New media, new perception, people buy people

Another bit of absolute gold from Jeff on his post called 10 Key Strategies To Make Your Website an Inbound Online Marketing Machine published Dec 18 2009.

Which agrees with the perception set out by Seth Godin recently.

The Scarcity is not all about the product
There is definitely a trend in new media about how to put the creative back in digital. Information is free, it is not scarce, the ability to do cool and money making things is not scarce either. Companies that try to charge high prices and not sell as much are fading while companies that offer something for less and sell a lot are coming through.

Look at email marketing, 5-10 years ago, email marketing itself was a scarcity. 5 years ago my mates at Pure360 – all 5 of them at the time (now there’s 55!), were selling email marketing and not the software, slowly over the years the basics of how to do it and the need for that marketing produced more software, some of it from agencies who had big brands with that need built their own. Now everyone knows what email marketing is and how to do it you’re pitch is very different.

Now the market is flooded with ESPs of differing quality and service levels. Now the scarcity is in the features and the service and no-one has the right to demand the large sums of money for the privilege of sending track-able emails.

The experience gets the deal
Much like Seth’s Lemonade stand post: “The lesson from two lemonade stands” where one stand give a quick, efficient and unremarkable service and the other takes a bit longer but the product is of better quality and you walk away feeling good about your experience.

Jeff speaks of the same thing but more targeted to digital marketing. People will pay what they believe is a reasonable price for something but there will be many offerings at that price, so how to do you choose? You buy the people!
If you have two products the same or even if product A is slightly better but the person you talk to, to get product A is a complete A-hole you will go with product B. If product B leaves you with a great feeling of confidence and even joy, product A would have to be one spectacular product even with a standard experience.

Socialisation starts the experience
All of this is what socialisation media has emphasized and brought to the forefront of marketing. Everyone is accountable all the time, communication cannot be controlled, information is free, time is short and so are attention spans.

We have to frequently distribute small nuggets of useful and preferably remarkable content. Use your web-site as the store and source of that content and add links and headlines to all of your social networks feeds to ensure you are able to get it to everyone who wants it, they way they want it.

The only argument against that is the undeniable popularity of White Papers, but there is a novelty value there and if every other tweet linked to white paper, they wouldn’t be popular. In fact often a white paper is an amalgamation of lots of small content into one big ‘manual’.

So follow Jeff, follow Seth and make sure you keep your interactors happy!

Have you Gone Phishing without realising

[tweetmeme source= “getintheinbox” only_single=false]

This is a long post with a lot of detail so I’m copying the last paragraph to the top as well as at the end so you can get what you came for without having to sift through a load of blurb that you’re not sure you even need.
– – –
Q.How do I avoid mistakenly getting accsued of phishing?
A.This is very easily avoided, don’t put www or http:// in the text that you want to make into links.
Email clients identify links by having http:// , www. or http://www. at the start. so all you have to do is leave that prefix off and you’re fine!
Obviosuly still leave the http:// and www. in the destintation though!
eg: http://getintheinbox.com would become getintheinbox.com
both links are still linked back to http://getintheinbox.com

– –

for all of the details and context on the answer at the top Read on…
Maybe it is because more people are really caring about the quality of their html lately, maybe it’s easier, maybe it’s because the latest generation of marketing execs are better at using wysiwygs than the previous one, but people are definitely doing more with their creative than ever.
Which is ironic seeing as people like Microsoft are making it more restrictive every year!
Anyway, one thing that has come about is an increase in phishing accusations so I thought I’d best illustrate how this can come about in a normal legit marketing email.
What is phishing
Phishing is the criminally fraudulent process of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communicationwikipedia
If you look in your junk folder you may see emails from various banks telling you that you that you have to update your security information.
These emails are trying to convince you that they are this bank and you need to take action, click through and enter your details which they then steal and rob you blind.
The link in this email says hsbc.co.uk but if you hover over it in your inbox, if the email client has not removed the destintation you will see it actually goes somewher else entirely. So they are putting the text of the right place but the actual link destination goes somewher else – their phising site which is built to look exactly like the real one.
How is it possible that I get accused of this all my links go back to the right place?
When you make your emails you normally use words like “click here to view online” or if you are more creative and up with the times you will be linking more descriptive words like “view in a browser
But on occasion you might want to put in your website address like http://getintheinbox.com.
Now when you send your self the email from your client or an ESP’s test facility your email client will make it click-able.
BUT
When you send it as a tracked campaign through your ESP, they will swap the link destinations with tracked links that actually go back your account, report on the click and seamlessly redirect your recipient to your intended destination. So http://getintheinbox.com would look like it was going to http://getintheinbox.com but it will actually go to something like http://emails.getintheinbox.com/tracking.php?d6gh456h65hb56nedthhmj5kkk
where the domain is where the software is hosted or masked and the rest is the encrypted tracking information to allow the ESP to know who sent the email, which message, list campaign and recipient sent it and where to redirect to. – I know it’s genius!
So even though the person clicking will actually end up where the link text says, the what the email client sees is that the link says one thing but actually goes somewhere else, so as far is it is concerned it might say http://www.hsbc.co.uk but it actually goes to http://www.gonnarobyoublind.com so it accuses you of phishing!
How do I avoid this, I need to put my web site in my emails – this is madness. Madness I tell you
This is very easily avoided, don’t put www or http:// in the text that you want to make into links.
Email clients identify links by having http:// , www. or http://www. at the start. so all you hav to do is leave that prefix off and you’re fine!
Obviosuly still leave the http:// and www. in the link destintation though!
tah-dah
– – –
I’ve just found a great guide on this:¬†Download Return Path’s¬†Anti-Phishing/Anti-Spoofing Guide now!

With ani-gifs we’re like cats with string

I’ve finally got round to doing some research on what’s going on, obviously the first place I go is Mark Brownlow! I had a quick flick through his latest post on Novelty – fair point, it’s good to mix it every now and then – and I found my way to a stat saying that 5% more people clicked through on a message using animated gifs, nice!

I think there should be a lot more animated gif in emails, even if it is just snow in the background. If it is moving, surely it’s more likely to get clicked?

I recon we’re like cats with a bit of string dangling in front of us, we just have to click that animated gif!

To be honest I was hoping for a bigger improvement on the ani-gifs so I went looking around and only found two worth any salt…

Style Campaign claims 25% increase.
Mark Brownlow quotes Blufly’s 12% Increase in revenue

I’d like to see something better, like A/B testing of messages – one with ani-gifs and one without and see how well it actually does.

The animation should be subtle and not made to be in your face like a bit of snow, bouncing text, not a giant word saying ‘click me’ which flashes red then blue then green, that invites rebellion!