Likes, #Fails and Emails

Changing Times – The Rise of the Marketing Technologist

Your brand speaks through all channels at once. What was once a simple Awareness to Action funnel is now a complex mix.

forrester(Click to enlarge)

Credit Forrester.com

I was happy to see an email from my favorite brand being forwarded by my friend to me. (By a happy coincidence the brand happens to be a client of Juvlon, where I work.)

BombayElectricEmail(Click to enlarge)

Saw the action on FB & twitter:

BEfb(Click to enlarge)

BEtwitter(Click to enlarge)

And I also saw a snippet of it in Mint newspaper.

BEmint

(Click to enlarge)

Digital Marketers use a lot of technology tools. We are deep in Google Analytics tracking, setting the right cookies, tweaking ads, measuring leads per day, and optimizing search engine results. The Web chat software needs to integrate with CRM, the ticketing system needs a consistent UI, the sales report needs to factor all the channels.

To quote The Chief Marketing Technologist blog: “Marketing technology isn’t just software you buy — it’s also software you create. Web applications, widgets, Facebook apps, iPhone apps, Android apps, interactive ads, the semantic web, and even the connected features of your products are now part of marketing’s realm.

Digital marketing has grown far beyond the web site. As marketers, we now manage a vast, extended web that includes landing pages, micro-sites, social media outposts, mobile apps, dynamic ads and more.”

The point is, even the humble email has changed. If you are simply sending emails to a list you are throwing away precious money for every email that gets junked or goes unread. In some cases the costs of bad email marketing practices could be worse.

#Fail – Email Spamming Costs

On 5th December 2012, Cleartrip, the online ticket booking company, said on their blog post, that they fired their PR agency for spamming their customers. There were a lot of reactions to the post from customers on their blog and twitter. Should they have shared the emails in the first place, should they have announced such action publicly at all and so on.

Unfortunately we don’t have any specific anti-spam law in India, and many times email lists get sold, bartered or exchanged. One report mentioned by The Business Standard  says that one in every six spam messages are now relayed via computers in India.

There is a simple way you can adhere to global Email Marketing Best Practices:

1] Do not rent, buy, sell or broker email databases or lists
2] Seek permission to send emails
3] Have a one click unsubscribe link prominently in all your emails
4] Honor unsubscribe requests
5] Include your company’s name and address in the email

Likes – The New Face of Email

Yes the humble email has changed. More and more marketing managers are digging deeper into email reports and using new features to get the best out of their spends. Here is only a glimpse of the popular features that enhance Email Marketing:

  • A/B Testing on subject lines and design – Test which subject line gives you more opens and which design gives you more clicks. Every paisa counts.
  • Pre-header – This is a snippet of your email content. It gets shown along with the subject line even before the email is opened. Every little helps. Do everything to boost your opens.
  • Report Spam and unsubscribe right at the top – You’ll be surprised how many people, even if they have subscribed to your emails, want a quick way to unsubscribe. Putting the report spam and unsubscribe buttons at the top, helps them and your brand.
  • Mobile Email – Return Path reveals that four out of 10 emails sent being read on a mobile device. Don’t use clunky, big images. Make the email slim and trim – easy to browse on the mobile.
  • Email Analytics – Tag your email links so that when they click and visit your website you can get information like time spent online or number of pages viewed. How many sales do they complete? What device do they use?
  • Authentication – How do ISPs view your emails? Is your sending server reputation any good? Keeping a track of your authentication and reputation is an ongoing task.
  • Social – It’s not just about posting social media links in email. Social reactions can also be added back to email content. The email itself could be sharable.
  • Segment and Target – Flipkart sent me a list of Marathi books days after I ordered some Marathi books online. Relevant and prompt messages don’t fail to register.

Used well, email is a two-way, powerful and effective medium. Email technology has moved with the times, the design content and intent too needs to make the change.

NOTE: Published in Thinking Aloud January 2013 issue  – a magazine published by IAMAI

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