The case for an email content audit

The case for an email content audit

When COVID’s first wave initially struck in early 2020, many marketing teams were left without a clear crisis response plan. Many needed to develop new messaging plans overnight and created campaigns that might have sounded good at the time, but it quickly became clear that everyone had similar ideas. Even the most comprehensive crisis-management protocols didn't tend to envision a world of lockdowns and mandatory social guidelines–or the economic, social, political, and cultural upheavals that would follow. Over the course of 2020, we've learned what our brands stand for, what our customers really want from us, and some of the organizational traps that kept us from responding as efficiently and effectively as we could. Now is the time to put that knowledge into action. While we managed to survive the initial storm, the pressures placed on the email marketing teams are set to continue in Q4 2020 and into 2021. Prepare for the long haul It’s the perfect time to assess your capabilities...
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Screening checklist for crisis response emails

Screening checklist for crisis response emails

As part of your crisis management email marketing revaluation, you might have to add some qualitative review questions to your campaign pre-deployment and quality-checking process. Besides checking for typos, broken links and call-to-action button copy, you should audit your content to make sure you're keeping your customers' interests in the forefront and not inadvertently offending with ill-timed or tone-deaf content. These questions can help: 1. Does my content answer "WIIFM?" "WIIFM'' means "What's in it for me?" Or, bluntly, "So what?" You can say yes to this question if your copy focuses more on the benefits of the product that its individual features – or on the benefits of any changes you have to make to accommodate COVID requirements. When you get right down to it, customers are all about themselves, so meet them where they are and remind them – overtly or subtly – why their lives are better because they buy from you. 2. Does my email address the customer's perspective? This goes...
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Email for marketplace businesses

Email for marketplace businesses

Your customer's relationship with your brand is complex. To borrow a phrase from the Beatles, it's more like a long and winding road than a short path from awareness to conversion. That's why the "one size fits all" model of email marketing doesn't work as well as it used to. Messages that treat every customer the same don't address each customer's unique situation, and the result is loss of engagement and contact with that customer. In today's complex retail environment, marketers have to listen closely for the signals their customers are sending and find the right timing and frequency to send messages that respond to those signals within a framework built to help the brand achieve its own objectives. This is hard enough for traditional retail brands that combine both brick-and-mortar and e-commerce. It becomes even more critical with the growth of "marketplace" e-commerce models. If your brand operates on the marketplace model and you're seeing diminishing returns from your email messaging, this information...
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Email Marketing Playbook For Success in the Normal<i>Now</i>

Email Marketing Playbook For Success in the NormalNow

Are we in the New Normal? The Next Normal? At Trendline, we've come up with our own description of the times we're living through as the COVID-19 pandemic rolls on: the NormalNow. It recognizes that what's "normal" differs from person to person, business to business, location to location. Today's normal could be entirely different in six months – or even six days. For businesses, it requires new actions and responses from the nerve center of every company: the marketing department. This guide will help you create them. This guide will walk you through a brief retrospective as to the lessons learned while marketers navigated the beginning of the pandemic. More importantly he explores practical solutions of what you can do next as you lean more heavily on digital communication and email to fuel growth in 2021. Email Marketing Playbook For Success in the NormalNow Part 1: A Better Crisis Response Lessons from COVID-19: What Just Happened? COVID-19 response messages: who did it well ...
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On-Demand Recording: Email Marketing In The Normal<i>Now</i>

On-Demand Recording: Email Marketing In The NormalNow

On-Demand Webinar • 35min Are we in the New Normal? The Next Normal? At Trendline Interactive, we've come up with our own description of the times we're living through as the COVID-19 pandemic rolls on: the NormalNow. It recognizes that what's "normal" differs from person to person, business to business, location to location. Today's normal could be entirely different in six months – or even six days. For businesses, it requires new actions and responses from the nerve center of every company: the marketing department. This discussion will help you create them. Join Scott Burdsall, VP of Marketing Strategy,  as he walks us through a brief retrospective as to the lessons learned while marketers navigated the beginning of the pandemic. More importantly he explores practical solutions of what you can do next as you lean more heavily on digital communication and email to fuel growth in 2021. Content overview: A better crisis response  Lessons from COVID-19: What Just Happened? COVID-19 response messages: who did it...
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Did digital transformation really just accelerate by 5-6 years?

Did digital transformation really just accelerate by 5-6 years?

For digital marketers, the big story of 2020 is not just the COVID-19 pandemic but the digital transformation it accelerated as the world stayed home to try to keep the virus in check. We explored some secondary statistics that prove that perhaps that did just happen. Consider these stats: Ecommerce takes off: This is the business story of the year, as stores closed but delivery services stayed open. Digital commerce is expected to jump 18% in 2020 according to eMarketer. Grocery shopping is driving the digital bus, especially for Baby Boomers, whose adoption rate jumped from 8% in February 2020 to 34% by mid-March, a trend experts predict will hold steady even as stores reopen or expand hours. Email engagement rises: A Campaign Monitor study reported email opens rose 4 percentage points in March and April compared to the same times in 2019: 21.7% in March and 21.2% in April. The average click rate rose from 2.78% in March to 3.01% in April. Although reports conflicted over...
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How Should Your Messaging Change in Response to COVID-19?

How Should Your Messaging Change in Response to COVID-19?

Please consider the following when discussing COVID-19 messages: “Learn to respond, not react” - Tara Brach. I’ll get right to it. Please consider if your company should send a message about COVID-19 at all. Is your message news or noise? Everyone is aware of the situation, but as Gartner nicely points out, brands must consider how your message will impact an inbox that is already piling up with COVID-related messages. “Littering your customers’ inbox with indistinguishable and interchangeable emails won’t reduce customer worries; what will do that are messages that lead with customers’ WIIFM—‘what’s in it for me?’” —Beware of Virtue Signaling or Outright Greed in Brand Communications About COVID-19, Gartner We couldn’t have said it any better. If you are certain your message is going to add value to your subscribers, then also consider how your messaging must change with this new normal. Few people want to hear a CEO’s perspective on the situation unless it includes some description of how their company is reacting...
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How To Manage An Email Marketing List

How To Manage An Email Marketing List

Congratulations! You’ve either moved into a new role at a new company and inherited an existing list or you’ve successfully built up your email list using multiple acquisition sources and turned it into a profit-driving machine. Or maybe you’re just killing time before lunch and looking for something to read. Either way, I’m glad you’re here. If you’re not quite there yet and looking for ways to grow an email marketing list, be sure to check out this white paper by the one and only Andrew Kordek: 6 Pillars of Email Acquisition Clients often ask me about managing email marketing lists. What is the best way to segment my list? How should I be personalizing email content based on list attributes? Where do I start? Email is one of the more mature digital channels, and with maturity comes expectation. Subscribers expect to have a good experience when they open an email. A good experience can be achieved through tailored content based on the user’s...
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Top 5 Reasons Why Your Email Open Rates May Be Falling

Top 5 Reasons Why Your Email Open Rates May Be Falling

A solid email open rate is one of the first signs of success when sending an email marketing campaign. It shows that email subscribers are indeed engaging with a campaign that may have been weeks in the making. Consequently, a decline in open rates between campaigns or over time can be unnerving (to say the least). Let’s go over some of the more common reasons why open rates decline for email campaigns. Email Deliverability Problems Email Deliverability covers a wide range of subtopics, including authentication (SPF and/or DKIM setup) and spam traps (bad email addresses used to catch senders who don’t clean their lists or who purchase lists from 3rd parties). It is important to ensure you have good deliverability; otherwise, addressing the other reasons on this list will be a moot point.  “Deliverability Rates” provided by ESPs can be misleading. Often, this is a calculation of email addresses sent for a given campaign that simply didn’t bounce back. ISPs have several layers...
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Use Data to Create a Better Customer Email Experience

Use Data to Create a Better Customer Email Experience

Personalization – the science of creating highly relevant emails that are as close to one-to-one messages as you can get at scale – is an email marketer's goal and the toughest challenge. Personalization is the most effective email tactic for 62% of email marketers who participated in a recent survey by Ascend2. But, 47% of them also said it was the most difficult one to pull off, thanks in part to the trend toward hyper-personalization from higher-order data integrations like artificial intelligence. I've seen this in my work with clients as well. Many struggle with personalization and segmentation, and it's not just lack of data or the capability to integrate it in their email platforms. They just don't know where to start. They have an abundance of data everywhere and no clear starting point either for upgrading a personalization program or starting a new one. Here's my best advice: Begin this by inventorying the data you have, identifying what you need to...
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