Email marketing and marketers have been going steady for years. Decades, even.
There have been ups and downs. Chain emails, the lack of an opt-out function, and spam can be safely qualified as “downs.” But there have been good times, too.
After all these years, email marketing still remains the most valuable digital marketing tool. It’s a direct connection with customers and there’s no doubt that it works. In 2014, companies attributed 23% of their total sales to the email marketing channel, compared to 18% in 2013.
But something is missing. A recent report from Adobe found that two-thirds of marketers are less than satisfied with their email marketing efforts.
As we approach Valentine’s Day this year, it’s clear that the magic between marketers and email has fizzled. But what could rekindle the flame? Adobe found three things marketers want from email above all.
Continue reading Research: For Many Email Marketers, the Magic is Gone
Movable Ink is thrilled to announce that our client, Best Western International, was nominated as a finalist in Email Marketing Innovation for the 2015 Marketing and Tech Innovation Awards hosted by Direct Marketing News.
Over the past year, Best Western International has been working hard to create more personalized experiences for every subscriber, sending out 20 million emails a month that are targeted based on geography, device, and time-of-open.
We’ve discussed how Best Western used device-targeting in email campaigns to increase mobile app downloads by more than 100% and it was exciting to see that Direct Marketing News officially recognized the hotel’s continued innovation in the email marketing space with the nomination.
Continue reading Best Western: 20 Million Personalized Emails, 20% Lift in Email Revenue
Last week, we covered nine of our favorite emails from #Snowmageddon (or, as we started calling it in New York, #FakeStorm2015). We were really impressed by how brands created emails that specifically targeted a one-day event.
We started wondering how companies were using emails for other events, too. How does a cupcake company jump onto the #Superbowl bandwagon with a special deal? How does a housing and rental website connect house-hunting with the Super Bowl?
Well, we pulled together a bunch of #Superbowl emails to find out. Here are five brands that used the context of Super Bowl XLIX to offer subscribers something relevant and timely to add to football’s ultimate Sunday:
Continue reading 5 Awesome #Superbowl Emails
Sometimes, when you do research and you notice something that’s really striking, you just have to GIF it. This is one of those moments. We’ve been researching how US consumers use their mobile phones when it comes to emails since early 2013 and just completed our latest US Consumer Device Preference Report for Q4 2014.
This time around, we noticed that the trends that were emerging in 2013 fully took hold in 2014 – the most popular mobile device kept getting more popular, the attention spans of people on different devices continued to crystalize, and desktop email opens continued to dwindle.
What really struck us about 2014 was just how dramatically people across the country are adopting mobile devices and using them as the go-to way to access their emails.
We put together a GIF to help show that adoption rate in action:
As we can see, there was a spike in adoption at the beginning of the year, probably when people were trying out new devices from the holiday season and traveling for vacation. From there, mobile email use falls a bit, but starts growing rapidly in Q3 and Q4.
By the end of 2014, only nine states were more prone to opening emails on desktops, and only slightly. Every other state in the country has officially become mobile-first when it comes to email. At this rate, we fully expect that, by the end of 2015, mobile devices will be the first way people check their emails in every state.
Want to see all the findings from our mobile email research report? Download the US Consumer Device Preference Report for Q4 2014 here:
The endless march of mobile kept going right through the rest of 2014. According to our latest research, email opens on smartphones in the US are now at an all-time high. Not only that, the states that favor the desktop for email over mobile devices has dropped to nine, down from eleven compared to our Q3 2014 research.
About 50% of email opens now occur on smartphones. That’s right – not all mobile devices, just smartphones. Email opens on mobile devices now account for nearly 67% of all email opens, while just around a third of emails are opened on desktops.
Continue reading [RESEARCH] Mobile Email Opens Hit an All-Time High in Q4 2014
Okay, New York City’s #Snowmageddon2015 was more like #FakeStorm2015. But a few feet of fresh snow overnight is still nothing to turn your nose at – even if the promised “hurricane-like gusts” of wind never really materialized.
Up and down the East Coast, there’s a lot of snow. This is the first biggest snowstorm of the year… did your company have a contextual email campaign ready for it?
We collected some of our favorites from the day of #FakeStorm2015. These are contextual emails that took the weather into account – either through clever geo-targeted segmenting or automated email personalization – and offered deals and great contextual content.
Here are eight brands that sent contextual emails based on the snowstorm:
Continue reading 9 Awesome #Snowmageddon2015 Emails
When you’re watching a TV show on Netflix and Netflix automatically recommends another show that looks good, you don’t really think before you click it. The content is so relevant to you, so targeted to your interests, you know you’re going to like it.
Netflix is built on this model. By crunching data from 44 million subscribers, the company has created a contextual marketing engine that delivers 76,000 different genre types, offering genres as obscure as “alien films from the 1970s.”
By sending these recommendations in real-time, Netflix isn’t just delivering the best show, recommended for your individual preferences – the company is actually creating contextual marketing campaigns and targeting them on an individual basis.
Netflix has created marketing that’s so seamless that it’s built right into the experience. Every time you click a recommended show, you’re clicking an ad.
That’s a pretty big deal, considering customers really don’t like traditional marketing. Forrester found that less than a quarter (22%) of consumers trust emails from companies or brands, only 13% trust ads on web sites, and only 32% trust ads in any channel.
What customers do trust is utility and experience… and that’s why contextual marketing is so important today. Just ask Uber.
Continue reading Netflix & Uber Run Marketing Campaigns That People Actually Want to See – Here’s How.
When you think of comedian Louis CK, you probably think stand-up comedy first, TV second, and “contextual marketing” never.
But recently, Louis was the first comedian to ever sell out three shows at Madison Square Garden. In fact, so many people bought tickets that he had to announce a fourth.
And he did it by sending contextually relevant emails.
This isn’t the first time that Louis CK ran a contextual marketing campaign. Three months ago, anyone in the area of Somerville, Massachusetts, received an email announcing three back-to-back shows at the Somerville Theatre in Davis Square… and all those shows also sold out.
The email went out one day before the first show started. The Somerville Theatre didn’t mention that Louis CK was performing there. Not on posters, not in the calendar, not even on the marquee out front.
But it didn’t matter, because Louis CK had contextual email marketing on his side.
Continue reading What Louis CK Can Teach You About the Crazy Power of Contextual Marketing
Netflix knows what kinds of TV shows you want to watch next. Pandora plays obscure sub, sub-genre music you would never otherwise know you loved. Amazon recommends everything from books to spatulas, while Google and Facebook create a custom-tailored experience just for you.
It’s no coincidence that some of the most recognized brands today have started personalizing content and product recommendations. In a digital world that’s crowded and noisy, personalized content helps customers create their own journeys, from start to finish, and make sense of the nearly infinite offers being sent to them on a daily basis.
In 2014, contextual email marketing made major strides in personalization. This year, we’re sure to see even more dynamic campaigns as email marketers work hard to personalized content that speaks to their customers on an individual basis.
To reflect on the different ways companies can personalize emails for customers, we collected five examples that show the different kinds of email personalization that companies are implementing:
Continue reading Design, Deals, Location and More: 5 Examples of Effective Email Personalization
Once an email marketing campaign is sent out, subscribers are going to get the content from that time of send – whether they open emails that day or a year from now.
Most campaigns don’t take into account things like time of open, location, or what’s happened since the email was originally sent. But with so many people using mobile devices to check their emails, companies are slowly changing that, working to ensure that emails are contextually relevant whenever and wherever customers open them.
Finish Line, an athletic apparel store with both brick-and-mortar locations and a growing eCommerce presence, is doing just that… and it’s paying off. Over the past year, the company has doubled open rates and grown click-through rates by 300%.
This didn’t happen overnight. As Finish Line experiments with the capabilities of contextual email marketing technology, the business has been rethinking and redesigning email campaigns to make them more targeted and more personalized.
Our latest eBook covers four different campaigns Finish Line used to do it – raising email revenue by 50%. Check it out!