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Email Summit 2015 According to Twitter: Your peers share their key takeaways from Day 1 on engaging, empowering and serving customers

February 25th, 2015 No comments

If you haven’t noticed, #SherpaEmail has taken over Twitter.

Well, maybe not in a break-the-Internet scale of Kim Kardashian, but your marketing peers have been tweeting their hearts out with all the good information they’ve learned at MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2015.

With Day 2 of Summit underway, we wanted to share some key nuggets your peers found valuable on Day 1. (I might have smuggled a few of my own in too.) Check out some key takeaways from each of yesterday’s insightful sessions.

 

Humanizing Your Email Program: How to transcend the digital revolution by using the essential ability to communicate person-to-person

Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director and CEO, MECLABS Institute

Flint revealed four fundamental principles that guide effective communication and provided examples of how these principles can be used to transform your entire email program.

Read more…

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Email Marketing: List segmentation tips using social media and online behavior

February 17th, 2015 No comments

Unless you are executing batch-and-blast email campaigns (and I sincerely hope that you aren’t), your email strategy probably involves some level of personalization or at least getting relevant email content to the right person. In order to achieve either of those goals, the starting point is your email subscriber list and having that list segmented so you can pick and choose who in your database receives each email send.

Lists can be segmented many different ways, and obviously the more record fields you have on each person in your list, the easier it is to segment based on criteria such as geographical location, job title, industry and possibly even transaction history.

To provide a few ideas of how your peers are segmenting their lists for email campaigns, here are three examples taken from MarketingSherpa Newsletter case studies. Hopefully you will discover insights that are inspirational or maybe even something you can immediately apply to your own email efforts.

 

Tip #1. Utilize behavioral data for segmentation

This tip comes from an article titled, “Segmentation: How a small office supply ecommerce site boosted revenue 25% by sending more emails,” covering JAM Paper & Envelope, a New York City-based brick-and-mortar that added ecommerce in 2007. Andrew Jacobs, Director of Ecommerce, JAM Paper, said, “Essentially, we come up with one email a week, or every two weeks, or even a month if we didn’t have time, and we would send it out. We would just cross our fingers and hope for the best,” referring to the company’s initial batch-and-blast approach to email.

JAM Paper’s campaigns included a “lapsed purchase” send to anyone who hadn’t bought anything for 17 months, but the team decided segment beyond just a certain timeframe and began taking individual behavior into account for the campaign.

This meant looking at each customer’s buying behavior. Some bought monthly, or even weekly, while others bought only once a year. The team calculated the average time between orders for each customer and began sending the “lapsed purchase” email once each person passed their individual threshold. This tactic yielded a 45% conversion rate — the highest among all of JAM Paper’s email campaigns.

 

Tip #2. Mine social media for customer segmentation data

In the case study, “Email Marketing Segmentation: Clothing brand uses social behavioral data to drive a 141% increase in revenue,” Johnny Cupcakes, a mid-sized apparel retailer, linked its customer database to social media engagement of its individual customers, analyzing 19 million public social expressions.

These posts led to insights on data points such as:

  • Gender
  • Customer interests
  • Brand preferences
  • Media habits

Gender was seen as the key data point to uncover from the effort and was actually taken directly from social media profiles if that information was available. One of the insights into customer interests was that a lot of Johnny Cupcakes’ customers were sports fans.

The team decided to test these insights by promoting a baseball-themed shirt to the sports fan segment of its list.

Men on the list were sent an email featuring a male model and a shirt cut for men:

Men's shirt

Read more…

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Email Marketing: Creating a customer profile

January 6th, 2015 2 comments

At IRCE 2014, Daniel Burstein, Director of Editorial Content, MECLABS Institute, sat down with Pete Prestipino, Editor-in-Chief, Website Magazine, to discuss email marketing strategy in a constantly connected world.

“Customers are omnichannel,” Pete explained. “So retailers today … really need to focus on building a very rich profile of the user to understand exactly where they’re coming from at the exact time, and historically where they’ve spent their online consumptive behavior.”

When it comes to connecting via email, Pete recommended asking yourself three things:

 

1. How often will we be sending? How often do we need to send?

Determining how often your customers will hear from you is essential in developing a strategy. Pete indicated that all forms of email — including order confirmations — are included in this plan. All correspondence that necessarily comes on behalf of your company is included as a marketing email send.

 

2. How can email reflect the product?

“Selling a grand piano is a lot different from selling a pair of shoes,” Pete said. The product should indicate how often you should be in contact with your customers. Large or complex purchases may need more content, testimonials and consideration than a 10% off promotional email every three months.

 

3. What do we need to accomplish?

This question transcends the content and design aspects of your marketing emails and strikes right to the core of your message: Why? Closely linked to your value proposition, this question should be the crux of your campaign. Is this a complex sale, where you have to build trust or a rapport, or is it a simpler sales process?

  Read more…

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Essential Elements of Email Marketing: Experts interviewed from Email Summit 2014

December 26th, 2014 No comments

At Email Summit 2014, MarketingSherpa Reporter Allison Banko interviewed email marketing experts, asking, “What elements do you think are important to implement into your email campaigns this year?”

While responses to the question varied by industry and company size, experts remained keen on delivering constantly diversified experiences for customers.

Identifying elements of email that marketers can harness to see improvements in their campaigns captures the spirit of Email Summit. Leveraging experts that live, breathe and sweat email marketing to help attendees improve their email is a highlight marketers take back to the office.

The big takeaway: Find a way to break through the noise of the inbox.

“We’re going to continue to try to find ways to get close to our users so they feel like we understand them,” Ryan Blomberg, Director of Engineering, Eventful, answered when asked how he’s planning on improving his already award-winning personalization campaign.

Watch this compilation video below for more detailed tips on tactics that you can implement in your own email campaigns.

At Email Summit 2015, experts will share their top takeaway of 2014 in six minutes or less on stage during our Quick Tips session. In these sessions, experts will be working against the clock to communicate their biggest lesson from 2014 and what they mean for your email campaigns.

 

You might also like

Marketing Research Chart: How do marketers perceive the ROI of email marketing? [MarketingSherpa chart]

Email Personalization: 750% higher CTR and more revenue for ecommerce site [MarketingSherpa case study]

Segmentation and Personalization: How Eventful transformed its email program and increased purchases by 66% [MarketingSherpa video archive]

Email Marketing: 5 tactics to personalize your email message for better results [MarketingSherpa webinar archive]

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Social Media and Email Integration Predictions for 2014: Were they right?

December 5th, 2014 No comments

At Email Summit 2014, marketers were asked: what do you think the relationship between social media and email will be in 2014?

Now that Email Summit 2015 is right around the corner, let’s take a look back a few of those predictions:

 

One-way message turned two-way conversation

Dave Sierk

“For the first time, I’m becoming an optimist about what the capabilities are going to be,” said Dave Sierk, Email Strategy and Analytics, Dell.

As a self-described pessimist, email, it seemed, allowed for one-way communication only.

However, with the rise of social media, Dave explained, “We’re getting pretty pumped about how we can make social a two-way street,” and turn social media followers into email subscribers.

 

 

Slow social adoption as brands transition into the realm

Shirley Salmeron

 

“Email isn’t going away – it’s not dead … but we haven’t gotten to the point where we have the adoption rates in social media on both the user side and marketing or company side,” explained Shirley Salmeron, Northeast Sales Director, Teradata.

She described the experiences as “siloed,” and although they might flow together in the future, as of 2014, “[marketers] haven’t bridged the gap.”

 

Read more…

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Newsletter Engagement: 3 tactics Calendars.com used to improve its monthly sends

November 11th, 2014 No comments

When Marcia Oakes, Senior Online Marketing Manager at Calendars.com, was challenged with the task of defining the company’s email campaign, she dove at the chance of evolving the campaign from promotions to engagement.

Marcia and her team hoped to develop a newsletter that people wanted to read and a way to “engage with subscribers without asking them to open up their wallets.”

The result was a newsletter with refreshing and relevant content that resonated with the customer.

 

Find your voice

The team at Calendars.com used a calendar format as a template for the newsletter send. Not only was this visually different than other emails in the inbox, but it was very fitting for the brand.

They also used a previously shelved trademark phrase, “Flip Day,” to describe the newsletter send. (Flip Day, if you’re wondering, is the ceremonial and satisfying day that you flip your calendar from one month to another.)

By using this resource they already had, it empowered the team to communicate with their audience in a purposeful way, without promoting products.

  Read more…

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Email Data Hygiene: When you know it’s time to break up

October 10th, 2014 2 comments

I still get emails to the email address I created in middle school. This was back when having cutsie screen names was awesome, DSL was the latest and selecting your Top 8 on MySpace was the most stressful part of the week.

Although I haven’t sent or opened an email in that account for probably 10 years, the emails still come through.

It had been a while since I had actually gone to that inbox, though I needed to reset my password before I was even able to scroll through the pages upon pages of unread mail. Not one of them was a personal email. As I kept going through pages years back, I noticed that they’re all marketing emails – often from the same few companies.

I have not engaged after nearly a decade of sends. I have not read a single subject line. I have not opened any emails. I have not clicked any calls-to-action. Yet these companies keep sending.

How is marketing to that email address helping the marketers’ campaigns (other than contributing to list bloat)?

 

The importance of list hygiene

At Email Summit 2014 in Las Vegas, Laura Mihai, Email Marketing Specialist, 3M Canada, spoke on the integration of list cleansing as a regular element of its email marketing campaigns.

Laura opened her session by reflecting on a time when deliverability rates started to affect campaigns.

“We really wanted to focus on eliminating those who don’t engage with our communications,” explained Laura. The team at 3M Canada had the idea of running a campaign with the incentive of a contest to stay on the list and update contact information.

Using this campaign, the team trimmed their list by an impressive 64%. Now, they can be in touch with people who want to engage with them.

Read more…

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Email Personalization: Craft forms with purpose

September 23rd, 2014 1 comment

At MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2014, Eventful, an online retailer of concert and event tickets, presented how it personalized and segmented its email campaigns to achieve a 66% increase in purchases.

To deliver a personalized email experience to its 21 million subscribers, Eventful’s Paul Ramirez and Ryan Blomberg created a recommendation engine that provided alerts about performers and events their subscribers wanted to hear about, focusing especially when a performer of interest was coming to their town.

You can watch their full presentation to see how the team designed and implemented this revolutionary technology, but for this blog post, we wanted to showcase how to provide a more one-on-one experience when you don’t have a team of engineers to design an entirely new technology for your company, such as Eventful had for its recommendation engine.

In this video, Pamela Jesseau, Senior Director, Marketing, MECLABS, and the Eventful team discuss how to craft forms in your email sign-up process and profile setup that will let your customers tell you more about themselves.

Ultimately, the goal is to use this information to craft a personalized and segmented email experience for your subscribers, minus the fancy (and oftentimes expensive) technology.

 

You’ll see two great examples of effectively using forms to gather insightful knowledge about your customers as well as how to fit your registration form into the customer journey.

Read more…

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Email Marketing: Taking advantage of responsive design [Video]

September 16th, 2014 No comments

If your experience is anything like the typical email marketer in 2014, a growing portion (possibly a very large percentage) of your list is opening email on a mobile device — maybe a tablet or, more likely, one of the many smartphones out there.

To fully reach and engage that audience, you can either design and build custom emails for every single platform your audience is using …

Or, to make things a bit simpler on the design and execution end of things, take the responsive design plunge for all your email campaigns to ensure your sends have the best look, feel and, more importantly, clickability on any mobile (or non-mobile) platform your recipients use.

To address this issue, watch this excerpt from a panel discussion at the MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2014:

 

This excerpt features Pamela Jesseau, Senior Director of Marketing, MECLABS (parent company of MarketingSherpa); Amy Carpenter, Digital Marketing Team Leader, Whole Foods Market; and Ewa Badaruk, Global eCRM Marketing Manager, adidas Group.

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Email Marketing: Unique send times for micro-personalization [Video]

August 15th, 2014 No comments

According to the MarketingSherpa Ecommerce Benchmark Study, email was the top channel for driving significant traffic to an ecommerce site. For companies in the $10 million $100 million range, it drives nearly 80% of the traffic.

However, if you are not sending your marketing emails at the most optimal time for your audience, you’re leaving revenue on the table.

This is not a new challenge. But timing the right message to the right person at the right time remains a critical aspect to effective email marketing.

At MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2014, Dave Sierk, Consumer and Small Business Strategist, Dell, took the stage to share several case studies showing how Dell leveraged a GIF-centric campaign to achieve a 109% revenue lift.

You can see Dave’s full presentation from Summit for that story, but in this MarketingSherpa Blog post, see how Dell created unique send profiles for each of its customers to personalize email marketing efforts on a micro-level.

 

While composing a creative and engaging email is a great start to driving traffic and, hopefully, conversions, sending it at a time that does not match customers’ email viewing habits could mean your efforts are wasted when that email never gets opened.

dell-send-times

 

Watch this brief excerpt from Dave’s session to see how the team personalized email send times to adjust to customer’s consumption habits and drove an 8.2% increase in unique click rate.

Read more…

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