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For Those Who Abandon Shopping Carts

Tell the truth. Have you abandoned a shopping cart this week? I’m not talking about the people who leave actual carts in the middle of the parking lot when there’s a corral two feet away. (Though they annoy me, too.) I’m talking about the 70% of shoppers who load items into a virtual cart on a website only to walk away without buying anything.

We all do it. Ironically, I was going to do it today simply to see if the online store I was buying from would offer me an incentive to come back and finish. I decided not to count on it and it’s a good thing. According to an article on eMarketer, only 35% of marketers send out a remarketing email to people who showed an interest but didn’t follow through. Odds are the small site I was buying from wasn’t part of that 35% but they might be in the future.

JangoMail Survey Says Less Isn’t More, Anymore

You’ve heard the old saying that “less is more.” Apparently, this isn’t true when it comes to email marketing. According to a recent JangoMail survey, 67% of those who enjoy consistent email marketing success include three or more calls to action in their email campaigns.

This reminds me of my college days when I worked as a telemarketer. We were instructed to get three “no’s” from a prospect before we were allowed to end the call. With email marketing, the rejection isn’t so overt, thank heavens, it’s more about the prospect’s ability to ignore a call to action than to vocally object. (Your email came in the middle of my favorite TV show! Dangnabbit!)

Social Media Monitoring Foundation: 6 Vital Pillars

Over at TopRank Online Marketing Blog, Lee Odden was kind enough to invite me to write a guest post on a topic near-and-dear to my heart: social media monitoring.

How could I refuse! :-)

With everyone (and their mother) jumping into social media monitoring, I thought it would be best to help you get the most out of your efforts by implementing a solid foundation. I provide six critical steps, starting with:

1. Understand Your Goals

Just because you can monitor everything that’s being said about your brand online, doesn’t mean you should just jump in, without setting clear goals. That’s the monitoring equivalent of hanging out at an open bar–you’ll quickly get dizzy and will end up with a major headache!

The Trifecta: Making Email, Facebook and Twitter Work Together

You may think that email, Twitter and Facebook are all slight variations on the same tune, but the ExactTarget Research Series, Subscribers, Fans and Followers has shown that each venue has its own X-Factor which makes it special. The trick, which is summarized in their newly published final report, is figuring out how to make them all work as a team.

The study begins by breaking down the numbers and there was a surprise here. 93% of online consumers say they receive at least one permission-based email a day. These are the subscribers. 38% said they are a Facebook fan of at least one brand. These are the fans. The surprise is in the followers, those U.S. online consumers who say they follow at least one brand on Twitter. That number is 5%. That’s it.

How Google Instantly Made the Long Tail More Important for SEOs

OK, random thought time.

Yes, we’re sticking with Google Instant.

Yes, it’s focused on SEO.

Yes, it ties back to my post about using Google Suggest for keyword research.

Yes, I’ll get on with it.

The long tail is about to become super-important for your search engine optimization efforts. Why? Because, despite our concerns that Google Instant is headache inducing, I think Google knows better. Google knows that using Google Instant–for the average searcher, not you or me–will be a whole lot of fun.

Take for example a search for “San Francisco Hotels.” OK, so the old Google still used Google Suggest, but that required the user to hit “return” or click “search” and commit to a set of search results. Pay attention to that, they had to commit to the search results.

Are Social Media Ghostwriters Bad for Business? Maybe Not.

Is it ethical to hire a ghostwriter to post updates to your social media accounts? Take a quick turn around the internet and you’ll find the majority of the people crying “no!” Words like authenticity and transparency get thrown around along with trust and honesty.

The American Marketing Association recently published a report titled, Social Media Ethics Shades of Gray: GhostTweeting and other Dilemmas. In it, Wayne Hurlbert, host of Blog Business Success on www.blogtalkradio.com, says that hiring a ghost is a grievous error.

“If you’re pretending to be someone else or pretending to be an organization that you’re not, then all trust is lost.  People prefer to do business with those who they know, like and trust and if you remove those factors from the social media world by trying to shade it into gray areas, you will not succeed.”

Edible Social Media Marketing

Hungry? Check Twitter and you’re sure to find some suggestions that will satisfy both your tummy and your need to share information online. But among all the discounts and Foursquare check-ins, there’s one company that has made social media an integral part of their dining concept. It’s called 4food and it’s giving all new meaning to the phrase “have it your way.”

4food serves hamburgers with a healthy twist. They have one shop in Manhattan but they’re getting press from all over thanks to their innovative concept. Instead of offering a set menu, the customer is asked to create their own special burger by mixing and matching ingredients from a long list. You can give your order to a waiter, the old fashioned way. Or you can sit down to an iPad (which is bolted to the table) and take your time developing your masterpiece. Then, you can surf the web free of charge while you wait for your creation to arrive.