Category Archives: e-mail & social media

E-mail Ideas: Progressive Content

Spotted: E-mail Swipe File

ExactTarget has compiled email design ideas to steal, test & make your own as you discover how to e-mail market for your organization.
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#Pivotcon = the merging of ideals

From old school to new school, I think this graphic says it all…

who's millennialish?


My favorite part of #Pivotcon: Digiquette

Session: Millennials, Decoded: Inside the Digital Mind of the Connected Generation
Speaker: Britta Schell, Director, Digital Strategic Insights, MTV
Role: Responsible for understanding Millennial digital behavior and insights.

Description: “Millennials are the arrow tip of Social Consumers. They pierced the armor of traditional marketing and trampled long-held conventions about how audiences are supposed to behave. But, up close and personal, what do the online lives of millennials look like? Are they really as wild and uninhibited as they seem? MTV reveals its massive study of the rising adult generation.”

Synopsis: Britta delivered!

Why millennials? If this generation isn’t part of your current market, they will be (and should be) or they’re definitely influencing your customers today! Plus, millennials are experiencing the greatest convergence of digital and real life. They ARE the early adopters, provoking unique triggers for anxiety, feelings of overexposure as well as perceptions of efficiency and empowerment. Understanding what consumers feel will help any company (big or small) understand what they need and the best ways to meet that need.

The average millennial:
…grew up fully exposed.
…understands “celebrity culture” and the need for savvy personal branding.
…was raised with constant feedback loops from (helicopter) parents, coaches, teachers, etc…
…is always aware of how people are responding to them and gains confidence from feedback they expect.
…is setting the cultural norms.

Who Are the Millennials?
Flowtown – Social Media Marketing Application

MTV is attempting to understand the implications of this convergence through classic intimacy variance:

  • Label = Curate Me | representation = ME
  • Label = Publicly Intimate | representation =  Intimates
  • Labe  = Like-a-Holic | representation = Friends
  • Label = Digiquette | representation = World

Brands can effectively use millennial Digiquette (“the rules”) as a roadmap to virtual engagement :

Rule #1 Learn the Rules

Sounds like fight club, right? The first rule of Fight Club is: you do not talk about Fight Club. Well, this one IS a little different. First rule about managing your online life is the learn-the-rules. Millennials are exploring multiple platforms and observing. Many understand and embrace the idea that one platform may be good for only one thing. Not unlike real life, knowing what is appropriate is the first rule to engaging within digital platforms and community.

  • 93% posted veiled language online that few connections in their public space would understand (example: LYRICS)
  • 78% know someone who has been in trouble with a parent, school, etc… for something they posted on social media

Rule #2 Pace Yourself

Britta summed up this rule as “James Dean nonchalantness 24hrs a day,” like the three-day rule of dating. By the way, I love James Dean. Got my attention. Millennials clearly exhibit some sensitivity around the perception that their digital lives are completely converged with real life by delaying the gratification of response (or feedback) and demonstrating that a separation of “real” and “virtual” does still exist…for now.

  • 48% believe that if you respond too quickly it will seem like you have nothing better to do
  • 25% feel alone if they do not receive a response/feedback to public postings

Rule #3 Avoid Controversy

Millennials are cultivating proxy opinions – by association – which they believe is adding value and helping them gaining social currency. But it’s also important to pace these posts just like delaying the gratification of response to avoid flooding social media feeds and exile to “social Siberia” as friends and connections start tuning you out. On a side note: A diner down the street from the conference was referring to a specific section of tables as “Siberia” the next morning. Conspiracy?

  • 54% post a video or article they agree with instead of a personal opinion

Rule #4 Guard Your Future

Even the “party guy” thinks you “might as well be remembered in good (meaning positive) terms”. Millennials are using tools like Picnik to edit photos, filtering content about themselves to show an authentic but BEST side of themselves, a side that is associated with the lifestyle template that they have chosen.

  • 30% have modified photos before posting
  • 75% try not to make mistakes in digital space because they understand the permanence
  • 90% are using Facebook as a conduit to personal branding

Bonus: My favorite quote from the millennials in this study was “even if it’s an e-mail it’s like someone is trying to communicate with you”. BAM! E-mail is NOT dead.

For more reading check out Litmus: Digital Millennials and Virtue Live Blog.

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how can social media empower artists and designers?

How can you move ahead of the crowd? The videos say it all… Seriously, listen to what Raul has to say (video #2 & #3). You could be just one tweet away.

Genius and the Age of Enlightenment: Part #1

Genius and the Age of Enlightenment: Part #2

Genius and the Age of Enlightenment: Part #3


  • Hope Frank, CMO, Webtrends
  • Even Grenne, CMO, Grammy Awards
  • Raul Penaranda, Fashion Designer
  • Jeanniey Mullen, CMO, Zino (wearing Raul Penaranda!)
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The week that was.

Here’s a recap of sweet and not-so-sweet e-mail campaigns I received last week.

[Sweet E-mails]

Although no e-mail campaign is truly perfect (even if it was perfect, all the rules will change in about….a minute), these are STAND OUT message (for one reason or another). As always, I welcome comments and suggestions regarding stellar campaigns worth checking out.

robyns world newsletter on 9/19 Newsletter on September 19, 2011

+ aside from logo alt tag, completely optimized for images off

+ easy to read and know where to click with use of font size and bolding

+ absolutely no need for pre-header

– social media tags morph together

– as a system generated template w/whitelisting super power, may be impossible to replicate

studentmags newsletter on 9/20

StudentMags e-Commerce Newsletter on September 20,2011

+ layout is very easy to read

+ design and use of color draws eyes to the prize – what I can, what my offer is and how to get it

– top nav is morphed together

– yellow background = spammy, buy hey who cares if you have a good enough reputation I guess

petco e-mail on 9/21

Petco Campaign on September 21, 2011

+ aside from social media links, all copy is very clear and crisp

+ pre-headers has clear, strong offer statement with personalization

+ great use of alt tags with offer statement – not cluttered by other copy, short and sweet

– social media CTAs and overlapping with images off

– low text to image ratio

payscale newsletter on 9/22

PayScale Newsletter on September 22, 2011

+ a lot of personalization in left sidebar

+ whitelist CTA can be very powerful, especially for brands / companies with a lot of room for growth

+ high text to image ratio and intriguing CTAs

– a lot of blue font and background colors can make e-mail look spammy


[E-mail Fail]

More often than not, I see e-mail campaigns that fail to deliver value and/or a message of any kind. What a missed opportunity! Here’s YOUR opportunity (and mine) to learn from the past. If you disagree (or wholeheartedly share my opinion), I’d love to hear your feedback.

P.S. I block sender names and domains with boxes to protect “the innocent”. This is not a commentary on brands or companies. I often receive stellar campaigns and epic failures from the same source.

e-mail campaign fail 9.20

Subject: Net… / Date: September 20, 2011

– almost the entire section above fold is very hard to read with images off

– random alt tags (“separator”) – just leave them empty if there’s no use or way to optimize

– could use a pre-header, especially with this design

+ layout that starts just above the fold is strong and includes targeting

e-mail campaign fail 9/21

Subject: Pre-order our Exclusive… / Date: September 21, 2011

– almost the entire section above fold is very hard to read with images off

– very low text to image ratio – many e-mails from this brand have gone to spam

– could use a pre-header with offer statement

+ looks like there’s a mobile version, so maybe that’s good….

e-mail campaign fail 9/22 v2

Subject: … Special / Date: September 22, 2011

– without images on, can’t see a thing – a lot of these e-mails are blocked as spam

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