Event Recap: BlueHornet Lifecycle Messaging Conference

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  I didn’t have to travel far to attend the BlueHornet Lifecycle Messaging Conference, which was held in downtown San Diego at the Omni hotel October 9-11. Red Door Interactive uses the BlueHornet Email Service Provider platform (among others) for some of our clients’ email messaging, but the content of this conference was platform agnostic.  The title of the conference, “Email Marketing in an Omni-Channel World” paid off in its content – as an Email Marketer, I do not just think about email for my customers.  I need to think of how Email fits in to an overall cross-channel strategy and take into account consumers’ channel preferences and how to communicate differently on each channel and at different times and in different places. Mobile was and will continue to be a topic of discussion, but my reminder is that Mobile is not a channel – it’s how channels are consumed and needs to be considered in any and all digital strategies.  For Email specifically, numbers are showing that half of all emails are being consumed on a mobile device and this will continue to grow. If your email does not look good and isn’t easy to interact with on a recipient’s mobile device, majority will delete it and perception of your brand overall will decline. There was a powerhouse of Keynote Speakers, who also happen to have industry books published. It was valuable (and entertaining) to hear their visions on email, social, and mobile trends.
  • Mitch Joel – President of Twist Image, author of CTRL, ALT, DELETE
  • Jay Baer – Founder of Convince & Convert, author of Youtility
  • Simms Jenkins – CEO of Brightwave Marketing, author of The New Inbox
    • Although I can’t seem to get the phrase “Sex with Data” out of my head now – thanks for that.
Key Takeaways from various sessions:
  • Lifecycle Messaging is “timely, targeted, relevant.” Automating Lifecycle Messaging will reduce operating costs, give you better insights into what is working, and give you a higher ROI.  However, it's easy to forget about campaigns once they are automated; it’s important to go back & look at them and test/optimize.
  • Wendy Dittamore from CNET summed up four questions to ask yourself when planning for a multi-channel engagement strategy:
    • Who is your target customer?
    • How do you make $?
    • What is the problem you are solving?
    • What will set you up for future success?
  • Tip regarding designing of emails and templates: Think about Mobile first before desktop design – if one size fits all, you won’t need to recode for Mobile.
  • Embedding video in email has evolved.  In the past, it has been a no-no for rendering and deliverability, but 60% of email clients can render embedded email (including ALL Apple products).  If an email client does not support it, you can serve an alternate image.
  • It’s still a bit early to see the effect of Gmail tabs on metrics, but relevance and value still rule! Some audiences prefer the tabs for organization, and the Promotions tab has a positive effect since people are in a shopping mindset when they go there.
As always, I leave this conference invigorated with reinforcement on how we are currently working with our clients as well as new insights and tactics to implement.  Check out the Twitter feed for more tips from the live conference! #LCMC13    

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