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Creative tricks to increase marketing engagement

on October 7, 2011

Here’s some of my coverage of SocialDevCamp Chicago 2011, where I was reporting for Dice. For more coverage and job news, check out Dice News.

Marketers are so self centered. How can I grow my list? How can I get more people to pay attention to me?

What if you were to flip that logic and ask, “How can I pay more attention to others?” or “How can I get others to engage in a dialogue with me.”

Sundeep Kapur is the author of the blog and online book, Email Yogi, your guide to multi-channel enlightenment.

To achieve multi-channel enlightenment, you need to carry along a dialogue, Kapur said. Going back and forth with someone is the best way to tell a consumer story. If you want it to cross different channels and devices, think about how you can capture people in different moments when they want to engage.

Instead of just asking people, “sign up for my newsletter,” “follow me on Twitter,” or dropping chiclet icons, give people specific reasons why they should sign up for your digital program. Make the reasons conversational, said Kapur.

For example, begin by asking your existing email recipients, what are they hearing on the front lines? And for the people who aren’t yet your customers, ask them, what do they expect?

During our conversation and his presentation at the SocialDevCamp conference in Chicago, Kapur offered up a slew of great creative tips for engaging your audience via email or other medium.

Creative tips for user engagement

Seek out user generated content – Solicit people to participate in a caption contest. In the past, I’ve done a funniest Tweet contest. Let the audience vote on their favorite. Voting alone is a form of user engagement. User generated content get the highest number of clicks.

Follow up with people who don’t open your emails – Kapur told an interesting story of Duncraft who sends out 3.5 emails a week. They send three emails to everyone, and for those people who never open those three emails, they send out a fourth.

Create an exclusive list for your most participatory readers – For those readers that click three or more links, put them in a special group and engage with them at a higher level. Those people are probably your advocates. Treat them well.

Write actionable subject lines – One time Kapur accidentally sent out an email with the subject line, “Insert witty subject line here.” It was supposed to be a placeholder, but it turned out to be an incredibly successful email campaign with one of his highest open rates.

Ask followers their opinion before you send out your newsletter – Before sending out an email blast, Kapur asked his Twitter followers which subject line would work better.

Create informational, transactional, and offer emails – Kapur tells a story of getting a marketing message from Tropicana hotel. Kapur kept clicking on the spa. That information got transferred back to the hotel and so when he arrived they gave him a free coupon to try out the spa. Track the information and then deliver on it.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

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