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[WEBINAR] The Mobile Takeover: It’s Real. It’s Here. Get Used to It.

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Mobile email opens have grown consistently for the 4 quarters that Movable Ink has been releasing the US Consumer Device Preference Report, and it’s a relentless trend that we don’t see abating anytime soon. Our latest study, the US Consumer Device Preference Report: Q1 2014 found that two-thirds of big brand marketers’ email opens now take place on mobile devices (smartphones and tablets), and today, even more email is opened on iPhones than all desktops combined.

The age old “click-through rate” has been replaced by the “tap-through rate” and email marketers must evolve their strategies and tactics to effectively engage with consumers in the mobile inbox. This involves everything from changing how emails are designed, to adopting deep linking technology, to re-thinking the way that conversion data is captured and attributed to email marketing campaigns.

To help marketers rise to the challenge of the mobile takeover, we’re excited to announce our next webinar “The Mobile Takeover: It’s Real. It’s Here. Get Used to It.” Taking place on Thursday, May 29th at 1pm EDT, speakers will include yours truly and my brilliant industry colleague and friend Bonnie Malone, Director of Response Consulting at Return Path. (You can watch the two of us teaming up to take on the email append dark side at the MediaPost Email Insider Summit two years ago here).

Bonnie and I are working hard to put together an informative and educational webinar that will include:

  • An in-depth analysis of the latest findings from Movable Ink’s “US Consumer Device Preference Report: Q1, 2014”
  • Innovative approaches for creating winning omni-screen email designs
  • Examples of leading brands who are using agile email marketing technology and best practices to optimize the mobile email experience in real-time

We hope to see you on the line next Thursday. Space is limited, so click here to register today!

The Problem with Predictive Analytics

Truman

Though some might object, most marketers would likely agree that relevance is an important factor in driving optimal email program performance and revenue.  Marketers are frenetically capturing, then filtering terabytes of customer data in an attempt to find that needle in the haystack that will tell them where/why/how each individual is most interested.  The difficulty is that there are an almost infinite number of data sources, and much of it is only relevant at the point in space and time at which it is captured.  Given the time it takes to structure and filter the data, then trigger or launch a campaign, the opportunity to most effectively leverage it is often long passed.

Typically, marketers do not use their email database as their Database Of Record (DBOR).  Instead, customer data are captured from various points (web clicks, views, purchases, forms, social, apps, 3rd parties, etc.) and stored in a DBOR, while email interaction data (opens, clicks) are stored within a separate email database.  It isn’t until all these data are merged that we can begin to tell a story of the individual customer.  Though some claim a “real-time” connection between the two, most email platforms only merge the data once every 24 hours.  In our era of perpetual motion and continual connectivity, 24 hours, or even 2-4 hours is sooo 2000-LATE.  Static and historical data certainly has value, but it is often out of context to the present moment.

Marketers understand this challenge, and many have turned to predictive analytics to optimize relevance.  While this often does bring some lift, one quickly reaches the ceiling because the practice still largely relies on static or aging data points, continual data refreshes, and a big fat guess.  So much time, effort, and budget is expended in trying to control the data, and usually it’s a losing fight.  Marketers can’t control data any more than we can control the individual customer.  Truthfully, the only one controlling customer data is the customer.  The customer has ultimate control over when the email is opened, where it is opened, or on what device, and such contexts are some of the most important factors to relevance.  If you believe that, then you probably also have to believe that the most critical moment occurs not when the email is sent, but rather when it is opened.

Evolution

Marketing is a continual evolution, and those at the front of the March of Progress have grown beyond Predictive and have begun using Agile email solutions, such as Movable Ink, that detect and leverage “time-of-open” data, such as time, location, device, even the weather to render contextually-personalized experiences.  For the uninitiated, I’ll explain by way of example… In the average database, my profile would tell you that I’m male, 38, live in the Bay Area, where it is often cool (I don’t mean in a hipster way…grrr) and foggy, and past purchases indicate a penchant for outerwear.  It might seem a reasonable assumption for a retailer to send me an email compelling me to take advantage of a remnant inventory sale on Member’s Only windbreakers, and if I download and purchase via their super-slick mobile app, I can celebrate an additional 15% off!  I’d be powerless to resist, right?

But remember, only the customer controls the data.  It just so happens that I’m writing this blog post on my laptop, while visiting clients…in Chicago…where it’s presently 86F with 90% humidity.  Given my current disposition, what would I want with a jacket…or an app download?  (I mean, I would want that Member’s Only jacket, but sure as hell not right now.)  Time-of-open data would have told the marketer that I’m not home, it’s hot where I am, and that I’m reading it on a laptop rather than an app-enabled device.  What I really want right now was the t-shirt/shorts email, linked to the specific product page. Predictive Analytics can’t predict such vagaries and variables.  Open-time optimization can.

The Truth About Email

Email remains the most powerful communication channels available to marketers today. Newer options like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the like have undeniable appeal, but when it comes down to the numbers, email remains the undisputed king.  We’re delighted to share this new infographic that tells The Truth About Email.

TheTruthAboutEmail

Four Tips for Better Video Emails

Vince PeGan, self-proclaimed “email magician” and senior account manager at Movable Ink, works with dozens of leading brands to develop and execute agile email marketing programs that cut through the clutter and stand out in the inbox. One increasingly used technique is leveraging embedded video in email to breath life into the inbox. Below are Vince’s top 4 tips for making the most out of video in email campaigns.

1. Have a Clear CTA. “Include a clear CTA so subscribers have an action to take besides viewing the video.”

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2. Use a “View Online” Link. “Including a link to an online version of the video so those not receiving the full video experience have a way to engage.”

3. Consider a Teaser Video. “Use a teaser version of the video to entice subscribers to click through to view full video on the web so your click through rates aren’t cannibalized.”

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4. Use a Secondary CTA. “Engage subscribers with a supporting CTA that gives further context to the video and allows them to engage online.”

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Interested in learning more about video-in-email? Download our fact sheet, or give us a shout at contact@movableink.com.

Off Topic: Oracle Acquires Responsys

Oracke at Delphi

Earlier today, Oracle announced that it entered into an agreement to acquire Responsys in a deal worth nearly $1.5 billion.  Predictably — no pun intended (maybe) — this set off some classic Movable Ink geek banter:

  • Vivek Sharma, CEO: I called it! http://www.cnbc.com/id/101289244
  • Jordan Cohen, VP of Marketing: It took an Oracle to call that one.
  • Vince PeGan, Sr. Account Manager: Great Responsys, Jordan!
  • Adam Stambleck, VP of Client Experience: Seeing the news this morning, put a big Springer in my step.
  • Vivek Sharma: I have been gifted with ESP to make calls like that.

Huge congrats to our friends at Responsys!

-The Movable Ink Team

Off Topic: The [Mis]pronunciation of “GIF”

An innocent email forwarded by one of our Sales Directors, Chris Tucker, set off a chain of unfortunate reply-alls. Chris shared an article that made him come to the shocking realization that he’s been mispronouncing “GIF” (the acronym for Graphics Interchange Format) all his life, which caused him to react as follows:

dramatic chipmunk

Below is the geeky office banter that ensued:

Michael Nutt, Co-Founder and CTO: “GIF” as in “gift” forever!
Vince PeGan, Customer Success Manager: GIF for life, no peanut butter.
Alison Lindland, Customer Success Manager: Just don’t look a GIF horse in the mouth.
Vivek Sharma, Co-Founder and CEO: Ok, ok… enough. GIF me a break, I’m trying to get work done.
Olivier Lauzon, Senior Engineer: This is a GIF that keeps on giffing.
Jason Valdina, VP of Product: Forgif me for asking this, but how do you pronounce “JPG”?
Matthew Potter, VP of UK and EMEA: Never known a bunch of people could get so ‘animated’ over GIFs.

Thank You

Thanks to all of our friends and supporters who have checked in with us these past few difficult days.

Not everyone on the team has power yet, and some of our loved ones have had to leave their homes and may not be able to return anytime soon, but the most important thing is that we are all accounted for, and are safe and sound.

Our hearts go out to all who have been affected by this week’s horrible storm. Wishing everyone a speedy recovery, and a return to “normal” as soon as possible.

– The Movable Ink Team

New Technology Offers Glimpses Into Inbox Of Future

“The inbox of the future is a consumer’s dream — and also a marketer’s,” writes George Bilbrey, president of Return Path, in MediaPost today. “In some ways it won’t be so different: Email marketers will still need to focus on creating a positive user experience, getting permission, demonstrating relevance, and delivering value. But there are also specific, technical innovations — some already in use — that promise to revolutionize the inbox and make consumers fall in love with email all over again”…

…”the messages of the future will be at least a little more interactive and customized. Some early indicators of the interactive inbox come from: Movable Ink (makes email more dynamic), Rapportive (displays social data for your contacts), Google Voice via Google Talk (allows you to make phone calls from Gmail), LiveClicker (video in emails) and TripIt (builds and manages your travel itinerary from email forwards).”

Emails We Love: Seamless (Halloween Edition)

Nice Halloween-themed — and device targeted — email from Seamless. Notice how it automatically detects the device used to view the email and includes a call to action specifically to “Get The iPhone App”.

Movable Ink wins Social category in Electric Ireland Spark of Genius Competition!

We are excited to announce that, out of 100+ companies that competed in the Electric Ireland Spark of Genius Competition, Movable Ink came out on top as one of four category winners. The competition was held in conjunction with this week’s prestigious Dublin Web Summit. Now we just need to figure out the best spot in our office to display this amazing trophy! Thanks to all who watched our presentation and voted for us, and congrats to the other category winners Tjobs SAOvelin and Social Fortress.

Read More: http://businessandleadership.com/small-business/item/37771-category-winners-of/