You’ve known all along that rumors of e-mail’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. It’s still the workhorse of online marketing. Check out our experts’ insights on everything from copywriting to deliverability.

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Conducting A Multi-Point Inspection On Your Email Program

inspection-tuneup-mechanic-featured [caption id="attachment_21484" align="alignright" width="206"] Stock image used with permission of Shutterstock.[/caption] I like lists. Okay, that's not quite true. I LOVE lists. Growing up, one of my favorite book series was The Book of Lists. So it's no surprise then that when it comes to email marketing, I seek out opportunities to use them. One great combination of marketing and lists takes place at any car service center. Through an offering often called a "multi-point inspection," the auto shop conducts a laundry list of maintenance checks as a diagnostic tool to see if anything [...]

Budgeting For Email Marketing: How To Invest In The “Killer App”

Holiday Emails Last week at the ExactTarget Connections Conference, I had that the opportunity to meet Forrester analyst Shar vanBoskirk. Like most in our industry, I was interested in her point of view on a question I often ponder, so I approached after her presentation and asked for it: “If email consistently has the highest conversion rate of all channels (search, social, etc.) why does it consistently receive the least amount of budget?” We see this with our clients, and it's something that Forrester Research reported on in their US Interactive Marketing Forecast, 2011 to 2016 that was recently fea [...]

Three Tricks One Site Used To Increase Subscribers 150% In A Month

rabbit-hat-trick-featured If you are aiming to use email marketing effectively, then one of your primary focuses should always be to increase your subscribers. There are a myriad of ways to optimise your site for email subscription, but practical advice can be hard to come by. Here are 3 practical approaches you can use for inspiration to increase the subscribe rate for your blog, eCommerce store or Internet product. 1. Personalize Your Calls-To-Action Based On Customers' On-Site Actions Using behavior data to adjust what your customers see is a sure-fire way to increase your conversion rate. There are a lot [...]

Is Your Email Program Experiencing That 2:30 Feeling?

tired guy at work [caption id="attachment_57759" align="alignright" width="300"] Image via Shutterstock[/caption] That 2:30 feeling doesn't just hit people. Think about your email program and how energized it is. If email marketers are honest with themselves, many would admit their programs have hit a lull. They've become sluggish, struggling to make it over the afternoon hump and burst with life again. Fatigue has set in and productivity has plateaued. The program needs an energy boost, and fortunately there are a lot of flavors to choose from. Flavor 1: Triggerlicious No doubt your email program has a [...]

10 Holiday Gift Guide Ideas For Email

Pottery Barn - Parties Planning your holiday email campaigns? You should be. There are any number of tried and true approaches to engaging your subscribers over the holiday season. Gift guides, in particular, tend to be high performers. In fact, I strongly recommend that, rather than running just one gift guide campaign, you consider the following ideas to extend your gift guide campaigns throughout the season. Even better, several of the examples below combine multiple concepts into one campaign! 1. Price The most straightforward gift guide is to offer by price. Gift givers generally have a threshold in mind f [...]

7 Issues That Will Kill Your Email Conversions

Many posts list ways to increase the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns... but what about the things you shouldn't do? Here's a list of seven things that will actively decrease the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns. You can improve your emails conversions by avoiding these issues! 1. Incorrectly Tracking Conversions When it comes to online marketing optimisation, it's important not to focus on too many metrics at once. Opens, clicks and subscribes tell you a lot about the various aspects of your campaign and can help you determine whether you should work on [...]

What The New Gmail Inbox Means For Your Email Campaign

Used with permission from MailChimp Like many other well-intentioned Google updates before it, the new Gmail inbox has set off a bout of angry and confused complaints from users. Also like many other updates, this one has sparked criticism from marketers who are certain the email-sky is falling. But keep the faith, Marketing Chicken Little -- there just may be hope yet. In case you are not a Gmail user and have managed to avoid the wave of blogger grumblings, this Gmail update was released in late May and has been rolling out to users over the past two months. A new "tabbed" inbox allows users to enable up to five tabs (Prima [...]

Oops! Email Mistakes Happen

Lee Email 1 Let's face it: humans aren't perfect. And there is definitely a human element to email marketing. From the designer who creates the graphics, to the front-line associate that clicks "Send," there is a risk of something going wrong. So, on occasion, an email makes it to the inbox that isn't 100% right. Unfortunately, it can be a highly visible mistake. After all, most executives of a brand receive their own emails, not to mention the thousands or millions of subscribers. And unlike a webpage that can be replaced with new code relatively quickly or a Facebook post that can be deleted and re-p [...]

Updating Your Email Campaign? Tips To Avoid Subscriber Whiplash!

modcloth-weekly-wow You want to keep your emails fresh. Follow the latest trends. Stand out in the inbox. Freshening up your email campaign gives you the opportunity to try out new things -- maybe a new call-to-action will increase conversions, or a new sidebar will bring more clicks to your website. A new look can also relieve subscriber fatigue. Looking at the same old thing all the time might get boring for your subscribers. Whether you're doing a full redesign, tweaking some minor design/layout elements, or even just altering the frequency of your emails, updating your campaign will mean making noticeab [...]

Measuring Brand Perception & Strength With “This Is Not Spam”

shutterstock_85335880 Measuring the strength of one's brand is an important part of marketing, albeit somewhat difficult and sometimes expensive as it traditionally relies on tactics like surveys. However, marketers now have everything they need to measure brand perception using email marketing analytics. Specifically the rate that users indicate "this is spam" (TIS) or "this is not spam" (TINS) in relationship to your emails can provide an accurate perception of your brand -- and even your competitors' brands. For the most part, email subscribers are already customers, and the email marketing channel is used [...]

5 Email A/B Split Test Ideas You Haven’t Tried

tsubo-example-responsive-email-template You’re probably sitting there thinking, "A/B testing my emails is hard!" or "Where do I even start with A/B testing my email campaigns?" The truth is, most online businesses could spend a lot more time testing their email marketing campaigns, and this means you can stand out from the crowd by being one of the companies that does. If you're looking for ideas on what to test, here are five things you can experiment with -- they're likely things you have never tried. Let's break each idea down and throw in a few examples so you can learn to harness the full power of A/B testing for you [...]

How To Convert Email Subscribers To Customers

Email is a great vehicle for reducing the time between key milestones for a subscriber. After all, subscribers are great, but customers are even better. Take advantage of email’s automation capabilities with these triggers at various subscriber milestones to create additional purchases. Subscribers That Have Never Purchased The first of these key milestones is reducing the time between when a subscriber signs up for email and the time of their first purchase. Start with a dive into your subscribers' purchase history. What you’ll most likely find is that the majority of subscribers on [...]

5 Ways To Put Your Email Call To Action To Work

Having an effective call to action in your email marketing -- whether part of newsletters, transactional emails or lifecycle campaigns -- is a must if you want to engage and convert your customers. One of the worst things you can do is "wing it" when it comes to creating a call to action, yet this is all too common for online businesses. Today, we will take a look at some great examples of email campaigns that really nail the call to action. Hopefully, they will provide inspiration for your campaigns across the board. 1. Images Can Cost You Sales With up to 60% of all recipients regu [...]

Are You Ready For Video In Email?

Video_WFs In a previous post, I wrote about many of the scarier myths that are floating around about video in email and gave a few reasons why now might be the right time to put aside those fears and give it a try. In the intervening months, whether at conferences, meetings or just industry meet ups, the topic of embedded video invariably seemed to pop up in any conversation about inbox innovations. So, I’d like to address a few themes that seem to surface consistently and also share some tips that have been shared with me along the way. I’ll even add a few of my own lessons learned. We’ve [...]

Evolving Your Email Marketing From Crawl To Walk To Run To PR

email-marketing-globe-world-featured [caption id="attachment_46861" align="alignright" width="300"] Image via Shutterstock[/caption] Now that email marketing has been around for years, every retailer has an email marketing program. But, each program is at a different level of sophistication. The Evolution Of An Email Marketing Program Do you ever wonder where your program ranks compared to others? Need helping mapping out where to go from where you are? I find the crawl, walk, run metaphor resonates with most marketers; and, I’ve added PR after run. As a runner myself, this is reality. Many times after finishing a race, [...]

Auto-Responders: Why Trigger-Based Email Will Increase Your Conversions

Internet marketing research firm MarketingSherpa recently asked online businesses what types of automated emails they send. The results (full chart here) show that outside of welcome, thank you and transactional emails (such as receipts), most business are not fully embracing the power of auto-responders. In fact, based on their data, about 75% of businesses are missing out on the email marketing sweet spot. Why Use Auto-Responders? What's the sweet spot, you might ask? Per the diagram above, newsletters (i.e., one email distributed to many people) have an open rate of around 20%. [...]

Using Data-Centered Storytelling To Enchant & Engage Your Email Audience

Our goal as savvy email marketers is to look beyond the lure of the one-time conversion and strive to build an ongoing relationship between consumers and our brands. Why is this goal so important? Because it’s been proven through many a marketing study that engaged customers become loyal customers and loyal customers are the most valuable segment in any list or database. This type of highly engaged, loyal customer typically has higher overall lifetime value than the casual consumer. They’re also more likely to be an evangelist, introducing new customers to your brand in a very personal [...]

The ABCs Of A/B Testing

Testing should be at the core of your email marketing program. Not only does it help you understand the impact you’re making, but it gives you a much fuller understanding about your customers’ behavior and preferences. It not only tells you where you've been, but where you should (and shouldn't) go with your campaigns. A/B testing is the simplest, most straightforward testing method available. Most of you probably understand what A/B testing entails, but for those who don’t: A/B test is a process through which you provide different versions of an email to statistically significant [...]

3 Ways To Get In Your Customers’ Heads — And Stay In Their Inboxes

Email overload and inbox fatigue are all too real. But, we all have an "inner circle" of emails we look forward to reading -- you know, the ones we check our spam folders for when we haven't seen them recently. How can you get your emails into that coveted inner circle and -- better still -- keep them there to increase engagement and deliverability? Let's explore three simple ways to do that, with an outstanding email example for each one. 1. Build Momentum From The Welcome Email(s) The welcome email (or email series) is one of the most undervalued tools in the email marketer's bat uti [...]

Moving From Static To Dynamic: Building Relationship-First Email Creative

Modules In the past, when email marketers noticed a drop in audience engagement, they would increase the volume of email sends, trying to win the attention deficit game by increasing frequency. But this strategy just doesn't work anymore. With the increased usage of mobile devices, smart phones and multi-channel social streams, your customers (or potential customers) now have a wealth of information available at their fingertips around the clock. In fact, it's estimated that three out of four Americans under the age of 35 now check their smart phone or mobile device before even getting out of bed [...]

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