Do I Need to Send an Apology Email Because of This?

In the world of email marketing, mistakes are inevitable. Learn what to do if you when you make a mistake by watching this short video.

During the first 5 minutes or less, you’ll determine whether you need to send a correction or apology email. You’ll also determine whether you need to send it to everyone you emailed or just a portion of them.

After you watch the video, then check out our best practices for apology emails and best practices for correction emails.

>> Watch the video and read the full post on Oracle’s Modern Marketing Blog

3 Spooky Email Click Bots to Beware Of

3 Spooky Email Click Bots to Beware of

Bots are a well-known scourge on Twitter and Facebook, but they’re also a problem on email lists. Even bots that aren’t explicitly trying to compromise your systems represent a serious risk, as they can inflate performance numbers, muddy targeting efforts, and lead brands to make tactical or strategic changes that serve bots rather than human subscribers.

In this article for SmarterCX, I explore the 3 forms email click bots come in and each one’s potential remedies:

  • Beneficial email click bots
  • Malicious email click bots
  • Exploitive email click bots

To learn about each of those…

>> Read the full article on SmarterCX.com

Get a Jump on Your Holiday Campaigns

On the Fly is our video series with small bites of marketing and customer experience advice and training from experts, given to you during the current disruption.

In this episode of On the Fly, I discuss how this holiday season will look very different from what we’re used to. I point out what parts of the holiday season have the most risk, and what brands should do to adapt. Along the way, I talk about key holiday shopping days such as Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Green Monday.

For a quick-take on what to look out for this holiday season…

>> Watch the 3-minute video on Oracle’s Modern Marketing Blog

For a much deeper dive into this issue, watch our 38-minute webinar on Choosing the Best Days to Send Email Campaigns This Holiday Season.

Seasonal Automated Campaign Adjustments to Stay Relevant

“Automated campaigns—whether sent via email, SMS, or mobile push—perform so well that they’re often overlooked as not needing attention,” says Jennifer Lancaster Dana, Vice President, Oracle CX Marketing Consulting. “However, it’s because of their high engagement and conversion rates that we should be constantly giving automated campaigns extra attention and trying to make them even better. This is especially true during the holiday season.”

With that in mind, here are three areas to focus on when it comes to your triggered campaigns this holiday season:

  1. Make your automated content seasonally relevant.
  2. Adjust the behavior of your triggers.
  3. QA your automated campaigns.

For a deep dive into each of those issues…

>> Read the full post on Oracle’s Modern Marketing Blog

And even more advice on getting ready for the holiday season, check out our 14-page fourth quarter Holiday Marketing Quarterly checklist.

5 A/B Testing Pitfalls Marketers Often Fall Into

A/B testing allows marketers to determine whether their audience prefers version A of something or version B, and thankfully, it’s easy to do. However, it seems so easy that marketers sometimes don’t realize they’ve invalidated their results, missed out on golden opportunities, or—worst of all—confidently come to the wrong conclusions.

The truth is that A/B testing is only powerful if done right, and that means avoiding the many pitfalls that can undermine your testing. Here are 5 pitfalls to avoid:

  1. Misunderstanding whether you’re testing to learn or testing to win
  2. Misunderstanding whether you’re testing to find a new local maximum or global maximum
  3. Only testing one-time campaigns
  4. Choosing a victory metric that’s not aligned with your campaign’s goal
  5. Failing to verify your winners

For a full discussion of each of those A/B testing mistakes…

>>Read the entire article on SmarterCX.com

Improving All 5 Steps of a Curbside Pickup

Driven by health concerns and health regulations restricting store capacities, curbside pickup has become a significant new fulfillment channel for retailers, restaurants, and other B2C brands. However, because of the sudden need for this channel, it was implemented and ramped up hastily, often with manual processes and temporary fixes that have led to some poor customer experiences.

For example, I recently placed an order online and selected curbside pickup from a local store. Later that day, I received a text and email saying that my order was ready for pickup. The next day I went to the store and clicked the link in the SMS I’d received to indicate that I had arrived.

However, when no one had come out to my car after 15 minutes, I looked at the SMS to see if there was a store number to call. There wasn’t, so I clicked the “check-in” link again and saw that the check-in landing page had defaulted me to a store location 200 miles away—where no one had bothered to call me and tell me that I’d checked in at the wrong store. I changed the store location to the one I’d sent my order to and re-checked in.

About 10 minutes later, someone comes to my car and tries to give me a product that’s a different color and brand than what I ordered. I told the associate that I didn’t want a substitution and they said that they’d find the right product. Five minutes later, they call me to say that they have the product in-stock and that it will take 10 minutes to pull it. However, 10 minutes later they call me back to say that they don’t have all of my order in stock. I decided to cancel my order, and later that day I bought from another retailer instead.

Overall, not a great customer experience. It was particularly egregious because there were breakdowns in at least three of the five steps of a curbside pickup process. Let’s talk about those five steps and the different approaches that you could take to each one…

>> Read the entire post on Oracle’ Modern Marketing Blog

Webinar on Oct. 27: Email Accessibility

Email Accessibility webinar on Oct 27 1pm ET

The law requires companies to make their email messages accessible by people with visual and other disabilities or else face significant fines. However, rather than seeing this as purely a compliance issue, we see it as an opportunity to expand the reach and impact of your email marketing program, especially going into the holiday season.

During this webinar, we’ll explain:

  • What’s required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), The Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), and other laws governing email accessibility
  • How many people have impairments that allow them to benefit from email accessibility
  • How marketers can adapt their email designs to be more inclusive and broaden the impact of their email programs

You’ll leave this webinar with a better understanding of your legal responsibilities and a clear list of email design improvements that you can make that will benefit all of your subscribers.

Email Accessibility: Fulfilling Your Legal Responsibilities & Expanding Your Reach
Date: Oct. 27
Time: 1pm ET
Duration: 1 hour

Your Presenters:
Jason Witt, Creative Director for Creative Services, Oracle CX Marketing Consulting
Lauren Castady, Associate Creative Director for Creative Services, Oracle CX Marketing Consulting
Chad S. White, Head of Research, Oracle CX Marketing Consulting (moderator)

>> Register for this free webinar

Q4 2020 Holiday Marketing Quarterly

Oracle’s Holiday Marketing Quarterly gives B2C brands a quarter-by-quarter checklist for how to achieve more during the critical holiday season with their email marketing and other digital marketing channels. Along with guidance on planning, strategy, and prioritization, you’ll get advice and tips from some of Oracle CX Marketing Consulting’s more than 500 digital marketing experts.

Our fourth quarter guide contains a 21-point checklist that helps you wrap up your final holiday prep and take action during the holiday season to maximize results and minimize problems. It covers six areas:

  1. Engaging your seasonal buyers
  2. Adjusting your automated campaigns
  3. Leveraging your new capabilities
  4. Coordinating across your channels
  5. Doing incremental A/B testing
  6. Finalizing your plans

For details on each of those…

>> Download the 14-page Q4 2020 Holiday Marketing Quarterly

Email Deliverability Quarterly: Gmail Launches BIMI Pilot, DigiCert-Valimail Partnership, and More

Email deliverability is constantly changing, as inbox providers adjust their filtering algorithms, blacklists tweak their listing criteria, and consumers evolve their definition of spam. That’s why even the best email marketing programs suffer deliverability problems sometimes.

To help you avoid trouble, the Email Deliverability Services team at Oracle CX Marketing Consulting shares the latest news and tips for what to watch out for in our latest Email Deliverability Quarterly.

In this post, Daniel Deneweth, Heather Goff, Clea Moore, and Brian Sullivan explain how the following news and events will impact marketers’ email deliverability:

  • Gmail Launches BIMI Pilot
  • BIMI Gets a Boost with DigiCert-Valimail Partnership
  • Final Text of CCPA Approved
  • Gmail Launches Postmaster API
  • Internet Giant J2 Global Acquires Kickbox

For the full discussion of each of these issues…

>> Read the full post on Oracle’s Modern Marketing Blog

The Last Word on September 2020

A roundup of email marketing articles, posts, and tweets you might have missed last month…The Last Word

Must-read articles, posts & reports

Developer preview of AMP for email in Outlook.com – no longer supported (Microsoft)

Email Comes in Third in Driving Online Purchases, Study Finds (MediaPost)

Your Face Here: Creating illustration guidelines for a more inclusive visual identity (Airbnb Design)

3 Ways to Get What You Want by Doing Your Homework (Copyblogger)

New Blogging Statistics: Blogging still works, especially for the 10% of bloggers who do things very differently… (Orbit Media Studios)

Insightful & entertaining tweets

Noteworthy subject lines

VS PINK, 9/3 – PINK GIRLS VOTE! Get ready for election day!
Michaels, 9/19 – 🎅 🚂 Next Stop: Lemax Christmas Village! 2020 Collectibles Are Here ->
ModCloth, 9/14 – Witch better have my candy. 🧙‍♀️
Home Depot, 9/10 – 🎃 Make the Most of Halloween 🎃
Lowe’s Home Improvement, 9/10 – Kickoff football season with Lowe’s.
Bed Bath & Beyond, 9/30 – Same Day Delivery with Shipd—get it TODAY! 📦 🚚 ** Redeem your 20% coupon.
Dollar General, 9/5 – DG Pickup: Order ahead for free and pick up on your schedule.
Banana Republic, 9/24 – Introducting Banana Republic Rewards Program
Sephora Insider, 9/19 – Your points have been building up. See how far you’ve come this year.
GapCash, 9/25 – New face masks are here!
Crate and Barrel, 9/13 – Home bar remix: The Calder collection.
Uncommon Goods, 9/9 – 🎂 🍹 Happy Birthday distance-toasting: let’s make it a thing.
Office Depot, 9/19 – Seating to meet every need
ModCloth, 9/6 – At home, but make it fashion.
Nordstrom, 9/10 – Fall’s top five pieces
DICK’S Sporting Goods, 9/24 – Cool-Weather Essentials 🍁 + Up to 50% Off This Week’s Deals
Target, 9/5 – Cozy season is just around the corner…
Target, 9/14 – Garden-less greens: a fresh look without the fuss 🌿
VS PINK, 9/13 – 🍑 perfect Seamless is always IN!
Gap, 9/19 – Try our Untucked Shirt. Never go back
Gap, 9/10 – Wearing a bra never felt more comfortable
ModCloth, 9/14 – Feminist finds that are one-of-a-kind.
Zales, 9/13 – Saying Thank You Makes The World A Better Place
Home Depot, 9/29 — S•U•P•E•R • S•A•V•I•N•G•S
Omaha Steaks, 9/15 – This $25 E-Reward Card is yours, Chad!
Eddie Bauer, 9/16 – Eddie Bauer x Sub Pop Limited-Edition Flannel
Foot Locker, 9/1 – This is COLLABORAID. Dropping soon.
West Elm, 9/19 – Inside: Our free Design Crew transformed this NYC apartment
Michaels, 9/30 – What will you create for this week’s art prompt?
Petco Foundation, 9/9 – Has your adopted pet changed your life?

New posts on EmailMarketingRules.com

Understanding Email Click Rates

Litmus’s Delivering Podcast: Seeing Into the Future With Oracle’s Chad S. White

8 Ways to Reduce Email List Churn

How 5G Wireless Will Impact Marketers

Understanding Email Open Rates

On-Demand Webinar: The Most Critical Email Deliverability Questions

Watch Out for These 5 Trouble-Making Marketing Outliers

Webbula: Roundup for Email Marketing Holiday Tips

Double Opt-In Best Practices

The Last Word on August 2020

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