Thursday, 13 December 2012

Cookie Help 2

Following on from the BT guide to all thing cookies, I like a similar approach from Kwik-Fit

And they very kindly add useful directions.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Thursday, 29 November 2012

How to Anger Your Customers By Offering Them A Discount

If you follow the email trail in reverse order, you will see why

Convince me I'm getting a good deal with my 20% offer

Wait until I place an order

Send me an offer for 25%!!!

Either Figleaves intend to anger me or are just too plain lazy to use their data properly!

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

It's Not A Conversation If You Don't Say Anything

Big Brother Mannequin

Italian firm Almax have introduced EyeSee technology into their mannequins to provide retailers with information abut the consumers passing by or through their stores.

Capable of facial recognition, the software can gauge reaction to outfits on display

“Any software that can help profile people while keeping their identities anonymous is fantastic,” said Uché Okonkwo, executive director of consultant Luxe Corp. It “could really enhance the shopping experience, the product assortment, and help brands better understand their customers.”

Perhaps one day we will 'hear' them talk to customers perhaps offering promotions or details of to where the clothes in the store

Monday, 26 November 2012

High Street to 'e'- Street

HMV store

Comet store

The BBC recently reported on the ongoing struggles of some the UK most recognisable High Street brands.

With a list of brands that include Habitat, Comet, HMV, GAME, JJB Sports and Thorntons, it doesn't make happy reading.

Habitat storeReasons for the decline range from the current economic climate, to bad customer services, to the impact of competition.

And yet there is 'e'-hope for some of these brands.

Take Comet for example. Management Today reported that Appliances Online has made a bid for Comet's online operation. Appliances Online claim that Comet lost out because of  

‘a poor attitude to is customers, deficient delivery service and inadequate after-sales offers'.

And if having a good attitude to customers is reflected by Facebook 'Likes' then we have a clear winner in those terms

Appliances Online 582k Likes vs

Comet 35k

But this is not the only business model that potentially works better online after a poor bricks and mortar story

That High Street favourite Woolworths is now trading successfully on line. Habitat kept only a few stores after the purchase by Homebase but again has maintained their online store . And the list has many more including Hawkin's Bazaar as well as HMV who are launching an online ecommerce site to combat their nemesis Amazon

But as I've talked about before, it's not one way traffic.  By being more Customer Centric both High Street stores such as M&S and John Lewis, as well as ebay, Amazon and Ocado see that often playing out both channels can be to their advantage. Rumours persist about Amazon and a high street presence and ebay had a UK store ( for about 5 days admittedly) 

It's not about Physical versus Digital. It's about doing what's right for the customer

BBC report can be found here High Street retailers: Who has been hit hardest?

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Making It Easy

You have to love it when a brand makes it simple for customers to navigate a site

Augmented Reality Glasses

A system and method to present a user wearing a head mounted display with supplemental information when viewing a live event. A user wearing an at least partially see-through, head mounted display views the live event while simultaneously receiving information on objects, including people, within the user’s field of view, while wearing the head mounted display. The information is presented in a position in the head mounted display which does not interfere with the user’s enjoyment of the live event.

Yes , that's right Augmented Glasses Microsoft style as described on their patent application. 

Microsoft patent

Seemingly ready to take on Google's Project Glass announced earlier this year

The future looks very Star Trekkie

Google Unveils Prototype of Project Glass Augmented Reality Glasses
Image Gizmodo

Saturday, 24 November 2012

10 Interesting Mobile Marketing Statistics

  1. There are approximately 4 billion mobile phones worldwide
  2. 3 billion are SMS enabled
  3. 1 billion are smartphones
  4. 2014 is the year mobile internet usage is destined to overtake desktop internet usage
  5. 74% of consumers will wait 5 seconds for a web page to laod via their mobile device before abandoning
  6. 46% of consumers are unlikely to return to a mobile site if it didn't work properly last time
  7. 61% of customers who visit a mobile unfriendly site will go to a competitor's site
  8. 38% of smartphone users have completed a purchase from their device
  9. Mobile devices now account for 36% of all email opens
  10. Visa predicts that 50% of all transactions will be via mobile by 2020

Friday, 23 November 2012

The Psychology of Customer Conversion - Infographic

Getting inside the head of your customers can often help marketers move that conversion along.

This interesting infographic from HelpScout summarises a few studies that might help in that process

The full e-book is available from them here 

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Russell and Bromley's Missed Opportunity

As a Russell and Bromley fan , I was interested to see if their shoes could be purchased online.

It seemed that I caught them mid-upgrade

But it was great to see that they offered me the opportunity to keep in touch and find out when the new website was up and running sometime in the Autumn. ( Having worked with a few Marketing  Teams, they love to be that vague with the launch dates - not that the customers like it)

So the email sign up looked like this, and it was great to see that they didn't ask too much of me

And a matter of moments later I got a welcome email.

But that was the beginning of October 2012, and not having had any emails since I thought I'd take a peek at their website today...and can you spot the subtle change in copy?

Looks like a slight slip in the delivery date.

Now of course they still have bricks and mortar stores so surely there was an opportunity a month into the 'relationship' to keep me in touch as to what was happening both on and off line?

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Easy Subject Line Testing

Looking to see how to test your email subject lines?

It can be as simple as this example from ASOS that mistakenly appeared in my Inbox

But here are a few other ideas / tips

Test according to segment to understand how different audiences react to different copy

Length. I've usually found that shorter, to the point is better. Your audience may be different

Do versus Say. Does your audience react better to actionable or informative headlines?

Search and Copy. What's your audience searching for using Google or perhaps on your own website ?

Be careful what you wish for

But please don't act your agency the question I had put to me last year.

'Why does the subject line including the free offer get more opens than one without  but then the clicks remain the same?'

Getting your audience to open the email is not the end game. Your end game is always the ultimate conversion whether that be a sale, whitepaper download or an event booking

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Driving Customer Loyalty - 25 Key considerations

An ICLP study lists 25 key factors in driving customer loyalty

The report includes key learnings from some well know brands including

Ritz-Carlton who are ahead of the pack in achieving customer-centricity.

The hotel company turned a traditional message into a more customer focused concept – “Let us stay with you”. With a solid focus on more unique and personalised guest experiences at its hotels, Ritz-Carlton is benefiting from a deeper level of engagement with guests, and more loyal customer

Nuffield Health and their use of data

A leading health & fitness organisation with 55 gyms throughout the UK, they used data analytics and predictive modelling to identify potential lapsers and instigate sales and marketing campaigns that would help them retain these members. The model was found to have an accuracy of at least 70% and
helped to identify behaviour that indicated when a member might lapse.

Dell Computers understand loyalty is built on listening and responding.

Establishing trust and building credibility are two key elements of any social interaction – and they are especially vital in the social space where every interaction can be public. Loyalty in Dell’s case stems from fully understanding their customers and their needs and wants – not from market research but from direct communication with a large and very active customer segment. After a number of high profile service disasters, Dell established a social space where faults and problems were acknowledged openly and promptly. Customers could request new features and suggest improvements – and receive feedback. Within a year, Dell’s brand was perceived as both innovative and credible.

The Global Hotel Alliance understanding the importance of local

They launched access to over 1000 “local experiences” as part of their GHA Discovery programme. Groupon Rewards and the growing success of Bloomspot show that deals and incentives work best in
a local environment giving greater control to the individual merchant and targeting
interactions by matching individual behaviours.

The full report and a list of the 25 factors can be downloaded here

Monday, 19 November 2012

The CEO Conversation Infographic

For all those B2B planners looking to see how best to communicate with CEOs, this infographic from DOMO gives some interesting pointers.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Rugby Tackle Your Way to a Beer

Ingenious , if slightly hazardous , vending machine that encourages the 'nudge' to get your can of beer out

Friday, 16 November 2012

Korean Teenagers Dance For Free Coca Cola

Cool bit of technology employed by Coca Cola in Korea enables a vending machine to check out the moves by teenagers in the shopping centre

Apparently, the technology employed in Microsoft's Kinect.

This is fast on the heels of Pepsi's innovative machine that gets consumers to play games and send drinks to friends as gifts in the form of codes they can redeem at machines

Friday, 2 November 2012

Email Open Rates By Time of Day Infographic

Surely 'What time of day is it best to send my emails?' is one of the most asked questions in email marketing?

( Alongside what's an average open rate?)

Some results analysed by GetResponse in Q1 2012 have been used to create this infographic

Hanna Andrzejewska, Communication and Marketing Specialist at GetResponse says

  1. The really important finding was that all messages, no matter what time they were scheduled for, get most opens within the first hour from delivery (up to 23%).
  1. This means that if a message is sent too early (or too late) to top engagement times, it will miss the chance of reaching its maximum results. It simply cannot wait in the inbox for too long.
  1. The research confirmed that the subscribers are most engaged with their inbox content during the working hours: Scanning emails is the first thing they do when they start work — 8-10 a.m. Then, their inbox activity goes down, with the lowest results around lunch, and goes up again shortly before leaving work — 3-4 p.m.
  1. An interesting thing is that the average click rate also increases around 8 p.m., which might mean that this is the time when recipients read through their messages with more attention.

She also told Marketing Sherpa that marketers should

One, schedule your message delivery to match the top engagement times so that [it] doesn’t wait in the mailbox for more than one hour.
Two, aiming at the afternoon upsurge will let you avoid the morning clutter (more marketers schedule their messages to land in inboxes between 6-12 p.m

Exact Target recently published this interesting interview about when to send an email.

Forget the stats. For me it boils down to this shortlist :

1 - Know your audience

That was short, but it breaks down a little further

1 - Understand what they are trying to achieve: Are they researching, buying,using the product

2- Understand how they purchase your product or service : Buying weekly groceries is different buying holidays. So should the communication timings and frequency of email

3- Understand how they consume content : Are they using mobile, tablets or desktops

And remember, if you follow the crowd, you'd better make sure your email is capable of standing out and your customer will look for it above everyone elses

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Cookie Help

The Cookie Legislation is complicated for both consumers and marketers so I was really impressed with the way BT explained how the various levels of cookie use on affected me, the consumer.

By dragging from right to left, I was able to understand the Targeting, Functional or Strictly Necessary and Performance features related to my cookie preference.

Nice one BT

Monday, 29 October 2012

The Perfect Basket Abandonment Email

In the world of Email Lifecycle Marketing, one of the topics often referred to is Basket or Cart Abandonment. 

With some statistics showing that  72% of baskets get abandoned ( source PFS Web) it's certainly an area where the right strategy in terms of following up that level of interest can pay great dividends.

But where do you start?

Well obviously one of the key areas is doing your homework and understanding what  the numbers involved are and what are the causes

  • how may abandons do you get?
  • what's the value of the baskets being abandoned?

But what about the all important follow up email? 

Well those very clever guys over at SaleCycle having been doing this for a few years now, and they have kindly shared this infographic on creating The Perfect Basket Abandonment Email - and judging by the results those guys get with brands such as TM Lewin, Paul Smith, Ralph Lauren and Office Shoes, it's well worth taking a look at.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Christmas is Coming !!..And Faster Than You Think !!

According to Responsys there are Five Stages of  the Holiday Season 

Pre-Holiday Period
Summer through the end of October ( nearly gone!)

Black November
The first three weeks of November

Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend
The days around Thanksgiving, Black Friday and 
Cyber Monday

Countdown to Christmas
The remaining weeks leading up to Christmas

After-Christmas Period
Christmas through the end of January

According to Responsys, 'Every year retailers approach the holiday season differently, looking to be more responsive to their customers and to adjust to changing shopping habits. Last holiday season there were a few big changes that you should be aware of when 
planning your campaigns this year:

1. Thanksgiving has replaced Black Friday as the unofficial kick-off of the holiday shopping season. Thanks to more retailers opening their stores on Thanksgiving Day and the growing impact of mobile commerce, as well as “showrooming,” sales and marketing efforts have increased rapidly over the past couple of years. Last year, 75% of major retailers sent at least one promotional email campaign to their subscribers on Thanksgiving Day, up 
from 60% in 2010 and only 45% in 2009. That increase supported a huge leap in online sales, which rose 39.3% compared to Thanksgiving Day 2010, according to IBM Coremetrics.
While some may bemoan the creep of commercialism into the Thanksgiving holiday, there’s no putting the genie back in the bottle at this point. We expect Thanksgiving to remain among the top 5 email marketing days of the year again this year.

2. Express shipping went mainstream on “Last Sleigh Day,” which is the new end of the holiday season. Retailers dramatically increased their messaging around express delivery last year, with many retailers offering free or discounted express delivery options. Their efforts were concentrated on Dec. 21—a “Last Sleigh Day” for Christmas delivery—when 74% of retailers sent at least one promotional email to their subscribers. That made it the fourth busiest email marketing day of the year, ahead of Green Monday (No. 5), the day after  Christmas (No. 9), and Free Shipping Day (No. 13).In the past, the end of guaranteed Christmas delivery with standard shipping signalled the wind-down of the online holiday shopping season. Retailers sent a very clear message last year that this is no longer the case. 
That said, retailers’ willingness to push express shipping may have been influenced by higher-than-usual inventory levels, in which case “Last Sleigh Day” may not be as prominent this year if inventory positions are kept more in check. And perhaps even more important, this year Christmas is on a Tuesday, which stretches out the delivery time for express delivery, making it less effective and less appealing.

3. Mobile will be more important this year, but especially on days when consumers are on the move. By the end of 2012, more people will be reading emails on mobile devices than on desktops or webmail, according to Return Path. The readership habits of your brand’s subscribers will determine your email design and messaging strategy, but you may want to pay special attention to being mobile-friendly on days that consumers are more likely 
to be away from home, 
— The day before Thanksgiving, which is the busiest travel day of the year;
— Thanksgiving Day, when most consumers are with family with a smartphone in their purse or on the couch watching TV with a tablet on their laps, or out shopping with their smartphone in hand;
— Black Friday, when many consumers are out shopping at brick-and-mortar stores; and
— Christmas Day, when consumers are flush with gift card cash and shop online 
because stores are closed.

And those days are in addition to the weekends as well, which also see higher 
than average mobile email reading. Weekends are particular important during 
the height of the holiday season in December, when weekend email volume is 
about 50% higher than at other times of the year.

4.  Free shipping is now the norm for the holiday season. Fifty-five percent of 
major online retailers offered free shipping all holiday season long. Half of 
those retailers have adopted an “Every Day Free Shipping” policy, while the 
other half offered free shipping just for the holiday season. The remaining 45% 
of retailers offered free shipping for limited periods of time, offered it on just 
a narrow selection, or didn’t offer it.

It's not too late to get cracking. To help, the full Retail Email Guide to the Holiday Season can be found here

As always,it's worth looking at last year as well.
  • What Campaigns did you run last year?
  • What worked? What didn't?
  • How did your tests pan out?
  • Did an increase in mailing frequency annoy your customers?
  • What did the competition get up to?
  • Did that 12 Days of Christmas campaign look live everybody elses?

Don't forget the importance triggered messages, delivery options, delivery updates as shown by the UPS infographic

Christmas gifts are important and customers will need to balance the security of getting deliveries safely and on time with the need to avoid the hysteria of the High Street.

Many consumers will  be tempted to buy online for the very first time. Email can be used effectively to reassure customers with
  • purchase confirmations
  • delivery updates
  • early notification of problems
  • and not forgetting the simple Thank You and Happy Christmas !

Friday, 12 October 2012

The 'Art' of Augmented Reality

Previously I highlighted the increase in use of Augmented Reality, and indeed hopefully suggested that one day it would bring pieces of art to life ( see previous post here )

Well I am pleased to say that it seems we are on the way, with ARART

One day I'm sure we will bring more than paintings to life but also sculpture, books and antiques to widen their appeal to a new, younger audience

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Welcome to the New eBay

In case you missed it, yesterday eBay gave the world a sneak preview of its new website

I love the way they have introduced us to their thoughts for the future

Today we begin to introduce a series of significant new features and enhancements for our customers. We’re delivering a cleaner, contemporary look and feel; a more intuitive, convenient way to browse, decide and buy – both globally and locally; and a new personal way to curate your own shopping experience and discover items perfect for you. These new experiences will be rolled live in the coming weeks in the US and around the world in the coming months. Additionally, our new logo goes live today. Together, these changes and more reflect the new eBay and our evolution as a marketplace that connects the world to the things they need and love—anytime, anywhere.
Technology is revolutionizing the way people shop, and eBay is shaping the future of commerce. In the next few years, the $10 trillion global retail market will be transformed. And consumers will enjoy unprecedented access and convenience. eBay will be at the center of this revolution for consumers. Blending the best of offline and online shopping, we will deliver products and experiences that surprise and delight, defining a new way to shop.
The future of commerce is personal, driven by data. Search results and recommendations are no longer enough. Consumers want insight. And they want personal, curated selection that is relevant to them, controlled by them. Consumers want experiences that are not intrusive but inspiring, experiences that don’t dictate but guide and assist, in ways that feel authentic and natural. We want to make moments of inspiration instantly shoppable. This is what eBay is poised to deliver.
The future of commerce is global. In a connected commerce world, consumers shouldn’t care whether the product they want is at a neighborhood store, or in a shopkeeper’s window halfway around the world. Large and small merchants and consumers together will create nearly infinite selection and choice. If it is a product they want, consumers should be able to get it, anytime, anywhere. And the buying and selling experience should be easy, convenient and simple.
The future of commerce is mobile. It’s increasingly multichannel via any connected screen. Consumers want to move seamlessly across devices, through any shopping environment. A laptop, a phone, a tablet or TV … a store window, kiosk, or fitting room … a shopkeeper or sales associate who knows who you are and what you want. This is how consumers will connect to the things they need and love. Not online or offline. Just shopping, anytime, anywhere.
This is the future of commerce. Welcome to the new eBay.

Monday, 8 October 2012

How To Lose ( Get Rid Of) Customers...Fast!

How would you like it if one the brands you haven't used for a while turned tried to re-activate your usage?

I'd imagine you'd think that was par for the course.

So when I saw this subject line from Ladbrokes, I thought they might be trying to encourage me back for the odd flutter

So maybe not the catchiest of messages but I know what they meant. I haven't indulged in that little vice for a while

But what would you think of a brand that then said, we are going to charge you if you don't come back?

Which is what they are saying here

''It's been a very long time since you have used your Ladbrokes account and we are writing to inform you of the choices that are available on how to manage the credit balance that remains on your account. If you do not take action then after a minimum period of 28 days from the date of this email we will begin to charge an Inactive Account Fee''

Now I know every customer comes with a cost. From the tiny data storage element to the cost of sending me an email. Both, in the grand scheme of things pretty tiny to be honest, especially when you consider that they are actually holding some of my money in a bank account of their own, receiving interest.

Apparently this inactivity fee is stipulated somewhere in the T's and C's..but still, it does seem a little over the top.

Anyway, time to try BetFair

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

What's In It For Me?

I came across this email sign up page for US company uncommon goods , and although I'm not keen on the branding and layout, it does seem to tick a few boxes when getting people to sign up for newsletters

What is the bare minimum you need to be able to send them an email ?

Value Exchange.
Give the subscriber a list of benefits to signing up.

What should I expect?
Let me see examples of previous newsletter

I also like this incentive banner from retailer JYSK. You see the value exchange to get you interested.
It would be interesting to see the conversion numbers in any test they did without the incentive, however, and subsequent purchases from subscribers

Tuesday, 2 October 2012


“Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement. If you can’t measure something, you can’t understand it. If you can’t understand it, you can’t control it. If you can’t control it, you can’t improve it.”

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Disney and Digital - a CMO Perspective

Having undertaken some eCRM work with Disney EMEA last year, I was interested in this interview with Federico Gonzalez, SVP Marketing & Sales EMEA Disney

I particularly liked his moment of truth with digital where he found his choice of hotel being influenced by someone he didn't know

More CMO videos can be seen at

Friday, 28 September 2012

The Most Opened Email

According to most commentators, the Welcome email stands out as being the one most likely to be opened. One recent statistic I saw was a figure of 60% via PFS Web

This is a real opportunity to not only thank the consumer for signing up but also lay a marker down for the brand experience and drive immediate engagement.

Where an e-commerce platform is involved this often results in slightly conflicting signals being sent out from the brand.

Look at the first emails I got as I registered on the Paul Smith site

The one on the left is obviously the one generated by the e-commerce platform, while the one on the right arrived slightly later and is obviously the email created by the email platform

Is it just me, or does the second email make much more of the brand, re-iterating the benefits of registration and drive engagement?

Transactional emails are just as important as the brand emails. Yes, sometimes there are more restrictions in place but that means you have to give them more thought.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Surely the Ultimate in Triggered Behavioural Messaging

Although there is no guarantee that the audience will be 100% segmented - After all, even tea-totallers use the bathroom!

Beautiful But Irrelevant Emails

This is me

But if you only ask for my email address

I am going to receive beautiful but totally irrelevant emails

But if you want to keep it simple AND useful