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Author: Christopher Ratcliff

Christopher Ratcliff

Christopher was the Deputy Editor at Econsultancy. He runs pop culture site Methods Unsound and you can hound him on Twitter @Christophe_Rock.

16 most important email marketing KPIs for your business

Email is one of the most effective marketing channels, consistently able to drive high levels of traffic and conversion.

However if you’ve been running various campaigns, with different content, subject line variations and goals how do you know whether they’re successful or not? Can you be sure that any uplift is directly attributable to your last ‘brilliant’ email? Do you even know what you should be looking out for?

When planning any campaign, on any marketing channel, it’s vital that specific goals are outlined right from the start. As stated in our own Email Marketing Best Practice Guide marketing efforts can only be improved upon if results are compared with your intended goals.

So any areas where you can clearly see improvement can be highlighted and paraded around your office as a massive win. Areas that have underperformed can then be looked at and improved upon next time.

To help you figure what you should be measuring, here’s a list of key performance indicators (KPIs) for email marketing.


Q&A: Lars Silberbauer on LEGO's social strategy

LEGO is a consistently engaging brand that puts a strong emphasis on encouraging and inspiring the different communities it has created throughout its many active digital channels.

It hasn't just relied on the 65 years worth of good-will built up from being one of the most beloved brands on the planet however.

LEGO has worked incredibly hard to remain relevant across the generations by aligning itself with quality licences, creating excellent content (which lead to one of the most successful pieces of content marketing in recent years) and experimenting with crowd-sourced product developement. All of this while still remaining true to its original vision.

I recently spoke to LEGO's global director of social media Lars Silberbauer about the more strategic aspects of LEGO's social activity

This interview should act as a tantalising appetiser to Lars’ appearance at our Festival of Marketing event in November, a two day celebration of the modern marketing industry.


C3: Seth Godin on appealing to the weirdos

As a marketer will you choose to industrialise or to make art?

Will you choose to appeal to the maximum amount of people as possible via the safest of methods or will you appeal to those on the fringes? The people who may not immediately drive huge traffic or revenue for you but will make your business stronger in the long-term.

This is a question posited by author Seth Godin, who delivered a keynote speech at C3 in New York last week.

Here are Seth Godin’s thoughts on ‘the fork in the road’ and the decision on which direction you may want to take. 


How five top UK ecommerce sites handle online returns

Back in the distant past of 2012, our illustrious editor shared his 14 best practice tips for how ecommerce sites should handle online returns.

Upon reading the above linked article you’ll notice that very little in terms of best practice has changed in the intervening years.

The benefits of nailing customer returns are also still the same. Customer satisfaction leads to better retention and higher CLV.

However in the intervening two years since the above publication, how well have some of the top UK ecommerce sites presented their returns information? Let’s take a look...


C3: Seth Besmertnik on Galileo syndrome and the new marketing revolution

We have the tools, we have the data, we are at the dawn of a new era of marketing.

However it’s important that marketers do not give up hope when faced with resistance from the traditional ways of thinking.

This is according to the Conductor’s CEO Seth Besmertnik, who delivered the opening keynote speech at C3 in New York last week.

Here are his thoughts on the Italian astronomer Galileo and how his work relates to the modern marketer.


14 best branded Instagram videos from September 2014

What are we to expect this month from branded efforts on the foremost social video network?

I really hope Vine didn’t hear me say that… Anyway, what do we have this month?

We have excellent Instagram videos from brands as varied as LEGO, GoPro and National Geographic, covering a range of topics from the coming of autumn, the ubiquitous nature of extreme sports and rocking and rolling all niiiiiiiiiiiggggghht!

For even more economically delivered branded marvels, check out last month’s Instagram video round-up.

Jungle busy earnin'

What’s the difference between paid, owned and earned media?

A refresher for anyone who has heard this phrase and either forgot the difference between them or who never knew the difference in the first place.

That includes myself and also a colleague who leaned over to me last week and said “you know what you should write a beginner’s guide to? Paid, earned and owned media.”

So unlike when I DJ at friends' weddings and Bar Mitzvahs, I happily took his request and obliged.

Here’s a quick guide to paid, earned and owned media…


18 best branded Vines from September 2014

It’s your one-stop shop for all things six-seconds in length with a commercially creative twist.

September saw brilliant Vines from Samsung, Disney and Chrysler covering a broad range of topics including Halloween, classic sports footage and laptop smashing.

For even more economically delivered branded marvels, check out last month’s Vine round-up.


How 21 top US retailers handle social customer service

In a continuing series of investigations into how companies use social for customer care, last week I took to Twitter, posed as an innocent customer and asked some of the most popular US retailers the same query.

The query would also test each brand’s true multichannel capabilities: “can I return an item bought online to my nearest branch?”

With this investigation we'll be testing their response times and ability to satisfyingly bring a resolution to the query.

Other matters taken into consideration are whether the reply was a personal, human response, whether the retailer either operated a separate customer service Twitter account from the main one or whether it stated that the main account was also there for customer enquiries and whether operating hours were clearly stated.

Let’s take a look at the results…


Q&A: IBM’s Guy Stephens on the importance of social customer service

Using social media channels for customer service is a key way to remain relevant to not only your customer’s needs but also their expectations.

If you’re a brand than you should be on social. If you’re on social then you should be exactly that... Social. Communicate openly with your customers no matter what their query and do so personally, quickly and offering resolution where possible.

I’ve recently been writing a great deal on social customer service. Check out this investigation into the current state of UK social response for 20 top retailers.

I also recently talked to IBM's managing consultant in social customer care Guy Stephens about his thoughts on delivering customer care through social...


10 loyalty-building strategies for customer retention

Ongoing profit from a customer’s lifetime value is generally much higher than any one single transaction. 

However in order to achieve higher customer lifetime values (CLV) you need to have some strong customer retention strategies.

If you do this, you’ll also find that it’s much cheaper to retain a loyal customer than it is to constantly acquire new ones. 82% of companies asked in our Cross Channel Marketing report agree that customer retention is cheaper than acquisition.

Customer retention is a must for any business where its goals are for long-term success. Here are some of the ways that you can achieve this.


All the best bits of the internet rounded up just for you

And when I say ‘best’ I mean the ‘stupidest, most distracting and vaguely pointless bits’.

And when I say ‘you’ I mean ‘anyone who stumbles across this article, or receives our daily newsletter or follows us on Twitter’.

That bit about ‘the internet’ is right though. Definitely everything featured here is on the internet in some form.

Unless of course it was originally on the telly first and uploaded to YouTube later, which is true of at least one of these examples.

And by ‘all’ I mean… ah screw it, here’s the round-up.