Blog Activity

  • 9th Annual James W. Prendergast Direct Classic

    Join DMCNY, HVDMA and AMSPNY for our 9th annual golf outing at the Brynwood Golf Club in Armonk, NY.

    Three organizations are again joining to make this a bigger and better outing. All of the proceeds will go to the educational projects and grants that these clubs support. Corporate and individual sponsors will be recognized on the course and with Web, Email, and Dining room announcements. All sponsors will also be recognized in Clubs’ Newsletters. Again this year we will have fun golf, and just hanging out that leads up to a great evening.

    Sponsorships still available:

    • Putting Green - $400
    • Beverages on Back 9 - $400
    • Hole in One Insurance - $350
    • Golf Awards - $400
    • Breakfast - $350
    • Raffle Prizes - $300
    • Golf Hole - $250

    All include signage with your company logo and mention from the podium at dinner. Email Chris Montana for details at cmontana@liftengine.com.

    Directions from NYC & Lower Westchester

    Hutchinson River Parkway North, in White Plains area stay in left lane and merge into Interstate 684. Take I-684 to Exit 3 North (Bedford Road). Take a right onto Bedford Rd. The Brynwood Golf Club is on the left, approximately 2-1/2 miles from the exit.

    Directions from Long Island

    Take either the Whitestone or Throg’s Neck Bridge to the Hutchinson River Parkway North, in White Plains area stay in left lane and merge into Interstate 684. Take I-684 to Exit 3 North (Bedford Road). Follow right, the Brynwood Golf Club is on Bedford Road approximately 2-1/2 miles from the exit on the left.

    Thursday, August 14, 2014 - 10:30am
    Registration, Driving Range, Putting Green, Continental Breakfast: 10:30am - 11:45am
    Golf Scramble: 12:00pm - 4:30pm
    Grill Lunch at 10th Hole: 12:00pm - 3:00pm
    Cocktail Reception - Open Bar: 5:00pm - 6:00pm
    Dinner, Raffle Prizes, Golf Awards: 6:00pm - 8:00pm
  • Get your summer on at the DMCNY networking social. Catch up with your colleagues at Hurley’s on July 22. Sandals not required.

    You know it’ll be fun…

    Come rub a few suntanned elbows with us at our next get-together on Tuesday July 22 from 6pm – 9pm. Hurley’s is putting out a great spread of hot appetizers, plus you get one free drink to get the party started.

    And here's an offer you can't refuse – register yourself and bring one or more clients for free. Once you register, send Stu Boysen (stuboysen@earthlink.net) the name, company and email address of your client guest(s). Stu will register them for free and they'll also get a free drink.

    $25 for DMCNY Members. $35 at the door or for non-members. So sign up today at dmcny.org.

    Bring your business cards and your best summery smile.
    See you there! 

    *NOTE: venue is not handicap accessible

    Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - 6:00pm
    6:00pm - 9:00pm

    Member Price: 

    $25

    Non-Member Price: 

    $35
  • Your Email Reputation Depends on These Top 10 Must-Knows

    Issue: 

    February, 2014

    Email marketing is still a top priority for marketers who seek leverage in their ability to target customers with relevant offers. But it’s very concerning when you realize 20% of emails don’t make it to the consumer’s inbox, according to data from ReturnPath.

    Getting delivered requires some due diligence and care, but it also means giving consumers what they want. Web mail providers pay attention when consumers flag an email as spam, and when they leave the email unopened.  Here are the 10 ways to improve your email marketing:

    1.       Email Append, Direct:  Today, it’s a risky move to append email addresses to your database and then email those customers without an opt-in. Many email service providers will not allow their customers to use this method, because it can hurt the sender reputation.

    2.      Email Append, Indirect:  Appending your list to a third party list and emailing customers through the third party is still okay—on the surface. However, it’s highly recommended that you use a positive opt-in method, requiring the customer to click on a link and give their permission.

    3.       Email Change of Address (ECOA): This service, which is not recommended, provides a new email address if old one is no longer working.  While the majority of consumers have more than one email address, it’s important to remember that email permission is based on a particular email address, not a customer record. When the email address goes bad, so does your permission.

    4.      Cleansing: Take a hard look at your list.  Remove those hard bounces and any soft bounces that have occured a few times. When you send emails to bad addresses again and again, it hurts your reputation, wastes your money and impacts your ROI.

    5.       Filter Out Inactives:  Consider only communicating with customers who have engaged (via opens or clicks, for example) with you in the past 90 days This keeps your list fresh, improves your metrics and mitigates any deliverability impact of using old addresses.

    6.      Email Verification of Address (EVOA):  Use EVOA to verify that email addresses are correct.   Give your subscriber an opportunity to fix them, in real-time if possible.

    7.       Organic Acquisition:  Look across your customer’s touch points with your brand and find opportunities to offer an opt-in. Look at web sites, social networks or even in-store locations. Build your list with customers who indicate that they want to receive your messages, to ensure relevancy.

    8.      Preference Center:  Create a preference center to give subscribers the ability to change their frequency, channel or content types.  Put them in control of the message.

    9.      Monitor Delivery:  Watch your email’s performance, by campaign and in aggregate. Watch for trends that indicate emails are not being delivered—and act quickly. 

    10.   Mobile:  As more consumers move toward mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, leverage mobile-aware emails to ensure relevancy based on the device they are viewed on, as well as the content they deliver.

    Remember that your subscribers are interested in your message, but it’s easy to lose their love. Relevant messages that matter will keep them opening and clicking, and will help you maintain a good email sender reputation—in a world where reputation is everything.

    Author: 

    Jeanette Kocsis
    Jeanette Kocsis's picture

    Jeannette Kocsis is  EVP, digital engagement, at the Agency Inside Harte-Hanks. Reach her at jeannette_kocsis@harte-hanks.com

  • 14 Call-To-Action Tips to Boost Response

    Issue: 

    May, 2013

    Think about the Call to Action (CTs) as an advertisement for your offer. CTAs are an effective tool to drive traffic to your landing page and increase conversion rates. Creating persuasive, powerful calls to action isn't easy, but here are some tips and practices that you can test.

    1.       Use value-laden and actionable copy such as “Download Now,” “Get Your Free Trial” or “Speak to an Expert.”  Your copy objective is to get to the point and create trust, urgency and value.

    2.       Use a CTA only to offer something of real value to your visitor. CTAs should not be used for branding.

    3.       Adding the specific offer in the CTA makes it stronger. For example: “Subscribe Now and Save 80%,” which is better than just “Subscribe Now.”

    4.       Place CTAs above the fold and along the visitor’s eye path.

    5.       Use bold, contrasting colors in your CTAs so they don’t blend into the content.

    6.       Make your CTA one of the bigger, more prominent objects on a page.

    7.       Design the CTA to resemble a button, by adding bevels, shadows, and hover effects.

    8.       Make your CTA stand out by surrounding it with plenty of white space.

    9.       Link your CTAs to a dedicated landing page, not your home page.

    10.   Too many CTAs will distract your visitors. A CTA is meant to direct visitors to a specific course of action, so limit yourself to a primary CTA and possibly a secondary CTA only.

    11.   Experiment with and test your CTAs to know what design, copy and placement works best.

    12.   Add keyword-rich ALT tags so your CTA adds search value to the page.

    13.   Mobile optimize your CTAs so any device can see them. 

    14.   Personalization is a good way to improve your CTA’s effectiveness. Create different CTAs for different personas. 

    Author: 

    Brian Snider
    Brian Snider's picture

    Brian Snider is president of The GRI Marketing Group, Inc., and past president of DMCNY.  Reach him at bsnider@gridirect.com

  • Bill Baird's picture

    May 2014 Luncheon Summary

    The Cross-Device Manifesto
    Wednesday, May 7, 2014 - 11:30am
    Presenter: Kurt Hawks, GM – Mobile, Conversant, Inc.

    The first half of this presentation focused on statistics about cross-platform consumer behavior.  The second half focused on strategic and tactical logistics. 

    Cross-platform (or cross-device) technology refers to consumers’ use of multiple devices to conduct an activity, either simultaneously or in sequence.  In the world of commerce, it occurs when a task is begun on one platform (for example, using a smart phone to research a purchase), and then continued on another (for example, completing that purchase on a desktop PC).   

    The biggest game-changer, the one device which has single-handedly driven cross-platform marketing to the top of every CMO’s strategic planning checklist, has been the smartphone (i.e. a cell phone with access to the internet through a web-enabled browser.)

    HOW DO CONSUMERS USE THEIR SMARTPHONES? 
    -  25% of smartphone users utilize mobile as their sole source to the Internet
    -  14 hours a day the average consumer keeps their phone within arm’s reach
    -  78% use their Smartphone for help with shopping
    -  40% of all Black Friday traffic on retail sites was from smartphones
    -  3 connected devices are utilized by the average user
    -  41 apps are downloaded on the average smartphone

    HOW HAVE USAGE AND GROWTH SHIFTED?
    -  Tablets have one of the fastest adoption rates in history
       (penetration from 10% to 42% in four years)
    -  Primary growth in digital device usage is now in Mobile & Tablet (not PC’s)
    -  Average daily time spent with mobile devices is now greater than the PC
    -  Time spent with smartphone apps is 4x-5x that of smartphone browsers

    CONSUMERS TAKE A MULTI-PLATFORM PATH TO A SALE 
    -  67% of users start shopping on 1 device and complete the sale on another 

    MANAGING OLD MEDIA VS. NEW MEDIA
    The old media approach was to manage platforms as individual silos, with each one having its own budget, metrics and delivery by device.  This results in poor visibility into cross-platform behavior. 

    The cross-platform approach is to use holistic planning and common metrics, including cross-channel interplay, in order to understand the buyer’s purchase journey across all channels.  This enables analytics to be applied to properly identify platform attribution for revenue and expense budgeting.
     

    Respectfully submitted 
    Bill Baird 
    www.bairdmarketing.com 

  • Save $300 on Integrated Marketing Week in June

    DMCNY rarely offers special benefits to both members and non-members.  But this deal is too good to pass up.  DMCNY is a strategic partner of The DirectMarketing Association for Integrated Marketing Week (IMW) to be held on June 3 and 4 at The Metropolitan Pavilion at 125 W  18th Street.

    Now in its second year, IMW is where 1500 of the most senior marketing leaders meet to share their integrated marketing successes, road test the new tech, meet the top vendors and make decisions about the tools and partnerships that can help them deliver across all channels.

    DMCNY constituents save $300 if you register for the conference byJune 2.  Click here for details and to register and use the promo code DMCNY1 to take advantage of the savings.

    Some details:

    No single channel can win out any more. Today, it’s about being wherever customers are, giving them relevant messages, and making sure that each interaction is intelligently connected to the next.  

    Which means delivering great customer experience and truly integrated marketing, across any and every channel: web, social, mobile, broadcast, email, in-store, outdoor and beyond. And that means re-engineering processes, investing in new technology, and creating entirely new, integrated strategies.

    This is the next great challenge for every marketer. And this is exactly what IMW in June is all about – helping marketers rise to the toughest challenge of them all: delivering the multichannel customer experience.

  • How to Survive in the New Age of Cold Calling

    Issue: 

    February, 2014

    Consider how sales people have to operate their cold calls these days.  Walk into a building and take the elevator to the floor of a prospect?  That ended with 9/11.  Now it’s a picture ID, just to get into the lobby.  If there’s a security desk, you’re going to need a contact name at your target firm—or that’s as far as you’re going to get. 

    But there are solutions.  One of the best things about the Internet age:  You can find just about everything you need online.  Before your calls, you can easily find company addresses and phone numbers.  And if you’re really lucky, you may find a list of company personnel, sometimes with their email addresses. 

    Armed with a name, I stand a chance.  Here’s how I proceed:  First, I put together a sales kit with product samples and my company information.  In the lobby, I have the guard call up, so I can get upstairs to see my targets. Invariably, the call goes to voice mail.  At that point, the guard may let me up to the company’s reception desk.  There, I can talk to the receptionist and leave behind my materials, to be delivered to the prospect.

    On the off chance that the prospect does pick up, I ask for the phone, and get the quizzical “Do we have an appointment?”  I say “No, but if you have 5 minutes I’d like to tell you how I can help you.”  The answer is usually “No,” but now the prospect knows I’m a real person, and I get to leave my information for them.

    The next day I make a follow-up call to set up an appointment.  Again, we have the problem of them picking up the phone.  That’s where polite persistence is a must.   Also, I find that calling at odd times can work to get a hold of them. 

    If I can’t get upstairs to see them, my next step is the old, reliable, mail system.  I drop the sales kit in the mail, wait 3 or 4 days, and call again for an appointment.  By then, they are likely to know who I am, and maybe they’ll see me. 

    If I get the prospect on the phone, often it turns out not to be the right person, and the process starts all over again. 

    I have learned that I can’t be too pushy.  That’s a turn-off.  After my first voice mail message, I keep trying to call, to get them live on the phone.  But I won’t leave another message until 2 weeks have gone by.  At the end of my voice mail message, I always say “If you have a problem, I’m here to help you.”  It’s surprising, but when people get desperate they do call me. 

    Prospecting, or cold calling, rarely provides instant gratification. It is a long process that requires patience and persistence.  So be prepared.  

     

    Author: 

    John Swensen
    John Swensen's picture
  • Bill Baird's picture

    March 13 Luncheon - "The New Analytics”

    A lively panel of marketing analytic professionals provided a myriad of insights and predictions to a packed room of DMCNY members and attendees at the Yale Club, including a significant contingent of inquisitive students from local undergraduate and graduate direct marketing programs.  This article, written by DMCNY member Bill Baird, describes just some of the many comments and predictions of the day. MODERATOR:  Tony Branda, Chief Analytics & Database Marketing Officer, Consumer & Small Business Decision Management, Citibank 
     

    PANELISTS:  Charles Swift, Jr., VP Strategy & Marketing Operations, Hearst Magazines;  Sheryl Pattek, VP Principal Analyst Serving CMO Professionals, Forrester Research; Yongyong Kennedy, SVP Product Analytics and Market Segment Strategy, Citibank 
     

    On March 13, 2014, a lively panel of marketing analytic professionals provided a myriad of insights and predictions to a packed room of DMCNY members and attendees at the Yale Club, including a significant contingent of inquisitive students from local undergraduate and graduate direct marketing programs.  This article, written by DMCNY member Bill Baird, describes just some of the many comments and predictions of the day. 

    BIG DATA

    • A common theme across panelists was to follow a process: first identify the business need and questions to be answered, then identify the data that will get you there, and then build the technology around that.  
       
    • According to research from Bain and Company, organizations that use data strategically are 5 times more likely to make decisions faster, 3 times more likely to execute the intended decisions and 2 times more likely to deliver higher levels of financial performance.  
       
    • Citibank is testing big data to operationalize analytics that can’t be implemented with business intelligence platforms.  They are however still more in the R&D learning mode than in the mode of operationalizing infrastructure based on what’s been learned.   
       
    • Hearst has found roles have reversed.  Whereas the marketers used to live in the world of possibilities and the IT people lived in the world of pragmatism, the opposite is now the case.   

    THE PROGRESSION OF ANALYTICAL MATURITY

    • Citibank uses conventional direct response as a starting point, but this is a small part of the whole.  They are starting to pursue a direct targeting approach, using a predictive model for non-direct response media.  For in-store events, for example, they provide the bank manager with a list of modeled names to choose from vs. expecting them to choose on their own.   
       
    • Last-click attribution is still the most commonly-used attribution model for determining which customer touchpoint produced the order.  But Forrester noted this is the least effective measurement to use.  Companies need to focus increasingly on integrated marketing because, with the advent of new touchpoints (social media, mobile, etc.), the customer decision-making journey has changed.  

    MARKETING AUTOMATION

    • Marketing automation platform service providers enable the marketer to manage multiple touchpoints in an automated fashion from a single platform, as well as measuring attribution in numerous ways.  Panelists mentioned IBM Unica and Eloqua as examples of such service providers.  Picking the software is the least important piece – identifying the end-to-end marketing process, staffing, content and data strategy are more important. 
    • The best place to start with marketing automation and attribution is with retention, onboarding or cross-selling -- not with acquisition, panelists said.  These forms of marketing are easier to manage as well as being simpler applications.   

    • Panelists suggested studying USAA, Harrahs and Disney as best practice marketers.     


    SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT AND MEASUREMENT

    • From a management perspective, Citibank has a dedicated social media marketing group.  Both Citibank and Hearst monitor social media sources for content to be managed, both positive and negative.  Another example is Dell’s Social Media Command Center.

      Positive examples are situations where something is being said or done which benefits the company, and the marketer’s role is to find ways to expand the benefit.  Conversely, negative buzz is managed in a manner to reduce its impact on the brand and/or business, responding to minimize its impact.    

    • One marketing strategy is to build microsites to get relevant topics discussed.  

    • Leveraging and measuring tweets was a common topic for the presenters. One issue is the unanswered question of how to monetize tweets--as well as all social media efforts. 

       

    ADOPTION OF ANALYTICS

    • One obstacle is proving the accuracy of your numbers.  
       
    • Another is ensuring that existing analytics connect with the decision to be made.  You need to understand the internal customer’s needs.  
       
    • Backward-looking decisions are easy to support, whereas forward-looking ones are more difficult to prove.  
       
    • Use the agile approach: test and learn, test and learn more, roll out once the strategy is proven.  

    CHALLENGES GOING FORWARD

    Panelists’ comments included:

    “How can we drive (more) customer transactions on line?”

    “Our database is no longer viewed as a marketing database; it’s now viewed as a company database.”

    “There is no model for adding unstructured data to structured data.”

    “Tracking cross-platform behavior and data (is an obstacle).” 

    “SAS predicts a massive shortfall of analytical professionals by 2018.”

     

  • The New Lead "Generation"

    "I'm not trying to 'cause a big s-s-sensation,
    I'm just talkin' 'bout my g-g-g-generation"

    —The Who

    Everyone's talking 'bout the new generation, the New Lead "Generation." It's not just the new g-g-g-enerations of marketers talking content, mobile apps and social media, it's about the latest in lead g-g-g-generation approaches as well. With today's hyper-consumer there are new challenges as well as massive opportunities.

    DMCNY has assembled some of today's best and innovative experts to tackle some of the key questions about lead generation today in this Half-Day Breakfast Seminar. Three sessions that will educate, question, discuss and challenge what we know, don't know and think we know.

    Additional coverage "In the News" 

    "Four Strategies for Lead Generation"
    Direct Marketing News (March 10, 2014)
    http://www.dmnews.com/four-strategies-for-lead-generation/article/337405/

    Additional video coverage

    See videos from our March Lead Gen keynote speaker Jeffrey Rohs from Exact Target talking about direct an interactive imperatives during the DMCNY half day event on Lead Generation on March 4 at FIT. And an interview with Claire Burns from Emma.

     

    Here's what the morning will look like.

    • 8:00-8:30—Registration, Continental Breakfast and Networking
    • 8:30-9:30—The Audience Imperative
      Speaker: Jeffrey Rohrs
      Smart businesses aren't leaving their success to chance. Instead, they're building proprietary audiences across email, mobile, social, and other web-based channels in order to generate "attention on demand." Jeff will share how this is reducing their dependence on paid media and turning audiences into assets.
    • 9:30-9:45—Networking Break
    • 9:45-10:30—The New Lead "Generation" Panel Program
      Moderators: Ava Seavey & Vic Golio
      Panelists: Deborah Holland & Dany Sfeir
      This will be a lively discussion with a group of ground-breaking industry experts on the latest in lead generation approaches.
    • 10:30-10:45—Networking Break
    • 10:45-11:30—The Mathematics of Marketing
      Speaker: Dave Scott
      The discipline of marketing is changing from an art to a science. Stealing from the direct marketing industry, author David Scott will discuss cutting-edge ways to measure ROI no matter the marketing approach.
    • 11:30—Event concludes

    Register Today—space will be limited and you don want to miss out on the New Lead G-G-G-Generation!

    Event Sponsorship: 

    Tuesday, March 4, 2014 - 8:00am
    Registration and Breakfast: 8:00-8:30 am
    Program: 8:30-11:30 am

    Member Price: 

    $95

    Non-Member Price: 

    $120
  • Videos - March Lead Gen Event

    See videos from our March Lead Gen keynote speaker Jeffrey Rohs from Exact Target talking about direct an interactive imperatives during the DMCNY half day event on Lead Generation on March 4 at FIT. 

    And, view Claire Burns from Emma, DMCNY's sponsor talking about how Emma helps email marketers send emails to consumers.  

    Many thanks to our videographer Ken Kraetzer!

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