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It's October 1st. Sure, we still have Halloween to look forward to, but many of you are likely planning your holiday promotions calendar, working up your ideas for email and social media campaigns. What are the benchmark dates this year (2014)? Take a peek:

Taking the stage on the first day of SMX East is Marshall Simmonds, famed CEO of Define MG and longtime SEO professional. I am excited to be reporting from New York all of the excitement and adventure surrounding this years Search Marketing Expo! Blog posts will be coming rapidly and I frantically try to share all of the valuable information shared for the next four days.

Technology might have thrown the traditional publishing industry into turmoil, but BookDaily.com is thriving—and helping authors succeed—thanks to a digital marketing strategy, that emphasizes Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising.

The connectivity of the digital world has transformed how we seek out and build our relationships online and offline. (Tinder, anyone?) It goes beyond our interactions with peers. Now, brands also have to maintain online relationships with their audience. Just as a customer pays money for a brand’s product, a brand’s marketing should also offer a give-and-take relationship with its audience that exchanges value for audience interaction and exposure. This trend is called “utility marketing” and here are some ways to integrate this concept into your marketing game plan: 

Back in July, Alyssa posted about one of Twitter’s newest marketing tools, Twitter Lead Gen Cards, that can help convert social media connections into email contacts.

As a marketer, the goal for Twitter Lead Gen Cards is to do away with traditional landing page email sign-ups that take consumers out of their native browsing experience all together, and instead capture it seamlessly within the social platform.

The content management system for your website allows you to easily create new webpages and modify existing content on your website without knowing a programming language. Before content management systems, even simple copy and image updates had to be requested from a web developer, making it very challenging to keep sites up-to-date and add new content regularly.

How do you define your brand? Trick question! It doesn’t matter what you’re thinking. More importantly, how does your audience think of your brand? I’m referring to the collective social audience that consumes and interacts with your brand messaging. They judge how your brand’s content is received and they shape how it is communicated between peers. So, they define your brand. This is the (relatively) new reality for all brands that want to survive in a consumer-driven world.

You're using first name personalization and maybe even location in your email marketing campaigns, but are you wondering how far you can take personalization? One of my favorite examples is from Huttig.

In 2013, Twitter announced that it would be testing an exciting new addition to its suite of marketing tools. Realizing that marketers saw value in converting social media connections to email contacts, Twitter introduced Lead Generation Cards. Think of these cards as mini lead generation forms that you can attach to tweets. Twitter Lead Gen Cards are free and easy to set up via ads.twitter.com.

Over the last few months, something very exciting has been happening at emfluence. For years, our Marketing Platform developers have been slaving away at improving our online Marketing Platform. Recently, they’ve unveiled a feature that promises to multiply their efforts and rapidly increase the potential of the platform. 

At the 2014 emfluence Marketing Platform User Conference -- dubbed "RE:one-to-one" -- I shared the big trends I see in my day-to-day work in email marketing. (Check out the full Prezi "Trends Email Marketing in 2014" to see all 17 trends!)

First, I revisited some of the trends I called in 2013 that are still growing or finally hitting. For example:

At the Bank Director Conference in April, I sat down to chat about growing customer relationships. Check out my 4-minute intro to how automated email messaging can cultivate your new banking customer relationships. (Click below to be taken to BankDirector.com for the interview.)

As a data-driven marketer, I cringe at the idea of sending emails out into space and not taking advantage of the engagement data I get back. Knowledge is power, people! You can use what you know about how your subscribers engage with your emails to follow up with them – called re-marketing – and get the best return on investment from your emails possible. You can re-market to both engaged and unengaged subscribers in different ways.

Here’s a few of my favorite re-marketing campaigns to get you started:

Banks and Credit Unions call it “onboarding:” A series of communications that cultivates the relationship with a new customer and provides an opportunity to (eventually) talk about other services that they could provide for the customer. The rest of us may know this process as a “welcome series,” “lead nurture campaign,” and “customer loyalty campaign.” It’s all the same – and it’s great marketing automation!

Real-time marketing has always been at the root of social media. The interest consumers have in interacting with brands on social media largely stems from the anticipation of a real-time reaction from the brand. It’s why Twitter, built for in-the-moment conversation, has become such a natural tool for customer service. However, the playing field shifted, tilted and completely fell on its head with the epic Oreo Superbowl tweet.

At the 2014 emfluence Marketing Platform User Conference, Kristin Kenney with Polsinelli gave us some straight talk about what marketers need to know about Canada's new Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL).

What marketing channel boasts a $28 return on investment for every $1 you invest? (Hint: there’s only one.) What channel combines emerging digital tactics with proven data-driven strategies? What channel requires both left and right brain thinking to really nail it? Easy: it’s email marketing.

Thank you to our speakers, our Platform team and, of course, our users (clients) for another great user conference! Photos of the day are up on our Facebook page. Give us a like and see the photos here.

Join us for the emfluence Marketing Platform User Conference

Read more at the EventBrite Page:      Agenda     |     Speaker Bios     |     Parking Info

Last year, Gmail got email marketers all in a tizzy by introducing its new tabbed inbox. Now, Gmail is testing a new visual “grid” layout for emails in the Promotions tab that gives users a peek at the contents of the email without ever having to open it.

Things have finally warmed up in the Northern Hemisphere as summer arrives. It’s time for vacations, great food, and a surge in flip-flop sales. Just in time for summer travel, Google has been hard at work updating Google Maps for iOS and Android devices, offering new features, like an alert when you should change lanes and more advanced offline map functionality.

Automated emails used to be just for advanced marketers, business-to-business sales cycles and bigger retail companies. Now, every marketer should have at least three basic automated emails. Most email platforms (including emfluence) make it pretty easy to set up, and if you find that you’re doing the same list segmentation or same campaign regularly, you may be able to take advantage of setting up an automated message instead.

Earlier this week, Tyler wrote a great post about Google Analytics’ new demographics data, and how it offers a treasure trove of information about visitors to your site. For social, this information can help you make carefully calculated content decisions if you know what to look for:

#1 - Compare Demographic Information

Google AnalyticsLast fall, Google announced that they would be phasing out keyword data in its Analytics toolbox, and replacing it with new features for search engine marketing professionals to use. One of these features is DoubleClick Demographic Data.

Last year, Sara wrote a blog post highlighting our client, Rush Wade 2, for their use of sharing an animated GIF via email. In another email in that campaign, they used "video" in email, too. They overlaid a big, enticing play button on a still from their video reel, encouraging users to play the full reel.

Sure, you know your open, click-through, bounce and unsubscribe rates, but do you know how much revenue an email marketing campaign actually generated? Email metrics are only part of the equation. What happens when a subscriber goes to your site is just as important, especially for e-commerce websites. If your website has a shopping cart, then you should be using Google Analytics tracking links as part of all of your campaigns, including email, to track what traffic that campaign drives to your site.

You've almost definitely seen the pre-header of an email before. It's the line or two of pure text above the graphic header banner in an email marketing message. Go ahead, check your inbox. You'll find something that looks like this:

Another round of congratulations to the emfluence Search Engine Optimization strategy team for winning a BMA Fountain award for their work on ProPharma Group's SEO during website relaunch in 2013.

In a world where email marketers know the value of each email and, therefore, want to send as much email as possible, it seems unlikely. But, we still sometimes have clients who want to send, say 9 times a year. Those are their promotion windows, or they have a seasonal business. This week, a fellow email marketer asked, "I thought I'd read somewhere that it's possible to send too infrequently. How often is not often enough in email marketing?"

Eleven years after emfluence and the emfluence Marketing Platform were first created, the emfluence team couldn't agree more that Dave deserves the honor of Direct Marketer of the Year!

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