Using Digital Market Intelligence to Drive Multi-Channel Success


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Instead of theorizing on what MAY work, get actionable recommendations for your marketing strategy based on tactics that DID work across digital channels like email, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Download this informative report and learn how to optimize your social media and email marketing efforts with data-driven findings on 20 leading retail brands.

Here is what you will learn:
-How email marketing boosts social channel engagement by as much as 100%
-What are the most engaging (and alternatively, most utilized) days of week, time of day, campaign format, campaign frequency, and content type
-Why standardizing social engagement provides a more accurate measure of your brand's campaign performance against that of your competitors

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Using Digital Market Intelligence to Drive Multi-Channel Success

  1. 1. You TubeUsing Digital Market Intelligence to Drive Multi–Channel Success
  2. 2. Yesmail is an organization that positively stands apart.For nearly 15 years we have stood for excellence inemail marketing, with planning and delivery capabilitiesunrivaled in our industry.We define ourselves by a better caliber of technology,insights, and service that help our clients get to ‘yes’sooner with their customers.We boast a complete portfolio of multi-channel marketingsolutions and tools, including interactive marketingapplications, data management, intelligence, leadgeneration and best practices consulting.Would we go so far as to say we are superior in ourability to use email to power intelligent interactionsthat actually drive business? Table of Contents Introduction & Concepts 1 – 6 Facebook 7 – 14 Twitter 15 – 20 Youtube 21 – 26 Email 27 – 29 Conclusion 30Yesmail Interactive
  3. 3. phone : 1.877.YESMAILPowering Intelligent InteractionsThese days, marketers have an ever-expanding arsenal ofresources to help them develop, execute, and measuretheir marketing campaigns. So what makes digitalcompetitive intelligence critical in defining a brand’smarketing strategy? As digital marketing continues to growand yield increasing ROI, digital competitive intelligenceallows marketers to:The Case for CompetitiveIntelligence• Craft proactive marketing campaigns utilizing industry and competitor-proven strategies• Create reactive campaigns in real time, offering more appealing competitive offers• Develop piggyback or combination offerings that leverage existing in-market offers to further promote a brand and its services e.g. If the Golf Channel is able to identify and track a sale on golf clubs by any major brand, they can run a promotion for a discounted Golf Channel subscription for anyone who has purchased discounted clubs. This approach enables any brand, regardless of size or budget, to benefit from a good marketing initiative.• Evaluate campaign performance against their competitor set and the broader industry averagethrough a meaningful engagement score• Measure how email marketing drives social engagement• Obtain engagement metrics for their own multi-channel digital campaigns• Draw inspiration from competitors’ promotions, creative content, deployment tactics and more1
  4. 4. phone : 1.877.YESMAILPowering Intelligent InteractionsOur ObjectiveTo better understand how competitive intelligence couldaffect a brand’s deployment strategy, we put YesmailMarket Intelligence to work. This proprietary tool tracks,collects and analyzes all digital campaigns deployedthrough email, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. As wedug deep into our data and patterns started emerging,wequickly realized the scope of our report had to beexpanded. In addition to deployment strategy findings,we were able to identify considerably larger trends, whichcan redefine, inform, and fully optimize a brand’s content,creative, and multi-channel strategy.2
  5. 5. phone : 1.877.YESMAILPowering Intelligent InteractionsBecause of their reliance on email marketing and theirstrong presence in the social space, we chose to track20 leading brands from the retail industry:For years, marketers have been emphasizing the vitalimportance of multi-channel marketing, but withoutthe ability to back up its benefits with measurable data.Thanks to our findings, we are now able to substantiateits importance more than ever.While we set out to clarify the value of competitiveintelligence, we made a notable discovery: with eachemail message a brand sends out, its customer socialengagement grows exponentially. In other words, wewere able to identify a quantifiable relationship betweenemail marketing and social engagement. Just think ofthe ways savvy brands can leverage these findings todevelop their marketing plans and drive socialengagement! We’ll walk you through all our findingsand their implications throughout this report.We chose these 20 brands in particular due to their focuson the 18-35 year old demographic, which furthersolidifies their digital marketing prowess.Brand Sample Set and MethodologyThe Digital Marketing BreakthroughHow Email Marketing Drives Social EngagementAbercrombie & FitchAeropostaleAmerican ApparelAmerican EagleAnn TaylorBanana RepublicDieselEddie BauerExpressForever 21The GapGuessH&MJ CrewKenneth ColeThe LimitedOld NavyRalph LaurenTommy HilfigerUrban Outfitters3
  6. 6. phone : 1.877.YESMAILPowering Intelligent InteractionsTraditionally, engagement has been defined in fairly narrowterms. For Facebook, it is typically assessed by the number of“likes” and comments a campaign garners. For Twitter, thesheer number of retweets is considered indicative of campaignperformance. For YouTube, the number of views, commentsand ratings is deemed an accurate engagement measure.These traditional definitions are there for a reason; to date, theyhave been the most accurate way to assess social campaigneffectiveness. That’s why they became the foundation weworked with in order to create a more accurate way to obtain atelling engagement measure.Optimal deployment times for digital campaigns has beenone of the hottest topics in marketing in recent months.While the value of this information is undeniable, we seetwo common flaws in the way deploymentrecommendations are conveyed to marketers:• Recommendations don’t always recognize thatsocial channel marketing isn’t used in a vacuum. Failing to consider key competitors’ campaigns and a brand’s own multi-channel marketing efforts prevents marketers from assessing the actual success of their campaigns against a meaningful base such as an industry average or competitive campaign performance. • This leads to another obstacle; marketers lack an industry standard for measuring engagement.Without standardization, the true understandingof a campaign’s effectiveness is obscured.Engagement:The Traditional DefinitionAdditional Digital MarketingFactors4
  7. 7. phone : 1.877.YESMAILPowering Intelligent InteractionsUltimately, engagement is not about the quantity of yourfollowers but the quality of your interactions with them.The only way we can accurately compare engagement forboth brands is by considering the size of brand followingand effectively controlling for it. We created an algorithmthat successfully accounts for the size of a brand’s followerbase, allowing marketers to compare brands andcampaigns across a specific channel in a much moremeaningful way.To illustrate the difference between actual engagement andvolume-based engagement, let’s examine the Facebookpresence of our 20 retailers over the three-month periodwe tracked. The graph to the left shows how theseretailers stacked up in terms of average volume-basedengagement (defined here by the sum of “likes” andcomments per campaign).The results aren’t exactly surprising. The best performers—Ralph Lauren and H&M—are large international brandswith sizeable followings and impressive marketingbudgets. Smaller brands, like the formerly catalog exclusiveEddie Bauer, rank much lower in average number ofcomments and “likes” over the three-month period.But if we control for follower size and recalculate the actualengagement score of each brand, the graph looks quite abit different.A volume-based engagement comparison of Facebookcampaigns from Eddie Bauer and Ralph Lauren is based onthe number of “likes” and comments each campaign boasts.However, this type of comparison is, at best,uninformative.Since Eddie Bauer has a relatively modest following of about73,000 Facebook brand “likes”,while Ralph Lauren boasts over4.9 million, an Eddie Bauer campaign will consistently garnerfewer “likes” and comments when compared to a RalphLauren campaign. This, however, doesn’t mean it’s less engaging.The Case for Standardized ActualEngagement: Our Example50 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 3500Ralph LaurenH&MAeropostaleAbercrombieGuessForever 21American EagleDieselAnn TaylorUrban OutfittersOld NavyExpressBanana RepublicGabTommy HilfigerThe LimitedJ CrewAmerican ApparelKenneth ColeEddie Bauer1234567891011121314151617181920
  8. 8. phone : 1.877.YESMAILPowering Intelligent InteractionsSee how dramatically the ranks have shifted? Otherwiseaverage-performing brands have emerged as engagementleaders, while previous high performers have fallen in line.Thanks to a standardized engagement score, we can nowcompare apples to apples.It is only through this measurement of actual engagement(rather than volume-based engagement) that marketerscan accurately assess the effectiveness of their digitalmarketing, identify the true engagement championswithin their competitor sets, and learn from theircompetitors’ high-performing campaigns in order toimprove their own strategy.6We’ve kept the order of the brands fromthe previous chart but we’ve ranked themaccording to the actual engagement theircampaigns have garnered over the threemonth tracked period (engagement isalso represented by the green bars)0 30 60 90 120Ralph LaurenH&MAeropostaleAbercrombieGuessForever 21American EagleDieselAnn TaylorUrban OutfittersOld NavyExpressBanana RepublicGabTommy HilfigerThe LimitedJ CrewAmerican ApparelKenneth ColeEddie Bauer4111413718198161712516202101593Actual Engagement Adjusted for Size of Brand Following
  9. 9. phone : 1.877.YESMAILPowering Intelligent Interactions7The Twitter comparison of the 20 brands we tracked is equallyinteresting. Like with Facebook, it is not surprising to seebrands like Forever 21, H&M or Abercrombie & Fitch rack upthe highest volume of Twitter interaction due to sheer size,popularity and marketing resources. In this context, it ishardly counter-intuitive that a small brand with limited storelocations such as Eddie Bauer ranks last in terms of volume ofcustomer interaction in both Twitter and Facebook. As we’ll seeon the following page, Eddie Bauer is a particularly interestingphenomenon due to the huge fluctuation in its ranking in termsof volume-based vs. actual social channel engagement.The graph below shows how the 20 retailers in our dataset stacked up on Twitter in terms of averagevolume-based engagement (defined here by retweetsper campaign).0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000 8000 9000Forever 21Urban OutfittersH&MAbercrombie & FitchTommy HilfigerGapAmerican EagleBanana RepublicOld NavyGuessExpress IncAnn TaylorRalph LaurenKenneth ColeAmerican ApparelAeropostaleThe LimitedEddie Bauer123456789101112131415161718
  10. 10. phone : 1.877.YESMAILPowering Intelligent Interactions8When it comes to actual engagement, the resulting Twitter rankingsare telling. There is a valuable lesson to be learned from insightsfrom volume-based and actual engagement. On one hand, volume-based engagement is representative of a brand’s prominence withinits industry. It also provides a great way to effectively track followergrowth over any specific timeframe and thus allows marketersto assess the effectiveness of a brand’s marketing efforts and thecustomer’s overall satisfaction with its product.On the other hand, having the actual engagement data enablesmarketers to identify the true top performers across Facebookand Twitter and learn from their winning campaign practices.Furthermore, the true engagement data provides tested and provenmarketing strategies that have worked for a brand’s competitor and/or industry.With this in mind, we used market intelligence datacollected for our set of 20 leading retailers to identify thetrue engagement champions, discover various campaigntrends and gain actionable insights from Facebook, Twitter,YouTube and email.*All engagement data from here on out is based on actualengagement as defined above.0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45Forever 21Urban OutfittersH&MAbercrombie & FitchTommy HilfigerGapAmerican EagleBanana RepublicOld NavyGuessExpress IncAnn TaylorRalph LaurenKenneth ColeAmerican ApparelAeropostaleThe LimitedEddie Bauer101217151314811154916618723Actual Engagement Adjusted for Size of Brand FollowingAgain, we have kept the order of thebrands from the previous chart but we’veranked them according to the actualengagement their campaigns havegarnered over the three month trackedperiod (engagement is also representedby the green bars)
  11. 11. phone : 1.877.YESMAILPowering Intelligent Interactions
  12. 12. phone : 1.877.YESMAILPowering Intelligent InteractionsWith over 7 billion visits a month and an unprecedented900 million active members, Facebook is the Godfatherof all social channels. So it comes as no surprise that “TheSocial Network” presents a valuable opportunity formarketers to reach their audience. At the same time,however, marketing efforts on Facebook are facingserious engagement challenges due to the sheer volumeof campaigns and the fact that Facebook is still usedprimarily for personal needs. That’s why it’s particularlyinteresting to examine the dynamic relationship betweenFacebook, marketers and consumers.As shown on the graph to the right, based on ourdataset in the three-month tracked period, brands areusing Facebook to reach their customer base more andmore often. This, in and of itself, is not an unexpecteddiscovery; as marketers are adopting the digital channelat a rapid pace, the volume of Facebook campaigns willcontinue to rise. What’s interesting about this channel, asshown in green on the graph to the right, is the wayFacebook customer engagement is trending. It’s easy toassume that an audience will become less responsive tomarketing communication due to over-messaging, butcustomer engagement is currently growing at an evenfaster pace than campaign volume.This finding provides an interesting context for socialmedia marketing and validates Facebook marketing spend,and the channel’s consistent presence in every savvybrand’s marketing plan. Let’s examine some tellingFacebook insights that can easily shape a brand’s strategyand optimize its campaigns.Facebook9month 14240303634329508507506505504502 3Month 1 Month 2 Month 3NumberofFacebookCampaingsAverageActualCampaignEngagement*measured across all tracked brands
  13. 13. phone : 1.877.YESMAILPowering Intelligent InteractionsWhen is the best time to deploy a Facebook campaign?We hate to say “it depends”, but we must preface ourfindings with the assertion that campaigns are developedover a particular timeframe, for a particular market set, andin a particular industry. Taking this caveat intoconsideration, here is what we found:The number of deployed campaigns per weekdayvaries month-to-month. Over the three-month periodwe tracked, the most utilized days of the week have beenTuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. This suggests thatmarketers want to continuously test new tactics to seewhat sticks. What’s more, if we do a cumulative average,Fridays had the most consistent campaign volume, makingit the most popular deployment day over the entire period.Similarly, in terms of engagement, while Tuesday wasthe most engaging day of the week, if we break it downby month, we can see that Saturday, Tuesday and Fridayemerge as the most engaging days of the week withineach individual month tracked.Day of the Week TrendsFri.40035030025020015010050454035302520Sat.Sun. Tues. Wed. Thur.Mon.• Campaigns deployed on Tuesday earn the highestengagement even though Tuesday ranks 4 in terms of number of deployed campaigns. Counter-intuitively, Tuesday is also one of only two weekdays exhibiting a decline in number of deployed campaigns over the tracked period.• The lowest number of deployed campaigns is during the weekend.th10S M T W T F S NumberofFacebookCampaingsAverageActualCampaignEngagementScore*measured across all tracked brandsand over the three months trackedWeekday Campaign Volume vs. Weekday Engagement
  14. 14. phone : 1.877.YESMAILPowering Intelligent InteractionsHour of deployment is an essential campaign component—it can make or break any Facebook campaign. Because theaverage Facebook user logs on multiple times a day, it’simperative for marketers to know when campaigns get thehighest exposure and largest engagement. This informationwill, in turn, provide for an educated guess about theirconsumers’ browsing patterns, which can inform andoptimize Facebook strategy. Here is what we discoveredin terms of time of day trends:• Campaigns deployed between 10pm and 12amEastern Time (ET) were an engagement goldmine.Based on volume, however, this timeslot was theleast utilized for deployment. One possible explanation for this may be that the 20 brands analyzed largely focus on college students as a key audience segment. During the late evenings, college students are still awake, not tending to family or getting ready for an early work day, so they have ample time to interact online with both brands and friends.• The least engaging time of day to deploy a campaign was from 1am-4am ET (perhaps for obvious reasons related to conventional sleep schedules).• The most popular time of day to deploy campaignswas between 11am-1pm ET, while paradoxically,this timeslot was in the bottom 30% in terms ofengagement.Time of Day TrendsWhen it comes to the optimal frequency of Facebookcampaigns deployed per month, there is no universalnumber that guarantees success. However, we closelyexamined the number and frequency of campaigndeployment utilized by the five most engaging retailbrands on Facebook: Ann Taylor, The Limited, RalphLauren, Eddie Bauer and Banana Republic.This is a telling statistic that suggests the number andfrequency of Facebook campaigns should be carefullydetermined and duly tested in order to enhance insteadof curb engagement.• These brands deployed between 20 and 32 campaigns per month.• Conversely, the five least engaging brands averaged 54 campaigns per month.Campaign Frequency Trendstoo muchtoo little11
  15. 15. phone : 1.877.YESMAILPowering Intelligent InteractionsGiven the variety of Facebook formats and the fact thatmarketers are partial to some over others, we wanted togauge which type of Facebook posts perform best andwhich ones seem to be most popular with marketers.Here is what we found:• Photo content comprised 43% of all Facebook campaign deployments. This trend provides additional context for Facebook’s sizeable investment in the Instagram acquisition.• Photo content was the most engaging campaigntype, most likely because it’s easy to share, quick to browse, and requires limited time investment.• Video is the most promising Facebook format, asevident from its rapid and consistent growth incustomer engagement.• Interestingly, video was utilized in only 6.5% ofFacebook campaigns, while the customer engagement it garnered was disproportionatelylarge.• Status updates and posts containing links are onthe decline in terms of engagement, likely due to: Spammy, vague or uninformative status updates Unspecified link origin or destination Customers’ growing reluctance to follow a link leading away from Facebook• Interestingly, link and status updates comprised50% of all deployed Facebook campaigns in thetracked period.Campaign Format Trends12Actual Engagement for EachFacebook Campaign Formatmonth months months160504030201002 3VideoPhotoStatusLinkSWFMonth 1 Month 2 Month 3AverageActualCampaignEngagement
  16. 16. phone : 1.877.YESMAILPowering Intelligent Interactions13“What content will my audience best respond to?” This isthe million dollar question—and the one most challengingto answer. Customers will inevitably find different contentappealing, but by adding campaign engagement to theequation, digital competitive intelligence can alleviate someof the guesswork and provide a more relevant frame ofreference.Competitive intelligence enables marketers to identify thecampaigns that have prompted the highest customerinteraction. We looked at the most engaging Facebookcampaigns for each month within our three-month trackedperiod. Among the 20 marketers we examined, AnnTaylor and The Limited emerged as the decisive championsof Facebook engagement with 73% of the most engagingposts coming from these two brands.Each top-performing campaign had these essentialcharacteristics:These findings can dictate the way a brand developscontent based on the successful practices identifiedthrough competitive intelligence.• Campaigns communicated purpose by identifyingdesired customer behavior.• Campaigns provided an incentive for performing aspecific action.• Campaigns empowered the customer by explicitlyputting them in charge.Content Type Trends
  17. 17. phone : 1.877.YESMAILPowering Intelligent InteractionsProvide IncentivePlacing the customerin chargeIdentify desiredcustomer behavior14Examples
  18. 18. phone : 1.877.YESMAILPowering Intelligent InteractionsWhile going through the Facebook data and identifyingtrends, patterns, and popular practices, we discovereda remarkable relationship that provides measurabledata supporting the claim that multi-channel marketingconsistently delivers better results.We overlaid email campaign data and Facebook engagementdata to examine whether Facebook engagement increasesif an email campaign is deployed in the same timeframe. Whenwe compared customer engagement for stand-aloneFacebook campaigns to Facebook campaigns that areaccompanied by an email campaign, the results were noteworthy.Facebook engagement grew by roughly 50% when oneemail campaign was deployed and by 100% when two emailcampaigns were deployed in the same timeframe. Giventhe wide adoption of social share buttons, thisrelationship makes a compelling case for multi-channelmarketing programs that are spearheaded by email.Email Marketing and FacebookCampaign EngagementNumber of Emails 0 1 2deployed in the sametimeframe as aFacebook Campaign*measured across all tracked brandsand over the three months tracked70605040302015AverageActualFacebookCampaignEngagement
  19. 19. phone : 1.877.YESMAILPowering Intelligent InteractionsBased solely on the selected brands we tracked over athree-month period, we developed the followingrecommendations for marketers to optimally engagetheir audience on Facebook:• Prior to posting on Facebook, deploy an email campaign that prominently features social sharebuttons to encourage multi-channel engagementand ensure that the promoted offer reaches audiences beyond the intended email recipients.• Deploy best content on Tuesday, since it typicallygarners largest engagement—but never forgetto consistently test, in order to stay informed oftrends, remain flexible and adjust strategy whenindustry or competitor standards change.• Deploy Facebook campaigns later in the evening,within the 10pm-midnight ET slot, depending onthe brand’s target audience and lifestyle. Again, frequent testing is essential.• Where possible, include a photo or a video in Facebook campaigns, as these two formats achievethe largest engagement.• Ensure that campaigns identify desired customerbehavior and provide a proper incentive.• Develop a deployment schedule that limits themonthly campaign count to 35, giving audiencesan opportunity to remain interested while avoidingover-messaging.Implications for theFacebook Channel16
  20. 20. phone : 1.877.YESMAILPowering Intelligent Interactions
  21. 21. phone : 1.877.YESMAILPowering Intelligent InteractionsWith over 200 million tweets and 1.6 billion search queriesgenerated daily, Twitter continues to grow and solidify itsstatus as the second largest global social channel.Curiously, however, based on our marketer set, we saw adrastic decline in Twitter use after a huge spike in thesecond month we tracked. While the spike can most likelybe attributed to the proliferation of conversation aroundspecial events such as the Super Bowl, the Oscars, theGolden Globes and Valentine’s Day, the sharp decline isharder to substantiate.Over the tracked period, while Twitter usage seemed todiminish, actual engagement exhibited consistent growth.Taking this into account, it seems that marketers shouldre-evaluate their approach and investment into thispowerful channel, especially considering that 10% ofbrands in our data set do not have a Twitter account orhave not used it in months. Given our set of retail brandsthat heavily target customers aged 18-35, it is telling that10% are not utilizing a channel like Twitter, where their keydemographic is particularly active. Interestingly, basedon our analysis, there is a 100% brand presence in onlytwo out of the four digital channels tracked. All 20 retailbrands have presence on Facebook and through email,while Twitter and YouTube are lagging.Twittermonth 1170016001500140013001200110012111098762 317Month 1 Month 2 Month 3NumberofTwitterCampaingsAverageActualCampaignEngagement
  22. 22. phone : 1.877.YESMAILPowering Intelligent InteractionsAs with Facebook, the time of day and day of the weekTwitter campaigns are deployed are critical in terms ofengagement. Even though Twitter considerablydiffers from Facebook, the guiding principle still holds:marketers need to deploy at the right time and withthe right content in order to achieve optimalinteraction with the customer. Here is what wediscovered in terms of timing:• Only 16% of all campaigns are deployed on theweekend.• 20% of all Twitter campaigns are deployed on Fridays, while paradoxically, Friday reaps the lowestcustomer engagement.• Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are consistentlythe most engaging days of the week with only amarginal difference in the engagement they garner.Weekday Trends80060040020001412108618S M T W T F S NumberofTwitterCampaingsAverageActualCampaignEngagement*measured across all tracked brandsand over the three months tracked
  23. 23. phone : 1.877.YESMAILPowering Intelligent Interactions• Over 84% of all Twitter campaigns were deployedwithin regular work hours (between 9am and 7pmET), which means that less than 16% of campaignsare deployed in the evening, at night, or in theearly morning.• Interestingly, only 30% of the timeslots that received the most engagement were in the seemingly popular 9am to 7pm period.• The most engaging timeslots were in the earlymorning hours of 5am-6am ET and 7am-8am ET.These trends leave a clearly defined opportunity for brandsto test new deployment hours in order to better engagetheir audience. Twitter campaigns deployed before thebeginning of the workday may perform better due to thelack of consistent competition and over-messaging.• The five most engaging brands deployed between45–70 Twitter campaigns per month.• The five least engaging brands averaged between95 and 115 Twitter campaigns per month.Much like with Facebook, when it comes to Twitter, thereisn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to the conundrumregarding optimal number of campaigns. However, wewere able to closely examine the deployment frequencypatterns exhibited by the retailers in our dataset. Here iswhat we discovered:These results clearly communicate that the quantity ofcampaigns does not necessarily translate into quality ofcustomer engagement.Time of Day Trends Campaign Frequency Trends19
  24. 24. phone : 1.877.YESMAILPowering Intelligent InteractionsContent Type TrendsWhen we examined the top 10% most engagingTwitter campaigns of the brands studied, the contenttrends we identified for Twitter and Facebook werequite similar.The most engaging Twitter campaigns often stick toone or more of the following principles:• Communicate purpose by identifying desired customer behavior.• Provide an incentive for performing a specific action.• Empower the customer by explicitly putting them in charge.• Feature a celebrity mention.• Include a famous saying or a celebrity quote.• Incorporate some fun, feel-good tweets with a similarly fun, feel-good hash tag. EXAMPLE: Abercrombie & Fitch is the king of breezy tweets with a light, weekend vibe: Study or party? Definitely party… #Priorities Why isn’t every night Saturday Night? #PerfectWorld You never mean for it to be, but it always is a #LazySundayCelebrity MentionFamous QuoteCelebrity MentionIdentify Desired Customer BehaviorIncentivize20
  25. 25. phone : 1.877.YESMAILPowering Intelligent InteractionsEmail Marketing and TwitterEngagementAfter we substantiated the correlation between email andFacebook engagement, we decided to test the samerelationship with Twitter. Here is what we discovered:As illustrated by the graph to the right, averageTwitter engagement grows when an email campaign isdeployed in the same timeframe. Overall, when comparedto campaigns unaccompanied by email messages,Twitter engagement exhibits an increase of over 25%when one email campaign is deployed and an increase ofover 40% when a second message goes out.This further validates the relationship between emailmarketing and social engagement, which provides greattactical implications for adjusting multi–channelmarketing strategy in order to positively impact customerengagement.Number of Emails 0 1 2deployed in the sametimeframe as aTwitter CampaignAverageActualTwitterCampaignEngagementemails 01412108641 221*measured across all tracked brandsand over the three months tracked
  26. 26. phone : 1.877.YESMAILPowering Intelligent InteractionsImplications for theTwitter ChannelBased solely on the specific brands we tracked, thecomprehensive competitive intelligence data, and thecorroborated relationship between email marketingand social engagement, we were able to develop thefollowing insights for Twitter :• As with Facebook, prior to posting on Twitter, marketersshould deploy an email campaign that prominently features social share buttons to promote and facilitatesharing across multiple social platforms.• Since Tuesday seems to be the engagement winner acrossthe social board, marketers should consistently test itagainst other deployment days, not only in terms of Twitter, but also with Facebook and email. Tuesday seemsto provide the largest engagement opportunity for amulti-channel marketing plan.• The largest number of both Twitter and Facebook campaigns is deployed during regular work hours. Marketers have an unparalleled opportunity to test alternative deployment times that will reach customersoutside of work and at a time when they may be moreinclined to make a personal purchase. Such deploymenttimes are early mornings before customers get to work,and evenings when promotional messaging will reachthem at home or on the go.• Less is more. If a brand isn’t careful about the number ofmessages it puts out, it could leave a bitter taste in theconsumer’s mouth.• Twitter is all about value-wrapped brevity, but due to thenature of the channel and the fact that an average Twitter user tweets multiple times a day, there is an understandable requirement for content variety. It is important for marketers to switch it up and tweet aboutcool offers, customer satisfaction, celebrity glam, or feel-good comments about the weather, weekend or recreation.• Based on the YouTube trends we’re about to share, and thefact that the video campaign format is the second mostengaging on Facebook, we can make a strong case aboutmulti-channel marketing that heavily utilizes the inherentcapabilities of both Twitter and YouTube.22
  27. 27. phone : 1.877.YESMAILPowering Intelligent Interactions-You
  28. 28. phone : 1.877.YESMAILPowering Intelligent InteractionsOut of all digital channels we examined, YouTube is in aleague of its own, uniquely positioned to utilize othersocial channels to drive traffic. According to metricsprovider Alexa, YouTube ranks third globally in site traffic,right behind its parent company Google and social mediagiant Facebook. Fun fact: 500 years worth of YouTubevideos are watched in any given day. This further attests toYouTube’s enormous potential, which brands have beenslow to recognize and fully utilize as demonstrated by thetelling stats below.As seen in the graph to the right, YouTube marketingcampaigns showed consistent growth within our brand setover the three-month tracked period. However, asmarketers attempted to adopt and more widely utilizeYouTube, their efforts left much to be desired.While YouTube campaign volume was growing, customerengagement with those campaigns was steadily declining.This decline may be attributed to a larger volume of poorly• 15% of tracked brands do not have a YouTube channel.• Only 35% of the brands that have a YouTube channel deployed campaigns during each of the three months tracked.• 20% only deployed campaigns in 1 of the 3 months tracked.• The number of average campaigns per month per brand is 3.5.planned or executed campaigns that failed to appeal tocustomers and incite the desired behavior. From the digitalchannels we examined, this is the only one that exhibitsthe curious pattern of growth in volume and simultaneousdecline in engagement. The conclusion here seems to bethat even though marketers are starting to recognize andutilize this channel, creating an engaging YouTubecampaign is easier said than done. Solid strategy, adedicated professional resource and substantialinvestment of time and effort are required for results.YouTubeYou Tube2. 1 Month 2 Month 3NumberofYoutubeCampaingsAverageActualCampaignEngagement*measured across all tracked brands
  29. 29. phone : 1.877.YESMAILPowering Intelligent InteractionsThe graph to the left tells a compelling story about theoptimal YouTube deployment days that complement ourFacebook and Twitter findings:• Monday is the most engaging day for YouTube,however it is one of the three least utilized deployment days.• Tuesday, the most engaging deployment day forFacebook and Twitter campaigns, is a close secondwhen it comes to YouTube engagement.• The largest number of Youtube campaigns are deployed on Friday and Thursday.• As with Facebook and Twitter, the weekend continues to be the least utilized time of the weekfor YouTube with barely 8% of campaigns going outon Saturday and Sunday combined.Weekday TrendsYou Tube1. M T W T F S NumberofYoutTubeCampaingsAverageActualCampaignEngagement*measured across all tracked brandsand over the three months tracked
  30. 30. phone : 1.877.YESMAILPowering Intelligent InteractionsEven though time of day for campaign deployment doesn’tplay as central of a role with YouTube as it does withFacebook and Twitter, it is still an important component ofa successful campaign, especially since so many customersare going directly to YouTube to browse through content.Based on the time of day trends we identified, it is clear thatYouTube offers significant areas of opportunity thatmarketers can explore to optimize their campaigns.• 68% of YouTube campaigns were deployed between11am-7pm ET.• Only 10 out of the 24 one-hour timeslots in a givenday were utilized for campaign deployment in anyof the three months tracked.• The least popular deployment timeslot across thethree-month period was 8pm–2am ET.• Surprisingly, the 2am-3am ET timeslot achieved thehighest engagement.• The 6am-7am ET timeslot comes in 2nd in termsof engagement, although it is the least utilized deployment timeslot.Time of Day TrendsYou Tube25
  31. 31. phone : 1.877.YESMAILPowering Intelligent InteractionsThe duration of a brand’s video campaign is a key variablewhen it comes to engagement. It’s no secret that brandshave a tougher time attracting and keeping their audience’sattention. A video needs to be short enough to be easilydigestible for the consumer, but long enough to tell acompelling story that prompts a reaction. Finding themiddle ground is both challenging and rewarding. Asexhibited by the chart to the right, 45% of all campaigns arebetween 30 and 90 seconds, while only 11% are less than 30seconds.In terms of engagement, however, things look differently.Here are our insights, based on the most engaging 10% ofYouTube campaigns of the brands we analyzed:• 33% of the top performing campaigns are under 30 seconds• 28% are between 60-90 seconds• 17% are between 120-180 seconds• 11% are over 180 seconds• Interestingly, the 90-120 second segment is not represented in the 10% most engaging campaignsThese findings can likely be attributed to the most frequentlyused YouTube formats: most brands populate their YouTubechannels with TV commercials (typically ranging from under30 to 90 seconds), music videos, short documentaries (e.g.documentary of TV commercial shoots), and consumer-generated content, all of which are usually over 120 seconds.When developing a YouTube strategy and allocating budgetfor video development, duration and content are keycomponents to consider.Video Duration TrendsYou TubeVideo Length of Campaigns Deployed(By Percent)1–30s30–60sover 180s120–180s90–120s60–90s11%24%16%15%13%21%Video length inseconds26
  32. 32. phone : 1.877.YESMAILPowering Intelligent InteractionsYou TubeEven with the differing nature of YouTube, we found somestriking similarities between most engaging contentstrategies for YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.• Celebrity guest stars rack up impressive engagement.• TV commercials promote a high number of views.• Incentivized behavior, like posting user-generatedcontent for a prize, is still a great engagement factor.• Vague, interest-piquing video descriptions oftenpay off because they bank on audience curiosity.Content TrendsThe Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy are all partof the same parent company. Out of those brands, theone that performed best in terms of customerengagement across the tracked social channels, isBanana Republic. There are interesting implicationsto this since the successful best practices developedby this brand are not leveraged by the rest. The lack ofcross pollination, and the limited coordination acrosschannels suggests that a great opportunity for strategyoptimization is missed here, much to the disservice ofthe brands in question as well as the customer.27
  33. 33. phone : 1.877.YESMAILPowering Intelligent Interactions• Based on our YouTube, Facebook and Twitter findings, the weekend may present a good opportunity for multi-channel campaign efforts.One well-performing weekend campaign on YouTube can successfully translate into customerengagement on another social channel.• Continue banking on Tuesday while consistentlytesting against other days. Even though it ranks second in YouTube engagement after Monday, itsclout in terms of engagement with the other socialchannels is undeniable.• As with the other social channels, an off-work hoursdeployment can be a great opportunity to engagecustomers on their own personal time. Experimenting with early morning hours and lateevening timeslots may prove to be a winning strategy.• Determining the most appropriate video length andtype of content is essential for optimal engagement.Keep video content under 3 minutes while focusing specifically on videos between 25-90 seconds. Content may take the form of TV ads, fan-generated clips and music videos.• Since YouTube still seems to be in the early stages ofeffective adoption for marketing purposes, we needto emphasize consistency. Because marketers arenot utilizing the channel consistently, customers may be less likely to engage with the content on regular basis.If done right, YouTube can be at the forefront of any marketingeffort. It has the capacity to drive incredible customerengagement due to its viral nature, but this can’t be achievedin a vacuum. YouTube needs to be supported by otherchannels in order to reach its undeniable potential as amarketing vehicle. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, YouTube lacksthe correlation previously identified between email marketingand social engagement. One likely explanation is the fact thatYouTube share buttons within email have not been widelyadopted and multi-channel marketing efforts often overlookYouTube as a viable marketing tool, despite its considerablemuscle.At the same token, as YouTube presence is becoming a “must”,marketers are underestimating the investment they need tomake in order to generate interesting and engaging content. Aviable way to remedy this situation would be anall-encompassing multi-channel marketing strategy thatsuccessfully incorporates and promotes the brand’s YouTubechannel through relevant, targeted, and easily sharablecontent. Here are some tactics we recommend whenexecuting such holistic campaigns:YouTube ChannelImplications• Start off with an email deployment that featuresall relevant social channels where the brand has apresence. This approach encourages email recipients to connect with the brand on multipleplatforms, while subtly engaging them and, ultimately, leading to conversion.You Tube28
  34. 34. phone : 1.877.YESMAILPowering Intelligent InteractionsIn their most recent marketing forecast, Forrester dubbedemail marketing “the workhorse of [the] interactive mix.*”Email continues to be the glue that holds multi-channelmarketing together while providing measurable ROI. Emailis the only channel that demonstrates month-to-monthconsistency in contrast to the rapid growth of YouTube andthe decline of Twitter. In fact, the month-to-month emailvolume for the tracked period exhibits a minimal variationof 1% to 3% monthly.Thankfully, the question is no longer “to send or not tosend.” It is “when to send and how often.” With the emailchannel, like with the channels we’ve examined so far,there is no one right answer. Key variables, such ascompetitors and industry, are different for each marketer,but there are some interesting findings that can helpdetermine a brand’s best deployment practices:• 35% of all email campaigns are deployed on Monday or Friday, with those being the top two deployment days over the three-month period.Marketers can play off of the beginning and end-of-week trend with emails deployed on Tuesday, Thursday or the weekend.• Only 20% of campaigns are sent over the weekend, agreat opportunity for brands attempting to engageconsumers during breaks from their busy worklives, when they are most likely to address theirpersonal shopping needs. Again, performing adequate testing is essential.Email Day of the Week Trends34032030028026029Month 1 Month 2 Month 3AverageActualCampaignEngagement*Forrester Research, Inc., US Interactive MarketingForecast, 2011–2016; August 2011
  35. 35. phone : 1.877.YESMAILPowering Intelligent InteractionsIn order to gauge the optimal number of emails brandsshould send, we looked at the email volume of our fiveleast and most engaging brands on Facebook and Twitter.Here is what we found:As email drives social channel engagement, consistentemail communication garners greater interaction withthe brand, leading to an increased opportunity forcustomer conversion. Truly innovative and savvymarketers will leverage this relationship to developmulti-channel programs that yield results.• The average number of emails sent each monthacross the tracked set was 17.• The five most engaging brands on Facebook andTwitter averaged 22 emails a month.• Interestingly, the bottom performing five brands on Twitter and Facebook sent less than 15 emails a month on average.In contrast to the social channels, the preferred times foremail deployment favor the early morning timeframebefore customers head to work.Our digital multi-channel analysis was conducted byoverlaying email data with social data, and furthersolidifies the relationship between email marketing andsocial engagement. Based on the most popular times ofday for email deployment and social campaigndeployment, we may conclude that email campaigns are,in most cases, deployed before social channel campaigns,which enables them to drive social engagement,promoting brand awareness and encouraging interactionwith the brand.• The 6am-10am ET timeslot is most popular foremail deployment, with 43% of campaigns being sent in that interval. Even though some AM timeslots are popular with social channels, all are inthe late morning or just before noon. Twitter’s mostpopular deployment times occur after 9 am, Facebook’s are between 11am and 1pm, while YouTube’s are exclusively after 11am.• The least popular timeslot for email deployment,6pm-10 pm ET, presents another interesting contrast—a mere 3% of emails are deployed at thistime, even though this time slot is utilized fairlyconsistently across all tracked social channels.Time of Day Trends Campaign Frequency Trends30
  36. 36. phone : 1.877.YESMAILPowering Intelligent InteractionsIn line with our emphasis on the importance of multi–channel marketing, it’s important for brands to make theiremails mobile scalable in order to accommodateaccess from any type of device. If consumers are unableto quickly and easily view an email on the go, they can’tfully engage with the brand, and their likelihood ofopening future communication diminishes.Incorporating all applicable social share buttons is a mustwhen it comes to email, as it greatly contributes tomulti-channel customer engagement. Based on thecompetitive insights discussed in this report, we can drawsome interesting conclusions about the most effectiveways to execute email campaigns that drive socialengagement:• As a top performer in terms of social engagement,Tuesday is a great candidate for deployment testing. It is the third least utilized day of the weekfor both email and Facebook deployments, but ranksfirst in engagement with both Twitter and Facebook. A Tuesday email campaign should, asoften as possible, be accompanied by Facebook andTwitter posts to promote customer interaction anddrive social engagement.• In terms of time of day, since the early morning slotfor email is particularly popular for retail brands,marketers should test alternative deployment timesthat are generally less utilized in the retail industry.As per our email insights, deployment in the lesscluttered evening hours would provide a nice alternative over the jam-packed early morningtimeslots.• Conduct consistent testing of the days and times ofemail deployment in order to ensure the audience isreached at the most opportune time.• Since the weekend is the least utilized time foremail campaign deployment, that’s a good place tostart testing. One interesting approach would be todeploy emails in the early morning hours on weekends so the marketing message is at the topof the inbox when customers wake up. The benefithere is two-fold: 1. Since the email volume sent by competitors is considerably smaller, it’s easier to cut through the clutter. 2. Since most retail shopping is typically done on the weekend, this approach may prove successful in boosting weekend sales.At Yesmail Interactive, we’ve merged some of the bestpractices we’ve outlined in this report into one winningprogram we’ve called the Social Magnifier. It integratessocial share buttons into email, delivers the rightcontent type and action items necessary to promptcustomer interaction, and leverages the relationshipbetween email marketing and social engagement. It’s anemail-driven program that promotes social sharing byrewarding it with discounts and giveaways. The resultis multiplied social engagement, massive audiencegrowth, and considerable increase in conversion rate.Ask us how we do it!Email Implications31
  37. 37. phone : 1.877.YESMAILPowering Intelligent InteractionsIn today’s digital age, it is imperative that marketers reachout to their audience through multiple channels in order toprovide various platforms for the consumer to interact withthe brand. While marketers have plenty of tools at theirdisposal to assist with the goal of customer engagement,they have been slow to effectively harness the power ofcompetitive digital intelligence. When properly collectedand analyzed, digital competitive data provides in-depth,actionable insights that can definitively improve a brand’smarketing strategy.A truly optimized marketing strategy means multi-channelmarketing. There is a lucrative correlation between emailmarketing and social engagement with Facebook andTwitter—the two most popular global social platforms. Inaddition, leveraging the very specific, yet extremelypowerful nature of YouTube can further improve strategy.By leveraging this cross-channel relationship and thein-depth insights derived from digital competitiveintelligence, marketers can choose from a variety of waysto optimize their brand’s campaigns by examining eachchannel individually, as well as looking at all of them froma holistic perspective.ConclusionYou Tube-You32
  38. 38. phone : 1.877.YESMAILPowering Intelligent InteractionsYesmail Market Intelligence provides real-time, in-depth competitivedata across multiple digital channels and industries. Competitivedata is often very difficult to collect and even harder to analyze. WithYesmail Market Intelligence these challenges are eliminated as real-time data from four digital channels feeds directly into one user-friendlydashboard. Yesmail Market Intelligence doesn’t just let you sneak apeek at what your competitors are doing, it enables you to dive intotheir digital campaigns and evaluate industry market trends andbest practices. By helping marketers to refine, adjust or completelyredefine their strategy, Yesmail Market Intelligence is one of themost sophisticated tools for improving marketing efficiency and ROI.About Yesmail Market IntelligenceInterested in learning more?Yesmail InteractiveTel. : 1-877-YESMAILEmail : sales@yesmail.comWeb : 309 SW Sixth AvenueSuite 700Portland, OR 97204