Purpose, Frequency + Free = Marketing Turnaround

Change is one thing that’s constant, and today we share with you how you can change the results of email marketing and social media results. Find out in this video from our blog at Target Marketing Magazine how we transformed an email and social media marketing campaign. Sales increased 20% using a strategy centered around purpose, frequency, and free content marketing.

The three elements of the strategy we talk about in today’s video include:

1. Giving your email and social media purpose

2. Inviting frequency when communicating with followers

3. Why giving away content that’s free and builds confidence

Successful direct marketing should have purpose every time you reach out to connect with your installed base of customers or followers.

A campaign that has purpose gives you permission for frequency.

We were fearful that frequency might result in email open and click-through declining. But the opposite happened. Followers looked forward to the next email or social media post. Open and click-through rates increased substantially and those levels were maintained throughout the campaign.

Social media engagement soared because frequent posts meant friends shared the video with their friends.

The third key concept is a change in thinking. Over the years, we’ve always known that an offer of “free with purchase,” would increase response. Today we challenge you to shift “free with purchase,” to simply “free.” You may have heard it referred to as “content marketing.” Giving content away invites a prospective customer to build trust in you.

Watch the video to learn more about how we increased sales by 20% for this organization with a strategy of purpose, frequency, and free.

Comment

Gary Hennerberg

After a lot of years in marketing and sales, this is what I know works:

Stories sell. Think unique. Stimulate emotion. Close deals. And here are a few other gems from my new book, “Crack the Customer Mind Code.” Know the persona, interpret your offer and let your prospect give themselves permission to buy. That’s how the brain is wired. It’s how people think.

What else? When I’m not breaking down complex topics (or ones marketers over-complicate) into easy-to-grasp stories that sell, I crunch numbers. Manage projects. Write. Teach. Lead.

Marketing Turnaround: Another video success story

In our blog for Target Marketing Magazine, we share our deep dive analysis into a three-pronged concept that can turnaround results of online direct marketing campaigns. If your marketing results have experienced a steady decline in response over the years, and you’re ready for a marketing makeover, this message is for you. In this presentation, we’ll share with you the concept and results of an online video campaign. It produced a sales increase of 20% with the use of video as the central delivery vehicle. As we have dissected the results of this campaign, three overarching principles have emerged that helps to understand why this turnaround campaign was so successful.

These breakthrough concepts can super-charge email and social media. But they also strengthen direct mail, print advertising, and other channels you might use to market your product or service. And of course, it plays into the exciting world of mobile marketing.

So let’s begin with three words that quickly describe this marketing transformation: “purpose,” “frequency,” and “free.” Throughout this two-part presentation, I’ll weave in the case study that supports why these concepts are transformational.

As background, a year ago the direct response campaign I’m about to describe included direct mail, email, and broadcast radio. The pitch would have been to buy tickets to a performance, with the message that the best seats always sell first. Discounts were only offered for students, seniors and groups. It’s the way this organization has sold tens of thousands of tickets to performances for over a decade.

But in recent years, ticket sales had slowly eroded. It was still the same excellent product, but it would require an extreme marketing makeover to create renewed interest and turn around sales.

Frankly, the organization was in a marketing rut.

Sound familiar?

Making three pivots within your direct marketing approach could mean the difference between continued lackluster response, and taking you to a new and exciting level of direct marketing performance.

The first key concept is within the word “purpose.” Let me explain. In recent years, whether it’s a reaction to the economy or technology, your customers and prospects have changed. People are skeptical of every marketing pitch. As marketers, we’ve created a marketing and sales culture of distrust and turn-off through blatant interruption. Consumer’s reactions are to instinctively click away or throw it in the waste basket unopened.

There needs to be purpose and relevance in your marketing outreach. With the use of video, you have purpose every time you reach out to connect with your installed base of customers or followers with email and social media.

Let’s turn again to the outcome of the performing arts organization who was selling tickets. Email open rates had been declining. For those who did open the email, here was little reason to click-through because the message was a consistently predictable plea to “buy tickets.” Social media wasn’t understood by the organization. It was used as an inward-focused news feed, not an outward-focused engagement builder.

Now, you might expect to hear me say that any type of video in email and social media is the answer. That’s not true. No one wants to watch a 30 or 60 second video that is nothing more than a TV commercial.

Instead, the video must take on a different tone. In the case of the arts organization, the tone was to build interest in the upcoming performances using a series of five behind-the-scenes video, each a chapter in a bigger storyline. Over the course of a few weeks, the story was built around the production, musical selection, the set, costumes, lighting, choreography and more.

Using an approach that built a continuing story, with chapters unfolding with each new video, the videos created purpose for email to its patrons, and the videos leveraged the power of social media.

By now you may think to yourself that you don’t have a product or service nearly as interesting as a show production. Maybe you’re too close to your work. What process or ingredient do you take for granted, but when presented as a story, your prospective customer might find fascinating?

Thinking of past clients we’ve worked with, a behind-the-scenes video that shows how fruitcake is baked could tell an interesting story. But better: go behind-the-scenes into the pecan groves and show how pecans are harvested, or into the fields of Costa Rica where the pineapples are grown.

Maybe you offer insurance. Well, selling financial services can be tough. But what if you take the prospective customer behind the scenes and build trust by simplifying how money is invested to guarantee it will be available when it’s needed most.

Maybe you’re a business-to-business marketer and you sell medical office supplies. A demonstration of how to use insurance forms would make your product more understandable, and perhaps more importantly, might be used as a training tool by your customers for new office staff. Don’t you think your customers would be more apt to purchase from you if you demonstrated how to use your product?

Video gives purpose to reach-out to your customers and prospects. Your video should tell a story, chapter-by-chapter. It can be educational. It can give away information that elevates your customer or prospect’s opinion of you. It can be practical … just don’t format it like a typical 30- or 60-second TV advertisement. Make it a great story, tightly told and edited, and you have transformed your message in a way that engages your audience, and conditions them to say “yes” at your call to action.

The next two concepts are “frequency” and “free,” and we’ll review those with you in our next blog post. We’ll analyze how video enables you to expand your purpose, and get your message out with frequency. And then we’ll tell you how video enables you to giveaway something free, not free with purchase, but really just free, without strings attached.

Watch for our next post as we take you deeper into how you can turnaround your direct marketing campaigns with online video.

Comment

Gary Hennerberg

After a lot of years in marketing and sales, this is what I know works:

Stories sell. Think unique. Stimulate emotion. Close deals. And here are a few other gems from my new book, “Crack the Customer Mind Code.” Know the persona, interpret your offer and let your prospect give themselves permission to buy. That’s how the brain is wired. It’s how people think.

What else? When I’m not breaking down complex topics (or ones marketers over-complicate) into easy-to-grasp stories that sell, I crunch numbers. Manage projects. Write. Teach. Lead.

The Direct Marketing, iPad, and Video Holiday Shopping Link

You’ve seen the headlines already. Early holiday shopping sales broke records. But we’re honing in on a movement in online shopping, and the use of video, that every direct marketer should be paying close attention to.

The movement we’ve seen is the migration of online shopping to mobile, most specifically, the Apple iPad. We’ll share with you in a moment why this is significant to direct marketers, but first, let’s establish the iPad’s dominance this season by reviewing the numbers.

Based on early holiday shopping, mobile users preferred the iPad to make online purchases more than any other device—by a factor of 9-to-1 over all other tablets on cyber-Monday. In fact, market share of iPad use more than doubled over last year’s holiday shopping season, while the use of Android devices was flat.

The imbalance you should take note of is between iPad use and Android use for online shopping. Among all tablet owners, 52% of them own an iPad, and 48% have an Android device (Pew Research).

Yet, with Apple’s 52% market share, their users accounted for 88% of online shopping traffic. Android’s 48% share of tablet owners accounted for only 12% of traffic (IBM’s 2012 Digital Analytics Benchmark Report).

The deep dive, here, is that tablets—specifically the iPad—are fast becoming the leading digital transaction and consumption device of choice.

Why?

There are a handful of reasons. Among them, videos are more easily consumed on iPads than on other devices, and as I’ll show you in a few moments, online video is being credited with closing more sales and getting higher conversions.

For direct marketers, the confluence of online video and iPad use is new an opportunity that will only increase as the popularity of iPads continues to grow.

So why iPads over Androids? We offer these reasons.

First, not all mobile is created visually equal and easy-to-use. Screen sizes on mobile devices vary from around 4 inches for a smartphone, to the standard size iPad tablet at about 10 inches. Newer mini tablets are about 7 inches. The size of the screen affects the ability to deliver effective advertising or promotional material.

Second, not all media are created equal. The level of engagement differs substantially as consumers see banner ads, social networking “likes,” and video on different types of mobile devices. Banner ads don’t work so well on smartphones because they are disproportionately large. But video works on all sizes of mobile devices, and video works best on tablets.

If that wasn’t enough of a reason for you to create direct response videos optimized for mobile devices, especially iPads, consider that videos increase conversion rates, and conversion from video is even higher on mobile devices.

Mobile shoppers are 3 times more likely to click and view video than desktop or laptop users (Invodo).

Those who view a video are 144% more likely to place that item in a shopping cart (Internet Retailer).

52% say that watching a video makes them more confident about their purchasing decisions (Invodo).

Tablets ave a higher average order value per transaction at $125 compared to $100 for a PC user or $75 for a smartphone (Monetate).

E-commerce isitors who watch a video are 64% more likely to make a purchase than those who don’t watch a video (ComScore).

I could continue with reasons you should use video and be ready for the exploding mobile, and iPad, market, but the primary point we’re making is this:

Mobile will only grow. iPad use and influence in the market will continue to grow. And videos will continue to be a significant factor in online direct marketing success.

So what should you do? Here are 3 deep dive action items:

1. Conduct a competitive analysis of what your competition is doing with online video. If they’re already there, it’s costing you business. Look at competitor websites for video, search on YouTube and social media. Check the length, and examine their format.

2. You have an opportunity to be the category leader by a repositioning your marketing strategy to include online video. If you haven’t already, create a video now and test it by sending an email alert to your customer list. Be sure to include the word “video” in your subject line. When you do, open rates rise by 7% to 13% (Experian 2012 Digital Marketer Benchmark and Trend Report).

3. A/B test your current approach, or control, with video. Even better: test video formats, length, offers, and call-to-actions.

These are all best-practice approaches that will take your direct marketing and online video marketing initiatives, to a new, higher level. And if you think it’s too late to do something this season, challenge yourself and your team to think again. Test online video next week so you can read the results and be ready for 2013.

Gary Hennerberg

After a lot of years in marketing and sales, this is what I know works:

Stories sell. Think unique. Stimulate emotion. Close deals. And here are a few other gems from my new book, “Crack the Customer Mind Code.” Know the persona, interpret your offer and let your prospect give themselves permission to buy. That’s how the brain is wired. It’s how people think.

What else? When I’m not breaking down complex topics (or ones marketers over-complicate) into easy-to-grasp stories that sell, I crunch numbers. Manage projects. Write. Teach. Lead.

Successful Video Marketing Examples

Today’s Online Video Marketing Deep Dive blog at Target Marketing Magazine is a case study that illustrates the effectiveness of online video. Hopefully it will give you a few ideas about how you might use video for your marketing programs. So let me set the stage for you.

The organization for today’s case study is a performing chorus. It’s a non-profit. The group entertains thousands of people every year in its show series. Its challenge was making up a significant gap in ticket sales for its Fall Shows in September. Ultimately not only did we close the gap, but we surpassed the budget. And it’s the online video program that has been credited with the turnaround.

Let me give you some background. The name of the organization is The Vocal Majority Chorus. The chorus has about 100 performers, all men, all volunteers. It’s professional grade and performs throughout the U.S. before about 20,000 people every year.

The chorus sings a wide variety of music such as Broadway tunes, love songs, patriotic music and more. The VM, as it’s often called, is a part of the Barbershop Harmony Society. I do marketing work on a pro bono basis for the organization. And in case you wondered, I’m one of the volunteer performers in the chorus.

After a 5 year break from having done the marketing for the chorus, I returned to marketing in September, and it was a golden opportunity for Perry and I to see if we could spin a little video magic into the marketing mix .At the first of September we had less than a month to sell over 1,200 tickets and close the gap of over $10,000 in sales.

The postcards to the patron list had already been sent. The radio ads would be forgotten minutes after they ran, so our sales would need to come from a combination of email marketing to about 10K on our opt-in email list and about 1,400 Facebook group members. We believed the best way we could break through the clutter was with online video.

So we created a special website, named VocalMajorityShows.com. Over the course of four weeks, we created four videos, each deploying about one per week. All 4 videos were posted on Facebook, and three of the videos were promoted to the patron email list. Of special note, on the special web landing page, we used a Facebook plug-in so our patrons could leave comments to help engage and generate more interest. We ended up with 44 comments, which, for a first time out, seemed pretty good. We didn’t know what to expect.

We began with just one video on the web page, then slowly added each video week-by-week.

The first video was a short 35 second clip of one of our directors talking up a rehearsal for the show. This video was recorded on an iPhone and posted just on Facebook. When it generated a lot of interest, we added it to the website. So far this video has been viewed nearly 500 times.

Our second video was a more professional produced trailer of songs and an interview with another of our directors. It was 2:10 minutes, and featured audio recordings of new songs, never before performed for the public, that would be on the show. It was sort of a “behind-the-scenes” tease about what would be on the show. We sent out an email to nearly 10,000 patrons, it had a 30% open rate, and 16% click-thru to the landing page. In just days, that video has been viewed nearly 800 times, with about 60% watching the entire video all the way to the end, which, by the way, is above average based on YouTube analytics.

Our third video was with another director using a sound track of the chorus’s new songs. It was short, just 55 seconds, but was viewed over 400 times, with three-quarters watching all of it.

And our last video was shot the night of the technical rehearsal. This video featured a quick 1:10 interview with our three directors. I recorded it, got the footage to Perry overnight, and he had it edited and had it online the next morning. We sent out an email to our list of 10K patrons, over 25% of them opened and 13% clicked through to the video. It was watched over 200 times, and three-quarters watched to the very end.

Even though the videos were shot informally, we recorded the audio on a separate digital audio recorder for quality and clarity, and Perry synced them in editing. He also added a consistent open and close to each video, which strengthened the branding and continuity.

Every one of our videos had a high relative audience retention rate according to YouTube, so we know there was audience engagement.

I mentioned that we posted the videos to the group’s Facebook Group page. There are over 1400 fans there. A lot of the performers are on Facebook and they shared the videos with their friends to help build a viral effect which worked.

Overall traffic to VocalMajorityShows.com from the day we launched, to show date, was over 2,400 unique visitors, with about 350 of those from Facebook.

In terms of clicks to the online ticket order page, nearly 700 clicked through.

The bottom line is that about 1,300 tickets, or nearly $22,000 in tickets were sold during this campaign. While the numbers may be small to a lot of marketers, I assure you that $10,000 isn’t small to any non-profit organization. The video program has energized the organization, and several folks I’ve talked to have related how they saw the video, shared it with their friends, and because of the video, their friends decided to come to the show. And the bottom line, is that not only did we close the gap of sales, but we actually surpassed the budget.

Our next challenge will be promoting the Christmas Shows, with an inventory of 7,500 tickets to sell. The video series we’re planning will be called “Behind the Curtain” and will feature interviews with the people making costumes, building the set, and much more. Recording starts soon.

Gary Hennerberg

After a lot of years in marketing and sales, this is what I know works:

Stories sell. Think unique. Stimulate emotion. Close deals. And here are a few other gems from my new book, “Crack the Customer Mind Code.” Know the persona, interpret your offer and let your prospect give themselves permission to buy. That’s how the brain is wired. It’s how people think.

What else? When I’m not breaking down complex topics (or ones marketers over-complicate) into easy-to-grasp stories that sell, I crunch numbers. Manage projects. Write. Teach. Lead.

How long should a video be?

I had originally started this blog post for Target Marketing Magazine as one about tips for writing your story or script. But as I started researching what others were saying about scripts so I could blend thoughts with our own experience, I kept getting distracted with bloggers and video production experts whose first piece of advice was to keep the video short! 30 seconds, 60 seconds, never more than 2 minutes! Watch this video to learn more:

As a traditional direct marketer and copywriter, that felt to me like someone who was saying “only write a one page letter.” “No one will read 2 pages or 4 pages.”

Well tell that to direct marketers who use 16 page letters (and yes, I’ve written those over the years as well) who make millions for their clients from their long-copy.

To those who bark, “keep it short!” I say keep it tight. Begin with a knock-out lead, and keep the story moving and flowing. Your viewer will stick with you for as long as it interests them. Just like they would in reading a long-form direct mail letter.

Let’s dispel some myths about video length and give you guidelines for 5 types of videos that a direct marketer is likely to use. I’ll share with you our experience, and opinions that are based on our experience, as guidelines.

First a word about why opinions about video length only go so far. The good news for you is that it doesn’t have to be a mystery to learn what length works best for you. Those tools exist on YouTube. And they’re free. You just need to get upwards of 300 or so views for this tool to be activated.

In fact, watch this video to see a chart from YouTube of a recent Online Video Marketing Deep Dive presentation about marketing on tablets. It shows how long the viewer watched the video. In this example, the video was 6.5 minutes. You can see the gradual decline of people watching the video. That’s only natural because there people who just don’t stick around very long. In this example, you can see that 56% of viewers stayed with the entire 6.5 minute video right up to the end.

Or consider this example of a fun project Perry and I recently completed for a performing chorus, I happen volunteer for and perform with. We had 60% retention right up to the very end of the 2+ minute video.

And YouTube gives you another chart to compare your audience retention relative to all other YouTube videos of similar length. You can see that this video fared considerably better than average until the very end.

This analytic tool on YouTube is a must use to know when and figure out why you’ve lost your viewer. Use this to get experience and understand the dynamic of the point at which you’ve lost your viewer.

Here are the 5 types of video a direct marketer’s video will fall into, along with our thoughts for general guidelines of length.

1. Educational message building up to purchase: Most likely this is a long-form video, ranging from 5 minutes to 15 minutes. You have a few options with this type of video. One is to create a short video that clearly shows the viewer what they’ll learn and how that solves a problem, and then host that video on a landing page. Include an opt-in form so the viewer can access the rest of the video, which might be one long video, or a series of spaced-frequency, shorter videos sent over the course of a few days with an autoresponder email campaign.

2. Product demonstrations can be effectively communicated in a video. The length of your video will be dictated by the complexity of your product. If you have to introduce the product and it’s new, your video will be longer. In fact, it could be educational as discussed a few moments ago. If your audience already is familiar with the product and the category, maybe you can deliver a great message in less than a minute. But I don’t recommend you attempt to “fit” a video into a time period. This is the course of action I suggest for product demonstrations: take as long as it requires to translate every important feature into a benefit—and not a second longer. Be clear and compelling—but be brutal on your editing. Remember: keep it tight. If you can do that in 30 seconds, so be it. If it takes 3 minutes to tell the story, then make it 3 minutes, but keep them engaged.

3. Using video for fundraising is a natural. To tug at heartstrings—and purse strings— you need a great story, told by people whose lives are touched by the organization. It’s not about the plea or the ask, it’s about transforming lives, both physically and emotionally. With an organization that enjoys a loyal constituency, our experience suggests that you can take your story to around 5 to 7 minutes. In at least one client example test, closer to 10 minutes was too long, and 3 minutes was too short, apparently, for emotions to be brought to a tipping point.

4. Lead generation, by nature, suggests something shorter, based on our experience. In fact, this may be one place I’d adhere to the 1 minute guideline. You need to give enough information to compel the viewer to complete an online form, or pick up the phone to call, yet not so much that you reveal too much of the story. That’s a fine line. Keep it tight!

5. Case studies, coupled with customer reviews and endorsements, are reportedly watched by more people than other formats. In fact, I’d suggest that for all of the categories I’ve described, weave in, whenever possible, interviews of the people who use your product or contribute to your cause. And based on our experience, I think you can make these from 3 to 7 minutes.

Bottom line is this: Identify the type of video to meet your needs, plan your objectives, and build story line from there.

Please share with us your comments, below, about your experience.

Gary Hennerberg

After a lot of years in marketing and sales, this is what I know works:

Stories sell. Think unique. Stimulate emotion. Close deals. And here are a few other gems from my new book, “Crack the Customer Mind Code.” Know the persona, interpret your offer and let your prospect give themselves permission to buy. That’s how the brain is wired. It’s how people think.

What else? When I’m not breaking down complex topics (or ones marketers over-complicate) into easy-to-grasp stories that sell, I crunch numbers. Manage projects. Write. Teach. Lead.

Father's Day Poem: 7 Life Lessons

Each day over the next 7 days, while leading up to Father's Day, I'm going to post one of seven lessons I learned from my dad. Lesson #1 is to Make Hay When the Sun Shines.  For me, this has helped me leverage the good in career and business.  What does this phrase mean to you?

You can read the entire 7 life lessons at http://hennerberg.com/Fathers-Day-Poem.html

Gary Hennerberg

After a lot of years in marketing and sales, this is what I know works:

Stories sell. Think unique. Stimulate emotion. Close deals. And here are a few other gems from my new book, “Crack the Customer Mind Code.” Know the persona, interpret your offer and let your prospect give themselves permission to buy. That’s how the brain is wired. It’s how people think.

What else? When I’m not breaking down complex topics (or ones marketers over-complicate) into easy-to-grasp stories that sell, I crunch numbers. Manage projects. Write. Teach. Lead.

Secrets of Direct Marketing Testing

Target Marketing Group has just released a new e-book titled "Secrets of Direct Marketing Testing."  I'm proud to say that I'm the author of one of its chapters called "Reading Test Results." In that article, I have attempted to make it easy for anyone with basic math skills to run a statistically valid test.   This is "must have" information for anyone who is testing new creative packages, offers, or lists.

Here's a link to learn more:

http://bookstore.napco.com/dmiq/index.cfm?fua=shop&fa=bookDetail&id=381

Gary Hennerberg

After a lot of years in marketing and sales, this is what I know works:

Stories sell. Think unique. Stimulate emotion. Close deals. And here are a few other gems from my new book, “Crack the Customer Mind Code.” Know the persona, interpret your offer and let your prospect give themselves permission to buy. That’s how the brain is wired. It’s how people think.

What else? When I’m not breaking down complex topics (or ones marketers over-complicate) into easy-to-grasp stories that sell, I crunch numbers. Manage projects. Write. Teach. Lead.

"Free +" Apps

Some apps are "free."  Others are "free +."  Would you know the distinction? The mother of an acquaintance of my wife's says it best in her words:

"I have three kids and each one has an iTouch. They love to download game apps, and I told them that they needed to check with me before downloading it so that I could approve the price of the app (meaning I didn't want them to spend over 99 cents per app--I know, I'm cheap!).

"What I didn't realize was that some game apps are labeled "Free+". I didn't know what this meant until I looked at my Credit Card bill and  saw almost $40 worth of charges for game apps that I thought were free! The Free+ apps mean that you download them for free, but then you can purchase things while using that app, and it does not require you to put in your Apple ID password again to purchase. So my son had bought "extra powers" through a game called Lite Bike that cost $16! My youngest, who is 5 years old, had also bought things through a game app called "Tap Zoo".

"I took care of this by making them pay me back and deleting all the apps that were "Free+". They may not download anything that's Free+ and must always ask for my approval beforehand. Downloading apps, even 99 cents at a time, can come back to haunt you!"

So I wonder ... is this legal?  Undoubtedly it is.  The disclosure on the accept buttons most assuredly had this information (and most of us don't read all that mouse-sized type).

But good business practice?

Gary Hennerberg

After a lot of years in marketing and sales, this is what I know works:

Stories sell. Think unique. Stimulate emotion. Close deals. And here are a few other gems from my new book, “Crack the Customer Mind Code.” Know the persona, interpret your offer and let your prospect give themselves permission to buy. That’s how the brain is wired. It’s how people think.

What else? When I’m not breaking down complex topics (or ones marketers over-complicate) into easy-to-grasp stories that sell, I crunch numbers. Manage projects. Write. Teach. Lead.

Digital Citizenship

I'll admit that I had never heard of the term "digital citizenship" until my wife started a course on this subject.  I think it's a facsinating concept with potentially interesting discussion. The textbook "Understanding Digital Citizenship" defines it as follows:

"Digital citizenship can be described as the norms of appropriate, responsible behavior with regard to technology use. As a way of understanding the complexity of digital citizenship and the issues of technology use, abuse, and misuse, we have identified nine elements that together make up digital citizenship.  Those nine elements are as follows:

1. Digital access: full electronic participation in society

2. Digital commerce: the buying and selling of goods online

3. Digital communication: the electronic exchange of information

4. Digital literacy: the capability to use digital technology and knowing when and how to use it

5. Digital etiquette: the standards of conduct expected by other digital technology users

6. Digital law: the legal rights and restrictions governing technology use

7. Digital rights and responsibilities: the privileges and freedoms extended to all digital technology users, and the behavioral expectations that come with them

8. Digital health and wellness: the elements of physical and psychological well-being related to digital technology use

9. Digital security: the precautions that all technology users must take to guarantee their personal safety and the security of their network."

How does this impact you?

 

Gary Hennerberg

After a lot of years in marketing and sales, this is what I know works:

Stories sell. Think unique. Stimulate emotion. Close deals. And here are a few other gems from my new book, “Crack the Customer Mind Code.” Know the persona, interpret your offer and let your prospect give themselves permission to buy. That’s how the brain is wired. It’s how people think.

What else? When I’m not breaking down complex topics (or ones marketers over-complicate) into easy-to-grasp stories that sell, I crunch numbers. Manage projects. Write. Teach. Lead.

Design email messages with the Preview Pane in mind

I learned a tip how to get email opened from a colleague while co-presenting for the Direct Marketing Day at Your Desk from Target Marketing.  So with credit to Carolyn Goodman at Goodman Marketing Partners (www.GoodmanMarketing.com) I share the following about the importance of design, and how that interacts with the email preview pane. A signficant number of email users are able to preview email without opening it.  I do it all the time.  You may, too.

Some of us preview the email horizontally, across the top.  Others of use preview on the right of our screen so the left side of the email shows.

Nearly 40% of email providers block images by default (mine does).  So often I see a big blank spot on an email with a red x.

Knowing this issue, you are advised to design your email so that it begs someone to open it by merely looking at it from the preview pane.  Make sure the top of it has text that will draw someone to open it.  Make sure the left column of your email has the same copy to show.  Having a pretty picture in those spots likely won't show since the images are blocked.

Use strong sales copy in those email "hot spots" and you might have a better open rate. Since often when readers preview the email, if nothing is there to grab and compel them to open it, you've lost your split second chance to at least get it opened just because of a preview pane.

 

 

Gary Hennerberg

After a lot of years in marketing and sales, this is what I know works:

Stories sell. Think unique. Stimulate emotion. Close deals. And here are a few other gems from my new book, “Crack the Customer Mind Code.” Know the persona, interpret your offer and let your prospect give themselves permission to buy. That’s how the brain is wired. It’s how people think.

What else? When I’m not breaking down complex topics (or ones marketers over-complicate) into easy-to-grasp stories that sell, I crunch numbers. Manage projects. Write. Teach. Lead.

Why is the word count of email promotions getting shorter?

I just completed my analysis of June email promotions for this week's issue of All About eMail from Target Marketing magazine. One of the striking numbers to me is how the average word count continues to drop.  Comparing April 2010 data to April 2011, the word count average has dropped to 374 per email, a reduction of 8.1%.

For "repeated" emails, those appearing more than once in the EmailCampaignArchive.com database, the word count drops even more to 235.  That's 37% less than "all" emails.

Clearly shorter email word count isn't a fluke.  It's a trend.

Gary Hennerberg

After a lot of years in marketing and sales, this is what I know works:

Stories sell. Think unique. Stimulate emotion. Close deals. And here are a few other gems from my new book, “Crack the Customer Mind Code.” Know the persona, interpret your offer and let your prospect give themselves permission to buy. That’s how the brain is wired. It’s how people think.

What else? When I’m not breaking down complex topics (or ones marketers over-complicate) into easy-to-grasp stories that sell, I crunch numbers. Manage projects. Write. Teach. Lead.

What time of day do you email?

As a columnist for All About eMail, I have access to the Email Campaign Archive powered by their parent company, Target Marketing Magazine. Every month something like 18,000 new promotions are added to the file.  I’m amazed at the volume of email sent between 10 and 11 a.m. Monday-Friday, month in and month out.  There isn’t change.

I looked at March, 2011, stats (the most recent).  There were 18,265 emails logged into the database.  1,906 were received between 10 am and 11 am.  While that doesn’t sound impressive, consider this:

Since about 88% of promotion email is sent Monday-Friday, that suggests about 1,677 were sent during that one hour of the business day during the month of March.  There were 23 business days in March, so an average of nearly 73 email promotions were within that one hour each business day – or an email about every 49 seconds.

Have you tested other times of the day, and specifically, 10 am vs earlier or later in the day?  And what you can say about your experience?

Gary Hennerberg

After a lot of years in marketing and sales, this is what I know works:

Stories sell. Think unique. Stimulate emotion. Close deals. And here are a few other gems from my new book, “Crack the Customer Mind Code.” Know the persona, interpret your offer and let your prospect give themselves permission to buy. That’s how the brain is wired. It’s how people think.

What else? When I’m not breaking down complex topics (or ones marketers over-complicate) into easy-to-grasp stories that sell, I crunch numbers. Manage projects. Write. Teach. Lead.

Timing Email Tests

Timing your email delivery may be one of the most important elements you test.  Since I write a monthly column for All About eMail, I have access to the Email Campaign Archive powered by their parent company Target Marketing Magazine. Every month something like 18,000 new promotions are added to the file.  I’m amazed at the volume of email sent between 10 and 11 a.m. Monday-Friday, month in and month out.  There isn’t change.

So I looked at March, 2011, stats (the most recent).  There were 18,264 emails logged into the database.  1,906 were received between 10 am and 11 am.  While that doesn’t sound impressive, consider this:

Since about 88% of promotion email is sent Monday-Friday, that suggests about 1,677 were sent during that one hour of the business day during the month of March.  There were 23 business days in March, so an average of nearly 73 email promotions were within that one hour each business day – or an email about every 49 seconds.

Now, all that said, perhaps email marketers have learned that from 10 am to 11 am is the golden time to send email.  But I’d venture to say that many haven’t A/B tested 8 am vs. 10 am to see if there is a difference.

And then there is the whole issue of business category timing.  Should restaurants send email at 10 am?  Or would, say, 4 pm be better?

http://www.dmnews.com/trial-and-error-determines-best-email-timing-strategy-to-maximize-response/article/201341/?DCMP=EMC-DMN_EmailMktingWkly

Comment

Gary Hennerberg

After a lot of years in marketing and sales, this is what I know works:

Stories sell. Think unique. Stimulate emotion. Close deals. And here are a few other gems from my new book, “Crack the Customer Mind Code.” Know the persona, interpret your offer and let your prospect give themselves permission to buy. That’s how the brain is wired. It’s how people think.

What else? When I’m not breaking down complex topics (or ones marketers over-complicate) into easy-to-grasp stories that sell, I crunch numbers. Manage projects. Write. Teach. Lead.

How Many Words Do We Need?

Loved this post from John Forde’s Copywriter Roundtable newsletter (www.copywritersroundtable.com) about how many words we need to communicate.  Apparently there is a line of thought that says we only need 100 words in our language to communicate most of what we need to communicate.  And the BBC listed the most common 100 words ... and most are short words (no surprise).  A reminder to all of us as we communicate.  Here’s the article: ** The coach of England's football team is Italian.

And not fluent in the Queen's tongue. No bigga deala,

he says. He only needs about 100 words to communicate

what he wants to his players, he told the BBC.

But is he right? It's true you can do you can muster

a few basics on 100 words. But even basic language

learners tend to tuck away at least 2,000. And if

you're local, you'll have as many as 20,000 or more.

That said, the BBC listed the 100 most common words.

Not one in the top 10 has more than four letters.

Most have three or less. In fact, the first five-

letter common word is "would" at #37.

The only six-letter words is "people" at #61 and

"because" at #94 on the list. Just goes to show you,

even the well-versed go for the same kinds of short,

punchy words that work best in copy.

Gary Hennerberg

After a lot of years in marketing and sales, this is what I know works:

Stories sell. Think unique. Stimulate emotion. Close deals. And here are a few other gems from my new book, “Crack the Customer Mind Code.” Know the persona, interpret your offer and let your prospect give themselves permission to buy. That’s how the brain is wired. It’s how people think.

What else? When I’m not breaking down complex topics (or ones marketers over-complicate) into easy-to-grasp stories that sell, I crunch numbers. Manage projects. Write. Teach. Lead.