Is your email marketing strategy ready for Hollywood?
When an iconic Royal Doulton figurine appeared in the move Skyfall, Listrak client WWRD capitalized on the opportunity with a replica. To help launch the Jack the bulldog figurine to stardom, Director of eCommerce Joe Schmidt implemented a carefully planned, targeted email campaign.
Joe discussed the details in a recent shop.org webinar, and Artemis Berry summarized them in this shop.org blog post.
In May 2010, then-Industry Minister Tony Clement introduced anti-spam legislation that he admitted was long overdue. Clement acknowledged that “Canada is seen as a haven for spammers because of the gaps in our current legislation…a place where spammers can reside and inflict their damage around the world.” Despite heavy lobbying against the legislation by groups concerned with new rules on electronic marketing, the government pushed ahead, with the bill receiving all-party support and royal assent by the end of that year.
Retailers, enjoy savings on the Shop.org Annual Summit on us!
As a key sponsor of the upcoming Shop.org Annual Summit, Listrak is pleased to be able to extend to retailers a free Retailer Expo pass or 10% off a full conference pass. Get the details and here and let us know if you’d like to request the exclusive discount code.
If you want to maximize holiday sales, now is the time to make sure you have a shopping cart abandonment solution in place. The topic, which Ross addressed in the recent webinar, “Early planning is key to online holiday success,” is nicely reiterated in a new article from practical ecommerce.
Email personalization and profiling has come a long way thanks to solutions for behaviorally triggered emails such as browse and abandon, product recommendations, cart abandonment, post purchase, and so on. It’s no longer about inserting the customers’ names in the subject line or salutation, and it’s even moving beyond a preference center that the customer sets up once and never updates.
We’re at the point where emails can act as a personal shopper for customers - providing useful information at the right point in the sales cycle.
Take, for example, these two emails I received from Barnes and Noble and Amazon. Two of my favorite authors - Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, released new books last week. I had pre-ordered (both digital and signed copy) of Gaiman’s book, but I didn’t pre-order Pratchett’s.
Amazon sent me this email:
And Barnes and Noble sent me this one:
I buy books at both Amazon and Barnes and Noble, so it was really disappointing that B&N would send me an email featuring a book by an author and in a category that I have never purchased. I *could* have purchased Pratchett’s book from B&N - it was included in the secondary category at the bottom of the email - but I didn’t. I bought it from Amazon.
Email campaigns are no longer one-size-fits-all and it’s time for email marketers to move away from that mentality. When creating a campaign, think about the customer, what he or she wants based on their purchase histories and online behaviors. And deliver what they want.
I have come to expect this level of service from the online retailers I buy from frequently. They know my shopping habits, they know what I like, and if they want me to keep buying from them, they’ll send me the information that helps me make new purchase decisions. They won’t lump me in with the masses and send me information that I clearly have no interest in. That is quickest way for me to tune them out and take my business elsewhere.
More on the effect of Gmail Tabs on email marketers
At first blush, email marketers may be dreading the implementation of the new Gmail tabs as yet another challenge in the quest for subscriber engagement. But as a recent article from Practical eCommerce points out, there may be a real upside, as well. The article also points out that while only time will tell what the impact will be for eCommerce merchants, with proper planning, any negative impact can be promptly identified and addressed.
Best practices for the preheader area in email tell you should include two things – a message to support the content of the email and a link to view the email in a browser. While the browser link is important, a supporting message is arguably more important. In Outlook, Gmail and the iPhone, the preheader text is displayed following the Subject Line. Since the iPhone holds 23% of the market share for email clients this is certainly something that should be taken advantage of.
Let’s take a look at two examples.
Subject Line: KESH x American Apparel: The New Limited Collection
Preheader: Please click here if you are unable to view the images.
This email from American Apparel doesn’t include a supporting preheader message. Instead, they’re using the space for a browser link only. Kudos for including a browser link, but as you can see on the iPhone preview, they’re missing out on an opportunity to better communicate the message.
Subject Line: Casual Summer Clothes + The 4th of July Sale Is On
Pre-header: Kick Back With Summertime Clothes From Icebreaker, The North Face, prAna, & More ›
This email from Backcountry.com is a good example of best practices. There is a nice supporting message in the preheader as well as a browser link. Notice the preheader message is on the left and the browser link is on the right. Positioning is important. In order for the preheader text to appear after the subject line it needs to be the first instance of html text in the email. Positioning the preheader message on the left side ensures that it’s the first instance.
Holiday 2012 broke all sorts of records - first $1 billion online sales day for Black Friday, Cyber Monday was the biggest online shopping day in history, mobile shopping really took off and set all kinds of records, and there was a record number of holiday shopping days - 32 - as Thanksgiving…
No worries: How to make sure Yahoo's latest news won't put you at risk
Email marketers are understandably concerned about the news from Yahoo that it will be reclaiming IDs that have been inactive for 12 months or more. Although Yahoo attempted to alleviate fears by issuing this statement today:
Listrak, along with Lyons Consulting Group, recently presented the webinar “Early planning is the key to online holiday success” that’s packed full of actionable tips to help you get your holiday strategy in place.
Take a look to learn how and when to set goals, prepare and measure the success of your holiday email strategy and email tactics to improve your open and click through rates, as well as to see examples of creative, effective holiday email marketing campaigns.
A great example of a re-engagement campaign sent to inactive users:
You probably heard the news by now that Yahoo will be releasing email addresses that haven’t been used in over 12 months. You can read about it here. Yahoo is now trying to re-engage inactive users, like me, and this email does a good job - it gives a deadline for renewing, offers several links to do so, provides help if needed, and even gives the user a reason to reactivate.
Email marketers can use these same tactics in their re-engagement campaigns - which is so important. Everyone should be reviewing subscriber engagement and cleaning lists to get ready for the holidays. Why not try a re-engagement campaign like this to try to reactivate subscribers who haven’t opened a message from you in the past six months? If you can get them back before the holidays, you could have a customer! And for the ones you can’t re-engage, be sure to suppress them from future sends. They’re no longer interested in your products and services and continuing to send to them can do more harm than good.
A federal district court in Utah has found a marketer liable for $1.6 million in damages by default under the CAN-SPAM Act for making required advertising-related email disclosures only in remotely stored images (if at all) and using a proxy domain name registration service to obscure header information in its unsolicited commercial email messages. The marketing company, operating as Better Broadcasting, LLC and/or IONO Interactive, sent approximately 13,453 unsolicited commercial emails to plaintiff ZooBuh, Inc., an Internet service provider.
The CAN-SPAM Act requires that such commercial messages clearly 1. identify that the message is an ad or solicitation, 2. provide an opt-out to future messages, and 3. include a valid physical postal address for the sender. The court found that Better Broadcasting/IONO had failed to include any of the required disclosures in its messages, and even if they had, they placed the disclosures inside “remote images.”
Such images are not part of the email body, but instead link to a web server that could be anywhere on the Internet and are often controlled by an unknown third party. The court therefore concluded that even if the required disclosures appeared inside remote images, they were not “clearly and conspicuously displayed,” noting that there are strong concerns and recommendations against downloading remotely hosted images in email, industry standards prevent the automatic download of such images, and the images are not permanently available.
The court further found that ZooBuh, Inc. had been adversely affected by the spam, which caused hardware crashes, server spikes, and customer complaints; required significant man-hours to manage; and required ZooBuh, Inc. to double its server capacity in order to successfully service its customers.
Tip: Avoid placing email disclosures required by CAN-SPAM in remotely hosted images in commercial messages to ensure that consumers can access and read them.
I am in favor of #5 Create Experiences - most consumers and marketers can relate to this. Creating an experience evokes emotion and makes you want to love the product that much more.
#10 Use Pictures, Not Words is the other one that stands out - in a world where every product is trying to compete for your attention, trying something unique is a chance that may be worth taking if done well.
Yesterday’s news from Yahoo confirms what’s been percolating for some time. While it should not be a concern for email marketers who follow deliverability best practices, it does serve as reminder of the importance of keeping lists clean. You can read the news here.
The role of the CMO continues to change, due in large part, of course, to the expanding ways in which they can reach customers and the information they can glean from them. Some interesting insight from CMOs is revealed in this new survey shared by MarketingProfs.
It's not too late to learn how to plan early for online holiday success
There’s still time to sign up for this Wednesday’s Listrak/Lyons Consulting Group webinar on planning for online holiday success. Signing up today is the first step in launching a winning strategy for 2013.
We had a great time in Chicago last week at IRCE 2013! With 9500 attendees and 600 exhibitors it was the largest eCommerce conference ever, and it was fun!
In case you missed it, here are some of the highlights:
We made the Online Trust Alliance’s Honor Roll due to our commitment to deliverability best practices. We are one of the only email service providers to make the honor roll - read more here.
We hosted an incredibly fun and exciting event on the Evening Star tour boat, one of Shoreline’s premier vessels. We celebrated with over 100 VIP guests - it was a beautiful evening on the Chicago River and Lake Michigan.
As industry leaders, we shared our knowledge with several in-booth sessions on topics ranging from post purchase best practices to turn one time buyers into long-term and loyal customers to giving advice on how to re-engage inactive subscribers. We had over 140 guests attend these sessions!
We also had one of the best giveaways at the show - our Monster Sales Jams vinyl record! If you didn’t get one, contact us and we’ll send you one. You can also listen online here.
Any questions on our sessions or eCommerce email marketing solutions? Let me know!
Listrak is sponsoring yet another Magento eCommerce Forum, this time partnering with Pod1 and Rackspace for a New York City event. The forum will take place Thursday, June 20, and registration is open!
Yesterday at IRCE 2013, Listrak was honored to be named to the Online Trust Alliance Honor Roll, demonstrating our proven commitment to data privacy. Read about how we qualified for this important recognition here.