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Why Spam Is Gross (and why not to do it)

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What is Spam?

Why Spam is Gross

No, not this kind of Spam.

Besides being a beloved meat treat in Asia and Hawaii, it is an email communication that is unsolicited and unwanted. The CAN SPAM Compliance Act threatens up $16,000 per violation for a number of email no-no’s, however these are rarely enforced and it is Email Solution Provider that suffers from the sending of spam like communications.

From my experience, the worst a company has to deal with by sending out spam is the cancellation or suspension of their account. While this can be costly and disruptive to an organizations marketing, it pales in comparison to the damage mass amounts of spam can cause an ESP.

Email IP Addresses that are whitelisted and “seasoned” are hard to come by and take a long time to develop. It only takes one bad apple to ruin it for the bunch. So, if you want a strong partnership with your Email Solution Provider be aware of what you are bringing to the table or your relationship will be very short lived.

Here are my top indicators that you are probably spamming

You have had your accounts suspended by a reputable Email Solution Provider

Most email providers cut off your account at a 0.2% threshold for complaints. That means 2 out of every 1000 consumers marked your message as Spam. At FireDrum, we are way above the industry average and allow for three times this rate. Even with our generosity when it comes to complaints, if your company is over 0.6% complaint rate, you will be getting a call from us and most likely your account will be suspended.

We do this not because we are power mongers but because we are protecting your brand and preventing you from making a common marketing mistake – sending emails to people who do not want them.

Your campaign stats are horrible

If you send out an email campaign and 20% of your list bounces and only 1% open it, my guess is that your list is either purchased or you found it on a desktop that was tucked away in your utility room for the last decade. If consumers signed up to receive your emails, then I guarantee less than 20% of the emails will be invalid and more than 1% want to open something from your company.

You purchased a list

Purchasing Email Lists

Don’t trust your reputation to this guy.

I have heard a thousand reasons why purchased lists are okay. They are not! The most common reason I hear is, “I bought a list form a trusted source (i.e. a publicly traded company), they cleaned my list and everyone on the list is opted in (Or my favorite, double opted in).”

Really? Everyone on this list opted in to receive the message you are about to send them? That is amazing since when they opted in they had no idea 2 years later you would buy their name and send them an email. Unless a consumer visits your store, site, social media page, and signs up directly to receive communications about your business then they did not opt-in nor do they want to receive anything from you.

Trust me, the only way to successfully grow your list is by engaging with consumers through different mediums and having them sign up to your email communication at their own free will.

The real issue with the purchased list dynamic is that it is illegal to send emails to consumers who have not explicitly signed up to receive your communications, however it is totally legal and profitable to sell these lists. An appropriate analogy would be to make all sales of drugs legal but use of them illegal.

If Congress wants to provide protection to consumers then they need to make the sale of lists to consumers illegal and then they would do some significant damage to the “Spam” Industry. (Though, thinking about my analogy, history might prove that not very effective)

Conclusion

No matter what anyone tells you, there is no way to cheat in email marketing. Do not buy or rent lists. You will be doing more damage to your brand than good. The companies that sell lists and offer list “hygiene”, email “blasts”, or rental of emails are playing in a very grey area of the Marketing world.

Stay away, I assure you your wallet and customer’s inbox will thank you.

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How much is too much when it comes to Email?

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In the immortal words of Gordon Gekko…

Gordon Gekko, Greed is Good

The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works.

Well then, when is greed too much for your contact lists and when is the line crossed that enough is too much?

As an email consultant, one of the most common questions I receive from new and potential clients is, “How often is too often to send?”

If you simplified email marketing campaigns into their most basic elements, you as the marketer are looking for the highest level of engagement from your contacts. The more opens and clicks, the further down your contacts go in the buying process. If you can push as many contacts far enough down the buying road your revenues and ROI will go up. So why isn’t unlimited email frequency a standard business practice?

Simply put, because consumers have the right to Unsubscribe. They can actively vote if your communications are worthy of their time and attention. If you have developed your email list organically, then you know your contacts want to receive information from you. It is important to not abuse this position of respect from the consumer by betraying their trust and overwhelming them to the point of annoyance. There needs to be a balance between their interest and your passion for conversion.

The purpose of the next three tips is to help guide you along the road of partnership and not down the road of “The Unsubscribe”.

Frequency

Gordon Gekko and Email FrequencyLike the majority of marketing variables, frequency is dependent on the product or service you provide and where the contact is in the sales cycle. Is your product a daily or weekly purchase? Do you sell groceries, lottery tickets, and fast food? If so, your frequency can be very high as long as you are providing valuable content and information to your contacts.

I love Jersey Mike’s, if they sent me a $5 off coupon everyday it is conceivable that I might eat their sandwiches Monday through Friday for lunch (until I am inevitably bored with the #9 and must move on).

If your company has a complex and long sales cycle, using email to walk them through the buying process is a great technique. Use emails to contact your consumers after they have reached a key step or benchmark within the process. Instead of guessing when you should send a communication, let the contact determine what their next steps are and let email be their guide along the way.

If your business falls into the remaining 95% of companies out there, use your email reporting to determine how much is too much. Vary and test the frequency of your communications and let the stats drive your strategy. Are your contacts opening less and less the more you send? Are your unsubscribes doubling with your increased frequency? Keep a close eye on your email statistics and be responsive to their changes.

Content

Gordon Gecko on Email List SizeMore is definitely not better when it comes to email content. I have seen so many examples of organizations that put together endless email copy, highlighting a never ending list of news, products, sponsors, contacts, etc. Extensive email content is bad form for many reasons. Consumer attention is limited, we have all seen the statistics of how inundated we are all with marketing. Cutting through the clutter with a concise targeted message will always have better results than a long-winded generic snooze fest.

Your goal should be to drive consumers from your email to your website since only so much can be accomplished within the email body. If your company has a lot to say, highlight the concepts using email and then drive the consumer to your website where they can explore and continue their informational adventure.

Just make sure you have clear “Call to Actions” to drive conversion and response along their way.

List Size

I know nothing feels better than to see how humongous your list is getting. Even I, take pride in building my own internal lists. There is something to be said to having more contacts then you did the day before. However, more is not always better. You really must consider the quality of your new contacts. Someone requesting product information is infinitely more valuable than a three year old contact that you do not remember obtaining. Understanding the unique segments of your customer base and the types of communications they want to receive, will allow you to hyper target your message and really move the needle when it comes to your brand and your business.

Conclusion

If you’re not inside – you’re outside.
- Gordon Gekko

Respect your contacts. They are more than just an email or name. Your contacts are people, they are fans, they could be customers, and most importantly can be brand ambassadors. Treat your contacts with the respect they deserve and be responsive to their needs. If you focus on who, what, and when, you send them communications you will never need to worry about how much is too much.

35 Subject Line Formulas to Boost Your Open Rates

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What’s the easiest way to get your audience to open your emails?

jump_to_downloadWrite better subject lines.

Of course, you need to have a permission based email list of interested and engaged customers. Your audience’s inboxes are an endless stream of promotions, alerts, notifications, and spam. No matter how great the content of your email is, you’ll need to learn how to write subject lines if you want your audience to open your emails.

Or, you can skip to the bottom and download our “35 Subject Line Formulas to Boost Your Open Rates” guide.

Subject line writing is key to all internet marketing

Subject line writing is key to all internet marketingTrue, writing better subject lines will boost your email open rates, but that’s just the start. Understanding the psychology behind what makes an engaging subject line is the secret to successful email marketing. It will improve your results in nearly every aspect of your marketing, including:

  • Social media headline writing
  • Blog post titles
  • Sales page headlines
  • Presentation titles

The key to understanding how to write great subject lines is about understanding what causes a person to take a certain action. Why they say, “Yes.” And if you’re in the business of marketing – you are in the business of getting people to say, “Yes.”

For the sake of this guide, we’ll break down subject lines into three main categories:

  • Social Proof
  • Fear Tactics
  • Personal Gain

Social Proof

The paradox of choice tells us that when a person is confronted with an abundance of choice, either 1) no choice will be made for fear of making the wrong choice, or 2) a person will make a choice based on the choices other people make.

The more people making that choice, the more comfortable the person making the decision becomes.

Examples of Social Proof subject lines would be:

  • Why 1000’s of Arizonans Will Gather in Scottsdale on September 21st.
  • The new iPhone App your friends are buzzing about.
  • Why 876 Travelers Chose Our Business Last Month.

Fear Tactics

Many times, people will be more motivated to take a specific action for fear that if they don’t, something bad will happen.

Consider these subject lines:

  • Warning: Don’t Shop at Walmart Again Until you Read This.
  • This One Item In Your Home Might Be Harming Your Family.
  • 10 Ways Hackers are targeting your Website Right Now.

Personal Gain

Personal Gain headlines are the easiest to write. Simply state the benefit and promise your reader that if they take action, they will gain this benefit.

Examples of Personal Gain headlines:

  • How to Write the Perfect Facebook Post.
  • Do this for 30-days and Get Rock Hard Abs.
  • How We Went from 0 to 623 Event RSVP’s with No Marketing Budget.

2 Simple Ways to Improve Your Existing Subject Lines

How To Do Everything.Add the words, “How to”

In many cases, simply adding the words “How to” to your existing subject line will have a dramatic improvement on your open rates.

Consider the subject line, “How to grow your Facebook Reach by 50%”.

Removing the “How to” this subject line becomes “Grow your Facebook Reach by 50%”

The second subject line doesn’t make a promise, it makes a statement. By adding “How to” you are making a promise that your user expects you to deliver.

Mention the time commitment

The ultimate battle every marketer faces is the ongoing fight for your audience’s attention span. One way to gain your audiences trust and improve your open rates is to communicate the time commitment required to gain the information.

Consider the subject line, “15 Reasons America’s Economy is crumbling”

Judging by the headline I would assume this would be a long in-depth article. If I don’t have the time, I will skip it.

Now consider how differently this subject line communicates the same article.

“A single trend that is causing America’s economy to crumble”

This signals to the reader that the article will be a short piece of a content and only require a time commitment of a few minutes.

Conclusion

The battle for attention in email marketing is intense. This guide is your weapon in the war for email opens.

Download “35 Subject Line Formulas to Boost Your Open Rates”, print it out and keep it at your desk.

Utilize it when you need inspiration for a new subject line and watch your open rates soar.

Download ’35 Subject Line Formulas to Boost Your Open Rates’

To get the best in internet marketing tips directly in your inbox and download the ’35 Subject Line Formulas to Boost Your Open Rates’ guide, please enter your information below and we’ll take you directly to the download file.

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Purchased Email Lists: The Ugly Truth

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Building an email marketing list can be challenging and time consuming, especially if you’re a new business that is just getting started or trying to grow quickly. Unfortunately, many marketers take the easy road (or so they think) and purchase email lists to help grow their business without knowing the consequences that lie ahead.

Purchased Email Lists: The Ugly Truth

What is a Purchased Email List?

Purchased email lists are a collection of “non-opt-in” email addresses compiled by third-party vendors who then sell the list to a business or individual for a fee.

There are a few methods that third-party vendors use to build these lists. One common method is through banner advertisements placed on websites that offer a prize. And in order to claim the prize, these ads ask that you provide information such as your email address, which is then segmented into categories where you become a “target” for marketers.

Another method vendors use to collect email addresses is through buying email lists from industry trade shows (or other events) where it is common for people to provide their email information during the registration process.

And then there is email harvesting. This sneaky method uses “bots” to scour the web and collect email addresses from websites, forums and comment sections.

The Downside

Nothing good can come from purchasing an email list if you don’t want to take the time to grow it yourself. Here are some reasons why you should avoid purchased lists at all costs:
The Downside of Purchased Email Lists

  • Reputable email marketing providers will not allow users to import a purchased email list.
  • Sending to purchased email lists typically generate high bounce rates due to the email addresses being no longer active.
  • If received, recipients have no idea who you are and most likely will flag your email as spam or simply delete it.
  • If too many recipients report your email as spam your IP address is in danger of being blacklisted and blocked from all future sendings.
  • You’re annoying the people whose business you are trying to earn.

Simply put – purchasing lists is bad practice all together and is not worth the risk of tarnishing your businesses reputation.

Growing Your Email List the Right Way

Growing a healthy email list takes time, but it is rewarding if you grow it the right way without resorting to purchasing a list. Here are our top 10 ways to grow your email list:

  1. Use a paper sign-up sheet. Keep it simple by having a mailing list sign-up sheet readily available for your customers.
  2. Create interesting and relevant content in your emails. If you provide content that people will want to read, chances are they will stay subscribed and will be apt to forward the email on to friends, family and colleagues that are not on your email list.
  3. Create a free online tool or resource that requires people to sign up with their email address. Many companies will use this for prospect and lead generation.
  4. Collect email addresses from events. Don’t forget to send a welcome email to these contacts that allows them to confirm their opt-in to your email list.
  5. Utilize your Facebook business page. Add a newsletter sign-up tab on your page to easily collect email addresses from your followers or potential followers. Also, use your timeline as a way to promote offers that require an email address submission.
  6. Create an engaging opt-in campaign to send to contacts that are on old email lists to reengage with them and ask if they wish to re-opt-in to your emails.
  7. Include a forward-to-a-friend link and social sharing buttons in your emails, so that your email subscribers can easily share and forward your emails to people in their network.
  8. Implement a birthday or anniversary club where you provide something special to people that sign up.
  9. If you are a business that provides goods or services, put an offer on the back of your business cards that entices people to sign up for your email.
  10. Promote an online contest that requires people to sign up or provide their email address for entry.

Our Marketing Experts Are Here to Help!

Do you have questions or are you interested in learning how you can grow your email marketing list the right way? Contact one of our marketing experts today!

Contact a Marketing Expert today

Is your WordPress site safe?

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WordPress has become one of the leading web platforms that powers millions of websites. Unfortunately, for WordPress, they have also become a major target for hackers.

With news surfacing of a new vulnerability, WordPress users need to be aware of the vulnerabilities and the dangers of running an out of date or unsecured WordPress installation.

What can happen if your WordPress site is attacked

how-do-wordpress-blogs-get-hackedMany WordPress hacks begin with Hackers injecting malicious programming into the website which grants them control over the site. Once a hacker has control of a website they can install programs to infect your visitors, compromise your secure data, redirect your site traffic to a new website entirely, and much more.

Hacked websites will often contain pharmaceutical terms (Viagra, Cialis, weight loss pills) or other spam that is unrelated to the website. Hackers can conceal this content in code so that is not visible to the human eye, but is visible to Google bots or other search engines crawling your site. Once this information is indexed by Google, people searching for your site will instead see search results for pharmaceutical companies which originate from your site URL.

Another common form of WordPress hacking involves redirecting your website URL to a different site, or redirecting individual links within a website. For example anyone visiting http://yoursite.com would instantly be forwarded to another website determined by the hacker. The latter method involves the hacker selecting individual links within a website that when clicked will then redirect the user to a new site. This method is much harder to detect.

Why Hackers target WordPress

Since WordPress is an open source platform that powers millions of websites, it has become a target for hacking due to the high volume of sites and extensive documentation that is available. Each time WordPress is updated, they publicly release an update with the new changes and security measures making it easy for hackers to determine possible vulnerabilities in past versions and capitalize on them. Also, WordPress site owners make it easy for hackers to access their site because many of them are not routinely upgrading and securing their sites.

How You Can Secure Your WordPress Site

While there is no way to guarantee 100% security there are a number of preventative measures we recommend.

  • WordPress LogoAvoid easy passwords and update all passwords routinely
  • Always keep the most current version of WordPress installed
  • Keep all plugins up to date
  • Keep your site clean – delete unused files, media, and plugins
  • Monitor for malware
  • Choose the right web host

We are here to help

If your WordPress site has been compromised, or is vulnerable to attacks, we are here to help. Our team will upgrade your site to the newest version of WordPress, update all passwords, complete a full site backup, and implement multiple security features to secure your site against future attacks.


Learn more about our WordPress services and security or contact a consultant today.

Contact a Consultant today

Are your business listings confusing your consumers?

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Introducing FireDrum’s Business Directory & PowerListings Solution

In today’s competitive online marketplace, when it comes to information, people expect nothing less than accuracy. Indeed, misinformation can be the difference between keeping and losing a customer. But accuracy can be elusive, particularly when your brand lives in so many discrete destinations.

FireDrum has the proven expertise to make sure your business information is correct, consistent and convincing. Everywhere. FireDrum’s Business Directory & PowerListings Solution analyzes, identifies, and controls existing business listings of your locations through our unique publisher network, so all of your content is accurate, synced, and up-to-date across every digital channel.

Consistent Business Listings

FireDrum’s Business Directory & PowerListings Solution easily syncs, updates and verifies your business listings across 50+ major publishers such as Google+, Facebook, Yahoo, Bing, MapQuest, Yelp and Foursquare. This service will allow us to identify inconsistencies and correct them within a 72- hour period. Keeping your business listings accurate, with the right description, contact information, recent photos, and an up-to-date promotion will differentiate you from your competitors and generate valuable exposure, direct calls and visits.

Automatic Duplicate Detection and Suppression

Having duplicate business listings appear in search engines can be harmful to a sites SEO and confuse consumers who are trying to find you. FireDrum’s Business Directory & PowerListings Solution not only removes duplicate business listings, but redirects all duplicates to the correct listing.

Email List Building Through Special Offers

FireDrum’s Business Directory & PowerListing Solution enables you to not only keep your business listings accurate and up-to-date, but also gives you the opportunity to instantly create and send a “Featured Message” to every publisher in our network that supports promotions. This featured message can contain special offers, promotion codes, discounts, deals and more – all in exchange for opting into your email list!

Track Reviews across the Web in Real Time

Social media has become a main hub for customer feedback, and knowing what your customers have to say about your business is important. PowerListings social forum makes it easy to stay on top of customer reviews with features such as the number of reviews, which site the review is on, reviewer rating, notification as reviews happen and the option to export all reviews.

Are your business listings accurate? Scan your listings for free today.

Are you communicating your brand effectively?

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Brand Control to Major Tom..

There are several technological innovations in email that are worth writing about. Any topic from deliverability, design, automation, customer segmentation, are worthy enough to focus at least one article on. However, I am a marketer at heart and I love the idea of branding. Digital marketing has provided us significant improvements in relation to customer tracking, profiling, and ROI analysis. But with all of our big data and metric, marketers are shifting too far away from the importance of brand recognition and consistency. In the following paragraphs, I am going to highlight some technologies that for the most part are new to FireDrum’s email system and that have allowed our clients the ability to control their brand in the most efficient and cost effective ways possible.

 

Name Tag

Hello, my name is…

Personalizing an email using a recipient’s information is a great way to establish a relationship that goes beyond just order taking or business as usual. Email systems like most marketing tools are essentially databases storing information related to specific contacts or users of a system. Data Tags are an ideal way to incorporate this information in customer correspondence so that your communication and most importantly your brand stand out. Name use in the subject line increases opening rates, buying preferences can be used to customize content, and birthdays or sign up dates can be used to reward loyal customers. Your organization has taken the time and effort to capture this information from your customers, why not use it to benefit both your recipients and your brand?

To improve is to change, to be perfect is to change often.
- Winston Churchill
Changes or modifications to your messaging can be the difference in if a consumer engages with your communication and call to action or not. One of the most difficult obstacles for companies that represent multiple business units, brands, or locations is the ability to localize and personalize their messaging. All email systems will allow you to create separate communications so that your messaging, contact information, and branding align with your goal. The issue is not, can your communications be branded correctly? It is, if it can be done in a time and cost effective manner? An Email administrator can spend hours and even days versioning out communications one by one. If these marketing tasks are shared by multiple users, a company needs to rely on the fact that the scheduling and proofing of these communications must be done almost simultaneously. The use of an approval or notification process can help immensely when looking to make your brands messaging consistent across the board and be sent in a timely fashion.

At FireDrum, we had a number of clients with issues in regards to brand control and complex sending’s, we needed a solution that was easy to implement and cost effective. Therefore, we developed the “Versioned Template”, combined with our private label system, the template can version itself by pulling customer or account information during the sending process. This could include the injection of a franchise owner’s website specific links and contact information, a sales reps photo, or a logo image inserted in the header to convey a unique product or service. The user fills out the content needed to be sent and the template does the rest to control the brand.

 

The “One” Template – The Template to bind them all

Building off the need for certain emails to be versioned by an account, we created the “One” template. This template provides all the benefits of versioning above but allows for a couple of key time and cost saving differences. It addresses the issue of franchisees or local marketing coordinators not being willing or able to send from their account. Our private label system can “push” a versioned email through their account and recipients would not know the difference. This not only keeps the timing and branding of large email campaigns consistent but provides reporting on a local account level so the history of that account stays intact.

If your business has unique brand and communication needs, we would love to hear from you. Email me at josh@firedrum.com. It is from the unique needs of our customers and partners that we can innovate and provide the best product and service possible.

 

What’s in a Brand?

Everyone knows that branding is an important part of any business so why should your email communications be anything different? Utilizing a custom template not only reinforces your brand, but it is an easy way to update your content while also using a clean, professional design. Many of our clients have benefitted by incorporating elements of their website and other marketing materials and have seen some of their largest ROIs by using email marketing.

Some recent templates to come out of the FireDrum Design Studio include:
Newsletters
Call us at 480.699.1524 or click here to contact us

Utilizing Mobile Technology as Marketing Strategy

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Smartphones are transforming the in-store shopping experience. With $25 billion spent on purchases made from phones and tablets, an increase of 81 percent from the year before, you can’t afford to miss out on a piece of the mobile pie.  In this article we’ll discuss the latest consumer shopping trends and teach you how to capitalize on those trends to grow your business.

Understand how today’s customers are shopping and how they get their information.

As North America’s internet population continues to grow, more and more purchasing decisions are being made online. According to a recent study by Google, shoppers are digging up more information, from more sources as they move along the path to purchase from undecided to decided. The study reveals that among the 5,000 consumers surveyed, 50% turned to search engines to research products, and 38% went online to compare prices.

The Internet is accessible nearly every place we go. Because of this, on-demand services are quickly replacing traditional platforms. Whether at home, work, or in the car, consumers are engaging with content on their own schedules. Traditional advertising is showing diminishing returns as DVR’s allow shoppers to skip commercials, online radio allows for ad-free streaming, and the Internet is allowing for easier price comparisons for the consumer.

Misconceptions about mobile marketing

Tablets are the same as mobile

Picture1Many business owners believe that tablets are the same as mobile. But smartphones aren’t tablets, and vice versa. So what is the easiest place to realize that all devices are not created equal? Conversion rates. The majority of retailers report a smartphone conversion rate of 1%, while reporting a 2.6% conversion rate for tablets. Furthermore, the average ticket for purchases made on tablets is $125, 18% higher than the $106 smartphone average ticket. If you are not optimizing your website for both the tablet and smartphone experience, you will face a challenge as smartphones and tablets will increase mobile web traffic by 26 times during the next four years.

Why do the conversion rates differ? The kind of content being consumed by tablet and smartphone users are very different. Consumers largely use tablets for what is known as, “lazy internet.” – consuming news and content, as well as browsing. Smartphones are used primarily for communication, the use of apps, and consuming “bite size” pieces of content.

Another important factor is where consumers are using each device. Tablets are portable, but smartphones are pocket-able. This results in tablets often being used in the living room or around the house, while smartphones are used on the go.

Only the iPhone/iPad is important

Picture2A common misconception is that the iPhone and iPad rule the smartphone and tablet markets. The truth is Google’s Android platform saw a 0.8% increase from January 2014 to April 2014, up to 52.5% market share. Apple dropped by 0.2% to 41.4%, while Microsoft saw a slight increase of 0.1% to 3.3%.

IDC expects Apple’s share to drop from 14.8% in 2014, to 13.7% in 2018. iOS volumes are expected to hit 184.1 million in 2014, growing to 247.4 million in 2018. Growth of 20% this year will slowly drop to year-over-year growth of 6.1% in 2018, more in line with overall market growth.

You need a mobile website makeover to participate

There are many ways to participate in the mobile device trend without a radical marketing change.

  • Many brick-and-mortar businesses still don’ t allow their customers to shop online. Enabling users to buy online allows you to tap into a new audience.
  • Rather than creating an entire new website, consider creating mobile optimized landing pages instead.
  • Utilize social media platforms to highlight products on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  • Create engaging videos highlighting your products and allow users to download them to their mobile devices.
  • Use email marketing to send regular emails to opted-in participants
  • Use text message marketing to provide incentive to your shoppers
  • Use Google Adwords to target specific devices
  • Make your website mobile friendly by adding a text phone number and address. This allows your shoppers to call you, or get directions with the push of a button.

My customers aren’t using mobile

Many business owners believe that their consumers are not using mobile devices to shop. However, recent data shows that 4 out of 5 consumers use smartphones to shop, and 40% of shoppers consult three or more channels before making a purchase. Mobile internet users are projected to outpace desktop internet users as early as 2015 with a projected 2 billion users on internet connected mobile devices.

Looking at the U.S. population, more than half of all Americans own a smartphone and admit to spending an average of two hours per day on their devices. With 8% of a person’s day spent looking at a mobile screen, there is a huge opportunity for mobile marketers to find customers who are looking for local services, as well as m-commerce customers who want to make a purchase online through their smartphone or other mobile device.

How can you reach mobile/tablet users?

Now that you understand the importance of reaching and engaging  mobile users, here is how you can do it.

  • Create a mobile friendly website.
  • Be active in introducing all of your products using social media.
  • Give incentives to users who opt-in to your email marketing programs.
  • Use paid ads through Google, Twitter, Bing and Facebook.
  • Utilize remarketing campaigns in order to maximize each click.
  • Create romanticized and in-depth product descriptions as to entice users to value the product.
  • Highlight products using videos and leverage that video on all other channels.
  • Create a custom application to better connect with customers.

Still unsure?

As the disparity between desktop and mobile users continues to grow, having a successful mobile marketing strategy in place is important to the long term success of your business. If you’re unsure where to start, FireDrum can deliver a marketing strategy that works. No matter the size or complexity of your organization, we can develop a custom solution for you. In fact, years of experience working with businesses of all sizes has made us the premier choice for organizations who need an internet marketing solution that perfectly aligns to their marketing and communication goals.

Have questions or interested in developing a mobile marketing strategy for your business?

Canada’s new anti-spam law

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There has been a lot of buzz going around regarding Canada’s new anti-spam law (CASL) that goes into effect July 1st and the implications it may have on your marketing efforts. Although it is similar to the CAN-SPAM Act, there are a few important things to be aware of.

Some similarities – both CASL and CAN-SPAM:

  • Are aimed at unsolicited online communications, and unfair/deceptive online practices
  • Require consent to send commercial electronic messages
  • Directly impact business communications with customers, prospective clients, and subscribers

Key differences – CASL has:

  • Reach outside Canada
    • Subject to certain regulatory exceptions, CASL expressly applies to messages “accessed from a computer system in Canada”: message can be sent from outside Canada
  • Higher standard for consent
    • Opt-in (CASL) versus Opt-out (CAN-SPAM)
  • Broader application
    • CASL also applies to installation of computer programs
  • Higher penalties
    • $10 million maximum penalty for CASL contravention

For more information, check out the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s site.

According to the site, there are really only 3 simple rules to follow when sending a CEM (commercial electronic message).

  1. Consent – You must have express or implied consent to send a message
  2. Identification – You must clearly and simply identify yourselves and anyone else on whose behalf the message is sent
  3. Unsubscribe Mechanism – In every message you send, you must provide a way for recipients to unsubscribe from receiving messages in the future

FireDrum is committed to making sure all of our clients are aware of the change and we are here to answer any questions you may have. If you have email contacts in Canada and are still unsure about how the new law may affect you, please contact Matt Ricca at matt@firedrum.com.

Have You Noticed A Drop In Your Open Rates?

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How changes to Yahoo! and AOL will affect your deliverability

Yahoo and AOL have recently changed their DMARC policy to proactively protect their users from receiving fraudulent emails.*

What does this mean to you in English?  Yahoo and AOL will not allow email to be delivered to a Yahoo or AOL account if the user is using a “from address” that contains @yahoo.com or @aol.com.  If you are using a Yahoo or AOL “from address,” then your deliverability will be significantly affected regardless of which ESP you use for email distribution.

So what is the solution?

It’s only a matter of time before other ISPs, such as Gmail and Hotmail, make similar changes. So switching to another freemail provider is only a short-lived fix until these other free providers take on the same policy. Using an email address from your own domain is the only way to prevent future deliverability issues caused by sudden changes made by ISPs. If you do not have your own domain, now might be the time to register one.

Lucky for you, we can help!

FireDrum offers a robust hosting solution for your business complete with plenty of email addresses for everyone in your organization. By registering your own domain (yourcompany.com), you can combat unexpected policy updates and send from yourname@yourcompany.com without the risk of your messages being rejected. For as low as $120 a year, FireDrum can host your domain, allowing you to grow your brand, increase your online presence and improve the deliverability of your email communications.

Have questions or interested in setting up your own domain?

*You can find Yahoo’s announcement of the policy change and its effect on email service providers here.