October 2014

What Is Email Now?

Email used to be the primary method of communication online. With the increase in complimentary technologies such as Cloud storage, IM, and Project management tools, email has a new place in the landscape, as Eric explains.

 

A Fluid Arena

To remain static in the world of digital marketing is akin to racing in the Grand Prix with last year’s model of horse and carriage. While email used to be the primary method of communication online, it has now morphed into another beast entirely. As a marketer, email cannot be used simply for communication. This is your horse and carriage. Yes, email is for invoices, receipts, user login information, and all of the essentials, but to limit it to this is to donate money to your competitors.

There are tools now, which you probably use, which do what email used to do, but far better.

  • Sharing files is now through Dropbox, and cloud storage
  • Communication is now instantaneous and conducted across an array of platforms, most of which are still free
  • Information updates are now live, and delivered right into your hand

Email is now a conversation. The way email is used has evolved, and to optimise your business, you need to take advantage of that change. To maximise the impact of email marketing for your business, start with these three guidelines and you will place your organisation ahead of the curve, at least for now.

 

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1. Test your emails for mobile devices

51% of emails are opened on mobile devices.

Mobile Responsiveness

Your email content must scale to the device on which it is viewed. It must look great and interact beautifully, no matter what the screen size is. Losing half of your audience in any other setting would be a cause for concern, don’t let your message sink to the back of someone’s inbox simply because it wasn’t responsive enough at the right time.

 

 

2. Really, really personalise your message

This ties in with this article on data utilisation – the point is that it is no longer sufficient to send out a generic email to your list of email addresses for any particular purpose. Your list is comprised of different people, with different characteristics, different behavioural patterns, who are at different stages in the buying process. As technology and data collection techniques develop further, these facets of your list allow you to further segment and personally address each customer beyond merely their name. You can craft messages designed to tap into wants, desires, preconceptions, and possible objections.

 

Old Email

Advantages_and_disadvantages_of_mail_merge

 

3. Provide actual actionable value

Imagine having someone rip open your email as soon as it hits their inbox, as though it were a Christmas present. Imagine having them check their phone because your email was a few minutes late. When you provide more targeted, actionable value-filled content to your consumer, you become their authority. It builds rapport and a great image for the organisation. When it comes time to sell something to them, you are front of mind, and first into their wallet.

Contact us to find out exactly how we have provided outstanding email marketing results to our clients.

 

Why does Google Prefer Responsive Web Design?

There are currently 4 billion mobile phones in the world. 1.08 billion are smartphones.

That number is expected to double within a few years.

The emerging economies of China and India have been unprecedented in contributing to the growth of the international smart-phone market in 2014. Google Android One is a smart-phone valued at around $US105 targeting the Indian middle-class market providing a reliable and affordable way for the next billion people to access online platforms.

Samsung was knocked off its top spot as the market leader in China for the first time in 4 years by local handset provider Xaomi, who was also able to realise the potential of targeting the emerging middle-class.

With E-Commerce becoming an increasingly global trade, and mobile becoming the dominant medium, usability needs to be the number one priority for ensuring a positive user experience.

What is responsive web design?

A responsive design simply means a website that has been constructed so that all of the content, images and structure of the site can be viewed optimally on any device.

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Why is it useful to your consumers?

Zooming and shrinking texts and images on a screen? Opening a mobile only website on a desktop? We all know how frustrating this is.

Studies have shown that 61% of users will immediately leave an unresponsive website rating it as a negative user experience and 67% more likely to purchase from the website if it is a positive experience.

A responsive design is easier and more convenient for users to read and navigate, when there is just one URL and HTML, it is much easier for your consumers to share, engage and interact with site content.

Google Prefers Responsive Web Design

It is more efficient for Google’s bots to crawl through your site and then index and organise all the content that is online, opposed to attempting to index multiple versions of the exact same site.

Google also realises that unhappy people will go elsewhere, meaning that bounce rates increase and the site will not rank on mobile searches. This creates an issue involving Google’s external link algorithm and on-page errors.

Which in turn, also harms your SEO.

Mobile responsiveness is not a new concept in digital marketing… check your device breakdown in Google Analytics, and update your websites today before your competitors take your customers tomorrow. 

ENDING THE WAR BETWEEN DATA AND CREATIVITY

Fact: Split Testing is scientifically proven to be incredibly useful for content optimisation. Yet there are currently 2.5 million Google Analytics users that are not taking advantage of this technology.

EyeQuant’s Fabien Stelzer spoke at Media Evolutions Big Ideas conference last week, addressing the ‘war’ that is brewing between the Creatives and Mathematicians, as data and marketing continue to align. Stelzer, like many others, believe that this is an cultural issue, with organisations failing to reconcile both arts into one cohesive strategy.

There has been a large amount of conversation circulating the marketing industry in the past months, concerning the changing role of marketers as ROI is increasingly easier to test. No longer is a marketing campaign approved on the basis of an audience’s emotional responses, nor is the expectation of an increased advertising budget correlated with a sales spike. Data analysis is becoming more and more integral to a marketer’s role as technology continues to offer new measurement solutions.

The 1950’s and 60’s in cultural America were a time of radical change with the election of America’s youngest president, space exploration and the social movement towards racial equality giving birth to a new generation of intellects. A wave of young art directors and writers from the Bronx and Brooklyn created a new breed of advertising based on energy, style, humour and emotion.

CP Snow, a creative writer and scientist identified this cultural change in 1959. He believed that the intellectual life of Western society was becoming increasingly split into two polar groups; The Scientists and the Novelists. Snow became aware that they were no longer talking to each other.

Today, in 2014, technology has advanced so far as to that we can now test nearly every design decision before implementation; for example, which call to action colour will produce the highest conversion rate for each segmented demographic. We have the ability to identify a digital user and change our website graphics to an interface that that users is most likely to positively respond to.

Stelzer talked about how Google actually lost one of the world’s most highly-acclaimed visual design leads to this issue. Doug Rhodes as a creative could no longer cope with the statistical analysis that his creative work was subjected to, with Google wanting to test each pixel and colour change for conversion optimisation. He was quoted saying “Design philosophy that is driven by data, lives and dies strictly by the sword of data.”

The biggest question we face in regards to this battle is to what extent do we test our creative design? How do we move forward as a society to become Scientific Dreamers and Iterative Painters? Many believe that the best strategy is to test small changes, such as Call to Action button colours, and heading change conversions, leaving analysis of large design changes to post design to encourage creativity in it’s purest instinctual form.

How is your company addressing this issue?