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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Content Marketing 101: What’s in it for Me?

Content Marketing 101: What’s in it for Me?

It has probably happened to you. You meet a guy at a conference or party who starts talking about himself, and within 15 seconds, you’re looking for an escape. Guess what! The same thing happens when we send an email about our brilliant products or services. However, we don’t even get 15 seconds–we get approximately 4–and the escape route is ‘delete’, ‘unsubscribe’, or ‘mark as spam.’ The solution? Don’t be that guy. Why did they sign up? Digital marketing should be a conversation, but if you’re talking about yourself, it’s a lecture. Frame your conversation by asking yourself why your subscribers signed up. Did they subscribe so you can tell them you’re “a leading service provider” or so they’ll know when you form a new partnership? Not likely. Most subscribers are with you because they thought there was something in it for them. Make sure there is. Every email or blog post, and ideally every paragraph and sentence, should include a clear benefit to...
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Trendline’s Top 10 Articles of All Time

Trendline’s Top 10 Articles of All Time

August marks Trendline’s 10-year anniversary, and we’ve had a lot to say! Here’s a list of our top-read articles of all time. From holiday emails to deliverability resources, there has been no shortage of Trendline content through the years. 10. Overview of the Enterprise Email Service Provider Landscape The Enterprise Email Service Provider (ESP) landscape continues to evolve, and choosing which platform is right for you can be a challenge. Learn from Trendline’s CEO, Morgan Stewart, about the strengths and weaknesses of each of the ESPs. 9. The Best QA Process to Produce Error-Free Emails Our QA process at Trendline not only needs to produce and test error-free emails but do it as quickly as possible. Trendline’s VP of Email Operations, Molly Privratsky, gives the full scoop on how the QA Team maintains a high error-free rate at blinding speeds by utilizing the Litmus tool. Read the full case study. 8. Soft Bounce vs. Hard Bounce: What’s the Difference? So your email bounced. What caused...
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Email Logistics in Crisis Management

Email Logistics in Crisis Management

From COVID-19 to social justice movements to Cybersecurity attacks, 2020 has been nothing short of a whirlwind. How are you preparing for when these issues begin to infiltrate your company’s operations? Your Crisis Management Plan To determine how the process will operate, your crisis management plan must include the logistics of any email notifications you are planning to send. Last time, I wrote about the importance of understanding the risks and rewards of hosting data at third parties and why it is critical to understand how your organization’s requirements and limitations will impact your overall security situation. Today, I want to look at the importance of email logistics in your crisis management communication plan. Whether or not the incident is related to third-party data hosting or your email service provider (ESP), it will frequently include using email to notify people and notify them quickly. On the surface, this sounds pretty straightforward. There shouldn’t be any significant problems with contacting your customers and prospects via...
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How to Avoid Digital Marketing Fatigue

How to Avoid Digital Marketing Fatigue

Are you finding it difficult to keep customers engaged with your messaging? While the loss of subscribers over time is inevitable, you need to identify ways that can help minimize this churn. It is critical to know at what point customers will fatigue and have a strategy to re-engage them. Tenure & Fatigue Analysis The degree of marketing fatigue depends on numerous factors, such as the industry, the segment, the type of emails and campaigns, and of course, the individual consumer as well. Many people have their inbox flooded, while there are others who don’t. At Trendline, tenure and fatigue analysis is a critical part of effective messaging. We look at the changes in messaging metrics over the length of the tenure and compare active, inactive, and lapsed customers. We also compare differences in campaign metrics based on tenure lengths (how long the customers have been subscribed), how often the customers interact with messaging, and the demographics of the customer groups. By segmenting your...
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Is Data Quality Holding You Back From Better Email Personalization?

Is Data Quality Holding You Back From Better Email Personalization?

Personalization is a major goal for most email marketers. But one of the factors holding them back is not having the good-quality data they need to do it effectively. In “Email Strategies for Success,” a 2017 research report by the email service provider Upland Adestra, 77% of respondents said they believe email marketing effectiveness is increasing significantly. Also, 64% said improving email personalization was one of their most important goals, but 51% of the respondents said that data quality is the biggest barrier to personalizing effectively. As this study makes clear, executing “personalization” is not as easy as everyone makes it out to be. It all boils down to having “good data.” In 2020, I am willing to bet that the need to implement personalization remains as strong as ever, but marketers are still having the same issues with data quality. Below I will highlight two of the important steps needed to unlock the value of email personalization. Begin by defining personalization in email Email program...
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4 Ways To Perfect Your Call-To-Action

4 Ways To Perfect Your Call-To-Action

Looking for more leads? A better conversion rate? There’s one surefire way to help achieve them–have a crystal clear call-to-action (CTA). Here are four steps you can take to make your CTA stronger than ever before. What Is A Call-To-Action? “Sign up!…Please?” Considering the estimation that we see up to 5,000 ads per day (Walker-Smith), it’s safe to say we’ve all seen and heard calls-to-action, even if we don’t know the explicit term. A call-to-action is as implied–a form of communication that encourages someone to engage with a service, sign up for an email newsletter, download a piece of content from a site, or purchase a product. Essentially, it’s the CTA copy that closes the deal between you (the company) and a paying customer. As an email marketing agency, we’re nothing short of obsessed with having every communication we send have a sharp CTA to help maximize ROI and engagement among end-users. As a result, we have come up with our four best tips on how to...
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People Don’t Read–They Scan

People Don’t Read–They Scan

You may have heard that digital readers don’t read–they scan. Some people even suggest that our brains have adapted to this new way of “reading,” meaning novelists should be alarmed. But what about digital marketers? Should we be alarmed, too? Well, there was a stat bobbing around recently that said humans now have an eight-second attention span, one second less than that of a goldfish. While it takes approximately 8.5 seconds to debunk that stat, we do know that the people who are “reading” our digital marketing messages are often just bumping their nose on the glass and moving on. Readers spend three seconds or less on an email message Some solid research on email readers tells us that, depending on the device, anywhere from 20% to 43% of readers spend three seconds or less on an email message. That goldfish is looking pretty good. Why do people scan? Because they have to! There’s simply too much information out there. So what does that mean...
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