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Animated GIFs in Email

It’s Show Time!

GIFs ‘Graphics Interchange Format’ are becoming the favorite image format for most of the Marketers who want to tag a tad bit of fun to their message. It isn’t a  surprise if we have to believe that GIFs have witnessed increased clickthroughs and customer engagement like Anna Yeaman at Style Campaign demonstrated how an animated video preview that has lifted her campaign’s click-rate by 26%.

This hasn’t stopped the Marketers to take no time in realizing its effectiveness as they carry delight to the campaign and resolutely add elements of fun, surprise; enticing the customers without deviating them from the objective or call to actions.

GIF was first developed by Steve Wilhite of CompuServe in 1987. The popular animated GIFs initially were the waving flags and flames. But what really took them on board is the Web 2.0 evolution that is when people started using animated GIFs in different ways at different places across the internet. In fact GIFs and CSS animations are the only way to add moving images, given the poor video support across the most popular email clients.

Animated GIFs enjoy support in all major email clients, with the exception being Windows Phone 7 and newer versions of Outlook (2007+).The following chart provides a comparison of animated GIF and CSS3 animation.

FireShot Screen Capture #098 - 'Email Client Support for Animated GIFs' - _C__Users_Admin_Downloads_GIF_htmlBid farewell to those conventional static emails and increase the effectiveness of your email campaign with animated GIFs and CSS3 Animation.

To know more, visit www.kenscio.com

(Contributed by: Mr. Monikandan. R, Senior Project Manager, Kenscio Digital)

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WDILYSM ?

When I was younger ( about 15…….okay a lifetime ago ! ) and first fell in love….I would often look at my girlfriend and ask her WDILYSM? ( Why Do I Love You So Much?) and then we’d talk hours on the reasons. She loved these conversations ( for they flattered her so ) and for me – somewhere, subconsciously, it reinforced the belief that we were right for each other. We got married after a decade of the first time I asked her that question and in the 16 years since, I get different answers to this question every time it comes up …..WDILYSM?

So, I began asking this question to myself whenever I found something that endeared me – places that I fell in love with, food that I wanted to keep having, Long Island Iced Teas, chilled craft beers, barbecued chicken wings and more…..surely, in time, this trickled down to my work in general.

What also happened is that since my work involved Direct Communication, I could not help but flip this question and allow the brand or the product in the proposition to ask the very same question to its audience. Drilling it down to the most recent object of my affection – Digital Direct Marketing, well eMail Marketing in particular. So I got down to it and tried to figure out what endears someone to engage with communication sent to him. What I realized was that there is almost a one on one analogy. With apologies to the bard of Avon for the tweak “Why do I love thee – let me count the ways”.

Here’s a list of a few things that would endear a communicator or communication to the recipient.

The Subject Line – crack this and you’ve found a place in the heart !

Subject line – opening line – conversation starter or ice breaker it’s one or all of these. For what all reasons would someone ever ‘like’ a subject line leave alone LOVE it?

  • It had an actionable in it. An action I’d love to see myself taking.

Eg. Take Mum to the movies this weekend – for free! Instead of Buy one get one free.

  • It showed me a value that others did not

Eg. Why don’t you compare the emotional quotient of “Save your kids eyes from the summer sun with sunglasses from xyz” with that of “kids sunglasses at 40% off” < Thank you Saurav Patnaik>

  • It was personalised with Demographic information and some sort of buying behaviour :

Roses are Red Violets are Blue – This email Amit or <Insert First Name> comes especially for you.

Eg. Compare “Amit, Save your kids eyes from the summer sun with sunglasses from xyz” with “kids sunglasses at 40% off”

Tip : Personalised subject lines are served best with segmented mailers ! Accompanied by relevant content this is one potent combination for a loyal following and interested subscriber base. By the way I’m going to delve into segmentation for success in another post Divide and Rule <coming soon>

  • It was honest

Eg. A subject line like Upto 90% off on Major Brands and the proposition saying conditions apply in fine print is nothing but dishonest. I’d open it the first time but I’d surely build an image of a sly – you told me you’d give me something but you shoved me some something else – seller.

The Body – as the cliché goes – beauty is not always skin deep !

If you’ve caught the interest with the subject line, your open rates would have risen, try the hook now.

The content must always be relevant, never vague and always fresh.

  • Love at first sight: If you can generate content that is relevant to recipient, presented such that it renders perfectly in the device the recipient is holding, you’re making an impression. It is important to plan how the communication looks and its Usability on mobile as well as desktop devices.

Eg: Number of navigation tabs can be lesser in the mobile version of a mailer.

Tip : Responsive Design, Adaptive Design, Scalable design are important new developments that you just cannot ignore.

Rendering tests using special responsive design tools is important in today’s context. A very large percentage of the mailers are rejected at first sight because they did not render correctly in the device the recipient used.

  • Come Hither looks: A strategically placed, above the fold call to action is akin to the ‘come hither’ enticement or the ‘talk to me’ smile that one seeks. It tempts the reader to take an action. Visit the webpage, call the number, click on the link….

Tip: Testing the location of a Call to Action button or link using an A/B Split will be a good idea. See that your ESP can help you with that.

  • Strike it while it’s hot: Long body copy will not bring any additional returns. Even if you have more content, push the reader to a landing page after a teaser on the email. Remember, you have 8 seconds before the reader begins to fade out. That’s how long it takes to create the impact and ask for the action!!
  • It’s not me it’s you: The content should talk of benefits to the recipient not the features or strengths or functions that you – the brand or marketer – are offering. The more you use the term You, Your…. In your mailer, the more you sound appealing to the reader.
  • I changed myself for you: Today, there are emails that will push content based on the Device, Location, Weather, Date, Time and other factors. This content can be different and as individual as the person receiving it. That level of personalisation is endearing. Will always draw an “awww!!” from the object of your attention.

Tip: Look for Real Time Personalisation tools. They will help create that zebra print experience for each recipient. Hundreds of possible variants, will bring huge stickiness to your campaigns. Also, follow up trial campaigns with this technology with survey mailers to find out if you made an impression.

So, I shared some of my reasons to love a piece of communication……. What are yours?

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

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Best Email Marketing Campaign Award for Kenscio

(Watch this video about award winning BookMyShow Campaign by Kenscio)

One More Award and we are exuberant to talk about our recent accolade in Digital Marketing. The BEST EMAIL MARKETING CAMPAIGN award won by Kenscio for BookMyShow campaign reemphasizes Kenscio’s commitment towards technology innovation & Marketing Excellence. ‘THE NEW ART OF EMAIL STORYTELLING FOR BETTER PERFORMANCE’ campaign for BookMyShow is a success story, an indication that the era of Real-time marketing has arrived.

5Th Digital Awards organized by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) called out for entries under various categories and the announcements of final winners were made at 9th India Digital Summit on 14th-15th Jan,2015 at New Delhi. Kenscio won Gold under Email Marketing Campaign Category for its BookMyShow Campaign. Kenscio Founder & CEO Mr. Manjunatha KG and Co-Founder Mr. Saurav Patnaik received the award.

We ought to say that this award is a result of our strategic efforts and we take the pride to say that this prize only opens a new chapter in our book and makes us even more motivated and determined.

We Endeavour to make our customers happy with the services we offer, and we thank our reputed client BookMyShow in supporting us and for being a part of this acclaim. The courageous gesture of BookMyShow in devising and implementing a futuristic marketing solution is worth of applauds.

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Receiving “Best Email Marketing Campaign Award” at 5th India Digital Awards, awarded by Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI)

 

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The Curious Case of Digital Queues!!

The Curious Case of Digital Queues!!

The Curious Case of Digital Queues!!

 

It was the day of 5 August 1960, a movie called “Mughal e Azam” hit the screens.

It was released and became the reason for widespread frenzy across India. The day before bookings for the film opened, a reported crowd of 1,00,000 gathered outside the Maratha Mandir to buy tickets. Most expensive tickets at that time, were sold for ₹ 100 compared to the usual price of ₹ 1.5 per ticket. Bookings experienced major chaos, to the extent that police intervention was required. It was reported that people would wait in queues for four to five days, and would be supplied food from home through family members. Eventually, Maratha Mandir closed the bookings for three weeks.

We have seen the similar craze for various legends starting from comedian Charlie Chaplin internationally to Indian movie stars like Showman Raj Kapoor to Amitabh Bachchan of 70s when people use to keep standing in queues for catching their shows. Recently DDLJ has completed 1000 weeks in Marathi Kala Mandir.

Gone are the days of such rare blockbusters.

Now the term “blockbuster” itself has been commoditized by media not just in India but across the globe. Every comic-superhero movie with its huge budgets of marketing is termed as a blockbuster. Different analysts are utilizing different criteria to conclude this feat.

The lifestyle of this multinational generation is very dynamic. People are always in motion and don’t have time to spend three four days waiting for a movie. Poor species have only weekends to take their loved ones for the entertainment and leisure.

Even this multiplex going Gen X has many reasons to throng the theaters to catch the movie shows. The rules of the game have been changed since the last decade or so. The first week of the movie is enough to decide the fate of the movie. So there has been a transition from physical queues to the digital queues these days.

The maxim “No second chance for the first impression” holds true to describe the cinema of today

And movie critics’ columns and Internet discussion of movie buffs are agile enough to create the spoiler alerts for your weekend hangouts in every nook and corner of your digital touchpoints – Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, and News columns.

So we see the same Houseful frenzy nowadays in the initial days of movie screenings. And the E-commerce boom and e-ticketing players like BookMyShow.com has made the task of movie buffs a bit easier to handle these digital queues conveniently.

But still due to the extreme dynamism of the people, the void is there in information dissemination to the customer through direct marketing channels. People are not able to pick their favorite events and movie shows as they tend to forget the dates and timings.

Quite recently, BookMyShow.com employed quite an innovation in their digital direct marketing- RealTime Personalisation in Email. They had a series of Email campaign reminders send-outs to their registered active cinema-goers for their Wednesday cinema offer live countdown timer & PeeKay Movie campaign where they showed live seats availability for the suitable show timings within the E-mail based on user’s favourite cinema halls and past purchase history.

(Please see the BookMyShow.com –Live seats availability #Peekay campaign video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6b8sQaWltrQ )

The Real-time Personalisation actually enabled the dynamic content within the email based on time, device & past user-data of user at the time of open. With a use of real-time countdown timer for the said event, there is a sense of urgency which helps user in their decision making.

This has never been done on the Indian soil before, or the whole of Asia for that matter. Now the E-commerce and Online ticketing industry is quickly paying attention to this new trend. Anyways, customers and movie-goers are finally getting much-awaited value in their online ticketing experience.

So what you’re planning to do this weekend? Don’t worry real-time info is at your disposal to help you get pass the digital queue !!

(Contributed by: Mr. Gaurav Tyagi, Senior Manager- Business Development, Kenscio Digital)

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Catch the latest buzz on GOSF on Kenscio site #GOSFChatter

Great Online Shopping Festival 2014, the biggest online retail fiesta of India is underway creating huge surge among online shopping enthusiasts. The shopping carnival has over 400 participating brands and e-commerce sites offering deals and discounts during this short period.

Capturing the essence of this huge upsurge of online shopping, Kenscio has launched “GOSFChatter” broadcasting live chitchat, Special Prices, Mega Deals, raves & rants on one board, updated in real-time. GOSFChatter highlights latest tweets from consumers and participating brands about their latest deals, offers, and prices in one single window. All tweets are dynamically updated in real-time.

So, here is an opportunity for you to observe the online market trends, reviews, hottest deals and discounts in one single window.

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Google’s Great Online Shopping Festival GOSF 2014 starts off on Wednesday.

The second edition of Google’s Great Online Shopping Festival started off yesterday with more than 200 participating Merchants this year compared to 80 participants last year. India’s largest online retailer flipkart hasn’t joined this year’s GOSF. Instead they are promoting their own online shopping festival “Big App Shopping Day” providing big discounts on sales from mobile Apps.

The great shopping festival is generating tons of traffic to the retailers. GOSF keyword on Google is the most searched keyword in India and #72HoursOfCrazy is the most popular hashtag on Twitter.

GOSF Hashtag 72HoursOfCrazy

GOSF keyword is top searched keyword in India

According to Economic Times of India, Infibeam.com reported 80% jump in traffic and almost 60% jump is actual transaction in the first 10 hours of the shopping festival. “By midnight, we expect traffic to go up 150%,” Shekhar Singh, head of corporate communications at Ahmedabad-based Infibeam, said.

Several companies joined the social network wagon to promote their brands and offers of the hour/day on social networks. Consumers too have joined with much bigger participation.

With 2 more days to go, We would be seeing a much bigger participation and making this year’s online shopping festival a great success.

At Kenscio, we wish everyone a great success and an enjoyable holiday discount buying!

Catch more of the GOSF news on Kenscio Blog. Keep coming back and we will cover more stories.

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Inbox by Gmail – a User’s and a Marketer’s perspective

Gmail’s Inbox app for email marketers

 

Google just changed the way we look and experience our emails, again. While a few reviews talk about the new Inbox attempting to bring some order to a much cluttered mailbox, I tend to differ here. My Gmail mailbox had 5 very distinct and effective tabs to sort my incoming mail.

Despite the initial fears of adapting to the pre-defined logics of tabs “Oh Boy, now I will have to browse across each of these tabs to read my unread mails”, I am now in more control of the time I allocate to read and action my incoming emails. These tabs allowed me to adapt to a much more productive way of reading, responding to my emails and so is the case with most of the Gmail users. Instinctively I click on the Primary tab to read my regular emails from friends or business mails, or click on Updates for my transactional mails, or move to the Forums to read my daily digests from forum memberships, or move to Social to read social media notifications and move to Promotions to ready my subscribed marketing messages, how much more simple can google make this for me!!

Well, guess what, “Google Inbox” brings more to me – Google Now integration,
• Quick action to move the email out of my screen when I am done reading but still accessible to me in the Done folder
• Snoozing an email or setting a reminder to action an email
• Snoozing an email to wake up at a particular location (how cool can it get, I can now remember to show my wife the latest offer on the 42” Samsung LED from Infibeam when I reach home or remember to discuss the lawyers suggestions with my father when I visit him next)
• Quick tracking of my newly ordered shoes without even opening the mail
• Quick view of attachments (credit card statements, loyalty statements, photos etc.)
• More tabs – Travel, Finance, Purchases to make my life more sorted

google inbox integration

 

Why is Google doing this and how can Marketers can benefit from this? Before we address that let us look at a few trends –
• In India we have already seen that almost 65% of engaged audiences are using mobile devices to open emails
• Procrastination is increasing and the need for Real-time information is the need of the hour
• Value Per transaction of online purchases is increasing but it is becoming a more informed decision too. “Yes, I am interested in this Hidesign handbag but my wife can make a better choice”
• Email is becoming the most non-intrusive yet effective Direct channel of communication
• Google has always been setting higher standards in Email Marketing striving towards pressing the marketers to push out the most relevant content to the most relevant audience at the most relevant time. Thus it is enabling higher conversions and better interactive engagement with their audiences. With the new Inbox from Google, Marketers will be able to creatively showcase Actionable Emails utilizing the new features like reminders, location tags, quick views etc. A new dimension of time and location apart from the subject line is now added for marketers to innovate. “BookMyShow can now send out quick action reminders to movie fans asking them to set reminders to book the 1st day 1st show of the Saif Ali Khan starrer “Happy Ending” when the bookings opens 4 days before release.

Happy Inboxing!

(Contributed by: Mr. Hemal Patel, Director – Data Services, Kenscio Digital)

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Inbox by Gmail and Real Time Personalisation (RTP): A case of coincident philosophy

When  Google introduced the brand new “Inbox” recently, it took everyone by surprise. This new Email App has been widely discussed as total Reinvention of Email by Google. For Kenscio, it was a mere coincidence of philosophy that leads to innovation.

A couple of years back, the email marketing engineers at Kenscio were busy developing a unique and advanced form of Email Marketing Product based on certain foreseeable aspects of Email Marketing: Contextual, Personalised and Real-time messaging. The final outcome was ‘Real Time Personalisation’ (RTP), a product based Email Marketing platform. Launched during GOSF-2013 (The Great Online Shopping Festival by Google) Kenscio has been serving Email Marketing needs of clients across different industries with RTP.

The conjunction of philosophy behind Inbox by Google and RTP happens at multiple points:

1)      Contextualism: “Bundle” of Emails and “Highlights” in Inbox are centred around one core philosophy: Categorization based on Importance/Contexts. RTP delivers the same by providing information that are Real-time, contextual. It negates the possibility of losing out relevancy of Dynamic Content of Email by Real-time information feeding system. The content can be changed to their real-time value even after the email are delivered to users’ inbox. Consequently, they bear relevancy for a longer period of time.

2)      Personalization: With Inbox, Google has brought out the new facet of Email Marketing: Personalization. The Inbox won’t look the same for all, everyone will have different inbox with variant priority for messages. In case of RTP, as the name itself directly implies, personalisation plays a pivotal role. For example, the Application Download for mobile tabs will be different for different devices, opening the email in iPhone will highlight App Store while the same mail in an Android phone will display Google Play Store and links.

3)      Immediacy/Urgency: The thin line that connects content with the Time factor can be subtly seen in the new Inbox by Google. Reminder, Snoozer etc. are the features that demonstrate the need of auto-arrangement of content on the basis Time. The future of Email Marketing, as a matter of fact, depends on the ability of translating the relevancy of marketing contents to the language of time. On the other hand, RTP brings on the ability of addressing the time factor through dynamic Email Content. For example, the stock value mentioned in an Email of a financial company might become obsolete after a couple of hours. But RTP enables real-time update of the stock value that shows real value of the stock as per the opening time of the Email.

There are much more to RTP that have provided futuristic vision and value for Email Marketers. Such features include: Real-time Countdown timer, Inventory Status, Weather Based content, location based personalization, time based personalization, live weather feed, Image Optimizer, independent API based platform etc. All these dynamic elements form a kaleidoscopic view of a successful email marketing strategy on the horizon. As Google successfully adjusts its scope capturing a similar view with its latest Email App, don’t you think it’s a mere coincidence of different innovations driven by a similar intensity of passion and excellence?

For more information about RTP, visit www.realtimepersonalisation.com

To know more about RTP and its dynamic features, write to us info@kenscio.com

Keep tune to our blogs for latest news regarding RTP, its deployment and success.

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Inbox by Gmail: 6 implicit facts for Marketers

Inbox by Gmail

Inbox by Gmail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“It’s a better way to get back to what matters… ” (Official Blog, Google)

An Explicitly correct statement that reflects what Inbox by Gmail is intended to impart to the users. But, what are the implicit rationales for marketers?

“The Inbox that works for you” essentially points towards the horizon where Email marketing is heading to. After the recent introduction of Grid view of Gmail promotion tab, this new development re-emphasizes the need of redevising the strategy that facilitates the way your brands talk to customers.

A snapshot of the new features:

Bundle of Emails: That’s how it sounds, it’s more about “Segmentation” of the huge number of Emails on the basis of certain selected criteria such as promos, Purchases, Trips etc. So, this is more about segmenting the emails based on actionable points (promos), undergoing actions (Purchases/delivery status) and custom actions-as labelled by users.

Important Highlights: It highlights important “Updates” from Emails such as delivery status, flight status etc. without having to open the mail. It is the Real-time feature of the Email.

Reminder: You will be able set your priorities by having a reminder in your inbox so as to avoid missing them out in the stipulated time. It will also provide required information for the same. For example, if you plan to have your dinner in a nearby restaurant, you can keep it as reminder in Inbox. It will also tell you whether it is open at any point of time. Once you book your seat online, you will also see a locational map of the restaurant in your confirmation mail.

Snooze your messages and reminders: This will facilitate in setting up your priorities to a later time or location. It will highlight your message as reminder at the stop in the assigned time.

And here are 6 Implicit Facts:

1)      Contextual: All emails are not equally important, so Gmail intends to help users in automated ways. Contextual marketing is becoming more and more important for a successful Email Marketing program.

2)      Urgency: In a fast moving world, marketers have to address the time factor associated with any live promotion/campaign. Catch the attention of your consumers before time expires.

3)      Priority: Amidst hundreds of tasks, actions awaiting user’s attention the inbox, Emails will now get prioritised as per the user. Thriving to get maximum priority through well-strategized email marketing effort will be the trigger to success.

4)      Real-time Marketing: This one is interesting and perhaps, the most significant aspect of Inbox. Live information feed from external resources such as external websites, data-base etc. implies arrival of live, fresh and dynamic features in Email marketing. Future marketing communications will happen on the fly.

5)      Perfect Content: Email automation is becoming more and more important. In fact, these new features of Inbox will ask for new Email Content Mechanism. Google is yet to reveal any specifications (if there is, at all) to remain contextual with well-developed HTML content.

6)      Success Matrix: If the inbox itself reveals much of the information about the Email through Subject Lines/thumbnails, what will define the success rate? For example, if an E-commerce company runs a time bound campaign, subscribers will be able to see it on priority, or can snooze it for later. In that case, what will be the success matrix? One thing is for sure, open rate will be affected and would require additional information to assess the performance. After all, the inbox itself will reveal most of the important information for contextual mails.

Connect with us and explore in-depth about how Email Innovations are delivering excellence through real-time Email Marketing and Contextual Marketing.

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