Category Archives: Email Marketing Insights

Holiday Email & Beyond: Drive Store Traffic Through Email

One of the hottest topics in e-commerce is how to successfully deploy an integrated cross-channel marketing strategy. It’s a focal point because we live in a world where you can buy online and have the order delivered before brushing your teeth that night (well almost that quickly). You have to start somewhere, and fast because holiday is right around the corner. Why not test some tactics to drive in-store traffic through email to boost store visits this holiday?

Whether you’re selling limited inventory items, providing an in-person service, selling consumable goods, or simply being the digital marketer tasked with driving traffic to your store, we can all leverage email to achieve our goals. It’s no easy task getting a shopper to move from their chair to your store, but we’re here to help you tackle the mountainous challenge. Here are a few things you can do (all made easy to execute through agileEMAIL) to start integrating your stores with your email in time for holiday 2014.

1. Local Store Information In Email

A quick win you can implement to drive foot traffic through email is to include local store information right in the message the recipient is reading. Make it as easy as possible by displaying information consumers need to know such as your store name, address of nearest location, hours of operation, a local map, phone number, and/or store events. Take it a step further and use a web crop to show real-time inventory or available appointment times right in the message. This can all be done through geo-targeting based on the current location or a zip code on file.

Finish Line Maps & Coupon         Finish Line used local maps to share the nearest store location and hours with their subscribers.  They also included coupons to use in the store.  Steve Madden included deep linked social icons to promote social sharing alongside of store visits in their email to accomplish the same goal.

2. Classic Couponing, With A Twist

Express Mobile CouponCouponing, discounts, and deals aren’t new news (especially at holiday). But they are easy to make, easy to display, and easy to redeem. Including them in email is a no brainer but the call to action and how they render can drive more traffic to the store. According Movable Ink’s Q2 2014 U.S. Consumer Device Preference Report, almost 2 out of every 3 emails are opened on a smartphone or tablet. Mobile optimize your email creative (like Express did to the right) and enable customers to bring the email to the store via their mobile phone for the clerk to scan for use, or to reveal its true value. Using mobile optimization email marketers can create device specific HTML that could render a barcode at the top of the screen for ease of redemption and search in the inbox too.

3. Promote Holiday Events Through Social Integrations

Holiday marketing initiatives take on a life of their own, and for many take over the entire store. For example, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade generates a lot of social buzz and Bass Pro Shops converts their floor space into a holiday winter wonderland. Consumers like to share their experiences and turn to Facebook, twitter, instagram, and pinterest to do it. Pull in social feeds around your handle or promoted hashtags this holiday to add consumer sentiment and authenticity to your email. This not only shows what your company is up to, but also highlights and utilizes user-generated content. Further, you can set up your email to deep link with pre-populated tweets that the recipient can share. Measuring engagement is easy by tracking participation, such as the number of hashtag uses, @ mentions, and new followers compared to a regular day. I’m sure your social team can tell you the value they bring!

7_for_all_mankind_social7 for all mankind ran a friends and family promotional series that included twitter feeds and ran contests driven by pre-populated tweets (click-to-tweet via deep linking in agileEMAIL).  The social integrations worked making their friends and family promotions successful.

 

 

 

 

4. Measure Success

For short-term engagement measurement, look to the click through rate and email read length. Test how creative performs and see how localizing store information improves performance. In the control version, specifically look at the click-through rate of a generic “Find your nearest store” call to action vs. click-through rate of the dynamic localized version. What percentage of people clicked through to the store locator page versus the percentage of people who likely saw the map in the email? To measure foot traffic and dollars, collect email addresses at the point of sale and tie these back to those who received the email with the store information versus those who did not. These quick tips will help impact the performance of email to drive traffic to the store.

Driving consumers to the store through email can seem like a big challenge. You can start tackling it by providing your customers with the relevant information they need to know about nearby locations, promotions, and more. We’re here to help too and are available around the clock this holiday season. Email us at contact@movableink.com if you have questions about how you can use email to drive more traffic to your stores.

Tips and Tricks to Engage Trick-or-Treaters: Halloween Email Marketing (Pt. 1)

Halloween is fast approaching but there is still time to get in some last minute messaging to keep your emails engaging and relevant. Over the past few years, consumers have spent roughly $6.5-8 billion a year on Halloween alone. So if you’re not tailoring messages to try and get a piece of that pumpkin pie, we’ve compiled some easy ways for you to start now.

Think Halloween is just for kids? According to a National Retail Federation Survey, 71.5% of Adults (18+) planned to celebrate or participate in Halloween activities, 75.7% said they would hand out candy, 51.4% indicated they would decorate their home or yard and 36.2% planned to throw or attend a party themselves.

Getting your subscriber’s attention doesn’t have to be an exclusive party, either; you don’t have to be selling costumes, candy or decorations in order to spook-up your October marketing campaigns. Halloween is a hauntingly fun time of year that can keep up engagement and/or revenue between your Back-to-School and Holiday marketing pushes.

We’ve referenced a post from Marketing Sherpa’s Article Archive and have compiled a list of tips and suggestions if you’re still on the fence:

1.  Get Social! “A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is – it is what consumers tell each other it is” (Scott Cook, Co-Founder Intuit). Getting your customers involved in a conversation or photo-sharing is a great way to increase email engagement and brand awareness! We recommend having your customers use an Instagram hashtag of their costumes or decorations and deep-linking a pre-populated tweet of their #scariestmoment. Using Movable Ink’s social capabilities, we can include one or both of these feeds in your October campaigns. American Apparel ran a campaign similar to this idea but didn’t incorporate any of the submissions into their email campaign or deep-link to their social sites for submissions. Here’s what they did (on the left) versus what they could’ve done (on the right) to maximize their social engagement and number of submissions:

   

2.  Get Personal! Movable Ink offers a plethora of personalization and real-time targeting applications to help you deliver that 1-to-1 experience that consumers prefer. Personalization is an easy way to utilize your database to increase click-through rates and conversions on your next campaigns. You can start off with a simple image personalization and work your way towards hyper-personalized API integrations which serve up true personalized live content from your website. The below example from Krispy Kreme is a screen shot of a campaign that had been sent out (on the left) versus how it could have gone out using Movable Ink’s image personalization tool (on the right), which is now easier to use than ever before!

KrispyKreme_Original KrispyKreme_Updated

3.  Get Creative! Feature some DIY or How-to videos for your customers that show creative ways to use your products for costumes or decorations. This great email from American Eagle and Rent the Runway with Etsy suggests great DIY costume compilations using items from their own product line. These can be compiled on your website and fed into your emails via Web Crop to ensure you only serve up compilations which are still in stock.

American Eagle Halloween     RTR-Etsy

All in all, Halloween is about fun and we’d hate for you and your recipients to miss out. Reach out to your account team to discuss and strategize any of these ideas for your next campaign and keep an eye out for our next installment for Halloween coming soon!

For more information, please reach out to us at contact@movableink.com

Email is Dead…Think Again!

You’ve heard it many times before – the claim that “email is dead.”  But that’s just not true.  In fact, TechCrunch says that email newsletters are hot right now.  They’ve seen a shift in websites encouraging readers from “liking” them on Facebook, to now getting them to sign-up for an email subscription.

So you keep hearing that email is dead, but why are publishers trying so hard to grow their eNewsletter subscription lists?  And why are readers continuing to invite email into their inboxes?  TechCrunch gives five reasons for this:

  • 1.  Email gives publishers more control: As opposed to social media where you are subject to Facebook’s algorithm or breaking through the noise of someone’s Twitter feed, email will get through to those that have made the conscious choice to sign up for your newsletter.
  • 2.  Readers pay more attention to email: Just do your own comparison.  How many email opens do you receive vs. clicks on a link you tweet about?
  • 3.  Email is cross platform: Email works on everything, even if you’re still on dial-up internet.
  • 4.  Email keeps all your clutter in one place: If you were given the choice to receive all your information in one place (your inbox) or search 12 different (social media) platforms for updates, which would you choose?  Case closed.
  • 5.  Email is the original social media: What social measurements really count when measuring engagement?  Comments and shares!  And wait, email has that too – they’re just called “reply” and “forward.”

Here you have it, email is very much alive and kicking and here to stay.  Now it’s time to be faster, smarter and more measurable about your email marketing.

3 Tips to Create Personalized Holiday Emails

The holiday season is approaching quickly.  Last week Ryan Phelan, VP of Global Agency Shared Services at Acxiom and our very own Matthew Potter, VP of the UK and EMEA delivered our first Holiday Hit List webinar about email personalization for the holidays.  Have you started your holiday planning?  What is your holiday approach?  Here are a few things to think about before you start planning:

  • What have you done so far and have you moved the needle this year?
  • How are you talking to your customers as individuals?
  • Are you just thinking about the tactical execution of your program vs. thinking strategically?

It’s easy to get addicted to a promotional offer strategy or to just send another email when you see that sales are not where you want them to be.  Kick that habit now!  Make your email marketing relevant.  Here are three email personalization tips to help you send relevant, personalized email and crush it this holiday season:

DATA: Matt defined three types of data you can use to personalize your emails.  Combine your learnings to create a message that is personalized to your customer’s environment.

Personaliation Data Sets

RECOGNITION: Ryan Phelan said “the goal of email marketing is to recognize your customer for who they are.”  Using data, figure out who your customers are and what they want to see.  Using segmentation deliver an email with the message and creative that will appeal to them.  If you haven’t segmented your list, you need to start but start simple.  Check out how Ryan show’s you how to go from a simple to complex segmentation.

TEST, TEST, AND TEST SOME MORE: Don’t let the business of holiday prevent you from testing.  Test to see what works and then what works better.  Here are a few ideas about what to test: subject line, lifestyle images, headline, copy length, CTA.  Check out this surprising example of what email won out of 84 tests in the Obama email campaign.

Watch the full webinar recording for more email personalization tips and create truly personalized emails for holiday.  Continue the conversation with @movableink on twitter using #HolidayEmail.

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.

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.”

 

3 Tips for Boosting Email Marketing Tap-Through Rates

With 66 percent of email opens now taking place on smartphones and tablets, the age-old click-through rate should be taking second fiddle to the “tap-through rate” as email marketing’s most coveted KPI. With that said, we still see too many marketers optimizing for desktop clicks while ignoring mobile taps. This results in poor user experiences and lost opportunities.

Here’s a prime example from LinkedIn (sorry to pick on you LinkedIn, but this needs to be said.) I’d wager to say that LinkedIn enjoys a high mobile app download rate among its business users, but its mobile email experience is completely broken. LinkedIn sends a ton of email trying to drive engagement — from connection requests, to “who’s viewed your profile” notices, to notifications when your connections get new jobs or post something interesting. But clicking through on a mobile device opens a web browser instead of your already-installed app, forcing you to enter your login credentials and undoubtedly leading to incremental drop off.

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Which leads us to… Tip #1: Deep Link to Mobile Apps Deep linking removes friction from the mobile email experience by enabling consumers to launch installed mobile apps and specific pages within apps. This makes it easier to complete actions — and transactions — on mobile devices. Here’s an example from eBay where one tap on an image of a sandal in an email leads to firing up the eBay mobile app and the product that the user wants to see.  With one more tap the item can be added to the user’s shopping cart and one tap later, purchased and shipped since the user’s billing information and address are already stored securely within the app.

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Tip #2: Let Users Tap to Call Users who are on the go and have questions about your products or services that might be easier to answer over the phone than via a mobile app or m-site can be given the option to tap to call via real-time device targeting.  It’s as simple as adding a tap-to-call banner to the smartphone version of your email template.  Here’s an example from TheKnot showing the desktop version adjacent to the smartphone version with the tap to call banner at the top of the message.

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Tip #3: Get Users Social Sometimes your most desired next tap might be getting users to spread the love about your brand or products on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other popular social networking apps, which account for some of the most widely downloaded apps in the world and can be counted on to be installed on their smartphones and tablets even when your own app isn’t. Deep linking technology can be used to launch third party applications, and you can even include a pre-populated message for users to share. Here’s an example from Comedy Central that got thousands of its subscribers tweeting to promote a new show — and it only took two taps for them to do so.

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Mobile email opens keep rising as a percentage of total opens each quarter, and while smartphone opens may be stabilizing at a little under 50%, tablets continue to eat away at desktop market share and aren’t showing any signs of relenting.  The time to optimize for tapping through instead of clicking through is now.

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*For more tips and case studies featuring mobile email tap-through rate optimization, check out the recording of our recent webinar, “The Mobile Takeover“.

Are Tablets The New Household PC of Record?

Surface Pro 3 Launch Event in New York City on May 20, 2014

On the subway ride into work this morning, I read about Microsoft’s unveiling of its latest tablet, the Surface Pro 3. What caught my attention most was the revelation that Microsoft execs aren’t positioning the device as an alternative to Apple’s iPad, but rather, against its most popular laptop, the MacBook Air.

The timing of Microsoft’s product launch couldn’t be better: with our upcoming webinar on “The Mobile Takeover,” our team has been poring over the underlying numbers from our latest US Consumer Device Preference Report, and the data suggests that tablets are, indeed, becoming the new go-to household PC of record.

How so?

First, because over the last year, smartphone email opens have been relatively stable at slightly under 50%, while desktop opens have steadily declined, and tablet opens have steadily risen. You can easily see these trends in the chart below:

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Second, from a day-parting perspective, we’re seeing that tablet email opens peak in the evening hours, when people get home from work (and when they’d be more likely to do their web browsing on a luxurious large screen instead of their smartphone’s small screen). And, in fact, tablet and desktop opens are currently nearly even between 8 and 11pm.

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From an email opens market share perspective, look for tablets to continue making the largest percentage gains quarter over quarter. There is still a lot of room left for tablets to grow.

Desktops and laptops may never completely disappear from the face of our planet, but tablets may someday soon replace them entirely from our living rooms.

*For more information on the latest trends in consumer device adoption and usage, make sure to attend next week’s “The Mobile Takeover” webinar, Thursday, May 29th at 1pm EDT.

Clients Corner: Auto Trader UK Increased Engagement By Sending Real-Time Weather-Based Driving Tips

Screen Shot 2014-05-19 at 4.20.56 PMEvery month, Auto Trader UK sees over 11.5 million unique users carry out over 140 million searches of more than 400,000 new and used vehicles across mobile, tablet, and desktop devices. Matt Dyson from Auto Trader UK sat down with us to share how they are using agileEMAIL to further provide value to their users beyond their core buying/selling vehicles business:

Movable Ink: Why did you decide to partner with Movable Ink?

Matt Dyson: We wanted to create an end-to-end email experience that is really engaging. agileEMAIL lets us add personalized content to our messages that our back-end systems couldn’t provide in real-time. We also wanted to stream content from our website into email, and do it in a stylized and attractive manner. Movable Ink allows us to do just that.

MI: What has been your favorite use of agileEMAIL so far?

Auto Trader UK Weather TipsMD: We had an idea to geo-locate where our subscribers were opening our newsletters, and then serve them relevant driving tips in those messages based on their current weather conditions. The aim of introducing real-time weather-based driving tips into our email was to retain longer-term brand engagement by providing our subscribers something innovative, genuinely useful, and something original that our competitors aren’t doing. Our editorial team came up with driving tips for many weather conditions and time of day, so that if it was raining outside, our reader received 3 tips for safe driving in the rain.

MI: That sounds great. How long did it take to launch and what were the results?

MD: It took Movable Ink and our agency Chalk & Pixel four days to launch it from idea to execution to over 300,000 people. agileEMAIL drove a 93% increase in click-throughs for us on this one.

MI: How has it been working with Movable Ink so far?

MD: It’s been really good. The Client Experience Team is really accommodating to our requests and quickly figures out how to create elements that are custom when they are not straight out of the box. I never get a “No,” and always get a “let’s figure out how to do that for you.” Then it’s simply copy and paste of HTML into our ESP.

MI: What are your future plans for agileEMAIL?

MD: We are going to increase the use of the web crop feature and make it a staple of our newsletters and welcome campaigns. Our next step is to completely automate a motorbike newsletter with agileEMAIL comprising up to 80% of the content. I wanted to do a bike email for a while, but we don’t have resources to do it in a timely manner. With Movable Ink I can set it up, schedule it in our ESP, and the rest works on it’s own. Our company is looking to do more work with video and on-the-fly self-optimizing content this year too.

MI: Thank you Matt for your time and insights!