Archive for the ‘ Targeted Email Advertising ’ Category

This is How to Reach Millennials

  Millennials (18-34 year olds) will represent $200 billion in annual buying power by 2017 (Harvard Business Review). So how can brands reach this lucrative demographic? We’ve all heard the typical advice, ‘put your advertising budget into social media, after all that’s where the action is’. There’s no doubt Millennials love their social media for…

 

Millennials (18-34 year olds) will represent $200 billion in annual buying power by 2017 (Harvard Business Review). So how can brands reach this lucrative demographic? We’ve all heard the typical advice, ‘put your advertising budget into social media, after all that’s where the action is’. There’s no doubt Millennials love their social media for keeping up with friends, events, and sharing each and every moment of their day.

But when it comes to consumer-to-consumer brand communication, they prefer more direct contact. A 2015 study by the Principal Financial Group shows given the choice between email, in person, postal mail, social media, phone call, online chat, or text message, Millennial respondents overwhelmingly choose email straight across the board. They want one-to-one contact with companies, whether it’s for offers, customer service, or other communication.

Marc Apple, owner and chief strategist at Forward Push Media believes no one is constantly on social networks, but most people check email every day, whatever their demographic profile:

“In my opinion, email is the original social media.”

Not surprisingly, Millennials check email more than any other age group according to a recent Adobe study. That same study found nearly 98% of Millennials check their personal email at least every few hours at work, while almost 87% of Millennials check their work email outside of work.

But that doesn’t mean the same old email marketing will work. Ultimately, Millennials want useful emails. They want emails to work on the device of their choice, and they want emails to appeal to their interests and passions (Harvard Business Review). Here are some tips for planning your next email campaign involving Millennials:

  1. Mobile Rules – Since they live life on their phones, design your emails for mobile first. Use responsive design across every screen size. Get your call-to-action across quickly as part of a clear, captivating mobile user experience.
  2. Targeting – Stop batch ‘n’ blasting and start marketing to individuals. Millennials expect personalized, relevant content that interests them. Take advantage of a third-party hyper-targeted email advertising campaign and precisely target your ideal audience based on 100s of criteria. This is a great way to compliment your existing house list and the email delivery is handled by the third party.
  3. Timing – Millennials are more likely than any other age group to check email while in bed (45.2% according to a Harvard study). Experiment with sending emails first thing in the morning or late in the evening with content relevant to that time of day.
  4. Rock Your Content – Content is all-important, and that’s about personalization again. Make it relatable and relevant, speaking to them on their individual terms. It’s got to provoke thought and look smart or risk being swiped away to the trash folder.

Top 5 Myths of Email List Rental

  There has been a stigma around using email lists for some time, they seemed artificial, and some experts claimed it was bad practice. Only 10% of marketers admit to using third-party rented lists according to a Yesmail survey. However, using an email list rental from a reputable partner is one of the best ways…

 

There has been a stigma around using email lists for some time, they seemed artificial, and some experts claimed it was bad practice. Only 10% of marketers admit to using third-party rented lists according to a Yesmail survey. However, using an email list rental from a reputable partner is one of the best ways marketers can boost traffic to their site and increase conversions, all while expanding their in-house subscriber list. This is the new generation of email list rental. Today there are advanced audience targeting techniques, in-depth reporting, and no risk to the marketer’s sending reputation. Yet, too few marketing professionals take advantage of this proven customer acquisition channel due to lingering myths about how the process actually works. Let’s look at some popular misconceptions about using third-party email lists.

 

1. Purchasing Over Renting

Purchasing an email list gives you direct access to a large number of contacts. The data is yours to keep and use as you like. Often it’s a short-cut to increasing an existing house email list. It’s used mainly for marketers who want to cast the widest possible net and blast content out to huge volumes of contacts. Purchasing a list represents an ‘old school’ way of direct marketing and can have serious consequences for a brand’s reputation.

Renting a third-party email list is completely different to purchasing, and much safer. When done properly, the recipients’ email addresses are never given to the marketer and the emails are sent out via the third-party data collector. The marketer sits down with the data provider and defines the targeting criteria for the type of audiences they want reach. After the creative/content is developed, the campaign is tested, and it’s distributed to the selected audience.

 

2. My Sending Reputation Will Be Hurt

A reputable third-party data provider will handle all email marketing complexities such as compliance (CAN-SPAM/CASL), opt-outs, bounces, and spam complaints. The marketer is completely protected from any associated risks. A key to remember is to never send out an email campaign from your marketing software using a list other than your own. You’ll be risking the reputation of your IP address and your company.

 

3. Targeting Hasn’t Improved

Most people are surprised by how precise you can get with hyper-targeted audiences. In the U.S., there are roughly 20,000 audience sources available and each source contains lists of individuals who share a specific set of attributes or activities. For example, if you want to target consumers who are currently researching an automotive purchase, run a B2B campaign to a certain industry, or reach families who haven’t taken a vacation in 6 months, the options are almost endless. These audiences are significantly more responsive because your message is highly relevant and connecting with the right people at the right time.

“It will probably shock you on how precise we can get with this type of marketing, particularly in the United States,” says Kitty Kolding, CEO of Infocore. “There is no other place with as much data with as much precision and with as much depth.”

 

4. I Don’t Have Permission

A common concern around email marketing is permission. Many believe due to privacy and anti-spam regulations they are unable to market to contacts who haven’t already opted-in to receive emails from their company. The good news is there are third-party partners that have the verified permission to send emails to your target audience on your behalf. Many list companies will promise you a fully compliant and targeted email list, but do your research to ensure your partner can explain where their data is sourced and how often it’s cleaned. You get what you pay for when it comes to list rentals. A suspiciously low price is a sure sign the data is stale and lacks the proper permissions.

 

5. High Traffic = Results

If you’ve sent out your email campaign and there’s been a flurry of traffic to your site, make sure you check that it’s the right type of traffic. There are fly-by-night list companies and even some more well-known vendors that will supplement their lack of quality data and deliverability with artificial traffic. An important question to ask yourself is whether the campaign reporting and traffic patterns look like the activity of real people. Here are some key indicators to protect yourself:

  • Lots of traffic in the middle of the night.
  • Traffic only comes in small periodic batches.
  • 99% of all campaign traffic is from a desktop computer with the same operating system and browser.
  • All traffic cuts off after 24-48 hours with no residual traffic trickling in over the next few days.

How do you look for this?

  • Look for whether all these indicators show up in your web analytics for that campaign.
  • Compare against your house email list campaigns.
  • Compare against other digital media traffic (display, search, etc).
  • Does this traffic and the behavior pattern differ greatly from what real people do on the site and compared to the traffic from all the other advertising sources?

 

Check out Future Flow Media’s hyper-targeted email capabilities and learn how we help brands reach new audiences. Ready to start building your next campaign? Contact us at sales@futureflowmedia.com or call 1-877-478-8248.

Insights Round Up: December 2015

  A round up of insights and articles we’ve shared over the past month. Make sure you’re the first to know when we have new insights by signing up for alerts on the right hand side of the page.   1. Hard Rock Café Targeted Mobile Campaign – Hard Rock targeted nearby customers through rich mobile advertising, and…

 

A round up of insights and articles we’ve shared over the past month. Make sure you’re the first to know when we have new insights by signing up for alerts on the right hand side of the page.

 

1. Hard Rock Café Targeted Mobile Campaign – Hard Rock targeted nearby customers through rich mobile advertising, and directed them to the closest Hard Rock Café location. Visits went up 220% as a result. Read More

hard rock cafe

 

2. Travel Industry Tops Email Open Rates – A new email benchmark study from Silverpop found the Lodging and Travel industry was a top performer when it came to email open rates and CTRs. Read More

email symbol desk

 

How North Dakota Tourism Targets Visitors

  North Dakota had the eighth-lowest tourism budget among the 46 states reporting figures to the U.S. Travel Association in fiscal year 2013-2014, spending nearly $6 million. The state which spent the most that year was Hawaii with $82 million, Delaware spent the least at just over $2 million. With a small budget and competing destinations surrounding North Dakota,…

 

North Dakota had the eighth-lowest tourism budget among the 46 states reporting figures to the U.S. Travel Association in fiscal year 2013-2014, spending nearly $6 million. The state which spent the most that year was Hawaii with $82 million, Delaware spent the least at just over $2 million. With a small budget and competing destinations surrounding North Dakota, the tourism division has to make the most effective use of its money. With the help of research, the state is able to find out what brings people to North Dakota and what media they consume. According to the department, it appears to be paying off: visitation increased 22% between 2011 and 2013.

“It’s really just trying to take all that information and trying to lay it all over on top of each other, and make sure the most important things rise to the top,” said North Dakota Tourism Division Director Sara Otte Coleman. “The bottom line is most of the efforts we put in we want to be able to measure.” 

North Dakota is planning a $3.3 million media buy in 2016, with 78% of that being spent on ads in the U.S. and another 15% to Canada. Roughly 6% will be spent on niche advertising. Their advertising will be targeting Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois for the U.S. markets, and Manitoba and Saskatchewan in Canada.

The tourism department plans on using print, TV, and digital media including email marketing. Targeted digital media such as email allows North Dakota to engage specific audiences while they’re online, and recent studies show email is the preferred method for consumers wanting to receive news and promotions from brands (MarketingSherpa). An example of how research helps shape the state’s marketing, is the decision to focus on families in nearby states and provinces, because most of North Dakota’s out-of-state visitors travel by car.

“We need to be very strategic about our media buys in order to make that as effective as possible,” said Heather LeMoine, Marketing Manager at the North Dakota tourism office.

How effective has their marketing been recently? Longwoods International, a research firm contracted by North Dakota, said in a 2014 report that visitors spent $94 for every advertising dollar spent. Meanwhile, the report also said the North Dakota ad campaign in U.S. markets generated 1.1 million incremental trips that would have not otherwise taken place, bringing in more than $200 million in visitor spending and nearly $16 million in state and local taxes.

 

This post is based on an article by Inforum. Image from tripadvisor.ca.

 

Consumers Want Your Advertising

  Digital advertising has been hit hard lately with all the buzz about ad-blocking software claiming to create an ad-free experience for everyone. New research from MarketingSherpa suggests consumers don’t actually hate advertising, they just have preferred ways of receiving that communication from brands. Only 8% of the consumers researched said they didn’t want to…

 

Digital advertising has been hit hard lately with all the buzz about ad-blocking software claiming to create an ad-free experience for everyone. New research from MarketingSherpa suggests consumers don’t actually hate advertising, they just have preferred ways of receiving that communication from brands. Only 8% of the consumers researched said they didn’t want to receive marketing, while each respondent cited a preferred way of discovering new products. More than one-third of those surveyed said email is their preferred way of communicating with brands on their smartphones.

“This may be somewhat surprising to some, as when mobile marketing is talked about, email is sometimes not included,” said MarketingSherpa director of editorial content Daniel Burstein. “Buzzier topics like location-based marketing—iOS iBeacon, for example—and apps tend to get the most attention.”

 

infographic-preferred-promotions-01-2015

 

Post based on Ad Age article.

Is Your Vendor Padding the Numbers?

  Posted By: Chris O’Neill, VP, Business Development, Future Flow Media   There seems to be a large discrepancy between what many digital media vendors report and what they’re actually able to deliver.  This sets expectations for campaign performance way off base and lets dishonest vendors continue operating. Let’s use some benchmarks for email campaigns as…

 

Posted By: Chris O’Neill, VP, Business Development, Future Flow Media

 

There seems to be a large discrepancy between what many digital media vendors report and what they’re actually able to deliver.  This sets expectations for campaign performance way off base and lets dishonest vendors continue operating.

Let’s use some benchmarks for email campaigns as an example.

House list campaigns have the best performance because subscribers are so engaged with the brand they took the time to opt-in directly.  Average open rates are in the 20-40% range with click-through rates (CTR) in the 4-6% range (percentage of emails sent). (eMarketer, 2015)

3rd Party/Prospect/Rented list campaigns perform differently because though they opted in to receive offers via email, they don’t yet have the loyalty and rapport as the house list subscribers.  These campaigns average 9-10% opens and 1-1.5% CTR (percentage of emails sent). (eMarketer, 2015)

FYI: Email is still an amazingly effective tool to contact unreached or under-engaged audiences, IF you use the right partner with confirmed permission-based 3rd party opt-in data (no spam and no risk to your brand). 68% of consumers rate email as their number one method for staying in touch with businesses compared to just 5% via social media. (Constant Contact, 2015)

What happens when an email list rental vendor claims to have achieved 25% opens and 5% CTR on a campaign?

  1. They could be sending out more emails but not taking them into consideration on the report, artificially inflating the numbers.  If the order was for a 100k email drop, but they actually sent 300k (without telling you), the report would show 3 times higher open and click percentages.  Are those extra records targeted recipients or just random data to generate extra activity?
  2. I hate to say it, but there are companies out there that pay people for clicks or use some kind of bot to simulate email traffic.  The best thing to look out for when evaluating a new (or current) vendor is to simply ask yourself whether their claims make sense.  Are their performance promises, or campaign reports, somewhere near the ballpark of what industry benchmarks say they should be?
  3. There can be exceptions and homeruns with email campaigns, but not all the time.  The campaigns we run here at Future Flow Media average 10-15% opens and 1-2% CTR and periodically see higher results because of our optimization expertise.  Don’t be alarmed if you have a successful campaign, just be observant of what “normal” is and should be.  When you compare campaign metrics to industry benchmarks and it looks too good to be true, there’s probably something fishy going on.

3 Ways to Not Poison the Pool

  Posted By: Chris O’Neill, VP, Business Development, Future Flow Media   Many of our clients have recently asked about how to increase the quality and reach of their re-targeting pools and marketing databases. I thought you also might be interested, so here’s my two cents on the matter: Adding new people into a marketing database or re-targeting…

 

Posted By: Chris O’Neill, VP, Business Development, Future Flow Media

 

Many of our clients have recently asked about how to increase the quality and reach of their re-targeting pools and marketing databases. I thought you also might be interested, so here’s my two cents on the matter:

Adding new people into a marketing database or re-targeting pool can be challenging – especially trying to capture the right people that match ideal customer personas. Many companies either fail to tag the most valuable web visitors into their re-targeting pool or indiscriminately tag everyone regardless of quality or interest. Other companies will buy email lists (yes, this still happens), load them into their ESP, and let the spam fly.

What are the best ways of increasing hyper-targeted audience reach and engagement?

  1. Use multi-channel re-targeting to keep the highest quality customers interested in your offers. Web site visitors who are re-targeted with display ads are 70% more likely to convert (cmo.com). The effectiveness is even higher (and still growing) on mobile devices.
  2. Email is still an amazingly effective tool to contact unreached or under-engaged audiences, IF you use the right partner with confirmed permission-based 3rd party opt-in data (no spam and no risk to your brand). 68% of consumers rate email as their number one method for staying in touch with businesses compared to just 5% via social media. (Constant Contact, 2015)
  3. Be diligent and selective with online assets, landing pages, and traffic drivers. Make sure that campaign-specific landing pages aren’t missing the re-targeting code. Segment people, wherever possible, between generic web visitors and people that show you by their actions how interested they are.

 

 

How to Enforce Accountability in Automotive Campaigns

  Posted By: Chris O’Neill, VP, Business Development, Future Flow Media   I was speaking with an automotive agency a while ago who shared a story about campaign accountability I thought others in the automotive marketing industry would want to hear. Several dealerships were introduced to a direct marketing company that claimed to have the ability…

 

Posted By: Chris O’Neill, VP, Business Development, Future Flow Media

 

I was speaking with an automotive agency a while ago who shared a story about campaign accountability I thought others in the automotive marketing industry would want to hear.

Several dealerships were introduced to a direct marketing company that claimed to have the ability to send emails to vehicle intenders in each dealer’s area. There’s nothing wrong so far – Future Flow Media provides this capability and does it very well. The problems began to mount with how this vendor executed (or didn’t) the campaign and how they handled the situation.

The first red flag was the number of email records reported to be available, sometimes nearly the entire population of the town. I doubt EVERYONE in the area had legitimately identified as an auto shopper AND legit email opt-in all at the same time. Regardless, the dealerships went ahead with testing the new advertising vendor.

Second issue was the traffic patterns on the dealership websites. Web analytics reports showed most of the “traffic” driven by the email campaigns were <1 second hits to the home page and there were no behavioral patterns showing web activity typical of real shoppers on the website. This arose suspicion about whether email campaigns had been sent out at all, or if the vendor used a bot traffic generator to fake web hits. I understand the gravity of this kind of accusation and don’t use it lightly – which could have been alleviated quickly except for the third problem.

The vendor refused to do a sales match back. This is the process of matching the postal addresses of people who bought vehicles against the postal addresses of people who were sent the email campaign. People who received the email, and bought a vehicle, would have been influenced by the email in their purchase journey. The straight refusal to have any data processed, for analysis purposes only, accomplished nothing but to aggravate the (now burned) customer and cement the suspicion of fraudulent practices on behalf of the vendor.

How can automotive marketers ensure accountability when using outside partners for conquest email campaigns?

  1. Always insist on a sales match back process. I understand that data licensing terms can sometimes require a couple of extra steps, but it’s well worth your while. If there is sensitivity from either party, remind all involved this process is for analysis purposes only. One way to eliminate the risk that data can be misappropriated by either party is to encrypt each record with MD5 (your IT guys know what this is), making the data useless for any purpose other than one-to-one comparison.
  2. Observe customer behavior patterns on the website. Does it look like the kind of activity that real people do when they browse vehicles on a dealer’s site? There will always be some who hit the home page and leave quickly, but you should at least see some window shopping and tire kicking. In addition, there are specific leading indicators in dealership website activity our market research team here at Future Flow Media have identified. Get in touch with us and we’d be happy to share this information.
  3. Only work with marketing vendors that don’t sound fishy (impossible targeting criteria, more records than people, etc) and follow all the best practices for 3rd party email campaigns. They should have 100% confirmed permission data, the distribution systems optimized for proper delivery, and reporting of the open/click rates. For more tips and specifics on what to look out for, let us know and we’ll be happy to share more details.

Take a Test Drive with Future Flow Media

  Kick Your Automotive Marketing into Overdrive Millions of consumers who are in-market, or currently researching a vehicle purchase, are ready to be conquested. Our hyper-targeted email advertising capabilities, optimization services, and proven campaign framework create the winning formula for successful and painless digital media campaigns. For a limited time, Future Flow Media is offering…

 

Kick Your Automotive Marketing into Overdrive

Millions of consumers who are in-market, or currently researching a vehicle purchase, are ready to be conquested. Our hyper-targeted email advertising capabilities, optimization services, and proven campaign framework create the winning formula for successful and painless digital media campaigns.

For a limited time, Future Flow Media is offering Free Test Drives to help automotive marketers successfully conquest buyers with hyper-targeted email. Build a campaign plan that’s ready to drive off the lot with expert insights and recommendations.

Book a Free Test Drive button

Dealership groups and their agencies are using Future Flow Media’s proven Automotive Marketing Program to make their media more effective and more valuable. Plus, they’re proving ROI and campaign influence with 1-to-1 sales match back attribution.

For more information please visit futureflowmedia.com/testdrive

Email Advertising for Restaurants

  Why is Email Advertising Key for a Restaurant’s Brand to Grow? Email advertising increases restaurant brand preference with customer groups, builds loyalty, and is proven to drive traffic into restaurant locations. It’s currently one of the most underutilized marketing channels in the restaurant industry, providing the opportunity to influence unreached and under-engaged customers. Digital…

 

Why is Email Advertising Key for a Restaurant’s Brand to Grow?

Email advertising increases restaurant brand preference with customer groups, builds loyalty, and is proven to drive traffic into restaurant locations. It’s currently one of the most underutilized marketing channels in the restaurant industry, providing the opportunity to influence unreached and under-engaged customers.

Digital advertising efforts have never been more important as consumers increasingly make their dining purchasing decisions online. It’s not surprising that:

  • 89% percent of diners research restaurants online before visiting in person. (AIS Media)
  • 57% of respondents stated they make restaurant reservations online, and about 40% of those completed the reservation on the restaurant’s own website. (Cornell University)
  • 67% of Internet users prefer email as the method of communication with brands. (eMarketer 2014)
  • Pizza Hut recently revealed in 2014 that 30% of all sales now come from digital marketing.

Hyper-Targeted Advertising Ensures Successful Digital Campaigns

  • Go beyond the key demographic profiles.
  • Integrate marketing efforts to make each tactic more effective and more valuable.
  • Partner with firms that have proven digital campaign planning and optimization expertise.
  • Stay current on how other restaurant group marketers leverage digital media to attract customers.

Future Flow Media reaches hyper-targeted contacts currently unreached, or under-engaged, by existing digital media efforts and drives more of the best quality traffic that’s been measured and proven to achieve desired dining purchase activities.