Archives for category: marketing

I work with a company that has fourteen equity portfolio companies, and most of them are small to medium-sized businesses. When I started working with each of them, the number one question I got was “When is the most effective time to send emails?” As usual, I pulled out a ton of research on the best open rate times so we had a starting point. Most of them recommended the same times, before or after lunch time, and between 5 and 7pm.

The reason I say they are a starting point, is because the best data is your own data. You have to look at what your email lists are doing. Different industries and customers behave differently. They are on their computers or phones at different times, and certain messages mean more to them than others.

If you want to discover the best times to send emails, TEST! TEST! TEST! I cannot stress enough the importance of A/B testing. Most email clients have this function available, and it can be your best friend in database marketing. Take the same email and split the list so half will get the email at one time, and half at the other. You can also do A/B testing to test out subject line performance, but I suggest only having one variable when trying to measure marketing performance. Continue doing A/B testing for 3-6 months before you do analysis. After this time period you will be able to determine when your email list is more likely to look at your email. You can also tie in email rates to website usage to see if the two times coincide. It can help you determine when to stagger promotion of a new marketing campaign. The only data that matters is your own!

Working with nonprofits and charitable organizations has always been something near and dear to my heart. I have worked with nonprofits both as a volunteer in the DC area with Alpha Phi Omega, and as a professional with Bright Beginnings, Inc. That’s why I was so excited to hear that my friend decided to start a nonprofit of her own in the New York area! She is still in the beginning stages of getting it started, but once she gets her nonprofit status approved I can’t wait to see where she takes it. The coolest part- I am helping her develop her brand and web presence! I also get to be on the board! So far we have the website up, a BKF Facebook and BKF Twitter. Next task- email newsletter, Linkedin, blog, mobile site with donation capability, and much more!

Here’s the logo concept I came up with for her:

Main Logo 

Borough Kid Foundation Logo

Social Media Icons

Borough Kid Foundation Social Media Icon

Social Media Cover Photos 

Image

And you can visit the website by clicking on the picture below. Right now the website is more of a holder until she gets approved and starts building her program up, but it I am slowly developing content in the mean time.

Borough Kid Foundation Website

In the spirit of nonprofits, here’s some 2012 tips on how to gain a following through social media for your cause:

  1. Do not underestimate the power of an image. Whether you share on Tumblr, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, or one of the other countless social media sites a picture can always get you noticed. And a picture that gets to the human root of your cause? That’s an extremely powerful tool.
  2. You can not get big unless you start small. Hyperlocal networking can benefit your nonprofit. Even if you want to expand your cause to a national level, you have to get strong support locally. Network on Twitter and Facebook company pages to let locals know about the work your nonprofit is doing. Do not spam company pages, but a couple posts here and there can do more than you think. Also, even small “celebrities” or influencers can become powerful champions for your cause. Do not rule someone out just because they only have 1,000 followers.
  3. Don’t push, just make it available. Web users, even if they support a cause, are still like regular consumers. Have call-to-action buttons throughout your site to donate, include a donate button on every newsletter, use donation apps on Facebook like Causes, have a mobile site highlighting the donation button, allow people to setup fundraising events of their own through social networking sites like Meetup, include a donation link on your Twitter profile, have downloadable webkits with resources for people to support your cause in their community, etc. There are so many social media sites you can use to creatively allow people to donate, use them! A lot of them are free too!
  4. You’re making a sale. At the end of the day, donating is a transaction between your company and an individual. You might not want to think of it like a sale, but it is. Stay abreast on the latest marketing tips for digital communications to know what trends web users and consumers like so you can incorporate them into your social media program.

I have to be honest, it is hard to offend me or shock me. As someone who spends a lot of time looking at internet trends, memes, and sites as a way to do research and improve the way I handle digital communications, I can honestly say I’ve seen the lowest of human lows. However, tonight someone managed to REALLY offend me.

Now, in email marketing one general tip blogs, PR Gurus, etc. always give is that you should keep things timely and relevant. Finding a way to tie your email into current events is always encouraged (as it often is in PR). However, there are certain current events you should NEVER tie your PR or marketing into. I don’t care how relevant you think it is, it will ALWAYS be disrespectful. That’s why when I got this email from a club promoter, I couldn’t help but post it…

Inappropriate email marketing example.

As you can see, the email’s subject line reads “RIP Whitney Houston:: Celebrate Life 2nite”. So incredibly disrespectful and inappropriate. This is NOT how you should approach email marketing. Never do this!

(Besides the atrocious subject line, the email is fraught with other mistakes. 1) It isn’t formatted correctly despite the fact the promoter is using an established email campaign manager like iContact 2)It also is filled with spelling mistakes, and the overuse of slang words is a huge turnoff.)