Wednesday, May 25, 2016

New Email Marketing Techniques Look to Stand Out From the Crowd

CEO of Vidyard, Michael Litt, authors an article on Marketing Land titled, “It’s Time to Get Personal with Email” disclosing the newest ways companies have enhanced their email marketing campaigns.

Litt discusses two ways in which marketers are making more of an impact. The first is incorporating video into their email marketing efforts. A study from Marketo and ClearFit (client) found that their emails using video for a direct call to action had a 53% higher click-to-open rate than emails without. Experian found that open rates increased to 13% (from seven-percent) when the word “video” appeared in the subject line.

Video has impacted the digital world as a whole, so why not bring it to direct email marketing as well?

The second tactic Litt discusses is personalization. I remember being in awe as a kid when my parents would get a direct mail piece that had their name stamped on it. Later to discover that in reality, the simple personalization wasn’t quite as authentic as I had assumed it to be, albeit, I was still impressed. Marketers are revamping that personalization and wrapping it into their emails.

Research from VentureBeat Insights states that more than 90% of marketers see an increase in their open and click-thru-rates when some form of personalization is used in their email marketing.

Litt then leads advertisers to do the seemingly obvious and combine these two methods. Genius, right? Lenovo, a computer manufacturing company, sent out a holiday greeting video to its customers last December including the recipient’s name on a sign by the gingerbread house in the video’s opening screen. In Litt’s own words, “Who wouldn’t open that?” The results showed that he wasn’t alone in that thought. “Seven times as many people clicked through to the personalized video compared with others that weren’t personalized.”

Not only have personalized and video emails shown higher open and click-thru-rates. Act-On found that viewers spent 62% more time than average on the campaign landing page.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Instagram to Allow Facebook's Dynamic Ads to Reach its "Visual" Audience

We have all seen retargeted ads, whether we are aware of it or not. You know when you’re surfing the Internet and see an ad for the same dress that you looked at yesterday? Yep, it’s retargeted. Or how about when you researched traveling to the great Smokey Mountains and two days later saw an ad for luxurious cabins available in the mountains? Sure thing, you’ve been retargeted once again.

Facebook calls their retargeting ads “Dynamic Ads” after originally being known as “Dynamic Product Ads”. Without much surprise, Facebook has extended their Dynamic Ads to their recently acquired, Instagram.

Susan Buckner, the market operations lead at Instagram declares that, “Instagrammers are visual shoppers.” Buckner notes that users visit the social network at least six days out of the week. Sixty percent of people claim to discover products and services on Instagram with an astonishing 75 percent taking action after seeing a post.

Dynamic Ads can be shown on Facebook, Instagram, or any third-party site or app that is a part of the Facebook Audience Network.

The travel industry has been a huge success with these retargeted ads on Facebook as they can show prices, availability, flight times, etc. on their ads to people who are likely interested. Facebook even takes into account the demographics of their user. For example, a high school student with a part-time job won’t be retargeted with an ad showing ticket prices for a roundtrip flight to Australia even if they were daydreaming about said trip yesterday. Why not? Because a high-school student cannot afford that magnificent vacation, so it would be a waste to target them.

This is huge for advertisers; why not remind users of what they liked yesterday while they’re scrolling through their Instagram feed? Advertisers have a captive audience who is very visual, might as well fulfill their desires with creative and relevant ads. 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Google and Bing: Search Engine Giants Banning Risky Ads for Customer Safety

Google, the giant of all giant search engines, has decided that losing $34.5 million in desktop ad revenue (roughly .05% of all ad revenue) is worth helping customers avoid potentially harmful situations. Myself, and many other respondents of this action, agree.

Google announced that as of July 13, 2016, “we will no longer allow ads for loans where the repayment is due within 60 days of the date of issue. In the U.S. we are also banning ads for loans with an APR of 36% or higher.” Google has deemed these products as “deceptive” and “harmful” and wishes to protect their customers as best they can.

However, Google is not the first to take this stance. In August 2005, Facebook put a ban on ads for payday loans. Google is also not the only company taking a stance. Microsoft’s Bing will no longer accept ads from third-party tech support services. Bing claims that these ads often tend to look like they come from tech companies themselves, but are really third-parties that often lead to scams.

Both Google and Bing aim to direct searchers away from harm, deceit, scams, and fraud. Google does still allow for third-party tech support service advertisements and Bing does allow payday loan ads. It would not be a surprise to see the companies jumping on board with each other’s bans as well.

Despite the millions of dollars of ad revenue forfeited by these search engine companies, I (as a search engine user) greatly appreciate their dedication to providing the best service with the least room for unwanted activity for their customers.

Continually, this ban should provide marketers with a greater sense of security and authenticity. Customers now know that potentially dangerous ads are blocked by these search sites and that ads not blocked are welcomed and safe. 

Friday, May 6, 2016

Outdoor Ads Are Being Noticed, Discussed, and Interacted With

Nielsen has recently conducted a new study that has the advertising world talking. Nielsen revealed that out of home advertising is producing high levels of engagement from those who see it. The study is packed of data proving the success of this well-known medium.

More than 90% of US travelers have noticed some form of OOH (out of home) advertising in the past month. Roadside billboards were the number one noticed OOH media. Eighty-three percent of adults noticed the advertising message on said billboard.

Looking at the past year, 26% of respondents have discussed the message seen on an OOH advertisement with family or friends. Twenty-three percent have searched for the advertiser online, and 16% have visited the advertiser’s website after seeing their OOH message.

When it comes to teenagers and young adults (ages 16-34), interaction is more likely in different ways. Nielsen’s study reports the following:

·        One in four OOH viewers with smartphones have interacted with an ad through a NFC sensor or QR code
·        One third have searched for an OOH advertiser on their smartphone
·        Twenty-five percent have accessed a coupon or discount as a result of seeing an OOH ad
·        Twenty-two percent have visited the advertiser’s website
·        Thirteen percent have downloaded an app related to the advertiser’s ad

Stephen Freitas, the chief marketing officer of Outdoor Advertising Association of America puts it simply, “consumers today want the choice to connect with advertising. They want incentives to choose brands, and they want it all in the palms of their hands. OOH is the ideal medium to propel that interaction – driving attention from big screens on the street to the small screens they never leave home without.”