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AccuList USA
46 followers -
Since 1988, list brokerage, direct marketing and digital marketing services
Since 1988, list brokerage, direct marketing and digital marketing services

46 followers
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Political campaigns are facing a new challenge in the fast-paced digital ad race. Political marketers, who have honed standard 30-second video ads for TV and online, must now adapt to a trend to 6-second ad spots, reports a recent article in "Campaigns & Elections" magazine. With public attention spans shortening, corporate marketers are declaring 6 seconds as a more effective format, especially for reaching "a younger demographic." The article notes that Google’s YouTube has been holding a contest to promote the format, that Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg recently told investors that the length was ideal for sales pitches, and that Fox TV debuted its first ever 6-second ad slots during the "Teen Choice Awards" in August. Although both Democrats and Republicans want to court the "younger demographic" in 2018, political media consultants express misgivings, citing concerns about condensing a message into a 6- or 10-second "snackable" ad creative that will still persuade. They worry that even today's micro-targeting of voters will not overcome a poorly executed appeal. "We found the perfect voter," Casey Phillips, a media consultant with a GOP client roster explains for the magazine, "we can buy [what he is watching], but what is it that we’re going to tell him in 10 seconds, and get it done in a way that doesn’t suck. That’s where we're all having problems." Budget limitations pose another hurdle. Political consultants see the costs to produce and edit down 30-second spots into shorter versions, as well as spread ads across available digital and traditional media formats, straining campaign budgets in the next election cycle. For more, read http://ow.ly/4vRy30fa43c

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There's an ongoing debate in e-mail marketing over which format option will optimize results: simple text-based e-mails or fancier html versions. Recently, a Marketo analysis showed text-based e-mails perform significantly better than their html counterparts. Although both formats have the same open rate, text-based e-mails have 21% higher unique click-to-open rates on the offer link and 17% higher unique click-through rates on the offer link, per Marketo. So should marketers dump html creative? Not so fast. Consider how text-based versions may win more response. The Marketo study found that text-based e-mails' fewer visual distractions focus response on the call-to-action link. In html versions, nearly 16% of clicks went to other links (such as logos) instead of the main call-to-action link. Other research shows that text e-mails are also viewed as more personal by recipients, who see the visually rich html e-mails as clearly commercial. On the other hand, a key drawback of plain text formats, with no html, is that there is no tracking of open rates or clicks. Text-based e-mails without any html design elements also lack engaging visual impact for branding or product promotion, have less ability to break information into easy-to-read/scan sections or columns, and have fewer tools for directing CTA attention. So html e-mails continue to be seen as the right choice for campaigns relying on branding, richer messaging and detailed metrics. Html allows incorporation of branded images and logos that may yield higher conversion rates for some verticals. An html e-mail also can package more information in digestible, easy-to-read bites, and can direct action via color, clickable text and buttons. Most important, html offers tracking of opens and clicks for marketing metrics! For links to more detail, see http://www.acculistusa.com/seeking-e-mail-response-marketers-face-text-vs-html-choice/

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Effective data use is key to nonprofit direct mail success, yet some fundraisers question the need for a more sophisticated data approach. So we'll pass along a recent NonProfitPRO blog post by Chris Pritcher, of Merkle's Quantitative Marketing Group, which challenges overly narrow views of donor data. Too often, using data to understand the donor base is limited to one of two categories, Pritcher notes: 1) RFM (recency, frequency, monetary) data and giving history, or 2) donor demographics and behavioral measures, ranging from factors such as wealth or related interests/purchases to applying behavior-lifestyle systems such as Prizm. Whether the data is first-party or third-party sourced, each approach has its limitations. RFM often silos data from a single channel, for example, even though donors live in a multi-channel world. RFM also focuses mainly on short-term financial action, ignoring donors, especially Millennials, whose giving is maximized through an interactive, long-term relationship. Meanwhile, though donor demographics can help avoid low-opportunity lists and segments, demographics in isolation may be too general for effective response targeting. Wealth data indicates who has money but not who is willing to give that money to a specific cause, as Pritcher points out. Pritcher urges fundraisers to embrace "multi-dimensional segmentation" over the either/or data approach above. Nonprofits can analyze donor actions (both financial and non-financial) along with data such as demographics, wealth, donations to other organizations, etc., to create more actionable segments. For some basic tips for multidimensional segmentation success, see our complete post at http://ow.ly/1GuZ30eZ5YB

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Here are some key facts for marketers planning fundraising direct mail: 1) 35% of all donors say they like to respond to direct mail by giving online (with 50% of Millennials and Gen Xers saying they prefer online response); 2) 51% of website visits are made via mobile device, and 3) mobile devices are now used by the majority to read e-mail (54% of opens) and access social networks (80% of social time spent). Bottom line, if you want to get the most from your nonprofit direct mail (still the best channel for capturing donor dollars), a multi-channel, mobile-optimized approach is essential. On that point, MobileCause has developed a powerful infographic laying out the case for a nonprofit direct mail-digital marriage. Unfortunately, many fundraisers fail to make an easy connection between direct mail and online response. As the infographic points out, 84% of donation pages are not mobile-friendly, 73% of nonprofits do not offer social sharing, and 65% of nonprofits require three or more digital clicks to donate. At the same time, the infographic highlights ways to correct that digital lacuna in fundraising direct mail. First, commit to making direct mail part of a multi-channel campaign--because donors are 50% more likely to give when they receive multiple reinforcing messages via multiple channels. Fundraisers can even optimize response by catering to generational preferences: Millennials like text reminders, Gen Xers like e-mail reminders and Boomers like call reminders. But for goodness sake, mobile-optimize e-mails, landing pages and donation pages! Then maximize donations by promoting QR codes, shortlinks and texting keywords across channels. For more tips: http://www.acculistusa.com/use-digital-donation-to-turbocharge-fundraising-direct-mail/

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E-mail marketers will be happy to know that e-mail outpaces other digital channels in terms of reported return on investment, ahead of SEO, content marketing, paid search, and social media, per the "2017 Email Marketing Industry Census" from Adestra, in association with Econsultancy. E-mail ROI was rated as good to excellent by 73% of marketers surveyed, just edging out SEO, with 72% giving SEO a good to excellent ROI rating. Content marketing slipped to third place, with 63% calling its ROI good to excellent. Paid search followed with 60% ranking its ROI as good to excellent, and social media trailed (44%). But the report also raised questions about how accurately marketers assess e-mail impact. The majority of marketers are using click-through rate (91%), open rate (80%) and conversion rate (62%) to track e-mail performance, while other important metrics, such as bounce rate, delivery rate and list growth rate, are used by a minority. List segmentation is another challenge that may be impeding even higher ROI, falling midway in the ranking of best practices even though those who carry out advanced segmentation are more than twice as likely to report "excellent" ROI from e-mail marketing as those who don’t segment. What practices do marketers use to push e-mail opens and clicks? The census found that sending personalized and relevant messaging led the list of e-mail best practices reported; 80% of marketers are already doing this and 14% are planning for it. Personalization was followed by mobile-optimizing of e-mail, regular list cleaning, and promoting social content sharing. For more see http://ow.ly/64oD30eEIxX

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Donors to political campaigns and causes are being drawn to a new strategy for political influence: viral digital. The New York Times reports that deep-pocket donors are now bankrolling partisan organizations that specialize in creating catchy, shareable memes, messages and videos, especially on social media platforms. Outfits ranging from Occupy Democrats to the alt-right Milo Inc. are gathering donors who hope that their streams of aggregated links, captioned images and short videos will garner funds, votes and real-world action. While operatives across the political spectrum are being attracted now, the bandwagon got rolling with the Trump campaign's success with Twitter and other social platforms. The Times story cites many new participants from the left/progressive side of the aisle today, including David Brock, a well-known Democratic operative, who started an effort last year to raise $40 million to support Shareblue, a left-wing viral news outfit to rival alt-right publisher Breitbart. And there's John Sellers, a left-wing organizer and former Greenpeace activist, who started a Facebook page called The Other 98% to promote environmentalism and other progressive causes, which now boasts 5 million followers. The low cost for potentially high impact is especially attractive to causes and donors. Per the Times, Stand Up America, a progressive group run by Sean Eldridge, husband of Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, reaches, on average, 10 million people weekly by only spending "in the low six figures" to produce a Facebook page of shareable graphics and news. See the full post at http://ow.ly/42gs30euzO5

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To optimize consumer e-mail response, marketers must adjust strategy for consumer behavior that differs by market vertical and device use. So they'll find valuable guidance in Movable Ink’s "US Consumer Device Preference Report: Q1 2017" report. For all industries studied—retail, travel and hospitality, financial services, and media/publishing and entertainment—the report found most e-mails are opened on a smartphone as opposed to a tablet or desktop. Smartphone e-mail opens have especially jumped for financial services, up 7% from the fourth quarter of 2016 to reach 70% of opens in the first quarter of this year. However, retail is not far behind, with 61% smartphone opens for apparel and 57% for non-apparel e-mails. While smartphones lead opens, the more content-heavy media, publishing and entertainment vertical also has a good portion of desktop e-mail opens at 32%. Tablet opens are also stronger for media and publishing at 18%, higher than any other industry. Mobile is clearly key for open rates, but retailers should not neglect desktop design; non-apparel retailer e-mails attribute 73% of conversions to desktop use, for example, with 51% of conversions on desktop for apparel retailing. Desktops also deliver the highest average order value for retailers: $171.04 for apparel and $138.57 for non-apparel sales. When it comes to e-mail reading time, the study generally found that iPhones capture more attention than Android mobile phones, Android tablets, desktop computers, or iPads. The finance industry had the longest read lengths on iPhones, with 68% of subscribers spending 15 or more seconds reading their e-mail. For more, see http://www.acculistusa.com/study-how-consumer-e-mail-behavior-varies-by-market-vertical/

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Deliverability is the first step to e-mail marketing success. So why do the top e-mail marketers get a 90% inbox placement rate, while others languish below 50%? A deciding factor is reputation, as measured by a "sender score," according to Return Path's annual "Sender Score Benchmark Report." A sender’s reputation score is a number, calculated from 0–100, that mailbox providers use to decide whether e-mail from a particular IP address is likely to be legitimate and wanted or filtered out. Return Path's analysis finds that e-mail senders with a reputation score above 90 saw an average of 92% of e-mails reach intended recipients, but e-mail inbox placement drops to 72% for senders scoring between 81-90 and just 45% for a score between 71 and 80. A recent post by Krista Barrack, for the sendinblue blog, cites six ways you could be damaging your sender score. One common error is collecting invalid e-mail addresses in your house list (often simply user typos). These create hard bounces to erode your sender score. A second mistake is using purchased e-mail data where people have no opt-in relationship with your brand and so don't engage or mark your message as spam. A third house list problem is allowing outdated, unmailed addresses to accumulate and become invalid. Plus, content counts: If your e-mail message is not mobile-optimized, is loaded with spam words, is plagued by faulty links, and/or is not relevant or honest, recipients will not open it, will label it as spam or will opt-out. Timing matters, too, and the most common sin is excess frequency; read rates drop and complaints rise with high weekly frequency. Finally, watch for spam traps hiding in your e-mail list. These can get you blacklisted! For more detail, go to http://ow.ly/bWg230eiGPr

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While many direct mailers focus on the secret to millennial response, it's good to keep a close eye on mail tactics that work well with older and general audiences, too. A case in point is a recent Target Marketing magazine case study sharing the Mayo Clinic Health Letter's expertise in testing toward maximum acquisition response for its control. With its huge 2 million to 5 million mail pieces per quarter, Mayo has a lot of room for testing! Targeting an older audience (age 70 and up), the Mayo Clinic mailer has long used an oversized kraft outer envelope with a simple teaser that appeals to the older market preference for courtesy: "Please favor us with a reply within 10 days." Successfully tested changes include shifting the envelope size from 11"x 14" to a 10" x 14" to save money, but inside-package tweaks delivered the response boosts. For example, the letter now leads with pricing, a "tough times" stress on the per issue $1.97. But one of the most significant response-getters has been the addition of a premium in the form of existing internal special reports--on weight loss or arthritis, for example--offered for free. The control has also increased its lift by moving to an eight-page letter, up from the original four-page pitch. The results are proof that longer copy can outdo short copy when it comes to self-help offers and older markets. The long-form letter allows marketers to pack in more benefits. It also allows for a larger type size; the Mayo letter has shifted to a 14-point type as a boon to aging eyesight and a way to distinguish its approach as more personal and less corporate. For more, see http://www.acculistusa.com/how-acquisition-mailing-won-with-price-premium-benefits-copy/

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Multi-channel, cross-device marketing campaigns offer broader, deeper and more nuanced audience reach, but without careful planning, there is a risk of counterproductive ad frequency and confusion. At the recent 2017 Google Marketing Next conference, Bill Kee, Google's group product manager for attribution, is quoted giving a powerful illustration of this multi-channel campaign risk: “If I am on three devices, and if I see your ad five times, it means you've reached me 15 times.” So how can marketers improve performance given today's complex, interconnected channel usage? In a recent Direct Marketing News article, Pierre DeBois suggests several tactics for better cross-device/cross-channel effectiveness. First, DeBois recommends using cross-channel/cross-device analytics, in place of traditional last-click attribution or channel-to-channel comparison, to see the complete picture of channel contributions to ROI at each step of the customer journey. An example is Google's new Unique Reach report that displays digital ad frequency metrics across devices, campaigns, and formats to measure how many times a person views a given ad. It also is a new marketing axiom that videos and images are great response-getters for digital media. But multiple cross-channel/cross-device campaigns can visually overwhelm and confuse customers, too. DeBois advises marketers to locate videos and images in a content mapping strategy so they can understand how their media align with the customer journey. Plus, they should curate media. One helpful curating tool is the "image story" feature on social media platforms, including Pinterest Lens, Instagram Stories, and Twitter Moments. Another option for providing a consistent customer story across channels is to employ chatbots to interact with customers via a chat interface, auditory or textual. For the full post, go to http://www.acculistusa.com/effective-cross-channel-marketing-requires-new-tactics/
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