"You can't wait passively wait for people to get into your store, you have to take the initiative and use tools like sms and email to activate them."
(Paulo Kendzerski from WBI Brasil)While I agree on the first part, doing nothing won't get you new business, I have kind of a bad feeling about the second part. It feels a whole lot like he says that you should interrupt people. And with all the tools availible today that isn't the right approach in my mind.
I'd rather go with Seth Godin's advice:
"Marketers should establish a foundation and process where interested people can market to each other. Ignite consumer networks and then get out of the way and let them talk."
(excerpt from Unleashing the idea virus)So if you can't interrupt and you need people to do the marketing to others, how does e-mail marketing fit in there?
To get a better grasp on that was one of the main reasons why I attended E-Mail Marketing Brasil 2010 in São Paulo. I headed there with a little bit of experience on the subject and was hoping to deepen my knowledge and get some fresh ideas.
A good start was a session by Rodrigo do Almeida from Dinamize. He went step by step on how to setup and email campaigns and some possible pitfalls.
Cool was that there was a lot of attention to improve the success rate of your campaign and how to handle possible "failures".
Track your e-mails to find out what people do with them (open, click, convert). And use information of these interaction for additional actions:
An example: an e-mail campaign with a couple of different offerings in it was sent out by an electronics retailer. The reader was interested and clicked on the TV promo. After arriving on the retailers website, it is unsure what happened but probably he just browsed around a bit. This information, that he clicked on the TV promo, was used a couple of days later to send follow-up e-mail with nothing but TV promos.These kind of personalization results in a lot higher conversion rates.
A second example by Amazon. After a purchase of a camera, an e-mail was sent with suggestions on accessories of that specific camera model. This creates some sort of intimacy.Failures
Opt-out(or unsubscribers): Instead of having a one-click unsubscribe link in your e-mail, ask for a confirmation, it decreases opt-out rates by 8%. A fact that later was confirmed by David Witthaker. He brought some numbers on how the single click opt-out is getting more and more rare. Today two or three clicks seem to be more common practice. Which recognizes the efforts of marketeers to try and keep people longer.
And this confirmation of unsubscription could follow a different approach. Instead of just confirming the link, you can offer some other possibilities.
- reduce the frequency of the e-mails
- change e-mail address
- offer alternatives for e-mail
spam: Different e-mail providers have different rules on what they consider spam.
An e-mail included an image that linked to an Orkut page, this was considered spam for Hotmail. When the link was changed from an image to a text link, the email got delivered correctly.An extra handy fact was that 48% of the B2B users read their e-mail on a smartphone (no idea about the country but I'm guessing the US). So including a link from your e-mail to a mobile optimized page might not be a bad idea, as these devices are going to become more popular.
The charming David Witthaker had more interesting information.
Many companies are planning increased investments in e-mail marketing. And a big part from this money will be spent on retention, not prospection of customers. The growing popularity of lead generation and management will play a role in this. E-mail marketing is perfect to manage the leads.
David's company, MarketData, also works with eye-tracking. And he brought some nice videos of this process. One example was an ad about diet products that featured a hot model that was showing a lot of skin.
The results were pretty interesting and were a lot different for women and men:
- women: fingers, clothes, clothes, brand
- men: face and breasts, very little title or brand
After seeing some examples spread around here and there it was interesting to see two companies talking about their digital strategy.
The marketing director of Melissa/Grendene, Paulo Pédo Filho, brought a lot of interesting information on their e-store lojamelissa.com.
But the main idea is that when sales were down, they repositioned the brand, started the e-store and are now operating on a nice digital strategy. It is a mix of email marketing and social media.
Read my post on the Lojamelissa.com case.
From the case of Marisa I took two things away:
- use models to show the products, they sell better then just the product photo
- instead of using random models, use real clients to show your products on your website. They have a word of mouth effect which can be of real value to your website. (traffic!)
To close there was a speaker called Martha Gabriel. Her talk about digital trends was high-speed and filled with examples and books to read. The subject itself is very broad so many different points were touched briefly.
A couple of take-aways:
In Portuguese: pessoas não são, elas estão
Which means that people are different depending on the circumstances. In marketing terms it means that although at home I might be interested in that e-mail about plasma TVs, at work I consider it spam.The digital evolution allows for a better synchronization between people and communication.
Active presence of the consumer on different channels has to be responded with a receptive experience by the companies.I picked up a lot of nice things at the conference. But still a couple of things troubled me. I for example heard nothing about the importance of good landing pages.
Another thing was social media.
"You have to be everywhere."
(Alexandre Umberti from e-bit)I would think that someone that works in a digital agency has experience in advising people on how to get into social media. And being everywhere is in my opinion not a good start. If you spread out your efforts too think on every new digital thing you will waste time and money.
See where your customers are and in which channels they interact. Pick the largest one and get your feet wet with that one. Use this experience to get into other social networks afterwards. Remember it's about the communication, not the channel you are in.