Here’s an exercise for you: Go to Google. Type in, “The three necessities of life.” What’s the first result? I’ll save you the keystrokes—unlike most searches, the first result doesn’t link to a website. The answer’s so obvious that Google provides one for you. Food, (including water), shelter, and clothing. No matter what culture, time era, or religion, everyone agrees that in life, these are the absolute three necessities of survival. Without food and water, you die. Without shelter or clothing to protect you from the elements, guess what, you die.
It’s that time of year again…where the greatest minds in email marketing come together for insightful sessions, adventurous networking activities, and some awesome after-hours themed parties. I’m talking about Media Post’s annual summer edition of their Email Insider Summit. Tropical Storm Colin tried to rain on our parade—but nothing can stop this crowd!
This was my first time at Email Insider Summit and it definitely lived up to the hype. I got a chance to step back into my email marketer shoes and interestingly, a lot of the challenges we were talking about a couple of years ago are still top-of-mind for folks today. That’s not to say no progress has been made, but it serves more as a reminder of the monumental challenge that all marketers are trying to tackle on a daily basis: connecting with customers in the right place and at the right time. Here are my four key takeaways from Media Post’s Email Insider Summit 2016:
Email marketing remains one of the most successful and cost-effective marketing channels. Some say it’s second only to search, and we agree. The cost of sending an email is measured in tiny fractions of a penny while the average return is between $0.06 and $0.07*. The common wisdom is that every $1 spent on email returns $40 in revenue. That’s a 4000% ROI!
Yet there’s a lot that can be done to improve results. Clearly open and click through rates depend a lot on subject lines and offers, but maximizing your return also means maximizing deliverability. Here are 10 tried-and-true steps for optimizing your retail email marketing efforts and achieving the greatest return.
In today’s increasingly digital marketplace, retailers find themselves at a crossroads. Their customers are seeking products and information online, and they’re entering retail stores more knowledgeable than ever before. In order to stay a step ahead of savvy customers, retailers are turning to high-tech marketing practices to give themselves an edge. A common way to do this is to use customer contact information to market products and increase customer engagement.
The year was 2004. An ambitious, young, soon-to-be data blogger had his first internship in the IT department of a Fortune 500 company. (Impressive, I know.) I had been working there roughly three years and was considered the youngest employee in company history by at least half a decade.
I’m sorry sir, your card’s been declined.
What do you mean? Run it again.
Yes sir, I’ve already run this three times. It’s—it’s not going through.
That’s impossible. This is a Platinum card with a $50,000 limit. Let me use your phone, I’m calling my bank.
Awkward, isn’t it? As you may have guessed, Evan did not walk out of the store with his new Gucci loafers. Now what happened here?
Sounds like a sales pitch, but it’s not. There is a guaranteed, simple way to improve your conversion rates (or whatever else you are measured on in the Marketing world). You can scan the web, read as many books, and invest in as many programs as you’d like, but the answer is a lot simpler than you think, and just like a magic trick, the answer is most often staring you in the face.
I have worked with countless marketing agencies, marketers from Fortune 500 companies, marketers from SMBs...you get the picture. They all face different hurdles and different struggles in accomplishing their daily objective—which is to say, improving conversion rates. No matter the industry, the message, the budget, the database, they all share a common attribute—and that is the overall key to this “magic trick.”
“No man ever steps in the same river twice for it is not the same river and he is not the same man.” - Heraclitus
While writing this 35,000 feet in the air, I’m thinking back on this quote said during the opening keynote session on the first day of Email Insider Summit, and it couldn’t be more true. This was my first EIS event—hosted by Media Post, to whom I owe a thank-you for a wonderfully run event—and I had no idea what to expect. What I realized after the end of this three-day event is that those in the email industry are some of the closest-knit, snarkiest, and most passionate group of people who could work in an industry. I came out of this event with a lot more knowledge than when I came in.
Trends in the marketing industry move fast, so marketers need to move faster. Every year we conduct multiple research studies in the various industries that our products and services impact. For our latest study, we focused on the proliferation of email—how people deal with balancing data collection and data quality, how the presence of poorly-formed emails impact deliverability, and the different ways large and small companies track the success of their marketing initiatives.
Over 200 respondents in the U.S. took part in our latest research study. Participants came from a variety of company sizes, from small to enterprise. Industries involved in the sample include retail, manufacturing, automotive, financial services, utilities and more. Participants were allowed to select multiple answers that pertained to their business, and as such, the percentages in this report will not necessarily add up to 100 percent.
Yesterday we had three of our email industry experts discuss the research and share their insights on our “Email data quality research: Roundtable on industry trends” webinar.
The roundtable focused on four topics: 2015 email trends, common deliverability problems, customer email challenges and dealing with email data quality.