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Posts Tagged ‘Email Marketing’

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.

Some of the key takeaways are:

  • Start with segmented campaigns based on the customer’s experience
  • “Thinking mobile” can help you prioritize your content
  • There’s nothing wrong with starting small when developing a responsive email strategy
  • If your list is global, make sure it makes sense to spend time and money on responsive design for certain regions or markets
  • Understand what email type — transactional, promotional, etc. — is best to optimize for mobile based on your list (and your metrics)
  • Don’t forget about the mobile optimized landing page for clickthrough

Although this excerpt provides some great actionable ideas, I highly suggest watching the entire 45-minute presentation to get a great overview on this very important, and current, topic in email marketing.

Please share your experience dealing with your list opening email in the comments, and be sure to include which platforms and devices were involved. We’d love to hear about what you are doing to meet this challenge.

 

You might also like

MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2015 [Want to see more insightful presentations like this one? Book your ticket now and save $700 before September 18, 2014, with the VIP Discount.]

Email Marketing: 24% higher CTR for CareerBuilder’s responsive design [Case study]

Why Responsive Design Does Not Care About Your Customers [More from the blogs]

Mobile Marketing: E-commerce site uses responsive design to achieve an 8% lift in cart abandonment campaign [Case study]

B2B Web Optimization: 140% surge in mobile transactions through responsive design effort [Case study]

Email Marketing: What is the best day to send an email?

August 12th, 2014 9 comments

For this MarketingSherpa Blog post, I thought I would examine some email research. This chart from the MarketingSherpa Email Marketing Benchmark Report focuses on the effectiveness of sending emails on different days of the week:

 

 

Looking at the results of this survey, you can see a wide range of effectiveness, along with a few clear patterns. Tuesday and Wednesday look pretty good, but Sunday looks to be the least effective.

What’s left off of this highly aggregated data is the fact there is no “best” day – or time of day – to send emails that works across the board for all email marketers.

The reality? Testing your email sends is paramount to effective email marketing. What might work for one industry, or business category, or maybe even your direct competitor might not – no, make that probably won’t – work for you.

Your email list is unique to your business (unless you’ve bought the entire list, and if so, shame on you). Only by testing your sends and tracking open rates, clickthroughs and other engagement metrics will you learn what works best for your list.

Read more…

Email Deliverability: 9 lessons about Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation

July 25th, 2014 No comments

CASL.

You might think the “C” stands for confusion, or perhaps concern, at least on the part of marketers.

canada-anti-spam-legislationThose letters stand for the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation. This law applies not only to Canadian companies, but email marketers anywhere in the world sending messages to Canadian subscribers.

Since this is probably the strictest spam law ever, marketers are growing concerned. Because marketers aren’t lawyers, many are also confused about what they actually have to do.

I’ve spent the past few weeks gleaning insights from experts in the field, and here’s what I’ve learned so far.

 

Lesson #1. A blog post is not a legal opinion

Some marketers have been reading blog posts and other content to try to understand what they must do to comply with CASL.

No piece of content can replace legal advice, including this blog post. If you think there is legitimate exposure for your company, the best thing to do is get legal advice.

CASL is a law, not just an industry best practice or a good idea. If your company breaks the law, it can be legally liable and punished. As with any law, ignorance is not a legal defense.

According to FightSpam.ca, “Penalties for the most serious violations of the Act can go as high as $1 million for individuals and $10 million for businesses.”

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is chartered with enforcing the act.

That said, I’ve included some related reading at the end of this blog post in the “You may also like” section to help you dive deeper into this complex regulation.

Lawyers aren’t the only place you can get some help.

“Become informed and stay on top of it. If you are using an ESP and they are providing any sort of CASL assistance, take advantage of it,” suggested James Koons, Chief Privacy Officer, Listrak.

 

Lesson #2. Don’t overreact

Trusting any blog post or other content at this point is especially fraught because, while CASL is law, interpretation and enforcement of the law is still ongoing. It’s still all very new.

“I think you have to use some common sense.”

That’s what Shaun Brown, a lawyer and partner at nNovation LLP, a Canadian law firm, advised when I spoke with him about CASL. Shaun also went on to say:

Fortunately, the government decided to delay the private right of action, because the private right of action is a whole other ballgame. It creates incentives for lawyers to find technical violations. The CRTC, we have to assume and I do believe that they’re going to be reasonable and it’s not their goal to try and catch legitimate businesses in technical violations or in a gray area and to really try to punish them. I think it’s going to be their goal to try and reduce some of the worst practices we see out there.

So where there are a lot of gray areas, I don’t want to see people being scared to use email marketing because of these gray areas and lack of certainty. We do have to have a little bit of faith and assume that the CRTC is going to be reasonable on some of these issues.

 

Lesson #3. Keep doing the basics

There are a few basics in how you send your emails that you should be doing anyway, thanks to CAN-SPAM and being a savvy, successful and ethical marketer who cares about deliverability.

I say should, because last time we surveyed marketers about their email practices, only 62% provided an easy unsubscribe process – as the rest simply beg recipients to hit the “SPAM” button and cause major deliverability problems.

Does your email template (perhaps in the footer) include:

  • The ability to unsubscribe?
  • Your company’s physical address?
  • An email address, telephone number or Web address?

 

Lesson #4. Understand the two types of consent

Implied consent and express consent.

Implied consent tends to be when you’ve had a business relationship with recipients in the past, like a purchase or donation.

Express consent is when they specifically opt-in to your list. It’s a good idea to check your opt-in forms and make sure you are now getting express consent.

“Make sure you put expiration processes in place to remove subscribers that you are unable to get express consent from, or when the time limit for implied consent runs out. Basically, you should have a solid, auditable process in place that shows your CASL compliance in the event of an enforcement action,” James said.

Read more…

Ecommerce: 3 vital marketing resources to explore before your next email send

July 18th, 2014 No comments

Email marketing has emerged as a staple in ecommerce.

Seemingly countless companies use emails to flood our inboxes with a galaxy of promotions and product offers.

How can you stand out in an already overcrowded inbox?

In this MarketingSherpa Blog post, I’ve included a few resources from our content library and publications that you can use to aid your email marketing efforts.

 

Read – Email Marketing: Jewelry retailer integrates product recommendations into email campaigns to lift opens 9% 

email-personalization

How it can help

This case study from Allison Banko, Reporter, MarketingSherpa, shares how fine jewelry retailer Heirlume integrated product recommendations into its email programs, tailored to male and female audiences.

Segmentation is already a best practice, so the real payoff here is in basing content on user behavior to help you deliver relevant products directly to your customers.

 

Watch – Brand Value: Ecommerce marketing on a global scale

 

How it can help

Delivering a consistent brand experience in your emails to customers around the globe gets harder the bigger you grow.

Consequently, one thing to consider according to Rob Garf, Vice President, Industry Strategy, Demandware, is when exposing brands to new cultures, marketers must understand the experience is all about the customer.

“It comes down to really being entrenched in how consumers behave and how they want to interact with the brand,” he said.

Check out more interviews from the MarketingSherpa Media Center at IRCE featuring a wide range of speakers like Rob who represent a variety of brands including: Fathead, Website Magazine, Digital River, Save-A-Lot, Demandware, Joyus and eBay, among many others.

Read more…

Email Marketing: Don’t let email own the ecommerce showroom floor

July 11th, 2014 1 comment

According to the MarketingSherpa Ecommerce Benchmark Study (free download at that link), email was one of the most frequent sources of ecommerce traffic for organizations across every revenue range.

Email marketing being at the forefront of ecommerce marketing tactics is quite obvious when you consider the mass of storefronts that greet you with an email squeeze before you can even get to the shelves.

channels-drive-growth

 

It works, but only to a degree. According to Ben Pressley, Head of Worldwide Sales, Magento, there is one big problem.

Ben, who was accompanied with Pete Prestipino, Editor-in-Chief, Website Magazine, joined Daniel Burstein, Director of Editorial Content, MECLABS, at MarketingSherpa’s Media Center at IRCE to discuss the state of ecommerce in 2014.

As Ben explained, email now owns the showroom floor because it’s where a lot of organizations attribute revenue, perhaps even when they shouldn’t.

“Email and search are the two top channels in marketing, no surprise there,” Ben explained, “But I think we would classify that as having the approach of last-touch attribution, where you’re giving credit to the channel that didn’t necessarily stimulate the demand; you’re giving the credit to the channel that brought you the sale.”

Read more…

Email Marketing: Combining design and content for mobile success

July 1st, 2014 No comments

400%.

That’s how much mobile email opens have increased in just three years.

“Which is kind of crazy,” Justine Jordan, Marketing Director, Litmus, said following the recent statistics from Litmus’ research on mobile.

And she’s right. How many channels increase that much in usage in that short amount of time? Not many.

Because of the sudden growth, not all marketing departments have been able to keep up with the trend.

With 50% of emails being opened on a mobile device, mobile email strategy is worth considering for any market, even B2B companies.

Justine spoke at MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2014 as an industry perspective in the session, “Email Design: How to optimize for ALL environments in a mobile world.”

She joined Allison Banko, Reporter, MECLABS, in the MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2014 Media Center. There, she recapped her industry perspective session, as well as hit on two mistakes she still sees among mobile emails: content strategy and best practices of mobile design.

“It’s key to get those two things working in tandem to really optimize the full experience,” she said.

 

In addition to her industry perspective session, Justine also joined a diverse panel of experts, solution providers and brand-side marketers on responsive email design. Watch a brief excerpt from that panel discussion below:

  Read more…

Email Marketing: Stop building lists and start building assets

June 17th, 2014 No comments

At MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2014, Allison Banko, Reporter, MECLABS, captured an interview with speaker Jeff Rohrs, Vice President of Marketing Insights, ExactTarget, who shared a concept that should appeal to your inner entrepreneur.

If something doesn’t make money, then it doesn’t make sense.

I say this because, according to Jeff, email marketers are often underappreciated (and underpaid) because they don’t effectively connect the dots for executives on the true ROI of their marketing efforts.

“I think email marketers tend to be underappreciated in their organizations,” Jeff explained, “and I think part of that is the language we choose to communicate the value we bring to executives.”

 

Jeff’s proposed solution is to change the conversation by adjust the way marketers view what they contribute.

In sum, stop telling people you build email lists and start telling them you’re building proprietary assets that are exclusive to your company. One additional point Jeff shared was how social media is experiencing growing pains due to increasing pressure from executives to see clear ROI from social media.

“The executives are beginning to demand more from those channels and email marketers understand that because they’ve fought those battles,” Jeff explained.

Ultimately, Jeff delivered the bigger idea that your organizational marketing goals should supersede the channels you use to deliver them. As a result, hopefully marketers will be able to tear down the silos that emerge from those channels in the process.

Read more…

Email Marketing: One good reason to segment your list

June 3rd, 2014 1 comment

I am a frequent shopper at J. Crew.

It is a great brand and I even have one of the store credit cards with the absurd interest rate because I‘ve shopped there to the point that I’ve convinced myself the perks far outweigh the costs.

After all of my online purchases and in-store interactions, I would love to think J. Crew has a tremendous amount of data on my purchase history.

So when I recently received an email from J. Crew that challenged those beliefs, I wanted to share it in this MarketingSherpa Blog post as a great example of why segmentation is so vital in today’s marketplace.

 

Every inbox is only one step from the trash

Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director, MECLABS, often says a typical email recipient skims their email inbox for what can be deleted.

I agree because I never can think of a time when I was relieved by the sight of a massive pile of emails that I needed to sift through.

I also trust J. Crew and have an interest in what it sends me, so when I read the subject line:

“Something very good for you is inside…”

It sparked my interest, especially when coupled with the preheader of “25% off (exclusions apply).”

 jcrew-inbox-email

 

It definitely got a click from me.

Here’s the email I opened after reading the subject line. The research manager in me can’t help but analyze its contents.

jcrew-fresh-finds-email

 

The body of the email, while being simplistic, has continuity from the subject line.

Well played, J. Crew!

There was also no superfluous content from what I could tell, which can distract recipients and even cause abandonment.

The call-to-action matched my expectations from the subject line and there was no attempt to make a sale in the body of the email.

All of these factors combined convinced me to click through.

 

And then it happened

Here’s a screenshot of the landing page J. Crew sent me to.

 jcrew-landing-page

 

It did a great job at capturing my interest with the subject line and converting that attention into action – in the form of a clickthrough. However, it lost me on the landing page.

I landed here, looked at the page for a few seconds and left.

One thing the company should have known about me from my purchase history is that I’m unlikely to purchase women’s apparel.

Read more…

Marketing Automation: Moving past a batch-and-blast email strategy

May 30th, 2014 No comments

“The most important step was just starting,” Byron O’Dell, Senior Director, Demand Management, IHS, said.

At MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2014, MarketingSherpa Reporter Allison Banko held a brief interview with Byron on how building customer personas is key to transforming your email marketing program.

Byron took the stage at Email Summit to present his case study, “Marketing Automation: Key challenges a global information company overcame to transform from batch-and-blast to persona-driven email marketing.”

 

In this interview in the Email Summit Media Center, Byron stressed the importance of not overly focusing on perfection at the expense of getting started on building customer profiles.

“If you wait to try to make things perfect before you begin, you’re going to miss out on all that opportunity where you could have been seeing a result,” Byron said.

 

Getting the right content to the right people

Building your customer profiles also helps you overcome the challenge of delivering relevant content to them, as Byron shared in this brief excerpt of his Email Summit session below.

 

One suggestion Byron shared was geared toward helping you deliver targeted content and rests in understanding how technology will impact the delivery to your personas across a larger multi-touch nurturing strategy.

“Don’t mistake having a marketing automation platform for having a process,” Byron explained.

You can view Byron’s full presentation along with 14 other valuable sessions from Email Summit 2014 to learn more transferable insights from marketers who are discovering what works.

Read more…

Content Marketing: Optimizing the newsletter offering for CNET

May 16th, 2014 No comments

As the old saying goes, bigger isn’t always better.

For Diana Primeau, Director of Member Services at CNET, creating a strong portfolio of email newsletters that resonated with and engaged CNET’s audience was her goal. As part of an company that is the No. 1 source for researching technology and consumer electronics and with more than 100 million unique viewers, CNET had a robust newsletter program including:trim-your-list

  • 26 editorial
  • 3 deals-based
  • 1 marketing

When it came time to plan a strategy for 2013, Diana and her team didn’t think they had a problem with their engagement metrics.

However, when they dug deeper, they discovered some newsletters were no longer relevant, some contained duplicate information, and some included sections that didn’t engage their audience.

“Because our business was healthy, I thought everything was good. But we found things like we had content that was no longer relevant to our audience. It wasn’t a cohesive experience,” Diana said.

In this brief excerpt from Diana’s MarketingSherpa MarketingExperiments Optimization Summit 2013 presentation, see how she began the process of increasing engagement with CNET’s audience through valuable, relevant content.

 

You can also watch her entire on-demand presentation, “Content Optimization: Reduce redundancy, improve relevance and increase engagement,” to learn how Diana and her team increased both open and clickthrough rates for the newsletter email sends and built a stronger alignment between CNET’s member services and editorial teams.

Read more…