Posted on June 11, 2021
Checklists can inspire you, help you identify gaps, allow you to take inventory, and provide an easy-to-follow action plan. At Oracle Marketing Consulting, we use checklists all the time with our clients. In fact, we love them so much that we wanted to share some of our most useful checklists, including this one about optimization ideas for your website, mobile app, and other landing pages.
Because these destinations represent the critical last mile for many of your digital interactions with your customers, it’s essential to always be watching how your customers react to the experience you’ve crafted for them. Routine A/B testing and optimization dramatically accelerates that flow of customer insights, so you can adapt even faster to what your customers want. In working with our clients, we focus our initial efforts around six pillars of optimizing a website:
- Determine the goal of your content and express that in a clear call-to-action
- Use prime real estate above the fold on desktop and mobile
- Figure out the optimal path forward for each visitor
- Simplify the content as much as possible, so it’s easy to understand
- Remove friction and distractions that may keep a visitor from moving forward
- Streamline the number of steps it takes to complete a journey
For a checklist of more than 80 optimization and testing ideas that will help you act on those six pillars, includes ideas that are geared toward specific industries, such as retail, travel and hospitality, financial services, and others…
Posted on June 10, 2021
List building has been challenging over the past 18 months, which has now made managing subscribers a challenge. Before talking about the issues that are pressing now, let’s look at how we got here…
When coronavirus lockdowns started in March last year, consumer behaviors started to rapidly evolve. Many stores were closed and many people didn’t want to go to the stores that were open, which heavily impacted subscriber acquisition efforts in those settings and shifted most list growth to online signups. Grocery delivery exploded in popularity, and ecommerce as a percentage of retail sales gained several year’s worth of growth in several weeks. Roughly half of the people who had never bought anything online made their first online purchase ever during those early weeks. Retailers and restaurants hastily rolled out curbside pickup and same-day delivery to try to serve online customers better. Meanwhile, widespread out-of-stocks had people shopping around and trying new brands at record levels. Layer on top of that massive shifts in employment and considerable urban flight.
Stating the obvious, that’s a lot of change. And it’s change that has posed risks in terms of not being able to adapt to subscribers’ evolving needs and then losing them, but also presented opportunities in terms of gaining brand new customers who have been driven to try new brands. The next phase of change is upon us and presents similar risks and opportunities…
Posted on June 1, 2021
Must-read articles, posts & reports
Senators Roll Out Bipartisan Data Privacy Bill (The Verge)
US 2020 Messaging Engagement Report (Twilio SendGrid)
Insightful & entertaining tweets
Email marketer culture is sending a test to yourself and promptly remembering something you meant to do before sending the test #emailgeeks
— Najmah ‘Two Sheds’ Salam (@najmetender) May 17, 2021
Great, now do Outlook please #emailgeeks
— Anthony Noel (@anthony10695) May 20, 2021
Noteworthy subject lines
Zales, 5/3 – ✨To: The Best Mom Ever | From: Your Favorite Child
DICK’S Sporting Goods, 5/3 – Mother’s Day is on Sunday! She’ll love these gifts.
The Home Depot, 5/6 – 🌹 REMINDER: Make Mom’s Day – May 9 🌹
ModCloth, 5/9 – 🌸 Don’t forget to call mom! 🌸
DICK’S Sporting Goods, 5/9 – See how the moms of DICK’S Sporting Goods are celebrating Mother’s Day
Uncommon Goods, 5/13 – Dad is always trying to get you to be early ⏰
Zales, 5/12 – 🎓 Voted Most Likely To…SHINE
Express, 5/3 – Honoring Teacher Appreciation Week ✏️
CVS Photo, 5/25 – 45% Off Photo Cards and Invitations. Celebrate Grads With Great Savings.
Williams Sonoma, 5/5 – What we’re making for Cinco de Mayo
Walgreens, 5/12 – Busy? Our NEW Delivery in under 2 hours makes everything easy!
Big Lots, 5/15 – An on-point pantry is just a click away
Kohl’s, 5/4 – Hit refresh on your work-from-home routine.
Target, 5/13 – Bored with your bedroom? Get inspired here ⭐
West Elm, 5/8 – You deserve a spa day, every day
Williams Sonoma, 5/9 – Make Flour Shop’s Rainbox Explosion Cake at home
Kohl’s, 5/10 – Bring on the backyard barbecues…
Lane Bryant, 5/5 – BOGO $20 bikini bliss is going, going…
Nordstrom, 5/20 – Water-friendly sandals from Birkenstock and more
Express, 5/20 – Vacation-bound? Pack these 🌴☀️
Saks Fifth Avenue, 5/18 – Our perfected packing list for Celebrity Cruises’ new Beyond ship
Petco, 5/3 – We’re making pet health more accessible for your dog
Crate & Barrel, 5/15 – Meet the multitasking machine that blends and juices.
T.J.MAXX, 5/15 – “Thanks! It’s from Italy.” 👠 👛
Uncommon Goods, 5/15 – New: 💩Cacamamie Party Game–immature adults and potty mouths welcome
West Elm, 5/6 – BIG News: Heather Taylor Home for West Elm
Banana Republic, 5/18 – Introducing: Pride 2021 Shop
Michaels, 5/9 – Maker Spotlight: Explore the colorful world to TK Tunchez, a creative who does it all.
Gap Flash Sales, 5/3 – @everyone: your FLASH DEAL + a bonus will disappear soon
Eddie Bauer, 5/11 – Free 90-Day Membership To The #1 Camping App
REI, 5/6 – Let’s Chat!
Bed Bath & Beyond, 5/4 – IG Live TODAY! Chriselle Lim shares tips & answers questions. ** Click here to access your coupons.
Express, 5/27 – Astrologer @alizakelly shares a top for every 💫 sign
Moosejaw.com, 5/11 – RSVP for our free virtual yoga class 🧘 Learn the basics this Thursday
West Elm Warehouse SALE, 5/29 – Your FREE design session is waiting—book now
IKEA, 5/17 – Let’s make progress together
Saks Fifth Avenue, 5/15 – New on The Edit: Celebrating AAPI designers, Mental Health Awareness tips & more
Mental Health at VS PINK, 5/24 – ASMR, Journaling, and Social Media – Don’t miss out!
New posts on EmailMarketingRules.com
Posted on May 28, 2021
This question is more challenging than you think. And how a company answers it has a major impact on the size of the audience it’s able to reach with that message, as well as legal ramifications.
That’s because transactional emails can be sent to all customers for whom you have email addresses. This includes those who haven’t opted in to receive your promotional messages, as well as those who have unsubscribed from receiving your promotional emails. Under the United States’ anti-spam law, the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (CAN-SPAM) Act, these emails also don’t need to include an unsubscribe link.
But be sure to properly identify your emails as transactional because CAN-SPAM, the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) can impose hefty fines if a company falsely sends promotional emails as transactional.
For all the details on the legal definitions, properly classifying transactional emails, and which promotional messages are most commonly misclassified as transactional…
Posted on May 26, 2021
Email marketing is a great way to drive survey responses. I join other experts in talking with Liz Willits about ways to get more email survey responses.
My advice centers on how to use interactivity to lower barriers and boost responses. I say:
“AMP for Email and CSS-based interactivity make surveys easier for subscribers to complete. That’s because subscribers can immediately see the survey without clicking through to the web and make their selections and input their answers inside the email itself. All of that saves them time and clicks, which increases survey completions significantly.
We’ve been using interactive email polls with some of our clients for years to great effect. We’ve found that they’re even better when you also use live content to show a real-time tally of results in the email.”
To get all of the advice…
Posted on May 21, 2021
It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day operations of your email marketing program—rushing to get the next campaign out. It’s hard work! But if you’re on auto-pilot, you might neglect several strategic and structural areas of your program. While your marketing technology stack is advancing with new features, your marketing programs might not be.
Sound familiar? If so, Oracle Marketing Consulting’s Sophie Haywood says that it’s time to conduct an audit of your email marketing stack. Here’s a checklist that can help you identify areas that may need attention.
- Managing your martech stack
- Fully leveraging automation
- Refreshing creative and improving workflows
- Improving marketing performance
For all the details on each of those areas…
Posted on May 14, 2021
I was pleased to join Doug Dennison, CEO at MailNinja and owner of Chimp Essentials, on his new podcast to talk about how to become a niche expert. On the show, I share my own personal journey, during which I’ve written three books and more than 3,000 posts and articles about email marketing and was named the Email Experience Council’s 2018 Email Marketer Thought Leader of the Year. But with hindsight being 20-20, I try to dissect the moves that led me to my current position in the industry and how others can plot their own unique course.
For example, starting the Retail Email Blog back in 2006 turned out to be a commitment for me to not only analyze and review hundreds of thousands of emails, but to share what I learned. I think it’s that commitment to learning and teaching others that is the rocket fuel for becoming an expert.
For our full conversion…
Posted on May 12, 2021
We’re experiencing a myriad of crises all at once—ranging from the pandemic health crisis to social unrest and insurrection to financial crises. These have led to profound changes in consumers’ buying habits and housing choices, and an acceleration of ecommerce, digital entertainment, and work from home trends. With COVID-19 still spreading quickly in some parts of the world, it’s clear that the pandemic and its effects will likely persist for years to come to some degree.
In our Email Evolution Conference keynote about the State of Email Marketing, Wildbit’s Justine Jordan and I argued that the ripple effects of the pandemic will drive email marketers to continue to focus on three areas:
- The need for nimbleness in their email production process
- Empathy and customer-centricity in their email messaging
- Maximizing customer retention through content and targeting
Let’s talk about each of those areas in turn…
Posted on May 11, 2021
Must-read articles, posts & reports
21 Email Marketing Thought Leaders: Our Top Picks (Email on Acid)
Insightful & entertaining tweets
When 1m people read your newsletter, you learn what works and what doesn’t.
I’ve been involved in several @thehustle newsletter redesigns.
Here’s my framework for newsletter design 👇
— Kolby Hatch (@HatchKolby) April 29, 2021
A1: Year 2187
Probably sending email marketing communications to the customers who settled on another planet!#MarketingChats
— Manish Thaduri (@sfdcFanBoy) April 7, 2021
Quite possibly the best email I’ve ever received 🎉 pic.twitter.com/msay5pYeow
— Lauren Meyer (@LaurenEmailGeek) April 20, 2021
No brief, no talk! Always insist on having a completed brief that is agreed upon. You’ll save yourself a lot of trouble in future and can manage expectations. #emailgeeks #digitalmarketing pic.twitter.com/DcqiwyZk7V
— Najmah ‘Two Sheds’ Salam (@najmetender) April 22, 2021
Marketing is an investment, not an expense.
If you want short term results, invest in sales.
If you want long term results, invest in marketing.
Stop cutting your long term strategy because money is tight in the short term.#marketingtwitter
— Jason Vana (@jasonvana) April 21, 2021
Noteworthy subject lines
Starbucks, 4/1 – Starbucks® Earth Month Game is here 🍃
IKEA, 4/21 – BIG things are happening with the IKEA tiny home!
Hobby Lobby, 4/4 – Hobby Lobby Easter 2021 Message
Victoria’s Secret, 4/27 – What Mom Really Wants: Cozy Everything
Saks Fifth Avenue, 4/13 – Make it personal: Mother’s Day gifts from Shutterfly & more
Saks Fifth Avenue, 4/27 – Saks Chief Merchant Tracy Margolies’ shares her top Mother’s Day gifts
Zales, 4/28 – 🦸♀ It’s National Superhero Day! Celebrate Your Superhero, MOM
Williams Sonoma, 4/8 – How we make coffee shop drinks at home
Banana Republic, 4/13 – Discover Luxe Athleisure
West Elm, 4/8 – Invitation for living room relaxation
Kohl’s, 4/16 – Create your at-home oasis inside or out.
Target, 4/20 – Patio season has arrived☀️
Target, 4/29 – It’s fire pit time 🔥
Express, 4/29 – Who’s ready for comfy girl summer?
Big Lots, 4/8 – Garden party-ready? You better beLEAF.
Eddie Bauer, 4/13 – Get In The Car, We’re Going CAMPING! 🚘⛺
Nordstrom, 4/13 – Trending sandals: built-up soles, slides, jellies and more
Lane Bryant, 4/8 – Color Crush: Mellow Yellow 🍋🌻💛🌼
Uncommon Goods, 4/2 – ⚾ Happy Opening Day! Diamonds are EVERYONE’s best friend.
ModCloth, 4/20 – Marriage is what brings us together today.
IKEA, 4/1 – Psst…we’ve improved Click & Collect.
Macy’s, 4/7 – New! Shop at your local Macy’s & pay later with Klarna 🤩
Fandango, 4/20 – Your Favorite Theaters Are Open
IKEA, 4/8 – Chad, get a FREE DAY of child care at KinderCare!
Everlane, 4/1 – A Chino For Jeans People—And Vice Versa
Crate & Barrel, 4/13 – Which upholstery is right for your sofa?
Williams Sonoma, 4/24 – Strawberry is all we want + 3 desserts to try…
Gap, 4/6 – ? M ? Y ? S ? T ? E ? R ? Y ?
New posts on EmailMarketingRules.com
Posted on April 15, 2021
Despite having lots of tools to optimize contact frequencies based on changing subscriber behaviors, the reliance of most companies on last-click attribution strategies and a focus on short-term campaign-centric goals has created a strong bias toward ever-increasing frequencies across all channels. Inevitably, this will leave many of your customers feeling overmessaged and overwhelmed.
The clearest measure of this frustration can be seen in your active and passive list churn. Your active list churn includes those who opt out by unsubscribing or reporting your messages as spam, while your passive list churn includes those who opt out by ignoring your messages, eventually becoming long-term inactive subscribers.
Having a preference center can be a powerful tool in reducing both of those kinds of churn, giving customers an opportunity to openly and clearly express their current communication desires—not only for contact frequency, but for a range of preferences. In most cases, your preference center replaces your unsubscribe page, making it the last touchpoint you’ll have with many of your subscribers.
For a deep dive on the preference center options to consider…