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Get the right tools in your marketing rucksack for today’s customer journey




Join Emma's Jamie Bradley and learn how to harness the power of email inboxes and new tools on the marketing horizon to become an expert guide for your most valuable customers. By using smart automation, segmentation, and dynamic content in your emails, you'll be ready to lead the most amazing digital expedition! No GPS required.

Hey, guys. Welcome to today’s presentation, The Official Explorer’s Guide to Modern Marketing. I’m Jamie Bradley. And I work on the marketing team here at Emma, cranking out content like the presentation that you’re gonna see today. And so for the purposes of today’s talk…and we’ve got a lot to cover. So buckle yourself in. I’m just gonna cut right to the chase. You know, at Emma, we get really nerdy about email. And we specifically get nerdy about our customers seeing value in email to communicate with our audiences and achieve their business goals. So today, I’ll start with a question that we’ll be solving for that I feel like we’re always striving to answer here at Emma. And I’m sure a lot of you are striving to answer in your own purposes every day, both for yourselves, for your clients, and so on. So we’ll hop right in.

And the question is, “What makes a successful modern marketer?” So to attempt to chip away at the answer, which is, admittedly, pretty broad and honestly, could us take a lot of different places today, I first want to go ahead and just cast each and every one of you on the call as an official modern marketing explorer because you’re here because you’re the ones holding the compass and passing out the route maps for your audience or you want to be. So I venture to guess that you’re the people charged at your business with leading your audience to these fabled lands. And we’ll call them Conversion Town or Engagementville or, in my case, Leadgenopolis. You know, whatever your particular goals may be, there are tools of any trade. And there are ways to use those tools as a marketer.

And we might think that just because we have access to all this crazy insight and technology that we’re living in this modern Jetson-style marketing age. And, you know, yeah, we’re using, you know, that technology. And it makes us feel modern, but to actually be successful, you have the hurdle of establishing trust. Nothing else matters, if your audience doesn’t believe in a fundamental way that you are a brand they can actually trust. And your challenge in this modern world, more than ever before, is establishing and maintaining trust with people who really, honestly, have access to literally the entire world at their fingertips 24/7. So more than ever before, establishing trust and maintaining trust and then cultivating what feel like deep, personal, and emotional connections in this digital age as a brand, you know, that’s a really daunting task.

And if you can establish trust with your audience, then there is some really definite rewards. For instance, did you know, you know, this stat may seem like a no-brainer, but, of course, people are more likely to provide their personal information if they trust you, you know. And speaking of brand experiences, which we hear about a lot, 70% of customers who stop doing business with a particular brand say it wasn’t due to bad products, but a poor customer experience. So, as a marketer, you are challenged with essentially replicating this idea of what feels like a one-to-one relationship with every individual you want to capture, target, and market to.

And you not only have to establish trust in order to get them to part with their information, you have to continue to maintain your integrity and trust throughout that relationship, and do all of that while creating this illusion that you treat every single person on your list like they are the center of your world. Oh, and then you have to actually get them to take actions that help you stay in business. So, yeah, that’s pretty daunting, right? So, how do you do this? We’re gonna walk through that today.

First and foremost, it’s by remembering that the person on the other end of these digital channels is a person. They have pain points. They have needs. They have goals. So no matter if you’re occupying the B2B or B2C space, just treat others the way that you want to be treated online. It’s really simple. It’s a really good touchpoint. We are all essentially the same. And so many brands miss this, specifically though, you know, when it comes to communicating with their audience, you have to bring value. Seventy four percent of people, and these are consumers, human beings that are in your audience, when polled, say they trust content that’s aimed to educate. So make me better at my job without the hard sell. And I’m actually more likely to care about other things you have to say in the future.

People don’t buy features. We know that. They buy benefits. So explain to me how whatever you’re selling is gonna make me better. It’s gonna make my job easier. And I’m much more interested in listening to you. And I’m much closer to trusting you, if you can deliver on that promise. And from that same study by MarketingProfs, 85% of people feel this way about their relationship to a company, whether they’ve ever purchased anything from them or not, meaning, not only can you establish trust really early on in a journey, it’s actually really important that you actually do because when a brand feels like it’s communicating to you in a way that mimics real life, that feels human. It feels emotional. And it just feels better.

And when you can get other people talking about your brand, that’s when things start to get pretty interesting. So 70% of customer brand perception is determined by experiences with people. That’s people in general. That’s people outside of your office. That’s also the people inside your office, your employees, your CEO, your other customers. All of these touchpoints come together to position your brand as one that really can be trusted. And, you know, as a marketer, it’s your job to represent that for your brand. So what else?

You know, we’ve all, no doubt, had some really impersonal experiences with brands. So, you know, think about that nightmare of sitting on hold when your cable goes out or getting served some sort of ad for a product that you already bought. You know, in today’s day and age, we all know what it feels like when a message really doesn’t hit the mark. In fact, this is super interesting, 78% of people perceive an actual relationship between themselves and a company that’s using custom content or using content that feels directed at them.

So the opposite of that is really kind of that record scratch moment, right, when it’s obvious that a brand isn’t invested in making you feel like a priority or they lack the understanding to use the tools, these modern tools, that are at their disposal, to their fullest potential. So whether it’s intentional or not, you know, that doesn’t matter if I’m on the other end. The damage was already done. So investing in using the tools that you have wisely is super important.

So also, people will pay more for quality. People will pay for experience. So think about the name brand versus generic sort of scenario, you know. When I was kid, I wanted Lucky Charms. That’s more powerful than eating generic sugar pieces with fake-tasting marshmallows. It’s about that brand experience. So, whether I’m temporarily, you know, lapsing on my diet as an adult or making a super important business decision on behalf of my entire company, you know, the experience I’m having does hold a lot of weight. And we’re still trying to solve for really beyond just establishing trust, how to become great modern marketers and effective leaders for our brands. But if we frame it, again, with the expedition analogy that I used earlier, you know, it’s actually much more fun and valuable when you’re actually in a dialogue or what feels like a dialogue with the other people that are out there on the trail with you.

So as a modern marketer, you have some really specific advantages that a real-life tour guide doesn’t quite have. You know, you have more access to data than ever before. You have tools at your disposal that are very powerful. You have access to more information about people than other marketers have at any other point in history. So if you’re on that trail, you know, think about that. When you get too far ahead as the guide, you run this really big risk of losing everybody that’s behind you. So what does a good leader do?

You know, you make sure that everyone on that trail is getting what they want out of the journey or what they need out of the journey. Your job isn’t just to simply make sure that I don’t get lost or, heaven forbid, fall off a cliff. To be a really good leader for your brand is to give me a great experience. And if you can do that well, I’m more likely to tell my friends that you’re the best tour guide. I’m gonna leave you a positive review and so on and so on.

So for the purposes of today’s webinar, we’re gonna focus on a channel that is really your most personal, most actionable, and really, most controlled environment for doing all of these things well. And I bet you can guess what it is. Email. Email is a very effective way to leverage, organize, and to communicate with your audience in a way that feels valuable, that feels human, and best of all, feels personal. And, you know, it’s not just because I work for an email provider or because, you know, I’m wagging my finger and I say so. It’s because email has proven its staying power. And here are some stats to back it up.

Email’s the number one activity on the entire internet, which is probably surprising. Number two, using a search engine. You know, that’s pretty crazy, but to put it in another way, that’s around 2.4 billion people that are accessing email every day. In fact, the average office worker checks their email 30 times an hour. Also, it actually converts. Sixty six percent of online consumers have made a purchase as a result of an email. So the ROI on email has been and remains more than double that of every other online channel. And that’s been that way for a really long time. And also, over half of B2B marketers say that email is their most effective channel for generating revenue.

And so when we talk about maintaining a relationship, email marketing was also cited as the most effective digital channel for customer retention by that same set of marketers. So when we talk about not losing people on the trail, email not only helps you get in front of the most people, it also helps you simultaneously kind of bring up the rear and observe every person in your group at the same time. You can virtually be in two places at once with your email audience. You have more access to people with email. And you have insights from email that you can’t get from places like Twitter and Facebook. You know, it’s really that simple, but you have to get them there first. You have to get them on your list.

So, did you know, 80% of email marketers, they feel that list growth and fatigue is one of their top challenges. So if you feel like getting people to take on this journey is the hard part, you’re not alone. You are in good company. You can’t be a leader, though, without anybody to lead. So we’re gonna start here. And statistically, there are some challenges right out of the gate that we should address. The average email list churns by about 30%.

So if you start out being aware of this fact, you know, you can really set yourself up with a healthy respect for the importance of both building and then also maintaining a healthy list of engaged people. There are also some more challenges too, like the fact that you only have a short window of time to make pages stickier where you have signup forms and give people the opportunity to part with their email. So, you know, what’s a good way to triumph over this statistic? And I’ll give you a hint. It’s often the best way to get what you want in life in general. Just ask. Give me the option in a super easy way. Lightbox forms, like the one that you are gonna see here, these convert way better than your traditional form. You can see the webpage is greyed out. This has just popped up in front of me here.

So you want to talk about leveraging data in the right ways? This is huge. These forms average around a 46% uptake in new signups when they are implemented. So, again, people will follow your lead, if they’re getting something in return. So while we’ll talk more about how to draw people in closer with content a little later on, this very first interaction when you are trying to convince people to go on the journey with you, this is a really good place to start. You know, a lightbox, like the one here, it helps, but besides giving away a monetary discount, you know, what are some other tactics we can use?

Well, when we talk about trust, one way to establish it is with just a personal tone. This is using humor and compliments. They’re calling me good looking. Hey, thanks a lot. So again, you know, honestly, this might not be the most compelling visually, this form, that I’ve ever run across, but it does two really interesting things that made me take notice. It feels human. We all know what’s happening here. So, you know, just go with it. Thirdly, this popup is what we call a scroll depth popup, meaning it didn’t just pop up immediately when I hit this page. I was already there.

And then I was scrolling through, reading, and looking at an infographic. And as I was reading this content, then, you know, once I got to the bottom, this popped up for me. B2B brands should be putting these on their highest-performing pieces of content. The quality of your list is important. And this method really lends itself there because if I’ve gotten to the bottom of your piece of content, you know, I’m a little bit more engaged. And that’s who you want.

So while we’ve established that email gets results, it’s powerful because of how targeted you can get. And the biggest way to get that information you need and start sending the information your audience actually wants to read, again, just ask me for it. In fact, 80% of people would be more willing to share personal information, if companies were just simply up front about the data they were collecting and why. We are happy to part with our information, if we know what you’re gonna do with it. Your audience really… You know, you don’t need to be sneaky, they know what’s up. So cut that out.

And also, just tell me right out of the gate that our relationship is gonna be valuable. Again, bring value. If you’re a B2B, make the popup lead with content before you capture my address. People that are actually interested will part with their emails. And those are the people that you want anyway going on this journey with you. So be truly useful and gain insights to improve your content. And it’s gonna be a win-win for everyone.

And I just put this in here for me because you know what I find valuable? Adorable cats. No, but I point this out because this is just to say everyone is using lightbox forms. Everyone is using these popups these days because they actually work. However, this is a great time for the PSA. You should be using these in conjunction with your tried and true embedded form. And I will show you what I mean by that. Here is an example from a retail brand. Give your embedded email form a fighting chance, you know, while you’re at it. So this example from Revolve, it’s really excellent. Revolve nestles their signup form underneath a block of user-generated images pulled from an Instagram hashtag. This is a fun time to note, user-generated content…again, we trust other people, is 50% more trusted by users than traditional media. And that’s from a study on millennials.

Again, quite simply, we trust our friends. So I sign up. And I received this email. And, in fact, only 15% of people trust recommendations from brands, while 84% trust recommendations from people they know. So this is the email that I got. And, again, it’s more user-generated content. You know, they’re doing a really good job of creating a cohesive through-line from the website to my inbox. And, you know, to go back to our travel analogies, you’re gonna use Yelp in a new city. You’re gonna ask the locals where the locals drink. You know, it’s the same with your marketing. You should be leveraging this everywhere. We use our experiences with other people to orient ourselves to your brands. This is powerful stuff.

So, okay. Now, I’m on your list. You’ve done a great job. You’ve put forms everywhere. You made you embedded form engaging. I’m signed up. And I’m ready to embark on this journey with you and your brand. Now, you have the challenge of keeping my attention and getting me to actually engage even more. So we gotta do it. We gotta talk about inboxes. And first of all, they’re really crowded. In fact, if you’re anything like me, this number on your screen is probably really low. So you’ve got competition, but it’s not just the volume game that you’re working against.

So we’ve already established that this is the number one destination on the internet. It’s crowded. There’s a lot going on in here. People spend a ton of time in their inbox. And I’m definitely going to give this email that’s highlighted from my colleague, Christine, priority over some other things in my inbox because Christine sends me emails about my taxes and my 401(k) and my healthcare. And this is why, as much as we talk about subject lines, which we’ll get to, the “from” name is arguably more important sometimes than the subject line. And testing your “from” name is often overlooked by a lot of brands.

In fact, the two biggest factors influencing open rates are the organization the email is from at 64% and then the subject line at 47%. So do not forget about the fact that I’m scanning this inbox. And who it’s from means something. And here’s an email from MarketingProfs. They are a thought leader in the marketing space for me. I trust them. They attempt to make me smarter. They curate experiences that are really helpful for me. So some of you are probably, you know, exposed to this content because of MarketingProfs. So we promoted this with them.

So again, “from” names are the red-headed stepchild of the inbox from a testing perspective. So don’t doubt their power, but again, subject lines, they get the most of our attention. They’re really that sort of next place our eyes go to. And they’re incredibly important. And they’re also a little bit more fun. So let’s talk about them. So I told you earlier to get personal. You don’t even have to put my name in it. You don’t have to say, “Hey, Jamie,” just talking directly to me is naturally going to go a long way in getting my attention, just like this one that you’re seeing online.

So personalized subject lines are 22.2% more likely to be opened. So talk to me. Address me. And be concise and direct. Again, you’re competing with Christine. You’re competing with my family, my friends, my boss, other thought leaders, other brands that I like. So talk to me directly. And you’re more likely to get me to open. And while you’re talking to me, it’s important to really reinforce the value to me quickly, too. You don’t want to bury your value proposition in your subject line. This is not the spot to get creative. It’s not the spot to test out your standup routine. It is a space where you can make me feel special, though and get my attention. So, subject lines that create a sense of urgency and exclusivity like this one can give you a 22% higher open rate, as well.

And I really like this example because it’s creating this emotional connection. And it’s just for me. I get something special because I’m me. So don’t be afraid to mimic conversations that I’m having in real life. You are competing with people that personally know me and know how to talk to me. So getting on their level really helps to cut through that noise. And, you know, it’s not just subject lines that need to feel direct and personal to get my attention. You know, that one-size-fits-all approach to email is out dated and it’s ineffective. If you are not segmenting your audience, you’re behind, quite frankly.

So you’ve gotta get targeted with emails. And that means really focusing on the when, the what, and the who. And email marketing technology luckily has risen to this challenge of those crowded inboxes. And it’s easier than ever before to send the right email to the right people at the right time. And if we’re talking about a customer journey, you know, even the most basic automation and segmentation starts to raise the stakes and allows you as the marketer to do something that really isn’t even possible in the same scale in real life. You know, the simple act of just setting up a triggered email based on my behavior can yield some really impressive engagement numbers.

And open rates are, you know, they’re all well and good. And they typically hover somewhere between 20% and 30%, but of that percentage, the timing and personal experience afforded to immediately engaging with me, that’s always gonna feel better than just some mass, impersonal, ill-timed communication that I get 10 days later. In fact, taking it a step further, provide value right out of the gate. So this example is from a customer of ours. And they’re just giving out a personalized discount code in their sort of welcome email. And it’s very simply, and also in a very visually appealing way, spelling out what I’m gonna expect with this relationship.

And it’s with the added bonus of engaging in a deeper way on social, too. They also added the code immediately to the pre-header text that you see up above. So when I’m on my mobile device, you’d be able to spot this discount or this value directly from your phone without even having to open it, but it’s definitely gonna get my attention.

And this example’s from our customer, Mario Batali. And it just immediately serves up this delicious goods with a recipe here. And, you know, this is really good time to talk about clicks. You’re not sending these emails for your health. If you are, that’s interesting, but triggered emails have had, in some instances, listen to this, a 151.9% higher click-through rate than those business-as-usual messages. So the simple act of just setting up thank you’s ups my engagement with your brand in a really huge way. And the only links that are in this email are navigating me to continue my journey on his side where he’s gonna then sell me pasta sauce and crocks and all kinds of other goodies. But smart automation, you know, it isn’t just for that first touchpoint, that welcome.

So Polo makes some of my favorite button-down shirts. I’m wearing one today. They fit well, but I’m not a huge brand fan. I’m not the Polo target audience for a lot of ways, if I’m being honest. So when this email landed in my inbox after my annual trek to the outlet store to stock up, it really actually got my attention. It actually shifted my perception of the experience that I had overall. And it doesn’t feel like a discount store experience. This is a nice-looking email. And again, they are talking to me. They value my opinion. Oh, and I actually get store credit? Sure, I’m gonna do the survey. You know, I can always use more button-downs.

And I sincerely really just walked away with an appreciation for the fact that, you know, even though I’m not their target, they gave me this good experience. And, you know, I’m buying bulk shirts at the outlet mall. Thank you for making me feel special. It was helpful. And honestly, it’s not just that post-purchase. It’s not when I have purchased something from you when you should talk to me. It’s actually sometimes more important to use automation when I haven’t purchased from you. So this example here is doing just that. In fact, messages like this are incredibly effective.

In fact, and this is according to a study by Salesforce, 63% of marketers surveyed said that re-engagement campaigns, like this one, are very effective. However, and this is pretty common with a lot of these features, only 34% of marketers were actually trying them. So if you can just implement something like this, you’re already ahead of the curve, and ahead of probably a lot of your competitors. So when you talk about being personal, checking in with your audience, especially prospects or those who have never purchased or haven’t purchased in a while, that’s a really great way to clean up your pipeline, your audience, and just ensure that you’re strengthening a trust in your brand.

And you don’t always have to ask for feedback or throw a discount at people. A simple reminder can be powerful and useful and deployed automatically. So this customer admittedly has a super niche product line. And they take advantage of automation in a really great way, you know. So their list is segmented by product line, by what’s purchased, by what isn’t purchased, by region, and so on. So if you have that information about your customers, you know, you can spin up emails that target them in a really direct way. And the messaging in this email is incredibly sparse because these segments are so targeted.

And, you know, this isn’t just relegated to retail, not by a long shot. Actually, 46% of B2B customers considered tailored offers as extremely significant activities in terms of maintaining or growing the relationship with a business provider. So it doesn’t matter if you’re selling survival kits or consulting services or software. The idea is to make me feel important. And that’s why, you know, communicating with me over time, that’s why nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. This is a great example here on your screen of segmenting to engaged users versus non-engaged users really with the same call to action and goal, but a totally different approach based on where they are in the lifecycle.

So campaigns like this one help people update their preferences. It helps you as a brand cater to seasonality in your marketing. Everybody wins when you segment. And, you know, when we talk about list maintenance, it goes so much further than that, you know, initial signup. So, you know, rather than mark you as spam, frequently give people the option to participate in this relationship with you. You know, they may not want to say goodbye. They may just want to tell you a different way to talk to them. And what’s another good way to make people feel special? Birthday greetings. They’re sort of the classic automated email. I recently had a birthday. And I am an email marketer. And even though I knew exactly what was up, I knew it was a trigger. It just made me feel good. I mean, and admit it, they make you feel good.

So, on the customer journey, really, it’s kind of the equivalent of my tour guide having flowers sent to my room before I ever lace up my hiking boots. In fact, VentureBeat found that simply including a personalized promotional email with the discount coupon into your mix can actually increase the number of people that convert into leads by as much as 20%. And so, this example here was from CheapOair, of all brands. And they just did a really fantastic job of, not only sending me this directly to my inbox, but then when I click through, I land on a page where the message in the email matches. They conveniently added the code and actually even put a little bit more shape around it.

And the best part is, if you look over to the right, this page looked really good on my phone, which is pretty important because once you’re in my inbox, you’ve got your foot in the door, but making sure it’s easy for me to engage with you on a mobile device after I keep on clicking, that’s you being a modern marketer that is owning the experience. And it’s actually not just a warm, fuzzy. It’s pretty important because you have access to me like never before. You have a chance to make an impression on me now 24 hours a day, potentially. I am looking at my phone constantly. I’m glued to it, but again, I also want to make a personal connection too. And, you know, what’s the most personal channel? I think you know. It’s email.

And now, over half of all email is opened on a mobile device. And this number is only going up, guys. So that number is only trending up. And we like to say, “You aren’t walking around with a phone anymore. You’re walking around with a mobile inbox with a phone app on it,” you know. Email allows me to be in charge. I’m hanging out there on my phone. And it’s your job to get my attention and keep it in this space. And if you could hold my attention, honestly, some crazy conversions are happening as a result here too. So email is powerful and it influences decisions. So make sure that you’re capitalizing on this with this powerful sort of one-two punch of email and mobile landing pages.

And for every amazing example that I’ve given today, sometimes it’s easier to learn from others’ mistakes. So we’re gonna show you a cautionary tale here. So what we’re looking at is my personal inbox. And these are all of the emails that I receive from Spotify. And as you can see, I actually don’t open a lot of them. However, I do use Spotify every day. I am a paying customer. I have premium. I live to make a playlist. I love music. And I want to listen to it on the go, in an airplane, under water, wherever I happen to be, anytime. So their business model gives me a ton of bang for my buck, but I’m not their most engaged person, you know, via email, admittedly.

So when I saw the subject line, “Coming soon, the most entertaining Spotify ever,” that’s a pretty compelling proposition to me, you know. This is already important to my day-to-day. So that is a great subject line, you know. And again, I already trust their brand. So my expectation going into this is weighted by that. So let’s see what happened. So I open the email. This is awesome. This is a really good email. They are launching some seriously cool features. And also, they’re making me feel like they’re just for me, that this is an exclusive offer. I get these before anyone else because I’m paying for it. So yeah, I want to find out more. It’s a really good call to action there at the bottom, especially on a mobile device. So where clicking a button is easier to do. And we’ll get into that a little bit more.

So I love this. I want to know everything. Tell me about it, Spotify. This is a pretty page. That actually is a video up at the top. It looked great on a mobile device, as you can see over to the right, but there is a giant problem. And the mobile experience goes beyond just making sure you’re making sure your site shrinks and fits on my phone. I don’t speak Swedish. So they really missed an opportunity here. They really missed the mark. And I point this out because, again, I trust Spotify. Luckily, I am a very engaged user. I trust them because honestly, they’re saving grace is that they give me a really great mobile experience everyday with their app. However, I say all of this to point out that 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site, if they have a bad experience, period.

And Google’s pulled some research that goes further and claims that 40% of people who are having bad experiences visit a competitor’s site instead. So you’re not just turning me off. You’re actually pushing me away to a competitive competitor. So do not overlook what you were sending me from the inbox. Remember, people don’t just want content. They want relevant content. They want content in English, if they’re not Swedish. And once you can master the basics of how everything looks, you can start to really focus on making my experience even more personal. And that leads us to dynamic content. Honestly, a feature that very few people are using effectively in this day and age. And it’s a shame because, you know, we talk about segmenting your audience, gathering smart insights that make automation more powerful.

You know, all of those things can now be backed up by a content experience that feels more like a one-to-one communication. So it’s not just the timing. You can actually target content. And on your site, on your website, nearly 74% of online consumers get frustrated with websites when content appears that has nothing to do with their interests. And that’s just on your website. Sixty one percent of consumers feel better about a company and as a whole that delivers custom content. And they are more likely to buy. And those are not email stats. So imagine that I’m letting you into a very personal space. You have more information about me than just some casual browser being targeted with ads. And you’re still missing the mark with content? You know, that doesn’t add up. That’s not gonna fly.

So, you know, to give a positive example of a brand that’s really getting this and doing it well, you know, we’ll jump right into that, it’s Airbnb. So for those of you who don’t know, Airbnb is really a house-sharing community and website. Instead of staying at a hotel, I can have this cool experience. So I spent a Saturday morning with my coffee looking at New Mexico. I’ve never been. I want to go. And I went to Airbnb because that’s more my style. And, you know, I’ve literally used them a ton. And in a huge way, they instill this brand trust by creating this community. In fact, like Spotify, their business model is dependent upon everyone having an experience and literally going on journeys. So all of those things require a lot of trust, as we’ve established.

So anyway, so I find myself looking up Taos, New Mexico. I get distracted. I click away. I close out of my computer and go do something else. That happens all the time. Then, a few days later, I get this email. And instead of saying, “Hey, Jamie,” which would have gotten my attention perhaps, they actually used the name of the city that I spent my Saturday looking at. And they didn’t just send it on that Saturday. It wasn’t a knee jerk kinda thing. They actually waited a few days. They used automation and dynamic content and information about me in this really beautiful way. So they had noticed somewhere along the line that I’d done this and I didn’t buy something from them, but they didn’t crowd me. They gave me some time to think about it. And they sent a really well-timed reminder. And it was so custom.

And so when I’m ready to go to Taos, I’m gonna remember this. In fact, I can’t stop thinking about it. It really just felt great. And, you know, location doesn’t just factor into travel emails. And you can see that in action here. So Madewell is a retail company. And they send me this amazing image-heavy email that you see over to your left with clothes. And I always want to buy all of them. I rarely buy them online, but they know that I do buy clothes from them sometimes, but I usually buy them in person at the store, at the mall. And they know that I live in Nashville. And they remind me of that every time they send me an email. And I love it, honestly, but they don’t even need to slyly gather this info either because it turns out 62% of adults under the age of 34 are willing to share their location. I will tell you where I am if you make the content relevant to me.

And another nod to mobile to sort of call back to that, if you look to the left, that’s a really long email. People are not scared to scroll anymore. In fact, phones are made and that feels fun. That’s engaging. I feel like I’m part of the experience when I’m moving my thumb up and down. So make your email longer. Test putting a call to action at the bottom. You know, our friends at Litmus actually have the phrase, “Embrace the scroll,” you know, but this is a good time to point out that you can’t ignore the top of that email either. And when you segment and simply change out the headers, you’re actually delivering the right content to the right groups right out of the gate. And this is a really easy place to play with dynamic content.

So I am a customer of the Dallas Symphony. They just change out the headers based on where members are in their buying process. And then they segment out the students because they’re gonna buy $9 tickets and not full-priced ones. So the rest of that content is the same. And it just has a few carefully-placed personalization tags. And they were able to turn out three different experiences made in, you know, half the time for maximum effort. The other thing is, again, with dynamic content, not only is it relevant, make this experience easy for me. You want me to sign up for more points, SPG Rewards send me an email telling me that I’ve pathetically deleted my Starpoints, you know. And this offer, honestly probably wouldn’t have worked, if I had had a bunch, but I don’t.

So they are more likely to, by showing me this, get me to sign up for, you know, 25% off more, get me to sign up for this credit card where I get more. So if you have this data, serve it to me. And then suggest ways that I can get involved in changing it that benefit your brand and your bottom line. And okay, it’s not just transactional emails. Bear with me here that, you know, can get dynamic on us. It’s actually about demographics and content marketing too. So granted, this is a splashy lifestyle brand, but the basic tenets can easily translate no matter what you’re talking about, no matter what space you occupy. So, this is a really good example of content being served based on age or really the perception of it.

So story time. My friend and I are on the same list, which is this one. The only difference is that she is older than me by about 10 years. We actually like the same things. We are friends, but that above-the-fold offer, when we both open these emails is always different. So even though we scroll and swipe on [inaudible 00:34:18] now, that above-the-fold real estate is still responsible for capturing 80% of our attention in an email. This is, again, a great space to play and really just the best place to play with this kind of content. Okay. So my email is on the left-hand side of the screen. The top headline for me is about why it’s okay for me as a presumably single young girl to travel alone. Her email on the right, it’s assuming she probably has a partner and that they might want to spice up their relationship when they travel.

Both articles are about travel, but the narrative shifts, you know, depending on where they perceive that we are in life. And we are nerds. We thought this was cool. And then we thought, “Maybe it’s a fluke. Let’s dig in a little bit more.” Here’s another example. And there were literally… I mean, it happens every time, but this one was my favorite. On the left, my email, it’s about how to keep my pesky roommate out of my closet. Hers on the right, it’s all about staying relevant with a fresh haircut that the fancy young kids in L.A. are wearing. So the rest of that content, again, is about dresses and Kardashians.

It’s all the same, but the thing is, my point being with these examples, is you have a lot of room to test, you know, because it turns out she has a great contemporary haircut. And I have not had a roommate in a really long time, but again, this is why dynamic content is so cool. And it affords you the ability to test relevancy like never before. You can test this by sending a different piece of content to the VP of marketing than you are sending to the marketing coordinator. The goal can be the same, but you’re just gonna shift that narrative, depending on who you’re speaking to. And you can easily do that in a really automated nice way. Both of those just have the same goal.

And, you know, all this talk of engagement really is gonna lead us down to our final leg of the journey, leg of the trail. And that is, again, to the fabled land of Conversion Town or Engagementville. And, of course, you know, I mentioned buttons and calls to action earlier. On mobile devices, the difference between using a button and using some tiny, hard-to-click text link can honestly make or break your conversion rate and your click-through rate. And testing where you place the button and position it in the body of the email, that matters too, but we’re gonna look at an example of a brand and a case study.

And first, though, we are gonna talk a little bit more about buttons. So, to start, in our research over the past several months, you know, we’ve dug into the nerdy details behind what makes a good call to action. And better yet, what makes a good button because that’s really the mode of CTA that we’re seeing a lot. And, you know, we’ve moved into this world again of mobile opens. You’re seeing buttons a lot more now. And that’s because they’re easier to tap on mobile devices. People aren’t clicking anything anymore with their mouse. And Apple actually recommends that you build a button around 34 X 34 pixels squared.

We actually have a button generator in our account that can help you do this without a designer’s help, but the interesting thing is the size is roughly the size of the average human fingertip. So those people at Apple, of course they would know that, but it’s important to think about the fact that that real estate that you give the fingertip, really, it matters big time. So don’t forget it. However, I like to say buttons aren’t magic. They’re just a means to an end. So to be really good at converting me, you’ve got to think outside the button, you know. And in our final stretch, we’re gonna look at the experience I had with one particular mailing and how it’s a good example of a lot of things I have talked about today.

So, story time, one last story. I got an email with the subject line, “Act fast: Extra 20% off everything, including Vince.” And Vince is a kinda nice clothing brand. It’s urgent. It has a very clear call to action. I better act fast because I get 20% off of everything. That is incredibly enticing. Right below the preview pane, you know, it’s also easy to see that above the fold, they put the promo code directly into a shape that kinda looks buttonish. And I’m compelled to go to the next step. They’ve made it really easy. So I click. And I land on this page. The brand they mention in the subject line that I happen to like is prominently featured on the site. And remember, a lack of relevant content is the reason that I’m not sticking on your site, so good job.

They’ve tied the subject line to where I end up. That’s powerful. They’re reinforcing the value. This is also a fun time to point out that close-up pictures of people, our brains just love them. There’s also studies that show oddly enough, you are subconsciously going to look where the person in the photo is looking. So it’s an eye gaze sort of exercise here. So guess what? She’s looking at that button. This is a great button in and of itself. It’s got a contrasting color. It’s vaguely yellow. We’ve done some studies that show that yellow is a really good color to sort of up to sort of up urgency and anxiety subconsciously in the brain.

Better yet, it’s contrasting. It sticks out on this sort of grayish background. And then the wording on that button is active. It’s using, you know, active verbs. It’s concise. “Shop this sale,” not just shop any sale. Shop this one. You want to do it. And there’s actually a lot of other valuable stuff happening down below, but this got my attention. I didn’t even keep on scrolling. So I clicked that button. And I come here. I get to the actual sale itself with the items that I can purchase. And until I got to this point, and I’m the one that circled it in hot pink there, it didn’t even occur to me that I was being served this because at some point, I indicated that… And I told this brand, I told Gilt, that I liked Vince. It’s one of my favorite brands.

I don’t know if I told them that or they inferred it, but I got a subject line and an entire experience crafted around the fact that at one point, I told them this. And earlier we talked about social proof or user-generated content. This is the most powerful of all. This is a brand reminding me that me, the most important person to me, likes this. You like this. You trust yourself. Come on. We did the right thing. You favorited this. So when we talk about calls to action, again, its buttons aren’t magic. Think beyond the button. They’re a means to the end. It is the entire experience and story that moves me further and further into the experience beyond the mailing, out of the inbox, and onto the page where the actual transactions and conversions and goals that you have of your brand can be met. And, you know, it’s all of these elements that can be super helpful in leading me exactly where you want me to end up.

So I’m gonna leave off with one last example in this section because it basically does everything the opposite of what I just told you to do, but I have a point. So bear with me. So I get this email a few weeks ago. It probably says a lot about my personality. I loved this email, but from a marketing perspective, not just a humor perspective, I loved it for a lot of reasons. So, first of all, there are no pictures of people. Nobody’s looking at a button. There isn’t a button. There isn’t even a button. There’s no shots of product. There’s not a discount code. And I sat here and I was like, “Besides giggling at this, why was this effective?” I stopped and studied this email. I shopped it around to my colleagues and said, “Tell me why I love this.”

And we finally kinda came to the consensus that this is the most human email that I have received in a long time. It looks like a text from a friend. The use of emoji mimics communications that I’ve having on my phone all day long, every day, with some of my closest friends. But it’s not a text, it’s an email. Honestly, the humor in the copy, it’s spot on. It made me laugh. It matches this brand really well. There’s not a button, but there is a really clear call to action. In fact, they’re pointing to it with an emoji. Also, that text is sized enough up. It’s at least over 14 pixels that I can easily click that on my phone. I don’t need a button.

The point of this being the last slide is that there is no silver bullet. This email looks different. And styles and tactics and methods, they’re gonna shift and change as we as people shift and change. And that’s really the point of all this. You know, personalization is just as much about tone as it is about pulling in my first name in some cheesy way or bringing me value based on what you know about me. So test and pay attention to my behavior. And iterate on what you’re doing to get closer to how that feels. And I’m gonna trust you and go on a journey with you every single time. Thanks.

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