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Mercedes Email Saga Continues...

Regular readers of this blog know that I gave been less than complimentary of the email marketing efforts made by Mercedes Benz USA.  I would like to report that they have turned the corner and fugured it out, but alas, no.  The most recent email I received, though much better than previous efforts with clear art and a decent call to action, still managed to violate a central marketing tenet; know your customer.

How hard is it to either survey your customer base to learn about them (which is the ideal method to start a two way dialogue your buyers) or to passively append critical demographic information about them?  I am single with no children.  The following solicitation shows how little it appears that I mean to the firm. If you click on the picture there is a clear view.

 MBUSA_kids copy 
Irrelevant art, copy, and offers will turn off your customer base.  I suppose it is true that it is possible that I have a niece, but that seems like a big stretch.  There is little doubt that poorly targeted marketing communications sent on the basis of incomplete data with irrelevant messages will hurt both the brand and the customer relationship.

Take Away
As marketers shift ever larger portions of their budget away from traditional channels to the web, email, and social media, it is critical to keep in mind the lessons learned in the past 50 years of direct marketing.   There is no excuse, just because the channel is new to your firm, to send irrelevant content to your best prospects – your current customers.  Know your customer and start a two way conversation with them to learn more.


Using Purls with Email - 2010 VDP Web Webinar Series

Using Purls with Email

Tuesday, May 10th at 1:00pm EST, Presented by VDP Web®

Discover the best tips and techniques for combining personalized URLs with email marketing. See how both HP and United Health Care market cross channel to both build brand and generate leads. Join JFM, GAP Marketing, and Sexton Printing in this critical session on marketing communications effectiveness.

To register, please visit   http://pande.vdpconcepts.com

Who will benefit from this session?
• Commercial printer management teams
• Agency management teams
• Agency account executives
• Printer sales teams
• Fulfillment and Operations personnel
• In house marketing teams
• MSP consultants and advisors

This session will explore:
• Development of email marketing lists
• CAN SPAM consideration
• Brand protection from rented “opt-in” lists
• Sales challenges in variable data cross media, including email as part of the project
• Practical fulfillment lessons learned

This informal discussion will feature real life samples and Q & A with experienced industry executives.

George Culbertson: Principal, GAP Marketing Group  
GAP helps clients evolve into highly efficient, differentiated and valued companies by taking marketing effectiveness to the next level. We understand your challenges and how to solve them using leading edge practices.
gapmarketinggroup.com

James Michelson: Principal, JFM Concepts
JFM Concepts is a full service cross media marketing technology firm featuring the VDP Complete® marketing system and VDP Web® Online software as a service. JFM specializes in creating variable data cross media marketing technologies with Personalized URLs, Email, SMS Text, QR Codes, Phone Tracking, Video, QR Codes, and more for commercial printers, agencies, and marketing departments of all sizes. The firm knows that technology development and marketing should come together to document both improved response rates and improving return on investment (ROI).
jfmconcepts.com

Jeff Stoks: Vice President of IT, Sexton Printing
For nearly 60 years, Sexton Printing has been dedicated to providing the most advanced print solutions available. The key to our success? A three-tiered focus on Integrity, Service and Innovation. We’re up-to-date with the most advanced technologies in design and print, so your product will never lack for efficiency or style.
sextonprinting.com

Can’t make the date?  This program will also be repeated on: Tuesday, June 17th at 1:00pm EST


PURL Birthday Frivolity with VDP Web

From the creative minds at Feature Group USA in St. Louis, the following webpage with integrated survey was created using VDP Web to celebrate (or harass, you can decide which) the client’s support team.  Eleanor, the mighty production manger – sword in hand, John the Programming Wizard, Josh the sales fairy, and Jim – well, enough said, are lauded by the client Frog Queen on occasion of Jim’s 40th Birthday.

 

http://hero.myfeatureve.com/jimsbirthday

 

Although a fun piece, Alyson Kendall from Feature Group shows how a personalized landing page can capture attention and reinforce brand loyalty without a sales pitch or even a call to action.  You may not wish to call your client a Birthday Princess, but the idea is a powerful one.

 

Thank you Alyson!


Infogroup are Spammers?


Suddenly, we are getting spam emails for everything from local concerts and feminine products (and not the iPad kind) from Infogroup to an email that has never been used as a contact email address for anything and could only have been lifted from the web. There is no way possible this email was ever opted in to any list, even with some sneaky phone call or small print in a free offer.

 

As a marketer, we would never give permission for our sales contact email to be added to any list by telephone or any other means.  We know what to look for.  Infogroup certainly looks to be spamming like crazy.

 

I expect that they feel that any fine ever levied by the government will be less than the profit they could make by breaking any applicable laws.

 

As a professional marketing service, we find this behavior to be damaging to the entire community and completely inappropriate.  Here is a snippet from the latest email for consumer goods sent to a business address...

 

InfogroupSpamFooter


 


Cross Media Marketing 2010 Whitepaper - Completely Revised

JFM Concepts is proud to announce the release of a new edition of the popular Cross Media Marketing Whitepaper, completely revised for 2010, covering the major issues that marketers and need to consider when creating cross channel campaigns.

The shift in marketing budgets from traditional to new media continues at a rapid pace and shows no signs of slowing down.  Cross Media Marketing 2010 explores the key issue that marketers face when developing cross channel campaigns that need to involve both social and traditional media channels.

To download, please visit: http://wp.vdpconcepts.com/

It is both practical and cost effective for firms of any size to conduct sophisticated 1:1 cross media marketing applications featuring highly personalized and relevant content.  The content can be delivered across any media including direct mail, email, web pages, and even from static advertising.  These campaigns can be executed without the acquisition of new marketing skill and trained employees, the purchase of new software and licenses, or the addition of expensive hardware.  By implementing an automated lead generation system, a large universe of prospects can be narrowed to a list of warm leads which can dramatically improves response rates and Return on Investment (ROI).  The entire campaign can be tracked with detailed reporting that is available 24/7 and can include all facets of the campaign.

Learn how the experts are conducting robust cross channel marketing campaigns and leveraging Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and others to gather customer information, start a two conversation, generate leads, and create measureable ROI from these channels for both clients and themselves. Discover how tinyurls, landing pages, and easy opt-ins can provide Marketing Service Providers passive revenue and even put ink on paper.

In this paper:

- Discover the best tips and techniques for combining personalized URLs with email marketing
- Explore QR Codes and other hot marketing trends
- Analyze the 2010 Cross Media Marketing Outlook for both marketing service providers and internal marketers

To download, please visit: http://wp.vdpconcepts.com/


2010 Webinar Series – "Everything Cross Media Marketing"

New marketing channels and strategies are hard to stay abreast of. Keep ahead of the curve (and your clients or boss!) by attending this series of free webinars presented by JFM Concepts, makers of the VDP Web Cross Media Platform.

Using Purls with Email

Discover the best tips and techniques for combining personalized URLs with email marketing. See how HP and United Health Care market cross channel to both build brand and generate leads. Join both JFM, GAP Marketing, and a leading commercial printer in this critical session on marketing communications effectiveness. Register

Tuesday, May 10th at 1:00pm EST
Tuesday, June 17th at 1:00pm EST

QR Codes & other Hot Items

Explore QR Codes and other hot marketing trends. Discover how savvy marketers are catching the attention of prospects on the web, in print, and over the airwaves. Register

Tuesday, May 13th at 1:00pm EST
Tuesday, June 15th at 1:00pm EST

Effective Landing Page Design

Join JFM Concept’s award winning design team to learn the tricks of the trade for effective landing page design for both web and mobile applications. Register  

Tuesday, August 10th at 1:00pm EST
Tuesday, September 16th at 1:00pm EST

Linking Social and Cross Media Marketing

Learn how the experts are conducting robust cross channel marketing campaigns and leveraging Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and others to gather customer information, start a two conversation, generate leads, and create measureable ROI from these channels for both clients and themselves. Discover how tinyurls, landing pages, and easy opt-ins can provide Marketing Service Providers passive revenue and even put ink on paper. Register

Tuesday, August 12th at 1:00pm EST
Tuesday, September 14th at 1:00pm EST

Cross Media Holiday Marketing

Join JFM Concepts and two of its Enterprise clients to discover how Holiday cross media marketing can provide sales leads and good will even without an offer or sales call to action. Learn how cross channel communications with mail, email, social media, and landing pages can turn an expense into a revenue generating activity. Your customrs, clients, and prospects will love it! Register

Tuesday, November 2th at 1:00pm EST
Tuesday, November 4th at 1:00pm EST

2011 Cross Media Marketing Outlook

Join James Michelson and John Fager of JFM Concepts on this comprehensive analysis of the 2010 Cross Media Marketing Outlook for both marketing service providers and internal marketers. Learn about lessons learned in 2010, the trends for the upcoming year, and benchmarks you can use to develop your own strategies for 2011. Register

Tuesday, December 9th at 1:00pm EST
Tuesday, December 14
th at 1:00pm EST
Tuesday, January 11
th at 1:00pm EST
Tuesday, January 13th at 1:00pm EST


Fulfilling the Promise of Web to Print

Executive Summary

To finally fulfill the promise of web-to-print storefronts marketers need to eliminate the need for end users to log into a portal, upload data, and place orders. The design must be for use by organizations comprised of multi-branch locations or franchises where quick set up and deployment of multi-version campaigns is critical. The systemmust be built to allow one central marketer the ability to create unlimited content and reporting with only one set up. Creating 500 campaigns must become the production time of one.

Background

Web to print is a tantalizing proposition to marketing service providers. It promises a steady cash flow from a single sales process where a site is set up and customers simply log on to requisition collaterals and the orders roll in automatically. A representative, branch, location or division can log in and order. They could even purchase or upload a marketing list and execute direct mail campaigns that are pre-approved by headquarters. Sounds great. In reality, this almost never happens.

The Challenge

The reality of many web to print installations leaves a majority of the potential print and cross media business on the table. Specifically:

  • The majority of end users are too busy running their businesses to dedicate time to marketing
  • The available pool of labor fell more than five percent last quarter alone according to the U.S. Department of Labor
  • End users cannot and will not learn new technologies
  • Only 1 in 5 branches, locations, or representatives will use a web to print system at all and only 1 in 10 will use it regularly
  • Headquarters marketers also face the same time and labor issues that face the field users and they can not execute campaigns for individual locations or representatives

The Solution

VDP Web Franchise provides the ability for one individual to create and launch campaigns for hundreds of locations and thousands of individual representatives in an automated way for all direct marketing on a variety of channels.

This capability is designed to provide centralized marketing operations the ability to:

  • Send marketing communications (marcom) for branches or franchises that do not have the time, ability, bandwidth or desire to log into web to print solutions and send materials for themselves
  • Augment branch and franchise efforts with additional centralized support
  • Provide central marketing operations a fast and efficient means of launching highly personalized campaigns segmented for both location and specific recipient
  • Dramatically reduce the difficulty and cost of production
  • Maintain centralized brand and message control while still personalizing the content

Features

The VDP Web Franchise utility has all of the functionality of the VDP Web software as a service platform, but adds the following capabilities.

  • Leverages web to print design templates for use by centralized marketing operations for easily fulfill at the branch, franchise, or individual location level
  • Creates hundreds of individual landing pages and campaigns for unlimited branches and recipients by using a basic database business logic (such as an excel spreadsheet)
  • Delivers independent content and reporting with only one setup required – run 1000 independent campaigns to unlimited recipients as if they were one campaign

For more information on VDP Web Franchise, please click here.


James Michelson & VDP Web at TS2 2010

James Michelson will be presenting two sessions at TS2 2010 in Boston being held from July 13 to 15 at the Convention Center. 

Session 1:

Tactics to Make Marketing Execs Excel in the C-Suite
In a continuing era of shrinking staffs and budget, business leaders need a better understanding of the all available marketing channels and how to they can be employed to gather data and automate the lead generation and sales process. Leaders will learn what questions need to be asked to in order to avoid data silos and to maximize the value of sales and marketing efforts.

Learning Objectives:
1. Learn how to best implement a strategy and technology review for marketing automation.
2. Discover the most cost effective and easy to implement strategies for data collection and marketing automation.
3. Create a game plan for development of a strong marketing mix and cost effective systems.

Session 2:

Maximize Your Show Traffic & ROI Through Cross Media Marketing
Using real life examples, this session will present a practical guide to creating cross media marketing campaigns that drive traffic to trade show events. You will examine proven strategies that not only attract prospects but also convert leads into sales.

Learning Objectives:
1. Create strategies to convert leads into sales.
2. Discover proven trade show marketing communication tactics.
3. Develop a platform on which to execute real campaigns.

About TS2:
For more than 37 years, TS2 has served as the premier event for exhibit and event professionals. Formerly the "Trade Show About Trade Shows" TS2 has evolved to provide timely and relevant resources and education to the ever-changing exhibit and event industry. Today the conference and exposition, designed for exhibitors, by exhibitors, is "Where the Industry Meets" bringing together exhibitors, event marketers, show organizers and suppliers to network and learn in a leading-edge marketplace.


JFM Nominated for 2010 MIRA Tech Award

JFM Concepts, an Indiana based marketing technology provider, is pleased to announce it has been nominated for the 2010 Techpoint MIRA award.  Previous winners include Exact Target, Cha Cha, and other leading technology firms.  According to James Michelson of JFM, “It was a pleasure to be nominated for a 2010 MIRA Award.  Our thanks go out to Troy Burke of Right On Interactive for putting our name forward.   Just to be considered in such a strong field is a  great endorsement of our efforts and platform.” 

The TechPoint Mira Awards are the premier technology awards program in the state of Indiana.  Since the turn of the century, TechPoint has honored Indiana businesses, schools and universities, and individuals for their contributions to the state’s technology-related economy. TechPoint’s prestigious Mira Awards program recognizes leaders and innovators in 11 different business categories.


3 Tips for Improving Email Deliverability & Response Rates

Clients are turning to their marketing service providers for an ever expanding array of services and providing email as part of an integrated campaign is falling to printers and other organizations new to the task.  In order to improve both deliverability and response rates there are steps that can be taken to have a positive effect.

1. Start with Content
Many ISPs and corporate mail servers employ various kinds of junk mail filters that scan your message for “marketing buzzwords.”  Be careful to avoid content that includes such terms as sale, special, limited time, discount, win, etc.  Save the sales copy for a landing page by using a PURL. 

2. Personalization & Segmentation
Adding personalization and segmentation to your email will help capture the prospect’s attention.  Target demographically relevant content in order to capture attention.  Creating a Personalize URL will both increase response rates and also track warm leads.  On your landing page you can engage with a stronger call to action and provide more sales information to improve conversion. 

3. Using Personal URLs
Adding a PURL is a key way to engage the customer and encourage them to take the next step..  It is a one click response mechanism that can be incorporated into an email campaign in order to measure ROI and boost response.  Transferring your sales content to a landing page can dramatically increase your deliverability rate and provide more information that email functionality cannot support such as video.  Landing pages can be pre-populated with variable text, images, and video to increase response.  Pair this with a customized survey and create a highly targeted database.

These three simple tips will improve both deliverability and response.