Issue #047  |   April 2012

StrongMail Advisor
In This Issue
 
1. Industry Watch: Mobile Marketing Poised for Strong Growth in 2012 and Beyond
2. On-Demand Event: Marketing with Pinterest
3. Tip of the Month: Four Tips for Better Email Targeting
4. The Ultimate Email Marketing Guide for Cross-Sell & Up-Sell Programs
5. Deliverability Corner: A Consumer-Centric Approach to Better Deliverability
 

Industry Watch
Industry Watch

Mobile Marketing Poised for Strong Growth in 2012 and Beyond
By Jason Klein, Director of Marketing Communications

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"The Year of Mobile Marketing" has been declared by industry experts for the past four years or so, but they might finally be right for 2012.  According to more than 800 business leaders who responded to StrongMail's soon to be published "Mobile Marketing Trends 2012" survey conducted earlier this month, nearly half of businesses have adopted some form of mobile marketing, and 75% of those that haven't have plans to do so in the future (43% within a year and 32% in a year or more).

Another sign of progress is the increase in mobile marketing budgets that 70% of businesses expect to see within the next 12 months. Of course to fully understand the state of mobile marketing, you need to know where those investments are being made. Of those businesses currently conducting mobile marketing, 70% are investing in mobile websites, followed by mobile applications (55%) and mobile QR codes (49%).

The complementary nature of email and mobile marketing was also reinforced by the survey findings. Nearly half of respondents had integrated their email and mobile marketing programs, with the top focus being on optimized landing pages/website (32%), capturing mobile number at email sign-up (25%) and mobile optimized templates (22%). In fact, 58% percent of mobile marketers have already optimized their email templates for mobile viewing, and 77% of those who haven't yet plan to in the next 12 months. One area for improvement is leveraging mobile data to optimize offers in other channels like email, which is only being done by 23% of respondents.

Despite some healthy adoption, the path to widespread adoption of mobile marketing is not without its challenges. When asked why businesses hadn't yet implemented a mobile marketing program, lack of strategy (37%) and lack of resources (22%) were the top reasons. The good news is that these challenges can be easily solved by working with the right partner, which you may already have if you work with an email service provider like StrongMail with cross-channel solutions and agency services. 

The industry pundits may finally be right in prognosticating 2012 as the "Year of Mobile Marketing." StrongMail's survey results would certainly support it. The April 2012 "US Mobile Usage Forecast" from eMarketer also adds credence, which pegs current smart phone usage at 47% of all mobile users in 2012, jumping to 74% in 2016. The question is whether you're ready to take advantage of the trend with an integrated mobile strategy that leverages synergies across email, social and your other top marketing channels. Whether you've yet to embrace mobile marketing or have programs that are underperforming, don't let lack of strategy or resources keep you behind your competition.

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Webinar: Leveraging Pinterest to Drive Email and Business Results

On-Demand Event

Put a Pin in It!
Leveraging Pinterest to Drive Email and Business Results

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Type: On-Demand Event
Event Link: www.strongmail.com/pinterest

If you were unable to join the more than 900 people who attended our recent Pinterest webinar, we have good news.  The entire event was recorded and is now available for download or streaming via StrongMail's website. In addition to the full audio/visual recording, the archive page will give you instant access to the slide deck on SlideShare, as well as an extensive 6-page Q&A covering the lion's share of questions asked during the event.

If you are trying to figure out whether you should be adopting Pinterest as an additional marketing channel for your business, this informative webinar has got your covered.

Speaker:

  • Kara Trivunovic, Vice President of Agency Services

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Tip of the Month

Digital Marketing Best Practices:
Tip of the Month

Four Tips for Better Email Targeting
Kara Trivunovic, Vice President of Agency Services

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Today, consumers are savvier than ever before. Not only do they know that marketers collect, gather and analyze information about their shopping and buying behaviors, most expect marketers to use that information to create an experience with them that truly resonates. It isn’t enough to merely batch all of your email subscribers together and send a single communication – you have to create an experience within the communication….preferably a good experience.

Within the world of email, it is relatively easy to create a good experience for your subscribers. At minimum, you know how they engage with your email communications; on the more sophisticated end, you know buying and site behavior, life stage and other key attributes. Putting this information to work for you via targeting and segmentation is an easy and obvious way to achieve greater relevance within your content. It should no longer be a question of whether you target – instead, the question should become, “Who is the right audience for this offer?”

When Wayfair, the second-largest online retailer of home goods in the US, decided to enter the private sale site market with Joss & Main, they embraced targeting heavily to help them stand out with impactful and unique experiences for their subscribers.  Not only did they target by demographic, click-stream and purchase behavior data, they also looked at the subscriber's life stage, recognizing that families with small children at home versus empty nesters have different needs and desires associated with high-end home furnishings.

The challenge in targeting and segmentation efforts is that there are so many different approaches to determining “who” you should talk to and “when.” So much so, that you may not get it right the first (or second, or third) time around.

As you look to start, modify or optimize your targeting efforts, here are four questions you can ask yourself (or your team) to get moving in the right direction:

1. What information do you currently collect from customers during the registration process?
Customer-provided information is the best place to start when identifying targeting and segmentation opportunities within your email database. If you are collecting this information, you should be prepared to use it. The excuse of “just being curious” has never been acceptable to the customer (trust me, I have seen it). The customer has an innate understanding that if they are providing this detail to you, it will be used (and should be used) to create a more relevant and applicable experience for each individual.

2. What additional information would you like them to provide?
Oftentimes marketers will minimize the information collected at the point of subscription to avoid subscription abandon. However, there are often data points that you would like to get your hands on as the relationship progresses. Using polls and surveys within your existing email stream is a great way to collect this information without appearing burdensome, which can then be used to further target your customer-base.

3. What data points do you collect regarding behavioral engagement?
Additional behavioral data points can range from offline to online and anything in between. The ability to bring this information together to create a single view of the customer should be the goal of every marketer. This knowledge not only provides great profile data for you, applying it correctly creates the most relevant experience for the subscriber.
 

4. What do your customers expect to receive from you?
As you collect this information and apply it to your targeting and segmentation tactics, it is imperative to execute this in line with customer expectations. If you are sending them content or targeting them for deals that they do not expect, it could result in a negative experience.  The point here is to keep this in mind as you analyze the elements of your customer profile.

Marketers have endless data at their fingertips – you just need to get your head and hands wrapped around it and put it to good use.

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Forrester Case Study: IHG Consolidates Email and Data Management

Industry Whitepaper

Ultimate Lifecycle Email Marketing Guide: Cross-Sell & Up-Sell Programs

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60% of marketers missed incremental sales opportunities in their 2011 Holiday Season emails, according to a recent StrongMail survey. Learn the strategies for implementing, testing and optimizing cross- and up-sell programs to drive more profitable behavior from your customers.

Download Today >>

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Deliverability Corner

Deliverability Corner

A Consumer-Centric Approach to Better Deliverability
By Spencer Kollas, Director of Delivery Services

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I remember hearing industry folks talk about Web 2.0 (and now 3.0) and how the rise of social media meant that users now get to decide how they want to interact with brands. This is more true today than ever before. While legally, America still has an opt-out policy, end users still expect an opt-in policy to be the norm rather than the exception. These users have come to expect that while they don’t control the mail that comes to their house, they should be able to control their email inbox. They like being able to mark unwanted email as spam instead of simply deleting them, with hopes of keeping future messages from that sender out of their inbox.  By removing unwanted messages from their inbox, they are able to more easily focus on the messages they want to receive from their friends, family and favorite brands.

While many companies have privacy policies that allow them to share data with other parties, and a number of them even have specific opt-in/out options for third-party offers during their sign-up process, I have found that most users don’t really want or expect these types of messages once they start to receive them. In an extremely unscientific focus group of my family and friends, I found that most of them would accidentally leave the box checked (in an opt-out situation) as a result of not paying close enough attention to the process for receiving the information they were requesting.  The problem here is that when a message arrives from one of these third parties, the consumer doesn't recognize it and hits the "This is SPAM" button. Sure, they might have technically signed up for it, but that's not going to stop them from damaging the offending company's sender reputation.

As digital marketing continues to grow, we as marketers must begin to change our focus from what WE want to send to what THEY want to receive. And this "THEY" includes ISPs as well as consumers, because in the end, it's their system and rules.  I know it isn’t going to be easy for many of you who believe email is just another form of direct marketing, but during your next planning sessions simply ask yourself, who is this campaign for—me or my end-user? See if this one question changes your approach and test it.

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

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  BLOG SPOTLIGHT  


Dan Opallo

"The Facebook Response to Pinterest"

Dan Opallo
Director of Social Media

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  EVENTS  

Internet Retailer Conference
Jun 5 - 8
Chicago, IL

Figaro Digital Email Marketing Seminar
Jun 21
London, UK

eTail Europe
Jun 25 - 27
London, UK

Full Details


  LATEST NEWS  

April 26, 2012
MediaPost
Plug It, Stick It, Rock it: The New Email Mantra?

April 13, 2012
Multichannel Merchant
How to Optimize Your Email Targeting Efforts

April 03, 2012
ClickZ
4 Springtime Tips to Reinvigorate Your Email Marketing

More Articles


  ANNOUNCEMENTS  

April 26, 2012
First Utility Selects StrongMail to Energise Email Communications to Customers

April 24, 2012
StrongMail to Present Customer-Driven Email Marketing Innovation and Strategies at MediaPost Email Insider Summit

April 17, 2012
Effective Cross-Sell and Up-Sell Strategies Revealed in New StrongMail Lifecycle Email Marketing Guide

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.


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