Email Evolution Conference: 9 Takeaways

February 27th, 2012 by Anthony Schneider

Email Experience Council Cool PhotosThe Email Evolution Conference 2012 took place in Hollywood, Florida February 22nd to 24th. Industry pundits and hard-working marketers gathered to discuss, bicker, banter, trade stats and stories, and soak up a bit of Florida sunshine.

Here are some of the key takeaways:

1. Email is alive and thriving and evolving.
No, email is still not dead. Far from it. Email is alive and thriving. Email drives other channels more than other channels drive email. 95% of teens who follow a company on Facebook subscribe to that company’s emails.

2. Mobile email is vital.
Who checks email on smartphones? Just about everyone. Smart marketers are maximizing the potential of mobile email and shopping. 50% of Gilt Groupe emails are opened on a mobile device. 90 million Americans accessed emails on smartphone. The bad news: 70% of people delete an email that doesn’t look good on their mobile device.

3. Unopened emails can be very powerful too.
Good news! This is what’s known as the “email nudge” effect. Users who don’t open an email see your brand and often take notice of the email anyway. This is the secret power of the unopened email. Customers go to a website and buy, even if they don’t open your email. Your email serves as a reminder, influences purchase decisions and is a brand icon whether or not users open it.

4. Increased frequency is not necessarily bad.
Who doesn’t want to hear more from their best friend? Ditto your favorite company or brand that has awesome offers at just the right time. Frequency is in the eye of the beholder. “Frequency isn’t a problem if relevancy is there. Daily sending works for marketers who rock.” (@jcohen808)

5. Inactives might be your most important segment.
Often more than 50% of a subscriber list is inactive. How to reclaim them? Here’s one insider’s tip: view your inactives by email domain. There may be an issue with a particular domain with viewing emails.

6. Deliverability is always an issue.
Reputation is key: Sender reputation causes email deliverability issues 83% of the time. How do providers assess an email? They look at IP, domain, complaints history, etc. Look out for spamtraps.

7. Focus on the customer.
Ryan Phelan and Shar Van Boskirk screened a short video of real customers talking about email marketing. And the customer feedback? “Keep it simple.” “Don’t go overboard.” “Give us what we want.”

8. Smart brands use cross-channel marketing.
“Cross-channel marketing is like dieting: we know we should do it but instead we grab the chips and just keep doing what we’ve been doing.” (@dsholes) Facebook drives email (and email drives Facebook). Over 40% of B2B companies are acquiring email optins via Facebook.

9. Hollywood isn’t South Beach, but it’s better than February in Pittsburgh.

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Hungry for more? Read more about the Email Evolution Conference on Twitter: #eec12