Weekend Reading: Marketing Automation Eats ESPs, Rethinking Email, and More

Happy Friday! It’s been another busy week at Movable Ink. CEO Vivek Sharma is over in the United Kingdom talking email and we’re debuting case studies about UK businesses using contextual marketing and research that take a look at the UK mobile commerce scene (available next week!).

We also:

  • Published a case study about how Allen Edmonds used context in email marketing to boost click-throughs by 300%
  • Created a video about how to include live web content in your emails
  • Announced our partnership with (RED) to create storytelling that inspires
  • Analyzed the click-through crisis in email

In other news, a lot of marketers are depending on the email services provided by marketing automation platforms instead of email service providers and I talked about content marketing and rethinking email in a recent podcast.

Read about that and more below:

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[CASE STUDY] How Allen Edmonds Boosted Email Click-Throughs by 300%

The almighty click is an important indicator of whether your email marketing campaign is working. In fact, marketers consider click-throughs the number one indicator of success – even above conversions.

But the same study showed that low click-throughs in email campaigns are also the leading challenge for most marketers. Customers are flooded by email campaigns competing for their attention. It’s up to you to figure out how to create content that’s engaging and interesting enough to result in a click.

Allen Edmonds, a retailer that specializes in premium men’s footwear and apparel, recently started thinking about how to create that kind of content. One of the ways the brand built content was to start targeting by weather.

By sending sales emails that offered different creative and products according to the forecast, the retailer saw a 300% increase in click-through rates.

Want to learn more about how Allen Edmonds used contextual marketing in email?

Download the full case study to read about this campaign and three others from Allen Edmonds that took email marketing to the next level through weather-targeting, personalization, geo-targeting, and more.


Add live web content to email.

[VIDEO] How to Add Live Website Content to an Email

Imagine if you opened an email and, instead of just a static sale, you saw up-to-date content, whether that’s a Pinterest page, Facebook page, or company webpage. Rather than visiting a brand’s channels individually, you could see the latest content from social media networks and websites alike – all from the inbox.

That’s exactly what web cropping does. By adding live website content to an email, marketers can offer recipients a multichannel experience from within the inbox.

Any webpage can be cropped and included in an email – a brand’s homepage, a specific product page, or a social media channel. And as the content across those channels changes, the content in the email changes, too. That means if you update a sale with a new product, recipients will see that new product in their inbox – even if they already opened the email.

Contextual marketing technology allows marketers to create dynamic experiences from within the inbox and live web cropping provides a lot of that content, whether you’re trying to feature the latest social content, sale, product information or more.

Steven Joya, our product marketing strategist, recently discussed how to add live website content to an email with the Movable Ink platform. Check it out below:

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Movable Ink and (RED) Partner for Storytelling that Inspires

Here at Movable Ink, we’re strong supporters of organizations taking strides to improve the world.

Movable Ink was founded with the belief that all companies today need digital tools to tell stories with personalized context to millions of people at the same time. This not only applies to eCommerce and travel brands, it’s also true for nonprofits focused on a mission.

But telling effective stories, which is one of the most effective ways for nonprofits to mobilize advocates, can be challenging when forced to do more with less.

In that spirit, we’re excited to announce that Movable Ink is teaming up with (RED), the AIDS organization founded in 2006 by Bono and Bobby Shriver.

(RED)’s mission is to engage people and businesses in the fight to end AIDS, and to date it has raised more than $300 million for the Global Fund to fight AIDS. And 100% of that money goes to work on the ground in Africa.

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Clickthrough Crisis

The Click-Through Crisis in Email… And How to Solve It

The humble click-through has always been a simple, straightforward metric for email marketers of all walks of life. Whether your company is an enterprise or you’re a single consultant, click-throughs are great indicators that customers are engaged.

Maybe that’s why email marketers worry more about click-throughs than anything else. A recent survey from Ascend2 found that nearly three-quarters of email marketers rank CTR as the most useful metric for measuring email performance – higher than any other metric.

Low click-through rates also ranks as the top concern for email marketers, with 53% citing it as a leading challenge.

So we’re in the mist of a click-through crisis. But with content marketing and contextual marketing at their fingertips, email marketers can create compelling, powerful content that improves click-throughs and conversions. Here’s how:

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Only 50% of email marketers like their ESPs.

Weekend Reading: Only 50% of Email Marketers Like Their ESPs

Happy Friday! It’s been another busy week at Movable Ink. We recently published our guide, “10 Responsive Design Hacks” to help email marketers find a straightforward resource when they’re working on designing responsive emails that look great on mobile devices.

We’re also prepping three great pieces on the UK email market: an infographic about the state of mobile commerce in the UK, a research report about the state of email and device preferences, and a UK-specific Inkredible 5 lookbook.

Email has very much been in the spotlight recently. VentureBeat discussed how many brands are challenged when it comes to finding an ESP that meets all their needs and eMarketer published a new survey about the leading challenges in 2015.

Here’s a breakdown of those stories and more for your weekend reading:

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Instagram can help engage email subscribers.

3 Reasons to Use Instagram Photos in Your Emails

When you get an email from a brand, you’re not used to seeing anything that’s all that surprising. Maybe it’s about a sale, maybe it’s about an event. Either way, no one really gets a rush from checking their inbox.

Social media, on the other hand, is something that is constantly unpredictable and exciting. That’s why more than a quarter (28%) of the average user’s time online is spent on social networks.

That doesn’t necessarily mean social channels are more profitable. Email ROI is still much higher than social media. What marketers should really strive to do is integrate live social media feeds right within the inbox. That way, you combine the engaging power of social with the ROI power of email.

Instagram, as a visual medium, is especially powerful. Here’s why:

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IGT reduced email production.

How IGT Reduced Email Production Time by 80%

IGT’s DoubleDown Casino, an online and mobile social casino, has one main marketing strategy: surprise and delight their customer. And to reach customers, the business often relies on email marketing campaigns.

That often proved to be a long and arduous process. Emails had to be designed and coded by hand. But, by using Movable Ink’s workflow tools, DoubleDown Interactive was able to cut email production time from 7-10 business days to just 1 – 2 business days – a reduction of about 80%.

Here’s how DoubleDown Interactive revolutionized the email production process and what the company does with all the hours that have been freed up:

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Instagram Influencers

The 3 Different Kinds of Instagram Influencer Campaigns

This is a guest post from Misha Talavera, CMO and cofounder of NeoReach.

Many companies have gotten interested in using Instagram for business. But where can you start? And what kinds of Instagram marketing strategies are really effective?

One of the best ways to build brand awareness is to connect with influencers who already have a substantial following. That could mean engaging them with hashtags, offering them control of your channel for a day, or hosting a contest.

Here are three brands that used Instagram to connect with influencers in order to drive business:

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