Weekly Email Marketing News Digest

In this week’s news, consumer dependence on email is seen through mobile behavior as determined by two separate studies. We also take a look at the missing link in big data strategy and  email marketing best practices that every marketer should take note of before launching a campaign. Oh, and DMARC continues to be in the spotlight! Now that the preview’s over let’s dive in!

Why (And How) Marketers Should Follow DMARC

The DMARC standard now protects almost two-thirds of the world’s 3.3 billion consumer mailboxes worldwide, and was responsible for blocking 325 million unauthenticated messages in November and December 2012 alone. Message Systems Chief Revenue Officer Ralph Lentz dives into the reasons why it’s going to be the industry standard going forward.

Big Data’s Big Omission

Customer identity management is crucial to big data strategy. Customer identity and relationship management is built upon the foundation from three pieces of data: email addresses, postal addresses, and phone numbers. While cookies are important, they are not the be-all and end-all in big data. The crux?

When it comes to big data strategy, email is a necessary component.

85% of Smartphone Users Would Rather Give up Water Than Mobile Apps

Give up mobile apps? Not a chance. 82% of respondents in a mobile app survey say there are critical apps they can’t go without — not even for one day. Those include email (57%), Facebook (41%) and alarm clock apps (31%).

apigee_infographic

7 Don’ts for Email Marketers

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But you can teach email marketers to optimize their campaigns according to these best practice guidelines:

  • Don’t forget the channel changers. Help your customers send information to another device, set reminders, or use email content while in your store. Cross-channel messaging anyone?
  • Don’t drop the data. Collect device usage data and develop a plan to associate opens, clicks, and conversions to specific mobile devices.
  • Don’t write a book: You can’t expect subscribers to consume massive amounts of text on their mobile devices.
  • Don’t overlook transactional messages: Order and shipping confirmations are sent during a peak engagement period of the customer life cycle. These are highly personal. Consumers are excited over their purchases and open these emails.
  • Don’t short the shortcuts: Test your messages to confirm that mobile subscribers can easily click through to track their orders, call customer service, or get directions to your nearest store.
  • Don’t put prices in pictures: Putting essential information such as pricing, deadlines, and calls-to-action inside images is a big mistake in the mobile age.
  • Don’t say the word ‘blast’ in regard to email marketing.

68% of people use their smartphone for email, 26% for shopping

Want to see how smartphone usage in the US and UK differs? The Nielsen Mobile Consumer Survey has the answer.

In US, the percentage of people who use their phones for:

  • Text – 86%
  • Mobile web – 82%
  • Email – 75%
  • Social networking – 63%

In UK, the percentage of people who use their phones for:

  • Text – 92%
  • Mobile web – 66%
  • Email – 75%
  • Social networking – 63%

As you can see the biggest gap lies in the use of mobile web, where common use is higher by 16% in the US. Text messaging in UK is higher than in the US by 6%.

nielsen-devices-we-use     nielsen-apps-we-use

What do you use your smartphone for? Let us know in the comments below! And if your business is embarking upon a mobile-centric drive to attract new customers, we’d encourage you to have a look at our white paper on mobile messaging – it brings up points of consideration to make your mobile marketing strategy a success.

The New Communications Standard

As the holiday season rolls around, retailers are scrambling to get their marketing act together and roll out the red carpet online to welcome season shoppers. Instead of acquiring new customers, econsultancy suggests 21 tips to retain customers instead. Here are some key statistics about customer retention all retailers should know:

– Customer attraction is 5 times more expensive than customer retention
– The average cost to a company when losing a customer is $243
– An existing customer is 60-70% more likely to buy from you than a new one (5-20%)

In view of these numbers, appealing to the current customer is far more rewarding than chasing after new prospects. While social media remains the sexy new toy of the digital marketer, it’s important to get the fundamentals right. Here’s a summary of some of the article’s salient points:

– Keep the customer informed at each stage of the delivery through email and mobile alerts. Basic, but often overlooked, this action builds trust. Without trust, your customers are going to skip off to your competitors’ Xmas sale.
– Did Tim buy an iPhone last month? Well, maybe he needs a screen protector and cover too! Take advantage of data that is already available to you and engage in behavior-based cross selling through email marketing.
– Everybody has a birthday. Everybody loves a discount. Use event triggered automated messaging to send customers personalized emails with offers to celebrate their special day.
– Here’s a no-brainer: Easy password or account retrieval. I can’t even remember the number of times I’ve given up on following through with a request for more information or a purchase, because I simply couldn’t recall my password. What with the mandatory inclusion of caps, special characters, numbers and the like, my password is more like a code I have to break than a gateway to my account. Being able to retrieve it quickly is simply a necessity.

The one similar thread underlining these points is putting into place a consolidated console that is able to:

(A) Handle multiple messaging streams from different operational lines at high volumes.
(B) Ensure low latency with transactional messaging.
(C) Trigger automated messages based on customer preferences and previous buying behavior

So before marketers even begin their (hopefully) highly personalized and targeted email blasts, perhaps it might be more prudent to ensure their current systems are able to deliver on the age old foundations of email marketing: reliability and speed.

Learn more about how you can use email alerts to drive engagement and conversion in the Transactional Messaging Best Practices eBook!

Transactional Messaging Best Practices

A Message Systems customer for several years now, Infusionsoft of Gilbert, Arizona provides a great window into how our technology drives value for growing companies. Infusionsoft offers the only all-in-one sales and marketing software for small businesses. It used to be that marketing automation and customer relationship management (CRM) solutions were available only to big companies with seven-figure IT budgets, but Infusionsoft is changing that.

Like many marketing automation solutions providers that offer email services, Infusionsoft had begun to bump up against the performance limitations of its first-generation messaging infrastructure, which meant that it was running into business challenges in a variety of areas, including heavy maintenance demands, throughput limitations and deliverability issues. These were the challenges that first drove Infusionsoft to adopt Momentum as its email engine back in 2008, but the company’s experience with Momentum’s Adaptive Delivery® feature in 2010 and 2011 is where the story gets interesting.

James Thompson, Infusionsoft’s Email Systems Manager, tells us that since implementing the Message Systems platform, the email management aspect of the business has taken a 180 degree turn. “When we have delivery and reputation issues now, we know about them right away, and we can resolve problems proactively. We rarely hear about deliverability support calls anymore. That wasn’t the case before we transitioned to Momentum. For us, the Message Systems platform is all about deliverability. For our customers, it’s throughput. Taken together, it’s a win/win.”

Download the case study here and read the whole story.

In this whitepaper, email expert Len Shneyder introduces Message Systems Adaptive Delivery – The first solution of its kind specifically designed to automate the monitoring of bounces and complaints, and adjust connection rates and throughput accordingly. 

Adaptive Delivery Whitepaper