8 Email Marketing Improvements to Make During Slow Periods

When your business’s promotional email frequency is high during its peak season, chances are that your email program is almost exclusively focused on getting that next email out the door. However, you generally have more time to think about your strategy and invest in lasting improvements during your off-season—as well as during slow periods like the one that some businesses are experiencing now because of coronavirus.

“View slow periods as opportunities to reinvent your business,” says Kyle Sjoberg, Senior Strategic Consultant for Strategic & Analytic Services at Oracle CX Marketing Consulting. “Focus on projects that are typically pushed aside in the day-to-day hustle and bustle.”

Not sure which improvements your organization should focus on? To help you out, we surveyed Oracle CX Marketing Consulting’s more than 500 digital marketing experts, asking them which of 16 email marketing improvements they’d recommend most right now.

Here’s a countdown of the top 8 email marketing improvements recommended by our consultants to make during slow periods:

8. Improve Data Governance & Hygiene

7. Improve Email Production Workflow

6. Improve Email Design

5. Improve Signup Process

4. Improve Data Centralization & Availability

For the full countdown and full details on each of these improvements, plus advice from our consultants…

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

How Coronavirus Has Changed Email Behavior

The coronavirus has disrupted most people’s lives, changing how they work, socialize, eat, and educate their children. It has also changed email behavior in profound and sometimes surprising ways.

Let’s look at some of the changes in email behavior that we’ve seen in aggregated data from some of our Oracle CX Marketing clients:

  • Open times have shifted.
  • Email volume has dipped overall.
  • Email engagement is up, but revenue is down.
  • Unsubscribe rates are much, much lower.
  • Mobile email viewing has morphed—but only slightly.

For all the details on each of these changes brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, plus our advice on what marketers should do in response to these changes…

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

6 Reasons Being in Gmail’s Promotions Tab Is a Good Thing

Marketers have been concerned about their promotional emails landing in Gmail’s Promotions tab since Google launched Tabs in 2013. Back then, the concern was almost a hysteria, with rampant fears of Tabs causing a crash in email engagement and email revenues.

Thankfully, concerns have cooled, with marketers seeing little to no bottom line impact from Tabs. However, we still see marketers asking about how to get their promotional emails into the Primary tab and our clients occasionally see tabbing as a deliverability issue in need of a fix. Since December, our Email Deliverability Services team has experienced a spike in questions about Tabs due to inconsistent placement of emails.

“We’ve had a number of our clients ask, What’s going on?” says Clea Moore, Director of Deliverability Strategy for Email Deliverability Services, Oracle CX Marketing Consulting. “We’re seeing our promotional emails in the Primary tab, our promotional emails in the Social tab, and our transactional emails in the Promotions tab.”

She added that all the inconsistencies have caused a few clients to ask, “Is there a way for our promotional emails to continue going to the Primary tab?”

Comments like that make us hope that this episode at Gmail won’t encourage marketers to try to manipulate their tab placement, because we believe concerns over Gmail’s Promotions tab are overblown. Here’s why:

  1. Email users are incredibly comfortable and familiar with how Tabs work.
  2. Every tab is part of the inbox, so tab placement issues are not a sign of deliverability problems.
  3. You want your emails to be where your subscribers expect them to be.
  4. When consumers spend time in the Promotions tab, it’s a sign of higher shopping intent.
  5. Email Annotations can help your emails stand out in Gmail, but only work in the Promotions tab.
  6. Google doesn’t appreciate gamesmanship or being manipulated.

For a full discussion of each of those reasons…

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

Email Deliverability Quarterly: ISP Performance Feeds, Validity Acquires 250ok, 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, Clea Moore, and Heather Goff explain how the following news and events will impact marketers’ email deliverability:

  • Verizon Launches Email Deliverability and Performance Feeds for AOL and Yahoo Mail
  • Validity to Acquire 250ok
  • Gmail Promoting Unsubscribes with Active Subscribers
  • BIMI Standard Makes Advances
  • Did GDPR Give Email Marketing a Massive Engagement Boost?
  • A Sign of the CCPA Suits to Come

For the full discussion of each of these issues…

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

Systemic Shocks: Adjusting Your Email Messaging in Times of Disruption

The dot-com bubble. 9/11. The Great Recession of 2009. And now COVID-19. When extreme shocks such as these occur, business as usual ceases. These shocks cause prolonged changes in consumer behavior, forcing smart businesses and marketers to adjust, too.

While these adjustments typically start with crisis messaging, that’s just the beginning. Brands need to make changes to their future messaging, and that can be hard to do when many brands plan their messaging out months in advance, coordinating it across marketing channels and synching it up with advertising efforts. After all the time that’s been invested in that strategy, it can be emotionally hard to reevaluate that—or completely reboot it, which may be necessary in some cases.

Let’s discuss some of the ways in which marketers may need to change their messaging and strategy in the weeks and months following a major systemic shock. We’ll start with a look at automated campaigns and then talk about promotional broadcast and segmented campaigns.

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

The Last Word on March 2020

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

Must-read articles, posts & reports

What We See With Email Rates During COVID-19 (MessageGears)

Benchmark Assessment: COVID-19 Email Activity and Engagement (SparkPost)

6 Takeaways from the UNSPAM 2020 Conference (Litmus)

Self-Serving Subscribers: Most Opt Out After Getting A Freebie, Study Finds (MediaPost)

Insightful & entertaining tweets

Noteworthy subject lines

Dollar General, 3/25 – Dollar General is now hiring.
Lane Bryant, 3/25 – Status: Stir crazy but here for you (in your Lane)
UncommonGoods, 3/24 – 8+ ways to say “I miss you”
Williams Sonoma, 3/29 – 5 ingredients + a fry pan = dinner!
Crate & Barrel, 3/30 – Dining in = the new dining out | 20% OFF SALE
Express, 3/26 – Keep calm & boost your vibe with new spring shades
Eddie Bauer, 3/21 – Stay At Home Style 101
Dick’s Sporting Goods, 3/26 – Stay STRONG 💪 Up to 50% Off Cardio Equipment
Eddie Bauer, 3/30 – Upgrade Your Home Workouts
Dick’s Sporting Goods, 3/30 – Select GT Bikes $399.98 | Take a Fresh Air Break!
Big Lots, 3/30 – Kids still home? Keep them busy.
Michaels, 3/23 – Stock up on boredom busters for kids at our Lowest Prices of the Season!
UncommonGoods, 3/21 – Indoor fun for kids (that’s secretly educational, too)
Big Lots, 3/26 – Kid-Friendly Snacks & More!
Applebee’s, 3/21 – Family Style Meal options – available To Go!
Target, 3/24 – Entertainment for the whole fam ✨
UncommonGoods, 3/25 – Stuck inside? Play baseball in your living room.
Michaels, 3/26 – The best thing to do with your time at home? Make art! 🎨
AutoZone, 3/30 – Catch up on vehicle maintenance
Michael, 3/22 – Get in Some Spring Cleaning & Organizing While You’re Home (at Our Lowest Prices of the Season, Too!)
Camping World, 3/21 – Shop Deals on Outdoor Gear, Grills, Tents & More! #STAYCATION2020
Big Lots, 3/25 – Stay-at-home solutions!
West Elm, 3/28 – Let’s sort out your new home office.
Office Depot, 3/30 – PCs & Monitors to assist productivity
Express, 3/24 – Get your WFH essentials 40% OFF!
Nordstrom Rack, 3/30 – The Comfort at Home Shop starts now
Office Depot, 3/26 – Get comfy with today’s deal of the day.
ModCloth, 3/21 – Staying in? Stay cozy.
Nordstrom, 3/20 – A day at home done right
Neiman Marcus, 3/16 – Settle in & save 20% on your purchase!
Belk, 3/26 – Deal of the day: $100 e-gift card for $80
Dick’s Sporting Goods, 3/23 – Easy, Fast & FREE Curbside Contactless Pickup
Petco, 3/30 – Petco is now offering curbside pick-up
Best Buy Top Deals, 3/23 – New deals on great tech delivered curbside or to your doorstep.
Office Depot, 3/25 – Order Online. Free Curbside Pickup.
AutoZone, 3/25 – Curbside pickup now available
Applebee’s, 3/25 – Support your team, order takeout today!
Panera Bread, 3/26 – Chad, for you: free delivery through March.
Subway, 3/16 – Get all the benefits of ordering online
Camping World RV, 3/26 – Introducing Virtual Visits
VS Pink, 3/23 – 🐶 GOOD NEWS: It’s NATIONAL PUPPY DAY! 🐶
Zales, 3/23 – Your Happily Ever After Starts at The Bridal Sale

New posts on EmailMarketingRules.com

Best Practices for Disaster and Crisis Messaging

Prepare for the Holiday Season by Experimenting & Testing Now

Holiday Marketing Quarterly: Second Quarter 2020 Checklist

Real-Time and Predictive Data Fuel the Best Customer Interactions

Knowing Your Customers So Well You Can Predict Their Needs

On-Demand Webinar: The Highest Impact Email Marketing Trends of 2020

When Good Enough Shouldn’t Be: The Best Email Frequency

The Last Word on February 2020

Disaster and Crisis Messaging Best Practices

Disaster planning is all about preparing for rare events, whether they’re epidemics, hurricanes, blizzards, wildfires, floods, earthquakes, or some other calamity. Crisis messaging should be a part of any disaster planning so you can communicate effectively with your customers and give them the essential information that they need.

Let’s talk about what that should look like in terms of messaging, subject line and preview text copy, tone, design, quality assurance, and segmentation…

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

Prepare for the Holiday Season by Experimenting and Testing Now

The holiday season is a dangerous time to try to innovate. More than any other time of the year, it’s the most expensive time to have a failure. On the other hand, the second and third quarters are a great time to experiment with different tactics and strategies in a much lower-stakes environment. This is why Experimentation & Testing and is one of our six recommendation areas in our second quarter Holiday Marketing Quarterly checklist.

For retailers and other B2C brands, selling seasons like Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Father’s Day, Independence Day, back to school, and Labor Day offer opportunities to test out new messaging, designs, tactics, and strategies, as well as try out new capabilities and functionality. If they work, you can use them during the holiday season. If they don’t, well, you avoided them not working out in a much more costly way during November and December.

Here are several areas to consider exploring to set your company up for a more successful holiday season:

  • Add more AI
  • Make Your Customer Experience More Seamless
  • Ramp Up Your A/B Testing
  • Experiment with Competitive Differentiators

For more details on each of those recommendations to help you prepare for the holiday season…

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

Q2 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 second quarter guide contains a 19-point checklist and is focused on finishing your review of the 2019 holiday season, improving your subscriber acquisition and retention practices, improving performance visibility, and experimenting with new tactics and strategies. It covers six areas:

  1. Holiday Messaging Competitive Intelligence
  2. Subscriber Acquisition Source Optimization
  3. Unsubscribe Process Optimization
  4. Preference Center Refreshes
  5. Improved Analytics & Reporting
  6. Experimentation & Testing

For details on each of those areas…

>>Download the 13-page Q2 2020 Holiday Marketing Quarterly

Real-Time and Predictive Data Fuel the Best Customer Interactions

Building up your audience and then delivering the right messages to the various cross-sections of your audience is how you succeed in the modern marketing world. However, it can be confusing to determine how best to improve your efforts.

Oracle’s Marketing Maturity Model can help you determine where your organization is in developing its various capabilities and what should be done to enhance them. In Part 1 of this series, we talked about how to uplevel your capabilities to Stage 2, which is all about how to take a cross-channel approach. And then in Part 2 of this series, we discussed how to take your capabilities up to Stage 3.

In this post, which is the third of three posts in this series, Oracle CX Marketing Consulting’s Cristal Foster and Kim Roman discuss B2B audience building and segmentation capabilities and how to move from a data-driven approach to an intelligence-driven approach. Moving up to an intelligence-driven approach entails being able to act on individual-level data, not just segments. It requires that companies not only be able to look backward using historical and real-time data, but also look forward using predictive models, including scoring that’s powered by AI and machine learning. And it involves businesses being able to connect customer journeys across all customer experience touchpoints.

Let’s look at how your organization might level up its audience building and segmentation efforts…

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

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