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!
Email personalization applications can be a tough thing for marketers to integrate into current email campaigns. It’s still a relatively new technology, which means that contextual marketing features such as countdown clocks, live web cropping, and creative optimization can be hard to implement without the help of a client experience team.
From the technical to the aesthetic, dynamic content brings a new world of opportunities for email marketing, which is why marketers who are just getting started in personalizing emails should learn how to crawl before they start to run. And that means thinking about dynamic email content from the ground-up.
Anyone with a smartphone has done it. You’re checking your email for a few minutes – between meetings, during a commercial, waiting for someone who texted you that they’d be there but is nowhere in sight – and you start mercilessly deleting emails, one-by-one.
Anything that doesn’t seem useful is a candidate for the Trash folder.
And, as marketers are starting to find out, email marketing campaigns are often the first to go. Sure, open rates on mobile devices are spiking. Recent research from Epsilon shows that mobile open rates grew by 6.5% from the past year. But clickthrough rates are falling. Epsilon found that there was a dip of 0.5% in clickthrough rates (dropping from 4.5% to 4%) over the same time period.
A dip of 0.5% in clickthrough rates is no reason to start shouting that the sky is falling and hyperlinks are the main thing dropping out of the clouds. But this points to an interesting trend: it’s a lot easier to get customers to open mobile emails than engage with them.
For many major retailers, this week marks the cutoff for guaranteed holiday delivery with standard shipping. While this may dismay some of your consumers, the good news is that Movable Ink allows you to change the messages in your marketing emails in real time to reflect the latest information–no matter when the email is opened. This minimizes consumer confusion and disappointment while maximizing opportunities for conversions.
Once the online ordering deadline has passed, you can have the message swapped out to include a message about in-store purchases while including a local map showing the closest store locations and updated holiday hours. You can also include a CTA for consumers to send a digital eGift card to people on their list. This adds a layer of personalization and creates a greater user experience for each of your consumers.
Comparing email opens year over year, we saw the peaks before both Black Friday and Cyber Monday hit earlier, indicating customers started looking for deals earlier in the week than in previous years.
Smartphones were the device of choice on Black Friday as opposed to Cyber Monday shoppers preferring to open emails for deals on desktops. Design your emails accordingly, or make sure your emails are responsive!
Although we saw overall preferred devices for each day, device preference as well as email read length varied by industry vertical.
Excentus has spent more than fifteen years developing technology that makes it easy for consumers to save money on gasoline and convenient for businesses to build loyalty by creating value for their customers. Their growing Fuel Rewards Network® program provides members with the opportunity to earn free gas simply by purchasing the things they normally would from more than 1,400 retail locations, nearly 700 online merchants, and 10,000+ restaurants. To date, Excentus has helped more than 25 million consumers save hundreds of millions of dollars on fuel.
Coleman Easley, Email Marketing Manager at Excentus sat down with us to share how they are using Movable Ink to achieve their goals and deliver highly relevant and engaging campaigns at scale.
Movable Ink: Why did you decide to partner with Movable Ink?
Excentus: We are growing fast, we have a good product, and we don’t have a big marketing team. We were looking at tools that would allow us to be more efficient. Movable Ink saves us time and increases the relevancy to every opener. Things like live creative optimization and in the moment targeting are easy with agileEMAIL vs. having to do it on our own. We saved a lot of time and improved in an area we wanted to improve in.
MI: How has it been working with Movable Ink so far?
E: Working with Movable Ink has been great so far. The Client Experience Team is always available, and quick to respond. They share ideas with us, are efficient, timely, and do great work with our team. We appreciate their help for sure.
MI:We’ve been partnered for a few months now, what has been your favorite use of agileEMAIL so far?
E: One of our favorites was one of the first things we implemented with Movable Ink. We had low participation in our Fuel Rewards Network® program across the member lifecycle. After digging in we attributed it to a lack of understanding of how the program works; after all it’s free gas, it should market itself. In April, we changed our “all at once and good luck” welcome email to a new series utilizing agileEMAIL to power five focused, digestible, highly personalized emails that educate members and reward their participation in the Fuel Rewards Network® program. It worked. Fuel Rewards earned in the first month increased 94%, and another 68% in the next month! The success of the welcome series showed we needed to expand our use of agileEMAIL to other programs too.
MI: That’s a great! The end result improved, but how did it impact subscriber traffic?
E:We classify our traffic into two buckets. The first is “low value” traffic which lands on content that isn’t likely to drive a conversion. The second is “high value” which is traffic that lands on content that is likely to drive a conversion. With Movable Ink, we can localize and personalize message content for every member when they open an email instead of trying to do it before we send. Now we can show nearby locations where members can earn rewards and alter the message content and calls to action based on the device they used and rewards available to them. These capabilities helped increase high value traffic by 21% and our click-through rate by 24%.
MI: What are your future plans for agileEMAIL?
E:Right now we are generally sending out one size fits all campaigns. Over the next six months, we are going to incorporate agileEMAIL into other campaigns, especially win-back emails to wake up dormant members. We need to get to a more 1:1 relationship with our members. Customizing the communications over the customer journey is a big deal and we plan on using agileEMAIL to help us achieve that.
Apple Pay™ launched on October 20th; which is exciting for marketers! Why? Apple Pay™ is going to put an even bigger emphasis on the importance of mobile as consumers can complete purchases by simply scanning their finger on their iPhone (6 or 6 Plus) or iPad (Air 2 or Mini 3). It’s being championed as the solution that will start the consumer shift to mobile payments. But what does that mean for you and your email program?
With the launch of Apple Pay™, have you wondered:
1. How can I use email to now drive even more mobile sales? 2. How can I target mobile consumers by their device and location to drive Apple Pay users into stores? 3. How exactly does Apple Pay work – I want to see this 2 click conversion!
Lucky for you, we’ve answered those questions in our webinar already. A replay of “Getting Mobile Consumers to Bite with Apple Pay” is available for you to watch here.
The 2014 holiday season is upon us! Our quarterly U.S. Consumer Device Preference Report is out and has deep insight into how consumers engage with their devices, the popularity of these devices, and how device preferences varies across the nation; use this information wisely to target and personalize your holiday email campaigns. Unlike other studies, this data set exclusively includes results from large, enterprise B2C marketers. The report is free for you to download, and you can get a copy here.
It may not be a surprise that the Q3 2014 report strongly confirms that U.S. consumers prefer to use their smartphones to read email, with the device accounting for 48% of all email opens, but did you know retail consumers tend to show a mobile preference while finance and automotive consumers show a desktop preference? This quarter’s report goes on to break down device use and other engagement metrics by six major verticals (automotive, financial services, media/entertainment/publishing, retail apparel, retail non-apparel, and travel/hospitality).
“The U.S. Consumer Device Preference report confirms that sending responsive email is no longer a luxury, but a necessity to success,” said Vivek Sharma, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Movable Ink. “Mobile devices continue to outpace desktop computers as the preferred device for email, putting an emphasis on responsive mobile ready email for holiday. We are excited to help our clients convert more mobile traffic than ever this holiday season with our new responsive design tools that are live within agileEMAIL and our free hosted email design tool Inkbrush.”
Key findings include:
- New to the report for Q3 is how consumer behavior and device preference varied by vertical. Longer email read lengths were seen when consumers preferred desktops and shorter read lengths occurred when consumers preferred smartphones in a particular vertical.
- Tablet use picked up again during the quarter and well accounted for almost 40% of opens during prime after work hours.
- Apple’s iOS devices continued to widen its lead over Google’s Android devices. However, Android users stay engaged longer with email.
About the Movable Ink “U.S. Consumer Device Preference Report: Q3 2014”
The Q3 2014 U.S. Consumer Device Preference Report is based on data collected through Movable Ink’s agileEMAIL platform between July 1, 2014 – September 30, 2014. They reflect aggregate statistics across Movable Ink’s customer base, which includes more than 200 enterprise B2C & B2B marketers from the retail, travel, financial, media, and telecommunication industries. Because determining email opens requires images to load, the percentages for some devices might be over or underrepresented.
If you have any questions about the report or if we can help you get responsive for the holiday season contact us at email@example.com.