Issue #044  |   January 2012

StrongMail Advisor
In This Issue
 
1. Forrester Evaluates Top Six Email Marketing Vendors in 2012 Wave Report
2. Industry Event: Visit StrongMail at the eec Evolution Conference
3. Tip of the Month: 10 Email Marketing Tips to Spruce up Your Welcome Messages
4. Note from the CEO: Our Dedication to Innovation Shines in New Message Studio Release
5. New Whitepaper: Ultimate Email Marketing Guide for Event-Triggered Alerts
6. Deliverability Corner: 3 Steps to Launching a Successful Winback Program
 

Industry Watch
Industry Watch

Forrester Evaluates Top Six Email Marketing Vendors in 2012 Wave Report

Share This Article

On January 20, 2012, Forrester Research published "The Forrester Wave™: Email Marketing Vendors, Q1 2012." It's been two years since the last report and a lot has changed in that time. By focusing on the top six email marketing vendors for enterprise marketers, the current 2012 report represents a more competitive evaluation and a substantial narrowing of scope from the 15 vendors included in the 2009 report.

While many previous vendors have dropped off the 2012 report, there has also been movement within those that remain. Two previous vendors have dropped out of leadership positions, while another vendor, StrongMail, made its debut in the report as "the single most inquired about firm," which Forrester welcomed as the first and only solution offering both a hosted and installed solution.

The expansion of the report to include a vendor offering an installed option validates this deployment method for enterprises needing high levels of security, integration, scalability and performance.  To that point, the report states, "heightened concerns about email data security [in 2011] had marketers clamoring to understand installed options as well."

The evaluation started with 48 email marketing vendors and then narrowed down the list to six based upon the vendors "that could manage marketers' immediate email marketing needs and also know how and why to integrate email into cross-channel conversations."  The selective nature of the report provides enterprise marketers with a ready-made "shortlist" for evaluating their next email marketing vendor.

As part of the 37-point criteria used to evaluate the vendors, Forrester spoke with 74 end users of the evaluated solutions and found that email marketers are employing more advanced email practices than was reported in the 2009 Wave report.  An impressive 93% of email marketers surveyed are running welcome programs, vs. 86% in 2009. The bigger contrasts come in terms of coordination email with site promotions (85% vs. 36% in 2009) and segmenting users based on site behavior (73% vs. 47% in 2009). The survey results also shed light on the biggest email marketing challenges faced by email marketers over the next two years: integrating with other channels (57%), leveraging dynamic content (50%) and leveraging segmentation (43%).

For enterprise email marketers looking to replace their existing email marketing solution, the 2012 Forrester Wave report is a valuable resource that helps narrow the competitive landscape to the top six providers. You can learn more by downloading a free copy of the report, compliments of StrongMail. You can also learn more about StrongMail by downloading the whitepaper, "10 Reasons Why StrongMail Should Be on Your ESP Shortlist."

Back to top

.................................................................................................

eec Evolution Conference

Industry Event

eec Evolution Conference
See StrongMail present 3 sessions and catch a demo at our booth

Share This Article

Location: Hollywood, Florida
Date: February 22 - 24
Booth: 106

In addition to being a Platinum sponsor of the annual eec Evolution Conference, StrongMail is co-hosting two pre-conference interactive workshops and participating in an email marketing strategy panel  with customers HauteLook and Workopolis that will tackle the issues of reengagement and deliverability. 

We encourage you to learn from our experts in these interactive sessions and swing by our booth to get a demo of latest release of Message Studio and its brand-new UI, continuous automated testing and more.

February 22 - 10:00am - 3:00pm

  • The Email Marketer’s Toolkit for Success
  • Integrated Lifecycle Marketing Workshop

Speakers:
- Christopher Marriott, VP of Agency Services, StrongMail
- Benjamin Rothfeld, Director of Marketing Strategy, StrongMail

February 23 - 11:40am - 12:40pm

  • Increase Profitability and Deliverability Within Your Inactive Customers

Speakers:
- Hayley Osher, Director, Member Engagement, HauteLook
- Spencer Kollas, Director of Delivery Services, StrongMail
- Travis Wingate, Email Marketing Analyst, Workopolis

Learn More >>

Back to top

.................................................................................................


Tip of the Month

Digital Marketing Best Practices:
Tip of the Month

10 Email Marketing Tips to Spruce up Your Welcome Messages in 2012
By Tal Nathan, VP of Client Services, StrongMail

Share This Article

Happy 2012 everybody! Yes, I'm making the same New Year's resolutions to lose weight, save more, exercise frequently, and spend more time with the family. I'm also committed to keeping email marketing the premiere customer communication vehicle. With that, I'd like to start at the beginning with the very first email a new subscriber receives from your brand: the welcome message.

First impressions mean everything, so it's imperative that you take the time to provide your new customers with a proper introduction to your brand.

Here are 10 things to make sure you include in your welcome message(s):

  1. Welcome Tal! Don't forget to personalize the subject line and the welcome copy. As a new subscriber, I just signed up to receive communications from your brand, so make sure you address me properly. Leveraging the information I provided to personalize the message demonstrates that you are listening and sets the stage for future communications.
  1. Remind me how I signed up. People register for email (knowingly or unknowingly) at different sources (store, point of purchase, co-registration, etc.). As a result, I might not always remember what I did to start receiving communications from your brand. By personalizing the copy based on the registration source, you can provide me with a gentle reminder of where I signed up, which can eliminate any confusion that might cause me to hit the unsubscribe link.
  1. Set frequency expectations. Will I receive one email a week or one a day? By confirming the frequency upfront, you can set my expectations properly. No one likes to be surprised, so be upfront with your intentions to avoid a spam complaint or lost subscriber. Better yet, give me the option to change the frequency to meet my needs.
  1. Iteratively profile me. I may not have had time to give you all my information at point of registration. Now that I am part of your communications stream, encourage me to go back to the preference center and give more detailed information - and remind me why it's valuable. Don't be shy. With the right approach, you can make the relationship better for both parties.
  1. Let me easily unsubscribe. If I didn't realize that I subscribed or what I was signing up to receive, let me unsubscribe easily. Include an unsubscribe link in the body of the email instead of burying it in the footer. This might seem like a potentially dangerous marketing move to you, but it will earn respect with your customer - and also help build a better quality list.
  1. Add to safe sender list. This might seem like a no-brainer, but if you want to increase your inbox delivery, you need to remind me how to add your "From" email address into my safe sender list. In addition to avoiding the spam folder, you also increase my chances of seeing your images instead of having them automatically suppressed.
  1. Give me an offer. As a marketer, you know that making me a repeat buyer will make me much more loyal to your brand. Go ahead and give me an incentive to buy again. I won't need much…maybe 15 percent, free shipping, or pay the sales tax!
  1. Tell me how to refer a friend. I like your brand. It's only natural that I'd be willing to tell my friends how much I like you, and why. But I will need some encouragement to make the effort. Make it easy to share and give me an appropriate incentive to encourage my friend(s) to get on board.
  1. Don't say it all in one message. If you have a lot to tell me, say it over a series of communications. I'm more likely to retain information given in small batches than a lengthy email that requires me to "page-down" through multiple paragraphs. A well-integrated welcome series works wonders.
  1. Give your welcome message some seasonality. Like most people, I welcome a change in seasons. It's a nice touch to serve up new email creative for the seasons, especially the holiday season. Not only is a seasonal update a nice change of pace, it will also cause me to take greater notice of your message.
Integrate these 10 tips into your welcome messages in 2012 and get your customer relationships off to a winning start. You can never make a first impression twice.

Back to top

.................................................................................................


Sam Cece, CEO

Note from the CEO

New Version of StrongMail Message Studio Showcases our Dedication to Innovation

Share This Article

StrongMail has come a long way since I first joined the company as CEO in 2005. Back then, we were reinventing the science of email delivery, empowering companies to get their emails delivered to the inbox faster and with greater visibility than ever before. Today, we have evolved into a full-fledged provider of interactive marketing solutions and services for email and social media with more channels and innovations on the horizon. In short, we're shaking up the status quo with our advanced campaign management and lifecycle marketing capabilities that can be deployed on-premise or in the cloud. 

StrongMail's commitment to innovation can be seen in the latest release of our Message Studio email marketing solution, announced earlier this month. I couldn't be more proud of everyone who helped bring this product to market. Continuous testing and real-time optimization, Google Analytics-style data visualizations and new mobile capabilities are just some of the new and improved features that are accessible via a slick, revamped UI. With these additions to an already powerful and proven solution, it's no wonder that Forrester Research chose StrongMail as one of six top email marketing vendors for enterprises in their January 2012 Forrester Wave™ for email marketing vendors. 

Bottom line: If you haven't checked out StrongMail lately, I recommend that you do. With more Forrester inquires in 2011 than any other vendor, you can bet that your competitors are.  Check out www.strongmail.com to learn more or drop me a line.

Sam Cece
CEO of StrongMail
sam@strongmail.com

Back to top

.................................................................................................


The Ultimate Lifecycle Email Marketing Guide: Event-Triggered Alerts

Industry Whitepaper

The Ultimate Lifecycle Email Marketing Guide:
Event-Triggered Alerts

Share This Article

Event-triggered alerts enable marketers to effectively engage in-market customers who have demonstrated active interest by signing up to receive in-stock notifications, price drops or other real-time notifications from a brand. The relevancy and timing that are inherent with these messages result in conversions that are on average 2X to 6X higher than standard broadcast emails.

Download Today >>

Back to top

.................................................................................................


Deliverability Corner

Deliverability Corner

3 Steps to Launching a Successful Winback Program
By Spencer Kollas, Director of Delivery Services

Share This Article

Now that the holiday season is over and we are all getting back into the normal swing of things, a lot of digital marketing folks are beginning to look at their email marketing lists and trying to figure out how to winback some customers who haven’t engaged with them a while. This is a common challenge across the industry, and I have heard many different recommendations from a number of experts in the field.

There are a number of steps you can take to prep for these types of programs and help ensure a successful campaign to win back your customers. While the creative and actual messaging is essential for a successful program, it’s important to remember that all your efforts in those areas won’t matter one bit if you don’t put in the effort on the front end.

These three steps will help you prepare for this year’s big win-back campaign.

1. Determine What an Inactive Customer Means to You
If you’re advising a client on a winback program, don’t make the common mistake of making suggestions before you completely understanding their business model. It is extremely important to carefully examine their customer lifecycle and go backwards.

I will often hear experts say that if someone hasn’t opened or clicked on a message in 3 to 6 months (or some other arbitrary date range), you should simply remove them from your list. While this might be a decent starting point for the masses, I believe you could be missing out on some valuable customers. Let’s say for example that you send a monthly newsletter. Are you only going to give the person three opportunities to engage with you before you start asking them to come back? In their minds, maybe they never left and were just busy working on some high-level projects that prevented them from focusing on the information you have sent them.

2. Examine the Content You Are Sending Them
If there’s one term that has been repeatedly drilled into my head more than any other in the many years I’ve been in this industry, it’s “relevancy.” If you are not sending your customers relevant offers and information, how can you expect them to be engaged with your brand and marketing campaigns? Take a look back at the last 6-12 months and see if your campaigns are still offering your customers something that they can’t get somewhere else. Is the information that you are sharing with them meaningful and important to them, or are you simply sending everyone the same offers with no regard for past engagement?

3. Don’t Send Winback Emails from the Same System as Your “Master” List
One of the most important things to think about and prepare for when creating a re-engagement campaign is to make sure you have a separate IP for sending these messages. Because of the nature of the campaign, you are likely to see a higher than usual unknown user and complaint rate. By creating a separate sub-domain and sending off of a separate IP, you are less likely to negatively affect the rest of your email marketing messages.

After you’ve taken the three steps above, it is time to focus on the messaging, creative and potential special offers you are going to employ to get your customers engaged with your brand again. Remember, doing the work on the frontend will save you time and agony on the backend.

One final note: when creating a re-engagement program, make sure to not overwhelm your customers with too many messages. If they have already become inactive for whatever reason, continuing to send them more and more mail is not going to get them to come back. In fact it will likely cause them to mark all of your messages as spam, which would be worse than simply losing them as a customer.

A well-planned and executed winback campaign is certainly worth the effort, and these three steps will help get you started.

You can also keep up with these developments and more by bookmarking or subscribing to StrongMail’s blog, Maximizing Deliverability.

Back to top

.................................................................................................



Manage Your Email

You are receiving this email because you have opted in to receive the StrongMail Systems newsletter.

Should you no longer wish to receive these messages, please click here to unsubscribe or reply to this email with the word "unsubscribe" in the subject line.

To ensure delivery of this newsletter to your inbox and to enable images to load in future mailings, please add info@strongmail.com to your email address book or safe senders list.

To view our Privacy Policy click here.


  BLOG SPOTLIGHT  


Jason Klein

Email Marketing Excellence: The Barnes & Noble Unsubscribe

Jason Klein
Director of Marketing Communications

View All Blogs


  EVENTS  

MarketingSherpa Email Summit
Feb 7 - 10
Las Vegas, NV

iStrategy Conference
Feb 21
Sydney, AUS

Email Evolution Conference
Feb 22 - 24
Hollywood, FL

Full Details


  LATEST NEWS  

January 25, 2012
BizReport
StrongMail release offers real time, lifecycle targeting

January 24, 2012
ClickZ
9 Ways to Grow a Responsive Email Marketing Database

January 20, 2012
DestinationCRM
Email Marketing and Social Data: The Beginning of a Beautiful CRM Friendship

More Articles


  ANNOUNCEMENTS  

January 24, 2012
StrongMail Raises the Email Marketing Bar with Latest Message Studio Release

January 24, 2012
StrongMail Identified as One of Six Top Email Marketing Vendors for Enterprises

January 17, 2012
StrongMail's Email Marketing Solution Takes CheapAir.com to New Heights

More Announcements


  ON-DEMAND WEBINARS  

StrongMail regularly hosts webinars that explore the intricacies of email marketing, authentication, reputation, and the emerging world of accountability that will forever change the landscape for senders and receivers. Download the Webinars to play at your convenience.


  NEWSLETTER ARCHIVES  


Read Past Issues


  CONTACT INFORMATION  
Corporate Headquarters
1300 Island Drive
Suite 200
Redwood City, CA 94065

Main: (650) 421-4200
Fax:  (650) 421-4201

Sales Information
Toll Free US:
(800) 971-0380

Phone: (650) 421-4255

sales@strongmail.com


U.K. Headquarters
St. Clements House
27-28 Clements Lane
London
EC4N 7AE


Main:
+44 (0) 203 207 9031

Sales Information
Toll U.K.:
+44 (0) 203 207 9031

info-uk@strongmail.com


Did you receive this email from a friend or co-worker? Would you like to have your own subscription? Sign up to receive our monthly newsletter, StrongMail Advisor, and other emails at our subscription page.


StrongMail Copyright © 2012 StrongMail Systems, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

StrongMail Systems UK, Ltd is a company registered in England and Wales at 5 New Street Square, London EC4A 3TW. Reg. No. 6398867. VAT # GB 925 07 6228.