Don’t Forget About Opens and Clicks, but Email Marketing is Now All About Relevance

November 21, 2013

When you stop and consider that the first commercial email was sent 30 years ago, it’s easy to consider email a digital marketing dinosaur.

Long used for both acquisition and retention, marketers must now extend their email efforts to the ongoing relationships that their brands have with customers. This was of the many topics discussed during yesterday’s Chief Marketer webinar, “Boosting Conversions & Revenue with Multichannel Email Marketing,” featuring Luke Glasner, email guru and co-chair of the Email Experience Council's SAME Project.

According to Glasner, a multichannel email marketer is someone who focuses on acquisition, retention, and the customer experience, while integrating email efforts with other channels. “Email has to integrate with all of the marketing activities of the company and how it can support them,” he said. “Multichannel email marketing is becoming more and more a shepherd of the brand.”

Glasner mentioned how mobile is forcing brands to no longer silo email within an organization, stressing the importance to bring together email, analytics, web, mobile, and other teams to provide a true multichannel experience.

“We’ve seen a big growth in mobile email clients, and they’ve changed how we approach email,” he said, “If we’re not providing a good mobile experience in our email channel, chances are we are harming our brand’s reputation.”

Glasner urged all to take mobile into account in their designs, contending that it’s much simpler and quicker to do fluid design than responsive design. While media queries in responsive design can determine what device someone is using and change the experience, hide or move content, fluid design can proportionally lay out email so elements take up the same percent of space on different screen sizes, but cannot move or hide content.

He also stressed the importance of combining historical metrics with real-time metrics. While opens, clicks, clicks-to-open, and other key metrics are still helpful, understanding real-time behaviors, such as what types of devices people use throughout the day, are having even more impact on send times and the creative process.

Before Glasner turned the webinar over to Nicole Kerr, Monetate’s senior product manager, he urged everyone to pay attention to permission-based email evolving more to relevancy, stating that “opens and clicks equal engagement.” Just as ISPs shifted from IP reputation to domain-based reputation, they’re now looking at engagement reputation to determine email deliverability.

“The onus is on email marketers to develop good list management and list hygiene practices as well as engaging content,” Glasner said. “More and more ISPs are using measures of engagement to give higher priority in the queue or throttle email back because people really don’t care about your messages.”

Kerr concluded the webinar by providing examples of how retailers such as Moosejaw, Freshpair, and True Religion Brand Jeans are using open-time personalization―content that changes when customers actual open email―to see increases in click through rates as high as 61%.

During a busy question and answer period, Glasner stressed the difference between optimizing for send time versus open time. “Send-time optimization provides the broadest reach possible and helps determine the best day or time to get an email open,” he said. “Open-time involves changing content to get the most engagement in the email in the moment.”

Watch the entire “Boosting Conversions & Revenue with Multichannel Email Marketing” webinar.

Experience the future of ecommerce personalization

Book your personalized demo today.