GDPR has been in place for six months and everyone is over it. Well, nearly everyone is over it. But much like life, plenty of other things have come into the email marketing sphere and disrupted the digital marketing industry. Marketing automation is the phrase on everyone’s lips, accessibility is the new frontier in email marketing, and do we even need to personalise anyway? Fortunately, our expert speakers descended upon The Hospital Club last Thursday to shed some light on these issues disrupting the industry and answer key questions pertaining to all things email marketing and Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Marketers working in email and CRM in the UK’s top brands joined us and our expert speakers for an informative afternoon of presentations and networking. Here, we take a look at the latest in Customer Experience, marketing automation, deliverability, and much more from the #FigDigEmail seminar.
Why does relevancy matter? With only 20 per cent engagement, the question should be, how can we engage the 80 per cent? There’s loyalty and retention programs, focusing on customer journeys, improving the online shopping experience, developing lead generation and conversions, branching out into omni-channel, and many more options than it is reasonable to list here. Marketing automation is another option and is the phrase on everyone’s lips and rightly so, as it enables smarter decision-making. But what do you automate? Whatever you decide, Jason Baskaran, Director of Account Management at Apsis, argues automation is a mindset and not a shiny addition to your marketers tool belt. Through a unique professional style of visual and vocal storytelling, Jason shared Apsis’ approach to marketing automation and presented plenty of actionable takeaways that will have the greatest impact on your digital marketing strategy.
Jason used the functional yet accessible outdoor and ski wear brand, 8848 Altitude, as an example of the power of automation. They partnered with Apsis and after implementing marketing automation, their highly relevant campaigns had a 56 per cent open rate (+30 per cent higher compared with other send outs). This, Jason fervently impressed upon the delegates, is the reality of automation and can be seen directly in the results with open rates +180 per cent higher than average and click through rates +330 per cent higher than average. The reason? Relevancy, pure and simple. To further his point about relevancy, Jason warned delegates about over-focusing on generalised segments – no one wants to be reaching Ozzy Osbourne when they’re targeting Bill Gates. Both may be men over 50 that wear glasses and live in California, but one could assume may not quite be into the same thing. Find out more about marketing automation, sociographics, and more by watching Jason’s presentation.
View Jason’s presentation here.
Customer experience can be a bit of a smokescreen. CRM on the other hand, if misunderstood or not implemented within a business properly and not used to it’s full potential can have a huge negative impact on any business. Marketers often talk about the importance of customer experience, and rightly so, but truly “putting the customer at the heart of everything” still needs to be spearheaded by innovative and evolving CRM practice. To kick the seminar off to a great start Josh Hull, Principal Planner at Edit, shared his insights into offline and online CRM and explained why it’s so important for you to get your CRM right. One of Josh’s primary points was that business need to make sure they adequately balance customer need and business objectives. In the words of Econsultancy, ultimately “Customer experience is exciting, yes, but it’s often a bit of a red herring. If we’re honest, what people really want is good customer service“. And this is what, through hyper personalisation of messaging, a fully formed and well implemented CRM system can provide.
Josh looked specifically at the effects of prioritising your CRM can have on your email campaigns. And with plenty of examples of successful email campaigns from brands implementing the advanced CRM techniques Josh outlined, such as Waitrose, Sky, Monica Vinader, easyJet, and more, it’s easy to see why the only way is CRM. All brands use data to personalise through a customer first strategy: they create demand to develop a suspect or prospect into a customer, then create advocacy to evolve a customer into a high value customer. By taking a layered approach to CRM implementation, these brands were able to realign their metrics, analytics, experience design, and innovation around customer journeys to produce extremely effective email campaigns. Despite the obvious results of this CRM led approach, many marketeers are still focused on customer experience over CRM. Josh helpfully outlined to the delegates how data from a solid CRM strategy can be used to enhance CX by allowing brands to establish actuals, increased response to messaging by removing potential barriers from the customer’s sales journey, infer success, develop accurate modelling, and much more. Watch Josh’s presentation to find out more.
View Josh’s presentation here.
There are many reasons why you may need to improve the process you go through to get an email out of the door. These range from it taking an age to make email, not having the resource to make the email you need, your team being dissatisfied with the process, not getting the full value of your ESP, thinking you think you can get more money from the channel, and many more. Email is more than the workhorse of digital marketing — it’s an amazing channel that often delivers the best results for marketers. But, as marketeers, we sometimes neglect this most trusty of channels. In his presentation Elliot Ross, CEO at Taxi For Email revealed how he believes email marketing is going to evolve in 2019, looked at campaigns that have pushed the boundaries of email, and explained how these ideas can be successfully harnessed by your own team.
It’s outdated and inefficient that, as one CRM Manager of a UK High Street brand once said, “It takes 100 emails to send one email.” And these inefficiencies cost brands valuable time and money that could be better used elsewhere or reinvested into improving the actual content of email campaigns. To counter this fossil of a marketing process, Elliot suggested to the delegates the absolute need for an email design system – you need to invest in the right tool for your brand. Not only are they a single source of truth for design and code, drastically cutting down design time, but they are also constantly evolving. Once invested in and implemented, a design system ensures everyone knows what they’re doing, reduces risk of errors, makes email campaigns quicker, and allows for investment in better quality code. Once that is in place, email marketing and CRM teams can spend time exploring other avenues within email. For example, Elliot pointed out to the delegates, working accessibility for people with hearing, visual, dexterity, and cognitive impairments into your email campaigns will surely become a must in 2019 but, for now, will really set you apart from your competitors. This ultimately means that by designing for someone with a permanent disability, someone with a situational limitation can also benefit. Elliot continued the presentation by looking at ways you can keep up with your email marketing in 2019 such as ensuring that your email works without images as everyone will see email without images at some point, realising that GDPR makes us better then using that to your advantage, and much more. Watch his presentation to find out more.
View Elliot’s presentation here.
To ensure that you’re getting the highest return on your efforts, you need to get your email in front of people. That can’t happen if you’re stuck in the Junk folder with the viagra offers and foreign princes urgently needing your, yes your, help – there is no one-size-fits-all approach to the email filtering conundrum. Marketeers often focus on open rates and the success, or lack of it, that those number show. However, it is the statistical breakdown of those that didn’t open that can be the most revealing about how well your email campaigns are actually performing. With this at the forefront of his mind Dale Langley, Head of Deliverability at Adestra, walked the delegates through the various levers at your disposal to get your email to the inbox, keep it there, and (god forbid) get it engaged with.
In a slide sequence far too complicated to breakdown in a roundup (you’ll have to watch the video to garner the full effect) Dale broke down the components involved in sending emails to subscribers and looked at three broad areas: Senders, ISP’s, and Recipients. By outlining in detail the actions, responsibilities, and consequences of each of these stages of sending and receiving an email, Dale showed that it might not be your ESP letting you down in the deliverability department but rather the delicate balance needed to reach an inbox being knocked by an email roadblock – be that email filtering, reputation, blacklisting, etc. Dale went on to discuss why deliverability can go wrong and how you can fix it, including: making your opt-in clear, informing subscribers what content you’re going to send, make unsubscribing easy, keeping your list clean, tackling data quality issues, recognising and planning for those who aren’t engaging, meeting subscriber needs rather than your own, and more. Your ESP more than likely can’t fix your deliverability problems for you but they can provide advice. And most importantly, be patient! Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is email reputation. To see Dale’s in-depth explanations of deliverabitlity in action, watch his presentation.
View Dale’s presentation here.
Do we have to personalise? What impact do Affiliates have on B2C relationships? Are your customers too smart for your marketing? What is the biggest opportunity within retargeting? In his presentation Ricardas Montvila, Director of Solution Strategy at Mapp Digital, answered these key questions and more by diving into his own inbox to reveal where brands are missing a trick when it comes to email marketing.
One of the most difficult elements to reconcile with each other within digital marketing is merchandising needs versus customer centricity. To be successful you need to expertly balance both, something that is particularly difficult within the email channel. Whatever approach you to email you take, be it product or content focused, behaviour or in-market triggers, or transactional, all have different advantages. Revisiting email automation programs can be incredibly beneficial – campaign redesigns of your abandoned basket, reactivation, and birthday emails can result in a 250 per cent performance uplift like it did with Mapp Digital’s partnership with Ponden Home. Ricardas continued by asking, what is the value of connecting with a customer across multiple channels? Simply put, customers who used four or more channels to interact with a brand spend on average nine per cent more. The HBR’s 2017 A Study of 46,000 Shoppers Shows That Omnichannel Retailing Works, reveals that “Within six months after an omnichannel shopping experience, customers had logged 23 per cent more repeat shopping trips to the retailer’s stores and were more likely to recommend the brand to family and friends than those who used a single channel.” With the evolution of, and increase in, digital marketing channels having changed the face of marketing and relationships with customers forever, it is more important than ever to communicate consistent storytelling across all channels. From identifying intent, inspiring, convincing, helping to decide, to finally completing the pre-departure sequence, consistency is key. Watch Ricardas’ presentation for the answers to many more key email marketing questions.
View Ricardas’ presentation here.