Month: October 2015

Use Constant Contact For Constant Results

Constant Contact logoA few years ago, I attended a Constant Contact Boot Camp. It was a beneficial first step to understanding how Constant Contact can help create effective e-mail marketing and other online marketing campaigns to meet your business goals.

Not only did the Boot Camp provide step-by-step training on how to use the Constant Contact interface, it also supplied useful data, tips and inspiration to help the company begin leveraging this powerful tool.

Numbers Game

What conclusions can you draw to help ensure your e-mail so it is received, read and reacted upon by your audience?

  • 223 people are responsible for 80% of SPAM e-mail, don’t make it 224.
  • 92.8 % of e-mails sent via Constant Contact make it to the inbox – they aren’t stopped by filters.
  • 92% of people who open e-mail click on video.
  • 15 seconds is all the video time you have to grab attention before the viewer moves on.
  • 92% of the viewers who like your video will watch it 2 minutes and 30 seconds.
  • 83% of people click on images, so make sure your images link to something useful.
  • 80% of your e-mail should engage
    • Ask your audience questions
    • Tell your audience something interesting
    • Teach your audience something
    • Create a fun experience for your audience
    • Inspire your audience to share your e-mail
  • 20% of your e-mail should promote
    • Offer discounts and coupons
    • Introduce new products and services
    • Promote events and functions
    • Identify donation options
    • Share membership and volunteer opportunities

My Conclusions

  1. Constant Contact will get your e-mail to the inbox instead of the SPAM folder, but it is your job from there.
  2. Make the message more about engaging your audience and less about promoting your product.
  3. Offer relevant links including “clickable” images to nudge your audience to the next step.
  4. Videos draw interest, but you better grab audiences attention in the first few seconds or you will lose them. (Don’t worry about a lengthy video because most people won’t watch after two minutes – even if they like it.)

I Miss David Letterman

lettermen logoIt’s true, I do miss David Letterman. His Late Show started airing around the time I was old enough to stay up late and old enough to get the jokes. Since he was a fixture for most of my adult life, I keep realizing the things I miss, like the space between his teeth, his sarcasm, Stupid Pet and Human Tricks and probably most of all – Dave’s “Top Ten List.”

What is it about a Top Ten List that makes it so attractive? I think it is because we can all manage ten items. Not many of us have the time or interest to commit to a Top 100 or even a Top 50, especially on a frequent basis, but ten is “doable.” A Top Ten list is succinct, already prioritized for us, and makes us feel like we are getting the best of the best (even if we aren’t).

So, given this rationale, I decided to create my own Top Ten of Top Ten Lists related to public relations topics.

Amy’s Top Ten List of Top Ten Lists Related to PR

  1. Ten Reasons Why Top 10 Lists Make Great Content
  2. Top 10 PR Blogs You Should Be Reading
  3. Training Employees to Use Social Media: Top 10 Guidelines for Social Media Participation
  4. 10 Ways to Improve Your Content Marketing
  5. Top 10 Quotes from the Most Influential Content Marketers
  6. Top 10 Women Journalists On Air at Cable News
  7. Top 10 Political Journalists on Network Radio
  8. Top 10 Entertainment Shows on Instagram
  9. 10 Reasons to Hire a Public Relations Firm
  10. 10 Must-Read Public Relations And Marketing Books

In case you, too, are missing Dave’s Top Ten, check out Top Ten of David Letterman’s Top Ten Lists.

Austin’s Post-Secondary Secret – SMUG University

SMUG logoYou are familiar with the post-secondary educational institution Riverland Community College and may have heard that Winona State University offers courses in town, but you may not know about another post-secondary option – Social Medical University, Global, (SMUG), founded by the current Chancellor, Austin native, Lee Aase.

SMUG is dedicated to providing practical, hands-on training in social media to lifelong learners. According to the university Web site, SMUG was founded in January 2008 and is world-wide in reach, as its name implies, but is based in an ivy-covered, oak-shrouded 3,400 square-foot facility fondly call “Old Main.” This is a Lee’s home located on Northwest Fourth Street. (I remember the house from my youth as the Felshiem house. The Felshiem’s had ten or eleven children and all of their first names began with the letter “R”, but that has no bearing on this story.)

It’s Not That Hard

I also remember Lee Aase as an AHS basketball player from my youth, but, now, he works as director of Mayo Clinic’s Center for Social Media. However, the views he expresses through SMUG are his own. The school motto, Suus non ut Difficile, is translated to English as “It’s not that hard” and members of the student body are called SMUGgles. Although the “University” concept is presented partially tongue in cheek (the tuition is free, after all), the SMUG site does provide tangible curriculum ranging from Intro to RSS, Twitter and blogging to producing podcasts and exploring the use of Social Media in presidential elections.

I saw Lee give a SMUG presentation few years ago that was as entertaining as it was educational and his SMUG site is the same. It is definitely worth a visit.