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Loren McDonald

Member since September 2003Contact Loren

Articles by Loren All articles by Loren

  • How Are Email Marketers Planning To Innovate In 2017? in Email Marketing Daily on 06/12/2017

    What's on the minds of email marketers in 2017? Several organizations have released studies recently on various aspects of email marketing whose results underscored a long-running challenge for email marketers (and marketers in general): a lack of time and resources leads to focusing on easier tasks rather than those with the most strategic returns.

  • What Are Your Email Marketing 3-Point Plays? in Email Insider on 05/11/2017

    Now that we're deep into the NBA playoffs (that's basketball, for non-fans), it's time to roll out an idea I've been bouncing around. Data geeks and analytics have become as important to basketball strategy as instinct and deep understanding of the game and players. It's the same "Moneyball"-style phenomenon that reshaped baseball strategy, and it can guide your email marketing decision-making.

  • Will Artificial Intelligence Make Email Marketers Obsolete? in Email Insider on 04/13/2017

    Forrester Research says intelligent agents (cognitive marketing, artificial intelligence, machine learning, chatbots, etc.) will eliminate 6% of U.S. jobs by 2021. But machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are already making inroads in marketing areas usually reserved for humans. Is it time to push the panic button? Will marketer jobs as we know them today become obsolete in five, 10 or 15 years?

  • 10 Tips For Creating Email Messages With A Message in Email Insider on 03/16/2017

    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:

  • Email Marketing Messages With A Message in Email Insider on 02/16/2017

    The commercial message is becoming a popular medium for dissent, or at least it seems that way in the early days of Donald Trump's presidency. More brands are using email marketing to deliver or amplify their cause and views.

  • Center-Brain Marketing: Preparing For A Future Of Cognitive Technology in Email Insider on 01/19/2017

    Technologies like cognitive marketing tools will help marketers deliver more relevant content and offers at the right time than humans alone ever could.

  • Field Guide To 'Dear %%Name%%' Personalization in Email Insider on 12/22/2016

    A marketer recently asked for advice about how to handle salutations and personalization for a consumer brand's email program. I hear this question often from clients and other marketers because, as with many aspects of email marketing, there is no straightforward best practice. The following questions will help you map out a strategy that will work for your email program.

  • Have We Forgotten How To Market? in Email Insider on 11/17/2016

    Excuse me while I rant a little bit. What's up with email subject lines coming from big brands lately? Way too many look like lazy marketing or borderline spam.

  • Keep Seeking Ways To Boost Revenue and Efficiency in Email Insider on 11/03/2016

    I met recently with a client that's an email marketing veteran. The company does many things well with its high-volume retail email program. What frustrates the email/CRM team is that it doesn't control its email destiny, and that limits its ability to innovate.

  • Why Are You OK With Mediocrity?  in Email Insider on 10/20/2016

    One of the biggest problems with email marketing is that it's easy to be mediocre and still achieve decent results and ROI. Over the last decade, sophisticated email marketing technology has become affordable and easy to use for companies of all sizes, budgets and abilities. As a result, even less-than-stellar marketing efforts can produce acceptable results. This paradox is what keeps so many marketers on the hamster wheel of mediocrity. Why put in a lot more effort if you're achieving your minimum goals?

Comments by Loren All comments by Loren

  • Center-Brain Marketing: Preparing For A Future Of Cognitive Technology by Loren McDonald (Email Insider on 01/19/2017)

    Thanks George. LOL on "Basal Ganglia" marketing. Ya, there is so much focus on technology, but we haven't spent much time training people and re-doing the marketing processes to take full advantage of the tools. That is a key contributor to why so many marketing orgs buy marketing automation platforms, but most send manual broadcast messages. We have some work to do.

  • Random Messiness: Time To Add Some To Your Email Marketing Program? by Loren McDonald (Email Insider on 07/28/2016)

    Thanks Jordie! Ya, I wrote another column a few years ago about the lemming tendency in email marketing ... time to get crazy! :-)

  • Random Messiness: Time To Add Some To Your Email Marketing Program? by Loren McDonald (Email Insider on 07/28/2016)

    Thanks DB! Have you ever taken an approach like this with a client?

  • Understanding The Email 'Frequency Math Effect' by Loren McDonald (Email Insider on 07/14/2016)

    Pete, I did not make the argument that higher frequency is better simply if if increases total responses - that is a call I'll leave to individual brands. My point was just to explain the math behind why most brands see lower "rates" when they increase frequency. But that they need to understand that for list churn metrics like unsubscribes, for example, a lower rate isn't necessarily a good thing - as they are likely losing a lot more subscribers. Increasing frequency by itself is not a bad thing - it is about the value. In your example, the subsequent emails actually aren't of value and so therefore that increased frequency is simply bad email marketing. You can't blame that on frequency - that is the marketer's fault. The problem in email marketing of course, is that in practice, most brands don't increase value when they increase frequency - so we've given increased frequency a bad name.

  • Understanding The Email 'Frequency Math Effect' by Loren McDonald (Email Insider on 07/14/2016)

    Neil, frequency isn't really the problem, it it the lack of value in the emails that is the problem. 

  • Are Words (In Email Marketing Messages) So Last-Century? by Loren McDonald (Email Insider on 06/30/2016)

    Emoji of man jumping for joy! Bell ringing! Thanks Neil, but what took you so long? :-) I bet someone how long it would take to post a comment about the irony of not a single emoji or visual in this email. I think I won the bet. I agree of course, but as an outside contributor to Media Post I have no say or involvement in the production side of the Media Post columns. The columns editor has to review and edit a bunch of columns each day, so I think fundamentally it is a process/resource issue. That said, I plan to bring it up with the editor about a simple process for including images in the emails and emojis in the subject lines in the future.Cheers and watch out for those bad billboards when you drive this holiday!

  • 'It's IT's Fault' by Loren McDonald (Email Insider on 06/16/2016)

    Pete, wow, I clearly failed at many levels. The column was neither meant to be funny or offend anyone - in fact it was written to provide a few ideas to help marketers work more closely with their brethren in IT, and to stop blaming IT for so many projects not getting done. (Maybe that offended some marketing readers.) Getting to know co-workers - by whatever means - was that one point, so you have a better working relationship. Perhaps I should have said tea or beer instead of coffee. The "us and them" issue is common in large companies, the point was merely to get to know each other better. Sorry that was deemed funny. I'm not sure who you are referring to that I insulted? I was relaying what my start-up CEO (who was an engineer) relayed to me more than a decade ago about the difference between how engineers think and how marketers tend to think. While changing, a lot of marketers tend to be right-brain centric and do often think differently than their peers in IT. This is not an insult to anyone, just that people think differently, and if you understand how each other thinks, you might be successful in your communications. But clearly I failed in my communications approach with this article. I'll buy you a beer on my next trip to the UK.

  • Love Ain't Cheap: Email & V-Day by David Baker (Email Insider on 02/01/2016)

    Great post David, love the research and specifics on how to turn Valentine's Day from just a February version of Cyber Monday into an engaging customer experience!

  • Cheeky Predictions For 2016 by David Baker (Email Insider on 01/04/2016)

    Nice post Mr. Baker! I know you were generally having some fun with this, but there are some cool ideas in there ... I think I'll start building the autonomous shopping app ...

  • 4 Ways To Think About Halloween And Email Marketing by David Baker (Email Insider on 10/26/2015)

    Hmm, I'm thinking it is time for a Trick or Treat mobile app ... check-in at my house and I gift you something healthy ... and a portion goes to a charity ...

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