Email planning is hard. Teams are invariably under-resourced, and the next big campaign is always just around the corner. Brainstorming that next piece of amazing creative, the next eye-catching subject line, and the next perfectly crafted offer can often feel far more like perspiration than inspiration!
The question is: How can marketers solve these challenges?
The answer lies in great brand intelligence. In the latest edition of State of Email Live, I had the pleasure of discussing this topic with MailCharts co-founder, Tom Buchok!
Planning is a challenge
Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and newer events like Single’s Day and Amazon Prime Day, have become extremely popular in recent years. Many email marketers start planning for these big events a few months in advance—and some begin their planning even earlier!
Planning successful event campaigns requires a lot of time, thought, and effort. A last-minute campaign thrown into the works is never an ideal situation. Therefore, it’s important to add events to your marketing calendar well in advance so your team has plenty of time to create compelling campaigns.
This is especially useful in the months leading up to popular holidays like Christmas and New Year’s Day, but it can also be useful when it comes to planning campaigns around lesser-known events like Star Wars Day (May the 4th be with you!) and International Burger Day.
Tom explained that even though niche events like Star Wars Day make for less traditional campaigns, more and more email marketers are choosing to add these events to their calendars. These events present excellent opportunities to connect with your audience in a fun, new way—but only if the events are relevant to your brand.
This is where brand intelligence comes in. Brand intelligence gives marketers the ability to quickly find and analyze previous examples of successful campaigns, which can then be shared with the creative, strategy, and copywriting teams. This ensures new campaign ideas will be a hit with both the brand and the audience.
Trends to note
Although it’s already happened in the UK and the US, Mother’s Day is still coming up in other countries around the world. In fact, it will be ongoing throughout the rest of the year (Panama celebrates on December 8th!). This year, consumer spending is expected to exceed $30 billion, making it the third biggest retail event after Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Tom and I discussed some trends from countries where Mother’s Day has already taken place. The trends include:
- Customization: Due to how tough the last two years have been, there is a real sense of families wanting to spoil mums. Brands that offer customization of their products have a much higher chance of resonating with consumers by enabling personalization around such a sentimental day.
- Authenticity: Paperless Post spoke to mums for some research on Mother’s Day and found experiences with family are more effective than material gifts. By creating an email campaign focused on delivering an experience through their products, they were able to build an authentic connection with their audience.
- Empathy: Not all consumers want to hear about events like Mother’s Day every year. As a result, many brands have introduced a snooze function, giving consumers the option to opt out of specific campaigns. This has proven to reduce the number of unsubscribes by as much as 83 percent.
The future is SMS
When we asked Tom what exciting plans MailCharts has in the pipeline, he spoke about a new data set that is relevant to email marketers and complements email beautifully: SMS campaigns.
SMS marketing (Short Message Service marketing) is when marketers send promotional campaigns or transactional messages for marketing purposes using text messages. MailCharts’ plan is to use SMS techniques for brand intelligence to find out when messages are being sent, how they’re being sent, what’s being said, and which brands are doing what. By analyzing this, MailCharts can look at the trends and inspiration within the SMS world to create opportunities for email marketers.
Until next time
It was a joy to have Tom join us for State of Email Live! As always, it’s great to talk to fantastic industry experts about how marketers can enhance their practices.
We had some really interesting conversations on best practices around send frequency, subject lines, and discounting strategies, as well as the most effective emails during those all-important last few days before big events.
To learn more, watch the full webinar.