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Tips on iPad and e-mail marketing, savings with digital coupons, using testimonials and more


Has the iPad created new expectations for e-mail marketing timing?

Since the iPad takes seconds to get a user online, and it feels like a leisure device with a touch-screen interface and ergonomics, it does not have the psychological “I am working” connotation of turning on a desktop or laptop. This means responder behavior for e-mail marketing will be easier to come by, and e-mail marketers can take advantage, says Andrew Robinson, VP of full service at Lyris Technologies, an e-mail and online marketing firm. Majority response times will expand — weekends will be more successful for send times than they currently are, early mornings and late nights will also see uplift in e-mail response, he says. “Whatever the iPad is used for, it shows on the home page that there is e-mail waiting to be read,” says Robinson. “So even if a consumer is using it for leisure, he or she picks it up and sees three new e-mail messages. This is e-mail he would have normally waited until the morning to read, but tonight he just can't stop himself from reading.” The iPad is also a mobile device where a consumer can shop online in comfort, meaning it also allows easier conversions to purchase, he says. 


How do I leverage smartphones for additional retail sales?

“Recently, I was waiting to board a flight and was quite proud of myself for printing my barcoded boarding pass prior to arriving at the gate. I marveled at how easy the process had become,” says Jim Polowy, VP of retail environmental design at TPN, a retail marketing agency. “However, that moment of temporary euphoria was quickly dashed when the person in front of me presented his mobile phone with the barcode on-screen to the agent to be scanned. I had been technologically leapfrogged.” A similar interesting application is “direct-to-card” (DTC) digital coupons. A consumer chooses his coupons through a website, then loads them onto a particular store loyalty card. At the supermarket checkout, the consumer presents his card and receives the current store discounts, plus the downloaded deals on his card. A “double-down” savings twist is using a DTC coupon together with a paper coupon on the same item, notes Polowy. As more apps and savvy consumers begin to embrace this technology, much like the learning curve use of ATMs, the shopping experience will offer unlimited possibilities for service and convenience, he adds.


How can I improve my company's loyalty marketing efforts?

Truly understanding your customers' lifestyle and purchasing needs, and identifying new incentive and reward programs your company has not yet taken advantage of, can greatly help marketers customize new campaigns for maximum success, says Kathy Calta, CMO at Vertis Communications, a marketing communications company. For example, for a national retailer, a simple loyalty card program is often just the key to boosting total sales revenue. At a minimal one-time cost, they can send direct mail coupon books to targeted consumers with the new loyalty card affixed directly on the back. They require consumers to submit an e-mail address to join the program, and offer gift coupons after certain levels of purchase are reached. Such efforts reign supreme for marketers, as they create hundreds of thousands of new loyalty program members and help retailers build out their e-mail marketing database tenfold. “Enhancements such as these can further enable retailers to segment consumers by purchasing groups, and drive more effective interactive and multichannel campaigns that increase bottom line revenue results,” adds Calta.


How do I best use testimonials for marketing purposes?

The best things that can often be said about your business do not come from you. They come from your clients. Third-party endorsements are valuable, especially if used well, explains Jason Sherman, president of Sherman Communications and Marketing, an Oak Park, IL-based PR and integrated marketing firm. “First, be sure to proactively ask your clients to share their experiences in a few sentences. If possible, create a video testimonial — nothing fancy is needed,” Sherman adds. Put the testimonials on your website in prominent and appropriate locations. Incorporate them into your marketing collateral, including direct marketing, advertising campaigns, internal communications and social media efforts. “Use your camera's movie mode and make good use of these positive endorsements.” Also, be sure to post new testimonials via Facebook and Twitter accounts. Brands should also upload and host their video testimonials on YouTube, Sherman continues. “Marketers should consider testimonials as catalysts for new case studies — just be sure to get permission from clients,” he says.


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