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GOP Email Throwdown: Content Varies as Much as the Candidates
March 6, 2012

When it comes to content, the candidates are as varied in their email approaches as they are in their campaign platforms and speaking style: Most of Paul’s email messages read like long-form sales letters. Santorum’s messages are like personal notes or breaking-news stories. Romney’s campaign approach resembles classic email marketing more so than the other candidates, both in message length, use of images and video and even a promotional offer or two. There’s plenty of material here, so my content analysis will follow the lines of a typical email message, from the preheader text through the content.

3 Ways to Use Direct Mail Postcards to Build Leads
January 31, 2012

Direct mail isn’t what it used to be—boring and impersonal. Thanks to digital printing capabilities, new marketing technologies like QR Codes, and an integrated multichannel approach, direct mail today can be interactive and meaningful. As a result, marketers are recognizing this medium as a critical part of lead-generation campaigns. Here are three ways savvy marketers are using direct mail to build, qualify and nurture leads while saving time and money.

An Interview With a Google Search Quality Rater
January 24, 2012

Since at least 2005, Google has been using a large, worldwide focus group to help review its search results and the quality of the Web pages that rank well in its algorithm. The people in this program are called Quality Raters and, as you can imagine, the work they do is important to search marketers everywhere. After Jennifer Ledbetter posted about the program last fall, one current Quality Rater contacted Search Engine Land wanting to explain and clarify some of what's been written and said about the program.

5 Strategies for Creating Magnetic Online Content
January 16, 2012

Traditional advertising worked through distraction—an interruption to our sitcom, a page between magazine articles, a banner teasing our attention at the top of a webpage. Then entertainment channels fragmented as digital moved to the center of culture. “The goal now is to attract rather than distract, to engage rather than intrude,” as eMarketer puts it in its Top Digital Trends for 2012 report.

Astonishing: The One Email That Made It Through
December 5, 2011

An astounding email hit my inbox this week that perfectly illustrates the value of triggered messaging, or email sent as the result of some sort of action or inaction by the recipient.

8 Pieces of 'Mr. Manners' Advice for Group Chats on Twitter
October 26, 2011

Promoted tweets. Political ads. “Who to follow.” Twitter highlights content for users to consume. But what's clear is users are still making decisions for themselves. And marketers wanting to get in on the natural flow of conversation may be interested in learning Twitter etiquette for group chats.

How the Offer of 'Free Shipping' Affects On-line Shopping
September 16, 2011

The phrase "free shipping" is like a siren song to many who shop on the Internet. For whatever reason, a free shipping offer that saves a customer $6.99 is more appealing to many than a discount that cuts the purchase price by $10, says Wharton marketing professor David Bell. Bell noticed this phenomenon a few years ago while doing research for an online grocery store, and the observation prompted him to look more closely at the ways Internet retailers use shipping charges -- or the lack thereof -- as a promotional tool.

The Right Content Will Fuel “Hopeless” QR Codes’ Prominence
June 9, 2011

The QR code may be many things. But let me go on record as saying this: The QR code is not the CueCat. Remember the CueCat? The adorable cat-shaped scanner was going to make it easier for consumers to find advertiser websites (apparently, typing a URL into a browser was considered too onerous?) by simply scanning a special UPC code that had a cute cat-shaped logo next to it. Thousands of newspaper and magazine subscribers received the USB scanners that had one use — to bring you to a website, assuming that you

8 Ways Real-Time Search Can Boost Your SEO Rankings
June 8, 2011

Jokes about former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's fall from grace just may be the perfect vehicle for improving search engine rankings in real time. That's true, at least, for the host of NBC's "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon."

The Curse of Know-Nothing Marketers
June 7, 2011

What triggered this column was a full-page advertisement in The New York Times for Pradaxa, a drug designed to treat a heart condition called atrial fibrillation, which has just been cleared for launch into the marketplace. The stakes are huge. One pharmaceutical analyst predicted that by 2018, Pradaxa will generate blockbuster revenues of $1.38 billion.

The headline of the ad and deck are shown in the IN THE NEWS box at right.

It is immediately obvious that Pradaxa hired rank amateurs to create its print campaign.

Clearly, neither advertiser nor agency nor creative people had a clue what they were doing. The ad breaks the most basic rule of advertising, which means that it was flat out missed by many of the very patients it was aiming to reach.