Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Nonprofits See Year of Generous Giving Ahead

Seven out of 10 nonprofits expect donations to increase this year, and 13% expect their gains to be substantial—growing by at least 15%, according to a recently released survey of 538 charities by the Nonprofit Research Collaborative. As reported by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, charities in the survey said say they are optimistic because 2013 was stronger than any other year since the recession started. Indeed, Blackbaud's Charitable Giving Report for last year showed overall charitable giving grew 4.9% in 2013, while online giving grew 13.5%. The growing impact of online giving also was reflected in the Nonprofit Research Collaborative survey: Nonprofit respondents attributed much of last year’s growth in donations to special fundraising events and e-mail and online appeals, as well as big gifts from wealthy donors. Nonprofits that raised the most said they targeted a mix of donors for small, medium, and large gifts and diversified how they pursued donations by combining channels such as direct mail, social media, e-mail, and grant proposals. See the report on the Nonprofit Research Collaborative survey at https://philanthropy.com/article/70-of-Charities-Expect-Gains/145437/

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Senior Market Increases Use of Internet and Mobile

Seniors are not as tech savvy as millennials yet, but older consumers' Internet and mobile use is climbing. In fact, if higher-income Americans age 65 and up are the target market, be aware that these seniors now use the Internet and broadband at rates approaching or even exceeding the usage rate of the general adult population, according to the latest Pew Research Center study as reported by MarketingProfs. For example, 90% of seniors with an annual household income of $75,000 or more go online and 82% have broadband Internet access at home, compared with rates of 86% and 70% respectively for all adults over age 18. That said, only 59% of seniors overall reported going online in 2013, although that senior rate was still six percentage points ahead of where the 65-plus crowd was in 2012. And, of the seniors who did use the Internet, 71% reported going online every day or almost every day. The Pew study had some senior news for mobile marketers, too: By last year, 77% of U.S. seniors owned a cell phone (up from 69% a year earlier), although only 18% of seniors reported owning a smartphone and 27% had a tablet or e-reader. For more on the Pew data, see the MarketingProfs article at http://www.marketingprofs.com/charts/2014/24878/how-older-americans-are-using-technology

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Increase Triggered E-mails to Upgrade ROI

Looking to improve e-mail marketing performance? Behaviorally triggered e-mail should be on the agenda. Research shows behaviorally targeted, triggered e-mail campaigns achieve 30% higher open and click-through rates and three times the conversion rates of broadcast e-mail, as a recent MarketingProfs article "Three E-mail Marketing Improvement Challenges for 2014" pointed out. Of course, the article included triggered e-mail as a top recommended improvement! The first step is to select programmed "triggers," meaning the customer action/inaction, time or event to trigger e-mail delivery. To boost response, e-mails can then be tailored for delivery timing, subject line and content, and target recipient or recipient group data. More sophisticated programs (such as lead nurturing) can involve sequenced messaging (a track), along with the timing, number and content of messages in each sequence/track. Perhaps you already use basic welcome e-mails and bounce-back purchase thank-yous, but what about adding triggered up-sell or cross-sell suggestions, a lead nurturing series, an educational series, renewal and re-order offers, birthday greetings or customer anniversary e-mails, and reactivation efforts? For more, read http://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2014/24909/three-email-marketing-improvement-challenges-for-2014?adref=nlt041514

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Time to Refresh Your Mobile Marketing Plan

Seeking a bigger bonanza from mobile marketing? A map to gold in the fast-changing mobile landscape would be nice, right? Check out the planning checklist offered in a recent MarketingProfs article by Shawn Aguilar. You'll want to leverage your social media, but, with social networks pushing paid ad products over organic, an unpromoted post that used to reach half your social audience is probably tapping just 10% now, the article warns. Options: Budget for social's mobile-ad products, or win publisher-site sharing for less than the CPCs of promoted posts via mobile-ready content syndication using services such as Gravity or Taboola. Befuddled by format choices? Traditional mobile banners may give you the biggest reach, with support from over 300 mobile ad networks, but research shows that new formats deliver higher engagement, so consider testing in-app interstitial ads as well as the new filmstrip banners and full-page flex banners, which allow for rich content and videos within the banner, the article suggests. We recently reported research showing that ads with video are clear winners in click-through. That makes mobile video ads a smart choice, especially now that major social media platforms have enabled auto play on mobile devices. See the more detailed checklist for your mobile marketing plan at http://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2014/24811/your-five-point-mobile-marketing-checklist

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Big Digital Ads, Video Deliver More Clicks

Bigger is better in the digital ad world, per a new analysis by PointRoll. Its review of over 100 billion digital ad impressions provides some interesting click-through benchmarks for display formats, reports MarketingProfs. For example, larger Rising Star (RS) display ad formats, introduced by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) in 2012, get a 70% higher average click-though rate (CTR) than smaller traditional digital display formats. The IAB's RS units are larger, interactive formats for brand advertising (Billboard, Filmstrip, Portrait, Pushdown, Sidekick and Slider are RS), with RS mobile and video options. The PointRoll study found that the larger RS ads earned an average 0.16% CTR compared with an average 0.09% CTR for standard digital ads. Including video with ads is another way to boost response. In-stream video ads earned a 4.5 times higher CTR on average than Flash ads, and 2.7 times higher CTR than rich media ads. If you don't have in-stream video, at least add video to your rich media promo: Rich media ads with video won a 22% higher average CTR than rich media ads without video. For more on the PointRoll benchmark report, see http://www.marketingprofs.com/charts/2014/24821/digital-ad-benchmarks-performance-by-format

Thursday, April 3, 2014

When You Bore Customers, You Lose Customers

Here's a no-brainer: If your marketing message -- whether delivered via website, direct mail, event booth or in-person pitch -- bores customers, it fails. Recently, Brian Ladyman, a consumer engagement leader at Slalom, penned an article for iMedia Connection with tips on how to avoid slipping into the yawn zone of marketing. His advice was geared to B2B marketers, but it works for B2C content, too. See if you can pep up your marketing by doing some of the following: Make sure your core value proposition is the core of your message and avoid losing audience attention by piling on the meaningless buzzwords even if, especially if, your competition loves them. Make it real and show how your product or service delivers benefits with examples and success stories. Stand out by picking a competitive advantage to highlight with engaging content. Ladyman lauds Volvo's use of a martial arts star to focus attention on the precision steering of its large trucks as an example. Offer choices in what information customers get and how they want to get it. Have you adapted your message for video and mobile formats as well as basic print and online, for example? Chase away boredom by engaging in an interactive relationship with buyers through humor, entertaining visuals and dialog. Take a look at your social media and event efforts with that in mind. For all Brian's tips and examples, go to http://www.imediaconnection.com/content/35982.asp#singleview.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

How Share-Worthy Online Content Wins B2B Buyers

When 88% of business-to-business consumers say online content has played a major to moderate role in vendor selection, B2B marketers need to make sure they are creating compelling online content, and then promoting and targeting effectively. That 88% figure comes from a recent report by The CMO Council and NetLine, as reported by MarketingProfs. The study also found that 94% of B2B buyers, influencers and researchers are not just giving online content a quick look, they are curating and circulating information internally before purchasing B2B goods and services. Targeting and quality of content then should take into account the most common sharing cycles -- led by a from-the-middle-out strategy as execution-level execs use content to educate senior managers about their buying decisions (35%), followed by a from-the-bottom-up pattern as junior execs share with senior management to get buy decisions (30%), and rounded out by a from-the-top-down cycle as senior managers hand content to lower levels for purchase actions (29%). What content is dubbed the most valuable? Research reports and studies (65% of respondents), followed by technical spec sheets and data sheets (50%) and analyst intelligence and insights (46%), according to the survey of 352 B2B buyers (mostly from large companies). Equally important to know for marketers is how potential buyers find online content. The majority (68%) cite search engines and portals, with vendor websites (40%) and trusted sources/peers (25%) rounding out the sourcing. For more on the study, see http://www.marketingprofs.com/charts/2014/24769/how-b2b-buyers-consume-vendor-content