#SherpaEmail Summit 2015: Making Emails Human with Data & Design

Friday, February 27th, 2015

A team of Movable Inkers flew to Las Vegas for the MarketingSherpa Email Summit this week. We attended a lot of different conferences and met some clients (Finish Line won the B2C Email Campaign of the Year and gave a great talk about hyper-targeting), partners, and industry peers along the way.

We’re always interested in hearing what fellow email marketers are thinking. At EEC 2015, the prevailing theme was about deliverability.

At #SherpaEmail, there was a decided focus on data, testing, and getting email to dynamically respond to customer context. That was great news, because we’ve been thinking a lot about how brands can use contextual marketing not to just build campaigns, but enhance and create customer experiences.

Here’s a round-up of what people saw, learned, and discussed at #SherpaEmail:

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Customers Have Major Trust Issues with Digital Marketing – Here’s an Infographic that Proves It

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

Customers don't trust digital marketing from brands.Marketers might have noticed there’s something amiss in the digital world when it comes to connecting with consumers and actually getting their attention. A lot of customers don’t engage with marketing messages in any digital channel. In fact, most of the time, they’re outright ignoring them.

As marketers, this probably shouldn’t surprise us. If you pay to promote something that interrupts someone’s experience, you’re going to see low engagement.

On Facebook, for example, B2B marketing posts perform poorly because they’re not relevant to the context of what most Facebook users are doing at that moment.

Research really bears this out: everything from sponsored search results to the average time spent on a website indicates that customers no longer trust most marketing messages.

We made an infographic to show the extent of digital marketing’s trust issues:

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[WEBINAR] Expert eCommerce Email: Advanced Segmentation & Contextual Marketing

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

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Almost every email marketer knows the advantages of segmentation.

It’s pretty simple – when you send an email, you want to make sure that you’re sending it to people who are actually interested in the content.

Retailers are constantly trying to segment customers based on purchasing behaviors and demographics, but that can mean hours and hours of crunching data and comparing different customer profiles. Consequently, a lot of companies still settle for broad segments based on region, products or loyalty, rather than an individual preferences and behaviors.

But in a mobile world where customer needs and preferences are changing all of the time and mobile apps have introduced new kinds of personalized experiences, traditional email segmentation strategies can only go so far. Now, it’s advanced segmentation and contextual marketing that will set retailers apart in the inbox.

Movable Ink and Custora are hosting a webinar, “Expert eCommerce Email: Advanced Segmentation & Contextual Marketing”, that will help marketers take their email campaigns to the next level. Topics covered include:

– Why advanced segmentation is crucial for retention and acquisition

– How to get data out of silos and build predictive customer profiles

– How contextual marketing can help reinvent digital marketing efforts

– The different ways brands are using advanced segmentation and contextual marketing today

Custora and Movable Ink are hosting “Expert eCommerce Email: Advanced Segmentation & Contextual Marketing” on Tuesday, March 3 @ 1-2pm EST and Thursday, March 5 @ 4-5pm EST.

Register Today!

B2B Social Media Marketing: Why Facebook is the Worst

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

B2B Marketing Facebook v. Twitter v. LinkedInSometimes, it seems like Facebook is Gretchen from “Mean Girls.”

Just like Gretchen was trying to make “Fetch” happen, Facebook keeps trying to make “Facebook marketing for B2B” happen. 

But Facebook has a few things going against it – mainly that a lot of corporate Facebook posts don’t actually appear in a user’s news feed. On average, about 16% of your fans see your posts.

We wanted to give Facebook the benefit of the doubt, though. Recently, we hosted a webinar, “The Definitive Guide to Contextual Marketing.”  To make sure that we let as many people as possible know about the webinar, we ran paid social media marketing campaigns on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Far and away, Facebook was the worst B2B social media marketing channel we used.

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Lessons from Movable Ink’s CEO, Vivek Sharma

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

 Vivek Sharma, Movable Ink’s CEO, recently had a Q&A interview with Idea Mensch, where he discussed everything from the worst job he ever had to books he would recommend to entrepreneurs.

In the interview, Vivek also touches on how he and co-founder Michael Nutt originally came up with the idea for Movable Ink, how he stays productive, and why Twitter is one of his favorite digital tools.

Read the full interview here.

The One Thing That’s Getting Your Emails Marked as Spam

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

Emails get marked as spam because of user behavior.Deliverability is one of the biggest issues for any email marketer. Whether you’re an entrepreneur running a one-person company or a Fortune 500 team, you want to make sure that your email campaigns end up in your customer’s inbox.

The definition of email deliverability is just how well your emails get delivered to a recipient’s inbox. Most email service providers (ESPs) boast statistics like 98% deliverabity, which means you can be pretty sure that when you send an email, a recipient will get it.

But sometimes, it seems like, no matter what you do, your emails get marked as spam. But why is that? At Email Evolution Conference 2015, insiders from Outlook, Gmail, Comcast and AOL discussed what possibly gets email marketers marked as spam.

Surprisingly, the experts at the conference said that opens and clicks don’t have a big impact on how they judge an email marketer’s reputation. So even if you’re getting low open rates, there’s not that big a risk of ending up in the junk folder.

There was one big thing above all that the webmail providers agreed was more important: 

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4 Subject Line Strategies to Increase Your Email Open Rates

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

Email subject lines can significantly increase open rates.Whether you’re a retailer or hotel or media company, it’s probably safe to say that you’re always working hard to increase your email open rate. The competition can be tough. Every day, customers are getting bombarded with emails and, if they use Gmail, all those emails are going into the “Promotions” tab by default.

So to increase your email open rates, you need a great subject line. Something that catches your customer’s eye. But should the subject line be clever or straightforward? Should you have an offer right there in the headline or put it in the body of the email?

Here are four ways that will help you increase your email open rates with a great subject line:

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Why Marketers and Context Have to Be BFFs

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

Why context needs to be a marketer's best friend.Back in 2012, Nike did something that was a little unconventional – the shoe company decreased advertising spend in mass media channels in the US by 40%.

Nearly all of that investment went into digital, instead.

What Nike really wanted, according to CEO Mark Parker, was to get closer to the customer.

“Connecting used to be, ‘Here’s some product, and here’s some advertising. We hope you like it,’ ” Parker explained to Fortune. “Connecting today is a dialogue.”

Three years ago, Nike was already sprinting out to the next frontier of marketing and it all has to do with building customer experience and providing utility through contextual marketing.

Now, marketers everywhere are trying to catch up.

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10 Awesome Valentine’s Day Emails

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

Valentine's Day Email Marketing CamapignsWe’re not sure if you noticed, but Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. That means stores are gearing up for one of the busiest shopping days of the season – flowers, chocolates, jewelry, and more are going to be flying off the physical and digital shelves.

For the past month, Valentine’s Day email marketing campaigns have been filling inboxes. But what helps retailers stand out? How can you get someone’s attention when your competitors are reaching out with similar messages?

Well, we pored through our own inboxes to see what kinds of emails managed to grab our attention. As always, we’re looking for contextual marketing campaigns.

Each great Valentine’s Day email marketing campaign we found had one thing in common above all: the context and content of Valentine’s Day was front and center, in a big way.

Here are ten awesome Valentine’s Day emails from brands:

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[WEBINAR] The Definitive Guide to Contextual Marketing

Monday, February 9th, 2015

ContextCTA2Today, digital marketing is broken. Just think of the last time you actually clicked on a banner ad. Or how many email campaigns you actually opened and clicked, as opposed to glanced at and deleted.

Forrester research shows that the picture is pretty bleak. Among customers today:

  • 87% of don’t trust ads on websites
  • 82% don’t trust social media posts
  • 80% don’t trust emails from companies
  • 70% don’t trust sponsored search engine results
  • 68% don’t trust information on brand websites

According to Forrester, that means forgoing traditional marketing campaigns in favor of building a “contextual marketing engine” that provides ongoing, relevant interactions with customers wherever they are during the purchasing process.

Contextual marketing isn’t a buzzword – it’s a whole different way of marketing.

Interested in learning more? Register for “The Definitive Guide to Contextual Marketing

Contextual marketing turns the traditional digital marketing model on its head. Rather than placing ads and sending out messages that interrupt the customer’s experience, marketers need to focus on creating relevant content in the right channel at the right time.

This can be as simple as a tweet. Remember Oreo’s tweet from the 2013 Super Bowl? Right content, right channel, right time. Customers were already thinking about the Super Bowl and Oreo created engaging content that allowed the brand to enter the conversation.

Contextual marketing combines content, data, devices, time, location, and channel to build a useful and enjoyable customer experience.

From Amazon’s contextual web experience to Netflix’s personalized video recommendations and Uber’s contextual, real-time logistics service, the biggest brands today have already built contextual marketing engines that provide utility to customers and enhance their experience.

Want to learn how other brands are using context and how you can build your own contextual marketing engine? Check out our recorded webinar, “The Definitive Guide to Contextual Marketing,” hosted by Movable Ink CEO Vivek Sharma and Senior Account Manager Elizabeth Ray.

Watch the Webinar Today!