How to Create Internal Digital Marketing Benchmarks that Work

Modern brands today are trying to benchmark their digital marketing campaigns to determine which ones are successful and inform improvements. But we find that many brands are often using their internal marketing benchmarks in an overly broad way.

Correcting this problem requires a more granular approach to digital marketing benchmarks, one that groups campaigns by various characteristics to attain the apples-to-apples comparison you’re looking for:

  1. Audience engagement level
  2. Audience size
  3. Goal or purpose
  4. The content stream you’re sending
  5. Seasonality

For each, you’ll likely have two to four tags by which you’ll sort your campaigns to facilitate accurate comparisons. Join Oracle Marketing Consulting’s Peter Briggs and Alexander Stegall as they dive into these characteristics, along with the tags you might use.

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

Webbula: Email Marketing in 5-10 Years

Where do you see email going in the next 5 to 10 years?

As part of their Ask the Experts series of video interviews, Webbula asked: “Where do you see email going in the next 5-10 years?”

I was happy to be among eight email experts selected to answer. For my part, I see see AI and machine learning playing a big role in marketers trying to send the right message to the right person at the right time via the right channel. I explain in more detail in a 2-minute video that’s in the Webbula post.

To watch my video response, as well as the answers from Chris Marriott, Tom Wozniak, and the other experts…

>> Visit the Webbula blog

How to Simplify Your Martech Stack: 3 Approaches

Marketing technology stacks are very complicated. Like credit-card-fine-print complicated or teen-brain complicated. With very few exceptions, the marketers I speak with are eager for greater simplification, says Clint Kaiser, Head of Analytic & Strategic Services at Oracle Marketing Consulting.

They want to accomplish their marketing goals without having to navigate a spaghetti-works of tools that don’t always play together as well as advertised. Unfortunately, many are finding that they devote more and more time to sorting out the solutions rather than taking advantage of the benefits the tools are there to provide.

So how can marketers simplify things? We’ll help you answer that question by reviewing the pros and cons of the three approaches to building a martech stack:

  • Option 1: Best-of-breed
  • Option 2: The single provider
  • Option 3: Best-of-suite

For a full discussion of each approach…

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

Why B2B Brands Face Unique—and Sometimes Self-Inflicted—Email Deliverability Challenges

Email deliverability can feel out of your control. This is perhaps especially true of B2B brands, which have traditionally struggled with the mercurial spam filtering behaviors of corporate email servers and the IT overlords that control them. However, with Google Workspace and Outlook 365 making serious inroads into the corporate email market, B2B email deliverability is behaving more and more like deliverability for B2C brands.

That means that inbox placement is increasingly unifying around 7 core email deliverability factors:

  1. Infrastructure: The servers, setup, and controls used by a company’s email service provider (ESP) are important, as is authentication (SPF, DKIM, and DMARC).
  2. Volume: The higher your email volume and the more erratic your sending patterns, the more scrutiny you can expect from mailbox providers.
  3. Email Content: Instead of worrying about word choices, punctuation, and the balance of images and text in your emails, today you need to ensure your email code is safe and clean, and that you’re not linking to websites with poor reputations.
  4. Bounces & Spam Traps: Brands want to keep their hard bounce rates at 2% or under, and want to avoid adding spam traps to their lists.
  5. Spam Complaints: If more than 0.1% of a brand’s subscribers report their emails as spam, they may experience blocking or junking.
  6. Engagement: More than anything else, mailbox providers want to see senders’ subscribers opening, clicking, and otherwise engaging with their emails.
  7. Reputation: Each mailbox provider uses their own unique and secret weighting of the other six factors and their subfactors to create a reputation for each sender, which they attach to the IP addresses as well as the website domains used by the sender.

Given those factors, let’s talk about the unique behaviors of B2B brands that are the most likely to cause their emails to be junked or blocked, which can be expensive in terms of both opportunities lost and email deliverability remediation costs.

>> Read the entire article on MarketingProfs.com

Best Days to Send Email Marketing Campaigns This Holiday Season

The big question on the minds of retailers and other B2C companies is: Will this holiday season look like 2020’s or will it resemble pre-pandemic 2019’s? Unfortunately, it’s looking increasingly like retailers will be facing a holiday season with some of the same challenges as last year, which will impact email marketing decisions.

In this blog post, Clint Kaiser, Head of Analytics & Strategic Services for Oracle Marketing Consulting, talks about how the holiday season will be impacted by:

  1. Continued supply chain struggles
  2. The balance between in-store and online shopping
  3. High inflation

We also discuss how all of those issues are likely to affect B2C companies when making decisions about email marketing strategies this holiday season. In an accompanying infographic, we share notable email trends and benchmarks from the past two holiday seasons that can help inform your choices this year.

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

The Last Word on September 2021

The Last Word

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

Must-read articles, posts & reports

Email for All report (Action Rocket and Beyond the Envelope)

Skinny Santa: Salesforce Expects Higher Costs, Fewer Online Orders This Holiday Season (MediaPost)

Insightful & entertaining tweets

Noteworthy subject lines

Really Good Emails, 9/9 – Do you want to be our CEO?
Burlington, 9/8 – Our Nationwide Hiring Event starts soon! Apply today.
Big Lots, 9/12 – We’re hiring! Check out the perks!
Petco, 9/2 – 20% off your local pickup! Includes dog and cat food!
Hobby Lobby, 9/7 – NEW Christmas Arrivals! 40% Off 🎄
Big Lots, 9/10 – Crazy for Christmas? Sneak a peek inside!
Williams Sonoma, 9/17 – First look: our one-stop shop for Halloween, Thanksgiving & Christmas is HERE
Office Depot, 9/2 – 🔔 Save up to 55% today, on our best-selling school supplies…
DICK’S Sporting Goods, 9/9 – Your DICK’S Sporting Goods email: time to think about school styles?
ModCloth, 9/6 – Bat news: final hours for 30% off Halloween! 🦇
The Home Depot, 9/2 – Doing Season Is Kicking Off 🏈
Wegmans Meals 2GO – We’ve Got Game Day Covered!
Williams Sonoma, 9/10 – Cozy up to autumn with our favorite meatball recipes for any occasion
Neiman Marcus, 9/6 – Sweater weather is on the way
GapCash, 9/17 – You’re getting warmer…
Nordstrom, 9/6 – The five styles to get this fall
Williams Sonoma, 9/18 – Hello, autumn hues 💛❤️🧡
GapCash, 9/18 – Sweatshirt Dress + Tie-Dye = 🧡❤️💚💙
Eddie Bauer, 9/22 – Fall = Down Puffy Weather!
Nordstrom, 9/18 – New season = new shoes
Saks Fifth Avenue, 9/10 – It’s all about pearls, sequins and quilting
Zales, 9/15 – Get the Look: Serena Williams at the 2021 Met Gala
Gap, 9/2 – 90s vibes, teen-ified
Neiman Marcus, 9/2 – New & emerging denim brands
Spotify, 9/27 – Listen to women at full volume
Patagonia, 9/6 – Old clothes, new tricks
Quiksilver, 9/12 – High impact in the water, low impact on the environment.
Patagonia, 9/17 – How are your clothes grown?
AutoZone, 9/27 – See FREE battery services near you 📍
IKEA, 9/16 – LIVE NOW: Open your doors to the IKEA Festival!
Burlington, 9/15 – It’s National Hispanic Heritage Month!
Kohl’s, 9/23 – Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in style.
Neiman Marcus, 9/24 – Spotlight on diversity
Express, 9/8 – The group chat is 😍 over these wedding outfits
Petco Love, 9/8 — $1M in lifesaving funds: share your 🐶 🐱 🐰  story

New posts on EmailMarketingRules.com

Email Privacy ‘Regulation’ in the Age of Big Tech

Holiday Marketing Quarterly: Fourth Quarter 2021 Checklist

Hide My Email Elevates Risks of Temporary Email Addresses

Apple’s MPP May Drive Email Design Changes that Actually Hurt Customer Engagement

Dyspatch: Modular Email Design – A System Built for Speed and Scale

Email Marketing’s Increasing Role as Third-Party Cookies Disappear

The Last Word on August 2021

The Fold in the Inbox: Hard Line, Soft Line, Imaginary Line?

Similar to how you can’t see the content below the fold of a newspaper without opening it, the email fold is that point on a screen where a subscriber can’t see any more content without scrolling. There’s been a long-simmering debate in the industry about how important this line is to email design.

Let’s break down the arguments…

>> Read the full article on CMSWire.com

Email Privacy ‘Regulation’ in the Age of Big Tech

Imagine if CASL was passed without first having a public comment period so businesses and other organizations could have their voices heard? Imagine if GDPR went into effect 3 months after it was passed instead of after a 2-year transition period? Imagine if CCPA applied to people all over the world and not just people in California?

All of that isn’t far off from what the email industry just experienced with the rollout of Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection (MPP), as SparkPost’s April Mullen and I explain in this guest post for the ANA. We also share a vision for how email marketers can work with Big Tech companies like Apple, Google, and Microsoft—which now wield just as much power as public entities when it comes to changing privacy rules and other fundamental aspects of the email channel.

>> Read the full post on the ANA Marketing Maestros Blog

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 Marketing Consulting’s more than 500 digital marketing experts.

The fourth quarter is focused on wrapping up your final prep and then taking action during the holiday season to maximize results and minimize problems. In this Holiday Marketing Quarterly, we’ll cover:

  1. Engaging Seasonal Buyers
  2. Automated Campaign Adjustments
  3. Leveraging New Capabilities
  4. Cross-Channel Coordination
  5. Incremental A/B Testing
  6. Finalizing Your Plans

For details on each of those areas…

>> Download the 13-page Fourth Quarter 2021 Holiday Marketing Quarterly

Hide My Email Elevates Risks of Temporary Email Addresses in Email Marketing

Email marketing is a great way to build long-term relationships, but marketers have always wrestled with accepting low-value email addresses from would-be subscribers. B2C brands wonder if a subscriber has provided their primary email account or a secondary address they check far less frequently. And B2B marketers debate accepting freemail addresses or only corporate email addresses, which make lead scoring easier. While businesses can make a “something is better than nothing” argument for accepting secondary email addresses and freemail addresses, it’s harder to say the same when it comes to disposable or temporary email addresses.

That’s because you can’t build a relationship with someone who uses an email address that’s typically designed to expire within hours. Beyond cluttering up your CRM database with dead end contact data (the biggest risk), there’s also a small risk your sender reputation will be impacted since any email sent to a disposable email address after it expires hard bounces. When accepting a temporary email address, you’re banking entirely on the value of being able to deliver what’s generally a one-time transactional email, signup incentive, or content download to that person.

The impact of temporary email addresses is now more pressing because of newly released updates to Hide My Email, a privacy feature Apple is promoting alongside Mail Privacy Protection.

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

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