The Wax Blog

email marketingAfter 21 years taking the stage on The Late Show, David Letterman has sadly announced his retirement. Not only leaving behind years of laughter and a comedic legacy, Letterman has also produced valuable lessons for email marketers searching for success. Just as Letterman’s producers would work endlessly behind-the-scenes to ensure his opening act would be a hit with the audience, marketers should take a similar course of action to create a star subject line. For email marketers, every one of their campaigns acts similarly to an episode of The Late Show, with the subject line serving as the opening act and setting the stage for the rest of the show. To ensure the audience is hooked and engaged throughout the entire process, marketers must to invest the appropriate time and resources into creating a killer opening act with a star subject line. If not, they’ll be sure to have a flop right into the spam folder. Campaigner, an email marketing firm, has identified these top-three tips for email marketers to channel their inner Letterman and set the stage with an attention-grabbing subject,  to increase overall engagement and ROI.

Research compiled by Zephoria shows that 42 percent of marketers say using Facebook is critical or important to their business. Moreover, Facebook reported more than 30 million active small business pages in June of 2014. However, people soon learn that just setting up a page isn’t enough; pages need to be active to make a real difference. Faced with this challenge, many business owners choose to be more conservative with their posts, but in doing so, fail to engage and interact with their potential customers. As a business, connecting with an audience is not as difficult as it might seem. Mashable reports that approximately 70 percent of Facebook’s monthly active users in North America are connected to a local business on the site. To help you navigate the waters, here are a few tips for adding personality to your brand on Facebook; personality that consumers respond to.

Social Marketing

A common mistake is only publishing posts that serve as announcements about their company. But you should know that this form of ‘push’ marketing is ineffective and doesn’t use the social medium of Facebook to its full potential. Facebook is about interaction, so your posts need to be the catalyst for more engagement, rather than just churning out messages with no room for conversation.

Earlier this week, I had a great time participating in the @ProfNet brand journalism Twitter chat. I joined journalists and PR professionals from around the world to talk about what brand journalism is and how it's affecting traditional journalism. See a summary of the chat on ProfNet. I've compiled the following key themes that we discussed. What is brand journalism?
  • Stories written by the brand - about the brand and its industry.
  • Content that increases awareness, promotes and educates about a brand.
How does brand journalism differ from content marketing & native ads?
  • It's a subset of content & marketing - the storytelling piece.
  • It's controlled content.

If you have a successful blog - business or otherwise - chances are you've considered monetizing to see some financial ROI from your hard work. There's nothing wrong with wanting to earn from your blog, and there are many options with which you can earn, from affiliate links to advertising networks of all shapes and sizes. The only problem with monetizing your blog in this way is you may find yourself earning pennies at a time, with high minimum cash-out amounts (i.e. you can only get paid when you reach a predetermined threshold, and even $10 minimum takes a lot of time when you're earning $.01/click). If your traffic is absolutely insane and your readers are extremely engaged with your blog, though, monetizing this way is a viable option. Word of warning, however: don't monetize to the point where the ads become annoying to your visitors, or you'll lose them! There's another option to earn with your writing and your expertise, and that is writing for a revenue share site. Often this is a much more profitable proposition. There are a lot of revenue sharing sites that pay pennies per ad click as well, so you have to look around to find the best opportunity for you. But if you have an established blog, there's a good chance you can write for revenue share for a larger site that guarantees a rate of pay per article or based on traffic. If you're writing for a major business blog and they're guaranteeing you a good rate per traffic, a certain amount of traffic is already built-in, so that's a pretty safe bet. If they also offer a guaranteed payment per post, even better. Furthermore, the big sites are often syndicated on news aggregators and linked to by other significant sites, all of which equals the opportunity for your post to go viral and your traffic-based earnings to soar.

mom owned businessMove over Al Capone, there's a new MOB in town. Mom-owned businesses (MOBs) are reaching new heights with innovative products designed to improve family life. Because moms are constantly seeking new ways to create better lives for their children, success is in large part due to their little muses. And, thanks to a mother's inherent nurturing abilities, identifying gaps in the market is purely mother's intuition. Need a little inspiration to kick-start your entrepreneurial endeavors? These three stories are sure to bring out the MOB mentality in you.

SwaddleDesigns

Our first mom-owned business: Lynette Damir, RN, CEO and Creative Director of SwaddleDesigns, launched a swaddling renaissance back in 2002. During home visits, Damir noticed a pattern among new parents. It seemed the practice of swaddling had become a long-lost art, and first-time parents were sleep deprived and exhausted because their baby was not swaddled and no one was getting much sleep. On her site, Damir describes how parents consistently asked her to share the secret of the hospital nurses: how to swaddle. Combining her passion for helping others with her medical background and design education, Damir developed the Ultimate Swaddle Blanket. Today, this mom-CEO has the SwaddleDesigns brand in Target stores nationwide. Because the brand only uses the highest quality materials to make its swaddling blankets, SwaddleDesigns has become a highly respectable brand across the industry.

PackIt Personal Cooler

[caption id="attachment_6387" align="alignright" width="300"] "Modi Run" mobile app[/caption] Welcome to the first in a series of monthly profiles I'll be posting to highlight great IMC campaigns, both recent and past. This month we profile one of my favorites - the IMC magic worked by the Bharatiya Janata Party of India. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was formed in 1951 as an "Integral Humanist" party, which basically means the BJP strives to create an economic model (indigenous to India) that places the human at the center of all concerns. BJP's presence in India is significant - it's the largest party represented in parliament and the second largest represented in individual states. In 2014 Nahendra Modi won by a landslide with an IMC camapaign that was modeled on an examination of Justin Bieber's rise to fame and the Gangnam Style video. There's even a slideshare of the proposed campaign, which is where I found this example initially. Why did BJP turn to integrated marketing communications? They realized IMC's power for increased reach and branding through messaging that appeals directly to their target audience. For example in a given election year, that audience includes a significant youth presence, as the BJP aims to motivate youth to vote.  

I've written about ways to determine whether you're truly doing integrated marketing communications, or IMC. Everyone says they're doing integrated marketing in some way or another. It's always a struggle, however, to determine where your priorities lie in terms of really diving into the practice. The IMC Report Card  is a tool I created to help my clients and others figure out how to prioritize their strategies and tactics. It's a simple way to objectively review where you stand regarding the components that make up the critical success factors for IMC.  Here's a quick primer to help you "grade" your brand or organization (or someone else's) on their IMC proficiency.
  • The first questions ask about messaging. You must have a consistent message, but it also needs to be translated for every messaging channel. Do you see a lot of disparate, beautifully worded messages? That means the team was more focused on wordsmithing than on conveying simple ideas of what the brand does, why it does it, and for whom it does it. Sometimes the message is written so beautifully it doesn't resonate with the target audience. If you're selling to moms, are you talking to moms in a way that appeals to them? Or are you talking like an industry insider? These are all the kinds of questions I think about when I'm reviewing a company's messaging.
  • Next, does it look like the company or brand understands how their customers buy? In other words, am I led down a path that clearly leads to a  commitment or conversion when I go to social media, or the website, or any earned or owned media for that matter? Am I directed at all by the messaging?  

When it comes to your website, your goal is to make it as easy as possible for your client to get information. If you make it easy, they’re more likely to look, and therefore more likely to buy from you. Increasing the simplicity of decision-making by 20 percent increases the chances of clients purchasing by 86 percent. Insert a form that allows clients to enter the criteria they are looking for, and provide tailored search results. This increases the chances that they are matched with a product that meets their needs exactly.shutterstock_141377746 The main question is where to put your forms to get the most benefit.

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