Thursday, December 17, 2009

23% Open Rate on SPAM???

Below is an email I sent to 200 people.  The subject line of the email read: Test Print Now!

I sent the email out on Monday of this week.  As of this posting I have recieved 46 emails from people asking the same question (slight variations): "I tried to print it, it worked. Now what?" or "I opened this so I guess the test was successful?"  Of course they are referring to the obvious and then realized the content... but they engaged!

After reading the email the Subject Line makes more sense.  But how many people open an email that says Information on Print Advertising?  Just a little electronic experiment I thought I would share with you all.... After all a 23% open rate on an email (SPAM really...) is pretty decent, doncha think?

Yes, My Name Is Charlie - And I'm A Victim of Viral Marketing!

YouTube- "I don't have an account but boy do I still get to watch videos all day!"

Below is a list of videos that have been passed to me via email, Facebook, or text message at least 5X each in the last 2 weeks.  This is a prime example of Viral Marketing used for entertainment purposes only.  People think it is funny to send me video links to things with my name in the title (I find it flattering).  What I think is interesting are all the revisions each of these videos go through once released in the world.

Charlie Bit Me is a good example.  The Original version has a large amounts of views but the AutoTune Remix version, released roughly a year later, is quickly catching up.  When you watch these two videos the important thing to recognize is the AutoTune portion.  Watch it and then type in AutoTune into YouTube and see what you get- this is a new way- ONE TO WATCH- to deliver information.

Charlie Bit My Finger 140,941,980 views

Charlie Bit Me - AutoTune 846,719 views

Now, Charlie The Unicorn is a very weird cartoon, which I have never fully understood and don't find funny.  (Am I the only one?)  Many of the variations on this show are very twisted!  However, it is continuously circulated through the internet with a cult-like intensity.

Charlie The Unicorn 43,178,644 views

Charlie The Unicorn Remade 8,147 views

The Charlie Perfume videos are many in number.  The Original 1970's commercial with the woman in the red dress (whom I was named after) has been "remade" using many different people in our pop-culture world, most recently Cindy Crawford.  These videos and their variations give you a good glimpse into how Brands can use humor and pop-culture to circulate their message into nooks and crannys they would not ordinarily consider.  The trick is how to get the viewers to order.  Watch several of these Charlie Perfume commercials and see how long it takes you to get to an order page. This is where traditional brand messaging is not so disimilar to YouTube - you have to ask for the sale- which neither do very well- YET!

1993 Charlie Perfume Remake - Little Richard and Cindy Crawford 6,672 views 

1970's Charlie Perfume Commercial 13,586 views

And this leads me to another example of the strangeness that is Viral Marketing.  Vince Offer sold a lot of Slap Chops on TV using a very clever 2 minute video.  This video was viewed 615K times on YouTube (as of today).  I'm sure this translated into retail sales- although the tracking is tricky.  But when the Slap Chop Rap hit YouTube almost 8 million people were exposed to this product- those are Oprah numbers.  These are people (many under 25) who would have never seen or taken seriously the TV spot.  These are people that surely saw Slap Chop in a CVS or Walmart and picked it up due to this rap spoof.  Isn't humor one of the main reasons Chia Pets are such a big seller every year at Christmas? Again, the trackability is tricky at this level.  However, if you were to look at the media dollars spent, BEFORE and AFTER, the spoof became a viral marketing phenomenon, I bet you'd be surprised to see the REAL LIFT at the cash register.

Original Slap Chop TV Commercial - Vince Offner 615,600 views

Slap Chop Rap - Spoof 7,584,308 views

In the upcoming months the challenge for all marketers will be to understand what the buzz about viral is all about.  It is as easy as having an name like Charlie and yet as complex as not knowing how many people actually bought your product when 8 million people have seen it.

Coming soon... Should You Leave Comments on YouTube Videos?  The Hansel and Gretel Theory!

Social Networking - What Do We Really Know About "Our Friends"?

Do you FB?  Do you Tweet?  YouTube Junkie?  Cyber Date at all?  DVR much?  Or do you just hang out with your APPS?

December 2009 - Fortune Small Business Magazine  Pg. 88 -

13.9 BILIION  = minutes Facebook users spent on the site in April - a 700% increase from April 2008.
     WWCS? - I am a very active FB user and have probably contributed to this amazing increase.  Last April I could barely use my toaster correctly. This year I judge my coolness factor based on the number of FB friends I interact with daily (not really but maybe...).  Facebook lead me to Twitter- Twitter to YouTube- and I have APPS for all 3.  As I finish up an article on Facebook Is What Cheers Used To Be (coming soon) I pose the question:  How many of those 13.9 billion minutes were productive versus neutral entertainment?

According to Fortune, out of 2,000 random Tweets analyzed- 38% were conversational and 43% were deemed babble!
     WWCS? - If Tweets are 140 character babbles, is Facebook a more extensive, audio/video populated version of babble/chit chat?  Why are we spending so much time on Facebook doing something that is as effective/ineffective as chatting in the local bar with strangers?  Especially, when you consider that 87% of adults say they prefer dealing with others in person instead of via computers or smartphones.  Is non-memorable chit-chat better accepted in bytes then over a bite?

There must be something to all this YouTube exchange and Tweeting because 95% of business decision makers worldwide use social networks to some extent.

I get asked all the time, "How do I make money using a social network or blog or Facebook?"  When looking at the above polling numbers it might seem as though no real money can be made in this fickle medium which offers little more focus than an hour at Chili's on a Friday night. However, there is money to be made when harnessing these emerging, and warp-speed growing, mediums correctly. 

So, the next time you are using your APP to log on to Twitter and post a '140 word quip' ask yourself this question: "Is what I am about to say pop-culture relevent,  antagonistically interesting, freakishly Cultish, or funny to the masses under 25?"  If the answer is yes then you are closer than ever to making some moula in cyber-space.

I'll be posting more on this topic in the next few weeks as I prepare to Moderate this Hot Topic in New Orleans at ERA in February.

By the way, what's the appropriate sign of in the Internet world?