Saving Time, Money and Hassle through ESP Customization

Saving Time, Money and Hassle through ESP Customization - iPost

When it comes to ESPs, there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution.  And, as companies evolve and grow their email marketing programs, they frequently find themselves at odds with their provider because the solution in place isn’t meeting their needs. The next step, these companies believe, is to switch providers. However, many of the limitations creating the impetus to switch can be addressed through reconfiguring the solution with the existing ESP through automation, integration and customized features.

Many organizations overlook the importance of customization capabilities when evaluating potential vendors and therefore miss out on two critical benefits. First, by definition, a customized solution is tailored specifically to what a particular organization needs.  Second, the company avoids the cost, hassle and disruption associated with selecting a different ESP and implementing a new solution every time organizational needs evolve. Read more ›

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Posted in Email Deliverability, Email Marketing

Email Marketing Deliverability: The Devil Is in the Details

Email Marketing Deliverability: The Devil Is in the Details - iPost

Plenty of companies play loose and fast with email marketing best practices – they either just don’t pay attention to protocols or simply don’t know better. And they motor along not really thinking about it until their email campaigns inexplicably tank without warning, notification or explanation. How can companies avoid getting flagged as a spammer and landing in the junk folder?  The devil lies in these six details:

Sender Authentication

To avoid triggering the spam filter, companies must clearly identify themselves as the sender – and it should be obvious as soon as the recipient opens the message. Messages appear particularly suspicious when the name of the sender and the source email address don’t match.  For instance, if ABC Office Supply identifies itself as the sender and the source email address reads johnsmith@yahoo.com, the spam flag will shoot up in a flash. Read more ›

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Posted in Email Deliverability, Email Marketing

Why Multi-Channel Email Marketing Is All About the Migration to Mobile

Why Multi-Channel Email Marketing Is All About the Migration to Mobile - iPost

Marketers have long extolled the importance of “multi-channel” programs.  And, with the explosive proliferation of digital channels, an integrated multi-channel strategy has become vitally important for all B2C and B2B companies of scale.

With respect to email marketing, multi-channel integration will translate into messages being delivered via traditional email, SMS and social media based on subscriber preferences.  And it won’t be just about accessing messages via a variety of channels – email marketers will also be contending with multiple platforms – computers, tablets and smartphones.

These shifts have not only forced evolution around email design and campaign optimization but also presented significant opportunities for innovation. Where do these opportunities lie? Read more ›

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Posted in Email Marketing

Ring in 2015! Top 5 Email Marketing Resolutions

Ring in 2015! Top 5 Email Marketing Resolutions - iPost

It’s that time of year to get your email marketing house in order – what are the top 5 most critical resolutions?

#1: Refine the Acquisition Strategy

List growth is universally important across industries and organizational scale. And, while increasing the size of the list is undeniably important, it’s equally critical to focus on the quality of the subscribers that you’re capturing. To ensure that you’re populating your list with high quality subscribers, start by analyzing where and how email marketing prospects are already engaging and interacting with your brand. From there, look for ways to enhance and extend those experiences through the email channel.

#2:  Personalize Content

While the days of “batch and blast” are long gone, it’s imperative to focus on perpetually improving targeting and relevancy – even using simple data points like location and gender can vastly improve a subscriber’s experience. In addition to these types of campaign filters, issuing personalized product recommendations via email based on subscriber browsing history can increase conversion rates by as much as 25% and click-through rates by up to 35%. Put simply, it’s clear that personalization pays off. Read more ›

Posted in Email Marketing

The Evolution of Email Marketing: The Top 4 Innovations on the Horizon

The Evolution of Email Marketing: The Top 4 Innovations on the Horizon - iPost

While email marketing might not be as glitzy and glamorous as some of the new channels on the block, it continues to hold is position as a foundational element of the marketing mix because it consistently delivers outstanding returns year after year. And, while social channels frequently steal the spotlight with respect to innovation, there’s plenty happening in the email channel that marketers should get excited about.

Here are the top four areas of innovation:

Mobility

If there’s anything that’s crystal clear in email marketing’s future it’s the importance of mobility.  The statistics on the growth of the mobile channel with respect to email marketing are compelling – in 2014 it’s estimated that 48% of all emails are opened on a mobile device. And, as consumers are moving toward using mobile phones and tablets as their primary tool to access their email and the internet, these portable platforms will become the new default for email marketing design.

Deliverability

Experts believe that “smarter” deliverability will be the wave of the future.  From a user perspective, the experience will be more elegant – the “spam” folder may disappear entirely. And, from a sender’s perspective, “smarter” deliverability will translate into no more bounces.  With more affirmative opt-in requirements likely to emerge, sender reputation and compliance with anti-spam protocols will continue to be critically important.

Inbox Management

Innovation in the inbox will transform the user experience.  While today’s email users struggle to sift through their inboxes and find important messages, new tools will emerge to better manage the process.  “Newest on top” will become a thing of the past, and relevancy will influence the inbox view.  Categorization tools will help users organize their messages, and email marketing offers will become increasingly dynamic – there will no longer be such a thing as an “expired offer.” Read more ›

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Posted in Email Marketing

Email Marketing 2015: It’s All About Enriching Personalization

Email Marketing 2015: It’s All About Enriching Personalization - iPost

As the world becomes increasingly connected via technology, marketers have broader visibility into their customers and their characteristics. Whereas digital technologies were once viewed as “dehumanizing,” savvy marketers are now using these channels to deliver rich, unique and personalized experiences to customers and prospects.

It’s clear that in 2015 we’ll continue to witness the development of email marketing campaigns featuring increasingly sophisticated personalization – not only will behavioral targeting techniques become more advanced but also geographic and demographic factors will be meshed in to create fully immersive customer experiences.

This evolution with respect to email marketing extends to marketing across channels – personalization is no longer a trend, it’s a cross-channel pillar. The reason that personalization is so effective is that people resist homogenization and long to be treated as individuals – and this core principle is transforming brand management and digital marketing programs across the board. Read more ›

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Posted in Email Marketing

Email Marketing Goes Mobile: the Top 6 Tactics to Capture Shoppers On-the-Go

Email Marketing Goes Mobile: the Top 6 Tactics to Capture Shoppers On-the-Go - iPost

It’s estimated that mobile traffic grew to nearly 40% of total online traffic on Black Friday 2013, reflecting a 34% increase from the previous year. And, despite the fact that most shoppers are at their desks on Cyber Monday morning, mobile sales comprised an estimated 22% of total online sales – an increase of almost 43% from the previous year.

Given the steep trajectory on mobile e-commerce, it’s widely anticipated that 2014 will be the tipping point where mobile e-commerce traffic tops that of the desktop.  Because shoppers are flocking to the mobile channel in droves, it’s critically important to make sure that your email campaigns are designed and optimized for the mobile platform. Read more ›

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Email Marketing A/B Testing: Your Ticket to Campaign Optimization

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Are your email marketing campaigns performing as well as they should be?  The truth is that you can’t be sure unless you’re running A/B testing programs. A/B testing essentially entails splitting your list and sending out two variations of the same message where the “A” message is the control and the “B” is the variation.  Then, you track your results around a variety of important metrics, including opens, click-through rates and conversion.

In the instance that the variation performs better than the control, it becomes the new “champion.” By iteratively testing different versions of the same message and comparing performance, email marketers are not only able to perpetually optimize performance of any given campaign but also glean general learnings around success drivers that can be applied to all campaigns across the board.

What types of variations can be tested? Read more ›

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Posted in Email Marketing

Holiday Retail 2014: Three Nick-of-Time Tips for Successful Q4 Email Marketing Campaigns

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According to Deloitte, total holiday retail sales are expected to reach $986 billion in 2014, reflecting a 4.5% increase over last year’s sales. With retailers rolling out marketing programs earlier and earlier in the season, holiday 2014 is already in full swing.

However, it’s not too late for organizations to refine their digital marketing campaigns to make sure that they achieve the best possible results from their email marketing programs during the highly competitive holiday season.  What last-minute tweaks make the biggest difference? Read more ›

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Posted in Email Marketing

Content Marketing and Email: A B2B Match Made in Heaven

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It has been well-established that companies are successfully gaining credibility, driving conversion and courting customers through content marketing initiatives. This is because creating and distributing valuable content is not only a great way to build a rapport and develop a loyal following but also a powerful vehicle for driving conversion and mitigating churn. What’s the best way to deliver this content?  Via email.

When you’re running a B2B content marketing program, it’s not only important to deliver quality content consistently and reliably but also to carefully plan the timing and sequencing of any given campaign.  When you’re relying on banner ads, search, and other user-directed channels to reach your subscribers, you’ve lost the opportunity to manage and maximize the content experience. Read more ›

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Posted in Email Marketing