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.
Email automation, the ability to program email campaigns based on behavioral, date or other triggers, is a known revenue-producing powerhouse often generating three to ten-times the ROI of broadcast email. However, it's almost always easier imagined than done. In the following interview, I share several thoughts on email automation with Skip Fidura, Client Services Director of ESP dotMailer, on the challenges and conversations faced by email marketers when it comes to making triggered email programs a reality.
Last month we looked at three email marketing improvement challenges for 2014. This month I want to give you three more that can maximize email’s contribution to your bottom line. Although improving email open and click-through rates seems an ever-present task, I encourage you to expand your focus beyond mere campaign-by-campaign process metrics and try these program-level objectives on for size instead: 1) Increase Subscriber Engagement Truly increasing subscriber engagement with your email campaigns means much more than merely boosting open and click-through rates, although both are important measures of engagement. It means analyzing open and click-through reach – that is, the proportion of your subscriber base, among all subscribers, who have opened or clicked at least one message over a period of time.
VIDEO: Email Marketing List Hygiene and Deliverability Essentials for Success (and Pitfalls to Avoid)
With the first quarter of the year behind us already, what will you do to maximize email marketing’s contribution to your bottom line from here on out? Although raising email open and click-through rates seems to be forever on the agenda, there’s a lot more to creating a successful program than focusing on boosting response and engagement. Here are three worthy challenges to put in place for the remainder of your marketing and business year that will have you