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Posts Tagged ‘Email Marketing’

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.”

 

Success in email marketing can have a hidden cost

Ben also made a great point that although email is a successful tactic in ecommerce, you don’t want to reach the point where your storefront becomes a pseudo list building tool.

In this case, making a tradeoff between customer inboxes at the expense of customer experience has the potential of delivering a hidden cost of potentially limiting growth in different channels in the long term.

“The more you go down this path of really banking on this channel,” Ben said, “I think you start to narrow what you can do with your site and your business.”

To hear more insights from Ben and Pete on the state the ecommerce, you can watch the on-demand replay of the webinar interview in the MarketingSherpa webinar archive.

 

You may also like:

Email Summit 2015 [Have insights to share on email marketing? Apply to be an Email Summit 2015 speaker]

Ecommerce: 2 tips to help small businesses navigate multichannel marketing [More from the blogs]

Multichannel Marketing: 3 tips to help take your e-commerce global [More from the blogs]

Ecommerce: Why going global really means going local [More from the blogs]

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…

Email Marketing: Necessity is the mother of invention

May 13th, 2014 No comments

Because it was our first year running the Media Center at MarketingSherpa Email Summit, we didn’t know what to expect. The plan was to plant a fancy set on the exhibition floor, let me play Erin Andrews and invite marketing guests to join me for some impromptu interviews.

The beauty of doing things freestyle is that unexpectedness – you don’t know what’s going to happen. Let’s not forget the real Erin Andrews’ infamous interview with Richard Sherman.

While none of our guests claimed they were the best marketer in the game, there were some surprises. Silverpop’s Loren McDonald did his “Gmail tabs” dance, Dan Ariely discussed dating and things got deep when Eventful’s Vice President of Operations Paul Ramirez quoted ancient Greek philosopher Plato.

“Necessity is the mother of invention.”

Translated from Plato’s The Republic, it means that when you must do something, you’ll discover a way to do it. It’s not as scholarly when you say it like that, though. This fit Eventful’s situation perfectly.

 

Eventful, our E-commerce Best in Show winner for this year’s MarketingSherpa Email Awards, had historically flourished in the realm of revenue, page views and user acquisition, but one day, everything went south.

“When Google released Panda and our traffic attributable to search tanked, that was like the necessity and we started talking about necessity being the mother of invention,” Paul said. “It was an external force that caused us to do something.”

The Google algorithm update had punished the Eventful site because it viewed the e-commerce company as a content aggregator. While Eventful once enjoyed a super successful search strategy, it was now as if the website was completely offline.

Paul was joined by Ryan Blomberg, Director of Engineering, also of Eventful, and discussed this on-stage during their Email Summit session, “How an e-commerce site transformed its email program to increase purchases by 66%.”

Watch Eventful’s full session from MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2014. View a brief preview below:

 

While page views overall were plummeting, the portion of Eventful emails contributing to page views was actually growing. Google’s Panda update wasn’t affecting email performance and Eventful’s email program was still highly engaging with solid metrics, with open rates from 20% to 60%.

Eventful had success running “Performer Alert” emails, notifying customers when their favorite artist was coming to town. But the Eventful team thought they could be pushing more Performer Alerts – not for the one artist they’ve already told Eventful they like, but with additional artists they’re fond of.

“Nobody has just one artist in their iPod,” Paul said. “Everybody has hundreds of artists in their iPod. So how do we get that data so that we can speak to our users with more personalization, with more relevance and with greater frequency to increase page views?”

Cue the invention.

Read more…

Email Templates: Don’t let routine cramp your style

April 29th, 2014 2 comments

Take a good, hard look at the things you do.

Perhaps you pour yourself a bowl of Raisin Bran every morning. Maybe you trot your dog along a certain path at the end of each day or peruse the same half-dozen websites during your lunch hour.

Now ask yourself why you do these things. Often, the answer is simply because you’ve always done them.

Such was the case for one of our MarketingSherpa Email Summit speakers.

Jessica Andreasen, Digital Marketing Manager, ZAGG, didn’t touch on her breakfast habits nor site surfing routines, but rather ZAGG’s habit of employing the same email template: a headline, supporting copy, multiple images, bullet points, one or two banner ads and multiple CTAs.

“We were using the same templates over and over,” Jessica told me in the Email Summit Media Center. “Our results were declining and we knew we had to do something different.”

 

For a customer appreciation campaign, the ZAGG team wanted to focus on a conversational tone, thanking the company’s loyal customers. However, when putting this together, the current template was restricting that message. Despite the fact the template was used again and again, Jessica implemented a change.

“I threw the template out and started with a clean slate and just decided what I wanted it to do,” she said. “What did I want this email to do and say?”

In her presentation, “Email Templates: How the No. 1 maker of mobile accessories tweaked promo emails to produce a 152% increase in revenue per email,” Jessica shared insights on how changing a template can significantly affect your results.

You can learn about what changes ZAGG made to its templates by watching Jessica’s full session from Email Summit. View a brief excerpt below:

 

When we chatted in the Media Center after her session, Jessica said she hoped the audience gained this key takeaway: step back and don’t let the template get in the way of what you want to say.

“You don’t have to stay with that same thing that you’ve always done,” she said.

Who knows, maybe you’ll even become inspired to swap your cereal for scrambled eggs today.

  Read more…

Email Marketing: A canvas for visual storytelling

April 22nd, 2014 1 comment

Since the Stone Age and beyond, storytelling has been paramount for mankind. Sure, the modes and means have changed, but its prevalence certainly hasn’t.

But storytelling is getting better. Our ancestors may have only been armed with their voices (or grunts) and a rock on a wall to tell their tales. Now, our modern world is overflowing with ways to convey our stories.

Of course, we still have the old favorites like our voices and the written word, but with multimedia capabilities like GIFs, videos and PowerPoints, there’s no stopping our stories. In the email marketer’s world, the email is your canvas for a story, so why not approach it that way? Dell did.

David Sierk, Consumer & Small Business Email Strategy, Dell, joined us in Las Vegas as a speaker at MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2014 back in February to talk about it. Dell needed to find a way to communicate the capabilities of its new product, the Dell XP 12 Convertible Ultrabook, which is a hybrid of a laptop and a tablet. A photo in an email wasn’t going to work. A bunch of text? Not happening.

“How do we visually tell a story of what this product does?” David asked me when we chatted in the Email Summit Media Center.

 

The Dell team decided that utilizing a GIF in the email marketing campaign would be the best way to effectively tell the Ultrabook’s story, ultimately lifting revenue 109%. If you weren’t at Summit this year (or just want to see it again), you can view David’s full session from Email Summit, “Old Dog, New Tricks: How Dell designed an email with old technology to launch a new product.” Watch a brief excerpt of this presentation below:

 

“I think now more than ever with the deluge of emails in a customer’s inbox, trying to get them to click on something is so important,” David said. “People are very visual so it’s tremendously beneficial to give them something to look at instead of forcing them to read through a ton of text.”

Visual storytelling isn’t easy. It’s a delicate craft that requires a certain eye. But when it’s done right, it’s invaluable.

At MarketingSherpa, we understand the importance of visual storytelling. In fact, we’ve implemented a position on our staff dedicated entirely to that skill (we’re hiring now). 

Read more…