Browsing all articles from July, 2008
Jul
30
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DMA Study Shows Mobile Marketing Use

The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) recently completed a study to gauge the percentage of its members who have used specific media in their integrated marketing campaigns.

According to the April 2008 study, mobile marketing via SMS and MMS still significantly trails the use of more common promotional methods such as e-mail and direct mail.  According to the study, only 2.2% have used mobile marketing.

“I would have thought it was higher,” said Bob Bentz, director of marketing at Advanced Telecom Services which offers do-it-yourself

text message solutions to radio stations

, colleges, and advertising agencies.  “But, I’m not totally surprised.  Most of the phone calls we get are marketers still in the information finding stage.”

Other studies have shown, however, that while America lags behind europe and asia in terms of overall mobile marketing use, its response rates and effectiveness are the highest in the world.  It’s a mystery then that more marketers aren’t using it.

“Marketers are extremely busy and often work in understaffed organizations,” said Bentz.  “They have trouble finding the time to learn the ins and outs of a new medium.”

DMA Media Use Study

  1. E-mail – 79.1%
  2. Direct Mail – 75.4%
  3. Web Banners or Pop-Ups – 33.6%
  4. Search Engine Marketing – 33.2%
  5. Telemarketing – 31.9%
  6. Magazines or Newspapers – 24.8%
  7. Radio or TV – 19.0%
  8. Catalogs – 15.5%
  9. Online Video – 12.3%
  10. Mobile Marketing - 2.2%
  11. Outdoor – 1.7%
  12. Fax – 0.6%

(Source — DMA; April, 2008)

Jul
15
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McCain Campaign Is Out of Touch

John McCain is Out of Touch

…with the American public.

 

At a time when nearly 60% of Americans use text messaging, how does the McCain campaign not have a text message element?

 

Text messaging today is as important to the American public as the fireside chats of the FDR era that targeted radio listeners.  In fact, statistically, text messaging is more important than radio was in the 1930’s.

 

Barack Obama is using a cutting edge text message campaign to sway voters.  Last summer, the Illinois senator launched a text message initiative to organize volunteers and encourage supports to text GO to 62262 (OBAMA).

 

The Obama campaign’s site offers free ringtones from Obama’s speeches, Obama wallpapers, and voters can send questions to get policy statements.  The text campaign also includes information on how to donate or volunteer for the campaign.

 

Obama’s text campaign is also the only one to regionalize its database.  This has been valuable in getting the public out to see the senator during his local political speeches.

 

While Obama’s text message campaign may be the most active, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards actually had their text message campaigns going before Obama did and former President Bill Clinton recently stated that he’s no longer a text message virgin.  But, Clinton’s campaign failed to use a vanity short code and never got the recognition that Obama’s has today.  Maybe that’s why Obama is the clear favorite of young voters.

 

Text message campaigns on the political front are clearly here to stay.  A University of Michigan and Princeton University study found that using text messages to remind voters to get out and vote increase voter participation by 4% among young voters.  You can bet Obama will be sending reminders on election day.

 

The efforts of Obama and Clinton contrast starkly to the John McCain campaign that has yet to add any element of mobile marketing.  “It’s not surprising given his age,” said Bob Bentz, director of marketing at Advanced Telecom Services that supplies text message solutions to businesses.  “Only 11% of those over 65 use text messages.”

 

Maybe that’s one reason why Barrack Obama has a huge advantage among younger voters.  When it comes to text messaging, John McCain just doesn’t get it.

Jul
7
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Choose the Best Colors for Your Web Site

Choosing the right color scheme for your new website might be the most important single decision you will make in the start-up phase of your new web site.

 

But, how do you make sure that the colors you choose are right for your web site?

 

Don’t Choose The Colors that you Prefer

 

The best advice is to not determine the colors based on what you like.  It doesn’t really matter.  This is especially important if you are not part of the demographic group that you targeting.

 

You want to choose colors based on what sells the most or what keeps the visitors at your web site the longest and allows them to leave with a positive perception of the web site.

 

Overview of Web Site Colors

 

Let’s take a look at the rainbow of color possibilities you have for your web site.

 

Red

 

Red is the most powerful color available.  It is associated with energy, aggressiveness, passion, and danger.  It is friendly and attractive.  Red enhances metabolism and raises blood pressure.

 

Red is often used on web sites that:

 

Promote increased energy and enthusiasm.

Are for children.

 

Red is great if used as an accent color to stimulate visitors to “buy now” or “click here.”

 

Orange

 

Orange is a powerful color that is the most undesirable to women.  It offers happiness, courage, and success.  It is funny and bold.  Orange combines the energy of red with the cheerfulness of yellow.  Orange increases blood supply to the brain and stimulates thought.

 

Orange is best used on web sites that:

 

Wish to increase appetite (food products).

Stimulate enthusiasm.

Promote positive thinking.

Wish to increase creativity.

Offer relief from boredom (games).

Have a youthful audience.

Promote toys.

 

Yellow

 

Yellow is sunshine, joy, creativity, cheerfulness, and intelligence.  It also is symbolic of cowardice so it is not an ideal color choice for men.  It is also a highly communicative color.

 

Pure yellow puts more strain on your eye than any other color.  Therefore, it is recommended that yellow be used sparingly.  If used too much on a site, it may fatigue the visitor and cause them to leave sooner.  That being said, yellow is often the color that the eye will gravitate to first.  Hence, it is a great color to use in banners or for “can’t miss” text.

 

Yellow is best used on web sites that:

 

Appeal to children.

Promote leisure products.

Promote improved memory.

Promote relief from personality disorders like depression.

Do not need to appeal to men.

 

Green

 

Green reminds the user of nature.  It is symbolic of prosperity, wealth and safety.  It is flexible and harmonious.  Green is the most restful color to the human eye.

 

Green is best used on web sites that:

 

Propose change (Surprisingly, the primary color of Barack Obama’s web site is blue.)

Give new ideas.

Offer protection.

Promise financial success.

Are for a nature group.

Blue

 

Blue is the color of the sea and the sky and is the most conservative choice you have for a web site color.  When in doubt, choose blue and you won’t go wrong.  Blue conveys trust, loyalty, confidence, and intelligence.  Studies show that the color blue relaxes the nervous system and increases productivity.

 

Blue is best used on web sites that:

 

Appeal to a wide demographic of age and sex.

Wish to relax the viewer.

Offer new information.

Are for businesses.

Have an international audience.

Are related to cleanliness (water purifiers, cleaners)

Promote precision high-tech products.

Offer diet products (blue suppresses appetite).

 

Avoid using blue for any small text or thin line diagrams on a web site.  Small blue print is difficult for the eye to perceive.

 

Purple

 

Purple offers a web site a sense of sophistication, dignity, sensitivity, and romance.  It is admired and intuitive.

 

Purple is best used on web sites that:

 

Offer spiritual fulfillment (religion).

Want you to use your imagination.

Offer a calming effect (some vacations).

Target pre-adolescent children.

Target women (especially light purple).

 

White

 

White is associated with cleanliness, simplicity, and youth.  It’s hard to imagine a business-oriented web site without any white on it.

 

White is best used on a web site that:

 

Requires significant reading of text

Is high-tech, but wants to appear to be easy to use.

Promotes a charitable organization.

Sells medical products.

Sells diet foods or dairy products.

 

Black

 

Black is authoritative, reliable, and constant.

 

Black is best used on a web site that:

 

Is formal (banking)

Is authoritative (legal)

Sells art or photography products (it will make the pictures stand out).

 

Choose Colors that Your Visitors Can Actually See

 

 

This seems like simple advice, but web browsers don’t have an unlimited amount of colors available to them.  Web browsers can show 256 different colors; of those colors, 216 are common on all major web browsers.

 

If you don’t use one of the 216 colors, the browser has to attempt to mix the color that it does not support.  This is known as “dithering” and the results are often less than satisfactory.

 

More Color Tips

 

 

Take a look at a white web site with black print.  It’s the easiest to read, and its very business-like, but there’s certainly nothing attractive or exciting about it.  Start by thinking about putting a dark font on a light background.

 

In addition to white, another safe background choice is gray.

 

Extremely bright colors such as greens, reds, yellows, or blues will cause eye fatigue and chase visitors away prematurely.

 

Avoid mixing blue and yellow or blue and red.

 

It is best to limit a site to five color choices.  Certainly, there should be no more than seven for a larger site.  Use the same color shades consistently throughout the web site.

 

When using a dull color such as gray or black, make it pop by adding a bright color like orange for an outstanding effect.

 

When in doubt, use white for the background.

 

The younger your audience is, the more vivid colors you should use.

 

Men prefer blue and orange to red and yellow.  Women prefer red and yellow versus blue and orange.

 

Another good color for a male-oriented site is brown.  Brown promotes masculine qualities.

 

Color-blindness is prevalent in men.  In fact, one in twelve men have some form of color deficient vision.  If your web site is aimed at men, make sure your color scheme is simple and clear.

 

Women are far more likely than men to respond both positively or negatively to a web site based on its color.  Women prefer softer pastel colors.  Women are more likely to view contrasting colors negatively.

 

Colors mean different things internationally.  White signifies bad luck in China, Japan, and India.  Purple is associated with prostitution in Arabic cultures.  Dark green, while symbolic of money in the United States, does not have the same appeal in foreign countries where money is multi-colored.  The safest color that appears to not have any negative connotation in any country is blue.

 

Gold is another good choice for a web site color.  Gold evokes feeling of prestige and quality.

 

Choose the Right Colors

 

The goal of your web site is to connect with your visitors.  It really doesn’t matter what you like or what your significant other likes.  What matters is what colors your audience likes.  Your color scheme must be carefully selected, because choosing the wrong color scheme can adversely affect your visitor’s experience and decrease your sales.

 

By choosing the right colors that your audience desires, you can invoke increased feelings of a positive reaction to your web site and actually increase sales.

 

Your color selection is the single most important first impression that your site will give your visitors.  Make a great first impression by using the best possible color scheme for your target audience.

 

Read more internet marketing tips and SEO Tips here.

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