Powerful Trends You Probably Don't Know about! (Part 1)

Day 7 of 200 Days of Blogging

This week I have been attending a convention in the lovely San Francisco, by the world's largest higher learning association called LERN.  I currently teach one course for LERN, which I had acquired after winning a design award from them way back in 2009.  This is by far one of the best conferences i've ever been to!  The information is outstanding and the things that I took away from it are worth everything!

Here are the highlights of what I learned that might just boggle your mind!

 "Email Marketing Success"

by Dan Belhassen

  • Whatever your open rate is on email marketing, 19-42% is the avg depending on the industry, and whatever a percentage of that is for you, every email sent out is opened by a different 19-42%--- not the same group of people.  This means the trend is that people open 1 in 3. *My note on this: That being said baby boomers have been noted trending at opening 3 in 3 (That's why they can be sort of cranky about email.)
  • Don't believe all the bounces of email addresses you are getting. Anti-spam software will show an email as invalid/bounced but in actuality the email might be totally valid it's the anti-spam software's attempt to get you to delete their email.
  • Separate emails of active (those who have opened or clicked through) from those who haven't -- put the inactive list on a separate list so that your open/click through data is more accurate, then send the inactive list emails once a quarter and try to win them -- once they open put them back on the open list. 
  • The key term "Sale" opens +23% more, whereas "Save" is only +3% more opens"
  • For B2B avoid "free' and "half price" key terms.
  • Bad terms (low open rates for titles) in email marketing -- "Report" and "Webinar" Good terms for email headlines "News, Bulletin, Video"
  • Shocking stat! Over 75% of online users will be using "mobile first" to surf the web over the next 2-3 years, so utilizing something like ScreenFly to test your website on a variety of browsers is key, responsive design for your website is imperative!!!  You will lose a lot of customers if they're having to pinch and zoom to navigate your site and try to buy from you.

"Top 10 Best Promotion Strategies of the Year

By Suzanne Kart, Wiliam Draves, and Paul Franklin from LERN

  • While you can't possibly bear the idea of taking on another social media,  a study from Ranking Factors Correlation 2013 showed that your websites connection to Google+ is the MOST important factor in SEO ranking,  so if you want better search engine results you best be integrating it into the site with +1 features, and having a Google+ page for your business with activity!
  • Gen Y is the next upcoming challenge for businesses their very surprising characteristics. (More on that tomorrow) Showing images that represent your ideal target in marketing materials with "eye contact" of images is important. They are enjoying a lot more face to face interaction than originally anticipated.
  • Print is not dead -- for catalogs.  The open rate for catalogs is 80% vs. 20% for emails.
  • Emails from a person are more likely to get opened than from an organization, so structure your email marketing to reflect them coming from a single person.
  • Mixing real and stock images is imperative for success. The professionalism of the stock images mixed with authentic real experiences is the best mix for success.  (My input on this is to choose stock images that are powerful conceptually and don't look like stock images!)
  • More white space on your website, studies have shown this becoming important for ease of consuming information.
  • Dynamic pricing - checking into how to vary pricing depending on demand the same way airlines do it.  This means lower prices in off seasons and prices going up with demand.
  • Video and blogging are still essential for search engine optimization, target customer interaction.  If you website is static without this dynamic information this could be hurting you!
  • Customer Reviews can be just as important as testimonials -- so having a way for customer's to submit reviews where there are both positive and negative will increase credibility versus just testimonials (which are all generally handpicked and positive)

More amazing highlights coming tomorrow for PART 2, stay tuned....

What is your reaction to some of these statistics, trends and ideas?