Increase the Effectiveness of Your E-mail Campaigns With Rich M
TMG: In what ways can rich media be employed to enhance multichannel marketers e-mail campaigns?
Mack: The answer is very straightforward. To make the e-mails relevant and engaging to the customer. Consumers are absolutely overwhelmed with the amount of e-mail they're getting. Because for the most part, retailers and e-tailers find that it pays to send e-mail. It's very inexpensive to send them and send a lot of them. You generally get a return for each campaign. The problem is that consumers are inundated with e-mail. I was sitting in front of my Yahoo! account with my wife last night and I said, "I don't know how this happened, but all I get is retail e-mail in my Yahoo! account." So now I've turned the security levels up on that account, and I'm bulk deleting the stuff. And why rich media and personalization in e-mail matter is because you need to stand out from the crowd and actually make the consumer watch your e-mail and view it as valuable content. So if I get an e-mail from a trusted retailer that I see above the fold an image of something that compels me and a message that's relevant to me, I will begin to think this is a thoughtful company that has selected something that is of interest to me. I'm going to read what that company has to say now because I've been visually grabbed and engaged.
Dahlgren: And frankly we push HTML e-mails more than just plain text e-mails because of the aspect of being visually engaging. Adding rich media to that HTML e-mail makes it even more engaging.
TMG: How is rich media accomplished in e-mail? Is it an image that's served to the end recipient? How do you deliver this experience?
Mack: It's very important when executing something like this to stay within the industry-standard approach. One, from the execution perspective of creating the e-mail, and two, from a delivery perspective, to make sure there's nothing embedded in or created as part of the e-mail that feels funny and makes it more difficult to get through to the consumer. It's actually fairly straightforward to institute rich media. You continue on with your standard HTML template, and within that template you have an area that into which an image can be called. You do that via a URL string, which is a very typical way for a file system to call for an image. You can then call for rich imagery, which may be an enhanced image; one that has your name inscribed in it, one that may have a graphic overlaid on it via that URL string that can be dynamically called up by the Scene 7 server. So for the person who authors the e-mail or for the person who receives the e-mail, it's just like any other HTML e-mail out there. The magic is that real estate that's allocated to the imagery and graphics is dynamically generated and personalized for the consumer.