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Another profile change? Facebook has done it again!

Facebook Sign In Screen

As you peruse on the social network, you may have noticed a change. The company recently added default Facebook domain email addresses to every Facebook user’s profile. The email address is the same as your public username on your account (i.e. With the email address, individuals can receive emails sent from tr

aditional email systems (i.e. Gmail and Yahoo!) directly on their Facebook profiles. These messages are formatted to look like internal Facebook messages.

Why the change?
If users can now read personal emails on their Facebook accounts, this will result in longer visit durations per user on the network. The more time spent on the website, the more advertisements that they will be exposed to (known as “impressions”). Probability explains that the more impressions shown result in a greater click-through rate.The company may have incorporated default Facebook email addresses in order to improve the company’s primary profit driver: advertising.

Therefore, incorporating Facebook email addresses will increase the cost per click (or per impression) of the ads purchased on Facebook. Increased cost translates to increased dollars.

Not a fan of your Facebook email?

If you wish to edit or remove your default Facebook email address, it only takes a few clicks. Go to your contact information, click “Edit” and adjust accordingly.

To stay updated with more social media tips, please follow Modern Mail on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn!

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By Caitlin Rambo
Marketing Communications Specialist

On March 30th, Facebook automatically upgraded all fan page profiles to the new Timeline design. Why the switch? Ultimately the old layout will be deprecated and the Timeline platform will replace all user profiles.

Much like the old layout, Timeline presents a visual history of the user – but with some innovative additions. Profiles now sport cover photos that span across the top of the page. Users can highlight major stories and milestones on their wall. Also, there is not greater emphasis on page tabs and apps.

The new design is better for corporate branding. Companies have more opportunities to be creative and sport their brand personalities. Now –three weeks after the switch – we decided to highlight some companies that we found to be making the most of their Facebook Timelines!

Crayola knows how to have fun – they’ve been in the color business for more than 100 years! From the captivating cover photo to the colorful page tabs, the Crayola Timeline is a brand asset. The page promotes creativity and consumer engagement – A+!
Crayola Facebook Timeline
Spotify may be new to the music arena, but this quirky contender has already made a strong impact in the US. Consumers are raving about the brand! And the Spotify Timeline urges followers to support their mantra of “play, discover, share”. Page tabs prompt users to share music, listen to exclusive playlists, and participate in contests and forums.
Spotify Facebook Timeline
The JEEP Facebook Timeline enhances the overall brand image. Raw and rugged creativity reflects in the clever cover photo and the functional page tabs. The Timeline appealingly depicts the adventurous lifestyle that jeep owners embody.
JEEP Facebook Timeline
Dangerous and fun, the Urban Decay brand – like the Timeline – has an edge. The profile photo and the cover photo are creatively implemented and visually appealing. But it is not just the looks that make this fan page successful. The page tabs are built to engage, hosting consumer contests, events and reviews.
Urban Decay Facebook Timeline
Local venue Iron Hill knows a thing or two about brewing. Hence, their Timeline is prime real estate for showcasing their homemade ales and events. The cover photo is an artistic view of their collection of brews, and the page tabs prompt users to engage by either making a reservation at one of the restaurants or joining the company for special events.
Iron Hill Brewery Facebook Timeline
Do you need help with the customization of your Facebook Timeline? Fill out the contact form or send us a Facebook message!

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By Caitlin Rambo
Marketing Communications Specialist

QR Codes® are swiftly becoming a popular marketing tool. You may have seen them in grocery store aisles, on highway billboards or next to displays in museums. Encoded with useful information these barcodes are both convenient and beneficial. Think of them as a digital “shortcut”. They offer an immediate entry portal for users to access specific content and make marketing communications more interactive. Additionally, they offer tracking capabilities and other useful metrics for the marketer.

QR Codes® strengthen brand awareness, and are useful in many marketing applications as a practical call to action. These sometimes colorful and creative codes attract interest with the viewer and reflexively encourage them to engage. In order to decode the information, consumers must use a QR Code® reader – most of which are offered for free; some of which are standard applications installed on newer smart phones. Upon scanning, users are whisked away to their destination.

QR Codes® make it easy for people to connect. As a marketing portal, they can effectively and measurably propel users to:

  • visit to a webpage
  • view a video or photo (e.g. coupon)
  • make a phone call (to a sales rep or consumer advocate)
  • send an email or instant message

Still not convinced about incorporating QR’s in your next marketing campaign?

Recent data show that while not every citizen may have a personal computer, they do have cellular phones. In fact, the US mobile market comprises more users than Internet users. And smart phones account for one third of all of these mobile devices. It is expected that by 2015, smart phone penetration will have reached over 50% of the mobile market. According to Nielsen, smart phone penetration is already over 50% among 18 to 34 year olds.

Smart phones are powerful and convenient. These devices make it easy for people to connect and interact with their networks through apps and other features. They are also getting cheaper. With the forecasted smart phone adoption rates, it is expected that QR Codes® will not be going anywhere anytime soon.

Want to learn more about the benefits and best practices of QR Codes®? Send us an email via our contact page, or contact our resident QR expert Kelly Smith directly at:

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By Caitlin Rambo, Marketing Assistant
How much time do you spend online?

According to a time use survey compiled by comScore Media Metric, the average American spends 33.9 hours on the Internet every week. Depending on age and other demographics, this number can double! And for those lucky individuals whose occupations rely primarily on computers: the Internet commands their lives and they are never not connected.

Computers have drastically changed the technological landscape. The Internet has facilitated efficiency in a number of offline processes. We use the web to communicate with our family, friends and business acquaintances in real-time chats. Books and other multimedia are available for online viewing and instant download. We can even shop for gifts online – often offered at a deeper discount than in brick-and-mortar stores! The Internet has revolutionized the way that we live, as we now spend one-sixth of our lives in the digital world.

Exhibit 1: 100 Most-Visited Websites by category, according to Google Ad Planner

Where are we actually spending our time online?

Google has compiled a list of the 100 most-visited websites in the United States. (Being the modest company that they are, Google has chosen to omit their website and statistics from the study.) These 100 websites are sorted into six categories: social networking, search engines, shopping, entertainment, business and software.

The Internet can deliver information instantaneously, so naturally search engines and other information-related websites comprise the most popular category – sites ranging from web portals, such as Yahoo! and Bing, to encyclopedias and other how-to pages, such as Wikipedia and eHow. Closely tailing search engines are online shopping and other e-commerce websites – pages such as Amazon, eBay and Walmart – followed, in descending order, by the categories Entertainment, Social Networking, Business and Software.

Social networks are defined as any and all websites that are personal communities, professional networks, blogs, dating communities, deal of the day websites and other content sharing sites. It is significant that social media occupy the fourth largest category, as these websites have only gained popularity within the past few years. In fact, two of the top three websites in America are “social” sites. The number one site, Facebook, is the largest social network in the world with over 800 million loyal users. YouTube trails behind this social giant as the second most popular social network, and the third most popular website in the US.

Which social sites are Americans frequenting the most?

Americans have become fully absorbed in the social networking infrastructure. According to Nielsen, social media has engrossed 22% of our total time online. The chart, “Total Reach of Social Networks,” reveals the percentage of Americans that are logged-in to the 15 most-popular networks in the country. The most popular social network is Facebook, with a total national reach of over 67%. Close in proximity is YouTube, with 54.7% of the population viewing, sharing and commenting on videos posted by others around the globe. Other social networks are used by less than half of the population – networks such as Twitter and LinkedIn, and blogging websites such as Blogspot and WordPress.

Another sub-category of social networks has made it to the top-100. Within the past year, the deal-of-the-day industry has flourished. There are dozens of competing websites, but the two that have thus far generated the bulk of the traffic and seized the largest marketing share are Living Social and Groupon. Consumers flock to these websites for the great discounts on a variety of products, services and activities. Only 5% of the United States population is connected to these sites. However, in another year it is predicted that the reach of these sites will more than double as the popularity of these sites is accelerating at an enthusiastic rate.

Exhibit 2: Total Reach of Social Networks in the US, according to Google Ad Planner

Which Americans are on social networks?

Of the 310 million individuals in the United States, at least 210 million are actively participating in social networks. Who are these individuals? According to Google, the majority of users are women. Females are more active participants in social media than their counterparts. Women are especially more active on deal of the day social networks – where users typically register in order to receive coupons. In fact, the only social network where men have the greater presence is LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network. This may be correlated to the fact that men hold higher-level positions in the US workforce than women. Currently out of the running Fortune 500 companies, there are only 16 female CEOs (as told by USA Today). Even more shocking is that this is the greatest number of women that have ever held this position at the same time.

Exhibit 3: Social Media Usage by Gender in the US, according to Google Ad Planner

In regards to age, the correlation shows that younger individuals prefer more active social networks, whereas older individuals prefer networks where there is an emphasis on content retrieval. Senior citizens are most active on deal of the day sites, which provide coupons and other group discounts for those that chose to lead active lifestyles. On the other hand, the media of choice for younger generations appear to be networks where regular, active participation is encouraged. Teenagers and kids flock to social sharing sites such as YouTube and Photobucket, an image hosting website. For young adults, blogs and other weblog sites that facilitate comments and sharing are most popular. Overall, the group that has the largest presence on social media is adults. The majority of the users of the 15 most-visited social sites are between the ages of 35 and 54 years of age.

Exhibit 4: Social Media Usage by Age in the US, according to Google Ad Planner

How important are demographics?

The Internet and technologies that make the Internet more accessible for us have been strongly embedded into modern culture. Laptops, smart phones, tablets and mp3 players with Internet access are consumed by all age groups. Internet users flee to the web not just for information, but also to shop, communicate and consume multimedia. The increase in Internet consumption has led us to spend more time in the digital world and less time in the real world – one-sixth less time to be exact.

The media patterns of target audiences are changing. Marketers need to redevelop their marketing strategies in order to better influence target audiences and stimulate them to consume. The most successful advertisers are those that are able to reach their audiences through multiple channels. In modern America, this requires integrating an online marketing strategy.

Using the demographics of our ideal buyer persona, we can learn which websites our target audiences are frequenting. These trending websites will prove to be the best online locations to advertise to these individuals. If the ideal buyer is a 35 year old soccer mom, then research shows that it would be useful to advertise on deal of the day websites that women in this age group tend to frequent. Alternatively, if our ideal candidate is a business executive that works long hours for a prestigious law firm, LinkedIn advertisements would be the indisputable way to go.

All in all, social media shows us that demographics matter. Using factors such as age, gender and nationality we can determine an online marketing strategy that will lead to effective advertising results. More targeted marketing leads to increased sales and a healthier business.


“Average Time Spent Online per U.S. Visitor in 2010.” The ComScore Data Mine. 13 Jan. 2011. Web. 08 Nov. 2011.

“Led by Facebook, Twitter, Global Time Spent on Social Media Sites up 82% Year over Year.” Web log post. Nielsen Wire. The Nielsen Company, 22 Jan. 2011. Web. 09 Nov. 2011.

Petrecca, Laura. “Women ‘Fortune’ 500 CEOs Hits Record –” USA Today. A Gannett Company, 26 Oct. 2011. Web. 14 Nov. 2011.

“Social Networks/Blogs Now Account for One in Every Four and a Half Minutes Online.” Web log post. Nielsen Wire. The Nielsen Company, 15 Jan. 2010. Web. 09 Nov. 2011.

“The 100 Most-visited Sites: United States.” Doubleclick Ad Planner. Google, Jan. 2011. Web. 03 Nov. 2011.

“US & World Population Clock.” Census Bureau Home Page. U.S. Census Bureau, 31 Oct. 2011. Web. 09 Nov. 2011.

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By Caitlin Rambo, Marketing Assistant


It is no secret: LinkedIn is the largest professional network available on the Internet. As of August 2011, LinkedIn CEO, Jeff Weiner, could proudly verify that the global network had over 120 million member profiles – with approximately half of these users located in the United States. In addition to individual user profiles, LinkedIn also offers company profiles. Over 2 million public and private corporations are listed on the network, and this number is growing as small businesses begin to make use of the platform.

In the past, company profile pages were a passive communication tool. Individuals would flock to the listings to pull information and statistics – which proved to be especially advantageous for job seekers.

The addition of the “company follow” feature two years ago provided further value, as individuals were able to become more engaged with the companies. Knowing exactly who their followers were in terms of demographics, companies published content that appealed to their audiences. Alternatively, the users that chose to follow provided social proof of the companies’ value to them.

Now, LinkedIn has again stepped up their level of engagement. Company pages have added a new feature: company status updates.

These updates are a great marketing tool to begin to utilize. Companies can now directly communicate with their audience by posting corporate news, product releases, promotions and other relevant information. The updates are automatically directed to the followers’ homepage news feeds, where the users can choose to engage by commenting, liking and sharing the content with others on their networks.

Updates are a great way to build engagement with current customers, potential employees and prospective clients alike. Many of us have learned to leverage the power of status updates on other social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. When utilized properly, this dynamic information sharing can lead content to “go viral” – an ambition that all marketers share.

Even more good news: LinkedIn has given us two metrics to monitor these conversations. Page administrators can see the number of impressions (the amount of times the update appears on various users’ news feeds) and the level of engagement (the percentage of users that decided to click, like, comment or share the content). Using these numbers we can see which content posts users best respond to.

There is one limitation. Status updates can only be posted by the administrators of a company’s LinkedIn page. However, if you are not an administrator already it is easy to become one. Connect to one of the current page administrators, and once the connection is made they are able to designate you a role on the page.

Company status updates are a great addition to the professional network. All users benefit from a higher level of interaction. Companies now have a voice that their audiences can engage in conversation with. Increased engagement translates to a more positive user experience as they interact with your brand. And the more positive affect of a consumer, the greater the probability of increased revenue potential with the user.

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Written by: Caitlin Rambo, Marketing Assistant

The Technology Shift

In 2000, consumers were awed by the convergence of two useful technologies: the digital camera and the mobile phone. Despite the low-quality images produced by these products, consumption surged for the camera phone in the early 21st century.1

A decade later, we again see that the cell phone has evolved. This generation of “smart phones” has all of the capabilities of a camera phone, but one key differentiator prevails – the Internet! In 2011, the newest trend is not just to take a picture with your camera phone, but to use your smart phone to connect with others on the Internet via email, social networks and more!

We live in a digital world, and technological convergence with the Internet has become a standard. Smart phones, Kindles, iPads and lighter-than-air laptops have made accessing the Internet a breeze – no matter where you are.

According to Online Marketing Trends, the average American spent over 32 hours per month online in 2010.2 If over 1/5 of an American’s life is now spent online, how can we reach them with traditional advertising methods? Just like the evolution of cell phones, we need to evolve our marketing strategies.

It is no secret that the usage of the Yellow Pages is declining, and it makes sense. In a world where information can readily be pulled from online resources, why bother searching through a printed book? Search engines are the modern day solution, and search engine marketing is the future of advertising.

Search Engine Marketing

What exactly is search engine marketing? Unlike search engine optimization (SEO), SEM is a form of Internet marketing that seeks to promote websites through the use of paid advertising placements and contextual advertising (advertising that targets users based on the content of the web pages that they are viewing) in search engine results pages.3 There are several platforms for online advertising. The most recognized tool is Google AdWords, but there are also ad opportunities on Yahoo! and Bing, as well as on social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn.

Different businesses have different successes with each platform. The first step is to understand your target customers and their online behavior: which websites do they frequent and what time of the day? Once you have created an ideal buyer persona, create advertisements that will accommodate to your customers needs. By showing that your business is the solution to their problems, you can drive traffic to your site and increase your business.

Google as the Online Market Leader

According to market research giant Nielsen, 65.2% of all online search engine queries in the US in February 2010 were performed by Google.4 In addition to the Google network, there are literally millions of Google partners and affiliates. This wide reach has led Google to become the dominant market leader of online advertising with their AdWords service. Creating an account on Google AdWords is free of charge; the only cost incurred comes from the keywords that you choose to bid on. The platform offers pay-per-click (PPC), cost-per-impression (CPM) and website-targeted advertising in the form of text, banners and rich media advertisements.

Users can manage their own AdWords accounts, or outsource to a third-party company that specializes in search engine marketing. Regardless of who manages the account, the key to AdWords success lies in continuous and careful monitoring and adjusting of the advertising campaigns.


If you are still not convinced that advertising your business online is the way to go, consider the last time that you needed to search for a service provider. What did you do?

If you needed to find a power washer in your area, did you type into the search query bar: “power washer in ( your town )? When your child decided that they wanted to start karate lessons, did you search for regional martial arts schools online to find one that was most cost effective? When you needed to find a florist spur-of-the moment in an unfamiliar town, did you use your smart phone and search for flower shops online?

The worldwide trend has revealed that there is a shift to digital medium: from the decline of the Yellow Pages to the uprising tablet era. If information is easily accessible and readily available online, then why not utilize digital technology. As marketers, we must learn how to harness the true power of the online realm. Whether you’re a small business owner with a limited budget or the SVP of Marketing for a Fortune 500 company, search engine marketing is important. If your business is not online, your competitor probably is; and your competitor is reaping the benefits of your lost business.

When it comes down to it, the real power behind search engine marketing is the element of control. Every facet of your Google AdWords campaign can be monitored, measured and altered depending on your goals. Campaigns can be designed to drive new traffic to your website or maximize your return on investment. Regardless of how you choose to measure your online marketing success, the Internet is a vital channel to utilize. Positioning your business against or above the competition through online advertising is a key competitive advantage, and the personalized metrics dashboard provided is a fundamental tool that allows you to track your online success.


1. Butcher, Dan. “Worldwide Camera Phone Sales to Exceed 1B This Year: Report – Mobile Commerce Daily – Research.” Mobile Commerce Daily. 07 Apr. 2011.

2. “Average Time Spent Online per U.S. Visitor in 2010 | Online Marketing Trends.” Online Marketing Trends. 18 Feb. 2011.

3. “Search Engine Marketing.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.

4. “Nielsen Reports February 2010 U.S. Search Rankings | Nielsen Wire.” Nielsen Wire. The Nielsen Company, 15 Mar. 2010.

Claim token: R2AWFHAXRTB7

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Written by Caitlin Rambo, Marketing Assistant

Backlinks are incoming links to a website or a webpage. They are also commonly referred to as incoming links, inbound links, inlinks and inward links.Networking and Backlinks

Why are backlinks so important?

Backlinks are the most important factor for determining a website’s search engine ranking. The number of backlinks is an indication of popularity – the links themselves are synonymous to votes. The website with the most votes is the most important, and these websites rank higher on organic search queries in Google, Yahoo!, Bing and other search engines.

The backlinks themselves must meet several criteria. The links must be placed on relevant pages that hold a good search engine rank. Also, search engines do not just care about the number of backlinks, but how these links were achieved. If a website builds too many backlinks within a month, for example because they used a backlink purchasing service, then the search engine may discredit these links and the importance of the website because the backlinks were not created organically.

For these reasons, the quality of backlinks is more important than the quantity of links.

One of the best strategies to achieve more backlinks is a geometric link building strategy that requires a website to gradually build backlinks over time. Listed below are the top ten ways to attain more backlinks in order to improve the website’s overall page rank and SEO.

  1. Website Directories – Submit company information and URL for free or for a cost.
  2. RSS Directories – Submit feeds to blogs and websites where visitors can explore articles in specific industries.
  3. Press Release Distribution Sites – Submit news articles and press releases to free and/or paid distribution websites.
  4. Article Marketing/Article Directory Sites – Post articles and other content to these sites for more exposure, credibility and targeted traffic.
    • – Free membership, allows 10 initial article submissions and if articles meet quality standards, can qualify for a platinum account with unlimited submissions.
    • – The website allows unlimited postings upon registering as a member. (cost: $47 membership fee)
    • – The world’s largest free content article directory, allows up to 10 article submissions per day.
    • – Owned by Seth Godin, this site encourages one to “create, craft, build, bake, innovate, write, opine, talk, storytell, review, recommend, and stand out from the crowd” – for free.
    • – Freely publish, discover and interact with people that share interests.
    • – Share views and join conversations of those with similar interests.
  5. Build Company blog – Create a company blog (if it does not exist already) and create more content and posts. This will increase the probability of the articles being reiterated. Also, notable individuals could be interviewed in order to build readership.
  6. Blog/Forum Commenting – Comment on blogs and forums that are relevant to niche and have good page rank, and add a backlink in the signature line. Make sure that the website allows URL posting in the comments.
  7. Guest Blogging – Offer to write free content for a website that is relevant to industry. In exchange, add a backlink in the byline of the article.
  8. Social Bookmarking Sites – Utilize bookmarks that reference and share online resources.
  9. Testimonials – Write testimonials for clients, suppliers and other collaborators and ask them to post it to their websites.
  10. Joint Ventures/Partnerships – Ask friends, acquaintances, partners and the like to post the backlink URL to their webpage. Be sure to offer to reciprocate the favor.

Collectively, these ten recommendations will create an efficient and effective backlink building strategy. It is important to differentiate the links; use deep links that navigate to other pages on the website apart from the homepage. The most important takeaway concept is that quality beats quantity. Create backlinks that are relevant to an industry or niche. In the long-term this will boost search engine page rank.

About Modern Mail

Since 2004, Modern Mail has maintained strong capabilities in its three divisions: integrated direct marketing, collateral management and transaction processing. Based in Newark, Delaware, the company utilizes multiple channels to deliver cutting edge campaigns to its clients that increase both response rates and return on investment. For further information, Caitlin Rambo can be reached by way of email at, or visit the Modern Mail website at

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More than ever it is the truth.

A quick dose of reality; technology has exploded to the point that
8-year olds text and think every photo expands by stretching the thumb and forefinger; and over five million 10-year olds have Facebook accounts.

As for the rest of us, we’ve reached the point where we can keep
up with technology. And actually anticipate its arrival.

Revolutionary, nice meeting you.

With smarter phones, more intuitive computing and technology hungry people, comes greater possibility. So we comply, and wisely push the boundaries of our thinking.

Brilliant, it turns out, is good for everybody.

Today, direct response is more than an 800 number, but a QR code.
Today, direct response tweets, checks in, posts, sends a picture, flies in the face of convention. Today direct response – if it wants to – responds instantly. It also works, harder, smarter and more intelligently than before.

That we know. And not just by observing, but building, strategizing, planning, executing, and seizing the opportunities from very early on.

Experts, we are. Multi-channel thinking, we know. Idea to execution, we do.
We are Modern Mail. And you can’t get more direct.

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Written by Lisa Fleetwood, Director of Marketing

As Director, Marketing Services I have discovered something important. And that is to forget all that I have learned in the Advertising side of the business over the past 18 years; where nothing could go to the client or to print or on-air until it was perfect. Now that I have made the switch to Direct Marketing and have moved closer to the “Client Side” I have struggled with letting go of perfection.

Direct Marketing lends itself to testing and retesting creative, messaging and channels, so the communications are forever evolving. In terms of the web, digital communications and constantly emerging technologies, perfection is something to strive for and it may never be achieved.

In developing and launching Modern Mail’s new website, it was determined that it would be a living, breathing extension of our company. Constant content and design updates will be the norm. Our ultimate goal is not perfection, but to provide useful information that gets us closer to it.

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