Your Email Strategy Needs A Spring Cleaning: Top 10 Insights From This Winter’s Email Conferences (Part 1)

Wow! The past few months have been such a whirlwind . . . In December, I closed the books on Q4, celebrated the holidays and attended the Email Insider Summit (#mpeis) in Utah. After that, I was off to the Email Evolution Conference  (#eec14) in sunny Miami –which, after the winter we’ve been having, proved to be a welcome change of scenery.

It’s always great to attend conferences like these and re-connect with friends, colleagues and leaders in the industry, especially @ddayman, @mparkerbyrd, @LorenMcdonald and @meladorri (to name just a few). But, as a member of the Email Experience Advisory Committee and “industry insider” myself, you know what I like best of all? The fact that at these events, competitors in both the vendor and brand space come together in a non-competitive way, eager to share their stories and collaborate on best practices and solutions.

These conferences were fun. They were informative. They were inspiring. And I have to say, over the past several weeks, the message I’ve heard loud and clear, again and again, is this:

Email is not dead.

In fact, it’s not even limping.

What I’m seeing now is that email is emerging as the “prime mover.” In other words, it’s the place where many customers begin their path to purchase.

So, as we move ahead to Q2 2014, do yourself a favor and take a careful look at your email strategy. Odds are, it’s time to reevaluate, reinvigorate, dust away some cobwebs and do some spring cleaning.

To help you along, here are my top ten insights from this winter’s email conferences:

  1. Consumers are now digital first, analog second. The customer experience has changed dramatically and you need to realize that now, it’s likely your customers are finding you first on a mobile device. As we heard from Jay Schwedelson (@worldata), 39% of emails that are NOT optimized for mobile are abandoned.
  2. Digital content must be optimized across all devices. Are you using responsive design?Responsive design is a smart coding technology that automatically adjusts layout based on the device used for viewing. Essentially, it ensures your content is delivered to customers where and how they want to consume it, and there were lots of conversations about ensuring that if you are optimizing your email campaigns for responsive design, that you should be using responsive design on your landing pages, as well. (And let me also stress this: Your email messages must be easy for customers to navigate –even from small screens.)
  3. Consistency rules. Landing pages that have the same primary image as the originating email, have an 18% overall conversion rate. (Again, h/t @worldata.)
  4. Every email must have a goal. Relevant. Useful. Customized. Timely. That’s why Teradata’s Digital Messaging Center is now a go-to resource for major brands around the world.
  5. Reactivating email users is an uphill climb. It’s a familiar complaint. This winter I’ve been hearing from marketers that the average reactivation rate is now a dismal 1-2%. IF they’re not active on email, then maybe you should consider reaching them through another channel?

Okay –those are tips 1-5. “But, what about subject lines? Is there any new research about subject lines?” I know, I know . . . Everyone’s clamoring for information about how to optimize subject lines –and that’s precisely why I’ll be devoting my next blog post entirely to that issue. Stay tuned . . .

And remember, you can hear additional detail about these tips and much, much more at the upcoming Teradata Marketing Summit. The Teradata team will be there to share our proven framework for deliverability to ensure maximum deliverability and campaign success.