Email: The Wheel of Fortune is Still Spinning

Danni Hunt | Head of Multi-Channel Campaigns
A little present for you, dear Reader. Print and cut this out, attach it to a paper plate and spin it before every email campaign setup. (Alas, I couldn't find a digital one for you to download and this is much more fun!).

Get your copy of the Wheel of Email Fortune here.

The email channel shows no sign of slowing down as the number one preferred online channel for brands. The number of marketing emails sent in the UK has increased consistently, averaging 6% YOY. However, as consumers have become savvy to our marketing strategies and turned off to mass mailings of the 'same old same old', it is more important than ever to address what you are sending, why you are sending it and to whom. It is imperative to be slicker with your content and come armed with plenty of ideas. Every time. Hence the glorious 'Cut-Out-and-Keep Wheel of Fortune' I generously present to you!
 

Decisive Data

 
By which I mean let the data choose the content. Or even vice versa. We all know that sending to your Active Greens is a given in terms of steady ISP delivery and revenue streams, but is that just playing it safe? It’s your data and with the right segmentation tool you can be bolder with your choices without risk. Still sending irrelevant content to individuals who have shown a specific appetite by their browser behaviour? Be smarter when segmenting your data; split by customer lifecycle, VIPs, new sign ups, category viewed, brand preference, and most definitely customers versus prospects. Dare to discover the ‘who is’ and ‘who isn't’ and change your strategy accordingly.
 

Active Agile

 
With well over 50% of all emails now opened on a mobile device, and Outlook's sudden support of animated gifs, early 2019 allows for email recipients to have a higher expectation of content than ever before. Remember an emoji may not be enough to keep a Millennial engaged over the next brand in their inbox. At minimum we require a response that drives at least a 'cool' in their vocab and for them to share it with their pals - their trusted peers. These days there is so much you can include. Video is a sure-fire way to deliver the brand message. At least put it in your welcome email. It is not just a case of displaying the weather by location of open (I know this as I can look out of the window or even more likely, check my phone) but how about showing different products depending on the live weather itself. Same email. BBQ time! Snow Boots on Sale Now! 
 

Dynamically Different

 
Relevancy has been a term we marketers have thrown about for what seems like years now. So, I don't need to hammer home the importance of unique content. Relevancy doesn't have to be at the detriment of resource. So often avoided, it is easy to say you don’t have time to implement for this campaign but one day, when you’re less busy, you will think about adding some in. Horror! 
 
Dynamic is your friend, your very best friend. Once set up it will deliver masses of content without you ever having to re-intervene. Dynamic is not about tons and tons of content. Pick and choose. Start small and identify your winning repetitive behaviours.
 

Try Something New

 
Tried the new WhatsApp group sharing URL yet? No? I shall leave this with you.
 

Channel Challenge

 
Let's talk about where email fits with other channels. To put it diplomatically, there are some people who just don't like email. Or are at least surprised they receive so much activity. Take your 'Angry Reds' and overlay site visits. For those who are still browsing your pages but not engaging via the email channel, do something else with them. Ping them a Google or Facebook ad rather than another inbox message. Or an SMS or Push message. Or Direct Mail and a pizza if they have previously spent a fortune with you! Other channels of course do not exist purely for anti-email campaigners. Research shows that conversions increase dramatically when email is supported by another channel. For example, paid social and email together can increase campaign conversion by 22%. Always remember how broadly consumers are seeing brand content. Digital touchpoints are easily accessible and a viable way to use your 'Decisive Data' as above.
 

Mobile Magic

 
Still approving your emails on a desktop rather than mobile? Grrrrr.
 
Struggling to provide decent mobile content that is optimised, creating a fluid customer experience for every single campaign, while remaining varied and easy to turnaround? Invest in a decent master template which will deliver all of your own content sections without touching a tad of html code.
 

Engagement Ring

 
Spin this and you have many options and opportunities to improve overall performance of every email campaign. Engagement is the result of all the assets of your email send. It is reliant not just on the data, but the subject line, friendly from, body, imagery and relevance of the copy. The impact is cyclic; get it right on occasion, the recipient will more likely interact with the next send. Get it wrong and you can easily cause the reverse.

 
Tenuous Timing

 
So, I am not alluding to the correct deployment time during the week for your newsletters. That is so 10 years ago! I am addressing the way you deploy the campaign, in particular, your Marketing Automation. When was the last time you reviewed these timings? Is your order confirmation truly instant? Should your basket abandonment be sent in-day rather than the next day? How soon does the welcome email (with that lovely video) reach the prospect? Are your automated campaigns one-offs rather than a slick multi-channel customer journey, sent over the course of a few days/weeks?  If yes, time to optimise with several spins of the wheel.
 

Predict The Future

 
Jackpot section. Overlay all existing and new segments with Predictive Modelling. Imagine being able to identify who will unsubscribe, who will purchase for the first time and maybe for the second time. What about foreseeing Customer Lifetime Value, potential lapsers and those customers who have the propensity to become VIPs. Strategic decisions would be easy, realistic and could be automated! What channel to send them down, how to talk to them as individuals, when to leave them alone, when to incentivise, when you don't need to offer a bean.  Sounds like magic, but it already exists. The prize is limitless.
 

Spin Again

 
I included this as every good wheel of fortune has a 'Spin Again' option. Essentially though I am referring to continual testing and attempting to improve, engage and delight your audience. Take advantage of new innovation, content ideas, machine learning and device diversity. But beyond all lucky spins, shakes of the dice, cards played, gambles taken, the only sure guarantee of making your email channel work harder overall is better use of your customer data. Sort this out and you can spin the Wheel of 'Email' Fortune again and again, always getting another go, always winning.
 
So, there you have a different spin. Ten ideas to keep your customers and prospects excited by another email send. In a blog and on a plate!
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