Most online marketers have been there: a co-worker comes up with a great idea for a marketing campaign, or says “This should be the subject line of the next email,” seemingly without reasoning beyond it being their personal preference. Or, conversely, you could have an idea of your own that you think would be great but would be nervous to implement without testing it on a small group first.
Every good marketer knows that designing a successful holiday email program requires months of planning. Without the proper technology and infrastructure, though, a holiday email program won’t be successful no matter how well you plan everything else. With a little prep (and some conversations with your email service provider throughout the year), you can maximize your holiday success. Here are a few questions to ask yourself and your ESP to ensure you have a smooth season:
Many recent articles have highlighted the plight of the CMO. A recent issue of Harvard Business Review, “The Trouble With CMOs,” called it the riskiest job in the C-suite, with an average tenure of four years, half that of the CEO. An article in MediaPost by Maarten Albarda pointed out that while five C-suite members share growth and revenue responsibility, only the CMO was blamed for missed targets.
These articles recommend several solutions. Those include redefining the CMO’s role, matching responsibilities to the job’s scope, and realigning metrics with expectations. However, CMOs may find an easy win by adjusting what is already a top performer – their email marketing. This win could be easy because most CMOs don’t realize how much better their email programs could be performing.
“It’s Thursday. We send our main marketing emails on Thursdays. So it has been on every Thursday of every week since the dawn of time. And so shall it be unto infinity. Doesn’t matter if readers care.”
For many companies, sending out regularly scheduled marketing emails has become an indispensable part of their digital marketing strategy.
And for good reason.
Email marketing has been consistently outperforming the ROI of most other digital marketing channels for decades, and current trends indicate that it will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
Better personalization begets better marketing. Brands and marketers have both been well aware of this fact for a long time. It’s why “personalization” has been one of the biggest marketing industry buzzwords for the better part of the last half-decade. But what does personalization actually look like? There was a time not too long ago where adding a subscriber’s first name to an email was considered a marketing personalization coup. Things have become much more complicated since then.
Today’s consumer has developed a completely different pattern of purchase behavior. With that pattern has come a whole new set of consumer expectations.
Email marketing is a dialogue, a conversation between one brand and one consumer. It’s a conversation that can seem a bit one-sided at times, but it’s a conversation nonetheless. And, in almost every case, the onus of keeping the conversation going falls squarely upon the shoulders of the brand.
But who wants to have a conversation with someone who doesn’t listen? Nobody.
To be successful in today’s marketplace, marketers need to understand and adapt to their customer journey. Customers are likely just one device away, and yet their path down the sales funnel is neither linear nor direct. They experience cues and communications on multiple devices and channels and respond in an equally diverse manner.
Despite this hurdle, marketers have a wealth of data and tools available to inform their strategy, and email marketing is one of the most powerful. Here are four ways marketers can leverage email to inform and drive their customer’s journey.
Few things in life beat the feel-good nature of Spring. The warm weather and the sunshine can motivate you to clean house and begin new projects.
Spring is also a great time to review your marketing programs and tech stack, including your email service provider. Excellence doesn’t happen by chance, especially in today’s highly competitive and shifting digital marketplace. You may spend months planning various campaigns and programs, but if your email technology falls short, your results will suffer. You need to know how your ESP helps you succeed and whether it gives you the tools to help you succeed.
There are many terrific agencies that provide in-depth, custom ESP audits, but here are a few key indicators to get you started:
Businesses use email marketing to engage, re-sell, upsell, and create long-term experiences with customers. Customers are used to receiving highly individualized messages from brands they know and trust. In some cases, smaller and mid-sized businesses do this better than the global enterprises. Why? The more data you have as a marketer, the more difficult it is to be nimble. It’s far more complicated to manage and utilize your customers’ information properly. Many enterprises have so much information to use in personalization that they find it difficult to get personalization right. The pressure is on as consumers expect larger, well-known brands to be the leaders and trendsetters when it comes to delivering a relevant experience.
The quest for greater personalization in email and digital marketing continues to be a hot topic (and goal) for enterprise businesses. In 2016, more than half (54%) of senior marketing executives surveyed in “Breaking Down the Barriers for Successful Enterprise Email Marketing” said that improving email personalization was their number one priority for 2017.
But just because an email, or any digital marketing content, contains personalized information doesn’t mean it will be successful. According to Himanshu Sinha, a digital marketing executive for Expedia, Inc., personalization can be a double-edged sword.