The From Line

Sending, Managing & Monetizing Email

Capable Mobile Marketing Dependent Upon Understanding User Behavior

The era of the smart phone is fully ascendant in 2013. This year Deloitte estimates that the billionth such device will be activated. However, mobile marketing success going forward will be about much more than just numbers. Anticipating how user behavior will evolve will be absolutely crucial to a well-managed mobile marketing budget.

Linear No More

For example, consider the 'second screen' phenomenon. The old paradigm, first on laptops and then on mobile devices, was linear. That is, users would move through channels in succession. Linear consumer behavior is relatively easy to track as one moves from point A to point B to point C.

Now, a new behavior pattern is emerging. For example, more and more smartphone users are active while simultaneously watching TV. Key questions arise. To what degree will smartphone usage relate to the 'second screen,' the TV? Will TV viewing and smartphone activities be related or not?

Smartphones may become popular as a means for further interaction with a television program. Should such consumer behavior proliferate, mobile marketing can respond with a more cross-channel, holistic approach. In fact, in ideal scenarios, the impact on advertising may almost be counter-intuitive. That is, the successful advertisers that truly engage such cross-channel users may gain their attention in very relevant ways.

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Thinking Visual For Better Mobile Marketing

Brand Visualization is cited as one of the major branding trends in a recent article at forbes.com for the year 2013. Mobile marketing is inevitably enhanced when brand visualization techniques are employed.

From Flat Screens to Smart Phones

It’s ironic that, as flat screen TVs grow ever larger, the proliferation of smart phones drives consumers to view more and more information in relatively small places. It was inevitable, therefore, that part of the solution would be found in images. Pinterest, Instagram, and Flipboard are all examples of visually-based sites that quickly drew millions of followers. In fact, Instagram's trajectory from inception to a $1 billion purchase by Facebook was simply stunning.

The consumer has spoken, and the market has quickly responded. A photo's capacity to say 'a thousand words' is undeniable. Utilize that power for your own enterprise, and your branding efforts will benefit.

The trend toward the visual is also apparent in social media post excerpts. Initially, they appeared in words only. Then, small images began to accompany excerpts. Now, the image itself is often the primary attention-grabber. The title of an article merely becomes a link to the post itself. The image becomes the portal, the gateway, to further exploration.

The Potential In Data Visualization

The characterization of your numbers as 'dry statistics' is even more a barrier to communication in this visually-dominated age. One can do more than use dynamic photos and eye-catching logos to enhance brand awareness. In fact, those company stats that convey credibility and success can be turned into visuals like info graphics that overcome traditional communication barriers.

The most ancient of data visualization tools was not always the most accurate, but it sure was effective. Take for example, the ‘map’. It may have committed certain egregious omissions, like the initial elimination of the Western Hemisphere, but it served its purpose and was sufficiently effective.

Today, both images and visual representations of data are maps that the consumer will use to navigate, quite literally, to their destination -- your brand, hopefully!

In the world of the web, we've rapidly migrated from the '140 character' world to a land of bandwidth that can project HD images onto smart phones and tablets almost instantaneously. It is incumbent upon Internet marketers to fully embrace this newfound visual power. Data visualization is one such method for doing this. Fully embrace this concept, and the communication of data can move all the way from obstacle to asset. Recognize this potential in branding, and further success will be yours.

Gold Lasso is committed to contemporary e-marketing that welcomes every new development and applies it for its customers. So that we may learn more specifically of your needs, please contact us today.
 

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Mobile Messages in an Email World

As published in DM News

As the mobile phone continues to become the main communications device, email rendering on mobile devices have become a serious issue.  Since many mobile devices only display text emails, email marketers have a challenging time separating their mobile users from their traditional email client recipients. 

This segmentation will be necessary to ensure proper rendering of their messages to non-HTML friendly email clients.  It will also be difficult for email marketers to determine the true open rate of their campaigns because of this growing user base.

What can marketers do to combat some of these issues?  Mobile marketing messages need to be designed for text so that it can be read by a Blackberry or other device. This might bring people back a decade, but some of the same tactics will yield successful results.  Marketers should use uncommon characters such as asterisks, equal signs, etc. to make the message more visually appealing. These symbols can also be used to segment paragraphs, and call attention to certain headlines that would normally be bold.  

Headlines become highly important to attract attention.  A clear and exciting subject line needs to drive the same readership as sophisticated graphics.  Also, since the screen of a Blackberry or other mobile devise is about 320 pixels, messages should have a column of text that is no more than 50 characters for the easiest reading. 

Many times when an email marketing campaign is not yielding results, the first area a marketer will look at is the list.  In the case of mobile marketing, it might not be the list itself but the way people are accessing or not accessing your message.  Keep in mind that the majority of those reading mobile messages are business people with a Blackberry or other device.  If a B2B marketer starts to see declining open rates, deliverability might not be the culprit but rather format and mobile access.  It is a good idea to survey your list with a text message asking if they are using mobile devices.  Users can opt-in for mobile versions of the message, and marketers can segment their list for best results.

Improvements in mobile communications are rapid, and issues related to message design and segmentation will quickly change.  In the meantime, a few easy steps can increase your email marketing’s effectiveness and get your message to the right people.  Whether your campaigns are intended for the traditional email client or mobile device, customizing the message format is tantamount to engaging your audience.

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Email Rendering on Mobile Devices Poses New Challenges and Opportunities

The mobile phone continues to rise in popularity as a primary communications device making email rendering on mobile devices a serious issue. According to data from MarketingSherpa, approximately 64 percent of “key decision makers” are reading messages on a BlackBerry or other mobile device. Let’s find out why this issue is finding its way to the top of many a priority list.
 
What is the problem?
 
Right now, mobile devices only display text emails. Basically, they make a mess of a finely-crafted HTML message. They are fussy about font size and the user is often scanning, not reading, the text.  Email marketers will also have a challenging time separating their mobile users in email databases from traditional computer receivers. The segmentation will be necessary, however, to ensure proper rendering of messages to non-HTML friendly email clients. Another snag is that mobile devices also make it more difficult for email marketers to determine the true open rate of their campaigns.  Metrics, we know, are key to evaluating success and implementing positive change.
 
How do email marketers solve this problem?
 
There is no simple answer to this question, yet. But, there are questions to start discussing with your email design and marketing teams. The first step is to make sure you’ve considered your audience demographics. Are they using BlackBerrys? Why? Many mobile-device devotees are checking email for urgent issues and will pass over anything that looks disposable. Another consideration that will play a key role as e-mail marketers update their strategies for this new medium is the nature of the campaign. For example, if the information is time sensitive, can the campaign be targeted to mobile users and not computer receives with only text and short, concise messages?
 
Naturally, we must also consider how we are gathering information in data collection methods such as surveys, landing pages and other tools. Do your sign-up forms include a mobile phone? Do recipients have a way to tell you that they use their mobile device as a primary communications tool?
 
eLoop users already have access to email rendering tools for all the major smart phones.  For more information please contact your account rep.

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The Email Monetization Playbook
Email Monetization Playbook
69 Must Scan Pages For Publishers!

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Email Monetization Playbook
69 Must Scan Pages For Publishers!