Friday, July 18, 2014
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Yes, Facebook is coming up with new and improved design and features for right hand column ads. Facebook has realized the importance of quality and not the quantity after a long time. You might have noticed at least half a dozen of ads on right side while flipping through your news feed. Well this is gonna change very soon.
Let’s connect on Twitter and Linkedin
After the new update right hand side column will look something like this! The ad size has been increased by almost 3 times. The new dimensions is 254*133 pixels.
How this is going to affect the Digital marketers
As the size has increased by almost 3 times, FB will not be able to accommodate more than 3 ads on right hand side (considering the user experience on Facebook) so this will led to less number of inventory for Facebook which in turn will affect their overall revenue numbers. In order to accommodate this change the CPM costs will go up significantly. Even CPC will increase marginally. So, all marketers will have to spend more money to reach their target audience as compared to current rates.
Will it have any effect on Engagement?
A BIG YES! The engagement numbers will definitely increase as compared to current stamp ads. The big size image will make a significant impact on user’s mind while surfing through his/her timeline. The larger size image will make it difficult for user to ignore it! So, the engagement numbers will increase along with the cost. Facebook has found significant improvement in engagement numbers during beta testing.
Do share your inputs on the revised right hand side ads or the Stamp ads!
Let’s connect on Twitter and Linkedin
Friday, April 18, 2014
Thursday, March 20, 2014
Well, it’s been a long time since Facebook has made significant changes in the “Page”. This time Facebook is planning to remove most of the clutter and help admin and users with the quick navigation options to most of the content they are looking for! You might not have received the updated Page as Facebook has recently started rolling out the changes (from 10th March)
Let’s take a quick look on what’s there in the new page layout. What is new and what is missing :)
1. Page timeline will look like your personal timeline
You no longer need to nod left and right to check the content of your page, you will see them on the right hand side similar to your personal timeline. This will save your time and make your timeline less cluttered.
2. Showcase your Business info more prominently
Since the content has been moved to right hand side, the left hand column will be used for displaying your business information. You will have option to display operating hours, about company, website URL, Phone no as well as photos and videos.
3. Easy access to Admin tools
Earlier there was an option to access the admin tools from a push down menu and I personally feel that it was very annoying, now you’ll get admin navigation at the top that includes things like Page, Activity (notifications), Insights, Settings, Build Audience and Help. This navigation will exist no matter where you are within the page.
This is my personal favourite; Page admin will get a quick sneak peak of their page activity in last one week. This will give info such as new likes, ads running, unread messages, post reach and page notifications.
Did you fail to notice the custom tabs? No you didn’t! Actually Facebook has buried the custom tabs under “more” section. You (admin) and your audience will no longer be able to see the prominent custom tabs. This is a part of Facebook’s action of making the pages clutter free but it might not affect the way you get engagement on your page if you are not using lot of apps and tabs frequently.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
The title of this blog is little catchy, right? Trust me, you will find the content equally interesting. We will discuss some secretive features about linkedin that many of us are not aware of. These features can help you to scale your linkedin profile to an altogether new level if used effectively. Now without wasting much time let’s start with the feature number 1 – Vanity URL
1. Vanity URL
First of all let me help you people with what is vanity URL, if you’ll search Wikipedia you’ll find it as a URL or domain name, created to point to something to which it is related and indicated in the name of the URL, very similar to a personalized URL. But why do we need to have a vanity URL? Well, this will help people to search quickly about you on search engines like Google, if you have used your name properly on this URL you will rank higher!
Now try and check out your vanity URL for LinkedIn. You might not find it as catchy as mine right now! But you can make it even better. Just go to edit profile and click on edit as below.
After clicking on edit you’ll be redirected on a separate page to change your URL
2. Be Secretive – it’s not Facebook
How many times have you seen some trivial updates (10-20) about your friend’s profile on your LinkedIn newsfeed simultaneously? I have done this hell lot of times and I know how irritating this can be to your contacts sometimes. Let’s not use it like facebook where in you beam about each of your activities to your friends, this is LinkedIn and you have got some serious professional connections in here. So let’s behave accordingly. I am not saying that you don’t make frequent changes to your profile, just be secretive while you do it! Here’s how :)
Go to Privacy & Settings and then click on Turn on/off your activity broadcast. Once you have made those trivial changes to your profile just turn this on again!
3. Use your endorsements properly!
How many times have you received endorsements for skills for which you don’t wanna be known for? You might have done your summer project in Marketing Research or Recruitment but your current profile is in HR, Marketing or Sales and you want to portray yourself for those skills. By default LinkedIn will ask others to endorse you for skills for which you have highest numbers of endorsements in descending order. So, how to fix this? Go to edit profile, scroll down to Endorsements and Skills section and click on Edit. You will see below screen.
Now simply remove the skills for which you don’t want others to endorse you (even if you have very good number of endorsements for it). Also change the sequence of the remaining skills by dragging them in the order you want. Now your connections will be able to endorse you only for these skills.
4. Save on Premium account fees
Normally people use premium account to connect with the premium people or the connections which are not their 1st or 2nd degree connection as you can not send a connection request to them. Don’t worry, just make a long list of those premium people, try the LinkedIn premium account for 1 month which is absolutely free, connect with the people of your choice and deactivate it by the end of the month. You won’t be charged even a single penny! J
5. Use Mr. India Feature!
Now LinkedIn has this typical ‘Orkut’ feature which tells people about recent visitors/your visit to their profile and this is something that you dont’ want. So how not to get noticed
Now this feature comes with a catch, if you want to get unnoticed, you will also not get information about people viewing your profile. So use this feature when you want to see other’s profile and then again deactivate it so that you don’t miss out on your updates! J
6. Reorder your Content
LinkedIn has this beautiful feature of altering the order of your content in your profile. You can highlight what is best about your profile on first position followed by less important once. This is pretty simple. Just go to edit profile and use the following icon to move it upward or down.
Welcome to the world of LinkedIn, I am sure you would have liked this article, Do share your feedback (Good/Bad/Ugly) in the comments section.
Linkedin & Twitter
Linkedin & Twitter
Monday, March 3, 2014
· 560 million active users
· micro blogging social site that limits posts to 140 characters
· largest penetration in the US but spreading slowly and steadily
· 5,700 tweets happen every second
· Social sharing site that has 1 billion users worldwide
· Largest opportunities communicating with consumers in a non-obtrusive way
· Users share 2.5 billion pieces of content each day
· 400 million active users
· Social network built by Google that allows for brands and users to build circles
· Not as many brands active but the ones that are tend to be a good fit with a great following
· Growing rapidly with 925,000 new users every day
· 240 Million active users
· Business oriented social networking site
· Brands that are participating are corporate brands giving potential and current associates a place to
network and connect
· 79% of users are 35 or older
· 79% of users are 35 or older
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
The number of unique visitors who were served at least one impression of your content via Newsfeed, Ticker, Timeline or an Advertisement irrespective of the fact whether user has seen your content or not! (Confused? Keep reading)
The number of unique visitors who were served at least one impression of your content via Newsfeed, or Ticker irrespective of the fact whether user has seen your content or not! This matrix doesn’t include the paid ads.
The number of unique visitors who were served at least one impression of your content via Facebook ads (all types of FB ads are included), irrespective of the fact whether user has seen your content or not!
The total number of times your content was shown via Newsfeed, Ticker, Timeline or an Advertisement irrespective of the fact whether user has seen your content or not! A unique visitor may see the content more than once.
So if 100 users have seen the content 3 times each, the number of unique visitors will be 100 and total impressions will be 300.
The total number of times your content was shown via Newsfeed, or Ticker irrespective of the fact whether user has seen your content or not! This matrix doesn’t include the paid ads. A unique visitor may see the content more than once.
So if 100 users have seen the content 3 times each, the number of unique visitors will be 100 and total impressions will be 300. But if 200 impressions were generated out of paid ads then the total organic impressions will be 100.
The total number of times your content was shown via Facebook ads (all types of FB ads are included), irrespective of the fact whether user has seen your content or not!
The number of times your Facebook tabs was viewed by a User. Facebook tabs are the custom tabs that can be added to your Page. Read this for more info.
A breakdown of number of times your content was served to users. If 100 users were served a total of 300 impressions then the frequency distribution will be 3.
The number of times a unique user clicks anywhere on the content irrespective of the fact whether that action resulted into a story or not.
A story is created when an action taken by a user results in the appearance of that post in his/her friend’s timeline, ticker etc.
For example if user A clicks (this could be a like, comment, share) on a post which is generated by a company named Flipkart. Now if this action appears in the newsfeed or ticker of his friend B then it’s known as a story.
The percentage of unique users who Liked, Commented or Shared your content post an impression is served to them.
For example if the total impression of a post is 500 (unique users), the number of users who have clicked, liked, commented or shared your post is 100 then the engagement rate will be 100/500 * 100 = 20% Engagement rate.
Talking about this:
You must have noticed this on a Brand page. It is the number of unique users who generated story about your content.
Daily like sources:
The exact source from where user likes your page. It could be a brand page, like plug-in on website, ads, Recommended pages etc.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Facebook page is the most widely used feature of Facebook by Brands, Celebrities, organizations etc as their second home on web (first is obviously their own website!). It allows them to stay connected with their fans by providing the latest updates about their products and services.
One of the great features of having Facebook page is custom tabs – this allows you to load your own website/WebPages in the Facebook context. So the user doesn’t have to move away from the Facebook to know your offerings! There are many Applications and website which provides feature to create tabs, but it comes with lot of constraints and cost factor.
In this blog we will look at how to create the custom tabs. This is very simple – just follow the below mentioned steps and you will have your custom tab ready in just 5 minutes!
Visit the URL www.developers.Facebook.com/apps
Click on the Apps and then click on Create a New App.
- Enter the Display name of your APP – this name will be visible to your visitors.
- Add a unique Name space of your tab – Facebook uses this to identify your tab.
- Choose the category of your tab.
Click on the Settings link on left hand side navigation and then click on the “Add Platform” link.
On clicking the “Add Platform link you will see a below Pop up on your screen. Now click on the “page tab” icon – one with the flag.
On clicking the page tab, you will notice the below screen. Fill in your details which are
- Page tab name – name of your tab
- Page tab URL – URL of the webpage/image that you want to host on Facebook. Make sure that your page width doesn't exceed 810 Pixel in width.
- Secure Page tab URL – just use HTTPS in the URL so that people browsing Facebook securely can also view your tab
- Page tab edit URL – this is optional. It is used if admin wants to edit the webpage.
- Page tab image (tab logo) – 111*74 pixels
Step 5 – The most important step
Once you have finished the formalities of informing Facebook about your tab, now it’s time to fit the tab in relevant Page. For this use below URL
www.Facebook.com/dialog/pagetab?app_id="your app id"&next="your pagetabURL"
Use your App id from the step no 3 (Screenshot) and your web page URL (the one that you have entered in step no 4. Now Copy paste this URL in your browser and hit Enter. You will notice below screen in your browser.
Select the page you want to fit the tab with. That’s it! Your own custom tab is ready.
Wasn’t it very easy?? :)
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Well, we have always been cribbing about the facebook for not giving us an option to add a CTA (call to action) button in the page posts. Finally the facebook has heard our need/criticism and has come up with this interesting feature. However as of now this feature is available only with Facebook Power Editor. The most interesting thing in here is that this can be used in your paid ads as well as the organic posts of your page. Let’s take a look at how to use them with organic posts.
How to add call to action button in facebook?
Open the power editor. Select the facebook page for which you want to create a post and then click on create post link.
Enter the details in the pop up window. You can add call to action button for posts containing links, photos, videos, offers etc in short for all kind of posts that you feed on your page.
- URL - Enter the link URL
- Post text – Brief information about your post
- Call to action – You have multiple options to choose from. You can either select know more, Shop now, Book Now, Download, Sign Up
- Link headline – Use the text that best describes your link
- Display link – This line will appear below your link. One line description about your link
- Description – Here you can describe your link in more detail. Use it effectively so that readers click on your CTA
- Image – Upload a relevant image that will best describe your link.
Once you have filled in all the details, hit create post. That’s it! You can also schedule your post from power editor or see a preview of your post.
This is how your post will appear in the news feed.
|Post in News Feed|
Follow me on Twitter @mahinindia
Monday, January 27, 2014
Recently Google has introduced three kinds of tabs in Gmail. These are Primary, Social & Promotions. The Primary tab contains all the important communications (Google fetches this data from your email history), Social tab contains all the mails which come from social media platforms and Promotions tab contains all the mails that you receive regarding product promotions, discounts, offers etc.
These tabs are a great feature from the user's perspective as it helps us to move from a cluttered inbox to a neat & clean interface. Even if we are receiving promotional emails in primary tabs, we can simply drag and drop such mails in promotional tab and Gmail will make sure that emails from this sender are landed in to promotional tabs from next time. Simple!
But, this feature has created a lot of problems for email marketers. Earlier all the mails were delivered in to the inbox which resulted into more open rates and hence more click through rates. But now all such mails are shifted to promotional tab so users might not even notice your email! So, how to overcome this situation? Following are the few ways which were tried and tested by me and have given me good results post this policy change.
1. Inform your customer about Gmail’s policy change
Since you have been rolling out email campaigns to your customers at regular intervals, it’s a good idea to inform them about this policy change, the best way is to send them an email describing how to move your email from promotion tab to primary tab by using the drag & drop feature of gmail. This action will make sure that all your future communications lands in customer’s primary tab and not the promotion tab.
2. Try to use new Domain and IP address
If it’s possible then you must change your IP address and the domain name from which all the campaigns are blasted as Gmail has already figured out that most of your communication is promotional based and hence your emails are being put into promotional tab. For example, if Flipcart is sending the emails from abc@FlipcartPromotions.com , they might change it to xyz@FlipcartCommunication.com this might help them to put their emails in primary tabs for some time. If all other factors are also put into action this can result in great returns.
3. Minimize the use of words like “free”, “offer”, “discount”, “hurry”
Gmail uses an algorithm to filter the promotions mail which includes Sender’s reputation score, SPF verification and also the Content. So if you are using too much of texts like buy now, get it free, last 2 days, huge discounts etc... Then Gmail might put that under promotions tab. So as a best practice minimize the usage of such words which might warn Gmail about the offer. However the email marketer should still be wary while using such words in subject line.
4. Use pictures rather than texts
What if you can’t reduce the usage of offer texts? Well then best way is to use the image and display an offer in these images! We don’t have to worry about whether user will see the content or not as Gmail has already rolled out an update in which images are loaded automatically in user’s inbox!
We discussed about how various initiatives can help us to overcome the problems caused by new Gmail tabs but if we try to look more closely then we will realize that this is a good feature even for marketers as well as users. Now users know that all the promotional mails are in one tab so they know where to look for offers and discounts! Even if they plan to purchase something later they will surely tinker a little with this tab to find the best offer from the service providers.
Thursday, January 9, 2014
First of all, I couldn’t believe that I would be writing my second blog so soon. Believe me, I have tried this couple of times in the past and all I could do was write one blog and forget it for next one year. Let’s see how long am I gonna continue with this one. J
Now back to the topic, today we will talk about 5 common mistakes that an email marketer makes while rolling out the email campaigns. We will not go into the details about content part as it will be a different discussion altogether. (But we will cover that in my upcoming blogs!) We will talk about simple but important parameters that should be considered while sending out a campaign. We will also look at the email campaigns of companies like Bookmyshow, Inox, National geographic, ICICI bank and ICICI Lombard. So let’s get started! Point number 1 is...
1.Use of Proper links in CTA (Call-to-Action)
When we send an email to our prospects, we expect them to take certain action; it could be filling up a lead/enquiry form, sharing our email on social media platforms, to book a ticket or something else. Now in order to make our customer take these actions we must help them to navigate with proper links. For example if we want our customer to fill up a lead form then we must have a link saying “enquire now” or “know more”. When a user clicks on that particular link he/she should be redirected to a proper landing page where in they can fill up the details like name, contact number, city etc... we should avoid using generic links like our website’s homepage!
Let’s try to understand this with the help of a live example from entertainment industry. Since I am a movie buff, I have subscribed myself to the newsletters of the two giants in online ticketing industry – Bookmyshow and Inox. First of all let me show you what I received from Inox.
This is a simple mailer informing me about the upcoming movies. For Inox, the desirable action from customer/me would be to book the tickets but when I tried to click on the image of “Sholay” poster I landed on the Inox homepage which is slightly complex and I had to find my way to book the ticket for “Sholay” by going through various links (approx 10).
Now let’s see how bookmyshow is doing this. I received following email from them,
Quite similar to what Inox had sent but, when I clicked on the image of “sholay” I landed directly on the show timings page! All I had to do was to select the show and book the ticket. So bookmyshow helped me to reduce my set of steps from approx 10 to 5, I still booked the show in Inox theatre as they have got awesome sound quality but I used bookmyshow’s platform!
One more point to be noted in here is that Inox is not doing something wrong (I mean you can book the tickets from their homepage) but the user experience is much simpler in bookmyshow case.
2.Proper Identity of sender –Domain name
Whenever we receive an email, we expect that sender of the email is legitimate. We don’t want some spammer to send us any promotional campaigns or we would not like to get trapped in some spoofing activity. Now how do we make sure that sender is genuine? This can be done by checking the domain name of the sender. Let’s try to understand this with the help of an example. I had received the following email from the national geographic.
Now there is nothing wrong with the content but when I tried to find the sender of the emailer, it was some random third party (marked in red box). My first action was to unsubscribe myself from this list. I don’t have any problem if National Geographic is sending me emails but I do have problem with such random third parties who are completely alien to me. This could have been corrected while sending the campaign by altering the sender’s name and identity. So even though content was right it sends a wrong impression in customer’s mind that companies like National geography is using such irrelevant vendors to roll out their campaigns.
3.SPF and DKIM entry
As we discussed in my last blog that most of the deliverability issues are caused by incorrect or missing SPF and DKIM entry. Each and every email marketer must take this in to consideration before rolling out any of the campaigns.
4.Proper sender’s (reply to) email id
There are many occasions where in we receive an email from a company about some offers & services and we have some doubts about it. So best practice would be to directly reply on that email id (I mean that’s exactly what we do when we receive an email from someone!). But still brands like ICICI are not doing this properly. For example I received the following email from the ICICI bank.
I was interested in the content but I had few queries so I thought to directly reply on that email. When I clicked on reply button, I saw this!
Now who the hell is this guy and why the hell is he sending me such emails? Later I had to visit their website, called customer executive and it took me a while to clarify my doubts but had a bad email experience. So to avoid confusion and facilitate better customer service an email marketer must use valid and proper reply to email address.
5.Sender’s IP Score/Reputation – this is BIG!
IP (Internet Protocol) is an identifier for a computer or device on a network. When an email marketer rolls out the campaign they send it from some specific set of IP addresses which works as their identity in Internet space. All the ESP (Email service providers) and ISPs (Internet Service Providers) monitors the activity of various IPs all the time and basis which they score them.
So it’s very important to monitor the score and reputation of your IPs. If your score is below 75 (out of 100) your emails might get flagged as spam. There are many factors which are considered while measuring the reputation. Few of the important ones are
- SPF and DKIM verification
- Email volumes
- Frequency at which emails are sent
- Spam reports by users and others
Let’s quickly look at the IP reputation and score of ICICI Lombard.
Now if you will look closely, the first three IPS are safe in terms of SPF verification but rest all are under the scanner. Also the score of three of its IP (marked in RED) is below 20! So, all the emails that are being sent from this IPs will definitely land in junk folder. An email marketer must monitor this scores on a regular interval else we might end up sending a successful campaign but we may not get the desired results.
Do share your feedback! We will talk about the content part for email marketing in my next blog. Till then take care and happy reading!
Follow me on Twitter @mahinindia
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
“Even a Billion Dollar scheme is of no use if your email doesn’t land up in the prospect’s inbox”
Yes, that’s true! No matter how effectively we have strategized the offer, no matter how effective is our creativity and content, it holds no stand if we don’t cross the barrier of various filters that are being placed by the ESPs (Email service providers) and the ISPs (Internet service providers). In this blog we will take a closer look at how an email travels from the sender to receiver’s inbox.
What is Deliverability in email marketing?
In simple terms, deliverability means the successful reach/landing/delivery of your email in customer’s inbox. The point or word to be noted in here is “inbox”, the email should get delivered in the inbox and not the spam or junk folder as nobody cares or reads an email that lands up in spam folders (Only ESP monitors it and deletes the content at regular intervals from junk folders).
How an email travels on Internet?
As soon as user hits the submit button, the email is sent from the sender’s inbox via SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol). This protocol is responsible for the sending part and the receiving part is managed by IMAP or POP3.
ESPs check for SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (Domain Key Indentified Mail). SPF is responsible to prevent email spoofing & Spam by verifying the IP address of the sender. SPF allows administrators to specify which hosts are allowed to send mail from a given domain by creating a specific SPF record (or TXT record) in the Domain Name System (DNS).
For example, if Flipkart is sending an email via firstname.lastname@example.org then Flipkart needs to have SPF verification code embedded on www.flipkartpromotions.com if the SPF code is absent then ESPs may flag an alert for emails originating from this domain as a spam. DKIM is similar verification process for Domains.
Once the ESPs validate the SPF and DKIM of an email, it gets delivered safely in to the inbox of the recipient. If the email fails on this verification then it might land up in the Junk or Spam folder.
How to check the SPF and DKIM in an Email?
Click on the “Show original” link in your Gmail inbox.
|SPF and DKIM Check - 1|
Search for Received – SPF: pass and dkim=pass.
|SPF and DKIM Check - 2|
If both of the above records are present then you have no reason to worry about the deliverability issues from technical perspective; however there are other issues/concerns which an email marketer faces. We will discuss about them in my next blog. Till then take care and happy new year!