2020 Global Trends Report – Technology Trends

Researchers often focus on gathering facts – who, what, when, where, how many – as a way of uncovering insights. The Dynata’s 2020 Global Trends Report adds context to reveal the underlying attitudes and trends in behavior that bring research data and insights to life, helping brands and agencies add perspective to their data through the lens of trends.

For the 2020 Global Trends Report, Dynata expands the scope of topics to offer greater insight into how consumers engage with today’s world, especially given the pace of changing trends and tastes. This year’s report focuses Technology Trends, Consumer Sentiment, Trust and Privacy and Media Diet and examines new topics such as the attention economy, cryptocurrencies, blockchain, sidepreneurship and the gig economy.

We decided to split the digest of the report into 4 posts starting with Technology Trends. We hope you find it informative and insightful.

GENERATIONAL DEFINITIONS

Baby Boomers –  people born immediately after WWII (1946) up until 1964. This generation spans approximately 18 years and, in 2020, comprises people between the ages of 55 and 73.

Gen X –  this is often considered to end between the late Seventies and the beginning of the Eighties. The definition follows this convention, placing those born between 1965 and 1981 into Gen X, currently aged 39 to 54.

Millennials – the generation after Gen X.  It is called the Millennial generation because the first of them came of age at the turn of the century.  1996 is a common endpoint, which we have adopted in the report. Thus, they are aged to 23 to 38.

Gen Z – the latest generation starts at 1997. Many of these are still too young to be interviewed for market research, so this year’s report includes about half of this cohort, currently aged 16 to 22.

AI & ROBOTS

The belief that robots and AI technology will replace jobs in the future is growing in some generations, with 43% of Gen Z’ers thinking it extremely or very likely it will happen to their job. This opinion is significantly lower among the older generations, with only a fifth of Baby Boomers seeing it as extremely or very likely that their work will be done by AI or a robot.

Opinions on this topic are more consistent by country in 2020. The highest acceptance is in China with 54% believing it’s extremely or very likely AI or a robot could do their work, followed by France at 31%, Japan and Germany 30%, the UK 27%, Canada and the US 26%, Australia 25% and the Netherlands at 20%.

Younger people are slightly more positive about this than their older peers, with 29% of Gen Z saying the world would be a better place if this happened, compared to 21% of Baby Boomers. By country the scores hover around 20% for each country, with Japan and China as the two outliers of positivity at 35% and 54%, respectively.

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MEETINGS AT WORK

Three-quarters of our working participants report they have some type of business meetings. This was consistent across all countries except for Japan, where only 55% had meetings, and China, where almost everyone (93%) had meetings of some sort.

In addition to frequency, the participants in those meetings differed for China and Japan; 84% of workers in China hold meetings with colleagues, compared to only 47% of Japanese. For the other countries in the study, this number was close to two-thirds. Client meetings were held by close to three in 10, again higher in China and slightly lower in Japan.

More interesting is the form that these meetings take, and it changes by generation. Face-to-face meetings are more common among older generations with Baby Boomers reporting 70% of their meetings being conducted in-person only. This compared to just half of Gen Z’s meetings. Predictably, the percentage drops for Gen X to 62% of meetings face-to-face, with Millennials lower still at 54%.

Japan’s unique business culture is highlighted by the fact that 70% of all meetings are face-to-face only. For other countries, this figure ranges from around half in China and the US to around 60% in the UK, France, Canada, and Germany.

BRING YOUR OWN DEVICE

Employees, often to the dismay of IT departments, like to use their personal devices for work purposes. This phenomenon has a name, “Bring Your Own Device” (or BYOD), and is a widespread practice changing the modern work environment.2020GTR-2

50% of working people in the sample use a laptop at work, and of this group, seven out of 10 use their personal laptop, although not necessarily exclusively. This rises to 80% of Gen Z’ers compared to two-thirds of Baby Boomers and Gen X’ers.

The BYOD phenomenon is even more common with smartphones, with half of those we asked using a smartphone for work purposes and almost eight out of 10 of them using their own device. BYOD is a trend seen all over the world and for all devices, even desktop PCs.

TECHNOLOGY ADOPTION2020GTR-3

Across the generations we observe around 3% of Baby Boomers considering themselves among the first to adopt technology; this increases to 8% of Gen X’ers, peaks at 13% of Millennials before dropping slightly to 12% of Gen Z’ers.

When looking at early adopters of technology – those who adapt quite quickly – 49% of Gen Z’ers falling into this category, followed by Millennials at 47%, Gen X’ers at 36%, and 25% of Baby Boomers.

DEVICE USAGE AND  INTERNET OF THINGS

In 2020 we can expect to see the range of connected devices continue to grow in the marketplace. While some, like 3D printers, have commercial/industrial applications as well as consumer ones, most of the devices we looked at are directly consumer-facing. We have deliberately chosen to look at less wellestablished product classes to see if they develop into the mainstream or remain a niche product, or perhaps die away altogether.

While they have yet to make their way into people’s homes at scale, 3D printers may become more mainstream as prices come down and utility increases. Gartner’s Hype Cycle for 3D printing (published in July 2018) positioned consumer 3D printing as being on the downward slope towards the “trough of disillusionment” and predicting it only reaching the “plateau of productivity” in five to 10 years’ time. It is not surprising, then, to see overall ownership at just 8%. The number is higher among Millennials (12%) and Gen Z (12%) than among Baby Boomers (4%). Only in China are there substantial numbers claiming to own such a product.

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Like phones before them, truly portable devices have gained more interest from consumers. Fitness trackers, which are often integrated directly into phones themselves, are reasonably common, if not yet mass-market. Fitness band ownership hovers around one in five, with almost no movement at all year over year. Ownership rates are less differentiated by generation compared to smartwatch ownership.

Smartwatches, often featuring fitness tracking capabilities, are slightly more popular overall. Last year we recorded a fifth owning one; this year it is almost a quarter. As with most technology, smartwatches are more common with younger generations.

The final two device classes, keyless locks and distributed music systems, are still minority products and show little sign of taking off into mass-market. Keyless locks could be affected by an issue of the effort of retro-fitting existing locks, as well as the perception of being a “solution to a problem you don’t have.” Only around one in 10 reported having such locks in their home. Distributed music systems, like Sonos, are slightly more popular but are not making headway at only around 13% ownership this year. They may remain a niche product given their cost and the ubiquity (and low cost) of Bluetooth-based devices using a smartphone as the music source.

Connected or smart home devices are among the most tangible ways in which technology is impacting one’s personal living space. These devices allow for control, often through voice assistants, smartphones, tablets, or computers, of numerous aspects of the home environment – lighting, appliances, air quality/ purification, even monitoring the interior and exterior of the home via video.

Ownership of standalone voice-enabled devices is up in almost all countries. The incidence of ownership of such devices is relatively low. The most common application owned in the set we are testing is central heating remotely controlled from outside the home. This was owned by some 14% in 2019, rising slightly this year (16%).

Remote door monitoring has grown by two percentage points over the year, as have remote controlled light switches, another aspect of home security. Both air quality monitors and remotely-controllable appliances remain very much in a minority at around 9% and 13% adoption, respectively.

One of the most significant developments in consumer-facing technology has been the proliferation of voice assistants and voice-activated devices. Historically, touch has been the primary way of interacting with technology and more broadly the devices that most people use regularly. The flip of a switch, the click of a mouse or the swipe of a finger – all replaced by simply speaking.

The adoption of smartphone-enabled voice assistants should grow organically along with the smartphone upgrade cycle. It is no surprise then to see a three percentage point increase in ownership among Baby Boomers, four points among Gen X’ers and two points among Millennials. Usage of the voice assistant is also growing, more so among the younger generations. For Baby Boomers we see little change from 2019’s study. We do see, however, a five point increase among Gen X for usage “very often,” as well as a seven point increase for Millennials and one point among Gen Z.

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While the smartphone provides a common access point for voice-enabled tech, standalone devices (often linked to the phone by specific apps) are increasingly making their way into the home. While not the only options available in the marketplace, Amazon’s Echo and Google Home have led the way in the concerted push for consumers to adopt this tech in their homes, producing higher ownership rates.

Ownership is up in almost all countries, most dramatically in China at +20 percentage points followed by Canada at +10 percentage points, the UK and the Netherlands both at +7 percentage points. Adoption of voice technology has also increased year on year among all generations, with the exclusion of Gen Z.

BLOCKCHAIN AND CRYPTOCURRENCIES

According to the survey, blockchain technology – an immutable, distributed ledger used to record transactions – is still a long way from being mainstream. Half of the people asked had never heard of the concept, an additional third have heard of it but don’t know much about it and less than 20% know enough to explain it. Baby Boomers are least likely to have knowledge of it, with 60% never having heard of it. Millennials are the most informed generation, but even among them, only 25% could explain or discuss the topic in detail. By country, the UK was the least aware of blockchain with 61% unaware. Other countries posted “unaware” levels between 50% and 60%, with Japan and China the most aware, reporting 42% and 10% respectively unaware.

Awareness is very high in China compared to other countries, yet those in China are the least likely to be able to correctly identify what it is. Japan, the US, Canada and countries in Europe show similar levels of blockchain knowledge. When shown potential descriptions of blockchain, only 27% could correctly identify the one that described blockchain and a quarter selected “none of these” or “don’t know,” while a little under 50% picked one of these four “decoy” definitions: a faster, secure VPN; anti-virus software using AI; more efficient memory access; or a faster, more private cellular network.

When asked about cryptocurrencies, the US lags behind other countries in awareness of Bitcoin, the most renowned cryptocurrency, with just 64% of Americans having heard of it compared to 81% in the Netherlands. Across all countries, other cryptocurrencies were known by fewer than one in five – only 12% are familiar with Litecoin, 15% aware of Ethereum, and single digit awareness for Zcash, Dash, Ripple, Monero, Neo, Carano and Eos.

Thirty percent of Americans say they own Bitcoin, compared to an average of just 24% across all countries studied. Ownership of the other currencies we asked about was in the low single digits.

The MaCorr Team
www.MaCorr.com

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How Likely are We to Lay a Horn When Traffic Issues Arise

To use the horn or not, we are divided on the answer.

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A recent survey has found that 46 per cent of us are horn happy. This is the number who said they were likely to use their vehicle’s horn to voice their disapproval of any traffic-related issue. That leaves 54 per cent who said they’re more likely to watch what’s going on around them in silent displeasure. Which way do you lean?

Common reasons for honking the horn

Most survey respondents admitted that it was for safety reasons when they used their horn. Almost half (46 per cent) said that when they lay on the horn, it’s when another driver was doing, or about to do, something dangerous like cut them off.

The second most popular reason for honking the horn is driver inattention at a stop light. Almost one in five (17 per cent) said they primarily use their horn when sitting at a traffic light where the driver ahead of them hasn’t noticed it has changed. It could be argued this is a safety issue, but, there are those who would say it’s more about impatience. Whatever side of the coin you land on, many drivers see red when the light turns green and traffic doesn’t start to move as expected.

The survey also found that drivers use their horn for purposes that have nothing to do with safety or the flow of traffic. According to the survey results, 10 per cent of men and six per cent of women admit that when they use their horn it’s typically to give an audible nod, to say hello, to someone they know.

Almost half of us are on edge due to a car’s horn blast

Whether it’s for safety, traffic flow or just to say hello, 48 per cent on the receiving end of a horn blast in the last three years said they’ve been startled to the point of feeling agitated, unsafe or even potentially getting into an accident. This finding is good reason to limit your horn usage to just those times when it’s needed to ensure safe road and driving conditions; any other time could have negative repercussions. After all, do you want to be sharing the road with someone who is feeling stressed, agitated or unsafe?

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The MaCorr Team
www.MaCorr.com

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The Best Time to Send Surveys

When it comes to surveys, high response rates typically depend on these seven checkpoints:

  1. How well surveys are written for their target audience
  2. The length of a survey – short vs. long
  3. The respondent profile type – B2B vs. B2C
  4. The number of responses required
  5. The experience of taking the survey – how easy it is to complete it on various devices
  6. How the survey is sent
  7. When the survey invitation is sent

In a world where we compete for the attention of our respondents, how and when we send survey invitations impacts the results. People have been asking us for years when is the best time to send surveys to get the highest responses. We’ve been collecting  data for years of collaborating with our customers. Now is time to back it up with usage data to understand what’s actually happening. The questions we seek answers for include:

  • What day of the week is the most popular to send and distribute surveys?
  • What time of the day is the most popular to send and distribute surveys?
  • What week of the month is the most popular time to send surveys?
  • What time of day do respondents complete surveys for our customers the most?
  • What day of the week do respondents complete surveys the most?
  • Are there any notable differences between different product types – surveys, Communities, Workforce, CX?

Here are some interesting findings that may inspire you to rethink how and when to distribute surveys.

The most popular day of the week to send out surveys is Tuesday

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Tuesday then closely followed by Monday are the two most popular days of the week to distribute and send surveys. Thursday came in third followed by Wednesday, and then Friday rounding out the weekdays. Surprisingly, Saturday’s distribution volume drops slightly from Friday while Sunday is the least popular day of the entire week.

Product-specific distribution

Workforce – Monday and Tuesday was the two popular days to send employee surveys. This aligns well with employee email research showing that the best day to deliver important work emails is on a Monday or Tuesday in the early morning or mid afternoon due to open rates being the highest during those times.

Communities – Tuesday is the most popular day to send community surveys although other days were slightly lower but fairly consistent.

CX – Customer experience surveys are generally contingent on the point-of-sale and customer journey. If automated, the date and time will vary based on customer activity.

The most popular time to send survey invitations is between 10 am and 11 am local time

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Customers tend to respond to surveys in the mid-morning between 10-11 am followed by the early morning between 6 am and 9 am local time.  A 2019 study by Convertful showed similar popular email distribution times for email marketing to be 10 AM for professional services but showed different preferred distribution times for eCommerce and software/SaaS audiences (between 12 pm – 2 pm).

The last week of the month is when we see the highest survey sent and completion activity

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From week one to week four distribution activity starts out strong but drops the lowest during week two then steadily rises to the highest on week four.

The most popular day respondents complete surveys the quickest are Tuesdays

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To answer this question, we reviewed timestamps based on the average time it took to receive completed surveys. Tuesday had the quickest response time while it took the longest to get results over the weekend. The second highest response day was Friday which may seem surprising. Friday is a high-activity day with spikes in questions from survey respondents. The completion time slows down for the rest of the week, but not enough to be worried about sending surveys on those days. Other factors that could influence survey completion times are the length and topic.

The level of engagement with your target audience influences the distribution date and survey completion rates

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Engaged audience responses quicker and delivers higher response rates. Highly engaged respondents trumps nearly all survey deployment and completion date and time logic, , regardless of industry or when or how you send your surveys. However, to get to the level of managing a highly engaged audience requires short and long-term strategies to recruit maintain, and manage ongoing relationships.

The takeaway:  

  • Tuesday is the most popular time to send survey invitations
  • 10-11 am local time is the most popular time to send surveys
  • The last week of the month is the most popular time to send invitations
  • Tuesday has the quickest response time to surveys than any other day
  • Highly engaged audiences typically respond faster and quicker regardless of date or time survey invitations were sent

The MaCorr Team; www.MaCorr.com

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7 ways to improve online reviews

Online reviews hold tremendous power. Case in point: last month, before dining at a restaurant that was recommended to me, I quickly looked up its rating on Google. The first couple of reviews mentioned “bland food” and “bug in my food.” Needless to say, I never walked in the restaurant (or trusted my friend’s restaurant recommendation again).

90% of consumers say online reviews have an impact on their purchase decision and 97% of consumers looked for reviews of local businesses in 2018. Online customer reviews have a profound impact on your business and it’s important to improve your online reputation to increase your share of wallet and create social proof.

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In this post, we explore 7 ways to improve your online reviews and manage your reputation online.

  1. Educate your customers on leaving reviews

77% of consumers would be willing to write a review if asked, but with so many review sites, many don’t know where to leave them. Taking a minute to educate your customers on the value of leaving a review can be vital for your company.

For instance, you could have your account managers ask your customers to leave a review when they’re talking to them on the phone, or ask them to leave a review on their next invoice. You could also have a countertop display at your physical location explaining how to leave a review and which site to do it on, and make review cards to hand out to customers. Once your promoters understand how valuable their reviews are, they’ll want to leave one.

  1. Provide excellent customer service

Consumers today are looking for an excellent customer experience and it’s no coincidence that the companies who provide great customer service have better reviews. Customer experience must be at the center of everything you do and your customers should always feel appreciated.

According to American Express, consumers tell an average of 15 people about a poor service experience, so it’s important to provide great service or those people may leave a negative review. To improve customer service, offer multiple channels of customer support, optimize wait and response times, and proactively close the loop with your customers.

  1. Optimize listings on each platform

On each major review site you can claim your listing and create a business profile. This allows you to update the listing with current information and photos. Your description should be meaningful and invite consumers to check out your product or service. Optimized listings improve your online presence and search engine traffic.

  1. Respond to negative reviews

No company likes getting negative reviews, but it’s important to respond to negative reviews as not doing so tells your customers that you don’t care about their feedback. When responding, always let the customer know that you hear them and you’re willing to make it right. Offer to take the situation offline and empathize with the customer. This tells your current customers that you care about their experience with your company and gives potential customers confidence to do business with you. It’s important to respond to negative reviews on listings as well as social media.

  1. Constantly monitor your online presence

There are hundreds of review sites and your company could be on any of them. It’s critical that you look for reviews of your company everywhere, even if it’s not on the sites you usually use like Google Maps, Yelp, and TripAdvisor. This can be a time-consuming process, so using reputation management software can help you monitor your reviews across multiple sites and track trends in sentiment or topic over time so you can see how you’re doing.

  1. Ask for reviews through survey requests

At the end of a survey you’ve sent to your customers, ask if they’re willing to leave a review on the site of your choice. If they answer “yes,” provide them a link directly to the review platform of your choice. You’ll need a survey platform that utilizes survey logic to determine if the customer will leave a positive or negative review, so you can encourage only your promoters to share their experience publicly. If they’ve had a bad experience, you’ll still want to hear more about it — after all, that’s how you improve! — but make sure you provide them with a private channel to do so rather than on popular public sites.

  1. Offer an incentive

Although many customers will give a review without an incentive, offering an incentive can be helpful if your business is just new or you’re trying to get reviews quickly (it can be a red flag though if you get too many reviews too fast, so try to stagger them). Review sites frown upon companies paying customers for reviews, but offering discounts, coupons, or a small freebie is perfectly fine. Also, ensure customers know that getting the incentive is not conditional for leaving a positive review.

The MaCorr Team; www.MaCorr.com

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Human Recall is Not Perfect: A Quantified View of Self-Reported vs. Behavioral Data

Marketers have long relied on consumers’ memories to measure and predict shopper behavior through online surveys. Yet, it is no secret that human recall is far from perfect. Think about your own shopping experiences. Can you remember all of the products you looked at or bought when you bought them, and what price you paid?human_recall

An independent market research firm put shopper recall to the test. The key objective was to help determine when we can best apply a standalone survey-driven methodology, and when it’s preferable to leverage observed behavioral data instead. When does recall really start to break down?

The Study

To achieve this, they asked consumers shopping-related questions via survey, while also tracking their digital activity using proprietary technology. They quantified the “recall gap”, defined as the difference between what consumers recalled and their corresponding behavioral data. This enabled them to begin to measure where the largest gaps exist and consider why.

The research methodology entailed surveying approximately 700 consumers. Research participants were asked about their past 30-day shopping for Electronics and Personal Care products on Amazon and Walmart.com.

Panelists responded as they would to any traditional online survey. The consumers in the study were validated shoppers in specific categories of interest, eliminating the potential for inaccurate survey-based screening.

The Results

The findings validate that, in most cases, there is a divergence between what consumers recalled doing online and their corresponding behavioral data. However, the accuracy of consumers’ recall varies by the type of shopping behavior being measured. While recall of general online behaviors is better, recall significantly breaks down with specific behaviors.

Consumers accurately recalled shopping for Electronics on Amazon or Walmart.com in the past 30 days – respondents thought they shopped less than their behavioral data demonstrates by 4 percentage points – certainly nothing to be concerned about.

The difference between consumers’ recall and actual behavior for the Personal Care category is 12%. Yes, that’s a larger recall gap than Electronics, but relatively small compared to more specific categories.

For example, within Electronics subcategories, consumers thought they shopped significantly more than their behavior suggests. Respondents over reported their shopping behavior for all three subcategories included in the research, TV/Media Players, Cell Phones/Accessories and Computers/Accessories, by at least 22 percentage points. The same pattern is seen for the three subcategories measured for Personal Care (Hair Care, Skin Care, and Oral Care).

Consumers also had trouble accurately remembering if they shopped on Amazon or Walmart for Electronics and Personal Care products in the last 30 days. However, Amazon fared better than Walmart in this assessment for both categories in terms of respondents’ recall.

A recall gap exists when looking at actual purchase activity and comparing what price consumers paid for products using behavioral vs. survey data. The difference between the price recalled and the actual price was as high as 15 percentage points.

The MaCorr Team; www.MaCorr.com

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The Ultimate Subject Line Guide. Part 4 – Words That Work.

Did you know 47% of email recipients open email based on the subject line whereas  69% of email recipients report email as spam based solely on the subject line. Emails with no subject all together have an open rate of 8% more than those with a subject line, whereas e-mails with personalized subject lines are 22% more likely to be opened.

Last time we discussed Subject Line Writing Tips. This time we look at Words That Work and Opt-in Messages.

WORDS THAT WORK

When looking at subject lines that received an 80% or higher open rate (across all industries), we found that a significant/common element was the use of a single declarative word or instructional phrase, followed by a colon, and then followed by the rest of the sender’s subject line text.      words-that-work

OPT-IN MESSAGES

People don’t like being yelled at — especially in a way that’s vague and impersonal. It’s easy to forget the fact you need subscribers to double opt-in for YOUR benefit, but what’s in it for them? Make subscribers want to STAY on your list even after sign-up; don’t threaten them.

In the worst examples, you’ll notice that not much separates the text used in successful opt-in subject lines as opposed to what’s being said in a low-performing one. The major difference is likely the contact’s high opinion of the brand and whether they want to stay an active customer or not. This is, consequently, why inbox providers and email service providers encourage clients to utilize the power of opt-in messages.  The commitment shown via the action of an opt-in often helps to satisfy many email privacy regulations, such as GDPR, CAN-SPAM, CASL, etc.

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SUBJECT LINES BY INDUSTRY

If you ask if it matters what day a message is sent (i.e., does a Tuesday increase the possibility for an open, or click, more than a Friday) — they’d say, “It just depends on your audience and industry.” Email marketers hate that answer because we’re all looking for that silver bullet to conversions.

After trudging through thousands of subject lines, we’ve concluded that the length of your subject lines, in terms of how many characters you use, doesn’t appear to lead to a significantly higher or lower open rate. Now with that said, certain ISPs, such as Gmail and Yahoo, may favor a certain character count, but truly engaged contacts do not. A good rule of thumb is to keep your subject line length to between 61-70 text characters.

A word about list size: It is progressively harder to get a higher open rate on a large list size. The more people you add to a list — all of whom are receiving the same subject line — the harder time you’ll have finding a subject line that wins EVERYONE over. Which is why, when you discover a really good subject line that does appeal to a wide range of subscribers, that’s worth its weight in lead gen gold. How homogenous is your list? If your subscribers are very diverse, you may need to seriously consider segmenting them into smaller lists.

So, what does make a difference to the list subscribers of particular industries? Here’s what we discovered…industry5 industry4 industry3 industry2 industry1

Next time we will discuss A/B Testing vs. When to Segment and Autoresponder Messages.

The MaCorr Team; www.MaCorr.com

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The Ultimate Subject Line Guide. Part 3 – Subject Line Writing Tips.

Did you know 47% of email recipients open email based on the subject line whereas  69% of email recipients report email as spam based solely on the subject line. Emails with no subject all together have an open rate of 8% more than those with a subject line, whereas e-mails with personalized subject lines are 22% more likely to be opened.

Last time we discussed Specifics vs. Teasers, Workflow and Broadcast Messages. This time we will review Subject Line Writing Tips.

PERSONALIZE DELIVERY CONFIRMATIONS

Everyone has seen dull “your order has shipped” messages. Use email to go beyond logistics and include your product name and some personality! Use what you know about the customer for your next confirmation message to catch their eye and reinforce your relationship.

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CAPITAL LETTERS

What’s the first thing you think when you see a subject line with all caps? SPAM! AND SHOUTING! But our research says that savvy use of capitals can improve open rate if you use them to emphasize the customer. For example, notice the difference between “SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING WORKSHOP — YOU’RE INVITED!” and “Social Media Marketing Workshop — YOU’RE Invited!” One sounds like spam, the other emphasizes the invitation’s exclusivity. So evoke EXCITEMENT! “Shouting” in caps is okay when you’re CELEBRATING!

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WORK THAT EGO

It’s not just Millennials who like to feel special! Everyone wants to be unique, not just be a number in a spreadsheet. Use this to your advantage when writing subject lines, such as offering them a treat on their birthday!

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EXCLAMATION POINTS!

Similar to capital letters, using exclamation points can either make a terrific impact or land you in the junk folder. Between 2016 and 2017, we found that 46% of our most opened and clicked subject lines used one exclamation point. Warning: Using several exclamation points is likely to make you appear as spam by Inbox Service Providers.

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ELLIPSES…

Ellipses are a great way to make your customers anticipate what’s in your email. Something such as “You Won’t Believe What We Found…” captures people’s curiosity and makes them feel like they’re missing out if they don’t take a peek. If using all caps is considered “SHOUTING,” then the ellipse is a whisper and a wink. Those little dots convey an air of mystery… perhaps a secret deal only meant for your special group…

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USE NUMB3RS & DOLLAR $IGNS

We all love money! Making it, saving it, giving it, investing it — putting a dollar sign in your subject line captures attention. Notice the difference between: “Check Out Our Latest Discounts on Furniture” and “Furniture Discounts – $200 Off Select Styles.” Choose a number that sounds bigger. For example, “$2 off” is pretty insignificant on its own, but if it’s out of $10, then why not use “20% off” instead?

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SPARK ANTICIPATION

Listen up event/vacation companies! We’ve seen subject lines such as “Trip Itinerary” or “Upcoming Event Details.” Why not spice it up some? If you’re delivering information about a customer’s cool event, make sure your subject line is as enthusiastic as they are and specifically states their destination! For example, “Your Upcoming Aruba Dream Vacation.” Also consider a solid call-to-action (CTA) to encourage website traffic, such as the one below that reminds the recipient to check out their Vegas line-up.

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FOMO

Everyone hates the fear of missing out on the latest trend or news. If you are an author or thought leader, you probably have insights that no one else has. Use that credibility to deliver advice to your audience that they couldn’t get anywhere else. Moreover, if you carry exclusive products or have a big brand name you’re allowed to drop, make sure customers know that.

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SECOND LOOK

If your shopping cart data is telling you that a customer has browsed your current sale selection but did not yet make a purchase — retarget them with a cart recovery message when you add new items. Mention the update in your subject line; this gives them a reason to take a second look. This tactic also gives you better insight on your buyer’s preferences and helps with segmentation strategy.

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Next time we will discuss Holiday Promotions Subject Line Tips.

The MaCorr Team; www.MaCorr.com

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The Ultimate Subject Line Guide. Part 2 – Specifics, Workflow and Broadcast Messages.

Did you know 47% of email recipients open email based on the subject line whereas  69% of email recipients report email as spam based solely on the subject line. Emails with no subject all together have an open rate of 8% more than those with a subject line, whereas e-mails with personalized subject lines are 22% more likely to be opened.

Last time we discussed Welcome Messages. This time we will review best and worst subject lines for Specifics vs. Teasers, Workflow and Broadcast Messages.

SPECIFICS VS. TEASERS

Do we need to spell it out? Yes. When faced with the choice between being clever or being direct with your subject line, always state your purpose clearly to increase your results, as these email marketers discovered with these top openers:

Specifics

If the subscriber feels you’ve burned them before, the chances of them falling for another attempt to get their attention with an enticing subject line again is slim and you may find yourself in the Promotions or Junk folder next time!

WORKFLOW MESSAGES. Nurture leads the way YOU’D want to be nurtured.

Workflow messages anticipate the behavior of your leads and customers with pre-set email messages. If they do action A , this behavior will trigger messages B, C, and so forth, to move them through a sales funnel. Quite simply, you create emails now to work for the benefit of your business in the future.

The most successful workflow messages are often those already anticipated by the recipient, such as “thank you for downloading,” part two in a two-part video series, or some other confirmation email. Analysts also found workflow messages that drove subscribers to complete one overall event action — as long as the messages were related — had high open rates (e.g., “Have you signed up for the jobs fair yet?” and “How to get the most from the jobs fair.”)

When email marketers use demographic data and other informational tidbits they know about a subscriber — such as that they’re a mother or about to retire or perhaps he/she is an animal lover — to assign them to a specific segmented path via a nurture workflow, great open rates are practically assured. In fact, emails with personalized subject lines are 22% more likely to be opened.

In general, all unsuccessful subject lines have one thing in common — they all lack relevancy and specificity. At one time or another, every email marketer has been guilty for using at least one of these no-nos in their workflow messages.

Don’t simply rely on the sender name in the “from” field to inform your subscriber to what the message is about; the reason why subject lines can make or break your marketing ROI is that people scroll through them to decide which emails they want to open and in what order. Most people do not scan their inbox from left to right — their eyes stay focused in the center on the bolded, unread subject lines — so include your company’s name and any other details to ensure yours stands out.

After the initial opening of your message, a subscriber may hang on to your email in their inbox or archive to search for it later, and a clear subject line makes your message easier to index and find when they’re ready to use the coupon you sent.

workflow workflow1

BROADCAST MESSAGES. Say it don’t spray it.

Subject lines having to do with new jobs, schools, money, payments, awards, prizes, purchases, shipped packages — you don’t even have to try. For example, our analysts saw a sent message literally titled “eblast” or with terrible typos, but everyone opens them anyway if they’re about monetary-impacting topics. But perhaps don’t take human nature for granted and still provide information when possible.

If you’re accustomed to sending broadcast messages with no hyperlinks enclosed within the body text, you may want to rethink that. Much of what makes email marketing the most effective marketing channel is its ability to elicit two-way customer engagement, so go ahead and include call-to-action links that allow you to track your customer’s journey. Many lead generation professionals would warn email marketers not to include too many link choices; it’s best to stick with just one. Otherwise, your customer will not know what you want them to do!

For our worst examples, clearly the senders knew nothing specific about their intended recipients, as these vague email subject lines show. Random, impersonal questions or requests written for a broadcast message, such as a newsletter or promotion, do not yield high open rates.

best-broadcast worst-broadcast

Next time we will review Subject Line Writing Tips

The MaCorr Team; www.MaCorr.com

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The Ultimate Subject Line Guide. Part 1 – Welcome Messages.

Did you know 47% of email recipients open email based on the subject line whereas  69% of email recipients report email as spam based solely on the subject line. Emails with no subject all together have an open rate of 8% more than those with a subject line, whereas e-mails with personalized subject lines are 22% more likely to be opened.

email-subject-lines1

If  you’re like a lot of email marketers, figuring out the perfect subject line can feel like a daily guessing game. After drafting an email, pairing it with the perfect pre-header, and choosing images, it’s no wonder people often settle for using drab subject lines just to hit the “send” button.

So, while subject lines may seem inconsequential, they embody your message’s first impression on a subscriber (and on the ISP, or Inbox Service Provider, that’s actively scanning for engagement cues to determine if you’re spamming or not).

If that’s not a good enough reason to nail your subject line, consider this — your click-through rate is entirely dependent on people opening your email — therefore, to increase sales and donations, you need more people to open your messages.

There are tons of email message types to consider. In this guide, we’ll share tips for crafting subject lines for broadcast messages (e.g., newsletters, invitations, announcements), welcome messages, workflow messages, industry-specific messages, holiday-themed messages, opt-in messages and autoresponders.

WELCOME MESSAGES: Hello, it’s me. I was wondering…

Even the worst welcome email in terms of subject line performance is better (at 2.9%) than the worst workflow subject line, at a low 0.2% open rate. This is likely due to the immediacy of welcome messages. Most email marketing service providers (ESPs) trigger these in response to a new sign-up in less than an hour. For example, a new subscriber offers up their contact information to score a discount on a future purchase, and BAM — they get your welcome message in their inbox. A workflow message or an autoresponder might take up to 1 – 2 days to trigger depending on how your automation logic is set.

Best practice is to time message triggers to coincide with actions; subscribers will get annoyed if your sign-up form states you’re going to email them something of value (e.g., coupon, recipe, whitepaper, video) and nothing pops up in their inbox a few minutes after they submit. Consumers are already skeptical about offering brands their primary email address; it’s best not to appear to be breaking your very first promise to them with a delayed or irrelevant message. best-welcome-subject-line

worst-welcome-subject-line

Next time we will discuss SPECIFICS VS. TEASERS and WORKFLOW MESSAGES

The MaCorr Team
www.MaCorr.com

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10 Interesting Facts from the 2018 Best Countries Report

There are billions of data points behind the Best Countries rankings. Here are 10 interesting findings from a survey of more than 21,000 people from around the world that illustrate perceptions of the state of the world today.country_flags

1. The general outlook is pretty grim. Fifty-seven percent of global respondents said that the world has gotten worse in the past year. Only a third agree that the world is safe, and nearly 70 percent of people believe the global economy is in decline, despite governmental reports to the contrary.

2. Where government leaders fall short, however, innovative technology can help. More than 60 percent of those surveyed trust private companies more than the government to take care of their needs, and nearly three-quarters of global respondents said that the internet has made them act more like a global citizen. This sentiment is especially strong in the Middle East and Africa.

3. Switzerland is the No. 1 country for the second year in a row. The country balances the economic costs of capitalism and the value of human rights, scoring its best in both the Open for Business and Citizenship sub-rankings.

4. Addressing human rights issues is important in today’s world, where people expect national leaders to be both innovative and compassionate. Transparency and trustworthiness are 81 percent correlated to being “a leader,” and gender equality is about 75 percent linked to economic stability and happiness.

5. More than 90 percent of the world believes that women should be entitled to the same rights as men. However, more than 70 percent still believe that gender roles are important to a functioning society. Just 62 percent of those surveyed believe women have the same opportunities as men, and this dips below half in many countries.

6. The U.S. fell to No. 8 this year, but is considered the most powerful country for the third year in a row, edging out Russia by less than one point on a 100-point scale. The two superpowers continue to push farther away from competitors in this subranking, scoring nearly 10 points better than No. 3 China and 15 points better than No. 4 Germany and No. 5 U.K.

7. But global citizens don’t necessarily endorse this type of power. Fifty-eight percent of global citizens disapprove of U.S. President Donald Trump, the highest disapproval of the 12 prominent global leaders assessed. Forty-four percent disapprove of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Germany’s Angela Merkel and Canada’s Justin Trudeau receive the highest approval ratings.

8. The U.K. fell one spot to No. 4 this year, though opinions on the post-Brexit country vary among different groups. Business decision leaders favor the country, ranking it No. 2 overall, while those less than 35 years-old put the U.K. at No. 5.

9. The world is less open to immigration than it was last year. Just 54 percent of global respondents said they agree with the statement, “my country should be more open to immigration,” compared to 65 percent last year. Citizens in Sweden were most likely to “disagree strongly.”

10. However, global citizens do not agree that immigration is the most important issue today. More than a third identified terrorism as the No. 1 issue for leaders to solve, followed by income inequality (25 percent) and climate change (16 percent).

The MaCorr Team
www.MaCorr.com

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