Wednesday, January 25, 2017

EMAIL INTEGRATION - Anatomy of an Email Inbox - Jan 25

EMAIL INTEGRATION - Anatomy of an Email Inbox - Jan 25

As marketers, we think about campaigns and integrated promotions, but I am often surprised at the SOUR non-practice of leveraging other mediums to drive email communications and coordination with these tactics.  The biggest miss in opportunity is between email and social, specifically Facebook.

Social can and is used as a lead generation tactic, but it also does well as a branding and awareness medium.  Targeting there based on look alike audiences or against your targets or other interest areas can get prospects into your pipeline at an early stage.

I have said many times to my teams over the years that it is our job to get our prospects to raise their hands as early in their customer journey as possible. This gives us more opportunity to craft the customer experience from start to finish in a more personalized way.  At the same time, this helps push the competitors out.

So as we think about social for brand building and email to personalize the communication and drive conversions, I wanted to look at some of those businesses I've been watching over the past four months to see how well they are driving their prospects from social to email and visa versa.

We will take a look today at:

Secret Escapes


First, Pulte does a SOUR job of pulling prospects in early in the process with limited "sign up" engagement and a focus on end of the funnel - getting them into the model center.

Their emails do have the ubiquitous set of links for social media on the bottom of their communication, and you can link there to, for example, their Facebook page which is totally generic, not market specific or having any relevance for me, the prospect who just linked from an email about a specific community in a specific market.

Also, one of the big misses that I see frequently is no links back to get email sign ups.  Really SOUR - their "contact us" link on their Facebook page takes the user to a service repair request - really?  What does that say about them?

Funny too that they take the time in their Facebook navigational links to include ones to other social channels like Instagram, but not to email which gives them the best ROI and ability to personalize the customer journey - SOUR email!

Integration Score:  D-


No push to email from their Facebook page either!  They have space in their main navigation and offer a "shop now" button.  If you think about the use of social media as a branding channel, would it be helpful to ask people to sign up for personalized coupons and exclusive deals to move them to the next level  of communication? Do consumers want to go from social directly to shopping?  How many do?

We've talked before about retailers "blast" email practices - very SOUR in this day and age and Overstock is no exception.  It actually makes me cringe to see how many people even still think this way.  Most of the emails I receive in my inbox from Overstock are promotional, have no personalization and arrive way too often.

Of course they too have the social links across the bottom of the emails, but with no compelling reason to go there.

Integration Score:  D-

Secret Escapes

These guys have great vacations to beautiful places, but their emails are totally overwhelming with no personalization or understanding of what places might be of interest to me!  In one email mail I received they show me 44 different packages to such diverse destinations as Disney World and Bali.

Really SOUR - No social links, so skip what I said above about ubiquitous - I guess not totally!

They have a Facebook page and surprisingly ARE integrating from there to email.  A click on the "learn more" button opens a page and pop up with email sign up. NOT SOUR. They allow you to join with your Facebook profile and provide a reason to join.  They did not however recognize that I am already a member.  A simple cookie would do that. They could have personalized for me with a vacation of interest versus asking me to do something I already had.  SOUR!

Integration Score:  C

Todays Tips

-  Be sure to have a path forward from your social media presence to obtain early "hand raisers" - ASK for email sign ups
-  Give them a reason to engage in another channel (email) and make it prominent on the social space
-  Give more thought to how you position social media within your email communications
     -  What are your goals for integration?
     -  How do consumers interact in the channels through the customer journey?
     -  How to you proactively move your prospects through and between the channels depending on where they are in their personal journey?
-  Effectively use cookies, email sign ins and what you know about your prospects and customers to personalize every experience
-  Be sure to add the appropriate tracking parameters to watch how consumers and prospects move between the various channels and at what stage

Are you integrating your email and social presence?  Do you have a strategy for moving people through and between channels appropriate to their journey steps? Are you personalizing at every step along the way? These simple actions can help improve the effectiveness of both your email and social media marketing.

Don't be a SOUR emailer!

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