Crowdsourced questions for a recent webinar featuring Simms Jenkins, Chad White and DJ Waldow shed light on what email marketers have on their minds heading into 2014.
I had the good fortune of participating in what I thought was a uniquely compelling webinar with email marketing experts DJ Waldow and Chad White recently.
We all have known each other for some time and had books released this past year. We were all truly excited for each other and consumers seemed to be buying all three of our books during their email geek shopping sprees.
I approached DJ and Chad about doing something "cool" and "different" and we settled on a webinar... which typically is neither cool nor different. Most webinars are thinly veiled sales pitches with boring demos and generic best practice advice. One thing we knew was we didn't want that.
So, Chad, DJ and I decided to crowdsource the questions, which was really fun since we didn't know what to expect and couldn't go the softball route! We added BrightWave's Jay Jhun as email moderator (his twitter handle @emailrocks helped seal the deal) and we were off to having something sort of special. You can be the judge!
The types of questions asked really demonstrated both the power of the people and just how far email marketing as an industry has come. Email ninjas and gurus may set the agenda too often, but these questions and topics were evident of what really is on email marketing practitioners' minds. I wanted to share the most popular questions with you, to give you an idea of what the people are thinking and talking about as we move into what looks to be another great year for email in 2014.
Through the power of email and social media, we had hundreds of votes cast what they wanted to hear during this webinar. The most popular question proved how far digital marketing has come when we think about what is important and where we want clarity: "What do you suggest as the best way to measure engagement?"
This question triggered some lively conversation and opinions on a subject that isn't always black and white.
A connected question was also voted up and seemed to check a lot of controversial email boxes: "What do you think is the actual importance of engagement in terms of deliverability (compared to content and reputation)?"
The social media elephant trounced in the room next with the second most popular question: "What kind of trends are you seeing marketers use when integrating email with social media?" I love this question, because it wasn't the more primitive version, "Is email still important because of social?" or something along those misguided lines.
The digital theme of 2013 found its way to the top of our webinar, with the probing question "With the shift towards mobile, what are the most important changes will we need to make to serve relevant content to our users? (template segmentation by device, etc?)"
We couldn't let Gmail's Promotion Tab not make it into our conversation and the question was a great two-fold one: "How has Gmail's new Tab layout affected the email marketing landscape and do you expect other ISPs to follow suit?"
We were able to jump into two longstanding and still important questions in our bonus round. "Can you talk about a few best practices on how to manage email addresses that haven't opened an email in X amount of time?" and "What do you suggest for accurately setting (and adjusting) the frequency of an email campaign?"
Great questions and light years away from, "What is the best day to send an email?" and "What is a good open rate?" For year, those have been the two standard questions email marketers - and their bosses - want answered. Of course, tune in to the webinar to see what the 3 of us had to say about these questions. Who knows, we may even take our show on the road next year.
Happy holidays to my readers and thank you for your time, interest and feedback. See you in 2014!
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Simms Jenkins is CEO of BrightWave Marketing, North America's leading email marketing-focused digital agency. The award-winning firm specializes in elevating email marketing and digital messaging programs that drive revenue, cut costs, and build relationships. Jenkins has led BrightWave Marketing in establishing a world-class client list including Affiliated Computer Service (A Xerox Company), Chick-fil-A, Cox Business, Phillips66, Porsche, and Southern Company. The agency was recently ranked among the fastest growing private companies by Inc. Magazine.
Jenkins was awarded the prestigious AMY 2010 Marketer of the Year from the American Marketing Association for being the top agency marketer and the Email Marketer of the Year at the Tech Marketing Awards held by the Technology Association of Georgia. Jenkins is regarded as one of the leading experts in the email marketing industry and is regularly cited by the media as such and called upon by the financial community to provide market insight and consulting.
Jenkins is the author of two definitive and highly regarded books on email marketing; The New Inbox (published in April 2013 by ClickZ/Incisive Media) and The Truth About Email Marketing (published by Pearson's Financial Times Press in 2008). Jenkins is currently the Email Marketing Best Practices Columnist for ClickZ, the largest resource of interactive marketing news and commentary in the world, online or off. His industry articles have been called one of the top 21 information sources for email marketers.
He has been featured in Fortune Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Adweek, Bloomberg TV, Wired Magazine, and scores of other leading publications and media outlets. Jenkins is a regular speaker at major digital industry and general business conferences.
Additionally, Jenkins is the creator of EmailStatCenter.com and SocialStatCenter.com, the leading authorities on email and social media metrics. Prior to founding BrightWave Marketing, Jenkins headed the CRM group at Cox Interactive Media.
Jenkins serves on the eMarketing Association's Board of Advisors among other civic and professional boards. He is also a mentor at Flashpoint, a Georgia Tech-based startup accelerator program. Jenkins is a graduate of Denison University in Granville, Ohio and resides in Atlanta's Buckhead neighborhood with his wife and three children.
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