Insights

Casino and Gaming Industry Spotlight: Cost-effectively Attracting New Players

October 18, 2012

  Like most casino, lottery, and other gaming operators, you’re probably still recovering from the slowdown induced by the recession. You need to compete harder than ever in order to attract, retain, and recover players. It is notoriously difficult to track the impact of your marketing spend in this industry. In such a noisy advertising…

 

Like most casino, lottery, and other gaming operators, you’re probably still recovering from the slowdown induced by the recession. You need to compete harder than ever in order to attract, retain, and recover players. It is notoriously difficult to track the impact of your marketing spend in this industry. In such a noisy advertising world, your current media investments may be falling short if they lack accountability and are not sufficiently targeted. Or maybe your current tactics just can’t deliver the wide reach and solid return on investment that you need.

Hyper-targeted email advertising can cost-effectively deliver highly customized messages to the most receptive audience sub-segments to help you stand out from your competition and achieve greater response rates. An email address list that is continuously compiled, enriched, and verified for freshness and accuracy gives you the power to:

  • segment and model your market,
  • target the customers of your competitors,
  • deliver your relevant offer to people with specific gambling and travel interests,
  • target consumers living in specific areas,
  • test market.

To learn more about targeted email advertising for gaming operators, read the full Hyper-Targeted Email Advertising: Casino and Gaming Industry Spotlight.

Case Study: Creativity vs. Clarity in Email Subject Lines

September 25, 2012

We all know an email’s subject line is critical. If it’s not effective, the rest of the message never gets seen. The question is, what do consumers respond to: creative subject lines or straightforward, clear subject lines? A recent MarketingSherpa case study explored this question in detail with 20 different subject lines sent to 45,000…

We all know an email’s subject line is critical. If it’s not effective, the rest of the message never gets seen. The question is, what do consumers respond to: creative subject lines or straightforward, clear subject lines? A recent MarketingSherpa case study explored this question in detail with 20 different subject lines sent to 45,000 subscribers while measuring responses to the emails across several channels: email subscriptions, traffic, Facebook Likes, Tweets, and comments.

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The results? Clear subject lines outperformed creative versions on average by a whopping 541%.

Read the full MarketingSherpa article to learn more about why subject line clarity is paramount.

 

Automotive dealers can now track advertising impact on individual vehicle sales

September 21, 2012

“I know that half of our advertising budget is wasted, but I don’t know which half.” That old saying is particularly true in the world of automotive dealership marketing. Successful dealerships invest in a multi-channel mix of advertising that spans TV, radio, newspaper, and online tactics. You know that advertising drives showroom visits, but which…

“I know that half of our advertising budget is wasted, but I don’t know which half.” That old saying is particularly true in the world of automotive dealership marketing. Successful dealerships invest in a multi-channel mix of advertising that spans TV, radio, newspaper, and online tactics. You know that advertising drives showroom visits, but which elements are effective and which are a waste of your money?

Email marketing has always been one of the most measurable advertising tactics, and it just got even better. Imagine being able to look at your sales records for the month and know which recipients of one of your email ad campaigns ultimately purchased a vehicle from you. Future Flow Media’s hyper-targeted email advertising program for automotive dealerships has added that capability to its proven campaign management methodology.

Here’s how the automotive email ad campaign match-back service works:

  1. We sit down with you to understand your business and campaign objectives.
  2. We compile a hyper-targeted list of recipients who match your ideal customer profile and are most likely to be in-market for a new vehicle purchase. Our high-integrity database includes hundreds of demographic, psychographics, and vehicle ownership data points for over 30 million permission-based subscribers. It has been painstakingly compiled, enriched, and verified for accuracy using data from more than 40 sources. It enables you to select recipients based on: vehicle ownership details; gender, age, and dozens of other demographics such as income range, net worth, credit rating, marital status, presence of children, car-related interests and hobbies, history of shopping online for cars and other products, and dozens of other characteristics. Armed with this ability to hyper-target, you can craft customized offers to very specific audiences.
  3. We advise you on best practices for offers, email copy, and landing page creative.
  4. We use a proven methodology to project manage all aspects of the execution of your campaign, including quality assurance, split testing to optimize subject line and other campaign elements, testing cross-browser rendering, real-time monitoring and performance reporting, and more.
  5. The emails are delivered to the recipient list. 100% delivery is guaranteed and superior open and click rates are realized because your offer is highly relevant to each recipient thanks to hyper-targeting.
  6. Your email ad directs visitors to your landing page and dealership website where they can browse, shop, compare, and contact you directly.
  7. For each of your email recipients, we provide their postal address so that throughout and after the campaign you can compare postal information to your sales records to identify matches. This allows you to positively identify individuals who purchased a vehicle from you that were exposed to each delivered email advertisement.

To learn more about effective direct marketing in the automotive industry, read the full Hyper-Targeted Email Advertising Automotive Spotlight.

Case Study: Expert Email Marketing Advice Helps Fitness Club Grow Membership Sales

September 14, 2012

With nearly half a million members at their network of clubs, one of the largest fitness companies in the United States faces the ongoing challenge of attracting new members. The company’s brand image was tarnished by past campaigns that used an email rental list that lacked strict subscriber permission. Also, the vendor involved was unable…

Fitness image

With nearly half a million members at their network of clubs, one of the largest fitness companies in the United States faces the ongoing challenge of attracting new members. The company’s brand image was tarnished by past campaigns that used an email rental list that lacked strict subscriber permission. Also, the vendor involved was unable to reconcile the poor performance or provide advice to improve conversion rates.

The company subsequently tried Future Flow Media’s full service Hyper-Targeted Email Advertising program. They were attracted by Future Flow Media’s proven campaign management methodology and high-touch customer service approach that includes email marketing best practices consulting. The campaigns delivered strong email performance but the real boost in membership sales occurred when Future Flow Media’s Principal Consultant reviewed the campaigns and advised the company on ways to improve the design of their landing pages.

The experience of working with Future Flow Media had even farther reaching impact: when the fitness company applied the landing page design lessons learned to their house list email campaigns, they realized an immediate and significant lift in open and click rate performance. Impressed with the quality the database and Future Flow Media’s expertise, the company has made Hyper-Targeted Email Advertising an important ongoing component in their marketing mix.

To learn more about the hyper-targeted email advertising success, read the full case study: Expert Email Marketing Advice Helps Fitness Club Grow Membership Sales.

Targeted Email Advertising to be Highlighted at DMA 2012

September 7, 2012

Targeted Email Advertising will be an important topic October 13-18 at DMA2012, the annual Direct Marketing Association conference in Las Vegas. DMA2012 is one of the most important direct marketing education events of the year. Future Flow Media’s Principal Consultant Chris O’Neill is one of the invited speakers for the Solutions Showdown panel, alongside experts…

Targeted Email Advertising will be an important topic October 13-18 at DMA2012, the annual Direct Marketing Association conference in Las Vegas. DMA2012 is one of the most important direct marketing education events of the year. Future Flow Media’s Principal Consultant Chris O’Neill is one of the invited speakers for the Solutions Showdown panel, alongside experts from IBM and Strongmail Systems. The panel will address important questions about email marketing, including:

  1. How heads of marketing for major consumer brands can improve on their existing, reasonably successful email strategies that revolve around newsletters and offers, and how they can increase revenue.
  2. What safe-guards they need to put in place to make sure their emails aren’t seen as spam.
  3. The THREE most important metrics to watch.

The panel will be held at the DMA Town Square in the Exhibit Hall on Monday October 15th at 11:15am.

Future Flow Media will also be exhibiting at DMA2012 and presenting detailed case studies of successful hyper-targeted email advertising in many industries, including automotive, telecom, retail, financial services, nonprofit, healthcare & wellness, retail, travel & tourism, among other sectors. Look for us in booth #366.

Future Flow Media has also been invited by the DMA to present an educational webinar in late October, entitled Lessons from 3,000 Data-Enriched Email Ad Campaigns. Watch for upcoming news about the final date and webinar details.

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The Top 5 Takeaways from Email Summit 2012

August 17, 2012

The clear message from the MarketingSherpa’s Email Summit 2012 was that email marketers can no longer get away with sending a single email to a large database, hoping it will be relevant to enough subscribers to generate results. Instead, in session after session, marketers described how they segmented their audiences, delivered targeted content, tested the…

The clear message from the MarketingSherpa’s Email Summit 2012 was that email marketers can no longer get away with sending a single email to a large database, hoping it will be relevant to enough subscribers to generate results. Instead, in session after session, marketers described how they segmented their audiences, delivered targeted content, tested the best messages, and found ways to craft emails that spoke directly to subscribers’ needs and interests.

The top five takeaways, according to this MarketingSherpa article, were:

  • Social login can add subscribers and data – by allowing visitors to register for your site using an account from Facebook, Twitter or another social network, you remove a significant barrier to conversion. You also get additional profile data from those services.
  • Make it easy for subscribers to leave – the second most effective tactic to improve email deliverability is to “provide an easy unsubscribe process,” according to MarketingSherpa’s 2012 Email Marketing Benchmark Report.
  • Every part of the email matters – instead of focusing on only the subject line or call-to-action, marketers should realize every email walks readers through a progression of steps: Subject line, Headline, First paragraph, Body copy, and Call-to-action
  • Four rules for an effective program – be relevant, manage the process with discipline, maintain excellent list hygiene, and give subscribers control over their delivery preferences
  • Best practices can save deliverability – use feedback loops from ISPs to receive reports when subscribers marked emails as spam, remove complainers after they marked an email as spam, identify invalid email addresses and remove them, adjust server settings, remove inactive accounts, and apply for white-listing from the major ISPs

Read the entire MarketingSherpa article here.

When to Use Enriched Email List Rental

August 14, 2012

Email list rental, when done right, is a bit of a dark horse marketing tactic: the latest form of this targeted email advertising method is not well known to many marketers and media buyers so you may be missing opportunities to make good use of it. You may also be misjudging the impact it can…

Email list rental, when done right, is a bit of a dark horse marketing tactic: the latest form of this targeted email advertising method is not well known to many marketers and media buyers so you may be missing opportunities to make good use of it. You may also be misjudging the impact it can have as a component in your campaign mix. When deployed in the right situation, email list rental drives positive, incremental business results, and it can be tested and measured to prove your return on investment.

 

Do you have a specific target audience that is hard-to-reach?

Despite a somewhat low profile, data-enriched email list rental is being successfully used by thousands of B2B and B2C companies, including some of the world’s strongest brands. Top marketers carefully plan their campaigns and include email list rental only in situations where it fits and can generate a solid return. In a recent study of over 3,000 enriched email list rental campaigns  the largest returns were realized when it was difficult to cost-effectively reach a very precisely defined audience through traditional media tactics. Successes have been achieved for all types of campaigns, whether the desired response is an online sale, generation of a lead, an opt-in, or just a website visit.

 

With so much advertising clutter hitting consumers every day, the only way to earn a response is to very precisely define your ideal customer profile then deliver customized, irresistible offers to people who match that profile exactly. A great example of this is described in the case study of  a Fortune 500 company whose target buyers for a new B2B product proved very difficult to reach through print, trade shows, online advertising, and other traditional advertising channels. Targeted email advertising turned out to be the only way they could successfully engage their audience.

 

Need to extend your reach?

Another situation where enriched email list rental delivers maximum value is when other targeted channels become saturated. For example, your campaign goals and budget may be greater than the traffic volume you can generate from search marketing. In that case, enriched email list rental extends your reach so your campaign can scale to meet your objectives.

 

ROIMI saves you from the vanity metrics trap

So-called “vanity metrics” like impressions, delivery rates, open rates, and click through rates may make you feel good about the performance of a campaign, but on their own they fall short of providing real insight into the actual business impact of your campaign. It is also somewhat meaningless to compare vanity metrics across different tactics, such as search marketing versus email list rental. What really matters is the quality of the responses generated by each tactic and the ultimate incremental financial impact they have on your business. Return on Incremental Marketing Investment (ROIMI) is the best measure of the short term financial impact of an incremental marketing spend. ROIMI calculates the amount by which the net financial gain from a given tactic exceeds the incremental cost of including it in your marketing mix. Learn how to calculate ROIMI here.

 

Test and measure to remove speculation

There is often some debate and angst around the inclusion of email list rental in a campaign for the first time. A simple, inexpensive trial campaign with a reputable, full-service email list rental service provider can quickly settle those debates and quell any fears. For a few thousand dollars, you can quickly determine if an email list rental campaign can successfully reach and engage your target audience. A partner with a solid campaign framework and the expertise to help you incorporate best practices to design, test, execute, and measure your trial will help you quantify the business impact that data-enriched email list rental can have on your business. Then you can confidently make fact-based decisions about its role in your future campaigns.

 

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Study Finds Marketers Struggle with Data and ROI

August 10, 2012

Researchers at Columbia Business School and the BRITE Center on Global Brand Leadership recently surveyed 253 marketing decision makers at large companies (90 percent have a global annual revenue of over $50 million; 45 percent are over $1 billion) to gain a better understanding of changing practices in data collection and usage, marketing measurement and…

Researchers at Columbia Business School and the BRITE Center on Global Brand Leadership recently surveyed 253 marketing decision makers at large companies (90 percent have a global annual revenue of over $50 million; 45 percent are over $1 billion) to gain a better understanding of changing practices in data collection and usage, marketing measurement and ROI, and the integration of digital and traditional marketing.

The 2012 BRITE-NYAMA Marketing Measurement in Transition Study  revealed that marketers are quick to adopt the newest digital tools, but struggle to measure them, and marketers know they need to measure ROI, but cannot agree on its meaning and implementation. 70 percent of respondents said that they are under greater pressure to be accountable than in the past but most fail to make fact-based decisions:

  • 57 percent are not basing their marketing budgets on any ROI analysis
  • 31 percent mistakenly believe simply measuring the audience you have reached is “marketing ROI”
  • 28 percent are basing marketing budgets on gut instincts

Given the large gap between best practices and reality, the report recommends that companies get started with the basics of determining marketing ROI right away so you will create the largest impact on your organization:

  • Make sure you’re using some kind of metrics on most of your marketing
  • Be ready to invest in getting some kind of data relevant to your measures
  • Make coordinating your traditional and digital media campaigns a goal
  • Set specific measurable objectives for all your campaigns
  • Put ROI in stated objectives for all your vendors (so they know your expectations to retain them or to cut them loose)

One way to get going quickly is to focus on a tactic such as email list rental that can provide measurable results. A full-service list provider can lead you through the process of campaign planning, execution, and the rigorous measurement of ROI.

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How to Calculate Marketing ROI

August 3, 2012

You can easily gather lots of data on impressions, delivery rates, open rates, click through rates, and conversions from your online marketing campaigns, but on their own those metrics say nothing about the actual business impact of the campaign. And they don’t help you make sound decisions about including specific tactics in your future campaigns.…

You can easily gather lots of data on impressions, delivery rates, open rates, click through rates, and conversions from your online marketing campaigns, but on their own those metrics say nothing about the actual business impact of the campaign. And they don’t help you make sound decisions about including specific tactics in your future campaigns. No wonder most of those metrics are often referred to as “vanity metrics” – they may make you feel good about the performance of a campaign, but they fall short on providing real insight. Unless you’re carefully calculating your Return on Incremental Marketing Investment (ROIMI), you may be wasting your money or missing out on great opportunities to drive your business forward.

When an immediate increase in sales is the objective of your campaign, ROIMI is quite simply the best measure of the short term financial impact of an incremental marketing spend. It can also be used for lead generation, opt-in, and any type of conversion action that you can assign a financial value to. ROIMI calculates the amount by which the net financial gain from a given tactic exceeds the incremental cost of including it in your marketing mix.

A serious but common mistake is to declare a campaign a success if the additional gross revenue generated exceeds the cost of the campaign. Generating an additional $10,000 in revenue from a marketing campaign that costs $6,000 feels good. After all, you made $4,000, didn’t you? But what if your incremental cost to manufacture, sell, and deliver the products or services sold was more than $4,000? The more sales you generate, the worse off you actually are.

How to calculate ROIMI

ROIMI accurately measures the short term financial impact of adding a new tactic to your marketing campaign mix, relative to not including that extra tactic in your mix. Here is how it is calculated:

 

ROIMI = [Incremental Revenue Attributable to Incremental Marketing ($) * Contribution Margin (%) – Incremental Marketing Spending ($)] /Incremental Marketing Spending ($)

If ROIMI is positive, your campaign had a net positive impact on your business. If it is negative, your campaign is a money-loser.

A key element in the calculation of ROIMI is contribution margin. It is a measure of the net financial gain from a campaign that is available to cover your fixed costs and contribute to your profits

Contribution margin (%) = [revenues – variable costs to produce and sell]/revenues

It is important to distinguish contribution margin from gross profit. Contribution margin measures the true incremental impact of executing a tactic. It considers only variable costs: the incremental costs that you incur to make, sell, and deliver the additional products or services that you sell as a direct result of the campaign. It ignores all fixed costs since you incur them whether you include an additional tactic in our campaign or not. In contrast, the calculation of gross profit subtracts an amount of fixed costs attributed to each unit produced.

ROIMI Example

An automotive service company is considering a direct mail campaign to promote a spring tune-up offer. The campaign costs $5,000 and is expected to increase springtime revenues from $85,000 to $95,000, for an incremental revenue of $10,000. The contribution margin ratio for the spring service (accounting for  the incremental cost of labor and parts attributable to the extra business) is 40%. Should the dealership run the campaign?

A simplistic ROI calculation might conclude that the campaign will generate $10,000 in extra revenue while only costing $5,000, so it is worthwhile. But ROIMI tells a different story:

ROIMI = [$10,000 * 40% – $5,000]/$5,000 = -20%

In this case, the company would actually lose money since the campaign generates a contribution of only $4,000 but costs $5,000.

Bottom Line

Master the calculation of ROIMI to make sure that the tactics you include in your next campaign will actually have an incremental, positive impact on your business. For a more detail on ROIMI and other important metrics, read Marketing Metrics: The Definitive Guide to Measuring Marketing Performance , an excellent book on the subject.

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33 New Email Marketing Resources

July 25, 2012

This great roundup of the 33 best Email Marketing posts to be released in recent months comes courtesy of the Landing Page, Online Marketing & Conversion Rate Optimization Blog. It’s a great series of articles covering: building your email list; email copy and content; email design; email frequency and timing; tips and tools for better…

This great roundup of the 33 best Email Marketing posts to be released in recent months comes courtesy of the Landing Page, Online Marketing & Conversion Rate Optimization Blog. It’s a great series of articles covering: building your email list; email copy and content; email design; email frequency and timing; tips and tools for better email marketing; email conversion, segmentation & science; and building better email campaigns. Read the full roundup here.

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