Kristie Sheppard

Consumers think of email marketing as irrelevant and overbearing, taking up more than half of their inboxes. The metrics don’t support this perception, though!

With nearly 99 percent of people checking their email daily, brands are six times more likely to get a click-through from an email than a tweet. Similarly, 44 percent of users check their email for a deal from a company, while only 4 percent go to Facebook. With the new Facebook algorithms, which will probably move to Instagram before we know it, fewer fans will see your social media posts unless you pay to play. According to Campaign Monitor, email marketing has the highest return on investment (ROI) of digital marketing tactics. For every dollar spent, email marketing generates $44 in ROI.

Based on these facts alone, email marketing should play a fundamental role in your digital marketing strategy. Over a third of the worldwide population uses email, with nearly 80 percent of those users American. Businesses can use email to effectively communicate with their audiences by engaging with them on their home turf – their inboxes – and in various venues – home, phone, work, etc.

For successful email marketing, emails need to contain concise, relevant and actionable content. Every email provides an opportunity to build trust and resonate key messaging with the target audience. Grab the reader’s attention with great videos and photography, a catchy subject line and a distinct call-to-action.

Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival:
Kivelstadt Cellars:

Emails can generate immediate results. For example, if a tasting room is really slow on a rainy, cold winter day, developing an email with a tasting deal, special offer or impromptu party can help drive business. Target that email to your constituents within a 25-mile radius, individuals with the ability to take advantage of the offer.

The capability to accurately track results provides great value for email marketing. You can see how many people received the email, opened it and clicked through to the provided link. Even better, you can respond to these metrics and change your strategy if the results aren’t successful. Email marketing makes testing different messaging, distribution timing and subject lines easy and affordable. Lastly, you can repurpose your email marketing content on social media to garner new followers or email signups.

So, don’t abandon your email marketing strategy for social media. Drive engagement with relevant content targeted to segmented audience lists. Email is far from dead — it’s actually thriving! Try something new with your email marketing and comment with your results.

When Pinterest first hit the social media scene the A. Bright Idea team learned about what it means for businesses and how it can be used from a strategic standpoint to further market the business, products or services on a new social media platform. At that point, much of Pinterest’s data was based off of projections and other social media case studies.

Now, with a few years in the social media mix – and making real headway for that matter – Pinterest has transformed as a tried and true social media platform serving as a strong marketing tool and connection to target audiences.

During a recent Vocus webinar related to utilizing Pinterest for marketing purposes, the host shared a few successful business case studies – companies who have used and continue to utilize Pinterest – Chobani, Today Show, Martha Stewart, just to name a few.

The Chobani study exemplified how the company uses the social media platform as another form of marketing in this highly competitive industry. Chobani focused efforts on Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/chobani/), generating 26 Pinterest boards and nearly 60,000 followers, making it the leader in Pinterest presence against competitors, Dannon and Yoplait.

Most of the businesses using Pinterest offer services and/or products focused on:

  • Recipes (restaurants)
  • Hair and make up (salon and spa)
  • Fitness (gym or personal trainer)
  • Clothing (boutique or even department store)
  • Tourism (Chamber of Commerce offices, hotels, tourism websites)
  • Home improvement (tips and tricks for painting, hanging, repairs, etc.)
  • Furniture and interior design (sample room layouts and color palettes)
  • Weddings (bridal boutiques, venues, caterers, etc.)
  • Babies (clothes, toys, resources, food, etc.)

So what makes these companies a success story for Pinterest? Well, there are a few significant things to consider for determining if Pinterest marketing makes sense for your business.

  • Is your product/service visual?
  • Do you have a website to lead viewers back to the source for more information or to purchase?
  • Do you have the proper analytics set up to track your Pinterest efforts?
  • Will your pins be brand supportive?
  • Will your pins be informative? (Will they encourage others to re-pin?)
  • Are your pins thought provoking?
  • Do your pins provide inspiration?

In addition to these questions, you also need to consider your goals for marketing your products or services and if/how Pinterest can be part of your overall plan. Pinterest offers another medium with the purpose of the following:

  • Driving web traffic
  • Generating brand loyalty
  • Serving as a resource for product/service demonstrations
  • Establishing brand personality
  • Growing e-commerce

Although there are a lot of options with Pinterest, be sure to be strategic about your goal setting and consider objectives that are reasonable and measurable. Also consider how you can tie Pinterest to your overall social media strategy, for example, using Facebook and Twitter to leverage your Pinterest boards and draw attention to new pins and boards.

One helpful tip to consider when posting to Pinterest for your brand – make your pins the standard width (192 pixels) but longer than normal (up to 800 pixels high), because it will allow the pin to span more of the users page, keeping their attention longer.

As you consider your social media strategy, take a moment to catch up on the latest Pinterest statistics. You might be surprised by what you see!

  • 3rd most prominent social media network in the U.S.
  • Fastest growing social media site ever
  • One of the top 50 sites worldwide
  • 10-20% growth per month
  • Revenue per pin is up 50% in the past four months
  • $180 is the average online order that originated from a pin (higher than Facebook and Twitter)
  • Fastest social media for concept digestion by the target audience because of its high visual orientation
  • Low barrier to entry (easy to sign up and set up)
  • Average time on site per month = 90 minutes

Want more? Review the complete Chobani case study and overall social media strategy in the recent article from Fast Company where Emily Schildt, Chobani’s digital communications manager, shares insight on the company’s strategy and success. http://www.fastcompany.com/1808071/chobani-yogurt-tickles-tastes-pinterest-addicts-and-so-can-your-brand