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Posts Tagged ‘Email Marketing’

Finish Line Tells Us What Customers Want in Email Marketing

February 5th, 2016 1 comment

For leading athletic retailer Finish Line, a memorable customer experience means focusing on product, presentation and people.

During MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2015, after presenting his session on “What Customers Want,” Erin Hogg, Reporter, MarketingSherpa, interviewed 2015 MarketingSherpa Best-in-Show Award Winner, Aaron Buchanan, Digital Personalization Manager, Finish Line. His session presented marketers with information on how they could turn basic segmentation practices into highly personalized, multichannel campaigns.

 

In this day and age, it is very clear to see why 77% of consumers prefer to receive the majority of their marketing communications through email. And while it would be ideal to create one quick email blast to all your customers, personalized email communication is an important element in gaining and keeping subscribers.

That does present a challenge to marketers, because not everyone has the same interests or needs even if you have a general product.

In his interview, Aaron walked through ways marketers could create a significant email experience for customers. By following a few of the tips below, you can also build better engagement with your customers.

 

Tip #1: Discover the balance between high-level and in-depth segmentation

  • Determine the types of segments you want to create

o   The possibilities are endless, which is why Aaron said, “you want to chase it all, but you really have to start elevating priorities, and make sure that you focus on knocking out the best opportunities first.”

o   Patience is also going to be a factor in the process. Good things take time, so make sure your email segments are strategically planned.

  • Remember the tools you use can provide insight to many paths and opportunities

o   Learn how your email marketing program manages list segmentation within your main list. Utilize the tools at your disposal — its job is to make your email marketing process more efficient for your team.

  • Listen to your customers and test

o   What issues are your customers facing on a regular basis and what products would they like to see more of? Make sure that you are addressing their needs through testing.  A/B split test your email marketing campaigns, then review the results and refine your messaging. Then test again to optimize the experience.

 

Tip #2: Identify marketing touchpoints with your customers

  • What contact methods between your company and consumer work best?

o   Create a touchpoint map that lists out all of the times when your customers may interact with your brand and make sure that each one of those touchpoints leads to excellent customer service and experience.

  • Locate the paths of interest and areas of engagement

o   Use the data from your segmentation tools to discover where customers are engaging. What are their behaviors like on-site versus email? Segmenting by interests can be an effective method in building valuable email marketing campaigns.

  • Blend customer concerns with your business priorities to focus on their needs

o   Create messages that will support the business and marketing objectives for your company. What is your company’s overall goal?

o   Aaron’s mission was to provide a fully relevant experience for his Finish Line customers. By identifying the challenges with his customers, he was able to align the business core values to establish the strategy required to achieve the goal.

 

Tip #3: Utilize best practices with available resources

  • Start small when it comes to budgets

o   Before diving fully into email segmentation, Aaron said, try starting with one variable. Although Finish Line is a large brand, Aaron’s team had to work within budget constraints, and more doesn’t always mean better.

  • Locate the best areas for your team to optimize

o   What are essential areas producing lower-than-needed conversion rates for your company? One of the best places to look for the answer to this question is in your user experience. Track each step customers or customer personas will take, and scan them for friction or frustrations.

  • Maximize your ROI with research

o   Prove to your company leaders that you have put in the time. Researching is the most time-consuming phase, but will help you to market segments properly.

 

In the end, when dealing with email segmentation knowing your customer’s experience at every stage of the sales funnel is key.

To see Buchanan’s full session from the Email Summit, just register here.

 

You might also like

Watch Full Sessions from Email Summit 2015 – Including Jessica Best in the “Quick Tips: Elements of email” sessions

Email Segmentation: Finish Line’s automation initiative lifts email revenue 50% [From MarketingSherpa]

2015 Year in Review: The most popular posts in content, mobile and visual marketing

January 5th, 2016 No comments

No proper New Year’s can be complete without first reflecting on the past year.

Where have we been? What have we accomplished?

By asking these questions, we can move forward with a clearer vision of the year to come, and what we hope to accomplish.

MarketingSherpa is here to help with that reflection with our best content (as determined by you) from this year. As we enter into a new year of marketing efforts, challenges and trends, let’s first take a moment to review the most popular posts of 2015.

 

1. Content Marketing 101: Tips on content strategy

As one of the most valuable marketing channels, content creation is a constant journey for marketers. This post, the most popular of the year, covers the important basics of content marketing for those who are new to the endeavor, and a review for veterans.

This post covers thought leadership and brand awareness in your content, as well as multiple resources at your disposal.

Read more…

3 Content Tips from StumbleUpon for Reaching Millennials

December 18th, 2015 No comments

When marketers talk about Millennials, the reigning opinion is that it’s a demographic of 24-year-olds, according to Anne Gherini, Head of Marketing, StumbleUpon.

Anne explains this fallacy in her interview with Daniel Burstein, Director of Editorial Content, MarketingSherpa, at the MarketingSherpa Media Center at DMA’s &THEN 2015. She also goes in-depth about how marketers can effectively reach and resonate with these 18-34 year olds.

“40% of Millennials are parents. So when we talk about Millennials in general, we have to think about how vast this demographic really is. So testing becomes key,” she said.

 

With so much content out there to choose from, authenticity and trust is key, Anne said.

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Inbound Marketing: How to turn your customers into brand enthusiasts

November 6th, 2015 No comments

KontrolFreek has taken a “very organic” approach to building its base of customer brand enthusiasts and ambassadors, which it calls FreekNation.

Ashish Mistry, President and CEO, KontrolFreek, sat down with me at IRCE 2015 in Chicago, and discussed how the company was able to work within pockets of influence in its digital marketing to turn customers into fans.

The key to how the marketing team has been able to do this is through a number of different avenues in its digital space.

 

Authentically develop relationships with customers

“One of the things we realized early on was that this was going to be the core of our marketing,” Ashish said.

The team thought email would be one of the main marketing drivers, he added, but what has been the most interesting development, from his perspective, is to see how important the social role of these brand enthusiasts has been for the customer base.

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Email Summit 2015 Panel: How to justify investment in and get the most out of new email technology

October 23rd, 2015 No comments

There are so many different vendors in email marketing — how do you know that you’ve selected the right one for your technology needs?

In this blog post, we will cover how to begin justifying the investment to others, and choosing the right technology for your company.

Watch the full video to dive deep into three additional topics: shopping tips, questions to ask and problems an ESP won’t fix.

The panel covers these pain points, and features the perspectives of Preston Wily, President, Sewell, and Diana Primeau, Director of Member Services, CNET, alongside Charles Nicholls, SVP, Product Strategy for Marketing Solutions, SAP; John A. Caldwell, Principal and Founder, Red Pill Email; and Michael Kelly, Co-founder, Business Development, ClickMail.

 

Learn from the mistakes of others

“[At Sewell] we fail a lot, and we know that a lot of the best stuff we do really comes out of those failures,” Wily said.

He advised that marketers learn from mistakes either they or others in the sphere have made in the past. For instance,

Referrals — Get referrals from trusted third parties.

Goals — Define specific goals before talking to potential partners.

Read more…

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.

 

Read more…

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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