E-mail Marketing

E-mail marketing is used to either initiate new relationships with customers (acquisition) or to maintain the already existing ones (opt-in). It can have various reasons behind it – to propel an exchange, to improve customers’ loyalty and brand awareness (through your own message or through messages of other people).

Some e-mail marketers tend to use too much of a ‘push’ strategy. Similarly to offline marketing, online push strategy means that you are getting bombarded by thousands of messages you don’t care to hear. In fact, it is more of a marketing mistake than a valid strategy. Some of the great marketing experts have discovered how Permission Marketing, as opposed to push marketing, works more effectively.

Source of this image

Permission Marketing is a term coined by Seth Goding, one of the great minds of the industry. He argues that we should first contact each potential customer just once. Unless the recipients give us the permission to market to them in a further way, we won’t waste our and their time. It is the subjects that somehow reply to us we should continue to market to. The permission isn’t anything formal. It can be a simple subscription. So, why should we take on this strategy? The people who give us the so-called permission give us their attention as well! That is what Seth considers essential. The attention is something that is difficult to gain against customers’ will. Messages, which are too generic, will become invisible to them. People have too much choice and too little time nowadays. Therefore, gaining their attention is a valuable asset.

Now let’s look at something more practical. E-mails get often overlooked or lost. How do we prevent that? Sending the same message may annoy the recipient. A good way to solve that is to design a series of mails that have the same purpose, but a different form. As far as the subject line, we should be careful. The statistics show that 69% of email recipients report email as Spam based solely on the subject line and 35% of email recipients open email based on the subject line alone.

An article at mashable.com explains how integrating social media in a form of sharing options in the e-mail campaigns can drive up the click through rate by some serious numbers. Putting three or more options to share the content of the e-mail on a social media site can increase the CTR by some 55%!

When it comes to the beginning of our normal day, do we first check our e-mail or Facebook? How does that matter anyway? Well, Mashable presents a statistic, which suggests that if person checks his/her e-mail first, then he/she is likely to be more task oriented and to only look for a brand online if he/she needs something, like a deal or a discount. Checking their Facebook first makes people more likely to be open to ‘extracurricular’ content from brands, such as interaction or entertainment that isn’t directly aimed to generate sales.

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Why Social and Not Marketing Experience ???

This class first covered online micro and macro environment. Let’s take a look at it then. Microenvironment includes all the stakeholders. That is, just like in the traditional microenvironment, suppliers, customers, competitors and employees. All the issues concerning these stakeholders are pretty much the same as in the offline world. The difference comes with the interaction, as it happens online – new social media, networks and platforms are launching every day.

Macro-environment can be identified by using the PEST/LE analysis just like in any other business area. The PEST/LE factors are as follows: political, economic, social, technological, legal and ethical. All these areas have to be covered if a thorough analysis of macro-environment is to be carried out.

Now, what are the benefits of internet marketing? They are usually formulated as being Adaptive (can be changed at any moment); providing Real Time Data; having a possibility of a specific Targeting; having a wide Scope (a large variety of ever-changing tools); being capable of an instant Conversion (make a browsing visitor into a customer); being Proliferating (enabling campaign across variety of SM tools) and having an ability to Reach large numbers of web users.

Why is Social Media undergoing such a boom? Look at the word itself. Media – it provides digital places for publication. Social – it enables social interaction and sharing.

Marketer can LEVERAGE/ ENGAGE IN/ PROFIT FROM the online conversations. The ain magic behind the Social Media is the audience fragmentation. It creates communities, sense of belonging and incents interaction.

What does “Streisand effect” mean among the online community? It is an example of how nothing can be withdrawn from the internet. The more effort we put into withdrawing it, the more it spreads. Barbra Streisand demanded that her house isn’t included in a collection of photos of the CA coast. As a result, pictures of her house spread on the web so much, that it is no longer possible to track and delete them all.

What about some interesting example of SM in practice? In 2008, Starbucks launched an online platform called Mystarbucksidea.com. This interactive website has been used to generate customers ideas on how to improve the services Starbucks provides. Starbucks fans simply write their idea, which is then voted up or down by the other visitors. The most popular concepts are to be implemented by Starbucks itself. However, an article on starbucksmelody.com, which is a Starbucks fan blog, suggests that there are more cons than pros with the Mystarbucksidea site, one of the problems being frequent repeats of ideas.

Another example of utilizing Social Media strategy can be found with Dell Computer Corp. As described on socialmediatoday.com, Dell disposes of three SM initiatives – Social Operations and Service (customer service), Social Media and Community and Command Center. The Social Media and Community is a team providing SM guidance for the rest of the company through certificates and training at Social Media and Community University. The Command Center is a group of 12 employees who monitor social data across the globe in 11 languages. The interesting thing about Dell’s SM approach is that no single department is completely responsible for the SM of the company. Instead, there are teams that train employees and monitor data, but every single department is encouraged to utilize SM to do their jobs better.

Digital Marketing Ice-cream?

What do digital marketing and ice-cream have in common? Nothing? That’s what I had thought, but then I came to my first digital marketing class and everything changed instantly. Even though I’d only known a little bit about the topic of digital marketing, the following video explained the core concept to me through a simple, yet ingenious metaphor.

     Another highlight of this first class was a short report on an eyewear producing company that decided not to use any traditional media, press in particular. Instead, they based their campaign solely on the “new media“. Burberry, the company I just mentioned, plans to unveil their product lines through YouTube, Facebook, Sina, Weibo, YouKu and Twitter throughout the year of 2012. We have a lot to look forward.

Besides learning about several other interesting examples of an Internet Marketing campaign, we were introduced to the IM theory, categories, objectives etc. Finally, we received a short overview of the basic marketing terms and principles in order to refresh our marketing spirits. Let me go through them shortly.

Segmenting / segment – is a group of people sharing one or more features, which lead them to the same need for a product or service.

Targeting / target market – is a group of people/organizations, for which a company creates and caries on a marketing mix. I found an interesting example of targeting. Even though most of you will initially grin, please, keep in mind that one day, if you’re lucky, you will be old as well. Cell phones for seniors clearly show how peculiar can targeting be.

Positioning – is a process of developing certain perception of the product in the mind a customer.

Consumer behavior – it is all the issues related to consumer purchase decisions. This category deals with decision making process. There are various factors, which affect consumer behavior such as previous experience, interest etc.

Market research – is a process, at the end of which we should be able to make marketing decisions of greater efficiency. It implies mainly gathering and analyzing data. Again, there are factors, which may affect it.

AIDA – is an abbreviation of Awareness, Interest, Decision and Action. It is a model, which describes the stages of customer’s involvement with the message of a product or a service.

PEST and SWOT – are two important models that help us analyze the internal and external environments related to our organization. They can be encountered in various business fields, not just in marketing. PEST is usually described as an abbreviation of Political, Environmental, Sociological and Technological aspects, which are mostly external to an organization. SWOT or Strengths, Weaknesses (internal) and Opportunities, Threats (external) can serve us as a tool for developing our marketing mix.

4P’s/7P’s – in other words Marketing Mix, is an abbreviation for Product, Price, Placement and Promotion in the short version. The upgraded version introduces 3 more P’s – People, Process and Physical evidence. Organizations use this model to meet customer’s needs more successfully. Developing new products, pricing them properly, distributing them efficiently and finally promoting them are all the basic elements of the Marketing Mix. The additional three P’s have been added, because, in the western world, marketing  has developed into a very customer oriented form.

At the end of the first class, we were advised on how to set up our own blogs. Blogging has taken an exceptionally important role in the internet marketing evolution, as it allows the corporate bloggers to keep their customers updated with the latest news as well as it allows the customers to provide a feedback and hence to take part in a two-way communication. Following tag will lead you to a list of the 10 most successful corporate blogs.

Wow, digital marketing’s exciting ;D