Email vs Social: Channels Aren’t Social, Humans Are

Email vs Social: Channels aren't social, humans are

The discussion regarding email and social and which one is the better channel (email is dead yada yada) is getting rather tedious. What makes this entire debate really frustrating is that it’s completely worthless in the larger scope. Oh sure, email marketers feel compelled to douse any suggestion that email is dying in order to reassure clients that they should still be spending with them, but other than that, what’s the point? The people we market to will make the decision as to what channel is best suited to their needs and that’s the only choice which matters. Everything else is simply politics and drama. Email is a social channel because by definition, any interaction between humans is social. It doesn’t matter if that interaction took place in person, via email, by phone or Twitter. We are social, we build communities wherever we go because they suit something bred in the bone which spurs us to seek out others and interact. The web hasn’t reinvented humans. Quite the … [Read more...]

Highlights from European Social Media and Email Marketing Study

Highlights from European Social Media and Email Marketing Study

I’ve just been reading The European Social Media and Email Marketing Study from eCircle and I thought I’d share some of the high level observations with you. The survey was conducted online with just over one thousand participants. When considering how people use email and social networks, eCircle reported that 73% of respondents have at least one social network account. The study also concluded that Facebook is the social net with the largest multiplier potential – regarding reach, number of friends and usage intensity. Those seeking information on products and companies via social remains relatively low at just 28% and that seems consistent with other surveys. Only 32% of those using social networks are fans or follow a company brand and half of those fan/followers are doing so because they are looking for discounts or special offers from the brand. Are you aware of this desire? Are you doing anything to meet it? When it comes to advertising, not surprisingly, social … [Read more...]

Fusion Marketing Experience Wrap Report

Fusion Marketing Experience Wrap Report

I knew this event was going to be different from your standard online marketing conference, but until you experience it, you just don't realize how refreshing a whole new presentation style such as this can be! The speakers were not just there to do their strut on the catwalk and then leave -- they mingled and networked before and after their presentations. They shared their insight and gathered wisdom from attendees. From the excellent food to the intimate layout, well integrated social media (Twitter Wall) to the loose format which allowed for lots of learning in the halls; this was an event which remolded the genre. In the interest of full disclosure, I'm privileged to work with Both JP De Clerk and Rien van den Bosch, the two organizers, but even so, they still blew my mind with an event which was everything an online marketing conference should be. Quarterly Magazine, Reviews & Reports [superbutton … [Read more...]

Email Marketing Testing Tips from Muppet Labs

Email Marketing Testing Tips from Muppet Labs

Dr. Bunsen Honeydew is legendary among the scientific community. He started Muppet Labs in 1976 with the mission of bringing the world of tomorrow to us today. He’s broken a lot of ground and amazed us with his achievements and I dare say that he and his assistant Beaker have made the world a better place. Obviously, Dr. Honeydew is a proponent of testing! On every episode of the Muppets, he would be demonstrating and testing some new invention. So, since testing is so important, it seemed a good idea to look to his years of testing examples for some basic tips about testing your marketing via email and the web. Muppet Labs is big on A/B split testing Splitting your list and testing the components of your campaigns is something not enough email marketers do. Test everything from CTAs to rendering to subject lines and a lot more. When Dr. Honeydew developed his “exploding attire” he had several things to test and dutifully tried out each one. What he found was that people … [Read more...]

The Death of Email Marketing and a Bowl of Petunias

The Death of Email Marketing and a Bowl of Petunias

“Curiously the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias, as it fell, was, 'Oh no, not again.' Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly *why* the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the universe than we do now.” – The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I feel like that bowl of petunias every time we go through yet another round of the “email is dead” discussion. Oh no, not again! How many times do we have to dance this jig before it gets old? The sad fact is that it will happen over and over again. We are in transition and email is evolving. If it was dying there might actually be some hope that at some point we wouldn’t be subjected any longer to what seems like a never ending cycle of faulty pontification and the consequential hand wringing which follows. Remember when the Wall Street Journal declared last year that email was dead? People fell all over themselves either trying to refute that post or … [Read more...]

The New Reality of eCRM

Gianfranco Cuzziol: The new reality of eCRM

A degree in Astrophysics wouldn’t normally lead one to a career in digital marketing, but that unlikely path is the one which Gianfranco Cuzziol has walked. Gianfranco is fascinated with the cross-channel journey of the consumer and works with clients to help them leverage points of impact along that journey. He recently joined the EHS 4 D Group as Head of eCRM, where he looks after the development of their eCRM vision, strategy and delivery. He’s worked with a number of leaders including, Publicis Dialog and Golley Slater Direct – his experience includes working with major brands such as Hewlett Packard, Zurich Global Coporate and PC World Business. Gianfranco will be in Brussels on March 23rd as one of the keynote presenters at the Fusion Marketing Experience. You can follow him on Twitter here.  An interview. Do loyalty programs actually work and do you have any tips on how marketers can make them more effective? I think they would work better or rather be measured … [Read more...]

Survey Reveals Mobile Email Trends: Where Is Your Subscriber?

mobile email

We are on the go and so is our inbox, according to a new report from eROI. For some time now the focus of email marketers has been getting to the inbox and making sure that the message is compatible with whatever email client the subscriber is using. While the personal computer has stabilized and standardized to a great degree and the email client wars have shrunk to only a few major combatants, what seems to have snuck up on the outside are new devices for accessing those inboxes. It’s no longer only a case of what client they are using, but what device and even where they are at which affects readability. Now marketers have to contend with where their subscribers might be when they read the email. Are they at the office or on a train or at a football game? You just can’t be sure where anyone is these days and that complicates the issue. Where your subscriber is may well be as important as the day or time you send the email to them. In other words, it’s 11 PM and do you know … [Read more...]

Online Privacy Matters: People Are Responsible And So Are Marketers

social media privacy and personal data and information concept

I had a very interesting discussion this past week regarding online privacy. The crux of the debate was whether there was any such thing as privacy online. Is it a myth? Should we just accept that the traditional notion of personal privacy is passé and move on? 15 years ago I remember having a chat with someone when the web was young and people had lots of questions about it. I was very cautionary about the web and personal information. I made it clear that any information you elected to share via the web and even some you hadn’t personally elected to share could and likely would be used to manipulate or even control you. I’m not going to say I told you so. It didn’t take any great talent or foresight for me to make that observation. Anyone with knowledge of history can tell you that information has always been power. The more you know about someone the more potential control you have over them. Blackmail for example, is an art as old as civilization. You and you alone are … [Read more...]

Ten Lessons Social Media Marketers Can Learn from Email Marketers

marketing lessons

A while ago I posted an article on The eMail Guide, as the name says a site about email marketing and run by a few extremely nice people. As I write a lot about social media marketing and email marketing I wrote a post called "Why email marketers understand social media best (even if they don’t know it)". But there was some irony in it. Since I talked about "good" email marketers, hoping to convince email marketers to embrace social media. At the same time, it is true that people who specialize in social media marketing can learn a lot from email marketers. In fact, all kinds of marketers could learn a lot from each other and from sales people as well. So I decided to put the post here because I feel that it can provide some insights about social media, email and integration. If you disagree, please say so. A lot of email marketers are still hesitant about integrating social media. It’s often said that this is because email marketers have a broadcasting mentality … [Read more...]

Reactivating and Engaging Inactive Email Recipients in 8 Steps

reactivating and engaging inactive email recipients

All email marketers have them: inactive recipients and dormant email addresses. People that are still subscribed to their email lists with a valid email address but never open their emails and thus don't interact with them anymore. How do you re-engage these subscribers? Well, obviously, it starts by defining what an inactive email recipient is. The best way to do that is tracking your metrics (opens and clicks) over a certain period of time and then simply looking at the recipients that didn’t open their emails. Of course you can define other rules such as recipients that opened one mail out of ten but never once clicked. The next thing to do is understanding why the email addresses of these recipients simply are sleeping in your email database. There can be several reasons. Maybe the email address is dormant. Think about webmail addresses that have been created once but are not used anymore (or very rarely). Another reason can be that the subscriber is not … [Read more...]

Customer Service, Social Media and Email: Data and Tips

24 7 customer service

Today we are using all possible channels to provide customer service to our customers. People demand 24/24 and 7/7. I don’t mind adding to it that people have inflated expectations and sometimes demands that are exaggerated. We live in a society of instant gratification and, to be honest, I personally find this rather sad. Customers and businesses will increasingly include social media. There are lots of examples of companies using Twitter for customer service purposes successfully. However, there are also lots of examples of companies doing it without success. That does not have to be because they do it wrong. It can depend from the type of customers they have (is your customer on Twitter?), what kind of products and services they sell and where they are based. Why would you offer a customer service channel on Twitter if your average customer is not really using it? A good reason might be because some use it. However, why do it for this small percentage? Because chances are that … [Read more...]

Social Media and Email Integration Beyond Sharing Tools

social networking concept

Sharing tools are just a tiny detail in the convergence of social and email. Some thoughts on taking your social email marketing some steps further as I posted them recently on my blog. Many email marketers have discovered that social media and email marketing can be a perfect fit. The list of ESPs that provide sharing tools and functions in their email marketing solutions keeps growing. Cool. Now email marketers can look at conversion in new ways, increase the reach of their campaigns and so on. Everybody happy: the link between our email campaigns and social media is a fact since we offer sharing tools, right? Wrong! Integrating sharing tools into email marketing is just a small part of cross-fertilizing both channels. On top of that, those sharing tools should be used wisely. What I call social email marketing is about much more than just adding some buttons to share content via Twitter, Facebook, Delicious, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn and the likes. Combining … [Read more...]

The Digital Leverage Effect of Social Media and Email Marketing Integration

email marketing

Earlier this month I read an interesting post by Karen Talavera on The eMail Guide blog, a great resource for those who want to be kept well informed of every new development in the email marketing world. It made me think more than I already do about the role of content, e-mail marketing and social media from a cross-channel perspective. I wrote a post about it on my blog. Here it is. It seems that Karen and I are kindred spirits; her profile describes her as ‘passionate about integrating email, social media, content marketing, and more’, to create what she calls ‘online synchronicity’. And, as chance would have it, cross-channel social media, and content and email marketing are also my passion... for the simple reason that in reality people use a variety of channels simultaneously and so should we, as marketers. And it’s all about people, right? Moreover, it’s becoming more and more clear that if properly aligned (we want to prevent our customers from becoming … [Read more...]