PowerPacks Project

Friday, July 31, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments



PowerPacks Project is a program that provides healthy weekend food, simple recipes and nutritional information to families who are food insecure. Many of the families served are reliant on school lunch programs which are not available on weekends.

To offer support to the local community, PowerPacks Project has set out to empower families by arming them with knowledge. The goal of the program is to assist families by regularly providing healthy weekend meals, ensuring children are able to return to school well-fed and ready to learn.

As supporters of PowerPacks Project's mission and vision, Listrak has teamed up with the Lancaster, PA-based group to provide assistance in their food distribution center and to provide strategic advice to the organization’s executive leadership team, as well as to offer assistance with social media strategy, blog writing, event preparation, website management, email marketing and volunteer efforts.

Visit the PowerPacks Project website to learn how you can volunteer, support and donate. Check out photos of PowerPacks Project and other VTO organizations Listrak serves.

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Website Magazine: A Quick Look at Mood's Recurring Emails

Wednesday, July 29, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments

Listrak's Recurring Automated Campaigns are a great way to present a wide array of up-to-the-moment personalized product recommendations to subscribers on a regular basis without incurring any time or resources after original setup.

Recently, Website Magazine took a look at how Listrak client Mood Fabrics found success with these effective campaigns.

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Exclusive Listrak Holiday Research Study Release

Wednesday, July 29, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments


Listrak recently sponsored a consumer research study through Harris Polls and conducted a survey of online and omnichannel retailers to compare and contrast their plans for the coming holiday season.

Find out what shoppers want, what retailers are prepared to deliver, and where retailers need to do some work to shine brighter this holiday season.

Download the study from the whitepaper section of our website or find it, along with other valuable holiday planning materials, in our Holiday Resource Center.

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Humane League

Wednesday, July 29, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments




The Humane League of Lancaster County is an inde­pen­dent, non-profit char­ity that is rec­og­nized as the area’s leader in ani­mal wel­fare. The organization’s ded­i­cated staff and vol­un­teers pro­vide com­pas­sion and care to thou­sands of pets each year through a vari­ety of services.

Through the Humane League’s veterinary services and PetNet programs, they are proactively addressing the root causes of pet homelessness and preventing pets from entering shelters in the first place. The Safe Haven program provides temporary housing for pets in need in situations such as house fire, personal catastrophe, domestic violence or hurricane, so pet owners are not faced with the unthinkable dilemma of abandoning a family pet for the sake of their own safety or that of their family. Ani-Meals On Wheels is a pet food bank program that provides free pet food and supplies to pet owners in need until they can get back on their feet. In addition, the Humane League of Lancaster’s unique fos­ter care pro­gram allows the organization to save even more lives, while its part­ner­ships with other res­cues and shel­ters helps the League place an ever increas­ing num­ber of ani­mals in per­ma­nent and lov­ing homes.

The Humane League of Lancaster values vol­un­teers – such as Listrak employees who have used VTO hours washing and sorting laundry, cleaning cages and the League’s yard – as well as mem­bers and sup­port­ers as impor­tant con­trib­u­tors to the work it does. Visit the Humane League of Lancaster’s website to learn about opportunities to help achieve its vision of cre­at­ing a humane com­mu­nity where all animals are protected and wanted. Visit The Humane League website to learn more about the organization’s impact nationwide.

Check out photos at Humane League and other VTO organizations Listrak serves.

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Habitat for Humanity

Monday, July 27, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments


The well-known worldwide vision of Habitat for Humanity is “A world where everyone has a decent place to live.”

As a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian ministry that builds with people in need regardless of race or religion, Habitat for Humanity welcomes volunteers and supporters from all backgrounds. The organization has more than 1,400 local affiliates in the United States and more than 70 national organizations around the world. Together, they have helped more than 1 million families — representing 5 million people — improve their living conditions since being founded in 1976.

On a local level, Listrak employees have donated VTO hours to the Lancaster Area Habitat for Humanity, working on the organization’s Fairview build, constructing townhouses for low-income families, completing finishing touches to the project such as caulking floors, hanging house numbers and landscaping.

To find out how to get involved, visit the Habitat for Humanity website. Check out photos at Habitat for Humanity and other VTO organizations Listrak serves.

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Meals on Wheels

Thursday, July 23, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments


Meals on Wheels of Lancaster provides freshly prepared meals at a reasonable cost to anyone in the Lancaster, PA community who cannot reasonably provide meals for themselves. Meals on Wheels is an independent non-profit corporation supported and sustained by a dedicated group of community minded individuals, corporations and the general public.

Specifically, Meals on Wheels prepares and delivers meals to individuals with diminished mobility who are no longer able to shop and cook for themselves. The meals are nutritious, and also provide opportunities for health checks and social interaction, where there may not have been opportunities before.

Daily meals consist of one hot and one cold meal, and all meals are planned and prepared in-house by professional staff under the supervision of a licensed nutritionist. Volunteers like Listrak employees assist with plating food and packing meals to make them ready for delivery.

Details on volunteering at Meals on Wheels of Lancaster are available on the organization’s website. To search locations nationwide, visit the Meals on Wheels America website. And, check out a photo of a Listrak crew at Meals on Wheels.

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Schreiber Pediatrics Rehab Center

Tuesday, July 21, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments


Schreiber Pediatric Rehab Center of Lancaster County is a not-for-profit organization that provides family centered education and therapy program for infants, children and adolescents with developmental delays and disabilities in the Lancaster County, PA area. The organization’s goal oriented approach maximizes each child's ability to function as independently as possible within the community.Schreiber Pediatrics’ vision is to enrich and support the lives of children and adolescents as the community's premier provider of rehabilitation services. The many services the organization offers include premier outpatient physical, occupational and speech-language therapy to children with disabilities, developmental delays and acquired injuries, as well as preschool, day care, recreational programs and family support.

Listrak employees have used VTO hours for Schreiber Pediatrics helping to prepare for fundraising events, as well as doing yardwork and painting. To learn more about opportunities to make a difference, visit the Schreiber Pediatrics website.

Check out photos at Schreiber Pediatric and other VTO organizations Listrak serves.

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Quarterly Campaign Increases

Monday, July 20, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments

To see actual numbers, open this inforgraphic on the web

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Quarterly Campaign Performance

Monday, July 20, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments

To see actual numbers, open this infographic on the web

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Recommendations Reach Far Beyond the Cart Page

Monday, July 20, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments

By Karen DiClemente, account director, Listrak

Marketers have been using personalization to increase engagement and conversions for many years, starting with the interjection of first name in email subject lines and direct mail pieces. Today, with access to a wealth of data and marketing automation at their fingertips, retail marketers are able to make personalized product recommendations at every touchpoint to provide each shopper with a truly one-on-one brand experience.

What is Personalization?


For many retailers, personalization takes shape in the form of recommendations on the website, such as the popular and effective upsell and cross-sell recommendations on the cart page. But just as marketers have quickly learned that product recommendations – when contextually relevant – have a place on other pages of the website as well to help move the customer closer to a purchase, they are also learning that to keep customers truly engaged and purchasing, they must offer a personalized experience not just on-site, but at every touchpoint.

While most retailers realize the need to offer personalized customer experience across channels to compete, many find that the cost and time spent developing their own product recommendations algorithms are prohibitive. Fortunately, technology exists so that digital marketers can quickly and easily launch a personalization product recommendations program that reaches far beyond the cart page, test it, iterate on it and optimize the results.

Personalization's Impact


Many retailers work hard to generate great content for websites, blogs, in store signage and more, but when treating all shoppers the same and presenting the same experience and conversation, conversion rates can be low and overall customer experience can suffer. Relevance is critical, and the more relevant retailers make interactions with shoppers – be it in-store, online, in email or display ad - the more likely they will convert.

In-Store:


Emerging technologies such as Mobile beacons and wearable devices are changing retail dramatically.  Beacons are equipped with Bluetooth Low Energy technology, so they can wirelessly communicate and transmit data with mobile devices with Bluetooth turned on. This not only allows retailers to track a customer’s path to purchase, but also to send relevant product recommendations to her while she’s shopping in-store.

A recent report from Google found that 85% of shoppers would be more likely to shop in stores that offer personalized coupons, 64% in stores that offer product recommendations and 54% in stores that offer recommendations based on what friends/family have purchased.

Online:


It’s no surprise that including product recommendations throughout a retailer’s website drives increased sales. In fact, in a Listrak-sponsored Harris Interactive Survey 67% of consumers reported that they find it useful when a retailer recommends product on the pages of its website. The key to providing a truly relevant online experience is to personalize as many pages of the website as possible with products that are truly meaningful to the visitor where she is in the customer journey.  A poorly chosen recommendation can be worse than no recommendation at all.

Online shoppers have grown accustomed to seeing product recommendations presented on a retailer’s cart page, product detail pages and homepage, however, there are many other on-site opportunities to personalize the shopping experience. For example, placing relevant product recommendations on a search page when no results are presented improves the experience and may keep the visitor on the site. Category landing pages are additional areas of opportunity for retailers to personalize the customer journey by showing recommendations that are contextually relevant and that meet the retailers’ business goals. And of course, any custom campaign landing pages should also include product recommendations or personalized content to engage the customer and enhance her experience.

Strategy Guide: Personalize Product Recommendations on Your Website


Email:


Many retailers have indicated they want to increase the level of personalization with their current email marketing efforts, and it’s a wise move. In the same Harris Interactive Survey referenced above, 80% of consumers reported that they find it useful when retailers send emails featuring products based on previous purchases and 71% on what they have browsed but not purchased.
Adding personalized product recommendations to emails allows a retailer to send a unique, relevant message to every individual subscriber without investing a significant amount of time developing different email creative for different list segments. Recurring automated campaigns combine the benefits of marketing messages and personalization and present each subscriber with a new array of products each time they are deployed without requiring any additional time or resources. Utilizing product recommendations in triggered email campaigns like Shopping Cart Abandonment, Browse and Abandon, Post Purchase and more can help to significantly increase click through and conversion rates, along with AOV.

Transactional messages are another area of untapped personalization opportunity for retailers. E-receipts and Order and Shipping Confirmation emails are some of the highest opened and clicked on messages, and customers often make additional purchases from them. Providing them with personalized recommendations based on their recent purchase or past purchase behavior can increase revenue dramatically for retailers. In fact, for some retail clients, cross-selling in post-transaction confirmation emails has more than doubled conversion rates.

Display:


Retailers are very familiar with display retargeting, a technology that has been widely adopted over the past several years. With the latest personalization technology, retailers can now personalize display ads with items most recently browsed or items left behind in a shopping cart. Additionally, display ads now allow consumers to interact with the ad to scroll and see additional product recommendations.

Retailers Take Control


Today’s technology allows retailers to have more control over the products and content being recommended. Retailers can now harness data from every customer touch point (in-store data, online behavioral data, mobile interaction, etc.) to recommend products personalized to each customer at every touchpoint. As competition becomes more intense, the retailers who will succeed will be the ones seamlessly blending promotional and informational messages across channels and delivering the right message at the right time in the right place with the right effect. 

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Top Retailers’ Top Five Ways to React to Amazon Prime Day

Friday, July 17, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments

By Donna Fulmer, Listrak market research manager

There is much being written about how Amazon netted out with the already historic Amazon Prime Day. We thought it would be interesting to take a look at the marketing emails from top retailers to see what they did in response to the newest online shopping holiday: 

There were several approaches:

Declare it Christmas in July


While this theme is not a new one and many retailers already began using it earlier in the month, some like JomaShop (IR No. 203), reserved their Christmas in July promotions to coincide with Amazon Prime Day. Like Amazon, this retailer of luxury watches deemed it to be “better than Black Friday,” and, wisely, extended the sale to 48 hours.



Make Wednesday Black Friday in July


While Amazon promised more deals than Black Friday, many retailers, including fast fashion retailer Forever 21 (IR No. 306), simply deemed Wednesday “Black Friday in July” and pulled out the stops with significant savings and free shipping.


Approach it Subtly


Others took a more low-key approach, like popular outdoor outfitter Cabela’s (IR No. 63). You can almost here a “Pssssst…” before the subject line, "Fishing for deals?” There was no frenzy created in the email itself either, with its relaxed photo of friends fishing and even omission of exclamation point after the warning, “make sure these deals don’t get away.”


Tack on Free Shipping


A number of retailers simply stepped up summer sales already in progress by adding the always-popular free shipping for the day. Hanes (IR No. 687), for example, added a one-day email exclusive free shipping on all orders offer to the witty Change Your Underwear Sale that began earlier in the week.


Do Your Own Thing


Amazon Prime Day, what? The so-called new holiday and Amazon birthday celebration just happened to coincide with the birthday of Steals.com (IR Social No. 12), who celebrated the occasion with subscribers by offering secret steals for all.


What did you see?


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Meeting Customer Expectations On the Path To Purchase

Friday, July 17, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments



The following blog post is being shared by our partners at Weblinc. You can download our joint path to purchase whitepaper on the Listrak website, as well. 

Although slightly less than one third of consumers are making purchases on their mobile phones, we know that they use their phones at many different points along the path to purchase: to discover new brands and products, conduct research, browse social media sites and compare prices.

Over time, conversions from a mobile device will surely increase, but until then it’s important to understand how to meet your customers’ rising expectations on mobile. Making sure your emails are in tip-top shape is a great starting point.

Your customers likely check email on their phones several times a day. So if you’ve got a can’t-miss promotion or sale event, make sure your email is optimized for mobile devices, tablets and desktops to get the highest conversion rate.

Most often, promotional emails include a mix of text and images. But if your customers’ email provider blocks images as the default view, you’ve got to get their attention with alt text. After all, you can have the sale of the century, but if no messaging displays, it’s dead on arrival.

Beyond ensuring that customers actually see the content of your message, consider best practices. Be sure to space links so they’re easy to tap with a finger and increase font sizes where necessary so content is readable no matter the screen size. No one wants to zoom in just to read an email. (Google’s mobile usability guidelines can apply to emails, too.)

Next, when it comes to the content of your email, simplicity is key. Choose words carefully and get to the point quickly. And as layouts go, a simple one-column format is easier to read on any screen, but especially on a smartphone or tablet. Most people reading emails on their phones aren’t going to be very patient.

And of course, make sure your email is on brand and on message. Your click-through rate will surely suffer if the message doesn’t “feel” like your brand. Large enough font and adequate spacing around clickable links, as well as simple content and layout, helps direct the reader’s eye to your call-to-action.

You need a strong call-to-action that is clearly visible and evokes a sense of urgency. A beautifully designed email and a compelling message isn’t enough to get your customers to click through. Keep your customers on their toes with strong verbs and enticing offers (flash sale, anyone?).

And if you have the opportunity to personalize emails to your customers, by populating things like customer name, location, and status level, your email conversion rates will soar.

To learn more about ways you can meet customer expectations along the path to purchase, download the WebLinc whitepaper, “How Mobile Shopping Drives Omnichannel Conversions: The Evolving Path To Purchase.”


About the author: Brandon Cohn is member of WebLinc's Client Advocacy team. He combines his background in front-end development, web design, and fashion retail marketing to develop strategy for WebLinc clients.

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Relay For Life

Friday, July 17, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments




In more than 5,200 communities and 20 countries, Relay For Life events comprise the signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Each Relay For Life event is special to its community, but the movement's true power lies in the combined commitment of thousands of participants, volunteers, and supporters to help the American Cancer Society save lives from cancer.

At Relay For Life events, communities across the globe come together to honor cancer survivors, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against a disease that has already taken too much. The funds raised truly make a difference in the fight against cancer. Relay For Life teams camp out overnight and take turns walking or running around a track or path at a local high school, park, or fairground. Events are up to 24 hours long, and because cancer never sleeps, each team is asked to have at least one participant on the track at all times.

Recently, a team of Listrak employees contributed VTO hours to help a fellow employee’s Relay For Life Team prepare for their event at a local high school. The volunteers unloaded supplies, set up tables and chairs, and decorated. To sign up or volunteer at a local event, visit the Relay for Life website.

Check out photos of a Listrak team serving at a recent Relay For Life Event.

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Connecting the Dots for Shoppers

Thursday, July 16, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments

Layla Thomas, our summer marketing intern, shares her views on merchandising email messages in her latest blog post. You can reach out and say hi to Layla through LinkedIn.

We hear a lot these days about “reducing friction” for shoppers. While achieving the effortless buy can manifest itself in infinite forms, my personal favorite is through some inspirational content.

You’re probably already used to seeing this in the fashion industries. Hi there, shopper. Here’s some shoes, a scarf, and a new dress. See how great these look on this model? Great! Here’s how you buy this look…

Yet we often ignore that this technique is by no means limited to fashion. Most brands sport an assortment of complimentary goods and there are plenty of great ways to showcase this outside the highly-effective “Product Recommended with This.”

Most customers, simply put, aren’t as imaginative as we’d like. They don’t have the familiarity to picture how your product or service would relate to their home, their wardrobe, or their life. It’s your job to paint the picture.

I’ve seen no finer examples than some emails I’ve received recently from three very different brands: Yoogi’s Closet, Things Remembered, and Viva Terra.

First, Yoogi’s Closet presents a very traditional approach to linking products together in a few cute outfits. Making matching easy makes purchasing email with this fashionable example.

For Things Remembered, they target a niche group (Groomsmen) to package an assortment of men’s products together in one themed email. While they still include isolated images of specific products, they use copy and a header image to successfully tie it all together. 

Finally, in Viva Terra’s email, an eclectic mix is made cohesive by a superlative-themed non-traditional gift guide. This is a far cry from the typical fashion-based approach to connecting products, but is effective nonetheless. It’s great to see images that capture products in-context, as it provides more footing for relatability.



Have you seen any great examples you'd like to share? Let us know!

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Christmas in July Promotions

Wednesday, July 15, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments

Retailers have promoted their summer sales as “Christmas in July” for years, but this year is different. With Walmart taking on Amazon in an epic online battle, many other retailers have jumped on board and have really upped the ante.



Rokform is promoting its Amazon Shop.
Received July 15, 2014
Subject: Amazon Prime Day - Free 2 Day Shipping on Rokform Products





Tactical Distributors HQ is celebrating Amazon's Prime Day by offering its own free shipping deal.
Received July 15, 2014
Subject: TD Prime Day!! Free Shipping Today Only!!





Even Bloomingdales is getting into the fun with its creative subject line.
Received July 15, 2014
Subject: It's Prime Time to Shop: Take Up to 30% Off Now!






Other retailers are celebrating the spirit of Prime Day with their own holiday-related messaging:

Bluefly is running its Cyber Summer sale today only.
Received July 15, 2014
Subject: Better than CYBER MONDAY! Extra 20% Off Your ENTIRE Order



Simply Soles is promoting its Black Friday in July Sale
Received July 15, 2014
Subject: Black Friday in July! Shop Footwear Under $100





The Shopping Channel took a different approach, offering up everyone’s favorite holiday tactic – The 12 Days of Deals campaign – this month. Starting on July 6, it offered a new deal every day.
Received July 15, 2014
Subject: Day 10: Semi-Annual Clearance Sale




Using these holiday tactics in the middle of summer is a great way to engage customers and get them to buy on days they typically wouldn’t. 

Retailers - are you ready for the actual holidays? Now is the time to be putting your plans and strategies in place. We have three upcoming holiday-related webinars to help you:




Questions about your holiday plans? Ask us. We're here to help!




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Introducing Gmail Postmaster Tools

Friday, July 10, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments



Google announced yesterday Gmail Postmaster Tools, a new feature to help senders and marketers identify issues with their mailings. This is another great resource that Gmail is willing to share with the email community.

We are excited to utilize another channel of information to further understand deliverability issues at Gmail. Our deliverability team will be able to use data presented by the Postmaster Tools to make more informed strategies and corrections for senders that may be struggling with Gmail.

The tool uses the domain to create dashboards based on various metrics. Great information regarding the Spam Rate, IP Reputation, Domain Reputation and Authentication related to the domain will be available to senders.


Reputation Sample:

Authentication Dashboard Sample:

If you would to know more about how to gain access to this data please contact support@listrak.com or visit https://postmaster.google.com

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Is Black Friday Losing its Luster or Better than Ever?

Thursday, July 09, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments

By Donna Fulmer, Marketing Research and Media Communications Manager

I recently opened my mailbox to find this Black Friday in July email from Target:


My initial thought was that it was clever. Since the word "Christmas" in retail marketing is seldom used anymore, there has to be some way to still use the old "Christmas in July" promotion, right?

It got me wondering how many other retailers may be doing the same, so I searched the inbox looking for more. Lo and behold, Black Friday (and even Cyber Monday) were being used as far back as February. In fact, with the exception of January and June, I've gotten at least one email referencing the retail holiday every month this year:

February 27

March 20 

March 21

March 27

April 9 

April 24

April 30 

May 8 

As we begin helping retailers to prepare for this holiday season, it makes me wonder if Black Friday promotions do so well that they should be leveraged as much as possible, or if perhaps they're becoming overused and will soon lose their luster. What are you thoughts? 

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Stop Leaving Things in Your Cart: Shopping Cart Abandonment Subject Lines

Thursday, July 09, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments

Layla Thomas, our summer marketing intern, shares her views on how to write an engaging email subject line in cart abandonment messages in her latest blog post. You can reach out and say hi to Layla through LinkedIn.

We’ve all done it. While browsing through your favorite eCommerce site, you find a perfect new item. Well perfect…except for that price tag. So what do you do? You throw that almost-perfect item into your shopping cart. Then, carefully sidestepping any exit modals and launching a few new tabs, you pillage the internet searching for coupons and competitors that may put that item within the reach of your salary. Unfortunately, you find nothing and log off before your boss sees you shopping at work. Fast forward three hours.

If the site you browsed has been keeping up with Listrak’s blog, you’ve likely just received an email at an email address you provided while shopping. In it, lo and behold, your near-perfect item stares at you, mockingly expensive. Distraught at the hopeless situation, you swear to never open additional emails about that awe-inspiring find lurking in your shopping cart. 

Fortunately, companies often realize the value of shopping cart abandoners. Convincing you to purchase becomes a priority and keeping their product at the top of your mind is invaluable…but you’ve already sworn to stop opening their emails. What do they do? Well, they make sure their subject lines are so good they demand your attention.

While the ingredients for a high-performing email varies from brand to brand and audience to audience, Listrak’s looked into nearly 700 shopping cart abandonment emails and pulled out some statistics to help you, as a retailer, learn what the subject line norms are. 

1. Most brands formulate their attempts and recovering carts as a helpful reminder, rather than a failure or shortcoming on the side of the consumer.



2. Shopping cart emails tend to much more down-to-business than, say, a welcome series. Pleasantries, like “Hello!” or “Hey!” are almost double as likely in the former, according to our samples.



3. That cold approach continues when we look at what percentage of all words used were unique—that is, did not appear in more than one email subject line. Since we generally view uniqueness as a measure of creativity, it’s safe to say recovery emails stay on the dry side.



When the tracks of the majority are clearly displayed, a tougher choice arises. Do you follow it or reject it? On one hand, if a consumer sees a common subject they are likely to rapidly understand the contents. On the other hand, you’ll be just another email asking about “Forgetting something”. 

For more information and best practices, download our whitepaper “Email Personalization beyond Subject Lines and Segmentation.”

Research Study: Shopping Cart Abandonment Best Practices

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How Mobile Shopping Drives Omnichannel Conversions: The Evolving Path to Purchase

Wednesday, July 08, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments

Listrak recently joined forces with our friends at Weblinc to produce a whitepaper on the evolving path to puchase,

Mobile devices are playing an increasing role in the way customers find products. Still, incomplete sales on mobile devices far outweigh completed transactions. But that doesn’t mean mobile commerce is failing. Though mobile may not be the leading channel shoppers use to convert, it still plays a significant role in the customer path to purchase. Understanding where the mobile experience fits into a customer’s journey will help retailers improve customer engagement and limit missed opportunities.

Download this whitepaper to learn how to capitalize on mobile touchpoints while delivering seamless omnichannel experiences.

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To Gobble or Not to Gobble: Thanksgiving Subject Lines

Wednesday, July 08, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments

Layla Thomas, our summer marketing intern, shares her views on how to write an engaging email subject line on Thanksgiving in her latest blog post. You can reach out and say hi to Layla through LinkedIn.

It’s that time of the year again: another national holiday that can easily be transformed into a capitalist fairy tale. Balancing the spirit of the season and the need to push your biggest sales, however, can prove to be the greatest challenge. You don’t want to be too pushy, too cheesy, or too mild…That’s a lot of “too’s” to worry about.

For your benefit, we decided it would be fun to look at nearly 1000 Thanksgiving email subject lines to give you the low down on the trends we’ve found in the sphere. (Fun gets a little nerdy in the digital marketing world.) Here’s what we realized:

1. Short and sweet seems to be out of style for Thanksgiving subject lines. The average length of a Thanksgiving subject line is longer than that of other types.



2. Patriotism loses out to vagueness. In fact, it’s almost eight times more likely to see the word “Holiday” than “American” in a subject line.



3. Apparently most people know that Thanksgiving Day is, well, a day. One fifth of emails choose not to remind them in their subject lines. Instead, this valuable real estate can be used for copy that has a great impact on the recipient’s experience. (Time to break out those turkey leg emojis.)



4. Finally, for the statistic that gives this post its name. It turn out, a surprising group of brands do decide to include a good hearty “gobble” in their subject lines. We found it interest that “gobble” was even more prevalent than the word “turkey” in our sample.

 


How do you balance holiday spirit with the bottom line?



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Internet Retailer: Email 'Batch and Blast' is a Thing of the Past

Tuesday, July 07, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments

In the July issue of Internet Retailer, Associate Director of Research Stefany Zaroban writes about how Listrak demonstrated how to connect in-store data with email at our booth at IRCE: 

Marketers have to be far more nuanced in their use of email marketing, IRCE attendees said.


When it comes to email marketing, the practice of sending the same message to all customers—known as “batch and blast”—has fallen out of favor. Given that inboxes are increasingly crowded with marketing messages, e-retailers have to become more creative if they are going to get customers to open their emails, let alone click through and buy something.
At least that was the message delivered by many e-retailers and email marketing firms roaming the exhibit hall at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition this year.
The most effective strategy, they say, factors in a customer’s purchase history, browsing behavior or social cues to email messages, which makes the communication far more relevant and more likely to entice consumers to buy, and buy again.
This trend toward connecting customer data with email can even tie into a retailer’s mobile apps or physical stores, as was demonstrated by email marketing firm Listrak in the exhibit ball. The Listrak booth featured a store mock-up for its client Giggle, which sells high-end baby gear in stores and online. Each store department in the booth, such as toys or baby gear, and products displayed throughout contained iBeacons tied into an iPhone app that Listrak built for IRCE.
Visitors could open the app and walk through the store as if they were shopping. When a shopper reached the toy department, the app would show her the online toy category page where she could click on products to order or learn more. If she stopped at the Sophie la Girafe baby toy, for example, the iBeacon would sense her location and show her more information about the toy, including customer reviews and consumer-generated images of other customers playing with the toy pulled from social networks with help from crowdsourcing technology company Olapic Inc.
Upon leaving the store, the shopper received an email thanking her for stopping by. It also showed her the Sophie toy, and other toys she might be interested in.
“These types of messages can create a real emotional connection with the customer, and make shopping a much richer experience when we can take into account all of these touch points,” says Shawna Hausman, Giggle’s vice president of e-commerce and digital marketing.
Other merchants at IRCE said they are using behavioral analytics technology to figure out which customers to email more often than others. For example, high-end shoemaker and online retailer Donald J Pliner uses the Propensity to Buy tool from behavioral analytics firm AgilOne. This scores Donald J Pliner’s customers from one to 10 in terms of how likely they are to buy at any given time. The tool factors in signals such as the length of time since the customer last visited the e-commerce site or how often she has made a purchase in the last six months.
When the merchant emails the people rated with the highest propensity to buy, the emails perform five times better than those sent to other segments that AgilOne determined were less likely to buy. “It’s clear now that these are our active shoppers, and at any given point in time, these are the people that are likely to buy something,” says Julian Chu, operating partner at Castanea Partners, which owns a majority stake in Donald J Pliner and helps to oversee its e-commerce program. “We get around 80% of orders from this group, and 20% from the three or four other groups.”
Plus, Donald J Pliner now knows to send fewer emails to shoppers less likely to buy, which prevents fatigue and a high number of consumers unsubscribing from its email program, Chu adds.

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Hey or Hi: The Nitty Gritty of Welcome Email Subject Lines

Tuesday, July 07, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments

Layla Thomas, our summer marketing intern, shares her views on how to write an engaging email subject line in her latest blog post. You can reach out and say hi to Layla through LinkedIn.

When your copy is being blasted out to millions of people at a time, little details can generate a lot of added stress. Are you more of a gray or grey brand? Is the oxford comma classy or antiquated? Is that third exclamation point too much?

To prune away any blossoming email inferiority complexes, we at Listrak have quantified three Welcome Email trends by examining over eight hundred subject lines. Here’s what we’ve found:



The vast majority (almost 98%) of brands seem to avoid any kind of greeting eating up valuable subject line space but, for those who do, “Hello” seems to be the popular pick.



Speaking of wasting words…the subject of your email probably doesn’t need to self-reference. If they’re receiving an email, you can probably opt to just say “Thanks…” instead of “Here’s an email to say thanks!” Instead, save all those extra characters for making a stellar first impression, unlike almost 8% of the emails we reviewed. Don’t forget, only a limited number of characters are visible on a mobile device – make them all count. Learn more about mobile subject lines.

But what words really make a difference to the recipient? From what we can tell, including the recipient’s first name seems to be a vetted approach by a significant portion of brands.

Are you guilty of some existential blasts? Have you found increased engagement when adding a quirky “Howdy” instead of the common “Hello”? We’d love to hear about it.

Research Study: Welcome Series Concepts and Strategies

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Finding Subject Line Swagger: Welcome Emails

Monday, July 06, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments

Layla Thomas, our summer marketing intern, shares her views on how to write an engaging email subject line in her latest blog post. You can reach out and say hi to Layla through LinkedIn.

Sometimes it feels as though omnichannel marketing is more of a science than an art. With each split test, heat map, and cookie, marketing has become riddled with technical jargon and best practices. However, when every company imaginable is pushing out those “Top Trends for <Next Year>” reports in the winter, there’s a much foggier choice to be made: Should you follow the trends or purposefully not?

To date, there hasn’t really been a right answer to this question. However, if your goal is to make an email that is interesting to a reader, we may have just found a telling correlation.

Subject lines— the suit and tie of your email’s first date with a potential customer — can be notoriously lame. But does it really matter? We think so.

After tracking over 800 welcome emails throughout 2014 and flagging interesting emails as we went, we’ve found a positive link between the uniqueness of subject lines and reader interest. (And if someone can truly dub an email interesting after flipping through several thousands of them, you know it must be good.)

First, let’s look at the top words used in welcome series’ subject lines, as seen in the chart. Not the most inspiring list, yet together those ten words made up almost half of all words used in these 800+ surveyed emails.

When ten words make up almost half of the vocabulary, it’s not shocking that only 25.84% of all words surveyed were unique. Interested in how this would stack up, we investigated our well-stocked pile of over 125 interesting emails spanning from 2013 to 2015.
Not surprisingly, we see a huge jump between welcome emails and the average for emails dubbed interesting by Listrak employees. Coincidence? We think not. It seems, for subject lines anyway, sticking with the trends and typical phrasing could lower your chances of interesting a reader.

Moral of the story? While a subject line alone is likely not the sole justification for an email’s level of intrigue, there seems to be correlation enough to take a second look before sending another soulless “Thanks for signing up!” or “Welcome to your new account!” Make the most of your subject lines, and see how your engagement levels change of time.

Have you experimented with your subject lines recently? What did you find?

Research Study: Welcome Series Concepts and Strategies

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Human Emails: Some Great Examples

Thursday, July 02, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments

Layla Thomas, our summer marketing intern, shares her views on how retailers can humanize their brands in her latest blog post. You can reach out and say hi to Layla through LinkedIn.

In a previous post, I spoke about the important of humanizing your brand through showcase your company culture and engaging with the external world. A few days ago, I stumbled upon a few great examples of this approach in practice. First, an athletic accessories company, Jaybird. In an effort to associate their goods with sports, they pair themselves with “Ambassadors” who promote and use the brand. Details aside, this week they added a new ambassador and decided to highlight that in their emails. From the subject to the images, the ambassador herself receives the priority. You’ll notice that background on this professional climber is then carefully mixed in with product information and images.


Next, a look at Lovesac reminds us that marketers like pop culture, too. The “Dad Bod”—a man who is not overweight yet carries too large of a belly to have visible abs –was a term that got a lot of attention late this spring. Coined by a student reporter at Clemson University, “Dad Bod” references rapidly polluted the nation as a comical and counterintuitive new ideal for male appearance. In Lovesac’s email, they show their social relevance by incorporating a reference to this in relation to their ultra-fluffy furniture. Their subject line read, “What do Pillowsacs and Fathers have in common?” By tying this into the upcoming Father’s Day and including an array of products at the bottom of the email, Lovesac really did a fantastic job.


Finally, here is a more political statement in solemn contrast to Rue La La’s usual colorful and lighthearted imagery. In this, Rue comments on the recent new stories about a massacre recently occurring in Charleston. Not stopping with drawing attention to Rue’s views, the message goes on to promote a new product for which nonprofits will receive all earnings. Providing information about the YWCA and The Martin Luther King, Jr Center for Nonviolent Social Change at the bottom almost overshadows the small “Shop Rue La La” link lurking in the bottom navigation email. While strong social statements that ask readers to, “Join us as we pause in solidarity with the victims of racial prejudice,” could seem out of place in email marketing, Rue took a firm position and, for many readers, may have earned a new level of respect. Rue showed an impressive step towards corporate responsibility by contributing publicity and funds to several worthy non-profits.


 What do you think? Is email marketing engaging with current events a best practice or a rookie mistake?

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