Jan 31, 2013

eMail Marketing 2013: 2 New Trends

If your emarketing results are proving to be a bit of a disappointment, here are 2 new trends that might offer some thinking regarding a new way forward.

Trend no 1 BIG DATA
In early 2012 when the world first came into contact with the term Big Data, most of us non-IT people thought: Well, we have a Big Database, we have a Huge Database. In fact we have a Monster Database. So no-worries, we’ve got Big Data!

Not so.

There are many definitions out there, depending upon your business needs, but in a nutshell, Big Data is the collection and analysis of your company’s information on a massive, massive scale … in order to allow the marketer to create specific packages and campaigns for individual clients – in real time. Think Amazon. Think Cloud. Think marketing to your Customer-of-One.

Unstructured data, often located in a company’s text files, comprises at least 80% of organisational data; often petabytes* of random data that would be inefficient in time and cost to load into a relational database. Left unmanaged it is useless. Put through a Big Data Analytics process it allow companies to drill deep in order to understand exactly, make decisions, and act in real-time to better service their clients. The possibilities for new innovation, improved agility, and increased profitability are huge. *(1 000 000 000 000 000 bytes)

Of course, the fundamental principle of Big Data is not new. Full client knowledge is a guiding principle of good marketing. The concept of know-your-customer is as old as marketing itself. What’s new and what’s valuable is that the new technology now allows us to collect and interpret the tsunami of data already available within our company systems. Big Data software then makes this collective information available in a format that allows the marketer to drive real-time marketing campaigns.

The IT technology and tools to execute Big Data processing are new. The downside is that companies will have to gear-up with the necessary technology or else outsource the service.

What can the small business learn from Big Data?In the last 10 years the easy (and inexpensive) option of bulk emails meant that we could all be sloppy about our databases, and send out huge email blasts to “see what comes back”. The continuing drop in email opening rates makes it essential that we start again and take a fresh new look at how we emarket.

There’s another reason why we should consider Big Data analytics.
Whilst most of us are not marketing on the scale of Amazon or Apple or Levi, the Protection of Personal Information Bill (POPI) imminent in South Africa in 2014, means that we will all have to clean up our acts in terms of our databases. So we should welcome the bill because its opt-in requirement will give professional marketers the opportunity to “up” their game plan… to know and understand their clients at the next level. Big Data will allow us to discover repeatable business patterns, to track and interpret the needs of our best customers, and to help us create a marketing package around specific needs. In short Big Data marketing becomes a game-changing strategy… It’s an exciting and new way to re-imagine your email marketing.

Big Data allows eMarketing to take a giant step forward.

If you’re not quite ready to invest in Big Data software, you can still use the concept of deeper customer knowledge to improve your marketing this year. In 2013 our databases should be more targeted, more effective, more profitable, even if we have to sacrifice size for quality. Bulk emailing becomes a thing of the past, and the right message of engagement to a segmented and more “perfect” client base, becomes the name of the game. (See Nurturing Campaigns below).

The first step is simply to start creating your own database of good (Big) data. Throw out the useless names, and make a fresh start, intent on marketing to your list of perfect clients.

The Brand as Thought Leader.

In 2013 companies marketing themselves intelligently by email will have to take some giant strides forward. Hope-for-the-best email blasts used as a quick-fix for diminishing sales will be replaced by fresh, more strategic approaches. Quality content [The Brand as Thought Leader] will replace sales hype to meet the higher standards of engagement expected by the new it’s-all-about-me customer. Big Data will allow marketers to reshape their products around client pain points and real needs.

So what is a Nurturing eCampaign?
Here we need to consider 3 things:
(a) clients prefer to do business with an industry expert, and
(b) the most read emails are those “that teach me how to do my job better”. [ref Nielsen (USA) research study].
(c) executive time is at a premium, and keeping up-to-date with current industry information is increasingly difficult for most business people.

The concept of a Nurturing eCampaign is to tap into the above 3 needs by becoming an “expert” in your industry. Marketers send their perfect clients short, to-the-point and minimum-read information sets related to the industry… and not specifically to the products which they sell. For example, if your business is about selling strategic workshops, you could send an information piece “What Harvard says about Strategy in 2013”. Use google to source the articles, and then prĂ©cis them into no more than 3 short paragraphs; with a link to the source site.

WATCHPOINT! Here I need to stress that a Nurturing eCampaign is not the current practice of sending out long-long emails with a multiple choice list of more> links. Don’t fall into this lazy marketing pattern. Show your real expertise by highlighting no more than “3 things I found most interesting about this article”. And note. Drop the sales pitch. Just a simple description in text of pictures of what you do, and what you sell, as a footnote below the nurturing email. We suggest one nurturing ecampaign a month, twelve in a year of top-top quality information sets.

And if you’re still sending out “newsletters” to connect with your client base, at best, expect to be ignored. At worst expect to do damage to your brand. The hard fact is that your clients are not interested in your “news”.

In 2013 companies that apply their intelligence and time to connect with their clients with relevant information without trying to “sell” them on every contact, will grow and flourish.

In conclusion
In the words of my old marketing professor guru “Marketing is simple. Find out what your clients want. And then give it to them.”
Simple, yes. But not easy. It requires effort. And planning. And dedication.
And if your company is chasing sales, and not thinking that marketing comes ahead of sales… you’re dead in the water before you start. In 2013 companies that demonstrate versatility of skills and flexibility of mind will make a good living. Those that fail to adapt will limit their chances. Or simply go to the wall.

Colleen Backstrom is CEO of Kaleidoscope Advertising and Marketing, one of the leading email marketing companies in South Africa. Her company specialises in creating emarketing divisions for corporates. www.kscope.co.za. 021 4622291. If you would like a template example of a nurturing campaign. Please email colleen@kscope.co.za.

9 Hot Tips for Small Business Marketing on Facebook

This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology in small business.

With 845 million users, Facebook has become an increasingly useful tool for brands, and it’s important to have a strong presence on the social network.

Whether your brand is fully established or just starting out, launching a marketing campaign can seem overwhelming. But, it doesn’t have to be a timely or expensive process. There are several small and simple things you can do for your brand on Facebook. In fact, some of these marketing tactics are used by the biggest brands in the world.

Ready for your brand to get in front of the 845 million? Majestic Media, a global Facebook marketing agency, has come up with nine time-saving tips for marketing on Facebook.


2 x Reasons why people won’t buy your products

1. They don’t believe they have the problem that your product offers to solve, (which includes a belief that the problem is not big enough for action).

2. They do not believe your solution will work. Spend SERIOUS time in analysing and formulating a break-through response to these two often unspoken objections. Find out the consequences of not buying. Are the consequences financially measureable? Is the loss acceptable? Is it a priority?
Stay REAL!

Top 12 eMail Marketing Metrics

Although every product, company and mailing list is unique, here are a few interesting email metrics to help you benchmark your results.

1. Overall unique open rate has decreased to 11.6% over the past year [cold lists].
2. Open and click rates are the highest on Sundays for impulse buys and lead generation.
3. Subject lines of 35 characters or less tend to receive 52% higher open rates [cold list].
4. Personalised messages to a cold list can decrease opening rate from 11.6% – 6.7% [Test Nov 2011].
5. Personalised messages to people, who have already engaged with you get 7% higher opening rates [MailerMailer report July 2011].
6. 75.8% of total opens are expected in first 24 hours.
7. 10% buy after first contact; 67% take up to a year [Sept 2011].
8. The right image increases click through rates by up to 120%. [Digitalmarketinglab Jan 2012].
9. Short emails get higher Cars. [Digitalmarketinglab Jan 2012].
10. 294 billion emails travel around the world daily. [Radicati Group Dec 2011]
11. 74.6% of adults prefer email marketing.**
12. 67% of organisations plan to increase their email marketing budget for 2012, at an incremental adspend of 30% more than in 2011.**

294 billion emails travel around the world daily. [Radicati Group Dec 2011].
Inbox clutter continues to drive down opening rates, a leading factor in failed email campaigns.**
ref ** MarketingSherpa 2012 eMail Marketing Benchmark Report. Sample 2735 email marketers.

Colleen Backstrom
Kaleidoscope Online Marketing - www.kscope.co.za

eMail marketing 2012.The good and the bad news.

74.6% of adults prefer email marketing. Despite the growth of social media there are nearly a billion more email accounts than social network accounts. Email marketing remains one of the most cost effective tools for marketing and client engagement. And in terms of ROI there is no medium that gives you better value.

67% of organisations plan to increase their email marketing budget for 2012, at an incremental adspend of 30% more than in 2011.

Inbox clutter continues to drive down opening rates, a leading factor in failed email campaigns. As the tolerance for inbox noise reaches breaking point, companies who fail to use proven subject line templates will not succeed. ref MarketingSherpa 2012 eMail Marketing Benchmark Report. 2735 email marketers

5 BIG eMail marketing alerts for 2012.

no1. eMail marketing takes a giant step forward. Bulk emailing becomes a thing of the past, and the right message of engagement to a segmented market becomes the name of the game. Content and design quality at last take a step forward. Knowledge of eye-tracking studies ensures that the messaging is understood at a glance. And response mechanisms drive responses directly to the sender.

no2. Short emails get higher click-through rates. 3-5 short paragraphs, 35-55 characters per line. Profits are increased through selective interaction with identified individuals.

no3. The subject line drives the campaign. Getting attention in an overcrowded inbox is the biggest challenge. Nothing happens until the email is opened. Marketers start using proven and tested subject line templates.

no4. The picture does the talking. The right imaging increases click-through rates by up to 120%. *ref Digital Marketing Lab.

no5. Quality content drives conversions. Marketers invest in professional tailored content to stand out in an every expanding inbox.

by Colleen Backstrom, Kaleidoscope Online Marketing www.kscope.co.za | 021 462 2291

The best marketing advice I have ever had.

Colleen Backstrom – Online Marketing http://www.kscope.co.za

The best marketing advice I have ever had was from Colin Adcock, the then CEO of Toyota, who changed the face of the marketing of cars in South Africa. “Marketing is easy” he said. “Simply find out what your customer wants. And give it to him.” And then he proceeded to tell me the story about how Toyota in the early days captured the new taxi market.

“We sent people to all the taxi ranks. They stood about and rode in the taxis and… listened.” Soon a problem became apparent. In the early days any old mini-bus became a taxi; the most common problem being that the door broke down. Certainly the door of a mini-bus designed for family transport was not going to withstand the constant opening and closing demanded of a taxi service. Colin ordered that the doors of all Toyota mini-buses leaving the factory had to be reinforced. The result. The market perception became that Toyotas were better made than the other mini-buses on the market. Toyota soon became known as the best mini-bus to buy if you are going to run a taxi service.