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Email Marketing Excellence: The Barnes & Noble Unsubscribe

While trying to whittle down the number of email newsletters that pour into my email inbox, I noticed that I had signed up for Barnes & Noble's newsletter with two different email addresses. Unsubscribing one of these addresses was a no-brainer.  As I went to click on the unsubscribe link, I hoped they wouldn't require me to log into my account to complete the action. 

As the resulting BN.com page popped up in my browser, I was immediately impressed by their particular email marketing execution. Instead of a straight unsubscribe page, they served up an email preference management page that gave me tons of options for tailoring the type and frequency of email received from the brand. 

Without logging into my account, I could easily unsubscribe from all B&N email if I so desired, but more importantly (as a fellow marketer), it first presented options for signing up for seven different types of communications – all with links to samples so I could evaluate whether that particular action would be worthwhile.

Next, in case the type of content wasn't the issue, it allowed me to limit the frequency of emails to either one a week, and even one a month. Saved for the last was the one click unsub from all BN.com email.

The fact that I was impressed by this unsubscribe process shows how infrequently I have similar experiences with other brands and their email marketing. More often than not, the brand either makes it difficult to unsubscribe (whether by requiring login, retyping my email address or verifying some additional information) or they serve up a one line web-page confirming the unsubscribe, which misses an opportunity to try and save the relationship through preference management.

The one thing Barnes & Noble didn't do was include an optional field for subscribers to identify the reason for their unsubscribe, which can provide critical information for optimizing future communications. All-in-all, my hat goes off to Barnes & Noble for designing an effective email preference page that balances the ease of unsubscribing for the consumer with opportunities for the marketer to save and even expand a customer relationship.

The moral of the story: great email marketing solutions means great customer interactions.

Barnes & Noble Unsubscribe

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Interested in reading more about email marketing best practices? Try giving one of our other blogs a look.

Posted by: Jason Klein at 4:37 PM
Categories: email marketing, unsubscribe, best practices, case study

What Can An Email Service Provider Do For You?

The power of right-time marketingWhat can an Email Service Provider (ESP) like StrongView do for you? The team at InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) could give you an answer.

A couple of years ago, IHG made a decision to move to real-time marketing to better serve its customers and grow its business.

Why the change?  Different marketing teams were handling different campaigns, and two vendors – one for transactional messages and one for marketing emails – were reporting their results differently, making it difficult to get a holistic view of IHG’s customers and email marketing effectiveness. It became evident that cross-selling and upselling opportunities were being lost, and a solution was needed.

Now, IHG has one database for all of its recipients and new dynamic email templates that can render thousands of variations based on relevant customer data, which are helping increase sales, boost open and click-through rates and providecomprehensive data reporting. And they can create dynamic email marketing campaigns in about 15 percent of the time that it used to take. With these successes behind them, they are now looking to integrate email marketing with other communication channels (especially social media outlets).

What happened? IHG decided to consolidate Email Service Providers onto one: StrongView.

Here’s how the StrongView team helped IHG:

Integrated All Email Marketing Teams and Data. In short, we helped make it possible to get everyone on the same page, including integration with their Unica and Teradata systems. As a result, the once disparate teams are now able to easily talk each other about their efforts and find new ways to work together.

Focused the Brand. Every email going out is now customized to reflect the IHG brand at the specific property level – InterContinental, Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn, etc.

Focused the Target.
 Using our own research and the data IHG already had, we developed several new emails for specific markets.

Streamlined Analysis and Response.
 Email marketing is a dynamic enterprise. We showed them how to tweak standard emails, develop new emails, and create new email marketing campaigns based on new data.

Added our Right-Time Email Marketing to IHG’s Toolbox. 
Most email programs send messages in batches. We’ve developed ways to send trigger emails with relevant offers at the time when customers are most likely to read them and click through – such as a couple of days before a upcoming stay, for example. Using our Right-Time Email Marketing, IHG significantly improved its open and click-through rates, and ongoing data will help them develop even more ways to target their customers at the right time.

Contact us to find out what StrongView – the leading email service provider in the country – can do to improve your email marketing efforts.

We welcome you to learn more by checking out our new whitepapers on Right-Time Email Marketing and Forrester Research’s case study on IHG’s email marketing programs.

Posted by: Kara Trivunovic at 9:53 AM
Categories: email marketing, case study, right-time email marketing, email service provider, triggered email, ESP