Posted on December 2, 2020
We launched our first issue of the twice-monthly Oracle CX Marketing Consulting Newsletter on Oct. 15, 2019. Since then, we’ve sent 30 issues. We’ve learned a lot from launching it, as well as from running it for a year. Rather than keep these learnings to ourselves, the newsletter team and I wanted to share the highs and lows so everyone can benefit.
Our experiences were wildly different during the pre-launch phase compared to post-launch, so that’s how we’ve broken out our learnings.
To learn all about our successes and failures…
Posted on December 1, 2020
Concerned about the effects of new pandemic-related restrictions on their operations and consumer optimism, retailers launched their “Black Friday” email promotions early—and the impact of that decision could plainly be seen in Thanksgiving and Black Friday email volume and retail sales.
Oracle CX Marketing Consulting predicted a 10% increase in email volume on Thanksgiving and a 3% increase on Black Friday during their Choosing the Best Days to Send Email Campaigns This Holiday Season webinar in August. Official numbers show that B2C marketers sent 3.6% more emails on Thanksgiving this year compared to last, and 6% less on Black Friday, according to data from Oracle CX Marketing Consulting based on a panel of more than 40 major national B2C brands using the Oracle Responsys platform.
During Thanksgiving Week, email volume was up substantially, just as it was during the second and third weeks of November. All of this is proof of a strong desire on the part of retailers to lock in more sales ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
By sending more campaigns earlier in November, retailers succeeded in driving substantially higher revenue per email during the second and third weeks of November. But during Thanksgiving week, revenue per email fell significantly year-over-year, even though it was up slightly week-over-week.
For all the details…
Posted on November 25, 2020
With Apple joining Samsung and others in officially announcing 5G-compatible phones, the next generation of mobile technology has truly arrived. This new age opens up a variety of opportunities for marketers because 5G wireless promises speeds that are roughly 10 times faster than today’s 4G.
In this post, Jonathan McClure says there are seven areas that marketers should focus on:
- More Video
- Richer Website Design
- Richer Email Design
- Precise Location-Triggered Messaging
- Mainstreaming of Virtual and Augmented Reality
- Tighter Omnichannel Orchestration
- Increased Privacy Concerns & Controls
For a discussion of each of those…
Posted on November 24, 2020
Classic email templates are becoming obsolete. They are difficult to maintain, don’t offer enough flexibility, make personalization cumbersome, and take too much time to turn into a final email campaign that’s ready to send. Because of all of those weaknesses, more companies are migrating to modular email architectures and reaping significant improvements.
In this post, Jason Witt, Senior Director for Creative Services at Oracle CX Marketing Consulting, breaks down the various components of a modular email architecture and discusses its benefits, which include:
- Quicker email builds
- Easier personalization
- Greater flexibility
- Lower maintenance
- More consistency and control
- Easier evolution of email design
He also shares an example of modular email architecture from the Oracle CX Marketing Newsletter, which has been using this build system since it was launched last fall.
For a full discussion of modular email architectures, its benefits, and Oracle CX Marketing Newsletter case study…
Posted on November 17, 2020
When someone signs up to receive your promotional emails, it marks the start of what is hopefully a long and mutually beneficial relationship. Start it off right by sending the most effective welcome email possible.
Here are seven best practices to follow:
- Send welcomes immediately.
- Ask new subscribers to do something high-value.
- Keep your copy and design focused.
- Use a welcome email series.
- Send different welcome emails based on the acquisition source.
- QA and optimize your welcomes often.
- Seasonally update your welcomes.
For a full discussion of each of those recommendations, including advice from our digital marketing consultants…
Posted on November 12, 2020
The pandemic upended email marketing plans during 2020 and Smart Insights wondered where our industry is headed in 2021. They asked me and four other email marketing experts for our predictions. Here are the key trends that we identified:
- Email marketing through the K-shaped COVID-19 recovery
- Strategy first, solution second
- Bringing customer experience into email marketing
- It’s time for real, authentic personalization
- Rediscovering the value of the plain-text email
My prediction was the first, that the K-shaped recovery from COVID-19 would drive companies down two very different paths. For all the details about my prediction and those of my co-contributors…
Posted on November 10, 2020
No industry has been more heavily impacted by social distancing, government-mandated health and safety restrictions, and regional and countrywide lockdowns than travel and hospitality companies. Even once travel restrictions are completely lifted, marketers within these businesses will have the tricky job of messaging to consumers who are reluctant to take trips for either business or recreation. Because of his reluctance, Goldman Sachs doesn’t expect 2019 travel levels to be reached again until at least 2023.
However, that doesn’t mean travel companies should remain static. Rather, this time period is an opportunity to judiciously prioritize opportunities to meet travelers where they are today and will be tomorrow.
In this blog post, Oracle CX Marketing Consulting’s Head of Analytic & Strategic Services, Clint Kaiser, shares advice for what travel marketers should be doing to prepare for the long-term future of travel, as well as recommending more immediate, low-cost opportunities to pursue today.
Posted on November 5, 2020
A roundup of email marketing articles, posts, and tweets you might have missed last month…
Must-read articles, posts & reports
The Future of the Mall (ClickZ)
Building for a more productive inbox with AMP (Google Developers Blog)
What I learned by ignoring 24 SaaS Email onboarding campaigns (Ezra Sandzer-Bell)
Online Merchants Gain an Extra $107 Billion in 2020 Thanks to Pandemic (Digital Commerce 360)
2020 Amazon Prime Day Email Recap (SparkPost)
Insightful & entertaining tweets
— Lauren Meyer (@lauren_kickbox) October 8, 2020
I can’t believe I have to say this but… connecting on LinkedIn is not permission to add me to your email list.
:steps off stage:
— Val Geisler 🖤🏳️🌈💌 (@lovevalgeisler) October 28, 2020
Did I ever tell you about the time I went into Black Friday completely unprepared, had no plan, threw together my copy last minute, recycled old graphics, and everything was a huge success?
No? That’s because that’s never happened. To anyone. #emailmarketing #BlackFriday
— Jon Fox (@JonFoxDigital) October 27, 2020
Noteworthy subject lines
Dollar General, 10/15 – Do all the holidays at once.
Uncommon Goods, 10/12 – Too early to holiday shop? Not this year.
Sears, 10/24 – Wait … Holiday planning ALREADY?
Lowe’s Home Improvement, 10/8 – Welcome the holiday season in style.
Hobby Lobby, 10/2 – 40% Off Christmas 🎄
Hobby Lobby, 10/29 – 50% Off Christmas 🎄
Michaels, 10/8 – Creative Pros: Get ready for the holidays with MichaelsPro Packs.
Office Depot, 10/31 – November 28th is Small Business Day – are you ready?
Bed Bath & Beyond, 10/7 – 25% off everything you need a welcoming holiday table 🦃🍽️ Plus, score more with a 20% coupon.
Crate and Barrel, 10/22 – Holiday guest room redo
Big Lots, 10/1 – 🍁 Savor the flavors of fall 🥧
Williams Sonoma, 10/25 – Introducing your perfect roaster guide (thank us later!)
The Home Depot, 10/1 – Bring the Scares to Your Doorstep 👻
West Elm, 10/3 – Make Halloween frightfully festive with our FREE Design Crew 🎃
Michaels, 10/15 – Ding Dong! Create a scare package they’ll never forget.
Dollar General, 10/13 – 4 Halloween activities the whole fam can enjoy.
ModCloth, 10/16 – You have a vote. Use it.
Everlane, 10/22 – Beyond The Vote
REI, 10/1 – The World Keeps Changing. We Still #OptOutside.
Applebee’s, 10/7 – 🍹 Mucho Cocktails To Go Now Available! 🍹
Williams Sonoma, 10/10 – Drinks before dinner? Don’t mind if we do.
Nordstrom, 10/26 – Instant Outfit: work from home
Lane Bryant, 10/24 – The perfect athleisure outfit for $49.
Sephora Insider, 10/8 – Now you can reserve online and pick up in store 🎊
Petco, 10/1 – 10% off Curbside pickup!
Belk, 10/13 – $7.99 sheets + extra 15% off with curbside pickup
Burlington, 10/16 – The news you’ve been waiting for: Layaway is back!
Foot Locker, 10/29 – Buy Now. Pay Later! Use Klarna on purchases today.
Belk, 10/2 – $100 e-gift card for $80 starts today!
Eddie Bauer, 10/3 – Get A $5 Reward! Join Our Text Message Family Now
Express, 10/1 – First month is FREE! Rent your fall wardrobe on us
Target, 10/22 – Garden-less greens: a fresh look without the fuss 🌿
Gap VIP, 10/25 – Our upcycled vest does it better
Office Depot, 10/26 – Introducing the Shaquille O’Neal™ Executive Seating Collection
IKEA, 10/29 – Chad, remember to change your clocks!
DICK’S Sporting Goods, 10/11 – Clear a Space for Title 17! 🏆 Shop Los Angeles Lakers Gear
Saks Fifth Avenue, 10/10 – #NationalHandbagDay picks, approved by @tinkerbellethedog
Gap, 10/8 – @everyone: your DOUBLE DEAL just arrived!
Zales, 10/12 – #LOVE Is Always Trending & So Is SAVING!
West Elm, 10/29 – Home Tour! This GLAM apartment all started on Instagram…
Saks Fifth Avenue, 10/16 – We like your style: our most favorited pieces of the month
Petco, 10/8 – OUT with shock collars. IN with positive dog training.
REI, 10/17 – We Think “Hiking” Has a Loose Definition
Big Lots, 10/7 – We’re BIG on kids’ mental health
ModCloth, 10/10 – Let’s honor World Mental Health Day!
New posts on EmailMarketingRules.com
Posted on November 3, 2020
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…
Posted on October 29, 2020
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…