Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Rep. Barney Frank Optimistic For Online Gambling Bill

July 5, 2009: summarided from FoxNews.com -- A Democratic congressman at the World Series of Poker to rally support for legalizing and regulating Internet gambling says he thinks he can get a bill passed by next year. Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts told nearly 1,700 players Sunday at the no-limit Texas Hold 'em main event that he viewed Internet gambling as a right that must be protected. Phil Hellmuth, an 11-time gold bracelet winner at series who won the main event 20 years ago, says online gambling will grow worldwide regardless of whether U.S. lawmakers soften their stance. A 2006 law prohibits financial institutions from taking credit card payments, checks or electronic transfers to settle online wagers. The Justice Department viewed Internet gambling as illegal even before that.

Read more at: http://tinyurl.com/qk4a2x

12 Tips For Creative Pros On Facebook

LM Comment: A very good primer on Facebook best practices. Click-thru to the underlying article on this one for all of the specifics.

July 1, 2009: summarized from CreativePro.com -- Here are 12 tips on how creative pros can use Facebook's various tools together, as part of a grand unified Facebook promotion strategy:

1. Start by setting up a Page (a.k.a public profile) for your project or business. Whatever you're publicizing, you'll need a home base for it on Facebook -- a central location for all the basic info, announcements, events, and other content that you'll be posting. That's where Pages -- with a capital P -- come in.

2. Make use of Facebook's News Feeds to reach people outside the boundaries of your fan base. One of the best things about Facebook is that it allows you to go beyond preaching to the converted. The secret ingredient to effective word-of-Facebook promotion is taking advantage of a phenomenon called passive endorsement, whereby Facebook's News Feeds make the content you post visible not only to your own friends and fans, but to all the people they're friends with, as well.

3. Remember that on Facebook, the best way to promote your creativity is to share your creativity. Or to put it another way: The most effective way to advertise on Facebook is not to advertise. I know that may sound like a Zen riddle, but bear with me -- this particular pebble isn't so hard to snatch.

4. Use status updates for short, punchy messages that keep you on your fans' radar. Just like your personal profile, your Page lets you post brief, timely announcements -- known as status updates -- about what you're up to and what's on your mind. Status updates appear on your Page's Wall, up at the top of your Page just under the name, and -- most importantly -- on the Home pages of anyone who's opted to view your content there.

5. If what you'd like to say is too long for a status update, use the Notes feature. Status updates do have some limitations. They're meant to be brief, so there's a restriction on how many characters you can type in the status update field (although it's noticeably more generous than Twitter's limit of 140 characters per tweet). But if you've got something you'd like to say that's too long for a status update, fear not: Facebook has you covered with the Notes feature.

6. Use Events to draw attention to time-sensitive happenings, build enthusiasm about them, and track your potential attendance. If you've ever used Evite, you'll be familiar with the basic concept of Facebook Events, which let you create an invitation page for a show, party, exhibition, meeting, or other calendar items. Posting public Events on Facebook helps you reach not only the people on your invitation list, but potentially their friends, and friends of friends, as well -- thanks to the magical ripple effect I mentioned earlier.

7. Use photos and videos to show off your projects in an eye-catching and entertaining way. Engaging people on a visual level is always a good strategy. So posting photos and videos on Facebook is an ideal way to showcase your talents. And because of the way Facebook's news feeds push photos and videos out to the Home pages of your Facebook friends and fans, you can use them as an effective tool to grab attention for projects, performances, and events of all kinds.

8. Direct attention to content posted elsewhere (YouTube, blogs, etc.) by using the Links feature. Facebook excels as a medium for sharing Web links. When you post a URL to Facebook, it doesn't appear solely as a Web address. If it's a link to an article or blog post, Facebook lets you choose a picture and a text excerpt to accompany it; if it's a video, Facebook will if possible embed a video player directly on the page. This makes it easy to keep your Page populated with fresh, engaging content.

9. Use Groups to network with fellow fans, professionals, and other peers. Although Pages are superior to Groups if you're looking to communicate with your own base of fans, customers, and supporters, Groups have their uses, too. Facebook Groups are a great way to connect on a peer-to-peer basis with fellow professionals, people you went to school or worked with in the past, or fellow fans and enthusiasts of whatever you're into. You might start a Group devoted to a specific issue or concern, and use it to meet like-minded Facebookers, some of whom might eventually find their way to back to your Page.

10. Keep your Pages, Groups, Events, and other content active to generate interest and discussion. Once you've created a Page, a Group, or an Event on Facebook, don't just let it sit there. You can help it get seen by as many folks as possibly by keeping it active. Add content to its page, write on its Wall, and use the Share button to post it to your own Profile.

11. Consider experimenting with the paid ads.
All of the tools I've discussed above are available for free on Facebook. But if you're willing to invest a little capital in the game, you can also experiment with bought-and-paid for advertising options.

12. Don't be pushy -- be engaging. Now that we've looked at the tools Facebook has to offer, it's time to circle back to the point I made in the beginning: The best way to put those tools to work is use them to showcase your creativity and the personality of your work. Try to make sure that every Facebook post you make has some entertainment value -- a new piece of information, a look at your work, or a useful or amusing link you just found.

Read more at: http://tinyurl.com/ojrg44

E-Mail Marketing Open and Click-Through Rates

LM Comment: Click link for detailed rates by industry. Helpful data for benchmarking purposes.

July 6, 2009: summarized from eMarketer -- According to the "Email Marketing Metrics Report" by MailerMailer, 12.5% of unique marketing e-mails were opened in the second half of 2008. The figure is down from the first half of 2008, when 13.2% of messages were opened. How often e-mails were opened and clicked varied with the industry of the sender-and the size of the list. Messages delivered to small and medium lists had higher open and click-through rates than messages delivered to lists of 1,000 or more subscribers. Religious and spiritual e-mails had the highest open rates among large lists, followed by travel, general consumer and retail. Click-through rates for lists of over 1,000 recipients were also highest for religious organizations, followed by telecommunications and travel companies. A smaller list does not directly affect open and click rates, but mailings to smaller lists may be targeted better, contain more relevant content or have more recent subscribers.

Read more at: http://tinyurl.com/ovwppl

Eight Ways To Improve The ROI Of Online Games

June 30, 2009 6:02 AM: summarized from Promo Magazine -- The Subway Scrabble game, which incorporates hundreds of millions of game pieces on Subway cups and sub wraps, has just begun its annual run. Each year the response has improved significantly. So, how do they do it? Take a look at these eight best practices:

1. Attainability - Boost the odds of winning by offering more lower-level prizing. Last year, an online instant-win chance was added to every game piece, which doubled the number of game codes entered online and sent more people back to the stores to buy product.

2. Communicate - Emphasize the number of prizes and odds of winning at all touch points: P-O-P, mass media, FSIs, tip-ins, paid search, search engines, banners etc.

3. Give away a free code - This gets consumers to register for the first time, try the promotion and then drives them back to the store to collect more game pieces. It's also a significant opportunity to boost op-in and build the in-house database.

4. Split registration - Optimize the registration process by collecting only the necessary data up front-name, e-mail address, age-then on the back end collect redemption information-address, phone number. The benefit? A consumer who has privacy concerns is more likely to complete the registration, minimizing drop-off rates.

5. Offer multiple ways to enter - Expand entry points for an online promo with a text-to-win option. Some 10% to 50% of sweeps entries now come in through SMS.

6. Virtual prize partners - Build excitement by seeking a partner to use for prizes that can be instantly won online, like music downloads or ring tones. This allows for an immediate reward to the players and increase response and viral sharing.

7. Build relevant landing pages - These pages should be grounded in insights about your target audience; how, when and where would they like to be intersected and what's the most compelling message. For example, a female, 35 plus should see a very different landing page than an 18-year-old male.

8. Paid Search - This also allows marketers to optimize response by moving marketing dollars around based on response to key search words.

Read more at: http://tinyurl.com/lh28uw