Archive for the ‘Email Marketing Events’ Category

Enchantment, Deliverability and The Beatles

Posted by Kavita Jaswal on February 13th, 2015

KJBlog_21315The Email Evolution Conference (EEC) in Miami was all it promised to be. As we boarded the yacht of information and sailed along the smooth sea of industry-expert knowledge, I was able to soak in an abundance of informative ideas, trends and industry information.

Here are a few key points I took away from the conference:

Opening keynote speaker, Guy Kawasaki spoke to the “Art of Enchantment.” He defined enchantment as, “the process of delighting people with a product, service, organization or idea,” and introduced this concept with the idea of creating an atmosphere of likability and trust in any given situation. He went further by stating that, “cultivating those elements  into a service or product, we can “enchant” a consumer.”

As marketers, our email campaigns rely heavily on engagement. We create and deploy several emails within one campaign, collect data, test and analyze metrics. But sometimes, no matter what we do, we do not get the results we are looking for. Kawasaki’s theory is not rocket science, anyone can assume that being “delighted” with a service or product would initiate the click of a button to open an email or request more information, but to actually attain that level of enchantment through elements such as likeability and trust is the challenge.

An email marketing conference would not be complete without the topic of deliverability. In his Deliverability 101 session, Spencer Kollas spoke to the importance deliverability has on an organization as, “98% of brands use email as a marketing channel.” Clearly, this indicates the importance email deliverability can have on an organization’s overall marketing plan.

Kollas also discussed how, “78% of organizations globally have had deliverability issues within the last 12 months.” The results are not only staggering, but they prove the point that an organization must continuously monitor bounce rates, manage list hygiene and ensure its sender reputation is not susceptible to email filtering. The discussion lead to various types of spam traps, and the impact they have on inbox delivery. Once an IP address is blacklisted in a spam database, 85-90% of mail can be blocked. These are frightening figures for any marketer, but it’s more proof that organizations need to pro-actively take all the necessary steps to stay clear of simple spam traps.

Through a series of cleverly chosen song and album titles, a panel of industry experts lead a discussion on trending topics that encompass the future of email marketing.

The Beatles’ “Here, There and Every Where,” began a discussion on today’s omnichannel consumer. Today, marketers have the ability to reach customers through multiple channels other than email. What does this mean for today’s marketer? While it’s still necessary to utilize and optimize an email communications plan, we must  use a multi-level approach for any email campaign can offer greater opportunity for success.

R.E.M.’s “Automatic For the People,” lead to a conversation of traditional vs. behavioral marketing. Traditional email included the idea of filling up a marketing calendar with general content. Today, behavioral marketing is more impactful and easily accessible through data collection and marketing automation. The general idea was to go from being a push marketer to advancing into a pull marketer. This means instead of pushing out all sorts of content and information that is relevant to your brand as a whole, you take the time to learn more about what your consumers want to read by pulling in data and revising and personalizing your content calendar on a regular basis.

will.i.am’s “Geekin’” brought about a discussion on the ever present struggle between a company’s marketing department and respective technical teams. As we progress into the future, marketers need to get their left-brain wheels turning, so to speak. Technology is now a big part of marketing and everything we do seems to be more data-centric. In order to progress towards these technological advances, pairing up with other departments and working cohesively can ensure successful outcomes.

Beginning with a keynote session on enchantment, a seminar on deliverability and a panel discussion on what we can expect for the future of email marketing, the EEC proved to be an informative and insightful success.

For more insight from the EEC, check out the Twitter stream from attendees using the EEC15 hashtag.

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Creative Minds Emerge at Interactive Strategies ’09 in Houston

Posted by admin on September 10th, 2009

ISYesterday I had the privilege of attending and speaking at Interactive Strategies ’09 in my hometown of Houston, TX. Much like the diversity of our city, the crowd at IS09 was an energetic melting pot of creative gurus from the b2b and b2c space, agencies and entrepreneurs alike. The result was an insightful conference filled with BIG ideas, optimism and growth for the interactive space we live and breathe every day.

Kicking things off was Brian Solis delivering a powerful keynote opener in which he stated that, “Social Media is about Sociology NOT Technology”, and “…is just a chapter of emerging media”. He also said something that rang true for me on a number of levels, “Attention becomes the major currency in content commerce.” It’s easy to be overwhelmed with the fire hose of information that seems to be flying by you at 500 miles per hour.  It forces you to be plugged-in 24/7, or you risk missing something important. Unlike Email Marketing, there doesn’t seem to be a definitive right place or right time.  With Social Media it’s any place at any time.

Gwen Bell left me feeling relaxed and much smarter after her therapeutic-inspired presentation: “Glitchwell: Using Our Missteps to Propel Us Forward”. Her unique presentation style was unlike anything I’ve ever seen using hand-drawn black and white slides with few words and powerful images. Drawing on personal experiences and case study examples of online brand missteps, her message was simple and clear: “Glitch” represents the idea that we all fail, while “Well” means that we recover.

Delving into Human Psychology 101, Stephen P. Anderson delivered a unique look at websites and applications that the brain finds interesting, and how companies can turn an otherwise “meh” user experience into a “wow!” one. Sites like iLike and Dopplr emphasized his point that being “playful” can provide engaging interactions with positive long-lasting affects on customers.

The day wrapped up with a lively keynote panel discussion on gender: “The Sexes on Social Media, the Web and Tech”. The panel discussed candidly generalizations on gender and race and how brands sometimes don’t quite understand how to market to them.

For those of you who were unable to attend my session on “Developing Killer Email Creative” because of the schedule change or otherwise, I will be recording the presentation in its entirety and plan on having it available for viewing soon.

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The Three R’s of 2009: Retail, Recession, and . . .

Posted by Mike Ferguson on June 25th, 2009

sleeveOk, I had to keep the word relevance out of the title of this post, as I didn’t want to stereotype myself and be YAEMOAS (yet another email marketer on a soapbox). However, after having recently returned from Boston and spending a few days 100% immersed in the world of retailers at the Internet Retailer Conference, I must say it reinforces a few things.

No arguing, times are tough for retailers — just ask Eddie Bauer. I heard a quote floating around last week that “even is the new growth.” While you may or may not agree with that, and that would most likely depend on your business model and industry, we can all agree times have been easier. But as with any change, there is opportunity hidden in the shifting landscape. The silver-lining theme of this year’s conference was “Rising Above — Not Just Surviving the Economic Storm.”

Prior to my presentation at the workshops, I had the opportunity to talk to a lot of different attendees, exhibitors, and sit in on some other presentations. There was an obvious focus on relevance with people exploring and asking about how to improve results and get much needed lifts in email metrics that would directly correlate to dollars. I can’t say I’ve been to a conference in a long time where all of the attendees seemed as legitimately interested in the show’s content as they were in getting out of the office for a few days.

In his presentation, Jack Love of Internet Retailer, shared some revealing metrics regarding the growth of e-retail channels over the past two years. And while the rate of growth has declined, overall, there is still growth in the e-retail channel. However, most of the growth came from the top 50 companies. And within the top 5 e-retail growth were two very familiar names: Amazon and Apple.


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Email Marketing & The Great Debate

Posted by admin on February 12th, 2009

At the 2009 Email Evolution Conference, a room full of email marketing professionals voted on three frequent topics in this industry in order to define what is considered “best practice.” This opening session forum called “The Great Debate” tried to answer the following questions…

1. Do you use a pre-checked or an unchecked opt-in box on your email sign up forms?

2. Do you use single or double opt-in strategy for email list building?

3. Do you remove non-responders from your email list?

Any one of these topics could easily be debated for hours but the consensus in the room was this…
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Email Evolution Conference Day 2 Recap

Posted by admin on February 12th, 2009

Day 2 of the EEC started off with a battle royale between industry heads on various email hot topics: single vs. double opt-in, pre-checked vs. un-checked selection boxes and keeping vs. cutting inactive subscribers. Both sides made presentations stating their case for one side or the other – which made for a very difficult crowd vote. Ultimately single opt-in, un-checked boxes and keeping customer list (but making an effort to re-engage) prevailed. I think the key takeaway though is that every customer situation is different. Depending on goals, business model and other various factors, it’s important to choose a strategy that will generate success. Remember to thoroughly test these approaches as well.

SMS messaging was another productive session that covered integration of the technology with email and methods of approach in this still evolving marketing channel. I learned many best practices, and found out that many similar to that of email. For instance, getting your own short code is usually good for larger brands, but smaller ones should usually share (similar to a dedicated vs. shared IP address). Also, it is important to establish good relationships with mobile carriers, or you risk your message not being approved. Since this technology is widely used by younger audiences, it will be important to stay abreast of how marketers can leverage the channel.

A very interesting session on the correlation between Search and Email ensued later in the afternoon, and gave enlightening insight on how these two seemingly different marketing sectors should actually be closely knitted friends. Jason Baer gave an excellent presentation: Cross Pollinate Search and Email on how the two should join forces as they both share 3 primary commonalities: timeliness, linguistics and relevancy. Paid search is also a great place to test email offerings or incentives instead of going for the hard sell.

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