Open Enrollment | Subscribe to Target Marketing HERE
Connect
Follow us on
Advertisement
 
Cyndie Shaffstall

The Integrated Email

By Cyndie Shaffstall

About Cyndie

Email marketing is the most effective way to increase sales, improve service, and keep your customers engaged. Email campaigns are best bolstered through an integrated strategy that crosses channels and meets your constituents where they congregate and in the media they prefer. “The Integrated Email” provides best practices and ideas for developing strategies and deploying email campaigns and initiatives while keeping an eye on revenue attributable to marketing.

Cyndie Shaffstall, founder, Spider Trainers, is a successful entrepreneur and prolific author, with many books, dozens of eBooks, and hundreds of articles to her credit. She is the former founder of ThePowerXChange, editor and publisher of X-Ray Magazine, and the current founder and managing member of Spider Trainers, a managed automated email services provider for companies around the world. Connect with Cyndie on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, or join her LinkedIn Group, the Marketing Resource Library for daily links to marketing-critical resources.

 

Search Made Simple

Phil Frost
How Social Media Impacts SEO
May 6, 2015

SEO is evolving at what feels like "ludicrous" speed. When I was getting started in 2006, on-page keyword density, a...



Big Data, Small Data, Clean Data, Messy Data

Stephen  H. Yu
How to Outsource Analytics
May 5, 2015

In this series, I have been emphasizing the importance of statistical modeling in almost every article. While there are plenty...



Creative Caffeine

Dani Cantor
Email Creative That Demands an "I Do"
May 4, 2015

So my big sister is getting married in July! I'm the maid of honor, which means somewhere along the way...



Making Social Sell

Jeff Molander
Why an “Hour a Day” Doesn't Work on Social Media
May 1, 2015

You're consistent. Diligent. You spend your hour a day on LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ or Twitter. And then you get back...



Direct Mail for the Modern Marketer

Summer Gould
Fall in Love With Direct Mail All Over Again
Apr 30, 2015

I will admit to doing a lot of reading. What can I say, I love it. I especially like to...



Reinventing Direct

Gary Hennerberg
Emoji: Digital Shorthand for Direct Marketers
Apr 29, 2015

Our culture is gravitating to visual displays of shorthand, and we're relying less and less on words. For certain age...



Keeping Search Profitable

Amanda G. Watlington, Ph.D.
Any Time Is Search Time for Consumers
Apr 28, 2015

At a baseball game the other day, I couldn't help but notice how many people in my seating area were...



Marketing Sustainably

Chet Dalzell
A-Plus: Marketing Students Try Their Hand at Technology
Apr 27, 2015

It's nearly graduation time with a new legion of graduates about to enter the marketplace. In my previous post, I...



The Power Punch

Carolyn Goodman
Best Practices Exist for a Reason, Part 2: Landing Pages
Apr 23, 2015

In my last post, I gave some specific and proven best practices for the creation of successful emails. In this...



Here's What Counts

Chuck McLeester
How to Tell If Your Marketing Works
Apr 23, 2015

My live Target Marketing Group Webinar yesterday, "How to Tell if Your Marketing Works," deals with my favorite topic: measuring...



Psychology-Based Marketing

Jeanette McMurtry
The Purpose-Driven Brand
Apr 16, 2015

Since the beginning of time to this very moment, we humans have been driven by purpose. Consciously and unconsciously, we...



IMM-Possible ROI

Stephanie Miller
An Inside-Out View of the Customer Funnel
Apr 7, 2015

No one in business ever profited by change for change's sake. However, no one ever stayed in business long without...



The Data Athlete

Mike Ferranti
Channel Collaboration or Web Cannibalization?
Mar 24, 2015

Multichannel marketers experience the frequent concern that online is competing with, or "cannibalizing," sales in other channels. It seems like...



Ruthless B-to-B Marketing

Ruth P.  Stevens
6 More Thorny Data Problems That Vex B-to-B Marketers, and How to Solve Them
Mar 20, 2015

B-to-B data continues to challenge marketers, who need to identify and communicate with customers and prospects, but who run into...



Brand Matters

Andrea Syverson
I Dare You: Create a Brand Challenge!
Mar 17, 2015

Challenging something we do quite naturally and easily is indeed the perfect challenge. We all get into ruts—some even good...



Mobile-First Marketing

Greg Hoy
5 Mobile Marketing Trends You Can't Ignore in 2015
Jan 14, 2015

I don't have to tell you that we are living in a mobile-first world that continues to drive brands to...



Muscle Marketing

Wendy Montes de Oca
Converting Your Social Media Triple-Fs: Friends, Followers and Fans
Dec 16, 2014

I've heard many gurus, marketers and publishers brag about their social media followers. They'll say things like, "Isn't it great...



Marketing Nuggets

Michael Lowenstein
Marketing Success Is (Almost) All About the Data: Optimizing Customer Loyalty Behavior Initiatives
Oct 7, 2014

Much of what I've learned over the years about sales, marketing and customer service has to do with the critical...



Triple Venti Dolce Data...

Vince Pickett
Clue Me In, Please
Aug 21, 2013

So here we are, halfway through 2013. You, along with everyone, are still trying to find that magic formula to...



Who's Your Data?

Rio Longacre
Instagram: Does It Matter That It Will Make Money on Your Pics?
Dec 19, 2012

Instagram announced the company will soon begin using your content to sell targeted advertising products to the highest bidder. Does...



SEO & Content Marketing Revue

Heather Lloyd-Martin
5 Tips for Top Positioning (And Converting) Page Titles
Aug 11, 2010

Wondering about a SEO content strategy that offers the biggest impact in the shortest time? Try tweaking your page titles....



Yblog

Yory Wurmser
Privacy in the Age of Big Data
Jul 10, 2013

Consumers reveal more than ever before consciously through social media and, just as importantly, unconsciously through their behaviors. This data...



The Whole Magilla

Ken Magill
What Marketers Can Learn From Maine's Political Email Idiocy
Feb 24, 2012

It finally happened. Politicians' idiotic email practices had a measurable negative effect. "Maine Republican Party chairman Charlie Webster has admitted...



Online Video Marketing Deep Dive

Eve Grey
Are Your Videos Champions of Your Brand?
Feb 3, 2014

If you advertise in an ordinary way, it's safe to expect ordinary results. However, when you take the extreme and...



Think Mobility

Greg Hickman
‘I Can't Because, I Need ... ’
Oct 7, 2013

Does this sound like you? Have you ever set up a goal, but then realized (either quickly or too late)...



Denny Hatch's Blog

Denny Hatch
The Internet Can Make You a Chump—Forever!
Sep 25, 2010

Trouble is, the Internet is rife with misinformation and if you get caught advertently or inadvertently propagating this nonsense in...



The Demotion of the Open Rate

 

For years, marketers have been tracking open rates and using this stat for everything from choosing the best time to send to validating the deliverability of a particular email-automation vendor; and well, everything in between. With more and more email being opened on mobile devices, Gmail caching images, and fewer recipients choosing to download images (perhaps accounting for as much as 40 percent of your audience), the open rate simply isn't what it used to be—not that it was ever all that accurate.

Charting a high open rate does not necessarily equate to clicks or conversions, but this has always been true. You might have written the most fabulous or enticing subject line and enjoyed a very high open rate, only to have failed to deliver the message and lost in the long run.

The Mobile Effect
Mobile devices are lowering the dependability of the open rate for some analysis, too. Most people scan emails on their devices and save only those they wish to read or act upon later. Emails that don't answer an immediate need, or that are not relevant, may be deleted prematurely and without much recipient consideration. Even with responsive designs, the recipient is less likely to take advantage of an offer on a smartphone than on a tablet or desktop device, it's simply easier to engage on a bigger screen.

Open Rate Increases
Gmail's new image caching system automatically downloads images, and, for those recipients using Gmail or Google Apps, this can further affect your open rate tracking—your open rate will likely increase. The first open will be tracked correctly by most ESPs, but subsequent (repeat) opens by the same recipient will likely decrease. Unique opens, like opens, will become more accurate.

As with Gmail and Google Apps, iPhone and iPad devices download images by default. If you're tracking your stats year over year, this increase in open rates by Gmail and iOS users will affect your ability to accurately assess your campaigns.

You may find that your open rates increase, but click-through rates do not, resulting in lower click-to-open rates.

Best Time to Send
Some email automation systems, such as Variant4, are able to send messages at the same time as the last open from the recipient, and this can be useful, but determining the right time to send based upon open rates alone will be misleading for the reasons stated earlier. When possible, opt for the previous engagement time, since if the open occurred on a mobile device, the click or conversion may have taken place later from a desktop device and that actually represents the better time for future sends.

Ensuring your content is on the mark is more important than ever as this is the driving force behind clicks and conversions (and not opens). Getting your audience to engage will gain you future priority placement in the inbox rather than a continued relegation to the promotion tab of Gmail.

Still Some Value
As undependable as the open rate has become, it does still represent some value—especially for segmentation and A/B testing of subject lines, for instance. Show caution when basing your conclusions on open rate alone and take the necessary steps to validate your finding through other supporting metrics.

Design Wins
As more email providers download images by default, we as marketers make a major win in the design arena. No longer will we have to design text formats and forfeit brand recognition. Our emails will be displayed in the manner in which we had intended all along.

Companies Mentioned:

Sections:

COMMENTS

Click here to leave a comment...
Comment *
Most Recent Comments: