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Essential Elements of a Social Media Marketing Strategy

Essential Elements of a Social Media Marketing Strategy

Coming up with a social media marketing plan is a great step toward diving in to social. It’s like a road trip. Start out by pointing yourself in the right direction, then choose the way you’re going to get there, check in regularly to make sure you’re on track, and have some fun along the way.

Put simply, every action you take on social networks should be a part of a larger social media marketing strategy. That means every Like, Tweet, Reply, Share and Comment should all be guided by a plan and driving towards pre-determined goals. Here is our overview of how to create a social media marketing plan from scratch.

Step 1: Create social media objectives and goals

Step 2: Choose your social networks

Step 3: Fill out your profiles completely

Step 4: Get social media inspiration from industry leaders, competitors, clients

Step 5: Create a content plan and editorial calendar, create a content strategy

Step 6: Test, evaluate and adjust your social media marketing plan

As you move forward, you may discover that some tactics are not working as well as you thought they would. Always try to adapt quickly and introduce the new changes to your overall strategy.

Tell us your views in the comments! We’d be happy to hear from you.

Stay connected for my next blog on ‘Building an Effective Social Media Marketing Strategy’.

(Contributed by: Ambili K Pillai, Group Manager – Client Success, Managed Services, Kenscio Digital)

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6 Steps to Expand your Reach with Email Marketing

The Hidden Value of Email Marketing

With so many digital marketing channels available today, some marketers fear direct marketing is losing its effectiveness. Although there are many digital marketing channels available, email marketing has proven that it is still effective and tops the list for direct marketing channel return on investment (ROI).

Email designs play a unique role. Your audience like “new” and new is co-pilot of “interesting”. Coming up with new and fresh designs can mean both smaller and larger changes. In between big redesigns, you should always be exploring small changes. Small Tweaks = Big Results. Changing around your emails to be fresh is a great email marketing strategy for engagement.

Follow these simple steps and expand your reach.

STEP 1: Following the “F” format

Emails should be designed in a particular way to maximise performance and optimise your email campaign as much as possible.

Emails should follow an “F” format. By this, I mean the text should be in the shape of an F with the most important information along the top and down the left hand side.

Why is this?

Typically, recipients follow this sort of pattern when reading, first horizontally all the way across the top of the email, then horizontally again on the secondary section of the email, following vertically down the left hand side as they scan the rest of the content.

Also, in most email providers, the preview box just shows the top left hand side unless the email is opened fully. You want to entice recipients to view the full email by making the most important and interesting information at the top on the left hand side. So, include the most important information at the top, for example impressive statistics and/or a catchy headline, and the recipient will be more likely to open it and read more.

Calls to Action (CTA)

Calls to Action or CTA’s should be included with the important text information to encourage recipients to click through. Even if they just read the headline, there should be a CTA at the top, so that, they can click through and get to the landing page.

The F pattern doesn’t just apply to emails. Eye tracking studies have found that people also read webpages in the same way.

STEP 2: Structuring email text content

Recipients often only read the top part of an email so the most important information should be placed at the top. It’s recommended having a clear and catchy headline and a sub heading to draw the recipients’ attention.

Small manageable chunks of information

The text throughout the whole email should be kept in small manageable chunks rather than long paragraphs of text, so, recipients can skim the information and pick out the most important parts. Bullet points are also useful to list the key benefits to the recipient.

Calls to Action (CTA)

At the top of the email, with the most important information, you should also include a call to action (CTA). This can be in the form of a button with commanding text e.g. “Click Here” “Buy Now” to encourage recipients to click through.

Consistency between email copy and landing page

The email should summarize the main information with call to action (CTA) for the recipient to click through to a landing page and find out more. Basically, the email is used just to draw their attention and if this does interest them, then, they can read more about it. Therefore, the message in the email should be consistent with what’s on the landing page.

Create a sense of urgency

Adding offers and deadlines encourages recipients to interact with your email much more quickly. An offer adds an incentive while a deadline increases urgency, and, hopefully these two factors will increase the amount of conversions you receive as a direct result of the email campaign.

Overall, the text should be short and to the point. Include bullet points to list the key benefits to the recipient and encourage them to click through to the landing page for more information.

STEP 3: What are calls to action and how do you use them?

Calls to action or CTA’s are used to encourage recipients to do a particular action, hence the name. They are often used in emails to promote a specific action such as “Click Here” or “Buy Now”.

CTA’s are usually in a button format. Following a button format for the CTA’s will make the button look clickable, therefore, encouraging recipients to interact. CTA button format, is usually a rounded rectangle with different 3D effect and color. A flat text link can act as a CTA, but, it should be highlighted in some way so that recipients know it’s clickable.

Use at least 3 times in an email creative

Generally, try to use CTA’s at least 3 times within an email creative. One right at the top, so even if recipients only read the headline, they can click through and get to the landing page, one just after the main information and one at the bottom.

More CTA’s can be used if it’s a longer email or if it’s a hard sell with the sole aim to get conversions. Less CTA’s can be used for short emails or if it’s an email solely for information, however it’s recommended using a CTA button at least 3 times regardless of the message.

Use commands

CTA buttons work best when the text is a command such as “Click Here”, “Buy Now”, “Find Out More” etc. Not only is it quick and catchy, it tells the recipient exactly what they need to do and encourages them to carry out that action.

STEP 4: Advantages of using alternate text (ALT text) in email marketing

Many of the largest email clients will block images by default, making it increasingly difficult to successfully market the product or service. The big hitters include Gmail, Yahoo and AOL, so the sheer volume of blocked images is huge.

These email clients will show alternate text (ALT text) as opposed to images in the email. The ALT text will serve the same purpose as the image, conveying the same message that the image would deliver. For maximum effect, ALT text should be kept short and precise and avoid elongated and unnecessary sentences.

ALT text also is also very handy if recipient is reading emails on a slower internet connection, the ALT text will be visible before the images have finished downloading. This means potential recipient won’t have to wait for the email content to become clear.

Setting ALT text for images in an HTML email is simple, you just include the text in the image tag. Be sure to include the height and width values as this determines where the ALT text will be displayed if images are disabled. There is no need to include “image of” or “graphic of” to explain the ALT text, as the reader will invariably understand there should be an image in the space.

STEP 5: How to write a great subject line

One of the key things that make recipient open your emails is the subject line. If it interests the recipient, then, it will encourage them to open the email to read more. This doesn’t mean that you write something completely unrelated to the content just because it’s funny or exciting. For example, as people will open the email, but, they might not read the unrelated content. Make sure the subject line is relevant to the content. If the subject line is related to the content, then, recipient will be opening the email, because, they are genuinely interested and want to know more.

Keep it short

The best subject lines are a maximum of around 50 characters long. This means that the full subject line will show in most inboxes. Keep to around 30 characters for the full subject line to show in mobile phone inboxes. It’s best to keep subject line to the point and simple that summarises the content of the email.

Place the most important words or brand names at the start

Even if you can keep within 50 characters, it’s a good idea to include any important words or impressive brand names at the start of the subject line, as this will catch the recipients eye and encourage them to open the email.

Include deadlines in the subject line

If there is a specific deadline on the email or the offer, include it in the subject line, as it will encourage recipients to interact with the email quicker. If there’s no urgency, then, often emails can be forgotten or a recipient might come back to open it later and will notice that the offer is now out of date.

Test your subject lines

The best way to see what subject lines work for your audience is to test them. For example, use a different subject line for each email campaign you send or split test an email campaign with 2 or 3 subject line, and then, monitor the response. Make sure all factors remain the same (e.g. send volume) and then, gather the statistics from each subject line to assess what works best. Use these findings in further campaigns to improve your open rates.

STEP 6: Best practice for designing and coding an email

Design emails so that they are 600px wide and around 900px in length. However, the length is much more flexible and can vary. An email that is 600px in width will display within the standard email viewport without the recipient having to scroll left and right to see it all.

Use inline CSS

Not all email clients support style sheets, so, inline CSS is good to use in order to make your email creative display correctly in all possible email clients. Inline CSS labels each and every cell with the style information and this will ensure 100% that every cell is styled correctly.

Make sure you use text instead of images as much as possible

Text should be used instead of images in every instance possible. For example, when using calls to action (CTA) buttons, the text should stay as text and the background should be a colour or an image. Images are blocked by default until the recipient unblocks them, whereas, text appears immediately. Therefore, text should be used to display the information as much as possible. Where images are used, they should include ALT text.

Use web safe fonts

The text that is used in emails should be a web safe font, for example Arial, Georgia, Tahoma etc. Just because there’s a font on your computer, it doesn’t mean that everyone else will also have that font. If a specific non-web safe font needs to be used, then, it would have to be an image. However, it’s advisable that you use text as much as possible.

Here’s the list of web safe fonts you should consider.

Arial, Georgia, Tahoma, Book Antiqua, Times New Roman, Courier New, Comic Sans, Helvetica, Palatino and Geneva.

Style images with “display:block; border-style:none; margin:0px;”

Ensure images are styled with “display: block; border-style: none; margin: 0px;” to guarantee that there will be no problems with how image cells are displayed. This bit of code should go within the <img style> tag.

I hope you have enjoyed this email design best practice series and also hope that it will help you create fully functional, great looking, optimised emails for your campaigns.

Your thoughts…

Tell us in the comments! We’d be happy to hear from you.

(Contributed by: Ambili K Pillai, Group Manager – Client Success, Managed Services, Kenscio Digital)

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Gmail says – Get Engaged or get BLOCKED!!

Yesterday Gmail took a BOLD new step asking email marketers to get engaged and dead serious about:

(a) their recipient’s preferences, stated and implied, and

( b) Relevance of their communication.

In a blog post, Sri Harsha Somanchi, Product Manager @ Gmail has empowered it’s users to  “Never see messages from this person again”.

What happens once you do that?

You can now block specific email addresses in Gmail—starting today on the web, and over the next week on Android. Future mail will go to the spam folder (and you can always unblock in Settings).

Gmail Screenshot

Further, the blog post described how it would help Unsubscribers.

On Android,  you’ll be able to opt out of eligible mailing lists directly from the Gmail app. It’s perfect for those newsletters you subscribed to a while back but don’t read any more.

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More Power to subscribers, more care from marketers, more control to Gmail !!

Should Gmail users say Yahoo! < No Pun Intended >

(with direct quotes & images from Gmail Blog http://gmailblog.blogspot.in/2015/09/stay-in-control-with-block-and.html )

(Contributed by: Mr. Amit Sarna, Vice President-Client Success & Partnerships, Kenscio Digital)

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Unlocking the Potential of Effective Email Marketing

Unlocking the Potential of Effective Email Marketing

Email connects you to people. Whether you’re sending an email newsletter, a special offer or an invitation, email marketing deliver your message and help get your business humming! It communicates and build relationships with prospects, gather important data, and help boost marketing ROI.

To build, execute, and maintain effective email marketing, you must pay close attention to your audience, the message, and avoid the common trap of simply sending out self-promotional messages.

Email marketing succeeds massively in its business to business (B2B) and business to consumer (B2C) strategies, however approaching the two strategies are vastly different. How B2B is different from B2C email marketing, is a question discussed in most seminars, white papers and blogs.

Nobody ever signed a business deal or bought a car after reading one email. In simple terms, email is a way to promote all the benefits of your product or service so that buyers are well informed and comfortable with everything you have to offer.

B2B email marketing primarily informs, and builds interest, not sells directly. The key use of B2B email marketing is to generate suspects into prospects into sales. While, B2C email marketing need to deliver a message that encourages the customer to be quick to click. B2C email marketing are much shorter in duration and need to capture the customer’s interests very quickly.

In B2B emails, provide content that the recipient can use to influence group decisions. What’s the solution to their problem? Is your product, service, solution or offering right for them? Provide readiness and suitability assessments, bench strength demonstration, customer testimonials, some case studies, and relevant trends. Unlike B2B, B2C emails are more direct and focused. Although the relationship building aspect is just as important, the mindset is more immediate. Your audience already knows you’re out for a sell, so it’s up to you to not blow it. Employ strategies and tactics such as targeted offers and coupons, limited time deals, discounts, and/or vouchers to mobilize your target audience to buy, both online and offline (in store). They can however also be informative, especially to build the brand and enhance customer loyalty. Combine merchandising and education to keep customers coming back, by recognizing the importance of customer loyalty.

In a nutshell, the B2B buyer will make a decision based on how the product or service can increase profits and enhance productivity. Your marketing should involve activities that will help them realize the value of your products and services and how they will benefit their company.

A B2C buyer will make a decision based more on emotion, status, quality and comfort. Your marketing should focus on pricing, providing a fast, comfortable purchasing experience and building awareness about your products and services via repetition and consistency.

In both cases, knowing your audience is the ultimate key. Whether targeting a single prospect or a whole industry, working knowledge of their marketing preferences is essential, and comes with the added benefits of a focused message, fewer complaints and better overall results.

Your thoughts…

Tell us in the comments! We’d be happy to hear from you.

(Contributed by: Ambili K Pillai, Group Manager – Client Success, Managed Services, Kenscio Digital)

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More than the Expectation

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Organizations with a high client retention rate know the value of Account Management. Essentially, this is the process of creating and maintaining a strong working rapport with each client. Often referred to as Client Servicing, it is about understanding the needs and desires of the client, and moving to meet those needs in a proactive manner.

Exceptional Account Management is about the extra effort you put in to convert the client and company relationship into a strong mutually beneficial partnership. Clients often turn to you not just for the services you offer but the added value you bring to them. One of the most important keys that form the basis for effective account management is providing the client with people who know the account well and are able to be of assistance whenever needed. This means looking beyond the obvious. Account Managers educate the entire workforce and inculcate about of the goals of the client, the conditions that the client works within, and what expectations must be met for a healthy relationship.

So, organizations need to be extremely careful while designating an Account Manager. Organizations need to think about what the role requires and then pick the right person for the role. A broad range of skills is required to be an Account Manager which includes consultative, planning, financial, interpersonal and influencing skills. Ideally, this process is all about listening to the client, getting to know the client, and genuinely seeking to be there for the client in every possible manner. This approach builds a strong relationship that withstands provocative offers from competitors, creates opportunities for upselling, and also leads to excellent word of mouth for the organization.

Account Management have a profound effect on the performance of the organization. The treatment makes the difference between a loyal returning client who will, through conversations and story-telling, become an ambassador for your organization and a lost opportunity or negative influence for your company, somebody more likely to use your competitor’s services in the future. It is all about making a difference.

What do you think? Your thoughts…

Tell us in the comments! We’d be happy to hear from you.

(Contributed by: Ambili K Pillai, Group Manager – Client Success, Managed Services, Kenscio Digital)

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Marketing as a Shared Service – Managed Services

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As a business owner, one experiences a number of growth-limiting challenges. One of the challenge is formulating a marketing strategy, a unique and cost effective marketing strategy for growth. With a passionate team, one is able to handle and execute day to day tactical activities. It is a challenge to be competitive, to swim across the new wave of marketing, and ensure connectivity with the customer on their terms, and, the way they want to engage. Having an increased overhead with an in-house team with diverse skills, hiring a recruiting agency or managing a bunch of ‘a la carte’ freelancers isn’t an option. So what next?

How about marketing service delivery model which is co-ordinated, consistent and collaborative and aims at improving effectiveness and efficiency, resulting growth. It may sound far-fetched, but it isn’t! Consider Marketing as a Shared Service’ – Managed Services’, an extended marketing team who partners and help implement your initiatives on demand.

We at Kenscio offer you a marketing department, as your extended team. By this engagement, you can outsource some or all of the marketing activities to us and you can focus on your core business activities — all without adding overhead.

By partially or wholly outsourcing your marketing activities to us, you benefit by:

  • Working with a team who thinks and acts as an Integrated Marketing Partner
  • Getting on-demand access to qualified and experienced marketing professionals, thereby acting as a catalyst between you and the market
  • Having a dedicated partner who can deliver to meeting your end business objectives and not just to completing a set of tasks

 

Consider Managed Services (Marketing as a Service) to maximize your organizational capabilities and implementation success.

What do you think? Your thoughts…

Tell us in the comments! We’d be happy to hear from you.

(Contributed by: Ambili K Pillai, Group Manager – Client Success, Managed Services, Kenscio Digital)

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Three Awards, Five-time Finalists- Kenscio’s Award Winning Journey Continues …

A Collage of Winnings

A Collage of Winnings

We are midway into the year 2015 and Kenscio has already bagged three awards in national and international level. Starting with a Gold for the “Best Email Campaign of the year 2014” conferred by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), Kenscio further won another Gold for “Best Marketing Innovation of the Year 2015”, presented by Direct Marketing Association of India (DMAi). The bronze medal for “Effectiveness” under the Financial Products and Services category at DMA Asia ECHO award ceremony bears the testimonial of the effectiveness of Kenscio’s innovations.

Adding to this, Kenscio was a finalist at Kyoorius Digital Awards and The Hubbies 2015.

Kenscio’s partnership with its valued partners BookMyShow and Axis Securities Limited have contributed to this award winning marketing campaigns.

Kenscio will continue to innovate with its clients and partners by offering new platforms and solutions for better data driven digital marketing effectiveness.

Congratulations to all Kenscio clients, partners and teams.

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Yes, we did it again!

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MELT 2015, a festival for creativity by Kyoorius, is around the corner and it doesn’t get any better!

Kyoorius Advertising & Digital Awards 2015 partnered by Zee, GroupM, D&AD, Hindustan Times, Happy Finish, Afaqs, Pepperfry, Future Laboratory, Hyper Island, The Partners, BrandMusiq, One Eyeland, Youtube, Google, BARC India and many more had called out for nominations for various categories.

We are exultingly proud to announce that Kenscio has made the cut into the ‘In-Book’ under the category of Digital-Direct Response. This entitles Kenscio to win the ‘Baby Elephant’ and as one of the Nominees for the Blue Elephant Awards of Kyoorius Advertising & Digital Awards 2015.

The Final Winnings yet to be declared on the Event Night- May 21st and 22nd  .

There are many more to come and the Triumph is on for the much awaiting event!

For more information, Follow- http://awards.kyoorius.com/2015/digital/in-book-winners-blue-elephant-nominees-2015/

 

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Infographics- Email Marketing: The Journey so far…

Infographics- Email Marketing: The Journey so far

 

Reference:

EmailMonday   MarketingProfs   Econsultancy

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Email Marketing: Gold that does not glitter

The Hidden Value of Email Marketing

The Hidden Value of Email Marketing

One of my friends called me up last evening to check about some offers running by one popular E-commerce sites. He came to know about the offer through a promotional email sent by the E-commerce merchandiser. I googled the same thing and discovered the same offer and it was quite an exciting, unmissable deal. Eventually, I bought a few things and shared the information in a WhatsApp group. I am sure a few of them in the group would have bought some items too. I am Happy that I saved some rupees with the deal.

But somewhere down the line, something had lost its value; yes, it is the particular promotional Email that actually made me aware of the deal. It failed to get its due recognition from the increased conversions. These conversions were completely out of record. It’s not the inefficiency of the campaign, rather the exclusiveness of the tracking process that led to this information gap; customer behavior not being considered while measuring the impact of the campaign.

Unlike Western customers, Indians are more collectivistic in nature and the contribution of mutual social interaction towards increased conversion is not negligible. With a fast growing Internet population in India, a section of people use emails for communication but they may not be comfortable to transact online in an e-Commerce site.

Let us assume that an email is sent when a company releases a new product. There are chances that a customer orders the product using a link embedded in the email HTML. But we cannot rule out the probability that the person does not buy it by clicking on the mail but visits the website, or he may walk up to a store to buy the same product (Offline Purchase). It can happen to any type of campaigns, it looks like it’s a very small or negligible number of audience/recipients, but it is not insignificant.

Moreover, we do not limit our campaigns only to sell/promote our products, but it is also used for brand building, strengthening customer relationship, increasing the brand visibility and credibility etc.

Things to remember when planning an email campaign.

  • Email reaches more audience than what the numbers in the report actually says
  • A beautiful email creative can fetch you new subscribers
  • Word of mouth advertisement is still significant in India
  • Do not limit the measuring of ROI to the conversions in the Email tracking report. There is a need to see beyond the graphs in the final report. The obvious question is ‘How’. Multi-channel Business Intelligence Solutions might rescue marketers from such a dilemma to a significant extent.

They say “All that glitters is not gold” but this is the gold tha may not glitter if we are blind to it. In this case, Email Marketing is a golden opportunity offering more than what we see.

(Contributed by: Mr. Abdul Razak,Project Manager, Kenscio Digital)

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