Archive for April, 2012

Mother's DayMother’s Day Email Marketing Ideas

Mother’s Day in this part of the world falls on Sunday 13th May.  According to many sources, it’s the second largest shopping holiday of the year.

And that is not far away at all – so you need to start planning your email marketing campaign now. We thought we would share a few strategies and tactics with you to help you put together a sterling mother’s day campaign.

Get Emotional

Mother’s Day is one of those holidays loaded with emotions such as gratitude, love, appreciation, maybe even sadness and guilt. Everything is about coming from the heart and being authentic, so use this opportunity to show you have real humans behind your brand, and show you all have mothers too and that you actually care. Come across with this emotion in your communications and you will grab people at a deeper level beyond just touting mother’s day specials.

Idea! Share ‘staff picks’ and include your staff member’s favorite Mother’s Day idea, tip or gift suggestion.

Help them find great gifts easily

As with any holiday, some people have difficulty picking gifts. So how about having a fun and interactive gift-generator that helps someone find that perfect gift for mum? Or send your email out with a selection of beautiful, unique, or even quirky gift ideas to spark people’s imaginations.

Idea! Showcase your most popular products or ideas; even create packages, or experiences for people to choose from.

Use your Data

If appropriate or possible, you can use segments of data to refine your audience, and to specifically target certain products or offers to certain segments of your database, based on preferences, location, age, etc.

Idea! If you have it, tap into historical purchase information to garner insights about what people want.

According to this DM News article marketers can use gender and age demographics to fine tune their recommendations.

Beat the Rush

Before everyone’s inboxes fill up with Mother’s Day emails, get in early and stand out in people’s minds, and inboxes. Provide people with great suggestions for gifts, offer them incentives, give them tips even, to help your recipients themselves be as prepared for Mother’s Day as you are, and help them win points with mum.

Idea! Help your recipients, and they will be ready with their wallets to thank you when it comes to next year’s Mother’s Day campaign

According to data compiled by eDataSource the traditional ‘flowers and candy’ marketers are not yet in full swing until two weeks before Mother’s Day.

Be outstanding and stand out

When people’s inboxes start filling up with Mother’s Day emails, it takes something special for you to stand out and not get deleted with all the other emails. So you will want to be really creative with your subject line, and just as clever with your content. Don’t be afraid to be funny, clever, and unique or even a bit shocking. The subject line is what will get you to stand out and grab people, make them open your email and persuade them to buy.

Procrastinators ahoy!

Consider offers that help busy, rushed, last minute people or just the un-prepared, to get sorted. Put together easy (and potentially discounted) packages with a gift, a card, and delivery, and offer either early bird discounts or last minute free delivery. Early birds and procrastinators alike with thank you and will gladly pay for the convenience you offer.


Post Holiday Hangover

According to this survey, Mother’s Day email open rates peak after the holiday. The survey reveals that the possible reasons for these delayed open rates are many people may not have had a chance to see their moms for mother’s day or organise anything in time (There are always some of these people) And there is also a segment of people that wait for last minute discounts before purchasing. (This ties back into offering discount packages for procrastinators to tap into this segment of people)  When doing post Mother’s Day campaigns, just make sure you delete or supress anyone that did make a purchase so that you don’t email them again.

Idea! Use this follow up as a chance to ask people how their mother’s day went – what they bought, did they find your gift suggestions helpful? Use any information you gather to enhance next year’s Mother’s Day campaign.


Need Some Mother’s Day Marketing Inspiration?

May the following quotes rouse your Mother’s Day spirit and marketing inspiration.

  • No gift to your mother can ever equal her gift to you…life. — Unknown
  • Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts forever. — Unknown
  • We never know the love of the parent until we become parents ourselves. — Henry Ward Beecher
  • A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie. — Tenneva Jordan
  • The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother. — Unknown
  • All mothers are working mothers. — Unknown
  • Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs since the payment is pure love. — Mildred B. Vermont
  • When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child. — Sophia Loren
  • There is only one pretty child in the world, and every mother has it. — Chinese Proverb
  • A Mother’s Prayer: First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches. May she be beautiful but not damaged, for it’s the damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the beauty. When the Crystal Meth is offered, may she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half and stick with beer. Guide her, protect her when crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age. Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes and not have to wear high heels. What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking you, because if I knew, I’d be doing it. May she play the drums to the fiery rhythm of her own heart with the sinewy strength of her own arms, so she need not lie with drummers. Grant her a rough patch from twelve to seventeen. Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, for childhood is short – and adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait. O Lord, break the Internet forever, that she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers and the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed. And when she one day turns on me and calls me a bitch in front of Hollister, give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, for I will not have that shit. I will not have it. And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 am, all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back. “My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a mental note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes. Amen. — Tina Fey

 

To help you and your team plan for campaigns with content around key holidays, events and celebrations, Jericho has created the 2012 Campaign Content Calendar which you can access here http://blog.jericho.co.nz/2012-campaign-content-calendar-for-marketers/

We love ideas, so please add yours in the comments, and remember to share this article with your social networks – please!

 

When we think about sharing content, we usually think of Facebook and Twitter.

So, would it surprise you to know that more people share by email than by Facebook?

That’s the result ExactTarget got when they surveyed folks for their 2012 Channel Preference Survey.

 

 

Here are their findings.

As seen in the graph above, when you combine all the age brackets, 63% of people use email to share content and only 33% put it on Facebook, and only 5% on Twitter.

The only time social media rules is specifically within the 15-17 age group, so if this is your target audience, by all means stick with Facebook. For everyone else, it looks like it’s time to review the importance of email as part of your marketing campaign.

Email is also the chosen one when it comes to preferred method of contact. 77% of people said they want emails from companies they’re interested in. Direct mail, on the other hand, came in only at 9%.

Email was also the first place people looked for deals from companies they already know. Company websites came in second.

According to ExactTarget, the only place email has declined is as a method of personal communication (45% vs. 66% in 2008). Text messaging is up (36% vs. 16% in 2008), as is social networking posting (13% vs. 3% in 2008).

Also 91% of people say they check email every day and that’s more than any other means of communication.

Social media is great, no doubt. However if you are underestimating the importance, and the preference for, email, particularly when dealing with current customers, you’re missing out.

Want more details? Read the full ExactTarget 2012 Channel Preferences Survey. It’s free.

“Countless small businesses send out countless emails every day” . “If you were to sift through campaigns and results (as I do), the mountains of data would suggest two breeds of email campaign: the outstanding … and the invisible. Your emails need to be outstanding.”
~ Gary Levitt from MarketingProfs.

Levitt has a good point and here at Jericho, we see a lot of outstanding emails, and we see a fair few ‘invisible’ ones too. So we wanted to share Levitt’s advice for creating campaigns that won’t get lost in the customer’s inbox.

Don’t be too perfect.
Levitt isn’t suggesting that you include typos or grammatical errors to make your emails more human. But you should allow your personality to shine through. “The best brands—much like the best people—have an identity, a voice, idiosyncrasies, and unpredictable quirks” he notes. We tend not to trust people who are buffed and polished to an unnaturally perfect degree—and the same is true of email campaigns.

Delight with small surprises.
Beneath an email offer, include a customer review, a blurb from a recent blog post or a link to a relevant article. “You might be surprised by all the clicks and social sharing that your little afterthought generates,” Levitt notes.

Make an impression with strong design.
Create a memorable banner-esque header that sets the tone for your campaigns. “Have a graphic designer help with typesetting and graphics,” he advises. “Do it once, and do it right. You’re going to get tons of use out of it.”

Err on the side of sending too frequently.
You should never send an email simply to send an email. On the other hand, don’t hold back relevant, useful, timely content because you’re worried it might be one message too many, he says.

The Point is relax and say what you mean. Email marketing is about developing a relationship with your subscriber—so communicate with that person as you would with a friend.

Distracted Times

This is an appealing newspaper-style approach to email. This was Distracted‘s quirky store newsletter.

It certainly stands out from the typical emails we usually see, with a distinctly vintage look.

A lot of copy is included, and it’s almost like a newspaper that’s been loosely adapted for email, but we figure that people familiar with Distracted’s unique style will know and love this.

Our only concern is how the long columns of text will hold up on mobile devices, as well as when readers move from one article to the next.

Overall though, it is a distinctive design from Studio Bomba.

This fantastic email example was designed by Studio Bomba for Distracted.

Want more? You can see the whole email here.

Why is Reputation and Deliverability important? Why do you need to know about these things when you just want to send out some emails? And what do these terms mean anyway?

Reputation and Deliverability requires senders to meet strict international best practices for good reasons like anti-spam measures. You might wonder just what issues there could be around delivery. After all, you write an email, you click “send”, and the emails arrive seconds later. However when you send email that goes out to dozens, hundreds or thousands of recipients, not all of those recipients are going to get your email. And deliverability is the guy in-between acting like the bouncer at the club, and he determines who gets your email, or who doesn’t, and why.

So how do you ensure every one of your emails gets through? Appease the deliverability gods? Tip the bouncer? An easier option would be to talk to our deliverability guys who have provided the following expert advice.

1) Deliverability is strongly measured by sender reputation. And a good sender reputation starts with a dedicated IP address. We do recommend dedicated IP addresses for clients especially those who have B2C databases of more than a few thousand recipients.  This offers a number of benefits, including the ability to apply for ISP whitelisting, subscribing to ISP feedback loops, and to build your own reputation as a best practice email sender. How it works is each client is assigned an IP address configured for their exclusive use. This is not only a recommended best practice but also a requirement by many IPs such as Yahoo / Xtra for whitelisting.

Why is this important? Without a dedicated IP address a sender has no reputation and runs the risk of being blacklisted as a result of others that may share the IP that they use.

2) However deliverability is measured by much more and it’s not enough just to isolate the IP address. Domains also have their own reputation. It is also important that headers and links are configured for clients to use their own Domain.

Why is this important? This not only strengthens the banding of the email but also builds the reputation of the Domain.

3) SmartMail complies with the US CANSPAM law well as New Zealand’s Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act of 2007. And we constantly monitor any changes or new laws that might impact our senders and work closely with agencies involved in enforcement to ensure that our clients comply.

Anti-Spam filters examine content, behaviour and complaints to determine if a message is spam. These filters are completely unaware of your relationship with your customers, and as a result are often error-prone. Whitelisting is a service offered by a few Internet Providers to solve the problem of filters that incorrectly identify your messages as spam. We work with clients to achieve whitelisting approval.

Why is this important? When your IP address is whitelisted all your messages automatically by-pass the filters and get delivered into the inbox.

4) SmartMail complies with Best Practices when it comes to hygiene as a result of invalid addresses. We also seek to identify bounces that occur as a result of reputation issues or other Deliverability issues.

Why is this important? This careful monitoring allows us to assist our clients in managing their reputation and resolving issues before they result in damage to their long term reputation.

Every feature of our platform and capabilities is designed around meeting or exceeding these requirements. And as we have a team of deliverability experts right here at Jericho, if you have any queries about your deliverability, IP whitelisting, domain, reputation, or data handling, don’t hesitate to give us a shout.