I went ice-climbing a few weeks ago. I did what most other business professionals do and set up an out-of-office auto-responder informing people where I was, how long I'd be out, and what they could expect as far as a reply. Standard procedure, right? Yet some companies miss the mark on auto-responders, while others really nail it.
Email is a superior channel to drive sales, but it can also help you capture the next sale, the sale after that -- and even the sale that didn't happen. Remarketing to customers is one of the benefits that email delivers once you begin to use the channel for more than sending yet another untargeted discount or free-shipping offer. The emails you send in a remarketing program are highly personalized messages, which generate significantly higher response and conversion rates than broadcast emails. With a branded sender line and a subject line that reflects the actions your …
A lot of ESPs are now offering share-with-your-network (SWYN) functionality, and I can attest first-hand that inside the email industry we're pretty excited about the email-social media integration that SWYN affords. Instead of subscribers passing your message on to a friend or a handful of department colleagues, they can now push it out to their 350 Facebook friends or 1200 Twitter followers. What a huge lift for your readership and ROI metrics, right? Maybe -- for now, anyway.
In 2009 and 2010 we've seen the emergence of several smartphones, including the BlackBerry and Android, capable of rendering html. As of Q3 2009 there have been 41 million smartphones sold globally, increasing the likelihood that our subscribers in both the BtoB and BtoC space are viewing emails on a mobile device. This leads us to wonder: Should we create a version of our emails that is specifically designed to be viewed on a mobile phone? Before we all decide to start pouring resources into shiny new mobile designs, we need to think about some key questions.
How much time do people spend reading an email? Not much. They spend a second or two deciding whether to keep or delete an email, and usually just a few seconds reading the ones they keep. This means the pressure's on the creative team -- the writer and designer -- to communicate the maximum amount of meaning in the least amount of time.
When was the last time you sat down and asked yourself "What are the key roles that email communications play in customer relationships?" It's an excellent question.
One of the most common questions I have received in over the past three months is "What is going to be different about email this year? REALLY different?" Looking at broader online marketing trends, it occurred to me that the answer is starring most of us in the face every day on Facebook: Email needs a "thumbs up" button.
Retailers who only check their rendering using Internet Explorer got a wake-up call yesterday when we released new research showing that the majority of major online retailers suffered rendering issues when their emails were viewed in Hotmail using Firefox. What's clear is that too many marketers aren't paying enough attention to how their emails are rendering across all the email client and browser combinations. Rendering's tough to stay on top of, because issues can arise from a variety of sources.
Some email marketers see the rise of social media and mobile communications as a threat to email's dominance. Not so! Each channel can integrate with your email marketing program to expand its reach and ROI. But, which channel should you choose? The answer, as it is with so many aspects of marketing, is "It depends." There's no single solution that meets all market needs. Each one can help you build your brand, acquire and retain more customers and deepen engagement.