It’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.
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.”
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.