• Why It's Time To 'Unthink' Email
    Deliverability issues, unsubscribes, typos, formatting mistakes are all fears we face as email marketers. As a result, we adapt our creative process to take these fears into account. Instead of practicing creativity as it applies to email, we've become programmed to practice best practices and try to avoid failure by focusing on our fears. But as artist and consultant Erik Wahl explained, "The art of excellence is couched in the science of reprogramming our mind for new and different ideas." So how do we "unthink" email and get back to beginners' mind? Consider these three ways:
  • Email Marketing As Problem-Solver
    We've been taught to think about marketing in terms of achieving goals in the customer buying cycle: awareness, interest, trial, purchase, support, loyalty, referral/advocacy or some variation of these. Achieving these goals is like tying your shoes. You just do it, without thinking strategically about the process. We add a popover to our home page to acquire more subscribers. We test copy in subject lines and landing pages to drive higher conversion rates. But I'm talking about something different: email marketing as a companywide problem-solver.
  • Mobile First
    I bet you've had "mobile first" come up at your strategy table in the last year. It's one of the most popular CMO strategic imperatives of 2016.
  • What Do You Do About Emotional Opt-Outs?
    Managing an email program inevitably requires figuring out what to do with those pesky, emotionally opted-out customers. What are emotional opt-outs, you ask? These are customers in your email database that have not opened or clicked any email you have sent in a long period of time. It's the idea that these customers are disinterested in your brand's emails, but aren't taking the time to unsubscribe. Industry experts often disagree on how to handle these customers. One side says you should purge them, while others state you should keep them.
  • Was Sending That Prince-Themed Email After His Surprise Death A Wise Move?
    "To celebrate Prince we've marked down a collection of items just as striking as he was." Really? The retailer that used Prince's death to promote a discounted purple handbag clearly didn't think through that approach. Or, it lacked a process to deal with such events, or both.
  • Targeting Digital Teens (Generation Z)
    Like the teen generations that came before them, today's teens are concerned about appearances, image and their place in the social caste system of their particular worlds. At the same time, the world these digital natives live in changes rapidly, shaping them into a new generation. This shifting mentality raises questions about how and where to reach the lucrative teenage consumer market in a highly fragmented mobile social universe. Tactics that worked with the MTV generation won't resonate today. The sooner companies get to know this generation, the better.
  • Millennials' Technology Habits Will Change Direct Marketing
    Millennials are now the largest working generation in the U.S., and their habits are very different than those of earlier generations. Direct marketers who have constructed an email program to address earlier generational cohorts will find that their campaigns increasingly fall flat without some key strategic changes.
  • Five Common Myths About Email Deliverability
    With more than one in five commercial email message being blocked or placed into the junk mail folder, problems with deliverability are common and can be problematic. Unfortunately, mailbox providers do not provide a detailed roadmap for what exactly is causing a marketer's delivery issue - nor do they provide detailed instructions on how to fix the problem. To make matters worse, the rules for obtaining great inbox placement change frequently. Because of this lack of information and frequent changes to deliverability rules, several common myths about deliverability have sprung up to fill the information void:
  • Using Email To Drive That All-Important Second Purchase
    Getting a customer to buy from you a second time is one of the most common challenges that online retailers and ecommerce companies face. Many first purchases are seasonal buys, gifts or one-time solutions. Your challenge is to motivate these customers to come back in a different season, to buy gifts for a different person, or find something that complements their first purchases.
  • The Three Circles
    The challenges with painting by colors are somewhat similar to the old consulting triangle. The consultant walks in, listens to your business problems and draws three circles on the whiteboard. One has a dollar sign, representing budget and how much you can spend; the second has a big "S" in it, representing scope/quality of the project. The last is a "T," representing time to complete. The consultant then says, you get to control two of these and I get the other one - which do you choose? You may want a perfect program and have six weeks to build it, ...
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