Monday, June 25, 2012

Email Still Getting It Done
Will telemarketers to ever adapt to the new landscape? Who are biggest influencers on Facebook?

A new report from Epsilon and the Direct Marketing Association’s Email Experience Council shows a steady increase in open rates over both Q4 2011 and Q1 2011 as overall volume declined. Highlights compiled from 7.1 billion emails from January through March 2012 show that:
  • Open rates increased 12.6 percent year over year, with an overall open rate of 26.2 percent
  • Click rates decreased 0.5 percentage points (8.3% overall) from last quarter to 4.7 percent. Click rates also decreased from Q1 2011 (5.2%), but continue to remain established over the last two years
  • Open rates for triggered messages were 75 percent higher than for "business as usual" (BAU) in Q1
  • 2012Triggered messages continued to perform well with 119 percent higher click rates than BAU
In a statement, Judy Loschen, Vice President of Digital Analytics at Epsilon, said “open rates continue to increase as click rates decrease... partially a result of consumers' tendency to open emails on their mobile devices... then abandon without clicking because the content is not optimized... or the mobile experience is lacking.” 

Telemarketers May Have to Pay for Privilege of Bugging You
James Rule’s thought-provoking op-ed piece in last Thursday’s NY Times got us thinking about the future of telemarketing. As we gear up for highly anticipated November elections, automated “robocalls” will be invading our homes and businesses like never before. Not only will unwanted calls increasingly irk consumers and small business owners, but will continue to give all marketers a bad reputation. Rule, a sociologist and a scholar at the Center for the Study of Law and Society at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, argues that all telephone service providers should be required to offer every subscriber the option of accepting only “bonded” calls. To complete a call to a subscriber electing this option, the caller would have to show willingness and ability to compensate the recipient — should the latter designate the call a nuisance. Before calls to these numbers could be completed, a message would state the amount of the potential charge. A few seconds after the connection is established, the recipient would have the option of terminating the call and charging the caller by pressing a keypad button.” The technology already exists. A “simple, low-tech regulatory change could shift the advantage decisively back in the direction of privacy,” rule explains.

Facebook Study: Women influence men more than other women

A new study of Facebook users suggests that men are major influencers, while younger users and married people are the least susceptible to suggestion. The researchers sought to figure out who influences whom by tracking 1.3 million Facebook users. Specifically, they followed 7,730 users who tried out an application that allowed them to rate movies and actors, among other Hollywood-related subjects. Whenever a user rated something, Facebook randomly sent messages to that user's Facebook friends disclosing the rating and including information about the application.
The researchers were able to track who had the most success when it came to convincing others to try the application and who was most likely to be convinced. However, not many people seemed interested in the application: The notifications went out to almost 42,000 Facebook friends, but only 976 actually tried it out.
Among the findings: Women have more influence on men than other women, and people 30 and older are more influential than younger people.
Study lead author, Sinan Aral, assistant professor of information, operations and management science at New York University, said in a statement that, "These types of targeted advertising will be based on whether you're a likely candidate to be influential considering the type of product. The idea is to make sure that people get the messages that they are most interested in and less spammy interactions."
What could advertisers of computer applications do with information from this kind of study?
"You'll want to use estimates from our methods to find people who are more influential, who have friends who are susceptible, and have a low spontaneous likelihood of adopting the program on their own," Aral said. That way, advertisers won't waste money trying to reach influential people who don't need coaxing to try a product.
The study was published online June 21 in the journal Science. The American Psychological Association has more on social networking.


As we’ve said time and time again, every type of legitimate marketing deserves a seat at the table—there’s no one size fits all solution and the cheapest approach usually comes back to bit you in the rear-end over the long haul. Whether you’re in B2B or B2C, those with the smarter marketing approach will always win out over those with the larger marketing budgets. Your customers, clients and advocates will thank you again and again for taking the time to respect their time.


Epsilon, Direct Marketing Association’s Email Experience Council, Facebook Influencers, Email marketers, James Rule, Sinan Aral New York University, University of California Berkley, Telemarketing, Do Not Call Registry, robo calls

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