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What’s The Alternative To Spending $7 Million On A Super Bowl Ad?

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What’s The Alternative To Spending $7 Million On A Super Bowl Ad?

Two years ago, I asked, “Is a Super Bowl ad is the equivalent of lighting money on fire?

Advertisers just ran a total of 66 commercials during this year’s “Big Game,” so apparently my column didn’t stop brands and their agencies from starting a bonfire of the vanities again this year.

Why do they persist?

Well, 112.3 million viewers watched the Super Bowl LVI last month, according to NBC.

(More than 101 million Americans watched the Big Game on live TV across NBC and Telemundo, according to preliminary ratings from Nielsen. Across all of NBC’s platforms, including its streaming platform Peacock, 112.3 million viewers watched the game.)

So, a lot of advertisers are convinced that Super Bowl advertising still works.

But not many can afford the price tag.

What’s the alternative?

Last month, I asked a diverse group of five digital marketing experts to share the advice that they’d give if one of their prospects or clients asked, “What’s the alternative to spending up to $7 million on a 30-second spot during the Big Game?”

And since many of the most memorable Super Bowl commercials were 60 seconds long, some of these brands and agencies might ask, “What’s the alternative to spending up to $14 million on an ad that reaches 112.3 million viewers?”

 

Use A Video Testing Tool To Perfect Your Final Edit

The first digital marketing expert to respond was Ian Forrester, the founder, and CEO of DAIVID.

He agreed to use his video testing tool, which uses Emotional AI to automatically predict video performance without the need to show creative to respondents, to analyze three or four Super Bowl ads.

But he asked me to select the ones that I wanted to test.

So, I selected four that would be of special interest to Search Engine Journal readers.

The first was “Old Friends. New Fun. | Meta Quest 2.”

The description of this 60-second long video ad says, “No one’s ever gotten the band back together quite like this. Quest is ready.”

The second was “Amazon’s Big Game Commercial: Mind Reader.”

This 60-second long ad’s description says, “Is Alexa reading minds a good idea? No. No, it is not.”

The third was “The New Frontier’ Salesforce Super Bowl Ad | Join #TeamEarth w/ Matthew McConaughey & Salesforce.”

The description of this 60-second long video ad says, “‘Salesforce and Matthew McConaughey say the nature of business is changing.”

And the fourth was “Lizzo in Real Tone #SeenOnPixel.”

This 60-second long video ad’s description says, “Historically, camera technology hasn’t accurately represented darker skin tones.”

Attention, Emotions, Brand Attribution

Forrester, who lives in London (and uses British spelling), said,

“Focusing on DAIVID’s core metrics: Attention, emotions, and brand attribution, we can see that the four Super Bowl ads varied significantly in performance.

The charts below show the videos’ percentile score for each metric, as compared with the DAIVID US norm (50% percentile).”

Image from DAIVID, March 2022

Meta – Old Friends, New Fun

He added, “Meta scored well for attention. The ad captured attention, opening on an engaging, animated scene of 80s stuffed animals playing at Questy’s.

“The story then quickly unfolded in Toy Story-esque fashion, with the doggy lead singer cast aside by society and nearly meeting his fate at the hands of a garbage crusher.”

This brutally quick fall from grace maintained viewer attention, as viewers watched to see what would become of the band.

Forrester explained, “While outside of the top quartile for US ads as regards positive emotions, the emotional response to the ad was good. Kicking off with an aesthetically pleasing, the nostalgic scene worked well and the forlorn puppy wasting away on the side of the road evoked sadness and empathetic pain.

These empathic emotions then amplified feelings of warmth, relief, and hope when the quartet found a new lease on life.

Yet positive emotions could have been improved by developing the characters further.

Getting to know them better before their fall from grace would intensify sadness and empathetic pain such that the subsequent positive emotion would be stronger following their return to force.”

He concluded, “The Meta Quest 2 is integral to the storyline, facilitating the band’s comeback. This, combined with images of the metaverse which are now commonly recognized, drove strong brand attribution performance.”

Amazon – Mind Reader

Forrester said, “Amazon opened comparatively more slowly than Meta, with a normal looking house and couple, and Alexa streaming game day football. Only in the 8th second did Alexa’s more interesting capabilities start to surface, and a number of viewers had dropped off by that point.

Yet if viewers stayed to the 10th second, they were likely to stay to the end; Alexa’s mind-reading capabilities revealing the couple’s ever more outrageous thoughts maintained attention to the final screen.”

He added, “The ad scored strongly for positive emotions; things which are best left unsaid in a relationship or social situations struck a chord with viewers and evoked intense amusement. As with most ads that intensely amuse, the ad was polarising.

Some viewers found the ad too cringe-worthy, feeling awkwardness and embarrassment at the scenarios. This is to be expected: To make some viewers really laugh it’s often necessary to alienate others.”

Forrester explained, “Yet a deeper analysis of the ad’s negative emotions revealed a more concerning issue for Amazon. Some consumers are already extremely wary of big tech’s control of data and seemingly panopticon-like knowledge of their lives. This, combined with worries about the potential dark future that AI could create, caused some viewers to feel extreme distrust and anxiety upon viewing the ad.

Amazon would have been well advised to consider this adverse reaction before joking about its personal assistant being able to read minds. However, it must be stressed that only a small minority of viewers felt these emotions, with the vast majority being amused by the ad.”

He concluded, “The ad scored very strongly for brand attribution. Clearly, the storyline of the ad could not function without Alexa’s involvement and the video is peppered with Alexa’s sleek unit and iconic voice.”

Salesforce – The New Frontier

Forrester said, “The Salesforce ad opened well, with Matthew McConaughey’s soothing southern drawl over the space scene drawing in viewers. Unfortunately, this is where the positive story for the ad ended.

After the opening frames, the seemingly unrelated stream of scenes in which McConaughey ‘engages’ with earth by flying above it in a hot air balloon dressed as an astronaut mainly confused viewers, causing them to lose interest in, and turn away from, the content very quickly.”

He added, “The conflation of the universe and the metaverse heaped petrol on the flames of befuddlement, as did the wandering astronaut’s final appearance, in the middle of the desert. Widespread intense confusion inhibited the ad from evoking the knowledge, admiration, pride, and inspiration it was likely intended to elicit.”

He concluded, “Yet the worst performance was still to come. The ad placed in the lowest quintile for brand association. Those few viewers who did recognize the ad as coming from Salesforce were left scratching their heads as to how the business management system was related to focusing more on the earth and less on the metaverse; this likely did the brand more harm than good.

Mercifully for Salesforce, these viewers were few and far between, with most people simply either not remembering the brand or thinking that the content wasn’t an ad at all.”

Google Pixel – Lizzo In Real Tone

Forrester said, “The Google Pixel ad opened sedately by highlighting that camera tech has not accurately represented dark skin tones by showing people with dark skin tones in very dark photos. While this made the point well, the very dark photos in which people’s faces were obscured just looked like bad photography and did not retain viewers’ attention.”

He added, “Yet once the ad got going and the pictures of the PoC in vivid clarity came through, the ad evoked a range of intense positive emotions. Viewers were informed of the problem and were saddened, shocked, and angered by it, which intensified feelings of warmth, admiration, and pride at Google’s tech solving the issue.

Negative emotions were the lowest of the four ads, with some mild confusion (which was the main issue resolved upon the showcasing of the tech) and no other negativity of note.”

He concluded, “Brand attribution was good, with many viewers correctly recalling Google Pixel, although there was some misattribution to iPhone, to which the latter having spent millions of dollars extolling the benefits of its camera in recent years is likely to have contributed.”

The DAIVID Score

Forrester explained, “The DAIVID score is a combination of attention, emotions, and brand attribution. The chart shows how each Super Bowl ad places in percentile terms in the US for DAIVID Score.”

Daivid scores superbowl adsImage from DAIVID, March 2022

He said, “Meta’s strong attention and brand attribution caused it to score well. However, average emotional responses held it back from entering the top echelons of US content.”

He added, “Amazon’s mix of intense amusement and a very strong brand message caused it to perform most strongly. Better attention from the off and a mitigation of negative emotions would push the ad into the top decile. “

According to Forrester, “Saleforce’s combination of poor attention retention, intense confusion and an ad which had seemingly nothing to do with its creator’s service, resulted in a poor DAIVID score, approaching the lowest decile.”

“Google enjoyed good emotional responses and brand message but a weak opening held back performance, as many viewers had dropped off before the ad reached its pinnacle. Yet it still scored well, approaching the top quartile for the US.”

Explain Why An Average Investor Would Want Crypto

The second digital marketing expert to respond was Matt Voda, CEO of OptiMine, who I interviewed last month for “Advertising Around The Super Bowl: Q&A With A Marketing Strategist.”

He decided to share his insights on the Crypto ads and how they missed a huge opportunity.

One of the ads was “Ad Meter 2022: Coinbase.” There is no description on this 60-second long video ad.

Another ad was “The Moment of Truth | Crypto.com.”

The description of this 30-second long video ad says, “In his moment of truth, LeBron James called it.”

Yet another ad was “DON’T MISS OUT | :60.”

This 60-second long video ad’s description says, “The next big thing is here, even if Larry can’t see it.”

And a fourth ad was “eToro’s Big Game Ad: Flying Your Way.”

The description of this 30-second long video ad says, “Imagine a community where millions share ideas, trade stocks, crypto, and beyond.”

Voda said, “Watching this year’s Super Bowl ads, the sheer number of cryptocurrency ads really stood out. What stood out, even more, was how bad these ads were. Setting aside Coinbase’s floating QR code ad (which was innovative and highly engaging), the rest of the pack failed to tell stories about their brands, position themselves uniquely, or even describe why someone would want to own cryptocurrency.”

He added, “Crypto.com described how LeBron James could have made even more money had he invested in Crypto as a youngster, FTX told us not to be like Larry and eToro showed us floating people, who may or may not have been flying because they were suddenly rich. All of these brands – and, yes, they are brands – spent huge sums of money and they all missed an opportunity on the world stage.”

Voda continued, “Let’s start with some simple points: FOMO is NOT brand positioning. Crypto is an emerging technology that few people know anything about, and stoking fears about being left behind isn’t a great marketing strategy. Why not take some of this rare airtime to explain why an average investor would want crypto? How will it help improve our lives? Why not explain more about the problems it can solve?”

He concluded, “The gigantic Super Bowl stage is also an opportunity to build a brand, to tell stories about what the brand believes in and why it is different. Again, all failed to meet this opportunity.

We know nothing about any of the six Crypto brands, how they are different from each other, why we should care about any of them, or why we should feel positively about them – or, minimally why we should be confident that they’ll still be in business at next year’s Super Bowl. One could very easily swap out the six names and logos with each other, and nobody would know the difference. And that is a titanic failure.”

Leverage The Creator Economy

The third digital marketing expert to respond was Jim Louderback, the GM and SVP of VidCon.

He responded by saying, “OK, I won’t write 300 words but I will give you a listicle.” And he did.

Top 5 Things To Do With 7 Million Dollars Instead Of Buying A Super Bowl Ad

  • “Give it to MrBeast. Tell him to do something fabulous and on-brand for both of you.
  • “Partner with the D’Amelios and bring them on as creative consultants/part owners of your brand.
  • “Build a brand with Emma Chamberlain.
  • “Start a creator fund and save the world.
  • “Do the world’s biggest micro-influencer campaign (pay 10,000 creators $700 each) in partnership with the top 3 agencies that have access to the TikTok Creator Marketplace, including Whalar, Captiv8, and Influencer.com.”

Keep Sales And ROI In Mind

The fourth digital marketing expert to respond was Aaron Gordon, the Founder, and CEO of Optic Sky.

I interviewed him about “Wegmans Holiday Commercial 2021” for my recent column entitled, What Is A Content Marketing Matrix & Do We Need One?

Gordon said, “I think the Meta Super Bowl ad could have been more effective. Not only was it the sole ‘downer’ ad amid a sea of uplifting spots, but it also didn’t do much to actually sell Meta Quest headsets.”

He added, “With headset sales and ROI in mind, Meta could have instead purchased just five seconds of Super Bowl ad time and launched a football-themed Meta Quest VR game – free on the Meta Quest store – in advance of the Super Bowl. A shareable, augmented reality ‘mini version’ of the game on Instagram, along with cost-effective ads on Facebook, sports and gaming websites, and esports competitions, would drive traffic to game landing pages.”

Gordon continued, “Meta Quest players could win a VIP trip to the Super Bowl and a ‘secret’ prize that would be announced during the Super Bowl itself. Players from all platforms could join a corresponding Facebook group to stay up to date.”

He explained, “During the Super Bowl, all players would receive a Facebook/Instagram push notification on their phones telling them to pay attention to the TV because the secret prize winner was about to be announced.”

Gordon proposed, “In a nod to Reddit and Coinbase, the 5-second Meta Super Bowl ad could simply feature a Quest-themed Instagram account handle, which people could follow to see the winner. The prize could be something like an exclusive NFT merch item for your VR avatar. Non-players who visit the account would be given an alternate promotion.”

He concluded, “Benefits of such an approach include only paying for a five-second Super Bowl ad slot, linking a VR competition to a real-world experience, leveraging Meta’s existing platforms and substantial customer base, and the ability to continue the campaign on an ongoing basis after the game. Plus, it would generate real FOMO in non-players and real sales for Meta Quest – from humans, not animatronics.”

Connect With New And Younger Audiences

The fifth and final digital marketing expert to respond was Francisco Schmidberger, co-founder at LINK, a digital agency that helps businesses grow their brand presence and go viral on TikTok.

He took a second look at “A Clydesdale’s Journey | Budweiser Super Bowl 2022,” which was directed by Chloé Zhao.

The description of this 60-second long video ad says, “This Super Bowl we have one message for America: In the home of the brave, down never means out.”

What Are The Super Bowl Lessons For Digital Marketers?

Schmidberger said, “Brands that spend big money on Super Bowl advertising are missing an opportunity to connect with new and younger audiences. A $6.5 million TV advert during a global sporting event is for sure going to see some effect, but it means brands are only reaching the top of the customer marketing funnel. Results are hard to measure, as is success.”

He added, “Comparatively on TikTok, LINK Agency could run six individual million-dollar campaigns – That could guarantee approximately 300M impressions. Whereas the average Super Bowl ad reached 112.3 million viewers. Rather than blowing everything on one (minute-long) shot, multiple TikTok campaigns reach a wider range of audiences whose niche interests can be leveraged to more effectively convert viewers to buyers.”

Schmidberger continued, “Budweiser is an excellent example of a Super Bowl advertiser that saw viral success in the past with their 1999 ‘Whassup?’ advert. But over 20 years later, Budweiser is failing to speak to the next generation. Trotting out the Clydesdale to a Super Bowl audience in 2022 is the epitome of preaching to the choir.”

He concluded, “While the symbolic pandemic recovery journey might have attempted to pull on people’s heartstrings, it seems unlikely we’ll be talking about it in a decade’s time. Classic brands such as Budweiser need to look for ways to stay relevant, and TikTok’s ability to send products viral with Gen Z audiences is not to be undervalued.”

Alternatives To Spending $7 Million On A Super Bowl Ad

So, there you have it: Five alternatives to spending another $7 million to $14 million on a Super Bowl ad again next year.

Hopefully, this will prevent brands and their agencies from starting a bonfire of the vanities during 2023’s Big Game.

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Featured Image: Phoenixns/Shutterstock




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Email Marketing: An In-Depth Guide

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Email Marketing: An In-Depth Guide

Email has revolutionized the way people communicate. From facilitating remote work to monitoring bank balances, it has become an integral part of everyday life.

It has also become a powerful tool for marketers. It has changed the way brands and customers interact with each other, providing incredible opportunities to target audiences at each stage of the buyer’s journey.

In other words, when it comes to getting the most bang for your marketing buck, nothing matches the power of email.

Providing an average return on investment of $36 for every $1 spent, email marketing is one of the most profitable and effective ways of reaching your targets.

Globally used by more than 4 billion people, it has unparalleled reach and is perfect for every step of the buyer’s journey, from generating awareness to encouraging brand loyalty.

If you’re not currently using email marketing to promote your business, you should be.

But to reap the biggest benefits, you need to do more than just dash off a message and sending it out to your contacts. You need a strategy that will help you nurture relationships and initiate conversations.

In this piece, we’ll take an in-depth look at the world of marketing via email and give you a step-by-step guide you can use to launch your own campaigns.

What Is Email Marketing?

If you have an email address of your own – and it’s probably safe to assume that you do – you’re likely already at least somewhat familiar with the concept of email marketing.

But just to avoid any potential confusion, let’s start with a definition: Email marketing is a type of direct marketing that uses customized emails to inform customers and potential customers about your product or services.

Why Should You Use Email Marketing?

If the eye-popping $36:1 ROI stat wasn’t enough to convince you to take the plunge, here are some other key reasons you should use email marketing to promote your business:

  • Email marketing drives traffic to your website, blog, social media account, or anywhere else you direct it.
  • It allows you to build a stronger relationship with your targets via personalization and auto-triggered campaigns.
  • You can segment your audience to target highly specific demographics, so you’re sending messages to the people they will resonate with most.
  • Email marketing is one of the easiest platforms to version test on, so you can determine exactly what subject lines and calls-to-action (CTAs) work best.

Even better, you own your email campaigns entirely.

With email, you own your marketing list and you can target your leads however you like (so long as you stay compliant with CAN-SPAM laws).

There is no question that you should be using email marketing as part of your overall marketing outreach strategy.

Now let’s look at some of the different ways you can do that.

What Are The Types Of Email Marketing?

For every stage of the sales funnel, there’s a corresponding type of email marketing. Here are some of the different types you can use to engage your audience and generate results.

Promotional Emails

When you think about email marketing, these types of messages are probably what you think of.

Used to promote sales, special offers, product releases, events, and more, these are usually one of the least personalized types of emails and tend to go out to a large list.

Usually, promotional campaigns consist of anywhere from 3 to 10 emails sent over a specified time frame. They have a clear CTA that encourages the recipient to take the next step of visiting your site, booking an appointment, or making a purchase.

Informational Emails

This type of email includes company announcements as well as weekly/monthly/quarterly newsletters.

They may include information about new products, company achievements, customer reviews, or blog posts.

The CTA is usually to visit your website or blog to learn more about what’s happening.

Welcome Emails

Sent to new customers or people who have filled out a form on your website, welcome emails encourage recipients to learn more about your company or offering.

These commonly include trial offers, requests to book a demo, or other offerings a new customer will find valuable.

Nurturing Emails

Any salesperson will tell you the importance of creating multiple touchpoints with potential customers.

Lead nurturing emails focus on building interest in people who are drawn to a particular offering.

The goal of these messages is to push them to the consideration stage of the buying journey.

Re-engagement Emails

Nurturing emails’ slightly more aggressive brother, re-engagement emails are used to warm up customers who haven’t been active lately.

These tend to be more personalized, as you’ll want to show the subscriber that you know and understand the challenges they’re facing.

Survey/Review Emails

User generated content (UGC) lends your brand an authenticity you simply can’t achieve on your own.

One of the best ways to generate this is via emails soliciting feedback from your customers.

This type of email also gives you insights into your brand’s relative strengths and weaknesses, so you can improve your offerings.

There are a number of other types of emails you can use as part of your marketing efforts, including seasonal emails designed to capitalize on holidays or events, confirmation emails to reassure recipients their purchase was completed or their information received, and co-marketing emails that are sent with a partner company.

In fact, it’s email marketing’s sheer versatility that makes it the cornerstone of any successful marketing strategy. You merely need to decide what you hope to accomplish, then create your campaign around it.

Now, let’s take a closer look at creating and managing your own email marketing.

How Do You Perform Email Marketing?

Step 1: Establish Your Goals

The section above should have made it clear that the type of email campaign you’ll run will depend on what you’re hoping to accomplish. Trying to do everything with one email will lead to confused recipients and a watered-down CTA.

Set one goal for your campaign, and make sure every email in the series works toward it.

Step 2: Build Your List

Now it’s time to determine who will be on the receiving end of your campaign. You do this by building your email marketing list – a process you can approach from several directions.

The most basic way to build an email list is by simply importing a list of your contacts into your chosen email marketing platform (more on that later).

One caveat: Before you add anyone to your list, make sure they have opted into receiving emails from you – otherwise you’ll run afoul of the CAN-SPAM Act guidelines mentioned above.

Other options for building a list from scratch via a lead generation campaign: provide potential customers with discounts, compelling content, or something else of value and make it easy for them to subscribe and you’ll generate high-quality leads.

Some marketers buy or rent email lists, but in general, this isn’t an effective way to perform email marketing.

The primary reason you don’t want to do this is because of lead quality. You’re not going after people who are interested in your brand but instead are blindly targeting leads of questionable quality with emails they haven’t opted in to.

In addition to violating consent laws, which could potentially hurt your IP reputation and email deliverability, you risk annoying your targets instead of encouraging them to try your offering.

Step 3: Create Your Email Campaign

Now that you know who you’re targeting and what you’re hoping to achieve, it’s time to build your campaign.

Email marketing tools like HubSpot, Constant Contact, and Mailchimp include drag-and-drop templates you can employ to create well-designed and effective email campaigns.

We’ll dive deeper into these platforms a bit later, but now, let’s talk about some fundamentals and best practices to help you get the best results:

  • Make your emails easy to read – No one wants to read a long wall of text. Structure your emails using strategically placed headers and bulleted lists for easy scanning.
  • Use images – Ideally, you want your emails to capture the reader’s eye and attention. Visuals are a great way to do this.
  • Write a compelling subject line – The best-written email in the world is useless if no one opens it. That makes a compelling, intriguing subject line paramount. Don’t be afraid to try different iterations, just be sure to keep it short.
  • Add personalization – Emails that are targeted to a specific person, including addressing them by name, are more likely to generate responses. Your email marketing platform should allow you to do this with relative ease.
  • Make conversion easy – If you want click-throughs, you need to make it easy for readers. Make sure your CTA is prominent and clear.
  • Consider your timing – As with most types of marketing, email campaigns tend to perform better when they’re properly timed. This could mean a specific time of day that generates more opens, a time of the week when purchases are more likely, or even a time of year when your content is most relevant. This will probably require some experimentation.

Step 4: Measure Your Results

You’re not going to get your email campaigns right the first time. Or the second. Or the fifth. In fact, there’s really no endpoint; even the best campaigns can be optimized to generate better results.

To track how yours are performing, you’ll want to use the reports section of your email marketing platform. This will help you understand how people are interacting with your campaigns.

Use A/B testing to drill down into what’s working best.

Generally, you’ll want to look at key metrics like:

  • Open rate and unique opens.
  • Click-through rate.
  • Shares.
  • Unsubscribe rate.
  • Spam complaints.
  • Bounces (the number of addresses your email couldn’t be delivered to).

Choosing An Email Marketing Platform

Manually sending out emails is fine if you’re only targeting three or four people. But if you’re trying to communicate with dozens, hundreds or even thousands of targets, you’re going to need some help.

But there are currently hundreds of email marketing platform on the market. How do you choose the right one for your unique needs?

Should you just go with one of the big names like HubSpot,  Klaviyo, or Mailjet? How do you know which one is right for you?

While it may initially feel overwhelming, by answering a few questions you can narrow down your options considerably.

The very first thing you need to determine is your budget. If you’re running a small business, the amount you’re willing to spend on an email service platform is probably considerably less than an enterprise-level company.

If you’re an entrepreneur, you’ll probably find that a lower-priced version of a platform like Sendinblue or Constant Contact provides you with all the functionality you need.

Larger companies with bigger marketing budgets may wish to go with an email marketing platform that provides higher levels of automation, more in-depth data analysis and is easier to use. In this case, you may prefer to go with a platform like Mailchimp or Salesforce’s Pardot.

The good thing is that most of these email service providers offered tiered pricing, so smaller businesses can opt for more inexpensive (or even free) versions that offer less functionality at a lower price.

The next thing to consider is the type of email you want to send.

If your primary send will be newsletters, a platform like SubStack is a great choice. If you’re planning on sending transactional emails, you may want to check out Netcore Email API or GetResponse.

For those of you planning on sending a variety of marketing emails, your best choice may be an option that covers multiple email types like ConvertKit or an omnichannel marketing tool like Iterable.

You can narrow down your options by determining your must-have features and internal capabilities.

Some things you’ll want to consider include:

  • The size of your lists.
  • Your technical skill level.
  • Your HTML editing requirements.
  • Template variety.
  • Your need for responses/workflows.
  • A/B testing needs.
  • Industry-specific features.

While there is significant overlap in functionality between email marketing platforms, each has some variation in capabilities.

Ideally, you want something that will integrate with your other marketing tools to help take the guesswork out of the equation.

You should request demos and trials of your finalists to find which is best for your needs. If you’re working with a team, be sure to loop them in and get their feedback.

Tips For Maximizing Your Results

Email marketing is a powerful tool for any business. But there’s both science and art to it.

Here are some additional tips to help you get the most from your campaigns:

  • Avoid being marked as spam – According to HubSpot, there are 394 words and phrases that can identify your email as junk mail. These include “free,” “lowest price,” “no catch” and “all new.” You should avoid these whenever possible. To be doubly safe, have your recipients add you to their safe senders list.
  • Run integrated campaigns – Email marketing serves to amplify the power of other marketing channels. If you’re running sales or promotions, you should include an email aspect.
  • Clean up your list regularly – Keep your email database up to date to ensure deliverability and higher engagement. If a subscriber hasn’t responded to your re-engagement efforts after six months, it’s probably safe to scrub them from your list.
  • Harness the power of automation – Autoresponders are a great way to follow up with customers and subscribers, or strategically target someone after a certain event or action. Learn how to set this up on your email marketing platform and it will save you lots of time while boosting returns.

Email Marketing Is A Powerful Tool

There’s a reason why email marketing is prevalent in the modern world – it works.

And that means you should be using it to promote your brand and drive sales.

Hopefully, by this point, you have a good idea of not only what email marketing can do for you, but how it works, and how to create and optimize your own campaigns.

There’s really no better way to connect with our audience and convey the value of your brand.

Now get to work – you have customers to attract.

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Featured Image: Africa Studio/Shutterstock



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Twitter Will Share Ad Revenue With Twitter Blue Verified Creators

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Twitter Will Share Ad Revenue With Twitter Blue Verified Creators

Elon Musk, owner and CEO of Twitter, announced that starting today, Twitter will share ad revenue with creators. The new policy applies only to ads that appear in a creator’s reply threads.

The move comes on the heels of YouTube launching ad revenue sharing for creators through the YouTube Partner Program in a bid to become the most rewarding social platform for creators.

Social networks like Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat have similar monetization options for creators who publish reels and video content. For example, Instagram’s Reels Play Bonus Program offers eligible creators up to $1,200 for Reel views.

The catch? Unlike other social platforms, creators on Twitter must have an active subscription to Twitter Blue and meet the eligibility requirements for the Blue Verified checkmark.

The following is an example of a Twitter ad in a reply thread (Promoted by @ASUBootcamps). It should generate revenue for the Twitter Blue Verified creator (@rowancheung), who created the thread.

Screenshot from Twitter, January 2023

To receive the ad revenue share, creators would have to pay $8 per month (or more) to maintain an active Twitter Blue subscription. Twitter Blue pricing varies based on location and is available in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, and Spain.

Eligibility for the Twitter Blue Verified checkmark includes having an active Twitter Blue subscription and meeting the following criteria.

  • Your account must have a display name, profile photo, and confirmed phone number.
  • Your account has to be older than 90 days and active within the last 30 days.
  • Recent changes to your account’s username, display name, or profile photo can affect eligibility. Modifications to those after verification can also result in a temporary loss of the blue checkmark until Twitter reviews your updated information.
  • Your account cannot appear to mislead or deceive.
  • Your account cannot spam or otherwise try to manipulate the platform for engagement or follows.

Did you receive a Blue Verified checkmark before the Twitter Blue subscription? That will not help creators who want a share of the ad revenue. The legacy Blue Verified checkmark does not make a creator account eligible for ad revenue sharing.

When asked about accounts with a legacy and Twitter Blue Verified checkmark, Musk tweeted that the legacy Blue Verified is “deeply corrupted” and will sunset in just a few months.

Regardless of how you gained your checkmark, it’s important to note that Twitter can remove a checkmark without notice.

In addition to ad revenue sharing for Twitter Blue Verified creators, Twitter Dev announced that the Twitter API would no longer be free in an ongoing effort to reduce the number of bots on the platform.

While speculation looms about a loss in Twitter ad revenue, the Wall Street Journal reported a “fire-sale” Super Bowl offer from Musk to win back advertisers.

The latest data from DataReportal shows a positive trend for Twitter advertisers. Ad reach has increased from 436.4 million users in January 2022 to 556 million in January 2023.

Twitter is also the third most popular social network based on monthly unique visitors and page views globally, according to SimilarWeb data through December 2022.


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AI Content Detection Software: Can They Detect ChatGPT?

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AI Content Detection Software: Can They Detect ChatGPT?

We live in an age when AI technologies are booming, and the world has been taken by storm with the introduction of ChatGPT.

ChatGPT is capable of accomplishing a wide range of tasks, but one that it does particularly well is writing articles. And while there are many obvious benefits to this, it also presents a number of challenges.

In my opinion, the biggest hurdle that AI-generated written content poses for the publishing industry is the spread of misinformation.

ChatGPT, or any other AI tool, may generate articles that may contain factual errors or are just flat-out incorrect.

Imagine someone who has no expertise in medicine starting a medical blog and using ChatGPT to write content for their articles.

Their content may contain errors that can only be identified by professional doctors. And if that blog content starts spreading over social media, or maybe even ranks in Search, it could cause harm to people who read it and take erroneous medical advice.

Another potential challenge ChatGPT poses is how students might leverage it within their written work.

If one can write an essay just by running a prompt (and without having to do any actual work), that greatly diminishes the quality of education – as learning about a subject and expressing your own ideas is key to essay writing.

Even before the introduction of ChatGPT, many publishers were already generating content using AI. And while some honestly disclose it, others may not.

Also, Google recently changed its wording regarding AI-generated content, so that it is not necessarily against the company’s guidelines.

Image from Twitter, November 2022

This is why I decided to try out existing tools to understand where the tech industry is when it comes to detecting content generated by ChatGPT, or AI generally.

I ran the following prompts in ChatGPT to generate written content and then ran those answers through different detection tools.

  • “What is local SEO? Why it is important? Best practices of Local SEO.”
  • “Write an essay about Napoleon Bonaparte invasion of Egypt.”
  • “What are the main differences between iPhone and Samsung galaxy?”

Here is how each tool performed.

1. Writer.com

For the first prompt’s answer, Writer.com fails, identifying ChatGPT’s content as 94% human-generated.

Writer.com resultsScreenshot from writer.com, January 2023

For the second prompt, it worked and detected it as AI-written content.

Writer.com test resultScreenshot from writer.com, January 2023

For the third prompt, it failed again.

Sample ResultScreenshot from writer.com, January 2023

However, when I tested real human-written text, Writer.com did identify it as 100% human-generated very accurately.

2. Copyleaks

Copyleaks did a great job in detecting all three prompts as AI-written.

Sample ResultScreenshot from Copyleaks, January 2023

3. Contentatscale.ai

Contentatscale.ai did a great job in detecting all three prompts as AI-written, even though the first prompt, it gave a 21% human score.

Contentscale.aiScreenshot from Contentscale.ai, January 2023

4. Originality.ai

Originality.ai did a great job on all three prompts, accurately detecting them as AI-written.

Also, when I checked with real human-written text, it did identify it as 100% human-generated, which is essential.

Originality.aiScreenshot from Originality.ai, January 2023

You will notice that Originality.ai doesn’t detect any plagiarism issues. This may change in the future.

Over time, people will use the same prompts to generate AI-written content, likely resulting in a number of very similar answers. When these articles are published, they will then be detected by plagiarism tools.

5. GPTZero

This non-commercial tool was built by Edward Tian, and specifically designed to detect ChatGPT-generated articles. And it did just that for all three prompts, recognizing them as AI-generated.

GPTZeroScreenshot from GPTZero, January 2023

Unlike other tools, it gives a more detailed analysis of detected issues, such as sentence-by-sentence analyses.

sentence by sentence text perplexityScreenshot from GPTZero, January 2023

OpenAI’s AI Text Classifier

And finally, let’s see how OpenAi detects its own generated answers.

For the 1st and 3rd prompts, it detected that there is an AI involved by classifying it as “possibly-AI generated”.

AI Text Classifier. Likely AI-generatedAI Text Classifier. Likely AI-generated

But surprisingly, it failed for the 2nd prompt and classified that as “unlikely AI-generated.” I did play with different prompts and found that, as of the moment, when checking it, few of the above tools detect AI content with higher accuracy than OpenAi’s own tool.

AI Text Classifier. Unlikely AI-generatedAI Text Classifier. Unlikely AI-generated

As of the time of this check, they had released it a day before. I think in the future, they will fine tune it, and it will work much better.

Conclusion

Current AI content generation tools are in good shape and are able to detect ChatGPT-generated content (with varying degrees of success).

It is still possible for someone to generate copy via ChatGPT and then paraphrase that to make it undetectable, but that might require almost as much work as writing from scratch – so the benefits aren’t as immediate.

If you think about ranking an article in Google written by ChatGPT, consider for a moment: If the tools we looked at above were able to recognize them as AI-generated, then for Google, detecting them should be a piece of cake.

On top of that, Google has quality raters who will train their system to recognize AI-written articles even better by manually marking them as they find them.

So, my advice would be not to build your content strategy on ChatGPT-generated content, but use it merely as an assistant tool.

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