Spring has arrived, along with the inevitable tasks that always follow the farewell to winter. Bring that spirit of renewal to work by focusing on your email and cross-channel marketing program.
I like to think that kidnappers A/B test their ransom notes. For one thing, there's money on the line. Also, the tedious process of cutting and pasting letters from various periodicals into a ransom note gives kidnappers plenty of opportunity to think carefully about the words they want to use. With ransom notes, the message is everything, and the design serves only to conceal the sender's identity.
Common email metrics drive focus on creative optimization and program strategy. The metrics commonly provided metrics by email service providers (ESPs) focus on campaign-level (and sometime program-level) open, click, and other performance data. This invariably leads to a focus on improving open and click rates by changes to subject lines, offers, calls to action, etc. Let me present three alternative metrics that could (and in many cases would) drive focus on different "levers" for performance:
In late January, the men's U.S. national soccer team played a friendly match in San Diego against Serbia. As a Serbian family hailing out of Chicago, we jumped at the chance to go see the first-ever meeting of these teams since the erosion of Yugoslavia (and it didn't hurt that we got to go to San Diego in January). The U.S. team was warming up spitting distance from us, and the kids were so excited to be so close. A few of the players said they would come over after the match to sign autographs. The kids watched the scoreless ...
We put a lot of focus on the click in the email conversion funnel - and for good reason. When a click takes place, it means the email has done its job to compel the consumer to transition from the email to your Web site. From there, the site does the work to help drive the actual conversion. By narrowly focusing on this process, though, email marketers have largely overlooked what a click can do.
The mantra of direct marketers is "Test, Test, Test." Yet even good marketers sometimes skip testing and give in to the pressure to just get the email out the door. Tests can be hard to set up, especially ones that focus on the two biggest results-drivers: list and offer. But there are gains to be had from easy (well, easier) creative tests. Here are five easy A/B tests to run while you are pulling together the tougher ones.
In my previous Email Insider, I explored how brands are using email to stake out positions on current events and reiterate their political, social and cultural values. These can be effective ways to build more connections with your readers, but they can be risky, too. Here are things to think about before you follow suit:
We are all connected - whether connected means you have panic attacks if you leave home without your mobile phone, or you feel empty sitting on the couch without your iPad within arm's reach. We are entering an age when knowing who your customers are and their activities is not enough to succeed. It's no longer sufficient to know which devices they use and simply call it a day. Even knowing where they use their devices is not enough to deliver truly relevant customer experiences. All of these data points must now be combined through event data and points-in-time references ...
Email is increasingly being used by brands to position a point of view in support or protest of a specific viewpoint or cause. In today's white-hot global political and social climate, it's important that messages are crafted very carefully.
One of the tools that has become more popular with product management teams over the last few years is the Jobs to be Done framework (JTBD). Leading companies ask themselves what job the client is hiring their product or service to do. For example, I am hiring Google Docs as a platform on which to write this column, while my younger son hires a skateboard to get him to school in the mornings. By mapping the JTBD into a series of discrete steps (called "job mapping"), a company can determine opportunities to improve on current products or services used by ...