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Startup promises to do email marketing for basically a trillionth of the cost

(MARKETING NEWS) It’s vital to send the right message at the right time to engage your audience, but to do so in a way that’s cost effective as well. And this startup proposes to do just that.

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Planting seeds for leads

It’s simple; you’ve got to get your name and information in front of as many people as you can that may be interested in your cause. And if they’re not interested today, you’re hoping to plant the seed that makes them interested, if not today, in the near future.

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With click rates hovering between 10%-25%, depending on business category, it’s vital to send the right message at the right time to engage your audience, but to do so in a way that’s cost effective as well.

Simplify to scale

Mailblast, currently in beta testing, proposes to do just that. Leveraging Amazon’s Simple Email Service, the service offers a way to potentially simplify email marketing at a scalable factor. Offering the ability to create, test, and deploy campaigns by customizable user lists that you can import from your existing databases or create in the platform, Mailblast allows the user to reach targeted audiences for a fraction of the cost of similar delivery systems.

Amazon’s SES is the driving force behind the email capabilities of Mailblast, and the system takes advantage of that fact, currently charging nothing while in beta mode, except for the Amazon SES fees of 10 cents per each 1,000 emails sent after the first 62,000 free emails monthly. As of this writing, there has been no indication as to pricing structure after Mailblast leaves beta mode.

More than just sending

As important as it is to have a deployment system for email campaigns, it’s equally as important to have a robust reporting feature. Mailblast appears to offer such a feature, with individualized reports on each campaign, detailed to include information about bounceback emails and do not contact requests, allowing you to update your email contact lists with regularity and precision.

Mailblast also provides users the opportunity to automate certain features of their system, including scheduling email blasts and embedding action points (like a signup form) on your website to allow for automation of the subscriber process in the list.

Your needs

While there are an abundant number of tools to promote email marketing, it’s always a good idea to compare the tool that you’re currently using with a competitor to ensure that you’re getting the best quality of performance at the best pricing structure. Mailblast is a tool worthy of further investigation to see if it best fits your needs.

#Mailblast

Roger is a Staff Writer at The Real Daily and holds two Master's degrees, one in Education Leadership and another in Leadership Studies. In his spare time away from researching leadership retention and communication styles, he loves to watch baseball, especially the Red Sox!

Real Estate Marketing

Real estate drone videography is falling far short of this glorious example

Drone videography is stunning, but the real estate industry could be utilizing the technology to a much greater extent; here’s one breathtaking example to aspire to!

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A stunning short film, “Austin by Air: An Aerial Documentary” gives viewers the opportunity to see Austin from a bird’s eye view and, hopefully, will inspire the real estate industry to consider incorporating aerial videography into their marketing.

Photographer and post-production technician Gerard Juarez has been working on a drone related startup, and decided, as a side project, to make a film featuring breathtaking aerial shots of Austin’s skyline, of kayakers on the river, and of the early morning traffic-less streets around the University of Texas. He attended a drone piloting training program to big up his skills before hitting the skies to create the impressive documentary. His goal was to “showcase” the city of Austin, and he hopes that the film “will have a little promotional value for the city.”

Tip: watch this video in full screen with the sound on.

We’ve been talking about drones for some time now.

We’ve long been tracking the technological and legal progress of drones. The Federal Aviation Administration currently prohibits the use of drones for the purposes of selling real estate. However, this could change as soon as this year. In 2012 the FAA Modernization and Reform Act asked the FAA to come up with clear regulations regarding the commercial use of unmanned aerial vehicles; these regulations are due at the end of September. We recommend staying abreast of these developments, as drones could one day become an important tool for the real estate industry.

Real estate brokers with enough capital to work with could hire quality videographers to make films similar to Juarez’s documentary, which would show potential clients a whole new perspective on their cities and neighborhoods. Aerial photography is a great way to show off what makes a city or town unique, and to give people a wide-angle view of standout architectural and natural features. Such videos could be shared via hyper-local content blogs and websites to draw in new home owners.

I found “Austin by Air” to be a beautiful and inspiring way to view a city; similar videos on real estate websites could make a big impression on potential clients.

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Real Estate Marketing

The skills smart marketers need to survive the AI takeover

(MARKETING) Quality marketers are constantly evolving, but getting your head around artificial intelligence can be a challenge – let’s boil it down to the most relevant skills you’ll need.

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When Facebook and Twitter were born, a new era of social media was ushered in, opening the gates for new areas of expertise that hadn’t existed before. At first, we all grappled to establish the culture together, but fast forward a decade and it is literally a science with thousands of supporting technology companies.

So as Artificial Intelligence (AI) takes over marketing, doesn’t that mean it will replace marketers? If you can ask your smart speaker in your office what your engagement growth increase was for your Facebook Page, and ask for recommendations of growth, how do marketing professionals survive?

Marketers will survive the same way they did as social media was introduced – the practice will evolve and new niches will be born.

There are 7 skills marketers (like you) will need to adapt in order to evolve. None of these are done overnight, but quality professionals are constantly grooming their skills, so this won’t be stressful to the successful among us. And the truth is that it won’t be in our lifetime that AI can quite process the exact same way a human brain does, even with the advent of quantum computing, so let’s focus on AI’s weaknesses and where marketers can perform where artificial intelligence cannot.

1. Use the data your new AI buddies generate.

In the 70s, the infamous Ted Bundy murders yielded the first case that utilized computing. The lead investigator had heard about computers and asked a specialist to dig through all of their data points to find similarities – a task that was taking months for the investigative team. After inputting the data, within minutes, they had narrowed their list of suspects from several hundred to only 10.

We’re not dealing with murderers here in the marketing world (…right, guys?), but the theory that algorithms can speed up our existing jobs is a golden lesson. As more AI tools are added to the marketplace to enhance your job, experiment with them! Get to know them! And continue to seek them out to empower you.

Atomic Reach studies your content and finds ways to enhance what you’re delivering. CaliberMind augments B2B sales, Stackla hunts down user-generated content that matches your brand efforts, Nudge analyzes deal risk and measures user account health, and Market Brew digs up tons of data for your SEO strategy.

See? Independently, these all sound like amazing tools, but call them “AI tools” and people lose their minds. Please.

Your job as a marketer is to do what AI cannot. Together, you can automate, do segmentation and automation, beef up your analytics, but no machine can replicate your innate interest in your customers, your compassion, and your ability to understand human emotions and predict outcomes effectively (because you have a lot more practice at being a human than the lil’ robots do).

2. Take advantage of AI’s primary weakness.

As noted, you have emotions and processes that are extremely complex and cannot be understood by artificial intelligence yet. Use those.

How? Compile all of the data that AI offers and then strategize. Duh. AI can offer recommendations, but it cannot (yet) suggest an entire brand strategy. That’s where you come in.

And more importantly, it cannot explain or defend any such strategy. One of the core problems with AI is that if you ask Alexa a question, you cannot ask how it came up with that information or why. This trust problem is the primary reason marketers are in no danger of being replaced by technology.

3. Obsess over data.

AI tools are young and evolving, so right now is the time to start obsessing over data. What I mean by that is not to use every single AI tool to compile mountains of useless data, but to start studying the data you already have.

The problem with new tools is that marketers are naturally inquisitive, so we try them out and then forget they exist if they didn’t immediately prove to be a golden egg.

Knowing your current marketing data inside and out will help you to learn alongside AI. If you aren’t intimately familiar, you won’t know if the recommendations made through AI are useful, and you could end up going down the wrong path because something shiny told you to.

Obsess over data not by knowing every single customers’ names, but be ready to identify which data sets are relevant for the results you’re seeking. A data scientist friend of mine recently pointed out that if you flip a coin five times and it happens to land on tails every time, AI would analyze that data and predict with 100% certainty that the sixth flip will be tails, but you and I have life experience and know better.

Staying on top of your data, even when you’re utilizing artificial intelligence tools will keep you the most valuable asset, not the robots. #winning

4. Don’t run away from math (no wait, come back!)

One of the appeals of marketing is that math is hard and you don’t need it in a creative field. But if you want to stay ahead of the robots, you’ll have to focus on your math skills.

You don’t have to go back to school for data science, but if you can’t read the basic reports that these endless AI tools can create, you’re already behind. At least spend a few hours this month on some “Intro to Data Science” courses on Udemy or Coursera.

5. Content is God.

We’ve all said for years that content is king and that feeding the search engines was a top way to reach consumers. You’ve already refined your skills in creating appealing content, and you already know that it costs less than many traditional lead generating efforts and spending on content is way up.

Content can be blogging, video, audio, or social media posts. Artificial intelligence will step in to skyrocket those efforts, if only you accept that content was once king, but is now God. What is changing is how customized content can be. For example, some companies are using AI tools to create dozens of different Facebook ads for different demographics, which would have taken weeks of human effort to do in the past.

Because content is what feeds all of these new smart devices, feeding your brand content effectively and utilizing AI tools to augment your efforts will keep you more relevant than ever.

6. Get ahead of privacy problems

Consumers now understand what website cookies are, and know when they’ve opted in (or opted out) of an email newsletter, but to this point, humans have made the decisions of how these data choices are made. Our teams have continually edited Terms of Service (ToS), all done not just with liability in mind, but to offer consumers the protections that they want and have come to expect.

But AI today doesn’t have morals, and consumer comfort is not a factor unless humans program that into said AI devices. But it still isn’t a creature of ethics like humans are. Ethical challenges going forward will be something to stay ahead of as you tap into the AI world. Making sure that you know the ToS of any tool you’re using to mine data is critical so that you don’t put the company in a bad position by violating basic human trust.

The takeaway

You’re smart, so you already knew that the robots aren’t taking your job, rather augmenting it, but adding AI into your marketing mix to stay ahead comes with risk and a learning curve. But seeing artificial intelligence for what it really is – a tool – will keep your focus on the big picture and save your job.

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Real Estate Marketing

Researchers develop a font to help with reading retention

(MARKETING) Are you ready to market with a font that will be more memorable than any other (based on research)? Check out Sans Forgetica.

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Do you ever find yourself having just read an entire page of a book and having retained nothing? Then you have to read back through and see that none of it sounds remotely familiar?

We’ve all been there, and it’s easy to let your mind wander when doing something as solitary as reading. It can be frustrating because we double the time that we spend reading.
Well, I have two words for you: Sans Forgetica. For my friends within a history of Latin, yes, that does translate to “without forgetting.”

Sans Forgetica is a font that has been specifically engineered to help a reader retain the information that they’re reading. Say what?!

This was developed by researchers at RMIT University Behavioral Business Lab in Melbourne. The font name is a combination between Comic Sans and Helvetica, and the way the font is designed is that each letter is titled exactly seven degrees to the left, with various gaps drawn straight down the middle.

“This is the first time ever that specific principles from psychological theory have been combined with specific principles from design theory in order to create a font,” said Jo Peryman, chair of RMIT Behavioral Business Lab.

The font operates by convincing the reader’s brain to work. Being that the font is visually unconventional, the reader has to work hard in order to decipher exactly what it is seeing.

Much like how we can decipher jumbled words if they begin and end with the right letter (e.g. rdeanig), our brains can fill in the gaps in order to tilt the letters right side up. Because of this, your brain slows down to fully comprehend what it is seeing – making it easier for the reader to retain the information.

The issue that we often run into is that reading becomes such a flex of memory rather than a comprehensive activity. But, the researchers have had to be careful about how much work the brain will have to do to read Sans Forgetica, otherwise readers will become frustrated and likely give up.

If this catches on, this could be an amazing tool to implement in an academic setting, and can also be helpful with reports and presentations. Talk about productivity!

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