Category Archives: Uncategorized

Testing your marketing for the Apple Watch just got a little easier, kind of.

Weekend Reading: Test Your Website for the Apple Watch, The Real Definition of Responsive, and More

Happy Friday! This week has been a busy one at Movable Ink. Aside from talking about how Nickelodeon used contextual marketing to create “share-together” experiences for recipients, we’ve been getting ready for some big webinars.

Next week, on April 30 @ 1pm EST, we’re hosting How to Build Next Generation Responsive Emails with Litmus. Right after that, on Tuesday, May 5 @ 1pm, we’re hosting How to Bounce-Proof Your Marketing with BounceExchange.

Both webinars are sure to be really helpful and informative! Check them out if you’re interested.

We’ve also been keeping track of the latest about the Apple Watch as it first hits stores. Read about how to test your website for the watch and more below:

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Travel and Hospitality Banner Ads

12 Examples of Next-Gen Emails from Hotels, Cruises, and Airlines

Summer is just around the corner, which means that vacation season is about to officially begin. Hotels, cruises, and airlines are all starting to ramp up their marketing spend to get in front of potential customers and this year, as with every year, email marketing is going to play a big role.

Of course, your competitors are going to be sending a ton of emails, too. So how can you make sure that your campaigns stand out?

Well, some brands are starting to create emails powered by contextual marketing. That means building elements of emails that change in real-time – whether that means weather forecasts to help guests prepare for their stay at a hotel or seating charts that get updated in real-time right within an email.

Next generation emails are all about responding to not just what devices need, but what customers need in that moment. But what does a “next generation” email look like? And how are travel and hospitality brands using them today?

CTA ButtonWe collected 12 examples of next-gen emails and put them together in our new lookbook, “12 Next-Gen Travel & Hospitality Emails.”

Ready to get inspired? Download it here!

Download!

Marketing TOols

Movable Ink’s Vivek Sharma Shares Marketing Tech Tips

Movable Ink’s CEO, Vivek Sharma, recently wrote a piece for Tech.co breaking down five tech solutions that can help boost a startup’s marketing efforts.

Touching on online advertising, multi-touch attribution, CRM systems, email marketing, and marketing automation platforms, Vivek offers a list of different vendors and tactics that can help any business looking to grow.

Want to read the full article? Check out “5 Tech Solutions to Boost Your Marketing Efforts on Tech.co.

Movable Ink Introduces A New Solution for Contextually Relevant, Red-Hot Mobile Emails

contextualfireballs

Have you ever really wished you could really blow up your customer’s inbox? Have you wanted to send emails that literally catch fire?

Well, Movable Ink is proud to announce that we’re finally going to make that possible for email marketers. We know that it’s a challenge to stick out in the inbox and we’ve been working to make it possible to send red-hot mobile emails that are going to be impossible to ignore.

Our brand new, patent pending Contextually Relevant Fireball Technology™ allows companies to decide whether they want to send customers a boring old email or fling a ball of flame right into a customer’s face.

Contextually Relevant Fireballs™® are the latest in email marketing. With the power to create time-sensitive offers that burn customers who don’t act fast enough, brands will finally be able to market in the moment with highly visible, red-hot deals.

The best part? Contextually Relevant Fireballs™®© run on a mobile-first platform that’s compatible with some of the latest wearables. We’re planning to reach out to potential partners such as PYRO Handhelder Fireshooter so that email marketers can send their customers a personalized fireball with just a flick of their wrist.

Want to see Contextually Relevant Fireballs™®©§ in action? Well, check out this video of the PYRO Handheld Fireshooter and just imagine that each and every fireball is a limited-time sales offer, a once-in-a-lifetime discount, or a real-time loyalty program that’s simply too hot to touch:

And just one last thing about our innovative Contextually Relevant Fireball Technology™ – April Fool’s!

Webinar Nov 12: From Desktop to Mobile, Responsive Email For All Devices

responsive email designOne of the biggest questions we get asked about is how to make email ready for mobile. Marketers are well aware of the change in consumer device preferences drastically shifting from the desktop to smartphones and tablets for browsing, buying, and digital activity. At Movable Ink we have been tracking this trend in our quarterly consumer device preference report. In the latest edition almost 2 out of every 3 marketing emails were opened on a mobile or tablet device. So as a marketer, what are some things you can do to make sure your email is mobile ready?

On November 12, 2014 at 1 pm eastern time we are hosting a webinar called “From Desktop to Mobile, Responsive Email For All Devices” to dive right into this topic. The webinar will cover topics from responsive design (which is now available in agileEMAIL and our free email design tool Inkbrush.com), to mobile targeting, and integrating content across channels.  Here is a preview of what we’ll cover during the session.

First you need to make sure your emails are fully responsive, not just in template, but content too. Mobile traffic is expanding rapidly and capturing it effectively will make a big impact on the business. We’ll show you how to design fully responsive email in mere minutes to help save you time and improve the quality of the email experience through agileEMAIL.

Second you need to optimize content by device type and operating system. With responsive design, your emails will automatically display the optimal format for the device it’s being read on. But take it a step further and tailor what displays for mobile users too. For example, if you’re promoting app downloads, deep link iOS users into the apple app store and android users into Google Play. Make the user experience as seamless as possible. The mobile interface is different and ensuring the fewest “taps” possible will lead to better results.

Third we’ll touch on cross-channel integrations, specifically with social media. You can stream content from your social properties and empower subscribers to tweet, share, or view your social content with one click. You take the time to cultivate a social presence, make it go further by integrating it into your email.

So join us next week for “From Desktop to Mobile, Responsive Email For All Devices.” With holiday right around the corner and mobile traffic rapidly growing, this is a session you can’t miss. If you have any questions or if we can help, please reach out to us 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.

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.

Emails We Love: Bass Pro Shops #REELTHANKS

Tweet #REELTHANKS

Through July 4, 2014, Bass Pro Shops is running an integrated digital campaign to increase social engagement and give back to the community through AMVETS.  Dalie Hand and Ashley Sims from Bass Pro Shops sat down with us to share how the #REELTHANKS campaign is going so far, and what their goals were from the initiative.

Movable Ink: Can you tell us about the #REELTHANKS campaign and what your goals were from it?

Bass Pro Shops: Our customers are patriotic and we are a patriotic company.  We wanted to do something that would engage them with our brand across channels and give back to the community at the same time.  So we came up with an idea to partner with AMVETS, an organization that works with American Military Veterans, to leverage our email and social media properties to do it.  This campaign gives our customers the chance to to say thank you to American Veterans by tweeting #REELTHANKS or by sharing through Bass Pro Shops Facebook page.  For every 10 tweets or Facebook shares, we’ll donate one rod and reel combo to AMVETS.  In total, we expect to donate 1,000 combos by the 4th of july through the #REELTHANKS campaign.

MI: That’s inspiring!  How has agileEMAIL helped you achieve your goal for #REELTHANKS?

BPS:  We used Movable Ink to stream live social feeds into the message that utilized the #REELTHANKS hash tag.  Furthermore, we deep-linked pre-populated tweets so with one click our subscriber could tweet and participate.  So far, the email is responsible for 50% of the campaign’s overall engagement and success!

BassProMessageMI:   Wonderful!  Given its success, do you have future plans for cross-channel promotions?

BPS: We are going to use Movable Ink to launch instagram sweepstakes and to further promote our social properties.  We have gotten good responses to streaming hash tags in email and will do more promotions with that capability too.

MI:  Thank you Dalie and Ashley!  To participate in #REELTHANKS, tweet #REELTHANKS or share it from Bass Pro Shops Facebook page through July 4, 2014.  You can follow Bass Pro Shops on twitter @Bass_Pro_Shops.

Why A/B Test When You Can Optimize In Real-Time?

We got a great response to the Best Western International case study posted on the blog a few weeks ago, and many of you have asked us the same question about it: “How can I avoid sending a ‘loser’ message to half my list?”  We’re excited to share how you can test, optimize, and get results, from your email on the fly.

Stop us if this testing scenario sounds familiar.  ClassicTestingMethodFirst, you have to segment your list according to the number of creative variations.  Next, you deploy your campaign, and then wait as much as 2-3 weeks to determine a winner.  As you know, this methodology comes with a potentially hefty price.  You might sacrifice up to 50% of your total population with a dreaded ‘loser message’ in this testing format.

We’ve figured out a better way, enabling real-time testing and optimization of emails.  With agileEMAIL’s creative optimizer – you send only one version of your campaign to the entire audience and Movable Ink will handle the rest!  We’ll serve each of your creative variations at random, and then select a winner once we’re confident that the results are statistically significant.  From there, everyone on your list will see that winning variation and have an opportunity to interact with your most engaging content.

Want to test more than one element or piece of content within the same message?  No problem!  The creative optimizer can test multiple creative sets within a single campaign, always making sure the email is optimized for performance in real-time.  If you want to get really fancy (or, dare we say, agile), you can even optimize content that is powered by Movable Ink.  Have you ever wondered if mobile-targeted content might motivate iPhone users to transact?  Or, maybe you’re curious to know whether overlaying your recipients’ names onto an image will really inspire them to click through to your webpage.  Simply reference your content within the creative optimizer, and we’ll show you just how powerful real-time content can be!

Additionally, the creative optimizer enables you to run more traditional tests by setting it to “learning” mode, giving you the flexibility to always achieve your testing and optimization goals.  This way you can still compare the performance of your variations without actually selecting a winner.  Once you’ve reviewed your results, maybe you’ll want to optimize as a next step.

Why does this all matter? You can never really predict how your audience will react at any given moment.  That alone makes constant testing a best practice.  A/B testing can be time consuming and doesn’t optimize messages for consumers when they open.  This is where agileEMAIL’s creative optimizer really shines.  We make it easy to continue to test, to ensure that you’re always sending your entire audience the best email possible.