• Automated Email Program Success: A Phased Approach
    Many of the retail/ecommerce companies I meet with are enjoying great success with their broadcast and manually segmented email-marketing programs. Even better, they want to take their programs to the next level by adding automated email programs to generate significant revenue on top of their broadcast email revenue. However, many of these marketers get stuck in the email hamster wheel: They're churning out more and more broadcast emails but launching only a few automated programs.
  • Email: The Ultimate Relationship Channel
    I travel a lot, for business and with the family. And anyone who travels enough knows that inevitably you are going to have one of "those" travel days, when everything just goes wrong; your ride to the airport is late, you have to check bags, the security line is just slightly too long, the airline loses your luggage, and the rental car company sends you to a car with no keys. I just had one of "those" days. Now, short of tweeting every single instance of travel hell, there would be no collective way for each of these carriers to …
  • Worst Practices: Are You Ready For Phishing Season?
    How will you be celebrating email's first mobile holiday season? As the share of messages opened on smartphones and tablets pushes past 50%, marketers seem to be focused on the tactical impacts of smaller screens, longer response patterns, and different platforms. Email's inaugural mobile holiday has another, less publicized implication with potentially far bigger consequences, though: the opportunity for the worst phishing season in years.
  • How Can Something So Simple Be So Hard?
    Email marketing should be easy: take subscriptions from customers and prospects who want to hear about your promotions, products or services; send emails; monitor who reads it , and track what they buy. Rinse and repeat! Other kinds of marketing should only be this easy. Actually, email is the easiest channel to be average at, but hardest to be great at. It is one of the purest combinations of marketing disciplines there is. Let me explain:
  • Beyond Attribution: Battling For More Email Marketing Budget
    Recently a group of marketers kicked around the question "How do we make sure email gets the credit it deserves, so we can get the budgetary resources we need?" Many suggested the answer is getting email attribution correct; that is, accurately conveying email's contribution to revenue to management. I agree, to a point. Pinpointing channel attribution means email gets its proper credit among all your marketing channels. However, showing that email contributes, say, 20% of revenue from sales might not be enough to persuade top management to cut you a larger slice of the budget pie. You're more likely to …
  • Is Your Email Team REALLY Working Well Together?
    Many of us have been banging the "break down these walls" drum, and we've seen some progress in the movement against siloed cross-channel initiatives. However, while nobody was looking, our email teams may have started building up some walls within their own shared spaces, across groups like email creative, production, deliverability, and strategy. Separation of these responsibilities is not a bad thing. The disciplines do require a different set of skills. But it is important to make sure that groups within your email team are working together effectively, so that the right hand knows what the left hand is doing. …
  • Using SMS To Promote Event Attendance
    I recently attended a digital retail conference and was reminded of something I just love about industry events: networking! Conferences are a great way to connect with industry experts and get plugged into what businesses are doing to support their marketing regime. A vendor invited me to attend his company's evening cocktail event, encouraging event registration via SMS. I thought, why not? All it involved was texting my email address to an SMS short code. This is not yet a commonly used tactic, but it could be a useful one. Here are some tips for promoting event attendance with SMS:
  • Mobile-Targeted Design: Next Step After Mobile-Friendly
    On the sliding scale of mobile-friendliness, most brands are just getting a firm grasp on mobile-optimized email design. As much talk as there is about responsive design, adoption is relatively low in most industries (although next year will be an entirely different story). But as brands plot their jump from mobile-optimized to responsive design, they should keep in mind the next notch in the scale beyond that: mobile-targeted design.
  • The Jetsons Meet Big Brother Retailer
    Forbes posted an interesting take on holiday trends last week, "The Five Biggest Digital Shopping Trends of the Holiday Season." While most were pretty obvious, there were a few bits worthy of mention. I thought the theme of the Jetsons meets Big Brother Retailer was an interesting metaphor to illustrate how consumer expectations of intelligent and convenient products/services match consumer expectations that marketers know enough about theme to be sophisticated in their communications.
  • 17 Tips To Turn Your Holiday Email Into A Virtual 'Easy' Button
    Remember Staples and its big red "Easy" button? Maybe an "Easy" button doesn't exist in the real world, but your holiday email experience should come as close as possible. We all know holiday planning and shopping can be one of a customer's most stressful experiences. A "Make It Easy" strategy can help you remove the FUD (fear, doubt and uncertainty) that could prevent shoppers from doing business with you.
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