#SherpaEmail Summit 2015: Making Emails Human with Data & Design

Friday, February 27th, 2015

A team of Movable Inkers flew to Las Vegas for the MarketingSherpa Email Summit this week. We attended a lot of different conferences and met some clients (Finish Line won the B2C Email Campaign of the Year and gave a great talk about hyper-targeting), partners, and industry peers along the way.

We’re always interested in hearing what fellow email marketers are thinking. At EEC 2015, the prevailing theme was about deliverability.

At #SherpaEmail, there was a decided focus on data, testing, and getting email to dynamically respond to customer context. That was great news, because we’ve been thinking a lot about how brands can use contextual marketing not to just build campaigns, but enhance and create customer experiences.

Here’s a round-up of what people saw, learned, and discussed at #SherpaEmail:

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The One Thing That’s Getting Your Emails Marked as Spam

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

Emails get marked as spam because of user behavior.Deliverability is one of the biggest issues for any email marketer. Whether you’re an entrepreneur running a one-person company or a Fortune 500 team, you want to make sure that your email campaigns end up in your customer’s inbox.

The definition of email deliverability is just how well your emails get delivered to a recipient’s inbox. Most email service providers (ESPs) boast statistics like 98% deliverabity, which means you can be pretty sure that when you send an email, a recipient will get it.

But sometimes, it seems like, no matter what you do, your emails get marked as spam. But why is that? At Email Evolution Conference 2015, insiders from Outlook, Gmail, Comcast and AOL discussed what possibly gets email marketers marked as spam.

Surprisingly, the experts at the conference said that opens and clicks don’t have a big impact on how they judge an email marketer’s reputation. So even if you’re getting low open rates, there’s not that big a risk of ending up in the junk folder.

There was one big thing above all that the webmail providers agreed was more important: 

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4 Subject Line Strategies to Increase Your Email Open Rates

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

Email subject lines can significantly increase open rates.Whether you’re a retailer or hotel or media company, it’s probably safe to say that you’re always working hard to increase your email open rate. The competition can be tough. Every day, customers are getting bombarded with emails and, if they use Gmail, all those emails are going into the “Promotions” tab by default.

So to increase your email open rates, you need a great subject line. Something that catches your customer’s eye. But should the subject line be clever or straightforward? Should you have an offer right there in the headline or put it in the body of the email?

Here are four ways that will help you increase your email open rates with a great subject line:

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10 Awesome Valentine’s Day Emails

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

Valentine's Day Email Marketing CamapignsWe’re not sure if you noticed, but Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. That means stores are gearing up for one of the busiest shopping days of the season – flowers, chocolates, jewelry, and more are going to be flying off the physical and digital shelves.

For the past month, Valentine’s Day email marketing campaigns have been filling inboxes. But what helps retailers stand out? How can you get someone’s attention when your competitors are reaching out with similar messages?

Well, we pored through our own inboxes to see what kinds of emails managed to grab our attention. As always, we’re looking for contextual marketing campaigns.

Each great Valentine’s Day email marketing campaign we found had one thing in common above all: the context and content of Valentine’s Day was front and center, in a big way.

Here are ten awesome Valentine’s Day emails from brands:

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[WEBINAR] The Definitive Guide to Contextual Marketing

Monday, February 9th, 2015

ContextCTA2Today, digital marketing is broken. Just think of the last time you actually clicked on a banner ad. Or how many email campaigns you actually opened and clicked, as opposed to glanced at and deleted.

Forrester research shows that the picture is pretty bleak. Among customers today:

  • 87% of don’t trust ads on websites
  • 82% don’t trust social media posts
  • 80% don’t trust emails from companies
  • 70% don’t trust sponsored search engine results
  • 68% don’t trust information on brand websites

According to Forrester, that means forgoing traditional marketing campaigns in favor of building a “contextual marketing engine” that provides ongoing, relevant interactions with customers wherever they are during the purchasing process.

Contextual marketing isn’t a buzzword – it’s a whole different way of marketing.

Interested in learning more? Register for “The Definitive Guide to Contextual Marketing

Contextual marketing turns the traditional digital marketing model on its head. Rather than placing ads and sending out messages that interrupt the customer’s experience, marketers need to focus on creating relevant content in the right channel at the right time.

This can be as simple as a tweet. Remember Oreo’s tweet from the 2013 Super Bowl? Right content, right channel, right time. Customers were already thinking about the Super Bowl and Oreo created engaging content that allowed the brand to enter the conversation.

Contextual marketing combines content, data, devices, time, location, and channel to build a useful and enjoyable customer experience.

From Amazon’s contextual web experience to Netflix’s personalized video recommendations and Uber’s contextual, real-time logistics service, the biggest brands today have already built contextual marketing engines that provide utility to customers and enhance their experience.

Want to learn how other brands are using context and how you can build your own contextual marketing engine? Check out our recorded webinar, “The Definitive Guide to Contextual Marketing,” hosted by Movable Ink CEO Vivek Sharma and Senior Account Manager Elizabeth Ray.

Watch the Webinar Today!

Deliverability, Mobile, and Email Marketing at #EEC15

Friday, February 6th, 2015

EEC15 took place in Miami.Earlier this week, a few Movable Inkers went down to Miami to Email Evolution Conference 2015.

There were a lot of great speakers and tons of email talk going around, so we thought we would do a quick recap for anyone who might have missed what is one of the best email marketing conferences of the year.

For one of the pre-conference workshops, Movable Ink’s CEO Vivek Sharma and Senior Account Manager Elizabeth Ray gave a presentation about contextual marketing and how marketers can start building emails that always have relevant, real-time content for subscribers (which you can learn all about in our upcoming webinar).

During EEC15, we noticed that two things were on everyone’s minds: deliverability and mobile. People were talking about what really makes email marketing work – and how it can be as effective as possible when it gets to a customer’s inbox.

We collected some of the best #EEC15 tweets around these insights to see what was on everyone’s minds:

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6 Email List Segmentation Strategies for Retailers

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

Segmentation for email lists can help retailers make more engaging emails.Email marketing is a huge revenue-driver for retailers. In fact, a lot of companies will point to it as their number one digital marketing channel.

Research shows that, for every $1 spent, the average return on email marketing investment is about $44.25.

But for all the power of email, many brands have yet to scratch the surface of targeting and personalization. You could be a thirty-four year-old man and still receive emails from a clothing store about specials on red dresses.

This all comes down to building a list segmentation strategy for your emails.

List segmentation is the art of dividing your subscribers into separate lists based on demographics, preferences, and customer behavior. Segmentation really works – smaller, targeted email lists consistently see higher engagement than larger lists and 23% of email engagement can be attributed to segmentation strategy.

But how should you segment your list? And what kinds of content should you send to those different segments?

Here’s a quick breakdown of six email list segmentations strategies for retailers:

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Research: For Many Email Marketers, the Magic is Gone

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

For marketers, something is missing in email. Is it context?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.

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Best Western: 20 Million Personalized Emails, 20% Lift in Email Revenue

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

Best Western email marketingMovable 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.

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5 Awesome #Superbowl Emails

#Superbowl Emails

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:

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