Archive for the ‘Email Marketing Events’ Category
Posted by admin on September 10th, 2009
Yesterday I had the privilege of attending and speaking at Interactive Strategies ’09 in my hometown of Houston, TX. Much like the diversity of our city, the crowd at IS09 was an energetic melting pot of creative gurus from the b2b and b2c space, agencies and entrepreneurs alike. The result was an insightful conference filled with BIG ideas, optimism and growth for the interactive space we live and breathe every day.
Kicking things off was Brian Solis delivering a powerful keynote opener in which he stated that, “Social Media is about Sociology NOT Technology”, and “…is just a chapter of emerging media”. He also said something that rang true for me on a number of levels, “Attention becomes the major currency in content commerce.” It’s easy to be overwhelmed with the fire hose of information that seems to be flying by you at 500 miles per hour. It forces you to be plugged-in 24/7, or you risk missing something important. Unlike Email Marketing, there doesn’t seem to be a definitive right place or right time. With Social Media it’s any place at any time.
Gwen Bell left me feeling relaxed and much smarter after her therapeutic-inspired presentation: “Glitchwell: Using Our Missteps to Propel Us Forward”. Her unique presentation style was unlike anything I’ve ever seen using hand-drawn black and white slides with few words and powerful images. Drawing on personal experiences and case study examples of online brand missteps, her message was simple and clear: “Glitch” represents the idea that we all fail, while “Well” means that we recover.
Delving into Human Psychology 101, Stephen P. Anderson delivered a unique look at websites and applications that the brain finds interesting, and how companies can turn an otherwise “meh” user experience into a “wow!” one. Sites like iLike and Dopplr emphasized his point that being “playful” can provide engaging interactions with positive long-lasting affects on customers.
The day wrapped up with a lively keynote panel discussion on gender: “The Sexes on Social Media, the Web and Tech”. The panel discussed candidly generalizations on gender and race and how brands sometimes don’t quite understand how to market to them.
For those of you who were unable to attend my session on “Developing Killer Email Creative” because of the schedule change or otherwise, I will be recording the presentation in its entirety and plan on having it available for viewing soon.
Posted by Mike Ferguson on June 25th, 2009
Ok, I had to keep the word relevance out of the title of this post, as I didn’t want to stereotype myself and be YAEMOAS (yet another email marketer on a soapbox). However, after having recently returned from Boston and spending a few days 100% immersed in the world of retailers at the Internet Retailer Conference, I must say it reinforces a few things.
No arguing, times are tough for retailers — just ask Eddie Bauer. I heard a quote floating around last week that “even is the new growth.” While you may or may not agree with that, and that would most likely depend on your business model and industry, we can all agree times have been easier. But as with any change, there is opportunity hidden in the shifting landscape. The silver-lining theme of this year’s conference was “Rising Above — Not Just Surviving the Economic Storm.”
Prior to my presentation at the workshops, I had the opportunity to talk to a lot of different attendees, exhibitors, and sit in on some other presentations. There was an obvious focus on relevance with people exploring and asking about how to improve results and get much needed lifts in email metrics that would directly correlate to dollars. I can’t say I’ve been to a conference in a long time where all of the attendees seemed as legitimately interested in the show’s content as they were in getting out of the office for a few days.
In his presentation, Jack Love of Internet Retailer, shared some revealing metrics regarding the growth of e-retail channels over the past two years. And while the rate of growth has declined, overall, there is still growth in the e-retail channel. However, most of the growth came from the top 50 companies. And within the top 5 e-retail growth were two very familiar names: Amazon and Apple.
Posted by admin on February 12th, 2009
At the 2009 Email Evolution Conference, a room full of email marketing professionals voted on three frequent topics in this industry in order to define what is considered “best practice.” This opening session forum called “The Great Debate” tried to answer the following questions…
1. Do you use a pre-checked or an unchecked opt-in box on your email sign up forms?
2. Do you use single or double opt-in strategy for email list building?
3. Do you remove non-responders from your email list?
Any one of these topics could easily be debated for hours but the consensus in the room was this…
Posted by admin on February 12th, 2009
Day 2 of the EEC started off with a battle royale between industry heads on various email hot topics: single vs. double opt-in, pre-checked vs. un-checked selection boxes and keeping vs. cutting inactive subscribers. Both sides made presentations stating their case for one side or the other – which made for a very difficult crowd vote. Ultimately single opt-in, un-checked boxes and keeping customer list (but making an effort to re-engage) prevailed. I think the key takeaway though is that every customer situation is different. Depending on goals, business model and other various factors, it’s important to choose a strategy that will generate success. Remember to thoroughly test these approaches as well.
SMS messaging was another productive session that covered integration of the technology with email and methods of approach in this still evolving marketing channel. I learned many best practices, and found out that many similar to that of email. For instance, getting your own short code is usually good for larger brands, but smaller ones should usually share (similar to a dedicated vs. shared IP address). Also, it is important to establish good relationships with mobile carriers, or you risk your message not being approved. Since this technology is widely used by younger audiences, it will be important to stay abreast of how marketers can leverage the channel.
A very interesting session on the correlation between Search and Email ensued later in the afternoon, and gave enlightening insight on how these two seemingly different marketing sectors should actually be closely knitted friends. Jason Baer gave an excellent presentation: Cross Pollinate Search and Email on how the two should join forces as they both share 3 primary commonalities: timeliness, linguistics and relevancy. Paid search is also a great place to test email offerings or incentives instead of going for the hard sell.
Posted by admin on February 11th, 2009
Spirits seemed positive despite the state of the national and global economy on day 1 of the EEC Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. A majority of Email Marketing insiders and experts still feel that Email is the backbone of the digital marketing universe, but marketers are missing the boat by not digging deep into individual customer needs and keeping their content relevant.
Stan Rapp was a terrific keynote speaker for the event and delivered a powerful message: “It’s the e-conomy stupid!”. Stan still feels that Email Marketing is an afterthought rather than a golden opportunity to create a relevant one-to-one customer experience. Rapp said that email is “the most pointed, potent and profitable weapon in the marketer’s arsenal.”, but unfortunately gets little respect. Madison Ave. executives are wasting billions of dollars – failing to drive customers to engage online. Out of $185 billion that companies spent on traditional marketing and advertising in 2008, only $1 billion was spent on Email Marketing. Stan called for Email Marketers to “fight back or get left behind.”
Relevancy was a key point touched on by many session speakers. With many companies slashing budgets on traditional marketing and advertising efforts, email has become more of a focus, but with much misunderstanding. Many companies are looking to increase their campaign message volume, rather than narrow their focus on individual customer preferences. Marketers must do a better job of communicating the benefits of creating highly-targeted relevant content to senior management, otherwise they risk not only deliverability issues, but increased opt-out rates.
Social Media was also a big topic focus and discussion piece. Although this rapidly evolving media has become a primary focus for companies, it remains relatively unclear what the most effective approach for channel leverage is. Most agree that having a Social Media presence is important for companies, but goals and objectives vary greatly, and measuring ROI impact is still challenging to measure.