MediAvataar's News Desk
In digital marketing — a space now overwhelmed by sexy social networks and innovative ad tech — there’s a misconception that email marketing is a thing of the past. However, despite the rise of other avenues of digital communication, email marketing is far from dead. In fact, according to a 2013 study by the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing provides an average return on investment of 4,300%, making it a direct digital marketing tool that is second-to-none.
But not all marketers are using email in the most effective way. Some have been slow to keep up with how it’s evolved with the technology we use today. Others, due to time constraints or the hope that newer channels would displace email, never executed their email marketing properly in the first place.
As in everything in life, there’s a right way and a wrong way to approach email marketing.
1. Build an audience, open to hearing your story
A successful email marketing campaign requires a captivated audience. If you’re starting from scratch, or your subscriber base is low, there are a multitude of strategies you can employ to build your email lists.
Popular amongst them all is the “give to get” approach. You give out a little bit of your knowledge and you get the right to court your potential audience. In B2B, this normally means sharing your thought leadership in exchange for people opting in to regular email communications. For B2C, marketers have found great success at list building through contests and product giveaways.
Social networks have also rolled out tools designed to opt-in users directly from their social timelines. Combined with a paid social media campaign, marketers can take advantage of soliciting opt-ins from targeted demographics.
Finally, employ a double opt-in procedure for your email signups. By asking a new subscriber to confirm permission to add them to your list, you receive verification that the email address provided wasn’t fake, and that your new recipient will be engaged.
2. Keep that ever-burgeoning database under control
Deploying email campaigns to poor quality lists can bring on very negative consequences — anywhere from being banned by ISPs to legal issues. Proper, routine maintenance on your email lists isn’t just optional — it’s required.
Begin by asking yourself some elementary questions: How did you build those lists? When did you last use them? Do you have permission to email the folks who found their way unto your list? For some jurisdictions and regulated industries, it’s a legal requirement to maintain information on the time, date and sign-up method for each recipient on your list. Bear in mind that when you do have permission, it goes stale after a period — generally six months to a year depending on deployment frequency. Performance metrics can signal if a recipient is no longer interested in receiving your emails.
But before you repeatedly hit the “Delete” button, there are alternatives for you to consider. A solid maintenance tactic to use on questionable records is to compile them into a one-off email campaign. Then, very simply, ask these contacts if they are still interested in hearing from you periodically. This respectful outreach gives you confirmation that you still have a live audience, as well as an opportunity for renewed engagement and sustained valuable communications.
3. Encourage feedback
Marketers too often neglect to provide a clear, direct way for your recipients to deliver feedback. An odd oversight when you think that this feedback mechanism is built into your email already — the reply button. When marketers send messages with a no-reply address, they unknowingly build a barrier between themselves and their audiences who have no direct avenue of communication. This misstep could cost you the goodwill of your audience, making your email vulnerable to spam filters. Ultimately, this could hurt the image of your brand as one that merely talks to customers, rather than engaging them in a dialogue.
If you don’t already have a reply-to email address set up, create one and make sure you’re set up for a proper monitoring. For example, at Tenet Partners, we send our newsletters from a dedicated email account, diligently monitored by our marketing team. It’s integrated in our customer service ecosystem, enabling us to quickly respond to requests for more information or unsubscribes, as well as complaints.
4. Develop your email messages for mobile
According to email testing and tracking service Litmus, a whopping 53% of all emails were opened on a mobile device in 2014. That is a 500% increase since 2011. Without taking measures to adjust your emails for mobile, you’re not giving due consideration to a large part of your audience.
But how do you adjust emails reliably for smaller screens? The solution is responsive email design.
Just as the web affords mobile users with experiences designed for smaller screens, email has the same potential — using the exact same code. Take a look at how Tenet’s Take 5 email transforms from a desktop to a mobile experience.
Some great effects can be achieved with responsive design, including but not limited to:
Replacing images with mobile-friendly versions, rather than proportionally scaling down desktop images.
Font sizes can be increased to adjust to a smaller screen.
Entire blocks of content or superfluous images can be removed.
Multi-column templates can shift to a single-column layout that flows on a vertical viewport
Another consideration for mobile — build your calls-to-action to account for tactile responses. Your recipient is going to use their fingers to navigate your email rather than a mouse, so craft calls-to-action large enough to be tapped on by a human finger. And don’t make people guess. Someone using a smartphone lacks cursor hover states to fall back on for hints on what is clickable and what is not. Try to avoid vague image-based calls-to-action and stick to text-based links and buttons.
5. Be respectful of your subscriber’s inbox
We all know how painful a stream of unsolicited messages can be. Make sure your recipients don’t see you as yet another spam email.
You can avoid this by respecting why your subscriber signed up to receive email marketing from you for a particular reason. If you give them what they want, you will create the foundation for a positive sender-recipient relationship. Don’t send along material that you believe your recipients might find interesting, even if it’s tangentially linked in some way to what you know they’ll find interesting.
Another way to demonstrate respect for your target audience is the right cadence for communication. When is it too much and when is it not enough? When intervals between touch points are too short, the annoying factor might go way up. On the other hand, prolonged absences might cause subscribers to forget about you and wonder whether they signed up for your emails in the first place. Take a close look at your email reports and analyze your engagement numbers. Low open rates are an indicator of fatigue, while high unsubscribes or spam complaints may mean you’ve taken too long to reach out.
6. Segment your lists and implement marketing automation
Another list management tactic is to divide your lists based on the recipient data you’ve collected. This process — commonly referred to as segmentation — recognizes the diversity of your audience and affords you the opportunity to deliver tailored messages that speak to the needs and desires of a subset group. For example, a financial services company could create a data segment using information on company size. That could lay the foundation for an email campaign that offers small business loan information to organizations with less than 50 employees.
Segmentation also pairs wonderfully with another advanced digital marketing tool — marketing automation. What marketing automation can do is help you identify what phase of your sales cycle a potential sales lead is in, and then automatically deliver an email marketing campaign to move the sales process forward. A popular B2C example is shopping cart abandonment, where users who fill their online shopping carts without completing a transaction are encouraged to do so with a reminder email — one that usually contains a coupon or discount code to make that push ever stronger.
For B2B communication, sales leads that express interest in your products or services on an initial sales call can be funneled into a drip email marketing campaign, one that monitors and adjusts for the behavior of your lead over time. Done properly, these emails can look as though they’re being sent from a sales representative, when in actuality they’re deployed from your marketing automation software — an ideal solution for large sales forces.
When what is old becomes new again
While email is one of the oldest forms of digital communication we have, age doesn’t equate to obsolescence. It’s a medium that has evolved, as text based emails have given way to HTML layouts that adjust to multiple viewports. And while social networks and messaging apps are growing in popularity, they still represent a fraction of the audience you can potentially reach. If your goal is to build a foundation for your digital marketing, email marketing represents a lucrative engagement opportunity that marketers should never pass up.
Written by John Kusovski Director, Digital Marketing
Second annual study into UK agency attitudes to native advertising reveals:
65 percent agree that native addresses the creativity challenge in the digital ad market
24 percent of agency native spend predicted to be on mobile by the end of the year
All agency trading desks see programmatic native as a major opportunity
New research has revealed the changing face of the UK’s native advertising market: there is more confidence and budget, with programmatic and mobile seen as the two main areas for growth.
The second annual independent survey into this market was commissioned by native advertising platform Adyoulike and covered all major agencies and agency trading desks across the UK. It revealed that 16 percent of native advertising spend now comes from new dedicated budget, as compared to only 6 percent last year, and that 63 percent of agencies are now very confident that the native market is well regulated (up from only 33 percent in 2014).
In addition, UK agencies currently say native will account for an average of 18 percent of their total digital display spend in 2015. That figure is further estimated to grow to 26 percent in 2015.
Creativity is seen as a key force behind the future growth of native advertising. Almost two thirds of agencies (65 percent) say that native’s fundamental role is addressing the creativity challenge in digital advertising – even though getting past ‘banner blindness’ is seen as the number one factor that is currently driving agency spend on native, with engagement second and the opportunity for better creative coming in third.
The two other key areas of opportunity for the future, according to the report, are mobile and programmatic. Around two-thirds (64 percent) of agencies see native as the best way to address the creativity gap in mobile ads, with an improved user experience and higher engagement levels seen as the primary benefits. In fact, a quarter (24 percent) of their native ad spend is predicted to be on mobile native campaigns by the end of 2015.
Francis Turner, managing director of Adyoulike UK, comments: “A lot of the challenges that existed around native advertising last year, such as regulation and budget, have become less of an issue as brands and agencies fully grasp everything native can do for them.
“Currently many still see it as a way to beat ‘banner blindness’, but more and more agencies have realised what native can do to address the creativity gap. Native is a highly creative medium that offers brands and publishers a way to deliver high-value content at scale.
“This is particularly true on mobile – the second screen is more important than ever and native is clearly the way to reach consumers through those devices. Traditional display advertising simply doesn’t work there.”
The study also highlighted the prospects that exist for programmatic native, speaking specifically with agency trading desks (ATDs). It found that fully 100 percent of ATDs see programmatic native as a strong market opportunity, although currently only an average of 8 percent of their budget goes on it (if they exclude social media spend).
The two key benefits of trading native ads programmatically were seen as reducing costs and scalability, though the main challenge highlighted by ATDs was the difficulty in making native content contextually relevant.
Francis Turner continues: “Programmatic native is a massive opportunity right now, thanks largely to the OpenRTB 2.3 standard that enables native ads to be delivered at scale. Once agencies are convinced that campaigns can offer both creativity and relevance, which they most certainly can, I’ve no doubt that programmatic trading budgets will skyrocket.”
The study also highlighted some of the challenges agencies face when looking to run native advertising campaigns. The key area of concern was the client sign-off process for content, followed by potential issues over resourcing.
In addition, the ad agencies’ view of creative agencies is that they are still challenged when it comes to executing on the native opportunity – comments included that creative agencies were challenged by the remuneration model (which means they have less time and resource to deliver strong native executions), that they struggle with the collaborative element required for native executions and that they find the contextual/environmental restrictions of native challenging.
Francis Turner concludes: “There are still challenges around native ads, mainly in bringing the creative opportunities that everyone can see to actual fruition. However, what’s very clear is that it’s an incredibly exciting time for the market, with programmatic trading and mobile at the forefront, and things are only going to accelerate over the coming months.”
The research was conducted on behalf of Adyoulike UK by FaR Partners through the FaR Agency Panel.
Indian Film Megastar Hrithik Roshan, Double Academy Award Winner A. R. Rahman and India’s Largest FM Radio Station Reliance Group's 92.7 BIG FM partner with Radio Everyone, as part of The Global Goals campaign - partner of the Global Citizen Festival 2015.
Indian film superstar Hrithik Roshan (Dhoom 2, Bang Bang, Krrish) and music maestro A. R. Rahman (Slumdog Millionaire) are the first two Indian personalities confirmed to take over radio airwaves this September as they join Radio Everyone, the lynchpin of a plan to reach 7 billion people in 7 days. Using radio, the world’s most accessible medium, Radio Everyone will shine a spotlight on the UN’s Global Goals for Sustainable Development, a series of ambitious targets to completely end extreme poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change for everyone by 2030.
Radio Everyone is on a mission to make The Global Goals famous once they are adopted by 193 world leaders at the United Nations, New York, on 25 September 2015. As part of The Global Goals campaign, Radio Everyone is key to reaching 7 billion people in 7 days by taking the message of The Global Goals far and wide, from India to Brazil and from Nigeria to Indonesia.
Hrithik Roshan will take on the role of one of Radio Everyone’s Global Communicators. Hrithik is regarded as one of India’s most accomplished actors with numerous blockbuster hits to his name. With superstar looks and an acting pedigree to match, Hrithik is the epitome of charisma and charm.
Oscar award winner A. R. Rahman is one of the world’s most renowned composers, singer-songwriters, musicians and philanthropists. He is responsible for the critically-acclaimed soundtrack to the multi award-winning film Slumdog Millionaire and joins other Global Musicians for Radio Everyone including Cody Simpson, D’Banj, Ice Prince and 2Face Idibia.
Radio Everyone will also feature a special segment titled Global Superheroes where iconic figures from around the world share amazing stories from everyday people. The station’s soundtrack will be composed by Peter Gabriel and the Soweto Gospel Choir.
Listeners around the world will be able to access Radio Everyone via an online stream on globalgoals.org and a collection of national radio stations. This will play a particularly important role in getting the message out to communities without other forms of media.
Broadcasters around the world are signing up to carry content provided by Radio Everyone from 26 September to 2 October 2015 with India’s largest FM station 92.7 BIG FM being the first radio station to sign-up in India. 92.7 BIG FM uses the power of radio to not only entertain listeners but also positively influence their lives. With a presence across 45 cities, 1,200 towns and 50,000+ villages and a weekly reach of 4.2 crore (40,200,000) listeners across India, the multi-award winning station will help Radio Everyone penetrate a broad cross-section of audiences.
Other broadcasters supporting the campaign include BBC Music in the UK, WNYC & Public Radio International in the USA, Ray Power FM in Nigeria, SABA and its members across 15 countries, Radio Romania, Radio2 Rai in Italy, the Mercury Media Group in Indonesia, and Deutsche Welle internationally.
Radio Everyone launches on 26th September at Global Citizen Festival, a free-ticketed event on the Great Lawn in Central Park in New York City. Headline acts for this year’s festival are Ed Sheeran, Coldplay and Pearl Jam. Radio Everyone will take highlights from the six hour Central Park Global Citizen Festival and share them with their global partners in the week following the event. These highlights will run alongside unique packages inspired by The Global Goals, with the aim to “Tell Everyone” that the goals have been agreed.
Speaking on the festival and Radio Everyone Richard Curtis said:
“Our aim is to gather an amazing volume of extraordinary radio content about The Global Goals and then pulse it across the world to everybody on the planet that listens to radio. We want to do this in the seven days after the Goals are adopted by 193 world leaders at the United Nations. By getting The Goals into people’s hearts and minds - and ears! - we can inspire the next generation of Global Citizens to be the first generation that ends extreme poverty, the most determined to tackle inequalities and the last to live with the effects of climate change.”
Hicare, India’s leading Pest Management Solutions Company and premier home care brand today announced its partnership with Google’s Great Online Home Festival (GOHF) 2015 in keeping with its vision of providing Indians a healthy, hygienic, pest-free home and work environment.
Commencing 18th July the festival will feature best deals from real estate, home care and home improvement brands all together on one platform ending 27th July. Hicare will feature their “The Big Monsoon Offer” for its range of pest management services to keep homes free of Cockroaches, Termites, Rodents, Bed Bugs, Wood Borers, etc during the ongoing monsoon season.
“At HICARE we believe in constant customer centric innovation, and are happy to associate with Google and be part of GOHF. As more and more customers are searching online for their home service needs, Hicare aims at providing expert, hassle free services at a click of a button. GOHF is a great platform further with its focus on ‘home’ and taking from the earlier Shopping Festivals success. We are glad Havas Media helped us finalise this association and put us on board. We look forward to this Saturday”, said Himanshu Chakrawarti, Chief Executive Officer, Hicare.
Having a pan-India presence with a roster of clients across industry Hicare has moved to being a holistic Pest Management Solution provider driving best practices in the pest control industry. Hicare is India’s only HACCP certified Pest Management Services Company. The HACCP International certification mark means its products are child safe, pet friendly and safe for use in the food industry.
Extra spending generated by digital to double
In Contactlab and Exane BNP Paribas projections, clients with digital identities will exert an influence over half of all global sales for any brand. The contradistinction between boutiques and online stores already need no longer apply in today’s world and as we move towards the future, the success of a brand will depend ever more on its capacity to integrate its users’ digital profiles with their actions across diverse sales channels.
It is a joint study by equity research firm Exane BNP Paribas and Italy’s provider of customer engagement solutions through digital direct marketing ContactLab. This third edition of the report estimates that between today and 2020 the luxury goods market is set to grow significantly, with digital’s influence on total sales volume rising to 50%.
A transformative process is underway in the luxury industry with an entirely new paradigm emerging: digital contactability. As early as 2014 it sustained a quarter of sector turnover and is set to be a key growth driver across the industry, going on to impact 50% of revenues by 2020. Implicit in this development is the rise of e-commerce, which is predicted to increase as much as threefold on today’s size.
Over the next five years, luxury brands will get to know virtually all of their customers by name: in fact, customers who have digital identities will represent around 90% of each brand’s user base, between those who are registered users (45%) and those clients contactable through email or push notification (41%). The actions of these users will in turn influence over half of brand global sales revenues.
The development of digital assets in conjunction with the adoption of an evolved digital customer engagement strategy is crucial then to determining fashion brands’ success or loss of competitiveness. This in itself does not signify the impending obsolescence of brick and mortar stores, but rather the contradistinction between a physical presence and online sales will no longer make sense. Digital contactability is and will continue to be the key factor in unifying the physical and the digital in a relationship of mutually valuable exchange.
Today e-commerce, accounts for around 6% of global brand turnover, which is significant in itself, signifying an increase of over 50% on 2013. From here to 2020, according to diverse models, that number is set to grow to at least double and likely treble current volumes: come 2020, e-commerce is predicted to amount to 18% of total brand revenues. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg: cross-channel customers are really driving forward the market and, by increasing their own expenditure year-on-year, will progressively impact global expenditure.
"If we look at retail turnover we can see that only a quarter of it stems from digitally contactable users; the other revenue is generated by anonymous users (another quarter) and users who are registered but who cannot be contacted for one reason or another,” explained Massimo Fubini, Founder and CEO of ContactLab. Thanks to research such as this, we also know that digitally contactable users spend around 20 to 30% more both online and in-store: if brands learned to identify and make contactable this anonymous “block” it would unlock hug revenue-generating potential. To do so however one needs to use evolved digital contact tools which enable strategies of engagement and loyalty-building and allow upselling to these customers".
The state of the art reveals a picture that is rapidly changing, where the number of customers who are registered and digitally contactable continues to rise. These consumers are high spenders both in-store (+16% compared to unregistered users) and cross-channel (+60% compared to those who only shop in-store) and whose average spend on luxury goods increases year-on-year (from 30% in 2011 to 37% in 2014).
What emerges then is a user profile that effortlessly shifts between the physical and digital and which draws few distinctions between the two areas. To distinguish themselves from the competition in the eyes of these users, brands will need to better satisfy their needs, make their lives easier and make the relationship ever more personalised. The continuing relevancy of POS will depend then on the integration of customer digital profiles with their in-store actions. Even today this is apparent in the diffusion of the ROPO (Research Online, Purchase Offline) phenomenon, practised by 60% of consumers and set to rise to 80% in Exane and ContactLab forecasts. This phenomenon should be seen as a wake up call for those brands who have not yet become fully established in or who have still to complete their penetration of the digital world: the risk is to remain on the sidelines of this highly-competitive arena.
ContactLab and Exane analysis, which looked at the market and its revenue from an integrated, multichannel perspective, hints at a doubling of forecast revenues generated by users whose have a digital identity. In particular, the extra spending directly attributable to digital customers in 2020 will impact approximately 15% of the turnover of luxury firms, coming from 5% of customers in-store, 6% of online customers and 3% of cross channel customers.
"Given the disruptive impact of digital evolution for luxury companies”, explained Marco Pozzi, Senior Advisor to ContactLab, “digital strategy should increasingly be guided by senior management with implications across the rest of the organization and also on revenue, profit attribution by channel and on the logics governing the reallocation of marketing budget from offline to digital".
To realize these projections, three different methodologies were employed: two based on linear regression (singular and multiple) and the third on a Gaussian curve. Whichever way one analyzes the market, the penetration of e-commerce and the impact of digital are on the rise.
“To say that luxury markets will be responsible for an increasing percentage of growth is rather common. What’s less common, and more precise, is to say that the entire luxury industry is radically shifting as happened in the past with the travel and Financial Services compartments. – says Luca Solca, managing director Equities Sector Head – Luxury Goods di Exane BNP Paribas. Physical points of sale will remain fundamental and indisputable assets, however, development and adoption of digital competencies will be a necessary condition for brand survival.”
Such is the work of ContactLab and Exane as they continue development of the Digital Competitive Map, a proprietary tool which uses 66 quantitative parameters to measure a brand’s capacity to engage its users, providing a comparison with other sector players.