Author Archives: Ronnie Brant

Ronnie Brant

About Ronnie Brant

Director of Product Marketing, Movable Ink, Follow us: @movableink & @ronbrant

Apple Pay + Email: Reducing the friction to purchase

Apple Pay Image Via Mashable

Yesterday Apple announced that Apple Pay will arrive on Monday October 20th along with the iOS 8.1 update. This is exciting for marketers and further puts an emphasis on the ever-growing importance of mobile. With Apple Pay, consumers can complete purchases by simply scanning their finger on their iPhone (6 or 6 Plus) or iPad (Air 2 or Mini 3). It’s being championed as the solution that will start the consumer shift to mobile payments. But what does that mean for you, especially for your email program?

We’ve cooked up some potential email Apple Pay integration ideas that could be possible through agileEMAIL when iOS 8.1 is released on Monday. With agileEMAIL, you can target by operating system and optimize content for the device it’s read on. These are key capabilities when driving usage of a new mobile payments solution.

1. Use Email To Drive Participation with Apple Pay.

There’s a land rush now to be the first payment provider in Passbook. When a subscriber running iOS 8 opens up an email, target them with a message to add a payment method to use with Apple Pay. Deep link from the message right into Apple’s Passbook where the subscriber can scan in their credit or debit card using the iPhone’s or iPad’s camera.

2. Click To Buy Buttons In Email

Fewer clicks and less data entry mean more purchases. Click to purchase buttons aren’t new in email, but now you can link your emails to Apple Pay and remove steps on the path to conversion. After clicking in an email, take the consumer right to the shopping cart or straight to the checkout page where they can use Apple Pay. Working towards this will reduce clicks and abandonments on mobile.

3. Geo-Target Subscribers Near Stores That Accept Apple Pay

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users can take advantage of Near Field Communication (NFC) to use Apple Pay to complete their purchase at the store, rather than pulling out their credit card to swipe. Use agileEMAIL to geo-target consumers, displaying local maps or lists of nearby locations that accept Apple Pay. You can even provide a coupon to add to Passbook to redeem in stores that accept it. This can be a highly engaging way to capture that user and drive clicks to bricks.

On Monday when Apple Pay launches, keep in mind that not all iOS 8 users will be able to use it. Plan your campaigns accordingly. We know this much though – demand for devices that support Apple Pay is high. Over 10 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus units were sold on the first weekend these devices were available and by the end of the year they’ll be sold in 115 countries. Furthermore – the iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 launch alongside iOS 8.1 on Monday. Apple Pay has the potential to be a huge hit.

Click here for a demonstration of how agileEMAIL will help you take advantage of Apple Pay.  If you have any questions, we’re glad to help.  Contact us anytime at contact@movableink.com.

Holiday Is Almost Here! Are You Ready?

Steal These IdeasSeptember is in full swing and so is planning for the upcoming holiday season. Over the last few weeks we have hosted the first two 2014 Holiday Hit List webinars and next Tuesday at 1 pm we’ll be hosting our third called “Steal These Ideas.” Our client experience team pulled together some of the best email strategies we’ve seen over the last year and put them into an “easy to steal” and/or replicate format for you to use this year.

To foreshadow the webinar, we pulled together a post for the Only Influencers blog.  With just 74 days left until Black Friday, we wanted to share it here with you to help spark some ideas.  You can also use it as a guide to get a jump start on your 2014 holiday email too.

Over the last few years, there has been a shift from Black Friday & Cyber Monday “events” to a weeklong Thanksgiving extravaganza! A few clients we work with said they’ve seen sales tick upward before their “sales” even start, as much as a week or two before Thanksgiving. Let’s start thinking about how to best serve our customers and help achieve our own targets at the same time. Consumers are on the hunt for a good deal, and they want to know what’s happening and when. But they don’t want their inbox to be so full that they can’t get the information they were looking for before buying.

With that said, here are a few quick ways that you can effectively strike that balance and drive success during the 2014 holiday season. 

1. Mobile Optimize Email – Each quarter Movable Ink releases a consumer device preference report. It shows how consumers use smartphones, tablets, and PC’s for email. In the latest edition, almost 2/3 of brand marketing emails were opened on mobile devices. This is no longer a new trend but the norm. Further – tablets are the choice device at night and on the weekends. Over 50% of your traffic could come from smartphones and tablets this holiday season. Think about how you can take advantage of that traffic through mobile optimization to capitalize this holiday season.

2. Personalize Email – Personalized email drives 3-5x returns over traditional messages. It can be as simple as adding the recipients name and account information into the email, or as complex as a truly 1:1 triggered message. If you have not incorporated some personalization into your email program, look into ways to start doing it today. Product recommendations are a quick win, or go further and start personalizing content and offers within each message too.

3. Location, Location, Location – Geo-targeting can increase your performance by as much as 25%. Simply considering the cultural and weather differences across the country will impact response rates to emails received. So when it’s snowing up north and warm down south tailor your messages, offers, and calls to action based off of regional differences to increase engagement and click rates.

4. Email For Store – Within your holiday email, promote nearest store locations or promotions happening in the store. It’s a fast way to start utilizing cross-channel promotion. Don’t forget the consumer doesn’t see your email, website, or storefront as different channels, they see it as one company they buy from. Integration will improve the customer experience.

5. Flash Sales – Black Friday built its name on retail sales volume, and deals available to consumers. Turn your Black Friday/Cyber Monday emails into marketing machines and promote time sensitive deals through them. Send a few emails over the course of the day promoting the next available offer, or even update the same email every hour with a new deal. We helped a retailer execute this strategy and they drove a 99% increase in email revenue year over year for cyber Monday in 2012. They got great results again in 2013.

6. In The Moment Email – One of the biggest innovations in email is the ability to pick what to display in real-time at the moment of open. We have been locked into a pre-send decisioning world for so long that we haven’t even thought about what could be done if we could target and adapt messages after we click send. This is an emerging capability that when mixed with any of the five above can drive upwards of 20% increases in dollars per message. Use the data in the world around you to optimize on the fly, find out what creative drives the best results, and get better insight this holiday season too. 

We’ll dive into these and more next Tuesday at 1 pm eastern during our “Steal These Ideas” webinar.  Click here to register today.  As always, if you have any questions or if we can be of assistance please reach out to us at contact@movableink.com.

Is Consumer Device Preference Swinging Back Toward Desktops?

Movable Ink Q2 U.S. Consumer Device Report

New research from Movable Ink shows smartphones account for almost 1 out of every 2 consumer brand marketing emails opened

We’re excited to release the latest edition of the U.S. Consumer Device Preference Report today! The quarterly report provides deep insight into the popularity of various devices, examines differences in consumer engagement based on the devices they use, and shows how device preferences vary across the nation. Unlike other studies, this data set exclusively includes results from large, enterprise B2C & B2B marketers.

The Q2 edition revealed the continued strength that smartphones have as the preferred device for email in America, accounting for 46% of all messages opened. However by geography, desktops rebounded and reclaimed preferred device status in eight more states this quarter, accounting for a total of 37.5% of all opens. The previous edition of the report highlighted the growth of consumer tablet use. Overall, tablets pulled back 2%, accounting for 16.5% of email opens during the quarter.

“Over the last year and a half we have seen a quick progression from desktop use to mobile dominance in email,” said Vivek Sharma, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Movable Ink. “With desktops rebounding in Q2 of 2014, it shows that marketers have to be ready for their emails to be opened anywhere, at any time, on any device. Having that type of agility in your email program will pay huge dividends during the upcoming holiday season.” Key findings include: • The gap between mobile devices and desktop computers used for email closed a little bit over the quarter. In total volume, desktops gained 4% on smartphone and tablet devices, returning to similar levels from a year ago.

• Apple’s iOS devices continued to widen its lead over Google’s Android devices. iOS devices accounted for 55.7% of all emails opened while Android accounted for 6.4%. However, Android users stay engaged longer with email. 53% of Android users viewed emails for 15 seconds or longer, a 13% increase over Q1 2014.

Mobile optimized email matters. Smartphone use peaks in the morning but stays dominant throughout the day. At any given point, there are more emails being opened on a smartphone than on a desktop or tablet. This puts an emphasis on mobile optimized email, and marketers should take advantage of it.

The full report is available as a free download here. If you have any questions about the report, please ask us at research@movableink.com.

About the Movable Ink U.S. Consumer Device Preference Report: Q2 2014 The U.S. Consumer Device Preference Report is based on data collected through Movable Ink’s agileEMAIL platform between April 1 – June 30, 2014. They reflect aggregate statistics across Movable Ink’s customer base, which includes more than 150 enterprise B2C & B2B marketers from the retail, travel, financial, media, and telecommunication industries. Because determining email opens requires images to load, the percentages for some devices might be over or underrepresented.

2014 Holiday Hit List Webinar: Email Personalization

Holiday Hit List Webinar Promotion

It’s almost the holidays!  With just 3 ½ months left before Black Friday, if you’re not planning now, you could be behind.

We are excited to announce Movable Ink’s first ever Holiday Readiness Webinar Series! Over the next few weeks, we’re going to be sharing our Holiday Hit List of things you can do to pump up the holiday revenue and wow your customers. Each of the three webinars will feature email industry insiders sharing insight into strategies you could use, and how to approach holiday 2014.

First on the Hit List an Email Personalization webinar featuring Ryan Phelan, VP of Global Email Strategy for Acxiom.  This webinar will feature the latest on personalization tactics and their use, how to approach “Big Data,” examples of brands who are getting it right, and how you can improve email by leveraging consumer context to create true 1:1 experiences.  It will dive into what you can do to deliver personalized email today.

2014 Holiday Hit List Email Personalization Webinar Speakers:

         
Click here to register and reserve your spot for the live event on August 12th, 1-2 PM EDT.  See you there!

Email Personalization At Scale Is A Reality

Personalized Email

A few weeks ago we wrote about the need for better email.  According to the e-tailing group, 3/4 of consumers want personalized emails across the shopper lifecycle, and Harris Interactive found that 4/5 of them will buy more because of personalization.  However, until recently there have not been many advancements in email personalization technologies like there have been for the web.

Before we go any further what is personalization anyway?

In short order, personalization is the ability to deliver a 1:1 experience in digital marketing, tailoring all interactions to the individual consumer who is engaging with you. Amazon.com jumpstarted the advancements in personalization technologies by making great product recommendations to their shoppers based on what they were looking at and what they searched for. They delivered recommendations on their site and in their emails too. But this was just the beginning.

Companies have sprung up and pushed the boundaries of personalization and behavioral targeting to the mass market.  It’s a great start but true personalization isn’t just about making product recommendations or putting the recipients name in the subject line or in the body of the email. It’s about delivering everyone a boutique type experience, where the store clerk knows who you are and helps you find what you are looking for. Email is finally moving toward delivering unique 1:1 experiences at massive scale, integrating your digital billboards with the personal experience that you are trying to provide, that consumers want and crave.

You can deliver this utopian email experience today. There are three types of data you’ll need to deliver fully personalized email. Starting with one or two will improve email performance. Utilizing all three will deliver an unparalleled experience for your consumers, not only personalizing your email, but will make your messages stand out in the inbox.

First is “what consumers tell you.” When a consumer opts in to email, they are telling you that they interested in what you have to say or certain products or services you provide. They have a connection to your brand and give you basic information about who they are and what they like. This forms the foundation to making messages matter to them.

Second is “what you learn” about them as they interact with your brand. By understanding a consumers browse behavior, the channels they engage in, and how often they respond, you can get a deeper understanding of each consumers preferences and the type of shopper they are. This will help inform offers to give them, frequency of communication, and what types of emails to send to get them to engage and buy.

Third is an area of hyper-growth for email. It’s “what’s happening in the moment of engagement.” By understanding device type, location, time of day, even the weather outside, you can adapt the message in real-time as consumers open to further tailor the email they received. Increasing relevancy with live context will further personalize the message and increase response rates, performance, and email revenue.

Next week, we’ll kick off our “Holiday Hit List” series of webinars and eBooks with a webinar that dives into The Current State of Email Personalization with our partners at Acxiom.  We will share what is happening in the industry today, what consumers want, and examples of how you can deliver personalized email right now. Click here to register for the webinar, or feel free to reach out directly to us at contact@movableink.com to learn more too.

The Inkredible Five Summer 2014 Is Here!

INK 5 14

Summer is heating up and consumer inboxes are too. The brand new Summer 2014 Inkredible Five was released last week and features five of the most inspiring examples of agile email marketing yet! In The Summer 2014 Inkredible Five, you can see how:

  • Ebay connected live content from their site to their consumers inbox for seamless consumer engagement.
  • Auto Trader UK targeted their subscribers by location to give driving tips based on the weather outside their window.
  • Best Western optimized creative based on location and device to maximize click-through’s and revenue.

Click here to get your copy today to see how these top brands and others combined their ingenuity with Movable Ink’s technology to create memorable and engaging email experiences that stood out in the inbox.

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The Future of Live Email: Agility In Action

Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 1.20.06 PMWe’re going on the road and headed for the 2014 Experian Client Summit this week!  The focus of the conference this year is to deliver strategies for engaging today’s hyperconnected consumer through relatable, memorable and sharable customer experiences. Speakers will have a chance to tell their story and how they are addressing some of the new challenges in an “always-on” world.

Movable Ink was selected to host a session on the advances made in email and how retailers, brands, and agencies are addressing them in the real world today.  On Thursday July 24, 2014 at 2:30 pm, our CEO Vivek Sharma will take the stage to host “The future of live email: Agility in action.”  Speakers from Bass Pro Shops and The Finish Line will share how they are bringing life back to the inbox while solving some classic targeting, segmentation, personalization, and cross-channel issues that faced them while creating and executing campaigns.  This session is geared toward sharing their story, and showing how you too can optimize your emails after you click send.

The future of live email: Agility in action

Featured Speakers: 
Vivek Sharma, CEO, Movable Ink
Aaron Buchanan, Email Marketing Manager, Finish Line
Todd Jones, Manager of eCommerce, Bass Pro Shops 

2014 Experian Client Summit, Las Vegas, NV
Thursday July 24, 2014
2:30 pm pt

We would love to see you there!  If you are attending the show, or if you are in Las Vegas and want to say hello, reach out to us at contact@movableink.com.  The full agenda for the 2014 Experian Client Summit can be found here.

 

The Inkredible Back-To-School Email Marketing Guide Is Here!

Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 12.33.48 PM

Introducing the 2014 “Inkredible Back-To-School Email Marketing Guide.” It’s filled with quick tips that you can implement TODAY to drive more revenue, protect your margin, and keep your shoppers engaged this summer.  It focuses on targeting by region, integrating web and social content with email, and personalization.

Back-to-School is the second largest revenue driver of the year and you can make the most of it by creating emails that sense and respond to the person who is opening it.  The important thing to realize is that consumers don’t view each channel as a separate entity; they view them all as a continuation of their brand experience with you.

So take a look at this guide to pick up a few ideas about how to further integrate your email with experience with and into your store, through the web, and with social too.  It’s a quick read and you may just get an idea or two to use this summer.

Click here to download a copy of the 2014 Inkredible Back-To-School Email Marketing Guide. If you have any questions, or if we can help you at all, please reach out to us directly at contact@movableink.com.

Hello Inkbrush!

Hello Inkbrush!

Back in January we announced the acquisition of Mailrox and now there’s some exciting news to share about what’s been happening since then.  Mailrox is a cost effective web based email design solution that allows marketers to easily turn graphic designs into fully coded HTML email marketing messages. In the last few months, we have been hard at work integrating Mailrox into agileEMAIL’s Workflow to further enhance the development, content, and relevancy of email. Vast improvements to the interface have been made and now it’s even easier to send emails that sense and respond to consumers in real-time (letting you truly market in the moment).

Today, we are ready to release a new and improved version to the world. Mailrox.com is becoming Inkbrush.com and it launches this afternoon!  Inkbrush.com will maintain all the great and intuitive aspects users have come to know from Mailrox.  It will continue to be a web based email design and coding solution, with one small twist. It’s free to try! You get up to 3 free email templates each month, and can upgrade to agileEMAIL at any time.  We’ve even enhanced Inkbrush with:

-A massively improved UI
-Edge detection for precise slicing
-PSD file upload and transfer of slices
-Support for email versioning
-Easier export of bulletproof HTML to your email service provider
-A brand new support forum

In the January announcement, our CEO Vivek Sharma said “Thousands of email marketers, designers, agencies, and developers have already used Mailrox to spend less time coding and more time being creative, and we are thrilled to add this simple but powerful technology to our portfolio.” We are making the most of the enhanced technology and are excited to launch Inkbrush.com, officially capping off the integration of Mailrox into Movable Ink. All Mailrox account data and logins will seamlessly work and be available on Inkbrush.com as soon as it goes live.

So please join us in saying “Hello Inkbrush!” and visit www.Inkbrush.com for your email design needs.

Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 10.00.29 AM

This is a big milestone marker in the evolution of email marketing. To read the full announcement press release click here.  We are excited to hear what you think, please send us your questions, comments, and thoughts at contact@movableink.com.  We are glad to help out!

Back To School 2014 Is Here! Boost Email Revenue This Summer!

It’s time to tie up your shoes and get ready to stuff those backpacks.  Back-To-School 2014 is here! The National Retail Federation estimated that total Back-To-School sales in 2013 were approximately $72.5 billion dollars, second only to the December holiday season last year.

Most schools, colleges, and universities in the states will start up again within the next 45 days (at the end of August or in September) making RIGHT NOW the prime buying time for families of students getting ready to hit the books.  They have a time driven need and are willing to spend to fill it. But at the same time, we know they like to get a good deal.  So we started thinking – how can we make it easier for you to capitalize on this “holiday like” season?

After polling our clients and reviewing successful tactics from earlier in the year, we developed a simple “Inkredible Back To School Email Marketing Guide.” It’s filled with quick tips that you can implement TODAY to drive more revenue, protect your margin, and keep your shoppers engaged with live and fresh email content during Back To School 2014. The guide will be available after our Back To School webinar on Wednesday July 16, 2014 at 1 pm. All attendees will receive a free copy of the 2014 guide.

Movable Ink’s webinar “Increasing Back To School 2014 Email Revenue” is on Wednesday July 16, 2014 at 1 pm EDT.  Our featured speakers from Movable Ink will be email and personalization industry veterans Alison Lindland, Sr. Account Director, and Ronnie Brant, Director of Product Marketing.  Click here to register and get your free copy of the 2014 “Inkredible Back To School Email Marketing Guide.”