Month: August 2013

Pinterest – An Unlikely Source for Inspiration

Pinterest Marketing

Lately, whenever I’ve had to look for inspiration for design projects I’ve been going to one place.  Instead of going to Google Images, I’ve found Pinterest to be an even better aggregator for design inspiration.  I know a lot of people still think of Pinterest as a social media site for bride-to-be’s, stay-at-home moms and DIY-ers but since its launch in 2010, it has really evolved in both its membership and content.

If you’re a marketer, I highly recommend Pinterest for inspiration for your next marketing project. Here a a few areas that you can go to Pinterest for:



Making a First Impression: Email Subject Lines

Email Subject Lines

I love getting emails!  On a daily basis, I will probably receive about 100 emails between my work and personal accounts.  The majority of these are actually emails from various retailers – Gap, Amazon, Chapters and Shoppers Drug Mart frequently show up in my inbox.  But as much as I love seeing new emails pop up, I admit that even I don’t open every email that I get – some I delete right away, others I open hours or days after I receive them.  Being on the receiving end of all these emails have definitely helped me understand better the psychology behind email campaigns.  But I’ll be the first to admit it, I still have a lot to learn (and a lot of testing to do).

When it comes to emails, the first metric my clients will ask about is the open rate.  A lot of factors can impact the open rate but I believe the subject line to be the biggest determining factor. Here are the results of a few tests that I’ve done (on both B2B and B2C emails):

  • The long & short of it: short subject lines tend to have a higher open rate than long ones. From my research, subject lines should be no longer than 50 characters long. I know that for myself, I actually will stop reading somewhere character 40 and 50.
  • To the point: put the most important part of your message at the beginning (in case your subscribers are like me and lose interest halfway through the sentence!) Give enough information to let people know what the email is about, but reveal just enough to entice them to open the email to find out more.
  • To use or not to use numbers: one thing to think about is why they signed up for the emails in the first place. For people that sign up to get the latest promotions, emails with numbers in the subject lines tend to have a higher open rate. Make sense right? They want to see promotions and are attracted to percentage discounts. For subscribers that “just want to stay in touch” they might prefer subject lines without the constant sales pushes.
  • Questions? Question subject lines have been effective for me for both B2B and B2C emails. This requires a deeper understanding of the target audience and what they would find interesting and relatable.
  • Balancing act: emails that inform rather than sell have been quite effective – again, it comes down to why they signed up for the emails. Informing doesn’t mean there is no sales pitch – you just have to think about the call-to-actions. There has to be a balance between the sales pitch and education.
  • Creating urgency: deadlines, or limited offers create interest and I have found them to be effective in boosting open rates.

As well, with the recent update to the Google inbox set-up, most of my mailing list emails are ending up under the “Promotion” tab which I assume is happening across the board to all my clients.  This will be an added challenge to maintaining the open rates (let alone increasing it!) Combined with a more sophisticated audience that is already bombarded with countless marketing messages every day, more than ever, we will have to work on finding the secret formula for writing the perfect subject line!


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Milk Every Moment Campaign

A couple of weeks ago as I was driving home from work, a new billboard ad on my route caught my attention.  The image was of a glass of milk with a plate of cookies beside it, along with the message “There’s a Reason Nobody Dips Their Cookies in Juice.”  I loved it! Turns out, this is part of the Milk Every Moment campaign (here: which includes web, outdoor and video. (Correction: as it turns out, there was also a POS component!)


I loved the site as soon as I saw it!  The first message you see is “Not everything we did when we were kids made sense, but drinking milk did.”  with a a montage of children being children playing in the back.

All the clips were full of nostalgia.  Their purpose was to bring you back to your own childhood and the silly things you did that made sense at the time.  And that’s what the contest was all about!  The ask was very simple – upload your own silly picture or video from your childhood for a chance to win a Nikon DSLR camera prize pack.
Milk Every Moment WebsiteAll the photos were uploaded to an online gallery where other visitors could see and vote for the winner.  What a brilliant idea to get people involved!  Aside from the contest, the site also features a “Milk Pairings” section – it just wouldn’t be right to visit a Dairy farmers site without seeing recipes.

But oh wow, what a gorgeous site!

Commercials / Outdoor / Social Media

Delving into the site made me more curious about the campaign – so naturally I did more research. I found 4 commercial spots for this campaign. Here is the one titled “Curiosity”.

I was delighted to find out that there were actually 2 billboard versions.  The other version I actually saw a week after the first one. The message was “Peanut Butter and Milk are Soul Mates. Jelly was just a Fling.” and featured a glass of milk with a peanut butter sandwich on a brown background. 

The campaign also had a presence in the world of social media – on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.

Campaign: Milk Every Moment
Agency: DDB Canada
Client: Strategic Milk Alliance

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With so much focus placed on healthy eating now-a-days, milk has encountered quite a backlash recently so I get the purpose behind this campaign.  The intent was to reconnect teens and adults to drinking milk again – perhaps encouraging them to take up this habit again from their childhood.   It was more of a ‘feel good’ campaign rather than an educational one.

What’s interesting for me is seeing a campaign like this unfold over a 6-week period.  While the prize value was not substantial, it was the sense of community and social sharing that this campaign achieved that was really impressive to me.  This campaign made use of people’s love for photos and sharing incorporated live feeds from Facebook and Twitter thanks to their #MilkEveryMoment hashtag.  How exciting would it be to be part of campaigns like this!??

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