RECAP: Pilar's Takeaways from the Email Evolution Conference


Pilar and boys - pre conf

By: Pilar Bower, Email Marketing Manager, Red Door Interactive

It was beautiful weather in Miami from February 6-8, especially at the legendary Fontainebleau hotel where I attended the annual Email Evolution Conference (put on by the Email Experience Council). I started Wednesday at one of the Pre-Conference Workshops (I try to make the most out of conferences, so if these are available I highly recommend adding it on to your schedule).  The “Mobile Digital Social Bootcamp” was run by the dynamic Sundeep Kapur, to some better known as @emailyogi. Besides learning some new stretches, there were some good reminders on things to do and things not to do with your email programs. One tip and anecdote that resonated with me is to remember to get your team on board and aware of the messaging in your email and social channels, no matter how big (or small) your company is.  Sundeep told us how Dillards sends out an internal email to all their employees every Friday, making them aware of the promotions and offers for the next week.  To motivate them to read it, there is always one intentional error in the email and the first person to reply with what it is gets a gift card.  If anyone has an Employee segmented email success, leave it in the comments below!

My biggest takeaway from this conference was a reminder to always keep the post-click experience top of mind.
  This is directly related to the Mobile experience, which was a main focus of all of the conference sessions.  Email is Mobile and you can’t think of your Email channel as just sending out emails:
  • Email messaging AND landing pages need to be optimized for your recipients’ experiences for whatever device they are on (including desktop, phones, tablets).
  • If you are not ready or have the resources to implement full Responsive Design on your email templates, make small changes to keep up such as making them less wide and increasing button size (stat: a finger is about 45 pixels!)
  • You can’t stop at just getting the Open, or even the Click.  Always remember the “click after the click” and the desired conversion.
  • When you are doing QA and testing before you send your email out, go through the full path – on multiple devices.
Buzz words of the conference: Data Data Data. Big Data, Small Data.  The challenge is harnessing this “Big Data” to use in cross-channel communications.
  • The easiest definition of “Big Data” that I came across in this conference is that it is non-structured, open answers or digital footprint/behavioral activity.
  • “Small Data” is made up of defined, specific fields that you can use to query and segment.
  • I overheard “The mistake isn’t thinking big – it’s starting big.”  While everyone is figuring out how to use Big Data, my advice is to make sure you are using the Small Data to personalize your current email program as much as possible.
  • Monetize your current Small Data for proof of effectiveness to get budget to explore and use Big Data in your future roadmap.
Overall, the key players in the email industry are evolving along with email’s place in the digital landscape.  Content and engagement will continue to be a priority. As for metrics, we need to measure customers and not campaigns. As marketers, we have a responsibility to keep up with the brand promise that customers opted in for.   For more coverage from the Email Evolution Conference, you can check out the Twitter stream at #EEC13, and there are some great video interviews from GetResponse!

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