How to Optimize Your Email Marketing Strategy with Data

This blog post from Listrak Channel and Customer Marketing Manager Kate Lowry was co-authored with Emma Tzeng, Content Marketing Manager at Gigya. Gigya helps businesses acquire and know their customers by registering users across devices, consolidating data into a single customer view, and integrating into marketing applications.

The volume of email hitting subscribers’ inboxes is on the rise and is at its peak during the holiday season. Last year, nearly 30% of all US email volume occurred during the holiday season, which was an increase of nearly 13% over the previous year, and even more is predicted for this year.

No wonder consumers feel overwhelmed. In fact, 45% report email overload as a reason for not opening an email.

So how do you get your message across to the overwhelmed, indifferent masses?  The answer lies in first party consumer data and email personalization.

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What Makes me Click: 4 Tips for Creating Scrolling Emails

By Jerica Reddig, Listrak Marketing Intern 

Today we present this season’s last blog post from Marketing Intern Extraordinaire Jerica. We have enjoyed her lending us her fresh perspective on the consumer’s take on what’s in her inbox and hope you have, too! Join us in wishing her the best for this coming school year. We hope to see her back in our offices - and on our blog - again soon! 

“Above the fold” is a phrase that originated in the newspaper industry and refers to the space that is above the crease in a newspaper. The principle - to put all important content “above the fold” because that’s what consumers will scan to see if it’s worth buying - has been used for years. Yet with social media, like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, users are forced to scroll down for more content, which means it’s okay – and sometimes preferable – to send scrolling emails. Well, as long as you follow these four guidelines:

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What Makes Me Click: 4 Ways to Add Humor into Emails

By Jerica Reddig, Listrak Marketing Intern

Laughter is the best medicine, and an effective way to stand out in the inbox as well. Humorous emails are relatable and compelling to read. What makes them so effective is that humor can shock, refresh and even brighten your reader’s day. In essence, your company becomes humanized in your subscriber’s eyes.

Okay, okay, you get it. Humor + Emails = Lots of Clicks. But how do you actually incorporate comedy into your messages? Here are 4 ways to do it:

Subject lines

Subject lines are the first impression your subscribers have of you. Catching your reader’s eye will drive that open rate higher which will ultimately boost overall engagement. The examples below do a great job of not only grabbing the reader’s attention but also tying into what the actual content of the email itself is.

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Making the Most of Back in Stock Products

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In our latest Holiday 2014 post, Jerica, Listrak intern extraordinaire, reports on effective ways to turn out of stock situations around this holiday season: 

Being out of an item isn’t just embarrassing, but can be damaging to your company’s reputation and result in loss of potential sales. This is especially true, and more likely to occur, during the holiday season. However, there are clever ways you can turn this potentially damaging situation into a great experience:

Back in Stock Alerts

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To Send or Not to Send More Email: That Is the Question

So, just how much email is okay to send? It’s a question on many retailers’ minds, especially as we enter the holiday season. 

Recently, Elyse Dupre of Direct Marketing News interviewed Listrak CEO Ross Kramer and Listrak client, Alex Cresswell, of Lisa Leonard Designs, on the topic for an article that appears in the August issue. 

In short, Ross and Alex suggest that it’s okay to send more if …

- your target customers are in market

- you’ve segmented your list 

- it’s Black Friday or Cyber Monday 

- you’re leveraging scarcity 

…and you shouldn’t send more if…

- your customers are making big-ticket purchases 

- your customers aren’t receiving your emails 

Read the article to find out more. 

Email Design: Breaking the Rules

Travis Buck

Recently, I received an interesting email from J.Crew. It’s in some ways unconventional and goes against one common best practice. Best practice would tell you the call-to-action should be “above the fold”. “The fold”, however, is an antiquated term and hard to define in today’s email universe. You can basically translate this to saying that the call-to-action should be visible without scrolling. This is a bit tricky considering the various monitor resolutions, tablets, and smart phones people view their email on. As a designer, this can be frustrating because if you truly stick to this best practice it can cause some limitations in your design. What I like about this email is the fact that it doesn’t follow best practice. There’s no clear call-to-action initially — you have to scroll down to see it. What this email did was make me curious. Not only did curiosity make me scroll down, it made me click to “find out why”. Now, I’m not saying throw caution to the wind and ignore best practices. They’ve been established for a reason. What I am saying is its ok to shake things up and break the rules now and then.

10 Tips for a Successful Email Marketing Program

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'Tis the season of finals for students of all ages who are wrapping up the school year (or even their school careers). With that in mind, we wondered what would happen if retail marketers were to be given a final featuring a single question - Can you list 10 tips for a  successful email marketing program?

Following is what we would consider an A+ list, along with some explanation:

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4 Ways to Prepare for the Future of the Inbox

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Today’s Privacy and Deliverability post comes to us courtesy of ClickZ. It is an article by Margaret Farmakis from ReturnPath posted May 28, 2014: 

With all the changes coming to the email channel, it’s easy to lose sight of what you need to focus on to both optimize what you’re doing today and strategically plan for continued optimization tomorrow.

In case you haven’t noticed, the inbox is changing. Once, the inbox was…a box: a digital version of a mailbox and a mostly static place to send and receive messages. That’s so 2010. The inbox of 2014 has morphed into a portal: a dynamic hub of information that reflects the lives of its users; from social update activity to purchase receipts to travel itineraries to news to marketing messages and more. The inbox has also never looked better (thank you Gmail), been more interactive, or more organized. As a result, there’s never been more subscriber-level data in the inbox that can be leveraged to inform broader marketing decisions. What an exciting time to be an email marketer!

And yet, there’s a dark cloud to every silver lining. There’s so much data available that marketers are often unsure of how to use it to gain insightful analysis and act on those insights. A recent study by IBM showed that 82 percent of responding chief marketing officers (CMOs) said they felt underprepared for Big Data. It’s big, and it’s only getting bigger. The Internet of things is poised to unleash the power of email in ways that once sounded more like science-fiction than reality. In the near future, everything from our appliances to our gaming consoles to our homes could be communicating with us via email.

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Listrak’s IR Special Survey Report, Pump Up the Volume with Personalized Email, Released

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Listrak recently conducted a reader survey in conjunction with Internet Retailer on trends in personalization in email. Download the report of our findings to learn what retailers are and are not doing to take advantage of online shoppers’ willingness and desire to achieve more email featuring products personalized to their preferences and shopping habits and history.