Luxury Experts Share Their UX Insights

Not so long ago, luxury brands never thought it would be possible to convince one of their shoppers to purchase high-end merchandise online. After all, a major component of that purchase was the distinctive, exclusive in-store experience. But that seems to be changing.

So how are luxury brands and retailers breaking through the online barrier and creating exceptional user experiences for their shoppers? Partner Blue Acorn asked luxury industries experts - including Heather Gruber of Listrak Strategy Services - for some answers and to provide their insights on engaging with luxury shoppers, creating lifetime value, and optimizing the eCommerce experience. Read more.

Enhancing Replenishment Campaigns with CRM Data

We are all too busy. That’s not a cliché. It’s the truth. Between balancing professional, social and family life, our valuable time is indeed at a premium today. There are recurring items on the to-do list that begin to fall behind all the other things in our day − from tasks around the house like changing the air filter or refilling the water softener on a regular basis to making sure you’ve purchased cleaning supplies, office, health, beauty or personal care products well before they are needed. To quote a large office supplies retailer, we could all use an “Easy” button!

The good news for retailers selling consumable goods is that we can provide the Easy button in the form of a Replenishment Campaign. Listrak’s AI-driven Replenishment Campaigns automatically adjust the timing of a message based on the crowd and individual purchase patterns to predict the right time to send a reminder that it’s time to make a re-purchase. This is also a perfect opportunity to include Predictive Product Recommendations to cross-sell / upsell other products targeted to the individual customer.

Retailers utilizing an automated triggered campaign through Listrak to target replenishable products see an average conversion rate of 31% and a 10X ROI. Although these are fantastic results, there’s always room for improvement. With the addition of Listrak CRM, the question becomes − how can we use our customer data analysis to be even more targeted with these campaigns?

According to a study by eMarketer, only 8% of U.S. customers are repeat purchasers, on average only 5% of customers on a retailer’s list purchased twice, and only 3% purchased three times or more. The second sale is even more important than the first.

Understanding the purchase behaviors of your one-time buyers vs. repeat vs. loyal customer segments can help you to determine strategies to test, such as subject line optimization, discount/offer targeting or even adjusting Product Recommendation ingredients and recipes. This segmentation could be taken further by targeting based on LTV or using predictive models available such as likelihood to purchase.

Listrak CRM makes it simple to take the insights from your customer analysis and turn them into actionable segments that can be used in your Replenishment Campaigns or any other intelligent triggered campaign. It’s win-win … an Easy button for you the marketer to create an Easy button for your customers.

Sessions, Presentations and Workshops You Can’t Miss at IRCE 2018

IRCE – the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition – draws more than 10,000 eCommerce professionals to Chicago with more than 130 speaking sessions, 16 tracks and over 300 vendors. So how do you filter all those choices and get the most from your time there? Listrak partner BigCommerce breaks it down for you. From workshops and bootcamps to hearing from industry leaders, here are the IRCE 2018 moments that aren’t to be missed: 21 Sessions, Presentations and Workshops You Can’t Miss at IRCE 2018

The State of Marketing: Q&A with Nicolas Chammas of Persado

Listrak and Persado recently announced a strategic integration, combining Persado’s AI-generated marketing language with Listrak’s automation and analytics platform. Sounds like a winning combination. So, what’s in it for marketers? In this edition of The State of Marketing, we checked in with Persado Senior Vice President of Global Corporate Development & Partnerships Nicolas Chammas.

Tell us a bit about Persado.

Persado was born out of the concept that the precise words you choose to interact with your customers matter even more than generating the right offer at the right time for a given customer. Our AI technology combines machine learning and our Marketing Language Cloud - the largest database of marketing language in the world that boasts nearly 1.5 million tagged and scored words and phrases - to generate marketing language that best resonates with any audience, segment or individual across any channel. Imagine having a data scientist and a copywriter for each person in your audience; you get language that drives engagement and analytics that explain why, resulting in more business and unique and powerful insights. This allows brands to increase acquisition and retention while building long-term consumer relationships.

Why did you decide to team up with Listrak?

Our customers use our technology in conjunction with their email service provider (ESP) to help them deploy optimal content using Persado's AI platform. We’re always listening to our customers to learn about other technologies they’re leveraging and how we can better integrate with these tools. Over the last year, we have had more and more customers requesting that we integrate with Listrak. In Listrak, we found a unique partner who shares Persado’s vision that leveraging AI to better personalize content will become the industry standard in marketing. We are very excited to partner with the team in bringing our unique joint solution to market.

How do you see brands benefitting from this partnership?

This partnership benefits all customers looking to enhance their B2C marketing efforts. The combination of Persado + Listrak allows customers to seamlessly leverage AI to generate the best language and message for any brand’s customers at both the audience and segment / individual level.

If you had a magic wand - what is the one thing you’d change in the digital marketing world, and why?

Get rid of all the noise around AI and machine learning in the marketing world. Prior to joining Persado, I was an investor focused on enterprise software companies and was incredibly skeptical of any company that touted their “AI” and “machine learning” capabilities. Those have become industry buzzwords that are widely misunderstood and overused. In many cases, companies claiming to have these capabilities are simply using data to analyze historical trends but are not in fact leveraging true AI. At Persado, we pride ourselves on having the only solution in the marketing world that truly leverages AI and machine learning to generate the best language for marketers.

Which marketing channel do you think is the most underrated?

Email isn’t as sexy as it was 20 years ago when many of us still remember that iconic voice telling us “You’ve got mail!” Today, we’re bombarded by emails touting special offers “just for us” and hitting on multiple personal, work and school alumni accounts. However, for personalized and relevant content, email is still the low hanging fruit for Fortune 1000 marketers; it’s fast, relatively inexpensive and easy to customize. At Persado, we find the vast majority of our customers begin to leverage our technology in email since it’s the easiest place to start (and easy to see a quick ROI), but then quickly scale to other channels including paid media and web, where they can take the learnings from email and apply them across all their marketing channels.

What are the biggest challenges facing marketers right now, particularly with respect to how they make use of data?

Between GDPR and the discussion surrounding the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook issue, data usage has become a hot-button ethical topic. The key for marketers who have found tracking consumer preferences to be an integral part of their strategy is to avoid getting too personal too quickly. But in today’s competitive landscape and the emphasis on customized content, some marketers start to over-do personalization.

As a marketer, you’ve probably been to a networking event (or five) this year alone. If a vendor came up to you and regurgitated your entire LinkedIn profile and mentioned something you tweeted about your dog three weeks ago, you’d likely be creeped out, right? On the other hand, if they congratulated you on a promotion that was recently published in a trade magazine roundup, you’d probably be impressed and flattered. The same goes for data: learn about your consumers, but do it slowly and without crossing the line into stalker territory. If you’re selling home improvement items, you don’t need to hyper-target your audience to the point where you’re showing each individual an actual photo of their home. Instead, consider suggesting a grill to someone who recently purchased patio furniture. It’s helpful, not off-putting.

What is the most common mistake marketers make?

Relying too much on gut feel rather than data. The best marketers are those who don’t hold their beliefs too firmly, and who can be nimble when data proves that what they thought they knew isn’t actually the case. I think we’re starting to see this more frequently as marketers become more data-driven and begin to trust data more − even when that data goes against long-held beliefs.

What are you excited about? Anything on the horizon?

At Persado, we are striving to be the de facto standard in marketing. If you’re not using Persado, you are not optimizing your marketing messaging and could fall behind your competitors who have chosen to invest in improving customer communication. As we continue to automate our platform and add integrations - such as our integration with Listrak - we are making it even easier for customers to seamlessly deploy Persado content.

What’s on your personal media list right now?

Whether on the road, in the office, at the gym or at home, I am always listening to music. I am a huge fan of Spotify and love that their recommendation engine creates playlists for me based on what I listen to and like. The Weeknd’s new album is one of my current favorites.

Getting the Most Out of Your Email Header, Footer and Navigation

For those in the email industry, the header, navigation and footer aren’t new concepts. But what makes these elements good? These pieces are usually repeated in each email you send, so make sure your layouts are effective, beautiful, and easy to … well, navigate.

Space is precious, so choose wisely

First, let’s talk about the entirety of your email from top to bottom. The header, navigation and footer are important − but not as important as the main message. Though your header gives the recipient easy access to your site, it shouldn’t take up more room than necessary. Keep in mind that the more space and time taken up by the header, the likelihood of a conversion drops. Make sure your subscriber sees that main content ASAP and can convert quickly.

A couple tips for your header…

  • Keep your logo smaller. I know, I know. I just contradicted everything that little voice in your head is saying – you want your brand shouted from every mountaintop! But remember your audience; these emails are going to people who already know your brand and style, and can probably tell the email is from you with just a glance. Would you rather use that extremely valuable real estate (especially on mobile) for your logo… or the main content? We think you should use it for the main content.
  • Hide preheaders on mobile. If you choose to have your preheader visible in your email on desktop, hide it on mobile. Why? Because it will still display the subject line in mobile inboxes but won’t take up precious space in the message itself.

Now for that navigation…

  • Consider skipping the top navigation altogether. Navigation is important to give readers one last chance to go to your site after they’ve read the content. So why not give them those options at the bottom of the message as well? Adding a navigation in the footer will still provide access to your site if the main content doesn’t quite call out to them, and it doesn’t take up valuable space at the top of the email.
  • Limit your number of navigation items. Keep your navigation under six items. You read that correctly. Too many options can become overwhelming to a reader, and cause them to ignore the navigation altogether. It can also cause the navigation to wrap to two lines, which would take even more space away from the most important elements.
  • Stack your footer navigation on mobile. It’s hard to tap little links on a phone, right? Make it easier for your readers by stacking your mobile navigation in large, “tappable” buttons at the bottom of the message.
  • Hide the top navigation on mobile. We’ve already mentioned how important real estate is in an email. Do you really want a quarter of the screen to be a logo and navigation? Probably not.

Finally, the footer…

  • Get social! Including social media icons in each send gives readers a way to get to these networks, and encourages brand loyalty and engagement. By adding it to the footer, you’re providing access without distracting from the main message.
  • Follow spam regulations. According to CAN-SPAM and CASL legislation, your email needs to include the physical address of your business, an unsubscribe link and a privacy policy. All these elements fit nicely as a bit of text at the bottom of the email. 
  • Add a “view in browser” link. While not a requirement, this link will make it much easier for customers to view and share your email. If there is a glitch in a reader’s inbox, if they’re having issues on their mobile device, or if they just love your content and want to share the email, this link is important to improving user experiences.

Need some inspiration? 

Here are some of my favorite layouts for your header, navigation and footer.

Option 1 
Features a desktop version with a header, dual navigations (top and bottom) and a footer. The top navigation hides on mobile, stacking the bottom navigation for an optimized experience. This is an extremely common layout to give readers easy access to the website at all points in the email.
Option 2 
Includes a header, single (bottom) navigation and a footer that stacks on mobile. This is a great option to keep a simple, clean layout while offering the reader one last chance to get to your site at the bottom.

Option 3
Features a header, single (top) navigation and footer. On mobile, the top navigation will move to the bottom and stack. Like the previous option, this layout allows a reader access to the site but keeps the email clutter- free. The show/hide on the two navigations allows the email to morph into an equally great experience on both desktop and mobile.
Option 4
If your messages are going to be very focused on specific products, you may want to consider this layout. It foregoes any navigation and simply sandwiches the content between the header and footer. If the customer is not interested in the main marketing message, they do not have a means of getting to the site like a footer navigation. 
Do you think you’ll use any of these tips for your header, navigation, and footer?