Email Marketing Lessons to Learn in the Year of the Dog

The Following is a Guest Contributed Post by Seamas Egan, Director of Marketing and Sales, Campaigner

On February 16, this Chinese New Year will celebrate the eleventh zodiac sign: the dog. Known as man’s best friend, dogs are America’s most popular companion animal — just as email is the most popular communications channel for business. As we approach the Lunar New Year email marketers can learn from these four tips to push their programs forward in 2018.

1) Understand Subscriber Preferences and Plan Accordingly

In Chinese astrology zodiac signs are paired with a rotating natural element, like fire and water. This year is considered the Year of the Earth Dog and people born this year are predicted to be communicative, serious and responsible at work. In order to emulate the Earth dog in campaigns email marketers should learn what content is most useful to their subscribers and take feedback into account while planning campaigns ahead of time.

As email marketers continue to add new subscribers to their lists it is important to adapt programs to meet the changing interests of these new consumers. To ensure they’re communicating content that consumers wish to receive, marketers should send a yearly survey asking them to rank what content they find most valuable, how often they wish to receive emails, and what products and services they are most interested in. This gives marketers better insight about subscribers and helps them develop planning calendars with deadlines and messaging that will resonate and ensure a regular communication frequency.

2) Learn From the Dog’s Lucky Times

There are zodiac beliefs that people born during a specific time of day will be more successful. Similarly, email marketers know that certain times of day are better than others for sending content to receptive readers, and that they can use this information to optimize their open and click through rates.

Marketers should note popular times to reach subscribers when developing their next campaign. For example, a recent Deloitte survey found that 40 percent of people check their email within five minutes of waking up. However it’s important that email marketers also trust their instincts and not send emails at inappropriate times, like 1 a.m. They should utilize tools like A/B split testing to determine the best time to reach subscribers and automate campaigns to hit their inboxes accordingly.

3) Don’t Pair Dogs With Roosters and Sheep

Chinese belief holds that certain character traits associated with the zodiac signs mesh well with others, but this is not the case for all. For example, dogs are considered adventurous by nature and rabbits are seen as curious — traits that complement each other and are believed to be an ideal connection. On the other hand, roosters are known to strut and be the center of attention, while dogs prefer to seek out intimate and loyal connections, traits that clash and can lead to trouble.

Similarly some subscribers are more responsive to specific content than others. Marketers can use segmentation and A/B split testing to match certain subscriber segments with the email content they’ll be most receptive to. A Campaigner survey found that the majority of millennials are interested in coupons, so marketers should segment their audience by demographics and pair millennial recipients with coupons when possible. Email marketers can also utilize A/B split testing to determine what content is most compatible for subscribers. By looking at how open and click-through rates differ for specific variables, marketers will be able to determine what content, subject line and even color palettes pique the interest of each subscriber group.

4) Treat Loyal Subscribers

As a symbol of good luck and best wishes in the New Year, it is customary to give friends and family a red envelope called a hongbao, which are typically filled with money. The act of receiving a red envelope is to invoke happiness and prosperity for the year to come.

Marketers should similarly reward loyal subscribers with special discounts and promotions to strengthen their relationship. Offering coupons to subscribers not only wishes subscribers luck in the New Year, it also helps marketers see an increase in ROI. Shopify found that merchants with coupons are 8 times more likely to make a sale. In order to capitalize on this year’s Chinese New Year celebration, marketers should offer discount codes that reflect the holiday with themed words such as loyal, lucky and fortune. Consider making these discount codes scannable so customers can use them in stores, and ensure they can be used online as well as offline.

As we enter the Year of the Dog, email marketers can align their stars to maximize the success of their programs. By developing a marketing planning calendar, sending at optimal times, and utilizing tools like segmentation and A/B split testing, marketers can create a strategy and content that builds brand loyalty and captures the interest of their subscribers. They should continue to experiment and develop content that can increase ROI, building good fortune for the new year ahead.

The post Email Marketing Lessons to Learn in the Year of the Dog appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.

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[Deal Alert] Check your email – some ‘loyal Nexus owners’ are getting 20% (up to $ 190) off Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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The worst idea of 2018 (so far) is this email spam as a service company

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Some of the choices Google presents, but you can seemingly choose any book.

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Op-Ed: Email In a Mobile Age

The following is a guest contributed post from Tom Farrell, VP of Marketing at Swrve.

Sometimes you’d be forgiven for considering email as a thing of the past. We’ve all read the thought pieces, and those of us who find ourselves needing to deal with millennials on a consistent basis are well aware that messaging apps appear to be the new-normal when it comes to digital communications.

There’s only one problem with that thesis: the numbers don’t stack up. We’ve gotten so used to talking about the death of email that we haven’t noticed that open rates appear to be remarkably resilient. A smart email strategy starts with understanding why that is and works back from there.

First of all, it’s a general fallacy to assume that young people today will simply continue their habits into middle and old age. I call it the “death of jazz” effect. A music critic notes few young people at jazz concerts and fears jazz will die out with its audience, but misses the obvious point that people’s interests change as they get closer to their 40th birthday.

The same applies to email. In the business world, we understand that a single persistent store of communications, which supports longer and more thoughtful arguments, is actually useful. We apply that recognition to our leisure time, and learn to appreciate and use email in every sphere of our lives. But before we all get too complacent, that is NOT to say that nothing has changed and our expectations remain the same–quite the opposite.

How Mobile Changes Everything

While we still use and respond to email, we don’t do so very often from a the desktop computer. Close to 70 percent of our ‘digital minutes’ are spent on mobile, and that changes things – a lot.

I won’t dwell on the importance of ensuring your email communications are incredibly ‘responsive’ to mobile (i.e. they display okay on a phone) or ‘mobile-first’. Frankly, if a business hasn’t got that message by 2017, it’s already too far behind.

Instead, let’s stop for a moment and consider how mobile access changes the way we as consumers behave, and what we expect from brands and marketers. We carry our phones with us every hour of every day. We sleep with them beside us. We check them 100 times a day. That makes the mobile a powerful opportunity to marketers. But it comes with an accompanying risk: irritation.

In the mobile world, it is no longer good enough to ‘spam’ the user with largely irrelevant content. Not when so many people (quite reasonably) receive alerts for incoming mail on their device. At best, you are training your users to ignore your brand. At worst you are actively damaging the relationship you have. And the surest way to alienate users is to keep on emailing in the way we we did at the turn of the millennium.

Here are a few warning behaviors to check for. If you find yourself doing any of these on a regular basis, you may have paradigm problem:

  • Sending a single email to more than 10,000 people at a time
  • Trying to decide the right time to send an email by instinct
  • Constructing elaborate ‘segments’ for email campaigns

At this point you might be scratching your head and wondering what is wrong with some of these practices. The answer: the mobile generation don’t respond well to the batched marketing model that was tolerated on desktop (where emails that aren’t relevant are easier to ignore).

So What Does Great Mobile Email Look Like?

It doesn’t look like just more of the same. Great email is no longer about ‘campaigns’ but is instead interactive, dynamic one-to-one communication – just as it is between human beings. Mobile leaders are already doing this today. Successful mobile email:

  • Is personalized by in terms of personal detail and relevant content
  • Is sent to an individual at the time that they are most likely to read and respond (based on data)
  • Is usually triggered by a specific individual behavior (in any channel – not just web activity but also in the ‘real world’ and mobile apps) rather than the fact that the user has been put into a ‘bucket’ by marketers

In other words, email is no longer about large-scale marketing ‘campaigns’ and more about highly personal, relevant and helpful messages sent to individuals, rather than groups, and sent at a time that suits that individual. Taking this approach will deliver real benefits when it comes to making email effective and keeping it relevant to your business.

Unfortunately, traditional ways of thinking about marketing can keep you from connecting with your customers. Good communication requires rejecting that old model and embracing the mobile opportunity.

The post Op-Ed: Email In a Mobile Age appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.

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