Subtle and strategic email optimizations can potentially make you millions of dollars. Here are the areas that should be top of mind for email marketers these days.
Email continues to be the top channel for the oh-so important return on investment (ROI) category. That doesn’t mean it is easy. I am really looking forward to speaking at ClickZ Live in New York today and the topic of "Pushing the Envelope" is something we always talking about at my agency.
Actually, I kind of hate equating the dynamic and successful email channel with anything old-school like postal mail but now is not the time to quiver over details. Unless those details are the ones making you millions of dollars. And that is possible with subtle and strategic email optimizations. Here’s an overview of what I am speaking on and what I believe are areas that should be top of mind for email marketers these days.
Big Data? Start With Any Data
Experian said 70 percent of brands are not personalizing emails sent to their subscribers. So while Big Data gets the buzz in the C Suite, most email marketers are still not even using some of that great profile or response data to make your subscribers inboxes more valuable and relevant. Your subscribers are not the same, so don’t try to solve Big Data, just the big opportunity which is more opens, leads, and better deliverability.
Turn Your Gmail Inboxes Into a Pinterest-Like Tapestry of Delight
What? The never dull folks at Gmail keep trying to evolve the inbox and we should be thankful. I know creative teams rejoiced across the email world last week when their role in email got even more heightened.
This diminishes the subject line’s importance for Gmail users in the Promotions Tab and brings a (hopefully) carefully curated image front and center. This now means for Gmail users, this image will determine whether someone opens your email. Previously, the image may have driven a click but rarely an open (preview pain users can chime in below). This means segmenting your subscribers by domain and targeting them with different creative and layout than other email domains is a strong consideration.
For B2B, Mobile Means Buyers
With 65 percent of emails now opened on smartphones or tablets, the mobile phenomenon is here. Don’t even debate it. Even B2B companies that have largely ignored the mobile email wave ("our subscribers sit at their desks most of the day," they have been known to say) know mobile is an opportunity not a threat.
According to a Forbes study, more than 25 percent of execs say they use mobile devices to conduct research on purchases above $100,000 and a large number of execs indicate they would prefer to use tablets and smartphones if vendors make it easier to buy on mobile devices. This means B2B email marketers are in an awesome position to capitalize on this very real need. You heard them - do it and make it easy!
Good, Timely Creative Wins
We all want to send the right content at the right time to the right subscriber, right? Well, with client Chick-fil-A, we solved that by creating a proprietary technology that allows for the right email to be dynamically served based on when the user opens the email. So gone are the days when you are actually excited to read an email or check out a special offer and find you missed it or irrelevant. The Chick-fil-A campaign had the breakfast creative and content appear if a subscriber opened it in the morning and the trademark waffle fries for any open after breakfast time. Good looking, timely, and delicious.
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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