It's summertime, and I am ready for vacation! Good thing I have one planned and will be heading out shortly, but what vexes me about the entire thing is that I just know that I will have 3,000+ emails to sort through when I return. Not to mention the fact that across three email accounts, both personal and work, I have another 4,300 I need to sort through, prioritize or read before I head out -- or do I just claim email bankruptcy, wipe it all out and start over from scratch?
I've received over 500 emails so far this year in which the subject line included my first name. "Morgan, Book Now & Save on Top Travel Deals" "Morgan - Congratulations! Your Nomination to Cambridge Who's Who!" Congratulations, you have a whiz-bang email tool with mail merge functionality. But it's no longer novel. When I see an email with my name in the subject line, my first thought is not "Phew! These guys know my name!" No, it's become a red flag for spam.
The Boomer generation is a critical audience for marketers. By 2015, those aged 50 and older will represent 45% of the U.S. population, according to AARP. And currently, Baby Boomers control over 80% of personal financial assets and more than 50% of discretionary spending power, according to ThirdAge. However, marketers regularly use small text on their Web sites and in their emails and other marketing materials, creating unnecessary legibility issues for some of their most valuable customers.
Those of you who attended the recent Email Insider Summit on Captiva Island, Fla., had the opportunity to see Hayle Chun, director of digital media for NBC Sports & Olympics, discuss how NBC successfully choreographed email, social and mobile messaging to reach and engage 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games enthusiasts. The NBC case study got me thinking about how marketing, in general, has become like an Olympic sport.
How is email marketing like baseball? Both use a set of generally accepted statistics to measure player (campaign) performance and how it contributes to the team's (company's) success in meetings its goals (winning games/generating revenue). However, baseball organizations and other major-league sports may be farther up the evolutionary ladder than many email marketing organizations, because they are using new metrics that provide better insights and more accurately measure and predict player performance.
Social media is a natural partner for email marketing. It gives marketers the opportunity to listen to customers, instead of simply talking to them. Here are some tips on how to keep social marketing current so you can keep listening to your customers....
Marketers learned an important lesson about email marketing during the recent recession; namely, that few marketing channels can drive ROI and business goals as effectively as email. And in boardrooms all around the world, executives are beginning to view email as a highly successful sales and marketing channel, choosing wisely to weave it into their business strategy rather than dismissing it as just another marketing line item.
In my last article I discussed some of the technical and cultural considerations involved in globalizing and localizing email and other forms of e-marketing. The subject resonated with Email Insider readers, bearing out research that finds 65% of multinational enterprises believe localization is either important or very important for achieving higher company revenues. To dig deeper into this discipline, I interviewed another expert in the translation and localization industry, Yves Lang, vice president, sales and marketing / CSO of ENLASO -- a key member of the Globalization and Localization Association (GALA).
I am a true believer that marketers must engage consumers via email and social channels and must do so in a programmatic and relevant way. However, even with technology, strategy and marketing focus, some programs fail while others succeed -- even when similar execution strategies are applied. What causes this variance? Easy, the customer experience. I feel we lose sight of this fact at times. I had an experience last month that reminded me how true loyalty is created between a brand and a consumer.
When it comes to bad email, spam gets most of the ink. Lots of articles get written, reports get issued, and data gets crunched, all in the service of defining and describing the problem of spam. Spam, you might say, has a really good PR strategy. Phishing, on the other hand, flies much more under the radar. This shouldn't be the case. While phishing attacks seem to represent a smaller volume of messages (and hard data on that piece is difficult to find), they are extremely destructive.