Archive for the ‘E-mail marketing’ Category

Obama's online strategy

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

Last night, I read the article on TechCrunch about how Obama has overtaken Kevin Rose as the most popular person on Twitter. I hadn’t been following Obama before, so I decided to check out the Obama Twitter feed and I noticed this message:

Barack Twitter

This is smart online marketing. Holding out a carrot like the VP candidate – an issue that has been debated and talked about so much – is just smart. So, after following Obama on Twitter (“he” reciprocated the follow First to know about Obama's vp candidatewithin minutes), I went to the Web site link that was posted. Again, a stroke of marketing genius. Because even if I am not going to vote for Barack Obama, I really want to be in the group of people who are the first to know who his running mate is going to be. So I gave up my email address. And my phone number. And now Obama’s campaign can continue to market to me from now through November.

(Find me on Twitter @mchang16)

Some interesting facts about Internet advertising

Wednesday, October 10th, 2007

Going back to the beginning. It turns out that the first formal advertising on the Internet happened in October 1994 on Hotwired, when AT&T launched a banner campaign on the site. Actually, there were 14 clients of the first Internet advertising program offered by Hotwired – MCI, Sprint, Volvo and others joined AT&T in using the online platform for campaigns. This is reportedly the first banner ad that was run (by AT&T). It might be clumsy, but it did turn out to be accurate – people clicked.First Banner Ad from IBM

First commercial spam. The first commercial spam e-mail message was sent over the Internet in April 1994 by Laurence Canter and Martha Siegel Legal Services. The spam was advertising a Green Card lottery (the couple that ran the firm were immigration lawyers) and was titled “Green Card Lottery- Final One?

Google is the Internet advertising powerhouse. This week, Google’s stock price topped $600 per share for the first time and it appears that the company now controls more than 40% of online advertising. Not bad for a week’s work. Here’s a look back at when Google’s most important Internet advertising initiatives launched, according to Google’s rendition of its corporate history.

  •  
    • 1995-1997:
      Early days of Google, when it was still called “BackRub”
    • 1998:
      Renamed Google
    • September 21, 1999:
      Google comes out of Beta
    • August 16, 2000:
      Launched a targeted keyword ad program
    • October 23, 2000:
      AdWords self-service advertising program is launched
    • February 2002:
      AdWords gets an overhaul, including CPC pricing model
    • 2003:
      Google AdSense program is born
       

Spending on Internet advertising continues to rise but slowed once in its history. The amount of money that has been spent on Internet advertising continues to rise and has since its inception in 1994, with the exception of a downturn from 2000 to 2002 after the Internet bubble burst.

~ Coming Noon ~ 

How to generate customer devotion

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007

I read a blog post today that caught my eye because of the title: “Turn your customers into raving fans.”

CustomInk logoI am a raving fan, and CustomInk.com is the object of my affection. I recently used their services to make t-shirts for a charity walk that I organized. Going into it, I had a few issues to overcome with the t-shirts:

1)      I had a deadline of less than 2 weeks to get the t-shirts printed and delivered

2)      I am not a designer and had to design the t-shirts

3)      I was trying to create something that would appeal to men, women and children

4)      I wanted to be able to get input from someone else on my team to help me make the final decision, but we don’t live in the same city

I did a search on Google for “t-shirt design” and customink.com was the first listing. (Another testimony to the power and importance of SEO, but I’ll save that discussion for another blog post.)

t-shirt frontSo there are a lot of reasons that I love this company. The first thing I discovered is that they are able to rush-deliver an order in less than 7 days. Perfect! Second, their online tool is really user-friendly and fun to use. You pick the item to design (they have shirts, pants, hats, etc.) and the color. Then you head to the “design online lab.” The tool starts you off with a blank t-shirt and then lets you add text, graphics (you can upload your own or choose from their clip art library), change colors, layouts, put effects on the text…there are wide range of options. Then, to top it all off, you can save the design, email it to people to get their opinions and then start again with t-shirt backa new design if you aren’t totally satisfied. This tool managed to help me overcome all four of the issues that I was having with designing these t-shirts. That was enough to make me love the service.

But there was more. I placed my order, got my final proofs, talked to someone at the company to answer a few questions that they had about tricky parts of the design. Great. Everyone was pleasant, I felt a high degree of confidence that my t-shirts would be done on-time and that they would look great. Then came the kicker. I got the following email:

Hi Melissa,I noticed that you have designed shirts that could possibly be for a charity event. If that’s the case, CustomInk would love to donate to your team or to the charity itself on your behalf! Please let me know if your order is for one of these events. If you  would like us to pitch in and support your cause, please include information about your charity event, a link if you have one or the organization’s name if there is no link to a team web page.Warmest Regards,
Lori Mayfield
CustomInk.com

I immediately sent them a note back with the instructions about how to donate with a comment like “wow, I really love you” or something hero-worshipping like that. To which, Lori, my personal, human contact, sends me this delightful note back:

Thank you for the information, the link worked perfectly!

We try to donate to every charity event that our customers hold close to their hearts, so we are delighted to help with this event. Of course, we wish we could offer a large sponsorship, but because we do so many, I’m limited to small donations ($30). I just want to make sure you know that, even though we know every bit counts.

This is outstanding customer service and a fantastic policy for retention. Plus, it’s just really smart. I spent more than $500 with this company. The likelihood of me doing so again is high. I ordered 33 t-shirts – this means that I will tell all 33 of the people who are getting the t-shirts the story about this company (and I did!) because the company donated to our common cause. And finally, they know that they are reaching someone who has influence – the person who is in charge of the t-shirt ordering is likely someone who is making decisions for a large group of people and probably has other areas of responsibility and influence. This is really smart business. This article from Dosh Dosh talks about 9 great ways to dominate your niche, such as focusing on your reputation and developing retention equity, and CustomInk.com is doing all of these things.

See? I have become a raving fan.

 

~Today’s view:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/13799608@N08/1471632095/

Blogging and SEO

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

Chris BaggottI just talked to Chris Baggott, co-founder of ExactTarget, about Compendium Software, his new company that has a product focused on “organizational blogging.” From his description, the tool is pretty slick and a potential power-tool for the enterprise, but I was most impressed with the SEO benefits in Google’s organic search results. To demonstrate, Chris suggested that I use Google search and type in the phrase “Blogging Best Practices.” His company was listed #11, on page 2 of the search results.  Then he had me search for “Easy to use Blogging Software” – it was the #2 listing, page 1 in organic results. This is all done by the company’s technology and a process that he calls “compending.” A blog tool that has the power to impact search results in this way is going to make some noise. There’s an interview with Chris on Inside Indiana Business where you can hear him talk about his company and its technology.