Science Fiction or Reality?"Machine learning" has moved out of science fiction and into real-life applications, like powering Tesla cars that run on autopilot and robots that can beat humans at the Japanese game of Go. For marketers, it gets them closer to their email nirvana: true 1:1 personalization on a mass scale. Machine learning, at its simplest, is a method of data analysis that allows computers to learn – to analyze, predict and act – without explicit instructions or programming. That last phrase – "without explicit instructions or programming" – highlights the difference between today's rule-based marketing automation and systems that use machine learning.
Here's how to know if an email marketing coach can help you, how to get the most from coaching, and where to find oneYou’ve probably heard the saying “The devil is in the details” and never is it truer than in email marketing, where small changes or omissions can make big differences in response, revenue, or even which side of the law you’re on. Agencies and consultants like us specialize in email marketing strategy and advice, but most require longer-term engagements or are best for companies that rely heavily on email as a revenue-producing channel and need continuous, ongoing support. But what if you just have a few questions? Or are temporarily stuck? Can't find the answers online? Or simply want to pick an expert's brain for a day? The good news is there are solutions to fit an entire spectrum of needs. Read on to learn what to ask your email coach and where to find one (often for free!)
After fifteen years in email marketing, I recently joined the board of the Email Experience Council (EEC) - the industry association for legitimate email marketing and the nexus of entrepreneurs, executives and experts leading the email marketing world itself. Shortly before the EEC's annual Email Evolution Conference earlier this month, the organization sat down with me for a discussion about careers in email marketing. We covered what up-and-coming professionals in email, as well as CMOs and senior execs responsible for the channel, need to know and develop in the way of talent, skills and mindset. That interview follows. If you're currently cultivating or considering a career involving email marketing, read on to learn about the great growth opportunities that await.
Earlier this month I had the pleasure of joining many of my fellow email industry colleagues in Miami at the Email Evolution Conference. Hosted annually by the Direct Marketing Association’s Email Experience Council (eec), the event kicks off the email conference year by bringing brands, advocates, vendors and thought leaders together under the south Florida sun to discuss, debate and share innovations and pressing issues central to email marketing. Here without further ado are key insights, wisdom and lessons learned (including my own) from this year’s event:
Inspiration from the 2015 Email "To-Do" Lists of Leading BrandsI'm just back from the MediaPost Email Insider’s Summit at Deer Valley in Utah ski country. Boasting record attendance and the active participation of big brands, the event is always a nexus for email marketing growth, expansion and innovation ideas. With attendees from Wendy’s, Office Depot, Amazon, Bank of the West, Angie’s List, American Airlines and countless other marquee brands, this time didn't disappoint. In short: everyone’s excited (and in some cases a little daunted by) the email marketing goals they aim to accomplish in the coming year. Here’s what’s on the 2015 “to-do” list of top marketers and should be on yours as well:
Email Address Guardianship: Whose Responsibility Is It Anyway?Last week’s headlines about the massive theft of 53 million email addresses from Home Depot seems the straw that broke the camel’s back when it comes to 2014’s barrage of data breaches. The year has seen a veritable flood of hacks and breaches at retailers (Target, Best Buy, eBay) restaurants (PF Chang’s, Subway) and even financial institutions (JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America). The verdict is clear: no data protection system is foolproof, and when it comes to data theft there is no sacred ground – hackers will take all the personally identifiable consumer information (PII) they can get.
One of the best ways to engage email subscribers is to connect with them emotionally, although this is often easier said than done. I have spoken and written many times about the importance of creating emotional resonance – either positive or negative – between your message and your audience. It's essential because without some sort of feeling connection to you, at least occasionally, subscribers will become bored by the purely practical often repetitive litany of subject lines cropping up in their inboxes (i.e. 20% savings this week!) and easily tune out.