Thursday, August 21, 2014

Loyalty Rewards Needed to Woo Millennial Shoppers

To win over the fickle millennial shopper, a loyalty rewards program is essential, at least based on a new report from Bond Brand Loyalty. As reported recently in Ad Age, Bond's fourth-annual survey of more than 6,000 consumers, found that 37% of millennials, defined as 20- to 34-year-olds, said they would not be loyal to a brand that doesn't have a strong loyalty program (compared with 30% of all respondents). And brand loyalty programs must keep competing to please these younger buyers: Of millennials surveyed, 68% said they change when and where they make purchases to get loyalty rewards, and 60% will switch brands if incentivized. No wonder loyalty programs are elbowing each other in a crowded field. On average, people are enrolled in 10.4 loyalty programs, according to the Bond study, although they are only active in 70% of them. Looking for loyalty rewards worth emulating? See the survey's top-ranked loyalty programs by company in each market category at

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Nonprofit Insight: Track Donors, Not Channels

"Track the donor, not the channel," to create effective nonprofit integrated marketing campaigns, recommended Sean Powell of The Engage Group, speaking at the DMA Nonprofit Federation’s Nonprofit Digital Day. Powell was joined on a Digital Fundraising 101 panel by Mikaela King, vice president of marketing at Defenders of Wildlife, who provided hands-on advice based on her organization's shift from structural division by marketing channels, such as direct mail and social media, to division by audiences, such as donors and advocates. "It’s not about how the organization is structured. It’s about what’s most important for the donor," explained King. "It is very hard to integrate marketing when you are not integrated internally." After restructuring for a donor focus, King advocated a three-step approach; first target the audience, then determine what you will offer, and finally create the messaging. It's especially critical for successful integration to sync data, added Heather Marsh of ABD Direct: "Make sure that your data is in line before starting a large integrated campaign. If you can’t really make sure you’re talking to people accurately, don’t do it." For more panel insights, read the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) report at

Thursday, August 14, 2014

E-mail Inbox Flooded? It Must Be Thursday

If your e-mail inbox is especially crowded, it's probably Thursday. Thursday is the most popular day for sending e-mails, with Tuesday a close second, according to the Who's Mailing What! review of e-mails sent between June 2013 and May 2014 by more than 2,500 companies and organizations. Almost 84% of all e-mails were received on a weekday, led by Thursday and Tuesday, as retailers and publishers blasted inboxes all week long, with many sending multiple e-mails daily for their various brands or titles. The top e-mail categories for Thursday alone were Catalogs-Consumer, Retail Traffic Builders, Magazines-Special Interest, Magazines-Business/Financial, Fundraising-Social Action (Causes), Newsletters-General, Seminars/Conferences, Catalogs-Food & Kitchenware, Catalogs-Children/Teen and Fundraising-Politics. For details, see

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Firms Alter Social Tactics Due to Low Buying Impact

Marketers are refining social media strategies as research shows social media's minimal direct effect on purchasing, reports the Wall Street Journal. Companies are taking note of information like the recent Gallup poll finding that 62% of the more than 18,000 U.S. consumers questioned said social media had no influence on their buying decisions. Gallup concludes that "consumers are highly adept at tuning out brand-related Facebook and Twitter content." At the same time, brand advertisers must deal with Facebook's changed management of users' news feeds, going from a largely chronological stream to featuring items Facebook thinks users will want. As a result, brands reached just 6.5% of their fans with Facebook posts in March, down from 16% in February 2012, according to EdgeRank Checker, a social-media analytics firm. So U.S. companies, which spent $5.1 billion on social-media advertising in 2013, are beginning to shift gears. Per the WSJ story, many are no longer seeking to maximize the quantity of Facebook fans or Twitter followers as much as the quality of interactions, by tracking brand mentions for example. However, this adjusting of social marketing strategies hasn't hurt Facebook so far, according to WSJ. Facebook first quarter net income nearly tripled on a 72% increase in revenue. For more of the article, read

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Direct Mail Dying? Not With Young Response High

Paper mail volumes may be declining, but there's a sign that direct mail is nowhere near extinction: the high response rates of younger adults. In the introduction to the Direct Mail chapter of the Direct Marketing Association's 2014 Statistical Fact Book, Laurie Beasley, president of Beasley Direct Marketing, Inc., reassures anxious direct mailers, "An encouraging sign for direct mail marketers is that very young adults, 24 and younger, are among the most mail responsive groups today." Why? Because getting paper mail is a life experience that it is becoming rarer and rarer in the digital age, Laurie posits. Young millennial adults are not as desensitized to receiving vast volumes of paper mail addressed to them, tailored to them, as were their parents and grandparents. So what was once a mundane activity is now an uncommon and slightly exciting experience. Everything old is new again apparently, and that's good news for direct mail. See Laurie's comments at

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Personalization Key to E-mail's B2B Success

E-mail continues to be a medium of choice for business-to-business (B2B) digital marketing because of its effectiveness, says Patrick Kehoe, worldwide director of product marketing at HP Exstream, in a recent interview with eMarketer’s Rimma Kats. But Kehoe added an important caveat: "E-mail can be an effective delivery device, but it isn’t always an effective delivery device. You have to make sure that you’ve got the right messaging and the right personalization in it. If someone perceives that the content is not relevant to them, then they’re likely to ignore that message. We all get bombarded with hundreds of e-mails a day, and marketers’ focus needs to be to make sure that you’ve got the right subject lines, the right messages and the right content. Making it personalized helps reach specific individuals." Personalization is what sets B2B e-mail apart from many other digital options, including emerging channels such as LinkedIn and Twitter, Kehoe notes. "You can make e-mail so that it reaches out directly to an individual, and you can tailor the messaging and content for that person. That’s really tough to do when you’re using Twitter," he tells Kats. See the whole interview at

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Social Media Still Lacks E-Commerce Sales Power

Social media, including Facebook and Twitter, face a long uphill battle in the e-commerce space when up against proven solutions such as e-mail and search, concludes a recent Ad Age article by Tim Dunn of the digital agency Isobar. One piece of evidence is global management consultant McKinsey & Company's 2013 survey finding that e-mail is 40 times more effective at acquiring consumers than Facebook and Twitter combined. McKinsey results also showed that the average order value prompted by e-mail is 17% higher than those prompted by social media. Consumers just don't head to social media to buy things; shopping and browsing products didn't even register as reasons for using Facebook in a recent survey by Pew Research. Dunn hastens to add that social interaction still has a place in the sales cycle, especially as consumers break down the distinction between content and commerce, and that the drive to interact can be harnessed by brands. He notes that fashion brand Free People's user-generated fashion showcase (called FPMe) not only drove passion for brand loyalists but also delivered a 42% increase in same-session sales conversion. However, Dunn advises marketers to exercise skepticism about using social to prompt immediate purchase and urges refocus on e-commerce basics, including touchpoint tracking, site experience and e-mail targeting. See the complete online post at