Monday, October 3, 2016

PERSONALIZATION - Anatomy of an Email Inbox - SOUR eMail - Oct 3, 2016

Today starts the formal beginning of the next phase for me.  I've never been a prolific writer and am certainly not a pro at it.  But, I am a career marketer with opinions and thoughts and as I decided to go down this new path in my life, I wanted to find something that I was passionate about, could engage with regularly and perhaps would be something that people are interested in.

As a digital marketer since the beginning of the world wide web, I've been developing and deploying email marketing programs and campaigns.  This goes all the way back to the late 1990's when I set up the first ongoing email communications programs for Certified Vacations Group, a now defunct business (a casualty of 9/11 among other things), that operated vacation products for major brands such as Delta Vacations, Continental Airlines Vacations, Marriott Villa Vacations and more.

Our tools back then were not nearly as sophisticated as what we have today and our data and analytics were nowhere near the predictive modeling, triggers and other dynamic tools we routinely use now.  Since then, I've deployed email strategies for home builders, travel partners, restaurants, home services and more using tools like ExactTarget (now a part of SalesForce), Bronto, Market First, Marketo and others.  What really amazes me even after all these years is how poorly we still do with email marketing.  Thus the birth of Sour eMail.  Like sour milk, these things just don't sit right!

So look for my regular posts on the Anatomy of an Email Inbox where I will use my own (and I hope others will begin to submit to me samples of theirs) to showcase the really dumb things we do with email and how we all should endeavor to be better.

I think this is hugely important to all marketers, from the c-suite to those writing copy and deploying these communications.  We all read the statistics on the importance of email marketing.

-  91% of consumers check email on a daily basis
-  people who buy products marketed through email spend 138% more
-  89% of marketers say email is their primary channel for lead generation

The reality is that email marketing well done is powerful and beneficial to the recipients.  BUT, email marketing done poorly is just, well, SOUR eMail.

Anatomy of an Email Inbox

Thoughts for today, October 3, 2016


Today's Sample: 18 emails (midnight to 7 am)
Overall Grade: D
Top Performer:  Kohl's - Grade B

When virtually every Email Service Provider (ESP) allows for personalization, why is it that only 1 of the 18 emails that reached my inbox included my first name in the subject line?  Only 4 of the 18 had my first name in the body.of the email.  That means that 78% DID NOT use personalization in their communications with me today.

While no one rates an "A" in today's batch, Kohl's gets top honors for not only including my full name, but my loyalty account information and points balance.

SOUR eMail!

Email statistics show that marketers who use personalization in their subject line see 26% more opens!

We can be better!

This is not a hard thing to do and is worth the time and effort.

Today's Tips to Improve Your Inbox Anatomy and not be a SOUR eMailer:

Insure your sign up forms ask for a first name
Include the first name in the subject line and in the body of your emails

Are you leveraging personalization to win the inbox?

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