Archive for the ‘email marketing’ Tag
First, a personal disclosure. I am a registered Democrat and have almost always voted for Democratic candidates. On November 6th, I will cast my ballot for Barack Obama with support and pride.
As a marketer though, I have a beef with the Obama campaign and thus this blog to vent just a bit.
The Obama campaign has gone overboard in the use of email, mobile marketing and mobile apps to generate donations and support. Overboard to the point of being downright annoying. I wholeheartedly support the candidate and the use of these marketing tools to engage an audience and to build loyalty and momentum. But their tactics teeter on a turnoff.
At first I thought it was cool and savvy the way the Obama folks have been sending out messages that feel personal and intimate and important. So at first I’m thinking, “good going, you guys are smart marketers”. I click, I donate a little here and there. And then… the avalanche of emails begins. And the inbox fills each week with multiple urgent messages about a looming deadline. Really? Come on, I’m smarter than that. I know it’s important but the level of urgency – as demonstrated in these email subject lines – is downright laughable.
- Last call for Dinner with Barack EVER
- 583,282 people named Amy
- I’m asking one last time (dated 9/25 but on 10/22, not one month later, Mr. Obama was asking again)
- Obama Store: ★ Our biggest sale EVER ★ (Is this sale from Macy’s or a presidential campaign?)
And the volume? You may have seen the President on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart recently. During the interview Stewart jokingly asked the President how many new emails he’d have in his inbox by the time the interview was over. I can relate. While writing this blog late one night, I received an email from both Barack and Michelle Obama asking for donations. And a quick search for “Obama” in my delete box turns up over 200 entries from everyone from Obama himself to Bill Clinton to Joe Biden.
Then there are the mobile solicitations. One day, I received a text that said “Show you’ve got the President’s back. Reply with a number and we’ll charge your saved credit card.
I mistakenly thought that meant my phone number so I nearly made a 10-digit donation to the Obama campaign. Try explaining that one to your spouse. Luckily, I caught my error when the auto-reply asked for confirmation.
So yes, I support Obama and do have his back and have donated to his campaign. The lesson about marketing though is clear. Whether you are president of a country, a corporation, or a mom and pop retail store, it’s important to personalize the conversation and engage your audience when using email or mobile marketing. But use caution…overuse and overkill are sure to turn them off. If you have had similar experiences with a marketing campaign on steroids, we’d love to hear about it.
Building loyalty takes a commitment to your consumers. You can’t always be selling. It is about showing them that you not only have great products and services, but that you’re a great company to work with. Birthdays are the perfect time to reach out to your audience to let them know you appreciate them. Whether you offer a formal birthday club with coupons or freebies or just capture their birth date in your e-newsletter signup and send them a simple card, recognizing loyal customers on their special day is a great way to connect.
Eagle Marketing has been running birthday clubs for clients for years. We regularly hear from delighted members how the birthday greeting made their day. Here are just a few examples:
“I don’t know whose idea this was but it is brilliant! And having the video with Ybeth? Now THAT’S what I call the frosting on the cake! Thank you all!!!!”
“Thanks, that was cool! 67 and counting…. Love BayNews9 – especially the weather staff!! Al and all the staff are very nice people and that is why I watch BN9 – You’re a community anchor.”
“Thank you so much for remembering my birthday and actually doing something about it. I know it is just a marketing ploy and you don’t know me from a hole in the wall, but you are the only ones to actually say Happy Birthday to me today. It felt good. Thanks. Your Loyal fan and listener of Baynews 9 since its beginning. -Bruce”
“Thank you Jackie and I am 91 years old smile…. Have a Happy Healthy New Year and many more years to come. – Marie”
Here are some tips to launching a great birthday club:
- Direct Mail or Email? You choose! Use great creative and silly or heartfelt copy to endear them to your brand. On the one hand, I know I love going to the mailbox around my birthday to see something other than bills waiting for me. Having a tangible reminder of your brand can be powerful. On the other, email messages can include videos or animation and give you the opportunity to start a dialog with a happy consumer ready to thank you for the birthday greeting.
- Personalize your message: Glean their preferences at signup and then customize your message based on these preferences. Whether it is a customized greeting from their favorite anchor or DJ, dropping in some content or text that would be meaningful to them, or freebies from their favorite show, you are letting them know you care.
- Don’t Sell: This is the time to thank them for their business. Don’t tell them about the upcoming lineup, latest sale or new model. Simply wish them a Happy Birthday!
There is no reason to limit these interactions to once a year either. Reach out to your database with holiday greetings throughout the year. Memorial Day, Thanksgiving, Winter Holidays, New Years, Veterans Day, July 4th, Earth Day and others are great times to wish them well. It is about connecting. Making them smile. It is a great way to stay top of mind without pushing your wares.
My office is in my home. Tucked in the corner of the basement with a small window and warm caramel walls. I have worked from home for more than 9 years. It works for me on nearly every level.
There are, however, negatives to working from home. The biggest hole in the “work from home” life is the lack of social interaction. I miss my colleagues. I miss those coffee breaks and the “let’s go get lunch” invitations. In order to combat my hermit-like work life, I schedule “dates” with friends, colleagues, other small business owners, vendors and clients for coffee or lunch. These “appointments” have partially filled that space for me.
People can very easily feel isolated in our crazy, technology-filled lives. Now more than ever, your job as a marketer is to create a human connection with your customers. Targeted direct mail or emal marketing are reliable, cost-effective, trackable way to create a loyal bond with your customers.
For direct mail: Variable printing, finely targeted mailing lists and data management are powerful tools to make this happen. Targeting your marketing message to your prospects’ and customers’ lifestyle or behavioral traits with variable data printing can be just like tailoring your conversation to the person across the table. These direct mail tools empower you to use information (your own, or purchased) to target your marketing message. Personalized, targeted eblast campaigns also do the trick. Sending a gift of dark Belgian chocolate to your best customer because you know she likes it can create a bond that could last a lifetime. Don’t waste the information that’s available to you. Use it to create those human connections.
Recently I saw an ad on TV with the initial message being “I am not a demographic.” As a marketing demographer, I was a little bothered by this.
Our vanity leads us to believe that we are very different from those around us. Smarter, more talented, wealthier, etc. We all feel that we are individuals and that we don’t behave like those around us. However, our nature draws us to forge relationships with others who share our interests. It’s really quite natural—we just have a hard time believing that we are anything like our neighbors.
Reality tells a different story. We do share commonalities with our neighbors. Take a look around your block (or cul-de-sac, or condo complex). Do you see mostly mini-vans and SUVs or do you see smaller sedans in driveways and parking spaces? Are there a lot of hybrids? Are there trucks or luxury imports? What about shopping? What about the value of your home? Is it comparable to those around you? How do your neighbors spend their weekends? Watching sporting events? Golfing, skiing, gardening, working?
I am a proud advocate and believer in lifestyle segmentation—in particular, PRIZMTM—and believe that when segmentation is understood and used properly, it can be a very powerful marketing tool. The thousands of pieces of data used to create lifestyle segments validate that “Birds of a feather flock together” theory. Keep in mind, everyone in a segment doesn’t every piece criteria used, but they do share many of the activities and characteristics with others in the group.
As marketers, we have the ability to use segmentation to target our campaigns to households that are likely to perform well for our product or service: helping us reduce waste and costs. Think about it, maybe you’re not like your neighbors, but aren’t they all alike?
For more information on PRIZM and lifestyle segmentation, visit www.mybestsegments.com.