Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Internet Direct Response Marketing

[Tags: , ]. Internet Direct Response Marketing is the subject of the latest Larry Chase email newsletter, with a raft of useful links. Here they are:

A/B Split Testing Tools


This company offers software that allows Web marketers to test and optimize Web pages on the fly, without altering any of their site code, in order to improve conversion rates. It supports A/B, split and multivariate testing as well as behavioral targeting campaigns. While complete details are not available at the site, it appears that SiteSpect will create an .asp version of your site. You can then use their Web-based tools to tinker and experiment with offers, design and placement of landing pages, checkout processes, search and registration - all of those prime conversion spots - without actually having to modify your website. This is a step forward for conversion rate testing software, as at the time of writing most solutions required marketers to focus on specific elements of a Web page (such as the offer or the placement of the call-to-action button) and test them one by one or else alter the underlying structure of the website.

Google AdWords CTR Validity Tool

Vertster is a hosted suite of Web-based site testing and optimization tools. They offer this complimentary tool which will tell you whether or not you have enough campaign history to eliminate a lower performing ad. Simply enter your AdWords performance metrics, and you will receive a confidence interval figure which will give you an idea of how safe it is to eliminate the lower performing ad. While revisiting this site we were also pleased to discover a blog devoted to split testing and website optimization which is well worth checking out.

Public Relations Direct Response Tool


PRWeb considers itself to be a Web 2.0-enabled press release newswire, which is a buzzword meaning that a company incorporates all the latest Internet and Web technologies and techniques into its service. A case in point is their integration of press release TrackBacks within any release distributed through the service. A Trackback is a mechanism used in a blog which indicates that a particular word or phrase is being written about on other blogs as well - ie., there is a conversation occuring around it on the Web and all the discussions link not only to one another but also back to the original document that sparked the conversation. In addition, because of this integration of TrackBack technology, when a blog or other site links to a press release hosted on PRWeb.com, a link to the post, along with an excerpt, appears below the press release so that readers - and the company that posted the press release - can see what the blogosphere is saying about the news.

Direct Mail Marketing Tools


At this site you can sit down at your computer and create a direct mail piece that will be sent to a real-world mailing list, all without ever leaving your keyboard. Start by selecting the type of piece that you want to mail - postcard, letter and so on - and price it in seconds based on the size of your list and details of the mailing piece. The cost of postage is included in this nifty little calculator, of course. You can then design your piece online with the available Word-based design templates, or upload previously designed creative. You can upload your own mailing list or purchase one along the way through the online services of several third-party vendors. And then you proof your piece online, submit a credit card for payment and they'll do all the licking and sorting for you and deliver it right to the USPS. There are lots of tutorials here as well if you get stuck along the way.

Mobile Direct Marketing


Enpocket delivers mobile marketing strategies to more 400 brands across Europe, Asia and the US.

Direct Marketing Blogs

David Garfinkel's World Copywriting Blog

Jim Edwards "I Gotta Tell You" Blog

Direct Marketing Blogs




[Tags: , , ]. There's a well informed overview of the use of blogging for PR in the Feb 2 edition of New Media Age. And even better: the writer of the case study has published that part online, as well as an outline of the process he went through in writing it - particularly useful as New Media Age required subscription to access its content. Kudos to Graham Holliday, then, who has in the process made his work blogger-friendly...

Here's a quote:
"In October 2005, Budget raised the blogvertising bar. It launched an online/offline treasure hunt called Up Your Budget. Participants had to follow daily video clues posted to the Up Your Budget blog and find sixteen stickers placed in public locations throughout sixteen US cities. The total prize money on offer was US$160,000.

Using treasure hunts for advertising is nothing new. What is new is that this campaign was advertised solely on blogs and relied partly on spreading virally from blog to blog as bloggers joined in the treasure hunt and wrote about it on their own blogs.

...There was no traditional press release. The campaign was first reported on by the AdRants and MarketingVox blogs. US$22,000 was spent for advertising on 177 blogs and generated 50% of the campaign's traffic at a cost of US$0.25 per click.

“The cost of the campaign - including prizes and ad spend – was less than a 30-second spot on a highly rated primetime TV show,” says Budget Car Rental’s Executive Vice President of Marketing, Scott Deaver.

This low cost, blog-based campaign garnered some impressive results. Bloggers wrote hundreds of posts about the campaign resulting in as many as 20,000 unique visitors an hour to the Budget blog and well over 1 million unique visitors over the four weeks of the campaign. “Several thousand people registered to play the game and to have author privileges on the Treasure Hunter blog. This is the first commercial blog project with so many people contributing content,” says Ochman. Ochman tweaked the blog and the advertising as the campaign progressed. “The beauty of blog advertising is that you can test, change and learn in an hour.” In relation to other blog advertising campaigns Budget’s was also deemed a success. “UpyourBudget was in the upper quartile of campaigns in terms of clickthroughs,” says Henry Copeland, founder of BlogAds.com."

Monday, February 27, 2006

Eight PR moblog hacks…

[Tags: , , ]. Forgive me for linking twice to the same site in the same day, but I've only just discovered the excellent PR Blogger. This post gives some great ideas for using moblogging in campaigning and PR.

Why researchers should use Firefox

As usual I'm being lazy and pointing you to a posting on one of my other blogs... Online Journalism Blog: Why journalists should use Firefox

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Web digest for marketers

[Tags: , ]. Thanks to the Online Marketing Blog for introducing me to the Web Digest for Marketers, an email newsletter "that delivers short reviews of marketing-oriented Web sites right to your In box. Topics include Direct Marketing, Search Engine Marketing, Email Marketing, Copywriting, and CRM." The great thing about email newsletters? I don't have to check an RSS feed every day.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Using technology for campaigning

[Tags: , ]. Here's a great example of using the power of the internet for campaigning purposes: the Terence Higgins Trust campaigns page allows you to add your name to a pre-written email to a particular cause. This seems to be built using Advocacy Online's software - but you could create a similar email campaign by using a simple email link with HTML that fills in the recipient's address, the subject line, and the body of the email. You can find a page explaining how to do that at Email tips and tricks.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Warwick blogs wins CIPR award

[Tags: , ]. It's good to see some genuine innovation being recognised, as Warwick University's impressive blogging community wins the CIPR Midlands PRide award for Use of Photography, Design or New Media. Given that university technical departments are usually renowned for preventing anything new ("blogs? But students could put anything on there! They might even swear!"), particular kudos goes to the E-Lab for their part.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Training: New Technology and PR - the way forward

[Tags: , ]. PR workers interested in the new media field may also be interested in a course being offered by the CIPR on 'New Technology and PR - the way forward' - here's the outline:
"Broadband has freed the Web for broadcast PR

The course will look at effective use of the internet to promote your brands and companies. We will examine ways to develop techniques for utilising New Media, for example:
  • Streaming video and audio online as a way of branding
  • Sending material to broadcasters and to consumers directly
  • Identifying the providers for delivering video and audio to websites of major companies
  • Re-thinking how you write copy for the internet: the style, tone and content
  • The benefits of blogging as a new way for promotion, and narrowcasting (producing your own programmes for the Web)
  • How to deliver to mobile phones - the third screens - which can now receive live TV programming and advertising"
A bit obvious? Still trying to cram old media techniques into new media distribution channels? Your comments please!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Wages of Spin - Starting out in PR: Asking Questions

If you fancy helping out a final year student with her dissertation, pop over to: The Wages of Spin - Starting out in PR: Asking Questions

Thursday, February 09, 2006

How communication professionals are using weblogs and for what purpose

[Tags: , ]. The first results from the EuroBlog survey ("to provide a comprehensive overview how communication professionals are using weblogs and for what purpose") are now posted on www.euroblog2006.org - direct link to the PDF. The full report will be delivered by the research team at the Stuttgart Symposium, on 16-18 March (details on the EuroBlog 2006 website).

Write about the impact of new technology on PR practice

[Tags: , ]. The theme of the next issue of Behind the Spin (May) is the impact of new technology on PR practice: all students are invited to contribute. Articles on other PR subjects are also welcome. Closing date for copy is 31 March. Articles should be either 750 or 1500 words and accompanied by photographs if possible. Offers to write should go to philip.young@sunderland.ac.uk.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Baaad BMW. In your room.

[Tags: , , ]. New Media Age reports (subscription required) on some naughtiness by BMW's web designers which has resulted in the site being 'sinbinned'. Here's the piece in full:
"Google has punished German car manufacturer BMW for using search engine optimisation techniques that break its guidelines. The software firm has issued what’s known as the Google Death Penalty, severely reducing BMW’s Internet profile.

According to reports, BMW created a doorway page that repeated the German term for used cars 42 times in an attempt to increase its ranking. In addition, a user’s browser immediately triggered a JavaScript redirect to a completely different URL to the one seen by Google’s spider.

This ‘cloaking’ technique breaks one of Google’s cardinal rules for Webmasters, which is that search engines shouldn’t be presented with different content to users. As a result Google last week reduced BMW.de’s PageRank to zero, knocking it off the vital first page for search results.

According to Matt Cutts a blogger who claims to be a Google employee, German camera manufacturer Ricoh could soon be penalised for employing similar techniques.

The story highlights the risk for companies using SEO techniques, as BMW’s technique was not uncommon. It’s not clear whether the car-maker knew it was doing anything wrong"

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Public Relations: Does the journalist want an email - or a phone call?

Online Journalism Blog: Web now "core" to NYT

I've reported elsewhere (Online Journalism Blog: Web now "core" to NYT) on this report at the World Economic Forum, but here's a quote particularly relevant to interactive PR:
"Building a community, concluded David Droga, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer, Drogafive, USA, means you can use "the snowball effect"and "don't have to push as hard”. Droga illustrated the potential held by viral marketing by telling the story of the Burger King "Subservient Chicken"ad. The ad, based on the website, encouraged visitors to type in a command, which a man in a chicken suit would then carry out. Droga estimated that the ad cost US$ 1,000, but that it received around 300 million hits.

"This type of viral advertising was also used by Charles Denson, Co-President, Nike Brand, Nike, USA. Nike's online World Cup advertising featured a ball-juggling Ronaldinho that was downloaded directly 12 million times, and forwarded innumerable times thereafter. This is not about spending a lot of money, said Droga, "it's about great ideas.""

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Conference on new media PR

[Tags: , ]. From http://www.dontpanicprojects.com/news.htm: 'Delivering the New PR - How Blogs, Podcasts and RSS Can Work For You', a conference on behalf of the University of Sunderland which is taking place on the 15th of February 2006 at Lancashire County Cricket Club in Manchester. Blogs, RSS and other innovations are changing the way we all work and receive information. The event will provide practical advice and insight into these new developments and the implications for communications professionals. For further information click here (http://www.dontpanicprojects.com/The%20New%20PR%20Conference%20Flyer.pdf)."

PR students: you are what you blog

[Tags: , ]. Stuart Bruce points out why you should be blogging if you are a PR student.