Too Much Information?


Post written by Kim Chapman

The other day, I received a postcard from my insurance company promoting coverage for dependents up to the age of 26, and/or for returning military dependents.  The problem is that I am a 29 year old who has never been in the military.  The scenario got me thinking about how important it is to be able to utilize customer information for any given campaign.  If my correct information would have been utilized, I may have received a relevant promotion that I could take advantage of.

In order to target the right audience, information has to be available. Most businesses obtain customer information through surveys or questionnaires. But as we know, some people (maybe you) are hesitant to give out too much information and this is where the problem arises.  Sometimes providing little or no information may not be in the best interest of the customer if it gets in the way of marketers sending them relevant, targeted promotions that would help them save money.

If you trust a company, and utilize them on a regular basis for a good or service, I would argue that you should provide them with as much information as possible about yourself (should they ask for it).

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New moms ♥ Active moms ♥ Super moms ♥ every MOM

Did this catch your eye?  It definitely got our attention. We chose to write about this for two reasons:  (1) because it was just recently Mother’s Day and this sample subject line is literally speaking to MOMS… so on behalf of The Weinstein Organization, Happy Belated Mother’s Day to all of you Super Moms and Grand Grandmas out there!  (2) It is a recent clever trend in email marketing that you should be aware of.

Many retailers, such as Red Envelope, are capitalizing on the use of symbols, such as hearts, in their subject lines to call greater attention to their promotional message and to stand out from the clutter, or should I say competition, in your inbox.

There are many symbols available to choose from, but you need to ensure that they support your message and are legible in small point sizes. If it is squished and doesn’t make sense, it is not going to help increase your open rates.

It is also a good idea to test the symbols across multiple email clients (Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, etc.) and mobile devices (iPads, iPhones, Blackberry, etc.) before deploying your email campaign to ensure that the majority of your audience can see them. There will always be consumers with outdated equipment that cannot get the full impact of your message, but many email clients have been improving their support for world languages as well as their support for these symbols commonly known as Unicode.

Potential Idea? Favorable Response :)  Test it on Your Next E-Marketing Campaign!


It Used To Be Called "Interactive"

Remember way back (circa 7 years ago) when digital media was called "interactive"?

It seems as if many marketers have forgotten that the roots of digital/online/social media are in the now time-worn idea of interactivity. Isn't that the wonderful inherent advantage of marketing and communicating on the internet? The ability to engage in a real-time back-and-forth with your customers and prospects is something that can't be replicated by TV, Radio, Print and Mail.

Instead of just simply pushing out content on your social media portals, email campaigns and web pages, use them simultaneously as broadcast networks and response channels. Instead of just requesting a like or a follow, incentivize a click to a landing page. Lead them to a pURL. Reward people for sharing your content. Encourage them to come back and bring their networks to your brand.

Think responsively. Promote interactivity. Push Marketing and Pull Marketing can coexist on the internet.


Put “List Maintenance” On Your 2012 To-Do List

You’ve devised the right strategy, crafted the right message and followed all the best practices for generating high response rates for your direct mail campaign. But if you don’t focus the same amount of attention to your mailing list, all that hard work (and a lot of money) can be wasted. With the January USPS postage increase, make 2012 the year you place extra effort to List Maintenance.

The Weinstein Organization offers many List Maintenance services to help ensure your list data is accurate, meets USPS mailing standards, improves deliverability and ultimately increases the effectiveness of your campaign:

  • Data Standardization: Includes address standardization, ZIP correction, ZIP+4 coding, delivery point coding, carrier route coding
  • NCOA (The National Change of Address) Process: Updates old addresses to new addresses when consumers or businesses move.
  • Data Appends and Enhancements: Adds phone numbers, demographic criteria (age, HH income, Home Value, ethnicity, etc.), and Customer Profiles (buyer behavior codes) to your data so you can better understand who your customers are, and target your message more effectively.
  • CASS (Coding Accuracy Support System): Improves accuracy of 5-digit ZIPS, Zip+4, carrier routes and delivery point bar codes, and helps achieve the lowest possible postage rates.
  • Merge/Purge: Combines multiple data files and removes duplicate data, which saves you money in print production and postage.
  • List Hygiene: This process “cleans” your list by correcting addresses, spelling of names, punctuation, and removes any extraneous information that can hinder the deliverability of your mail piece.

Make your list as accurate and efficient as possible to ensure that you don’t waste money, time and resources. Effective list management should be an ongoing process throughout the year. With 20% of the U.S. population moving each year, a “good” list from 6 months ago may not now have the most accurate and up-to-date information. Contact your TWO Account Executive for more information on our List Maintenance services.


The ABCs Of F-Commerce

E-Commerce is the process of developing, marketing, selling, delivering, servicing and paying for products and services on the internet. Typically, this means building a website to interact and transact with your customers. Your marketing drives people to the site, and the experience those customers have on the site will largely determine the chances of them coming back.

But “F-Commerce”, or Facebook Commerce, is different from E-Commerce. It’s almost the reverse perspective of E-Commerce in that customers and prospects are already on Facebook—it’s the marketer who must put their business there.

Facebook isn’t a website, it’s an internet platform. It’s a daily destination for the vast majority of regular internet users, almost regardless of demographic categories. It’s a consumer behavior that is increasingly relevant in peoples’ lives (whether they will admit it or not, 750 million people can’t be wrong).

Some of the world’s biggest brands are selling their goods and services on Facebook, and industry watchers are predicting that in 5 years more sales will be transacted on Facebook than on Amazon. This isn’t hard to believe when you consider how many ways a marketer can do business on the world’s busiest internet portal:

F-Stores: Facebook’s development platforms allow brands to install widgets that convert their Facebook page to an online store, with the ability to tap directly into their e-commerce website and supply chain, process orders and payments, and manage their customer relationships.

Group Buying: Trade “likes” for dollars. Provide your Facebook followers special offers that get better with every person who clicks the “like” button associated with your offer. Or generate significant social network buzz by announcing that a special deal will “go live” when an X-amount of people click the “like” button. It’s not just word-of-mouth, it’s crowd-sourced purchasing power.

Exclusive Offers: With traditional e-commerce (not an oxymoron anymore) you can make special offers to a known group of people—the folks on your list. On Facebook your offers go directly to your page fans, and any action they take on your offer is announced and opened up to their social network. You don’t need to ask them to forward the offer to a friend because all activity on Facebook is viral to begin with.

Facebook Connect: This permission-based marketing approach is conceptually similar to the opt-in, but it goes beyond allowing the marketer to connect with the prospect 1-on-1; it’s a 1-on-1-on-infinity relationship because Facebook Connect asks the individual for permission to look at their entire network and gather information on everyone. Think there’s a huge hurdle to get over regarding privacy? Think again. Every Facebook app from Angry Birds to Scrabble to Twitter on Facebook, asks for permission to tap into the users network first using Facebook Connect. The global success of Angry Birds means millions of people decided that protecting the privacy of their network wasn’t so important after all. If the offer is great, people will do whatever it takes to get access to it.

Shop-And-Tell Plug-Ins: Built into your e-commerce site, these plug-ins will tell a shopper’s network about their recent purchase (with appropriate permission granted first), not only on Facebook, but on your e-commerce site itself. When someone visits your site, they can see if someone from their own Facebook network has purchased something from you. It’s a virtual testimonial, almost as if your friend were waiting at the store for you to say “hey, I just bought this here and you should too”.

Check-In Deals: Facebook took the Foursquare concept and potentially became the biggest check-in network on the internet and in mobile, with their already-huge user base. Incentivizing your customers and prospects to check-in at your brick and mortar location with a special offer is one of the most effective ways to drive foot traffic (remember real, actual stores?) to your business. If you operate a restaurant, offering a small discount off the bill in exchange for a Facebook check-in is not only a great way to advertise your existence and location, it’s also a tacit recommendation. And if the customer checks-in on Facebook and includes a favorable comment about their experience, then you’ve just received a review even Zagat’s can’t measure up to.

F-Commerce isn’t an alternative to E-Commerce, it’s an additional component of a fully integrated marketing campaign. Instead of driving customers to your business, F-Commerce drives your business to your customers. And in turn it can potentially drive your customers’ social networks back to your business.