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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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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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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Customized Landing Pages: Your Email Marketing Conversion Rates Depend on Them

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With respect to email marketing, it’s easy to get caught up in the minutia – subject lines, images, copy, and more. While paying attention to the details of any given campaign is an important exercise, it’s critical to consider the bigger picture and how an email marketing campaign plays out through conversion.

An email marketing message in the inbox is a single step along the path of a customer’s relationship with your brand and offer.  Next comes the open, then the click-through, and finally conversion.  To gain insight into what’s driving email marketing success and failure, it’s essential to consider the customer trail.

If you’ve been leveraging fully featured email marketing software and can track subscriber activity – which messages got opened, where they clicked through, and what they browsed on your site, for instance – you’re in a great position to make educated inferences on what types of products, services, offers, and content would likely interest any given subscriber. Read more ›

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Cashing In On Email Marketing: It’s All About Automation

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There’s no question that the statistics around the effectiveness and potential of email marketing are impressive – the number of email accounts is growing, the level of engagement continues to rise, and the proliferation of mobile access empowers marketers to reach subscribers anytime and everywhere. How are marketers successfully cashing in on email marketing?

Lead Generation

Email marketing is a tried and true lead generation powerhouse, and it has consistently performed well for both B2C and B2B companies. And, according to a recent study published by McKinsey & Company, it performs nearly 40 times better as a customer acquisition tool when compared to social media marketing campaigns. Read more ›

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Customer Acquisition for Financial Services Providers: How Email Marketing Fits Into the Mix

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While financial services providers have traditionally leveraged old-school offline methods to reach new customers and cross-sell to existing clients, the shopping process for banking services has shifted, and consumers are now using online channels to research, compare and open new accounts.  Banking customers generally tend to be very loyal, with only 9% of households switching institutions annually. While a portion of this loyalty is attributable to service satisfaction, customer inertia factors in heavily because it’s a huge pain to switch banks.

The reality is that banking customers don’t switch institutions on a whim.  According to a recent study results published by AOL and Oliver Wyman titled “Making the Switch: Checking Path to Purchase,” marketing offers, negative experiences, and significant life events drive switchers into the marketplace. However, they are no longer responding to traditional offline marketing programs. Read more ›

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How to Secure Email in the Cloud: The Top Three Considerations for Financial Services Providers

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Encrypting email in the cloud isn’t as straightforward as it seems. While there are countless benefits associated with cloud-based email, for many financial services providers the risks frequently outweigh the rewards. Hackers and cyber security data breaches are a common and obvious concern – however, the risk of regulatory non-compliance and legal exposure around privacy protection is just as significant. What are the top three considerations with respect to how to secure email in the cloud for financial services providers? Read more ›

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CASL: How the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation Is Changing the Face of Email Marketing

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The Canadian government recently passed Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation – or CASL – to regulate the commercial electronic communications sent to or from Canadian email users. The law went into effect on July 1, 2014 and requires explicit or implicit opt-in by recipients before commercial organizations can send them messages. By contrast, the US CAN-SPAM Act merely requires that opt-outs are removed from your email list.

If your organization does business in Canada, CASL regulations will apply to the electronic messages that you send to both customers and prospects. And, if your organization resides outside of Canada yet sends email to Canadians, it’s still unclear how CASL enforcement will affect you – and it’s best to assume that the requirements will apply to you. Read more ›

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Travel and Leisure Direct Marketing: Engaging Subscribers with Email Enticements

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For travel and leisure direct marketing initiatives, email is the perennial top performer – it consistently delivers on revenue and ROI, demonstrating over and over again that no other channel can beat its effectiveness. Unfortunately, many travel and leisure marketers fail to fully capitalize on the channel’s potential with respect to direct marketing.

Years ago, travel and leisure marketers relied heavily on direct mail marketing – glossy brochures and postcards delivered in the snail mail box with enticing offers to call and make a reservation. With the advent of email marketing, direct marketing companies were presented with not only a new, highly profitable way to reach customers but also the chance to eliminate the hassle, expense and waste associated with printing and postage.

The benefits of email marketing extend far beyond cost savings, and reaping the rewards of those benefits hinges on the quality of the email marketing strategy. How can travel and leisure direct marketers fully leverage the potential of email marketing? Read more ›

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The Future of B2B Email Marketing: Deconstructing the Data Behind Predictive Analytics

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Many companies leverage email analytics to improve email campaign performance – over time, it’s become an essential component of all sophisticated email campaign services solutions.  By studying open rates, click-through, conversion and more, organizations have gathered valuable insight around key drivers of email campaign success. While traditional email analytics center on historical analysis to inform future decisions, predictive analytics empower email marketers to proactively design an email campaign based on what subscribers will likely do in the future and in the here-and-now.

How do predictive analytics work?

It starts with assembling customer data from multiple sources and consolidating it into rich customer profiles that are then stored in a database against which email marketers can run predictive queries and models. For efficacy purposes, the quality of the data is critical.

Most email campaign software solutions collect two types of information – subscriber attributes and behaviors.  Subscriber attributes include things like employer, job title, academic degrees and other characteristics that build the objective framework of the individual subscriber profiles.

In addition to personal information collected on subscribers, savvy B2B email marketers overlay threads of information about their employers, including employee headcount, job openings, and web presence. Taking it one step further, some leverage not only “firmographics” which are essentially fixed characteristics of an organization – not only things like industry, location, and technologies but also dynamic company attributes like new investment, management change and office openings.

This information is particularly useful with respect to early-stage lead qualification, monitoring late stage sales developments and managing customer success.

By contrast, behavioral data tracks how a given subscriber interacts with the company – for instance, what emails are opened, what offers are clicked-through, what portions of the website are browsed and what materials are downloaded. These interactions provide invaluable insight into key areas of interest for lead cultivation and effective account management.

When B2B email marketers correlate personal attributes, company characteristics, and behavioral data, they can run predictive analytics models that can assess not only what will interest a subscriber at any given point but also which subscribers are on the cusp of conversion or upsell based on their fully dimensional profile. This allows B2B marketers to hone in on ripe targets during the critical window of opportunity when they’re most likely to be receptive.

Building strong relationships with customers and prospects sits at the heart of effective B2B email marketing.  And, to successfully build these relationships, it’s important to understand not only the proclivities and interests of the individual subscriber but also the context around the subscriber’s role in the vetting and decision making process.  Organizational characteristics – both static and fluid – are another key driver of receptivity. And, once initial conversion occurs, B2B marketers can further leverage predictive analytics to boost retention, up-sell and cross-sell programs.

Successful B2B email marketing programs are all about the combination of managing subscriber relationships and striking while the iron is hot to secure conversion and upsell.  Predictive analytics fuels this effort, and this is why it’s the wave of the future for B2B email marketing.

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