167 posts categorized "Strategy"

The coolest trends in email marketing

Every year Jordie van Rijn collects all of the trends and predictions on email and marketing automation into an EPIC post called “The Future of email marketing”.

Now the outlines of email marketing trends start to take form, here are a few of this year’s favorites.

Email production automation will become the norm

We know email content automation is the email trend that nobody is really talking about yet. A lot of time spent in email creation can be automated using email templates and dynamic code. More and more marketers are making use of dynamic content as a time-saving email strategy. In combination with the right type of email template, it can be a big step forward in personalisation as well.

According to Litmus’s state of Email report, the most time that’s spent on email production is graphics & design (4.1 hours) followed by coding and development (3.8 hours).

That’s almost 45% of the time spent on email tasks (the others include: copywriting, data pulls/logic, testing and troubleshooting, and post-send analytics and analysis). There’s no reason as to why so much time should be spent in email content creative creation. More and more marketers are making use of dynamic content as a time saving email strategy.

‘Mailable ‘Microsites’ are set to continue its winning spree.

Jaymin Bhuptani of emailmonks talks about the mailable microsite, also known as Interactive email. These smart mails allow the user to interact with email within the inbox. Interactivity in email is all set to continue its winning spree in 2018.

An interactive email is an email where a click triggers an action within the same email. Interactive emails can keep the inbox interesting and unique. What type of interactions are there?

* Integrated forms and surveys,
* Social sharing,
* Gifs, videos, and animations,
* Search in email,
* Menu options / navigation bars,
* Rotational banners / carousels and Countdowns.

Now the fresh new part of this story is the news from google AMP for email, which allows to do a lot more in at least Gmail. However this is still a

The Interactive email essentially hands your audience what they need from inside the email, with much effort for them. They do not need to click through from the inbox to view content, interact with video or complete surveys – increasing the chance of engagement.

Even simple effects can make a (lasting) impression. See this example by TOMS, the live email uses interactivity, on interacting with the switch, the images updates and gets switched to the glow in the dark version.


Embrace the contextual email

Jamie Bradley from Emma gives the head up that Contextual Email is, well, quite cool.

More and more brands will use tools that integrate with their ESP to provide contextual email. Think things like a progress bar in a confirmation email that automatically updates the shipping status of something you ordered.

Or maybe a poll or survey where the results update in real time. The way to stand out in the inbox is to be more relevant and useful than your competitors, and contextual email is one (really cool) tactic to do just that.

An interesting development in that area is the announcement of Google AMP for Email, which could be opening more option to interact in the inbox (or at least Gmail). We will have to see just how that will turn out.

Emoji use will skyrocket 🚀

Mike Ragan, Designer at ActionRocket says: Emojis are a fascinating evolution of digital language and - crucially - becoming more and more integrated into our favourite “formal” tone of voice channel: email.

This emoji acceptance can be illustrated by companies such as Monzo, a bank keen to be seen as trustworthy and legitimate. But also real, human and reasonable. Kudos.

Emojis are great in email because they distil a lot of information, and convey it quickly. We predict being genuinely emoji literate will continue to be a coveted skill in 2018 and beyond.

A research published on econsultancy by Parry Malm, concluded  that emojis don’t always work, but basically are a result amplifier. They either make a bad subject line worse (40% of cases) or a good subject line better. (60% of cases).


I have Data, Automation, AI and personalisation on my mind.

How do brand side marketeers think email marketing will evolve? Econsultancy asked it to their panel of marketers: Out came a word cloud with the topics of Data, Automation, AI and personalisation to be most mentioned / top of mind. Of course there is much more to say, read the complete article with the summary with 100+ email marketing trends 2021 or the newest 2022 email marketing trends edition

3 keys to improving your customers checkout experience

How often have you abandoned a checkout due to a confusing and difficult experience? Unfortunately this is more common than it should be and we lose customer's during the checkout process. In fact you're average abandon rate is around 80%!

Plan to Engage recently  hosted a webinar with conversion expert James Critchley of cloud.IQ and provided 3 keys to leverage in order to prevent abandonment of the shopping cart process. 

 The 3 Keys discussed are based on BJ Fogg's Behavioural Model which shows that 3 elements must converge at the same moment for a behaviour to occur: MotivationAbility, and Trigger.

Fogg Theory


In this webinar we detailed each of these elements and look to see how we can apply this model to our customer's checkout process  in order to refine and optimise the experience, resulting in increased conversions. 

Interested in seeing more? The please view the slides of the presentation below, alternatively you can watch the actual webinar here. 

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State of Email Marketing Strategy in the UK

A recent Plan to Engage & Pure360 survey (The current state of email strategy) of over 500 UK marketers revealed a lack of strategy and an over reliance on open rates as a metric in email marketing programmes:

  • 39% of marketers do not currently have an email strategy in place
  • 64% of marketers don’t currently offer any alternatives to the traditional unsubscribe process
  • 32% of marketers do not currently report on their email marketing
  • Almost half (44%) of marketers don’t segment their email list
  • 54% of marketers reporting that they do not currently use automated campaigns

I thought today I’d address three of these findings:

Strategy: objective setting seen as a luxury not a necessity
I teach hundreds of email marketers every year and in every class I am amazed at the percentage of email marketers who do not have a solid strategy in place. 

Email is a channel where setting objectives seems to be a luxury rather than a necessity. There are very few other channels where setting objectives and KPIs are not mandatory – in fact I’m struggling to think of any – other than email.

Setting objectives is where we must start – as it affects everything we subsequently do – from creating the strategy and identifying the tactics, to designing, copywriting and creating the landing pages to testing and optimising. Everything, maps back to our objectives – business objectives, email programme objectives and of course campaign objectives.

Personally I believe the lack of objective setting and strategy creation is down to the channel historically being seen as ‘cheap’. Happily this is changing year by year but we still are suffering the effects of this way of thinking. I believe a simple mindset change can be very effective in remedying this situation. 

If we were all to swap the phrase ‘cheap channel’ with ‘cost-effective channel’ then suddenly we’re taking into consideration the ROI, the traffic, the branding exposure, the customer retention and strengthening of customer relationships we gain from this channel – all for a small amount of investment. Words are very powerful and the word ‘cheap’ has a lot of negative connotations associated with it. The word ‘cheap’ indicates something we probably won’t value, invest into it or treat it well. ‘Cost-effective’ however brings it to light as being the valuable, essential channel that should be prioritised and invested into. A good start to the investment is by implementing a holistic strategy for your email marketing programme.

Reporting: an over reliance on open rates
This ties in with the lack of objective setting. Basically, if you don’t know what you want to achieve and have a strategy in place – how do you determine what to measure? Email Marketing is one of the most accountable and trackable channels – let’s take advantage of this! 

Even if reporting is undertaken, too many email marketers seem to be too much value on the open rate and use it as their main measure of success. But in reality, does the open rate map back to your objective and actually signify success? I truly doubt it.

Personally I think that the days of viewing the open rate as a valuable metric are dated. To me it has always been a messy metric, not at all reliable and generally not a good indication of success. It does not report how many people have read your email, rather it reports how many people have downloaded images on your email. So, because of this, many email marketers have been using it to gauge reader engagement, assuming that a reader is engaged with your email because they have downloaded images. To this extent, this was a fairly safe assumption – until recently.

In 2013, Hotmail.com became Outlook.com and with that change, came also the automated downloading of images; recently Gmail has followed suit and is no longer blocking images but downloading them by default. Now, while this is wonderful news for our beautifully designed emails, it has made the open rate even more of a messy metric. No longer can we rely on it as being a measurement of engagement.

I would recommend that the reporting be structured to involve the metrics that truly indicate success according to your objective. That’s not to say that we ignore metrics such as opens or clicks, as there are insights that we can gain – not just on a campaign by campaign basis but on a subscriber reporting basis as well as in comparing year-on-year reports.

Unsubscribe: part of the customer journey
I believe we need to view everything to do related to our email programme as a journey, a journey that the customer takes. And yes, this journey may include them unsubscribing from our email programme. When I perform my email heath checks for my clients. I’ve discovered that many brands forget about optimising this step and just accept the basic process provided to them by their ESP. What they provide to you is just the start – not the end of optimising this process.

Not only is the unsubscribe process an opportunity to gather information about why they’re leaving (and hint – it isn’t always about your email programme! Sometimes it’s about a bad customer experience) or offer them the ability to opt down and stay subscribed.

But most importantly, if they decide that they really do want to leave, then this is your opportunity to let them leave you with a smile on their face, it doesn’t have to be a negative experience. So, our main aim here is to give them a positive experience so that if they want to subscribe at a later stage or follow us on social media, they’re more likely to want to.

Hubspot do a great job at conveying this message with their video – just watch and enjoy.


(article originally published on DMA  UK Email Marketing Councils, Infobox)

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6 Tips for a Valentine’s Day Email Campaign

Valentine's Day Email Campaign

by Liga Bizune, Mailigen

The day of love rapidly approaches, and for marketers it’s time to think about a perfect Valentine’s Day email campaign.

Follow our tips to develop a smart strategy, build an eye-catching design, create relevant content and make subscribers fall in love with you and your brand.

#1 Kick off at the beginnging of February 

Love is in the air long before Valentine’s Day, so start early with your marketing communication. February 14th or some days before would be okay if you are sending an e-card or promoting ready-to-use products or last minute offers. But if your campaign needs more engagement, kick off before or at the beginning of February:

  • Tease about your upcoming offer in a February or even a January newsletter
  • Send your special offer campaign at the beginning of February. Resend it with a different subject line to those who haven’t opened it, and with a slightly changed call to action to those who haven’t clicked on it
  • Remind about your offer with a last call campaign some days before February 14th. This is the right time to surprise with outstanding email design and wish a happy Valentine’s Day
  • A few days after the celebration, thank those who benefited from your offer and ask for feedback via an online survey.

#2 Let them fall in love with your offer

Offering the right thing is crucial for your email marketing ROI. Think about the most suitable products and services a person would like to receive on that special once-in-a-year day.

If you are in a fashion, food, beauty, travel or a similar industry, you are lucky! For you, Valentine’s Day may be as profitable as Christmas. Use email marketing wisely to get the most out of it.

  • When preparing a Valentine’s Day email campaign, roll out special offers for couples, romantic style gifts and bonuses
  • Include an entertaining video or gif animation in your email campaign to attract and engage more in your offer
  • Add tips and tricks to your email campaign offering where to go, what to do and how to make this day awesome
  • If your business doesn’t offer things that are marketable on Valentine’s Day, send a beautiful e-card. Thus you will remind the customer about your company, show you care and increase loyalty to your brand

#3 Treat your lovers differently

I’m sure your subscribers’ inboxes will be stuffed with Valentine’s Day emails. But to make them pay attention and read your email, send what your subscribers really want. 

Split your target audience into segments by:

  • Gender – different offers to your male and female audience are vital when we talk about Valentine’s Day. Just change the roles this time: ladies would like to receive gift offers for their boyfriends, while guys – how to surprise their ladies
  • Age – young adults would be more interested in news about places and events where they could meet their Valentines, while more mature customers would look for exclusive gifts or travel deals to surprise their loved ones
  • Interests – use all the information you have gathered from online surveys, sign up forms, profile update forms or other resources to produce campaigns that suit your customers’ interests and get better engagement from your email campaigns
  • Activity – send a series of emails to your most active subscribers and a compelling reengagement email campaign to your inactive subscribers.

You can also segment by activity within one campaign. Resend your email with a changed subject or call to action to those who haven’t opened or clicked your Valentine’s Day campaign. Or, if you have several offers within one campaign, check out who has clicked on what but hasn’t proceeded and then send an exclusive offer for the product to each customer who was especially interested. 

#4 Flirt with hot email design

Valentine’s Day is a perfect time to fully express your creativity in email designs. Instead of your usual email template design, prepare or order a custom email template design including today’s web design trends.

  • Go beyond traditional cupids and candies, and choose stylized images
  • Apart from the traditional red and pink, shine with pale pink, silvery white and other colors from this season’s top hues
  • Use responsive email designs to make your email campaign easily readable and clickable to mobile users
  • Try today’s flat metro style design in your email campaign
  • Include video or GIF animations in your email campaign to make it more attractive and engaging

#5 Surprise with compelling email content

Content is king, especially in email marketing. It has to persuade the recipient, firstly, to open the email and, secondly, to take an action.

  • Alongside hearts and arrows, include interesting symbols in your subject lines to make your Valentine’s Day email stand out in crowded inboxes
  • Ensure your call to action displays immediately without the necessity to unblock images by using email design with CSS3
  • Keep your email campaign short and straight to the point, highlighting images and other visual elements

#6 Be their Valentine…

Not everyone is in love on Valentine’s Day. So, for the single customers, all the talk of love and other romantic issues may be quite annoying. When creating a Valentine’s Day email campaign, think about offers, activities and gifts that all subscribers can enjoy regardless of their relationship status. Be their Valentine and express your love and care via personal email campaigns.


If you start planning early, prepare the right offer to the right recipient and pack all this in a beautiful design, a Valentine’s Day email campaign may bring you both great business results and customer loyalty. Make use of our tips to share your love and to receive it back. Wishing you a happy and fulfilling Valentine’s Day!



Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

[FREE Event] London - 5 keys to increase your email marketing conversions

Date: 19th February 2013
Cost: It's FREE!
Time: 9am -12.00 (includes breakfast, morning tea and networking opportunities)
Venue: etc. Venues, 4-12 Norton Folgate Bishopsgate Court, E1 6DQ London, United Kingdom 
Sponsor: dotMailer

In this half-day event you will discover 5 powerful keys to increase your email marketing conversions. During this very tactical session, Kath Pay will show you how to improve your conversions by delving into topics such as: Subject Line, Calls-To-Actions, Email Design, Email Copy, Landing Pages and Psychology within Email. 

You will walk away feeling inspired and enthused, armed with some new tactics and knowledge that you can apply immediately to your email marketing programme.

Seats are limited - so hurry and book now!

To find out more or register now

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

3x3 Tips for a Perfect Christmas Email Campaign


An email marketing campaign for the Christmas period is on every marketer’s to-do list, I’m sure. However, there are always numerous questions that arise in one’s mind. What should I send and when? Should I offer something and how do I best engage? Let me guide you with 3x3 tips for your perfect Christmas email marketing campaign!

When is the right timing?

#1 Go for right here and now

When is the right time to prepare a Christmas email marketing campaign? Right now! The “Last minute” strategy is good for traveling, but for your email marketing carry out your best holiday strategy at the beginning of December!

#2 Be aware of people’s habits

According to Christmas shopping habits, people can be divided into several groups:

  • shopaholics or those who shop throughout the year
  • a minority who start Christmas shopping early in October and November
  • the majority who start thinking about Christmas gifts in December and hope to benefit from discounts
  • last-minute buyers who only remember to buy gifts shortly before Christmas and grab what they see

Now is the best time for the last two groups, especially if you are planning a Christmas sales campaign and aim for the year’s biggest engagement!

#3 Set the goal of the campaign

But before planning any campaign, know exactly what you want it to do for your business. This will also help you decide about the best timing.

  • If it’s some kind of offer, send it at least a week before the Christmas holidays, so recipients have enough time to take action.
  • If it’s Christmas greetings, send an e-card a few days before Christmas. Although lots of marketers schedule the campaign for the very day of Christmas, you risk being ignored as during the holidays people usually try to get away from work, including their emails.

What is the right strategy?

#4 Tease with a series of emails

Instead of the usual one single Christmas email, create a series of emails for more coherent communication. Now at the beginning of December, tease your subscribers about your upcoming surprise...

#5 Include non-selling emails

A week before the holidays, send the main campaign including the surprise offer, so people have a chance to use it up to Christmas. But why not also send your beloved subscribers a non-selling e-card shortly before Christmas Day?

#6 Continue that Christmas feeling

Instead of ending your Christmas marketing activities on December 25, continue engagement with lifecycle email marketing campaigns. A week after the holidays, remind those who haven’t used your offer of it, and ask for feedback from those who have.

Where is the magic?

#7 Get much more than sales

Christmas email campaigns can give you much more than just additional income.

  • Build the branding of your company with a compelling email template design
  • Strengthen your customer loyalty by showing you remember and care about them
  • Remind your inactive recipients about your company, products and services

#8 Know what to offer

What exactly you should offer subscribers for Christmas depends of course on your business. But in general:

  • offer the upgrade of your services for the next year to your B2B customers
  • choose the best gift ideas among your products or services for your B2C customers

#9 Fulfill your dream of Santa

What is Christmas without presents?! Although Christmas is considered the most profitable time of the year for many businesses, it’s also the time of giving... Have you ever wanted to be a real Santa Claus? Whatever it is – a sales campaign or a simple e-card – give your customers something for free.

  • Everybody will always be happy about a discount, a coupon code or a gift card, but this time make it more eye-catching, for example, a countdown discount within a Christmas calendar
  • Prepare an online guide, a book or another resource with useful data for your recipients according to their interests and needs
  • Share exclusive information with them, so they can also share it on their social media profiles with their friends
  • Bring them laughs with an interactive email design that includes funny GIFs or videos
  • Surprise them with a personalized email showing your individual care and interest in them

Email marketing is a great tool to reach your audience during the holidays. With awesome email designs, personalized email content and compelling offers, you will definitely catch the attention of your customers. While at the same time don’t forget about the sense of sincerity and generosity that may happen only at Christmas... Use these tips to do both: increase the engagement with your subscribers and remind them of how important they are to you. May the magic of Christmas fill your marketing!

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

Blending personas and personalities to increase conversions in email marketing [Part 1]

It’s a well-known fact that some of the greatest results can be gained by combining personalisation and persuasive architecture to deliver what the customer wants.

In this 2 part post I will look at approaches to leverage 2 types of buyer personas to use to increase conversions within your email marketing programme.

When combining both of these buyer persona styles we’re ensuring that we deliver not only the copy, TOV, and offers/merchandise that our buyer wants and expects from us but we’re also delivering the experience that will enable them to convert according to their temperament.

So let’s look at the two different types of Buyer Personas. For clarity’s sake, I’m labelling them differently to how they’re labelled elsewhere:

  • Persona: This addresses the motivation (i.e. what the buyer needs, what are their challenges and goals, what motivates them  etc)
  • Personality: This addresses their temperament (i.e what triggers they respond to, how they navigate, read and perform tasks etc)

In this post [Part 1] of this series, I’ll be addressing the Persona based upon motivation.

Read the full article
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An example of Holistic Email Marketing: Integrate search and email marketing using intelligent personalisation

I wrote this post last week for Smartinsights and have received very positive feedback on the concept behind using search to personalise the email subscribers experience.

But before we begin, we also need to understand the difference between a pull and a push channel.

Websites and search are both pull channels, whilst email is a push channel.

The strength of search being a pull channel, is that people are on a mission – they have a purpose and are focused on completing that mission.

The strength of email as being a push channel is that it is able to push the valuable content and offers to the subscribers inbox.

What we ideally want to do here is harness the strengths of each of these channels to deliver a personalised and relevant subscriber experience. By doing this we are performing what I like to call Holistic Email Marketing.

We're all aware of being able to utilise implicit data such as click behaviour, browsing behaviour and transactional behaviour to personal the email subscribers experience - but there is also a 4th form of implicit data that we can leverage - that of search data.

Using this data, we can not only understand what products or services they're interested in, but we can speak to them where they're at within the buying cycle.

Read the full post to see how this can work for you

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The Best Email Marketing Book I've Read in a Loooong Time

How could I have missed this book when it came out? I just got my hands on a copy of Hillstrom's Email Marketing Excellence and at 72 pages, it's the greatest little email marketing book out there.


You should read it. Now!

As Kevin says himself on his blog: 

What you won't get (there's hundreds of books and millions of blog articles that tell you how to do this stuff):

  • You won't hear anything about opens/clicks/conversions. These metrics do not illustrate the profitability of email marketing, on an annual basis. 
  • You won't get tips for maximizing subject line performance. 
  • You won't learn anything about creative strategies. 
  • You won't learn about traditional best practices. 

You're going to see a different side of email marketing, one where executives fully understand the profit contribution of email marketing, one where you learn interesting facts about how to weight historical transactions for trigger-based programs and multi-version campaigns.

You'll learn how to execute five year sales forecasts, and you'll learn communication techniques that prove email marketing isn't dead.

Thank to Patrick Glenisson for pointing this book out to me a couple of months ago.

Here's that link again.

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Data Protection Self-Defence

by Steve Henderson

If you hadn’t noticed, domestic and international data protection laws are changing, consumers are getting greater protection and some of the proposals are causing concern in some industries.

The European Commission’s draft proposals for modernisation of the 1995 data protection rules are designed to improve trust between consumers and businesses in order to improve trade by building “a new gold standard of data protection” which the Commission hopes will become the international benchmark for data protection.

The draft regulations include:

  • Cross-border (international) spam enforcement
  • Simplification of rules, bringing together privacy and data-protection
  • Greater choice, privacy and protection for consumers
  • Strengthening of rules, closing loopholes which have been abused
  • Stronger enforcement with easier access to compensation claims

Why you need an international view of consent, privacy and data protection

  1. Every email campaign is a multinational campaign

    Many recipients use global ISPs, companies have international offices and hosting centres and email recipients travel. As a result almost every email campaign is a multinational campaign which could be subject to international regulations.
  2. Rules are changing fast across the world

    Even if you could map out every regulation for every country you knew you were going to hit, rules and regulations are currently in a state of flux, with changes somewhere every few months.
  3. Look beyond the UK

    New international regulations, dedicated enforcement teams and increased cross-border co-operation mean that marketers need to look beyond what is needed to work with the soft-touch enforcement in the UK and look at how to work with some of the more strict international regulations.

Why you need a defensive view of consent, privacy and data protection

Proposed EU regulations in the next couple of years are going to clarify, simplify and consolidate existing rules; but will also introduce a requirement for stronger enforcement AND a means of cross-border enforcement.

In the UK we have a largely self-regulating, laissez faire industry, but this is changing: earlier this year the ICO fined spammers £500,000 and a recent letter from the Information Commissioner to the Secretary of State warns of mandatory fines and suggests that more funding and stronger sanctions are necessary for enforcement.

However, I see biggest potential risk to most companies as professional or opportunistic claimants seeking out sites which have sign-up and marketing processes which are unclear or inadequate.

We need to change our data protection and privacy approach. Instead of making sure consumers rights are fulfilled, we need to be in a position to easily prove that consent has been obtained, so that opportunistic claims can be quashed immediately.

Simple Guidelines for Data Protection and Privacy Compliance

This is where things become simple!

Focus on privacy, data protection, choice and transparency for your customers and subscribers and you will be adhering to the principles behind almost all international legislation.

Forget for a moment the legal standards and specific wording and look at these simple, small steps.

  • Review your own processes (or get an audit) to see what data you collect, how you collect and store it. Consider whether it is both appropriate and necessary and whether it fits with what your customers would expect.
  • Inform customers about what you do and why. Where possible, give them choices.

To review or audit your data collection and storage processes here are some starter questions:

When you collect data:

  • What data do you collect, where, when and how?
  • Is personal data collected which could be deemed excessive in relation to the purpose for which it was collected?
  • Is any personal data kept longer than necessary for the purpose for which it was collected?
  • Are your answers consistent with your customers’ expectations?

Once you understand your own data consider the following:

  • In your privacy policy include detail of what data you collect, how it is stored, how it is used to benefit your customers and what their options are for deleting their data.
  • When you create an account or someone signs up make it clear at that time why you collect information and explain clearly why it benefits them, providing a link to the detailed section in the privacy policy.
  • Allow people to purchase without creating an account – but give your customers compelling reasons to create an account by telling them the benefits they will get from having an account with you.
  • Provide customers with ‘the right to be forgotten’ by allow customers to delete/obfuscate (replace their customer details with dummy data) their account history – but give them reasons NOT to do this.
  • Give your customers a choice to NOT be tracked, recorded and profiled. But give them compelling reasons why trusting you with their data is good thing.

Be defensive by design:

  • Keep wording and processes simple and unambiguous
  • Collect basic audit information which shows what consent was provided and when
  • Where possible and appropriate, start collecting explicit consent where you currently rely on implied consent
  • Keep privacy policies up to date, making it easy for customers to see if anything has changed
  • Make sure you are in a position to easily prove that consent has been obtained



Compliance Officer at Communicator Corp, database architect and software developer, Steve Henderson has worked in email marketing technology solutions for 7 years. Steve developed the email delivery, analytics and reporting systems for Communicator Corp and is currently focused on recipient engagement analysis and international data protection and privacy regulations. Connect with Steve on Twitter @easyinbox

Would you like to become a guest blogger on this blog as well? Get in touch!


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Must-Watch: Adobe Keynote at SES Chicago (video)

Take some time to listen to this inspiring keynote presentation by Adobe's Senior Director of Marketing, Mikel Chertudi at SES Chicago this week. You won't regret it!

What is it about?

Are you or someone you know, guilty of knowingly or negligently wasting marketing dollars? Odds are you have been and probably still are guilty and don't even recognize it despite best intentions. In this keynote, Mikel Chertudi uncovers the reasons for our guilt and wishful thinking when it comes to where and how we spend marketing dollars - he also points out that when it comes to marketing investment, "Hope is not a Strategy."

As future heads of marketing, he helps us understand how to ask the right questions to avoid the pitfalls associated with "mis investing" our resources across channels and tactics. He discusses how we can rise to the top by taking control of the marketing mix, creating proper attribution models, and viewing marketing as an investment portfolio where we optimize greater and greater returns as opposed to viewing it as the old marketing cost center of the past.


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Why The Position Of Your Email In The Inbox Is Unimportant

On the EmailVision blog, Tim Watson explains why you shouldn't worry too much about the best time to send an email.  

The answer as to why timing is not so sensitive lies in how people engage and process their email inbox.

In a small poll the folks over at EmailVision ran, 94% of people said that when returning to their inbox they scan ALL new or recent unread emails. This means your position in the inbox is relatively unimportant.

Your email will be scanned for a delete or read decision regardless of whether it's the top email or number 25. Your email will live and die by much stronger factors than time of day such as:

  • Subject line and from name 
  • Content relevance 
  • Previous experience of your emails 
  • Brand loyalty and engagement

Trying to time an email to a 2 to 5 hour slot is relatively unimportant. Your email will be deleted based on the above factors and not whether it was first seen at 10am or 2pm.

More important than time of day timing, is timing with regard to the customer lifecycle. Right message, right person, right time is often quoted. However, time doesn't mean 9am or 10am.

Perfect timing is reaching the customer when they are actively:

  • Identifying a need 
  • Researching options to fulfil a need 
  • Deciding which offer to choose.

Read more here: Campaign send time isn't important 

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Why I choose a qualified email address over a single Facebook like.

In her post "Best Choice: Facebook LIKE or Qualified eMail Address?" Pam Moore asks the question: "If you had to pick one, what would it be? A Facebook “like” or an email address? "

Her answer (and also mine) is this: If I have the choice of a qualified email address or a “like” of my Facebook business page, I choose the email address.

Why? Here are some of her reasons:

“Likes” are good but the real value comes in your ability to inspire them to action past the “like”.
Just because someone “likes” your page doesn’t mean they have ever looked at anything you’ve posted since the first day they clicked “like”.  The majority of Facebook “likers” will never visit the page they liked again. It’s up to you to inspire your Facebook fans to further engage and join your community.

It is more intimate. 
It helps us nurture client relationships. We know who’s opening what content. We know what they like, what they don’t like. We are then able to better serve them up entertaining content on the Facebook page, Twitter feeds and LinkedIn conversations.

eMail builds trust and thought leadership. 
Obviously the email subscriber has more skin in the game than a simple “liker”.  From first click of the “subscribe” button they are making a silent statement of trust. It’s up to me what I do with that trust.

I can easily get my email subscribers to my Facebook page. 
Not always so easy to get a Facebook “liker’s” email address.

It works. 
Bottom line, every time I send out an email to our audience, the phone rings. Can’t say the same thing for every time I post on my Facebook page or get a Facebook like. We are seeing good results with integrating email to our marketing and social media efforts. I can’t imagine our business without our automated email nurturing system integrated into the DNA of our audience communications.

Read the full article here.

Do you agree? Disagree? I look forward to your comments!

Update: I just came across this interesting article from Loren McDonald on this subject. Check it out!

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

How to make email look sexy to the the C-suite

To make email marketing look sexy to the C-suite, Loren McDonald provides these 8 tips:

1. Never talk opens and clicks with other departments or the management suite. They don't or shouldn't care.

2. Talk loudly about revenues and cost savings.

3. Talk up the percentage of total company revenue that comes from email (assuming it's good). If you don't know, figure it out.

4. Don't talk about deliverability and rendering problems.

5. Remind executives that an email address is the core of most social and mobile relationships.

6. Show how a tiny percentage of email volume generates a massive amount of your email revenue via automated emails. (Hint to the C-Suite: Adding automation is like printing money.)

7. Cite strategic metrics that will wow executives, such as revenue per email, email revenue per worker hour, call center deferral rate, etc.

8. Document and communicate email revenue opportunities. As I write this, a client just emailed me to point out several missed opportunities she noticed when purchasing from another retailer, which could add up to millions of lost dollars.

via www.mediapost.com

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

5 common reasons why readers aren’t turning into buyers

1. They don’t want what you’ve got.

If this is your problem, you have essentially two choices. 

  1. offer something that more people want
  2. think about how you can build a bridge between something they want and something you offer. 

2. They’re confused

You may have too many different options for them to choose from. If they have to make a choice that’s more complex than “Silver, Gold, Platinum,” you run the very real risk of losing them.

3. Your message is not clear. 

Your sales copy should contain at least these three things:
  • This is what I’ve got. 
  • This is what it will do for you. 
  • This is what you should do next. 

4. You didn’t ask

If you explicitly ask your reader to click the link, dial the number, or whatever other means you use to get that sale, she’s much more likely to do it.

5. They don’t believe you

Build up that trust by creating great business relationships with killer content.

This is just a (short) summary of a (long) article on Copyblogger. Go read the entire story here.

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How to get the attention of inactive subscribers

One of the most cost-effective email marketing programs is outreach targeted to recapture the interest of disengaged subscribers. 

These are customers who subscribed to your email list but lost interest, and stopped opening or clicking your emails. They're still on your list and receive email, but they're no longer purchasing from you. 

It's not uncommon for 40 percent or more of a brand's list to be inactive. 

Recapture programs have the best return when they're made a permanent part of your email marketing mix. 

A persistent, ongoing recapture program has these ingredients: 

  1. Define "inactive subscribers" 
  2. Establish baseline statistics of their email (email service provider) and site (web analytics) behavior: click and open rates, conversion rate, revenue per mailing 
  3. Generate an email list of inactive customers 
  4. Send recapture offer email 
  5. Measure response 
  6. Feed results back, repeat

 Continue reading here.

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

How to segment & target prospects to deliver great results if you have a small Email Marketing budget

To do the basics well, you don’t need to be an email marketing or CRM expert, and you don’t need a big budget. To really increase performance, you just need a pinch of patience and some common sense. 
Philip Storey explains how to do this with an example case study here: How to segment & target prospects to deliver great results if you have a small Email Marketing budget.
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Signs Your Email Program Is Behind The Curve

Here are a few signs that despite "good" results, your email program is getting lapped: 
  1. You rarely, if ever, A/B test anything.
  2. You don't review performance metrics. 
  3. You don't segment. 
  4. Transactional messages are the only triggered emails that you send.
  5. You haven't updated your sign-up form, opt-in confirmation page or any other such pages since launching them. 
  6. You don't make it easy for customers to sign up for your emails. 
  7. You're totally preoccupied with the day-to-day of getting emails out the door. 
 Read the full article here: Signs Your Email Program Is Behind The Curve.
Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!