Author Archive

Dun & Bradstreet Overviews 3 Approaches to Building an Omnichannel Marketing Strategy

September 11th, 2015 No comments

How do you create marketing that engages every member of your audience in every marketing channel? During MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2015, Jeannine D’Allegro, Global Digital Senior Vice President of Marketing, and her colleague Jacquelyn Kearns, Senior Vice President, both of Dun & Bradstreet, gave Courtney Eckerle, Managing Editor, MarketingSherpa, a brief overview of how their organization went about it.

Build the right team.

They identified operations personnel with the strongest email distribution expertise and digital marketing personnel with the strongest content-development experience, then united them on a single team. They brought together the intelligence to engage Dun & Bradstreet’s more than seven million email contacts with the right content at the right time in the right way.

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Stop Batching and Blasting: An interview from Email Summit 2015

August 14th, 2015 No comments

Don’t wait for the perfect time or tool to end batch and blast emails and, instead, send prospects and customers relevant information now. That’s the word from Diana Primeau, Director of Membership Services, CBS Interactive, parent company of CNET, the world’s largest tech media source for news, reviews and downloads.

Primeau took time during Email Summit 2015 to discuss with Erin Hogg, Reporter, MarketingSherpa, why sending relevant emails is more critical than ever. “Our users have become very sophisticated. They don’t want to get every email that everybody gets,” she explained. “They expect to see things that are relevant to them so you really need to figure out a way to get started.”

Primeau offered these tips:

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Real-Time Marketing: How Publishers Clearing House increased engagement through testing

May 8th, 2015 No comments

Publishers Clearing House is winning the real-time marketing game. Their online brand,, currently gets 16 million unique visits per month, and those visitors spend an average of 17 minutes on the site. The marketing team achieved this by delivering a personalized message to every visitor  on the site — messages that were designed to be relevant to what visitors were doing on the site.

At MarketingSherpa MarketingExperiments Web Optimization Summit 2014, Michael Zane, Senior Director of Online Marketing, Publishers Clearing House, revealed how, in just under a year, the marketing team has increased:

  • Time spent on their site by 43%
  • Overall engagement by 46%
  • Revenues per 1,000 visitors by 12%


They achieved this by:

1. Identifying two personas with very simple audience segmentation:

  • Engaged visitors — customers who had played one or more instant-win or sweepstakes games
  • Unengaged visitor — customers who had visited at least twice but had not yet played a game or entered a sweepstakes

2. Determining what they wanted visitors to do as a result of real-time marketing. This involved:

  • Engaging the unengaged
  • Driving the somewhat-engaged visitors to go deeper into the site

3. Testing to learn what will drive engagement. The team set a testing baseline by gathering data for six weeks

  • They conducted A/B tests targeting their unengaged visitors. The control was the site without special messaging, and the treatment featured a very simple one-line header. The result achieved a 36% lift in engaged users.
  • The team tested again. They suspected that they were on the right track and were eager to try a pop up designed by their graphic artists. After all, Zane was certain a designed pop-up would get results. He was right, but not in the way he expected. However, what they learned was still very valuable and influenced future tests. Find out more in this below clip:

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Ecommerce Development in Brazil: An interview at IRCE [Video]

April 17th, 2015 Comments off

Even though the Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition (IRCE) 2014, the world’s largest ecommerce event, was held during the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, more than 60 Brazilians made it to the conference.

The contingent was led by Priscila Inserra, Executive Director, and Renato Gonzaga, President, Concierge Brazil. The goal of their organization is to advance Brazil’s digital marketing by exposing executives to knowledge gathered at ecommerce events across the globe.

“Brazil is really growing in (the digital marketplace), and we are proud of it,” Priscila said. “We are starting to exchange experience. We don’t consider ourselves as mature as American companies, but we can learn a lot. We are taking as much content as we can back to the businesses in Brazil.”

Priscila was surprised by the event’s focus on technology.

“In Brazil, we focus a lot on marketing,” she explained. “America has tools that are much more sophisticated. But when we can join the expertise of the Brazilians and Americans, they will work well together.”

Watch the whole interview below: “Global Ecommerce: Developments in Brazil

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Tools to Help Marketers Stretch Their Budget

April 10th, 2015 No comments

When a prospect enters her credit card online and hits “buy now,” chances are it isn’t her very first visit to the site or touch point in the sales process. According to Jeffery McCollum, Founder of CAKE, a digital marketing company, a sales path rarely leads directly to conversion.

“The client might see a display ad and not do anything. They might get an email and not do anything. But then they go to Google, search for the product, and purchase it,” he explained. “There’s touch points leading up to that sale, but marketers only count that Google click. But it’s really important to understand how effectively marketing dollars in those other channels contributed to the actual sale.”

Watch the whole interview here: 

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How Automation Transformed a Distributor’s Online Business

March 17th, 2015 No comments

When you’re running a small online business, what’s the fastest, easiest way to grow your business and save money? Automation, according to Lenny Kharitonov, President of Unlimited Furniture Group, a furniture retailer.

Kharitonov says his company was among the first in the furniture industry to automate the online order fulfillment process.

“The furniture industry in general is not very technology savvy,” he admitted.

The Unlimited Furniture website markets products from a variety of manufacturers that ship them directly to the customer. Before automation, the Unlimited Furniture team and its vendors handled every aspect of the transaction manually using a combination of spreadsheets and Google docs. Now customers can order online, and the details are instantly sent to the vendor. Once the vendor ships out the product, Unlimited Furniture automatically receives all of the information about the shipment and updates the customer without any manual involvement.

This automated process:

  • Prevents mistakes. “When you do things manually, it’s subject to human error,” Kharitonov said. “For instance, somebody could put in the wrong quantity or wrong color; it could be done on our side or the vendor’s side.”
  • Eliminates duplication of effort. Before automation, Unlimited Furniture would enter a purchase order manually then send it to the vendor, who would enter the same information manually.
  • Saves money. Automating order fulfillment has slashed Unlimited Furniture’s administrative costs 40%.
  • Speeds delivery. Orders are processed real-time now, instead of waiting for someone at Unlimited Furniture and the vendor to manually process it.“The quicker the service you give the customer, the more likely you’ll get repeat business,” Kharitonov said.

“We want to grow the business. We don’t want to spend all our time processing orders,” he explained. “In this day and age, it’s assumed that’s automatic, but it’s not. I know a lot of our competitors are still doing it manually.”

Watch the full interview and find out more about the power of automation here:

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How a B2B Company Used Live Chat to Speed up the Sales Cycle

February 6th, 2015 No comments

Online chat is far more than a way to respond to customers. It’s an opportunity to optimize website content, pinpoint customer needs and even close sales, according to Brooke Beach, former Marketing Manager and current Marketing Director, Kevy.

Kevy enables businesses to connect and synchronize data to cloud apps. It’s a new industry, explains Brooke, so customers inundate the company with questions. Before live chat, Kevy responded to them via email. She admits the back and forth, full mailboxes and the time it took to clarify the issue via email dragged out the support and sales process.

So they took advantage of the immediate response of live chat and discovered it provided a much better solution by:

  • Optimizing their website. Brooke instantly found out which pages communicated effectively and which didn’t. Specifically, there were consistently two pages that people used chat to ask questions about. She revamped those pages based on the chat discussions, and the questions dropped by 75%.“I’m working with content all of the time, and I can have a false expectation of the level of understanding others may have,” says Brooke. “The immediate feedback enables us to cater the website content to better fit (customer) needs.”
  • Closing sales faster. “The beauty of chat is it gives a personal, human element to a flat website … you can get to know a person and what they’re looking for and immediately figure out the right solution for them,” she points out.In fact, almost immediately after Kevy installed live chat, a prospect used it to inquire about pricing structure. A sales professional was able to close the deal in a single conversation.

Watch the full interview and find out more about the value of online chat for B2B:

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Data Security: Why transparency matters in an era of breaches

December 12th, 2014 1 comment

Want to build customer trust?

Be transparent about how you’re using and protecting the information you gather from them.

That’s the word from James Koons, Chief Privacy Officer for Listrak, which provides omnichannel digital marketing solutions to retailers.

James’ statement is underscored by the MarketingSherpa Ecommerce Benchmark Study. It reveals that frequent security evaluation correlates with greater ecommerce success. Specifically, of the 2,161 marketers responding, those that evaluated security on a daily or weekly basis had more than a 10% higher rate of revenue and responsiveness than those that didn’t.

“Consumers are savvier when it comes to privacy and security,” James explained, “and we continue to get those ‘your-data-may-have-been-compromised-please-change-your-password’ messages, so we can’t help as consumers to be learned in that area.”


“Nowadays, it’s not a question of if something happens, it’s when something happens. How prepared are you and what are you going to do?” James asked.

Here are some highlights from their conversation in the MarketingSherpa Media Center at IRCE:

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What’s the Most Important Ecommerce Challenge? On-time Shipping

November 18th, 2014 No comments

You can optimize your website, signage and marketing, but if you can’t deliver what the customer orders when they expect it,  it’s all for naught.

That’s the word from Debbie Hauss, Editor-in-Chief of “Retail TouchPoints,” a digital publication that covers customer-facing aspects of retail.

She spoke about the challenges of fulfillment with Daniel Burstein, Director of Editorial Content, MECLABS Institute, at the Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition earlier this year.

“The most important thing is getting your inventory right,” Debbie pointed out. “It’s not as sexy as digital signage or what you’re doing face-to-face or on mobile technology or inside your store or website. But if customers want to buy online, you have to make sure you’re ready to fulfill orders when they want them.”

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How Seamless Email Turns Ecommerce Prospects into Buyers

October 14th, 2014 No comments

Only 2.6% of the people browsing an ecommerce site actually buy during that visit, but, according to Charles Nicholls, that doesn’t mean they’re not going to eventually make a purchase.

Charles is the Founder and Chief Strategy Officer for SeeWhy, a provider of cloud-based behavioral target marketing. He discussed what it takes to transform browsers into buyers with Daniel Burstein, Director of Editorial Content, MECLABS, at the 2014 Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition in Chicago.

Charles exhorted marketers to rethink the channel mindset and optimizing websites for a single session, and instead, think about optimizing the entire buying process. The key, he explained, is seamless use of email across desktops, tablets and smartphones.

Why? Customers may use all of these devices before finally making a purchase.

Consider this: SeeWhy has been tracking smart phone conversions, and, according to Charles, smartphones are outpacing tablets, which have become a desktop substitute. Also, 67% of smartphone conversions are done via email.

Watch the video below to learn about the importance of seamless emailing:

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