Social CRM is coming… are you ready?

For a long time, customers have made it clear that if brands want to capture their attention in the inbox, those brands should have something valuable to say. Not just valuable information, but information that is valued by the individual recipient. In other words, a brand’s messages should be individually relevant. This is a high standard for any brand. Most cannot live up to these expectations. A few have set…

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Handing off to sales

Sales-focused B2B cultures tend to align themselves along two extremes: either they dismiss marketing entirely and refuse to consider the value marketing can bring to their efforts, or they give marketing too much free rein and lose the connection between marketing and sales efforts. Either way, direct response marketers are in a tough spot. Without a direct connection between marketing efforts and revenue, we must rely on optimization metrics to…

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When “Share With Your Network” Makes Sense

Emails are getting cluttered. It’s not enough to have a headline, some copy, and an image or two anymore. These days we need preheaders, snippets, “view this email online” links, and all sorts of social sharing links as well. Some marketers are starting to question whether we need all of these links when most of them drive very few clicks. And first on the chopping block seems to be those…

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Email and CPG Brands

For many Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) brands, ecommerce is out of reach. Not because they can’t figure it out, but because they have chosen not to participate in that channel. The most commonly stated reason is to avoid conflicts with resellers. Without passing judgment on any of these reasons or decisions, we must accept that the enterprise has chosen not to go there. When the ecommerce channel is not available,…

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Capturing Contact Information

Our customers’ contact information has always been critical to us direct marketers, but we have never seen such growth in different types of contact data as has occurred in the last 20 years. In addition to email address capture efforts, we’re about to see the need to capture social handles and mobile numbers as well. This will create a challenge for us to gather resources and attention necessary to capture…

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Beating the Horse (or your creative control)

You know you’re in trouble when the client tells you that they don’t like their control creative, but haven’t been able to beat it in testing yet. They’re looking to you with hope in their eyes. You’re looking at their creative, which features a cartoon horse*ostensibly using the product. The product was targeted at a mostly female audience, and the image implied that they too could look as good as…

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Integrating Social: More than Just Adding Content to Your Emails

For a very long time I hated social media. Brands flocked to gain followers and fans, but to what end? It felt like the early days of email, when companies put forth initiative after initiative to capture email addresses, without much thought to how they would use them. The key difference though, is that companies could always generate ROI from email addresses by sending out an email. It has never…

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Top 6 Customer Data Tips

Earlier this month at MediaPost’s Email Insider Summit, about twenty professionals gathered for a roundtable discussion to share knowledge and insights on customer data. I thought this would be a good place to share the great information that came out of that discussion. So here are the top 6 customer data tips, from our peers. Partner better with IT. It’s easy to fall into the trap of avoiding IT (after…

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Four Things You Can Do Now About Privacy

The specter of privacy legislation looms over our industry (and others). For a while now, we have anticipated it with a sense of dread otherwise reserved for the four horsemen of the apocalypse, under the assumption that any regulation attempted by Congress will likely be more harmful than helpful. That may be inaccurate – industry groups are bringing together insights into customer behavior alongside the latest in data protection protocols…

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Maximizing Results When Email Isn’t About Sales

Email is very well known as a direct response tool, and there is plenty of free advice available to help sellers maximize their results and measure them effectively. But what about tips for editorial emails, that are designed with content instead of sales as the primary driver? Here are the top five things you should do to get the best results from your email content: Know your goals. If you…

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