/ Pierry Gives Back

Pierry Employees Give Back: Strut Your Mutt Fundraising Event

Kevin McKernan

Version 3 Everyone knows the expression “a dog is a man’s best friend.” But did you know that every day more than 9,000 dogs and cats are killed in shelters all over the U.S. simply because they don’t have a safe place to call home? This sad-but-real statistic is the reason I’m joining my fellow animal lovers in the Strut Your Mutt fundraising event in Sellwood Riverfront Park in Portland, Oregon on September 10, 2016 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

This isn’t just another dog walk. Hosted by the Best Friends Animal Society, a nationwide no-kill animal sanctuary, this annual festival takes place in 14 cities across the U.S., as well as online, with one goal in mind—raising funds to support local animal shelters and their efforts to find permanent homes for their animals.

My team, Born Again Pit Bull Rescue (BAPBR) is looking to raise $12,000 towards this amazing cause. Founded in 2007, BAPBR is the longest standing registered non-profit rescue in the Portland Metro area dedicated to improving the lives of Pit Bull Terriers by keeping them out of shelters, providing spay and neutering services, providing owner and shelter support programs and through community education services.

I’ve been an animal lover since before I can remember, and I cannot imagine what my day-to-day life would be like without my dogs by my side. As with all pets, the love, laughter, and friendship they provide is second to none.

I hope you will support BAPBR in raising money for this worthy cause. Check out my donation page to learn more or to contribute.

DONATE NOW

/ Email

Anti-SPAM Laws Around the World

Kevin McKernan

trash can with garbage around it

During the early days of the internet and email, SPAM ruled many of our inboxes. The ability for ISPs (such as AOL, Yahoo!, etc.) to filter these communications was nearly non-existent. On top of that, there were very few, if any laws, to help governments regulate and take action against spammers.

Today, nearly every country has a law with the intent of reducing SPAM. And while the sentiment of these regulations is the same, the laws themselves are not all created equal. As more and more businesses expand globally, it’s important to be familiar with the anti-SPAM laws of the country you are sending from and the laws of the countries you are sending to. Failure to do so could lead to damaging fines.

It’s important to note that SPAM is not just unwanted mail. Many countries define SPAM as unsolicited, misleading electronic messages. But if marketers aren’t careful, their innocent messages could come across this way. Here is a sample of some of the anti-SPAM laws in place around the world:

United States – CAN-SPAM

The CAN-SPAM (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing) Act was passed in 2003 to, as it’s very long name suggests, work to control the sending unwanted emails from marketers and other, more unsavory, characters. Failure to comply with CAN-SPAM laws can result in fines of $16,000 per email sent.

Think about the size of your average email list and what a fine like that would do to your bottom line. Obvious statement—it wouldn’t be good.

The Basics of Staying Compliant with CAN-SPAM

Always…

  • Include a physical mailing address on every email you send out. In theory, if someone wished to unsubscribe from your list, they could do so by physically sending you a letter or postcard.
  • Provide a clear unsubscribe option. And make sure any unsubscribes are honored within 10 days.
  • Use a clear “From”, “To” and “Reply to” language that accurately reflects you and your business. Your domain name and email address should reflect this as well.

Never…

  • Sell your email list or transfer emails from one company to another.
  • Make it difficult to unsubscribe from messages.
  • Lure subscribers in with deceptive subject lines.

Read more on CAN-SPAM.

Canada – CASL

The Main Idea: CASL (Canada Anti-Spam Legislation) became effective on July 1, 2014 and covers all forms of electronic messaging, including email, SMS, and instant messages, when used for commercial or promotional purposes. As of January 15, 2015, the law expanded further, making it illegal for an individual or business to install software on someone’s device without consent.

Businesses violating CASL could receive a fine of up to $10 million.

How to Stay Compliant with CASL

Always…

  • Obtain “express” consent before sending commercial or promotion electronic messages. Learn more about the difference between “express” consent vs. implied consent.
  • Clearly identify yourself or your organization in each message. You must also include one of the following: mailing address, phone number, email or web address.
  • Make it simple and clear to unsubscribe in every message you send.

Never…

  • Send electronic messages based on implied consent, which includes sending to a recipient based solely on the fact that they have an existing business relationship.
  • Install programs or software on someone else’s device without “express” consent.
  • Provide false or misleading information including sender information, subject matter information, URLs and/or metadata.

Read more on CASL.

United Kingdom – PECR

The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) gives UK citizens specific privacy rights when it comes to electronic communications, such as emails, as well as marketing calls, SMS, faxes, cookies (and similar technologies), consumer data security and consumer privacy. Failure to comply with PECR could result in fines of up to £500,000.

How to Stay Compliant with PECR

Always…

  • Obtain clear consent from consumers regarding the receipt of electronic communications. This could include requiring subscribers to click an opt-in box before they are added to your email marketing list.
  • Keep a record of what each subscriber has consented to, as well as how and when they gave that consent.
  • Offer a clear opt-out on any message

Never…

  • Make it difficult to opt-out.
  • Disguise or conceal the identity of the business or organization you are sending from.
  • Ignore opt-out requests.

Read More on PECR.

Japan – Act on Regulation of Transmission of Specified Electronic Mail

The Act on Regulation of Transmission of Specific Electronic Mail was passed in 2009 and applies to both individuals sending mass communications, as well as commercial email marketers. It’s important to keep in mind that these regulations also apply to those sending outside of Japan. For example, if an entity sends what is considered a “spam” email by Japanese standards from the U.S., which corresponds with Japanese legislation, Japanese authorities reserve the right to prosecute that spammer from the U.S. in American courts.

Events such as the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami brought an influx of spammers sending messages in the guise of non-profits looking to raise funds for victims. As a reaction to that, Japan has rigorous fines in place for criminal spammers. Violators could receive up to a year in prison and ¥30 million fine.

How to Stay Compliant

Always…

  • Have a clear, trackable record of all opt-ins prior to sending, including those you have a pre-existing business relationship with.
  • Immediately act on any unsubscribe requests.
  • Include the name, title and email address of the person responsible for the actual sending of any marketing communications.

Never…

  • Use software to identify email addresses or to falsify information about the sender
  • Send messages to those who have opted-out. These subscribers should immediately be removed from
  • your marketing lists.

Read More on the Act on Regulation of Transmission of Specific Electronic Mail.

Following the regulations above will not only help your business avoid damaging fines, but can also serve as guidelines for how your email marketing program should be managed—do you really want to send mass emails to consumers who have not opted-in? Or make it impossible for consumers to unsubscribe? No, because your engagement rates would be a disaster, as would your ROI.

Regardless of the regulations in place, for reputable digital marketers, these rules are just plain common sense. And, let’s face it, no email marketer wants to be viewed as a spammer.

/ Marketing Best Practices

The Five R’s to Being a Successful Account Manager

Kevin McKernan

Business woman on laptop

Your work title is Account Manager, but in reality you’re an extinguisher of fires, a people pleaser and the mastermind of timelines, deadlines, projects and more. You’re the liaison between the client and the agency, and the truest of true representation of your company. So how do you ensure you are always putting your best foot forward? Follow these five R’s and you’ll be on the right track to being an A+ Account Manager.

Really, Really, REALLY Organized.

As an Account Manager, you’re just that – a manager of an account – so it is your responsibility to know where all things are at all times. Keep track of jobs and conversations in a spreadsheet, a Word document, even a traditional notebook – whatever it is, constantly update it, reference and live by it. Whatever system works for you, run with it. In being a master organizer, you will not only gain your client’s confidence because they know their account is in good hands, you will also be more efficient—saving the client time and money, and freeing up your time to be more profitable to the agency elsewhere.

Responsive.

We’ve all done it. A client request comes through and you get working on it. Days later while the project is in full swing on your end, the client is wondering if their email got lost in email purgatory. Don’t forget to respond to your client! Acknowledge the receipt of every request, even with a simple, “Thank you!” Some companies have a 24-hour policy where you must respond to all emails within a 24 hour timeframe. If the company you work for doesn’t have such a policy, set your own rule. At the end of each day, set aside 15 – 20 minutes to go through your inbox and make sure you have responded to anything and everything that needs an acknowledgement.

Realistic.

It might not seem like your clients appreciate it when you need to tell it to them straight, but trust me, being realistic (or honest or transparent) will keep you in good standing over the long haul. Sometimes client expectations can be totally out of sync with the project scope or budget; and you don’t ever want to be in a situation where you over-promise and under-deliver. If your client makes a request that is unattainable, respectfully share why it cannot be done, and offer a compromise solution. At the end of the day, your client will appreciate your realistic approach to problem-solving, and they will feel like they were heard when you provide an alternative solution.

Relatable.

Building relationships is key to being a successful Account Manager. You want your client to rely on you, and think of you as more than just a vendor. Get to know your client beyond your work relationship. A simple tip for building deeper relationships is to document conversations outside of work-talk and reference them frequently in future conversations. Ask about their family, pets and weekend plans. Small talk while you are waiting for others to join a conference call is always easier if you have taken the time to get to know your clients. You can talk about yourself too – but not too much!

Respectful.

Last, but probably the most important, is to be respectful. I said it once and I will say it again: you are a representative of your agency, so professionalism at all times is key. And unfortunately, with the prevalence social media, that professionalism extends beyond just the work place. Be careful what you post on social. If you wouldn’t want your mom reading your status update, you should probably not post it; after all, your client could stumble upon that post and it could mean bad things for both you and the agency. And in the vein of being professional, dress to impress. When going to a client meeting, in any situation, it’s better to overdress than underdress.

Think you have what it takes to be an Account Manager at Pierry ? We are always looking for great talent. Check out our careers page to learn more about our open positions.

/ Social Media

Auditing Your Social Media Channels in 3 Simple Steps

Kevin McKernan

close up of data on a desk
You’re tweeting, you’re pinning, you’re Instagramming. You have followers and likes galore. Your social channels are up-and-running. But what do you really know about how they’re performing? While you likely have metrics around high-level performance, you may have not taken the time to stop and think about what those metrics mean and how you can use them to your fullest advantage.

Auditing your social media channels isn’t as complex as you think. All you really need is to follow 3 simple steps:

Step 1: Be Objective

The first step in any audit is to focus on the facts. Take an objective, black and white look at each of your accounts. Don’t judge what is there or make predictions about what to do next. You’re simply getting down the information.

During this fact gathering portion of the audit, there are a few metrics you’ll want to have handy. If you regularly keep track of how your social channels are performing, or if you have a reporting tool (such as those offered by SocialStudio, Hootsuite, or SproutSocial) that will gather these metrics for you, this step will be fairly easy. If you don’t, then you’ll have to look at the analytics provided by the social channels themselves.

Social Metrics that Matter

Twitter:

  • Follower Counts
  • Engagement Rate
  • Impressions
  • Link Clicks
  • Likes
  • Retweets
  • Mentions
  • How often you post (on average)
  • Top 10 Tweets

If you’re utilizing Twitter Cards (which you absolutely should be!) you’ll want to see how those different cards are performing and which type is working the best for your audience.

Facebook:

  • Page Likes
  • Engagement (Likes, Shares, Comments)
  • Total Reach
  • Top 10 Facebook Posts (over the past three-six months)

LinkedIn:

  • Followers
  • Impressions
  • Clicks
  • Interactions
  • Engagement Rates
  • Reach
  • Top performing posts (over the past three-six months)

Pinterest:

  • Followers/Following
  • Re-pins
  • Comments
  • Clicks
  • Likes
  • Impressions

Instagram:

  • Followers
  • Likes
  • Comments
  • Top 10 posts (over the past three-six months)

Note: Instagram is starting to slowly roll out analytics to brands.

You’ll also want to take note of how often, on average, you’re posting on each social channel, whether that’s daily, weekly, or even monthly.

Step 2: Analyze

In the analysis step, you’ll take a look at each of your social channels and start to draw some conclusions based on the objective fact-finding information you gathered in Step 1.

For example, you may see that your top tweets have some common theme or similarity. Or you may notice that videos have higher engagement on Instagram than static photos. You may find that tweets containing certain hashtags get more retweets than those without.

You can even look cross-channel to see how the same content performed and if that performance varied base on the channel it was on. You may find that posts on a certain topic have a high rate of performance on LinkedIn, but that that those same posts received low engagement on Facebook.

The key in the Analyze step is to look at what’s working and think about why that might be the case. Things like the amount of characters in your post, topic, date, time, content, CTA, etc. can all influence engagement. Your job is to find those common themes and draw some conclusions.

Step 3: Make a Plan

Audits like this not only help you take a look at what you’ve done in the past, but give you a chance to analyze what’s working, what isn’t, and, most importantly, what you should do moving forward. It can also help you re-evaluate which metrics are most important to you and establish new goals moving forward.

Establishing goals is what Step 3 is meant to help you do.

So you have all this information. You’ve found some common threads between what’s working and what isn’t. Now, what will you do with that information?

Essentially you want to create a goal (or two) for each channel and then outline how you plan to achieve that goal, as well as what you’ll be testing along the way.

As an example, if you found that Tweets that contained less than 100 characters, one hashtag, and were phrased in the form of a question got the highest engagements, you may conclude that you should test using more of these types of tweets to see if it boosts your overall engagement rate.

Or you may see that your Facebook following is highly interactive and decide that it may be worth it to invest your time into posting 4 times a week instead of just 2, and invest less time in Pinterest, which doesn’t seem to resonate with your audience.

You may even find that Instagram posts you’ve shared via Twitter get a high number of likes and retweets. Perhaps experiment with posting more images on Twitter either from Instagram, or images created especially for Twitter, to see if this has an impact.

Or you may see that a channel is lagging behind some of the others and create a plan to test a new approach. Make the decision to post more, post less, post different content, etc.

And for some of you, you may find you’re satisfied with your engagement and instead want to focus more on building your follower base.

Whatever plans you put in place, make sure you put them down in writing. And make sure you give yourself at least 3 months to let those plans play out before evaluating the results.

A Few Other Considerations…

Audits should be a regular part of your digital marketing strategy and you should audit your channels once per quarter, or at the very least, twice a year.

After completing your initial audit, come up with short term goals and tests that you can check-in on between audits (about once a month) so you can monitor progress at a high level. This can help you identify trouble spots or tests gone wrong, allowing you to correct course before too much damage is done.

Don’t forget to look to your competitors as well. What are they doing that’s getting high engagement or low engagement? You can learn a surprising amount from your competitors just by scrolling through their feeds. We often recommend clients have us perform a competitive audit at least once a year to see what lessons we can learn. Keep in mind, your competitors are probably looking to you for a lesson or two as well.

The 3 steps listed above should provide you with a very basic audit, but you can get as granular with your data as you see fit. Even without tools, you can pretty easily manipulate the data provided by Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Twitter to draw conclusions regarding things like which time you should post each day based on highest engagement. Or estimate when you’re most likely to get the highest amount of impressions. All it takes is a few formulas in Excel, a pivot table, and some patience. You can even add Google Analytics into the mix to see which social channels are generating the most traffic back to your site.

Whatever you want to find, as long as you have access to the data, an audit can help you uncover it and use it to give your social performance a boost.