Make your email campaign data work for you.

Email Campaign

Email campaign – So, you are in the trenches of e-mail marketing and you are developing content, accompanying that content with great imagery, collecting contacts, importing them into the system and sending out your e-mails on schedule. Bravo! Now, how often are you reviewing your reports and digging into the data from your campaigns?

Immediately after your send a campaign little helpers begin to collect data like who opened your email, when they opened it, what links were clicked and what email contacts bounced. Generally speaking a few hours after you send your email a picture begins to develop – one that showcases the success or failure of your campaign.

Generally speaking I like to check my campaign sometime during the day it was sent just to see how things are going, but I don’t pull a full report until 48 hours after the email was sent. Why 48 hours you ask? Well, after years of preparing and scheduling emails I find that 48 hours provides adequate time for your campaign to run it’s course –your contacts open the email, click on the links, forward to a friend and the data is collected.

Make Social Listening work for you and your business

Make Social Listening work for you and your business.

Are you new to the term social listening? Chances are you’ve already been monitoring what people say about you online, and if you use this information to enhance your business you’re engaging in social listening.

Take the next steps to not just monitor your brand, but use your social listening efforts to gain insight, customers and to build your brand.

Here are a few tips to get you engaged:

1. What Social Media Channel does your customer frequent?
Your first step is to determine which social media channel your customer frequents. It could be Facebook or Twitter or perhaps industry blogs. Track and then join the conversation when the time is right.

2. Become a Problem Solver
Monitor key words or phrases that relate to current issues your customers may be experiencing. Use these issues to solve the problem or provide a turnkey solution.

Who tracks you online – and can you stop them?

Who tracks you online – and can you stop them?

Who tracks you – Living in a connected world sucks sometimes. By browsing the Internet we are exposed to thousands of the unseen and unknown tracking technologies connecting you and your browser data to companies across the globe. What do they do this for? Well, they can customize how they target you with ads and communications, they can analyze your browsing behavior, and integrate their own third-party web browser technology. These trackers generally slow down page load times as they transmit and download data, increase clutter on websites with ads and pop-ups, and often put your information at risk as they share your browsing behavior with other companies.

This is happening hundreds of times a week, thousands of times a month on all your devices. There are many third-party companies which will allow you to block most tracking software. Take a moment if you haven’t done that yet and do a little tiny bit of research. In the long run it will pay off.

Website Wall – Has your web site hit a wall, have you defined your audience?

Website Wall – Has your web site hit a wall, have you defined your audience?

Website Wall – I had an interesting conversation with a potential client recently. We were discussing his corporate website and how he hit a wall in terms of getting leads. He was well versed in SEO strategies, he had kept the website up to date and posted fresh content frequently on a Blog and he had dabbled in pay-per-click advertising. The interesting part of the conversation was when we started to discuss who his website user is. See, sometimes you can get so focused on getting your message out that you forget about who you are trying to communicate to.

The potentials’ industry is home health care so the person accessing the website for information would generally not be the person utilizing the actual services. I discussed how different generations utilize technology and access information differently. We talked about how Baby Boomers are far different from Millennials in how they search for content, what social media channels they use and how they use websites.

Track your e-mail campaigns with real-time data for better results

Track your e-mail campaigns with real-time data

e-mail campaigns – It may seem like once you’ve gone through the process of preparing content and images, designing and sending your e-mail campaign that the work is done, but it’s only just begun. Moments after you hit send on your e-mail campaign data is starting to be collected and categorized.

For nearly 15 years Constant Contact has been our e-mail marketing partner primarily because of it’s ease of use and it’s awesome reporting system.

The overview report provides the data results in a one-sheet format. It displays the number of contacts you sent your campaign to, the open rate, bounce rate, SPAM notices and click though rates.

From the overview report you can click on the open rate and see specifically who opened the e-mail and the exact time that they opened the e-mail. Click on the bounces and view the contacts that bounced as well as the reason for the bounce. Click through rates will allow you to view the hyperlinks within your e-mail and the contacts that clicked on those links. All of this data is critical in keeping an up-to-date database of contacts.

FBI announces new exploits in Spear Phishing campaigns

Spear Phishing campaigns

Spear Phishing campaigns – You have received them in your inbox all the time, “open attached, invoice attached,” Emails from people you do not know and sometimes from companies you do business with, be careful what you open. A few simple steps you can take to make sure you’re not a victim or malware of phishing are:
1. Make sure you have virus protection installed and up to date.
2. Don’t click on links you do not recognize.
3. Hover over the link and make sure the links matches the email description.
4. If you know the person email them back from a new email requesting confirmation.
5. Delete the email ASAP.
These simple steps you can take to add an extra level of protection. Also, remember to update and back up your computer files every day.
My Thoughts on Technology and why we use it

I’ve spent the last few weeks thinking about what technology means to me. Is it to make my job easier? To get more done in the same period of time? Or do I just do it to feel like I’m connected to others?

I find myself using technology for number of different things – I communicate over email quite a bit, I research on my handheld and my desktop when I’m at work, I coordinate different people and events as well as publish what I do in my personal life and business ventures. Overall I think technology has a purpose and a place. With that said I feel it’s very important to put it down sometimes. To reconnect with the people around us, to build things out of the things in the real world, sculpture, painting or maybe even landscaping. The point is technology does have a place in our world and keeping the balance between the artificial world we’ve created for ourselves online and the real world we are living in and the people we interact with on a daily basis are just as important.

Overall I think we all have a lot to learn in managing our day-to-day lives with and without technology.  We need to find ways to enhance what we do without becoming dependent on any one thing. Becoming technology neutral is something we should all strive to practice more. Find ways to utilize technology without being used by technology.  As we go into the holiday season take time to handwrite a thank you to someone. Drop it in the mail or better yet create your own thank you card. Take the time to think about the message, find a picture that relays some kind of emotion connected with your message.  Take it to a quick serve printer or big box store and then use that to once again connect with your friends, family and coworkers.

Our Family + Technology

Our Family + Technology

Our Family + Technology, We have an almost 10 year old and a 6 year old in our house. Our 4th grader is required to have an ipad for use at school and for homework. She likes to watch YouTube videos of people playing Mine craft and finding cute pics of baby bunnies on the Internet. Our 6 year old is in Kindergarten is obsessed with anything Lego. He loves making stop motion videos with his Lego mini figures and watching similar videos on YouTube. Right now Batman reigns supreme. My wife/partner and I both have laptop computers and iPhones that allow us to work on the go and keep in touch with out of town family. Social media allows us to keep up with High School and College friends’ comings and goings.

So, with all of that going on we used some common sense to keep our family safe online. Since our daughter is required to have an iPad for school the school provides an “Acceptable Use Policy” for each student and their parent to review and sign. It spells our things like students are not allowed to download or install material unless under supervision. Or, the student will not send any personal information (photos, addresses or phone numbers) to anyone else on the Internet. We’ve also had some conversations with her about appropriate material and what she should avoid online.

Playing it loose with Advertising

Playing it loose with Advertising

Sometimes the idea of advertising just because you have to forces most of us to buy advertisement we otherwise wouldn’t even consider, or worse to cut corners just to meet certain deadlines. Having a clear plan and a strategy for your marketing and advertising is a necessity. Understanding your client or market is a must. Everything from gender, age group, language preference, habits and practices are all quintessential components in correctly positioning your advertisement for success.

When creating a plan there are a few questions to ask – inquire about our circulation numbers, distribution, pass along statistics, add versus content, views, etc. Think about meeting the staff and sales team. Are they knowledgeable about their product? Are they involved in the local community and out reach programs? All of these factors play a role in the success of your marketing and advertising efforts.

Did you know your smartphone is tracking your every move

Your smartphone is tracking your every move

If you own one of the millions of smartphones in the US today you probably know that everything you do online is being tracked.  When you visit a web site on your phone, open an app or simply travel with your phone in your pocket – you are creating data – but did you know that your GPS data is also being collected?

This microdata or better yet empirical data is extraordinarily valuable to an advertiser.  Empirical data can be used to help understand the habits not only for the individual consumer but a group of consumers.  This greatly increases the potential of an advertisement achieving its goal.

Target is a great example of retail brick and mortar business that is also reaching out digitally to its consumers. Target’s mobile app for smartphone Cartwheel allows consumers to choose or scan a product and save money based on your purchases.  Cartwheel is unique as its focus is to get you to turn on the app while you are in the store and use it during your shopping.  While utilizing this app data is being collected – your purchases, things you scan but don’t purchase – even the path you walk through the store.


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