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Stanford/Palo Alto Macintosh User Group Newsletter
December , 2009
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Dear Steve,
Apple XmasMany apologies for the late arrival of this newsletter. Sadly, our "temporary newsletter editor" has been somewhat indisposed this month, but we're happy to say that he seems to be well on the way back to his old self.
This Month's Presentation
The iCat has been hard at work on presentations & presenters for our next meeting, only inhibited by the cold weather that has a numbing effect on his softfur program. We have been working on getting a Genius (of the Apple kind, of course) but that may not happen - however, there will be cake, there will be shareware, there will be presentations of ArtRage software (that's a cheap painting and illustrating tool and we have a copy to give away), MPEG screenclip & Flip4Mac, how to copy a copy-protected DVD, as well as Shareware demos and a pile of stuff to raffle off.
Shareware with Owen Saxton
Interesting screensavers and more from Saxton's Luminarium.
Constant Contact Presentation Report (from our November meeting)
  Constant Contact Constant Contact's Stu Carty (as reported by our own Dave Strom (seen here using his extraordinary superpowers to commit Stu's presentation to his vast memory banks):
Stu (according to Stu) has a GREAT JOB: this is what he does for his job! He is a trainer, instructor, and goes to meetings like ours! He is happy to come and meet with us.
Constant Contact is most widely known for its e-mail marketing products. Stu comes from the east bay, Oakley. Not much is famous out there. It is a great town, ten years old, born out of farmlands, incorporated July 4.
Now, aren't we all fishing for more business? (Stu's icon is a fisherman.)
There are 3 steps to successful email marketing:
1. Connect: import/build "good" (permission based) email lists (given permission to be on the list).
2. Inform: build/send your email campaign (hit send to send the email).
3. Grow: evaluate results / refine the process.
The feds want us to focus on using email to contact people we know, not to blanket email. Not to SPAM: send email to someone you don't know. Have smaller contact lists, not throw spaghetti against the wall.
What works for sending out contacts: the shorter the list, the better. For good marketing efforts, keep it plain and simple.
With Constant Contact, you can see who opened or read the email that you send out. As people interact with it, you can collect statistics and data, and you can see who did not receive the email and why.
Deliver professional email communications to an interested audience. Email containing information the audience finds relevant, timely, and valuable. And conform to current best practice and anti-spam laws
Michael sends out his email newsletter to his contact list once a month. He does real estate. Michael uses personalization: when we need to buy/sell real estate, we hire a person, an agent. In that email, Michael includes his picture, paragraphs about local real estate conditions, and other information. He sends it out to friends, family, past and current customers (it is a high quality list). You, as his customer, gave him permission to send this to you; Michael does NOT buy a contact list (a bought contact list is perceived as spam). People who know Michael will read it, and maybe call him.
If you are not ready to pick up phone (the phone number is in the email), there are plenty of links in the email that you can click. For Constant Contact, when you receive the email and click on its links, Michael knows who you are and when you clicked. This data is used in a positive way because this is you (the email sender) asking your audience to tell you what they are interested in, and you, the sender, tune your information to those topics.
Maybe a real estate email sender has three links the email receivers can click on: one for $500,000 homes, one for $1,000,000, and one for $2,000,000. So the sender can invite people who clicked on those links, he can see who clicks on what links, and which link is clicked on the most. (Constant Contact does this, an inbox application cannot.)
A church can use Constant Contact: an adult themed list, a teenage theme, and so on.
It keeps you in touch with people you already know. Retention/referral/relationship marketing. As opposed to acquisition marketing: direct mail, postcards, advertising, and telemarketing.
There is a small business that sends out a paper newsletter: it is expensive (Note form Dave: I think about $150,000), but it brings in a LOT of business ($2 million). Email doesn't replace this (this newsletter goes to people they do not know, about 100,000 or so). They also have an email list of 5000 customers, this email only costs only $50 a month, and generates the same amount of money as the newsletter to the unknowns. The email gets the customers to come back again.
The future is permission-based marketing. Cell phones are merging with our computers, computers are merging with our TVs. (SPAM will eventually decrease. Yay!)
Not too far off, in 1-3 years, Stu (our speaker) believes we will walk into Safeway or Wal-Mart, and his cell phone will beep or buzz because the store beamed him a coupon that is good for while he is in the store. (Like 50% off any jar of green olives, and Stu likes green olives!) The store is serving (and delighting) him! If you don't like this beamed coupon, you won't get it because you have not gone to a website and volunteered to receive them.
How do you watch TV today? Stu watches 2 shows at the same time because he hates commercials. He uses the return button to switch back and forth from Dog the Bounty Hunter to some home show. In the future, you are likely to get commercials that are tailored to you.
How do we enforce anti-SPAM? Laws and regulations. Such as the Do Not Call list. Someone calls you at dinnertime, you tell them you are on the do not call list (well, you be on that list for you to tell them that). Maybe someday we will have the same for paper mail.
The three-second rule of email (how we read our emails). We do one of these three actions:
Delete the email.
Ignore the email or read it later.
Read the email further and act on it.
Good email marketers know we spend about 3 seconds to decide which of the three we do.
In the 1st second: who is contacting me? Maybe it is an email from a fly-fishing company. Do you know them? It is from Idaho river journeys. Only spammers would try to fool you. Bob (who sent the email) does not want to do that trick.
In the 2nd second: read the subject line: 5-8 words, 30-40 characters. "Fly fishing on Idaho's Middle Fork."
The 3rd second: should I read further? The body: it has a picture (a nice river), fly-fishing, and a message you can read. They are nice pictures! This email is using these emails and the information within them appropriately. He does NOT go on for 17 pages! Most of the information can be found on the website. He WANTS you to click and go to the website. He gives you 3 or 4 opportunities to click and go there.
Stu showed some examples of emails from different businesses. One was the Berkeley Programs for Study Abroad newsletter: it has pictures, travel articles, and it has Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr links.
Another example is mostly text: its audience loves lots of technical stuff, lots of charts and graphs. Score organization, 17 pages, condensed for programs.
Sending these emails from your inbox. Like Microsoft Outlook. You lose ability to send targeted list.
You should avoid the email being all pictures: if the receiver's pictures are blocked, the receiver cannot see the message unless you fuss with it. Stu once received an email where a picture had the time, date, cost, and RSVP info, and he has had to click to download the pictures. That email definitely violated the 3-second rule!
Constant Contact captures who clicked, who bounced (did not get the email). A Constant Contact user can see who did not receive the email and why. If the email bounced, you can then contact that person and get a new email address.
Opt-outs: you, the receiver, can opt-out, and automatically get off the email list. For example, once a couple is back from their wedding, they opt out of the wedding planning newsletter, they do not read the wedding planning newsletter anymore. (The wedding planner people are always rebuilding their email lists.)
Opens and click-throughs: How many people opened the email (has a tracking code). The open rate is about 15% for smaller businesses: for big business, about 10% (they have poorer quality contact lists). Michael the real estate guy: everybody who clicked on his link is a click-through.
Constant Contact has a free 60-day trial, and then it starts at $15 a month (the lowest rate).
He gave an offer at the end of the meeting: with your permission, Constant Contact would like to know more about you: you identify yourself; you give Stu a business card, you opt-in. A nice way to demonstrate the proper way to build a list.

See you on Monday 6:30pm!
Steve Bellamy
SMUG President
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