Marketing at the End of the Earth

Written by Janelle Schenher, Account Supervisor

On Sunday, October 15 Felix Baumgartner, Fearless Felix, broke the sound barrier when he leapt from 128,097 feet.  He landed safely on his feet 9 minutes, and 3 seconds later.  He reached speeds over 800 mph and broke three world records.  The mission was called Red Bull Stratos.

This was a marketing event 7 years in the making.  Besides breaking 3 world records, it was the biggest livestreamed event viewed on YouTube to date.   A record audience of more than 8 million people watched it live on YouTube.  To put this number in perspective, before this event, the biggest livestreamed event was the London Olympics of 500,000 viewers.

Red Bull Stratos exposed the Internet’s potential to replace television as the primary viewing medium for major live events.  While at the same time launching the product name Red Bull into the stratosphere.  The jump could be considered a true achievement of effective product placement.

So what does this mean to us, marketers?  Do we all have to jump at the edge of the world for anyone to notice our product?

Probably not.  But where advertising and marketing dollars are spent on commercials during events like the Super Bowl, this “Jump from the Edge of the Earth” might give us all pause.  That money might be better spent on creating Internet events that interest people, while at the same time, put their product front and center.


The Long and Short of Email Copy

Written by: Mark Weinstein, President

Since it is important to quickly grab the attention of an email reader, most email marketers believe, and rightly so, that emails should be visually engaging, short in length and contain a very focused call-to-action.  Most often the goal is to get the reader to click through to a website or microsite.

We agree.  But, are there times when a long copy approach in email makes sense?  Yes.

In a recent series of tests for one of our retail clients we tested a long email with multiple visually impactful coupons versus a short email with one visually engaging coupon and clickable links to the other offers.  The coupon offers and the email broadcast dates were constant. We virtually saw no difference in open rates, click-throughs and most importantly, conversion to sale, between the two email lengths.

But, there are situations when email marketers should consider a bit more copy to engage the reader build relationships and increase clicks.

An Apple online computer accessories and supply company, Other World Computing, effectively builds relationships with its customers with a long copy approach.  Their emails have a friendly, conversational style that often digress into topics like support for the troops, and makes the reader feel he/she received a personal email.  However, throughout the email are tips, links to instructional videos and software updates, and many special, often limited-time, customer-only offers.

Time and Space Toys sells nostalgic collectibles and toys, such as Peanuts, The Grinch and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. They use a newsletter email format, offering details and images from a variety of lines and products. It's the email version of searching through a bin of goodies at a flea market.  Readers keep scrolling hoping to find a special discovery somewhere within the email. Collectors appreciate detailed information, and are willing to take the time to read through copy before clicking through.

If building relationships, sales and making your customers and prospects feel like there are real people on the other side, try a personal long-copy approach.  The results may surprise you.


Porkocalypse – A Bacon Shortage in 2012?

Written by: Kara Monson, Senior Account Executive

This week news reports included a story about a 2012 bacon shortage, according to Britain’s National Pig Association. What? A bacon shortage…how can this be? It’s in everything now from the expected breakfast side dish to the unexpected infused cocktail. As a society we love our bacon. Or at least I do.

Let’s try to be rational for a moment. After this news story spread there’s been several attempts to debunk this shortage.  Slate broke it down by explaining how the British classify bacon differently than Americans. Theirs is from the back of the pig – “back bacon” while Americans eat pork belly.

Second, could this supply or even the bacon “politics” just affect the UK and not the US?  Third, could this be an ultimate marketing ploy? News reports actually advised people stock up now on pork products as the prices will likely rise later. Clearly if there’s a shortage of pigs, not only would there theoretically be less bacon, but pork chops, ribs and of course – ham.

Granted it’s been a hot summer and grains that feed our animals have been more expensive, so I’m prepared grocery store costs will rise. My prediction: it’s a matter of time until the bacon producers develop a new marketing campaign about bacon. Coupons galore. Strike while the pan is hot, so to speak.

Will 2012 really be the porkocalypse? Fear not. We’re not running out of supply…it’s just going to cost more.


What's up with LevelUp?

Written by Chris Czachor, Account Executive

I recently received a piece of mail that really jumped out at me (see images above).  It wasn’t because it was all that great (although it did grab my attention) but it was more because of the company that was sending it to me.

That company is called LevelUp and they are mobile payment company.  LevelUp is trying to change the way people pay for goods and services by allowing them to pay for items with the mobile phones.  Basically, you put in your credit card information on their secure app and use it to pay for goods and services at places that have the LevelUp technology.  It is supposed to make it easier for the consumer to purchase things and better for the business by providing less transaction fees and better customer information.  This industry is huge and there are already plenty of others vying for market share in this exploding market.

So, why was I so intrigued by LevelUp sending me a mailer?  Well, LevelUp is an online-based company dealing with the mobile payment market and they are sending me direct mail, that’s why.  The last few years has seen a huge shift in advertising and marketing dollars to the digital and mobile space and here is a digital company spending some of their marketing budget on direct mail.

I think this is a testament to the effectiveness of direct mail and just shows how even online-based companies see the value in customer acquisition campaigns that include direct mail as a channel.

So, will this direct mail campaign show a positive ROI and be considered a success?  Time will tell, but I will say that for now LevelUp has one new customer.


Too Much of Good Thing?


Written by Account Executive, Kim Chapman

A debate in the email-marketing world has been going on for over a decade: how often to send out emails.

When brushing up on my research, I found advice/factoids concerning this topic from the early 2000s all the way up to this past month. Here are some tidbits:

  • At a minimum, communicate with your customers once a month. If not, you are not staying top of mind.
  • Send e-blasts a maximum of once per week; click-thrus and opens both drop dramatically once you get more frequent than weekly.
  • Declining open rates could signify an increase of indifference towards your brand, possibly caused by over-mailing.
  • If you’re considering an email campaign more frequent than once per week, you have to ask yourself whether the information is really that time sensitive.
  • At a minimum, you should send weekly if you are selling a product or service.

While some of this information is helpful, it seems a bit contradictory. So what’s a marketer to do?

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