How an Amazon email marketing goof-up lost them a sale



I love Amazon. I think they are the best online retailer on the planet and everyone who knows me well knows that I use Amazon for everything. I will sing their praises until the end of the world.

However, that doesn’t mean that Amazon doesn’t mess up.

I woke up today at 5 a.m. and did my normal routine of checking my emails (and Facebook) in the hopes that it would help me wake up. Amazon sends me emails regularly with different deals or products catered to my interests. I don’t open many of them but I prefer getting them because every now and then, I do get an email for something I want.

Well, that actually happened this morning.

I received an email for “Up to 65% Off Select Kingston Memory Cards and USB Drives.” This was incredibly convenient because my last flash drive (which was also a Kingston, by the way) burned down with my house and I hadn’t bought another yet. There are ways for me to get around using a flash drive so I had been holding off, but 65 percent off the normal price would have been the thing to make me finally buy one.

Amazon email marketing mess up martyfnemec Communication Made Simple

The email did a great job of building a sense of urgency as well. The Kingston flash drive sale was the Amazon “Deal of the Day,” which means that I only had today to buy a flash drive using this deal. This marketing technique was very successful as I immediately clicked the link so I could buy a cheaper Kingston flash drive.

Then, something strange happened.

The “Deal of the Day” was not the Kingston flash drives. I was confused and I stopped for a moment and thought that maybe Amazon messed up and the flash drives were not the “Deal of the Day” but instead part of Amazon’s “Lightning Deals” that are featured on the same page. I clicked through all 37 of them and there was nothing involving a flash drive.

I decided to go back to the email and I saw what had happened. The “Deal of the Day” was for April 15 (yesterday) and I received the email at 3:01 a.m. on April 16. Even if I had opened the email the second I received it, I still couldn’t have bought those flash drives because that day had passed. Even if I lived in California, which is three hours behind Florida, the state I call my home, I STILL COULDN’T HAVE BOUGHT ONE OF THOSE FLASH DRIVES.

Amazon successfully assessed my interest and sent me a relevant email. Their email marketing worked and I was 100 percent ready to make a purchase and their mess-up lost them a sale.

Will this affect my love of Amazon and cause me to stop using them first and foremost over every other online retailer?

Nope. It doesn’t change anything for me. I am disappointed, but the value Amazon brings me far outweighs this rare mistake.

But this does bring to light that every company makes mistakes, even the almighty Amazon. The difference is that Amazon can afford it. Can your business?

Make sure that your email marketing is tested and analyzed deeply. Just like in my case, a lead can be ready to become a customer and a simple mistake can make it never happen. Unlike my case with Amazon, your missed opportunity may not come back and give you another chance.

Do you have an opinion on this subject? I’d love to hear it in the comments.

-Marty F. Nemec

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Game of Thrones makes TV watchable again



Game of Thrones

I admit that I’m a tough sell with TV shows. I have probably watched two or three episodes of a hundred shows. I just don’t have time for TV shows that can’t keep my attention. I expect shows to make me interested in the futures of the characters. I expect to laugh or cry (feel like it). I expect to feel emotion.

Three of the only shows I have ever finished and made me satisfied with my decision were Friday Night Lights, Breaking Bad, and Arrested Development. Game of Thrones definitely meets all of my expectations for great shows.

I won’t ruin what happened, but in a roughly four episode span, featuring both the “Red Wedding” and the “Purple Wedding,” this show blew my mind and changed what I thought about TV shows. Game of Thrones will keep you up at night thinking about the show’s events. It will have you talking to coworkers about it.

The one constant complaint I hear is that Game of Thrones is too long. The episodes are sometimes slow and always an hour long. What you don’t realize, though, is that the entire show is a series of build-ups. Each long build-up peaks at a crazy event that leaves you speechless and then the next build-up begins. You have to know these characters. You have to love or hate these characters to truly appreciate what the show has to offer. That is why you have to watch the episodes that aren’t action-packed from start to finish.

I strongly suggest that you get a big bag of popcorn and dedicate a Sunday afternoon to Game of Thrones. After three episodes, you will most likely be as hooked as me (and most of the country). It is an incredible show that will make you feel every emotion known to man. Don’t be that guy (like me) again who starting watching Breaking Bad after it ended and you already knew the ending.

Also, you will come to really appreciate Jack Gleeson’s portrayal of the cowardly, yet sadistic, King Joffrey. What a tough role and Jack nails it every single episode.

-Marty F. Nemec

My life at the moment (03/24/2014)

Many things have happened since my last real post.

I now am a full-time paid Marketing and Communications Intern at Crowley Maritime Corporation. The title is misleading as I actually do an incredibly vast amount of functions. The sect of Crowley I work for is called Crowley Technical Management, and my department primarily deals with business development, mostly through government contracts. At the moment, I mostly help write bids for government contracts, but we are kicking off a marketing campaign to further expand CTM’s online reach so we an secure more contracts. I will be the head of this campaign and will be in charge of the blogging and other social media content creation.

It is a giant opportunity for me and I am very excited to prove my worth so I can have a chance at getting employed here in a permanent position. This company is great and everyone here is incredibly helpful and nice. I know that I am in an environment that will help me be the best I can be. Plus, I can put government contract writing on my resume now.

How cool is that?

Things are going well and I’m sorry for not posting in a long time. How are all of you? Are your careers/lives going the way you want them to be going?

A blog I wrote about the Sonic Redskins’ sign incident for Axia PR.

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Come read it and comment on there if you have an opinion on the matter. Axia and I would really appreciate it. Please look around at the other posts too if you have free time. I am very appreciative of all the support you guys have given me.

The post is here.

-Marty F. Nemec

How a House Fire Made Me Who I am Today

My destroyed house while the debris was getting cleared out.

My destroyed house while the debris was getting cleared out.

On December 18, 2012, two days after my 25th birthday, I was sitting in my living room around noon. It was a day like any other, except something unsuspecting would happen. There was a pop in the wall behind me. I didn’t have time to evaluate the situation or ponder on what caused the noise because the burnt plastic smell told me right away. It was a spark.

I immediately threw the couch away from the wall and saw the old curtain was already on fire. I tried to kick it and put the fire out, but my attempts were to no avail. I ran to my refrigerator and grabbed a giant container of water. I even thought for a second how lucky I was that I hated the iron water from my well and kept distilled water for drinking. Those positive thoughts quickly dissipated as the water hit the fire and did basically nothing. It was at that point I saw the fire was coming out of the outlet and that’s when I knew that the fire was inside the wall. I ran into the kitchen and frantically looked for something, anything. I turned around and saw the fire was already at the ceiling of the living room. I grabbed a shirt and covered my mouth, ran into my living room, grabbed my cell phone and darted out the back door. That move actually singed the front of my hair, but I didn’t realize that until a firefighter pointed it out to me later.

As I ran down my back porch steps, there was a sound similar to a cannon firing and the living room window blew out causing glass to fly everywhere. I called 911 and waited at the road with nothing but the pair of gym shorts I was wearing and the phone in my hand. Slowly, the rest of the neighborhood came and stood with me offering me apologies and small tokens of help. I appreciatively smiled to them, but my mind was still numb at the sight in front of me.

The house that was burning was where I grew up. It was old. The walls were covered in wooden panels, a practice not done anymore because it is essentially turning your walls into flint. The insulation was old, as was the wiring. Perhaps I was lucky that something like that didn’t happen earlier. After all, it could have happened while I was sleeping.

I have always considered myself a strong person, but there is no denying that it was devastating. Not only did I lose everything from my childhood, I also lost everything I owned too. On top of that, I received a dose of reality on how mortal I am. If it had happened just a little earlier, I would have died in my sleep. Insurance did pay for most of my lost items eventually, but I was in a bad spot right after the fire.

I had no house and belongings. I had no clothes. I lost all of my school work as well as my computer. My dad lived an hour away which would have turned my drive to school into a two hour trip each way. As hopeless as the situation seemed, something magical happened. My friends and family popped up wanting to help, especially my girlfriend and her family. Even my friends’ parents gave me things. People on Facebook that I hadn’t seen in years were messaging me telling me I could stay at their house if I needed to. I must have had more than 30 people contact me wanting to help.

My network turned my tragedy into a manageable problem that didn’t ruin my life. When school started again after the Christmas break, I was able to drive my normal route to school and do my work on someone else’s computer. Because of the charity of everyone, I was able to get my life back on track until the insurance money came in and allowed me to support myself and replace my belongings.

Looking back, I can see that this network that helped me is the same concept that is used in public relations. Whether you need help getting a message out or getting access to new potential clients, a network of friends and strangers is necessary. Like when someone gave me a shirt, someone can give a retweet. A place to stay for a few days is like an opportunity to guest blog. Maybe it is silly to downplay my traumatizing experience by comparing it to the public relations industry, but I don’t see why I shouldn’t be able to learn from it. It is only traumatizing if I let it be. I choose not to.

If there was anything that I gained from the house fire, it is strength. I didn’t crumble to my near-death experience or the things from my childhood that were lost. I’ll never get to show my kids the chess set from Jerusalem or the Slovenian history-themed Tarok card game set their great-grandfather gave to me before he died. I’ll never get to look back at anything I ever accomplished or the hundreds of poems and novels I endlessly wrote as a kid that made me want to be a writer like I am today. It was humbling, but it was strengthening. I am a firm believer that God does everything for a reason and now I look forward, ready to make an imprint in the public relations industry. I’m ready for whatever comes my way because I feel like I’ve already been through the worst.

Did you have a situation in your life that you learned from like this? It doesn’t have to be traumatizing, but I would love to hear it in the comments section.

-Marty F. Nemec

A guest post I wrote about my time interning at Axia Public Relations.

I hope you enjoy it. I’ll have something deeper on here eventually, but it is cool that I got some placement on the actual company website. Let me know what you think. Did your internship experience in public relations or marketing go like mine?

Click here to read the post.

And gosh, do I hate the picture they used of me! Hah.

-Marty F. Nemec

Busy, busy!

I hate to beat a dead horse, but… wait, what? Why is that an expression? That’s horrible!

Anyways, I’ve been very busy lately. I’ve been doing an unpaid internship here at Axia Public Relations for over three months and I’ve been trying to get an entry-level PR or marketing job here in Jacksonville, Fla. I just can’t seem to find one right now, but I am going through all of the job boards every couple days with a magnifying glass (not literally) and I have been applying to things that are relevant to me. Plus, college football season started and I’m probably the biggest fan you’ll ever meet. Being a sportswriter is why I majored in journalism, although that is not my end-goal anymore. Go Buckeyes!

I know I will get my break soon. I’m too smart and I work too hard to not be getting paid. Haha. Other than that attempt at confidence, I also have bills and student loans to pay off. I’m glad I’m in a situation where I can at least get experience, but I am definitely going 100 percent to try to start my career. I will write a few posts soon about the things I’ve learned during this internship.

To those who read this, thank you! How have you been? Any new developments in your life? I hope all of you are doing great!

-Marty F. Nemec

11 Tips to Blog Effectively

guest-blogging

Blogging is as simple as writing what you’re thinking, then hitting publish. Right?

Wrong.

As many of you know, there are tricks in the game of blogging. Some blogs are just better than others. When looking at successful blogs, sometimes it’s hard to tell what they are doing differently than you.

Many people have asked me what I do when I blog. Obviously, my blog posts, like everyone else’s, come from my head and that can’t be replicated. However, there are some simple guidelines I follow without thinking about them. I have decided I would write down 10 things I personally do that I feel makes my blogging better than average (opinion alert). I kept it short and simple, which is a new thing for me. Sorry… or you’re welcome, depending on how you feel about that!

1. Make a blog name that has personality but tells the reader what you will be writing about.

2. Write in a conversational way that is easy for people to understand and delve themselves into, unless the subject calls for more.

3. Do your research on the subject you are writing about. The readers will believe you until you are proven wrong, then credibility becomes an issue.

4. Keep your blog posts on the subject of what their headlines say. You can always make another post if you find yourself drifting into a different subject.

5. Don’t try to sell a product in your blog posts. Your blog post should inform and entertain readers, then they will pursue your products on their own if they deem you worthy.

6. Proofread your post three times before publishing it.

7. Add your call to action at the end of your post. If you want comments, tweets, donations or shares, let the reader know. Some of them will perform the action you want if they liked your post, but don’t seem too needy.

8. Use SEO-friendly keywords in your post. Don’t drown your post in them, but definitely find out which terms can bring search engine users to your blog.

9. Write about issues your readers are interested in. It’s hard to accept, but sometimes your own interests aren’t what your blog followers care about. This is a judgement call.

10. Respond to comments, as well as interaction through other social media platforms that comes from your blog’s influence. The readers took time to respond to you. Respond back.

11. Use pictures. People like pictures and they help break up the massive amount of text in your post.

These tips should help you pinpoint a thing or two in your blogging that you can do better. I’m not perfect, either, and I can definitely work on some of my own tips too.

If you agree with these or have more tips, feel free to tweet me or comment below. I hope these helped in some way!

-Marty F. Nemec

Infographic Thursday 8-8-2013: Social Media, Content Curation and More

It’s Infographic Thursday, the best day of the week!

I have 10 infographics for you on a variety of subjects, some of them being Twitter, LinkedIn, content curation, and social media mistakes.

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Do you like any of these infographics? Let me know in the comment section or better yet, tweet me or share it on Twitter! I love infographics.

-Marty F. Nemec

View Marty F. Nemec's profile on LinkedIn

Giving is Getting in Social Media

Gap+Give+and+Get+Logo

While many people spend hours hoping, and even begging, for interaction on social media, they never stop and think. They tirelessly try to get retweets, mentions, +1s, likes, repins, and more from strangers, but they never even consider the reverse side.

Those people you’re begging to want all of those things as well.

I don’t believe there is ever a reason you shouldn’t return favors on social media. If someone endorses you for skills on LinkedIn, I think you should always look through their skills and see if there are any they deserve being endorsed for. If someone mentions you on Twitter, which raises your Klout score, you should always respond. No matter what platform it is, you should always try to return the favor. People don’t have to go to your page and help you. They don’t have to interact with you. Return the favor every time.

Returning the favor also makes the other person feel appreciated. It makes him or her feel like your friend. That’s how you get “repeat interaction,” as I call it. They will feel compelled to follow you because you showed interest in them or his or her work. On the other hand, not returning the favor makes some people feel slighted. I know I do when someone can’t give me 30 seconds of their day to answer me or endorse me back.

This entire concept can be used in a more general sense, however. You can utilize it to promote interaction for yourself from new people which can lead to new followers and fans. You can put yourself in the other person’s shoes and share his or her blog post on Twitter. You can like and comment on their picture on Instagram. You can put that person in the position of returning the favor. You will see that while many will ignore you, there are a large amount that appreciate the kindness you show in going out of your way to help them.

What are the most effective ways to influence interaction? I have two that I like to use and they are fun and helpful to both people involved.

The first thing I would do is look at users’ social media profiles. Many people on social media write personal things about themselves in their bio. Simple things like “wine drinker” or “mother of two” open huge doors to interaction. “Dog lover” and “Steelers fan” are two more. Not only are you interacting with them, which is helpful to them, but you are actually mentioning something they like! If they respond, they won’t just be returning a favor because they feel compelled. They will actually enjoy themselves because they will get to discuss something they like. Make it fun for the person you want to interact with.

helping-hand

The second thing I would do is go to one of the advanced Twitter search engines, like Hootsuite’s. Search a keyword that will bring you tweets from the subject you specialize in and are looking for interaction in. Once you do that, search through the found tweets until you find a shared blog post that you think is good. Let’s assume the authors name is Shelley. What I would do is retweet it using the “RT” tag and not the on-board retweet function, which doesn’t allow you to write anything. Write something like “Great post, Shelley!” and follow it with “RT,” then her exact tweet which will include her handle. She will see that you not only shared the blog post she worked on, but that you complimented her on it as well. I also think doing the extra click to find out the person’s first name does wonders.

These are nothing major, but with these tips, I believe you can start getting more interaction almost instantly.

If you like this or have any comments, tweet me them or let me know below!

-Marty F. Nemec

View Marty F. Nemec's profile on LinkedIn