Digital Marketing

4 Reasons Why Email Campaigns Fail

In past posts I’ve covered why email marketing should be a part of a digital strategy and communications plan. The data driven nature and impressive ROI makes it a go-to tactic but it’s easy to do email marketing wrong. Here are a few common pitfalls we’ve seen over the years.

1. The “send to” list isn’t solid

listThe core to email marketing is your list. If this component isn’t solid then the likelihood of having high open rates and decent click through in your campaigns is unlikely. Ideally, lists should be created “naturally” as the user should opt-in to your email communications. I would avoid purchasing lists as sending to those lists could be viewed as spam and in general are poor quality.
  

2. Data isn’t used to its fullest potential

data-iconEmail marketing has one of the highest ROIs compared to other digital marketing tactics. The reason why email ranks so high is that it is data driven. If you aren’t monitoring open rates, click through rates, subject lines, clicks, etc., you’ve pretty much missed the point of email marketing. From the data gathered, strong email marketers will modify, evolve and segment users/lists based around the data and patterns observed.
  
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BuzzLine

BuzzLine: Sharks in the Media – Time for Change?

sharkWhat do you get when you add a splash of mystery, a good hook, and a tear-able villain that never sleeps? One of the longest running television events in history.

Unless you’ve been living in a bubble, you’ve either seen or heard about Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. It’s a full seven days dedicated to fueling American’s fascination of everything shark-related. The 27-year-old program delivers shows ranging from fiction “documentaries” to real-life footage of shark encounters and attracts a variety of people from curious children to thrill-seeking adults.

Shark Week isn’t the only event obsessing over our fish friends though. Recently “Sharknado 2: The Second One” aired on television and audiences around the globe watched as the U.S. experienced a fictional tornado filled with ravenous human-devouring sharks.

But why are we so consumed by these shark-themed programs? Is it the real-life threat lurking near our beaches, or the mystery of a species that has been characterized as a villain since the days of “Jaws”? Whatever it is, we love it and don’t want it to stop – but maybe it’s time for an update.

In lieu of Shark…

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Digital Marketing

How 3 Companies Are Harnessing UGC To Tap Millennials

pic 1When we hear the word “advertising,” we think paid content meant to grab our attention and convince us to buy this product or that service; we think commercials, billboards and annoying pop-up ads online.

But advertising doesn’t have to be intrusive. In fact, the right tools and messaging can actually make for an inclusive advertising experience—one that people will pay attention to because they’re interested in participating, not because it’s forced in front of them.

User-generated content (UGC) refers to media contributed by the general public. This can be a blog post, YouTube video, restaurant review, Facebook status, tweet, Instagram photo or Vine video clip, to name a few examples. It’s no secret that Millennials love UGC. According to Ipsos MediaCT research shared by Mashable, Millennials spend 18 hours per day with media, 30 percent of which is media created by their peers (UGC).

Not only does UGC allow for an inclusive brand experience, it also warrants an active one. Traditional advertisements make some sort of passive appearance, with the company’s hope that the audience will absorb whatever information is presented to them and develop a want or need for what’s…

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Digital Marketing

5 PR Lessons from the ALS #IceBucketChallenge

Ice bucket

It all started a couple of weeks ago. You saw it on your Facebook feed: friends dumping a bucket full of icy water on their heads and then nominating others to do it as well, all for a good cause – ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease).

Then it was two friends on your feed… then five… then seven… then last Friday, it was Mark Zuckerberg.  At this point, you’ve probably done it yourself!

The ALS Ice Bucket challenge is the tidiest social media campaign we’ve seen in a while. It’s beautiful. And, the rules are such that it literally could not exist without social technology.  It has reinvigorated a medium overrun with high profile brands jockeying for likes and comments.

So, how did this campaign go viral, and what can you learn from it?

1) Be Genuine – Here’s the catch, ALS did not actually create this campaign. It started as a challenge to just give to charity in general. It became associated with ALS when it started gaining steam. Pete Frates, a former Boston College baseball player who was diagnosed with ALS, took the challenge on July 31, and the campaign took off. Because the campaign is completely genuine…

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Digital Marketing

Back to School Food Safety

Back-to-SchoolIt’s that time of year again. Back to school is right around the corner, and many parents are overwhelmed with all of the preparation it takes to get ready for the year. If you pack a lunch for your child, you’re probably conscious of making it nutritious and delicious, but have you thought about its safety?

Kids' LunchFoodborne illness is a serious public health issue and can have major consequences well beyond a tummy ache. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated one in six Americans (or 48 million people) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases.

A study, published by the American Academy of Pediatrics’ journal, examined lunches of more than 700 preschool children and found that more than 90 percent were kept at unsafe temperature. Harmful bacteria multiply rapidly in what is known as the temperature “Danger Zone” – between 40 °F and 140 °F (4.4 °C and 60 °C). This means that food that sits out without being refrigerated or stored in an insulated bag with one…

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Digital Marketing

Digital Campaigns, Deals and Tools to Help Ease The Back-to-School Burden

2014-back-to-school-infographic-662pxIt’s officially back to school season. Every year, I try to find some way to streamline this process and minimize the exodus of spending that can occur. According to the National Retail Federation, total back-to-school spending in the United States is expected to reach $26.5 billion in 2014. WOW!

Seems like there are always more ways to spend your money on back-to-school supplies and clothes, than there is actual money.

This year, my research has focused on finding the digital campaigns, deals and tools that can help ease the back-to-school burden and leave more greenbacks in your bank account, or at least make you feel a little bit better about your spending.

Target is now selling Yoobi school supplies. For every Yoobi item you buy, a Yoobi item is donated to a classroom in need. Check out the video to learn more.

If you haven’t checked out Target’s mobile app Cartwheel, you should. It’s gaining momentum and enables you to scan Target deals through coupon codes from your phone as you check out.

Walmart has a great tool to help you find your school’s supply list and match it to…

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Digital Marketing

How a Website Relaunch Grew Email Subscriptions by 30% in One Month

4 Strategies to Ensure a Killer Site Launch
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Over the past six months the digital team at PadillaCRT has been working hard on a website refresh for the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council. Starting with a fresh IA, UX, UI and content we knew that this was a site that the world needed to see. Maybe “the world” was a little lofty, but if you were remotely interested in blueberries, we wanted you on the Council’s website. With the site launched on July 1st (during peak Blueberry season) the team timed a handful of strategies and tactics that would drive traffic and awareness of our newly launched website and content.

All in all the results have been stunning and we’ve seen a 290% increase in site visits compared to July 2013 and a 557% increase compared to June 2014. Not only have we been impressed with those visitor stats, but those visits have led to a 30% increase in our email subscriber database in one short month. Here’s some insight into what we did:

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Branding

When Journalism and Brand Management Collide

Recently, PadillaCRT hosted a “meet the journalist” breakfast that invited a local magazine editor to our office to discuss their role and answer questions regarding how we can provide relevant content and news ideas on behalf of our clients. During the conversation, we were reminded of what most of us in the PR industry already know – editors are busy, their outlets are understaffed and their inboxes are often flooded with hundreds upon hundreds of unrelated email pitches from PR professionals assuming that their audience will be interested, which is a huge pet-peeve!

But, as I walked away from that meeting, I was left thinking about the relationship between brands and media. Given the shrinking number of journalists reporting for publications and the onset of owned content, the landscape and connection between journalist, brand and PR agency is changing. Journalists are up against native advertising, eBooks, videos and more that are not usually distinguished as advertising or marketing and further blur the lines between editorial and paid content.

Getty Images

Similarly, the PR industry is being impacted by these changes. Fewer media opportunities mean more occasions to self-publish and syndicate. Some brands are…

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Digital Marketing

Finding balance in a digital world – it’s complicated!

In April, I attended the ClickZ conference in NYC. The conference centered on the topics of paid, earned, owned, shared and integrated media. Keynote Randi Zuckerberg shared her message of the Dot Complicated world in which we work, live and innovate in our daily lives. She even has a children’s book out called “Dot,” soon to be turned into a cartoon by the Jim Henson Company. She challenged us to find ways to have technology in our lives while still finding time to shut down, be polite and balance.

But bedtime without my Kindle?

How can we find balance and turn off those devices as digital innovators and still keep our jobs in this industry? It’s no secret that to be digital means continually learning. Skills, trends, innovation and relevancy are ALL critical to our customers, our competition and us. But how in the HECK can you get any sleep? I challenged myself to think of a few things I could not live without, and how I could get these things done better and in less time, so that I have more time to enjoy life. Here’s what I came up with.

But wait, there’s more!

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Digital Marketing

Why Beverage Brand Campaigns Have To Take An Integrated Approach

While we don’t completely understand the long-term impact of the communication revolution yet, one thing is certain:  the advent of changes such as smartphones and social media have profoundly shifted the fundamental principles of human communication.  Consider, for instance, that many schools don’t bother teaching kids how to write in cursive anymore.  What does this have to do with booze you ask?  Well, everything we do as professional beverage communicators must continue to evolve accordingly.   This truth, coupled with the U.S.’s position as the world’s most crowded marketplace for beverage alcohol brands, leads to an unavoidable reality…a brand has to be dynamic or die trying.

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So how do you do it?  Especially without spending $10 million a year which, let’s face it, only enormous spirits brands can afford. Traditional PR campaigns with a few tastings and occasional lifestyle partnerships sprinkled on top are a thing of the past.  For growth and long-term positioning, even a basic promotional campaign strategy has to include all elements of engagement with beverage alcohol consumers and those who supply us them.  Media relations, social media, event production, retail promotions, on-premise partnerships, branding, advertising and…

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