1. “Today I woke up and had Breakfast :-)”
While small daily routines may have been of interest to you, your 150+ friends may not be interested to have that come up on their feed. Chances are they had breakfast too…
2. Negative comments about work
You may have had a bad day, but unless you plan on quitting your job tomorrow, you may want to avoid posting negative comments about your boss or work online. Remember online means its out there, and its easy for it to get back to your employer (or should we say ex-employer)
3. Be cautious of “Party hard” pictures
We all like to post pictures of the good times we had, but remember Facebook is your reputation online and unless you want that to be an image of how you are portrayed, you may want to hold back those pictures of you doing body shots on spring break.
4. Countdown to your vacation
While you might be excited about your upcoming vacation and happy to brag about it online, you may want to be careful about posting that your away. Criminals look at these as opportunities to take advantage of an empty home. This came to light with sites such as robme.com which posted statuses of people who have publicly posted online that they are away from their homes.
5. Relationship dramas
We all do it. Get upset about our relationships and post all about it on facebook, but unless you plan on severing ties with that person forever, you may want to be selective in the words you use. If (when) that relationship is back to normal, you can’t take back the post that everyone has seen.
What are your tips for what not to share on Facebook? Let me know and together we will expand the list.
Designing emails is one thing, designing effective emails is another. When creating emails for fun or business, here are some quick tips to keep in mind.
Who are you talking to?
- One of the most important things when designing an email is to know who you are talking to. An email designing for a 20 something, won’t work the same for a 40 something. Make sure to speak to them so they can relate. Give them products and offers that are relevant to them.
What are you trying to accomplish from your email?
- Is it informative or actionable?
- If you want them to click, make it noticeable and interesting. Grab their attention so that they don’t have to look for it, make it pop. Be creative.
- If you have a great offer you want people to pass on, make it possible. Perhaps there is an incentive (eg. Earn an additional 10% for every friend that you forward this to, get your friends to register and get 50% off)
Catch their attention
- Eye-catching graphics, animation – make your email stand out form the rest.
- Try and figure out how the majority of people are receiving the email. Are you targeting mobile users? Do the majority have hotmail addresses? What email client are they using? Although some of these might be hard to answer, try and find out as much as you can.
- What are your competitors doing? What works? What type of emails work for you? What emails work for the people in your demographic? When designing emails, it is important to be up-to-date on what is going on in the industry. Subscribe to email lists and see what other people are doing. To be an expert, you need to know what works and what doesn’t from a consumer point-of-view. The easiest way, is what emails in your inbox are getting YOUR attention.
I came across this site, which has some really good examples and case studies of emails if you want to see some examples of successful emails. Take a look:
eciding whether to improve an existing website or completely redesigning and relaunching is a big decision with a number of variables to consider.
Redesigning and relaunching a site can be huge undertaking both resource intensive and costly. However, in some cases its necessary if your current website doesn’t meet your business objectives or over time your business and objectives have evolved to the point where you have outgrown your site.
Here are some items to consider when evaluating your website.
Have your business objectives changed?
- Examples: Are you focusing on new products? Have you shifted from acquisition tactics to more of a retention model? Are you focusing on e-commerce?
- If your business objectives have changed, your goals for the site may of changed with it. If you are currently focusing on lighter content and decide to fully integrate e-commerce, it may make more sense to completely re-develop your site to focus on your new objectives of product revenue.
Do you have a new content strategy?
- Examples: Are you incorporating a blog? Incorporating feedback/reviews? Integration of social media elements
- Depending on your content strategy, significant adjustments to your layout may be required. For example, if you are incorporating blog content on your home page and your home page isn’t set up for that functionality, may be significant changes to design and development. Is it easy to add this in or does it require significant changes to structure and design on multiple pages?
Are there technical challenges you need to overcome?
- Examples: Accessibility requirements, responsive design, etc
- In some cases, you can do minor modifications to solve technical challenges, but depending on the scale and resources required, may be valuable to consider the framework of the site and if it needs to be reevaluated to best solve these challenges. If your site needs to be converted to a content management system to accommodate new changes or if you are trying to integrate CRM software in some cases this may be best suited for a complete site redo.
- Examples: Have challenges come up with the user experience? Are users unable to effectively navigate your site to find the information they need
- Do some user testing and evaluate what is required to ensure your users are getting the best experience from your website. If it’s changing CTAs or adding links, these are minor issues that can be resolved through tweaks on your existing site. If users are having trouble getting through your planned path of conversion path, you may need to re-evaluate.
What are your competitors doing?
- Examples: Have your competitors updated their sites to new technology? Do you need to set yourself apart?
- As discussed in the blog Froont, instead of blindly following competitors or design trends, it makes sense to look deeper – what are the reasons for that redesign? What problem are they solving? Do you even have the same problem?
- Decide what will it take to be competitive with them and if it is necessary.
From a financial standpoint, an important factor to think about is to compare the costs of improvement vs. redesign and how that looks long term. For example, if it costs you $5000 to fix existing issues with your site, however $8,000 to redesign/relaunch and address existing issues and future issues, it may be in your best interest to redo everything completely and start fresh.
While there is no simple equation or a “cheat sheet” that can provide you with direction on whether or not to put a Band-Aid on your site to fix site issues, or redo completely, it’s important to take a step and think about why this idea came up in the first place. Why are you thinking your site needs to change? Then before jumping into anything, take a look at your business goals and site goals, evaluate your site and consider the implications from a cost and resource information. Through a thorough analysis and alignment of goals you can make the best web decision for your business.
Email is an important marketing tool. I am among the demographic that opens up their email in the morning, and throughout the day. I subscribe to multiple e-newsletters, and use it as my communication tool to keep in touch with friends and business connections. With that in mind, I get tons of email and only the ones that are relevant and timely get through the noise and get my attention. For me, the most important dynamics of an email that resonate are those that are relevant, timely and well designed.
I appreciate emails that are personalized. Companies such as Kraft have included my name within the design, making it feel like the email is just for me. Its also about providing content that I would find useful. Shoppers Drug Mart sends emails about specific products I have purchased already that have Optimum points or special offers to purchase again. Its these relevant emails that peak my interest and make me more likely to click on the email to learn more, as I am more confident my destination will be of interest. As mentioned by SilverPop “ in today’s customer-driven world, highly relevant, individualized messages are what drive buyers to engage with marketing emails(1) ”
As they say, it’s about being in the “right place, at the right time”. Receiving an email that is timely, such as Super Bowl recipes a couple days before Super Bowl make me likely to read now as opposed to later.
Another example is an email I received from Home Depot a couple weeks ago the same day there was a snowstorm, which had content related winter products and included the weather and temperature in the email. Emails such as this make me more likely to click while its top of mind, and to ensure I don’t miss a window of opportunity for content.
Email design is about more than just aesthetics. To be well designed needs to ensure important information is available to your audience, and includes best practices such as key product information and calls to action above the fold, as well as responsive design. Ensuring I can have an optimal experience on both my desktop computer and mobile phone is key. Emails that are not responsive become frustrating when viewed on a mobile device. While it may include nice imagery, unfortunately one is less likely to struggle to view the content and take action.
Today’s email markets need to design with mobile top of mind. Accordingly to Campaign Monitor, over 53% of emails are opened on mobile devices(2). Which makes it increasingly important to have emails that are designed to provide a good user experience on all devices, especially mobile.
When designing for email, keep in mind traditional design rules don’t apply. Like all marketing tactics, think about the medium, the user and how you want them to interact – then design accordingly.
1. (2014, June 10). Silverpop Study Reveals Relevancy Key to Engaging Customers through Email. Retrieved from http://www.silverpop.com/About/News/Press-Release-Listing/2014/study-reveals-relevancy-key-to-engaging-through-email/
2. Ferguson, S. (2016, January 4). 5 email practices for the new year. Retrieved from https://www.campaignmonitor.com/blog/email-marketing/2016/01/email-marketing-best-practices-for-the-new-year/
Interactive TV is definitely a channel to explore. While I still feel that online channels are the ones to invest a big percent of our efforts in, we may want to consider how we can incorporate Interactive TV in a way that is beneficial to us and consumers.
With the demand of online media, it is often speculated that it may be the end of media channels such as TV. That TV and commercials are not an area to invest advertising dollars and on their way out. It is true that commercials as they are becoming less effective. However with the introduction of Interactive TV, TV as a media is no longer becoming obsolete but re-invented.
Interactive TV brings us a means to see TV in a new way. Allowing the user to engage with the brand, helping with retaining the brand message. Studies show that when you engage the consumer in the brand longer, they will retain the message and have better success in recall.
In Interactive TV, you allow the user additional options when viewing a TV commercial. Rather than just watch the ad, they are prompted for additional options which may be to answer a quiz, play a game or be directed to another channel. All the commands allowing the use of their remote, requiring no additional software. We are able to engage them in the message and keep their attention longer.
Some companies are already starting to explore Interactive TV. In an article I read online for the Wall Street Journal (see links below), Burger King teamed up with Twilight: New Moon, where users can use their remotes to take a quiz testing their knowledge of the film. This was done through DirecTV in the U.S. Unilever, Charmin are also doing interactive ads. It is only a matter of time before the technology becomes common in Canadian television. Rogers, who offers Digital Boxes and HD TV, could have the capabilities to support the technology here in Canada.
After looking into some of the potential for Interactive TV and seeing some of the technology trends, it may be something to think about. When one looks at the success of YouTube, you can see that TV, Video, are not dying, they are just changing. We need to change with it.
Written by Christine Worrall
Below, are some resources related to Interactive TV.
Wall Street Journal Article
Interactive TV News
Some of the top trends as showcased in CES 2010 (3D TV is one)
The future of ads are evolving. They are cooler, dynamic and interactive. Using software such as Flash, we have the opportunity to explore, new innovative ways to do ads. Add to this the knowledge we have of consumers, we can increase consumer engagement in the work we do for clients.
There are many opportunities we have with ads. Adding dynamic content, segmenting, however the one I want to explore in this write up is that of Animated Interactive Ads that engage consumers through gaming and user controlled movement. This can be allowing them to control the content of the ad, allow them to move products around, to play a game, anything that engages them in the ad and changes it from a visual piece to a means of entertainment.
I recently read a study called “High Recall and Low Recognition of Interactive Ads”. This study analyzes Highly Interactive Ads, Medium Animated and Static ads for recall and effectiveness. After doing the study, Interactive ads proved to have better recall, as the subjects retained more of the information in the ads. One can attribute this to the level of engagement they have. Think about it this way, when you are on a web site, you usually go on for a purpose. Ads can easily take second place as you navigate the site for the original purpose you came there for. Now add in an interactive ad that catches your attention. The user interacts with the ad, and now you have engaged them in the message for a longer period of time then if they had just noticed the ad at the corner of their eye.
To make an Interactive Ad effective there are a number of things one needs to consider.
- Is the method of interaction relevant to the message?
- Is it appropriate for the demographic?
- Does it display the brand?
- What are you asking them to do?
- Is it informative or actionable?
By creating ads that are more interactive and engaging, we can ensure better message retention to our consumers, as well as provide more innovative solutions to clients.
Written by Christine Worrall
Yesterday I was reading Cosmo (not the place I expected to find articles relating to technology).
I came across an article on Privacy and Facebook, which made me really take a look at how I use Facebook.
The Article in the July issue of Cosmopolitan, titled “Read This Before You Go on Facebook Again“, touches on the privacy issues one should be aware of when using the Social networking tool.
Some things to be cautious of include:
Making your details public.
– This can include giving too much personal information about yourself to people that you don’t know well, such as address, phone number, DOB, etc.
Posting Pictures of yourself Partying
– A trend among employers lately is to look up potential or current employees on FB to see what they are like. Be careful of what you post. It’s your reputation.
– “You wouldn’t let a stranger into your house and give them access to your personal things.” (Crain, p.148) With this in mind, why would you let a stranger have full access to your life on FB?
Updating Status to say where you are
– Many people don’t realize this, but by telling people that you are away for a week, etc might be an open invitation for those who don’t know you well to take advantage of the opportunity.
I know some of these things may seem like common sense, but some people don’t realize that you are posting all this public info about yourself to anyone with access to see.
I know once I read this article, I went into my facebook and changed my privacy setting for those friends from elementary school that I don’t even talk to anymore to make sure that they don’t know EVERY aspect of my life.
Just something to think about…