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WOMM: Let Your Employees Do the Talking

When it comes to word of mouth marketing, GasPedal says there are three talkers you may have overlooked. One of them you see everyday when you head in to work. It’s your receptionist, your mail-room guy, even your secretary and it doesn’t matter if they work for the marketing department, they are the perfect brand advocates.

Employees are often the last people we think of when it comes to marketing but who else has a bigger stake in wanting to see a company do well? Take your receptionist. She probably has 500 Facebook friends and her own fan-following on her blog. Why not offer her some free samples to spread around? Make her an affiliate so she can earn a kick-back on sales or give her her own discount code to share with friends and family.

Companies Spend More on Email Than PPC; 39% Have No Clue of ROI

Wouldn’t it make sense that if you spent more money on email marketing than pay-per-click marketing, you’d have a reasonable explanation for that choice?

Well, according to the data discovered in Econsultancy’s 2010 Email Marketing Census, companies are spending more on email marketing (17% of online budgets) than PPC (16%) despite not fully understanding the return on investment (ROI) achieved or taking advantage of one of the most important benefits of email marketing: segmentation.

When you run PPC campaign, you attempt to segment your target audience by using different ad creative and targeted landing pages. You wouldn’t bring a “window shopper” to a landing page that displayed only one product, would you? So it’s a shock that many companies are still not using segmentation to target their email campaigns and deliver messages, or offers, that are tailored to their customers’ known interests and buying habits. Think about that. When you email your existing customers, you already know at least a little about their buying preferences, so why would you not segment them so that they receive tailored email messages?

Study: 43% of Email Marketers Want a Slice of the Social Media Pie

According to a study by EmailStatCenter.com (sponsored by ExactTarget and BrightWave), the promise of social media marketing riches is too much of a temptation for email marketers–they want in on the action.

According to the study, 43% of email marketing firms are already offering social media marketing as part of their service line-up:

Not sure what to make of the 66% that said they provide “Strategy & Consulting” alongside email marketing. I would have thought that ALL marketing firms offered strategy and consulting, otherwise you’re just some kind of email spammer. ;-)

The study helps make sense of why companies such as ExactTarget are buying up social media firms such as CoTweet. I never saw the overlap between email and social media, but apparently they do, and that’s all that matters, right?

Customer Engagement Survey Shows Twitter is King of ROI

Screen shot 2009-12-04 at 9.21.28 AMI’ve been a contributing analyst for the eConsultancy/cScape Customer Engagement Survey over the past few years. The 2010 edition has just landed and I thought I would share with you the data that jumped out at me.

Email Newsletters Fading?

The 2nd Customer Engagement Survey saw businesses focusing their efforts on using email newsletters to improve customer engagement. An incredible 69% of companies stated that they had measured a tangible improvement through their e-newsletter campaigns so it was not a surprise that 59% planned to invest heavily in email marketing by the time we came to the third survey. By contrast, investment in social networks – such as Facebook – was down on the list of priorities with only 36% of companies planning to increase their investment in that area.

Search Ads Less Helpful than TV, Newspaper

harris logoThe results of a new poll from Harris Interactive indicate that Internet advertising isn’t as effective as search engine marketers would like to think. When asked what medium’s ads were most helpful in making purchase decisions, the 2500+ American respondents indicated that first television, then newspapers, then search engine ads. Internet banner ads fared even worse:

  • 37% said television ads were most helpful in purchase decisions
  • 18% said newspaper ads
  • 14% said search engine ads
  • 3% said radio ads
  • 1% said Internet banner ads

Perhaps most revealing, however, is the math. Those numbers don’t add up to 100% because another 28% (rounding effects) said that none of those ad media were helpful in purchase decisions.

E-Mail Marketing Has Marketers’ Attention, What About Yours?

With Internet marketers putting the squeeze on budgets the search for the magic bullet to attract new emailcustomers continues. MediaPost gives some insight on a Merkle report that says that e-mail still is attractive to marketers but the perception from those on the receiving end may be changing as well.

The report talks about how inboxes are getting more and more cluttered with marketing messages. After looking over the findings it appears as if the direction that e-mail recipients are heading is toward having had enough of the practice. I know how I react to e-mails that I have opted – in to receive. I take a brief look at the subject line and if it is not something that can make me slow down for a second it’s deleted. Not to say that my behavior is normal but I suspect that the patience level on these techniques is waning.

Google’s Gmail Finally Gets Offline Capabilities

It’s time to mark an item off my Google wishlist! The Gmail team has announced that, starting this week, users will be able to use a Gmail Labs feature that allows for the email service to be used when offline.

Huzzah!

It’s something that I–and many others–have longed for. OK, maybe it wasn’t so much of a deep yearning, more of a "sure would be nice to have" feeling. Anyway, the video below explains how Gmail will use the Google’s Gears tool to provide offline email use.

So, how do you think Microsoft is reacting to this news? Is an offline Gmail more of a threat to Outlook? Have you been waiting to make the switch?