If you're a marketer, you've probably expressed your frustration with ISPs. Why don't they make the rules clear? Why don't they understand that your company sends good email that subscribers want to get? Why don't they make it clear to customers that the "report spam" button has a negative consequence for all email subscribers? Why do they punish you when you're not a spammer?
When I released a report last week showing that forward-to-a-friend (FTAF) usage among the top online retailers was four times greater than share-with-your-network (SWYN), it surprised some people in the industry. While only 12% of retailers use SWYN, 48% use FTAF -- and FTAF adoption is up from 44% in 2006. That said, SWYN adoption is up from essentially 0% early last year, so it's growing rapidly.
Recently I read a quote from an email expert who flatly stated, "the purpose of email is to get people to click on links." Really? This point of view assumes that an email in itself cannot contain any useful information. All it can do is point to information located elsewhere and induce readers to surf there. Also, some experts theorize that short copy with many links is better than long copy because "people don't have time to read emails." But if this is true, why would they assume the same people have time to read a Web site?
Executives want more out of their marketing and marketers want more out of their email. At a time when consumers are more in control of the selling relationship than ever before, there is no harm in wanting more. But wanting more and getting more are two very different things. In the end, many helpful tactics or strategies get added to a "wouldn't it be nice" list.
In some organizations, the email marketing "department" still consists of one lonely soul pushing all the buttons. However, other organizations have embraced email to the point that the email marketing program is run by a team of staff members. Each situation creates a unique issue: overreliance on an individual in the first instance, and a greater chance for human error in the second.
It feels like we've been waiting for ages to use video (and deliver it safely into inboxes), and the time is finally here! Video usage is expanding right now primarily due to three major factors: 1) people are spending more time watching videos online and are thus more receptive to video in email; 2) the expenses involved in creating and hosting video are falling; and 3) video is consistently showing that it increases engagement and relevance.
The email industry prides itself on being the early adopter of, and in many cases the founder of, marketing automation. Marketing automation in itself is based on the foundation of data and your ability to take this data and coordinate campaigns and controls that support marketing and customer service activities. In the early stages of email marketing, when there weren't 100 different ESPs on the market, the larger platform companies provided the support systems to very monolithic data environments and had very rudimentary email capabilities.
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