Archive for the ‘Word of Mouth Marketing’ Category
Posted by Rob Ropars on April 10th, 2009
Recently I stopped into my local Kohl’s store to pick up some odds and ends for a business trip. As usual, there were tons of great deals throughout, and that allowed me to put together a nice combination of affordable items.
At checkout, I was asked if I would like to join their email list with an email coupon as an incentive. Being in the email business, my inbox is constantly full with a variety of email communications and I tend to be very selective when adding to the fray.
Since I frequent this store and extra coupons were involved, I figured one more couldn’t hurt. And since it was near closing time as I filled out the handwritten opt-in card, I figured it would be awhile before the emails start coming…
Fast forward to the following morning. I opened my Gmail account and there was an email from Kohl’s! In less than twelve hours, my handwritten card had been entered into their system, which obviously fed into their national database.
I was then pulled into the next day’s automated welcome with a special coupon valid through the end of the month (in this case only two weeks away). Adding this exclusive, limited-time offer ensured I would need to be back shopping within the next two weeks or risk losing the offer (and on the back end gave them something to use for redemption analysis).
Since that initial welcome message, I am now in their main subscription queue, and receive weekly emails and occasional very limited-time offers for online purchases or notices for same day 12 or 24-hour sales.
Of course it’s all a game, Kohl’s basically always has a variety of items on sale. But when it came to the welcome message-I did go back in and use the coupon-a good deal is a good deal.
As it turned out, I needed a tie to go with a shirt and was able to get a more expensive one without spending much more than lower priced ones. Had I not signed up and gotten that email so promptly, I probably would have procrastinated and might never have gotten it.
So the moral of the story, which we share with all of our email marketing clients, is that you can never make a second “first impression.” Kohl’s welcome message program got our conversation started quickly and triggered the intended response by getting someone (me) back in to purchase. They got that first impression just right. Their motto is “Expect Great Things”-and so far that’s the case.
Of course being in the business I could note some of the things they could improve upon to maximize their emails, but I want to keep focus on the positive so I’ll refrain from undercutting what they’re doing right. Besides I’ve just gotten their latest email and looks like there are some “Last Chance” offers I’m in danger of missing if I don’t stop in again soon!
Posted by Dave McCue on March 18th, 2009
The day was February 25th, 2009, one day removed from Fat Tuesday and a few beers with a co-worker. Was I hungry? You bet.
Then, like an oasis in the desert, the following subject line appeared in my inbox: “free sub.” It was from an old college buddy of mine, and his message was short, yet effective—”Get a free sub…I did it, it actually worked!”
The link he included took me to the Quiznos web site, where I discovered they were in the middle of a promotion dubbed the “Million Sub Giveaway.” I instantly signed up for their email list, which was the only action required to qualify for my free sub. The Thank You page confirmed that I would be receiving periodic email updates from Quiznos, which I deemed an acceptable sacrifice in light of the redeemable coupon for a free sub that was certainly en route.
The site even had a rolling tally of how many free subs had been given away so far, and it crept closer toward the 1,000,000 mark with each new opt-in. This, I thought, was list-building at its finest. It featured a good offer—the kind that held no value unless a valid email address was supplied—and it was made very clear that signing up for the promotion meant being added to their mailing list. I certainly wasn’t going to complain, in fact, I hoped that being added to the mailing list might mean more delicious Quiznos could be had on the cheap through future offers.
I waited…and waited. I even had a text message queued up to send to my wife that said “don’t need dinner – free Quiznos for me!” Alas, that text message was deleted, never to be sent. The email never arrived that day. Or the next day.
A few days later, subsisting on leftovers and determined to right this injustice, I used the Contact page on the Quiznos site to say “what’s the deal?”
Quiznos’ response, received the next day, went as follows:
Now, it’s bad enough to have a Mesquite Chicken & Bacon-covered carrot dangling just out of my reach, but I’d at least like to be addressed by name on a communication designed to resolve an issue (especially when I know that my contact information has already been gathered). Not only that, but the link on this follow-up email took me to another online form where I was asked to provide my physical mailing address. Fueled by my insatiable desire for toasted carbohydrates, I grudgingly provided the information.
To recap: I was now an officially opted-in subscriber to the Quiznos email list, and now I had possibly been added to a direct mail list as well. All for a free sandwich that was never received…
It has now been 21 days since I opted-in to a mailing list under the guise of being rewarded with a free sub, and my hunger grows. Do I try to contact Quizno’s again, only to receive a follow-up email asking for my social security number?
Nah, I think I’ll wait and see what happens. Maybe I’ll get a Quiznos 2010 wall calendar delivered to my home before an email for my free sub. Better than nothing, right?
The lesson? Just because you can’t see the people who take part in online marketing promotions, you’re still dealing with real people, and they expect that any promises made will be honored in full. Failure to do so, and failure to make a situation right after it’s been brought to your attention, is even more unforgivable.
I wrote a post back in December called “Self-inflicted Brand Damage.” The Million Sub Giveaway was a perfect example of what an effective online marketing initiative can do to promote a brand—and the sour taste it can leave when the “take” outweighs the “give.”
Posted by Jordan Ayan on November 8th, 2008
Magpie is the new ad serving solution in Twitter. What are your thoughts about putting ads in your Peeps? Would you do it? Would you follow anyone who does? Take our five second survey. The results so far from the survey posting on Twitter are posted below.
Posted by Jordan Ayan on October 26th, 2008
Seth Godin had a post today about marketing that delivers exactly the message marketers (and salespeople for that matter) need to hear as the economy gets tougher. Now is the time to stick to your marketing programs. Only he says it in a way that it almost sounds like poetry.
Posted by Jordan Ayan on October 24th, 2008
Just returned from Phoenix after attending Marketing Prof’s Digital Mixer. It was an outstanding event. I have been to their events in the past, but this one was the best by far. In trying to put my finger on what made this event great, I thought back to other events I have attended that had a similar feel.
The first, was a conference organized by Peter Senge in the early 90’s at Bretton Woods. The second was a gathering Tom Peters organized in 2002 and invited a few of his “cool friends” to (I had the honor of joining that list after the publication of my first book, Aha) along with some major corporate leaders. The third happens every year when I attend the TED Conference.
The feeling at each of these events comes from the participants, not from the content. Sure the content is important, most of us would never go if the content did not draw us in (or we were not invited to deliver some of it). The people and the dialogue that go on in the halls, at dinner (or in this case in the casino) are where new connections are made and ideas launched. At each of these events in the past, there were incredible individuals that I connected with, some who have become life-long friends, others mere acquaintances, but none-the-less, the conversations were life changing for me and many of the participants.
At Bretton Woods, I met many of the influential leaders of the then very hot Learning Organization community. I formed a loose partnership with one of them, and we worked together for several years in a variety of interesting ways that led me to the publication of my creativity book, and built a great management development business.
In Vermont, I connected with many influentials of the digital world who were starting to change the way we viewed the web. Seth Godin, Dan Pink, Marti Barletta, Robyn Waters, David Weinberger and many more. I had started SubscriberMail at that time, and the ideas and feedback that came out of that gathering helped shape the vision for our organization.
TED every year is simply TED. It defies description beyond the fact that it is the single event that I attend that requires I take a vacation afterwards to process the input. You can certainly read more about TED on this blog, but you can experience some of the content at the TED website.
Now I come to this event, which I have fondly just started to refer to as #mpdm . For those of you who Twitter, you will understand the reference, the rest of you, will soon. From my perspective, this event fell into the same basket with the ones I have named above because of the participants. There were many of the people I know from the email world, along with some of the SEO world. The catalyst at this event however were the Social Media participants. They verified for me that this is indeed and exciting marketing element, and in my mind they were the “who’s who” of this new space.
I am sure that many of the participants formed relationships that are going to fuel new business ventures, create great new concepts and build new marketing ideas. Many of the connections I made are people I plan to stay connected with and hope to get to know better in the years to come. I think we will all be on this new marketing road together, and boy does it look cool. Sure the economy is glum, but with opportunity like this, why worry? As one of the keynote speakers Gary Vaynerchuk (future owner of the NY Jets) stated so eloquently, in the down economy, the first thing big companies will drop is their funding and focus on new marketing initiatives (like social media). This creates fantastic opportunities for everyone currently in the space and willing to invest work, time and money.