Category Archives: General

email marketing

Maximizing email marketing success

Emails are forever

Yes, we’re consuming the social days and people mostly receive all the information from the Social Medias. But in marketing terms, some goodies like direct marketing and email marketing are essential in every brand’s strategy. You may find this strange, since Social Medias segment your audience like no other media can, but know that good email campaign can build you strong customer relationships, provide you with some valuable data and even boost your ROI. But, no email campaign is easy to execute.  And it is not only the execution. As soon as you send that email, you need to maintain the focus and effectiveness in all your next campaigns. email marketingThis means having your customers get attracted by your subject, having them open your email, read the content and most of all, not deleting the email.

Treat your email campaign like every other advertising campaign you have. Convey your message to the right audience, with the right tone of voice, with the exact edginess the consumer would like to receive and with the effectiveness like all your other ads you place. Email is the medium that is and will be forever, so below are few tips for having a successful email marketing campaign.

Who is this mail for?

Know your audience. This is the first must-have in delivering a successful email marketing campaign. Yes, your subject will ultimately attract the customers, but not if it reaches a wrong ones. Consider your customers the most valuable asset you have and place them in a clean neat list. Know their interests, free time and internet habits. Never ever spam everybody with your emails. And most importantly, don’t ever assume “they might like”, Know if they’re going to like, since this is the only thing that matters. Start with building your list. email marketingThe easiest thing you can do is offer your customers free sampling or discounts in order to receive permission for their contact details. As soon as you have the permission focus on asking hem the precise questions you need, guarantying your customers on data security. Ask only what you need and never too much since too many questions will lose your potential customers. Have a visible unsubscribe option for them, to make them sure they’re not obligated to follow you, but they’re doing it because they want to know more about your brand and products. Never spam. Never! Have a clear privacy policy that never fades your customers’ trust. And last but not least, always make sure that your list is up to date. Mail addresses change but you need to track the return emails and always reach your customers.

Set your objectives and start with them

It is the same when starting a new business. You have to have a clear and moreover achievable objective and purpose of the business itself. Understanding the objective of sending emails will lead to the path of success. Understand your emails as a whole of several important fragments that equally produce deliverables. When having an objective for the overall email campaign, you don’t just focus on your subject alone. The subject will have the desired click, but if the content doesn’t deliver what your readers were interested within the subject, your email goes to trash. Keep the close connection between the subject and the body of the email. Even if your email has outstanding content, if it is not related to the subject and is not in the customer’s field of interest or is too misleading, the customer will not read the email. Both your broad and narrow objectives should be in line with your audience. Mix and match and deliver meaningful email content that will eventually be beneficial for both you and the readers.

Catch the reader’s attention: use catchy but clear subject

Yes, his majesty, the subject. It is important to make it catchy to grab the reader’s attention, but more important is to deliver a message that will genuinely generate an interest in reading the entire mail. Be honest. Tell them exactly what your email is about. If your email is beneficial for them, let them know within your subject. email marketingThink about what you will say and how will you say it. If possible, write your subject so it generates an instant emotion about your email. Curiosity would be the perfect emotion to create, but urgency and sympathy will also do the work. Or you can simply go with call to action. Intriguing yet inspiring subject line delivers higher click-to-open rate. But, try to loose “FREE” in your subject. This is often used by selling spammers and most likely will not be clicked. Think more in terms of an opening line to a conversation you’re about to have with your customer. You grab his interest with the introduction but continue his interest with the content of your conversation.

Converse while focusing on the message

If you have already set your objective, it’s clear than email campaigns are more than communication. They send out what you have to say. They release your message. So in order to deliver your message right, you need to focus. First of all it would be highly useful if you subscribe to newsletters from other companies. As you do, you’ll start thinking like a customer. You’ll easily notice what messages you open and which ones you delete without even clicking. When writing your copy, always use conversational tone, make it direct and include call to action. Your readers will genuinely want to click on your emails if you let them know they receive valuable content. Drive their curiosity, not only in reading your emails but in visiting your website and ultimately buying one of your product or services. When an email speaks a concise and direct conversation to a specifically crafted audience, it can drive immediate and emotional benefit but also leverages curiosity. And when the conversation has started, you need to focus on maintaining it and extending it even further, by listening to the audience and adding some extra value for them. Make them engage with your emails. Ask them what they would want to know or have, like some juicy info, specially crafted offers, new services and discounts and always include your link to your emails. Try to personalize each message and even ask the readers to participate. How? Make sure you always include social buttons so the readers could easily share the content of your emails and continue the conversation on all other Social Medias.

Test your messages and measure the success

You’ve come up with mail concepts, you have good subject lines and you’re about to launch your big email campaign. Stop. Before sending your email out, you need to do the test. You need to test out the look, feel and performance of your emails in order to achieve optimal results. For example, you have two concepts that you think would work great. Test them both between your employees, or friends. Find out which one performs better in terms of subject, body, call to action and you will have your winning email. There is a standard A/B testing for subject lines that determine whether your message is the right one to go to your readers’ inbox. Also emphasize the images. Always use clear, royalty cleared images and even better; make photo shoots to have your own image base. Make sure all the links are in right position, all clickable, all delivering the reader to the right destination. The last thing you would like is to carry your customer to a different location than desired one.

email marketingAfter all tests have ensured your email is ready and you send it and launch your email campaign, make sure you’ll able to measure the results. Measuring will help you see what works and what doesn’t for your audience which will allow you to have better and better future campaigns. Try to gather as many data as you can. Look up for real-time reports and results via Google analytics or similar tools. A successful email marketing campaign will indicate high percentage of people who have opened the email. The open/send ratio improves with considering all above points, especially accentuate the audience segmentation. But ultimately, the success of your email campaign will be resolved at the moment when you truly understand the email as your marketing medium.

Automation as a tool

There is a great advantage in email marketing. You don’t have to do everything by yourself. You can automate your email marketing. It’s easy, affordable and can save you a whole load of time, while letting you more space in developing your other strategies or creatively express yourself. Orange Interactive Technology creates customized email marketing automation solutions, enabling you to build stronger relationships with your audience, while measuring your results and keeping track of all previous and next campaigns.

multiscreen

Creating videos for the multiscreen world

Living the Screen Age

We are yet not aware how quickly the screens have taken over our lives. From an information tool, the screens have become a sole provider of not only information, but also entertainment, connectivity, communication, transactions, controlling, education and even friendship… Today, there is a different screen for every purpose and every need. And we spend hours gazing into them like in and endless pond of the unknown.

 “People have always loved watching screens. We have all felt the attraction. 00xp-screens-master768In early days of television, before we got a set of our own, I remember the fascination of televisions on display in store windows. Like everyone else, I’d stand on the street gazing in the magic of the moving images and feel the future had arrived.” – Kevin Roberts, CEO Worldwide Saatchi&Saatchi.

But what are we looking at? A better self? More useful information? Our ideal friends, products or services? And with this entire constant screen looking, now more than ever, the content, context and usage of all those screens with skill and creativity has become even bigger of a challenge.

The world revolving around multiscreen

The family of screens has grown multi-numerous. From Totem screens, to Television screen, Computers, Tablets, Laptops, Home theater screen, Smartphones, Gaming consoles, macbook-apple-imac-computer-39284Music players, Movie theatres, Billboard screens, In-flight screens, Car screens, ATM screens,  Security screens… We touch them, we tap them, pinch, zoom, swipe… We fully interact with each and every screen around us, drawing everything out from them.  They feel real, intimate, they deliver content and at the same time the screens are physical, likeable, they love to play. They have become our loyal companion who tells us stories, makes us connected and most of all, shows us we belong in this world.

“If you can’t deal with screen language, you aren’t literate. – John Seely Brown

Today all publishers, creators and storytellers are speaking the screen language. They are trying to convey the right content for the rights screen day-to-day. And delivering it foregoes knowing the audience, the screen evolvement and creating a superb story.

During this screen evolvement days, the sight, sound and motion have become the best formula for speaking the screen language. Or to put it simple – the video. Videos have become the ideal technique for telling stories. Having something to watch, that has visual content in motion, combined with audio is the absolute best way to deliver the on-screen story.  People urge excitement; they are passionate about music, they are attracted by color and motion. And when shaping all the ingredients into one contextually right product, you will easily deliver your message.

Are all screens equal?

Do they look and feel equal? No. Every single different platform has different viewing concepts. The media has dramatically evolved after the “digital” happened. multiscreenAll the new screens that emerge require more and different content. The divergence of screens comes in many different matters, whether is the size, the media, and the purpose which of course dictates the content itself.

Nowadays, as Smartphones has become the backbone of our daily media interactions. They have the highest number of user interactions per day, making the TV the boring screen. Nevertheless, in this digital era, even with this variety of screens, people try to expand even wider and create new media and new innovative ways of spreading their messages. So, not only have the screens evolved. The consumers themselves have also evolved. They’ve developed different consumer needs. They require different storytelling styles. Viewers no longer put up with unattractive content. They want to skip whatever bores them. And over the days, the viewers have become less tolerant to digital ads then TV ones. They skip ads or pay premium to have ads free content. The TV content is more often viewed on demand, meaning that the audience that seats passively in front of the TV is constantly lowering.

Can the same video be used in all screens?

The ultimate and most frequently asked question. Whether is an attempt for saving money or time, most of the clients would rather have the same video to be played on all platforms. Is that the right decision? Certainly and absolutely not. The single story creates stereotypes, closed perceptions and the multiscreen world is the utter contrary. Every platform expands to new wealth of possibilities and most importantly they create a unique, direct and emotional connection with the consumers. And not only the context but the duration is also of great importance in video content. As TV charges broadcasting per second and you should optimize your messaging based on the media budgets, the problem on the digital platforms is entirely different. No one watches video content longer than 15 seconds on social Medias. So another problem occurs. Telling your story right and telling it short.

storytelling-multiscreenThe power of storytelling

As Wittgenstein wrote, “The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.” Great stories are broad yet are easy to understand. Great stories touch us, they are contagious, connect with emotions. They have context, introduce us to great characters, teach us something new, something smart, and open us up to new worlds, especially to the world of our imagination. But all along, every story follows a simple idea: What happens next?

Emotion is what makes a story memorable and inspiring. Stories engage us, feed our curiosity, and make us want to consume more. And the storytelling is just that; creating an emotional experience and passionate commitment between the story and its viewer or the reader.

“There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.” – W. Somerset

In the past years the amount of information that is being communicated on daily basis has overwhelmed the traditional storytelling styles. But thanks to all the exploring possibilities, the new storytellers inquire new answers to the digital age. Their stories are built to overcome the information overload and be placed in the multiscreen as their home. Or as writer Barry Holstun Lopes have said “Everything is held together with stories. That is all that is holding us together, stories and compassion.”

The right video for every viewer

People like to do several things at the same time. Screen experience is really important to them especially when they spend most of their time holding one and receiving all the info from it. But people differently engage digital content. TV watchers are becoming the fading audience beaten by on-the-go generation that consumes as many messages as possible. So what would the right way to deliver the right video to the right viewer?

Emotion. No matter when, no matter what, the video should always have and create a certain emotion. This will further connect your customer to your brand. So, when doing a video-multiscreenvideo you should always ask yourself is your video enjoyable in all contexts? Does it create and emotional response? Does it have enjoyable yet engaging creative?  And believe it or not, the best way to achieve the emotion is with combination of audio and video. Never go mute. And if you do, always use subtitles. It is important your video works on mute. So put supers, eye-catching details. Your viewer should be attracted in the first 3 seconds, or he will continue scrolling on his home page. Another important thing in contextualizing is the video length. The video should never be it longer then is has to be. Attract the viewers in the first 3 seconds and finish your video in 15 to 20 seconds.  Be catchy, straightforward and use nice colors and motion. And be smart. Optimize your videos for all the devices you plan to use. Stretch them optimally on how people view it.  Think like you are in their mobile devices, tablets and their social medias. And last but not least, use smart branding. Show your brand, product or service in the manner of the platform you set the video for. Be a brand who thinks like its consumers, get close to them and give them exactly what they want.

SmartCity

Smart cities, are we living there?

IoT is changing the game

We are all digitalists. Modern citizens living in a modern, digitalized era. IoT-Smart-CityEvery day we wake up more connected and more productive thanks to the tools and devices out there helping us to have all the complex things in life done simpler. What was once the Internet is now The Internet of Things. All the digital solutions are now making life more endurable and enjoyable and goods more approachable. The Internet of things is the smooth switch to smart technologies, helping us to save energy, to improve our safety, and even improve our business. And the game is truly being changed since we’re starting to live in completely connected homes and the living is made so much simpler and easier thanks to Smart Cities.

Enhancing the quality of life

The sole purpose of connected-life premises is not only to have your friends online at all time, but to make life easier and people more self-aware, mindful and conscientious. smartCityThe new digital dimension enhances the quality of life. It helps people gather real-time information that can help and improve living in so many spheres. The intelligent solutions are helping in saving the environment by cutting energy use, lowering carbon emissions, reshaping and lowering waste production. The new digital platforms will help calculate the quantity of water drops we use thus saving the amount of water we spend. They will increase the security of each and every one of us. Smart solutions will reduce dangerous jobs for people, making them being operated more safely and much more effectively by autonomous and self-driving devices. The benefits will also emerge in the fields like medicine, architecture, economy, education and even entertainment, making our lives better by all means.

The cities of the future

We live in the same cities as before, now much more improved. The cities themselves are changing and adapting to this new digital dimension providing the citizens an easier and more comfortable life. All this thanks to the M2M technology that enables actions and information exchange of all networked devices without any human assistance. Urban environments are already experiencing the benefits of Intelligent lighting, the self-driving public transport, the Intelligent Traffic management. So how will our everyday life be better living in the smart city? Let’s have a common, yet not a pleasant scenario: if a gas leeks, SmartCitythe smart home sensors will be able to detect the change and notify the officials, who will be able to immediately locate the nearest available crew to be sent onsite. The automatic traffic lights will be adjusted so the field crew gets onsite quickly, while the digital signage could inform the other traffic participants of the situation and alert them on driving changes. The other residents of the building could be alerted immediately, they would be able to leave the site with the automatically set public transport, and they could also participate in further sharing of the information in order to have the problem fixed in the fastest and easiest possible way. It is a simple example of how smart city technology could help and make living more enduring and cities more adaptable to its communities and citizens.

smartcity

Smart City solutions

Smart City solutions are based on the critical points of living in big cities. And the Smart parking systems are among the best solutions because they notify the drivers when a free parking spot emerges and in big cities with a lot of vehicles, this will mean lowering the citizens’ time and the air polluting. Or in numbers, by lowering the average parking-search time from 15 to just 12 minutes will lower the CO2 emissions by 400 tones in cities with average 5 million people. Nowadays, most of the bigger cities have interconnected and using Intelligent transport systems. This helps in public transport coordination and providing real-time information. Smart taxis are helping the customers even now, enabling them to book a car with an application, while using their location to find their quickest ride available. smartcityAnother popular Smart City solution is the Traffic management. Having monitoring of all road systems and informing the drivers of their best route at any given time. The traffic management solutions will automatically manage the traffic lights and reduce overcrowding to the minimum. There are cities that are currently testing the systems of Smart grids. This solution will provide the necessary amount of electricity depending on the demand, maximizing the power efficiency. On the line of electricity saving, the Smart urban lighting will also reduce the energy waste by adjusting the intensity of the light depending on the people who are around or turning it down when nobody is on the street. In living the environmentally friendly lives, Smart containers and Waste management help people a lot. These solutions will increase the efficiency in waste collection leaving the cities cleaner. Smart Cities are cutting down the billboards, printed posters and delivering the information on the Digital-signage. All of the urban ads will now be tailored to each citizen personally helping the customers to see and buy things they like with app clicks from the signage. As technology grows bigger, the innovations become smarter providing help in all aspects. The future Smart city maintenance will help the citizens to communicate with city representatives through their smartphones making the city damages being repaired faster.  And all that, without any human assistance. Only technology solutions.

Masdar City in Abu Dhabi

There are few great examples of Smart Cities around the world and the 67cb5dfc24e7ccb676970e9c87fd91dfMasdar City in Abu Dhabi is one of them. Having relying only on solar and renewable energy sources, this city with its unique construction was created to be a sustainable and very friendly to pedestrians and cyclists. The construction itself, helps in maintaining a pleasant temperature and having a breeze push for a slight cooling effect. The buildings in Masdar assembled closely together to create streets and sidewalks shielded from the sun. Initially, the design of the cities banned cars and the transport is via public mass-transit and personal-rapid-transit (PRT) systems, onto the existing roads and railways.

Amsterdam Smart City

Another city that pushes itself to innovativity and smart solutions is Netherlands capital, Amsterdam. Over the years Amsterdam has become social, open and sustainable European1019-header-94793a6c02879bdbda21ff86a963b201-ASC_V2G_infographic_770.jpg pearl promoting IoT challenges, involving more than 100.000 Energy Neutral Homes, motivating and involving the residents and homeowners to develop cost effective and sustainable houses in their neighborhoods. They have already implemented the Smart Parking and the Smart Waste solution and over the years Amsterdam is known for the bike-friendly living and Smart Transport solutions, running on solar or renewable energy.

By now we all want to live in a city that is fully digital that offers smart solutions and helps us in delivering easy living. Unfortunately, for full implementation, we’ll have to wait a while, or move to a smarter place.

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Virtual Reality: You can’t help but say “WOW!”

Familiarity with VR

By now, you don’t have to be a tech geek to be familiar with Virtual Reality and its influence to modern living. But just in case, probably the shortest and simplest explanation about VR you’ll ever get is that Virtual Reality is a computer generated environment that enables you to experience a different reality.

How VR works

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By using several software technologies that generate realistic images, sounds and other sensations, combined with hardware devices (display screens, goggles and headsets), VR replicates a real environment, creating a certain imaginary setting. Through simulating a user’s physical presence in a given environment by looking around and moving around in it and enabling him to interact with the space, creating artificial sensory experiences like sight, touch, hearing it opens up a new, never before explored dimension of user experience.

By now, VR comes in several different forms to choose from – the cheap headsets that work with your phone or the much more expensive options that require a powerful PC or gaming console and some space to move around. Whichever you choose, the VR set will visually separate you from the space you are physically in and take you to the places you’ve always wanted to visit; it will engage you in a video game without moving from your couch or let you experience a movie as if you are part of it.

How can VR help in easier living?

Having all things in mind, the big question inevitably pops up: So, with such power, how can the VR help people in making their lives easier. Well…. It kinda does…

Architecture: Trends come to a time where architecture becomes virtual before it comes real. Nowadays, users can step inside a virtual building, look around in all directions, walk into rooms, climb stairs or even walk along the edges of an under-construction building. In design process, architects also use VR to visualize or choose the finishing options like wood, stone, marble, and bronze… In one word, users can explore any building around the world, inside or out, including the ones that don’t yet exist… This is both terrifying and extremely useful and practical at the same time, making it easier for the user to understand and have a clear image very quickly.

Health care and Medicine: Medical VR is an area with fascinating possibilities and its benefits are truly versatile. VR simulations can be an effective treatment for everything from intense pain to Alzheimer’s disease to arachnophobia to depression. How it works: basically, the worst pain can be eased by manipulating the human mind: the less you focus on pain, the easier it feels. Hence, swamping the brain with an overload of sensory inputs and distracting the patients from reality helps them with their pain.

Whoever has gone through a hospital experience, surely knows that it can be really stressful. Moreover, this can also be a mental burden, especially for small children who miss their parents, their friends or their home. Thus, VR can make hospitalized children feel like they’re at home.

There many other useful practices of VR such as watching or performing operations, relaxing chronic patients, meditation, rehabilitation and speeding up recovery for patients who survived a stroke or a traumatic brain injury, treatment for PTSD, etc. More recently, hospitals are using VR simulations to help war veterans reviving the traumatic events they’ve experienced, in order to understand their traumas and hopefully figure out a way to deal with it.

Art and History: Believe it or not, the Louvre is one of many museums providing a unique Virtual Experience tour. Becoming an enormously high-rising trend, more and more galleries and museums are using it and creating engaging and one-of-a-kind experience tours for their visitors. Whether being high resolution artworks, 360 degrees of panoramic painting views and full exhibits, journeys through ancient temples, reconstructed versions of archaeological sites, or imagery explanation of history and heritage – the VR can bring something to people that no longer exists, even reconstruct in its original form. This is making it possible for them to experience a favorite place over and over again, in an entirely different way.

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Gaming: Obviously, today video games are one of the main interests for VR. Especially that VR will give game designers the freedom to take gamers to previously unexperienced levels. Now that players can reach out and touch things or turn their head to look, instead of mastering a complex controller, a unique gaming experience and feeling as being inside of the game is possible for the first time in history.

Tourism and Lifestyle: Virtual tourism can be the next big thing. Thanks to VR now everybody could travel and visit Paris, Barcelona, New York… But why stop there? The possibilities are endless, we can conquer Mars, or even planets outside of our solar system. We can swim along whales at the bottom of the ocean, experience stampedes in the savannas, and climb the Himalayas, everything from the comfort of your home.  Whether watching a 360-degree video someone took, or experiencing a 3D generated simulation, you can now replace the real world with your dream place or destination of choice.

Education: Another great and very important advantage of VR is of course in education. berlin-1429878_1920Now, thanks to Virtual Reality students could take a class trip to ancient Rome, visit Verona to look at the setting for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet or try an open-heart surgery without any risks. This global distribution of VR content and access will undoubtedly influence a pedagogical shift as these new technologies spread out and become more available. Some forward-thinking educators are even using 3D printers to print their own customized HMDs with their technology students.

Are there any Social aspects of VR?

But, here comes the psychological question: How being “virtually present in an artificial environment” can improve social relations? At this point, the future of virtual reality is often publicized as a dystopian view of millions of people spending hours alone each day, with huge gadgets stuck to their face, enraptured by fantastical, imaginary worlds.

If we look the other way around, it is going to be millions of people spending time together with friends, family, colleagues, and new acquaintances, experiencing moments together no matter the physical distance between them. Or in other words, no matter where on the globe, you’ll be able to be in the same room as your friends or family.

As we speek, the social platforms are implementing the VR into their content management. Just yesterday Facebook launched the 360 degree video for Facebook Live, which will sooner or later enable all users of the social platform to create even more immersive real-time content, and is the the next step towards social in virtual reality.

So, what we’ve learned so far:

Having recently experienced an amazing HTC Vive in-person, VR is definitely integrating the physical and digital. It brings people into the same environment to hang out, while enjoying different activities. It is giving participants superpowers or putting them into even more fantastical, immersive environments, unable to experience IRL. While you’re in VR, you are completely separated from reality, which only confirms with the seeing is believing philosophy.

Our practice:blond man with virtual glasses. surprised expression

We at Orange Interactive, are extremely proud to be part of the VR development, helping industries, social researches and bringing closer the new innovative technologies to people every day.

 

Marija Stardelova

Marketing Specialist and Blogger, Orange Interactive Technology

Customer Awareness

In the light of the new digital threat being faced by businesses in the form of Email Scams, it is critical to be aware of this growing problem.

The Business Email Scam is a misrepresentation by someone posing as an existing vendor, wherein a deceptive email is sent with details of a bank account for onward transactions.  Convincing businesses that this updates are genuine, most corporate easily fall into this trap.

This menace is now been observed in UAE too, wherein many businesses have already reported considerable losses.

To be conned by these deception artists is not as complicated as we would like to imagine, hence awareness is critical.  This starts with phishing an influential executive and gaining access to their mails, or emailing employees from a similar domain name.

Corresponding in lines with a previous email, a rapport is established.  After this, citing a genuine & believable reason, they request the payment for the next invoices be transferred to a new account.  The reasons could be as varied as problem with the existing account or any other reason.  By the time this con is realized, it is too late, with the payments and manipulators getting away with it.

To avoid falling prey to such scams, you must:

  • Ensure that your digital identities are protected and gadgets are malware free.  This will help keep your data safe and avoid misuse of your id.
  • Any requests for change in payment methods for a vendor, should be verified directly.
  • Be smart while sharing financial or personal information on the digital platform.  More often than not, this could easily fall in the wrong hands.

This is a service message, presented with the intention of social awareness to these frequently occurring email scams.  We hope you will take precautionary action on the same immediately.