Spending a few days in lovely Palm Springs @ eTail conjured up thoughts that took me back 10 or so years ago. I kept asking myself, are we doing anything really that different from 2001? I dug up an archive from 2001 with the following guidelines. Can you tell if it's 2011 or 2001?
Haven't we been here before? A. Research firm find teens don't use email as much anymore. B. Pundits proclaim, "Email is dead!" C. Cooler heads prevail. This time, the research firm is comScore, whose new report, "The 2010 U.S. Digital Year in Review," found email usage is down 59% among 12- to 17-year-olds. Right on schedule, some drumbeaters began forecasting email's demise.
I read an interesting article in the Journal of Marketing recently that confirmed what I've known for a long time: word of mouth (WOM) marketing really works. WOM has taken a backseat to digital marketing efforts lately, but there's no reason why a marketer can't do both, and at the same time. While some experts believe that asking for a referral should take place face-to-face, email marketing is a very effective channel for WOM. There are a few things to keep in mind when adding WOM to email campaigns:
I was recently asked: "Is an email newsletter part of a nurture program?" Usually we think of newsletters as useful devices to keep customers informed and engaged. And that is, in part, a goal of a nurture program. So a bit of confusion about how newsletters and nurture fit together is understandable. In fact, newsletters should not be considered part of a nurture program, although they may co-exist with one. Here's why you should keep the two programs separate:
There was a lot of noise recently when comScore released data suggesting (again!) that email is on the wane in favor of mobile (which, um, is also email for many) and social networking (which runs on email). If you are about to click to another column because you think this one is going to be the usual "wait, wait, email isn't dead yet!" piece, it isn't. Keep reading. I'd like to suggest that the real threat to email isn't coming from mobile devices or social networking or any other new technology. Instead, it's the lack of security in the email …
Mobile adoption among businesses and consumers has skyrocketed over the past few years, and it's only going to continue to rise as smartphones deliver increasingly stellar experiences. Morgan Stanley Research predicts that smartphones will begin to outsell computers by next year, and 33% of consumers in the U.S. and U.K. already access email on their mobile devices. What does this mean for email design?
Standing out in the inbox is becoming increasingly hard and will become increasingly more difficult as we evolve to the portable, universal inbox. The challenge is we all seem to use the same strategies and techniques. If you run an email program today, I'd bet you would be hard-pressed to demonstrate any dramatic changes in your program from last year to this year.
For nearly 10 years, I have been exhorting my fellow email marketers to take their email programs up the proverbial notch in search of greatness, not to mention greater ROI. Receiving the first Stefan Pollard Email Marketer of the Year Award at the recent Email Evolution Conference was a tremendous honor and thrill, and not just because Stefan was my friend and colleague. In my view, this recognition confers responsibility to reach out to all email marketers and industry participants and urge them to use their collective energy, skills and interests to raise the profile and perception of email marketing.
As email marketers, sometimes the lure to be topical is too strong to resist. To wit: do a search in your inbox for "Valentine" in the subject line. (Repeat it again in a week for the full effect.) You'll see some messages that are well-targeted, perhaps from retailers that have every business capitalizing on the collective mindshare we have for the upcoming holiday.
If the UPC code was the salient product symbol icon of the last century, the QR code will surely represent the 21st century. This two-dimensional matrix barcode is universally readable by camera or scanner-equipped mobile devices, and is becoming so prominent it is featured on everything from magazine pages to billboards.With the increasing popularity of mobile web access, QR codes are becoming an integral component to any successful email marketing strategy. Here are five ways to apply the synergy between email and QR codes to your brand's benefit. <