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Intelligent email marketing that drives conversions: infographic | by David Moth


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Email marketing is an important channel for maintaining a relationship with customers and driving conversions through targeted messages and offers.

We’ve recently blogged seven tips for managing email marketing campaigns, as well as looking at stats which show that consumers open just 20% of email messages.

Then there’s also the pressing issue of mobile email, as while stats show that 27% of emails are opened on mobile devices results from our Email Marketing Census 2012 reveal that a large number of companies do not have any strategy in place for optimising emails for mobile.

This infographic from Monetate looks at the conversion rate for email marketing compared to Twitter and search, as well revealing ways of increasing sales using email.

David Moth is a Reporter at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or Google+

Crowdfunding in numbers: stats


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The global edition of our Internet Statistics Compendium saw further expansion this month as the e-commerce chapter grew to accommodate fresh data looking at the rise of crowdfunding.

Crowdfunding platforms (CFPs) such as KickStarter, Indiegogo and Sponsume are providing another option for musicians, social enterprises, writers, artists and start-ups to raise capital for their projects.

During a month which saw a number of high-profile crowdfunding milestones – including cult musician Amanda Palmer reaching $1m to fund her new record via KickStarter and Indiegogo closing a $15m series A funding round – industry website Crowdsourcing.org have also published a report bringing together data from themselves and Massolution, as well as from 130+ CFPs.

CFP numbers grow

The emergence of CFPs around the globe is accelerating. By the end of 2012 there are expected to be more than 530 platforms, up 60% since last year. Crowdsourcing.org breaks these down into four categories: Donation-Based, Reward-Based (accounting for the majority), Lending-Based and Equity-Based.

Number of CFPs worldwide, Crowdourcing.org

The US leads the crowdfunding trend, with 191 CFPs currently based in the country. However, crowdfunding is also booming in Europe too, with 44 CFPs in Britain and 100+ in existence across the rest of the Eurozone.

Number of CFPs, 2012, Crowdsourcing.org

Crowdfunding revenue growing Sigue leyendo

Music and marketing: five tips for being heard in a noisy space


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The other day I eavesdropped as a pretty girl faced the teenage boy seated across from her and sang, “Tonight / We are young / So let’s set the world on fire”.

Frustrated by his blank stare, she said, “Don’t you know the song? It’s from that Chevy commercial”.

If that example doesn’t convince you of the power of music and marketing, nothing will.

Sure, marrying the two isn’t easy, but Susan Stone of Tonic Music and Jedd Katrancha of Downtown Music Publishing kindly shared their expertise at Internet Week last Wednesday and offered the following tips on how marketers might best integrate music into their campaigns.

1. It’s okay not to know

In 2008, Santigold (then called Santogold) was a relative unknown, but Bud Light took a chance with her “Creator” for its Bud Light Lime campaign. The gamble netted the company cachet when the musician went on to win Best Breakthrough Artist from NME that year.

“If you wait until something is certified ‘cool’ with the public, you’ve probably missed the opportunity to launch something new and benefit from that because it’s too late,” Stone wrote later in an email.

2. In the age of “like,” be in the business of love

While you can’t predict with certainty which new artists the public will embrace, you want to make sure that your audience has its ears pricked to the music you’ve chosen for the campaign. You or your client won’t always love the song or artist, but it’s more important for your audience to be the one that loves it.

You’ll have a better chance of playing matchmaker between the two if you’ve been listening to your target group and know which artists, songs, or genres have been moving them, be it classic tracks or newest subgenre.

Stone pointed to the recent example of Depeche Mode’sEnjoy the Silence” featured in Dior Couture’s Secret Garden campaign, which counted 22m views in just two weeks. It’s an oldie from an established band, but it fit the brand and its fans, who used social media to praise the musical choice (55 tweets per day).

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Twitter hits 10m UK users, 80% use mobile


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Facebook may be the subject of all of the headlines with its public debut looming this Friday, but another major player in the social networking space is reminding the world that it’s still growing too.

Twitter, which has built a company that one day might go public too on the back of 140 character messages, has waived its hands in the air by announcing that it has surpassed 140m users worldwide.

As reported by The Guardian, 10m of those users are in the UK. That’s good enough to make the UK Twitter’s fourth largest audience behind the US, Brazil and Japan, and explains why the company has a 30 person strong office in London.

Although Twitter’s userbase can’t compete with Facebook’s, the service’s impact on society has arguably been nearly as significant, and in some areas, perhaps even more significant. As The Guardian’s Charles Arthur notes, “over the past year [Twitter] has been blamed for inciting riots – a charge that was disproved – and of undermining superinjunctions involving, among others, Ryan Giggs and Jeremy Clarkson.” And, as Arthur points out, Twitter has become a key platform for prominent figures, celebrities and brands to interact with the public. Sigue leyendo

Making tag management work for you: new report & infographic


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The digital world is complicated and website tags sit at the heart of online businesses and marketing. In fact, effectively managing website tags, or tracking pixels, is fundamental to digital marketing

In the ROI of Tag Management, a new report released today in partnership with Tealium, we explore the role, challenges and opportunities for technology in handling vendor website tags.

The tracking pixel enables communication between vendors and websites and is key to most digital marketing technologies. Site analytics, optimization and personalization all depend on them, and while these technologies provide valuable data and capabilities, they also create complexity and work for the marketing department.

The ROI of Tag Management Report looks at one of the rare opportunities to increase ROI and simultaneously simplify life for the marketer, while giving them greater control over digital assets.

Tag management systems (TMS) were developed to counter a number of challenges, especially those brought about by the reliance on technology department resources. Survey respondents cited the top issues with manual tagging, including:

  • Delays in implementation as the tech department is overworked
  • Product and site development is slowed
  • Tag implementation is often incomplete
  • Tags slow down the website

    Some of the top findings from the report have been captured in this infographic:

What are the benefits of managed tag implementation? Sigue leyendo

Soft skills still outweigh education in entry-level hires: infographic


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The marketing world is known for its love of hiring interns but with unemployment rates on the rise, are internships really going to lead to new jobs for graduates? And what are employers looking for?

A new study by Millennial Branding and Experience reveal an employment gap between employers and students. Even though 91% of employers think students should have between one and two internships before graduation, 50% haven’t hired any interns in the last six months. In fact, over three quarters of employers have hired 30% fewer interns into full time positions of late.

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This week’s top six infographics


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Banner ads infographic

Smartphone users in China (Guohead)

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25 reasons why I’ll leave your website in 10 seconds


20 reasons why users leave your website in 10 secondshttp://econsultancy.com

What makes people press the back button, shortly after visiting your website? Why do they bail out so quickly? And what can you do about it?

I’ve been thinking about this and realised that there are many more negative factors than I’d originally anticipated.

Taken at individual level some of these factors might not be enough to make visitors back out, but when combined together they may give off entirely the wrong impression.

It’s not easy to create a beautiful, brilliant user experience, and the reality is that most sites have issues of one kind or another. But keep an eye open for the following – often avoidable – negative factors and try to eliminate them, to create a stickier website for users.

Let’s start with the truly horrific… Sigue leyendo

Eight steps to achieving digital marketing excellence


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One question that we often get asked is ‘how can we develop world class digital capability.’ It often comes after companies have tried traditional methods that, when done in isolation, are doomed to failure. 

A common tactic tried by many is to hire ‘digital gurus’ to come and magically fix their problems. They are then frequently isolated and over stretched so they often move on after six months due to frustration and a lack of understanding of their role. Or, in todays job market where digital skills are at a premium, they simply get a better package elsewhere.

On the flip side, some companies invest in training for their ‘traditional marketers’ without considering that there are organizational elements of the business that need to change as well. Add to this a market that constantly evolves and the resistance to change most people have and you have a heady concoction of failure.

We have spent the last five years working with clients and developing tools that allow us to measure maturity and competency across the digital landscape. This has given us some unique insight into what does work. Here are my top eight.

1. Understand where you are now
 Sigue leyendo

Facebook Edgerank: what marketers need to know


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It’s been nine months since I wrote the original Ultimate Guide to the Facebook Edgerank Algorithm. I was amazed to see the reaction to the piece.

It clearly seemed to strike a chord as it went on to be the most popular guest post on Econsultancy in 2012.

But a lot has changed since then in the world of Facebook. As I’m currently putting together a presentation for the upcoming Econsultancy Digital Shorts event in Manchester on Edgerank and other social algorithms, now seemed the perfect time to revisit the piece to update and expand it.

What is EdgeRank?

EdgeRank is one of the most important algorithms in marketing. Despite this, very few people have heard of it and fewer still can claim that they fully understand it.

EdgeRank is the name of the algorithm which Facebook uses to determine what appears in their users’ news feeds. The news feed is Facebook’s ‘Killer App’. There is a plethora of information available to Facebook users, and the newsfeed is the order in which it appears.

It determines not only which of your connections is the most important to you, meaning their content appears most frequently, but also which kinds of content should appear higher than others.

For anyone seeking to market a product or service on Facebook it’s essential you understand how this algorithm works.

Understanding the rules of the algorithm and changing your tactics to reflect the system can make the difference between a business changing campaign and an embarrassing failure. Yet despite its importance very little has been written about the algorithm.

Unlike many of the algorithms that are changing marketing, Edgerank is actually not that sophisticated, but don’t let its relative simplicity make you underestimate the influence knowledge of the subject will have on your tactical choices.

Its importance is even more significant in that it is a precursor to many newer social algorithms like Google+ or Twitter’s Top Tweets. By successfully understanding how Facebook aggregate, sort and prioritise social content we can better anticipate how other alternatives might develop.

Additionally, as social signals become part of the SEO landscape, understanding how Facebook deal with social signals is hugely helpful in grasping where natural search algo’s might be heading.

Why Edgerank?

Let’s start off with the name. Other than because it sounds cool, why is the News Feed algo known as EdgeRank? This is because every piece of content or interaction of Facebook is known as an “edge”.

So, a status update is an edge; liking a status update, that’s an edge; uploading a photo, that’s an edge, too; or a change in relationship status? That’s also an edge.

Basically, every interaction you have with Facebook that creates a piece of content is known as an Edge. Even listening to a song on Spotify or reading an article from the Guardian have become Edges with Facebook’s frictionless sharing.

So, the newsfeed isn’t really a feed of news. Instead, it’s a chart of the most ‘important’ Edges as determined by the EdgeRank Algorithm. What are the elements that make this algorithm?

A combination of three factors: Affinity, Edge Weight and Recency.

The EdgeRank formula is based on these three elements. While this does make the algo seem simple, there’s actually a huge amount of complexity behind these three factors.

Affinity

Affinity is a score based on the proximity to or how “friendly” you are with someone. You’ve probably seen this in action. Spy on an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend, snoop on their profile and suddenly they’re in your news feed all the time.

Comment on someone’s photos and you’ll find them appearing in your feed more often. This is affinity in action.

You’ve sent a proactive signal that you have a ‘close-ness’ to that individual or organisation. The algorithm acknowledges this and begins to order the results in your newsfeed accordingly.

Some people aren’t wholly supportive of Affinity having such a significant role in EdgeRank. The concern is that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, i.e. the more often someone appears in your news feed, the more likely you are to increase your affinity, which in turn increases the likelihood of them appearing in your feed in the future and so on.

But given how people tend to cluster around only a small number of their connections, it seems to work well for most people on Facebook.

One of the most important things you need to realise about affinity as a marketer is that affinity is one-way. This means you visiting a forgotten friend’s profile doesn’t increase the likelihood of you appearing in their newsfeed.

I’m sure for nosey people that is great news. It is less likely to be considered good news for company profiles. For example, if you visit a profile of someone following you, it will have no impact on your Edges appearing in their feed. However, you commenting on a photo of theirs which then triggers them to comment back would lead to them having a greater affinity to you.

As an individual, if you’d like an indication of who you have the highest affinity to, look in your chat bar. The people who appear (even if they are offline) are often those you have the most proximity to on Facebook.

Edge Weight

Edge Weight is a basic formula which decides that certain pieces of content are more likely to appear in news feeds than others. Photos are more important than someone “liking” a business profile, etc.

There’s no definitive sequence of Edge Weight, but there are certain objects which acquire more EdgeRank than others. This can imply that they tend to have a higher Edge Weight than other types of content.

The three types of content which are widely understood to have the highest Edge Weight are Videos, Photos, and Links.

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Six QR code campaigns that actually worked


http://econsultancy.com

QR codes are now a common feature in marketing campaigns, though many people are often sceptical about their value.

This scepticism is often justified as, though we have seen some creative examples, QR codes are often used very badly.

Also, while it is easy to find creative examples, brands and marketers aren’t always forthcoming about revealing the stats around campaigns.

So here are six examples where we have some stats, and where QR codes have been used effectively…

MyToy.de

German retailer MyToy.de built QR codes using Lego bricks to drive customers to their online store.

Users were then able to buy the bricks used to make the QR code.

While it is a very creative use of QR codes, the execution wasn’t perfect as it linked to a desktop site.

But it was still a huge success, as 49% of visitors to MyToy.de came via the QR codes while the campaign was live, and twice as many brick boxes were sold for the Lego models included in the QR adverts.

Heinz

Last year Heinz put QR codes on ketchup bottles in US restaurants to promote its new environmentally friendly packaging.

It linked to a mobile site where users could win prizes by answering a green knowledge trivia question.

                                          

Heinz reported that more than 1m consumers scanned the codes.

Emart… Sigue leyendo

10 excellent examples of Facebook Brand Timelines


econsultancy.com

Facebook’s new Timeline format doesn’t officially go live for brand pages until March 30th, but there’s always a few who can’t wait to try new things out. In fact, 8m have already made the switch. 

Timeline marks a fundamentally different approach to marketing on Facebook for many brands, with more emphasis on images and genuine engagement on the wall.

We asked our Facebook fans and Twitter followers to help us highlight some of the best examples of cover photos, milestones, and general best practice we could find.

We’ve limited this list to major companies in a variety of sectors, but it would be great to hear about smaller businesses connecting with customers via Timeline – so feel free to highlight any others in the comments.

1. Fanta

Coca-Cola group is no stranger to Facebook (more on its main page later in the list), and its page for Fanta is no exception – starting things off with a big, bright image that also promotes the current advertising campaign.

By promoting the campaign, the page also encourages fans arriving on the Timeline to “like” the page subtly, being sure to avoid Facebook’s stringent new rules about this.

Fanta also has one of the best examples of custom app images –something many brands haven’t yet attempted – with clear, colourful graphics and some nice engagement tactics, encouraging fans to play games, spread the word and generally become more socially embedded.

One slightly odd feature here is Fanta’s choice to promote multiple language content through a single page, rather than localising more effectively – but again, it’s big, bright and engaging. Even if you have no idea what a ‘Boton Irresistable’ actually is…

2. NY Times

The NY Times could have chosen a slightly clearer cover pic, but its choice really highlights the feeling of an internal family of workers, putting a crucial human face on things.

http://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0001/7207/nyt_1-blog-full.jpg

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Five useful new tools for Twitter’s power users


 

by Chris Lake
http://econsultancy.com
For many of us Twitter is now a core part of our daily lives. Despite this there remains no sign of ‘Twitter Pro’, for professional users, though its API is used by developers to create the kind of tools that help us to manage our accounts more easily. 

Many tools have emerged to plug gaps in Twitter’s functionality, some of which we have written about in the past. So far this year I’ve started to use a few new ones, as highlighted below. Do check them out.

Slipstre.am

Slipstre.am is a plug-in for Chrome that allows you to hide certain status updates on Twitter.

For example, if like me you think Foursquare-based tweets are irrelevant, then simply add ‘Foursquare’ and / or ‘4sq.com’ as a term. You can also mute specific users.

The tool works directly with Twitter.com and provides a much-needed filter for unwanted noise.

Mute.ly

If you’re just looking for a simple tool that mutes a Twitter user then here it is.

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20 key points about social media measurement and metrics


by Vikki Chowney | http://econsultancy.com


It’s been a week of social metrics and measurement for me.

On day one of this week’s Social Media World Forum, held at Olympia in London, I sat in no less than four different sessions on measuring the value of social.

Another discussion this morning, hosted by Waggener Edstrom on social advertising, took a similar line.

I thought it might be helpful to collate some of the quotes, learnings and case studies that were mentioned, to act as further reading or perhaps inspire new models for measurement.

Allister Frost, head of digital marketing strategy at Microsoft

“In terms of social data, we’ve moved beyond measuring numbers and actions. Do that by all means – but it’s easy – the real value lies in getting business-minded people to apply econometric modelling and work out what to do with it.”

“I’d like to see Facebook implement a ranking system for ‘likes’, based on new levels of value – maybe tailored to each brand.”

Patrick Salyer, CEO at Gigya

“It’s not necessary to change ALL of your success metrics. Socialising your site by allowing sharing etc. increases traffic, conversions & affects existing measurements. This helps people understand in terms they already know.” Sigue leyendo

Social versus search: infographic


by Vikki Chowney | http://econsultancy.com

The launch of Google+ certainly put social search on the table, raising awareness within agencies and brands alike after an initial frenzy over the combined concept in 2010.

And while separately they have their strengths, it’s not an either/or situation, or even placing more emphasis on one over the other – both are an essential part of a marketer’s toolkit.

Like many others, MDG Advertising suggests that the two channels hold exponentially more power when marketers use them in tandem.

The agency has observed how the two online methods measure up on their own, and in sync. Sigue leyendo

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