MarketingSherpa and Beyond: Apply What you Learned in the Real World
By Pilar Bower / February 29, 2016

Was everyone inspired by MarketingSherpa Summit as much as I was? It was a whirlwind couple of days with people who love email marketing as much as I do, who also experience the challenges of a constantly evolving channel and consumers with changing needs and expectations. Now that we’re back home, here comes the process of deciding where to start implementing the new ideas and tips we learned! My experience as a coach in the Coaching Clinics showed me that email marketers are doing a lot of things right, but want to take it to the next level, especially with segmentation and personalization.

The theme that resonated with me most at this year’s Sherpa was storytelling. In Morgan Spurlock’s keynote on Tuesday, Morgan said “Right now is the best time in history to be a storyteller. YOU are storytellers.” Storytelling is directly related to more targeted segmentation and increasing personalization in your emails — every email recipient has a different story and wants to hear a different story from you.

As TowerData noted in their post conference article #SHERPA16: Why Storytelling in Email is Now Mandatory, “All of the examples of storytelling we heard at the summit—both on the stage and in the booths—had one thing in common: They all used data. Engagement starts with knowing your customer. After all, there’s no point in telling a story to the wrong audience.”

One of the biggest obstacles marketers face is how to effectively leverage the data they have. Though it seems obvious, marketers don’t always use the data readily available to help them tell more personalized stories. Here are a few tips to help you become a better storyteller:

  1. Create a roadmap for the rest of 2016 that intertwines your editorial and promotional calendar.
  2. Determine what data you do have to work with and how you can collect more and/or leverage more.
  3. Create multiple pieces of content (images, copy, template styles) to support more personalization and leverage your platform to use them dynamically against the segments you’ve created.
  4. ALWAYS BE TESTING! Continue to learn about your consumers to avoid any blindspots.
  5. Don’t be afraid to embrace new technologies: video, gifs, real-time and time-of-open content can produce great results.
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