The WhatCounts Blog

Everything you need to know about smart, personalized email marketing.

7 Resources to Avoid Sending SPAM

Avoid delivering spam!It turns out we’ve talked a lot about spam over the years, mostly because we love email and it’s uber important to send email that’s not spam. What have we learned about spam after all this time? Primarily, it’s definitely not cool for email marketers to send. But we discovered a lot of other good information, too, and we gathered it from all over so you can avoid sending spam.

#1: What Is Spam?
Spam as it applies to email is multi-faceted in its definitions. But mostly, it means messages unwanted by subscribers. Seeing it that way should put smart email marketing in perspective.

#2: Where Does the Term “Spam” Come From?
If you’ve ever wondered how unsolicited email got its infamous name, this article explains it. Quench your curiosity!

#3: You Can’t Say that in Email! Do Spam Words REALLY Hurt?
There was a time when certain words automatically marked your messages as spam in the eyes of ISPs and subscribers. Find out if this is still fact, or if it’s more of a fiction for today’s email marketing.

#4: Spam Laws and Non-Profit Organizations
If you’re a non-profit and wondering how anti-spam laws fit into your email marketing strategy, you don’t have to worry about much. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore best practices.

#5: Reduce Spam Reports of your Email Marketing
Want to stop subscribers from reporting you messages as spam? There’s an easy way to do this, but it requires you to do something that may be hard: Make sure people have an obvious way to opt out.

#6: Avoid Misleading Subject Lines
Misleading subject lines is the number one factor between your email getting booted to the spam folder or being opened. Make it a good one with these tips!

#7: The Email Marketer’s Ultimate Checklist for Canada’s Anti-Spam Law Update
On Jul 1, 2014, Canada will update its anti-spam legislation (CASL). We’ve created a checklist to help you decide if these updates affect your email marketing and, if so, how to ensure you’re compliant.

Making sure your emails aren’t spam should be priority. We hope these resources shed light on what spam is and how to avoid sending it.

Joy Ugi
Digital Marketing Coordinator, WhatCounts
Twitter: @ugigirl

Download our latest eBook

Your email list is your most valuable asset. Learn 57 tips for building it today!

Download

In Search of Attention

Live Audience: In Search of Attention

For more than a decade, the business of email marketing has largely been concerned with The Big Six:

Frequency
Send times
Deliverability
A/B testing
Subject lines
List segmentation and suppression

When is the best time to send? Did my message get delivered to the right tab or was it sent to the junk folder? What offer inside the email worked best? What was the winning subject line? Who should get this message and who shouldn’t?

Those are a tremendous number of variables to balance and test for.

With so many variables, there has always been a lot of wood to chop. And with the high ROI of email marketing, the effort to optimize against all these variables has kept many email marketers in the office until all hours. Email’s tremendous ROI has made it worthwhile.

In a environment where your opted-in subscribers could only be contacted via a 1st-party newsletter, spending this kind of time made a ton of sense. When you collected an email address, you intended to send email to it. And you needed to make the most of it.

But once you work through this playbook what else can you do? Triggers?

Now you can use your email data – your segments of lapsed, best, most recent, and or category customers – to reach your subscribers outside of the newsletters that you send. You can use your email address data to reach subscribers without sending another email message to them.

This is called CRM ReTargeting.

You may have heard this called something different. Facebook calls its version ‘Custom Audience’. Twitter calls its ‘Tailored Audience’. Salesforce calls its ‘Active Audiences’.

LiveIntent calls its LiveAudience.

What all of these applications have in common is the use of ‘encrypted’ or ‘hashed’ email data as a targeting element in third party media. Wow. I know that was confusing.

Email addresses are unique. Other than your grandparents, basically no one shares them. And email addresses have evolved to be the unique identifier and login credentials used for everything from the Apple Store, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Amazon, Netflix, The New York Times and pretty much anywhere that has a username and password combination that grants access. Whenever you login to these sites, you use an email address and then the system uses a hashing algorithm (usually MD5) to convert your email address into a 32-character string.

Everytime you md5 an email address, it will convert to the same string. There is no algorithm that will convert it back. So you can send a file of these alphanumeric values to another party and they will not be able to convert them back to email addresses. So they cannot start sending mail to your subscribers.

What they can do is match the strings to their logged-in users.

Facebook was the first to popularize this. It let businesses upload segments of hashed data, along with an ad creative, a URL and a bid. When you are spending time on Facebook, you are logged in and paying attention. Facebook monetizes this attention by running an ongoing auction. Retailers and others bid to place ads in the newsfeed based on matching to their email segments. You only pay to place an ad when you match one of your users AND win the bid (which is CPM$ just like email).

LiveIntent did this first, but we are happy Facebook popularized it. What LiveIntent LiveAudience allows you to do is load up your segments – maybe lapsed customers or people who opened your last campaign but didn’t convert – to LiveIntent Bid Manager; assign creative, campaign timing, and a bid amount; and target these customers when they’re reading other publishers’ newsletters.

Your subscribers may only open up 15 or 20 percent of the mail you send them.

But that doesn’t mean they don’t like you. They’re just paying attention to another publisher or message. You don’t need to send them more email to reach them. You can reach them using display ad creative in other newsletters, Facebook, Twitter and soon many other publishers who have realized that known customers – email subscribers – are more qualified and have higher potential than mere cookies.

So before you decide your strategy is going to just be ‘mail more’, understand maybe email doesn’t have to be just about sending email.

LiveIntent is a valued WhatCounts partner, helping our clients market smarter every day. 

Social: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Social Media: The Good, the Bad and the UglyAlthough email comes first in our book, we know social media is the icing on the cake of any digital marketing strategy. That’s why we raised our eyebrows when we saw this social news. Some is good and some is bad and some of it we just don’t know what to think of. But it’s all worth reading about and taking into consideration! Dig in:

4 Ways to Prevent a Full-Blown Social Media Crisis

The key to responding well to a social media blow-out is preparation. Shoutlet published this stellar article showing you exactly how to prepare for a messy social situation so you’re ready to handle it head-on when it comes.

Pinterest Launches a New Shopping Feed

It’s only in beta phase, but this feature will be a big deal for eCommerce once it goes live. Product pins were great for brands, and the Gifts tab gives companies even more leverage to get the right product to the right person.

Facebook’s Hidden Trouble

If you’ve spent countless hours building your company page following on Facebook, you’re going to be disappointed. According to new research, only a fraction of your followers are seeing your updates in their newsfeeds. And it might get worse. At the very least, it means a shift in social strategy for digital marketers.

New Social Media Research That Could Change Your Strategy

Get a breakdown of recent updates and changes about social media sites, as well as how they apply to your digital marketing. Full of helpful stats and practical tips, you can start putting this information into practice today.

Heard any social news lately: good, bad or ugly? Share the link in the comments section below!

Joy Ugi
Digital Marketing Coordinator, WhatCounts
Twitter: @ugigirl

Download our latest eBook

Your email list is your most valuable asset. Learn 57 tips for building it today!

Download

Feature Friday: Link Keywords in Publicaster Edition

In our newest release to Publicaster Edition this week, we’ve given you the ability to associate one or more keywords with a link. Not only does the link keywords feature works in emails, but it also works for landing pages created in our platform.

Why would you want to apply keywords to links? Say you want to update someone’s profile with a value when they click on a certain link. It’s simple when you only have a few links in your message, and they’re all different. However, when there are many links throughout the body of your email, and many of them are the same, it’s cumbersome to set up all the different profile actions for each link.

We’re all about saving you time and energy. So instead of setting up multiple profile update actions for all the links in your email, we’ve made the process simpler with the link keywords feature. Instead of associating a profile update action with a link click, you can now associate the action with your chosen keyword. The click on the links associated with that keyword would then trigger the profile updates to occur.

The link keywords feature isn’t only a powerful tool for profile update actions. It can be used for segmentation and reporting, as well. It’s essential to understand how to set up link keywords in Publicaster, and use them, too.

Creating Link Keywords

Let’s dive into setting up this feature in Publicaster Edition so you can start getting the most out of it. Once your email has gone out or your landing page has been viewed, you can assign a keyword to a link using the Manage Links Report under Reporting. A column has been added to the end of the report called Keywords.

Look for the column called "keywords."

Click Update in this column next to the link to which you’re adding a keyword. A box will pop up, allowing you to enter up to 10 keywords. Keywords can be any words that make sense for the content to which the link points.

Enter your link keywords.

Although this process is straightforward, we’re all about automation. When an email is deployed or a landing page is viewed, you can automatically associate a link with a keyword without having to go into Manage Links Report and update keywords every time you send an email. This is especially time-saving for those with metered sends or auto-response campaigns.

To set up automated link keywords, open your email creative (Creative Manager>Email Creatives). Click to edit the HTML. All you’re going to do is add an attribute to your links called keywords – go figure. Next, enter a comma-separated list of an unlimited amount of keywords you want associated with this link. For example, we updated this link with the keywords “tips” and “eBook.”

Manually enter link keywords in your code.

Click Save to make sure your changes are permanent. You’ll be able to verify the keywords are associate with the appropriate links with the Click-Through Report. But we’re going to talk about reporting at the end of the post. For now, let’s get into the beneficial use cases for link keywords.

Using Link Keywords in Segmentations

Now that you have keywords associated with your link, you can start using them. A significant place link keywords can be used is in segmentation. Depending if you updated link keywords in a landing page or email, your conditions will be found in different places in the segmentation dropdown menu. Find landing page conditions under Behavioral Conditions>Landing Page Behavioral Conditions and email conditions right before that. The same seven conditions are available for both landing pages and emails.

There are seven link keywords segmentation conditions from which to choose.

Using Link Keywords in Profile Update Actions

New conditions for link keywords have also been added to the Profile Update Manager in the right hand column.

Two link keywords conditions have been added to the Profile Update Manager.

When you click either of these options, you’ll be asked to specify one or more keywords at the bottom of the page. Separate multiple keywords with a semicolon and no spaces.

Enter link keywords associated with the profile update action.

When someone clicks a link in your email, Publicaster will automatically verify if it matches an existing profile update action. If the click does, Publicaster checks if the link is associated with any keywords. If it is, the platform runs an update to that subscriber.

Using Link Keywords in Reporting

The final way you can use link keywords is through reporting filters. In Reports, use the gear icon to find Manage Report Filters.

Choose the Manager Report Filters options from the dropdown.

You’ll notice the report filters set up is almost identical to segmentation set up. Click Add Condition and scroll through the conditions until you find the same ones for keywords that are available in the Segmentation Manager. If you navigate to the Click-Through Report, as well, you’ll see a column where any keywords associated with the email campaign are listed.

Start Using Link Keywords Today

These are the many ways to use link keywords, our newest Publicaster feature. We hope it will save you time and energy, as well as send more personalized messages. Have questions about this feature or need help using it? Reach out to us at support@whatcounts.com.

Joy Ugi
Digital Marketing Coordinator, WhatCounts
Twitter: @ugigirl

Download our latest eBook

Your email list is your most valuable asset. Learn 57 tips for building it today!

Download

Your Questions Answered: Canada’s Anti-Spam Law Updates

What does CASL mean for you? Find out in this Q & A!Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL) is getting a refresher on July 1, 2014. If your business sends emails, these updates most likely apply to you. Don’t wait until the last minute to make sure your email marketing complies with the law. Learn to whom the law applies, how to apply the changes to your email marketing, exceptions and exemptions and more by listening to the recording of our most recent webinar.

You submitted questions to our Director of Deliverability Brad Gurley about CASL. It’s our hope the answers below will help you prepare for the coming changes.

Please be advised these answers are our informed interpretation of the Canadian Anti-Spam Law and its applications. This content is for informational purposes only and is designed to help you, as marketers, better understand the law and how it might affect you. We are not lawyers, and nothing presented here is, or should be construed as, legal advice. It may be necessary to consult your legal or compliance department for specific guidance in regards to adherence with the law.

Q: Can I send out an unsolicited email survey for market info, product usage, etc?
A: Whether this is legal under CASL would depend on whether the message can be deemed as “commercial.” Unsolicited commercial email is prohibited by CASL. However, most ESPs and bulk mail providers won’t allow you to send unsolicited mail, regardless of its commercial designation.

Q: Can we send an email to everyone in our Canadian database now requesting they subscribe to continue receiving future correspondence, and will that be considered valid?
Q: If you received express consent prior to July 1, 2014, but do not have proof, do you need to obtain consent again to comply with CASL?
A: As long as express consent is received prior to July 1, 2014 and the method of consent gathering is compliant with applicable laws at that time (PIPEDA in Canada, specifically), those opt-ins would be considered valid under CASL.

Q: Is there an exception for higher educational institutions?
A: There is no exception specifically relating to educational institutions. There are some “non-business relationship” clauses that may apply in some cases, but nothing specific to education.

Q: If signing up for email on paper (such as at trade shows) do you still need to have a ‘checkbox’ to request email? Our current document only asks for name, email, phone and city.
A: Anytime you use a paper signup, you want to make it’s as clear as possible the recipient is signing up for promotional emails. Including a check box to receive promotional emails would be a good option. You could also include a prominent note they are signing up for promotional emails. The most important thing to remember is if there are any complaints, you as the sender will be required to provide proof of a valid, CASL-compliant opt-in. So you’re only helping yourself by making the opt-in process as clear as possible.

Q: Does express consent have to be in writing or can it be verbal (e.g.over the phone) or in person?
A: Express consent can be obtained verbally. However, it will be harder to prove verbal consent if there are any challenges.

Q: Can we leave our opt-in forms uncompliant if we just omit all known Canadian addresses from our sends?
A: You can, but you may be opening yourself up to CASL violations. If you collect any data that might indicate a user is in Canada (physical or billing address, email domain name, credit card issuer, etc.), that might constitute a “reasonable expectation” that the user would be accessing the message in Canada. I’d strongly advise consulting legal counsel as to the proper course of action.

Q: How can we prove consent if the signup form they used is now gone from the web?
A: Thorough record-keeping. Log the IP address, date, and time the opt-in was captured, as well as the specific URL of the page. If you have all that information, and the opt-in was obtained before CASL came into effect, you are likely to be in a good position in the event of a complaint. If a sign-up form goes offline after CASL’s effective date, you should still keep the same information. In addition, though, it might be a good idea to keep a cached copy or screenshot of the form on file if that’s feasible.

Q: How do you recommend dealing with customers who reside in the United States, but work for Canadian-headquartered companies?
A: If a subscriber’s employer is based in Canada, and the employer is providing the email address used to access the message, any mail sent to that address would likely be subject to CASL.

Q: We have approximately 20,000 email customers, but no ability to track the data history of their opt-ins. Would we need to obtain express consent for all?
A: If you don’t know the opt-in status or history of your subscribers, then you should send a new opt-in request prior to July 1, 2014 to ensure compliance with CASL.

Q: For an agency that uses an ESP, does our agency name need to appear on the email as well as the ESP and the company we are sending on behalf of?
A: If your agency determines either who to send the mail to, or the content of the message, then your agency should be identified in the message. Most ESPs do not perform either of these functions, so it is unlikely the ESP would need to be identified there.

Q: If you include an unsubscribe link in a transactional email (such as an order confirmation), is that unsubscribe effective for any future transactional emails, or only from commercial emails?
A: That depends on the options you provide. If there’s only one unsubscribe option, then that user should be unsubscribed from all mailings from your organization, commercial or transactional. It’s probably a better idea to include options allowing them to unsubscribe from either transactional or commercial mail, or both. That way, you can honor the specific wishes of the subscriber as to what emails he or she wants to receive.

Q: According to CASL, confirmation emails should include the ID of the sender and an unsubscribe method. Does this include follow-up emails regarding a purchase?
A: We would recommend including the ID of the sender and an unsubscribe method in every email if possible. The law certainly leaves room for interpretation, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.A couple of examples were provided in our webinar (hotel confirmation and refund/cancellation emails), so we’ll give some thoughts on those. A hotel stay confirmation is part of a commercial transaction, so we believe it could be considered a CEM. In that case, it should include the ID of the sender and an unsubscribe method. The same would be true for the refund/cancellation email. However, there could be an exception if notice of the refund or cancellation is fulfilling a legal obligation or is informing the recipient of their legal rights.

Q: If an ESP or organization is based in the United States, but has a satellite office in Canada, are they subject to CANSPAM, CASL, or both?
A: All mail sent from, or accessed by, a mail server housed in Canada is subject to CASL. Does the organization have mail servers in Canada? Do any of the recipients access mail through a server located in Canada? If the answer to either of those questions is yes, then the mail is subject to CASL. As for CAN-SPAM, the requirements of that law are actually less stringent than CASL. So if you are CASL compliant, you are likely CAN-SPAM compliant, as well.

Q: Does the three-year transition period apply to contacts who have given express consent?
A: No. Express consent is permanent and doesn’t expire. It can only be revoked by the address owner requesting to be unsubscribed.

Q: What do we have to do with existing lists?
A: That will depend on the status of your lists. If you have received express consent from all your existing contacts and you have at least basic records of when and how that was acquired, you likely won’t need to take any action with those contacts. However, if you are unsure of the opt-in status of your users, or have no records of them opting in, it may be necessary to run an opt-in campaign prior to the July 1 effective date.

Q: What is a recommended method for obtaining express content after implied consent has been obtained?
When a guest stays at our hotel, we note in their confirmation letter that we will include them in future promotional emails and give them a link with an option to unsubscribe, but I don’t think that qualifies as getting express consent.
A: You’re correct about your current model: It doesn’t constitute express consent. Express consent requires the subscriber take action to subscribe. The current method only requires the user not take the action of opting out. The best method of obtaining express consent will vary depending on your situation, but in most cases a website opt-in form is recommended. The form should be compliant with the CASL requirements, and you’ll want to keep records of the source IP address as well as the date and time of the opt-in.

Q: What would be an example of proof of consent?
A: That will depend on the CRTC’s judgment. However, in the case of a web opt-in, having the source IP address used along with date and time of the sign-up and the URL of the page would likely be a good starting point. Any sign-ups not received via the web may be more difficult to contest. For verbal opt-ins, a recording of the exchange would probably be ideal. For paper sign-ups, keeping the paper form on file is likely the best method of record-keeping.

Q: For loyalty clubs, would monthly statements be included in the exemptions?
A: Most likely, if the statement doesn’t include advertisements. If it does include any solicitations or links to purchase, we strongly recommend it follows CASL’s provisions.

Q: For transactional emails, can replying to the email count as an unsubscribe method? Or could people send an email to unsubscribe@companynewsletter.com to unsubscribe (as an example)?
A: CASL mandates the unsubscribe link be valid and working, and be specifically called out within the email. Either an email address or a link to an unsubscribe form should be included, with wording instructing the user how to unsubscribe (i.e. “email unsub@example.com to unsubscribe from all mailings,” etc.)

One thing to note here is  if you only provide one unsubscribe method, you must assume that user wants to unsubscribe from all mailings. So the best practice would be to use a link or links that provide options on what messages to stop receiving.

Q: Would filling out a “Request for Information” form that includes entering an email address count as an opt-in, or would a check box also have to exist?
A: No check box is required, but the form has to be CASL-compliant. It must inform the user he or she is requesting promotional emails and he or she can unsubscribe at any time. If the form is simply a request for information or a quote for a particular product or service, it isn’t considered express consent. The sender would only be allowed to send messages in response to the particular request, and only for a period of six months.

We hope these questions and answers have helped clarify Canada’s Anti-Spam Law update coming in July. Have another specific question related to the law and email marketing? Email Brad at bgurley@whatcounts.com.

Our Best Resources for Travel Marketers

Within the travel marketing industry, there are many different types and sizes of companies. CVBs, airlines, hotels, online travel agents – if it has to do with traveling somewhere, staying somewhere, or even moving somewhere, it fits within this industry. This makes it especially important for travel or hospitality email marketers to come up with their own strategy based on area of the industry, specific company goals, number of employees, and size.

Email marketing can take divergent paths when it comes to the travel industry, and there’s no one-fits-all strategy for everyone. That’s why we’ve put together materials – from blog posts, to eBooks, to webinars – about tactics different parts of the travel industry can use to improve their digital marketing. The following are our best resources for travel marketers:

3 Travel Marketing Strategies to Drive Engagement

7 Travel Promotions Your Subscribers Will Remember

The Aspirational Element of Travel Marketing

Effective Email Strategies for Travel Marketers webinar download

Be Everywhere and a Few More Strategies for Travel Marketing

MiniGuide: Effective Email Strategies for Travel Marketing

We hope you find these resources helpful. They’ve been written by a variety of experts, many who have had experience in digital and travel marketing. These strategies are meant to give you practical examples any business in the travel industry, no matter its size or goals, can implement now.

Joy Ugi
Digital Marketing Coordinator, WhatCounts
Twitter: @ugigirl

Download our latest eBook

Your email list is your most valuable asset. Learn 57 tips for building it today!

Download

Feature Friday: Engagement, Inactive and Passive Subscriber Reports in Professional Edition

Email list health isn’t just about getting more and more subscribers. It’s about giving the boot to ones who aren’t opening, clicking, or otherwise engaging with your messages. It’s hard to say good-bye, but doing so is a must in several cases. This blog post has the down and dirty about when and how to get rid of unresponsive subscribers.

Since keeping an eye on disengaged subscribers is a must in order for you to try getting them back, or perhaps take them off your list, we’ve created special reports. Professional Edition users can access engagement counts, inactive subscriber, and passive subscriber reports to better track email readers’ behavior. These metrics fuel the fire for re-engagement campaigns, and eventually, give you a fully-engaged, healthy list.

And just so we’re all on the same page, let’s cover the definitions of some key words:

Active: A subscriber who has clicked a link inside an email.
Passive: A subscriber who has opened an email, but has not clicked.
Inactive: Inactive indicates a subscriber who has not clicked a link and not opened a message.

Let’s dive into the Engagement Counts report.

This report gives you an overview of:

  • Active subscribers
  • Passive subscribers
  • Inactive subscribers

You may be scratching your head here. This report covers all three metrics, so why are there two other specific reporting features for passives and inactives? The reason is the Engagement Counts report gives you a number for each category – no name, email address or other information. It’s just a broad picture of your list, while the other reports give you details about those numbers. To pull the Engagement Counts report, go to Reports>Generate Report>Standard Report Library in Professional Edition. Click RUN.

The engagement counts report is located in the reports library.

Enter the time frame of when you want to pull the metrics. Professional Edition will automatically show any open or click-through number from all campaigns within the date range you choose. It’s a good idea to use the Exclude Days function. If someone subscribed in the past week and hasn’t clicked in an email yet, you don’t want to send him or her a re-engagement email. Use your best judgment on amount of time to enter into this space.

Choose the date range of the campaign from which you want to pull reports.

The rest is fairly simple: List name, format and report name. Click submit and you’ll be able to download the report under Reports>File Manager>Reports.

Pull the Inactive and Passive Subscribers Reports in much the same fashion as the Engagement Counts Report: Go to Reports>Generate Report>Standard Report Library. The Inactive Subscribers and Passive Subscribers reports will both be listed. Include a from and to date range, exclusion days, a list name and the other information.

These reports will give you specific data about subscribers who haven’t engaged with your emails. It’s a good idea to send these unengaged subscribers a re-engagement campaign to either get them back on board with reading your emails, or to unsubscribe them from your list.

Remember, only an engaged list is a good email list!

Joy Ugi
Digital Marketing Coordinator, WhatCounts
Twitter: @ugigirl

Download our latest eBook

Your email list is your most valuable asset. Learn 57 tips for building it today!

Download

What Tomorrow’s Marketing Audience Wants

Kids today are marketing's audience tomorrow.If you think about it, one day the kids now sitting in schools will be the ones absorbing your marketing content. The habits they’re developing now shape digital marketing strategy in the future. If you look closely enough at what those habits are, you can get a picture of where the trends are to be proactive with your digital strategy.

Last week, Tnooz published findings from studying the digital habits of children. A few stats stood out in reference to digital marketing.

1. Eighty-five percent of kids over 11 have a mobile phone. Twenty-nine percent say they can’t live without it.

Air you can’t live without. Food and water you can’t live without. A phone is one thing you can live without, and yet the children surveyed compared their mobile devices to their existence. The way of the future is getting farther and farther away from the desktop and more towards portable devices – phablets, tablets, phones and probably devices we can’t imagine yet.

Email marketers won’t survive if they don’t ensure designs adjust to these ever-changing screen sizes. The future is a fluid experience from print to email to web. Those who will draw the most consumers will align their content and layout to be seen on many different screens.

2. The popularity of Facebook among kids fell 11 percent, with YouTube now taking the lead.

Sharing has always been popular. What’s different is how people will do it. Writing statuses and posting pictures seems to be on the downslide with kids. What’s on the rise in this age group is sharing and watching videos.

You may find it beneficial to at least include a YouTube, Vine or other video-sharing strategy in your marketing plan. You may even want to consider shifting your time and resources more towards video and less on Facebook. Don’t drop your Facebook account right now if you have one. On the contrary, if it’s doing well and works for your company, continue to use it as a part of your overall digital strategy. Just understand video is passing Facebook in popularity, and adjust your approach accordingly.

3. Thirteen percent of kids use travel and navigation apps.

This stat is purely for travel and hospitality marketers. Children are accessing travel apps more and more on their mobile devices. It’s essential for travel and hospitality companies to have good reviews on these travel websites, to be located on these navigation apps. Encourage your customers to share their experiences on these apps, and when they do, promote the reviews and apps in your emails and on your website.

If you think the days when these kids will be your main marketing audience are in the way-too-distant future, think again. These stats are from 2013, so they’re already happening. The statistics may trend higher still in the years to come. It’s essential for digital marketers to know what their customers want and give it to them; personalization and relevance always win. Stay ahead of the curve by following the stats and adjusting for the future of digital marketing.

Joy Ugi
Digital Marketing Coordinator, WhatCounts
Twitter: @ugigirl

Download our latest eBook

Your email list is your most valuable asset. Learn 57 tips for building it today!

Download

5 Digital Marketing Articles to Read Now

You need to read these five digital marketing articles now.We did it again. We put together a list of our favorite articles from the past week or so. We love reading what other digital marketing experts have to say, and we love to keep you – our readers – up to date, as well. Here’s the five digital marketing articles to read right now!

1. Genuine mistake or evil genius email tactic? (Marketing Sherpa)

After just publishing a blog post about best practices for sending an apology email, this article caught our eye. Did we forget to mention in our post it’s not okay to send a fake apology email in order to build your list? Whether or not this company used that tactic, it’s a shady move no marketer should condone.

2. Facebook Gives Brands More Reach Via Page Tagging (Shoutlet)

Facebook is constantly changing, and whether all of those changes are beneficial for brands remains to be seen. One of the most recent updates to the social media platform is page tagging, a concept that could help marketers leverage more users’ newsfeeds.

3. From the Seattle Seahawks: Three Ways to Create Raving Fans (Business to Community)

Seeing as some of our team members are a part of the 12th Man, we just had to recommend this article. If you want raving brand fans who will shout about your products, services and company, this resource spots three practical ways you can get them.

4. Launch an Inside Sales Lead Generation Program In 4 Simple Steps (Rivalry)

We love email, and we’re spreading the word everywhere we go. Our team members contribute to industry blogs and resources regularly, and this is just one example. In this guest blog post on the Rivalry blog, our Manager of Sales Development tells how he took our lead generation team from zero to hero.

5. AMA Baltimore Sponsor Spotlight: WhatCounts

We’re honored to be a sponsor of the American Marketing Association in Baltimore, a city in which one of our offices is located. The organization recently published this post on its blog about us, and we’re pumped. Check it out!

If you’ve read a good article recently, feel free to share it in the comments section below! We’ll tweet it out to our followers.

Joy Ugi
Digital Marketing Coordinator, WhatCounts
Twitter: @ugigirl

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