10 Things I Learned at the Email Live Conference

live email conference

Yesterday I attended the Email Live conference in NYC and listened to lots of email experts and wanted to share with you a few pearls.

  • Email is alive and well
    To me it’s obvious that email marketing is very much alive, but many had to provide facts and figures on how more people use email than any other communication method and that there is no age gap on email usage. Also, Facebook sends more email than anyone else. No surprise: email marketing still provides the best ROI.
  • Wake up your inactives
    When was the last time you segmented and cleaned out those that did not engage in the last 6 months or a year? Do it. Sending emails to those that did not open will impact your inbox deliverability (some ISPs penalize you for sending lots of emails to people that do not engage) and cost you more money. So separate them and start a re-activation campaign.
  • Pull the trigger
    Lots and lots of discussion on how important triggered emails are and whether you are B2B or B2C you should move in that direction and don’t just “thrust and blast”: cart abandonment, form abandonment, welcome series, re-engagement, back in stock…automation that will significantly impact your return.
  • Cart abandonment
    Case study by Birkenstock Central (yep, shoes) raised online revenue from email from 5% to 18% using cart abandonment, back in stock, and welcome email series. Key to cart abandonment is the timing for the first email (3 hours in their case) and a subsequent email drip. Birkenstock had 17% conversion-to-sale on 3 triggered emails and when they added 2 more the conversion did not drop! This approach requires strategic thinking and a bit of hand holding with your email service provider to manage, but if you are an e-commerce site and you are not doing this, you are leaving money on the table.
  • Mobile ready
    More and more readers are viewing your email on their mobile device (almost 50% of every hour on PDA is spent on reading email). Be aware of subject lines and titles (shorter is better), test your design for mobile rendering, and most importantly make sure the destination page (whether your home page or a landing page) is well designed for email, meaning short and succinct with large buttons (so we don’t need to “pinch” the screen) or send to a mobile page.
  • Grow your list in mobile apps
    Mobile is huge, and if you believe your prospects are active on mobile apps (on iphones, androids, ipads, etc…) there are services that will allow you to advertise on these apps to subscribe to your email campaign. The beauty is that you only pay for the signup, so you get free impressions. Sort of like Google Adwords but for mobile apps. One company that presented this was Pontiflex.
  • Subject lines
    An old “subject” to bring up but I heard a cute acronym to remind yourself before you send: CURVE ( Curiosity, Urgency, Value, Emotion). Also keep in mind shorter subject lines if you are focusing on mobile.
  • Single or double opt-in
    Many asked about the need for double opt-in vs single opt-in. Double opt-in means that you need to click on the email verification you receive after signing up to a list. The majority of experts said no need today for double opt-in as long as you respect your reader with meaningful, relevant emails that are easy to unsubscribe from. If you want to be super conservative then take into account that you may see a 20-40% drop in subscribers with double opt-in.
  • Appending services
    Should you use appending services or not. The majority were against it as results are generally poor in terms of opens, clicks, and conversion. However, if you are going to use an appended list (whether you rent or purchase) see if you can pay by CPA (cost per action) and to be safe use a different email “from address” and maybe even a different domain. The landing page is key to conversion on appended lists, so make sure you design one specifically for this purpose. Keep in mind that inbox deliverability on an appended list can be as low as 15-50%.
  • Video in email
    Is it time yet? I don’t think so based on what I heard. Playing actual video within your email is possible, but very dependent on what your reader is using as an email client. If they’re using an iPhone, android or iPad or other devices that run HTML5 then it’s possible. But if you are using Outlook and other email clients forget it. Video is great to increase click through and engagement, but for now I would recommend to stick to a static image of the video in your email with a click to play and redirect to where the video is hosted.

Bottom line is that email marketing is still one of the best vehicles to stay in touch with your base for generating leads and revenue. If you need a hand figuring this out, give us a holler.

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