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How to avoid the spam filter

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By DESIREE GULLAN, co-founder and executive creative director of G&G Digital

What does it take to create an effective email marketing campaign that is not only read, but also engaged with? Mailers must convey a message and create an experience that entices the user to take the desired action.

Email marketing has many benefits and is a highly effective channel that can take the lead or compliment other digital channels, such as banners and paid search. Benefits include,

  • Through personalisation and tailored content, your email marketing campaign improves by 14% in click-throughs and an additional 10% in conversions
  • Easier for customers to understand and interact with, which can increase revenue by 60% when used efficiently
  • Good creative is memorable and engaging
  • Excellent response rate as email marketing drives more conversions than any other marketing channel including search and social.

The above can only be achieved through a strategic, well-crafted email campaign, implemented through smart copy, design and UX. Here are 7 factors to achieve a hardworking email marketing campaign.

1. Multi-channel integration

Consumers prefer content tailored to their needs so they need not do additional work to find what is relevant to them. Multi-channel integration such as QR-codes and tailored landing pages get users right where they need to be in as few clicks as possible. Simplicity is key, 90% of retailers report that a simple, integrated emails gets the best results.

2. Strong visual elements

Strong, compelling visual imagery isn’t just aesthetically appealing, it also helps convey the key message and reduces the need for too much intimidating copy.

3. Create an interactive experience

Users want convenience and ease-of-use such as one-click reviews, purchasing and returns, or whatever your conversion requirement is. Think of your email marketing as effective sales or customer service through a digital platform, in real-time.

4. Utilise live-content

Whether your campaign is for awareness, education or engagement, live-content keeps users intrigued. This could either include a live countdown timer, live scores, streaming an event or even rich media. It’s interactive, captivating and effective.

5. Improve accessibility for disabled users

Be it Siri, Alexa or Google Home, tech is available for all audiences including visually impaired, hearing impaired or physically disabled users.

6. Subject lines rule

Be adventurous and engaging with your subject line. When a user receives an email, the subject line determines whether it will be read or trashed.

7. Avoid these in your subject lines

Spam filters have improved tremendously, so take care when writing subject lines. Stay away from,

  • Caps lock, because who wants to be yelled at by an email?
  • Punctuation marks and obscure symbols are triggers of spam filters.
  • Avoid language such as, free, act now, visit our website, for a limited time only and guarantee.
  • Try not to be too salesy. The best subject lines suggest and intrigue users to read more.

In addition to a well-crafted email campaign, the benefits are substantial through the implementation of the following,

  • Due to low cost per contact, it is cost effective
  • Highly targeted with the correct databases on hand, which can be customised by interests, region and language
  • Highly measurable with the correct tools
  • Constant growth through the creation of new databases
  • Sending four emails per month instead of one which significantly increases the number of users opening the email
  • Email marketing generates more conversations than any other marketing channel
  • Revenue for B2B brands increased by 60% through email marketing automation

Each of the benefits are not just measurable through data, but also clear KPI’s to ensure a significant ROI is gained. This is measured through,

  • Open rate per mail sent out
  • Clickthrough rate
  • Number of emails shared
  • Number of social shares
  • Database growth
  • Delivery and bounce rates

Consumers are bombarded with thousands of marketing messages a day, make sure yours is targeted, relevant, engaging and easy for your target market. This makes your desired conversions achievable which will assist with your objectives.

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Tech promotes connections across groups in emerging markets

Digital technology users say they more regularly interact with people from diverse backgrounds

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Smartphone users – especially those who use social media – say they are more regularly exposed to people who have different backgrounds. They are also more connected with friends they don’t see in person, a Pew Research Center survey of adults in 11 emerging economies finds.

South Africa, included in the study, has among the most consistent levels of connection across age groups and education levels and in terms of cross-cultural connections. This suggests both that smartphones have had a greater democratisation impact in South Africa, but also that the country is more geared to diversity than most others. Of 11 countries surveyed, it has the second-lowest spread between those using smartphones and those not using them in terms of exposure to other religious groups.

Across every country surveyed, those who use smartphones are more likely than those who use less sophisticated phones or no phones at all to regularly interact with people from different religious groups. In most countries, people with smartphones also tend to be more likely to interact regularly with people from different political parties, income levels and racial or ethnic backgrounds. 

The Center’s new report is the third in a series exploring digital connectivity among populations in emerging economies based on nationally representative surveys of adults in Colombia, India, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, the Philippines, Tunisia, South Africa, Venezuela and Vietnam. Earlier reports examined attitudes toward misinformation and mobile technology’s social impact

The survey finds that smartphone and social media use are intertwined: A median of 91% of smartphone users in these countries also use social media or messaging apps, while a median of 81% of social media users say they own or share a smartphone. And, as with smartphone users, social media and messaging app users stand apart from non-users in how often they interact with people who are different from them. For example, 52% of Mexican social media users say they regularly interact with people of a different income level, compared with 28% of non-users. 

These results do not show with certainty that smartphones or social media are the cause of people feeling like they have more diverse networks. For example, those who have resources to buy and maintain a smartphone are likely to differ in many key ways from those who don’t, and it could be that some combination of those differences drives this phenomenon. Still, statistical modelling indicates that smartphone and social media use are independent predictors of greater social network diversity when other factors such as age, education and sex are held constant. 

Other key findings in the report include: 

  • Mobile phones and social media are broadening people’s social networks. More than half in most countries say they see in person only about half or fewer of the people they call or text. Mobile phones are also allowing many to stay in touch with people who live far away: A median of 93% of mobile phone users across the 11 countries surveyed say their phones have mostly helped them keep in touch with those who are far-flung. When it comes to social media, large shares report relationships with “friends” online who are distinct from those they see in person. A median of 46% of Facebook users across the 11 countries report seeing few or none of their Facebook friends in person regularly, compared with a median of 31% of Facebook users who often see most or all of their Facebook friends in person. 
  • Social activities and information seeking on subjects like health and education top the list of mobile activities. The survey asked mobile phone users about 10 different activities they might do on their mobile phones – activities that are social, information-seeking or commercial in nature. Among the most commonly reported activities are casual, social activities. For example, a median of 82% of mobile phone users in the 11 countries surveyed say they used their phone over the past year to send text messages and a median of 69% of users say they took pictures or videos. Many mobile phone users are also using their phones to find new information. For example, a median of 61% of mobile phone users say they used their phones over the past year to look up information about health and medicine for themselves or their families. This is more than the proportion that reports using their phones to get news and information about politics (median of 47%) or to look up information about government services (37%). Additionally, around half or more of mobile phone users in nearly all countries report having used their phones over the past 12 months to learn something important for work or school. 
  • Digital divides emerge in the new mobile-social environment. People with smartphones and social media – as well as younger people, those with higher levels of education, and men – are in some ways reaping more benefits than others, potentially contributing to digital divides. 
    • People with smartphones are much more likely to engage in activities on their phones than people with less sophisticated devices – even if the activity itself is quite simple. For example, people with smartphones are more likely than those with feature or basic phones to send text messages in each of the 11 countries surveyed, even though the activity is technically feasible from all mobile phones. Those who have smartphones are also much more likely to look up information for their households, including about health and government services. 
    •  There are also major differences in mobile usage by age and education level in how their devices are – or are not – broadening their horizons. Younger people are more likely to use their phones for nearly all activities asked about, whether those activities are social, information-seeking or commercial. Phone users with higher levels of education are also more likely to do most activities on their phones and to interact with those who are different from them regularly than those with lower levels of education. 
    •  Gender, too, plays a role in what people do with their devices and how they are exposed to different people and information. Men are more likely than women to say they encounter people who are different from them, whether in terms of race, politics, religion or income. And men tend to be more likely to look up information about government services and to obtain political news and information. 

These findings are drawn from a Pew Research Center survey conducted among 28,122 adults in 11 countries from Sept. 7 to Dec. 7, 2018. In addition to the survey, the Center conducted focus groups with participants in Kenya, Mexico, the Philippines and Tunisia in March 2018, and their comments are included throughout the report. 

Read the full report at https://www.pewinternet.org/2019/08/22/in-emerging-economies-smartphone-and-social-media-users-have-broader-social-networks.

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Nokia to be first with Android 10

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Nokia is likely to be the first smartphone brand to roll out Android 10, after its manufacturer, HMD Global, announced that the Android 10 software upgrade would start in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Previously named Android Q, it was given the number after Google announced it was ditching sweet and dessert names due to confusion in different languages. Android 10 is due for release at the end of the year.

Juho Sarvikas, chief product officer of HMD Global said: “With a proven track record in delivering software updates fast, Nokia smartphones were the first whole portfolio to benefit from a 2-letter upgrade from Android Nougat to Android Oreo and then Android Pie. We were the fastest manufacturer to upgrade from Android Oreo to Android Pie across the range. 

“With today’s roll out plan we look set to do it even faster for Android Pie to Android 10 upgrades. We are the only manufacturer 100% committed to having the latest Android across the entire portfolio.”

HMD Global has given a guarantee that Nokia smartphone owners benefit from two years of OS upgrades and 3 years of security updates.

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