Archive for the ‘Email Marketing Campaign’ tag

Can Social Media Replace Email Marketing?

Social Media Social Media Subscription Preferences Could Put a Dent in Email Marketing

The recent Ben & Jerry’s announcement made me revisit something I’ve been thinking about for a while. Under what circumstances could social media replace email?

Do you think it could? I think it has – at least in part.

What normally would have been content delivered to email recipients now appears as blogs, status updates, etc. and those tools deliver the notifications. No news there but I don’t think these tools are sophisticated enough to sustain this method of updating people. The notifications are on or off with little control over frequency or preferences.

I subscribe to a few brands on Facebook but I use Facebook primarily for friends and family. Each time I login, whether it is on my phone or computer, I have to sift through all the brands’ posts to get to posts by friends and family. It’s not such a big deal on my computer but annoying as hell on my phone.

My options are to deal with the endless posts per day or globally unsubscribe. Where’s the throttle? Where are the subscription preferences? Maybe feed categories would work…

Take Mashable, for example. I love their stuff but it’s a lot of stuff. I only want certain posts. I’ll go to their site if I want the rest. They risk losing me as a follower because their frequency of posting interferes with how I use Facebook. All they need is a way to offer subscription preferences. I don’t want to hide them or stop following them I just want to filter their posts.

It’s not Mashable’s fault. They have a large following and post all sorts of things. The way I see it, they don’t have many options. They could create multiple users on each social site for each topic they address but there are too many issues with that. They could point to external email and RSS sources but that doesn’t embrace social networking and takes you away from the platform.

The problem is similar to email marketing’s time line and evolution. Email newsletters, announcements and ads were novel in the beginning. People subscribed to everything they could find. Brands were sending anything and everything with no targeting. The novelty soon wore off, and brands had to rethink their game plan.

Email marketers adapted to the demands of subscribers by providing increasingly more relevant and personalized content. Many are still struggling on how to accomplish it but we have identified the challenge and the consequences for not adapting are clear. Give me relevant content and let me control my subscriptions or I’ll unsubscribe.

Why is social media any different? Put me in control of the things I receive from you or I’m gone. What began as sites for people to communicate with each other with one set of needs is now being used by brands with another set of needs.

Social sites need to improve their communication options to allow for the needs of companies, brands and consumers.

I think these kinds of features are coming. What are the ramifications for email marketing when they do?

Posted: July 28th, 2010
at 7:34am by Rob Van Slyke

Tagged with , , ,

Categories: Email Marketing

Comments: 2 comments

Dedicated Landing Pages: The Other 50 Percent of your Email Marketing Campaign

In my last post I talked about How To Create An Email Marketing Campaign. There’s an old Direct Mail rule that goes like this. List. Offer. Package. Message. Without the right List, your Offer doesn’t matter. With the right Offer, the Package doesn’t matter and so on…

In Email Marketing, there are two dimensions to the Package: the email itself and the recipient’s experience after the click. I realize this isn’t technically in the Package. But recipients can immediately act on an email offer. In Direct Mail, the next step is a little disconnected. In email marketing, you have the opportunity to send recipients to a dedicated landing page to fulfill your offer immediately.

I argue that the email itself is only 50% of the battle in an Email Marketing Campaign. How easy is it for recipients to get their incentive, fill out a form or make a purchase after the click? Is it clear to them what they are supposed to do? Does it tie back into the offer/message they just saw in the email?

You need to use dedicated landing pages for your email campaigns. Putting all that effort into your List, Offer and Package is meaningless if you dump them on your home page or contact page. Recipients aren’t interested in exploring your website or hunting for the service/product you just advertised. Spend a portion of your budget on a dedicated landing page and it will pay off.

Your landing page should tie to the messaging in your email. It should entice them to act on the offer. It should allow the recipient to act on the offer right there on the landing page i.e. put the form on the landing page. The form and the number of steps should be kept to a minimum.

The concept of using landing pages applies to both third-party email blasts and house blasts. If you are sending a third-party email blast, you want to capture the recipient’s information to build your in-house email list. Of course you will capture their full contact information if they make a purchase, but it gets tricky in other scenarios. How much contact information should they provide to get their incentive? Use your best judgment but remember that you can always market to them later for much less than buying an email blast again if you simply ask for their email address, name and maybe a segmentation question or two.

Use landing pages for your house email blasts as well. Just because they are a subscriber doesn’t mean they are intimately familiar with your company, your products and your website. Make it easy on them, too, to respond to your emails by offering them a concise, well-thought out landing page.

Implementing landing pages on static sites are much easier than implementing them on sites driven by Content Management Solutions (CMS). With CMS-driven sites you have templates and dynamically populated pages. You can’t make a static copy of them to create your landing page. The page will never be updated again and will get stale. And your developers probably won’t do it anyway. But you can create an alternate CMS template with an editable body area for your email marketing campaigns. It’s extra work but you don’t really have a choice. Sending them to a page that doesn’t directly tie back into your email and make it very clear what they are supposed to do next is pointless.

Let’s say you are an ecommerce site and you want to advertise a single product or a category of products. You still need a dedicated landing page with messaging that ties back into your email marketing campaign but you can’t edit the live page just for this campaign. Create your landing page with the custom messaging and images and then link to the single product you are promoting with a Buy Now or Learn More call to action. Another option is to link to a search result page or category page with a Browse call to action. Go to your site, search for that single product, drill down to the product category or search for keywords and copy the URL in the address bar. You may have to remove session variables form the URL but this is a great way to link to your email to a landing page and still get them where they need to go in an efficient manner.

And don’t neglect the copy! I cannot stress this enough. Stating the facts and listing your products might be enough if you’re selling something everyone understands and, more to-the-point, understands why they should buy it from YOU. But if you aren’t the category leader (who has to work hard at it, too), spend a little time explaining your Unique Value Proposition (UVP). Why Best Buy instead of Office Depot? Why Oscar Meyer instead of Hebrew?

Slideshare: Dedicated Landing Pages: The Other 50 Percent of your Email Marketing Campaign

Posted: January 30th, 2010
at 11:18am by Rob Van Slyke

Tagged with , , , , ,

Categories: Email Marketing

Comments: 1 comment


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