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…
Posted on October 27, 2020
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.
Posted on October 26, 2020
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…
Posted on October 21, 2020
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…
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.
Posted on October 20, 2020
“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:
- Make your automated content seasonally relevant.
- Adjust the behavior of your triggers.
- QA your automated campaigns.
For a deep dive into each of those issues…
And even more advice on getting ready for the holiday season, check out our 14-page fourth quarter Holiday Marketing Quarterly checklist.
Posted on October 16, 2020
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:
- Misunderstanding whether you’re testing to learn or testing to win
- Misunderstanding whether you’re testing to find a new local maximum or global maximum
- Only testing one-time campaigns
- Choosing a victory metric that’s not aligned with your campaign’s goal
- Failing to verify your winners
For a full discussion of each of those A/B testing mistakes…
Posted on October 13, 2020
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…