Archive for the ‘Email Marketing Strategy’ Category

Automation and Data Help
Reinvent Email

Posted by Mallory Green on September 16th, 2015

BalanceFor the last few years, many thought that email was on its ninth life. Social platforms began taking the world by storm and continue to soar today as Twitter® reported that its users send more than 500 million tweets per year, and Facebook® has quadrupled in value.1 But email’s pulse continues to beat and, as data-driven marketing becomes increasingly more popular, “email is the ‘glue’ for communications across the customer lifecycle.2

Email addresses are the web’s identification system and, for many websites, viewing purchasing history or account balances all starts with an email address. With each click of the mouse, organizations are learning more about customers and assigning data to their email. So now instead of pushing out generic emails, marketers can use the data collected to analyze their customers’ behavior and provide them with more relevant content.

By adapting a marketing automation platform, marketers can house all of their data in one location with information being added seamlessly as customers interact with their business. With all that data in one place, marketers can create automated email campaigns based on pre defined triggers that target customers based specifically on their engagement history, such as:

Welcome messages. Schedule a message to trigger every time a new email address is obtained.

Content marketing messages. Gather and analyze data around content pieces. Take note of what content customers are reading and sharing. This will help determine where they might be in the customer journey or what topics they are interested in, which enables marketers to reach them with relevant content.

Follow-up messages. As customers interact with businesses, they may download a white paper, make a purchase, attend a webinar or abandon a shopping cart. These are all opportunities for marketers to follow up and ask about their experience, offer related information or provide recommendations.

Inactive resends. Testing done through Harland Clarke Digital, focusing on a variety of clients in a variety of industries, found that resending a message can improve engagement and increase render rates. Use this opportunity to resend messages to those who haven’t engaged. Remember to keep an eye on unsubscribes and understand that not every message, list and segment should receive an inactive resend.

Creating automated marketing emails is a great way to alleviate some of the work that goes into creating and sending messages, especially for one marketer. Not only are these types of emails essential in leading customers to their next point of conversion, they help encourage continuous, two-way communications.

Sources:

1. http://www.inc.com/john-brandon/why-email-will-be-obsolete-by-2020.html

2. http://www.clickz.com/clickz/column/2422388/email-marketing-the-best-is-yet-to-be

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Retaining Your Account Holders When Rates Rise

Posted by Doug Roman on July 28th, 2015

There is an ongoing and active topic within the financial services industry about rising interest rates and how that’s going to impact banks and credit unions. The Federal Reserve hints that interest rates will increase, which can be viewed as a sign of an improving economy, as well as an increase in lending spreads among banks. This shift could potentially benefit account holders, because they will have the ability to realize higher yields on their deposit balances. But while the increased rates is a positive for account holders, it can be viewed as a disadvantage to financial institutions that are trying to retain deposit balances and generate long-term relationships.

Today, technology is making it easier for account holders to rapidly take advantage of the best rate deals. In a recent American Banker article, Marianne Lake, CFO of JPMorgan Chase, mentioned that account holders adopting mobile banking have made it easier “to move money to chase rates,” which creates challenges for banks and credit unions trying to retain those deposit balances.1

To help keep account holders’ accounts and balances, it’s critical for financial institutions to have an ongoing communication strategy to enhance account holder relationships, increase retention rates and improve overall satisfaction. A solid onboarding and ongoing communication strategy will help establish and maintain timely contacts with your account holders. It’s critical to welcome new account holders and thank existing account holders for opening new accounts. When done correctly, this type of communication strategy helps to “kickstart” the new account holder relationship and paves the way for productive cross-selling, and improved loyalty and satisfaction.

Communicating quickly after any new account is opened improves satisfaction and enhances the overall experience. According to the JD Power & Associates’ 2015 US Retail Banking Satisfaction study, satisfaction increases the faster a new account holder is contacted and is contacted by the same banking representative who opened the account.2

 

 

JD Power & Associates research also consistently shows that customer satisfaction and cross-sell effectiveness improves with the increased number of contacts.3

 

 

Onboarding should focus on those engagement services like direct deposit, bill pay, electronic statements, debit card, mobile and online banking. This type of communication helps to build the foundation of account engagement and loyalty before focusing on tailored cross-sell contacts.

Start early by building a consistent communication strategy targeting both new and existing account holders in order to create improved loyalty, satisfaction and retention especially those highly important deposit balances.

Sources:

1. American Banker, (14, July 2015)

2. JD Power & Associates, US Retail Banking Satisfaction, (2015)

3. JD Power & Associates, US Retail Banking Satisfaction, (2015)

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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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Looking Back As We Leap Forward

Posted by Nic Winters on December 9th, 2014

WintersBlog_1214As we draw closer to the end of 2014, many of our clients are focusing on 2015 planning. With that in mind as this year is coming to a close, I began to look back at my past blog posts for any past notes and ideas that may be beneficial as 2015 email marketing planning is underway.

I hope that you find the following old posts helpful and perhaps they can spark your interest in taking the next step in elevating your program in 2015!

If you need any assistance regarding your digital marketing plan for 2015, please feel free to contact our support team – we would love to help!

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Re-Engagement Campaigns Are Important Prospecting Strategies

Posted by Deanna Cruzan on October 17th, 2014

shutterstock_93214102Direct marketing principles indicate that in order to keep your list from dwindling, you need to implement prospecting strategies to attract potential customers. However, those same principles also state that attracting new customers costs more than reaching out to current customers. Email offers an ideal way to address this situation in the form of re-engagement campaigns, which focus on opening up a fresh line of communication with members of your mailing list to whom you previously stopped mailing due to inactivity. By converting the previously disengaged into “new” engaged recipients, you benefit from prospecting efforts without incurring additional costs of trying to attract new prospects.

To begin, it is always best to determine a timeframe for inactive recipients. For example, you can decide any customer that hasn’t converted in the last 2-4 years is still a potential prospect. Then, you must understand why they became disengaged in the first place. This can be determined by conducting attrition surveys. These surveys provide valuable insight as to why customers are leaving and what could have made them stay.

If you don’t have access to attrition survey data, the next best option is to segment your buyers into groups, such as the RFM approach involving groups based on the recency, frequency and monetary value of their purchases.

Some ideas outside of the standard RFM include products purchased, geographic location, or previous email render/click activity. Once segmented, test out different incentives to entice your old customer base to come back. Do they respond to promotions? Discounts? Events?

Inactive recipients typically re-engage within the first 90 days, but those who don’t may need to receive a different type of communication such as an educational piece or a newsletter. If there still is no response, you may want to consider removing those names from your mailings to prevent future unsubscribes or spam issues.

While you won’t see your overall list grow, reactivating recipients will increase your “active” list, thus positively influencing your bottom line and improving customer loyalty. To keep your list healthy, continue to test out different segments and incentives while taking note of what is driving engagement and what is not. From there, adjust accordingly to get the most out of your current customer base.

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