How relevant is your business data?

Relevant business data is SO valuable that in some cases it is valued higher than a company’s core business itself

In marketing terms, how does a company cut through the noise, target individuals that have an interest in their service, but will also identify and remember their brand as the one interacting with them?

If you want to only target individuals that are totally relevant to your business, in a way that interests them, thus giving you the best return on your marketing spend, you will need knowledge about those individuals – data! Data is king – data is valuable… But how valuable is it really?

WhatsApp was famously acquired by Facebook for $19bn when it hadn’t really turned over any profit at all, didn’t have any assets or major wealth, and didn’t have any amazing new technologies under patent that were about to change the world as we know it. So why $19bn dollars? Data is why. They have around 200million users and growing fast. This means 200 million mobile numbers linked to texts and photos. All of these texts can be searched by keywords and linked to phone numbers and now, Facebook profiles of course. Search for world cup in that database and you have a targeted campaign with the channels of SMS and social media to reach out with!

Nest is another example of the extreme value of data; Nest is a company that has not been around for long, started by some ex-Apple employees and again not really turning any heads with their growth. Google acquired them for $3.2bn a few months ago because of data. Nest is a thermostat that is controlled via an app and learns when you like to heat up your house. Therefore, data about when people are at generally at home or not.

Just to really drive the point home – Netflix is another example. It used to be a DVD postal service only. They changed their business model to the website we know today, not because it altered their margins all that much, but because they could collect data. What you’re watching, when you watch and where you are etc…

It is clear that your business can really increase its value and profits by holding and using the correct data. How do you get your hands on it though? Not all business lends itself to the easy collection of data. There is one clever way for all businesses to collect data on customers and prospects, think about all of the email communication your business sends to the outside world. Every employee sending hundreds of emails a week or month. If you could capture data about the people they are emailing, their interests and needs, and then store it with the individuals email account, that is worth a huge amount to any business. Email Media is the digital marketing channel that enables you to do just that.

If you would like to know more about how Rocketseed Email Media tools can help your business then please do not hesitate in contacting me.

Chris Barnes

Chris Barnes is Business Development Manager, at Rocketseed in London, you can connect with him on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter.

How to design for email media

It is important to understand that designing for email media is notably different from designing for print or even the web. Even though you are following the same corporate identity and maybe even using the same images, there is a different philosophy behind designing for email signatures.

Considerations

There are many things to keep in mind with your email signature designs, the most important being remembering that you have only one chance. When you receive an email, you are by implication looking for the content of the email, and the message in the banner is almost incidental. You need to make an impact and get your message across instantly. You don’t have long before the reader moves on to the content of the email.

  • Your signature design therefore has to be impactful, and most of all, not too busy
  • Too much information on an email banner is a recipe for disaster
  • Your message needs to be clear and to the point
  • Avoid using too much copy as you have limited space to work with
  • You also don’t want to put images in the banner that are too detailed and busy
  • The call to action on the banner is extremely important

Most of all, it’s essential to HAVE a call to action.

If you expect any meaningful reporting on your banners. Without a call to action, recipients are not encouraged to click on the banner, and it will remain ornamental. Your call to action should be clear, for instance “click here”, “learn more”, “subscribe now”, “book a test drive” etc. We encourage you to limit the call to action to one or at the most two.

Using links

Having more than one link on your banners can also significantly improve the success of your banners. You might decide to have different links on your banners that direct to different pages of your website. This is especially useful for brand banners that are not linked to promotions or limited time offers.

Analytics

By heat-mapping different areas of your banners you are able to direct the recipient to different areas on your website. This becomes increasingly relevant when you receive Google Analytics or Omniture reporting which integrates Rocketseed, and you are able to tell which areas of your website are being visited more frequently as the result of your email banners.

Quantity

It is of utmost importance to have a good amount of banners running at all times. Displaying only one or even two banners all the time will make the recipient ‘blind’ to the message. You stop seeing the banner when it doesn’t change. Because we often email the same people regularly, you need to keep your message fresh. If you want your banners to be effective, you need to change your designs regularly. Even excellent designs become stale eventually.

Design Services

Rocketseed provides design services for banners but we are also able to train your designers/agency on the best practice principles for banner design. Our banner design workshops include technical training on design requirements as well as help with heat mapping and link tracking. Contact your Account Manager for more details or check out our design gallery.

Mikki - Account Director Rocketseed SA

Mikki Ferreira is Account Director, at Rocketseed in South Africa, you can connect with her on LinkedIn here

Rocketseed deploys next generation server monitoring

Email is probably the most critical communication medium for any organization and one of the main priorities for the Rocketseed technical team is to deliver a solution that is rock solid and performs well. Managing these business critical systems means applying a proactive approach, it is essential to know about issues that could escalate into interruption of service before they do. This is why Rocketseed is implementing an updated monitoring system across all its system installations and cloud platforms.

Why monitor ?

The biggest and most obvious reason is to be aware of any issues as they happen, the faster you know about a problem the quicker you can attend and resolve it but monitoring offers much more benefits such as

Performance trends, by tracking the systems performance over time we can identify trends, this information is extremely handy for maintenance planning and understanding how the systems are being used.
Capacity planning, most systems that run databases tend to grow over time and when you are dealing with mail these information stores can expand rapidly as your business grows. It is essential to know the rate of growth so you can plan hardware requirements and budget accordingly.
Identify bottlenecks, by monitoring individual components of the system we can spot bottlenecks, this information is fed back to our technical team so they know where they need to look to further improve the systems.
Security issues, being able to monitor system access and essential configuration information changes gives you an additional layer of security as we know who is accessing the system and when something is changed without the proper change control process being followed. The system is also trained to alert the technical team if it is not running the latest software security updates.

What do we monitor ?

Most monitoring solutions will just keep an eye on the basic hardware performance and if the system is available or not, Rocketseed goes one further by monitoring the application level where we ensure that all the components of the system is functioning and functioning optimally. The system also tracks log file errors, software versions, file changes and even tests server configurations.

How do we monitor ?

Each Rocketseed installation has an monitoring agent installed that collects all the data from the server and sends the information back to the main monitoring system where the data is analysed and decisions are made to alert the technical team of simply log the information to be presented in a system report. An agent approach give you the following benefits

  • Increased server, services, and application availability
  • Fast detection of server and operating system failures
  • Fast detection of service and application failures
  • Increased monitoring capabilities
  • Increased administrative control

What we have planned for the future?

Our next aim is to automate the system so that it can deploy solutions for known issues without any user intervention to give our customers the best possible experience with minimal interruption to service.

Thys

Thys Kitshoff is Technical Director, at Rocketseed in South Afica, you can connect with him on LinkedIn.

Email is dead, long live email media

Fiona Robson, Managing Director of Rocketseed UK, was featured in the July edition of Database Marketing magazine.

Fiona writes about one-to-one email, the everyday tool we all take for granted and how this channel, email media, is entirely different from its more familiar cousin ‘email marketing’.

You can download a copy of the article and magazine here or read below.

One-to-one email, the everyday tool we all take for granted, that existed when the Internet began and before some of the tech world’s most noted revolutionaries were even born, is actually one of the marketer’s most powerful tools, driving four times more engagement than fancier digital campaigns.

Despite this, recent analysis shows that companies are wasting thousands of opportunities to drive brand and service messages via this highly trusted – yet radically under-utilised – everyday channel.

According to research commissioned by Rocketseed and conducted by Gleanster, a typical organisation comprising 150 employees who each send an average of 1,000 emails every month to potential customers and existing clients will generate a whopping 1.8 million Email Marketing Opportunities (EMO) annually.

Furthermore, it is likely that over half of all email addresses within these communications are not associated to an existing customer record, so there are also valuable data opportunities. Based on Rocketseed case studies of clients*, this humble one-to-one mode of digital communication can:

  • Generate 80 times more click-through than any other web-based campaign.
  • Drive four times more engagement than achieved with the dissemination of a dedicated newsletter.
  • Nurture visitors who are 20% more likely to buy-in, sign-up and spend as a result of this personalised interaction
  • Provide insights not currently captured by CRM and generate new data on what products and services interest your customers

Pundits more than ever, to predict the imminent death of email, the dinosaur of the digital age. But in a tech world governed by innovation and change, email has remained the principal way that employees in a business communicate with their customers.And in the email sphere, a quiet revolution is occurring – according to Rocketseed, the phenomenon of ‘email media’ has restructured the DNA of traditional business email so that it has become more than just a vehicle for plain text communication;

‘Email media’ is entirely different from its more familiar cousin ‘email marketing. Simply, it optimises and enhances the existing email traffic between your employees and customers. This enables you to deliver messaging to your customers right at the time that they are talking to people in your business, turning that personal email into an enormously powerful business tool, which drives four times more engagement than traditional email marketing.

Futurologists talk about the next generation of email, and how it will evolve to allow senders to add in rich content, improve the customer experience and use analytics and tracking.  But the ‘future’ is here and it’s called ‘email media’.

Email media allows companies to serve rich content or media within each email. This can be anything from a consistent email signature to fully interactive sales messaging or surveys.

The key difference between email media and email marketing is that the latter focuses on pre-defined automated campaigns to a database, whereas email media is real-time trusted communications between people. You open emails from people you know, so email media is a way for companies to use this trusted channel to get their messages out to their customers and to drive real business results.

By integrating with web analytics and CRM platforms, email media will transform employee email into your most valuable asset.

3 steps to success – make your email media designs work for you

Email media allows you to send sales and marketing messages on your everyday email communications. It is important that the designs you use in email media are fulfilling your requirements, whether that be consistency of branding or encouraging click throughs to direct bookings.

Step 1- Clarify your objectives, what are you trying to achieve?

The first point to decide upon is the objective of your email banner. What are you trying to achieve? How you will measure your results and show ROI? For example, if you want brand consistency then you may only want to know that all your emails are being branded correctly, or, for online sales you need to consider whether you can use a web tracking tool to follow through from initial click to online booking (such as Omniture or TagMan).
What are your aims and objectives? Here are 7 common goals for email media.

  1.     Drive web traffic 
  2.     Increase lead generation and sales
  3.     Integrate social media
  4.     Achieve brand consistency
  5.     Build your database
  6.     Make your email mobile
  7.     Manage your online reputation 

 

Once your objective is clarified it is easier to define your call to action.

Step 2- Targeting- who is your audience?

Each email recipient is different, not just in their requirements from your business, but the way they look at your email media.

Some will have a natural inclination to click on images within your email, whereas others will not. It seems self-explanatory but always try to include a specific call to action on your banner. ‘Click to find out more’ or use of an arrow seems basic but it can help ensure your customers actually do what you want them to do – click!

Step 3- Technology – take advantage of email media’s full functionality

Remember you can use image mapping on your email media images. A banner doesn’t have to click to just one place. Use the opportunity to cross and upsell your business services. Incorporate tabs or buttons in your design to take your recipients to other areas of your website. Create links to documents, videos, social media, voucher downloads, newsletter sign-up or even the app store.

Did you know your banner doesn’t have to just click through to a URL, but it can also click to an email address with a pre-defined subject line?
Consider doing A/B testing on banners. Have 2 design variations for the same sales and marketing message to see which gets the most clicks. Use this information to run only the most successful design, and consider why it achieved higher click through rates for when you do your next brief.

Learn from your past banners and make your next ones better!

Tracey
Tracey Adams is Account Director, at Rocketseed in London, you can connect with her on LinkedIn here

5 ways using email media can drive sales success. #justsaying

A wise man once said that if you don’t build your brand then you’re just another product. And if you’re just another product then you’ll lose out to the lowest price provider. Don’t you hate it when that happens?

Email Media is a unique digital marketing solution from Rocketseed that turns your entire workforce and your biggest form of daily communication (1-to-1 employee emails) into a targeted marketing, sales & customer service champion with interactive sales campaigns inside every email, and deep reporting in the background.

In this blog post I am going to share 5 ways that our clients use email media in every employee email to generate more sales, increase engagement and customer revenue:

1. Philip them!

As Mr. Kotler rightly put it, build your brand so that you aren’t just another product or another supplier. Start by making every email communication from every employee reinforce and bolster your brand, your offering, your difference, every day. Get noticed. Create more selling opportunities. And get your company in the door more often.
#emailmedia stat – City of Tshwane convert close on 1,000,000 emails a month into brand impressions that hit their target audience: the community, stakeholders, partners, suppliers, etc.

2. Drive new and more engagement

Each Email Media campaign is clickable, giving the recipient instant access to engage more on your website and consume your content. Target your campaigns according to important prospects, top clients, cross-sell to low spenders, schedule seasonal messages, and more. Basically, extend your sales strategy across the whole organization and improve every step of your entire sales cycle.
#emailmedia stat – General Motors achieved a staggering 25% click-through rate on their “Hot New Spark” campaign that included a TV commercial YouTube link.

3. Know immediately who’s interested

Email Media sends you instant alerts when customers or prospects click on your campaigns. Your employees can then reach out immediately to close the hot sales leads, know exactly how to respond to what the customer is interested in, and sell at the right time – when they are interested.
#emailmedia stat – Digicape report Rocketseed as the #2 source of traffic to their website helping them increase ecommerce sales.

4. Build a customer fortress

Knowledge is key. Why do you think Facebook acquired Instagram or WhatsApp? They couldn’t develop their own? Why did Microsoft buy out Skype? Data! Email Media helps you gather key customer and prospect data every day – their interests, their location, history of all engagements, who clicks on what/when/where. Know your customers better.
#emailmedia stat – ER24 organically grew their newsletter database by 10,900 new subscribers within 3 months, and boosted their readership by 21%.

5. Freedom to sell sexy, or suave. You decide

Email Media is unlimited – your brand, your look-n-feel, unlimited creativity, unlimited campaigns, unlimited data. Get creative to entice more clicks yet at the same time ensure one company message is being delivered.
#emailmedia stat – McCarthy Group have clever customized campaigns for each brand/dealership and integrate rich content like mobile app downloads, social media links and customer service surveys.

The power of email media helps you make every email count.

Happy Rocketseeding!

Wade

Wade Willingale is Business Development Director, at Rocketseed in South Africa, you can connect with him on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter.

The next big thing in Digital Marketing

The term ‘digital marketing’* was first used in the 1990’s. In the 2000’s and the 2010’s, digital marketing became more sophisticated as an effective way to create a relationship with the consumer that has depth and relevance.

Since then, digital marketing has come a long way and evolved into providing tangible measurable results that impact businesses and relationships. In this competitive world, marketers are constantly looking for new innovative platforms with an edge over competitors and deliver ROI with analytic data for content management.

We ask the question, “What is the next big thing in Digital Marketing?” The answer is simple and has been under our noses, it’s email media.

So, what is email media?

We are not referring to bulk mails sent via a system to a mass database, but one to one communication via email clients eg. Outlook, Entourage, Gmail etc.

Email media is the most trusted, targeted, cost effective communication medium with a 99% open rate. Basically all spend directed towards paid and earned media results, in sending an email to conclude the sale or customer retention strategies.

What are your marketing objectives?

Most organisations have a few common marketing objectives, which are integrated into the different digital platforms strategies and analytics;

How can #Emailmedia help organisations achieve this and so much more?

What do other organisations have to say about #Emailmedia?

Click here to view other case studies from companies maximising their Email media platform.

Get Setup Today – Please contact us so we can turn on your email media in just 2 weeks.

 *Sourced from: http://en.wikipedia.org/
wiki/Digital_marketing

 

Cecilia

Cecilia Benson, Account Director in South Africa, you can connect with her on LinkedIn.

Email signatures, what you need to know

Rocketseed for professional email signatures

Email signatures are such a standard part of the email offering these days that every email client, even those that are free, allows you to create your own basic email signature. But just how easy is it to use these email signatures? How easy are they to manage? What happens if you need something that is more than a basic signature? Most importantly, how do you know what they look like when your email recipients receive them? If you’re brand aware, you will know that ensuring your entire organisation is using the same design, font and imagery is essential. With most email platforms, the email senders are responsible for the management of their own email signatures making maintaining the integrity of the signature design an untenable situation.

Easy to use

Rocketseed Email Media has the answer to all these questions. We provide you with a WYSIWYG template builder that allows you to design your signature even if you have no HTML knowledge at all. Complex designs can be created allowing you to add images as well as text to your signature. Trackable links can be added to both text fields as well as to images in the signature allowing your email recipient easy access to pertinent information with only one click.

Centralised control of signatures

These signature designs are centrally controlled and are automatically added to your outgoing email without any manual intervention by the email sender. This means that your marketing department or brand guardian has complete control of the look and feel of your email signatures and that email senders cannot make unauthorised changes to these designs and can, therefore, not cause any harm to the integrity of your brand.

Compliant editors

This template editor creates not only W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) but also RFC (Request for Comments) compliant HTML. While many HTML generators create W3C compatible HTML, email is not only determined by HTML but also by RFCs. Because Rocketseed email signatures abide by both of these compliances it makes it unique amongst email signature providers.

Test, test, test

Added to this, Rocketseed is platform independent and also tests the HTML markup used in the creation of these signatures across a wide range of popular email clients. This means that you can be sure that the signature you create is the signature that your email recipient will see in the email you send to them.

Top tips for email signature design

Now that you know that Rocketseed provides you with the means to create a centrally controlled, easy to use and brand stable signature, here are some tips to remember when creating your design:

  • Always include essential information like full name and contact number
  • Do not make the signature too long
  • The generally accepted length for email signatures is between four and seven lines so use  pipes (|) or colons (:) to separate data on one line
  • Keep the design professional. Do not be tempted to add a quote or slogan
  • Keep your fonts and colours web-safe to ensure the brand integrity
  • Try to include links to your social media sites for easy access
  • Double-check everything for spelling and punctuation With all this in mind, email signature nightmares will be a thing of the past!

 

Janine1

Janine Beard is the Director of Development in Cape Town, you can connect with her on LinkedIn.

Are you up to scratch on ‘showcasing’ on LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is the “Facebook” of the business world to stay up to date, so when it changes – alarm bells ring. Millions of LinkedIn users worldwide used Company Pages to share content, opportunities and news to their followers.

On April 14th 2014, LinkedIn announced that Product and Service pages were discontinuing, and being replace with Showcase Pages.

What are Showcase Pages?

Showcase Pages are specifically dedicated pages that allow your company to highlight different aspects of your business and build relationships all in one place. Following a Showcase Page will provide updates you are most interested in, giving your followers more of what they want and less of what they don’t, which is good news all round.

Integrate your employee email with social platforms

Rocketseed integrates with social media, helping you distribute content and maximise the value you get from your social channels using your employee emails. Although Email media helps companies drive LinkedIn followers, you must ensure your page is utilized in order to maximise the potential from this email media traffic.  Our clients use email media to promote campaigns on social platforms, such as LinkedIn, encouraging social conversations and building communities.

Being responsible for updating the Rocketseed company Showcase Page, I have shared some steps on how to create yours:

Step 1. Once logged in to your company account, click on the drop down option next to the ‘Edit’ button and click ‘Create a Showcase Page

Linked in step 1.fw

Step 2. Here you are provided with relevant information about the Showcase page you are creating. Once you are happy with this… click ‘Get started

Linked in step 2.fw

Step 3. This step is as simple as it looks.  Name your page and add any of your existing LinkedIn connections to allow them to become administrators of the page.  Then click ‘Create your page’.

Linked in step 3.fw

Step 4. This is the equivalent of setting up your company profile. Be aware, you have limited character space for your company Showcase Page description, so make sure you highlight the key information. Once complete, click ‘Publish‘ to make your page live.

Linked in step 4.fw

Once your page is published and in use, each administrator will receive a monthly email report with an overview of the interactions with your page. You have the opportunity to analyse your account statistics in more detail, by looking at the number of impressions, clicks and engagement (%) with your content. This helps identify what your audience are enjoying and interacting with, which can influence your future updates.

Linked in step 5.fw

Check out our Showcase Page on email media, and make sure you follow us to stay up to date on our latest news!

If you are interested in finding out how Rocketseed email media and email signatures can integrate with your social media platforms, view our case studies or contact us today.

70% of consumers prefer communication by email

Experian have recently re –launched their comprehensive Mosaic Segmentation tool. For those who are not familiar with Mosaic, it is a consumer classification tool that benchmarks the UK population on over 450 data variables. They now have access to even more data that goes beyond demographics to include lifestyle and consumer behaviour. To make it easier to digest some of the data they have shared some insights from the new segmentation tool in an infographic.

People love email

The Rocketseed office was not surprised to see that consumers 1st choice of communication channel when being contacted by companies is email. In fact it is the 1st choice of 70% of consumers compared to 16% for post, 5% landline phone, 4% mobile call, and 2% sms/text.

channel preference

So if email is the preferred communication channel, it makes a lot of sense to stop and think about what other email opportunities  you can tap into. We all know that it can still be hard to achieve high open rates and drive engagement, so how else can we make email an even more effective channel?

Thinking outside the inbox

Well most people will jump straight away to thinking about email marketing, such as their newsletters, cart abandonment or transactional emails. But what if there was another email opportunity that could give you 4 times more engagement than normal email marketing? What if that channel was already used in your company and could be easily activated?

Email media: Your employee emails reach further than you think

Think about all the thousands of one on one emails that are happening every day, in every department, across your organisation.. You may be surprised to hear an organisation with only 150 employees would typically send around 150,000 emails a month. This equates to an Employee Marketing Opportunity (EMO) of 1.8 million annually.

That is a huge opportunity to deliver targeted, relevant branding and messaging to your customers. It is also a significant opportunity to capture more data on your customer’ interests, and profit from a valuable customer touchpoint. All you have to do is add Rocketseed.

Rocketseed email media software works with your current email platform, so you just carry on sending emails as normal – BUT now you have a trusted channel for targeted, measurable marketing.

What do companies use it for?

It depends on their objectives and goals. You may want to drive more web traffic, improve your customer experience, find  a way to reach people who are not on your database. You may also want to monitor customer service, build your database, or cross and upsell.

In addition to delivering a consistent email signature across your business, email media will improve your marketing, give you insights into your sales productivity and improve your CRM.

What does success look like?

We work with clients across many sectors, verticals, and sizes across the globe who use email media for the targeting, data and CRM capabilities Rocketseed brings to the table.

British Red Cross found that click-through rates to key website pages were up to four times greater than those achieved with dedicated e-newsletters, and these visitors were 20% more likely to engage with the donation process.

Tutu Desk grew their database with email media and found that 50 % of the 1 on 1 emails were NOT on an existing database for marketing

Digicape found that Rocketseed is one of their top web traffic drivers, in addition to getting measurable client interaction and improved sales leads.

Email is the most trusted owned media channel that you have and can drive healthy ROI and results for your business.

Interested ?

Email media is easy to set up and get going; remember it works with your existing email set up  so you just send emails as normal and get results instantly. Our clients see us as a highly cost effective marketing channel , and with its integration with Salesforce they now have a full 360 degree email strategy,  the customers’ preferred channel of choice.

Watch the Rocketseed email media video here