The Marketing Email that (almost) went Horribly Wrong

By Chris Marriott

I’ve written it before, but I’m writing it again: Email is the most powerful marketing channel in the universe. Period. But not every email marketing story can have a happy ending. What follows is a cautionary tale from the annals of email marketing that almost had a very unhappy ending.

It all started the Saturday before Easter. At 8:06 a.m., the following email hit my mail box. I should start by saying I am a Gold member of FTD, meaning that I pay an annual fee and get all my subsequent flower orders delivered with no service charge. Trust me when I tell you that once you eliminate the pesky service charge, you tend to send a lot of flowers to different people. So it makes you a pretty good customer. Anyway, this is the first email I received.

Due to the power of email marketing, as I looked at this email, it occurred to me that I should send my oldest daughter some flowers for Easter. She loves getting flowers, and besides I could “save 10% sitewide*”! I know, the asterisk immediately tells you there are some exclusions to that statement, but nevertheless, I clicked to the site, found an arrangement I liked, and placed the order. Like I always do, I then anxiously awaited the purchase confirmation email. I am one of those people who open and then save every purchase confirmation email. The one below promptly hit my inbox at 10:24 a.m. (I didn’t actually make the order until close to that time).

Read more …

Think Like A Human

For four years I was in charge of driving email acquisition and website traffic in the BtoC space. Working for a large CPG company in the Midwest, every day we would ask ourselves questions such as: Who is our customer? Are they searching for cookie recipes on their mobile phone? What do they like to make for dinner? Do they prefer getting food ideas via email? After four years of testing, we learned that our consumer was a female who browsed recipes on devices and apps, loved chicken for dinner more than beef, apple recipes in the fall, and wanted the top Holiday cookies via email in Nov and Dec. We knew her and this was BtoC marketing at its best!

Recently I switched gears and started working with a global manufacturer of scientific instruments. Their BtoB products are sold to a variety of industries including Food, Pharma, Clinical Labs, and Environmental. Their products enable a beverage maker to know the alcohol percentage in their beer. They help University labs do clinical research on Ebola. They also enable environmental firms to test for pesticides in water. Given the depth and breadth of their product offerings, they were in need of driving product awareness across all of these industries. When working with them on a paid media program, we found ourselves asking the following questions: Who is our customer and how best do we reach them? Are they researching the latest scientific instruments online? What kind of content would get them excited about coming to our website? Do they attend trade shows for the latest industry research or do they search for it online? After working with them for only 4 months, we know so far that our target consumer is a scientist who searches on Google for industry related research (can you say metabolomics analysis?) and new instruments via both their mobile phone and desktop!

When comparing these two clients, with one we were doing BtoC marketing and the other we were doing BtoB. But were we really? For years we’ve been separating BtoC and BtoB, as if they represent different beings. So what really is the difference between BtoC and BtoB marketing? At the end of the day, aren’t we simply marketing to humans? After all, a human is making the decision on whether or not they like your sugar cookie recipe and want to view it on your website. And a human is using Google to search for the latest research on pesticide analysis and deciding whether your company is an authority on the latest technological innovations in chromatography.

The first company I ever worked for was a Fortune 10 CPG company with the most recognizable consumer logo in the world- Marlboro. Philip Morris taught us to ‘Think Like a Consumer” when marketing Marlboro.   Whether we’re moms looking for that cake recipe online or we’re scientists looking for the latest research, we’re all consumers. We decide where and how we consume content. So maybe we need to stop thinking BtoC or BtoB, and instead think Human to Human. Or better yet, Think Like a Human!

3 Hot Email Companies You Should Follow – by Chris Marriott

38075It’s a brand new year. And it’s a new opportunity for you to take your email marketing to another level of sophistication and effectiveness. With that in mind, it’s important to remember that great email marketing doesn’t begin and end with your email service provider (ESP). No doubt about it, having the wrong ESP is like that hangover you woke up with on New Year’s day — it’s hard to get rid of, and it makes everything else hurt. But even if you’ve got the right partner, you still need to pay attention to other companies in the email marketing ecosystem. This is where a lot of the innovation is happening today — innovation in testing, in content, and in measurement.

You owe it to your email marketing program to pay attention to what’s happening in the competitive space, if only because many of these innovations will eventually work their way into the platforms of the major ESPs. So to start your email year off on the right foot, here are three companies that I am paying close attention to in 2015.

Wylei

The first company on my list is Wylei. “Adaptive content” is a phrase email marketers have been hearing more and more frequently, and Wylie is an emerging leader in this category. Its platform provides real-time adaptive content solutions to agencies and brands to increase digital messaging relevance and engagement by automatically adapting emails based on how, where, and when they are viewed, all in real time.

There is more than one player in this area, but what I really like about Wylei is how easy it is to use. Wylei provides marketers with a code snippet that is easily included in the HTML, and it incorporates adaptive content logic, automated real-time and continuous A/B testing to identify and learn patterns in order to provide best fit content. Wylei’s continuous identification of behavior patterns and real-time application of its machine learning algorithm is a key distinction of its solution. Wylei brings real-time multivariate testing and behavior recognition to email to optimize content decisions at message open time. And they have established partnerships with all the major ESPs, landed some big brands (most recently Dell, Marriott, and Vistaprint, to name a few) and expanded its solution into the personalized video space.

In the words of Mike Monteiro, Wylei’s CEO, “The core of what we do is help marketers connect with their customers individually, and at scale. We all know that genuinely compelling content is what drives engagement, and that personalized, context-specific messaging is compelling. The challenge is how to listen, respond intelligently, and then listen again, across millions of customers all at once. The exciting thing is that technology has now evolved to the point where that’s not only a possibility, but an imperative.”

eDatasource

Full disclosure: I’m on the Board of Directors at eDatasource. However, that shouldn’t disqualify it from making this list — particularly since I wouldn’t be on the Board if I didn’t think it were an interesting company! eDatasource isn’t a new company. It’s been around since 2003. It provides its services both directly to marketers, as well as to most of the leading ESPs. What does it do? Based in New York City, eDataSource collects, analyzes, organizes, and archives millions of marketing messages, providing competitive intelligence and analytics to the email marketing community. G.B. Heidarsson, the CEO, just celebrated his one-year anniversary at the helm, and the first 12 months of his tenure have been a beehive of activity, including the introduction of completely new tool sets and innovative approaches that manage to get actionable competitive true-real-time information into the hands of marketers, thus enabling them to react and outsmart the competition in a way never before experienced. Yesmail was impressed enough to incorporate this data into its own Competitive Intelligence Tool.

read the rest at iMedia Connection

Hacking is Terrorism

If you know me, you know security it is a passion of mine. I have been happy to give back as a Strategic Advisor to the OTA (Online Trust Alliance).  I believe that without security, the whole notion of the trust of the Internet and online commerce implodes.

We should hold media and the press to a standard not to discuss the stolen good from a cyber attack.  Protect the victims of the attack, it is akin to media in the 1980’s with the blue dot over a victims face. Why should this crime be different?  Media is fanning the fire of this cyber attack against Sony, and it is truly now a war. Why? Because just a few hours ago the US government stated with high certainty that these attacks were state sponsored and that North Korea was behind them (source WSJ).

Turn a Negative into a Positive – My Solution for Sony and This Movie

the interviewThe best answer for Sony amid these proven North Korean Terrorist acts is to release The Interview on demand/streaming for $10 on 12/25. It will turn a negative into a positive, also test the audience for new releases for streaming in home. It would take 5 million viewers to make their money back, but I believe it would be huge, as big as their predicted $60 million dollar open. Stand up to terror/cyber attacks!

We must stand up against state sponsored attacks. Every business needs to be ready, in fact The Online Trust Alliance has been working on this for years.

From prevention to reaction resources. There are many wonderful reports and collaboration moments that provide effectiveness.   It will improve your market presence and when following OTA best practices your ability to be spoofed will be diminished.

I believe in this organization, if I didn’t I wouldn’t be a Strategic Advisor to the Online Trust Alliance.

Please, if you have an online business, ensure it is secure, follow the well defined best practices.

I am happy to discuss this over a digital magazine, such as The Marketer Quarterly

Until next time,  all the best,

David

Webinar – FROM ACQUISITION TO ADVOCACY: Discovering the Value of Lifecycle Marketing

FROM ACQUISITION TO ADVOCACY: Discovering the Value of Lifecycle Marketing

Register for this free webinar by The Relevancy Group and Yes Lifecycle Marketing: Thu, Nov 6, 2014 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM EST

Yes Lifecycle MarketingA comprehensive study that I recently wrote for The Relevancy Group found marketers continue to have challenges when it comes to developing cohesive digital and multichannel strategies to meet the demand of a fully-aligned customer experience.

Join me, David Daniels, CEO and Co-Founder, The Relevancy Group, and Yes Lifecycle Marketing as I discuss how implementing a Lifecycle Sophistication Ladder can improve customer acquisition and convert subscribers into advocates through a cohesive multichannel customer experience.

Join us on November 6th at 3 PM EST, when I will cover topics including:

• Data: Integration, Hygiene, Householding, Value, Enrichment
• Segment: Traditional, RFM Purchase, Past Behavior, Event Driven, Look-alikes
• Content: Personalized, Dynamic, Responsive, Context, Managed
• Coordinate: Organization, Goal Based, Frequency, Lifecycle, Automation
• Measure: Testing, Dashboard, Alerts, Attribution, Intelligence

Register for the webinar and download the complete research study for free with registration.

Webinar – The Precision Marketing Imperative – Tactics for Improving Marketing that Deliver 5 to 6 Times the Revenue and Profit!

The Precision Marketing Imperative – Tactics for Improving Marketing that Deliver 5 to 6 Times the Revenue and Profit!

Nov 4, 2014 2:00 PM EST   Register for this free webinar

Join renowned industry analyst and CEO of The Relevancy Group David Daniels and John D. Polcari, SVP CRM Sales & Marketing of Zeta Interactive to hear new tactics to optimize cross-channel marketing with Precision Marketing. In this 60 minute free webinar, David will discuss the tectonic shift in how consumers interact with brands, challenging marketers to organize, integrate and household customer data in a new manner. Attendees will benefit from lessons on how to implement a Precision Marketing Framework, build a Precision CRM (pCRM) centric organization to advance customers through cross-channel lifecycles. Join this webinar and learn how marketers that implement at least three of the five of the Precision Marketing techniques deliver 5 to 6 times the revenue and profit compared to those who do not.

In addition to case studies, the presentation will include:
– Approaches to improve email, social, mobile and cross channel marketing
– How to centralize data and make it actionable
– Tactics to manage lifecycle marketing across channels
– A five piece Precision Marketing framework to improve customer engagement
– Strategies to improve analytics through technology and services
– Lessons to optimize the mobile experience for subscribers
– Key take-aways that any marketer can immediately implement

Moderator: Dianna Dilworth – Editor, The Marketer Quarterly

Dianna Dilworth Dianna is a business journalist who has been covering marketing for more than a decade. A veteran business  reporter with experience producing magazines, blogs, videos and online news. Dianna has served as Associate Editor  at Direct Marketing News, and Editor at Mediabistro. Her byline can also be seen in Businessweek, MediaPost and  The Architectural Record. Beyond writing, Dianna is a documentary film maker, her second film “Mellodrama” was  an ‘OFFICAL SELECTION’ in Madrid, Buenos Aires and other festivals around the globe

Speaker: David Daniels – CEO, Co-Founder, The Relevancy Group

David DanielsDavid is a tenured industry analyst and consultant who is also President, Publisher and Co-Founder of the digital  magazine, The Marketer  Quarterly, LLC. David has  been recognized as “one of the most influential experts in email  marketing, if not the  most influential.” With over 25  years of experience as a marketer, market analyst and senior  executive at companies  including Apple, Anthropologie, Jupiter Research and Forrester Research; David is uniquely qualified to  understand the challenges and opportunities of marketers across channels.  David is co-author of the book “Email  Marketing an Hour a Day,” a sought after public speaker, an advisor The Online Trust Alliance and has been a contributor to news outlets including The Today Show on NBC, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and many industry journals and magazines.

John PolcariSpeaker: John D. Polcari – SVP, Zeta CRM Sales & Marketing, Zeta Interactive

John is an accomplished business development leader and marketer with more than 20 years of sales and marketing experience across various industries. Prior to joining Zeta, John served as Executive Vice President of Sales at eBay Enterprise Marketing Products, an integrated digital marketing services provider. In that role, he successfully engaged long-term partnerships with more than 125 top online marketers, including: Buy.com, Nike, CVS, Comcast, American Airlines and the Washington Post. Prior to eBay, John served as Senior Vice President of Global Marketing and Sales at Optaros, a leading provider of social commerce solutions. John also served as a sales leader at Epsilon (an American Express Company) and Vice President of Corporate Development for Genesys Conferencing, where he managed Internet channels, digital relationships, alliances, and strategic partnerships. He graduated from St. Anselm College with a BA in Politics/International Relations and attended Advanced Management Studies at Harvard University and the Executive MBA program at the University of Notre Dame.

Date and Time:
Tuesday November 4th, 2:00 PM EST (Eastern Standard Time)

All registrants will get a copy of a companion piece of research titled “The Precision Marketing Imperative – Tactics for Implementing the Precision Marketing Framework.”

Register for this free webinar

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

About Zeta Interactive | www.zetainteractive.com | (857) 246-7629 | ZetaHub@zetainteractive.com

Zeta Interactive is a Customer Lifecycle Marketing platform company that integrates Big Data, proprietary technology and analytics to help leading brands acquire, grow and retain customers. Founded by David A. Steinberg and John Sculley (former CEO of Apple Computer and Pepsi-Cola) in 2007, Zeta Interactive has rapidly grown into a recognized leader in the emerging Big Data and Customer Lifecycle Marketing sectors. The company’s set of Data, Email, Social, Display, Search and Mobile solutions are used globally by hundreds of Middle Market and Fortune 500 brands. With over 500 employees worldwide, the company is headquartered in New York City, with Centers of Excellence in Silicon Valley, London, and Hyderabad, India, and additional offices in Boston, MA; Boulder, CO; Tampa, FL; Washington, D.C.; Scottsdale, AZ; Duluth, GA; Middlesbrough and Bristol, UK.

About The Relevancy Group, LLC | www.relevancygroup.com | (877) 972-6886 | info@therelevancygroup.com

The Relevancy Group provides market research, survey design and consulting. We assist marketers (buyers) connect with vendors (sellers) and manage the vendor selection process, each year we represent tens of billions of email messages that are out for bid for new solution providers.   We provide educational and advisory resources to advance our clients and the markets understanding of relevance in order to deepen their customer relationships. The Relevancy Group is dedicated to educating the market on the imperative tactics needed to foster trust with consumers and improve an organization’s relevance within the broader online economy. Working with the leading brands, vendors and associations that comprise our economy, The Relevancy Group acts as an educator and trusted advisor in the aim of optimizing omnichannel connected marketing strategy and tactics. The Relevancy Group publishes research, educational resources and consults with businesses on vendor selection, mergers/acquisitions and other strategic imperatives.

About The Marketer Quarterly | www.marketerquarterly.com | editor@marketerquarterly.com

The Marketer Quarterly is a digital magazine for marketers written by marketers.  The Marketer Quarterly publishes each quarter — four issues per year. The magazine is in a digital format which is accessible on a desktop, mobile web browser and on all popular tablets and via Apps for Apple iOS, Android and Amazon.  Each quarter, the magazine highlights the latest research from The Relevancy Group and articles on the leading brands and marketers.  Register for a free subscription at www.marketerquarterly.com

Register for this free webinar

Apps Take Center Stage at Connections 2014 #CNX14

CNX14I’ve been attending ExactTarget’s Connections before it was called Connections and each year it continues to get bigger and better.   This year Connections 2014 is no exception as eight thousand marketers meet collaborate and discuss digital marketing innovations.   Into addition to the 100+ breakout sessions, there are some fantastic keynote speakers.

Scott McCorkle, CEO, Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud announced Journey Builder for Apps.   The solution empowers any company to deliver personalized customer journeys directly from mobile apps, creating interactive experiences that drive brand engagement and loyalty.    Several notable brands including Fitbit, Sony PlayStation, and HSN all rallied around the concept and new product announcement.   Leveraging the company’s Journey Builder, Journey Builder for Apps now extends a customer journey to any connected addressable App capable device.   This includes messaging to wearables and all connected things.

Read The Entire Journey Builder for Apps Press Release

As Scott McCorkle pointed out in his keynote, the Journey never ends.   Journey Builder allows the marketer to think and work visually and tie journey’s to service, sales and marketing events.  Marketers can manage a Journey of any size and scope, across channels.

ExactTarget also announced new website and mobile analytics, stating that they are rolling out web analytics  for all customers.  Here ExactTarget is clearly taking on Adobe Marketing Cloud (Omnitrue) and Coremetrics, For a Salesforce Marketing Cloud customer, it is a perfect extension of the platform and I can easily see it taking market share away from Adobe, IBM (Coremetrics) and other analytics vendors.

Marc Benioff – Chairman & CEO – Salesforce.com stated that they are celebrating 15 years of success and innovation, 38% growth in the last quarter.  He added that we’ve been following the customer, we are catching up to were the customer is with mobile.   Benioff also highlighted their 1:1:1 initiative, which over the last 15 years they have dedicated 680,000  hours of service, $68 million dollars in grants and 23,000 nonprofit organizations were helped.  Marc Benioff  went onto to state we are the The Customer Success Platform – “we want to create more success for your customers, we only succeed when you succeed.”

ExactTarget Marketing Cloud went onto highlight the sophistication of LiveNation, which was an excellent example that content matters and is a necessary part of the journey. There are 205,000 different versions of a single email at LiveNation.  Now that is dynamic content!

Also discussed was their Cloud Pages, which is a rich push notification, enabling an HTML 5 page to be pushed pushed directly to the subscriber’s phone.   The company will also be rolling out a content management solution to round out the suite of tools that every marketer needs.

Once again, another fantastic Connections with some fairly impressive product innovations.  Congratulations ExactTarget!