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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?

Would You Pay to Make Your Favorite Sites Ad-Free?

How much would you pay, if anything, to make your favorite sites ad-free? That’s the question AdAge asked consumers, and they found very interesting results. AdAge wanted to know how much a year you (the consumer) would pay to remove ads from your favorite sites per year. For a consumer’s favorite sites, you’d expect many of them to be willing to pay. Their study proved otherwise.

Only 2.4% of consumers said they would definitely pay $39.99/year for their favorites sites to go ad-free. That works out to less than $4 per month! Another 3.5% said they would be very likely. Here are the rest of the results:

adage chart on consumer willingness to pay for ad-free content

The Secret to Using a “Refer a Friend” Script

Andy’s Note: On a recent post, I was amazed at a lengthy and informative comment that was left by Lance Jepsen, author of Internet Marketing: Profits That Lie Hidden in Your Website.

With his permission, I thought you might be interested to read his advice on getting the most out of your “Refer/Tell/Recommend a Friend” efforts.

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By Lance Jepsen

I’m always asked by clients how does viral marketing apply to my business? I think the great marketer Dean Hunt said it best, “Here is the secret that no other viral marketers seem to understand… getting 10,000 visitors of which 20% are targeted is BETTER than getting 100 visitors where 100% are targeted.”

New Research: Companies Turn to Email to Increase Customer Engagement

The third annual Online Customer Engagement Report–produced by online publisher E-consultancy and digital agency cScape–is now available, and examines the likely impact of a worsening economic environment on customer behavior and psychology.

The report is based on a survey of 1300 respondents and looks at how companies plan to adopt customer engagement campaigns during these tough economic times. I was asked to review the early findings and provide my observations on the data.

Here’s what jumped out at me:

Over the last 12 months, a lack of budget and time (45%) was cited as the biggest barrier to starting a customer engagement campaign. Ironically, as budgets have tightened further—ahead of tougher economic times—those same businesses are increasing their focus in this area, with 41% naming the worsening economy as the catalyst for spending more resources on customer engagement.

Be-A-Magpie Brings Advertising to Twitter

By Taylor Pratt

Looking to monetize your Twitter efforts? Well now you can! Thanks to Be-A-Magpie, Twitter’s spam filters (or lack thereof) will be put to the ultimate test!

Be-A-Magpie will pay you to insert ads into your tweet stream. Advertisers will pay a Twitter user on a cost-per-thousand impression basis, and are tailored to your Twitter audience by analyzing your Twitter messages and matching keywords to various advertisers. Magpie advertisers can bid on a particular keyword and the winning bid will be shown in a person’s tweet.

By default, “Magpie-tweets” are inserted once every five tweets, but you can create a range anywhere from one Magpie-tweet per 20 tweets or as often as one Magpie-tweet per tweet.

Email Marketing Better than Social Network Marketing

Is email marketing better than marketing through social networks? Yes, according to a new study from ExactTarget and Ball State University’s Center for Media Design. The study reveals that:

“. . . 18- to 34-year-olds claim they are more likely to be influenced to make purchases based on e-mail marketing messages and direct mail than marketing messages on social networks,” said Mike Bloxham, director, insight and research, Ball State University’s Center for Media Design. “It is too easy to assume that the media consumers choose for their own news, information and entertainment are, by default, the best media to use for marketing messages. This is a dangerous assumption to make in a time when consumers are becoming increasingly aware of their level of control over their media experiences.”