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It’s beginning to feel a lot like the holidays around here! Now that conference season is behind us, we’ve come up for air and we’re ready to celebrate!
Every year, marketers bang their heads starting as early as the summer months on how to engage with people during the holiday season. In retail, for example, the holiday season starts weeks before Black Friday and Cyber Monday and carries all the way through the end of December. B2B Marketers have a similar issue, pushing last minute to pull deals across the line before budgets reset for the year.
This past summer we had a special visitor, Santa, stop by our San Francisco office. He was a little flustered because he had just found out that his email service provider, had not been delivering his emails to his inbox. (If you’re new to the world of email and email deliverability, you can check out these resources and easily see why Santa was so distressed). All of those children’s heartfelt wishes were just sitting in a spam folder somewhere. How could he fulfill their wishes if he wasn’t receiving them? We assured Santa that if he worked with SparkPost we would ensure that he received his messages in his inbox in a timely manner.
This year we want YOU to get in on some of the holiday fun by submitting your wish via email to SparkPost’s Santa’s Inbox. We’ll select five lucky random winners from all of the entries received and fulfill their wish. (Terms and conditions apply).
How does it work?
- Head on over to this page
- Fill out your name, email, and wish (less than $200)
- Once you get the confirmation screen, share the page for a chance to make your wish come true!
We’ll announce the winners on or about December 15, 2017.
ps. How have your holiday email campaigns been going? Are you planning to email Santa with your holiday wishes? Drop us a line on Twitter – we love your feedback.
Last year we pointed out some of retail’s best Black Friday email campaigns and there were some really creative ideas. This year, retailers have started as early as November 1st to get customers ready for Black Friday deals. Amazon, for example, sent out a countdown email to Black Friday deals. While the email didn’t have a lot of deals in it, it was personalized and it prompted you to download their mobile app so you could see upcoming deals. Plus it did a great job of tying in their other products showcasing Amazon Prime benefits and Amazon Echo features (Alexa app).
Amazon – [Your name] Black Friday Deals Countdown
Through hundreds of retailers trying to grab our attention in our inbox, in addition to starting early, here were some other email campaigns that jumped out at us that we thought were stellar.
Colorful Images – No leftovers here: Just a fresh 30% off Black Friday Deal(2) had one of the best use of emojis. We saw a lot of emojis in the subject lines, most were a gift box or a party hat symbol. But this one stood out because it was unique, relevant, and a decent offer.
Goldstar Events – 137,929 Beat You to It
Goldstar Events piqued our curiosity with their subject line. Avoiding the email inbox clutter, they sent it toward the end of the day and we wondered, just what exactly did 137,929 other people beat us to?
Tommy Bahama – Things to be thankful for…
Tommy Bahama took a page out of JetBlue’s email notebook from last year and sent out a non-promotional email (sort of). Then followed up with four separate email offers within 24 hours to try and convert you.
Laundry Locker – Small Business Saturday Promotion
Surprisingly, there were too few Small Business Saturday email campaigns. This is something we’d like to see small businesses utilize more since it’s such an easy, cost-effective way of reaching out to their customers. This one from Laundry Locker grabbed our attention because it was simple and to the point, which sometimes is all that’s necessary to break through the noise.
Were there any Black Friday or Small Business Saturday emails you received that you thought stood out from the pack? Share them with us in the comments below.
Email programs can be like stale bread. A new year means it’s a great opportunity to re-think, re-structure and re-write your email programs. If you didn’t have time to do this planning prior to Q1, it’s never too late to do an audit.
Perhaps you don’t have to necessarily throw it all out like stale bread. Sure re-thinking and re-structuring your programs are inevitable, but you may be able to minimize the re-writing.
The first step to bringing your nurture program current is to analyze your data and identify your top performing emails. Hopefully you have access to a suite of comprehensive analytics so you can see if people took action – opened, read, clicked, downloaded. Any low performing emails should be removed from your program. A good metric to use is having a ‘click to delivered’ rate above three percent (industry average is 3-5%). If you’re using SparkPost’s real-time analytics, you should have already disposed of low-performing emails.
Next step, take a deeper look at your high-performing emails and determine if they can be repurposed. Do a quick check – is the offer relevant? Does it tell our story? I usually find, with some minor tweaks to either the email copy or the content offer, an email can become fresh again and applicable. By tweaking your high performing emails, you will continue to reap the benefits from past efforts.
Lastly, by starting with the old, you can then assess the holes in your program and focus your efforts on filling the gaps – saving you energy from recreating everything from scratch. Although, if you need to create a nurture program from scratch you can check out my previous post on creating one, here. And for best practices on real-world onboarding email series, see this post by my colleague Brent Sleeper.
By the way, as it turns out stale bread isn’t a bad thing – just look at this mouth-watering 14 Smart Ways to Use Stale Bread slide show from Bon Appetit. So don’t think of last years email campaign as stale – just think how you can turn it back into something juicy!
In the spirit of the title, and because I’m at the Marketing Sherpa Email Summit in rainy Las Vegas, this will be a short post. Ok so reach in your pocket and pull out your mobile phone. Now unlock it and tell me if email is one of the apps on your 1st (home) screen. I bet it is. If the average adult smart phone user has around 80 some odd apps, then email is always on the home screen.
Great, now that we settled that, let’s get onto the meat of this—the perishable moment. Earlier today I saw a great study from Localytics; if you don’t know them, and you have an app, then you should check out what they can do for your mobile initiatives. Turns out that as the snows on the East Coast have fallen, app usage has gone through the roof. This shouldn’t come as a great surprise—quite the contrary it’s completely understandable given that mobile devices are filling in the moments of boredom we experience during the day. The more snow that falls, the more people are stuck at home watching the bleak winter and occupying their time by checking the weather, shopping, checking out photos, checking the weather to see if its safe to go outside, looking at more photos, back to the weather, then maybe some news or reading books, and then back to the weather. See a trend?
So I’m just going to throw this out there: snow days are perishable moments—they represent a distinct moment in time when a specific, regionally isolated event, creates a unique segment of users that should be marketed to differently than everyone else. What, if anything did you do during the snow-pocalypse of 2015? Did you promote snowblowers and warm booties instead of sending the routine 20% off discount that some retailers send with frustrating regularity to everyone, every week, sometimes 3x a week? If you did, then bravo! If you didn’t, then consider yourself on notice.
Perishable moments require data, a sense of creativity, the ability to quickly execute and a measure of ‘carpe diem!’ Email marketers should take a page out of the play books of the mobile crowd and realize that their recipients are more fluid than a defined segment based on age, zip code and gender. Recipients can move in and out of segments quickly based on not just the weather, but recent clicks, opens, browsing history, web activity, purchases or events that transpired the day that someone signed up. These are all defining criteria for micro-segmentation that begins to feel like a personalized approach. Think small, be light on your feet and take advantage of the moment by ensuring you can turn a snow day into a captive audience day.
According to a 2014 review by Forrester, a shocking 96% of email campaigns failed in one way or another in creating a satisfying user experience. Studies have shown that email marketing continues to be the foundation of the digital marketing toolkit, achieving the highest ROI among other marketing tactics. Yet, Forrester’s report shows that there is still plenty of room for improvement.
To that end, Message Systems is pleased to present the How to Get the Most Out of Your Email Campaign webinar on July 29 to share tips for businesses to maximize their email marketing opportunity. Our guest speaker will be Forrester VP and Principal Analyst, Shar VanBoskirk, a leading expert on how businesses can leverage interactive marketing channels and technologies to drive sales and deepen customer relationships. During her 12 years with Forrester, Shar has been instrumental in the development of many of the company’s interactive marketing program evaluation methodologies, training courses, and marketing planning tools; and has also been part of Forrester’s sales and consulting organizations. Shar will be joined by co-speaker Jose Santa Ana, Message Systems Director of Product Marketing.
Topics in this webinar will include:
- Current consumer attitudes toward email marketing
- How marketers can respond to end user needs
- Where existing email programs fall short
- How to increase engagement and email ROI
During Forrester’s email campaigns review, it was discovered that the biggest pain points across the board were the subscription process, sharing capabilities, mobile format support, and preference management. While retail and consumer goods emails lead other industries, each industry has a specific area to focus on to continue improving user experience. Register for the webinar today for case studies, actionable insights and more information on creating a successful email campaign!
Can’t wait for the July 29 webinar? Here’s a little something to tide you over… Check out the Sidestep Message Fatigue Across Email, SMS and Push Alerts webinar presented by Michael Boland, Senior Analyst & Vice President of Content at BIA/Kelsey and Cindy Krum, Founder / CEO of MobileMoxie. Learn how to leverage cross-channel to win customers without wearing them out!SparkPost © 2018 All Rights Reserved