Where in the World is Emma in 2010? June Edition

Steve and Frank representing Emma at our booth during the NRA Show in Chicago last month.

As you make your travel plans for some summer good times, we thought we'd let you know about some exciting places where we'll be in June.

When you look at our list, you're probably going to say to yourself, "Jeepers, these guys love Denver & Portland!" and you'll be right. Denver & Portland are home to two of our Emma offices, and we're looking forward to spending time with our Colorado & Oregon colleagues. If you're nearby and want to meet with us, give us a shout and we'll set something up.

Open Source Bridge Conference
June 1 – 4 :: Portland, OR

This is our second year in a row sponsoring the Open Source Bridge Conference. This is a newer conference organized for developers who work with open source technologies or are interested in learning more about open source. Not only is this a great opportunity for our Portland developers to connect and share experiences with other developers in Portland, but we also can show some local support to such an important group in one of our Emma cities. If you're planning on attending, please say hello to Michelle, Mark and Jay, our Emma developers who will be attending. If you're a developer and want to know more about our job opportunities, be sure to let them know. (You can learn more here.)

Creative Freelancer Conference
June 5 – 6 :: Denver, CO

This event kicks off HOW's week of design conferences — it's for designers, illustrators, photographers, copywriters and other creative professionals. We're supplying some fun tote bag inserts here, so if you're attending, you'll receive some Emma love.

InHOWse Design Conference
June 6 – 8 :: Denver, CO

If you're a manager or lead of an in-house creative team, this event may be right up your alley. This year, HOW is anticipating 400 total attendees from small to large-sized companies. We'll have an exhibit table at this year's event, so please do stop by and say hello to Sam Farkas. FYI, Sam plays guitar for a band that is playing at Bonnaroo this year. Pretty awesome, eh?

HOW Design Conference
June 6 – 9 :: Denver, CO

The HOW Design Conference is one of those signature events that we've really come to love being a part of each year. We put a lot into the design of our customers' brands in email, so participating in these events gives us a chance to share more about Emma and gives us a chance to get to know what other creative professionals are up to.

Emma's Jonathan Gesinger and Taylor Schena will be leading a session, providing helpful tips for creating stylish and effective email campaigns on Tuesday, June 8th from 10:45 AM – 12 PM. You can register for this session here. Not only will we have an exhibit space where you'll find two wonderful folks from our sales crew, Gina LaMar and Theresa McLoughlin, but you may also run into two of Emma's fabulous designers, Jennifer Kasdorf and Jimmy Thorn, who will be attending the overall conference.

Online Marketing Summit's 22-City Regional Tour
June 16th (Portland, OR) & June 23rd (Denver, CO)

This year, OMS will be visiting 23 cities across the United States and Canada as part of their regional tour to bring best practices in online marketing to more than 250 attendees in each city. Each city will receive a single day of online marketing education and peer networking. This month, we'll be speaking and sponsoring in two of our Emma cities, Denver and Portland. Then in July, we'll be at the Austin event on the 21st.

If you're going to be at any of these events or in the area, definitely let us know. Hope you all have a great summer!

The Brainiac Guide to Welcome Email Automation

Join the social media conversation

Lots of you have been using our new Social Sharing feature in Preview, and we love reading your comments. We've even used your feedback to shape how the feature works. We know you're excited about how this tool can help your organization because you've been telling us in all sorts of ways, such as …

  • "The social sharing is a great new feature! Thank you for continually upgrading your system!" – Jess Goedken, WBG
  • "Worked like a charm and looks great!" – Peggy, Warner Norcross & Judd
  • "Just like Burger King: 'Have it your way!' You guys are simply awesome! I had asked for this, and here it is!" – Suzanne, Documentary Channel

(So you can see why we're blushing even as we're busily working on the feature.)

We're already thinking about how our product will evolve, and a big part of that future depends on how you all use social media. So we thought we'd toss you a question to get your perspective and give us more feedback to share with our product team:

Tell us: Do you use social media primarily for listening or for speaking?

Some of you have already answered us on Twitter:

@boomerangzone says, "We use them for both. For social media to work, you need to engage in conversation. It's also a way to watch/build your brand."

@kenjisan says, "In my personal life, social channels are mainly for listening. Professionally, they're for sharing."

So come on, join the conversation and let us know how you're using social media in the comments below. We look forward to hearing from you.

Meet Design & Image

How a design shop refines brands for their clients and strengthens their own identity, too.
About their newsletter.
Design & Image, a visual branding firm in Denver, sends out monthly and weekly newsletters and event invitations to their clients and fans. They illustrate brand studies, offer tips and classes for streamlining company branding and host a first-Friday happy hour for clients each month. Their penchant for clean designs and smart email marketing makes them a strong contender in the world of brand management – segmenting their audience and testing subject lines are two strategies they use to increase engagement.

Why we like it.
The formatting is attractive and balanced. Design & Image's aesthetic is colorful and punchy without being cluttered. They've chosen relatively subdued colors – light blue and gray – and embellished with bright orange images. They place a visual splash with a focus on their key message up top, strategy questions in the middle and links to learn more at the end.
In short: Use formatting to your advantage without overdoing it to get your message in front your readers.

They focus on their audience. Sometimes we forget that our email newsletters should be less about us and more about our audience members. The Design & Image email poses industry questions that their subscribers can ponder, and then offers a complimentary marketing consultation. It's easy for them to track their most interested audience members by measuring click-throughs and consultation conversions.
In short: Think about new and creative incentives that encourage audience engagement.

The send-off, at a glance.

  • Sent to segmented audience groups in three separate sends (Mar 10, Mar 18, Apr 6); to 172 total members
  • Avg open rate: 39.2% :: Average click-through rate: 24.1%%
  • Subject line: Online Marketing Gameplan from D & I
  • Created using an Upload Your Own HTML template

More details

See the campaign online
See the website

‘Lost’ with Emma? Just this once

If Google's Ms. Pac-man hasn't provided enough Friday diversion for you, we've just launched a special limited edition of our 404 page for "Lost" fans. (That's the webpage you see if the page you try to visit on our site doesn't exist.)

It's up for this weekend only, in honor of the series finale of "Lost" on Sunday night. You can also see it by visiting any non-existent page on the site, like myemma.com/smokemonster.

Thanks to front end web developer and "Lost" devotee Jeff McKeand for, ahem, hatching this little idea.

Post-Finale Update: We've had a little trouble letting go, if you know what we mean. So while our main 404 page is back to its normal, mustache-themed self, we're keeping the smoke monster page alive.

In-store experiences and email working well together

How World Market used email to begin a lovely brand + consumer relationship.

Sometimes a good email experience starts on a random Saturday afternoon while you're holding onto a rug and standing in a check-out line. World Market, known for affordable and stylish goods from around the world, does some savvy marketing that starts with the point of sale and heads right to the inbox. They use several best practices to build relationships with customers and keep them coming back for more.

When I was recently buying a World Market rug, the cashier asked me if I'd like to become a member of the World Market Explorer Rewards Program. She compared the program to a Kroger Plus Card program, assured me it was free and said I'd receive coupons if I signed up. So, of course, the bargain lover in me signed up: name, email and telephone number.

Simple enough. Expectations set. Bring on the coupons…

A day or so later, I got an email prompting me to set up my Explorer membership, confirming my interest with an official opt-in. After entering a couple of details (taking 15 seconds, tops), I received a 10-percent-off coupon in my inbox within minutes. (I already had my next rug purchase in mind.) What's especially important to note here is that World Market reached out as soon as I joined the list while my memory of signing up was fresh. Lots of organizations forget to do this, and they lose the opportunity to get people engaged right away.

A few days later, they sent me a $10 off coupon. I knew I would receive coupons, but two in one week was a nice surprise. I was further intrigued when the next email invited me to go to the World Market Preference Center to indicate my personal interests in their brand. World Market will use those details so they can send me content that they know interests me.

With one swift interaction and a couple of emails, World Market made me into a repeat buyer.

Takeaways for your own email strategy:

+ Let your subscribers know what they should expect when they sign up for your list, and follow up with them quickly.
+ Follow through and meet — or exceed, if possible — those expectations.
+ Engage your customers through email, listen to what they have to say and tailor your messages accordingly.

April Design Showcase: Denver Edition

For our next installment of the Design Showcase, it is our distinct privilege to highlight a few cool companies in Denver, Colorado. The Mile-High City is not only the home of the Rocky Mountains, the Broncos and breweries galore, but it's also home to an Emma satellite office and, more specifically, Emma designer extraordinaire Leigh Bernstein.

Leigh has the opportunity to work with some truly great companies based in Denver, so we're taking a peek at what sets them apart as stand-out folks and email marketers.
 

Client: The Children's Museum of Denver
Emma designer: Leigh Bernstein
Design level: Concierge Design

The Children's Museum of Denver is a wonderful non-profit organization that asked Leigh to create something simple, but with distinct touches of their playful branding. For the header, she used bright colors and the signature bee from their website, and she included warm elements such as the ants and grass at the bottom of the design. Thanks to our friends at the museum for letting us play a role in their goal of teaching through play.
 

Client: Kiwi Activewear
Emma designer: Leigh Bernstein
Design level: Concierge Design

Kiwi Activewear is a small, spunky company made up of busy moms who see the importance of streamlining one's life and wardrobe. They depend on online sales and in-person trunk shows, so Sonya Peterson requested a whimsical design that would help them reach out to their customers effectively.

Leigh made the most of a decorative border that allows their campaign content to shine. The border works from one mailing to the next, regardless of the amount of content they wish to highlight.

Why does it work so well? The straight lines at the center allow for expansion. The design delighted Sonya and is a great representation of Kiwi.
 

Client: Impossible
Emma designer: Leigh Bernstein
Design level: Concierge Design

Located in the heart of Denver, the folks at Impossible spend their days using live action, design and visual effects to get brands noticed on television.

They love their website and with good reason: They've created a sleek aesthetic with their logo, and Leigh's goal was simply to make it translate easily into the custom stationery.

Leigh accomplished their desired look by employing a blue-to-black gradient, which fades in to a solid color halfway down to maximize flexibility.

The folks at Impossible love the design and have even been known to meet up with our Emma friends in Denver. My, how nice to be neighbors!
 

Client: Colorado AMA
Emma designer: Leigh Bernstein
Design level: Concierge Design

The American Marketing Association is the world's largest professional society of marketers, so you can imagine how we got excited to work with folks who love the whole of marketing as much as we do.

The Colorado branch of this amazing organization asked Leigh to take creative freedom without straying too far from their website.

She kept the logo prominent and added the eye-catching element of the newspapers to the header graphic. It maintains a simple look while staying close to the branding of the nationwide association.

Until next time … hugs, brand extension and crisp mountain air from your entire Emma design team.

A Nashville nonprofit mobilizes volunteers after a flood

When Nashville endured record-high rainfall and flooding over this past weekend, Hands On Nashville recognized that relief efforts would need to be large in scale and swift. Josh Corlew, HON's Emergency Preparedness Manager, sent a series of email campaigns urging folks to get involved and showing them where – and how – they could donate time or money. You can see recent campaigns here and here.

In a crisis that is being declared a federal disaster, Hands on Nashville is using the immediacy of email and social networking to their advantage: updating supporters when volunteer positions have filled, posting ongoing needs and keeping the spirit of urgency alive.

Of course, all of us at Emma are paying special attention to how nonprofits are helping during the flood since our main office is in Nashville. And we're pleased to have Hands On Nashville as one of our customers. But most of all, we're thrilled to see email and social networking sites play such a practical role in communicating, bringing people together and helping solve problems during a crisis.

A few ways to follow and support Hands On Nashville's efforts:

+ Sign up to receive their email newsletters
+ Follow them on Twitter (@HONashville)
+ Check out their current volunteer opportunities

You can also text "REDCROSS" to 90999 to donate $10 to relief efforts in Nashville.

By the way, Emma designer Taylor Schena designed the flood-edition Hands On Nashville stationery pictured above.