Majority Of Email Marketers Embrace Responsive Design
A third of email marketers still haven’t adopted responsive design, according to a Litmus report released Friday.
The email testing and optimization company polled 3,500 marketers in the2017 State of Email Creative report to evaluate trends in email creative strategy. Although the majority of email marketers have now embraced some type of responsive email design, whether adaptive, hybrid, or traditional, the Litmus study suggests that a stubborn few have yet to adopt an email design that will be viewable on any device.
Unlike print or web design, email is uniquely constrained by the email client and screen size used to view it. Responsive design enables marketers to ensure their emails can always be viewed, but a lack of responsive design could result in unreadable content, such as images and GIFs being disabled.
Mobile rendering is now an essential component of email design, particularly as the majority of emails are now read on mobile devices.
Litmus also surveyed marketers on the top brands that inspire their email creative, aggregating the results to pinpoint the top 30.
30 Brands that inspire email marketers:
15. Email on Acid
17. Really Good Emails
18. Kate Spade
19. Campaign Monitor
24. Code School
27. Action Rocket
30. Virgin Airlines
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December 29, 2017 at 05:51PM
Study Reveals Why Consumers Block Ads On Android Mobile
Google Chrome, one of the most popular web browsers in 2017, will begin allowing users to start blocking ads in February 2018. While Chrome runs on a variety of platforms, such as iOS, it's most popular on devices running Android.
About 17% of all FAB users are in the U.S. and spend on average 50 minutes browsing. The findings reveal 43.3% of survey respondents think publishers should only make content available to those who pay. Nearly 57% believe that ads should be the main source of the publisher's revenue.
Mobile advertising took 54% of total digital ad revenue in the first half of 2017, up 22% compared with the first half in 2016, reported the Interactive Advertising Bureau in its half-yearly digital ad spend report.
Advertisers spent $21.7 billion on mobile during the first six months of 2017, up 40% from $15.5 billion in the first half of 2016.
Forrester Research estimates U.S. mobile display and social ad spend will grow from $25.5 billion in 2017 to $50.5 billion by 2021.
In addition to blocking ads, protecting their phone from viruses, malware, scams and privacy issues are top reasons to download a mobile ad blocker. Some 21.3% believe an ad blocker protects them from viruses, malware, phishing, and other attacks, while 11.5% look toward ad blockers to protect their privacy.
Respondents, 9.4%, cite speed as another reason to use an ad blocker. Another 1.4% of ad blockers are concerned with the life of the battery on their device.
Nearly half of those participating in the survey cited pop-up advertisements as the most unfavorable. Non-skippable video ads, auto-play video ads, and banners also irritate mobile users.
Ad-block walls keep users away from viewing the content unless they switch off their ad blocker or whitelist the website, but the study also shows that these walls decrease the number of visitors to websites. Only 9.3% of users agree to whitelist the website if required and 24.1% whitelist websites temporarily before turning on the ad blocker after leaving the site.
Some 66.5% of U.S. users do not whitelist the website, with about 42.5% leaving the page to search for the information elsewhere.
Survey participants understand good content takes time to produce. Some 68,4% of FAB users realize to provide high-quality content publishers need to make money, either by showing ads or by making content available only to users that pay.
They agree that paid subscriptions are a way for publishers to augment revenue, but when asked how many sites they subscribe to, nearly 60% said none. Some 10.9% noted one website, and 20.7% said between two and four websites.
The main reason why they don't subscribe to publisher sites: 44.4% said they can find the information for free on other websites, and 17.6% of respondents the subscriptions are too expensive.
About 15% do not want to share their personal information, 11% said registration takes too much time. Only 9.2% said they sign up for a website they like and visit often.
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December 29, 2017 at 01:11PM
Gannett Focuses On Memberships, Digital Growth
Gannett CMO Andy Yost says 2018 is “the year of brand appraisal,” and the time to focus on growing memberships.
“Subscription’ sounds transactional, ‘membership’ sounds like a two-way relationship that gives you access to things you can’t get elsewhere,” Yost told Publishers Daily.
Gannett has a number of paid membership products. It released an ad-free mobile membership in October, in which readers can pay $2.99 a month to access USA Today without ads on its mobile app.
“It is part of our digital-subscription growth strategy,” Yost said. “One of the things we will continue to do in 2018 is other digital subscription product opportunities that might make sense to offer.”
Yost noted there is “an appetite” for consumers to pay for experiences that meet their needs. Some readers may want an ad-free experience, and others may want “every sports story possible and a premium product around that.”
Getting more readers to sign up for memberships requires showing them why a brand and its offerings are worth the outlay. Yost said a big part of that is giving readers content tailored to their preferences.
Most readers come to publisher’s sites from social platforms. The challenge is to convert those audiences to paying members. If a reader comes to a Gannett site for sports news, target the reader with a digital subscription that includes sports content.
“We need to really lead with why our brand has what you need from a benefits perspective, and that’s a way to help us more effectively convert our audience to a paid subscriber,” Yost said.
The CMO, who has been with Gannett for about three years, says his focus is “showing the value [our local brands] are delivering beyond the journalism we are known for.” Gannett’s Insider Loyalty Program is another membership program, which give deals and premium content to subscribers, as well as offers from retail partners or special edit-led event series that subscribers get preferential access to.
Gannett owns 109 local outlets, as well as USA Today. That means Gannett is looking for ways to tap into local communities, such as through hosting high-school sports awards and food and wine events.
Yost said these experiences “create access and connections for our consumers in new and different ways.” Next year, there may be opportunities to expand into healthy living or business networking events.
Gannett has added more features to its digital subscriptions as well this year, updating its sites and apps. The publisher underwent a massive redesign of its 110 brands, rolling out a new design, layout and brand logos, across all platforms, to unify its portfolio.
Gannett also experimented with more 360 degree and VR video programming. “Our digital properties are bringing [readers] experiences that they might not get through just our print platform itself,” Yost said.
Digital subscribers means new subscribers, and the goal is to engage visitors to Gannett’s sites to make them more likely to sign up for paid programs. “The digital-only subscription is about reaching new audiences.”
Yost also believes 2018 is the year to focus on customer experience.
“Traditionally in our industry, we have thought of customer experience as the delivery of your print newspaper and how we manage you in our call centers. But every interaction is a customer experience,” he said. “That's everything from an app working to advertising not being viewed as intrusive.”
Such programs are important to Gannett, and to other publishers hoping to make more revenue from digital efforts. In the third quarter, total operation revenue for the USA Today parent company fell 3.6%, from $772.3 million in the same quarter last year to $744.3 million this year.
While print advertising and circulation revenue declined, Gannett’s digital advertising revenue rose 4.1% to $102.9 million.
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December 29, 2017 at 11:27AM
Speech Analytics Give Businesses A Stronger Voice With Fewer Costs
Chad Hart, Head of Strategic Products at Voxbone, discusses how speech analytics can revolutionize what your employees are capable of and how your customers see you
Phone calls may seem old fashioned compared to the newer, what we might consider “more connected” business communications channels and tools out there. But this medium is as vital to customer interactions now than it’s ever been. So, listen up. Recent advances and cost reductions in speech-to-text technology mean that this technology is changing the game for voice-based connections.
From sales, to customer support and internal communications, voice is still often the preferred method for the most critical aspects of remote interaction between co-workers, clients–business interactions of all kinds, really. Yet as a channel, voice is often overlooked when it comes to performing regular analytics for improvement and optimization. It’s time to look more closely at how we value our daily conversations.
Modern machines are honing human interactions
The phone keeps evolving, retrofitted for a modern business era where it needs to do things like be compatible with CRMs, serve as an authentication method or spoken password, and generally to get things done that a chatbot might fry its circuits over. With the help of machines, however, voice interactions open possibilities that our rotary-phone-dialing forefathers would have marveled at.
Recording equipment and speech analytics have gotten a 21st-century makeover. Cloud-based software is replacing hardware and AI dutifully stands in for humans to extract valuable data from conversations that might have otherwise gone undocumented. Speech transcription is becoming more reliable and accurate every day, with companies like Microsoft dropping transcription error rates down to a record-setting 5.1%.
Take the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International as an example of the confidence that speech analysis can instill. These folks are behind emergency calls, where the interactions between a caller and an agent can be a matter of life and death. APCO recently announced a collaboration with IBM Watson’s transcription and analytics services to improve scripted responses to unpredictable caller scenarios.
Why should we care? For a company looking to run lean and retain customers, implementing effective customer service and sales processes is essential. Yet the stats and data needed to make informed changes aren’t easy to get ahold of. You could hire staff to review and transcribe calls, or send out customer surveys to get usable numbers and/or feedback. These are, of course, expensive and time-consuming options.
With speech analytics, on the other hand, you can cover all these bases in real time, without needing to invest in equipment or additional staff. AI might not be at the level where it can replace human agents in a contact center (yet), but it’s an incredible tool that can revolutionize what your employees are capable of and how your customers see you as a company.
It doesn’t look like chat bots or real-time speech recognition will be taking over our sales and customer support jobs any time soon. But in terms of transcribing and analyzing voice interactions at a large scale, our robot friends have the edge. A task that would take a team of specialists hours to complete can be done instantly using speech analytics tools. This gives experts the ability to better focus their efforts on a pre-filtered list of calls where they can have the most impact rather than choosing a small percentage of calls to look at random.
Speech analytics solutions can even help improve sales and agent customer interactions without invoking a supervisor’s reprimands. Post-call analysis solutions can show agents where they deviated from proven best practice scripts so they can improve next time. Some advanced systems can even do this in real time, letting the agent get back on track before it is too late.
Why investing in speech analytics is a smart move
With hardware being replaced by software-based systems, call recording is not only less expensive but also much easier. Recording capabilities can be built into your communications platform, with high-quality audio files save in and sent from the cloud. Once the investment has been made into a recording and analytics provider, the opportunities for making cost-saving adjustments to your sales and customer service processes are well worth the spend. Here are a few ways analytics can be transformed into legit savings for your business:
Without speech analytics, data that could translate into major cost savings and efficiency improvements would go down the drain. According to voice analytics provider VoiceBase, companies can extract 3,700 times more information from spoken interactions between customers and agents compared to what’s written online. While an omni-channel communications strategy is becoming the standard among modern businesses, we shouldn’t leave voice communications behind when mining customer data.
Mind the gap for potential drawbacks
Voice recognition and AI-driven analytics are new and exciting technologies, but they aren’t without limitations. As I mentioned before, speech analytics are best used to enhance customer agent interactions rather than out right replacing them. If a caller has a complex issue that needs solving or isn’t matching keywords to the letter, for example, the human brain is still way ahead.
Another way speech recognition can get tripped up is in working with a caller or agent with an unfamiliar accent. The way we speak makes us all unique, but for AI transcription services, it adds a layer of difficulty. Have you ever used a “machine voice” in order for robotic agent to understand you over the phone? For recorded calls, accents can pose a problem. Many transcription systems support numerous accents, but you need to specify what it is before you start the analysis. This isn’t always easy to automate and will continue to be a challenge until speech analytics become sophisticated enough to determine one from another.
More devious ways to confuse a machine-based transcription service may also arise, as a pair of Facebook AI researchers found. The study found that certain manipulations undetectable to the human eye can “trick” algorithms into ignoring or misinterpreting data from photographs–and they can be adapted for speech recognition. All it takes is a layer of digital noise to knock a functioning transcription service off the rails.
Since call quality is key for accurate speech recognition, and CRM integrations are becoming more vital each day, an important consideration should be made for the kind of phone systems a company uses. VoIP offers a compelling alternative to traditional, PSTN telephony, at less cost.
In the hands of consumers, it allows calls to be made from smartphones and even connected devices like the Amazon Echo. On the business side, using VoIP in a contact center is becoming the best option for interconnected systems that can be highly automated and provides the foundation for both recorded conversations to be transcribed later, or real-time analytics that offers agents immediate feedback or guidance for each call.
Keep an ear to the ground
Despite AI’s shortfalls and even its potential to “be fooled,” the costs more than justify the results. As equipment costs go out the window, replaced by cloud-based services that enable recording and analytics, the possibilities for growth and improvement are monumental. Customer support and customer retention go hand in hand, so the more valuable insights into improving the experience, the better.
Sure, the phone is old fashioned when you think of it as a clunky piece of hardware with limited capabilities. But as a modern business tool, and the current channel of choice for customer service agents and salespeople, voice interactions are a treasure chest of useful data–and the right speech analytics service holds the key.
Chad Hart is Head of Strategic Products at Voxbone, the Communications as a Service (CaaS) solution that provides API access to telephony services globally.
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December 29, 2017 at 07:12AM
Digital Marketing News: Teens Over Facebook, Blockchain and Big Blue, MoonPie Roasts You
Social Commerce Takes Hold. A study by PwC reports that 78% of consumers are influenced by social media when shopping online. According to Marketing Week, the “social commerce boom” is being fueled by young mobile consumers. Thirty-three percent of 18- to 24-year-olds say they would purchase items directly on Facebook, 27% on Instagram and 20% on Twitter. For 25- to 34-year-olds, the numbers decrease a bit: 30% on Facebook. For 54- to 65-years-olds, it’s 10%. MediaPost
Top 100 Social Media Trends for 2018. From Influencer Campaigns to Social Media-Friendly Designs to social media inspired dog toys, these are 100 social media trends for next year. Or are they? IRL social media filters? TrendHunter
Snapchat Looking to Publish Content on Third-Party Websites With ‘Stories Everywhere’. The word from Cheddar is that Snap is developing a new program dubbed Stories Everywhere that will allow third-party publishers to embed Snapchat content on their websites. Let’s just hope it’s not too little, too late. Variety
The Price Of Mobile Ads Will Surge More Than 45% In 2018. Mobile programmatic pricing is about to have its hockey stick moment, set to grow more than 45% by 2019, according to a projection released by programmatic agency Goodway Group. Ad Exchanger
Data Shows Tablets Driving Highest Click-Through Rates. A new report reveals that tablet impressions drove 1.13% click-through rates that were the highest of any device in many categories such as Automotive, Consumer product Goods, Education, Financial, Food & Drink, Government, Home & Garden as well as Retail, Technology, Travel and Utilities. MediaPost
Has Teen Use of Facebook Peaked? According to Forrester Research data, Facebook is the only platform of the 6 major social networks that’s experienced a decline in usage among 12-17 year olds. MarketingCharts
Blockchain Pumping New Life Into Old-School Companies Like IBM. Demand for blockchain, best known for supporting bitcoin, is growing so much that it will be one of the largest users of capacity next year at about 60 data centers that IBM rents out to other companies around the globe. The market for blockchain-related products and services will reach $7.7 billion in 2022, up from $242 million last year, according to researcher Markets & Markets. Bloomberg
Love In The Inbox: Americans Are Tied To Email, Study Finds. Email is not dead! 78% of Americans expect to use email as much or more than they now do in five years, according to Inbox Report 2018. MediaPost
On the Lighter Side:
MoonPie is brutally roasting people who insult the snack on Twitter – Business Insider
Wendy’s social media team hosted an ‘Ask Me Anything’ forum on Reddit – LA Times
Jack in the Box Tests Munchie Meals for California Pot Smokers – AdAge
TopRank Marketing In the News:
Lee Odden – 140 of Today’s Top SEO Experts to Follow – Search Engine Journal
What was the top digital marketing news story for you this week?
Be sure to stay tuned until next week when we’ll be sharing all new marketing news stories. Also check out the full video summary with Tiffani and Josh on our TopRank Marketing TV YouTube Channel.
Happy New Year from the Team at TopRank Marketing!
© Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®, 2017. | Digital Marketing News: Teens Over Facebook, Blockchain and Big Blue, MoonPie Roasts You | http://ift.tt/faSbAI
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December 29, 2017 at 06:09AM
Happy New Year from Mobile Marketing Watch!
As the final minutes of 2017 now rapidly tick away, we at Mobile Marketing Watch (MMW) want to wish YOU and ALL of our readers a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year.
2017 was an extraordinary period for our industry. The news that was made and the advancements at which we marveled will dramatically shape the even more remarkable year expected in 2018.
This year, MMW and our growing family of sister-sites powered by mobileStorm gained new ground. Once again, as was the case in 2016, in the last twelve months, MMW has enjoyed tremendous growth while publishing more daily, weekly, and monthly original content than any other dedicated mobile marketing/advertising-related news source online.
In addition to MMW, 2017 was also a growth-year for mHealthWatch, a daily provider of breaking news, analysis, and thought leadership pertinent to mHealth, telemedicine, and the role of all things digital in modern medicine, healthcare, marketing and communications.
If the incredible progress we witnessed across the mobile landscape in 2017 was any indication, next year is poised to be even more groundbreaking than we could have ever previously imagined.
Thank you for following MMW in 2017. We hope you will stay with us for an amazing year to come.
Until we resume publishing on January 3, 2018… be safe, enjoy the holiday, and Happy New Year!
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December 29, 2017 at 05:01AM
Parenting Goes Mobile With New Family App
TwinTech LLC announced this week its full-market release of the wearable child-sensor technology, Monkey KID Sensor.
Monkey KID Sensor will debut at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January.
Monkey KID Sensor is a unique wearable sensor allowing caregivers to create a virtual bond with their children by quickly alerting them when a child wanders outside a preset safe boundary.
Founder of TwinTech LLC and creator of Monkey KID Sensor, Kim Gavin, brought Monkey KID Sensor to life after experiencing temporary loss of her two-year-old daughter at a birthday party.
After two-years of hard work, Gavin created a solution that married technology and child-friendliness which aims to prevent the situation from happening again.
“Monkey KID utilizes a kid-friendly wearable sensor that isn’t clunky, cumbersome and expensive,” says Gavin. “The short-term panic exerpienced when a child goes missing, can be traumatic for both the child and the caregiver. This device is meant to give families peace of mind,” says Gavin.
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December 29, 2017 at 04:38AM
Mobile Marketing: Here’s What Happened This Week
In case you missed it, here are some of the top stories in mobile marketing and advertising we’ve been following this week.
Dollar Sign Signals Headaches for Mobile Marketers with Unresolved iOS 11.2 Bug
Prime Time: Amazon Celebrates Biggest Holiday
Digital Audio Ads On the Horizon in Wake of Latest Partnership
Mobile Ad Spending Jumped Again in 2017
SociallyMined Announces New SMDashboard Software
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December 29, 2017 at 04:14AM
5G Smartphones Now Projected To Come Sooner
Shipments of smartphones enabled with 5G, the next generation of mobile high speed, are set to start with 2 million units in 2019.
The 5G smartphone category will be the fastest-growing segment from then until 2025, growing 250% a year to 1.5 billion units in 2025, according to a new research report by BI Intelligence.
Developed markets will see consumer 5G first, in the U.S., Japan and South Korea, according to data from Strategy Analytics.
The new 5G speeds will be aimed at data-intensive tasks, such as video streaming and will change mobile communications norms among consumers who have access to it, according to BII.
The new projection date for the beginning of 5G phones is much earlier than the original projection of 2021. The date changed with the first official 5G standards being approved recently. This slightly increased the odds of 5G networks becoming commercially available next year.
Both Verizon and AT&T have been pushing 5G development.
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December 28, 2017 at 01:30PM
One In Ten Publishers Say They're Not Labeling Native Advertising
In two just-released studies from the Native Advertising Institute (NAI), roughly one in ten news and magazine publishers admitted their publications hadn’t labeled online native advertising.
The Native Advertising Trends in News Media 2017 report, which was a collaboration with the International News Media Association (INMA), found that more news media publishers (11%) said they weren’t labeling their native ads compared to last year (7%).
In another report from NAI and INMA that focused on the magazine industry, the number of publishers not labeling native ads was 10% — a bit lower than last year’s 11%.
“It’s great news that native advertising is becoming a more integrated and accepted part of the publishers’ offerings. However, it’s bad news if it becomes so integrated into the the product that the audience cannot tell it from editorial content,” noted Jesper Laursen, founder and CEO of the NAI.
Laursen said publishers' most cited reason for not disclosing native advertising was “to meet budget demands.”
"They are so behind on budgets that they feel the need to bend the rules," he said.
“This is a serious problem — not only because it is illegal and can completely ruin the credibility of news media, but because the audience will eventually figure it out and then turn its back on native ads, just as it has on traditional online advertising,” Laursen added.
According to 25% of the publishers surveyed, poor labeling is one of the biggest threats to native advertising.
Disclosing native advertising is advocated by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), but “because there is wide variation in native advertising use cases, it is not possible to recommend a single, one-size fits all disclosure mechanism for disclosure and this is acknowledged by the Federal Trade Commission [FTC] in the U.S.,” stated Susan Borst, VP of mobile at IAB.
“It is possible, however, to demand adherence to the core principle that regardless of context, a reasonable consumer should be able to distinguish between what is paid advertising vs. what is publisher editorial content. Clarity and prominence of the disclosure is paramount and marketers, agencies and publishers need to be familiar with FTC guidance on this topic. In the end, clear disclosure is better for the consumer, the brand and the publisher,” Borst added.
Native advertising is growing more popular for news publishers, and it is making more money.
Native advertising is generating 18% of overall ad revenues for news publishers, up from 11% last year. News publishers expect that number to grow to 32% by 2020, according to the report, while magazine publishers expect native will account for 40% of overall ad revenue by the start of the new decade.
Fifty-one percent of news media companies are offering native advertising, up from 48% last year.
Ninety-one percent of magazine publishers said that native advertising is “important” or “very important” to their business.
Last year, 26% of publishers were working with an external agency to deliver native advertising. This year, that number was halved, to 13%.
Twenty-seven percent of news media companies surveyed have a dedicated native advertising team, up from last year’s 20%.
The data for the news media study was collected from an online survey emailed to a sample of news media executives who are INMA members. Two hundred and thirty-one executives from 51 different countries completed the survey.
Two hundred and seven magazine executives from 53 countries participated in the other survey. Both were conducted this summer.
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December 28, 2017 at 01:21PM