Folks, things have gotten so bad that I’ve intentionally mashed up to movie tropes: “Back to the Future” and zombies.
Let me back up. Email marketers–especially retailers–have done a pretty good job of jumping on the opt-down bandwagon. If you haven’t heard the term, I refer to the practice of letting email subscribers who want to unsubscribe from you choose a more relaxed mailing frequency, such as weekly or monthly.
Oh, Brooks Brothers, I wish I knew how to quit you.
While opt-down gives marketers a powerful tool for retention, it also forces us to revisit a debate that has raged since AOL accounted for the biggest number of email addresses: best day of week and time of day to mail.
If you read my blog regularly, you know I strongly and frequently recommend testing. I make the case that testing improves response by showing you what your audience responds to and what they don’t. Sometimes, marketers get lost in the finer points and what, frankly, often amounts to a few percentage points.
Then, there’s this:
Just what every dad wants for his daughter: a sport so obviously detrimental to her health that a first-aid kit serves as a throw-in for an order.
As a marketing strategist, nothing bugs me as much as clients who don’t–or won’t–test.
I have yet to meet a veteran marketer (or to read an article by one) who does not espouse testing for addressable communications as a blanket concept. I have yet to hear a marketer who’s employed testing for email, on-site messages or catalogs tell me that he or she didn’t learn anything. Yet, even among some of the most sophisticated clients, testing remains terra incognita.
There seem to be two main reasons for not testing. Thankfully, simple reasoning can undo either of them.Continue reading →
When marketers discuss using consumer data to drive content or offers in addressable communications such as email, apps or on-site messages, sooner or later the word “creepy” comes up. Front-and-center stand such examples as the New York Times’s infamous “father learns of daughter’s pregnancy via direct mail” article.
However, even ordinary consumers in ordinary situations may feel that a marketer has violated some form of privacy when it reveals too much about what it knows in an email or SMS.
We all agree that we want to avoid creepiness, but I don’t think we marketers, as a group, have established a working definition of creepy. While no one would deny the creepiness of the lubricant example above, would an offer for sports equipment or kitchenware have raised an eyebrow? How can we create a standard for what kinds of data are off-limits? Continue reading →