Tag Archives: email marketing

Behind the Numbers: Welcome Content

We’re going to try something new on the blog: “Behind the Numbers.”  I want to show marketers how to interpret surveys and data by applying things they already know and–when appropriate–a healthy dose of skepticism.

The invaluable eMarketer newsletter shared a survey from content marketing firm Eccolo Media on  popular content throughout the B2B technology sales cycle.  Among other data points, Eccolo shared this one about what kinds of content these buyers want right after purchase:

Sales_Cycle_What_Content_Goes_Where_Eccolo_Media_-_2015-02-02_09.50.35

In descending order, these customers want content relating to thought leadership (36%), tech support (30%), new product info (25%) and customer stories (9%).

The data tell a good story, but they don’t tell the whole story.

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Why Do People Keep Trying to Kill Email?

The “email isn’t dead” think piece has become something of a cottage industry.  Several email savants, including my good friend Chris Marriott, have written very convincingly of the continuing value of email marketing both to marketers and to consumers.

Rather than add to this august body of work, I’d like to begin another line of inquiry: why do businesses keep trying to kill email?

accident-445760_1280Do not ask for whom the email bell tolls…

The answer to this question gives us some insight not only on how to keep it alive but also how to make email thrive for your business.

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What Should Marketers do about Google Inbox?

Lifehacker had a good rundown of Google’s new Inbox feature for email.  It turns the traditional email inbox into more of an action-oriented to-do list by grouping similar items (e.g. transaction notices, newsletters), among other features.

It looks like they want to test consumers’ interest in transforming email (…again…) into something designed around discrete tasks rather than open-ended communications.  In other words, if I order something from Amazon, I can look in the “Amazon” bundle to see:

  • Confirmation
  • Item shipped
  • In-transit notices
  • Delivery notices

As with Gmail’s categories, this move threatens to reduce marketing emails’ presence in the inbox.  And while the old adage of “be the kind of email people want to open” remains true, perhaps there are broader opportunities.

Imagine that your brand has triggered email campaigns, such as welcome campaigns for new customers or lead nurturing campaigns for prospects.  I’d argue that the bundles allow you to create something on the order of a mini eBook for your audiences.

Yes, of course, we want audiences to read each and every email we send them.  However, that’s not even remotely possible.  Instead what if we used Inbox to turn our campaigns into resources for our audiences?  Imagine a “new customer bundle,” for instance.

Have you used it yet?  If so, please share!

Sometimes, the only thing you can change is your mind

So, you failed.

OK, let’s not be too hard on ourselves.  Instead, let’s say your marketing program didn’t live up to the expectations you set.  What now?

No marketing program ever improves on its own.  We all know the expression “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results,” even if we really don’t know who first said it.  Unfortunately, we can’t change all of the elements of a marketing problem as easily as we can change, say, our socks.  After all, marketing teams have limited budgets and limited time which, in turn, mean that they may not have the wherewithal to change process, message or technology.

Sometimes, the only thing a marketer can change is her or her mind.

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