As usual, the week has been full of email marketing news. If you’ve been looking around to see what’s happening, we’ve got you covered – we’ve rounded up three of the most interesting developments in email that can be perfect for some weekend reading:
Marketers who are creating email campaigns know that they have to think about responsive email design strategies first and foremost. It’s not easy to build a compelling email that will look great on any device, especially if you’re sending thousands or millions of emails a month.
With any responsive email, you want to make sure that the user experience is seamless. That means making emails well-designed, interactive, and, of course, readable on tiny screens.
But how can you create responsive email design strategies that can work over and over? And what do you need to know when it comes down to the basics, like font, calls-to-action, and more?
We asked seven experts for their opinions and here’s what they said:
Years ago, email marketers could rely on the fact that everyone opening their emails was sitting in front of a computer. Smartphones and tablets have changed that. Now, your emails could be opened at any time, anywhere, and across multiple screens. What your customers are doing and how they’re accessing their inboxes has a big impact on your email campaign.
That’s what makes contextual marketing so important today. Customer context changes throughout the day and your emails should reflect that. That means thinking differently about marketing and creating strategies that allow for real-time segmentation, instead of segmentation based on static data fields.
To break down what brands have to do to effectively create a contextual marketing strategy and build real-time segmentation for every email campaign, Movable Ink and BlueHornet are hosting a webinar, “The Evolution of Email: Contextual Marketing & Real-Time Segmentation,” alongside Kat Johnson, Marketing Manager for Allen Edmonds on April 2 @ 1pm EST.
In the webinar, you’ll learn:
– How email segmentation is being used today
-Why customer context matters so much in a mobile world
– How triggered email campaigns can create lifecycle messaging
– How retailer Allen Edmonds used context and real-time segmentation to drive big results
Ready to learn about the evolution of email and start applying contextual marketing and real-time segmentation to your campaigns?
When you’re sending millions of emails a month, you rarely have time to take a step back and think about how your enterprise email marketing strategy could be improved. Just about everyone gets emails from big brands and knows what to expect – sales, sales, and more sales.
But how can you make those sales more relevant? And how are brands starting to think more strategically about things like content and customer context?
In a mobile world, it’s imperative to take into account what the customer is doing in the moment – and your email content has to reflect that. Here are three new kinds of enterprise email marketing strategies that companies are employing to create more contextually relevant emails:
Creating an enterprise digital strategy can be a tremendous undertaking. From email marketing to PPC, SEO to social media, the bigger the company, the more complex the approach to different channels.
That’s why enterprises tend to evaluate new products and strategies for a very long time before taking a dive – will this be worth the investment? Will there be a return?
But rarely, when enterprises are considering a digital marketing strategy, does the company think about whether or not a digital channel can influence in-store visits.
Google is changing that with a digital marketing product called Local Inventory Ads. By geo-targeting the mobile device being used, these ads offer real-time inventory information for local stores. That means displaying products that are actually in stock in those locations whenever nearby customers are using Google from their mobile devices.
Real-time inventory information can really work for enterprises – Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores (owned by Sears), has been working with Google to use Local Inventory Ads and seen some big results, driving 122% more visits to the 1,240 Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores.
By using mobile, enterprises can actually create a link between retail visits and digital marketing spend. But what if that kind of real-time inventory content could be paired with geo-targeted email?
The basics of email marketing are simple: send an email and hope that someone gets it. As long as your email campaigns aren’t getting labeled as spam, you should theoretically live a long, fruitful life of email-driven profit… right?
Unfortunately, email marketing isn’t that easy. Your brand’s email campaign is going to be competing with the emails from dozens of other companies. So how can you tell that your email campaign worked? How can you talk about email performance? And what do all those email marketing terms mean?
Here are 16 different core email marketing terms that you should know, whether you’re just getting started or you’ve been in the email marketing business a long time:
You’re out having lunch somewhere and you check your email. Your favorite shoe store has sent you an email with a one-day only offer. But going out and buying shoes wasn’t really on the agenda, so what do you do? If you’re like most people, you probably delete it just to keep your inbox under control.
But what if the email had a personalized map that showed you that a store was right around the corner? Geo-targeting for email marketing can personalize a customer’s experience and transform an email into a useful shopping companion.
We’ve discussed how Steve Madden used geo-targeted emails to personalize the customer experience. Using email to show the location of nearby store to customers can help increase foot traffic to retail locations.
Another benefit of geo-targeting is highlighting places where products or rewards points can be redeemed. Recently, AIMIA did just that and saw some significant results.
Marketers have a love-hate relationship with buzzwords. Mostly hate. If you’ve seen the phrase “contextual marketing” floating around lately, you might have even dismissed it as just another buzzword that will fade into obscurity. But contextual marketing is more about philosophy than terminology.
Basically, if you’re creating marketing that doesn’t annoy your customers, provides them with something useful, and enhances their experience, that’s contextual marketing.
Simply by acknowledging a customer’s context, you can create marketing that customers actually want to see. Case in point: in New York this morning, it was unseasonably cold. Think Coffee wrote a weather-targeted, contextual message on the chalkboard.
Or, in other words, they said it was cold. And then provided a call-to-action:
We know. You spent a lot of time and money designing your website. It’s branded, it’s got great content, it’s got a nice logo. Google’s “Mobile-Friendly Test” doesn’t care.
If you head on over to the tool, be warned: your feelings might get hurt. The Mobile-Friendly Test is basically an automatic complaint generator: “Text too small to read,” “links too close together,” “content wider than screen.”
Google’s plan is to start making these complaints heard on April 21. At that point, websites that aren’t mobile-friendly are going to take a nosedive in mobile search results.
At Movable Ink, we couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if this applied to email marketing. Google’s Gmail has over 500 million users worldwide, but 42% of marketers “rarely or never” create responsive emails.
Mention “personalization” to most email marketers and you’ll see the fear in their eyes.
Personalization means tapping into customer data. Generally, that means trying to merge all the databases and systems that are under the purview of different teams to create a single view of the customer – cleansing it, creating a central data governance strategy, and convincing stakeholders all along the way.
In short, it seems impossible.
Last year, a report from the DMA Annual Conference and Exhibition found that, among the marketers surveyed, only 50% are “enthusiastic” about the role of big data in the marketing industry. Other reactions ranged from “cautiously optimistic” (31%) and “uncertain” (14%) to “tepid” (3%) and “disillusioned” (1%).
But what if email personalization didn’t require all the big data heavy-lifting that you think? What if you didn’t have to change anything about your current email service provider and contact database?
Here are five steps that you don’t actually have to take to achieve email personalization: