We had a crazy week at DigitalDay. It began with a call from an agency partner and it played out like this:
Monday, January 25, 2010
9:38 a.m. — “Mark, this is Stuart . . . can you meet with one of our clients this afternoon at 1:30? They need an online marketing plan to support upcoming store openings in February and March. ”
1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. – Meeting in Beachwood: introductions, background, assignment: “Can you have a plan to us by Wednesday for a launch in two weeks?”
4:17 p.m. – Calls go out for online media quotes.
7 p.m. to 11 p.m. — First draft of online marketing plan sketched out.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
5 a.m. to 8 a.m. – Refinements to marketing plan, start sitemap and wireframes.
10:38 a.m. – “Mark, this is Stu. Do you have that plan done?”
3:00 p.m. – “Is it ready to present now?”
5:15 p.m. – “There’s been a change. We need to launch Friday, in four days.”
5:16 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. – Draft new plan.
Wednesday, January 27
4 a.m. to 8 a.m. – Finish new plan.
9:30 a.m. – Present plan. “This is great . . . we’ll call you right back.”
9:45 a.m. – “Can you present to the CEO in Beachwood at 2 p.m.?”
2 p.m. to 4 p.m. – Presentation, questions, explanations . . . approval.
4:15 p.m. – Text message to agency: “It’s a GO.”
4:16 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. – Wireframes, copywriting, media plans, design, begin programming, purchase vanity URL, partition server.
Thursday, January 28
7 a.m. – snowstorm
8:00 a.m. to 11 a.m. – Finalize presentation of initial banner ads and microsite designs, firmer media plans, programming continues
11:00 – Client unavailable, stuck in snowstorm, time’s ticking . . .
12:45 p.m. to 1:30 – Presentation of creative, media plan and feedback
4:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. – Final teleconference presentation to CEO. Approved!
4:46 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. Friday morn – Wireframe all assets, research SEO keywords, design all templates, build all flash banners (three sizes), break out HTML templates, program coupon and data capture, write Google AdWords, design emails, craft meta tags, program send to friend, write Twitter Tweet and Facebook wall post, renegotiate media.
Friday, January 29, 2010
4:35 a.m. – Wellness Promotional Microsite for Crocker Park in Westlake, OH goes live.
8:30 a.m. — Flash Animated Banner Ads to Cleveland.com
9:00 a.m. — Turn on Google Adwords
9:45 a.m. – Banner ads begin running. Program launched.
This was a herculean effort by everyone at DigitalDay. Not only did we pull off an impressive display of service and creativity, we supported all of our current clients without missing a beat.
And we had fun doing it.
apologies for the funky formatting of this blog post
We’ve been talking a lot recently about ways to improve the emails we do for our clients. In striving to create the best work we’re capable of, we’ve been doing a lot of research in all aspects of email marketing.
One of the most overlooked parts of the email is the subject line. It has to be compelling enough to get someone to read the email, succinct enough to display properly in the recipient’s email client, and worded in such a way as to communicate an offer or incentive without sounding overly cheesy.
Here are some of the best tips I found for writing Best Practice B2C Email Marketing Subject Lines.
Direct Marketing News recommends keeping subject lines at 35 characters or less–subject lines that are much longer may be cut off in certain email clients on screens with smaller resolutions. Keeping a subject line short and to-the-point helps keep emails easily scannable.
(A quick check of my own email client shows that emails are cut off after about 50 characters–but I have a pretty high-res widescreen monitor). It’s important to aim for the lowest common denominator so as not to exclude anybody from your message.
Gail Goodman at Entrepreneur.com advocates that marketers consider “WIIFM” (What’s In It For Me?) from the recipient’s point of view to ensure the subject lines of B2C emails are enticing enough to click. Is there a special offer or promotion that will peak a consumer’s interest? Think about how your audience will react to your subject line. You want to dangle the carrot without sounding spammy.
Don’t Repeat Yourself
This article suggests not repeating the sender name in the subject line–your reader has already seen it in the “From” field. With the limited amount of character space, it’s best to keep the subject line meaningful and direct without namedropping in the subject line.
Use Your Consumer Data for Good
DJ Waldo writes on the Email Experience Council’s blog about the power of personalization. He received a B2C email with his (previous) location in the subject line and felt inclined to open the email. Depending on the consumer data available, there’s a lot of personalization that can be done to increase open rates.
Make It Your Own
Through testing and tracking, you can test and optimize what works best for your clients’ recipient lists. Find out what calls to action work best. Are they coupons? Contests or promotions? New product announcements? It’ll vary from client to client. Use your best judgment and track the open rates and click-through rates so you can improve further in the future. Your clients will thank you.
For years now, typography on the web has been pretty simple – unless you could use images for text, or something like sIFR, you were stuck with a very basic font stack: typically Arial, Georgia, Times and Verdana being the most prevalent. Countless great designs have been made with those basic tools, but designers have wanted to broaden their typographic resources for quite some time.
Currently, it’s an exciting time for type on the web. Tools like sIFR are still around, there’s also JS based techniques like Cufon, as well as commercial solutions like Typekit, and even @font-face embedding for modern browsers. Each of these has their positives and negatives, but a simple compromise solution comes in the form of simply expanding the basic font stack.
Quite simply, this is the idea that instead of just choosing fonts that have 100% compatibility (which limits you to the common choices), specifying fonts that are very common (I’ve chosen ~80% or higher, though it’s up to your discretion), and then using traditional fonts as backups if a user doesn’t have the font in question. This is incredibly easy to code, degrades very gracefully, and doesn’t require a download or installation of anything for the user.
You have to be willing to accept that less than 100% of people will see your design with perfect accuracy to the original, but the payoff is that for 8 out of 10 it will be more interesting and offer a richer typographic experience, whereas 2 out of 10 will simply see standard fonts.
There are good lists of fonts available here (Windows) and here (Mac). Keep in mind you can use these together, specifying first a Windows-prevalent font, then a Mac version, then the more standard type after that. One of the most exciting choices is Arial Narrow (~89% on both platforms) which finally gives you an option for condensed type in HTML text. I’m also interested to see Franklin Gothic Medium (a classic in the design world, 97% on Windows), and Palatino/Palatino Linotype (gorgeous serif face, 97% Windows, 80% Mac).
With more than 10 years of dedicated online marketing experience, DigitalDay has become one of the nation’s leading providers of Email Marketing Services. Through our relationship with Silverpop, we’ve easily delivered 10’s of millions of opt-in email messages on behalf of our clients — all designed to drive traffic back to their websites, promotions or microsites.
To help understand the full range of our email service offering, you can download the PDF DigitalDay Email Marketing Services Jan 2010 which includes:
Custom Branded Design & Creative Services
Powerful Delivery & Best-In-Class Technology
Personalized Landing Pages & Microsites
Customer Data & Web Analytics Integration
Email Reporting and Marketing Analytics
Survey Creation Tools
Email List/Data Management
Transactional Emails & Messaging