Planning for a Hard-to-Plan-for 2020 Holiday Season

Most major B2C brands and retailers will start planning for the 2020 holiday season soon, if they haven’t started already. Under normal circumstances, it’s challenging to accurately forecast, diligently plan, and effectively execute your holiday marketing campaigns. This year, with expectations of a second wave of coronavirus outbreaks and restrictions, most countries around the world slipping into recession, and global supply chains disrupted, it will be extra challenging.

Regardless, this year’s holiday marketing goal is the same as any other year: Every company must do their best to plan based on the information they have and then remain as flexible as possible to make adjustments along the way so they can maximize their holiday sales.

Based on research and analysis performed by Oracle CX Marketing Consulting, Head of Strategic & Analytic Services Clint Kaiser expects the following the 2020 holiday season:

  • Significant risks to the customer experience
  • Mobile will continue to grow in importance
  • Communication will be even more important

For each of these anticipated challenges, Clint provides three to five action items to help you overcome them. For a full exploration of each of these…

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

UNSPAM Conference: Work & Industry Trends

UNSPAM - Work Trends presentation

I had the honor of presenting at Really Good Emails’ UNSPAM conference in March. It was special in part because the RGE team asked me to present the results of their annual industry survey. More than 1,500 email marketers completed the survey, which asked them about their time and experiences in the industry, how their companies do email marketing, and much more. The findings paint a picture of a growing and maturing industry, but one with plenty of growth pains and challenges.

To help illustrate some of those challenges, as well as the opportunities, I wove in the findings of a survey we did of Oracle CX Marketing Consulting’s more than 500 digital marketing experts. In that survey, we asked our consultants to rate 26 email marketing tactics and technologies in terms of current adoption and the impact they expected it to have during 2020.

My presentation is now available for non-attendees to watch, which I highly recommend. You’ll learn a lot about how your company’s email operations compare to others in the industry, how your email experience compares to your peers, and the challenges faced by marketers across the industry—just to name a few of the topics covered in this 42-minute presentation.

If you don’t have time to watch the presentation, Really Good Emails provides a thorough transcription of the presentation, too.

>> View the UNSPAM presentation on Really Good Emails’ blog

Keep Optimizing Podcast - Chad White

I am excited to be the first guest on Chloe Thomas’ new podcast series, Keep Optimizing. The series will look at a different marketing channel each month, starting with email marketing.

During the 51-minute episode, we discuss a wide range of issues, including:

  • How I got my start in email marketing
  • Why email marketing is a good long-term career, and how it teaches you the skills you need to graduate up into marketing leadership positions
  • Why I wrote the first edition of “Email Marketing Rules”
  • What best practices are and how they can help marketers
  • How to align business goals and email marketing goals
  • Having a campaign-centric vs. subscriber-centric approach to email marketing
  • Whether benchmarks are useful or not
  • The importance of managing inactive subscribers
  • The best places to attract high-quality subscribers and where you tend to only be able to attract low-quality subscribers
  • The two things that new email marketers should learn about
  • What to test to make your emails better
  • What are the best email key performance indicators
  • What does the next 6-12 months hold for email marketing

For the full conversation…

>> Listen to the podcast

Email List Churn: How to Reduce Both Passive & Active Opt-Outs

It’s cheaper to keep a customer than find a new one. The same holds true for email subscribers—which also happen to be many of your best customers. That’s why it’s important for all businesses to minimize their email list churn, which can be a major drag on growing your email marketing audience and growing your business.

In this post, our email marketing consultants talk about:

  • The 2 kinds of email list churn: passive opt-outs and active opt-outs
  • 17 reasons why subscribers opt-out, recognizing that some are out of your control while others can be mitigated
  • 8 strategies for reducing email list churn—early on, in the middle, and at the end of the email relationship

For a full discussion of all of that…

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

Q3 2020 Holiday Marketing Guide

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.

The third quarter is focused on the final prep for the start of the holiday season. In this Holiday Marketing Quarterly, we cover 6 areas:

  1. Campaign Planning
  2. Workload Management
  3. Contingency Planning
  4. Audience Optimization
  5. Performance Monitoring Plans
  6. Solidify Your Tech Stack

For details on each of those…

>>Download the 15-page Q3 2020 Holiday Marketing Quarterly

Email Deliverability Quarterly: CCPA Now Being Enforced, Coronavirus’ Deliverability Impact, 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 and Heather Goff explain how the following news and events will impact marketers’ email deliverability:

  • CCPA Goes into Enforcement Without Delay
  • COVID-19’s Business Disruptions May Cause Deliverability Challenges for Some
  • New Mailbox Provider,, Launches with DIY Deliverability Screening
  • Email Inbox Collective Uses Paid Recipients to Influence Spam Filtering

For the full discussion of each of these issues…

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

The Last Word on June 2020

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

Must-read articles, posts & reports

Marketing in the New Normal (Mathew Sweezey)

Social Distancing Is Changing the Way We Write. That’s a Problem. (MarketingProfs)

Proven Strategies and Missed Opportunities: SurveyMonkey and SparkPost Unveil Retail Consumer Survey Insights for Improved Email Communications (SparkPost)

Emojis in Email Subject Lines: Advantage or Impediment? 👍 👎  (Nielen Norman Group)

M3AAWG issues email authentication advice for security pros (SC Magazine)

Insightful & entertaining tweets

Noteworthy subject lines

Fandango, 6/6 – Spotlighting Black Cinema
Everlane, 6/4 – Every Action Counts
ModCloth, 6/16 — 🌈 Happy Pride Month! 🌈
Williams Sonoma, 6/22 – Williams Sonoma x The Trevor Project. United Together.
Gap, 6/27 – Celebrate love in new Gap X PRIDE
Macy’s, 6/2 – Not a Dad joke: Father’s Day is sneaking up on us
Uncommon Goods, 6/14 – Celebrate your father figure with a fitting gift
Michaels, 6/18 – Last-minute ways to show Dad he’s #1 🏆
Olive Garden, 6/23 – Start a New Tradition: Takeout Tuesday
Williams Sonoma, 6/16 – The ultimate Taco Tuesday menu
Applebee’s Grill + Bar, 6/18 – Did someone say, Free Delivery?
Office Depot, 6/5 – 😷 PPE for your workspace
Gap, 6/25 – New face masks are here!
Everlane, 6/12 – 100% Human Face Masks
Staples, 6/5 – Your business comeback starts here + save on reopening essentials.
Staples, 6/23 – 5 ways to promote your reopening.
Office Depot, 6/6 – Which chair is perfect for you?
Gap, 6/3 – This shirt if virtual-meeting approved
Men’s | Saks Fifth Avenue, 6/5 – Because we’ve actually kinda missed wearing jeans…
IKEA, 6/29 – Consider this your staycation itinerary.
GapCash, 6/7 – Get in staycation mode
Crate and Barrel, 6/23 – Summer nights are magic sale + styling tips
Big Lots, 6/25 – Save BIG on backyard fun!
Lowe’s Home Improvement, 6/23 – Beach in your backyard? Coming right up!
Target, 6/27 – Next step: summer sandals.
Quiksilver, 6/14 – The Best In Sun Protection
Walmart, 6/23 – Fresh, fun ways to be a BBQ boss this summer 😎
IKEA, 6/10 — Why are calm spaces so important for kids?
Panera Bread, 6/2 – Chad, lunch? ✅ Groceries? ✅ Free delivery? ✅✅
Williams Sonoma, 6/11 – 🍳 ☕ 🍓 The best part of breakfast
Williams Sonoma, 6/6 – Let’s do brunch ☕🥐🍓
Williams Sonoma, 6/8 – A drink for any time of the day ☕🍹🍷
Petco, 6/22 – Save 35% on your first Repeat Delivery!
Patagonia, 6/27 – A Macro Puff Quilt made from leftovers
Zales, 6/1 – Say “YES” to 20-40% Off All Engagement & Wedding
LifeWay, 6/8 – 👰 Missing a wedding? Mail gifts to the Mr. & Mrs.
Michaels, 6/28 – Join us on Zoom to learn crafts from other makers!
Bass Pro Shops, 6/6 – Free Opry livestream TONIGHT!
Bass Pro Shops, 6/27 – TONIGHT: Watch Keb’ Mo’ and Brad Paisley at the Opry

New posts on

Common Marketing Outliers: Identifying & Managing Them

Netcore Podcast: Strategies to Reduce Email Churn Rates

On-Demand Webinar: The Questions to Ask Instead about Email Frequency & List Building

Email Evolution Conference 2020: The State of Email Marketing

Netcore Podcast: There Is Opportunity in Disruption and Email Is the Key

On-Demand Webinar: The Questions to Ask Instead about Email Performance Measurement

LiveIntent Podcast: What Does the Change in Email Behavior Mean for Marketers?

How Coronavirus Has Shifted Consumer Preferences

On-Demand Webinar: Understanding Email Deliverability

Email Innovations Summit 2020: Prioritizing Which Email Innovations to Pursue

The Last Word on May 2020

Choosing the Best Days to Send Email Campaigns This Holiday Season

Having a successful holiday season takes year-round effort, but there’s no more critical time than late summer and early fall. One of the decisions you make during this time is which days to send campaigns on. It’s a choice that can have a significant impact on the performance of your campaigns.

In this webinar, Oracle CX Marketing Consulting’s Clint Kaiser, Doug Sundahl, and I share research into the performance of email marketing campaigns on certain days during the holiday season. Is sending on Black Friday and Cyber Monday worth it? What are the best days to send in early November? How do campaigns perform on Green Monday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day? We will answer all of those questions and many more, plus we’ll talk about some broader trends you should plan for this holiday season.

Choosing the Best Days to Send Email Campaigns This Holiday Season
Date: July 15, 2020
Time: 1pm ET/10am PT
Duration: 1 hour

Your Presenters:
Clint Kaiser, Head of Strategic & Analytic Services, Oracle CX Marketing Consulting
Doug Sundahl, Senior Director of Strategic & Analytic Services, Oracle CX Marketing Consulting
Chad S. White, Head of Research, Oracle CX Marketing Consulting

>> Register for this free webinar

Common Marketing Outliers & How to Manage Them

The chances are high that your audience across your various channels is diverse—made up of people with different needs, different values, different constraints, and more. That’s why smart marketers develop marketing personas to help them better cater to the various groups of people that their brand attracts.

However, sometimes one or more small groups is so extreme in their behavior that they skew the overall behavior of your channel audience in a way that’s detrimental. These groups are called outliers and they can cause a number of problems, including…

  • Clouding overall performance data, making it appear that you’re doing much better or much worse than you actually are
  • Obscuring how your core audience is performing
  • Concealing trends in your customer data, causing you to miss opportunities or fail to address challenges
  • Skewing A/B test results and leading you to implement the wrong changes or strategies

Let’s talk about some common outliers you might have in your various audiences, and then how to manage your outliers to avoid having issues.

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

Netcore Podcast: Strategies to Reduce Email Churn Rates

Since email has been the heart of marketing strategy, especially during the COVID-19 crisis, preventing email churn is the top priority for most email marketers. However, before you get to the task of retaining your email subscribers, it’s important for you to understand why your subscribers are churning, as well as which ones are worth retaining and which ones you must let go?

I join Netcore’s Chaitanya Chinta and Dennis Dayman on the Email Unplugged Podcast to shed light on the actionable items that can help reduce your email churn and retain quality subscribers.

We discuss:

  • How big a problem email churn is for marketers
  • Different kinds of subscriber churn, and how marketers can arrest those churns
  • Actionable ways to increase email list growth, curb subscriber loss, and improve the quality of your email list
  • Precautions for a marketer when running a win-back program

>> Listen to the podcast on the Netcore Blog


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