Filed under: Uncategorized
You’ve been good all year, gathering customer emails and planning for that big email blast to promote your holiday specials. Don’t blow it now by sending an email with a weak subject line. People are inundated with emails and the subject line your write will determine whether they will bother to open your email or hit the delete button.
Here are some recommendations to assist you in creating more engaging subject lines that will lead to a higher open rate of your emails.
Avoid Sale Terms – words such as “free” tend to trigger spam filters and may end up in the trash before your target even gets a chance to see them. Other words to avoid are help, percent off or reminder. They are so overused; consumers tend to completely ignore them!
Get Personal – personalize your email message with the recipient’s first name to improve open rates
Don’t use the same subject lines – Sure your first newsletter had a high open rate but they will decrease over time with the same subject line attached to them. Keep your content fresh for each campaign to keep interest up.
Keep it short – Short attention spans are abundant and people like brief, to the point subject lines so they can immediately determine if they are interested. Subject lines should be no more than 50 characters.
Tone it Down– Avoid using all capital letters or exclamation marks in your subject line. It has a shouting effect that consumers don’t like. Subject lines that are framed as questions often have higher open rates.
Keep it short, descriptive and give the recipient a reason to open your email and you will have your most successful email campaign yet!
Katrina Noble, Media Director
Filed under: Art, Character Development | Tags: Artist, Charcoal, Christian Suarez, Drawing, Graphite, Ink, Local, Sketch, Tucson, Watercolor
Name: Christian Suarez
Hometown: Nogales, AZ
Where You Live Now: Tucson, AZ
KO: How long have you been drawing?
CS: Well I first showed interest in art / drawing since I was about 8 years old. I started drawing more throughout middle school, but really started taking it seriously once I was in high school. I enrolled in all the art classes I could every year I was there and my teachers encouraged me to look into art schools once I graduated. After I graduated I moved to Tucson where I enrolled in the Art Center Design College.
KO: What inspires you?
CS: When I was young I looked at comic books and a lot of animation. I always wanted to work in those fields and would get inspired by them. Nowadays I look at other artist’s work for inspiration. it helps to see what else is out there and I learn a lot by watching these men and women drawing amazing things. I also get inspired by music, movies, every day people and just experiences through out life!
KO: How long do you usually spend on a piece?
CS: Depending what I’m working on it can take from a couple hours to a full day! I usually draw on my sketch books which are 8.5 x 5.5″. Since I don’t do this for a living yet I practice on these smaller books so I won’t spend too much time on one piece, but to draw as much as I can. Occasionally I’ll work on bigger pieces.
KO: What is your favorite medium?
CS: I have more than one favorite medium. I really like ink, graphite, charcoal, and water colors. I really like the comic book style drawings and I try to go for that with my pieces. The thing I don’t like about it is that you can’t make realistic renders with ink. When I want to create something more realistic I use graphite and charcoal. I also do watercolor paintings from time to time. I find it to be very relaxing and it forces you to be creative in a different way that a pen or pencil doesn’t allow you to be. I also like digital art. It’s very different than traditional pencil and paper, but it is an amazing tool to use and the possibilities are endless!
KO: Tell me about your favorite piece.
CS: I don’t have one favorite piece haha. I like them all the same as if they were my “kids”. I learn every time I draw something. The ones I enjoy a lot and get more response from people are the realistic portraits. Of course the take more time to finish, but the end result is something really rewarding. I have one here called “Su-Metal”. She is a young Japanese singer from a band called Baby Metal. I enjoyed drawing that one because I only used a red color pencil. it was challenging to get that realistic look, but I liked the finished piece. The other one that I liked a lot was “Fly”. I had just purchased a piece od software called Black Ink. That was the first thing I created with it. I had no idea what I wanted to do so I just started painting and painting. One thing looked like a bush and another like a branch and I just started feeding off of that and eventually ened up with a fly as a focal point. I loved it haha.
KO: What advice do you have for other artists or those wanting to become one?
CS: My advice for young, up and coming artists is simple. Draw as much as you can! Draw every single day! It doesn’t matter what it is. It’s good to draw everything from people, animals, plants, buildings and pretty much anything you see. Once you decide what kind of artist you want to become you can narrow it down to a few things, but practice everyday! At first it’s a little overwhelming if you’re not quite sure what direction you want to go in, but eventually you will find something that you make a connection with.
Kristen Oaxaca, Senior Graphic Designer
Filed under: Branding, Design | Tags: 2020, Hey Studio, Kenjiro Sano, logo, logo design, Olivier Debie, Olympics, plaigiarism, Tokyo
I can barely plan ahead for what I’m doing tomorrow let alone 5 years from now, but the Olympics organization has a plan. In 5 years, the Summer Olympic Games are set to take place in Tokyo, Japan. They even have a logo designed for it… ooor so they thought.
In July 2015, the new logo for the 2020 Olympic Games, designed by Kenjiro Sano, was revealed to the world. Just two months later, Olympics organizers have pulled the logo after allegations of plagiarism.
Designer, Olivier Debie, has compared the 2020 Olympics logo to one he created in 2011 for the Théâtre de Liège in Belgium. The similarities aren’t hard to see.
I’ll give him the fact that he added color to the design and even added the red circle mimicking the Japanese flag. Ooooh wait…
This was a logo created in the aftermath of the 2011 Japanese tsunami by Barcelona-based Hey Studio. Did Sano just have no imagination for the 2020 Olympics logo? The similarities between his logo and these two others are just to obvious to deny. Maybe the designer for the next 2020 Olympics logo will have a bit more originality.
Kristen Oaxaca, Senior Graphic Designer
Filed under: Uncategorized
Daniel Scarpinato, gubernatorial press aide for Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, announced that Ducey and the Arizona Commerce Authority have hired Heasley & Partners, a branding firm based in Scottsdale, to “polish the state’s image”. The administration hopes this move will increase economic development.
President of Heasley & Partners, Kathy Heasley, said that Arizona’s (questionable) reputation is largely based off of being the butt of many jokes on late night talk shows. These jokes range from our abominably low testing scores, being named the most corrupt state in the country by a Harvard study, and our immigration/discrimination laws.
Apparently just simply doing a better job of running our state and then publicizing that is not going to polish our image – no, we’re going to spend money to hire someone to come up with a brand and “catchphrase”, like “I (heart) NY” and “Don’t Mess With Texas”.
I’m not sure if by “economic development” they’re specifically looking for just tourism or for permanent residents to move, but if they’re looking for more residents they need to up their performance first. And if they’re looking for just tourism…they might want to actually build some attractions.
We’re already “The Grand Canyon” state, and that is a pretty good selling point – it’s a breathtaking view in a relatively cool part of Arizona. But if people are boycotting the state because they disagree with laws that are in place, it’s kind of a moot point.
What do you think? And if you’ve got some great ideas for rebranding our great state, Heasley & Partners in Scottsdale would probably love to hear it!
Filed under: Uncategorized
Back in the good ol’ days (so like, the ‘80s or ‘90s), information on businesses, whether large or small, was definitely more limited than it is now. Scandals could be more easily swept under the rug, the money CEOs and upper management made wasn’t so easily accessible, and product or service information that could be potentially harmful (insert comment on Starbucks Pumpkin Spice latte here) just wasn’t as much of a concern. And businesses probably enjoyed certain perks because of the limit of information available to the public.
Not to beat a dead horse because I feel like I’ve read this phrase over and over and over again (and then some more), but the Internet – and social media – really have changed the way we receive information. Maybe it’s because I grew up with a computer (my dad bought one for our house when I was second grade, in 1998), but every piece of information that’s been allowed to surface to the public is just one click away and I can’t imagine a time where you had to wait for the newspaper to get news. And with so many new businesses that can now advertise and market themselves online for little to no charge, companies – even large corporations – who might have sold a sketchy product or service simply won’t survive. But certain businesses with a questionable past have perfected a PR move that puts them way ahead of the game.
I’m thinking specifically of Domino’s. With competition from other huge corporations, Domino’s was sinking drastically; their food quality was bad, the marketing was bad, it was just bad all around. Eventually the company changed its recipe (what a concept) but what they mastered was using their bad reputation to their advantage. Their ads were funny – who can’t appreciate depreciative humor? – and they were real. They didn’t just change their recipe and pretend years of bad food didn’t happen. They said, yeah, our food was pretty bad – sorry. They even made fun of some of the past recipes. But it’s actually working – Morgan Stanley called it a “leader in US delivery pizza” and sales have skyrocketed both in the U.S. and abroad.
Arby’s recently used the same technique in response to Jon Stewart’s incessant critique of the roast beef giant. Arby’s bought a spot on Stewart’s show that thanked him for his “friendship” (aka the frequent unflattering comments) and then dedicated a special sandwich (adorably called The Daily Deli) to the iconic host. So instead of attacking the beloved icon (smart move), the company played the game too, and it paid off big time – tweets about Arby’s soared 564% after the move.
The point is that people are a lot more cynical than they were before the Internet and not so in the dark about information and opinions. Companies are wise to acknowledge their mistakes and defeats – people appreciate honesty, especially now that we are often bombarded with messages promising something and then delivering something completely different. If you can find humor in it, that makes it all the better. We as a society are forgiving (for these sorts of things) and we love giving second chances and seeing comebacks. We’re all the more ready to give you another shot if you’re self-deprecating –that’s true both on an individual level and societal level.
Companies admitting mistakes and using excuses is something we see often, but those that make fun of themselves and go an untraditional way in marketing is something we don’t often see. And it’s really paying off for those companies.
I read so many articles on the coveted “millennial” generation and how to advertise/market/appeal to them when I was brainstorming for this blog that I started to feel like I was reading about a species of animal or tribe in a foreign country. And that’s the problem with a lot of what is written about “us”; the authors aren’t “us”.
I often see articles written by people who are a few decades older than us that claim they’ve “cracked the code” on this millennial generation…I can tell just by reading the first few lines of the article if they really know their target audience. For example, the first suggestion one article made was to “Go Mobile”.
My first thought…well, duh. Sorry, but this article was written just a few weeks ago (in 2015), and if you haven’t been mobile for at least the last few years, you’re behind the times. A lot of people were using their phones to go online in 2009 – I definitely was, and I’m not even close to being the most tech-savvy millennial or individual in general. If I try and find your business on my phone (which I do…like daily) and you’re not there, I’m already on to the next business that is.
I finally read another article where marketing directors actually – gasp – asked a young (millennial) employee how they should market to his generation. His response?
“Stop trying so hard”. And I have to agree.
The thing is, “millennials” are such a diverse group of people that you can’t just market to a broad generation like you might have with Baby Boomers or GenX. Even with those generations, it’s dangerous to lump 70 million plus people together and say one-size-fits-all. You’ve got different genders, ages (18 year olds are vastly different than 34 year olds, so that right there can mess up your marketing plan), races, political affiliations, goals, careers, likes, dislikes, you name it that you have to take into account for who you’re trying to sell to.
My first piece of advice I can give, as a millennial, is (if you’re trying to market to us) to hire millennials who actually are interested in your product/brand and then ask for their input and thoughts on how it would be best marketed. Who knows better how to reach a target audience than someone actually in your target audience? Don’t just discount them because they’ve only been in the workforce for three hours. I can’t tell you how many times I wish I could tell people “that’s not going to work” or “you have it so wrong” when I read about people debating on how to market to “the young people”. Do what you want with what they have to say, but I would highly recommend at least asking.
Another piece of advice I read in articles constantly is “make an online presence”, either through Facebook or Twitter or Instagram. Which is great, but considering a lot of millennials are on these social media sites all the time, it has to be more. You can’t just create a Twitter account, get a couple hundred followers, and tweet once every week or two and call it a day. I’m not going to follow you or be a Facebook friend if there’s nothing there. Doing something different to engage with your consumers will get the millennials to talk about you on their Facebooks or Twitters or Instagrams and that’s the best way to market to young people. The Chive just did a great feature on a Facebook page created by two comedians called “Customer Service” that replies to ridiculous complaints people post on a company’s Facebook page. They’re hilarious, fun to read, and “with the times” – which even if you disagree with or don’t like, at least understand that a huge number of millennials are with the times and love companies that aren’t typical and go outside the box.
Lastly…although I’m sure the Baby Boomer generation would like to distance themselves from us entitled, narcissistic, and disconnected millennials, we’re not really that different in terms of what’s important to us. We’re facing the largest amount of student debt in history, and doing what we were told to do (by many Baby Boomers) – going to college – got us degrees but not necessarily jobs, and if we did get jobs many of them don’t exactly pay enough to justify this massive amount of debt that only grows the longer we can’t pay it off. So before you think that you’re marketing to a generation that will pay any dollar amount to have a product or service they like, think again. Price might not be everything that we look for, but it’s up there.
Filed under: Uncategorized
It’s been more than ten years since Yelp has been founded, and the online review site has grown to be one of (if not the) biggest consumer review website available. Since April 2015, it is estimated that the website averages about 142 million visitors monthly, and has accumulated around 77 million reviews. With over 2.1 million local businesses to review and an estimated $118 million quarterly revenue, Yelp is certainly in the big leagues now.
But with the value of Yelp stock decreasing and Facebook’s two latest actions – including the addition of professional and trusted reviews on restaurant Facebook pages and the new tool Place Tips, which features the photos and reviews of businesses from people you actually know – Yelp may have to rethink its credibility and concept. Are you going to Trust Christina C., someone you’ve never met, or a professional restaurant critic from New York Magazine? This is especially true since the website now has a new target industry: healthcare.
Yelp offers customers a rating from 1 to 5 stars in which they can judge their experience. That works fine if consumers are judging a business based on just one aspect (like cleanliness, or availability of products). But according to an article from DelawareOnline, healthcare isn’t being judged on a few general expectations, and people have very different mindsets when it comes to what makes their experiences with doctors and physicians positive and negative.
When it comes to doctors, people rate their experience as negative if the nurses or doctors are rude, or if they waited a long amount of time and their appointment with their doctor was a short amount of time. On the contrast, with physicians, it seems patients only care about the result (is the cancer gone? Can I move my arm?) and don’t even take into account wait times or staff demeanor. It’s not hard to see the difficulty; doctors and physicians do the best to treat a patient in the best way they see fit, and sometimes this means less than stellar results. Does that warrant a Yelp review that has real, damaging consequences to the doctor? Or should the patient simply accept what they are given?
The public’s expectations about other businesses are also extremely varying. Take restaurants, for example; when looking at Yelp reviews for one popular Tucson restaurant, the most recent review was given 5 stars. You’d think the review would be extensive, expanding on the food, service, and other details. Instead, the review said, “Such amazing food and an eclectic menu that my vegetarian girlfriend absolutely loves”. A 13-word review that barely gives any information about the restaurant doles out the highest praise. Meanwhile, a Yelp review that was given just a couple weeks ago read, “The food here is really good. I love the pastry case, I love the local coffee, I love the extensive menu. The problem is…waiting in line for 90 minutes or more” and was given only 3 stars for something the restaurant can’t do much about.
It seems that Yelp needs to do some rethinking: they need to cater more to their customers’ varying needs instead of giving a much too simple rating system that reflects not only many different aspects of businesses and now healthcare, but also a wide array of consumers that value many different aspects of those businesses. A restaurant’s good food but poor service might earn the business a 5-star Yelp review, or a doctor’s dedicated and effective treatments but cold bedside manner might earn a 1-star review. Yelp is still a powerful tool that can help or hinder a business; it’s both great, free advertising and marketing or can be a death wish to those businesses that receive a few bad reviews. If not…Facebook might become the new Yelp.