A good message on any medium can be effective; a bad message isn't cured by Web 2.0 technology.
Social marketing is a shiny new toy and almost everyone is wising up and getting involved, as they should. In fact, a rumor is spreading that the new Mac OS, Snow Leopard, is integrating Facebook addresses directly into its own address book app. There's no question that social applications are becoming central to our online lives, and soon social apps will be a central part of the very operating systems we use. People are tweeting, flickring, and facebooking like mad, with no signs of slowing.
Still, at the heart of it all for marketers is the message. Never forget that these new social technologies are just new ways to communicate. And technology by itself is not persuasive. Beware not to get the media mixed up with the message.
Every status update, tweet, and inbox message is nothing more than a communication between a sender and a reader. What you say and how you say it matters. Be relevant.
E-Mail: The Original Social Media App
Plain old vanilla e-mail still rules. By the numbers, people still interact and communicate using e-mail more than any other social media app, and most companies still earn more from their e-mail campaigns than from their social media efforts.
Yet I wonder how many have put their e-mail programs on autopilot and have starting chasing shiny new objects. I recently received a disappointing e-mail from Nikon. Like most people, I typically just delete promotional e-mails, but I decided to hold on to this one, considering the headline said "My Picturetown -- 20GB for just a few cents a day!"
I clicked on the call to action: "Store my photos and videos" and landed on a page offering, "Sign Up For Free" in the headline, with a form and a graphic proclaiming, "2GB FREE!" (Pictured below.) Notice how the landing page scent, or messaging connection, to the e-mail is missing.
As you can see, there's no mention of the 20 GB at all (I wonder if it was a typo), let alone information about the e-mail's offer of 20 GB of storage for just a few cents a day. I was wondering how few cents it actually was: 2 cents, 10 cents, or 99 cents?
Nikon clearly did not maintain scent from the e-mail to the landing page. It got my attention but didn't maintain it on the landing page (among other things). Message matters. Nikon started with the right message but lost consistency. Someone is asleep at the wheel.
Here's an example of an e-mail campaign from Wyndham Rewards that offers 1,000 free reward points for booking a trip:
On the landing page, I see the message about 1,000 reward points, but there's no clear call to action. The landing page features mostly a map and some links. I'm not exactly sure what I'm supposed to do. The call to action is weak. A simple statement of "Click Your Destination to Get Started" would have done just fine to move me through to the next step.
Don't get caught up in the flash of Web 2.0 technologies; work to understand how each works so you can use it to deliver a relevant message to your prospect. When you tear away the technology, you're left with words and the actions they inspire -- or fail to inspire. Don't mistake the medium for the message.
A good message in any medium can be effective, and a bad message isn't cured by Web 2.0 technologies. Remember, just because e-mail isn't social media doesn't mean it isn't important and worth optimizing. Watch your message and make sure you maintain scent and clear calls to action, or even an effective message will twist in the wind.
Otherwise, you'll just blend in with the noise and no one will hear you at all.
Want to learn more? Join us at ClickZ Live New York 2015
[ALERT] Super Saver Rates Expire January 30. With over 15 years of experience delivering industry leading events, ClickZ Live brings together over 50 expert speakers to deliver an action-packed, educationally-focused agenda covering all aspects of digital marketing. Quick! - Register today to secure your place at the best rate.
Bryan Eisenberg is coauthor of the Wall Street Journal, Amazon, BusinessWeek, and New York Times bestselling books "Call to Action," "Waiting For Your Cat to Bark?," and "Always Be Testing." Bryan is a professional marketing speaker and has keynoted conferences globally such as SES, Shop.org, Direct Marketing Association, MarketingSherpa, Econsultancy, Webcom, SEM Konferansen Norway, the Canadian Marketing Association, and others. In 2010, Bryan was named a winner of the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation's Rising Stars Awards, which recognizes the most talented professionals 40 years of age or younger in the field of direct/interactive marketing. He is also cofounder and chairman emeritus of the Web Analytics Association. Bryan serves as an advisory board member of SES Conference & Expo, the eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit, and several venture capital backed companies. He works with his coauthor and brother Jeffrey Eisenberg. You can find them at BryanEisenberg.com.
Singapore, 5-6 March
Bangkok, 17-18 March
Hong Kong, April 2015
Google My Business Listings Demystified
To help brands control how they appear online, Google has developed a new offering: Google My Business Locations. This whitepaper helps marketers understand how to use this powerful new tool.
5 Ways to Personalize Beyond the Subject Line
82 percent of shoppers say they would buy more items from a brand if the emails they sent were more personalized. This white paper offer five tactics that will personalize your email beyond the subject line and drive real business growth.