Solving martech: Finding the right email technology platform in a confusing landscape

Solving martech: Finding the right email technology platform in a confusing landscape

White Paper | 20 minute read As an email-centric marketing leader, if you're frustrated with your current marketing technology stack, you certainly aren't alone. The sheer magnitude of the technology landscape today contributes to this confusion. The technology landscape is crowded with emerging platforms, legacy technology solutions evolving to stay competitive, and new entrants to the marketplace.  This creates a noisy marketplace instead of an organized collection of opportunities that encourage thoughtful consideration. Shopping for best-fit technology becomes a long and often daunting process.  Read Trendline’s latest white paper to help you navigate the current technology landscape, and the steps you should take if you’re looking for a new ESP, better-utilizing your current one, and/or configuring your technology as your business grows.  Content overview: Part 1: Begin with your philosophy Why you need one 3 factors that define your philosophy  Assess you current state martech Part 2: Evaluating email platforms 4 categories Mid-market and enterprise providers Developer friendly providers Lead nurturing and marketing automations providers Self-service providers Part...
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Predicting the unpredictable: Customer analytics and marketing in the months ahead

Predicting the unpredictable: Customer analytics and marketing in the months ahead

Do you remember where you were at the end of last year’s Q1? Of course you do! The world had just been thrown off-kilter by the global pandemic, and marketing and customer analytics professionals were doing their best to respond, adapt, and (in many cases) pivot to help their organizations survive.   As we shift our focus to the second quarter of 2021, there are many lessons from the past 12 months that will help marketers navigate the current reality. In an effort to anticipate what the rest of 2021 might bring, below are my predictions for marketing and customer insights for the months ahead.  Focus on First Party Privacy regulations, like GDPR and CCPA, and the demise of third-party cookies have shifted marketers to focus on first-party data (along with zero-party and second-party) over third-party data. In a recent Merkle study, 88% of marketers said that collecting first-party data is a priority for 2021. Marketers will adopt digital initiatives for collection, build...
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Are you sending too much email?

Are you sending too much email?

Marketers shape their email strategy by asking questions. Many companies ask if they send too many emails—and often assume that they do. This is most likely based on a slew of reports and research studies asking questions along the lines of “Why do you unsubscribe from email?” It’s a fair question and, through our experience, we’ve found that people almost always cite frequency as one of their main reasons for unsubscribing.  With that information in hand, email marketers tend to assume they do send too many emails. But this survey question is extremely generic, lacks context, and therefore can be misleading. For all we know, the respondents could be referring to the average email from the average company. However, ask the same exact users which companies do the best job communicating with them through email, and they're likely to list a company that sends them more than one email per week. In fact, we find that companies who send subscribers emails multiple times...
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Pros and Cons of Microsoft Power BI – An analyst’s perspective

Pros and Cons of Microsoft Power BI – An analyst’s perspective

Over the past year, our organization has used Power BI to build several self-serve analytics dashboards for our clients. For those of you who may be unfamiliar, Power BI is a business analytics software for developing interactive reports and sharing them with users in the organization who are looking for data-driven insights. Microsoft dubs Power BI as a tool that allows you to “Enable everyone at every level of your organization to make confident decisions using up-to-the-minute analytics.” Released to the public in July of 2015, Power BI is a relative newcomer to the business analytics toolkit and is Microsoft’s answer to other popular visualization software tools, such as Tableau and MicroStrategy.  Creating Power BI dashboards for numerous clients has provided valuable learning opportunities and the chance to assess the software’s strengths and weaknesses. As Kelsey Hightower, principal engineer for Google Cloud, wrote, “You haven’t mastered a tool until you understand when it should not be used.” Now that I understand...
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Introduction to Dark Mode

Introduction to Dark Mode

“Dark Mode” is gaining momentum in the email space. Android Authority found that 81.9% of tech-savvy users are using Dark Mode some or most of the time they view their devices, and that number will increase as others begin to adopt it.  This overview explains what Dark Mode is, why it is trending and how to set up your email so you can give your readers the best possible experience when they are using Dark Mode.   The case for Dark Mode If you want to leverage the full value of your email program, you should set up your emails to look and function well on devices that have activated Dark Mode. On a device like a smartphone, tablet or computer, Dark Mode is a display setting that changes user interface colors. Instead of showing dark type on a light or white background, it automatically switches to light type on a dark or black background to make viewing easier in low light. Dark Mode can...
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5 tips to evaluate a new Email Service Provider (ESP)

5 tips to evaluate a new Email Service Provider (ESP)

Having the right Email Service Provider (ESP) that meets your needs is crucial for running an efficient and effective operation. It also can be the source of your martech headaches.  The right platform makes it easy for you to build and manage campaigns, track performance and analyze results, and incorporate data at every step. The wrong ESP will cost you time, money, and growth. But how do you choose the right platform for your organization? Before you get started with your ESP evaluations, take some time to think through what you truly need from your platform, who will be using it (IT, marketing, ecommerce, etc.), and how a new ESP fits into your current martech philosophy. Here are 5 tips to keep in mind when evaluating a new ESP.  1. Don’t jump into a demo right away Our experience with clients shows us that many start their search for solutions by researching the technology market for features and functionality. But shopping for features without...
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Creative trends in email 2021

Creative trends in email 2021

For most businesses the email channel has proven to be an extremely valuable utility as our lives and businesses have digitally transformed overnight. According to HubSpot, email marketers are sending 27% more emails than they then did pre-coronavirus, and 78% of marketers have seen an increase in email engagement over the last 12 months. But with more messages hitting inboxes now than ever before, the big question we get is, what do we do to ensure our messages stand out?  In this article we explore the top 6 creative trends in email you need to know. If you are feeling behind already, don’t worry - unlike fashion trends, email trends come in big long waves, so it is usually not too late to jump on. However, don’t delay too long or you might start blaming your creative execution for a disengaged audience and unfavorable unsubscribe rates. Check out this video from Trendline's Creative Team https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5XWm9c6voU   Color - playing with the secondary palette A compelling...
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5 steps to email testing

5 steps to email testing

Great email marketing is not about having the BEST idea, it’s about the rapid & consistent execution of good ideas. World-class email programs are not built overnight, but instead require a commitment to constant innovation by experimenting, learning & adjusting. Testing ensures we take a data-led approach to optimization; the fastest route to increased engagement and conversions. This post provides a basic overview of  testing methodologies, best practices and tips for email campaign optimization. This information should help get started running effective campaign tests including what to take into consideration. Below are 5 easy steps to execute an effective test. Have a test in mind already & just want to make sure it will be effective? Skip to the "Is This a Good Test?" checklist below for some general questions to ask yourself. Step 1: Identify What You Want to Learn Through Testing What are you hoping to learn from this experiment? This should go beyond “I want to learn which version will win,”...
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Why is an SFMC expert hard to find?

Why is an SFMC expert hard to find?

Did you know that fewer than half of marketers are getting good use from their Email Service Provider (ESP)s? In fact, a Holistic study revealed that only 44% of marketers that use marketing suites like Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC) say they use half or more of the main functionalities the suite has to offer. SFMC is a comprehensive and robust digital messaging service provider. It also offers other key features like SMS, push, landing pages, and more. The many features and functionalities can be daunting––even for seasoned marketers. Having all of these powerful tools in one place, but not knowing how to use them, can feel a little like buying a race car for driving to the mailbox. It looks great in the driveway but doesn’t get you very far. The same goes for your digital marketing program. It pays to have an expert behind the wheel. Looking for the right SFMC expert is tough In a previous post we talked about...
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Trendline Interactive Acquires LeadMD to Form Buyer Experience Powerhouse

Trendline Interactive Acquires LeadMD to Form Buyer Experience Powerhouse

Two industry leaders join together to drive the next level of success for both B2C and B2B organizations. Austin, TX. (March 2, 2021) -- LeadMD, the leading performance marketing consultancy in the U.S., and Trendline Interactive, a full-service marketing agency and consultancy, have today announced the merger of their business operations. Both companies provide a full breadth of strategic and performance marketing services to both B2C and B2B clients. The acquisition, facilitated with financial backing by Growth Catalyst Partners, will allow for the delivery of a comprehensive service mix that begins with high-level strategy and translates that action through planning, process, technology, people and tactics. Financial terms of the acquisition are not disclosed. “The lines between B2C and B2B have been blurring for years, our customers need to form effective conversations with buyers on a human level, across buying paradigms,” said Justin Gray, founder and CEO of LeadMD, who will assume responsibility for the company’s sales, marketing, and business development efforts. “By joining...
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