Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Forbes on Email's Value

Why Email Marketing Is Vital To A Brand's Health
Just a few weeks ago I wrote an article entitled As If They Need It, Another Reason Brands Need To Be Mobile which essentially spelled out the fact that the most powerful brand ambassadors in the world, moms – are a very mobile demographic and if marketing & advertising folks want to succeed, they better be mobile as well. Literally.
In fact one of the things I used to make my point was this chart, courtesy ofeMarketer which spells out what the activities moms most like to do via their smartphone. Pay attention to the first two. Then hold that thought.
Not long ago I received the results of a survey entitled Shopping with Social Media which was conducted by Ryan Partnership, a behavioral marketing agency. In the online survey of primary household shoppers, which yielded over 10,000 results, consumers were asked which digital tools they were aware of and which they used in the past year.It is the third year they’ve conducted this study and according to Kim Finnerty, SVP Research & Insights at Ryan Partnership, this year they saw continued increasing penetration for newer, more mobile tools like Load to Card coupons, product reviews, and mobile payments.No real surprise there as far as I am concerned given the mobile world we live in, of course.In speaking with Kim, I asked her if should could break down the results to show just one particular demographic. A demographic which accounts for anywhere from 80-90% of all household decisions. A very powerful and influential demographic. Of course I am referring to moms.The reason I asked for this breakdown is I wanted to see how moms fared compared to the national averages and lo and behold, it seems good old email, the medium many predicted years ago would go the way of fax machines, is not only popular among moms, it outranks other mediums in the eyes of this most sought after demographic. Go back and look at the eMarketer chart above, then look at this: 
Do you see it?
The question posed was “When have you used X to help you shop or plan to shop?”

Retail emails
U.S. average – 13%
Moms – 16%

Brand emails
U.S. average – 17%
Moms – 19%

Retailer texts
U.S. average – 29%
Moms – 31%

So, moms are mobile, we know that. They check email and texts on their smartphones but they are also checking email via other sources as the chart above is channel agnostic.
In other words email marketing is extremely vital in engaging with moms and potentially impacting their buying decision. The words “help you shop”  and ”plan to shop” are the key phrases here kids. Anytime you use and hear the words “help” and “plan” that tells you that whatever topic you’re discussing carries with it an inherent value either in the positive or negative.
Go back again and look at the chart above from Ryan Partnership see how email scores compared to social media and shopping apps. In each instance, moms come in under the national average.
Yet for email, the opposite is true.
Finnerty, in speaking about the results of the survey from an overall perspective says that the biggest surprise that came out of the findings was how high email ranked. “Email is still a very strong tool for changing shopper behavior and satisfying shopper needs,” she said. “While it seems like an old-school tool compared to things like shopping apps and mobile payments, marketers have had years to perfect it so it achieves objectives.”

She very well could have been speaking about the mom demographic only.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

responsive email design

Great examples of responsive email design in this Econsultancy article.
It covers tons of (B2C) categories: Dominos, Expedia, Joy the store, Mulberry, Playstation.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

shazam! two email content tips

Free! and Act Now! are tired subject lines and asterisks aren't enough to get noticed, but we still need to grab subscribers' attention with our email messages.  To be creative you also need to be original.  Try thinking about what is interesting to you rather than what will sell your product or service.  Content needs to engage them.

Two tips:
  1. Oftentimes, User-generated Content (UGC) is both compelling and genuine.  So be sure to give those customers credit.  Thank them, salute them, send them lots of public messages.  Perhaps you're most impressed they used the word "solemn" to describe a flavor, how they rhymed their comment, or the fact that they purchased 3 gifts in one day.  With their blessing, talk about this. Before you know it, someone will forward your email or make a comment on social media and you've generated energy around your actions... with ancillary benefit to your products/services. 
  2. You can't deny the wow. Gas pumps are dirtier than public bathroom toilet seats. Did you know hot dogs choke more children than hard candy? It's more affordable to build your own dog house. The data points obviously need to be relevant to your audience, but you'll add the most value if you, the email sender, are a necessary expert.  Explain something poorly understood.  You need them to read that email. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

say no to "no-reply"

Customers consider no-reply email addresses arrogant.
Consider cutting this practice.
You can learn more about your email list and show much better customer service because:

  1. you will receive their auto-reply messages.  this bumps up your open rate and tells you things like which employees have left a company (good for B2B) and holistic seasonal or day-of-week customer trends (good for B2C)
  2. customers can reply to you (shocker) to ask a question or otherwise engage with you
  3. cuts down on spam complaints

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

latest mobile email metrics

Mobile phones and tablets accounted for a combined total of 41.1% of US email opens in H2 2012, up from 27.4% in H2 2011
Although read rates are high, conversion rates are lower on mobile devices compared to desktops and laptops. People are primarily using mobile devices to sort through their inbox, then they return to the message later on a larger machine to convert.

Monday, July 22, 2013

far from mobile-optimized

Relay Foods.
I appreciate the attempt to jump into a graphics-centered email, but this one flops.
The header bar takes up too much of the preview window on a computer screen, then the (yummy) image sucks up everything else above the fold.  The copy tells us nothing action-oriented that will compel us to continue reading the message.  And there's not even a text link in the first two screens of my phone.  Bummer.

Friday, July 19, 2013

email for customer acquisition

Custora’s “E-Commerce Customer Acquisition Snapshot” reports that the email channel grew from 0.88% of customers acquired in 2009 to 6.84% in 2013.
Between 2011 and 2012, the acquisition numbers doubled from 2.64% to 5.34%, according to the report.  Email is "trickier" than direct mail when it comes to customer engagement: the customer must open the email and then another mechanism (the website) must lead them to purchase.  The addition of mobile device consumption of email has also affected conversion rates.  But the report indicates open rates continue to "exceed 35%."