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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.”

Online Advertising Stinks It Up Again With Paltry 15.6% Growth

Here we go again. The Interactive Advertising Bureau released the numbers for online marketing performance for the first half of 2008 and the verdict is in. Once again double digit growth sucks and everything is going to hell in a hand basket. I just thought I would let you know this so you can stop doing business in an industry that continues to grow.

The take on these numbers comes from the LA Times this time. Would you please indulge me in a quick question before I get to the story here? Since I am not a trained journalist I was wondering if it is actually taught to build a story using something I call the ‘Chicken Little Method’. It appears to work like this: The intro and first part of the story must state that everything is dire and then at the end of the story (which is read by far fewer folks than the open) you temper your ‘views’ with this crazy thing we like to call reality.

Advergames: Fun Is Not Enough

File this in the “science confirms common sense” folder — although this may be a surprise to many ad agencies.

University of Missouri researchers found that advergames that have a thematic connection to the brand work better to create a relationship with the consumer.

In the study, participants played two advergames, both with either high or low thematic connection to the brand. … For example, the travel company Orbitz designed a game, “Find Your Hotel,” that has a theme related to the company’s travel services. Another Orbitz game, “Paper Football,” does not have a thematic connection to the company’s services.

OMG! Live Search Cashback is Actually Effective!

As you know, I’m quick on the trigger when it comes to giving Microsoft’s search incentive programs a hard time. Well, I try to be fair and balanced. With that in mind (gulp), Live Search Cashback might actually be working!

You heard me. New data from Hitwise suggests that Microsoft’s master plan is showing signs of success.

Eleven weeks ago, MSN Cashback represented 3.75% of the traffic to and grew to 6.29% last week. This rise in Cashback’s traffic underscores the interest in the program, which is likely to be getting a boost from shoppers looking to save money and stretch their budgets given the current economic climate.

And, while Live Search is not showing any increased market share, it’s audience share is stable–suggesting that perhaps Live Search Cashback is helping!

Facebook Grows 50%; MySpace Still #1; Social Networking Traffic Declines 17% Overall

OK, Facebook, what do you want first? The good news, or the bad news?

The good news? Well, the good news is that, according to Hitwise, you’ve grown your US share of social networking sites by a massive 50%, in the past year. w00t!

Now for the bad news. MySpace still has a 67.54% market share, compared to your relatively meager 20.56% slice.

Oh, and there’s some bad, bad news. Total traffic to social networking sites declined 17% year-over-year. I guess there’s just only so much sheep-throwing and whale-failing we can handle.

Hey, don’t shoot the messenger! And, even if you do want to shoot the messenger, it’s Hitwise–not this Pilgrim.

Why I Think the New “Pop-Up” Study is Flawed

Ars Technica has details of a new study from the excellent (yes, I’m biased) Psychology Department of North Carolina State University. Basically, they created a series of “pop-up” windows designed to look like system messages, but could easily have been viruses.

The results?

Of the 42 students, 26 clicked the OK button for the “real” dialog. But 25 clicked the same button for two of the fakes, and 23 hit OK on the third (the one with the status bar showing). Only nine of them closed the window—two fewer than had closed the real dialog. In all cases, a few of the users simply minimized the window or dragged it out of the way, presumably leaving the machine’s next user at risk.

Blogosphere Grows, Posting Slows

Two weeks ago, I gave a class on blogging. No, don’t worry, you didn’t miss the announcement and the chance to rub elbows with my fabulousness, it was a class for my sister’s church, as only a handful of people had expressed interest. She and I weren’t sure anyone would come at all. However, nearly twice as many people as we expected showed up. Of those, only one didn’t have a blog.

This year’s State of the Blogosphere report from Technorati says that blogs have “arrived”—”blogs are a global phenomenon that has hit the mainstream.” Last issued in April 2007, the S/B is an annual yardstick of the trends in the world of blogging at large.