• Football and Marketing

    September 03, 2009 by

    This is by far my favorite time of the year! The fall weather is beautiful and football season is finally here! According to Vince Lombardi, “Running a football team is no different than running any other kind of organization – an army, a political party or a business. The principles are the same. The object is to win – to beat the other guy.” Nowhere is this level of competition more apparent than in advertising. For a football team to be successful, they need to have a balanced approach. All aspects of the team need to work together for the common goal, winning the game. Advertising is no different. All aspects of an advertising campaign need to be balanced and coordinated to win the ultimate prize, a new customer! The dilemma is then, how to achieve this balanced approach in advertising.
    With the advent of technology, it has become easier for advertisers to deliver a consistent message across a wide array of media. One of the most powerful ways to do this is through Key Word advertising. There is no better vehicle to engage potential customers across different advertising media than through key words. A key word is a specific word that a potential customer can text via a cell phone to a specific number. The potential customer then receives a message on their cell phone directly from the advertiser. This message can be in the form of a coupon, a special promotion or just a branding message. The beauty of key words is that they can be included in any form of advertising from print, to radio, to email. The use of the same key word across a wide variety of advertising vehicles, gives the consistency and balance to engage the consumer.
    Another way to balance advertising is to use a traditional text message campaign in combination with an email campaign. The text message can initially capture the potential customer’s attention, and the email can be used to reiterate that message and provide additional information. The more times an individual sees an advertisement, the greater the chance they will act upon it. Presenting the same message to an individual twice in a short amount of time is an excellent way to increase the response rate.
    In football, in order to score the team has to cross the goal line. If they come close to the goal, but loose the ball, all their effort is wasted. If you have a successful advertising campaign and drive potential customers to your site but they don’t convert for you, you have also wasted your efforts. Ensuring that the website you are driving potential customers to is attractive, easy to navigate and in keeping with your advertising message is essential. Creating a landing page with the same look and feel as the advertisements will help you achieve the ultimate goal of making that prospect a customer!
    Finding new clients is a challenge all advertisers face. As competition in the marketplace grows, it becomes increasingly more important to have a balanced approach to advertising campaigns. By relaying a consistent message across many different media and producing a website that mirrors this message, your organization can cross the goal line and win the game!

  • Types of SMS Campaigns

    August 13, 2009 by

    As individuals become increasingly tied to their cell phones and Blackberries, SMS text messaging is emerging as the quickest and easiest way to market to this mobile audience. SMS campaigns can be divided into two distinct categories; SMS Push Campaigns, where a message of 160 characters or less is originated by the advertiser and sent directly to the recipient’s mobile device and SMS Pull Campaigns where advertisers use a key word in marketing literature which recipients can text back to a specified number.
    There are several different types of SMS Push Campaigns. The most basic of these is the SMS Branding Campaign. A branding campaign uses the SMS text message to provide people with information about an organization’s products or services. A branding campaign can also include a coupon that the recipient saves on their phone for future use. There is no call to action in a branding campaign. The campaign is used merely to heighten a n individuals awareness of an organization. An example of this type of campaign is: CollegeRecruiter.com is the premier site to reach college students.
    The second type of SMS campaign is a Click to WAP/mobile site. The SMS message includes a link that the recipient can click on to immediately connect to the advertiser’s mobile site. This is used to drive traffic to a mobile site and can also promote an organizations products or services. An example of a Click to WAP campaign is: www.collegerecruiter.com is the premier place to reach students!
    Another type of SMS campaign is the Click to Call. A phone number is included in the SMS text creative and the recipient can click on this number and become instantly connected. This type of campaign can be used to provide additional information about your organization or as a sales tool. An example of a Click to Call campaign is: Call 800-835-4939 to find out how to market to college students through CollegeRecruiter.com.
    SMS Pull campaigns differ from the push campaigns because the utilize a key word that individuals text to a specified number. They key word can be included in any type of online or print marketing literature. When the key word is texted to the provided number, the individual receives a return text message. This text can be a branding message, a click to mobile site, or a click to call. The advertiser can choose whichever format will be the most effective for their products or services. An example of a key word campaign with a branding return message is: text the word college to 876289 and you will receive a response from us!
    SMS text messaging is an extremely flexible and easy advertising medium. With open rates of over 90%, an SMS campaign will ensure that your message is seen! Please contact us for more information about how we can tailor an SMS campaign to meet your marketing goals!

  • How to Increase Email Campaign Success!

    July 22, 2009 by

    We all hear rumbles about email marketing becoming a less effective medium for advertising campaigns. We hear about decreasing open rates, excessive SPAM filters and the advent of mobile marketing. On the surface it could be presumed that email is losing its punch. Fortunately, for those of us in email marketing, this could not be further from the truth. According to Merkel-Columbia, in 2005 only 38 percent of individuals checked their primary email more than 3 times per day. This number has increased to over 44% . In fact, over 58% of respondents think that email is a great way for companies to communicate with them. The challenge becomes creating emails that set your organization apart from the crowd.
    Creating an interactive email is essential in attracting the attention of the reader. The more ways for an individual to interact with the email, the greater the chance they will respond to the message. To increase the individuals response it is important to include multiple links, special promotions, coupons, email addresses and phone numbers. Other ways to attract readers is to include videos, cartoons and viral options, like forwading the email to a friend.
    Deploying your email campaign to a targeted audience is another way to increase the response rate. Emails can be targeted by geography, age, areas of interest, ethnicity and a whole variety of other ways. Sending an email campaign to the audience most interested in your products or services will help to ensure the success of the campaign and provide you the results you want.
    Using email advertising as a part of a whole campaign strategy is also critical. To ensure successful advertising , multiple platform deployment is the most effective path to take. Individuals are more likely to listen to your message if they have heard about your product or service in other mediums. By including SMS, banners or search as part of your overall advertising strategy the response to your email message will be greater.
    Email is and will continue to be an excellent way to inform individuals about your goods and services. Email is a fast and flexible way to promote your offering. To increase the success of your ampaigns, use creative, targeted email campaigns as part of an overall advertising strategy.

  • Recognizing Affiliate Fraud

    June 19, 2009 by

    There have been a number of discussions recently on linkedin with regard to affiliate program fraudulent leads and sales. We all know that affiliate programs are a great way to drive traffic to websites, lead gen programs and specific offers. The majority of the publishers that participate in the affiliate programs are extremely reputable. Most affiliate sites do a great job of prequalifying the publishers before they ever see an advertiser’s offer. Unfortunately, even with all the safe guards, there is still some lead fraud that comes through affiliate programs.
    There are a few key things that can tip an advertiser off to potential fraud and give them a chance to rectify the problem before it becomes out of hand. One indicator that there may be a problem is if there are a large number of leads from the same IP address in a very short amount of time. On the same token, sequential email addresses for a lead generation program can also indicate unwanted activity. For example if you have Lars1@aol.com, Lars2@aol.com etc there is a pretty good indication there is a problem. Obviously a large number of invalid credit card numbers also indicate invalid activity. Additionally if one publisher has a much higher click to offer completion ratio than other similar sites, it may be a situation that warrants investigation. This may just mean the publisher has exceptionally well qualified traffic. But, it is still worth looking into.
    There is typically a larger amount of fraud that comes through incentive publishers, those sites that offer points or actual cash for completing offers. Many of these sites have very strict policies to curb member fraud. Others do not. Incentive traffic is not all bad. Finding sites that have clear policies on valid and accurate offer completion is key if you want to advertise on these type of sites.
    Affiliate programs remain one of the best resources to reach small publishers who are interested in your specific offers. Being diligent about watching the traffic coming from the various publishers and keeping in close contact with your affiliate manager are important in making these programs successful.

  • Losing email list members? Here are a few ways to keep them!

    June 17, 2009 by

    Do you have people who were once excited about your mailings now running for the hills? Are you getting more opt outs than clicks? Obtaining and retaining list members is a struggle all email companies face. There are a few things that you can do, however, to make those valuable individuals stick around!
    Make sure when you are sending ads or newsletters to your list members that they are relevant. People who sign up for a gardening site, probably do not want to get email ads for automotive batteries, but would be thrilled with ads and information about seeds and spring bulbs.
    It is also important to make sure that the emails sent are of high quality and everything in them, including the unsubscribe link, works. How frustrating for a reader to want more information, click on the link and have it go nowhere! If that happens more than one time? Your list just lost a member.
    Finally, make sure you do not send emails too often, even if they are relevant. No list member wants to hear from you multiple times a day. A couple times a week or even a couple times a month maybe the perfect fit for your list.
    We all want to have happy and active email list members. By remembering why they signed up for your list and not overwhelming them with offers they can remain active and happy for a long time.

  • Email Campaigns Losing their Appeal?

    May 21, 2009 by

    Are you having problems with your email campaigns losing appeal to your target audience? Have click rates started to drop? There are a few ways you can adjust your email message to increase the appeal to your target audience.
    One of the most effective ways to increase email response rates is to give recipients a number of ways to interact with the email. Most email campaigns have a couple of links and that is the only action a reader can take. Think about adding an email address link for responses, a phone number or an SMS short code. If you want to get even more creative include a video message or a short survey that can be completed in the body of the email. Including coupons or special offer codes are other great ways to increase reader interest.
    Make sure the email message is short and concise. We see so many email creatives that are overloaded in text. It is very difficult for the reader to find the message when there is so much to wade through. Keep the text simple and the graphics relevant and the reader will not be overwhelmed with too much information. The email should be used as a teaser to encourage individuals to visit your website!
    Email marketing remains one of the most effective ways to reach a specific target. Increasing the effectiveness of email messages ultimately increases website traffic and conversions.

  • Ways to keep your email campaigns out of Junk/SPAM folders.

    May 20, 2009 by

    Are you suddenly having issues with your email campaigns being relegated to junk mail or SPAM folders? Try taking a closer look at your subject line. Do you have punctuation? Is a word all in CAPS? These are a just a couple of the things that virtually guarantee your email message will end up being flagged as junk mail. Here are a few quick tips to help reroute that email to the recipients inbox.

    1. Eliminate puntuation. Particularly offensive to SPAM filters are quotation marks, exclamation points and dollar signs.
    2. Do not include any words in ALL CAPS or us extra S p a c e s in words.
    3. Keep the subject line as simple as you can while still conveying your message effectively. The greater the number of words, the greater the chance of it going into a SPAM filter.
    4. Avoid certain words like free, guarantee, act now, apply. For a more comprehensive list, visit Top 100 Words to NOT use in a Subject Line.

    These tips should help your email campaigns reach your desired recipients. If you still have issues with the email going to junk or SPAM, spend some time testing alternative subject lines and different word combinations. This has proven successful for us!