Marketing Director, Listrak

Creative holiday campaign

Looking for a way to stand out this holiday season? Follow Aveda’s example and create a fun holiday gift quiz.

Aveda sent this email on Thanksgiving at 11:08 am

While it contains the usual Thanksgiving Day messages, including “our thanks to you” and early access to Black Friday deals, it was the quiz at the bottom of the message that really got my attention.

You can take the quiz here

Online, you can select if your naughty and want to shop for yourself or if you’re nice and want to shop for friends or family. Once selected, different choices appear that you can click through to find the product ideas.

What a great way to engage customers while promoting holiday shopping. 

What do you think? Let me know!

Deliverability and the holidays

Our Chief Privacy Officer is hosting a webinar on July 23 entitled “Everything you need to know about privacy and deliverability” - if interested, you can register here.

As you prepare for the holidays, deliverability should play a big part in your plans. Not only do you have to think about the new CASL regulations and how you’re going to manage your Canadian shoppers, but you also have to take into consideration your increased deployment schedule and email volume.

Email volume greatly increases in November and December. Retailers send an average of 210 marketing emails per year - averaging 16 messages per month Jan - Oct. However the monthly average jumps to 23 in November and December.

Cyber Monday is the highest volume day with 88% of retailers sending at least one email:

Questions about privacy and deliverability? Tune in to our webinar on July 23, check out this blog post, or comment below!

Use “out of stock” inventory to your advantage this holiday season

Retailers, the holidays are upon us. Soon your stores and warehouses will be well stocked with the hotttest holiday gifts. And while your goal is to sell off as much of the inventory as possible before having to discount the items in January, you also don’t want to run out of your most popular items too soon, forcing your customers to shop elsewhere.

Marketers face a real dilemma regarding out of stock items. Should you keep the items on your site and continue to promote the items even though they are unavailable to ship, or do you remove the items all together? Either way, you lose the sale.

Listrak’s newest solution solves this problem. The automated Back in Stock Alerts solution lets your customers sign up for notifications when the items are restocked, boosting your email acquisition and giving you the opportunity to reach out to them with additional offers and eliminating the need for them to purchase the item elsewhere. Then, when the item is available, customers receive an automated message directing them to complete the purchase.

There is even a useful dashboard that helps inform demand planning with reports that help to identify the products your customers currently want.

  • Most wanted categories
  • Most wanted brands
  • Most requested products
  • Top sellers out of stock

There’s still plenty of time to implement this solution in time for the holiday rush. Want to see how it works? Visit www.listrak.com/savethesale or contact us today.

This holiday season, think “responsive”

It’s official. The number of emails being opened on mobile devices has surpassed the number being opened on desk tops, according to Litmus.

As you prepare for the holidays, it is really important to keep in mind how your customers will be interacting with your marketing messages so you reach them in an appropriate manner.

Here are some interesting stats from the Email Client Market Share showing email open rates per device:

Knowing that more than half of your customers will open emails on a mobile phone or tablet should means that it is imperative that your emails are designed with these devices in mind.

We have a great webinar that talks about best practices, which you can watch On Demand here, a whitepaper on the same topic which you can download here, and 10 tips for responsive email design, which you can read here.

Let me know if you have any questions.

CASL Email

I just received this email from Beats by Dr. Dre with the subject line:

Consent Needed - Final Chance to Continue to Get Beats Updates

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I never subscribed to the list, but I did order something off its website three weeks ago. Other than an order confirmation email, I haven’t received any other email communications until now.

But it is a great reminder that the new CASL regulations are upon us. You can catch up on all of the latest news and requirements on our Chief Privacy Officer’s blog at http://ideliveremail.com/

Retail Email Marketing Bootcamp - Los Angeles

I just returned from Los Angeles where we hosted our second Retail Email Marketing Bootcamp. And it was great! A few pics:

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In case you missed it, you can find PDFs of all of the sessions here: http://www.listrak.com/la_bootcamp/

You can also find recordings of the same sessions we did earlier this year in Las Vegas here: www.listrak.com/bootcamp-resources/

We’re hosting another bootcamp in Chicago the day before IRCE. This one is an Omnichannel Marketing Workshop. We’d love for you or your coworkers to attend if you’ll be in town. You can find more details here: http://www.listrak.com/events/2014-chicago-irce-workshop/ and you can receive half off your registration using discount code SpecialGuest50.

Hope to see you there!

Keeping a resolution

I made a decision a few years ago – to learn something new every year. I was in a rut. I wasn’t meeting new people. I wasn’t getting out as much as I needed to. I wasn’t taking advantage of all of the great opportunities this area provides. And I wasn’t doing the things that I really wanted to do. I’d come up with excuses and I’d keep busy but I was really missing out on a lot of things. So I made two New Year’s resolutions that year – the first was to learn something new every year and the second was to learn how to play ukulele.

I bought a ukulele on Amazon with very little research or thought – I just went for it. And after a quick Google search I reached out to local guitar instructor and asked if he could teach me how to play ukulele. He responded with the name and contact info of the amazing Don Peris and a week later, I was at my first lesson. I met some great people, I learned how to read music and play a really fun instrument. I loved it – so much, in fact, that I was faced with a tough decision at the end of the year. I wanted to keep playing and taking lessons, but I also wanted to try something new.

I decided to ease into my second resolution. I wanted to meet new people so I joined a book club. This allowed me to continue my ukulele lessons while still – sort of – sticking to my goal of learning something new every year. I wasn’t learning a new skill, but I was learning to get out of my comfort zone and go out more. And I met some great ladies who are now good friends. And I read a lot of books that I wouldn’t pick up for myself. About half way through the year I felt like I was cheating by not really learning a new skill, so I gave up my ukulele lessons (I still play for fun, though) and I took up jogging. My goal was to work up to a 5k. I hate running. I have a problem with my feet so it wasn’t easy, but it didn’t take long to reach that goal. I was hoping I’d get that runner’s high and become addicted to it like so many of my friends are, but that never happened. I still don’t jog for enjoyment.

 This year, my goal is to get out more. And I just realized that I have a lot of amazing things scheduled for this year – tickets to Preakness, a first for me, and a lot of concerts – Bronze Radio Return, Morrissey, Beck, Band of Horses, The Districts, Ryan Adams, and Dawes just to name a few. I’m also hoping to see Kings of Leon and Arcade Fire. I have plans to go to Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago and Orlando. What’s more, I’m inviting old and new friends along on my adventures. I’m also planning to take my six year old niece to New York City for a long weekend of shopping and shows and sightseeing.

 It might seem like a small thing, but it is really helping to prevent me from getting back into my rut. I know this doesn’t exactly count as learning something new, either. So I’m looking into golf lessons this summer. I’m hoping this will not only teach me a new skill but I’ll also get to meet more new friends. 

Product Recommendations on Receipts

I bought my  nieces some of the classics at Barnes and Noble as they love to read, and I love to encourage their love of reading.

When I got home, I not only found the receipt for my purchase in the bag along with the books, but another slip of paper printed out from the cash register that contained a list of recommendations based on my current purchase:

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What a fantastic idea! It’s a great way to keep shoppers engaged and give them a reason to return to the store - or website - to place another purchase.

I’ve seen a lot of e-receipts with product recommendations, but this is the first time I received a paper receipt with new purchase suggestions. It just goes to show that retailers need to get creative and use all of the solutions in interesting ways across all of their marketing channels.

Responsive Design: Retina Images

Posted by: Aaron Pearson, Sr. Graphic Designer

In a recent webinar, I discussed Listrak’s approach to responsive design and mobile engagement with best practices for navigation, text size, stacking and resizing content, retina graphics, and the use of media queries for mobile styling. There were many great questions asked by our viewers following the webinar, but the two topics that were most popular seemed to be retina images and stacking content. In the paragraphs to follow, I will review these topics and provide a clearer understanding of how they work and why they’re important.

Retina Images

You may not realize it, but you probably look at a retina screen every day. Most smart phones, tablets, newer models of laptops and even desktop monitors have high-resolution displays. These high-res displays jam 2 or 3 times the number of pixels into a small screen, enhancing the quality of photos and making text clearer and easier to read. However, we need to make sure our graphics, text, and photos are optimized for these higher density screens.

The most common pixel density for retina is 2x, meaning there are 2 times the number of pixels per inch. A screen that is 320 pixels wide will be 640 pixels across, and because of this, images need to be double in size to appear crisp on a retina screen. Images that are not scaled correctly will appear blurry and unfocused on a retina screen. A 200px wide image needs to be 400px wide to match this resolution. In email, we achieve this clarity by doubling the size of important graphics as well as images that contain text.

Below is a sample Listrak email. The first example shows the Listrak logo and social media icons saved at their normal size; note how they look blurry on a smart phone with a retina screen.

When the images are saved at double their natural size, they will be optimized for the 2x resolution of a retina screen. It’s important to note that images must be large enough to be saved at double their natural size, or be vector graphics that can be scaled without distortion.

The Listrak logo, for instance, is being forced to display at 175 x 38, but the natural size of the image being referenced is actually 350 x 76. A retina device will be smart enough to use the larger referenced size, yet still display the image at the size specified in the <img> tag.

Consider the file sizes of your images. Make sure when saving for web that you choose the most appropriate file type and quality. Gifs are typically better for flat graphics and text, while Jpgs are better for photos. Doubling images for retina will increase the file size of your email and cause a slower load time if it isn’t optimized correctly.

This final example shows an image that is large enough on the desktop version of the email to scale to half its size on mobile and be optimized for retina.

The desktop image is being displayed at 500 x 400. A media query was added to style our email for screen sizes less than 480px, and a class of mainImage was added to the <img> tag. Now we are able to style the class with CSS so that our image will shrink to 250 x 200 on a mobile screen — half the size of the image’s natural size — and also be optimized for retina.

 Any questions? Let us know in the comments section.

View our post explaining stacking images 

 

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