Email Still Has It

Long before myriad of apps took over itunes, there was talk of the sticky app. In Web 1.0 days, techies would wonder “What will be the one application that will have the ‘it’ factor?” Email would often come up. Then it would be quickly dismissed–many believed it had to be more complicated or futuristic than that. Fast forward to 2011, email is still going strong. In fact, according to a recent Technographics report from Forrester, consumers are now less likely to delete messages without reading. They are also less likely to opt out or wish they had opted out. 

Longitudinal data from the report shows a steady decline in what email marketers would consider bad behavior. In 2006, 73 percent of consumers deleted most email messages from advertisers without reading. This incidence dropped to 63 percent in 2008 and to 59 percent in 2010. While one-half (49 percent) of consumers wished it were easier to unregister from email offers in 2006, only 28 percent shared the sentiment in 2010. 

While these are good news for e-CRM planners, email could still use the power of organic word of mouth. Majority of consumers do not forward promotional emails. In 2006, some nine percent said they sometimes forwarded promotional emails to their friends. This incidence climbed merely to 12 percent in 2010. In the age of tell-a-friend systems such as AddThis, ShareThis and Gigya, the likelihood to forward an email could have been higher. 

Since the days Microsoft encouraged friends to tell friends to get hotmail accounts, email remains a strong and viable marketing channel. It is increasingly on target. Marketers still need work on delivering value and telling amazing stories to convince their audiences that emails are indeed worth passing along. 



Posted via email from dotwom’s posterous

Despite Facebook’s Popularity, E-Mail Leads Brand Communications


As Facebook users increasingly use their social network emails for peer communications, the e-mail marketing industry is pointing to a new study almost every month, underscoring the medium’s validity as a branding and sales channel. The latest is a study by ExactTarget and CoTweet that takes a high-level look at online consumers’ email use.

According to the study, based on more than 1,500 interviews conducted among Internet users15 and older, brands have conquered online consumers’ inboxes, they’ve seized the attention of a sizable audience on Facebook, but they have ways to go on Twitter. The study results show that grand majority of online consumers (93 percent) have signed up for some sort of daily email. Four in10 (38 percent) of online consumers are a fan of some brand on Facebook. Meanwhile, a mere five percent of online consumers follow a brand on Twitter.

Internet users’ daily surfing habits show that checking personal news reign over other online activities. Six in 10 (58 percent) users say they start their day by checking email, one fifth (20 percent) go to a search engine, and one in 10 (11 percent) begin their day on Facebook. Visits to corporate and brand sites trail behind. This hierarchy suggests that the personal inbox is the ultimate place to connect with consumers.

As Facebook took over the Internet, many focused their attention on turning the social network into a valuable relationship platform. While throwing an ever-growing online party with hundreds of Facebook fans is a significant accomplishment, email remains a critical component of full-fledged e-CRM plans. E-mail’s popularity among consumers may pose challenges to marketers to break through the inbox clutter. Yet a balanced program that blends relevant emails and entertaining Facebook content can build brand equity and increase open-rates. 


For additional information on this study, click here


Posted via web from Speaking of Social Media

When? When? When will I see results?

I just received a link to a great post from Sean Moffit. His diagram on the time it takes for an online word of mouth initiative to take off and find footing is spot on. The essence of online word of mouth is online customer relationship management; which takes time and commitment. Viral messages, you guessed it, spread fast. But one needs patience and dedication for sustainable word of mouth. And I’d like to underscore dedication, as in continuous monitoring, dialogue with influencers, providing networks with valuable information and resources. That’s what generates word of mouth and builds brands.

How Can You Pitch A Social Network?

You can’t. And you shouldn’t. PR professionals are often asked to reach out to online communities and social networks. There is an urge to draft a few paragraphs with all the key messages and call John Smith at the target Web site. But there is no such editorial contact at social networks. The whole point about the social networks is that every site member can be a contact who can hear your story and choose to tell it to their friends and family. The way to engage social network members is through e-CRM (online customer relationship management) and grassroots activism. 

For instance, a company looking to tap into the power of moms’ word of mouth can set up shop on a mommy network and begin reaching out to the community by offering them a valuable service. The company can start a branded page or group on the site, but to draw and keep the right audience, they need to offer various activities, compelling content and conversation starters in these areas. Contests with prizes, expert advice, coupons, discussion forums, user-generated video platforms are some of ways to appeal to a social network crowd. 
To sustain momentum around the brand area, companies need to dedicate staff to respond to visitors’ queries, lead and participate in conversations. They also need to have a graceful exit strategy, knowing when and how those conversations with the social network audience will reach a meaningful conclusion.
It’s not a push strategy. It’s not a pitch. It’s an ongoing relationship.