: Tools for Twitter Analytics, Bio Search and More. [online] Available at: https://moz.com/followerwonk/ [Accessed 1 Dec. 2017].

NOW Marketing Group | Marketing Agency in Northwestern Ohio. (2017). Social Media Audit for Twitter | NOW Marketing Group | Marketing Agency in Northwestern Ohio. [online] Available at: https://nowmarketinggroup.com/social-media-audit-twitter/ [Accessed 1 Dec. 2017].

 Sprout Social. (2017). The 20 Minute Twitter Audit. [online] Available at: https://sproutsocial.com/insights/twitter-audit/ [Accessed 1 Dec. 2017].

Smart Insights. (2017). The 10 C’s Digital Marketing Model | Smart Insights. [online] Available at: https://www.smartinsights.com/marketing-planning/marketing-models/10-cs-marketing-modern-economy/ [Accessed 1 Dec. 2017].

Smart Insights. (2017). 10 Common Social Media Marketing Mistakes | Smart Insights. [online] Available at: https://www.smartinsights.com/advice/10-common-social-media-marketing-mistakes/ [Accessed 1 Dec. 2017].

Smart Insights. (2017). Managing social media plan example template | Smart Insights. [online] Available at: https://www.smartinsights.com/guides/social-media-plan-example-template/ [Accessed 1 Dec. 2017].

Smart Insights. (2017). SOSTAC marketing planning model guide. [online] Available at: https://www.smartinsights.com/digital-marketing-strategy/sostac-model/ [Accessed 2 Dec. 2017].

 

November 23

3 ways to Optimise Your Email Call-to-Action to Drive Conversions

We’ve all come across a few calls to actions (or CTAs) in the past, maybe within the past hours or minutes. Whether you’re reading emails, scrolling through social, or ordering on a mobile app, every company hopes that you’ll heed its call to action.

Here are examples of what they could be:

  • Download our e-book.
  • Learn more.
  • Save your spot.
  • Register now!

Most of us are used to directing cold, spammy looking marketing emails straight to our junk folders because everyone can spot what they are. Marketers can find a way through the noise with optimising CTAs:

#1 Action & benefit oriented.

To make your CTA action-oriented, you must be mindful of the language you use in your copy and what benefits your visitors are receiving.

The more descriptive you are about the action that you want your persona to take and what they’ll get by clicking that button, the better.

Your CTA needs to reflect a benefit; an action that your audience wants to complete.

For example:

  • Stay Connected.
  • Join the Fun!
  • Let’s Talk?
  • Watch Right Now.

#2 Be honest.

Let your audience know exactly what the benefit is of opening an email.

Audiences prefer to know what they’re getting into when they click. To figure out which calls to action get the most clicks and conversions, it’s best to test out a few using A/B testing.

Risker methods might include irrelevant words, that may appeal to some audiences; for example, a new season has come around you’ve sent your quarterly email newsletter, in this you include a CTA with “click if you dare”, while this might work with some people, depending on how well the company knows its audience, it’s a bold risk. This may come across as junk mail to some users.

#3 Use a verb or action words.

The purpose of a CTA is to encourage visitors to convert. Using an action word can direct your visitors to do what you expect them to do on a landing page.

Here are 3 verbs to use to attract a conversion:

  • Build/learn/grow–  This CTA indicated you’re going to help your persona reach a professional or personal goal. We are naturally curious and want to absorb as much knowledge as possible. A CTA that implies self or professional development will build interest. This could come in the form of any content, whitepaper, blog, guide, “Build your fitness regime today”, “Grown your Twitter community: guide”, or if we’re already interested, and want to learn more: “Learn project management: best practices”.
  • Start– To start something implies you can click through to the product or service straight away. An example, a CTA on Spotify that reads “start a free trial today”, this tells me, I’ll be using the platform within minutes.
  • Join– A sense of inclusiveness is implied in this, it makes an individual feel they are about to join a community, emotional connections with your persons have a huge impact on the actions you’d want them to take. Here is an example of a “join” CTA: “Join the fastest growing network of singles”.

Beginning your calls to actions with strong action verbs will make your message pop in every email. Take a look at these two calls to actions; “E-book” and “Download the e-book” – Which would convert best? Offering a clear objective is essential as it attracts the visitor to act.

To conclude

Using effective email CTA’s can drive conversions and see an ROI, but it’s important to bear in mind these are not the only thing to consider when doing email marketing. Stay tuned as there’s more to come on effective ways to rise over the clutter.

Here are some great CTAs to view now:


 

& that’s a wrap, start optimising now and change your email marketing today

 

References:

Salesforce. (2017). 5 Email Call-to-Action Best Practices to Drive Conversions. [online] Available at: https://www.salesforce.com/blog/2017/07/email-call-to-action-best-practices.html [Accessed 23 Nov. 2017].

Iab.com. (2017). Cite a Website – Cite This For Me. [online] Available at: https://www.iab.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/2012-BRITE-NYAMA-Marketing-ROI-Study.pdf [Accessed 23 Nov. 2017].

Knowledge.hubspot.com. (2017). Call-to-Action Best Practices. [online] Available at: https://knowledge.hubspot.com/cta-user-guide-v2/call-to-action-best-practices [Accessed 23 Nov. 2017].

Wishpond. (2017). The 25 Best Words to Use in Your Call-To-Action Buttons. [online] Available at: https://blog.wishpond.com/post/103290853633/the-25-best-words-to-use-in-your-call-to-action [Accessed 23 Nov. 2017].

 

October 11

‘Game Of Thrones’ Finale: Nabs 16.5M Viewers

The medieval fantasy epidemic that grabbed our attention worldwide with thunderous adventure, death, destruction, and unleashed evil: G.o.T

Now earning the attention of 16.5 million of us, worldwide. It’s hard to believe back in 2011, when the show was first created, it was dismissed by SKY as ‘not for them’.

G.o.T features the fictional continents of Westeros first produced by DDB based in New Zealand, DDB strategically took on the project of plastering G.o.T worldwide; utilised Brandwatch analytics to listen to conversations around the series. DDB thrived on the market conversations, the public found a mutual hatred of the arrogant King Joffrey.

Soon enough, the series was recognised internationally, through repeated coverage. Exciting and engaging campaigns were launched to keep audiences captured in the fantasy world, conversations soon skyrocketed once the power of a tweet came to fruition. Fans used few words and pictures with the hashtag; #bringdowntheking to alter the storyline, eventually, in true media fashion, giving the fans what they wanted: the gruesome execution of the evil king was aired.

 

Links:

Game of Thrones Season 7 Data: Five Fun Social Media facts to Round-up the Season

SKY, DDB & Game of Thrones: A Social Media Campaign That Reigns Supreme