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Loren Mcdonald

Member since September 2003 Contact Loren

Meet Loren at MediaPost Events

  • Loren is attending Social Media Insider Summit, August 17, 2011
    Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, NV
  • Loren is attending Email Insider Summit, December 05, 2010
    St. Regis Deer Valley, Park City, UT
  • Loren is attending Email Insider Summit, December 06, 2009
    The Chateaux at Silver Lake, Park City, UT

Articles by Loren All articles by Loren

  • 10 Topics On The Minds Of Email Marketers Around The World in Email Insider on 06/25/2015

    In the first half of 2015, my travel schedule has taken me to meetings at companies in various industries from India to Sweden and the U.K. to the U.S. Although the perspectives and priorities varied somewhat among the groups, the topics discussed were quite similar from one meeting to another. In almost every case, company representatives confirmed they were either focused on a particular trend or issue or planned to take it up soon.Here are the 10 topics that came up repeatedly:

  • 'Mom, All I Want Is To Change My Email Address' in Email Insider Europe on 06/11/2015

    OK, so I took some liberties with the line "All I wanted was a Pepsi" from the song "Institutionalized" by Suicidal Tendencies (one of my all-time favorite songs). But after trying to change my email address across 25 email subscriptions, I felt about as frustrated as the teenager in this song whose mom accused him of being on drugs -- but all he wanted was a Pepsi. Why? Because almost nobody makes this process easy to do. Sorry to say, email marketers, but most of you get an "F" for the effort it takes to change an email address.

  • India: Now Vast Mobile Proving Ground For Marketers in Email Insider on 06/10/2015

    While I was in India on a business trip, Mary Meeker presented her much-anticipated annual list of Internet trends for 2015 in which India plays a major role as an emerging mobile marketplace. Coincidence or not, reading Meeker's insights while in Goa, Mumbai, New Delhi and Agra gave me new perspectives on the future of digital marketing and where innovation will come from. (Hint: probably not mature markets like the U.S., U.K. or Japan).

  • 'I'm Mad as Hell...': My Top Email Marketing Pet Peeves in Email Insider Europe on 05/29/2015

    I must be getting cranky in my older age. Little things are starting to annoy me more now. So, email marketers, I'm begging you to fix your email-marketing programs. Get your act together so I can enjoy my morning coffee without spitting it out in disgust. My email-marketing pet peeves aren't just about aspects of your emails but also how you run your programs and processes. Here they are, divided into two categories, Program Management and Email Practices:

  • As Marketing Transforms, Will Email's Role Change? in Email Insider on 05/28/2015

    In 2007, when people said texting and social media would kill email, I predicted the channel would adapt and "even help facilitate these new emerging technologies." That prediction held up pretty well. But now we're seeing another series of plate-shifting. Will email continue to reign as a key player?

  • Email As Discovery Tool? Try It, You'll Like It! in Email Insider Europe on 05/21/2015

    A successful shopping experience isn't just one where you find exactly what you wanted. Dedicated shoppers know it's also serendipity, such as discovering a tasty gourmet ravioli on your way to pick up a 25-pack of paper towels. Sending the most relevant offers to customers is important. So is using email to introduce products to customers who might not find them any other way, or who think of your company and products only once a year at holidays. A family vacation in Greece got me thinking about email's essential role in discovery as well as sales and branding, and how marketers can use it to make their emails more useful, valuable -- and, ultimately, irresistible.

  • Nine Years, 200 Columns - And More to Come in Email Insider on 05/14/2015

    This column marks a milestone: the 200th column since my first Email Insider debuted on Sept. 27, 2006, and I became a regular contributor on July 25, 2007. As I looked through my list of columns, I found a few favorites and a couple that took on surprising lives of their own.

  • Make Your B2B Emails More H2H (Human to Human) in Email Insider Europe on 04/30/2015

    Many B2B emails I receive begin with "Dear Loren." This beginning promises that the rest of the email will have content highly personalized to my company demographics (firmagraphics) and business needs, based on my behavior and engagement with marketing content. Not.

  • Use Email To Overcome The Customer 'Experience Void' in Email Insider on 04/29/2015

    A wide gulf exists between companies and customers on their perceptions of the "customer experience," according to a new study, "The Consumer Conversation: The Experience Void Between Companies and their Customers." Closing this "experience void" can reduce costly customer turnover by anticipating and resolving issues and building deeper engagement.

  • Does Your Email Marketing Program Suffer From Parkinson's Law Of Triviality? in Email Insider on 04/16/2015

    The California drought and email marketing have two things in common: Both are beset by scarce resources, and people often focus more on trivial actions rather than major initiatives to try to fix them. There's a name for this: "bike-shedding." It's a corollary to Parkinson's Law of Triviality, which claims that organizations, when faced with decision-making for very large and strategic projects, often spend more time on unimportant but easily understood solutions (how to build an employee bike shed) than on difficult or complex ones (how to build a power plant).

Comments by Loren All comments by Loren

  • Discovering The 'Me' Generation by David Baker (Email Insider on 06/01/2015)

    Great post David ... marketing is becoming bi-directional ...

  • Two Uber Trends From Cyber Week by Loren McDonald (Email Insider on 12/11/2014)

    Agreed Chad ... which is why I think a lot of retailers will be better prepared next year. But it is also more complex than that with smartphones becoming as big as small tablets, etc. It is going to be interesting to see how the impact of things like ApplePay, PayPal, Amazon Payments have on smartphone conversion rates.

  • Why Mobile Payments Will Change Email Forever by David Baker (Email Insider on 10/06/2014)

    Great post David...whole-heartedly agree about the impact of mobile payments ... it is going to be key to closing the smartphone shopper browse to buy gap.

  • 'Mom, All I Want Is To Change My Email Address' by Loren McDonald (Email Insider on 09/04/2014)

    Bruce, thanks for chiming in with your personal experience - you make my point exactly! There are legitimate technology issues that can make this a bit challenging for brands, but if so - then at least make the process of opt-ing out and then resubscribing really simple. But to your point, while I don't have data to prove it, I think brands are losing more email subscribers due to a poor preference center process than they recognize. What percent of unsubscribes are valuable customers who just want to change their email address - and then never get around to re-subscribing? Thanks again for sharing!

  • Connecters Vs. Influencers by David Baker (Email Insider on 08/04/2014)

    Great post Mr. Baker. Identifying these key influencers (who are often, but not always, your best customers) in your email database can provide opportunities for "best customer," "surprise and delight," etc programs that are designed first and foremost to make these influencers feel even more positive about your brand. Many will then "share" their brand affinity far and wide - and have greater impact far beyond acquiring some new email subscribers. BTW, I think I know that father mentioned in your column! :-)

  • Was Shutterfly's 'Oops' Response Picture-Perfect Or Out-Of-Focus? by Loren McDonald (Email Insider on 05/29/2014)

    Thanks for the comment Chuck ... and yes, email mistakes are very common. But each sender still must determine if their "mistake" is significant enough that it does require a response. But also to your point, one of the best practices I recommend is that you communicate your correction or apology to only those customers/subscribers who were affected ... minimizing over communication. In Shutterfly's case, many people were quite offended by the email, so a response and apology was absolutely the right thing for them to do.

  • Revisiting Email Address Churn by Loren McDonald (Email Insider on 04/03/2014)

    Thanks Andrew ... and I agree. I touched on it in the causes of email churn section - "Channel preference changes." Some customers may get everything they need from a combination of your mobile app and Facebook page, are a great customer but don't feel they need to stay in your email program ...

  • Send a Blast, Kill a Hamster by Loren McDonald (Email Insider on 03/20/2014)

    No bet. Was based on my recent keynote presentation at eTail.

  • What's Your Competitive Advantage? by David Baker (Email Insider on 02/24/2014)

    Nice post David. You are coming at this competitive advantage issue - and differentiation - which was the subject of my EI column last week, positioning - from a different angle - process, innovation ... but really important. In your parlance, I think there are at least 2 ways email marketers can think about innovation: 1) Program iteration - think about cart abandonment remarketing. Deploying such a program has become a "must do/me too" now for retailers ...and there are several "accepted" best practices - but how can you take such a program and personalize/evolve it for maximum results for your customers, product mix, margin target, etc.? 2) But then also how do you develop truly innovative programs, that might be unique to your business or market? This requires a formal planning or innovation process, which very few marketing organizations make the time to do. It is also why a lot of the innovation actually comes from outside the organization- consultants, agencies, technology vendors who are motivated (and/or compensated) to develop innovative ideas.

  • Telling The EV Story: Why Building More Charging Stations Won't Boost EV Sales by Ted Page (Marketing: Green on 10/24/2013)

    Ted, as a fellow Media Post columnist and avid EV and solar power fanatic I was excited to read your column. I think you've definitely hit on a key aspect (poor story telling) of modest sales of the Volt and Leaf. However, EVs are actually outselling hybrids at the comparable stage - but we are still very early in the development and adoption of EVs. There are actually several factors holding back EV sales from exploding sooner (they are, however nearly doubling each year), including: - Choice: There is very little (Leaf and Volt which is not even a full EV, and the Tesla Model S, which costs $85K to $100K+). The others Ford Focus, Toyota RAV-4, Chevy Spark, Fiat 500e, etc are barely available, not marketed, etc... The upcoming BMW i3 looks to create some excitement in the market. But until there are dozens of good choices of EVs ... sales will not explode. - Design: Except for the Tesla Model S - most of the EVs and PHEVs are boring, ugly or just not exciting. Tesla is the only EV that is aspirational and doesn't look like a, well EV. Millions of people want the Model S - but only tens of thousands can afford it. The opposite is true about the Leaf, Volt, etc. - Range: Most pure EVs (except the Tesla Model S) only have a range of 80-100 miles. Even though most people drive less than 40 miles per day - Americans are freaked out about range anxiety. As batteries come down in cost the next few years, average range will increase toward 150 miles - which will greatly increase demand. - Charging Time/Infrastructure: Most apartments don't yet have chargers; and it costs a few thousand dollars typically to install chargers at home. And most EVs take several hours to charge (yes, except the Tesla). People need to have a mindset change ...and Tesla expects to have a SUper Charger in the next 2-3 years that will charge a Model S to half capacity in 5-10 minutes. This will be huge. - Cost: EVs are priced well above similar models. Until the cost narrows and it is then easier for a buyer to understand the cost savings of electricity powered over gas powered ... sales will not take off. - Solar: In Calif where I am, more than 50 percent of EV owners also have solar panels installed. The two are interconnected - the more people who install solar, the more who will buy an EV. And solar is about to explode in the next few years. - Ultimately I believe it is mostly about supply. The car companies simply aren't that interested in EVs right now as their sales are doing well (for most) and building and marketing new EV platforms is very expensive - just at a time when their financials are looking up. Could the auto companies do a better job marketing EVs and PHEVs? Absolutely, but until they get excited about EVs and start building dozens of models that offer quality and choice at a comparable cost to ICE cars ... only the greenie/early adopter types are going to take the plunge. Looking forward to more columns on the topic. Loren

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