Marketing Momentum

Monday, May 29, 2006

Understanding Web Site Performance

Internet Retailer's article, What Your Web Site Can Tell You, provides 10 important points to watch when measuring your site's effectiveness.
  1. Study Site Search Results and Non-Results
  2. Optimize the Home Sweet Home Page
  3. Know What Works on Landing Pages
  4. Use the Shopping Cart for More than Just Checkout
  5. Look at the Look-to-Book Ratio
  6. Understand How Shoppers View Cookies
  7. Know Affiliate and Search Engine Marketing ROI
  8. Use Analytics to Make E-mail Marketing More Effective
  9. Manage Customer Category Movement
  10. Find Out Why Shoppers Are Not Checking Out

I found this to be a good source of information. It definitely gave a lot to think about.

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Friday, May 26, 2006

RSS Marketing Tips

Bill Flitter of iMedia Connection offers 5 marketing tips for using RSS.

Identify feed characteristics
Not all feed readers are the same. Some offer only headlines while others offer full content. To effectively market to consumers, you need to know how content is being presented. Once you understand the distribution method and how consumers receive your feed, you're better prepared to implement marketing strategies using RSS.

Tell a story. Don't sell a product.
RSS consumers prefer engaging content, and want to learn about the specific topics discussed in their chosen RSS feeds. Ads need to tell a story and present interesting facts or quotes from recent news about the your product's benefits. Or, end your ad copy with an intriguing question that you answer on your website.

Keep the creative fresh and new
The recommended standard is to change your creative for every six new posts in the feed. Having the same ads appear in too many feeds will hurt clickthrough rates.

Build a relationship with the potential customer
RSS advertising offers an opportunity to build relationships with the RSS readers. As a result of it's opt-in nature, consumers review their feed subscriptions on a regular basis giving advertisers the ability to communicate with them on a deep, consistent level while eliminating spamming. Companies and advertisers can really speak to the interests of their readers and know that many in their target audience will attentively read their content.

Choose and define your audience wisely
RSS is still in its growth stage and as a result consumers are typically small, well-informed early adopters. In RSS, hitting targeted audiences is crucial, and doing so should provide high clickthrough rates and conversion rates required to deliver a great return on your RSS investment.

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Sunday, May 21, 2006

Arbitron Recognizes Growth for On-Demand

Arbitron's "Internet and Multimedia 2006: On-Demand Media Explodes," found that 51 million Americans have a "heavy preference" for on-demand consumption versus 27 million a year ago. The report reveals a tremendous increase in the number of Americans, age 12 and older, who engage in multiple On-Demand services including watching Video On Demand (VOD), listening to online radio, and/or own one or more On-Demand media devices such as a portable digital audio and video player (e.g. iPod®) or a digital video recorder (e.g. TiVo®).

Key Highlights:
  • Eighteen percent of Americans own or use a digital video recorder.
  • People are watching TV through nontraditional ways like buying or renting TV series on DVD (27%) or Video On Demand (23%), streamed TV programming over the Internet (10%), downloaded episodes from sites like iTunes (5%), and TV clips on a cell phone (4%).
  • Ownership of MP3 players has grown from 14% in 2005 to 22% in 2006 with 12 to 17 year-olds contributing to most of the ownership growth from 27% last year to 42% this year.
  • Fifty-eight percent of those who have Internet access at home use either a cable or DSL modem, compared to 38% who use a dial-up service.
  • Nineteen percent of Americans have viewed Internet video in the last month and 12% have watched Internet video in the last week.
  • Given a choice between never using the Internet or never watching TV, 4 in 10 would choose to keep the Internet and eliminate television.
  • Twenty-one percent of Americans age 12 and older listened to Internet radio in the past month.

Although I don't watch Internet video nor use a DVR, I can definitely see myself in Arbitron's findings.

I recently switched from dial-up to broadband access via cable modem to sign up with Vonage, download podcasts, and go wireless. I've switched from listening to free radio and CD's to listening to music over the internet, my iPod and Sirius Satellite Radio. I'm still at TV fan, but if I had to make the choice between Internet or TV, I'd probably choose the Internet because it can do so much more than a TV.

One area the study didn't cover and wish it had, is satellite radio. I know subscriptions are growing, at least with Sirius, and I think it's got lots potential for future growth.

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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Newspaper Circulation Down

In recent article, MediaPostPublications reported that the Newspaper Association of America found more than one in three web users visit a newspaper site on a monthly basis.

Where that maybe encouraging, the down side of that is of the 770 newspapers measured by the Audit Bureau of Circulation's bi-annual FAS-FAX report, daily circulation fell 2.5 percent, while Sunday circulation at 610 newspapers fell 3.1 percent. The strength in online traffic might not be enough to make up for the continuing drop in paid circulation.

Ken Doctor, an analyst with Outsell, Inc., a research firm focused on the news and information industries stated a few interesting points worth noting.

"Ad revenue is really generated by demonstrating an ability to touch readers. They (newspapers) know they need to be achieving reach and duration. Users don't come often enough, and when they come, they don't stay long enough."

"News aggregators like Yahoo News appear to fare better than online newspapers when it comes to keeping visitors on their sites. Overall, aggregators' news time is substantially ahead of individual news sites, and the growth in their readership is quicker."

Seriously, is this a surprise?

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Sunday, May 07, 2006

Blog Network for Marketers

Federated Media recently launched an ad platform designed to give marketers access to its network of highly literate and well-trafficked blogs (i.e. BoingBoing, Digg, GigaOm, TechCrunch, Techdirt and 45 others). The platform offers a do-it-yourself planning tool that allows companies, especially small ones, to plan, create and execute ad campaigns across Federated's blogs.

In his interview, John Battelle of Federated tells Advertising Age...

"Every advertiser is going to have two or three blogs they want to be on because they or the agency reads them, but what if you wanted to do what media planners do and campaign across significant reach? In blogs, you'd have to negotiate deals with 50 different sites. With the friction of that system, I found that advertisers aren't going to do it. And there's a new media model emerging: Publishers don't have to own content, which is what everyone in traditional media does. In this model, we don't hire authors, authors hire us. As a publisher, we're providing a service and a partnership but we're not telling them what to write. "

Sounds kind of cool!

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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Best Practices for Mobile Marketing

Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) has developed the Consumer Best Practices Guidelines to ensure that as the mobile content market develops, consumers not only have a positive mobile experience but they are treated fairly.

The report covers:
  • General Conduct
  • Advertising & Promotion
  • Opt-In
  • Help
  • Out-Out
  • Subscriptions
  • Chat
  • Examples
  • Glossary

This is a good reference guide if you're thinking about and are currently implementing mobile marketing.

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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Don't Hype-Up The Subject Line

Turns out emails with boring subject lines out perform subject lines with over-hyped sales language.

According to Anne Holland, of MarketingSherpa, after analyzing 40 million emails the top 20 performers, with open rates of 60%-87%, appeared as though the copy had not been written by a marketer. The subject lines typically included the company or brand name and mentioned "newsletter," "news" or "update." The subject lines of the best performing emails included:

  • Eye on "Company Name" Update
  • "Company Name" Newsletter
  • Invitation from "Company Name"
  • "Company Name" News Bulletin!

The 20 worst perfoming emails, with open rates of 1%-14%, appeared as though marketers had written the copy because they included the most hype with subject lines like:

  • Last Minute Gift - We Have the Answer
  • Valentine's Day Salon & Spa Specials!
  • "Company Name" Pioneers in XYZ Technology
  • You Asked for More...

I kind of take offense that marketers can't be boring. I can be boring. And, I think some of my internal customers would agree. I've even had a few voice their opinions that my headlines aren't "flashy" enough, and a more flashier headline would make a night and day difference in the success of their marketing activity. The next time that happens, I'll have to remember to tell them about this post and one of my previous posts - Too Much Hype.

As a consumer, I'm very sensative to hype. I don't want to deal with it nor do I have time for it. Just give me the facts spare me the fluff. I consider myself to be part of the growing trend of educated consumers who consult various resources and look at marketing materials with a skeptic eye. Similiar to these findings, marketing materials and messages that spare me of the hype have a better chance at getting my attention and holding more credibility.

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