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Will Email Eclipse SEO & Social at Digital Summit Atlanta?
By Pilar Bower / May 23, 2016

As I look forward to Digital Summit Atlanta, I see that I’ll have to survive temperatures ranging from 70 to 81. Woe is me! Should I even bother with a sweater or closed-toed shoes? Oh yes: must protect extremities from the air-conditioning-triggered frostbite typical at conferences.

There are lots of reasons I long to escape for two days to luxuriate in the latest, greatest digital marketing knowledge in Georgia. Still, an email geek to my bones, I can’t wait to hear the channel’s thought leaders reveal how technology and design advances have kept email the top performer among digital channels. Even with the advances in SEO and the constant bells and whistles social media companies throw on their platforms, here comes good old email, kicking butt with its average 3800% ROI. Just sayin . . .  

Speakers will cover the hottest, content, technology and design-driven email trends that create long-term relationships with email subscribers and deliver highest returns. At the top of my list, I’m thrilled to see sessions touching on the many merits of email personalization. A few years back, some digital industry pundits warned that email was six-feet-under because younger generations just weren’t interested. (See what #DSATL16 keynote speaker Gary Vaynerchuk has to say about email’s viability in his “Email Marketing Is Not Dead. Here’s Why” post. ) Turns out, today’s on-the-go consumers appreciate, and even demand, a brand’s familiarity with their preferences and needs, even if they have to turn over a few data points to get it. Last fall, in our “2015 Consumer Views of Email Marketing” report, we found that consumers now expect us to understand who they are, as well as what they do and don’t want. Specifically:

  • 74.4% of consumers expect a welcome email when they subscribe
  • 74.8% expect personalization in their emails based on their purchase data
  • 70.6% expect personalization based on data provided at sign up
  • 57.4% expect it on birthdays
  • 55.5% based on browsing behavior
  • 38% even expect marketers to personalize emails based on offline purchases!

Digital Summit Atlanta 2016 will set email marketers up with techniques for leveraging personalization to win leads, subscribers and customers in the share-happy, customer-obsessed, multi-screen, mobile era. Check out the conference agenda for my welcome email session on Wednesday morning as well as those of other industry thought leaders.

Why the Welcome Email Packs a Wallop

I chose to tackle the welcome email in my presentation “First Impressions: The Power of an Amazing Welcome Email” (8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 25) for two reasons.

First, of all the lifecycle and triggered email programs, the welcome email offers the greatest potential. Our research has consistently shown that the welcome email can generate three times the engagement and revenue of any other email. The average open rate for welcome emails stands at 50 percent, nearly twice that of the average email open rate. These statistics make sense when you consider that the welcome email connects with the prospect at subscription—right when the company is at the forefront of their mind.  Using the welcome email puts your relationship with your new subscriber on a positive track from the beginning and can go a long way to winning a loyal customer.

Secondly, while other email speakers are delivering lots of context, I wanted to provide attendees with tactical advice brought to life through real-world examples that they can take home and use right away.  My session will touch on the nuances of personalization. A welcome email program fueled by personalization strengthens subscriber relationships.

Marketers feeling constrained by just a single welcome or thank you send can accomplish more when they expand to a series.

Because sign-up forms with just two fields have proven to have the lowest abandonment rates, the prompt to provide more data can reside in the welcome email. For instance, you can see how BlueHornet client PacSun uses the welcome email to determine what types of emails a subscriber prefers. This brief thank you email leads back to PacSun’s preference center where fields for zipcode, birthday and gender await.

PacSun1 Pacsun2

In just two months, PacSun’s preference center led to a 17% increase in the number of subscribers who completed their profiles. This data enables the company to increase conversion rates because messages are personalized by gender, location, and content preferences.  Consumers appreciate when companies pay attention!

In addition to personalization opportunities the welcome email provides, I’ll be covering content mapping, progressive profiling, and several more critical components of the welcome email in my session on Wednesday morning.   

Be the Office Hero After Digital Summit Atlanta

With conference presentations just 30 minutes long, I get that you’ll be left with lots of questions.

That’s why BlueHornet is offering one-to-one, 30-minute complimentary email optimization assessments. Walk into booth #16 and we’ll provide a free session with one of our email experts on the spot or sign you up for a session at a more convenient time. Our experts focus on providing hard-hitting, actionable tips and strategies you can put into practice right away!

Looking to acquire more email subscribers? Optimize emails with AB testing? Increase your deliverability ratings? BlueHornet can help with all of these and more.

Don’t forget to pick up one of our water bottles and enter in our raffle to win Beats by Dre headphones and a GoPro. We look forward to connecting with you at booth #16, Digital Summit Atlanta 2016.

Pilar  Pilar Bower, Digital Summit Atlanta Speaker

Session: First Impressions: The Power of an Amazing Welcome Email at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 25th 

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