Posted on May 28, 2019
Brands are turning to AI and machine learning to answer extremely complex questions, including, “What words should I use to communicate most effectively?” Companies like Persado, Phrasee, Touchstone, and others have turned AI’s data-crunching and pattern-finding power onto email subject lines, as well as other marketing copy.
Oracle Marketing Cloud Consulting has seen high interest in these tools among our clients. However, when our clients have tried them, the results have been mixed.
Among those brands that didn’t find enough success, the most common complaints that we’ve heard are that:
- The lift in email performance wasn’t sustainable beyond a few months,
- The results in general didn’t justify the expense.
If you’re considering these tools, we have some advice to get you on the path to success.
Posted on May 17, 2019
Email analytics are pivotal to achieving marketing success, but many marketers misunderstand what the numbers are telling them or set the wrong goals.
In episode 3 of Delivering podcast, Litmus’s Jason Rodriguez and I talk about:
- Where brands go wrong with email analytics
- The most commonly misunderstood metrics
- The right email metrics to focus your attention on
- How an email brief can keep your campaign success metrics aligned
- Where the gaps are in email performance visibility and how to try to close those gaps
- How the desiloing of email marketing is driving the need for more cross-channel visibility
- Cost-mindsets versus growth-mindsets
- Why maximizing email marketing’s ROI isn’t the end goal
For a discussion of each of these issues…
Posted on May 14, 2019
Bots are having a profound effect on how the internet functions and may even outnumber people on some platforms like Twitter. Email marketing is not immune to click bots, with the newest activity being from bots that mimic human subscribers in order to collect information to power data service businesses.
The problem with these kinds of email click bots is that they create activity that inflates performance numbers and causes false positives that trigger automated campaigns and muddy targeting efforts. All in all, they simply make it more difficult to see how subscribers are truly responding. That can cause brands to make tactical or strategic changes that serve bots rather than actual subscribers.
Oracle’s Heather Goff, Bradford Johnson, Dan Deneweth, Wade Hobbs, Kent McGovern and I explore these bots in more detail, but let’s do so in the broader context of all email click bots. We think of these bots as falling into three categories, with each one requiring its own potential remedies:
- Beneficial Email Click Bots
- Malicious Email Click Bots
- Exploitive Email Click Bots
For full discussion of each of these kinds of bots and advice on how to respond to them…
Posted on May 7, 2019
At the same time that email marketing is becoming more complex, all of the issues surrounding it are becoming more interconnected. That is strikingly apparent when looking at the latest B2B email marketing trends identified by members of Oracle Marketing Cloud Consulting’s Expert Services team, which assist Eloqua customers with all aspects of their email programs.
Oracle’s Autumn Coleman, Kim Roman, Cristal Foster, Chris Carlock, Fabricio J. Lopez, and Otilia Antipa talk about this interconnected chain of current B2B email marketing trends, which includes:
- Compliance Automation
- More Active Management of Inactives
- Stronger Opt-ins
- Growing Adoption of Preference Centers
- Send Time Optimization
- Smart Trigger Timing
- AI Helps Do It All Better
- Data Warehouse Integrations
- Embracing B2C Strategies & Tools
For a discussion of each of these B2B email marketing trends…
Posted on May 3, 2019
Must-read articles, posts & reports
13 Email Marketing Statistics That Are Shaping 2019 and Beyond (Convince & Convert)
Insightful & entertaining tweets
Beautiful take on what #GDPR represents:
— Kait Creamer (@KaitCreamer) April 7, 2019
The fold is real.
— Elliot Ross (@iamelliot) April 8, 2019
Every week I receive a dozen or more “personalized” emails with the subject line “%PROSPECT_NAME%%, connect on %%DATE%%”
Using my first name and a date **does not** qualify as personalization. That’s a data merge. 🙄 pic.twitter.com/nXqcrb5hQT
— Justine Jordan (@meladorri) April 15, 2019
Every time I hear someone correctly say “calls to action” rather than “call to actions”, my capacity for feeling joy and hope grows.
— Kait Creamer (@KaitCreamer) April 24, 2019
— Clare (@clareyfrey) March 22, 2019
Noteworthy subject lines
Petco, 4/1 – New at Petco: pet wedding planning
Walmart, 4/19 – 15 Mother’s Day gifts that last longer than flowers
Neiman Marcus, 4/19 – Louis Vuitton: Show your love this Mother’s Day
Banana Republic, 4/25 – Our Mother’s Day gift guide to fuel your Mom’s wanderlust
Zales, 4/25 – Disney Obsessed Mom?
Saks Fifth Avenue, 4/26 – Actress & author Bridget Moynahan’s top gifts for every Mom
J.Crew, 4/29 – New picks for you (and for Mom too)
Hobby Lobby, 4/4 – Need Easter Basket Ideas? 40% Off Summer Toys!
LifeWay Christian Stores, 4/6 – Heading to an Easter Celebration? Don’t Forget a Gift!
Tractor Supply Company, 4/10 – Everything You Need to Get Ready For Spring – Shop Now!
Hayneedle, 4/29 – Cookout season is coming – let’s prep!
Barneys New York, 4/7 – How to Take Festival Style to The Next Level
Nordstrom, 4/19 – Sandals for all your sunny-weather plans
West Elm, 4/6 – Looking for a small space dining table? You NEED this.
Applebee’s, 4/25 – Chad, Do you have plans for dinner?
Neiman Marcus, 4/3 – New shoes channel retro glam
Victoria’s Secret, 4/4 – No seams. No limits.
Target, 4/26 – Preview the vineyard vines for Target collection, arriving 5/18
Kohl’s, 4/4 – 20% off + $5 + Kohl’s Cash = (sorry, too busy shopping to do math)
Gap, 4/23 – Pick a number between 40 and 70 (hint: savings involved)
Petco, 4/11 – Enter for a chance to win a year’s supply of pet food!**
J.Crew, 4/15 – TBH you’d be crazy to miss this 24-hour sale
Victoria’s Secret, 4/12 – All about that sets appeal…
Feeding America, 4/23 – This does not belong in the trash
Harley-Davidson, 4/15 – The Builders Behind The Bikes + Snag Your H-D Extreme Cooler Tote
REI, 4/19 – Customer Tested. BACKPACKER Approved.
Southwest, 4/23 – Your post-worthy paradise is on sale.
New posts on EmailMarketingRules.com
Posted on April 23, 2019
Subscribers expect email content to cater to their individual needs and circumstances. They have the same expectations of email design, which is why we’ve spent the better part of the past decade making our emails mobile-friendly.
Email interactivity and now AMP for Email are the next waves in this tidal trend of creating individually compelling email experiences based on each subscriber’s behavior and email reading environment.
While AMP for Email offers many benefits, there are challenges, as Oracle Marketing Cloud Consulting’s Henry Alva, Heather Goff, and Jennifer Lancaster Dana explain. Those challenges include:
- Marketers need to learn the AMP for Email coding language.
- It requires a new MIME type to be written and QAed.
- It requires email service providers to support the new MIME type.
- To render this MIME type, Google requires that senders maintain a positive Gmail sending reputation.
- It will change subscriber behavior and metrics.
- AMP for Email may fail.
To learn more about these challenges, as well as all the benefits of AMP for Email…
Posted on April 18, 2019
Because of the prevalence of high-DPI screens, marketers need to use retina images to ensure that their emails look crisp and not cheap. However, that doesn’t mean that every image in an email needs to be a retina image.
Marketers should use retina images in their emails only when it creates a significantly better experience in terms of readability or impression. Otherwise, they should avoid them.
Oracle Marketing Cloud Consulting’s Kathryn Alva, Patrick Colalillo, and I explain exactly why that is and exactly when to use retina images, but first let’s be clear about what we mean by a retina image…
Posted on April 5, 2019
Must-read articles, posts & reports
Audiences, targeting and signups (Word to the Wise)
Insightful & entertaining tweets
— Shari Paul (@ShariPaul) March 19, 2019
“From B2C and B2B to B2Me. Now.” So true. Yes, some strategies still are separate but we all want a personalized, easy customer experience. B2C has excelled at it for years and now it’s time for us B2B marketers to step it up (less those who already are/the minority). #ModernCX
— kpindle (@kpindle) March 19, 2019
Data isn’t data. It’s people! A click on a purchase button, isn’t a click. It’s a customer. We owe it to customers to make every interaction meaningful. AI will help turn data into a personal experience that builds relationships. #WatsonMarketing #Think2019 #WatsonCommerce
— Shep Hyken (@Hyken) February 11, 2019
I’m “birthday emails from insurance companies asking if I have thought about my life insurance policy” years old
— Heike Young 👩🏼💻 (@YoungHeike) February 19, 2019
Not to mention the fact that some decent spam filters will specifically look for Re: in the Subject with no References or In-Reply-To headers.
— Steve Freegard (@smfreegard) March 1, 2019
The AOL postmaster site is no more. Tonight, raise a glass to everyone at AOL who created the deliverability industry as we know it. Their legacy affects us every day, even though their hard work has disappeared. https://t.co/BgfPmSkz6v
— Laura Atkins (@wise_laura) March 11, 2019
Noteworthy subject lines
Ann Taylor, 3/14 – Nominate A Revolutionary Woman
Democrats, 3/14 – The youngest, most diverse group of women elected to Congress
Horchow, 3/12 – Your guide to the 2019 design trends
J.Jill, 3/12 – Introducing the Web Edit: limited-edition styles, online only.
Garnet Hill, 3/12 – Spring is eco-friendly – and embroidered!
Banana Republic, 3/10 – This denim jacket = spring’s perfect layer
Banana Republic, 3/20 – When it’s too warm for a jacket, try a cardigan…
Aeropostale, 3/12 – FREE Shipping When You Buy Jeans Or Shorts
REI, 3/20 – We’re Rewarding Co-op Members. Preview the Deals.
Godiva Chocolatier, 3/21 – ENDS TODAY! Win 1 Year of GODIVA Chocolate.
MoMA Design Store, 3/12 – A Square Tea Kettle?
ModCloth, 3/11 – Do you go against the current?
Foot Locker, 3/30 – Missed the big launch? We got you.
ThinkGeeks, 3/14 – What’s a Geek’s Favorite Dessert? Pi
Kate Spade, 3/21 – where did you get that little straw bag?
Kate Spade, 3/24 – your weekend wardrobe question answered
Zales, 3/7 – Thanks, It’s New
Nordstrom Rack, 3/24 – There’s no place like out of office
Saks Fifth Avenue, 3/29 – These dresses guarantee a glamorous evening
Express, 3/14 – What every gentleman, scholar and NBA Game Changer has in his closet
Saks Fifth Avenue, 3/12 – 3 weekend-ready looks whatever your plans may be
Feeding America, 3/29 – Three awesome ways to fight hunger in your own community
Levi’s Blog, 3/12 – Our top 4 stories, ready for reading
Democrats, 3/12 – This is a long email, Chad, but what’s inside is important
Petco, 3/7 – The magic of tidying up your dog’s space
ModCloth, 3/19 – A peek behind this month’s collection
Saks Fifth Avenue, 3/30 – Access Granted: An exclusive look at a day in the life of the SaksFirst Limitless Director
Hasbro Pulse, 3/28 – A look at how Transformers figures are made
New posts on EmailMarketingRules.com
Posted on April 2, 2019
The launch of the Apple iPhone in 2007 prompted a decade-long effort for marketers to make their emails mobile-friendly. The rise of voice-assistants will likely have a similar impact on email marketers, although less tectonic and probably much messier.
In this blog post, Oracle Marketing Cloud Consulting’s Kathryn Alva, Henry Alva, and Kristin McCambridge look at:
- The rise of voice-assistants reading emails
- The limitations of voice-assistants in terms of interacting with emails
- How voice-assistants read emails
- How voice-assistants handle emojis, special characters, creative spacing, and other subject line and copy issues
- How email accessibility can help voice-assistants read your emails correctly
- How the order of table cells and content blocks affect the reading of emails
- Plus some examples of subject lines and how voice-assistants read them
For all of this and more…
Posted on March 28, 2019
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 deliverability practice at Oracle Marketing Cloud Consulting (OMCC) shares the latest news and tips for what to watch out for in our inaugural Email Deliverability Quarterly.
In this post, Dan Deneweth, Heather Goff, Clea Moore, and Brian Sullivan explain how the following will impact marketers’ email deliverability:
- Gmail Rolls Out TensorFlow AI to Filter More Spam
- Verizon Media Group Announces Support for List-Unsubscribe
- Verizon Media Group Launches Postmaster Site
- Return Path Losing Gmail Panel Data
For the full discussion of each of these issues…