33 posts categorized "Trends" Feed

Email Marketing: What's Coming in 2008?

In this article, Jordan Ayan, president of SubscriberMail, and Joel Book, director of eMarketing Education at ExactTarget weigh in on what’s coming in 2008. Here’s a summary of what they said:

  1. More CRM integration, especially with software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings. “E-mail can play a vital role in lead nurturing if you can track the many data points that can serve as triggers,” Book said. Having e-mail functionality built into CRM solutions such as Salesforce.com or Microsoft Dynamics CRM makes this possible.

  2. Increased use of automated tools. Triggered messages, rendering tools and segmentation tools should be on your radar once the New Year kicks in—if they aren’t already, Ayan said. “You need the ability to preview messages across multiple clients, [see] how that message is going to look in the in-box,” he said.

  3. Closer alignment of marketing elements. E-mail can’t stand alone anymore, which is why we’re seeing e-mail move up the chain of command from a “siloed” departmental view into the hands of CMOs or directors of marketing. The reason, Ayan said: e-mail supports every other interactive marketing tactic.

    For example, people use search engines to identify suppliers with whom they are most likely to do business. Savvy e-mailers, Book said, are using landing pages that link from search engines to invite those prospects to opt in to additional communications. “Most marketers invite signup on the main home page, but the smartest ones figure out which pages are most heavily trafficked and invite opt in there as well,” he said.

  4. Using rich video with e-mail marketing. Although marketers learned that embedding video in e-mail can present difficulties, video does work—especially in the b-to-b market, Book said. The trick is to use e-mail to bring readers to a special landing page where they can view video on their own terms. “The viral effect of video also drives adoption of your e-mail and builds an audience,” he said. 

Source: btobonline.com

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Silverpop's Email Resolutions for 2008

Silverpop posted their email resolution for 2008 in their newsletter. Here's what they say:

"As we look toward 2008 and what it will bring in terms of email marketing, we pulled together four things that marketers can do to improve their campaigns and drive better results and higher returns in the New Year. 

  1. Focus on the first few inches.
    Think long and hard about the preview pane and what you’re offering to entice recipients to take a look at your entire message. Since recipients don't need to (and probably won't) open the message to see what it contains unless enticed to do so, focusing the power of your brand and call-to-action at the top of the message is critically important. Messages must fit in the two-to-four-inch box that most preview panes present. Make sure that your most important messages are right at the top.

     
  2. Let customer actions guide your campaigns.
    Incorporating Web analytics into your email marketing efforts will quickly take your campaigns to the proverbial next level. Doing so brings together a rich mix of customer preferences, enabling marketers to craft more meaningful messaging. In a crowded marketplace increasingly demanding relevance, such integration is vital to improving customer loyalty, accelerating the conversion process and driving measurable increases in marketing ROI. For example, by creating a new field in your email database such as “Page Most Often Visited” and populating it with the data that flows from your Web analytics application, you can better send relevant messages at a time when your customers are seeking out information from you.

  3. Take a new approach to list growth. Ask!
    There are a surprising number of companies that, for whatever reason, fail to prominently position opt-in requests on their Web site. With the prominence of search driving customers deeper into Web sites and bypassing the home page, companies need to request email addresses more often and in more locations.

  4. Grab ‘em in 60-seconds.
    Email recipients typically give your message a quick minute. Grab them in that amount of time or wave farewell. Take the time to develop email creative that grabs attention and stops customers in their tracks.

The coming year promises to be an interesting one for marketers. New technologies are enabling companies to reach out and engage with customers in unique and very personal ways.  If you take the time to apply a few of these recommendations to your marketing program, 2008 could be a banner year!"

Source: Silverpop

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Windows Live Hotmail Unsubscribe Function

Microsoft last August answered e-mail marketers’ calls to include an unsubscribe button in its interface so consumers will be less likely to mistakenly report permission-based commercial e-mail as spam.

The unsubscribe link appears in place of the report-and-delete button on some e-mails in Windows Live Hotmail, the free e-mail service replacing classic Hotmail.

To get the unsubscribe button to appear, the marketer must add a piece of code to the headers of outbound e-mail. Instructions on how to do this can be found at www.list-unsubscribe.com. The sender must also be on the receiver’s safe list, or Sender Score Certified by deliverability firm Return Path.

A reader who hits the unsubscribe button is taken to a Web page created by the marketer where they can indicate specifically what they want to opt out of.

Source: Directmag.com

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Email Measurement Accuracy Coalition

I just read on David Daniels' blog that he will be leading a new cross industry coalition, called the Email Measurement Accuracy Coalition. The mission of the EMAC is to establish a consistent methodology and framework for the accurate calculation of email delivery, in order to inform the computation of critical email marketing metrics such as open, click-through-rate and conversion.

Visit the EMAC web-site to learn more about the coalition and its work.

From the press release:

There is a fundamental lack of consensus across the e-mail marketing industry on how email performance is measured, which ultimately undermines the effectiveness of the medium and renders cross industry benchmarks useless, said Daniels.

This issue has been well documented by JupiterResearch, The Email Sender and Provider Coalition (ESPC), and most recently by the Email Experience Council (eec) in its State of Email Metrics and Bounce Management report.        

The Email Experience Council applauds David Daniels for taking ownership of this significant gap in the email marketplace. The efforts of the EMAC will enable us to continue to push our efforts forward, said Jeanniey Mullen, Founder of Email Experience Council and Executive Director of Worldwide Email Marketing at OgilvyOne.    

The group will be comprised of industry thought leaders and marketing professionals, including principals from email and delivery service providers. The complete and impressive list of charter supporters can be found at www.emacoalition.org/members.

Big round of applause for this initiative everyone!!

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Email Predictions for 2007

According to Return Path's Matt Blumberg these will be the top 5 trends to watch in 2007:

More spam is on its way: The huge increase in the amount of spam being sent has had some serious implications for ISPs and other receivers as they grapple with the increased traffic on their networks. So far, email users have not been overly bothered by this, but that could change depending on how spam filtering technology evolves. The sharp increase in criminal activity by email (phishing, stock scams and so on) could erode consumer confidence if not curtailed. Look for increased activity around this problem by government, industry associations and businesses.

Continue reading "Email Predictions for 2007" »

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Christmas 2006: Email Related Seasonal Trends

In a post titled "Season Finale: Christmas", Chad White offers a look back on seasonal trends, email activity and standout B2C marketing during the Christmas season in the US.

Chad's blog is dedicated to tracking the email marketing campaigns of the largest US etailers. As the strategic retail partner of Email Experience Council, his blog tracks retailers’ activities to reveal best practices and trends that are helpful to others in the industry who are looking for ideas, insight and guidance in executing their own campaigns. Check it out here!

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Email Marketing in Europe

Bill Nussey just returned from Europe and shares his ideas on the state of email marketing in Europe on his blog.

These are his observations:

  • SMS is still an active discussion but, from a purely anecdotal observation, its momentum into the marketing world doesn't seem quite as furious as it was last year. It's clearly way ahead of the U.S., but most of the billboards and ads I saw featured Web URLs and relatively few SMS calls-to-action.
  • It's popular to say Europe is X years behind or ahead of the U.S. in email marketing, but the more time I spend there, the less I think this comparison is appropriate. I saw some brilliant, sophisticated campaigns as well as some very basic stuff. I'm beginning to think that the sheer volume of companies in the U.S. may account for a larger number of emerging cutting-edge case studies, but that the actual percentage of sophisticated marketing within the two markets is probably about the same.
  • We surveyed a few hundred marketers in the U.K. in connection with our conference, and I was pleasantly surprised at how large many of their lists are. Given the relatively smaller population of the U.K. compared to the U.S., many have amassed some impressive lists.
  • Just as in the U.S., the conversations were largely the same wherever I went: deliverability, life-cycle marketing, Web analytics, integration, etc.
  • The competitors are largely the same, but those who are perceived to be leaders and followers varies a lot between the U.S. and the European Union. I won't flatter any of my competitors by naming specific companies here.
  • There are a surprising number of regional competitors in the E.U. -- both country-specific as well as pan-European. It will be interesting to see if they are able to penetrate the U.S. as successfully as the U.S. ESPs appear to have penetrated Europe.
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2006 Top Email Trends Shows Growing Sophistication in Email Marketing

Exact Target released its annual email marketing trends for the upcoming year. A year ago, the trends involved relevancy and frequency of e-mails, ExactTarget said. Those are now the industry basics, and the future is to focus on deliverability, analytics and multichannel marketing.

The top trends for 2006 are:

  1. Deliverability will drive email success.
  2. Open rate is over rated.
  3. Email metrics and web analytics will be integrated.
  4. Multi-channel marketing will deliver winning results.
  5. List growth will be healthy, but takes work.
  6. RSS will start to make an impact on email marketing.
  7. Email will get more personalized.
  8. Look for rich media in email.
  9. Email as a carrier for third party advertising.
  10. The new metric: return on subscriber.

The trends are available as a white paper with graphics and real-life examples here.

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Predictions For 2006

Here are some more email marketing predictions for 2006 and as Bill McClosky so nicely puts it in this week's issue of Email Insider: "it's that time of the year again".

Indeed it is! :) Everyone in the industry seems to feel the need to predict the future. In this case though, I think Bill McClosky hits the mark. These are his predictions.

  • We are going to see a renaissance in e-mail marketing.

  • It's still too early for RSS. We may see the Year for RSS at some point, but 2006 is not it. 

  • Spam is not going away, but nobody will care -- people will just get used to it and consider it a part of their online universe and move on.

  • E-mail will surpass search in the battle for marketers' hearts and minds.

Read the full article here.

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Thought Leaders Commune on Email Marketing: Spam Is Not the Issue

Email marketing has come of age. And we all know what happens with age. Zest, effectiveness and energy diminish. Younger and more effective players emerge. And, before you know it, you're pensioned off!

Which begs the question: Is email marketing, as we know it, doomed?

Stephan Spencer answers this question in a MarketingProfs article.

The full version of this article is available to Premium Members of MarketingProfs only. 

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Mid-Year Update of Ten Top Email Marketing Trends

ExactTarget released its mid-year revised forecast of the top email marketing trends for 2005. The predictions first made at the start of this year are adjusted to reflect current market adoption, common practices and new theories on email marketing.

1. Relevance is King.
The number one email trend for 2005 continues to be relevance, defined as delivering messages that contain specific value to an individual subscriber. "For too long marketers have been focused on marketing as a campaign," says Chris Baggott, chief marketing officer and co-founder of ExactTarget. "Customers no longer accept that. The value is in the individual and in driving lifetime customer value."

2. Email is a Retention Tool.
"Email is not an acquisition tool; it is a retention tool," says Baggott. Some 90 percent of marketing dollars are invested in acquisition programs, including keywords, banner ads, direct mail, etc. He recommends those tactics should be leveraged to acquire permission to continue the relationship through email.

3. Data Appends Can be Used to Enrich Customer Data.
"Appending email addresses to existing customer data and assuming that you have permission to email is a bad email practice," says Baggott. However, with data appending, marketers can ask a minimum number of questions on a registration form and let the appending process fill in the gaps with address and even demographic information.

4. Test and Optimize Your Emails. The success gap is widening in email marketing and it is defined by a line drawn between marketers who test emails and those who do not. "Even yesterday's A/B type testing is being replaced by more advanced multi-variant and Taguchi testing," says Baggott. "Before dynamic content, advanced testing was virtually impossible. Now it's easy, and the results are dramatic."

5. Control Corporate Spamming.
Organizations are responsible for every communication that originates from any one of its employees. "How does a marketer know that someone in the company is spamming or engaging in other practices that could result in the company being blacklisted or even fined?" asks Baggott. "Marketers must control outbound email at the enterprise level."

6. Leverage Transactional Emails.
Transactional emails are an opportunity to touch your customers. Marketers are almost guaranteed that transactional email will be read. "Take advantage of this opportunity to grow the customer relationship. Transactional emails are a chance to convey relevant information to the customer and to gather additional data that will help build your relationship," advises Baggott.

7. Create One-to-One Relationships.
"A relationship takes two people," says Baggott. "While brands are important for the credibility and reputation of your organization, at the end of the day, decisions are made between people," says Baggott. Marketers can be expected to leverage emails to facilitate and enhance one-to-one relationships. "The best way to do this is with the 'From Line.' Make email come from humans, such as salespeople, spokespeople, relationship owners, store managers, and customer service reps, rather than institutions. Including pictures of the sender makes email more personal."

8. Measure Results with Multi-Channel Analytics.
Measuring email success based on opens and click-throughs no longer is enough. Marketers need to focus on how the individual subscriber behaves after the click. This is accomplished through multi-channel analytics, integrating email with web tracking software and then with the company's CRM system.

9. Integrate Customer Data.
"Marketers make the greatest impact when they talk to people like they know them. The trick is to learn as much as possible about your customer and to collect data at every touch point possible then centralize that data into one source," advises Baggott. With API's and Web Services, marketers can feed data automatically into a single database from various touch points such as the web, email, POS, telephone or personal contact.

10. Email Only When You Have Something to Say. Email frequency and relevance go hand in hand. "Marketers should only email individuals when they have something to say. The idea that it's Thursday and I've got to send an email is antiquated," says Baggott. "Marketers have few opportunities to constructively engage their customers and prospects, and they must maximize each opportunity to touch the customer."

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The Spam Problem Will Get Solved

Larry Chase just released his Top 10 Trends for the Next 10 Years in Internet Marketing.

He states that email marketing will remain essential and the spam problem will get solved. Why? Because it has to. Business and consumers alike now rely heavily on the email platform. Even if email postage is the solution, email marketing will still be faster and more cost-effective than most other competing channels.

Interesting...

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11 Email Marketing Trends for 2005

by Loren McDonald -- Email marketing arrived in 2004. Despite the huge attention and real issue of over bloated inboxes due to increased volume of spam, no marketer could ignore the value and importance of email in their overall marketing program. What's in store for 2005? Following are 11 trends EmailLabs has identified for 2005 - read the full article for the detail behind the trends listed below:    

1. The Email Marketing Manager Role Emerges as a Full-Time Position    
2. Email Delivery Divide: The Haves and Have Nots    
3. Increased Integration with Corporate Databases and Other Applications    
4. Use of Advanced Email Technology Features Grows Rapidly    
5. Design Takes on Greater Importance    
6. Marketers View Email in Larger Context Than Just Marketing    
7. Resource Constraints Fuel Demand for Consulting Services    
8. Companies Continue Shift from Software to Hosted Model    
9. Only Spammers Will Spam  
10. Marketers Place Greater Emphasis on List Quality  
11. Marketers Cede Control to Customers; Focus on Building Trust and Lifetime Value

Source: EmailLabs

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