Apr 18, 2013

Six Reasons Your Website Will Fail

Although the dawn of the Web was nearly two decades ago, many small and midsize businesses (SMBs) still have a limited, ineffective online presence. That wouldn't be much of an issue if the Internet hadn't long ago replaced hardcopy Yellow Pages as the go-to source for business information. vSplash's SMB DigitalScape data, based on an analysis of 1 million SMB websites worldwide last year, provides a clear demonstration of how poorly equipped SMB websites are for the digital age.

Let's go through the most alarming findings and examine the top reasons SMBs are failing online.

1. Not Built Right (for Mobile Devices)
93.3% of SMB websites are not mobile-compatible and will not render successfully on mobile devices, including smartphones.
Click Here!

The gap is widening between consumer adoption of digital platforms and deficiencies in SMBs' digital presence. As Internet-content consumption is fast moving away from desktops to portable devices, ensuring your website is optimized for the smaller screens of tablets and smartphones is critically important.

People will often be looking to access your site on the go, and ensuring your website is mobile compatible will help introduce your business to the rapidly growing mobile market.

2. (Anti-)Social Media
80.5% of SMB websites have no social media links—Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, foursquare, etc.

If you're ever questioning your business's lack of fans or followers, you probably haven't connected your social media accounts to your website—potentially your biggest source of traffic to your social presence. Social marketing can be a powerful tool, but not if there's no audience to engage with.

Ideally, when managing a part of your website (e.g. writing a blog post or adding a team member), your website content management software should be intelligent enough to automatically push that out through the social media sphere.

3. E-Fail
74.7% of SMB websites lack an email link on their homepage for consumers to contact the business.

What is so convenient about email is its instant delivery and (often) instant gratification. But not having an email link on your homepage eliminates that convenience. Plus, think about the opportunities you're missing: Questions from customers, or potential partnership opportunities from companies, don't ever reach your inbox.

4. (Lack of) Information, Please
65.7% of SMB websites lack a form-fill option to enable consumers to request information.
SMBs should build default information inquiry forms right into their site, but only one-third of them are taking that necessary and helpful step. Those forms need to be already connected to a CRM, an email system, and an ecommerce system so that the lead is not just being collected but also prepped for the SMB owner to communicate with in an effort to generate business via that lead.

5. E.T. Can't Phone Home
60% of SMB websites have no toll-free or local business phone number listed on the homepage.

Although email tends to be the preferred form of communication (and, as discussed, most SMBs don't even have that information on their homepage), some questions are better answered by phone. Generating phone calls via your homepage makes customers feel comfortable, while not listing a phone number can cause questions of legitimacy to arise.

6. SEO struggles
56.3% of SMB websites have no keyword info for search engine discovery.
If you have a website and no one can find it, does it really exist? A significant amount of your traffic will be the result of consumers' finding it through search engines.
Keyword research and creation, on-site optimization, and off-site link building in industry directories and other relevant sites are all necessary elements for driving traffic to your website. Those tactics will help make your site search engine-friendly and improve your ranking, allowing your business to gain needed exposure.

Addressing those six areas will allow SMBs to deliver traffic to their website, engage with their audience, and acquire monetizable information. Of course, those six items cover only the basics. SMBs will continue to fail online if they don't generate additional business by bolstering their website with an e-commerce platform, reservations system, ad integration, and other key enhancements.

One last stat: In July 2012, a Wells Fargo-Gallup Small Business Index survey found that 56% of SMBs plan to invest in new website or software in 2013. Why? Deep down, SMB owners know that their website isn't working, but they don't know how to fix it. The lack of a comprehensive software solution is forcing SMBs to cobble together their own multivendor system.

Adapting to the increasingly Internet-based economy shouldn't require SMB owners to be Internet and software experts. That is the job of solution providers.

by Ollie Bigler April 12, 2013 

Ref http://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2013/10531/six-reasons-your-website-will-fail#ixzz2Qo5NExgr

Apr 15, 2013

eMail Marketing. Don’t waste your money.

This is another one for the email marketer who wants to try-it-once-and-see-if-it works. Don’t waste your money.

Like traditional marketing, you need a budget for an ongoing campaign, not for a once-off ad. eMarketing should be consistent and relevant, a process, not an event. Its success relates to the old sales truism… people buy from people they know. And people buy when they’re ready to buy. Not when you’re ready to sell. Like the billboard on the motorway it’s a focused what’s-in-it-for-me message, often seen at speed. And like the billboard on the motorway it should be there every month. It establishes an ongoing relationship with your target group by creating a consistent, relevant awareness of your brand. It says, when you are ready to buy.. here I am.

eMail Marketing is not a quick fix

We are often approached by the new email marketer who wants to try-it-once-and-see-if-it works. On average a salesman has to connect with a prospect 6-10 times to reach a sale. How can a once-off email then do the job?

In “Long Tale” marketing (not a typo) the point is made that the long tale is the never-ending-story you tell your prospects and your customers. The difficult part is getting a targeted database of people who would be interested in what you have to sell. The overlooked part is where you waste all that effort and cost, because you forget to keep telling your story. Almost all the goodness of emarketing comes not from the big announcement, but from the long tale.

It’s a process, not an event. And if you do it well, your viewers will be happy to hear from you until they have made a buying decision, sometimes 12 – 18 months down the line. If you get it wrong, they will unsubscribe. It’s that simple. 
It’s not a quick fix. And there are no shortcuts to the market.

Midyear marketing budgets… the winners and the losers

Interesting to note that 92% of marketers are increasing their adspend in spite of business still being tough. Makes sense. Without visibility you have no business, no matter how good your product. Here are the winners and the losers in terms of budget allocation.
No 1. eMail subscriber engagement. Quick-fix email blasts are replaced by more measured nurturing approaches – The Brand as Thought Leader. 60% plan to increase emarketing spend. 
No 2. eMail list segmentation. 44% of marketers plan to develop more targeted databases. 32% plan to offer more opt-in services. “What does my customer truly consider valuable? “

No 3. Social media budgets increase by 54%. Surprising that this is not higher, but then again not every product is a perfect fit for social media
No 4. Mobile and search spend up 37%.
… and the losers? The only losers in the budget spend seems to be Direct Mail [down 28%] and Tradeshows and Event spending [down 23%].  *ref 2012 Marketing Trends Survey. strongmail.com. Survey did not include traditional media.

3 reasons why your email marketing is not working.

no1. Your emails are not being read.
BIG FACT: Nothing happens until the email is opened. And with spam filling 90% of your inbox, your subject line needs to stand out with a what’s-in-it-for-me? subject line.

no2. You’re using a poor mailing list.
The better the match between your product/service and your target list, the better the response. Mail to shorter and better lists.

no3. Your emails are too long.
Short emails get higher click-through rates. 3-5 short paragraphs, 35-55 characters per line. Say one thing only. Ask, what does my customer consider valuable? And write your email around that value.

5 points to consider before you re-design your website

1. Is your website really fast? According to a Nielsen (USA) report, it’s the no 1 criteria for
websites. People want to get on, get the info, and get off quickly. So lose the flash and those gorgeous heavy pages that slow you down to a crawl.

2. Less is more. In our opinion, every page of a website should exist to create a sale. No more, no less. Period. Include only the content that encourages a visitor to buy.

3. Does the home page reflect “what’s in it for me?” for your viewer. Ruthlessly discard the PR, the corporate ego. If your product provides a solution to a pain-point, Voila… there’s your home page.

4. Whom are you trying to reach? Core target, lowest hanging fruit. And then, design your website to wear the style of your target market… colours, type, design and language style. NOT the style of your boardroom. It should feel like home for your viewer.

5. Is your offering clear, clear, clear? About benefits and solutions, not features.

The Perfect eMail Structure.

3 Lessons from the world’s most successful ecampaign.

In January 2013 Barack Obama was inaugurated as the 44th president of the USA. His email campaign leading up to his winning a second presidential term is seen by many as the most successful online campaign of 2012. “His email campaign brought in $689 million; that’s nearly 75% of the $924m in total raised in what ended up being the most expensive presidential election in US history. This makes email, by far the No1 non-political contributor to the drubbing of Mitt Romney.” [ref Magill report]

Obama email list of approx 40 million subscribers, “his most valuable asset”, has been likened to a nuclear weapon, “the power of which hasn’t been quantified”. Certainly, the notion that Obama could harness email in order to force legislative action is an entirely new paradigm on the American electoral scene. His ability to make money online meant that he could start his second term debt free from lobbyists. Since he did not need the money that global weapons companies have traditionally thrown at presidential candidates, he has been able to immediately start to address gun control issues.
So what lessons can we learn from Obama’s game changing email campaign?

Lesson 1: Use simple, talking copy.

“It quickly became clear that Obama’s casual tone was most effective”, says Toby Fallsgraff, the campaign’s email director. Obama’s copy spoke to the people. The subject lines that worked best were what you might see in your in-box from friends. ‘Hey’ was the best one in terms of opening clicks; and “I will be outspent” was the most successful subject line financially. Here are the top 5 subject lines in terms of financial success.

Of course, Obama’s speaking style and ability to create intimacy when he speaks to large audiences means that he can adopt this casual tone. Whilst most marketers are not on such intimate terms with their prospects, we can learn much from the idea that we need to sound “like a real person” and not like a company pitching its products.

Lesson 2: Say ONE thing only.

What I liked best about Obama’s email campaign was the simplicity of structure; one reason only for you to engage with this particularly email. Often the messaging was so simple that it could be read at a glance. All emails were focussed on one call to action: Donate. Nothing in any of his emails distracted from this main goal. It brings to mind the old Direct Marketing saying: “Give them a choice and they’ll do nothing.”

Lesson 3: Extensive use of video.

Both Barack and Michele Obama tapped into the power of video to get their campaign message across.

Note: The new way to use video is to place it at the top of the email (or website) and make it the main component. Short videos less than 2 minutes work best. However, videos should always be used in conjunction with text. For viewers in a hurry, text is still better.

And if you’re not Obama, see a design idea as to how you can make use of this concept for your products.

The bottom line: So did Obama win because he sent out more emails? “According to numbers put out by eDataSource, Obama mailed a staggering 40+MM subscribers compared with Romney’s 4MM, on some days they sent 350MM compared with 26MM from Romney. So while relevance, engagement, creative – ugly or otherwise, Subject Line testing etc. did play some part in his success, they pale into insignificance compared to the impact reach and frequency had in his success.” [ref Magill report]

Colleen Backstrom is CEO of Kaleidoscope Advertising and marketing, one of South Africa’s leading email marketing companies. www.kscope.co.za

Do Not Reply to This E-mail.

This morning in my inbox there are no less than 7 emails from marketing companies actively telling me, as a prospective customer, that they are not interested in hearing from me. The sender address looks something like this; noreply@server2.clientpost.co.za. And if that is not enough to put me off ever doing business with them, some of the emails further stress in the text that “Please do not reply to this email message via email. This address is automated, unattended, and cannot help with questions or requests.”

Then they go on to request that I “like” them on Facebook and Twitter. What’s to like? Unless one “likes” to do business with a company that is rude (read impolite, discourteous, bad-mannered, and offensive).

Next gripe: The long-thread email And yes, whilst I am being irritable, please also remember to change the subject line in those long-thread email communications… you know the one that starts off with “RE: The meeting this morning” and then goes on to ask about the content of the report that needs to be done, and then on to the fact that there is no coffee in the canteen, and then on to the quote that you have been waiting for… on and on for days, all under the same subject line “RE: The meeting this morning”. If you find this is happening to you, break the thread and change the headline to make the contents relevant. So much easier for you and your recipient to find your emails when you are looking for them.

There, I feel better getting that off my chest. So what do you feel most irritated about in your inbox? I would welcome your thoughts below. And to everyone that responds, I will collate and send the top 5 pet gripes re South African inboxes.

Colleen Backstrom colleen@kscope.co.za | 021 4622291

eMarketing 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.

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.

The Importance of Social Media in your Business

Some interesting stats:

To reach 50 million users:

- Radio took 38 years
- TV took 13 years
- Internet took 4 years
Facebook took 5 months- Facebook averages 700 000 new members each day
- There are over 250 million blogs on the internet
- There are 250 million tweets per day
- 4 billion YouTube videos played per day
- One hour of video is uploaded every second

Information is being consumed very differently compared to 20 years ago. (Buying a car for example)

Social Media has shifted how businesses interact with their customers as well as each other. 90% or consumers trust peer recommendations opposed to 14% trusting advertisements which is why Social Media is so important for our business.

eMarketing is no longer about websites but about relationships.

Whose job is Social Media? … EVERYONE’S!
Social media is a ‘Hybrid’ of marketing, advertising, public relations, customer service, consumer insight, creative and more and therefore social media must be considered as an initiative for a business, rather than a linear marketing activity.

- A quick and convenient platform for new company information.
- Connecting with your customers/viewers on a personal level (we must write about things that our target audience can relate to)
- Great for encouraging visitors to view your website and inbound links to boost your Google ratings.
- Gets the interest of potential clients which discover your company online
- Feedback is very fast and simple for the viewer.

FACEBOOK? Connecting people personally
- 850 million users (50% log on to Facebook everyday)
- People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook
- Average member has 130 friends (who see their info shared etc)
- More than 30 billion pieces of content shared each month (web links, blog posts, notes, photo albums etc)
- 10 000 new websites integrate Facebook every day
- More than 200 million active users on Facebook mobile

Facebook objectives:
- Creating a community
- Building brand awareness
- Sharing company and industry news
- Educating your audience
- Increasing web traffic
- Getting people to interact with you and your company

Facebook pay-per-click? (Targets a very specific audience i.e. age, gender, location, likes and interests, education and work, connections on Facebook etc)
Marketplace ads can cost as little as R5 per day.

- Increasing likes on a company’s Facebook page
- Increasing traffic to a company website- Building brand awareness
- Selling products or generating leads

TWITTER? Micro-blogging (small bursts of information)
- Over 200 million members
- 1.1 million South African members
- Jan 2012 – 110 million tweets per day = 1200 tweets per second
- Mar 2012 – 250 million tweets per day
- 460 000 new twitter accounts per day
- Jan 2008: twitter employed 8 staff – Mar 2012: twitter employed 400 staff

What to do on twitter:
- Share links relating to your industry (videos, free guides, whitepapers, webinars)
- Comment on topics etc relating to your industry (engage)
- Retweet valuable info and links
- Share important event info (that you are attending)
- Participate in chats #chat #marketing #emailmarketing etc etc
- Ask questions

YOUTUBE? (It’s easier to watch than read)
- Over 4 billion views a day
- 60 hours of video uploaded every minute
- Over 3 billion hours of video watched on YouTube every month
- On twitter, 700 YouTube videos are shared each minute
- On Facebook, 500 years of video are watched each day
- YouTube mobile gets over 100 million views a day

If a picture is worth a thousand words, imagine what a video is worth!
Copyright of Kaleidoscope Advertising & Marketing May, 2012

15 Things People Hate About Your Website

1) Pop-Up Ads

Let’s get the most obvious one out of the way. Pop-ups are seriously annoying. Yes, a pop-up could get you a few new email subscribers, but is that really worth all the traffic you lose when visitors abandon your site in annoyance? Convert site visitors into leads with well-written content and compelling CTAs/offers, not interruptive gimmicks.

2) Automatically Playing Multimedia Content When a Page Loads

Shhhh! I wasn’t supposed to be on this site at work! If someone’s enjoying what they thought was a silent browsing session and they’re bombarded with your theme song or a talking head on a video for which they didn’t press “play” and can’t find the button for “stop,” what do you think they’re going to do? Some might fumble for their mute button, but I can more easily locate the back button in my browser than my computer’s volume controls. Let visitors choose to play your multimedia content; don’t force it on them.

3) Disorienting Animations

You’re probably familiar with the blink test by now — the 3 seconds users have to orient themselves on any given web page before they click ‘back’ in their browser. Animations, auto-play videos, blinking and flashing paid advertisements, and other interactive entertainment may seem really cool (I’m sure it’s very well designed!) but it detracts from a visitor’s focus during those critical 3 seconds. Nix the animations, and let visitors focus on what they can do on that page with clearly written headlines and explanatory copy.


25 Clever ways to grow your eMail marketing list

1) Create remarkable email content. Your content needs to be amazing if you want people to stay subscribed — and if you want them to forward it to their friends, family, and colleagues that aren’t already on your email list.

2) Create a new lead-gen offer — like a free ebook or whitepaper — and require visitors to provide their email address in order to download it. If you’re having trouble coming up with new offers, this blog post provides suggestions for ways to simply and quickly create lead-gen content.

3) Host an online webinar and collect email addresses at registration.

4) Create a free, online tool or resource and have users sign up with their email address. For example, HubSpot has created plenty of free tools to use for prospect and lead generation — most recently Marketing Grader.

5) Add a QR code to your print marketing collateral that people can scan to opt in to your email database.


Ten best practices for designing mobile websites

For interactive designers and developers, the mobile revolution is here. Mobile browsers have been around since the ’90s, but Apple’s launch of the iPhone in 2007 enlightened us to the true potential of handheld mobile devices and became the catalyst for today’s mobile explosion. With continuous introductions of more powerful and usable touchscreen phones and tablets stimulating the rapid growth in mobile browsing, companies can no longer afford to ignore the mobile experience associated with their brand.
Inevitably, focus is shifting away from developing native apps for individual devices and platforms, to developing mobile sites and web applications that provide excellent user experiences across all devices and mobile browsers.
This shift is happening for many of the same reasons our desktop software applications are moving to the cloud. An application that works well for everyone, everywhere, and on every platform is a beautiful thing for everyone involved. When a cloud-based application is updated, the change… read more >>

8 SEO Tips That Take 15 Minutes or Less

While a long standing concerted effort toward SEO can pay off big down the road, don’t forget that sometimes there are quick tasks that can turn the needle.

Over the years, I have heard many times from individuals desiring success in SEO, the request could never gain approval as the resourced time was too great of a budget allocation or that an SEO vendor wasn’t in the budget.

This is true to some extent as a full SEO campaign involves the strategic revision to information architecture, attention to SEO design factors, creation of quality content, a blueprint for a link-building initiative just to name a few items. These tasks can take a lot of time and the thought of this can leave many companies throwing SEO on the back burner.

For those of who you fit into this group, read on for eight simple quick SEO revisions that will allow you to potentially create positive affect with your organic search traffic.

For seasoned SEOs this is rather elementary information…

How does remarketing work?

Remarketing allows you to communicate with people who’ve previously visited key pages on your website, giving you a powerful new way to match the right people with the right message.

Example of remarketing

Online shoppers looking for new running shoes visit a popular online store, FastSneakers.com, to browse the different styles. Some shoppers leave without buying anything. FastSneakers.com could add these shoppers to a “Site Visitor” list. This will enable FastSneakers.com to reach out to these potential buyers while they browse other websites, with a compelling call-to-action or offer that will encourage them to return to FastSneakers.com to complete a purchase.

How remarketing works

To create remarketing lists, you…

9 Hot Tips for Small Business Marketing on Facebook

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.


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

The secret formula of subject lines

A comment in an email marketing group on LinkedIn recently about the viewer “deleting any email that doesn’t grab his attention”, hits the button.

The fact is that inbox clutter continues to drive down opening rates, a leading factor in failed email campaigns. And the BIG fact is that nothing happens until the email gets opened. As the tolerance for inbox noise reaches breaking point, companies can improve their opening rates by using proven subject line templates.

I did some research on the best (tested and proven) email subject lines … and a few of the worst… for a paper that I delivered at the International Direct Mail Conference held in Johannesburg last month, The presentation was called The Secret Formula of Subject lines.

Colleen Backstrom. www.kscope.co.za. Digital marketing specialists.