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Email Marketing: 6 steps to re-engaging subscribers and cleaning your list database

April 22nd, 2016 2 comments

With spring now upon us, are you ready to “spring clean” your email lists?

It’s a hard task to take on. No one likes to see their list decline. However, list hygiene is an important part of any email strategy.

List-cleaning-graphic

“Blasting your emails to an unqualified list could result in account suspensions from your email platform, penalties, or even fines, not to mention dismal marketing results,” according to the Salesforce article “How to Keep Your Email Lists Sparkling Clean.”

If many of your email addresses are undeliverable or people are marking you as spam, your email reputation suffers. You could be causing yourself to be flagged as spam in your customer’s inboxes — and that won’t get your campaigns very far.

To get your list back to a healthy state and stay that way, we’ve outline six steps for your team to take.

 

Step #1. Delete fake, role-based and misspelled email addresses

To start your email spring cleaning, examine your list for the addresses you won’t hope to win-back. This includes those that don’t actually make it to someone (and probably never have).

For various reasons, consumers don’t always provide the correct information online. As an initial step into cleaning your list, you’ll want to delete all the bogus email addresses. These could include emails like:

  • test@gmail.com
  • 123@company.com
  • asdf@asdf.com (This address even has a fake website to go with it.)

You’ll probably want to eliminate role email address as well. These are typically groups, not individuals, where no one will actually open, read or click your emails. A few examples include:

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How NakedWines.com Used Email to Maximize Lifetime Value

April 15th, 2016 No comments

How do you turn a name on a list into a loyal and engaged subscriber?

Ecommerce site NakedWines.com has accomplished this by establishing a community of customers and “Angel” members. These customers fund independent wine makers in return for access to hand-crafted wine at a lower cost.

At the MarketingSherpa Summit 2016 Media Center, Julia Fox, Marketing Manager, NakedWines.com, spoke about how her team wanted to maximize member lifetime value during the early phases of the customer journey.

 

“Since we’re all ecommerce, email is obviously a huge part of our success,” Julia said, adding that most of the company’s revenue comes from these “Angel” members, which means nurturing new customers into Angels through this channel is especially important.

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How One Small Template Change Led to Greater Customer-centric Content for WeddingWire

April 1st, 2016 No comments

Most email marketers know they’re supposed to throw the social sharing buttons into their email templates.

… or do you?

“When we first started doing that, that made sense and that was the best practice when social media first came around. But we never looked back at it and did a reality check to see if that still made sense,” said Bart Thornburg, Senior Manager of Email Marketing, WeddingWire.

In his MarketingSherpa Summit 2016 Media Center interview, Bart talked about how WeddingWire checked that portion of the template to see if it was really a best practice for them.

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20 Predictions for the Next 5 Years that Every Email Marketer Should Hear

March 28th, 2016 Comments off

Email marketing has evolved significantly during the first half of this decade — from the impact of mobile and engagement-based email filtering to the emergence of wearables and omni-channel integration. All that change made us wonder: ‘How will email marketing evolve between now and the end of the decade?’

That was what Chad White, Research Director, Litmus, sent me in an email when I asked him to comment on a SlideShare he created from Litmus’ Email Marketing in 2020 ebook.

In the report, our own Daniel Burstein, Director of Editorial Content, along with 19 other experts in the field of email marketing, share their predictions for what email marketing will look like in the year 2020.

The slides, which pull out Litmus’ favorite prediction from each of the experts interviewed, have a number of interesting tidbits.

Overall, the general consensus is that email will be incredibly personalized and highly automated.

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Tips for Incorporating GIFs in Email

November 3rd, 2015 4 comments

I am a serial email subscriber. If I think there’s even a chance that a company’s subscription list will provide me with discounts, fashion tips, insightful news stories or even just a joke every now and then, I will most likely click that sign up button.

This email addiction paired with my experience reporting for MarketingSherpa’s Email beat has transformed my promotional Gmail folder into a nest of virtual hoarding. But it has also given me insight into the latest trends in email marketing.

One trend that seems to overwhelm my inbox is adding GIFs to emails. If you’re unfamiliar, a GIF (commonly pronounced “JIF,” like the peanut butter) is a short animated graphic without sound that typically replays the same visual sequence on a loop.

In the Internet age where memes and GIFs seem to reign supreme, adding these fun graphics seems like an engaging and relatable strategy for companies to employ. However, as I’ve learned sifting through my inbox, there is a proper and an improper way to incorporate graphic animations.

Read on for a quick guide on the do’s and don’ts of GIFing while emailing.

 

Use a GIF when: Flat images would detract from a specific message

For the majority of emails, using an image that relates to its content is enough of an illustration. However, there are instances where using a flat image actually detracts from your overall message. Take a promotional campaign from Dell, for example.

The computer company wanted to send out an email advertising its new Dell XPS 12 Convertible Ultrabook: a laptop with a hinge design that allowed it to transform into a tablet. While Dell could use flat images of the device in both computer and tablet mode, the company decided to instead use a GIF, showing the device’s transformation. This illustrated the full capabilities of the product in a fun way.

Dell

 

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Email Marketing: Establishing a process to organize thoughtful campaigns

September 25th, 2015 No comments

As an Operations Manager, I believe it is vital to establish processes that ultimately work for you and benefit your team. So I get very excited when I find a new process that could help my team with their workloads.

The challenge I often face is, how do I implement and make this development a success?

As a marketer, have you ever found yourself passionate about showcasing the best practices you’ve learned in order to achieve your goal, only to realize there are countless steps and paths to take? Don’t worry. Take a deep breath; it happens to all of us.

At MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2015 in Las Vegas, Courtney Eckerle, Managing Editor, MarketingSherpa, sat down with Tink Taylor, Founder and Chief Operating Officer, dotmailer, to discuss how email marketers can overcome the underlying challenges they may face by establishing processes to deal with the mountains of information at their disposal.

For instance, when outlining and creating email marketing campaigns, how can you condense the valuable content into something that will benefit customers?

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How Microsoft Store Turned Its Receipts Into a Personalized Customer Touchpoint

September 18th, 2015 No comments

Personalized marketing is a customer-centric trend that’s been on the rise, but it’s one of those trends that can seem unattainable.

After all, creating a truly personalized, one-on-one experience between your brand and your customer takes a drastic toll on time, resources and manpower. Or at least that’s what you would think at first glance.

Enter Microsoft Store.

Shawna Dahlin, Senior Email Marketing Manager, Microsoft Store, sat down with Selena Blue, Manager of Editorial Content, MECLABS, at MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2015 to discuss how she and her team made the seemingly unattainable achievable. Shawna created a more personalized email campaign by using data the brand already had available about relevant customer experiences.

To begin, Shawna wanted to change Microsoft Store’s email marketing strategy to make it more personalized, but she lacked the IT resources she needed. To meet this challenge, she developed a plan that would personalize the brand’s email strategy without utilizing IT.

Shawna accomplished this by collecting data that Microsoft Store already had on its consumer base and testing Microsoft Store’s email sends based on this data. Overall, this effort resulted in a:

  • 500% increase in CTR for segmented emails
  • 300% increase in open rate for segmented emails
  • 1,200% overall revenue increase in three years
  • 600% increase in revenue per email (for lifecycle)

Learn how, by implementing this data-centric approach, Shawna was able to transform an email send that almost every consumer receives — the receipt — into a successful first touchpoint.

 

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Crawl, Walk, Run: How Ferguson began customer-centric email habits to generate over $21 million in online revenue

September 4th, 2015 1 comment

I’ve interviewed around 500 marketers since I started as a reporter at MarketingSherpa. Looking back, most of those conversations are inevitably a bit of a blur, but it’s marketers like Mary Abrahamson, Email Marketing Specialist, Ferguson Enterprises, that truly stand out.

Mary was a first-time attendee at MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2014, and took back what she learned to her office and implemented a transformative, customer-centric campaign that led to her winning Best in Show at Email Summit 2015.

“I learned a lot at Email Summit last year, and coming back [to the office], I felt like we were in an okay place, but we had a lot of room to grow,” she said, explaining that the team began taking steps to refuel their database.

When the team began making changes to view the email program as a whole enterprise, they took what Mary referred to as the “crawl, walk, run approach,” which is where they started off small and went back to optimize later.

The first thing to know when it comes to email relevancy is: there is no email that fits your entire list.

Marketers get requests all the time from different teams and interests to send out an email, and it’s up to the email marketing team to be the stopgap for what goes out to customers.

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Email Marketing 101: How to determine the right email content for your subscribers

August 21st, 2015 5 comments

As a consumer, nothing makes my day like reading or shopping for anything related to arts and crafts (it’s my thing). However, one annoyance we all seem to run into is being sent an email to sell you on a product that you would never want nor need.

How can you avoid being that pain in a customer’s inbox?

The answer is in targeting your content. It is one of the most important, and sometimes underutilized, elements of email marketing.

At the MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2015 Media Center, Courtney Eckerle, Managing Editor, MarketingSherpa, interviewed Jessica Best, Digital Marketer, emfluence, on ways marketers can focus on their customers in order to build the right content.

 

From this interview, below are four key takeaways on how marketers can provide customers with the best content for their needs.

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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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