A Direct Marketing Association analysis shows that today there are more emails arriving in consumers' inboxes, but that the percentage of emails with personalized content has dropped from 38% to 22%. They may say, "Welcome Arthur Hughes," but the rest of the message is not personalized in any way. A million email subscribers get identical content.
So, this week was my birthday, and in a birthday note from my daughter, I learned that I am "16 feet tall, weigh 40 pounds and am 65 years old" -- at least in her mind. I love my birthday! Every year I look forward to the emails that I am going to get from the brands I do business with: "10% off your next purchase," "Happy Birthday! Hope it's a great one!" You get the drift. Turns out, this year I only got two email birthday wishes from brands, both from local businesses -- my hair salon and my …
Email started to become widely available in 1993, when services like AOL started to connect their proprietary email systems with the Internet. Not long after that, email marketing began taking shape. Which means that email marketing is approximately 18 years old. Thinking about email marketing in this context can be useful. Email is at its prime, marked by yet another resurgence as the result of smartphones.
The email marketing industry is blessed with an active community that shares advice and tips freely and is very welcoming to new practitioners. You can find tons of free information on blogs and social media sites -- but not all that information is up-to-date and completely accurate. Sometimes it's completely wrong. Occasionally I even see unsound advice from some of the experts that I revere and look to for guidance. But perhaps I'm the one who has it wrong. Lord knows I've said some silly things myself. So I thought I would bring to light some of the questionable advice …
Remember that old advertising maxim, "Sell the sizzle, not the steak"? Good. Now, forget it. Today's digital marketing world calls for a new set of content rules. Content humanization isn't just a new buzzword. It's a new way of doing content marketing, bringing in your corporate personality and style and making both your employees and customers visible in your messages as it's appropriate for your content and business goals.
Earlier this month at MediaPost's Email Insider Summit, a group of professionals gathered to discuss knowledge and insights on customer data. I thought this would be a good place to share the great information that came out of that roundtable. So here are the top-six customer data tips, straight from our peers:
Email can play an important role in cause-related marketing. Because their efforts are on behalf of charitable causes, companies should be especially cautious. A misstep in either the look of the email or the message it contains can cause the effort to backfire, confusing customers or making the company appear self-serving. Revisiting good email practices can help companies raise these funds successfully.
Let's face it, I am an uber-user and big fan of email of all shapes and sizes. I've been in the space for years (I was recently reminded that I am now a 12-year veteran of email marketing, which doesn't seem possible, but after some math and fact-checking, alas, it is true) and have seen a lot of crazy, funny and inspiring things happen during this time. However, it was an email that I received this week from Bed Bath & Beyond that got me thinking about the lost art of copywriting for email.
Email user interfaces (UI) hadn't changed a lot from 2002 until relatively recently. Since 2009 we've seen a lot of innovation in webmail UIs that have very real implications for email marketers. We've seen the launch of Priority Inbox and Smart Labels at Gmail, "sweep" functionality at Hotmail and message categorization functionality at several mailbox providers. All this innovation raises a few key questions:
As the 2012 political campaign approaches, we are struck by a commonality between the political landscape and the email marketing world over recent years: the rapid growth of cross-channel marketing as a necessity for success. While it's widely recognized that the youth vote was instrumental in Obama's road to the presidency, and while it's also certainly true that the youth of 2008 were the most Web-savvy demographic, we in email marketing have seen a shift in the social media landscape. It's not just for kids anymore; it's for everyone.