Tag of the week – US Election Results

Throughout the US presidential election Washington Post leveraged Kickdynamic’s live image technology to bring the election results to life live in-email.

First up was a live map of the US which updated at every open to show the latest state-by-state poll results. Each state changed colour depending on who was in the lead at the point of open and then changed to a definite colour once a party had officially won the state.  This map was displayed to every recipient.

screen-shot-2016-11-17-at-11-51-44

Following the US map, was a state map personalised to the state the recipient had a propensity for. For example, if a recipient had a propensity to open in Kentucky, they received a live map for the state of Kentucky which updated at every open to show the results for each constituency.

kentucky-00-03 kentucky-00-11 kentucky-00-21 kentucky-00-27 kentucky-00-33 kentucky-00-55

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Final Result:

kentucky-09-05

In addition to showing state-by-state election results, Washington Post also incorporated live news headlines in their emails which were live at open time as election news broke.

The breaking news headlines worked in the same way to the election results, whereby each recipient received state specific headlines based on their state of open propensity. Each live image had an individual click through link to a page on the Washington Post site. A maximum of 5 breaking news headlines was displayed in the email however in instances where there were less than 5 headlines at open time, the Kickdynamic tag automatically replaced the blank headline with an invisible 1×1 gif, effectively collapsing that section of the email.

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-23-54-25

 

This campaign was a fantastic use case for live-image technology, and successfully updated Washington Post’s subscribers with live election coverage as it was unfolding. An election has never been covered live in email before which makes this our Tag of the week!

Live Product Availability in Email for Black Friday

On shopping days as big as Black Friday it can be a toss up for Marketers. Do you fire out generic promo emails promising big savings on every product whilst stocks last, or do you take a more refined, product based approach?

Understandably you may be wary of taking a more product-centric approach. What happens when the products in your email sell-out for example? Chances are, that on high-volume shopping days, products promoted in-email will have a higher sell-through rate than usual.

To overcome the very real problem of promoting sold-out products you can leverage live data to provide a great customer experience. The case for only including available products in email is obviously strong. Those that click through are doing so because they’re interested in the product and possibly have an intent to purchase. Only including products available to buy at the time of open is going to drive revenue.

You can also drive product sales by providing open time product availability in email. Using an API, or other data source, pull in live product stock levels and the latest pricing, delivery and product information at every email open. Each time the recipient re-opens the email the stock level and product information will automatically update.

Here’s an example of a live product feed generating email images that are live at open time:

example-product-feed-live-images

Use layered visibility rules to create image layers for stock level callouts and discount stickers as required. As the data source updates with real-time availability, discounts, prices and available products, the images in the email will update at every open with the latest, up-to-date content. For example, you could show a live stock availability call out over an image when the stock level dips below a certain number. This stock availability is live at every open, meaning that products featured in your email will always be available to click through and buy. For example, show a stock call out sticker over the image when there’s only 10 left. When the stock level drops to below 5, change the messaging on the stock call out to introduce urgency, such as ‘Hurry! Only 3 left.’. If a product goes out of stock, we’ll automatically swap it, on open, to display the next available product. Likewise, all product information will automatically update too, so if the discount amount changes or the price changes throughout the day, the email will reflect these changes live too.

Here’s an example of live products with stock level callouts:

live-stock-example

Not only does using Open Time Content Automation give you to flexibility to promote products that are in-stock and available to buy at email open, it also enables you to automate much of the email content. You can create on-brand product images from a data source for your email without requiring any support or resource from your design team, perfect for those on-the-fly campaigns that you’re likely to need to send out as Black Friday and Cyber Monday unfold.

Asda Instagram Tag

If you’ve not seen Asda’s Instagram page recently, then you need to check it out. It’s seriously good. Fantastic photography and great engagement. It’s no wonder that Asda decided to showcase their latest Instagram posts in the second ever instalment of Good Living.

In January 2016, the Asda magazine was relaunched as an online platform and email newsletter. Now called Good Living, the dedicated website features articles about food trends, fashion and style, home ideas and lifestyle tips to be a healthier, fitter family. The emails are visually striking, featuring powerful images alongside all the best Good Living articles and recipes.

This Open Time Marketing Tag ensures the content of this email is fresh and in-season, every time it is opened. When the content of an email is as attractive and engaging as this Good Living example, recipients are likely to keep the email and re-open it at a later date. The inclusion of social signals shows that we’re not the only ones who love it!

Here is the Instagram feed in the email:

Here is the full email:

View full email

View full email

 

Top Tips for your Christmas Email Campaigns

There’s no hiding from it; Christmas is well and truly on its way. Around this time of year customers are opening their emails, browsing, and buying Christmas gifts online to get them delivered before the big day. Make your customer’s email experience as relevant and personal as possible by adding Kickdynamic Tags. There’s literally hundreds of ways to use our technology at Christmas so we thought we would share our fave (easy to setup) examples in the build up to Christmas to give you some last minute ideas to really rock your Christmas campaigns. Each working day we’ll post a new idea…

Christmas campaign idea number 1

location‘Tis the season to shop so your customers will be hitting the highstreet! Recipients that open your email on a mobile device are likely to be on the go – they might even be doing their Christmas shopping. Embed a Nearest Store Tag in your email to give shoppers personalised directions right to your store door.

Setup

nearest storeGive us the longitude and latitude of your stores and when a recipient opens your email we use GEOIP to detect their location and then show the nearest store to their location on a city level. Click on the image and they are provided with directions to your nearest store powered by GPS.

Top Tip

lightbulbTake it one step further by setting rules to only display the nearest store if the recipient opens on a mobile device as they’re more likely to be on the go. If the recipient opens on a desktop you can show other, more contextually relevant information such as Christmas delivery information or direct them to your online store as this is more relevant to somebody sat at a computer.

View the next top tip >>

What Makes A Good Newsletter?

Email marketing newsletters can be the foundation of an email marketing strategy and are enjoyed by your customers on a regular basis.

The newsletter format is a great way to showcase multiple ideas in one email. It is an opportunity to inject brand identity into the inbox of your customers. Whether you send a newsletter weekly or monthly, it is a strong way to drive both brand loyalty and engagement.

A good newsletter has to be well designed and have great copy. It is not something that is ‘thrown’ together at the last minute. It normally has multiple stories and components and therefore can take time to prepare.

In the following article I take a look at some good examples and explain the reasons for their success I also want to discuss some different newsletter ideas.

What makes a good newsletter?

  • Easy to read and scan with clear sections
  • Mobile relevant
  • Great copy
  • Fun
  • A level of recipient relevance

ASOS

ASOS.Newsletter

The ASOS email is a great example of a well-formed email with the following things we like:

  • Animated GIF
  • Pre-Header
  • Navigation
  • HTML text image ratio
  • Little but great May Bank Holiday copy

UncommonGoods:

UncommonGoods.Newsletter

UncommonGoods always produce a noteworthy email in newsletter style. Although it is one image that is traditionally not best practice I like the following:

  • Amazing branding
  • Great copy
  • Strong mages

What would we improve?

The copy feels a little too long and ideally should be HTML. Now that is difficult with the current layout but it could make it easier to read.

MOO

Moo.Newsletter

The MoosLetter contains articles not just associated directly with business cards and offers advice to help small businesses get ahead. I like the following:

  • Great branding
  • Excellent layout with imagery above text

What would we improve?

The first image is generic and somewhat boring, and does little to represent the full impact of the article.

Debenhams:

Debenhams.Newsletter

The Debenhams email always stands out in the inbox and has the following aspects that I like:

  • Good header and pre-header. Promoting the APP in the header is a great idea. I would suggest just showing the APP image (iPhone, Android, Kindle etc) based on the device the recipients open the email on.
  • Great HTML to image ratio

What would we improve?

The Debenhams email is very long and contains a great deal of information. Whilst in certain circumstances that can work in an email, I feel that it is too much in this instance.

eBags.com

eBags.Newsletter

OK so not strictly a newsletter but the email has a newsletter style layout. The following is good:

  • Great branding
  • Product layout
  • Steal of the day

What would we improve?

Include a Countdown clock to drive urgency around the sale.

What are your favourite newsletters?

Breakdown Of Three Review Solicitation Emails

Review solicitation email campaigns can drive excellent engagement and revenue and is an email marketing program that can be put on auto pilot.

The review solicitation is a post-purchase program that offers a great way to grow website reviews and also stay top of mind with your customers.

It is a transactional message encouraging customers to write a review of the product(s) they have purchased. It is normally sent 2-4 weeks after a purchase (depending on delivery times) and is a great way to get user-generated content on your website.

Let’s take a look at 3 review solicitation emails I have recently received:

Scribbler:

Sribbler are using a 3rd party survey tool to manage their post purchase review. This gives you a good feedback on my purchase; however it doesn’t allow you to use this as user-generated content on the website.

The email is well written with a call to action that stands out.

Scribbler

Superdry:

Excellent email from Superdry. Superdry use the incentive ‘chance to win £100 worth of vouchers” to rate previous purchase. They also include the purchased item in the email content.

SuperdryMain

Just Eat:

Just eat use humour to encourage a review of the previous order and combine both “rate your meal” and “take survey” in the email. I wouldn’t advise having both in one email message, instead separating into different email campaigns.

JustEat

What other review solicitation emails have you received?

Great Responsive Email Design From Bluefly

As a follow up to the post thumb is the new mouse. I wanted to share a great image-based responsive email example from Bluefly.

Responsive design entails coding the email HTML so it changes based on what device it is read on. Responsive design uses Media Query Support to know what screen size email is read on and then the email layout adapts to that screen size.

The following email, promoting Bluefly’s Presidents’ Day sale, looks great in all inboxes (that it can look good in) and doesn’t lose any branding or the strong imagery.

When viewing the email on my desktop email client (native mac client), the email rendered like the following (full navigation and nice pre header):

BF1

The main body of the email has four product sections per row and two rows:

BF2

When viewing the email on my iPhone (native email client), the email layout is adapted, as shown below. You can see that the product image row of four is now two and part of the navigation has been removed for it to fit nicely on a smaller screen size. This doesn’t lose any impact of the email or the main message as you can clearly see the Free Shipping offer.

iPhone header and main image:

BF3

iPhone product rows:

BF4

However, when viewing on the Gmail iPhone app, the responsive design does not work; why is that? It is because Gmail does not support Media queries. Here is a guide to which email cent’s support responsive design: http://www.campaignmonitor.com/guides/mobile/

iPhone Gmail:

BF5

What to improve on?
Although the email is mobile aware it is still somewhat stale. I would recommend adding a countdown clock that starts counting down when the email is opened, creating a sense of urgency.

Do you have a good responsive email example?