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Takeaways From The Email Insider Summit

Unfortunately I couldn't attend the Email Insider Summit this week, but those that did, used Twitter to keep us up to date on what was going on on stage and posted recaps on their blogs.

Here are my main takeaways from reading all the great stuff they wrote:

Anna Billstrom wrote:

  • Great comment by Jay of MySpace regarding email: “I laugh at people who think email is killing social media, social media needs email now more than ever.
  • video will be available in emails in the next month or so, and for Yahoo and AOL only. The perk on this is that JavaScript will also be available in email, of course only if you’re using GoodMail services.
  • Each session talked about how money is flowing from direct marketing and advertising/pr/media into email. What is the result? “It will be horrible,” says Bloxham. You’ll get more people contending for real estate on your newsletter, more demands to increase frequency, and more people just wanting to be a chef in the kitchen.
  • If it’s old, irrelevant, or uninteresting, users call it spam.
  • Make sure to read Anna's extensive recap of the keynote session about the Barack Obama campaign.

DJ Waldow wrote:

  • If you are responsible for email at your company and your job ends at the click-through, your company is in trouble.
  • Beware of the “Hippo” (HIghest Paid Opinion, aka the boss). Best response is, “Great. We’ll test that.”
  • The “Critical List”: Know the value of an email address. Measure everything. Test everything. Segmentation is the key.
  • Most email metrics mean something to us (as email marketers), but not to senior management. If you can’t put it in a context that means something to your management, your efforts will be marginalized.

Stephanie Miller wrote:

  • Stephen Geer of Obama for America reminded us all that we have to balance risk and reward when we make deliverability (and revenue opportunity) decisions every day. No question the Obama team reinvented campaigning in the US. Email was a critical component of both communicating the message as well as driving action. For Geer, frequency and complaints went hand in hand. Frequency seemed to win. His answer, "We knew that we could survive a certain amount of churn (fatigue combined with deliverability failures) because of our list growth."

  • a panel of moms reminded us that time is the greatest currency for subscribers, and especially this audience. "The computer is a time sucker," one mother said. All the panelists reported that they use the delete button heavily. "First thing I do when I open my email is just delete a bunch of stuff." One mother said, "I enjoy requesting offers, but then I don't know what I'm asking for. When I get it every day or every other day. I just deleted them." Another panelist compared the barrage of messages to her children. "It's like my inbox is another kid, calling Mom, Mom, Mom. All this noise, it just blends in. I can't keep up, I don't even try."

  • We talked a lot about segmentation and data management throughout the marketer panel and the roundtables. Many marketers are still not segmenting their files, although everyone seems to acknowledge the value of doing this. Why not? Time, resources and expertise. One marketers said to me, " Hey this channel was supposed to be free, and now you are talking about data management and higher fees to profile subscribers!" My response: We are talking about higher revenue, loyalty and lifetime value, too!

Dylan Boyd wrote:

The Obama team uses the 3 M’s: Messaging, Mobilization and Money

Messaging: Strict Messaging Discipline - We followed everything that was said in the press, long term and short term messaging themes. Using email as the vehicle to drive home the points made that day, week or based on an event connected people more to the campaign than any other method.

"Early on we learned that email could not only be a useful tool but a powerful vehicle to drive action." 

Mobilization: By using forms, surveys and behavior we were able to find evangelists, friends and people that could help us get to more people faster via word of mouth than ever before. People heard the calls to action for fund raising, voting, and helping which in turn allowed us to organize geographically faster and in a more efficient manner.

Money: Online donations for a political campaign set records using email. Although we did not feel as if we were always asking for money, we did always include a donate button. This drove micro donations for the campaign which added up fast. Using our database system to track individual donors we were able to match up their top out levels so that people cold maximize their donations over a period of time in support of the campaign and the candidate.

Continue reading here.

Last but not least: this is what I took away from the 19 pages of tweets about the Email Insider Summit:

  • djwaldow: Single biggest day of fundraising in the history of politics was day after Gov Palin's acceptance speech according to Stephen Geer
  • samrpath: Stephen Geer of Obama campaign on email frequency: It's a trade off of unsubs & churn with fundraising. Easy math - fundraising wins.
  • mikeferguson: keynote from Obama campaign: segmentation and personal relevance were key to creating and empowering [brand] advocates
  • jkrohrs: Big part of Obama campaign's email success was that email team wrote emails, not speechwriters. Closer to subscribers. VERY smart.
  • mikeferguson: What taught me about "moms and email": put blackberries and iPhones on their holiday wishlists. They're time-strapped yet savvy
  • jaffejuice: panel with moms: frequency of e-mails is like kids going, "Mom, mom, mom, mom, MOM, MOM!!!, Mom, Mom!!!!!!"
  • LorenMcDonald: Moms are all very different, but what they do have in common is the need for usability, transparency, trust of referrals & convenience
  • mikeferguson: Use email as a leading indicator: test offers via email, before deploying via other traditional channels. Jim Sterne
  • gpalatine: Big take away from Social Media session - Companies must be willing to "lose control of their messaging" when using social media
  • banane: #eis couldn't agree more, Mike Foley from NYT: "You should be giving your readers as many ways as possible to read your content."
  • RetailEmailBlog: Attribution choices: 1. Spread evenly, 2. Last click is king, 3. First click is king, 4. Weighted by time, 5. Weighted by budget
  • LorenMcDonald: Jack Hogan says Lifescript pulls back on sending to subscribers who are "inactives" for a period as little as 30 days

And finally: here are the pictures! :-)

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