Posts Tagged ‘real-time marketing’

Real-Time Marketing: How Publishers Clearing House increased engagement through testing

May 8th, 2015

Publishers Clearing House is winning the real-time marketing game. Their online brand,, currently gets 16 million unique visits per month, and those visitors spend an average of 17 minutes on the site. The marketing team achieved this by delivering a personalized message to every visitor  on the site — messages that were designed to be relevant to what visitors were doing on the site.

At MarketingSherpa MarketingExperiments Web Optimization Summit 2014, Michael Zane, Senior Director of Online Marketing, Publishers Clearing House, revealed how, in just under a year, the marketing team has increased:

  • Time spent on their site by 43%
  • Overall engagement by 46%
  • Revenues per 1,000 visitors by 12%


They achieved this by:

1. Identifying two personas with very simple audience segmentation:

  • Engaged visitors — customers who had played one or more instant-win or sweepstakes games
  • Unengaged visitor — customers who had visited at least twice but had not yet played a game or entered a sweepstakes

2. Determining what they wanted visitors to do as a result of real-time marketing. This involved:

  • Engaging the unengaged
  • Driving the somewhat-engaged visitors to go deeper into the site

3. Testing to learn what will drive engagement. The team set a testing baseline by gathering data for six weeks

  • They conducted A/B tests targeting their unengaged visitors. The control was the site without special messaging, and the treatment featured a very simple one-line header. The result achieved a 36% lift in engaged users.
  • The team tested again. They suspected that they were on the right track and were eager to try a pop up designed by their graphic artists. After all, Zane was certain a designed pop-up would get results. He was right, but not in the way he expected. However, what they learned was still very valuable and influenced future tests. Find out more in this below clip:

Read more…

Mobile Marketing: 63% of marketers view increasing sales conversion and revenue as a top objective

January 15th, 2013

In the MarketingSherpa Mobile Marketing Benchmark Report, we asked marketers about their business objectives for mobile marketing …

Q: What are your TOP BUSINESS OBJECTIVES for mobile marketing in the next 12 months?

Top business objectives for mobile marketing

As always, we turned to our audience for insights on this data. Here’s what they had to say …

  Read more…

Real-time Marketing: Crowdsourced video of keynote from MarketingSherpa Email Summit

March 1st, 2011

So it’s early morning breakfast time at the MarketingSherpa Email Summit in Las Vegas…day 2. Being the grumpy morning person I am, I’m just stumbling over to try to grab one of those tasting looking Danishes when our keynote speaker, David Meerman Scott, comes up to me very excited about a video idea, something that vaguely reminded me of the Beastie Boys.

Now, when a guy of David’s caliber has an idea, I want to hear it…and share it with you. Well, actually, let me just show you a trailer for what he came up with…

As I said when I introduced David at the Email Summit, we brought him in to help inspire marketers to take a fresh look at how they approach their marketing efforts. And kudos to David for holding himself to the same standard, breaking down the paradigm of what a professional speaker’s video could look like.

If you like the above trailer, feel free to watch the complete keynote speech, which was just released today.

As marketers, sometimes we get so tied up in a campaign mentality, a mode of working that dates back to the days of print and broadcast, of setting your marketing, days, weeks, even months ahead of time with no ability to make changes. In the age of the Internet and social media, David suggests you can no longer approach marketing in a “set it and forget it” fashion.

His keynote is a fitting example of the John Maynard Keynes quote, “The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping from the old ones.”

Related resources

MarketingSherpa MarketingExperiments Optimization Summit 2011 – June 1 -3

MarketingSherpa’s 3rd Annual German Email Marketing Summit – March 21-22, 2011

Real-Time Marketing: David Meerman Scott at MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2011

MarketingSherpa 2011 Email Marketing Awards

Email Marketing: Why should I help you?

Real-time Marketing: Don’t complain about the weather, put it to work

February 4th, 2011
MarketingSherpa Snowmageddon 2011

The B.Good snowman

My blog post this week has truly been an exercise in real-time reporting. “Plan A” was to cover some of the Super Bowl marketing activities going on in Dallas this week, but then “Snowmageddon 2011” hit late Monday night, left me iced into my driveway and knocked the media and marketing universe surrounding the Super Bowl into a brand new level of frenzy/panic/excitement — something like “frenzanicment.”

When the uniqueness of Super Bowl week marketing gets kicked up even higher with a freak weather event, the result — however interesting it might be — just isn’t going to apply to many other real-world marketing situations.

Plan B

But when that freak weather event is affecting a huge swath of the rest of the United States, and local marketers are jumping in with real-time campaigns and CRM activities such as sending messages about new store and office hours in reaction to the event, that’s something any marketer can relate to and maybe gain some insight from to use for future real-time marketing opportunities.

With that in mind, this post is “plan B” — some crowdsourced, real-time reporting on various marketing efforts taken in response to Snowmageddon.

Getting customers to your bricks and mortar location in a blizzard

  • Leyla Arsan of Lotus Marketing Services offered this interesting restaurant promotion: One of my clients, a 20,000-square-foot  restaurant in Chicago, offered a blizzard promotion. For each inch of snowfall, they offered guests that percentage off their check. For example, 20 inches = 20% off your total bill. On Wednesday night, they had over 100 guests with only a few hours to promote the special. They used email marketing, Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare to promote the special.
  • Style Masters Salon & Spa located in the greater Philadelphia area distributed emails offering 20% service discounts for same-day bookings during snow storms January 26-27. The January 26 promotion filled the appointment book within 25 minutes, while the offer on January 27 took the salon from a 20% booking rate to 52% in 45 minutes. “We couldn’t be more pleased with the results of this last-minute email campaign,” said Christina Vagnozzi, owner of Style Masters Salon & Spa. “Our clients are anxiously awaiting this next storm to see what we come up with.”
  • The Boston-based B.Good restaurant chain posted a humorous photo to their Facebook page featuring a giant snowman built at one of the locations while staff awaited customers. The photo was posted on a day when the area received more than a foot of snow. “The photo generated great buzz with ‘Likes’ on our Facebook page, and encouraged walk-ins when we ordinarily would have seen few, if any,” said Jon Olinto, Co-founder B.Good.

Use videos to tell your brand’s story

Stacey Hylen of sent this idea: I shot some videos outside in the blizzard with some tips to help small business owners learn how to profit from Snowmageddon and what they need to do in their business to prepare it for another one (things they can do to become more of a global business so local events won’t hurt their business as much.)

I am going to promote the heck out of the videos and also offer a Snowmageddon special through my newsletter and through social media sites.

Real-time email marketing — be proactive

Rick Delashmit of in Belleville, Illinois: We had to delay some of our scheduled FruitMyCube deliveries this week due to the weather. We notified several hundred customers of the order delay/cancellation with this email.

Then today (Wednesday), as we opened up ordering for next week, we announced that we would be including one of our hand-dipped Chocolate Covered Strawberries in each Cube as a thank you for their patience through the “Snowpocalypse”. Then come Valentine’s week, we’ll tie all this together by allowing our customers to add a Gift Box of the berries to their FruitMyCube order. Here’s the email that announced the free chocolate covered strawberry.

Cold calling in freezing weather

Jenny Vance, President LeadJen: As an outsourced Lead generation company, LeadJen is conscious about using client billable time when we will see the highest connections and also highest conversions. Typically, those two things have a 1:1 relationship. If you have more connections/conversations, you have more conversions.

However, we have found that a winter event is much like the holidays because while the ability to connect is greatly reduced, the quality of the connections is much higher. This is because we have an easy way to personalize the message and a universal conversation topic—weather!

The people that are in the office are also not as inundated with requests and interruptions, so the cold call is less of a bother. In order to maximize the conversation topic, we include reference to weather in our voicemails, live dialogues and also email content.

We’ve found that it greatly improves our inbound response to those messages. At the end of the day, we estimate that instead of a 1:1 relationship between connections to conversions, we see a 1:2 relationship. It so critical that during winter emergencies that have the potential to cripple results, LeadJen has been able to stabilize and sometimes improve project performance.

Real-time marketing is nimble marketing

“The great news about today’s marketing tools is that they allow marketers to be really nimble and react to circumstances, like the recent spate of snowstorms, in real time,” said Eric Groves, Senior Vice President, Strategy, Corporate Development and Innovation Constant Contact. “Simply using the ‘excuse’ of the snow as a reason to reach out and share a compelling promotion not only helps maintain sales during what might otherwise be a bit of a slump, but also strengthens relationships with customers by rewarding loyalty.”

All marketers know to tailor campaigns and offers to events like Valentine’s Day or St. Patrick’s Day, but the nimble marketer will also react to events such as weather or breaking news to take advantage of publicity and promotional opportunities. It doesn’t have to be a freak snowstorm rampaging across most of the country, although there’s a lot to work with, as seen above, to get into the world of real-time marketing. You just have to find the opportunity in the news, events, announcements — and yes, even weather — that happen every day.

Related resources

Constant Contact, used by Style Masters Salon & Spa, B.Good and for their online marketing campaigns

Lotus Marketing Services

Real-Time Marketing: David Meerman Scott at MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2011

Riding a real time Amazon announcement to reach an influential journalist

Email Marketing: Why should I help you?

Real-Time Marketing: David Meerman Scott at MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2011

January 25th, 2011

(photo credit: MYMRMARK)

David Meerman Scott is a marketing strategist and author of Real-Time Marketing & PR: How to Instantly Engage Your Market, Connect with Customers, and Create Products that Grow Your Business Now. He describes himself as a recovering VP of Marketing, and as the keynote speaker he pumped up the crowd at the MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2011 at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.

Real-Time Marketing and PR

David shared a number of examples of actual real-time marketing and engagement, and one had a little relevance to the Summit because the event driving the effort happened in Las Vegas. At the end of last August, Paris Hilton was arrested in Las Vegas for possession of cocaine.

Paris Hilton and Wynn Resorts in Las Vegas

Wynn Resorts immediately sent out a press release stating that she was banned from their properties. The immediate result was that most stories covering the arrest also mentioned that Wynn Resorts banned Hilton as well. Over 5,000 stories were written right after the arrest and a Google search today using this string, “paris hilton arrest las vegas wynn banned” pulls up over 500,000 hits. Wynn resorts took advantage of a real-time event to drive promotion in the form of traditional media coverage.

David said speed and agility are a decisive competitive advantage. Reacting to, and focusing on, what is happening in the news can apply to both email and marketing campaigns. He added that too many companies are run by “MBAs and spreadsheets,” and are looking at data from last week, last month or even last year, and forecasting out as far as five years. He said he didn’t have anything against long-term planning, but David asks, “What about now?” Focus on today.

The Gap logo change

To provide another example of just how fast things happen in real-time, David talked about The Gap changing its logo. The change set off a firestorm of traditional and social media coverage, and most of that coverage was negative. The entire process from logo change, loud and energetic negative reaction, and The Gap announcing it was keeping its old logo happened over four days.

David asked the audience, “Is there anything you could have done with this?” for Summit attendees to think about opportunities with their own businesses and how they might use an event like The Gap logo change, and he pointed out that the event would have played out differently even two years ago. Twitter, Facebook and other online tools have changed the timeline of how the public reacted to the new logo.

(photo credit: @ContactLab)

Real-time guidelines

David said the way to start the process of real-time marketing is set guidelines in the company that allows for employees to take advantage of, and react to, real-time events. He pointed out that news happens all the time. The CEO might be away at a conference, or it might be the middle of the night, or during dinner after business hours.

To truly implement real-time marketing, the triggering event needs to be addressed immediately, and not have to wait for business hours and approval within the company.

Comments from the Twitter feed:

(photo credit: @mattmcn)

Related resources

David’s blog, Web Ink Now

Improve Your Copywriting with Help from Social Media: 7 Tactics from David Meerman Scott

Lead generation: Real-time, data-driven B2B marketing and sales

Email Marketing Manager: Look past campaigns to boost your career

Email Marketing Manager: Look past campaigns to boost your career

October 29th, 2010

Hey email marketing managers…are you working hard to create the best possible campaigns? If so, you may be missing a huge opportunity. Check out my recent chat with noted marketing strategist and best-selling author David Meerman Scott at the recent MarketingSherpa B2B Marketing Summit

I like campaigns myself. I’m a plan-ahead kind of guy. But David makes an excellent case for real-time marketing. In a 24/7 news world, we can’t be complacent and just set it and forget it.

He also makes a good point that massive, monolithic corporations are so…impersonal. As MECLABS Managing Director (CEO) Flint McGlaughlin says, “People don’t buy from websites, people buy from people.

So look past your campaigns, get all of your real people out from beyond the corporate façade…and hopefully advance your career in the process.

To hear more from David Meerman Scott, join us in Las Vegas from January 24-26 for MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2011. Thanks to a generous sponsorship by ExactTarget, David will be the keynote speaker. And Flint will be speaking there as well.

Related Resources

Email Summit 2011 – Learn from Sherpa’s Latest Research, Case Studies and Training

B2B Marketing Summit Wrap-up: Quick takeaways distilled from 478 marketers on lead nurturing, social media marketing, and more

Transparent Marketing: How to earn the trust of a skeptical consumer