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Archive for the ‘Email Marketing’ Category

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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Email Marketing: Why you should run a win-back campaign (and how CNET engaged 26% of inactives)

August 7th, 2015 No comments

Sometimes people fall out of love … with your newsletters and email marketing.

Or change jobs. Or email providers. There are a million reasons why they stop reading and engaging with your emails.

This is why email marketers need to run win-back campaigns. That is, reaching out to inactive subscribers and compelling or convincing them to re-engage with your email sends.

If they don’t re-engage, it’s time for a list cleansing — no longer sending emails to this group.

 

A smaller, but higher-quality, email list

The end result can be painful in some ways; it will likely result in a smaller email list (and the older the list is, the more shrinkage you will experience).

This is only painful because we all like big numbers. We like to tell our CMO, our clients and brag to our childhood friends at the high school reunion (hey, when they’re all doctors, you gotta brag about something) about how we run email marketing to a list of 1,000 … 10,000 … no … one million email subscribers.

One million email subscribers meme
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Email Marketing: Cleansing your list of inactive users

July 28th, 2015 No comments

One of the most difficult aspects of list cleansing isn’t always the drop in numbers — it’s convincing senior leadership why it’s necessary.

During MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2015, Courtney Eckerle, Manager of Editorial Content, MarketingSherpa, sat down in the Media Center with Jeffrey Anderson, Digital Marketing Manager, A Place For Mom. The company is a for-profit senior care referral service.

Anderson explained why it’s important to cleanse your list of inactive users and how you can convince the senior leadership of your organization that list cleansing is imperative to staying relevant in today’s ecommerce marketplace.

How does a marketer know when it’s time to start cleansing their lists?

I would think that anyone with a list that’s significantly old should look at removing subscribers that are inactive and not engaged. Definite indicators include really low open rates. If your open rate is just below benchmark despite having consistently good content, there’s probably some dead weight.

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Why Implementing Relevancy into Email Programs Can’t Wait

May 26th, 2015 1 comment

A few moments after her featured speaker session at MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2015, Shawna Dahlin, Senior Email Marketing Manager, Microsoft Store, sat down at the Media Center with MarketingSherpa Reporter Courtney Eckerle to discuss why it’s so important for marketers to recognize problems and implement changes to their email campaigns as soon as they can.

 

Why shouldn’t marketers wait until everything is set up perfectly to implement program changes?

“It’s never too soon to start being relevant to your customer,” Shawna explained.

A lot of lists are “leaky buckets.” With every email send that isn’t relevant to the customer, you risk losing them forever. With the technology available today, marketers now have the ability to use data to find out what their customers are interested in and segment their email sends to make those sends more personalized.

Even the tiniest bit of data can be converted into a big win. “You can’t wait. You’ll have to do everything you can to be ever, just a little bit, more relevant so you don’t lose them out of your database,” she said.

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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.

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