As the privacy landscape continues to shift in favor of user privacy, inbox providers are updating their policies and terms of service agreements in efforts to provide more security and transparency to users. But email service platforms and deliverability providers are feeling the effects — and they are trickling down to email marketers who rely on third-party providers that provide inbox data.
By enforcing their terms of service and data use policies, Verizon Media will no longer allow bot-controlled inboxes to report data to providers.
Why we should care
Earlier this year, Google tightened its grip on third-party developers that were in violation of its policies and scraping data from Gmail inboxes. Traditional methods of aggregating panel data on message characteristics and campaign performance over time have changed; providers including ReturnPath and eDataSource developed AI-driven panel replicators in response to the changes and to continue delivering panel data to their customers. The trouble with this new panel data is that it mimics human interactions, rather than informing email marketers with real user data.
“If Verizon is making this move, it will lead to systemic changes for marketers, but it is unclear ultimately where this will land,” said Chris Adams, chief technology officer of eDataSource and architect of IntelliSeeds®. “Verizon Media could choose to allow access for deliverability companies to have insights into inbox placement from traditional seed and smart seed solutions. I do believe that inbox placement insights are crucial for marketers. They care about sending email that is valued by their recipients’ and they need insights to serve them well.”
Inbox providers (like Verizon) that are cracking down on bots and AI-driven solutions will need to collaborate with deliverability companies and email service providers to provide inbox insights. Without these insights, email marketers could be left in the dark.
“Companies like eDataSource have played a critical part in helping marketers follow best practices, and send mail that recipients want to read, even when it means sending less email to their subscribers,” said Adams. “If Verizon Media puts a blanket ban on inbox placement monitoring, which will impact all the players in the space, I suspect that Verizon Media may make this type of anonymized data available to deliverability companies and senders. “
More on the news
Google announced in mid-2017 that it would no longer scan Gmail users’ inboxes for ad targeting purposes.
Google announced plans to strengthen its security on third-party developers starting in early 2019.
It is unclear how other major inbox providers such as Microsoft will respond to the changes from Google and Verizon Media
It’s estimated that most Americans are exposed to around 4,000 to 10,000 ads each day. That’s a whole lot of opportunities to acquire new customers, and just as likely, annoy the everloving snot out of thousands of others. When you use remarketing to stay top-of-mind with customers, you’re walking a fine line between drawing in potential customers and infuriating your audience. Remarketing can and does work, but only if you can put customer experience above short-term vanity KPIs. Here’s how to do it and how to make the customer’s experience better using call tracking data.
Remarketing, retargeting, and why people hate it
What’s the difference between retargeting and remarketing? Remarketing is your overall strategy of reconnecting with customers and prospects after they have interacted with your brand. This could be a combination of email, paid digital media, direct mail and more. Retargeting refers to the cookie-based ads used to remarket to people after they have left your site on other sites as part of an ad network, such as Google Display Network ads.
Your typical non-marketer consumer may not know these terms or the inner workings of remarketing. They just know them as ads that seem to follow them everywhere they go after visiting your website, and they have some good reasons to hate them.
Ads are out of context
Have you ever been shopping for some kind of martech product and then get retargeting ads for it on your favorite hockey blog? If you’re a marketer, you probably just sigh and nod your head in shame that someone’s doing it wrong. Displaying ads out of context is one of the big reasons why consumers feel like they’re being “followed” by you. It sticks out like a sore thumb because it’s just the wrong place and the wrong time. However, if you can contextualize your remarketing, the ads will seem natural and do what they’re supposed to do — keep your brand top-of-mind. When you see ads for the hockey gear you’ve been shopping for on the hockey blog and email automation on marketing industry websites, you nod your head in approval and think “YEAH, these folks know what they’re doing!” Then you buy that 12-pack of pucks and call back that martech SDR who has been hounding you for the last six weeks. Mission accomplished!
Your ads are absofreakinlutely everywhere, forever
The more times someone sees your ad, the more likely they’ll remember you, right? That might be the case, but they’ll probably be remembering that they’d like to strangle you. A study performed by Skin Media and RAPP Media aimed to find out how this repetitiveness affects consumers. In the study, they found that people think that seeing a retargeted ad five or more times is “annoying,” while seeing it ten or more times makes them “angry”. Not the experience you’re looking for. More than half of the visitors polled said that they may be interested in the ad the first time they see it, even though only 10% report making a purchase as a result of seeing a remarketed ad. Think carefully when you are setting your frequency caps and make sure you are not inundating (and annoying the hell out of) your customers with ads.
Getting retargeted for stuff you already bought
Step 1: Buy a new power drill. Step 2: See millions of retargeting ads for the same darned drill. Step 3: Scream at your computer “GAWD, fix your suppression, dummies!” The average consumer may also find this rather inept, but more likely, they’re going to be turned off by it. Proper post-conversion ad suppression makes your marketing much more efficient and saves your customers from the agony of being reminded of their purchase for six weeks, or worse, seeing an ad with a lower price than they paid and making them feel conned.
How call tracking data can make the remarketing experience better
Particularly in the post-cookies age we live in, where the use of third-party cookies for remarketing is being smashed by new regulations and browser-level cookie-blocking, using every source of first-party data you have at hand for remarketing is critical. If your business gets a lot of sales inquiries from inbound phone calls, your remarketing picture gets even muddier. A potential customer may have navigated to your website and clicked on a page or product before calling you and either asking a question or ultimately making a purchase. Either way, you are left with a data gap that leaves you open for making bad remarketing decisions that will annoy your customers and waste your marketing budget.
You can bridge this data gap and get your hands on precise first-party data for remarketing by using a call tracking and conversational analytics platform. When your customers call you, they are literally telling you what they want and how they talk about it. To feasibly classify customer conversations into useful digital datasets, you need an automated system that can understand what’s being said and accurately derive meaning from it. Your call tracking platform should be able to accomplish a few things:
Automatically determine the outcome of inbound phone calls
Predict and classify call type (e.g. sales call, service call, etc.)
Collect digital journey data such as UTM, keywords, and GCLID
Push marketing intelligence collected from calls to your martech stack in real time
With this type of functionality, you can fine-tune your remarketing campaigns without doing a lot of heavy lifting. The data can be fed to your DMP and/or ad network to automate the process in real time. And when you understand the nature of a call, you can optimize your media for higher ROI, which can be particularly helpful when you are nailing down the next best step in your marketing, whether that be retargeting ads for someone who did not make a purchase, or suppressing ads for someone who did. You can also use call data to feed to Google’s automated bidding algorithm to adjust your bids according to what is (or isn’t) happening on the phone.
Conversational analytics tools like Invoca’s new Signal Discovery take this to a new level of precision and granularity, as they can help you find out things about phone conversations that you don’t even know to look for. Over 56% of marketers have no idea what’s said during the calls that they drive or what the outcomes of those calls are. It’s a big data gap that marketers shouldn’t have to live with. “Conversations are overflowing with insights that don’t always see the light of day outside the contact center. As a result, many companies are missing out on opportunities to create a more consistent and positive customer experience across human and digital touchpoints,” said Dan Miller, lead analyst and founder at Opus Research.
Signal Discovery solves this issue by enabling marketers to quickly gain new insights from tens of thousands of conversations and take action on them in real time. From there, you’re able to drill down into each topic to understand caller behavior and then create a “signal” that Invoca will listen for in future calls so you can see exactly when a specific topic is discussed and can automate your marketing based on this data. No more guesswork, no more risky call assumptions.
With all this data, you can make your remarketing efforts more targeted, relevant, efficient, and above all, less annoying.
Performance marketing agency Merkle has released the latest edition of its quarterly report, the Q4 2019 Customer Engagement Report (download required). The report addresses results from a Merkle survey of over 200 marketers from North American brands spanning across industries including retail, high-tech, financial, travel, media and entertainment, health and nonprofit.
The Q4 report explores the various data types marketers use to enable personalization, along with the emerging tools and tactics that drive ongoing marketing improvements. The survey found that while there is broad adoption of personalization across marketing organizations, there is plenty of room for growth.
Why we should care
The survey discovered that 86% of marketers have the budget, solutions and infrastructure in place to drive personalized customer experience across digital channels. Despite having all the right tools, respondents indicated that the use of individual data sources for personalization is low. According to Merkle, 70% of respondents reported that third-party customer demographics are used in email, 40% in digital media, and less than 30% on website.
Merkle also analyzed loyalty program tactics used by marketers. The study found that despite respondents indicating an increase in investments in loyalty platforms and emerging technologies, spend on loyalty program management, email marketing and operational resources have stayed the same or decreased. 81% of survey respondents reported they have a defined loyalty program in place.
Additionally, Merkle identified a gap between high-level reporting on data use and available and the use of specific data sources for loyalty programs. 62% of respondents indicated they have loyalty programs that are fully integrated with their CRM data, but are using less of the available data in loyalty efforts compared to wider marketing initiatives; 38% indicate using third-party demographic data to personalize loyalty programs compared to 86% in overall marketing efforts.
More on the news:
60% of respondents reported that a majority of their revenue was driven by data-based triggers but only 28% of messaging is based on one-to-one behavior triggers.
Nearly 90% of marketers use personalization on at least one channel, but most have not adopted advanced tactics.
Canadian e-commerce platform Shopify has announced the launch of its newest marketing app extension, Shopify Email. Shopify Email will allow Shopify merchants to create, execute and monitor email marketing campaigns natively within the platform. The new capabilities are expected to be generally available to Shopify merchants beginning in early 2020.
In 2018, Shopify launched Shopify Marketing as an all-in-one marketing solution for merchants on the platform. Shopify Email marks the platform’s next step towards making marketing tools more accessible to sellers. Emails can be sent from the merchant’s domain name, and require little technical setup.
Why we should care
The value of email for SMBs and should not be overlooked. As one of the highest-converting marketing channels, email is critical for establishing trust with customers. Adding email capabilities to its platform will enable Shopify merchants to manage their communications with their customers alongside their inventory, creating a streamlined system within the Shopify environment — while saving merchants the costs of investing in and integrating a third-party provider.
Shopify Email also includes campaign analytics to help users measure their email marketing campaigns with open and click-through rates, as well as insight into the products added to shopping carts and purchases. Merchants can take advantage of these to optimize their email marketing campaigns.
More on the news
Shopify Email provides customers with customizable email templates that can be used with existing brand assets and products.
Shopify has partnered with advertising platforms such as Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Snapchat.
Third-party marketing apps including Seguno, Omnisend and SMSBump have also integrated into the platform to allow for integrated, cross-channel marketing campaigns.
Make your website load much faster Quicklink is a tiny script from GoogleChromeLabs that makes your pages load almost instantly. It works by prefetching every link that’s currently visible in the viewport (so it works on every page except the page on w…
Make your website load much faster Quicklink is a tiny script from GoogleChromeLabs that makes your pages load almost instantly. It works by prefetching every link that’s currently visible in the viewport (so it works on every page except the page on which the visitor arrived). It works as follows… Detects links within the viewport […]
Email marketing platform SparkPost has announced plans to purchase reputation management, email deliverability and analytics provider eDataSource.
The acquisition is expected to provide SparkPost and eDataSource customers the combined abilities to create, send and measure email performance and inbox placement analytics. The announcement also included plans to launch new capabilities, including automatic seeding and real-time blacklist alerting.
Why we should care
Reaching the managed inbox continues to pose challenges for marketers. Deliverability is becoming increasingly complex, and email marketers often feel the negative impacts on their email marketing efforts every day. Many email service providers (ESPs) can give users insight into email performance based on metrics, but marketers often turn to third-party deliverability solutions to enhance placement and deliverability insights, and the upcoming merger seeks to address these challenges for its customers.
Integrating deliverability insights into the platform could have a strong impact on email marketers’ understanding of deliverability. With one in five emails never reaching the intended inbox, the integration between SparkPost and eDataSource could signal a coming change in how we can leverage martech and data to better understand and manage our relationships with subscribers.
understanding deliverability and inbox performance, customers will be able to
optimize their sending for improved engagement and business results from their
email,” said SparkPost CEO Rich Harris. “Deeply integrating sending
and analytics will provide richer insights and new capabilities like automatic
seeding, accurate weighting of inbox placement and blacklist impact based on
actual sending patterns.”
Okay, marketers, the cat is out of the bag. We know that personalization is not your ONLY marketing strategy. We know that you have other platforms that you work in and other marketing campaigns that you run on your website. And, we know that you are active on social and are constantly creating new innovative… Read More
Okay, marketers, the cat is out of the bag. We know that personalization is not your ONLY marketing strategy. We know that you have other platforms that you work in and other marketing campaigns that you run on your website. And, we know that you are active on social and are constantly creating new innovative content. We know that you’ve got your hands full trying to inspire visitation to your destination.
But that’s what we love about you! We like that you are multifaceted and have a ton of simultaneous initiatives. And, honestly, we want to help out! There’s a million and a half ways that you can partner your personalization with other on-site and off-site elements. Here are four specific technologies I want highlight as effective tools to partner with personalization. Let’s start with:
Despite rumors that email marketing is “dead”, the eNewsletter list is still an important marker of success for most CVBs and Destination Marketers. Collecting a visitor’s email gives you direct access to a visitor’s inbox and allows you to update potential travelers on new things to do and see around town. As long as your emails stay relevant and timely, eNewsletters will continue to be a meaningful way to connect and communicate with locals and visitors alike.
While we probably don’t need to convince you that email list building is important, we do need to talk about how marketers collect email addresses. Email collection can be tough and the line between assertively requesting emails and aggressively annoying site visitors is thin. Marketers often start with what is thought to be a gentle ask, only to realize later that their requests are off-putting to audiences.
That’s where personalization offers a solution. Rather than asking the same visitors for email addresses repeatedly, setting up targeted segmentation can be an effective way to cut down on “ask-annoyance.” Plus, you can use personalization to make sure that you don’t serve an eNewsletter form fill to a visitor that has already signed up for your list. Instead of badgering visitors for emails, personalization helps you to ask the right visitors for emails at the time they’re most likely to sign up.
Like I said earlier, we know that we’re not your only marketing platform and we hope you’re using some of the other innovative technologies built for the travel and tourism vertical. One of our favorite technologies in this space is Crowdriff, a visual content marketing platform. Crowdriff allows marketers to easily pull User Generated visuals from social channels, manages this content, and serves diverse galleries on their website. Through this practice of sourcing beautiful imagery by visitors, Crowdriff provides content that resonates with and inspires future travelers.
Personalizing Crowdriff galleries adds a layer of targeting that ensures site visitors are greeted with imagery that really speaks to their interests. Through Bound’s personalization tool, you can segment visitors by implied behavioral interest, geo-location, or by paid media. This gives marketers the opportunity to serve “outdoor focused” galleries to visitors who have expressed interest in outdoor activities. Similarly, a marketer might want to show imagery with a heavy fall focus to geo-locations that don’t necessarily get the chance to experience fall (*sigh* In Austin, TX we go straight from summer to winter).
Serving user generated content through Crowdriff provides websites imagery that makes destinations seem accessible and fun. Adding personalization takes it one step further and allows marketers to serve user generated galleries that will speak directly to a visitor’s interests.
Youtube, Vimeo, Wistia, etc.:
The look and feel of a destination comes across in pictures but videos give visitors a more heightened perspective of a destination’s offerings. Beautiful landscapes can be viewed in full and the action behind exciting events can be witnessed beyond a single photo. Videos truly show a destination’s personality through rolling shots, music, and energy.
But destination marketers sometimes have trouble getting more eyes on the beautiful videos that they created. And if marketing dollars were spent on producing top-notch videos, it’s important that an audience sees those videos. The good news is that personalization can help here too!
Dependent on the intentions of video content, Bound’s personalization can do multiple things. For starters, Bound can serve video on your site to make sure more people have access to it. If more views is your main goal, that’s easy for us to enable. But, we can also make sure that the right videos are serving to the right people. If you have a series of visitors highlighting the food scene in your fair city, town, or state, we can make sure that your foodie audience gobbles those right up (pun intended).
Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics:
Marketers tend to shy away from intensive reporting because it can quickly overwhelm. But ultimately, reporting should be one of the most important things that website marketers do. And as far as reporting platforms go, it’s hard to get better than Google Analytics. With it’s enormous breadth of content, it is definitely a beast of a platform. But who doesn’t love all those colorful little graphs and interactive flow-charts. Tracking site engagement through reporting tools like Google Analytics tells you what is working for your traffic and what is not working. Which is why it’s important to push personalization information into your Google Analytics reporting tool.
By tracking personalization in GA, you can easily segment your personalized audience and compare performance to visitors who did not see personalization. Or you can get super granular and see specifically how audiences react to certain content pieces. By tracking the performance of your on-site personalization, you can improve upon your website segment by segment, leading to better engagement overall and a site that’s highlighting the most ideal content for a specified audience.
This barely scratches the surface of ways that you can partner your other marketing initiatives with personalization. If you want to learn more, reach out to our sales team or your designated customer success manager!
As a destination marketer, one of your main challenges is turning your website visitors into destination visitors. Before a visitor comes to your destination they compare you their other options. During this research phase, you tailor your ads to match their interests, you utilize search engine marketing tools to make sure your advertising and social… Read More
As a destination marketer, one of your main challenges is turning your website visitors into destination visitors. Before a visitor comes to your destination they compare you their other options. During this research phase, you tailor your ads to match their interests, you utilize search engine marketing tools to make sure your advertising and social content is targeted to their search results, and you hope these visitors click through to your site to consume and engage with the top content you’ve created.
But what are the best practices in turning these online visitors into destination visitors?
Leading destination marketers from Explore Branson, Elkhart County, Indiana, and Visit Williamsburg believe website personalization is a cost effective way to turn their website visitors into destination visitors. In Time to Get Personal, these three destinations highlight some of the ways Bound’s personalization solution has helped them stand out amongst their peers and convert their online visitors into destination visitors. Some of their results include the following:
Explore Branson has seen a 560% increase in e-newsletter sign-ups by using a personalized pop-up targeted to different website audiences.
Elkhart County, Indiana used Bound’s A/B testing capabilities to increase travel guide conversions by 253%.
Visit Williamsburg used Bound to maximize the value of their paid media campaigns. ince targeting paid media visitors to the website with personalized landing pages, they have seen a 41% increase in time on site.
Read more in this report to learn how these destinations got these results and to see if now is the right time for you to explore personalization for your destination’s website.
The process of A/B testing (a.k.a. online controlled experiments) is well-established in conversion rate optimization for all kinds of online properties and is widely used by e-commerce websites. On this blog I have already written in depth about the s…
The process of A/B testing (a.k.a. online controlled experiments) is well-established in conversion rate optimization for all kinds of online properties and is widely used by e-commerce websites. On this blog I have already written in depth about the statistics involved as well as the ROI calculations in terms of balancing risk and reward for […] Read More...
Here are 4 facts on email marketing. The vast majority of online sales companies still use transactional emails as part of their marketing efforts. Email marketing campaigns have open rates of up to 40-50% and click rates of around 10-20%. … Continue reading →
Here are 4 facts on email marketing.
The vast majority of online sales companies still use transactional emails as part of their marketing efforts.
Email marketing campaigns have open rates of up to 40-50% and click rates of around 10-20%.
Email marketing campaigns are here to stay.
The more people get used to online marketing campaigns, the cleverer you have to be with the content and timing of your emails sent to the clients.
So… Just between us…
Have you ever conducted an email marketing campaign that didn’t have the desired results and kept wondering what went wrong?
And even worse, have you ever had to stop a campaign as it did more harm than good?
Yes, these things actually do happen!
That’s why it is essential to analyze in real-time which emails are successful and which are not.
The Old Way
Do these metrics look familiar?
They should – as most companies use these classical metrics in their analysis.
In my experience, this is an oversimplified way of looking at things. It doesn’t give you the right answers, nor does it produce the desired results.
Useful as it might have been some time ago, this method is simply not refined enough to provide you with all the data you need in order to make informed decisions regarding your email campaigns.
The New Way
After years of working in the field of analytics, I have come up with the following measurement framework:
Audience that opened the email
How many of them converted
Audience that didn’t open the email
How many of them converted
By following this approach, you will get more detailed information on which email campaigns work and which don’t.
Content and Timing
The main factors that come into play when users decide on purchasing your product or not are the content and the timing of the email you send.
Content-wise, the recipe for success is no surprise: find an eye-catching title and a content to match it, and you’re all set.
Timing however, is another issue…
Software companies have it easier than e-commerce. Here is a typical scenario:
After researching onboarding timing, a software company might discover that 80% of users usually take less than 40 minutes to onboard. This would be the best time to send the first email.
Send the email before the 40-minute benchmark, and your potential customers might be annoyed and abandon the purchase.
Send the email after the 40-minute benchmark, and your user will already have forgotten about your product.
Want to talk more about measuring email campaigns? Leave a comment or send me an email.