Email Is a Product, Not an Advertisement
Eventful, an online retailer for concerts and local event tickets, went a step further. It essentially created an email marketing product for its customers.
Let's say a person in Jacksonville, Fla., searches Eventful to see if Pearl Jam is coming to town. If there is no concert coming up, the site asks, "Would you like to be notified when Pearl Jam comes to Jacksonville?"
The Pearl Jam fan can then "Demand It!" and let the band know that one of its rock shows is wanted in Jacksonville, while also signing up for email notifications about upcoming events in the area.
Once completed, Eventful has a piece of information about this person. The company has developed recommendation and personalization technology to leverage that piece of information and better predict other performers its customers may like, based on the performers who subscribers have already told Eventful about, in order to deliver more personalized recommendations through its email marketing.
"In essence, I'd like to think I'm enabling them to be that person that knows everything that's going on in their neighborhood," said Ryan Blomberg, Eventful's director of engineering.
As a result of its email marketing product, Eventful was able to increase purchases by 66 percent.
Idea No. 2: But Technology Isn't Magic
Technology is helpful, but ESPs and automation simply create email "buckets" that you have to fill with something. You have to think of the content that goes in the buckets as a product, just like a newspaper or magazine creates a product with the content it produces.
If you're struggling with content, just know you are not alone. During an onstage interview at the 2014 MarketingSherpa Email Summit, Byron O'Dell said content takes much longer to build than technology for a multi-touch lead nurturing program.
And Byron is the senior director of demand management for Jane's Defence at IHS. It's a content company, and content creation was even hard for Byron.
Daniel Burstein is the Senior Director, Content and Marketing at MECLABS Institute. Daniel oversees all content and marketing coming from the MarketingExperiments and MarketingSherpa brands while helping to shape the marketing direction for MECLABS — digging for actionable discoveries while serving as an advocate for the audience.