The government track record for fiscal efficiency is woeful. Government run programs such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, OTB and Amtrak are bankrupt or going bankrupt. The USPS is no different.
With the billions of dollars the USPS is bleeding, is it time to privatize it? Peter Orzag of Newsmax thinks so. Last week, he wrote a compelling argument for it.
Click-through rates on the rise as open rates fall
According to a study from digital marketing software provider, Silverpop, E-mail open rates are falling, while click-through rates are on the rise. As part of their 2012 Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study, the analysis consisted of 1,000 brands in 20 countries that sent emails in Q1 of 2012 and emails sent in 2011.
The overall open rate for all regions was 20.1 percent, down from the 22.2 percent reported in a 2009 study by Silverpop. Click-through rate numbers have seen a slight increase. The current study shows overall click-through rate at 5.2 percent, which is up from 4.5 percent in the 2009 study.
It should be noted that the current study has a much wider base than its 2009 predecessor, both geographically (outside of just the US, UK and Germany in 2012) and period of time (five quarters vs. one month).
So how should email marketers interpret this mixed message and just what is driving readers to click more than before?
Video sales letters in the direct marketing landscape
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth millions. Video is arguably the most engaging form of communication. It provides you the opportunity to build a story, trust and a relationship with an audience. A hot discussion topic at RMI's recent 11th Annual Publishing Symposium in May was that of video sales letters - which traditional marketers are using increasingly to engage potential prospects. In a Target Marketing article and educational video (how appropriate) by Gary Hennerberg, he delves into 6 Energizing Principles for producing an effective video sales letter. Here is just a sampling of principles to consider that can energize your online video marketing programs:
1. Classic copywriting formulas are your foundation 2. You, the marketer, control the pace 3. Flow and pace are nuanced
The videos can be simple—just words on screen, flowing in sync with a voice-over. “This format works well when you have a product or service that doesn't demand dynamic visuals as much as it demands a compelling message, well told, to an audience who rabidly follows you.“ Direct marketers successfully using video sales letters know their market, their audience and how to generate sales.
The good news is that video is cheaper to produce than ever. Professional quality video can be produced for a fraction of the cost what it used to, and the results can be well-worth the investment.
Twitter and Facebook have recently launched new looks and features that alter the way marketers promote their brands and engage with consumers. Companies are slowly embracing the new looks and getting creative with their social media strategies. The Facebook Timeline and new Twitter features present significant opportunities for companies to engage their users beyond posting, commenting and sharing. Both platforms offer businesses more real estate to display their brands through larger headers, more content and other features.
Paul Marcum, GE’s director of global digital marketing and programming stated, “Regardless of what the tool is, as long as the brand finds its voice, rhythm, audience and community — that's what we think it's all about.”
Over the next few weeks, Google is introducing a small [x] which will appear in the corner of select display ads on the Google Display Network. When users click the [x], they will no longer see ads from that campaign.
Google believes this feature can bring benefits to the entire network:
• Users gain control of their experience and signal what ads they aren’t interested in • Advertisers are no longer paying to show ads to people who aren’t interested • Publishers will receive better performing and more valuable ads
“We believe it’s an early step in the right direction of giving users control over ads, while helping marketers and websites deliver ads that perform better,” said Michael Aiello, Product Manager.