Email Accessibility: Fulfilling Your Legal Responsibilities & Expanding Your Reach

US and international laws require companies to make their email messages accessible by people with visual and other disabilities or else face significant legal fees and 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.

In this 44-minute webinar, Jason Witt, Lauren Castady, and I talk about email accessibility, its benefits, and how to implement it. We’ll discuss:

  • 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
  • The penalties for violating these laws and which brands have had suits brought against them
  • How many people have impairments that allow them to benefit from email accessibility
  • How inclusive design is different from email accessibility
  • How marketers can adapt their email designs to be more user-friendly for people with visual, hearing, motor, and cognitive challenges, whether those are permanent disabilities or due to a temporary injury or situational issue

To learn about all of those issues…

>> Watch the free on-demand webinar on Oracle’s Modern Marketing Blog

Inboxroad: How to Build a Strong Email Program in the Years Ahead

I recently spoke with Ferry van Hoolwerff for an interview on the Inboxroad blog. While we talked about a range of issues, much of the conversation revolved around how marketers should prepare for the years ahead in order to build stronger email marketing programs.

Here are the questions Ferry asked me:

  • How did you end up in this industry, and when did email start playing such a big role for you?
  • It’s clear that email marketing is an important channel in the marketing mix, yet it often feels like marketers somewhat overlook email marketing. Why do you think this is?
  • For those teams that are struggling to get the resources they need to improve their company’s email marketing, what is a great starting point? How do marketing teams effectively put more focus on email marketing?
  • How do you think email marketing will develop over the next few years? What opportunities do you see?
  • Given those changes, what skills do you foresee becoming more and more important for email marketers to develop?
  • Speaking of analytics, what metrics do you feel are particularly important when it comes to email marketing?
  • What trends do you foresee for the coming years when it comes to inboxing marketing emails?
  • What tips would you have for marketers on how to start impacting their deliverability in a meaningful way?
  • What is the No. 1 article on email marketing strategy that you would recommend our readers to read?

For all of my answers to those questions…

>> Read the interview on the Inboxroad blog

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

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