Recently, a colleague forwarded a product recommendation email that left me in stitches! The message was sent seven days after he purchased a Wet/Dry Vac, thanking him for patronizing the local establishment. It provided five layers of recommended items. Some were right-on, some were totally wrong, and some were just downright funny.
Keeping subscribers engaged is a longtime favorite topic of discussion. But over the last few years, as more inbox providers have adopted engagement as an inbox placement factor, the importance continues to grow. Some email marketers have gone the drastic route of suppressing anyone who hasn't opened or clicked in 120 days, while others are ignoring these engagement metrics altogether, embracing the "just keep sending" mentality.
There are now more email awards each year than I can keep up with, much less try to submit client's work to. I used to try to be active in judging, but I became far too clinical in my judgment of what was good. Without a concrete brand connection, we are simply looking and judging email marketing by its skin. In the spirit of the Emmys, I thought it would be fun to add my own email collector's reflections about the best, and a little side note about what makes them work.
While most retailers and companies with a major focus on the holiday selling season are probably close to locking down email marketing plans and calendars, here are some tactics you can use to build on what you have already created, fill in a revenue gap or repair the damage if something goes wrong (and it always does) during this high-pressure season.
Not long after the sugar packet was invented in Brooklyn in 1945, a local restaurant owner discovered this new way to serve the sweetener, and decided to try it out. So he strolled into his place as staff prepared for lunch, showed them the packets, and told them to set them on the tables. He then stepped out for an hour or so. On his return, he discovered some rather annoyed staff, grumbling as they poured the sugar out of each packet into the sugar bowls on the tables. That may be a tall tale I heard years ago, but …
Many marketers are still struggling to determine how or where to get started with real-time email marketing. Here are three tactics to avoid:
For those marketers who already have visions of Christmas emails dancing in their head, here are my email marketing predictions for this holiday season:
Minimally viable product (MVP) is a strategy used for fast and quantitative market testing of a product or product feature. Some might say it's a lazy man's way of operating, but for a startup it's a must. Where does this fit with the enterprise landscape with involved workflows ? Can you afford to try out features that may have a chance of failing? Can you introduce new capabilities to an already overburdened email process littered with opportunities to make mistakes?
In my previous Email Insider column, I listed the first 10 habits that I find repeatedly among ineffective email marketers. Here are 10 more habits that keep marketers from achieving lasting success with their email programs -- and, indeed, with their careers.
While you're in the midst of holiday email campaign craziness, there are so many things competing for your time and attention. It's kind of like those "one weird trick" banner ads that seem to be everywhere you look online: Even though you know they'll take you down a virtual rabbit hole, admit it - they're distracting, even a little bit tempting. What IS that trick?
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