Archive for the ‘E-Marketing/Web’ Category

Extend the reach of your print and direct mail   1 comment

We often recommend using a QR code or a mobile call to action on a print ad or direct mail piece to help our clients provide a richer experience to their consumers. Here are some of the benefits:

·        QR codes and text campaigns require little effort on the part of the consumer to use. (Go ahead and give it a try. Text FREEMOBILE to 96362)

·        They offer a great way to connect the physical and digital experiences

·        They are relatively inexpensive to implement for marketers

·        They allow print materials to be tracked

However, it is important to understand that the QR code or text campaign is just a delivery method. It only makes sense if there is a solid strategy behind it.

Most clients easily understand that QR codes or text campaigns provide them a vehicle to track their campaign. They count the number of scans or opt-ins to determine how successful a campaign was. However, if you don’t clearly state what the reader will get when they scan or opt-into a text campaign they may either disregard the call-to-action or be disappointed when the experience doesn’t meet their expectation.

Here are some quick tips to incorporating QR codes into print materials:

  1. Don’t forget that QR codes are being scanned by a mobile phone. The experience MUST be mobile friendly.
  2. Provide a clear, concise call to action. Plainly state what will happen when they scan the code.
  3. Placement matters: Consumers need to be able to get their phone in a position to scan the code and the code can’t be in a location without mobile coverage. Here are some examples of marketers that might want to rethink their placement strategy. And a few more.
  4. Size does too! Anything smaller than one inch square is hard to scan and hard to notice.
  5. Use a URL shortener like bitlyThe more data you try to store in a QR code the smaller the dots become, which in turn means it’s more difficult for smartphones to read them.
  6. Track it: Make sure to use a unique URL for the campaign so you can easily track the response. You can use Google Analytics or bitly’s tracking service.

For text campaigns you have similar guidelines. Just like with QR codes you need to have a clear call to action like “text FREEMOBILE to 96362 for a free trial mobile campaign”. You need to make sure the message isn’t hidden and that it includes some simple legal language about messaging and data rates.

Follow these simple guidelines to help give your customers a richer experience by bridging print with digital and create a more memorable – and measurable – connection.

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Posted September 12, 2013 by Amy Blum in E-Marketing/Web, Loyalty Programs, Mobile

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Obama Overload   2 comments

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.

Posted October 29, 2012 by Amy Blum in E-Marketing/Web, Mobile

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You say it’s your birthday?!   Leave a comment

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.

The Love Starts Here   Leave a comment

Want people to fall in love when they visit your website?  Start first with great creative that expresses your passion. And that makes an emotional connection to who you are and to what you offer.  The question of what makes for compelling creative has been on my mind lately and now particularly since Eagle won the Internet Advertising Competition* award  for website design and development. This year we won Best Marketing Website for our own site. Last year we won Outstanding Website for our work with Senior Community Centers of San Diego.

I confess to having no objectivity when it comes to these sites. I love ‘em, plain and simple. And precisely because they are simple. They brand the look, the feel and experience for the user without clutter and distraction, unnecessary bells and whistles. And they do it consistently on every page with every image.

So how do you develop a website that makes you proud? Search the internet for sites that catch your eye and draw you in. Most likely the images are bold, colorful and large. Standout sites have a distinct color palette that’s woven throughout graphics and typography in a purposeful way and not just because they’re flashy or look cool or cutting edge.

Think through how you will use color and type treatment to distinguish your nav bar from headlines from body copy so visitors “get it” quick.  They may spend only a few seconds on your site so make sure your key message pops. Font size is LARGE or at least adjustable for us aging baby boomers who need a little help with the fine print.

If you’re using photos of people, keep shots tight. No image is more moving than a head shot with eyes to the camera. Senior Community Centers is a perfect example. The rotating images of seniors and quotes on their home page really draw you in with the prominent “Donate Now” button integrated into the main image.

Which leads to this question: What is the call to action? What do you want visitors to do?  Is it make a donation? A phone call? Sign up for your email or loyalty club? Whatever it is, make it standout clear and simple. I know you have a lot you want to say and that it all feels so important. It is. You just gotta organize and prioritize all that content.

Last year, The Eagle team spent weeks scouring the web for sites and features we liked. We shared, discussed, designed, and discussed some more. We think the upfront investment to details paid off. Not only have we been honored with an IAC award*, we hear from clients and prospects that it reflects our core beliefs and is engaging.

You only have one chance to make a lasting impression. Do your homework, keep it simple and create that lasting emotional connection. This is where the love begins.

Have other ideas on what makes a website design compelling? We want to hear from you!

*The Internet Advertising Competition (IAC) Awards are produced by the Web Marketing Association to honor excellence in online advertising, recognize the individuals and organizations responsible, and showcase the award winning Internet advertising. This is one of the only competitions to recognize only online categories of advertising.

The Love Continues   1 comment

We’re popping the corks at Eagle this week! For the second year in a row, The Internet Advertising Competition* has honored Eagle Marketing for our work on website design and development. Last year we won Outstanding Website for our work with Senior Community Centers. This time, for our very own site.  We could not be prouder to have been awarded the Best Marketing Website for 2011 and to be recognized for the months we invested in discussion, design, detail, and even more discussion (if that’s even possible).  

If you have visited our site over the past 6 months, you’ve seen our bold headline, The Love Starts Here.   For me, creating this site was truly a labor of love because it so perfectly reflects my core belief in the power of simplicity, the importance of connections and the premise that it’s relationships and loyalty that matter most.   

Since taking over Eagle two years ago, I have worked to redefine our brand to align with these values and have had the pleasure of partnering with clients who feel equally passionate about creating connections. We have also extended our loyalty niche with on-line membership clubs like the Bay News 9 Club that help others cultivate relationships.  Loyalty clubs are a great way to build customers love for your brand with a measurable ROI. We’re especially excited that this program can encompass our full array of services that include direct mail, mobile, email marketing, database analysis and creative services.

No website or successful company, for that matter, is possible without a creative and dedicated team that strives for excellence. I think at Eagle, we got that love just right.

*The Internet Advertising Competition (IAC) Awards are produced by the Web Marketing Association to honor excellence in online advertising, recognize the individuals and organizations responsible, and showcase the award winning Internet advertising. This is one of the only competitions to recognize only online categories of advertising.

How do you know if they are getting the message?   Leave a comment

Measurement.  The biggest frustration of my marketing career has been from the beginning and always will be clients who don’t measure their response. I am taken aback when folks don’t gather response data but expect to be able to determine whether a campaign is successful or not.

Cataloguers and not-for-profits are great at capturing marketing codes. They simply ask recipients to “Enter the code in the yellow box” or just include a code on the reply. The coded response vehicles give them accurate, measurable, analyze-able (I think I made up that word) information. Information that tells them whether a particular catalog performed better than another, whether a demographic group responded better or whether a rented list is worth mailing to again. Even whether a certain type of donor can be convinced to give more or more often.

Without response information, it is difficult to create a sustained marketing plan. How can you improve on last year’s results if you don’t know what they are? By guessing? By choosing only what you like? Ultimately everything marketers do is to create results. How futile our work is when we can’t define or show our results.

Unsure what to track or how? Eagle Marketing can help you find ways to measure your response. It can be as simple as adding a code to your marketing piece or measuring ratings only in the geographic areas you’ve targeted. Or it can be as innovative as adding a mobile call to action. Adding a simple 2D barcode and brief instructions on how to use it allows recipients to snaps a picture with his/her camera phone for more information.  Adding a quick mobile marketing message instructing them to text in for more info is also an easy way to track engagement. Need help building response info into your marketing plan? Just ask…I’m sure we can help.

Are you creating a human connection?   Leave a comment

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.

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