The From Line

Sending, Managing & Monetizing Email

Trend: Consumers Demand (& Win) In-Box Overhauls

Marketing Trends & Takeaways

Consumers Demand (& Win) In-Box Overhauls
Here Come the Opportunities for Marketers...

Web-based email has recently experienced a wave of changes, aligning with consumer expectations for several things -- improved user interfaces, seamless integration with everyday needs and an upgraded approach to in-box control.
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Trend: Surveys Gain New Momentum from Social Media

Marketing Trend:

Social media sharing has given marketers a treasure chest of insight into customer opinions and discussions. But tools that measure social media sentiment have their limits. The human element, such as the use of slang, can throw off reports.

This week's trend discusses better ways to be engaging while gaining feedback and valuable marketing data.

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Marketing Trend: Automated Tweeting & Poor Timing

This week we look at a way for marketing campaigns to increase their exposure through better timing of tweets. Automated tweeting of an email message or blog post is common. But there are ways to repurpose that same tweet for better engagement, more retweets and increased subscriber/follower base. Tools to help you test are available, and various tweet methods can be used to find the right timing for your business.

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Trend: Niche Social Media Creates New Opportunities | Marketers Find Big Potential in Small Places

Marketers who take advantage of niche social media (primarily in the B2C space) are a step ahead of the competition. Rather than sticking with a blanket approach on popular-yet-general Facebook or Twitter, socially-savvy businesses are developing relationships with very specific market segments. By posting content, asking questions, creating public lists and rewarding followers who share a common interest, they’re helping to develop a brand and generate product interest.

Niche social media sites are attractive to hobbyists and fans who enjoy sharing and discovery. Their users are passionate about particular topics such as investing, fashion, art, cars and sports. Like Facebook, niche sites allow people to build a group of followers and find other like-minded users.

For marketers, niche social sites like Polyvore for fashion-minded women and GoodReads for bookworms open doors to specific target audiences. They are growing communities of individuals looking to benefit in some way – either through meeting new people, learning new ideas or finding great discounts. Niche social media participants are receptive to marketers who add content, provided it is presented in the right way. The key goal is to remain conversational and fun, and to respect the community itself. Promotions that lack interactivity are unwelcome, and it takes time to build trust.

Many industry-specific niche social networks haven’t yet been tapped by marketers. Some sites award points to the most useful content, so it’s important to collaborate and add value while remaining transparent. Posting is usually a manual process, and it takes time to build a solid following based on trust. Get to know your followers and invite them to know you.

Here are a few niche social media sites of note. A longer list is available after the jump.

Fashiolista - Fashion photo, blog and link-sharing site with sponsors, rankings and followers
Feed the Bull – Message boards and education on investing topics
Yard Barker – Sports blog network with quizzes and news
DesignBump – Arts link-sharing with news, trends and discounts ranked by popularity
Fark – A link-sharing site where users thrive on sarcasm and create viral activity – User-submitted restaurant reviews, ratings and recommendations.

Click "Continue Reading" for a list of over 30 growing niche social media sites.

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All Sizzle, No Steak? Marketers should think twice about Social CRM


The trend of using “Social CRM” for marketing is probably more myth than reality. People are talking about rounding out customer profiles with social data, but is anything actually happening to prove ROI? 

Social media management tools can be useful at managing outbound messages, and deferring inbound messages to customer service. Social media management tools can be useful at managing outbound messages, and deferring inbound messages to customer service. These tools are available for free (Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, Gist) or via subscription (Sprout Social, Involver, Vitrue).

What’s emerging now is the belief that marketers, not customer service reps, need to capture as much publicly-available social data on their customers and dump it into their databases. But the value is still TBD. And as online privacy issues continue to take shape, thus limiting easily-accessible social data, can simply knowing that a customer is on Facebook help to effectively engage prospects in a real way?


“Social CRM”  might be  just a case  of “all  sizzle and  no steak.”  In other  words,  marketers  have  convinced  other  marketers  they need  the stuff,  but there  isn’t much  substance.

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