Social Media & Your Business: How to Start a Must-Needed Relationship

Every company needs to have a social media presence regardless if you are a B2B or B2C company. In fact, according to Forbes there are over 50 million business pages active on Facebook right now. That’s a pretty big number, right? It’s also a strong indicator demonstrating how important it is for your company to have (and utilize) social media accounts.

 Let’s think about it from this perspective: you’re trying to decide where to go out to dinner with friends and everyone gives their recommendation. How do you decided? You take to social media and look at the restaurants Facebook, Twitter & Instagram pages to see which food looks the yummiest. We’re not alone, according to Zizzi, 30% of individuals would avoid a restaurant is their social media presence is weak. 

 Now, we understand that starting and maintaining social media marketing can be overwhelming (that’s what we’re here for) but we thought we’d give a few basics so you can get your business strategy up and running. 

 Set Up Business Accounts 

There’s a reason why business accounts exist. Under no circumstance should people have to “friend” your business instead, they should like your page. The same goes for LinkedIn, creating a company page creates a much better user experience for your clients to keep up with you without having to send an invitation to request. Business accounts make it easy to add your company’s hours, services and so much more helpful info. Most importantly, creating a business account on all platforms allows you to see insights and analytics to monitor the performance of the account and specific posts, allowing you to optimize as you go.

Use Hashtags (when applicable)

I’m going to keep this as simple as possible and tell you exactly which platforms need hashtags:

·     Facebook – no 

·     Twitter – yes 

·     Instagram – yes 

·     Pinterest – yes 

·     LinkedIn – yes 

When it comes to hashtags there’s a million different studies that will tell you a million different “magic numbers” for the number of hashtags you should use. Truth be told, there is no magic number but we’d recommend going on a site like hashtagify.com and finding popular, relevant hashtags for your business and using those in your posts. Don’t use popular hashtags just to gain traction – it won’t make a different in the long run. 

 Don’t Link Accounts 

Just because there’s an easy-option to do something, doesn’t mean it’s the correct option. This is true of linking your company’s social media accounts. Each platform has their own best practice for how to post and they’re all very different. For example, seeing a plethora of hashtags in a post on Facebook is something that will make your company stand out – and not in a good way. They are not helpful on Facebook because no one is searching for them there, therefore it’s not necessary to use them. However, they are powerful on other platforms! Plus, you want people to follow you on as many platforms as you’re on, so posting the same content at the same time across the board may not be the best strategy.

 Post Enough, but Not Too Much 

Again, there’s no magic formula for how many posts a week your business should be posting but we’d recommend 3-5 times a week on Facebook and daily on Instagram and Twitter. You want people to keep your company top-of-mind but don’t want to drive them away by being in their face all the time. Make sure your messaging and content are relevant and helpful.

  Post Content People Want to See

This seems simple and for the most part it really is. People love to see people so show off your team and add that human element to your posting. People also love to see food, dogs, babies… you know everything that makes people smile. Remember, social media is supposed to be social. So yes, it is important that your posts are on-brand and coincide with your company’s values and goals but it’s okay to have a little fun as well. Make sure your messaging and content are relevant and helpful.

Always Incorporate Imagery 

It’s the norm for every post to have accompanying imagery. Studies show posts with pictures get 650% more engagement. Use social media to show case your work! If you’re a salon, use images that show the newest hair style. If you’re a restaurant, show the specials you’re having that night. Try to entice your followers and turn them into loyal clients!

 So, there you have it, the basic guidelines to using social media as a part of your company’s marketing strategy. If even this guide is overwhelming to you, we should talk. Contact us today for a free social media consultation! 

 

The Ultimate Guide to a Holiday Marketing Campaign

Doesn’t every year seem to go by faster and faster? Suddenly, you look at the calendar and summer is behind you and the month of December is breathing down your neck. The holidays can be stressful for everyone, but for businesses that time of year requires EVEN MORE time and planning. Well luckily, we’re here to give you the ultimate marketing guide to the holiday season:

It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint

Here’s a friendly reminder - the holiday season is long (and seemingly getting longer every year). Therefore, you need to plan for not one post or email, but an entire campaign of different, but cohesive posts to constantly stay top-of-mind to your consumers during the busy and crowded holiday season. Remember, last year on Black Friday when you received approximately 2590385034 emails? This is a perfect example why you need to plan for much more than one email or social post.

It’s the Giving Season

Most brands have a natural fit for the giving season. This is the time of year to hone in on what you want your brand to be known for. It’s almost a given in this day and age for brands to have some tie-in to a charity, especially during the holiday season. However, it’s important that the charity chosen is an organic fit to the mission of your business. If you’re doing it “just for charity” your customers will realize and the buy-in will not be as beneficial to anyone involved. For example, if you’re in the restaurant industry it might be the perfect fit to form a partnership with a food back. Whereas, if you own a retail shop it could be the perfect tie-in to donate to a shelter that provides clothing to the less fortunate.

Back to the Basics  

The tides have turned and people LOVE getting mail again. Rather than being one of the hundreds of emails received on any given day, wouldn’t you love being one of the few things (not bill related) that an individual is getting in their mailbox? Although the amount of mail that is delivered during the holiday season does increase. If you create an amazing, on-brand holiday card it’s not only an additional way to ensure that your brand is top of mind but also a way to showcase your brand and wish your consumers a happy holiday season.

Where Your Campaign Should Live

Your business is firing on all different cylinders, so your holiday campaign should as well. Email, social, direct mail, digital, print, text, etc. Your holiday campaign should be carried out throughout these different mediums as well. Start by establishing what you want to accomplish (maybe this is a percentage off, a gift card promotion or a buy one, get one offer) and the look of the campaign and then bring that look to life so your consumers will see it over and over and be reminded of what you are trying to accomplish and what action you want them to take.

Including Movement  

Here’s a trick we’ve learned, people love gifs and animated social. It’s eye-catching and stands out among the millions of pictures and graphics that exist on timelines. Plus, it differentiates your creative. The holiday season is the perfect time to add some animation into your marketing strategy. If you don’t have the capabilities to bring your dreams to life, don’t worry – we do. Here’s one of our favorites:

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Because People Love Presents, Right?

Who doesn’t love to get a present? The holiday season is the perfect time of year to give your clients, prospective clients, friends and family a branded gift that they’ll want to keep, use and hopefully carry with them wherever they go, and can we say free advertising? Sometimes it takes a little time to find the perfect gift to give from your company, but if you nail it – everyone will be talking about it and your brand.

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Don’t Forget to Wish Them a Happy Holiday

This seems like a no-brainer but boy oh boy you’d be surprised how many people miss out on this final step of a holiday campaign. People like to feel special and a simple “Happy Holiday” from your business is another element of making your customers feel like you truly care about them and value them – this can even be through something as simple as a video on social media featuring your team wishing everyone a happy holiday season!

We understand just how valuable a holiday campaign can be for a business, but we also understand how much work and time goes into making a holiday campaign a success. There’s still time (barely) to execute a kickass campaign and we’re here to help. Contact us today to get started on your holiday marketing strategy.

Social Media: Which Platforms Are For You?

We get asked a lot of questions from our clients, but one of the most common is “What social media platform should my business be utilizing?” This is a loaded question and our answer varies depending on the specific client. To give a broad understanding of which platform is necessary for your company, we’ve created a list of quick questions to ask yourself before adding unnecessary stress and work to your life!

7 Questions to Think About Before You Start:

  1. Are you B2B or B2C? Majority of the time, B2B services do not need to have a presence on platforms like Instagram or Pinterest. Conversely, B2C businesses will find less luck on platforms such as LinkedIn. There are exceptions, but really think about what your offerings are and how they can be displayed to users.

  2. Who is your desired audience? Each social platform hosts a variety of demographics. Understanding what type of user is active on each platform will dictate which platforms you should be using.

  3. Are you selling a visual medium? If you aren’t, then there’s a possibility that platforms like Instagram and Pinterest aren’t for you since they’re more visually focused.

  4. What type of content is your business planning on posting? The type of content you have strongly dictates which platform you should be using. If what you’re sharing is predominantly visual, consider Instagram or Pinterest. There is one caveat, all posts should include visuals because it’s just the nature of the post. If it’s something more technical, focus on LinkedIn or Facebook.

  5. What social media platforms are other businesses in the industry using and how are they using it? Find out what platforms others in your field are using to get an idea of what could work well for your own business.

  6. What do you hope to achieve by using social media? If sales are your focus, you need to think about consumer behavior and which platforms will best show your products or services or help you grow leads. If you want to amass a following, then consider what content will help users connect with your brand.

  7. Are you prepared to spend a lot of time or money? Growing your social media either takes a lot of time, money, or both. If you don’t think you’ll have the time to invest or the financial capabilities, then you might want to pass on social media or pass those responsibilities off to someone who can do the dirty work for you.

These general questions should help you gauge your target market and determine which social platforms are best suited to your industry. We’ve broken out the most common social media platforms below to give you a more in-depth look at which one is right for your business.

Instagram:

The algorithm that Instagram currently has in place shows the most relevant content to the most people. For your content to do well, it needs to be something that users want to see. If you’re unsure about whether or not this platform would work well for your business, ask yourself these questions:

  • Does your content lend itself to engaging visuals? People want to see pictures of other people, behind the scenes pictures, pets, food, etc. If you are a dentist office or a law firm, you probably don’t need Instagram. If you really want to be a part of a visual platform, then keep things fun!

  • Will you have enough content to create a good rhythm? Posting once a week isn’t going to do you any good on this platform, and it isn’t going to help you gain a healthy following. It’s important to post at least 3 times a week to really see success.

  • Do you have the time to invest in increasing your follow to follower ratio? This is important because a good strategy takes time. If you don’t think you have the time, but still think Instagram is an important means for your business, that’s where we can come in and help.

  • Will you have the time to stay engaged with your followers? Everyone on social media wants quick responses and answers. If you have a platform for your brand, but never respond to requests or questions, you’re creating a bad user experience.

Facebook:

The most recent of Facebook’s ever-changing algorithms focuses on meaningful interactions between users. Meaning that conversations are now vital to having a successful Facebook presence. Therefore, your content needs to be something that will spark interest. When thinking about building out this platform for your business, ask these questions:

  • Are you planning on solely advertising, or are you planning on building & maintaining your presence? Users don’t want to see a sales pitch every time they see something from your page. You need to include content that allows you to build out your brand - show users what your business is all about.

  • Will you be able to build relationships with users? People want to know that your company is invested in its customers. If you can take the time to interact with them and get to know their wants and needs, you’ll be much better off.

  • Do you have the time to turn leads into loyal followers? Gaining followers and turning them into loyal brand advocates is much easier said than done. You can’t just invite people to like your page and expect them to do so and promote your product/services. This takes time and a decent amount of interaction, so if this is something that you don’t think will work well, then it might be best to skip it.

  • Will you have the time to engage with users? Interacting with your followers can take a lot of time. People want to know that you’re there to answer questions or requests. If you don’t think that this is something that your business can commit to, it might be best to pass on this option or hire someone to handle engagement.

Twitter:

Twitter displays content by timeliness and relevance of the post. This way, users are able to see what is most important to them in a timely fashion. This platform is a great way to stay up-to-date with the most current news. Twitter can be a very useful platform, but ask yourself these questions to ensure this tool is right for your business:

  • Do you have enough content to tweet regularly, and potentially several times throughout the day? This is a platform that requires a lot of content to be posted multiple times throughout the day. To do well, what is posted needs to be relevant to your followers, otherwise it will get left behind in the digital black hole.

  • Will you be able to interact with users on a consistent basis? If a user reaches out in some way, it’s important to get back to them quickly. If your business is unable to do this, then you’re not creating a good user experience.

  • Do you have both visual and written content? If there’s too much copy, users might start to pass by posts.It’s good to break up content with a visual component. Gifs also tend to perform well on this platform!

  • Will you incorporate hashtags and trending topics into your content? The use of hashtags on Twitter is very important. It helps show users what’s trending and if you’re not using them correctly, then you might be getting your content to the right people.

LinkedIn:

LinkedIn bases their feed off of engagement and the strength of connections between users so that the strongest business content is showcased. This is a true business platform, so you need to make sure that what you’re sharing is of interest to others in your field.

  • Are you trying to increase your number of leads? This can be a great place to find and grow leads! However, users only want to hear from people that could lead to something promising, so you can’t just send out invites and notes to just anyone. It takes time to find the right people to reach out to.

  • Is your focus on B2B interactions? This platform is much less focused on B2C interaction, so if this is your goal then I would suggest utilizing a different social tool.

  • Is your content engaging enough for people to interact? LinkedIn hosts a group of educated individuals who are trying to discover more about their field and the people within it. The content you post needs to be interesting enough for users to want to engage.

Pinterest:

This platform is a little different than the rest in terms of its algorithm. It bases what’s shown off of previous user interaction, so what people see will almost always be based on what they have searched for previously. This platform is a bit tricky, so be sure to ask yourself the following questions before you sign up.

  • Do you have visually engaging content? Pinterest is a visual platform. To do well, you need to have dynamic and engaging images. Otherwise, users will scroll right by without a thought.

  • Would visuals help promote your products or services? If your offerings can’t really be explained in a visual manner, then chances are you don’t need to be on Pinterest.

  • Do you have time to post multiple pieces of content throughout the day? Pinterest is unlike Instagram in the sense that users expect you to post multiple pieces throughout the day. If you have minimal imagery, then this platform is probably not for you.

Social media can be a very confusing area for many business owners. If these strategies seem daunting or confusing, give Elysium Marketing Group a call! We can help you determine which platform is best and what strategies to use to make sure your company is getting the most out of its social media. We can help with a wide range of services, whether it’s a consultation or the creation of a full-fledged social media campaign and implementation. And remember - this is fun stuff! Regardless of the platform, have fun with your content!

Why Your Business Needs Brand Guidelines

So what exactly are brand guidelines? Essentially, they are a set of rules that explain how your brand looks and feels at every touch point. They are a roadmap of information surrounding the personality and values of the brand. Brand guidelines incorporate the colors & fonts, logos, and other brand essentials that help define the brand’s identity. Now let’s dive into the importance of these bad boys!

Differentiation

To be successful, your brand needs to build awareness and develop trust and loyalty with customers. The best way to do this is to ensure that all creative pieces are cohesive. Nowadays, consumers are constantly being exposed to competing brands so now more than ever, these guidelines are crucial to help your business stand out amongst all of the noise.

The two best ways to differentiate your brand from competitors are by: 1) maintaining consistency within your own brand identity and 2) using a unique voice and look. The process of creating brand guidelines helps to bring up pivotal questions about the essence of your business.

Consistency

Consistency is key with anything, but especially with your brand identity - it should never be left up to interpretation. If something you put out doesn’t look like the rest of your brand, people WILL notice. These guidelines aren’t set up to stifle creativity and make everything look starkly similar, but to ensure that all creative is sending the proper messaging and is effective in achieving the goals that are set in place for the business.

Standards & Rules

Brand guidelines establish rules that ensure all elements of the brand are used consistently throughout all creative pieces. They support marketing strategies by ensuring that all messaging is relevant and related to brand goals. This creates a strong brand identity that resonates with consumers, which helps increase overall awareness. Take Coca-Cola for example - they’re a brand that focuses on building happiness. Everything about their brand evokes positive emotion  from their bright red cans to their classic font and personalized products. Consumers know who Coke is can clearly differentiate a marketing campaign for their brand versus another soft drink brand. This kind of consistency and recognition is exactly what brand guidelines are for.

Brand guidelines are also extremely helpful for designers. They allow them to understand what and how to use specific elements such as logos, colors & fonts, spacing, and imagery. Setting these rules also help new employees who don’t yet know the true identity of your brand and what all it encompasses. Obviously it’s helpful for them to look through previous pieces, but giving them a guide that explains how to properly use the elements of your brand will help stave off any issues and set them (and your brand) up for success!

Voice

Brand guidelines give your brand a voice and point of view. A great way to help distinguish this is to play a game we like to call “This or That.” We’ll suggest different describing words and our clients will tell us where on the spectrum they believe their brand lies.

Is your brand funny or serious?

Is your brand soft or bold?

Is your brand modern or classic?

Is your brand demure or edgy?

Now think about this: if you think your brand is funny, what kind of funny is it? Do you want a corny joke or pun involved in every creative piece or do you want your brand to focus on more intelligent humor? This might sound funny, but it really helps to distinguish the heart and soul of a brand. You’d be surprised how often we ask clients to name 5 adjectives about their brand and they can’t! Even when they can, the question is would your employees and customers name the same adjectives? This is a crucial step, so make sure to really think about the true essence of your brand!

Creating Brand Guidelines

Creating brand guidelines can be a massive undertaking. Besides establishing a voice for your business you need to consider a color palette, fonts, imagery, logo, and several other elements to create a truly useful set of guidelines for an impactful brand. It’s not impossible, but it is time consuming. Elysium Marketing Group has created several brand guidelines for various clients in very different fields, and each time it’s a journey deep into the heart of the brand to ensure the final product clearly defines the voice, essence, and identity of each brand. Whether you’re creating a new brand or re-branding an already established brand, we’ll ensure you have the tools you need for a strong brand that meets its business goals.

Contact us to see how we can help move the process along!

The Art of the Burn: Incorporating Twitter into Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

Welcome to 2018 - where social media is full of fun, outrageous takes and opinions and a whole lot of trolls. Trolling on Twitter has become such an epidemic that it’s made headline news a few times over the past few years (cough cough Kevin Durant…and do I dare say Bryan Colangelo?) However, I’d argue that when brands and organizations throw shade at one another it’s beneficial to their brands and, quite honestly, the engagement of their social media profiles. Here I’ll go into a few brands that are known for their “troll-game” and why exactly this became the way it is: 

Wendy’s

Okay, so is anyone surprised that they’re first on my list? Wendy’s has been trolling other fast food companies for a while now and no other restaurant is safe…. Let’s take a look at a few examples: 

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As you can see, no other restaurants are safe – and not even their own customers can escape the wrath and playfulness of Wendy’s. Now from a strictly marketing perspective, these are the types of the tweets that go viral. Don’t believe me? That burn targeted at McDonald’s had 12k retweets and 28k likes, the average on their four previous tweets that included messaging on their own branding and promotions, was only 1,692 retweets and 11,467 likes. You may not realize exactly what these numbers imply but here’s an easy breakdown. The more a tweet is retweeted and liked, the more it shows up in other people’s timelines. This means there are more people who are seeing Wendy’s logo, messaging and therefore subconsciously begin to crave their food. Wendy’s strategy is simple, go viral and get in front of as many people as possible. In my opinion their “burn” strategy is most definitely paying off!

Burn level = 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 

The NBA

The NBA as a league does such an incredible job interacting with one another that I couldn’t bring myself to highlight just one team (and maybe partially because I’m a die-hard Sixers fan). But in all seriousness, NBA Twitter is the best example of an organization truly embracing what Twitter was created for: engagement & interaction. They utilize their team accounts, their players, highlights from the games and even their mascots to poke fun at other teams. The NBA season is long and now the off-season has become as integral to their social media strategies as their in-season. The individuals who run these accounts have a ton of time to push creative, unique content. All 30 NBA teams often “troll” other teams but here are a few of my favorites from recent history:

NBA1.png

Professional sports are a unique platform to market because not only does each team want to grow and engage their fan base, but the NBA benefits from people being engaged with teams outside of their “home team”. Therefore, when teams interact with one another they’re encouraging their fans to essentially get in on the action. The tweet above from the Raptors was not only retweeted and favorited more than their typical post, but had fans of both teams replying to the tweet “burning” each other. These rivalries lead to storylines, which leads to increased viewership on TV, ticket sales, etc. The NBA has captivated on social media and each team interacting with one another (often in burns) more than any other professional sports organization and it shows by looking at their official account. The NBA leads all other professional sports organization in followers with 27.9 MILLION! With the closest organization having 3 million less…let’s hope  they keep it up!

Burn Level = 🔥🔥🔥🔥

Hot Pockets

Hot Pockets does a phenomenal job utilizing their Twitter account to get in on breaking news, viral topics, and hashtags all while engaging their followers in a fun, “troll-y” type of way. They engage with polls, quote and retweet followers, they even poke fun at themselves and how petty their tone often is. Let’s take a look at a couple of our favorite examples:

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Hot Pocket’s strategy is to engage their current clientele, more so than it is to go viral. They have a smaller following than the previous accounts featured with 37k but every tweet they post is incredibly engaging. They talk to their fan base in the same ways in which you would communicate with a friend on social media. Here’s why this is so important – when a brand successfully makes their consumers feel important they become another asset to utilize in their marketing strategy. As Jay Baer said, “the goal of social media is to turn customers into a volunteer marketing army,” and in this regard, Hot Pocket’s has truly hit it out of the park.

Burn level = 🔥🔥🔥

We live in a society where it is almost impossible for businesses and organizations to not utilize, or even have a social media presence. It is called social media because at its core it is social and without the social aspect, it’s just noise to your consumers. So if your brand allows - make it fun! Social media cannot only impact the perception of your business but also help enhance overall growth and revenue. Don’t have the time that’s necessary for creating fun and captivating content that will continue to move your business forward? That’s what we’re here for! Contact us today for a free consultation.
 

The ROI of a Laugh: How to Use Humor in Marketing

A joke is never as funny if you have to spell it out, but in this case we're dissecting a couple of well thought out marketing campaigns that do a great job of using humor.

Purple Mattress

I know it sounds a little funny to use a mattress company as an example of humor in marketing, but it's seriously one of the first brands that comes to mind when this topic is presented. If you've never seen any of their commercials, I highly suggest doing so. They're clever and present some really interesting characterizations. They create a storyline within a short time frame while also providing all of the information needed regarding their products.

One of their more popular commercials is centered around Goldilocks, their expert bed tester. In three minutes she easily explains how the raw egg test simulates where pressure is distributed throughout the body during sleep all while providing hilarious commentary. The information sticks because her characterization is perfect for this skit and the information provided isn't too detailed. Another example of this is their commercial featuring a Sasquatch mother who is fed up with lower-quality mattress toppers. The entire commercial is one continuous joke that sprinkles an appropriate amount of information throughout. One of my favorite lines, which I'm sure others will love is "Other toppers turn your bed crinkly or stiff and they make your mattress noisy, hot, and uncomfortable. Like a Nickelback concert." One-liners like these are abundant and absolutely get the point across that Purple Mattress is unlike the competition. The company truly knows what will hit home for their consumers and uses that to their advantage. 

Denny's

Sometimes it can be difficult to produce content for platforms like Twitter. You only get so many characters and therefore you really need to hit home with the content quickly. Denny's is a fantastic example of a company that is using humor in social media effectively. If you've not read their Twitter feed then I implore you to do so. You will NOT be disappointed!

The majority of their content is quippy and entertaining with useful information divvied throughout. This brand is so successful because their tweets are so incredibly relatable. How many times have you thought about something - THOUGHT, not searched for or even talked about - and seen a targeted ad for it relatively soon thereafter? I can tell you it's happened to me on several occasions. Denny's caught on to this and replied with: "the reason you see our ads so often in because we can read your mind. You think about your ex and pancakes a lot." This is too funny, and way too real. It makes followers interested in their content, so as they follow along with the hilarity they wind up seeing deals being promoted. It seems so casual, but it works into consumers' feed perfectly. Bravo, Denny's!

Anheuser-Busch

Philly, Philly! Need I say more? This was one of the most prevalent marketing campaigns of the year - and for good reason. Anheuser-Busch listened to their consumers and played off of their interests. With Game of Thrones being one of the most popular shows on television right now, Bud Light created a campaign with a series of commercials that mimic the medieval setting found on the show and gave it a humorous undertone.

One example focuses on a man who escapes a treacherous dungeon to come back carrying a case of Bud Light. When another prisoner questions his decision to return, everyone else cries out in protest because they all want their favorite brew. The brand took it a step further when the Eagles not only made it into the Super Bowl, but won. The series continued with the king announcing that "The injury gods threw mud at you, but the perseverance gods wiped you off and patted your behind. So for you, I'll say it only once: Philly Philly." Playing off of the pride of Philadelphia fans shows that Anheuser-Busch understands their demographic and gives us another reason to love this fan favorite.

It can be difficult to use humor in marketing. Sometimes campaigns focus too much on trying to be funny and lose sight of the fact that they're still trying to sell something. It's a fine line, but the call to action and supporting information need to be present and highlighted. Take the lead of these brands and listen to your audience, be relatable, and do what's right for your brand.

What I've Learned In My Three Years As a Marketing Consultant and Business Owner

As Elysium celebrates its third birthday and we enter our fourth year, I’m reflecting on my time as both a business owner and a marketing consultant. Much like how I feel when it’s one of my kid’s birthdays, in some ways it seems that Elysium should be much older, and in other ways I can’t believe it’s already been three years. 

If I had to narrow it down to only three takeaways, these are the ones that stand out: 

1.     There are opportunities everywhere.

As a marketing consultant, you can’t help but judge - err - look at everyone’s marketing creative, messaging, and more with a sharp lens. And truthfully, sometimes you wish you could shut off that lens. We create menus, so you bet that every single time I’m in a restaurant I check out the layout, art direction, and more. I know my husband just loves this when we’re supposed to be out for date night (love you Phil!). But the same is true for logos, sales brochures, and any other piece of tangible or digital marketing. I find myself scrutinizing emails during the holidays and wondering why that subject line was chosen or who decided to use those two colors together. A lot of this judging is helpful when we work with our designers. We share the pieces we love for inspiration, and we share the pieces we don’t love as very clear “dont's.” 

Another opportunity is when we talk about what we do and our love for Elysium with our friends and family. They tend to share that love, and it’s a pretty awesome thing.  I’m already super excited for what 2018 is going to bring because I already have a new phenomenal client joining the Elysium team, a lead that came directly from an old boss, a meeting scheduled with a potential partner from a connection of my Dad’s, and a prospective client meeting from a Mom of one of my son’s friends. Elysium’s third year wouldn’t have been half as successful without the love, support, and encouragement from friends and family.

2.     You will find yourself doing things and in situations you never imagined (and loving every second of it.)

No, this isn’t like an - all of a sudden I was on Broadway situation - but when you and your team whole-heartedly invest yourselves into a client’s success, and see yourselves as a true part of the client team, you jump in to do anything possible to move the business forward. A couple of quick examples:

  • An investor meeting that we orchestrated for an organic skincare client
  • A focus group analyzing tampon use
  • A farm visit and a menu tasting for every.single.item
  • A construction site of the largest observation wheel on the east coast

3.      No two days are ever the same.

I often get asked “What is your favorite part of your job?” and more times than not my answer is that no two days are ever exactly the same. One day we will be launching a gorgeous website, another day we'll be onsite at a video shoot, and a third day we will be in an all-day strategy planning meeting. It's not all sunshine and roses everyday, but most days we're working together as a team to come up with strategic ideas and campaigns to better our client's sales. As Elysium continues to grow I’m trying to celebrate our successes more and truly learn from the challenges.

I know how lucky I am to be doing what I love everyday. And I know that these three years have flown by with a higher amount of good than bad days. I’m ready to continue learning, meeting amazing people, and celebrating the good stuff. Happy 3rd Birthday Elysium Marketing Group!   

 

Elysium Marketing Group Wins Top Marketing Consulting Agency!

We're excited and grateful that Elysium can now add award-winner to our portfolio!  

As you may know, Elysium Marketing Group has been providing high quality digital marketing services to clients in the greater Philadelphia area since 2015. However, today we’re excited to celebrate our designation as a Top Local Agency in Philadelphia by UpCity! We were selected as one of twenty-five companies in Philadelphia as a Top Marketing Consulting Firm. 

What Does This Mean?

UpCity’s Top Local Agency marketplace is a resource designed to connect small and medium sized local businesses with high-quality digital marketing service providers in their local area, allowing business owners to get the services they need quickly, from a service provider they can trust. The UpCity team independently reviews agencies across North America to determine the best service providers in each local market, ensuring that no matter where you are, great digital marketing services are never more than a click away.

To check out our profile and follow this link: https://upcity.com/local-marketing-agencies/profiles/elysium-marketing-group

We will continue to strive to bring our clients hands-on, strategic marketing creative and campaigns that move the needle and get real results. Thank you for being a part of Elysium's journey! 

5 Product Brands Who Are Killing It On Instagram

Social media has provided brands with the opportunity to be viewed by their consumers in a different way than ever before. They can now get in front of their customers in an approachable way to remain top of mind with every post they share. Here are some brands who are utilizing Instagram to stay relevant to their core followers while also bringing awareness to potential consumers.

 

GoPro – User Content

Everyone has seen an amazing (usually adventurous) video that has been filmed using GoPro. The tech company invented a camera that is built to be waterproof and withstand any damage that would have prohibited that thrill-seeker from capturing their journeys on film for the world to see. Due to the nature of their business, it should be no surprise that GoPro is at the top of this list.

 

What They Do: With 13 million followers on Instagram from across the world, GoPro utilizes their best asset (their customers) to sell their cameras. The GoPro Instagram feed is full of amazing pictures and videos that were taken using their cameras.  Trust us, each picture will give you that feeling of wanderlust that just might inspire you to purchase a GoPro of your own.

 

Why They’re Killing It: User-Generated content! Not only does GoPro show you the best images and videos that were captured by the product they are showcasing but they do it by highlighting pictures and videos sent to them by their best spokespeople, their users. Each day, GoPro shares either a “Video Of The Day” or “Photo Of The Day” where they share posts that were submitted to them on the platform, this not only engages their audience and consumers but also provides GoPro users with an incentive to take that next adventure (with their GoPro) and submit their own footage!

GoProInstagramPicture2.png

Moleskine – Brand Aesthetic

Moleskine started by selling their classic notebooks, which are insanely popular (the Elysium team even uses them). The brand has evolved and now carries an entire line of office supplies as well as bags and accessories. The products are high-quality, affordable and even customizable – one reason why this brand has become a fan favorite.

What They Do: Moleskine might not be a company who screams as one you should follow on social media, but I highly recommend giving their Instagram a follow. Their feed is aesthetically pleasing, they highlight their products in a unique way, often by having their notebooks open to beautiful sketches. While you’re scrolling through old posts, you will never feel like you are looking at “just a notebook company’s feed.”

Why They’re Killing It: The real beauty to Moleskine’s Instagram is when you look at their feed in the grid format. Instagram breaks down their layout so you see three photos on each line of the grid. Moleskine takes advantage of this and posts 3 pictures in a row that are complimentary to one another – they’re essentially a picture within their profile which allows the brand to show an image in two different formats to their followers. Scrolling throughout a person’s daily feed they see beautiful pictures of the Moleskine products, but upon checking out the company’s profile they are also treated to a thought out, cohesive feed that showcases exactly what Moleskine is helping their consumers achieves – organization!

 

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Lush – Customer Service

Lush is a beauty and cosmetic brand, priding itself on their “homemade” products that are natural, organic and produced cruelty-free. Their products are colorful, smell amazing and are a hit across the world, so much so that they have gathered a group of followers who have become some of the greatest spokespersons for the brand itself.

What They Do: Lush creates fun products so it is only fitting that their feed is full of beautiful, colorful posts that highlight exactly what their products are made for -  fun. The majority of their feed is focused on their bath bombs, which is their #1 top seller allowing Lush to showcase bright photos and videos of their fun bath bombs. For example, they show a video of their rocket bath bomb dissolving in a tub – SO COOL and makes you want to order 1 (or ten) as you’re scrolling through your feed.

Why They’re Killing It: The true reason Lush made this list of a brand who absolutely thrives on Instagram is because of their comment section (weird, I know) but Lush has a team who replies to every relevant comment on their posts on the platform. This is a huge part of Lush maintaining their insanely loyal customers. Here’s an example: @healthybalancedblonde commented on a post and said “What is this one??? I needed!!!!” Now typically, larger brands would ignore a comment like this or maybe “like” it so the customer felt important but not Lush. Rather, Lush responded that same day tagging the previously noted customer – “This is our ever-gorgeous Tisty Tosty bath bomb, Morgan! – Meghan” Now, not only does this customer feel like they are getting to know the brand they buy from by the employee adding her name to the comment, but also, she took the time to click on the customer’s page and learn her real name. This personalized touch goes a long way and has helped Lush grow to having 3.9 million followers. 

LushInstagramPicture1.png
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Halo Top – Exciting, Fun Content

Okay, so who doesn’t love ice cream?! Halo Top Creamery is gaining popularity for being the world’s first all-natural light ice cream, and due to that, supermarkets can’t stock the freezer aisles with these pints quickly enough. Each pint is under 350 calories for the ENTIRE pint and thus ice cream lovers and health-enthusiasts alike are championing this brand.

 

What They Do: Halo Top highlights their product in fun, innovative ways that excite their followers. Let’s be honest, they’re working with one of the yummiest products that automatically provides their consumers with joy. However, the brand consistently highlights their products in new enthusing ways by often incorporating the “ingredients” for the flavors of ice cream. Their captions are also fun, uplifting, and often full of puns which truly fits with the tone of this brand.

 

Why They’re Killing It: Halo Top just gets it, their posts are fun on-brand and they always make me want to go out and buy a new flavor of their product line. They are also masters of new product launches. Here’s what they did before they launched 7 new flavors this month. Each day for a week, the brand posted a picture of an object indicative to the flavor of ice cream that corresponded with a number. For example, on day 6 they posted a 6 made of cinnamon rolls to introduce their new Cinnamon Roll ice cream. Then, on day 7 they posted all 7 new flavors in one group shot. 

HaloTopInstagramPicture1.PNG

Shinola – Personal Experience

Shinola is a USA made leather company from Detroit who got their start only 5 years ago by selling watches with a goal of bringing American jobs back to the city. Since their start, the brand has escalated into selling high-end leather goods, jewelry and accessories.

What They Do: Shinola shows off their high-end products in a way that truly makes you want to purchase from the company. They utilize the “Link in Bio” feature so followers can easily link out of the app and go straight to the product they’re eye-ing up and make that purchase immediately. This is currently the best user-experience an e-commerce company can provide to their customers on Instagram, and Shinola is executing this perfectly.

Why They’re Killing It: The story behind Shinola is an important piece of the company’s identity and therefore is an important piece of their presence on Instagram. Shinola highlights their team members on Instagram to give followers that personal connection that further allows them to feel as if they know the brand they are buying from. To further expand on showing their identity, Shinola uses #RollUpOurSleeves – throughout their feed you will see this hashtag shared with different pictures and videos. These posts highlight Shinola team members who have gone above and beyond the brand’s mission and brought positive change to the communities in which the members work and live. These feel good, inspirational stories are posted just enough to provide you with that warm and fuzzy feeling but not too often to make it feel overdone.  It shows their consumers that they practice what they preach and truly care about the places where they are building factories to help bring jobs to different cities across the country. 

 

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4 Reasons Why We're Crushing on the Sugarwish Brand

1.     Creative

Sugarwish’s logo is clean, whimsical, and locked up with a solid tagline, “sweet happiness.delivered.” Their brand colors are a combination of Tiffany’s blue (for a little luxury) and red (for a little love), plus gray as a secondary color. It’s nice to see two colors not usually paired together being used, and used in such a complimentary way.  

4_Sugarwish_Email.jpg

 Their website design is clean and shows beautiful, playful pictures of their candy offerings. The tone of the Sugarwish brand is fun (as it should be… it’s CANDY) and they use language like “Lickety Split” and “Wish Granted,” which just makes the whole experience more enjoyable.

When the Sugarwish arrives, it comes in the cutest packaging – a Tiffany's blue box, with a red ribbon around it. The inside showcases the candy and has red and white stripes that are reminiscent of the old-school candy striper days.

Sugarwish box

2.     Website’s Ease of Use  -

Sugarwish has been implementing a new concept – sending a candy gram online to a recipient who selects his/her own gift. Instead of complicating the messaging, once you arrive on their site, it clearly shows you where to click if you are the sender or the recipient. It incorporates a video if you need further explanation, but it doesn’t cram it down your throat. Most of the content on each page is above the fold, so there’s not a lot of scrolling needed to get the information you want. The website does a great job of making navigating the site a cinch!

 

3.     Email/Ecommerce Best Practices –

So far, we’ve touched on the cute concept and exceptional branding, but Sugarwish wouldn’t be as successful as it currently is without using best practices in ecommerce. Once you order, you get an email confirmation. If it’s your first time ordering, you get a thank you from the founders with an offer to purchase again. Both pretty standard, but necessary steps.

At each turn, they both subtly and not so subtly try to persuade you to purchase another Sugarwish. But even when it’s not so subtle, it’s still on-brand and it’s not bothersome at all. They track when your wish has been sent and when it’s been seen, so if for some reason the recipient doesn’t pick it up, you can either send it again or say something to your chosen recipient to make sure they select their candy.

Their emails are visually appealing with minimal copy. As you can see from the email below, it’s easily digestible and definitely makes you want to click through to their site.

Sugarwish email

Not only is their onsite presence and email marketing strong, but they are also implementing the next step and using a remarketing campaign. As soon as I left their page, a cute little reminder popped up on another site that I should send that deserving someone some candy. “Sugarwish Em’”

Sugarwish banner ad

4.     Social Media  -

Some of the most fun we have when we manage our clients’ social media accounts is when we’re working with food brands. There’s so much you can do and so much fun to be had. People want to see puppies and babies on social media, but I’d say good looking food/candy would definitely be next in line.

If you look at Sugarwish’s Instagram feed, it contains beautiful pictures of colors through candy. They do a wonderful job of incorporating their logo and some of their brand lingo like “Work Fuel” and “Sweet Appreciation.” The entire feed uses a consistent look n’ feel and exudes their brand essence. We see so many Instagram accounts that are all over the place and really don’t tell the brand’s story, so this is a breath of fresh candy air.

6_Sugarwish_INSTA.jpg

I would suggest that Sugarwish post more often on Facebook; however, I have found that when they do post, it is relevant and on-point. You can see below that for Valentine’s Day (a holiday they should definitely be capitalizing on) they posted a charming picture of one of their boxes with a message about how they are the ultimate Valentine. 

Sugarwish Facebook Page

At the bottom of their emails, they entice you to follow them on social media with clever copy that fits their brand and actually does make you want to join.

Sugarwish email bottom

For a brand that isn’t well known to the masses yet (every time I send one, the recipient says “What a cute idea!,”) Elysium is very impressed with what we’ve seen from Sugarwish so far. They seem to really know who they are, what their brand stands for, and how to incorporate best practices in ecommerce.

Lastly - maybe most important - If you have two email addresses, there’s no shame in ordering one for yourself. ;) 

The Best (and Worst) Black Friday Emails of 2016

Have you dug out from your holiday emails yet? They’re probably still coming…. And will, all the way up until December 24th! We received so many holiday emails, that we decided to concentrate on one day instead of the entire holiday season to give some feedback on the best and worst this year.

Black Friday used to mean everyone rushed into the physical store for the best items. Now ecommerce has made it so easy to shop those crazy deals from the comfort of your couch. To this point, retailers need to competitively compete with each other on subject line, creative, and discounts.  

We poured through the good, the bad, and the cluttered… here are 3 of the best and 3 of the worst Black Friday emails. Just like previous email reviews, I will grade each email on Subject Line, Relevance, Creative, & Call to Action (CTA). 

Who Made the Nice List? 

1. My Custom Case

   
  
 
  
    
  
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    Subject Line:   A    Our Biggest Sale of the Year – 3 Days Only!    – The subject line is crystal clear. You will not get a better deal than what they’re offering now. It sets a time limit as well. Act within the next three days or you’re out of luck.  Relevance:  A  The email pays off to the subject line that it’s a 40% off sale and the best sale of the holiday season.    Creative:  A  The creative is festive with an animated gif using sparkling holiday creative, but it’s not distracting from its core sales message. The cases rotate through a bunch of different options to show the breadth of their products, and to capture your attention in a super cute way.  Below the main sale creative, they have three modules that direct you to the correct case for the phone or tablet of your choice.    CTA:  A-  There is a 'Shop Now' call-to-action, but it could be a little larger since it’s competing with two different moving creative features in the email.  

Subject Line:  A Our Biggest Sale of the Year – 3 Days Only!  – The subject line is crystal clear. You will not get a better deal than what they’re offering now. It sets a time limit as well. Act within the next three days or you’re out of luck.

Relevance: A The email pays off to the subject line that it’s a 40% off sale and the best sale of the holiday season.  

Creative: A The creative is festive with an animated gif using sparkling holiday creative, but it’s not distracting from its core sales message. The cases rotate through a bunch of different options to show the breadth of their products, and to capture your attention in a super cute way.

Below the main sale creative, they have three modules that direct you to the correct case for the phone or tablet of your choice.  

CTA: A- There is a 'Shop Now' call-to-action, but it could be a little larger since it’s competing with two different moving creative features in the email.  

2. Bobbi Brown Cosmetics 

 Subject Line:  B    Shop Great Gifts + Pick a Holiday Beauty Set with $50 Order    The subject line is relevant to the creative of the email, but it’s a tad long. They could have gone with Pick a Holiday Beauty Set with $50 Order and conveyed the message just fine. Yes, there are great gifts to shop, but that’s implied with a Black Friday email.    Relevance: A The email starts with showcasing the two gifts that you could choose from if you spend $50. It’s a nice way to entice buyers to purchase. After all, who doesn’t want a free gift?!      Creative: A The creative is on-brand, shows some holiday spirit, and does a fantastic job of showcasing the products. Both the free gift sets as well as the gorgeous gifts below those are styled and crisp to noticeably show the beauty of the packaging and products.  If for some reason, none of the items in the body of the email tickle your fancy, Bobbi Brown does a good job of using their recovery module to keep you engaged. There are four boxes that you can click on for different reasons: Free Shipping and Offers, Talk to An Artist, Free Returns on Foundations, and Automatic Replenishments.    CTA: A  Under each item, they have a clear Call-to-Action. Either ‘Pick Now’ for the free gift sets or ‘Shop Now’ for the gorgeous gifts. 

Subject Line:  B Shop Great Gifts + Pick a Holiday Beauty Set with $50 Order

 The subject line is relevant to the creative of the email, but it’s a tad long. They could have gone with Pick a Holiday Beauty Set with $50 Order and conveyed the message just fine. Yes, there are great gifts to shop, but that’s implied with a Black Friday email.  

Relevance: A The email starts with showcasing the two gifts that you could choose from if you spend $50. It’s a nice way to entice buyers to purchase. After all, who doesn’t want a free gift?!    

Creative: A The creative is on-brand, shows some holiday spirit, and does a fantastic job of showcasing the products. Both the free gift sets as well as the gorgeous gifts below those are styled and crisp to noticeably show the beauty of the packaging and products.

If for some reason, none of the items in the body of the email tickle your fancy, Bobbi Brown does a good job of using their recovery module to keep you engaged. There are four boxes that you can click on for different reasons: Free Shipping and Offers, Talk to An Artist, Free Returns on Foundations, and Automatic Replenishments.  

CTA: A  Under each item, they have a clear Call-to-Action. Either ‘Pick Now’ for the free gift sets or ‘Shop Now’ for the gorgeous gifts. 

3. Old Navy 

   
  
 
  
    
  
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    Subject Line:   B+  you get a deal & you get a deal – For the most part consumers know that a Black Friday email will have a deal in it, but the question is, what kind of deal? Since Old Navy was planning 50% off on almost everything, they should shout that from the rooftops. To be fair, they send A LOT of email, so they may not have for this one because they were changing up their tactics and trying another way to get you to open your email.  Relevance:  A  Old Navy does an amazing job of letting you know that they know you, your purchase habits, and your preferences. At the top of the email, they use my name and even tell me how many reward dollars I have. This makes the consumer feel understood and who doesn’t like when his or her name is used?  Creative:  A  The creative pays off on the subject line because they show how you can get a gift for anyone on your list. It’s very apparent that this is the last day of the deal and that the deal is 50% off most things.  They include the nav bar at the top of the email and the product categories below the bottom of the email, so if you are looking for something specific, you can land on the products you want and start shopping right away.    CTA:  C –  When you click on any of the creative, it drives to the Old Navy site, however Old Navy is missing out on the opportunity to explicitly tell consumers to ‘Shop Now.” Don’t go curl your hair, don’t put the baby down for a nap, shop now is the next step in this process, darn it!  

Subject Line:  B+ you get a deal & you get a deal – For the most part consumers know that a Black Friday email will have a deal in it, but the question is, what kind of deal? Since Old Navy was planning 50% off on almost everything, they should shout that from the rooftops. To be fair, they send A LOT of email, so they may not have for this one because they were changing up their tactics and trying another way to get you to open your email.

Relevance: A Old Navy does an amazing job of letting you know that they know you, your purchase habits, and your preferences. At the top of the email, they use my name and even tell me how many reward dollars I have. This makes the consumer feel understood and who doesn’t like when his or her name is used?

Creative: A The creative pays off on the subject line because they show how you can get a gift for anyone on your list. It’s very apparent that this is the last day of the deal and that the deal is 50% off most things.

They include the nav bar at the top of the email and the product categories below the bottom of the email, so if you are looking for something specific, you can land on the products you want and start shopping right away.  

CTA: C – When you click on any of the creative, it drives to the Old Navy site, however Old Navy is missing out on the opportunity to explicitly tell consumers to ‘Shop Now.” Don’t go curl your hair, don’t put the baby down for a nap, shop now is the next step in this process, darn it!  

Who made the Naughty List? 

1. MAC Cosmetics

   
  
 
  
    
  
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    Subject Line:   C+     M∙A∙C Black Plum Friday – Join in on Black Friday Fun with a New Deep Purple Vamplify. Plus Free Shipping and Samples       Holy Longness!!! I stopped reading at Friday. No need to re-iterate it’s a Black Friday email. And a subject line should never have a 'plus' in there. Trying to do way too much!    Relevance:  C  So points for clearly stating it’s a Black Friday email in the subject line and body copy, but I’m sorry what are we talking about? Is this a holiday email? What product are we pushing here?    Creative:  D  As mentioned above, it’s not very clear what we are doing here. Black Friday is a day with 23972392 emails. You want to tell your customers what deal they are getting, how they can get it, and what products you are talking about. The creative isn’t festive, doesn’t show product, and doesn’t include an offer.  Oh and nice computer font that is an entire block of copy. Most consumers don’t want to spend time figuring out what we’re talking about. And the font choice is so random.  Thanks but no thanks, MAC.  CTA:  A  Probably the only thing that’s clear in this email is its CTA. Kudos for making it prominent and clear. 

Subject Line:  C+  M∙A∙C Black Plum Friday – Join in on Black Friday Fun with a New Deep Purple Vamplify. Plus Free Shipping and Samples Holy Longness!!! I stopped reading at Friday. No need to re-iterate it’s a Black Friday email. And a subject line should never have a 'plus' in there. Trying to do way too much!  

Relevance: C So points for clearly stating it’s a Black Friday email in the subject line and body copy, but I’m sorry what are we talking about? Is this a holiday email? What product are we pushing here?  

Creative: D As mentioned above, it’s not very clear what we are doing here. Black Friday is a day with 23972392 emails. You want to tell your customers what deal they are getting, how they can get it, and what products you are talking about. The creative isn’t festive, doesn’t show product, and doesn’t include an offer.

Oh and nice computer font that is an entire block of copy. Most consumers don’t want to spend time figuring out what we’re talking about. And the font choice is so random.  Thanks but no thanks, MAC.

CTA: A Probably the only thing that’s clear in this email is its CTA. Kudos for making it prominent and clear. 

2. Oriental Trading

   
  
 
  
    
  
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    Subject Line:   B     Black Friday Deals End Tonight + Get Free Shipping on ANY Order & $10 off        This subject line isn’t the worst, but it’s best to not include two ideas in the same subject line. One would suffice.    Relevance:  B-  Unsure why Black Friday is the second module and not the first, but they do discuss the deal and include holidayish imagery. I’ve seen worse.    Creative:  C-  I’m DIZZY! Not sure what to look at and it’s making my head hurt. The branding is all over the place. Sometimes black and white, sometimes holiday, random price call outs over certain products. Plus they are using a recover module to talk about their blog and gift cards, but instead of it recovering the consumer, it’s just adding even more conflicting messaging to the email. What’s the opposite of clean branding….it’s a dirty, dirty email.     CTA:  B  Modules 1, 2, & 4 use ‘Shop Now,’ while the individual product offerings just have the name with an arrow. People are smart enough to know they can click the arrow. The question is, will they wade through all the clutter to actually click on what they want?   

Subject Line:  B Black Friday Deals End Tonight + Get Free Shipping on ANY Order & $10 off

 This subject line isn’t the worst, but it’s best to not include two ideas in the same subject line. One would suffice.  

Relevance: B- Unsure why Black Friday is the second module and not the first, but they do discuss the deal and include holidayish imagery. I’ve seen worse.  

Creative: C- I’m DIZZY! Not sure what to look at and it’s making my head hurt. The branding is all over the place. Sometimes black and white, sometimes holiday, random price call outs over certain products. Plus they are using a recover module to talk about their blog and gift cards, but instead of it recovering the consumer, it’s just adding even more conflicting messaging to the email. What’s the opposite of clean branding….it’s a dirty, dirty email.   

CTA: B Modules 1, 2, & 4 use ‘Shop Now,’ while the individual product offerings just have the name with an arrow. People are smart enough to know they can click the arrow. The question is, will they wade through all the clutter to actually click on what they want?   

3. Marc Jacobs

   
  
 
  
    
  
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    Subject Line:   A -    Email Exclusive – The Black Friday Sale    – Clear, Concise, Good.    Relevance:  B  They get the award for didn’t try hard enough. It’s fine, but it could be more holiday-y, a better deal, just so much more could have been done.     Creative:  C  See above. You have gorgeous clothes and accessories…FLAUNT THEM!  Make an animated gif like you care about your email list and want to wow them. It’s just.so.boring.  CTA:  A-  Yep it’s there. Points for that. Now excuse me while I nod off… 

Subject Line:  A - Email Exclusive – The Black Friday Sale  – Clear, Concise, Good.  

Relevance: B They get the award for didn’t try hard enough. It’s fine, but it could be more holiday-y, a better deal, just so much more could have been done.   

Creative: C See above. You have gorgeous clothes and accessories…FLAUNT THEM!  Make an animated gif like you care about your email list and want to wow them. It’s just.so.boring.

CTA: A- Yep it’s there. Points for that. Now excuse me while I nod off… 

Overall, there were a lot of great emails. So many cute animated gifs and so many great deals! Consumer expectations are that big brands will continue to 'wow', so we’ll see if they get the message by our Spring Email Review! 

5 Direct Mail Necessities to Remember

1.     Make it Stand Out!

In the Tony Roni mailer we created and sent (pictured below), we have two very eye catching components: 1. The headline: We Like Big Crusts and We Can Not Lie. And now you have the song “I Like Big Butts and I Can Not Lie” in your head. Since the Tony Roni brand lends itself to it, we had some fun with the headline so people not only get a chuckle, but more importantly, remember the piece.

The other thing is that we decided to send an oversized postcard that is 9.5 X 13, which is significantly bigger than your average piece of paper. This way no one will miss it! Smaller postcards can get lost with the rest of the mail and thrown away without a second thought. This big honking postcard will get noticed, if nothing else. The other side of the postcard had compelling coupons so recipients could take an action based off of the card. 

Tony Roni Oversized Mailer

2.     Use a Code to Track it!

In the mailer (pictured below) for Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar, we used an affixed card with a code on it. Customers who redeemed the card would receive half off a second entrée. This card was collected by servers to track the outcome.  The code on the card can be used in the ordering system to track the meals that use the code. This part of the equation is crucial, so we know what the return on the mailer is. If we don’t have this, it would be difficult to know whether the campaign was successful, and whether we should keep using it in the marketing strategy.  

Harvest Mailer and Card

3.     Let Visuals Tell the Story!

Although the Eventions Productions piece we’re showing here was not used as direct mail, it still does a good job of showcasing that you don’t need a lot of copy to get your message across, especially if you have a very visual business. Since Eventions does high-end event lighting and sound, they can let their stunning work speak for itself, and use some supporting copy to drive home the message. Here you can see the inside of the tri-fold we created. 

Eventions Productions Sales Piece