Email Marketing Best Practices

Cricket Fever with Kenscio’s Thermometer

Zillions of crazy Indian cricket fans were winding up their work in a Jiffy to cheer up their heroes, while we @ Kenscio were busy in developing a count-down timer in an e-mail communication to be sent by Star Sports (We call it Intimate Communication) which gives them a goose-bump with a ticking clock asking them to go home early.

With this they did not require their wife, husband, friends & families to give them a reminder. Along with Star Sports, Kenscio have done this task for them like one of their close acquaintances. We understand the urgency and we make it fine-tuned too.

With  an engaging content, Star Sports wanted their real heroes (Their consumers) to be well and advanced informed. Here is how Kenscio did the fulfillment:

Real Time Personalised Email

Real Time Personalised Email

 

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Congratulations to all the winners of Motto 2014- Level 1

Manish Pajan
Head – Marketing Development
Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Limited
Subir Singh
Sr. General Manager – Marketing
HeadHonchos.com
Sandeep Singh
Head Online Marketing
HT Media
Mitesh Soni
Media Executive – Media Planning & E-commerce
Neo@Ogilvy l Ogilvy & Mather
Sistla Phanidhar
Assistant general manager
Lanson toyota
Kaustav Mukerji
Marketing Manager | Digital Media
Bharti Airtel Limited
Bedant Das
Manager E-marketing
Pacifica Companies
Vineet Verma
Promotions & Information Officer
Department of Information Technology
Guruprasad Nayak
Marketing Communications Manager
IDE-Global
Abhilash Pillai
Director – Online Marketing
Australian Cruise Group
Praveen Meloth
Head Digital Marketing
Babyoye.com
Vijaya Lakshmi
Marketing and Digital Comms Manager
Capgemini
Naga Jyothi Kiran Busam
Campaign Trafficker
Ybrant Digital Ltd
Sandeep Vadnere
Associate Vice President – Technology
HeadHonchos.com
C.Dinesh Nair
Senior Director Marketing
Sulekha.com
Manish V. Dhanwani
Manager – Marketing
BookMyShow.com
Salil Shankar
Director – Search
Isobar
Hitesh Shah
Web Developer
BookMyShow
Anushree Garg
Senior Internet Marketing Specialist
Bajaj Capital Ltd
Akshay Chaturvedi
Business Head, ZigWheels.com
Times Internet Limited
Lakshya Khanna
Manager – Digital
Mindshare
Akhilesh Sabharwal
Associate Director, Digital & CRM
WPP Global Team Ford, India
Navin Modi
Head – Online Marketing
Play Games24x7 Private Limited
Praveen Kumar
Head – Product and Online Marketing
Findmyghar.com
Satheesh Kumar
Online Marketing Manager
Fundsindia.com
Srinivas Reddy
Manager – Digital Marketing
Indus Health Plus
Nagendra Singh
Digital Strategist
Wunderman/WPP Global Team Ford
Himanshu Bagga
Offline Marketing – Customer Retention & Loyalty
Flipkart.com
Kiranjeet Singh
Marketing Manager
Sterling Holidays Resort India Ltd
Toshal Shenai
Account Manager – Digital
Isobar
Manish Sharma
Sr. Data Analyst
Wunderman
Satyaprem Upadhyay
Brand Marketing & Solutions Specialist
CNBC TV18
Ankur Soni
Business Group Head
Maxus
Mustafa Syed
Director Media
Isobar
Udaibir Singh
Manager Digital
Star Tv
Priti Bihani
Associate Manager – Business Leader
HDFC LIFE INSURANCE
Vivek Pai
Manager – Direct Marketing
Aimia Inc
Pritesh Desai
Founder
Inventika Solutions
Kasturi
ASST. MANAGER
TATA MOTORS
Nitin Walia
Co-founder, Director
Grey Head Media
Aashutosh Chaudhari
Vice President, Marketing and Product Management
Live Sports365 E-Retail Pvt. Ltd.
Abhishek Joshi
Marketing Officer
Videocon Telecommunications Ltd
Inaam Hussain
Group Head – AdTrafficking
Interactive Avenues Pvt Ltd
Vivek Singh
VP, Marketing
FirstCry.com
Boniface Noronha
Associate Vice President – Marketing
HDFC Life

There were a total of 546 participations in Motto 2014, level 1. A selected few have been chosen to move to the next level to win the Ipad Minis :). The winners of level 1 are being presented with a fine Lamy Pen each.

So congratulations and wish you all the very best!

Warm Regards,

Team Kenscio

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Why adoption of Big Data Analytics is important more than ever in 2014

Big Data Analytics 2014

It’s nearly impossible to write a 2014 forecast on e-commerce without mentioning “big data”. While the term might be overused, its importance to e-commerce cannot be overstated.

Big Data and Analytics will evolve beyond segmentation for email lists. E-commerce merchants will collect and analyze data to discern shopping patterns that have predictive value and to understand consumer experiences in digital and physical contexts. Their users benefit from the digitally enhanced experience, and the data they create also provides usage insights that inform product design and e-commerce strategy.

The underlying tools for the management of this data will only grow smarter, faster and more affordable as companies catch up with an overabundance of data. Big Data Analytics should emerge in 2014 as not just a buzzy trend, but a core business practice that e-commerce firms use to understand their business and their customers in fundamentally new ways.

Big Data usually includes data sets with sizes beyond the ability of commonly used software tools to capture, curate, manage, and process the data within a tolerable elapsed time. Big data sizes are a constantly moving target, as of 2012 ranging from a few dozen terabytes to many petabytes of data in a single data set. This data is generated by any activity like page visit, login, transaction a customer does when he/she comes across your business. This data is gone already beyond our imaginations and the rate at which it’s growing will be huge challenge to handle.

Taming Big Data:

Big Data includes data sets whose size and type make them impractical to process and analyze traditional database technologies. The amount of data being generated is almost impossible to handle, therefore we need tools those can condense the data and intelligently present only what is relevant and contextual.

If we look at the numbers at which data is being generated, 2.7 Zetabytes of data exist in the digital universe today. Facebook stores, accesses, and analyzes 30+ Petabytes of user generated data. The rapid growth of unstructured data like YouTube users uploading 48 hours of new video every minute, roughly 175 million tweets every day on Twitter etc. may lead us to many questions about managing the big data and analyzing it.

According to the reports, Poor data across businesses and the government costs the U.S. economy $3.1 trillion dollars a year. Survey also reveals that poor data management or lack of data quality cited as main reason for overrunning project costs.

Key Facts about Big Data:

Despite industry hype, most organizations are yet to develop, implement or execute a Big Data strategy. The survey found that 12 percent of organizations are currently implementing or executing a big data strategy while 40% of them are still considering / exploring Big Data.

 

Fig 1 (Source – sas.com): Which of the following best describes your organization’s stage in using external big data to help make business decisions?

Capturing and Storing Is Only the Beginning

It’s true that big data has great potential for creating a more detailed model of the business, such as tracing a customer’s path through a store and analyzing post-sale sentiments expressed in social media to create better offers. But to date, there have been lots of talk about how it can be stored and captured and very little about the practical ways businesses can exploit it.

But storing and capturing big data won’t make it valuable. Additional tools are needed to explore and analyze it. As it turns out, the simplicity of Hadoop stops with capturing data. The real promise of big data is that it contains information that isn’t part of the typical well-structured view of the business world. It’s all about “not knowing what you don’t know.”

Making Big Data Relevant for Business Orders:

Measuring consumer sentiment, optimizing supply chains, detecting fraud – Big Data is powerful. But to harness that power, organizations must hire data scientists, craft complex algorithms, and make massive investments in infrastructure and software. That leaves business leaders and the IT professionals supporting them wondering: Is it possible to make Big Data useful for business users?

Data’s value can be unleashed for business users by condensing it and intelligently presenting only what is relevant and contextual to the problem at hand. For example, an executive might be interested in summary data across the company’s product lines, while a manager of a specific product or geography might need more detail, but only for the areas that he or she oversees.

More analytics, fewer Gut feelings:

Ecommerce companies will grow increasingly, focusing on data and willing to apply analytics-derived insights to key business operations. Intuitive decision-making will diminish somewhat as companies infuse analytics into everything that customer touch. Data analytics will be the driver for capturing more customers, upselling to existing customers and retaining them for the long term.

The need for automated tools will become increasingly critical.

It seems that the more data we have, the more we want“. But as data volumes increase, the need for pattern matching, simulation, and predictive analytics technologies become more crucial. Engines that can automatically sift through the growing mass of data, identify issues or opportunities, and even take automated action to capitalize on those findings will be a necessity.

An often overlooked benefit is an increase in the volume of analysis. After the process is automated, employees find out how easy it is to analyze the data. So they start doing it more frequently. Where before it was only done when absolutely necessary (if at all), now it becomes a routine part of their Jobs.

Offer Personalization and Customization:

Challenge your business to finally begin offering personalization and customization to both onsite and marketing creative. Work to apply analytics & segment marketing campaigns so that they address customers by name and with relevant products and offers that are based on an individual’s or group of shoppers’ stated preferences or on-site behavior.

Taking on this challenge means that the retailer’s marketing department will need to collect meaningful information about what interest shoppers and organize separate, custom campaigns around those interests.

Personalization and customization could be a significant competitive advantage in 2014.

Summary

Big data made substantial progress in 2013, especially with respect to business stakeholder engagement in the topic. But we have yet to drive widespread adoption of big data, especially from a business transformation perspective. 2014 seems like the right time to make that happen.

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10 THINGS TO LOOK FOR IN EMAIL MARKETING IN 2014

Email will not be the same as you have been looking at it till now. With the changing technology & the changing behavior, we will see lot of new things coming up in 2014.

1. Segment of One
Segment of One
The email marketing in 2014 will be heavily driven by the individualization we can bring in to the content. The individualization will not be limited to the static demographic data. It will be a much more complex system which will derive data from demographics, transactions, web behavior, etc. The old rule used for segmentation will go away. The new era has begun, where no one is alike & everyone will fall is completely different segment.

2. Personalisation
Personalization
The content needs to be personalized to everyone based on not only the demographics, behavior, etc. but also the data which is not available while sending an email, viz. location where email was opened, time when email is opened, device used to open an email, etc. Gathering live data & personalization based on this live data will be very important. As people will be travelling more than today & will have more than single device.

3. Creativity – Images, Music, Video & More

Creativity


We email clients like Gmail caching the content, there is now no limitation on the creativity used in the content. Initially Marketers used to send low quality creative so that they load faster. Now with caching, high quality creative can also be loaded in a fraction of a second. In addition, creativity will not be limited to the images. Much more involving content like music, videos, etc. will play a very important role in email marketing.

4. Live Social Angle to Email Marketing

Social feed


Email we no longer be a boring static medium of communication. It will now be possible to see live feeds from Facebook, Twitter, etc. You can see which of your friends opened or clicked on the emails. You can also share the emails with your friends on social networks. This will also open up a new angle to email marketing which will be more fun to interact with.

5. Advanced Analytics

Advanced Analytics


Email has this awesome property to be personalized based on who is seeing it. This allows us send unique content to their inbox. More we can analyse the data, better we can understand the behavior & hence we can communicate with people in much better way. With so much of data being generated every day, analytics will play an important role in email marketing.

6. Predictive Email Marketing

Predictive Email Marketing


Gone are the days of email broadcasting. Today you have to predict what your clients want. And prediction will not be done at the group level, but at the individual level. We will see lot of tools coming up who will predict what a person is going to buy, even before that person knows it. This will really help email marketing to be more relevant.

7. Multi-channel Marketing

Multi-channel Marketing


Email marketing will be used in conjunction with many other channels in 2014. A single tool which will support many channels of marketing will be very important. The data from various channels will be used to support email marketing & vice versa.

8. Single View of Customer

Single view of customer

With so many ways to interact with the brand, having a single view of every customer will be very important. This will help marketers to understand what their customers do at various other places & take quick decisions to keep them happy.

9. Data Enhancement

Profile Enhancement


Most of the companies take only email ids to make the checkout process faster. This creates a lot of problem when we have to communicate with them. Lot of tools will come out which will help marketers understand their customers much more than what data they have. Marketers will try to find out about their customers from other data sources.

10. Responsive Design

Responsive Design


Emails will be read on Mobile devices, more than the desktop. Additionally it will be opened on any size of mobile & in any mobile client. So the email sent has to be intelligent enough to be responsive & readable on mobile.

All this will make email marketing much more interesting & relevant for the Marketers & even the recipients.

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The New Gmail Tabbed Inbox. How is it going to affect email marketers?

As Google started rolling out the new tabbed inbox feature, promotional mails from marketers started reaching a new inbox meant for all such mails called “Promotions” and not the default inbox now called “Primary”.

Gmail created 5 new tabs to route emails depending on their intent.  Gmail has not published on how it is doing, but they are doing a pretty good job of classifying the emails on the intent. Hence we feel it would be wasted effort to spend too much of a time investigating on how to reach a different inbox tab, by modifying content, sender address, sending domain, switching email provider, and such tactics. It may harm marketer’s reputation with gmail which may lead to mails landing in spam or being blocked.  Some marketers might have escaped from Google’s new feature for the moment, but believe that Google is pretty good at what they do, and eventually no one escape, from whatever tactics the marketers may use by using Amazon SES or own SMTP infrastructure to send emails or altering the email headers or subject lines.

If you look closer, gmail has not fundamentally anything with their approach. Gmail had always a feature called Labels, to categorise the mails, but it was user configurable. A user could set rules or filters to apply labels to incoming mails and classify them by Labels, which would be seen as a folder.  The new tabbed inbox is exactly similar, but done automatically by gmail using proprietary algorithms and history to route messages to tabbed inboxes as follows:

  Gmail Inbox Primary icon   Primary Messages from friends and family, as well as any other messages that don’t appear in other tabs.
  Gmail Inbox Promotions icon   Promotions Your deals, offers, and other promotional emails.
  Gmail Inbox Social icon   Social Messages from social networks, media-sharing sites, online dating services, gaming platforms, and other social websites.
  Gmail Inbox Updates icon   Updates Notifications such as confirmations, receipts, bills, and statements.
  Gmail Inbox Forums icon   Forums Messages from online groups, discussion boards, and mailing lists.

Marketers should live with their key stake holders that is ISPs like gmails, yahoo, hotmail, rediff, AOL and their customers and respect their decision or behaviour.  When marketer’s mails are relevant and engaging, their stakeholders will trust and do business with them.  Hence the fundamentals of marketing communications has not changed. We believe gmail has not changed any of the fundamentals in their approach.

Gmail has a given a new place for the mails belonging to a particular category a label. It would prevent mails from getting cluttered in one inbox. Now the customers knowing where they have to look for a particular kind of mails, they can look into the Tab. The tab provides the count of emails, the brands which are communicating with you and such.Hence it is easier now for customers to look at their marketer mails quite easily.

In order to gmail tabbed inbox, the rules of engagement and reputation still count. If  Marketers throw the pretty good things they followed so far in engaging with their customers, the mails will end in spam folder.

Knowing these, how could marketers being still worried about the impact of these new changes in gmail.

First if you can’t measure, you can’t put any control mechanism that can give a better result.

Start measuring from the end metric, which is conversions (not open rates or click rates, which are intermediary metrics). If you don’t have a mechanism to measure conversions from email campaigns, it is time to implement now, as it is the core metric.  Once the conversion metric in place, start measuring it every week by gmail customers, yahoo customers, hotmail customers and such.  If you see the numbers going down by ISPs, now you could think of strategies. You could further drill to abandon carts by ISP, click rate by ISP and open rate by ISP and try to optimise at each intermediary stage from backwards.

Now think of strategies understanding the issues if they are specific to gmail or across the entire customer base.

If they are specific to new gmail tabbed inbox, consider educating the customers on the new tabbed inboxes and how could the customers live with it and see their brand communications, how to identify them with the name. If their customers would like to see them in “Primary” tab, educate them on how to “Star” the mails and drag them to “Primary” tab from other tabs. Encourage your customers to reply to the emails for  interacting with the brand and run automations to trigger off actions on such reply emails.  Further ask your gmail customer to add your sender address to their contact list or address book.

For your customers to do those actions, don’t forget to make your emails look attractive, relevant and be compelling to open them, click the link and visit your site and buy things.  Understand each customer actions, and get to know them better by seeking more information. Identify the channels (email, SMS, Facebook, twitter, or direct) your customers best engage with and communicate smartly across channels. Use all history you have with your customers to send relevant and compelling offers.

Use dynamic content or serve content that is in real time directly from your CRM system or web site so that the customer can get the offer that is live now on your website.  You can also gamify the mailers by serving such content such as surprise coupons, free shipping, and etc. Reduce the steps from email open to buy.

Do you want to further know the impacts of new gmail tabbed inbox and the rules of  engagement, reach out to Kenscio’s Account Managers or drop an email to enquiries@kenscio.com for a detailed whitepaper.

 

 

 

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The Countdown Begins: Fun Fight “Man Vs Wild”

Live & Exclusive:”15th December-17th December”

“A thing of beauty is a joy forever” —Lot many of you would support this idea but what are the parameters to calculate beauty? All hands down — O_o —Never thought!

Well Beauty is where you don’t have to apply your brain 😛 with boozers blossoming like a fresh red rose.

Same goes for the Jim Corbett National Park which i  s to be conquered by the Alexanders and  Cleopatras of Kenscio.

Just to poise the intensity of the battle-Jim Corbett Park—No introduction required—the name itself depicts the glory,the beauty and the adventure of the fairy tales of wildlife destination. Rising Sun saluting you, Beautiful nature pleasing your eyes–energetic activities enhancing the spirit to live life like a bravo—deep green dense forest offering you to come across with some unique celestial creatures & a group of rivers- washing all your sins without your confessions.

Get Up the boozer Warriors (Kenscians)-Let’s join hands facing these beasts.

Catch you guys over the next blog post conquering the fun battle  :)

Yours Sincerely

Vinny (Media Team)

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Another day at Kenscio Delhi Office- Vinni Abhishek

Now this is just the flat-out funniest blog I’ve ever been privileged to write dedicating a young lass Called Richa: Our campaign management Specialist (Refer to the girl in frame), a bagful of enormous talent with the gift of the gab deeply rooted in her blood. It never fails to make me laugh. And when I say laugh, I mean it almost never fails to make me double over laughing.

Not even a single incident on the planet have managed to escape her and every time she has got some links attached to the bits occurring in the world irrespective of the kinds of Barrack Obama to Rakesh Bhaiya serving tea in the red cup (Our Office Boy) and the icing on the cake is happenings of things on places like Chandigarh or Ambala more often than not.

“Han Han meri Na 1 didi hai WO v laal cup me hi chai deti hai sabo ko” or Mera na ek dost hai wo bhi America me rehta hai as if uske bol dene se Her didi would be deputed as our Office Girl or referring her friend as the Potential President of U.S”

In times to come, a declaration is floating in the air “All the words uttered by Richa(Refer to the girl in frame) are completely fictitious and have no resemblance to the real life”

But as the saying goes, “In the end its the end what matters the most”. With full of entertainment stuffs and coolness she is the one who helps us reduce the stress and make the workplace more enjoyable.

Kudos to the Sense of Humour in you !!Keep the tempo Going J

 

Vinni Abhishek

Media Team

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Give Customers the Power of Choice

Nothing is permanent except change.

Heraclitus (Greek Philosopher)           

People change and so do their interests, habits, hobbies etc. Hence, it’s safe to assume that your email subscribers will change. The question is whether you can adapt to this change.

Acknowledging this change doesn’t require you to revamp your email strategy every time your subscribers profile changes, instead it requires your email program to be flexible enough to let them choose what is right for them.

Research shows that subscribers (customers) will choose to maintain a deeper and long lasting relationship with you, when they are given the power of choice.

Furthermore, enabling subscribers to make choices makes them feel that they are in control and that they have the ability to dictate what and when they wish to hear from you. This increases the likelihood that they’ll look forward to your email messages and increases the chances that they’ll respond.

This is the power of preferences.

What are Preferences?

Preferences are what that differentiates your subscribers. These are information about your subscribers that allow you to tailor your communication to suit their needs. For example, some might eagerly look forward to a daily promotional mailer, where as other might find these annoying. Similarly, you may have various product or service to offer and your subscribers will prefer some over others.

email preference center

Customer Preferences

What is an Email Preference Center?

An Email Preference Center allows your recipients to easily change their subscription details. This might include content type, frequency, interests in various offerings, ability to opt down or opt out etc.

Hidden Potential?

Preference Center gives you a means to know more about your subscribers. In addition to the basic information that is captured at the time of sign up, your preference center enables you to collect important information that will help improve and nurture your relationship with your subscribers.

Furthermore, marketers who use preference centers are more successful at retaining un-subscribers than the ones who don’t…

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Get in touch to obtain your copy of the complete whitepaper on Email Preference Center or speak to one of our consultants today to see how you can improve your email marketing programs with the power of Preference Center.

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Pelase do not call me “0”- Personalization gone bad

Honestly I get a lot of emails today, but this one completely pissed me off to the core. No one calls me a zero. I dont know if people like to be called zero- its their preference.  But I mind  it, especially when this particular marketeer has been sending me emails left right and centre from so many days.

This is our “classic” case of personalization going bad. I would not know how many unsubscription the marketeer would have fetched on this but from a consumer’s point of view when he/ she is being targeted from all directions to get its attention( positive attention). When they are use to of getting email communication super personalized and super individualized, this would definitely surprise them.

Email is a critical medium and has worked wonders for a lot of business. But then today when there are so many people who are on this medium relevancy and addressing the recipient  becomes all the more important.

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Get your Email Service Provider (ESP) implement DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) for your bulk mail server!

DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) is a possibility to make an email sender more easily identifiable for the email service providers (ESPs) who receive and filter email. The message is identified by the domain it is sent from, that is, the part of the address after the @.

If the delivery address differs from that that has been registered with the DNS server (Domain Name Server), there is an increased likelihood that the email will be classified as Spam by the email service provider.

Why it is needed?

It is because ISPs like yahoo, gmail, hotmail dictate it!  Look at their bulk mailing guidelines, which must be followed by all email marketers and their email marketing solution providers.

https://support.google.com/mail/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=81126#authentication

http://mail.live.com/mail/policies.aspx

http://help.yahoo.com/kb/index?page=content&y=PROD_MAIL_ML&locale=en_US&id=SLN3435&impressions=true

If your bulk or mass email marketing solution provider doesn’t provide it, it is time for you to ask for it. If they are unable to do it, look for other email service providers who can provide it.

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