• Owned, Earned and Paid Media Part of the Brand Ecosystem
    Sitecore's Erick Mott offered some commentary in a blog post during the Summit on the new Forrester "Interactive Brand Ecosystem" report, where he wrote about where owned, earned and paid media fit in that ecosystem. (Email is owned media.)

    How can marketers take advantage?

    He wrote: "Building on this context, let’s agree there are now two primary disciplines that marketers use to operate in their real-time marketing worlds -- as part of a sense and adapt strategy:

    * Planned campaigns that have pre-established goals and limited flexibility * Ongoing conversations and content creation that require interactive engagement, ...

  • Offbeat Moosejaw Tries Email-Based Stunts
    One of the more popular panels at the Summit was the last one: "The Humanization of Marketing Content."

    Jody Wolak, marketing operations manager at Moosejaw, the offbeat outdoor products retailer, was a participant. And she offered up examples of email-based "humanization" marketing, or maybe "in-humanization."

    Last year, the company launched a "Break Up Service," where it volunteered through email to help the cowardly and make the uncomfortable relationship-ending calls. The participants emailed in details for the Moosejaw callers to use, including reason for the dumping.

    In one call, Moosejaw helped "Carly" break up with "Parker," while ...

  • Stewart: Email Marketing Moving to 'Adult Table'
    Trendline Interactive's Morgan Stewart suggested that email marketing should be re-branded as just "marketing." In other words, it's not a silo, but a full-fledged tactic that should be considered as a critical part of any marketing program.

    He said if email marketing has been at "the kids' table at Thanksgiving.” it's well on its way to the adult table, where it can talk turkey with the best of them.

    “We're influencing the direction of marketing, of brand(ing),” Stewart said.

    One benefit: as many media are crying out for better metrics, email is far ahead.

    Also, Stewart ...

  • Email More Trustworthy Than Direct Mail
    Interesting results from Forrester Research's U.S. Interactive Marketing Online Survey, showing email brings as much consumer trust as TV and magazine ads, and more than direct mail and many other media.

    Survey was of nearly 4,000 U.S. online adults, where they were asked: "How much do you trust the following sources of information?"

    A company's Web site: 30% A brand's Web site: 27% Ads in newspaper: 22% Email from a company: 21% Ads on TV: 21% Ads in magazines: 21% Direct Mail: 19% Online brand sponsorships: 17% Ads on the radio: 17% A company's social network profile: 13% ...

  • Not Every Email Has to Drive Sales - Immediately
    Silverpop's Loren McDonald said email marketers can fall into a trap of only evaluating an email's effectiveness based on transactions.

    "There needs to be maybe some new metrics or new way to be thinking about it," he said.

    There are some brand-building advantages that can lead to purchases later. So an email, maybe with some valuable content that's not overly commercialized, can prompt purchasing with a follow-up email maybe with a 10% discount offer.

    "What does that engagement do to the overall lift to the next email that goes out," McDonald said.

  • Be Mindful of Sucking the Soul Out of a Designer
    Helzberg Diamonds online marketing manager Lisa Dick said too much testing on email content effectiveness can wear out proud designers.

    She said you can suck the soul out of them, "so you really need to be mindful and respectful" that you're trying to do your job and they're trying to do theirs.

    "They will quit if you suck out their soul and tell them too many times, this isn't art," she said.

    But Brian Brown of ideapark said there are business goals and "branding guidelines within an established set of what we can do," so there are ...

  • Email Content: Revenue Not Rembrandt
    Email content designers need to be mindful of the difference between art and commerce. So, ideapark's Brian Brown said designers need some emotional detachment from their work.

    Even a beauty may not show statistical effectiveness.

    Brown said one email redesign had him so proud he "personally wanted to marry" it. Then, it was sent out and results were negative. "Got its but handed to it" versus the incumbent design, Brown said.

    "You need to go with the winner and sort of move on and not get attached to these things," Brown said.

    Said Litmus marketing director ...

  • Even Nothing is Something When Testing Email Content
    Helzberg Diamonds online marketing manager Lisa Dick said nothing can be something when testing an email content's effectiveness. If one design doesn't show statistically significant metrics ... well, that's good to know.

    "Even no result is a result," she said.

    In the diamond business, a learning could be to go with a prettier design the next time. Creatives do have sparkling assets to tap, after all.

    Brian Brown, director of modern marketing at ideapark, said half the tests his company does bring statistically insignificant results in moving the needle. But "that just helps you in the future" ...

  • Creative Guidance Can Come From Print, But Content Can't Just Be Re-Purposed
    Lisa Dick, online marketing manager, at Helzberg Diamonds said that often email content takes its cue from the company's catalog, but it can't just be shifted over or re-purposed.

    For example, print creative can be "so pretty and romanticized," but email has to strike a balance between beauty and functionality. Email has to make it easier to drive engagement and click-throughs.

    Dick said email has an advantage in over print in testing effectiveness since it costs much less.

  • Absolute Must-Read on Security Steps
    WhatCounts President Allen Nance said email marketers need to read the Online Trust Alliance's "Security By Design" recommended security guidelines.

    He recently saw an RFP that included questions lifted from it verbatim. The RFP asked for a dedicated instance of a database, not a different partition on the same server. It was the first time he saw that in an RFP.

    Nance added: "We're going to see a much greater emphasis on dedicated databases."

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