April Fools’ Day is one of marketing’s cheesiest holidays. This year was no different. Google pretended to invent a new kind of “smartbox” for direct mail and flipped the search bar on Google.com around. Microsoft pretended to return to BASIC for a “clean and simple” design. Honda debuted a selfie-taking rearview mirror. At Movable Ink, we debuted our contextually relevant fireball technology.
April Fools’ email marketing campaigns came pouring into inboxes. We sorted through a lot of the holiday’s best emails and came up with eight that really stuck out.
Without further ado, here are our top eight April Fools’ emails:
It’s that time again – Movable Ink is excited to announce that the latest edition of The Inkredible 5 is now available. In the Winter 2015 edition of The Inkredibe 5, we explored how five different brands are using contextual email marketing in really innovative ways to build customer experiences through the inbox and provide truly personalized experiences.
In this lookbook, you’ll learn how:
Hyatt Gold Passport personalized emails for every rewards guest
Yahoo Travel hosted live voting directly wihtin the inbox
Udemy included GIFs in email campaigns that were specific to different mobile devices
Download the eBook to take a look at these Inkredible emails and more.
We’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:
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.
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:
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:
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.
The following post is an excerpt from a story that appeared in the September 2014 edition of Direct Marketing News covering Comedy Central’s marketing program. Written by Elyse Dupre, Associate Editor. Copyright Direct Marketing News 2014. Click here for the full story.
Content that’s in sync with consumers? Nooice! …if Comedy Central wants consumers to engage with its content experiences, then it needs to make those experiences valuable and accessible. So, instead of forcing consumers to search for its content, Comedy Central puts the right content in front of them on the right platforms.
One way Comedy Central does this is through email. By working with real-time email marketing company Movable Ink, Comedy Central updates its email content dynamically based on its subscribers’ open times. For instance, if customers open a Colbert Report email in the afternoon before the show airs, Comedy Central can include a tune-in-tonight message with a preview link, Steele explains. But if they don’t open the email until the next day, Comedy Central can change its message to information about last night’s show and include a link to the full episode.
“Our engagement rates and open rates have gone up dramatically [as a result],” Steele says.*
Adjusting email content based on device is another way Comedy Central stays in step with its fans. If consumers open a Daily Show email on an iOS device and they have the Comedy Central app, they can click on the email and go straight to the app to watch a full episode, Levitt says. However, if fans haven’t downloaded the app, the network can include a link inviting them to do so. Comedy Central launched its app this past April and received more than one million downloads in less than six weeks.
“We’re being strategic in terms of what options we give you and how we make it easier for you to find the content that you love,” Levitt says.
*Since implementing Movable Ink’s technology and taking a more mobile-centric approach, Comedy Central has experienced a 20% increase in email opens and clicks, Steele adds. …
Summer is heating up and consumer inboxes are too. The brand new Summer 2014 Inkredible Five was released last week and features five of the most inspiring examples of agile email marketing yet! In The Summer 2014 Inkredible Five, you can see how:
Ebay connected live content from their site to their consumers inbox for seamless consumer engagement.
Auto Trader UK targeted their subscribers by location to give driving tips based on the weather outside their window.
Best Western optimized creative based on location and device to maximize click-through’s and revenue.
Click here to get your copy today to see how these top brands and others combined their ingenuity with Movable Ink’s technology to create memorable and engaging email experiences that stood out in the inbox.
Through July 4, 2014, Bass Pro Shops is running an integrated digital campaign to increase social engagement and give back to the community through AMVETS. Dalie Hand and Ashley Sims from Bass Pro Shops sat down with us to share how the #REELTHANKS campaign is going so far, and what their goals were from the initiative.
Movable Ink: Can you tell us about the #REELTHANKS campaign and what your goals were from it?
Bass Pro Shops: Our customers are patriotic and we are a patriotic company. We wanted to do something that would engage them with our brand across channels and give back to the community at the same time. So we came up with an idea to partner with AMVETS, an organization that works with American Military Veterans, to leverage our email and social media properties to do it. This campaign gives our customers the chance to to say thank you to American Veterans by tweeting #REELTHANKS or by sharing through Bass Pro Shops Facebook page. For every 10 tweets or Facebook shares, we’ll donate one rod and reel combo to AMVETS. In total, we expect to donate 1,000 combos by the 4th of july through the #REELTHANKS campaign.
MI: That’s inspiring! How has agileEMAIL helped you achieve your goal for #REELTHANKS?
BPS: We used Movable Ink to stream live social feeds into the message that utilized the #REELTHANKS hash tag. Furthermore, we deep-linked pre-populated tweets so with one click our subscriber could tweet and participate. So far, the email is responsible for 50% of the campaign’s overall engagement and success!
MI: Wonderful! Given its success, do you have future plans for cross-channel promotions?
BPS: We are going to use Movable Ink to launch instagram sweepstakes and to further promote our social properties. We have gotten good responses to streaming hash tags in email and will do more promotions with that capability too.
MI: Thank you Dalie and Ashley! To participate in #REELTHANKS, tweet #REELTHANKS or share it from Bass Pro Shops Facebook page through July 4, 2014. You can follow Bass Pro Shops on twitter @Bass_Pro_Shops.