Those Elusive Open Rates

Have you ever hesitated before registering for a website or giving out your email address because you fear the barrage that is sure to follow? Have you ever created a separate email to use just for such occasions? Have you ever tried to ignore the constant stream of emails before finally giving up and clicking “unsubscribe”?

Having experienced all of the above, I used to believe email marketing was pointless. Marketers send an email (or twenty) and they’re ignored; what’s the benefit? Then one day I was persuaded to yield my email address to a local kitchen store and shortly began receiving their newsletters. Despite my cynicism, I soon found myself opening them every time, reading all the way through, making a note to attend an event, and even forwarding them to a friend.

How can you achieve this devoted readership magic all the time?

1) Audience. Not everyone is going to be your customer all of the time. I like cooking, and a kitchen store’s newsletter is going to appeal to me.

2) Quantity. A daily email from Groupon makes sense as new deals are added every day. For my favorite kitchen store, a monthly newsletter is far more appropriate. It’s important to analyze what works best for your brand and your audience.

3) Content. You have to reward your audience for opening your email, for giving that moment of their life to you.

In this interview, one of the creators of best-selling game Cards Against Humanity says email is annoying and should be sent as infrequently as possible. If it’s a rare treat to hear from you, people will open your emails with more enthusiasm. Average open rates are about 20%, depending on the market. Cards Against Humanity is rewarded for their less-is-more approach with a staggering open rate of 60-75% for each email sent.

If you decide email marketing may actually have a place in your brand’s life, remember that the right solution will depend on your industry and business model. Keep in mind quantity, quality, and audience and if you need any help, we’re always here.

5 Things To Consider In 2014 Marketing Planning

1. Make absolutely sure you know what your customers want.
There is so much competition in every marketplace, that one misstep can cause havoc to your bottom line. Budget resources for qualitative and/or quantitative research. Spend some personal time behind the scenes to make sure you are delivering the product and service that your customers need and want.
2. Protect your “golden egg” at all costs.
There is always a temptation to expand by moving resources from a product line that seems to be in good shape and taking care of itself to one that is not. Don’t do it unless you can ensure that your flagship cannot be sabotaged by yours or competitors’ efforts.
3. Make sure your products and services are easy to buy.
Nothing is more discouraging for a customer than wanting to know more or order a product and not being able to access the information or purchase it. It does not make you popular, and we all know that being liked by your customers is the key to loyalty. While you are building demand, make sure you make filling it easy and relationship-building.
4. Have a social media strategy.
Don’t get trapped by a sense of urgency to be in social media because it’s there and everyone else does it. Social media, like any other marketing tactic, must deliver a return on investment. Investigate where your audience is, research how they are talking about your products and services, and determine how you will get a pay back for engaging them in social media.
5. Keep your Chief Marketing Communications Officer in the Management Suite.
In the oversaturated communications world we live in, you cannot afford not to take communications into account with all your stakeholders, internal and external, as you make any major plans. More and more companies are elevating Marketing Communications to the C-suite for that reason. I don’t know of any company that should not have a CMO.
Planning and forecasting is fun and exhilarating. Enjoy the process and look forward to increased success in 2014. And in case you get stuck, you’ve got friends here at Bouvier Kelly ready and waiting to help you.

Are taglines dead? My grandma says no.

Last month, AdWeek asked if taglines were dying. With some brands foregoing tags altogether and others utilizing more of a signature signoff to wrap up body copy, where does that leave the traditional tagline?

I had an epiphany the other day when shopping with my grandma. She needed a new watch. So like the good granddaughter I am, I took her shopping. My gram was searching for a specific brand because, as she said, “It keeps on tickin’!” The new watch was needed because her last four (of the same brand) broke. That’s right. Her four other, let’s call them “Clockex,” watches stopped tickin’ after they took a lickin’. And yet, she remains fiercely brand loyal. Well, as fierce as a sweet 81-year-old lady can be.

The memorability and likeability of a strong tagline can trump a negative experience (or four). Tags create brand loyalty because they carve out a special little niche in your brain, hunker down, and live there for years. But taglines are just one part of your brand.

Going tag-less is not a sin. It will not break you. Take a look at Starbucks, Facebook, Google. None of them have an in-your-face tagline. What they do have, though, are very strong brands.

No matter what you decide is right for your business, your overall brand communication needs to be strong. In order for that to happen, it takes time, effort and, above all, consistency. If you invest in those three ingredients and execute the right way, a strong brand will grow and carve out that elusive little brain niche. Just ask my grandma.

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