By Amanda Berkey
Monday, June 4, 2012
Monday, June 4, 2012
Each Thursday at 11 a.m. EST, marketers from around the world join the ExactTarget user community on Twitter for a conversation about trends and campaign ideas across the interactive marketing industry. We call the virtual coffee chat the Nexus Café.
A recent chat focused on evolving email marketing programs with the new reality of social and mobile centric audiences. With smart phones and wireless connected devices, people consume email, Internet, social media, text messaging, and mobile apps in a single device all day long. We discussed the challenge for interactive marketers to stay on top of the evolution of email marketing programs to take advantage of cross-channel connectivity. Our guest for this week's chat was Jay Jhun, Director of Strategic Services, of BrightWave Marketing interactive agency.
Here's the recap from the chat from the marketers that joined us.
@ETNexus Q1: What do marketers need to understand about the mobile & social era?
@emailrocks: Marketers have to realize that customer engagement can happen ANYWHERE
@emailrocks Also, we can no longer assume that recipients will engage with your email at a desktop/laptop
@kkestler: Marketers need to understand that what they "understand" today may not hold true tomorrow. You have to be quick on your feet.
@havronsm There is a deluge of information, people want it but on their own terms. Marketers must follow customers rules
@emailrocks The power of word of mouth (WOM) mktg is *literally* in our customers’ hands; they can share experiences about your brand anywhere/time
@kkestler Absolutely. And ironically it's sometimes best to *lead* with your thoughts but *follow* your audience to where they go.
@abandajr: Marketers should remember that email is more personal than social communication. Therefore, NO SPAM.
@ETNexus Q2: How do you see social media driving the evolution of email marketing programs?
@emailrocks: Social media is creating opportunities for email marketers to evolve from being advertisers to relationship mgrs
@emailrocks Social also brings a fresh emphasis on the need for relevance in our email content in order to see engagement
@kkestler Social helps to drive email out of the silo, and keep it there. It makes email a conversation-starter, not just a 1-way conv.
@csabbarese social media is the catalyst for reaching consumers & getting them to our site, email signup
@havronsm I agree. Social Media makes email come to life with interactions and conversations. No more force feeding a message
@ETNexus Q3: In the context of email communications, how do you define mobile?
@emailrocks In my humble opinion, mobile = smartphone w/ access to min 3G data. I exclude feature phones from this discussion because I’m looking forward
@emailrocks Screen sizes went from 15 to 23 inches; Now, we’re seeing radical shift in user experience onto 3 to 5 inch screens
@csabbarese Mobile is a delivery vehicle just like pc, only diff experience & 24/7 accessibility
@ETNexus Q4: Where do tablets live in the mobile era?
@emailrocks Tablet is a hybrid scenario: iPad is 1024x768 = 15" screen that can be held 6-18 inches from your face
@emailrocks and by Tablet, i mean iPad bc they have an enormous market share north of 90%
@havronsm Tablets are right up there with smart phones! Their growing like wildfire and can't be left out!
@emailrocks Tablets enable us to engage with brands at 30k feet, on their sofas while watching TV, & even in their bathrooms :-o
@csabbarese we're becoming an ADD society, we all want fast, instant, 24/7 access...who has time to log into a pc for info any more? Lol
@meladorri I'm torn on whether tablet=mobile. Potential is there, but design challenges are different. I mostly use my iPad on the couch! :)
@caleb616 waiting for email clients to catch up to #HTML standards. Apply responsive web to #email and we all win. #dreams
@iamelliot if iPad isn't mobile, then we need to treat "tablet" at the same level as we treat desktop and mobile.
@ETNexus Q5: How and where should marketers start in evolving their email programs?
@emailrocks Identify your mobile audience via web and email analytics.
@emailrocks It could range from 15-50% of your audience today and it's only going to grow.
@csabbarese asking which format they prefer to get at sign up, mobile, HTML, text...?
@havronsm Email needs to be formatted for mobile. Nothing worse than getting an email on mobile but not being able to read it
@emailrocks Use @Litmus, @pivotalveracity @ReturnPath with email or draw inferences from your web analytics.
@ETNexus Q6: What 3 things can marketers can do immediately to optimize their email campaigns for mobile?
@emailrocks 1. Get serious about writing great subject lines and be strategic about how you use preview text
@emailrocks 2. Perform A/B tests of subject line & preview text regularly to see what combination works best.
@emailrocks 3. KISS: Don't overstuff email w/content. Get to your point as fast as you can & include an obvious call-to-action
@emailrocks Bonus tip: Optimize content incl. CTA in the top left quadrant of any template for images being off.
@abandajr: Remember the user likely uses a data plan. Use media queries to swap larger images for smaller.
@ETNexus Q7: What other influence can social media have in evolving email programs?
@emailrocks Social interactions with your customers are a gold-mine of highly relevant email content
@emailrocks Just because content/conversations are on your blog or Facebook page, it doesn't mean your email audience will ever see it
@emailrocks Make sure that content being shared via social is truly SHAREWORTHY. Otherwise, abstain and don't misuse social sharing
@emailrocks Social sharing links to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & Pinterest are making Forward to a Friend function obsolete
@abandajr Social is just another channel of communication like email. Stay true that audience, but cross promote like crazy.
@ETNexus Q8: Are there any companies that you think are demonstrating this evolution?
@emailrocks Many retailers in e-commerce are leading the way in supporting actionable email campaigns via mobile websites
@abandajr When's the last time you clicked on an email from a company? Did you buy anything? Take action? That's who's doing it right.
@havronsm Papajohns is great with their mobile emails and mobile site.
@emailrocks In order to address mobile's impact to your business, now is the time to begin investing & testing mobile conversion rates
@ETNexus Q9: Are there any resources that you'd recommend for marketers?
@kkestler Said it before & I'll say it again: #NexusCafe is an excellent resource (especially now that there's the Aussie version too)
@anitaloomba Keep up to date in the digital space: Read blogs, articles and connect with other email marketers
@amandaberkey Timely RT @Hoovers: Need proof that #SoMe and #mobile #marketing are insanely complicated? Infographic: http://ow.ly/b7T9q