Getting Email Marketing Right

During the holidays, my inbox is flooded with lots of emails from vendors whose products and services I’m interested in, and from some that I am not. Being a procrastinator, I must confess I still have not yet completed my holiday shopping so unlike most, I open a good portion of these emails looking for deals.

Recently, I received an email from a gourmet food vendor who’s meats and wine selection I absolutely adore. The email informed me that they were having an open house and there would be lots of opportunity for tasting and sampling. I immediately though, “yum! Can’t wait!”

The creative on the email included the various icons for social sharing: Facebook, Twitter, etc, Given that a) I like the vendor’s store and b) wanted to share the news with my friends, I tried to click on an icon. Nothing happened. Ok, being the determined one, I figured it may not work from within the email itself, so I clicked on the text to view the content of the email within my browser. Clicked on the Facebook icon. Nothing.

So what happened next? I gave up.

And that’s what most of your customers and prospects would do.

The moral of the story? If you’re going to spend the time and money on email marketing to your customer base and include social features, test, test, test. Make sure the recipient of your emails can actually take the implied action. Otherwise, they’ll never tell their friends about your offer… no matter how good it is.

Economic Trends: Corporate Travel Growth Slowing

A recent CNBC report indicates economic uncertainty is taking a toll on businesses. Corporate travel growth slowing, especially for domestic travel (travel . Companies tend to invest more heavily in business travel when they see growth opportunities. They are still investing in business travel, just not at the same rate. Growth rate was 6.9% in 2011 and 2012 projected growth is expected to be 4.3%.

International business travel still holding steady as companies still see growth and expansion opportunities abroad as the U.S. economy still remains sluggish. International travel is concentrated on areas where companies see growth opportunities. These are areas like China, India, Brasil.

How is this effecting the company you work at? Does the slowdown in corporate travel increase corporate investment in online collaboration tools and technologies (skype, gotomeeting, webex, and others)?

Full story at CNBC

Business Objectives vs. User Experience

Smashing Magazine recently published today an article entitled “Business Objectives vs. User Experience” (see full article here:
http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2011/02/04/business-objectives-vs-user-experience/)

As a designer, your first reaction might be “What? Are you Kidding?” but stop and think about it. With few exceptions, a web site exists for the purposes of the business. therefore, it should be initially designed and created with the business objectives in mind. User experience is considered and factored into the design process after clear understanding of what the objectives are. Thus, a superior user experience makes it easier for the business objectives to be attained.

So remember, while a website might be pretty or “cool”, don’t forget that in the end, you must get a return on that investment or it just isn’t worth it.

A “C” of Change

What’s in a name? Everything.

Your company name becomes your brand. It defines who you are, therefore important to put a lot of thought into one before choosing a name.

The name of our company, C Change Consulting, is a slight play on words, with the letter “C” substituted for the word “Sea”. So instead of “Sea Change”, we have “C Change”. What is a “sea change” and how does it apply to business? “Sea Change” is a term often used to mean significant transformation. The term’s roots can be derived from Shakespeare’s “The Tempest:”

Full fathom five thy father lies:
Of his bones are coral made:
Those are pearls that were his eyes:
Nothing of him that doth fade
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.

As your business goes through its various stages of growth, it must transform itself. To survive — and thrive — you must transform the business for its next phase of growth.