Helping ONLINE & OFFLINE Businesses Get MORE Customers

- March 9, 2018 - Edition #834 Circulation 4300+ Weekly - Ron Richardson - Editor -

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In this issue:

1. Notes from Ron (Editor): Generate Consistent Leads and Sales for Any Business...using LinkedIn

2. Internet News You Need: Coke vs. Pepsi; iPhone vs. Android: How Rival Brands Fare on Social

3. Mobile Marketing: Mobile Marketing Predictions for 2018

4. Feature Article: Do You Still Believe These Three Urban Myths of Email Marketing?

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1. Notes from Ron

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2. Internet Marketing News You Need

The Small Business Guide to Google Analytics [Infographic]
Despite its widespread use, Google Analytics can trigger anxiety in many marketers. Once you log in, it's not hard to feel overwhelmed by—or unsure about how to best use—this powerful program…Read the rest

Coke vs. Pepsi; iPhone vs. Android: How Rival Brands Fare on Social
How do rival brands such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi perform on social media? Which competitors are getting referenced more and receiving more positive mentions?...Read the rest

The Ad Formats and Categories Consumers Like Most
Among the various advertising formats, television ads are the still the most liked by consumers, according to recent research from Clutch. The report was based on data from a survey conducted in 2018 among 1,030 consumers age 18 and older in the United States…Read the rest

3. Mobile Marketing

Mobile Marketing Predictions for 2018
By Alexa Lemzy

Few things have such an impact on our lifestyles as mobile devices. These tiny gadgets have single-handedly changed the way we interact with the digital world, and they will continue to do so for years to come.

We are well past the tipping point of mobile growth: It is anticipated that 79% of Internet use will be done through mobile devices in 2018. This number was just 40% in 2012.

At this point, every business should be easily accessible on any mobile device. And if you want to take advantage of this continued increase, you need to stay in front of the current trends. Below are eight predictions of what mobile marketing will bring in 2018.

1. Mobile payments will continue to gain traction in 2018

Mobile payments have grown by leaps and bounds over the past several years around the world. More than 50% of consumers in countries like India and Thailand are using mobile wallets as a form of payment. And although mobile wallets have not caught on as quickly in the US or the UK, it is a growing trend that will continue to progress during 2018.

It was recently announced that Kroger, the largest supermarket chain in the United States, has partnered with JP Morgan Chase. In 2018, they will begin implementing mobile wallet payments into some of their markets. The slow growth of the mobile wallet trend has encouraged banks and other similar industries to begin creating products that will entice consumers to start participating in making mobile payments.

Mobile payment services around the world are continuing to grow in popularity. Alipay, a popular tool in China, is now available in more than 120,000 stores. Also, the company WeChat tripled their revenue during the first two quarters of2017. The company allows consumers in China to use their smartphones to scan and pay for items as they shop.

As the trend continues to grow around the world, more and more consumers will become comfortable with the idea of paying with mobile payments.

2. Marketing engagement automation will become the norm

Where mobile marketing is concerned, simply casting a wide net and hoping that a few customers will bite isn’t going to cut it. Mobile media marketing is all about targeted and personal outreach, because the standards of the customers in this segment directly correlate with the technological advances in the sector.

Marketing automation, which has been largely used for email marketing, has grown to encompass many additional options, such as text messaging and mobile apps. For example, text messaging automation software like TextMagic makes it possible for marketers to deliver time-sensitive and personal messages in a matter of minutes.

Some software even determines when is the right time to deliver a message or push a notification to a user (e.g. during peak engagement times, after work hours).

Over 65% of digital time is spent on mobile devices instead of computers. Because of this increase in digital time on mobile devices, businesses can benefit from sending push notifications directly to customers on their phones. Companies can decide what automated message will be sent based on what action the person took on their mobile device.

3. An increase in video usage

A picture might be worth a 1,000 words, but a video allows you to merge the two together. If you have looked through social media lately, you will have noticed that more and more videos are starting to show in many feeds, and with good reason.

Viewers claim to remember only 10% of what they read compared to 95% of what they watch. Cisco is predicting that by the year 2021, video will account for 78% of mobile data traffic.

For the first time ever, digital advertising dollars surpassed television advertising in 2016. Along with this has come a dramatic increase in revenue in mobile video, up by 145%.

The trick to successful mobile video advertising is keeping videos short. It is recommended that videos should be kept between 8 and 15 seconds to hold the attention of viewers. But, companies that use this time effectively will achieve higher results since information delivered through video sticks with viewers longer than through print.

In addition, Google has been at it again, testing the placement of video ads in their search results. The new round of testing is a strong indicator that this is still on the horizon, possibly for 2018.

4. Live streaming is going to gain momentum

Live streaming is one category of mobile video that is trending upwards and is predicted to continue growing throughout 2018. One study found that 80% of consumers would actually prefer to watch a live video stream than to sit and read a blog post.

There are many ways that you can integrate live streaming into your business marketing plan. Make sure to live stream special events that you hold and to talk about promotions you are running. Engage with your audience while you are live. Try going liveto answer common questions that you are receiving from your customers.

YouTube is widely known for videos, but when it comes to live streaming, Facebook and Instagram look like leaders. It can take a little getting used to, but it’s a great way to help your customers and audience connect with you.

5. Augmented reality in apps will continue to grow

2017 was a big year for augmented reality in apps. IKEA created an app in 2017 that allowed shoppers to see what a 3D piece of furniture would look like in their room, and it’s not going to stop there. The demand for new technologies in the business world will likely see an increase in the use of technology within apps.

Incorporating AR and VR into apps will allow consumers to fully see a product or the way a service works before making a purchase. Businesses will be able to more clearly communicate the benefits of their product or service to consumers as if the person were standing in front of them.

Companies that are selling online will be able to set up a virtual store where consumers can shop for their products as if theywere there in person. Real estate buyers will be able to tour a house before ever stepping foot through the door.

The introduction of ARKit and ARCore has changed the game in the AR world for businesses and these are making the widespread usage of AR possible. There will continue to be further market penetration of AR usage in 2018.

6. Big data will become meaningful data

Few things are as revealing as the device that customers carry with them at all times. In recent years, online marketers have become so preoccupied with customer-centric information that it actually seems to border on obsession, but we have finally reached the point where we are no longer overwhelmed by endless waves of big data.

Marketers are now capable of converting the information collected into meaningful interactions. Mobile traffic reports and marketing metrics can now be collected with the help of automated software.

For example, behavioral data can be used to increase mobile conversion rates and create targeted ads. A behavior pattern can be analyzed on the basis of several data inputs, customer shopping habits, preferred social networks and website preferences. The final goal is to deliver targeted mobile advertisements according to a customer’s particular interests, as it has been demonstrated that user engagement and acquisition spike when an ad is uniquely targeted.

7. The use of chatbots will continue to grow

It looks like chatbots are turning out to be a win-win for businesses and consumers. The use of chatbots allows consumers to quickly find the answers to many questions they have, and at the same time, it makes it easy for marketers to find the answers they are looking for as well.

Michigan State University completed an experiment with YouGov to see if chatbots using messenger apps would have a higher completion rate than those that were sent through traditional email. Their hypothesis was that chatbots would be an efficient way to conduct marketing surveys in the future. The study results showed that this hypothesis was indeed true.

They found that surveys sent through messenger options as opposed to web-based ones accessed from smartphones had a 41 percentage points higher completion rate.

Further, they found that 63% of people are willing to use a chatbot, especially when looking for quick answers. However, remember that when implementing chatbots on your website, people want to know when they are interacting with a bot instead of a human.

From the numbers given, it is clear that the vast majority of people won’t mind chatting with a bot, but people have mixed feelings about bots that are presented as humans. Do not break your customer’s trust by trying to trick them into thinking a chatbot is real.

8. The internet of things will impact mobile marketing

The Internet of Things (IoT) is predicted to surpass mobile phones as the largest category of connected devices in 2018. IoT includes everything from your tablet to your smartwatch. It is predicted that by the year 2019 the number of wearable devices will have doubled to over 720 million.

Consumers are becoming more connected than ever and the IoT is increasingly integrated into nearly every industry, providing marketers a chance to capitalize.The IoT offers a big advantage to companies that are ready to put the technology to work for them. Marketers are now able to see the way that users interact with their devices and products.

You can put this captured data to work in many ways to help you further reach and engage with your customer. The IoT will do the following:

  • Make fully contextual ads and real-time POS notifications and interactions a reality.
  • Create more ways for companies to offer customer support over mobile devices.
  • Make it possible for marketers to analyze customer purchasing habits across different platforms (e.g. combining mobile app usage statistics with desktop data).
  • Make previously unobtainable information about customers available for data-driven marketers (e.g. the way users interact with their devices and products).

It is impossible to predict exactly what will happen in the future with mobile marketing, but the recent trends show a strong indication that the areas mentioned above are the direction where mobile marketing is moving. You will want to stay on top of these trends given the continuing increased use of mobile devices each year.

About the Author
Alexa Lemzy is a Customer support person. Interested in customer success, growth, marketing and technology. Passionate about content, reading and travel. Follow on twitter

4. Feature Article

Do You Still Believe These Three Urban Myths of Email Marketing?
By Jen Ribble

The solo traveler regains consciousness, finding himself immersed in an ice-filled hotel bathtub with one of his kidneys missing...

A baby alligator is flushed down the toilet, only to survive and grow to tremendous size deep in the sewers of New York City...

After picking up a hitchhiker on a deserted road, the driver turns to discover her passenger has mysteriously vanished from the back seat of a moving vehicle...

Those stories are classic, familiar examples of urban myths. The details may vary, but the shocking twists and chilling outcomes ensure that these tales are passed on from generation to generation.

The scary thing? Many people believe these urban myths are actually true!

Then again, some of the things we believe about email marketing are no less scary. With a channel as mature as email, there's been plenty of time for "conventional wisdom" to be passed down over the years—which is great for young professionals learning the ropes, but it can also lead to outdated beliefs and outright misinformation.

Here are just three of the many "urban myths of email" I've heard—along with the real story. If any of these myths have taken hold in your email program, now is the time to set the record straight.

Myth No. 1: If your email content includes spammy words, your messages will be flagged as spam and never reach the inbox.

The truth is... For years, brands have avoided so-called "spammy" words and phrases (such as "free," "clearance," "click here," and "act now") because conventional wisdom says these words are likely to trigger spam filters and cause your deliverability to suffer.

That may have been true in the past, but this outdated belief doesn't apply to modern marketing emails.

Today's spam filters rely heavily on sender reputation and subscriber engagement. The actual content of the email plays a relatively small role in filtering decisions—because content-based spam filters return too many false positives—and they can be easily thwarted by crafty spammers.

So go ahead and promote your free shipping and clearance merchandise: There's little chance it will affect email deliverability. To test whether your content is triggering spam filters, use a tool like Inbox Preview that will flag any issues around keywords, URLs, or HTML in your content.

Although good sender reputation and positive subscriber engagement will override most content-based filters, content does play a role in reaching the inbox. If your real-live subscribers think your content seems spammy, they're likely to send your email to the junk folder—and that action will cause inbox placement problems over time.

Myth No. 2: Your email service provider (ESP) is responsible for identifying and fixing any deliverability problems.

The truth is... As a sender, you are absolutely responsible for your email deliverability and reputation, including any problems you may be experiencing. The factors that influence deliverability—things like list hygiene, sending practices, spam complaints, and subscriber engagement—are all fully within your control. Your ESP provides a tool to help build and send emails, as well as analyze your results, but it isn't responsible for managing your email program. Only you can do that.

Sure, there may be isolated instances where your ESP shares responsibility for deliverability issues—for example, if the infrastructure isn't setup properly, or if your emails are assigned to a shared IP address with poor delivery. But those scenarios are the exception rather than the rule. Unless you identify and address the root cause of your deliverability problems, no ESP can get your email to the inbox.

Myth No. 3: As long as you're sending relevant content to people who have opted in to your email program, your messages are guaranteed to reach the inbox.

The truth is... There's no disputing the importance of getting permission from your subscribers and sending them relevant content. Those two factors are the foundation of good email marketing, but they're not the only reasons your email gets delivered to the inbox.

Permission to email your subscribers is the first step, but you also have to pay attention to how they interact with your messages. Most major mailbox providers now consider subscriber engagement metrics as part of their filtering decisions—such as how many messages are read, replied to, forwarded, and deleted without being read, as well as spam complaints.

By analyzing how individual subscribers engage with a sender's email, mailbox providers are able to make more accurate decisions as to which emails are wanted and which should be diverted to the spam folder.

If engagement is low right from the start, it could be a sign that you're not setting proper expectations at the time of opt-in. Consider implementing a subscriber-preference center, and give subscribers information about what to expect from your email program. Or, if you find that interest seems to be waning among longtime subscribers, consider executing a winback campaign to re-engage them with your emails.

* * *

Those are just three of the many "urban myths" that circulate among email marketers. Check out Urban Myths of Email for more.

About the Author
Jen Ribble
 leads PR and content marketing efforts for email-deliverability experts Return Path. LinkedIn: Jennifer Ribble

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