• Recognizing Your Biggest Fans
    In late January, the men's U.S. national soccer team played a friendly match in San Diego against Serbia. As a Serbian family hailing out of Chicago, we jumped at the chance to go see the first-ever meeting of these teams since the erosion of Yugoslavia (and it didn't hurt that we got to go to San Diego in January). The U.S. team was warming up spitting distance from us, and the kids were so excited to be so close. A few of the players said they would come over after the match to sign autographs. The kids watched the scoreless ...
  • Amplify The Power Of A Click
    We put a lot of focus on the click in the email conversion funnel - and for good reason. When a click takes place, it means the email has done its job to compel the consumer to transition from the email to your Web site. From there, the site does the work to help drive the actual conversion. By narrowly focusing on this process, though, email marketers have largely overlooked what a click can do.
  • 5 Easy A/B Tests
    The mantra of direct marketers is "Test, Test, Test." Yet even good marketers sometimes skip testing and give in to the pressure to just get the email out the door. Tests can be hard to set up, especially ones that focus on the two biggest results-drivers: list and offer. But there are gains to be had from easy (well, easier) creative tests. Here are five easy A/B tests to run while you are pulling together the tougher ones.
  • 10 Tips For Creating Email Messages With A Message
    In my previous Email Insider, I explored how brands are using email to stake out positions on current events and reiterate their political, social and cultural values. These can be effective ways to build more connections with your readers, but they can be risky, too. Here are things to think about before you follow suit:
  • Optimizing Experiences For The Connected Consumer
    We are all connected - whether connected means you have panic attacks if you leave home without your mobile phone, or you feel empty sitting on the couch without your iPad within arm's reach. We are entering an age when knowing who your customers are and their activities is not enough to succeed. It's no longer sufficient to know which devices they use and simply call it a day. Even knowing where they use their devices is not enough to deliver truly relevant customer experiences. All of these data points must now be combined through event data and points-in-time references ...
  • That Fine Line: Supporting A Cause Vs. Pandering
    Email is increasingly being used by brands to position a point of view in support or protest of a specific viewpoint or cause. In today's white-hot global political and social climate, it's important that messages are crafted very carefully.
  • What Job Is Your Subscriber Hiring Your Email To Do?
    One of the tools that has become more popular with product management teams over the last few years is the Jobs to be Done framework (JTBD). Leading companies ask themselves what job the client is hiring their product or service to do. For example, I am hiring Google Docs as a platform on which to write this column, while my younger son hires a skateboard to get him to school in the mornings. By mapping the JTBD into a series of discrete steps (called "job mapping"), a company can determine opportunities to improve on current products or services used by ...
  • Stop Testing Subject Lines
    Marketers are taught to test and learn so they can keep getting better results. Why then, are we all still testing subject lines? While these are the easiest tests to set up and run, they also have the smallest potential to drive better results.
  • Five Lifecycle Programs You Probably Don't Have, But Should
    Email marketers that put data to action by leveraging technology and automation realize a sizable profit. Many of them listen to customer behaviors and already have several programs running, such as an abandoned cart program, a welcome program, etc. However, when tasked to come up with new programs outside of a standard vertical blueprint, they tend to fall short. These types of programs take time and planning on top of an already intensive daily schedule, so no wonder that the creative juices stop flowing. Fear not, though. Here are six programs that could provide incremental revenue and build satisfaction among ...
  • How to Move Machine Learning From Possibility To Practice
    Imagine a world with no spell check -- then suddenly hearing someone say that there were tools available to autocorrect all your spelling in any language on the fly. "Blasphemy!" people might cry, until they tried it. Marketers today might think the same thing if you tell them that machine learning can improve their email campaigns.
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