Email frequency in general has been a hot topic recently. Whatever your opinion or approach is on this topic, it’s inevitable that your email frequency is going to increase over the upcoming holiday period.
As you can see from this chart, many retailers don’t hold back!
The Christmas-themed emails have just begun to arrive in my inbox, so what better time to gather some email marketing tips?
I've been asking a number of email marketing experts about the best tactics for the Xmas shopping season.
Topics include how often to send emails, the importance of mobile, and email creative this Christmas...
To bring Econsultancy readers and subscribers the best blog content from the month gone, I've been writing simple posts like this one (with the best of August and September also available).
There's plenty of good stuff I've had to leave out, but the posts I've included below will bring you some new best practice, insightful opinion, and some coverage of October's biggest events in marketing, ecommerce, big brand land and GAFA World (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple).
I hope you'll enjoy the best from our myriad of authors.
Before we get started, I have two apologies to make: one to every company featured in this blog post (my opinion obviously has little bearing on the success of your marketing efforts), and another for writing a post with a wholly negative premise.
In my defence, it’s often a lot easier to run your own emails against a checklist of ‘do nots’, as it arguably supplies some super-quick fixes.
Anyway, off we go.
In case you’re a few years behind the times, you will be aware that Obama’s re-election campaign was a success.
But what is less well known is the detail of the testing process behind the email strategy that helped to raise more than $500m in online donations.
At Searchlove this morning Obama's director of digital analytics Amelia Showalter gave an insight into the A/B tests that optimised the campaign's fundraising emails and the lessons that the digital team learned as a result.
Showalter said that in a tightly fought election Obama’s campaign team knew they would have to top the $750m raised in 2008.
Like most people in the UK I loved the Olympics and the Paralympics; however I particularly enjoyed the Paralympics.
One of the programmes that I enjoyed the most was The Last Leg, so I was particularly pleased when Channel 4 brought this back. If you have not already seen it, it really is a must watch!
One of the features on the last leg is called #isitOK. Here the audience are asked to tweet questions that they would like the hosts to answer, using the hashtag #isitOK.
In homage to this programme I have decided to shamelessly plagiarise that format, including some of the most interesting questions I have been asked recently.
Relevancy and context are a powerful combination of factors that can have a huge impact on the success of digital marketing campaigns.
A good example of this are triggered emails that are sent in response to a particular customer action or behaviour.
As one would probably expect, triggered emails have a far higher open rate than standard email newsletters.
Data from ExpertSender shows that the average open rate for triggered emails was consistently around 45% to 55% for the year to date, some four times higher compared to email newsletters which averaged around 10%.
Fully integrating channels in a customer marketing program or campaign is not easy.
In fact, the recent Econsultancy/ CACI Integrated Customer Experience report showed that despite 90% of companies wanting to integrate across channel, only 20% actually have a well-developed strategy.
Even when there is a strategy, implementing it is a process laden with obstacles. The most common problem for businesses is the complexity of a customer's interaction across multiple channels, departments and systems.
Related to this issue is the fact that multiple departments need to be aligned on planning and change activities required. This cross-departmental responsibility creates resource allocation and control issues.
Consumer use of smartphones and tablets incorporates a range of different activities and behaviours, including search, email, social and the mobile web.
And a new survey has found that businesses are responding to this by developing their capabilities over a range of mobile channels.
When asked which mobile channels they plan on using during the next 12 months just over half (55%) said apps, followed by mobile advertising (51%), optimised emails (50%) and tablet-specific sites (50%).
Mobile search and commerce were also cited by precisely half (50%) of client-side respondents.
Mobile email is a major challenge for businesses as studies have shown that as much as 50% of marketing messages are opened on mobile devices.
Obviously the precise figure varies drastically from company to company, so the need to optimise for mobile will be less important for some businesses.
But even so, it’s an issue that all businesses will have to deal with at some point in the next year or so.
One option for dealing with mobile email is responsive design, which uses one set of code that renders an email differently when viewed on a desktop, tablet or smartphone.
This means that the user experience is optimised regardless of where and when the recipient decides to open the email.