10 Password Security Statistics

Even as cybersecurity threats have grown and evolved, companies are still relying on passwords alone to be an effective security measure. Today’s password security statistics tell the real story of how dangerous that outdated thinking can be.

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These 10 statistics clearly show that passwords are definitely not the last word in data loss prevention.

  • At least 65% of people reuse passwords across multiple sites.
  • A terrifying 13% of people use the same password for all passworded accounts and devices.
  • About 80% of data breaches in 2019 were caused by password compromise.
  • Although 91% of participants in a recent survey understand the risk of password reuse, 59% admitted to doing it anyway.
  • In 2019, 42% of companies were breached by a bad password.
  • Unfortunately, 48% of workers use the same passwords in both their personal and work accounts.
  • Compromised passwords are responsible for 81% of hacking-related breaches.
  • The average person reuses each password 14 times!
  • An estimated 49% of employees only add a digit or change a character in their password when they’re required to update it.
  • Passwords were leakedin about 65% of the breaches that happened in 2019.

Don’t make these common password mistakes.

Showing your team pride when creating a password. Worst choices:

  1. rolltide
  2. Yankees
  3. steelers
  4. eagles
  5. redox

Rock doesn’t make sweet password music. Worst choices:

  1. blink182
  2. rush2112
  3. beatles
  4. blondie
  5. 8675309

Your heroes aren’t password heroes. Worst choices:

  1. tigger
  2. snoopy
  3. mickey
  4. superman
  5. batman

The MaCorr Team
www.MaCorr.com

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Global Consumer Trends COVID-19 Edition – The Reopening

Now, with businesses opening, researches examine industries and sectors hit hardest by the pandemic – including airlines, hotels, restaurants, public transportation, rideshare  and car buying – to see what measures they need to consider adopting for a successful reopening. More than 11,000 consumers across 11 countries were asked to help understand what will make them feel better – and safer – when they travel, dine out, or commute. And what will it take for these businesses to bounce back?

AIRLINES

There is a cautious level of optimism when it comes to people taking to the skies again. Of those who normally flew – pre-pandemic – just about everyone (98%) reports they will fly again eventually.

However, opinions vary on whether people will feel comfortable doing so as soon as restrictions are lifted, with 30% not feeling comfortable at all about doing so and only just over a quarter (26%) feeling totally or very comfortable returning as soon as they are allowed. Not surprisingly, given their countries’ relative success in combatting the pandemic, Germans (34%), Chinese (34%) and Australians (30%) are most enthusiastic about returning right away. All other countries we studied are clustered at around a quarter being ready (22%-28%) except for Singapore, most reluctant at 15%.

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The move to eliminate food service and onboard entertainment is not as reassuring for travelers as other practices, which is interesting considering that discontinuing food and/or beverage services has been prominently mentioned as a safety measure for those airlines considering reopening. Mask-wearing is in the middle of the pack of our surveying for providing comfort, as are seat covers and electronic check-ins – perhaps because travelers believe the check-in process is primarily electronic already.

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HOTELS

Alongside the reduction in air travel has been a drop in hotel visits and stays. When asked whether they will return the results are very similar for hotel returns and resumption of air travel. Nearly seven in ten leisure hotel users report that they would be uncomfortable staying in a hotel immediately after any travel restrictions are lifted. This is consistent across countries, ranging from 79% in Singapore and 75% in Italy to 61% in Germany and 62% in the Netherlands.

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To make guests feel more comfortable, hotel owners will need to provide cleaning and sterilizing equipment within the rooms. Almost half of leisure travelers said this would make them feel very much or a lot more comfortable, more so than simply allowing guests access to internal cleaning records.

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VACATIONS

Three in four people (76%) were thinking of taking a vacation in 2020 before the pandemic, ranging from a high of 86% in Spain and 82% in Italy to a low of 68% in Australia. Perhaps surprisingly, more than half of everyone we asked (57%) are still planning to take a vacation this year. In France for example, 78% were planning to take a vacation before the pandemic, and the percentage drops only modestly to 71% of people saying that now. It appears that, having suffered through months of lockdown and seeing countries opening, many people are weighing the mental health and wellbeing benefits of vacations against the continuing risk of infection, and choosing the former while proceeding with caution due to the latter.

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Most people (84%) have modified their vacation plans because of the pandemic. The most common adjustment is to avoid travelling overseas – almost four in 10 (39%) will stay in their own country. The numbers who intend to stay in their home country vary significantly, being higher in Italy (52%), China (51%) and Spain (48%), countries who have been living with the situation for longer than others, and in Australia, where travelling almost anywhere outside the country involves a lengthy trip by air.

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PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

Prior to the pandemic, public transportation by rail – local subways, and commuter and longdistance passenger trains – was part of our everyday work and personal lives. Globally, across all 11 countries, seven out of 10 consumers traveled by train, with a high of 96% in China and a low of 41% in the USA. A total of nearly three in ten (31%) used rail services more than a fair amount, with 8% using them all the time, 12% very often and 12% saying “a lot.”

Today, with the onset of the pandemic and national lockdowns of varying degrees in place, the number of people traveling by rail has dropped, with the UK in particular down to less than 5% of normal levels. This is driven, in large part, by many more people working from home (75%, as reported in Dynata’s Changing Work Models report in May), maintaining social distancing and only making essential journeys for groceries and the like. And even with the recent development of cities entering the early phases of reopening, expectations remain low of a return to pre-pandemic travel rates; in New York City, for example, transit officials expect only 15% of regular riders to return as the city cautiously reopens. As lockdown eases around the world people are returning to public transportation. The survey reveals a little under 60% recovery of passenger numbers in terms of those using services at least “a lot.”

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RIDESHARING

During the pandemic, around four in 10 of those who used to ride in taxis or Ubers are saying they no longer do so. Thirty nine percent of those who used to ride as the only passenger are no longer doing this now, ranging from a high of 53% in the UK to a low of 16% in China. For those who use to ride with others, in an “Uber pool” type arrangement with strangers in the car, 37% of those are no longer doing so.

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 DINING OUT

Prior to the pandemic eight out of 10 participants reported dining out at a “fine dining” restaurant – that is, one that has a higher quality of food, atmosphere and service – at least rarely. Half classified themselves as doing so “occasionally” or “often” with 13% choosing “often”.  By country, this ranged from a high in Italy (90% ever, 25% often) to a low in Germany (55% ever, only 7% often). Overall, out of all who ever use such restaurants, two thirds are in the core market of “often” or “occasional” use.

Lockdowns hit the fine-dining (and restaurant) sector particularly hard in many countries, but as of early June 2020 these establishments beginning to re-open. Nearly six in 10 Italians report fine dining restaurant open in their area, and half of Dutch and French participants also report their restaurants are open. Approximately a third of Americans, Germans, Spaniards and Australians reported their restaurants were open; only the UK and Singapore (at 6% and 8% respectively) remain in near total lockdown.

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Prior to the pandemic over nine out of 10 participants were ever using casual dining restaurants (those with moderate prices, faster service and a casual atmosphere) at all. A quarter reported having used them “often” with just under a half saying “occasionally.” This ranged from highs in China (97% ever, 34% often) and Spain (95% ever, 34% often) to a low in the Netherlands (84% ever, 12% often).

Today, outside of the UK and Singapore, casual dining restaurants are largely open for business. Spain has the highest percentage reporting they are open at 76%, followed by 75% in Italy and China, and Germany at 74%. France, the Netherlands and Australia are just behind at 69%, 67% and 67% respectively; in the USA the figure is 56%, and Canada is at 40%. Even in Singapore a third (34%) report casual dining restaurants are open, compared to just 12% in the UK.

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Almost nine out of 10 used fast food dine-in restaurants at all pre-pandemic, with two thirds of them “often” or occasionally” patronizing these establishments.

Today, one half of all participants report these types of restaurants are open in their area, with highest numbers in Italy (72%), China (68%) and Spain (61%). Once again, UK restaurants are the most “locked down,” with just 11% reporting these restaurants as open. Usage, where open, is low at a third.

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AUTOMOTIVE

Research shows that people have similar intentions to buy cars as they did before the pandemic but are delaying the decision. For example, 71% (pre-pandemic) intended to buy a car in the next 12 months, this figure is now 61%. Intention to purchase between June and September 2020 was 19%, now it is 15%.

car1

The MaCorr Team
www.MaCorr.com

Posted in Research Findings | Comments Off on Global Consumer Trends COVID-19 Edition – The Reopening

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.

2020GTR-4

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.

2020GTR-5

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

Posted in Research Findings | Comments Off on 2020 Global Trends Report – Technology Trends

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

Posted in Research Findings | Comments Off on How Likely are We to Lay a Horn When Traffic Issues Arise

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.

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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.

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Next time we will review Subject Line Writing Tips

The MaCorr Team; www.MaCorr.com

Posted in Research Findings | Comments Off on The Ultimate Subject Line Guide. Part 2 – Specifics, Workflow and Broadcast Messages.