December 2018 News You Can Use

There’s never been a better time to be a digital marketer.

That’s not hype. It’s the truth. And this year’s online sales figures prove  it.

In this issue, we’ll cover early results from the holiday selling season and more:

  • Learn to leverage YouTube and skyrocket your sales
  • Find out what holiday shoppers want and how to give it to them
  • Discover the difference between block lists and blacklists
  • Get a lesson in how to buy low and sell high (an incredible story)
  • Open your eyes to a Google My Business diamond in the rough

Get those scoops and more in this month’s edition.

Let’s dive in…


Topic: Ecommerce

Key Point: It’s still a little early to get a super-clear picture of Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2018, but we’ve enough results tallied to verify something you may already suspect: online shopping is booming.

Here are a few of the statistics reported in an article from Forbes:

  • The National Retail Federation (NRF) is standing by its prediction that year over year sales (both in-store and online sales combined) will grow by 4.3 to 4.8 percent this year.
  • Thanksgiving Day online sales hit $3.7 billion – that’s 28 percent greater than 2017.
  • Black Friday online sales reached $6.2 billion, a 23.6 percent boost over 2017.
  • Cyber Monday online broke the one-day online sales record at $7.9 billion – 19.7 percent better than 2017.
  • Sales placed via smartphones broke $2 billion (another record).

Question: Are you excited yet?

Digital marketing is THE place to be, and Stukent-equipped professors are helping get their students ready to hit the ground running with solid skills every business needs.


NRF forecasts holiday sales will increase between 4.3 and 4.8 percent

Adobe Analytics Data Shows Cyber Monday Broke Online Sales Record with $7.9 Billion


Topic: Ecommerce

Key Point: Google says shoppers are begging for brands to help them discover new products online. They’re not looking for the same old stuff; they’re open to trying something different.

Here are some of the supporting stats:

  • Last year, almost half of shoppers reported buying from a retailer they’d never purchased from before. This year, 61 percent of shoppers say they’re open to change.
  • Mobile searches for “brands like __” and “stores like __” are up 60 percent over the past two years.
  • Ninety percent of shoppers say they’ve discovered new products and brands via YouTube. Two-thirds say videos have provided “ideas and inspiration” about what to buy.

What can you do to attract prospects hoping to find the products or services your company delivers? This article gives you a strong set of ideas for getting started. 


Topic: Email Marketing

Key Point: Email filtering agencies, security companies, and mailbox providers are constantly on the lookout for spam, scams, undeliverable addresses, and anything else that shouldn’t be allowed in their systems. To accomplish that job, they share “block lists” with one another. Spamhaus, SpamCop, Lashback, and the Return Path Reputation Network are examples of popular block lists that email service providers use to keep their mail deliverability rates high.

Having your email address on a block list doesn’t mean your mail won’t get through, though.
An address from the block list is “blacklisted” when it is deemed undesirable and suppression actions are taken against that address. That is never good. Here’s a tool you can use to check any email address for blacklisting: Blacklist Checker.

A Return Path webinar explained blocklist vs blacklist, but there were questions that didn’t get answered there – which sparked a blog post to further explain queries like these:

  • How do sudden spikes in sending volume affect my deliverability rates?
  • How about mailing spikes during the holidays? Does it still matter?
  • How do you know whether your subject line is too spammy?

Get those answers (and more) in this article: Blacklist Q&A.

ALSO SEE: The 8 Email Blacklists You Should Actually Care About


Topic: Online Advertising

Key Point: Pinterest unveiled its new Promoted Carousel ads, which allow up to five distinct offers in one ad. Users can swipe through to see each image, and each image can resolve to a different landing page. How’s that for getting the most from your advertising dollars?

Pre-release testing by companies like Cheerios, REI, and Covergirl found healthy lifts in both ad awareness and message association. Every Pinterest advertiser should now have access to the new tool.

Here’s the scoop: Pinterest Promoted Carousel Ads 


Topic: Ecommerce

Key Point: Google research divides holiday shoppers into four general types: evergreen, early bird, deal seeker, and last-minute shoppers. This article uses research data to provide a closer look at the “deal seeker” variety.

Here are some points to consider:

  • Deal seekers go crazy over “bargains” – irresistible deals close the sale.
  • Deal seekers tend to use their smartphones to shop – even when they’re inside a local store. About 60 percent of their purchases occur on mobile.
  • Millennial dads are especially prone to deal-seeking.

How do deal seekers shop and what can you do to attract them? Get the scoop right here: How to reach (and win) deal-seeking holiday shoppers.


Topic: Ecommerce

Key Point: Not everyone is a deal-seeker. Some want to pay MORE than required. Payless proved that point in a fantastic scheme. The company stocked a former Armani store in Santa Monica with its regular $19.99 and $39.99 shoes, branded them under the (fake) “Palessi” label and sold them at markups of up to 1,800 percent.

The influencers invited to the acclaimed “grand opening” went wild over the look, materials, and workmanship. Within hours, sales were at about $3,000. Payless turned interviews with the influencers into commercials but admitted to the sham and gave them back their money.

Two big takeaways:

  1. Be constantly on the look-out for ways to create powerful advertising messages
  2. Much of sales is in the presentation

Don’t miss this story. It teaches an incredibly powerful lesson.

ALSO SEE: Payless sold its discount shoes at $600 a pair


Topic: Online Advertising | Ecommerce

Key Point: YouTube is the second most popular search engine on the planet, but many marketers don’t really understand how it works. You’ll need some extra SEO tutoring to rank for your keywords in one of the three billion searches YouTube users perform each month.

Hootsuite says scoring big with YouTube will take some careful thought, but it’s absolutely a possibility. To that end, the company wrote and published The Complete Guide to YouTube Marketing 2019.

The 10 recommended steps focus on these three areas:

  1. Create and optimize your YouTube Channel
  2. Understand your audience and your competition
  3. Use YouTube ads and influencer marketing to grow sales

The guide comes with a downloadable case study, and the entire training is free. Grab your copy and leverage the power of YouTube in the coming year.


Top YouTube Searches (as of 2018)


Topic: Ecommerce

Key Point: Version 4.3 of the Google My Business API is ready for use. Savvy digital marketers are keenly aware of the updates and changes this new version offers.

Here’s a sampling of the capabilities:

  • Provide FAQs and post answers to questions on your Google My Business (GMB) page
  • Report Google Locations issues on the fly
  • Provide captions for media uploads
  • Get reviews from multiple locations with a single call
  • Find your unclaimed GoogleLocations

API is the acronym for “application program interface.” Many marketers stay away from trying to develop their own API calls, thinking the process is probably too difficult.

But it’s not.

Check out the GMB API Guide and get a huge jump on the competition.

Will You Be One of the “Lucky Ones”?

“Success is simply a matter of luck. Ask any failure” (Earl Wilson).

That magic moment when preparation meets opportunity can look like a lucky break. Look deeper, though, and you’ll almost always find the lucky recipient put in years of hard work, then luck showed up as a reward for those efforts.

If this month’s issue of Stukent’s News You Can Use doesn’t get your blood pumping and your enthusiasm level at an all-time high, you should check your pulse.

Now’s the time and digital marketing is the place to be. If you’ll stay focused and learn what you need to learn, there’s a future full of possibility ahead … and it has your name on it.


Facebook Is Testing a Way for Users to Block Specific Words, Phrases, and Emojis

6 Marketing Trends Set to Take off in 2019

Youtube Is Rolling out Its Instagram-Like Stories Feature to More Creators

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