• Email As Discovery Tool? Try It, You'll Like It!
    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. My recent family vacation in Greece got me thinking about email's essential role in discovery as well as sales and branding, and ...
  • Pocket Change: How Mobile Is Changing Email
    Email marketers know the numbers - how many people are opening their email on their phone, how fast this number is growing - and they are trying to adapt. Here are some ways that smartphones in pockets (and tablets) are changing how you need to interact with customers:
  • The Lifecycle Marketing Butterfly Effect
    If you are not familiar with The Butterfly Effect, it is the "sensitive dependency on initial conditions in which a small change at one place in a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state." At this point you may be asking, so what does digital email lifecycle marketing have to do with butterflies? Well, if you think about your consumer lifecycle marketing initiatives, there's a lot of cause and effect at play. One little flutter of a marketing miss or a bad consumer experience can set into motion a digital downward spiral of engagement rates ...
  • The Common Thread
    Three of the most important trends in email marketing right now are personalization, triggered messaging, and rendering techniques. These were the trends that we led off with in our annual Best of the Email Swipe File report this year, and reader reaction has confirmed that we were on the right track. However, when we looked at the individual selections that were trending the most with readers, there was a clear pattern. See if you can figure out what the common thread is among our four most popular selections, each of which was in a different category:
  • The Perfect Opt-Out
    Fact of life in the email marketing world: You must honor the opt-out. How you do this is typically representative of your brand voice -- or at minimum, the freedom your CMO has given you with brand humor.
  • Using Email To Promote Mobile App Usage
    Mobile's early boosters bragged that apps would make traditional email obsolete. Why mess with rendering, spam and deliverability hassles when you could just push messages right to your customers' phones? We all know how that played out. Users don't always open all of the apps they download, and often dump unused ones to make space for new apps. But new statistics from Localytics, an app analytics and marketing platform, show usage and retention are creeping up. The report had one oversight: It didn't mention using email to drive app usage. So we'll focus on that topic for this column.
  • Better ROI Through Re-engagement
    Online marketers are aware of the power of shopping-cart abandonment tools, but the reality is that solutions addressing the shopping cart alone are missing a significant number of potential sales, sales lost before the shopper adds any products to a shopping cart. How to retrieve those lost sales? Identify and pursue opted-in consumers who show interest in your ecommerce website and yet don't place items in a shopping cart.
  • What's Next For Inbox Placement?
    Today, the "Promotions" tab in my Gmail account looks more like my Pinterest page -- chock full of pictures -- than the text-based email list that I am used to being greeted with. And it's taking me quite some time to adjust to this new presentation. Now I'm hearing even more conversations about other inbox providers following a similar path. Once inboxes "look" different, what's next?
  • Gone Fishing
    With summer here, I'm looking forward to a favorite pastime shared with my father: fishing! I got to thinking about what's needed to make this fishing trip a success and chuckled at the similarities to how marketers approach an email marketing campaign. It seems like an apt time to have a little fun and use this fishing trip as an analogy (or shall we say methodology) for approaching your email marketing programs. So let's go fishing!
  • Good/Going/Gone: Simple Segmentation Scheme To Market To Your Customer's Next Move
    Inertia and fear determine more marketing campaigns than most marketers are ready to admit. While companies talk the talk about customer-centricity and relevant communications, what comes out of their servers is that same old/same-old, one-size-fits-all, spray-and-pray messaging. When reading that each of their millions of customers should be getting individualized emails, the prospect of doing that actually frightens some of them and questions their competence as marketers. Their incorrect perception of the required effort (it's much less than they think) feeds that fear and stifles their ability to move forward with better campaigns.
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