tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/email-ecrm Latest Email & eCRM content from Econsultancy 2017-06-23T11:23:31+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69133 2017-06-23T11:23:31+01:00 2017-06-23T11:23:31+01:00 An email personalisation planning template (with brand examples) Kath Pay <p>First, here's a snapshot of email personalisation stats from the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/email-census/">Email Census</a>: </p> <ul> <li>61% of marketers said they are more concerned about their ability to personalise their emails than any other tactic, from segmentation to automation to testing and more.</li> <li>15% of marketers they are now able to personalise emails based on behavior and preferences – up from 8% in the 2016 census.</li> <li>71% of marketers say they're either in the early stages of personalisation or fine-tuning their integration and execution. </li> <li>Only 14% of marketers say they aren't working toward personalisation.</li> <li>Marketers who say they're proficient in personalisation are more than twice as likely to rate their overall email campaign performance as "excellent" or "good" than marketers who do no personalisation.</li> <li>Although data integration remains the most recognised personalisation challenge (43% listed it), understanding where to focus was the second-biggest challenge (35% of marketers cited this, up from 26% in 2016).</li> </ul> <h3>Personalisation is key to email marketing's future</h3> <p>I'm excited to see the future of email marketing unfold because I believe ROI will increase once we embrace the idea of making email all about the customer. We can do this through advanced personalisation tactics and lifecycle marketing programmes, and proceed to optimise them continuously to ensure we’re achieving the best results.</p> <p>Personalisation at scale is a no-brainer. It can serve up relevant, valuable offers and content intended for each of your customers based on their past email and web behaviour, ther transaction history and their position at the top, middle or bottom of the buying funnel.</p> <p>However, I also believe we’re making implementation of personalisation harder than it needs to be. Marketers who aren't achieving the results they want are likely doing two things wrong.</p> <h3>Marketers are doing these two things wrong</h3> <p><strong>1) They treat personalisation as the objective instead of a tactic designed to achieve the objective</strong></p> <p>All your decisions must support your objective. Personalisation itself is not the objective – it's the tactic you use to achieve your objective. The objective is to deliver an enhanced customer experience, through using a tactic such as personalisation.</p> <p><strong>2) They lead with technology, not with strategy</strong></p> <p>When you let technology rather than strategy drive your decision-making, you can end up sending the wrong message to your customers.</p> <p>Here, you're using personalisation just because you can – because it comes with your email platform or you've just hired a number-crunching data whiz – and not because you want to solve a major business problem. </p> <p>Technology, while essential to brins your strategy to life, is only one of the four ingredients in a personalisation plan:</p> <ul> <li>Strategy: The plan to achieve your objective.</li> <li>Data: The information that shows your customers you know them as individuals. Data is implicit (observed; behaviour), explicit (stated; preferences) or contextual (situational).</li> <li>Content: The contents (offer/services/products) of the message you send.</li> <li>Technology: The mechanisms you use to create each personalised email. </li> </ul> <p>Once marketers get past these two common errors, they'll begin to reap the many benefits of personalisation because everything will fall into place.</p> <h3>The business case for personalisation</h3> <p>Personalisation brings market and business intelligence to your organisation, while at the same time rewarding your users.</p> <p>In other words, everybody wins. We all like to be recognised as individuals, and this, in turn, enhances your email value and burnishes your brand equity.</p> <h3>A personalisation planning template, from objective to tactics</h3> <p>“Web personalization is a strategy, a marketing tool and an art. It brings focus to your message and delivers an experience that is customer-oriented and relevant.” - Christian Ricci, Chia Monkey</p> <p>The marketing question to answer is not "How can we add personalisation to our marketing programme?" Rather, it's "How could personalisation help us achieve our objective of enhancing the customer experience?"</p> <p>This planning template will help you see where to bring personalisation needs and practices into the conversation.</p> <h3><strong>1. Determine the objective</strong></h3> <p>This is always your starting point. What is the business challenge you must resolve? Potentially it is to "to enhance the customer experience by providing more relevant email communications" or it may be to solve an actual pain-point.</p> <h3>2. Develop the strategy</h3> <p>Here's where you introduce personalisation by focusing on using personalised communications to achieve your objective. You provide value with emails that respond to five customer expectations:</p> <p><strong>a) Reward me:</strong></p> <p>Your customers love to be recognised as individuals on special days like birthdays and thanked for their loyalty, purchases or tenure as accountholders, members or subscribers. This personalised email from Pizza Express features the recipient's name along with the freebie for extra attention.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6982/pizza.jpg" alt="pizza express birthday email" width="350"></p> <p><em>Pizza Express birthday email</em></p> <p><strong>b) Remind me:</strong></p> <p>Here you can keep your brand in your subscriber's inbox with reminders about what they’ve previously viewed and searched for, whilst not overtly stating this. A gentle reminder like this is very customer-service oriented and helpful.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6984/ba.jpg" alt="ba email" width="350"></p> <p><em>BA reminder email</em></p> <p><strong>c) Recognise me:</strong></p> <p>Your data integrations in your emails recognise your customers' behaviour, preferences and interests.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6985/ocado.jpg" alt="ocado" width="600"></p> <p><em>Ocado behavioural email</em></p> <p><strong>d) Recommend for me:</strong></p> <p>A recommendation engine can suggest alternatives to products browsed but not purchased or cross-sell /upsell in transactional emails. An integrated preference centre can suggest products or services based on interests and preferences.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6986/amazon.jpg" alt="amazon email" width="350"></p> <p><em>Amazon recommendation email</em></p> <p><strong>e) Support me:</strong></p> <p>Follow-up email messages can check in with your customers to measure satisfaction, answer questions, offer user advice and tips or suggest alternate purchases.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6987/secret.jpg" alt="secret escapes email" width="400"></p> <p><em>Secret Escapes advice email</em></p> <h3>3. Choose the tactics</h3> <p>Now you get into the specifics, choosing the tactics that carry out your strategy. As I noted before, you must always lead with strategy, not allowing the technology you use make the decisions. </p> <p>Think of it this way - your technology doesn't understand your customers, your products, your market and your competition. But your strategy does.</p> <p><strong>Overt versus covert personalisation:</strong></p> <p>These are the two major tactics with personalisation. Your strategy will lead you to decide which of these is appropriate for your audience and goals. In fact, there’s a good chance that you will use both within your strategy.</p> <p>Overt personalisation shows the recipient clearly that the email is meant for her and her alone by including data such as name, location, behaviour, purchases, recommendations, etc. </p> <p>Covert personalisation is subtle, appropriate when an in-your-face approach could turn off customers – they might not expect you to have that data on them, for example. </p> <p>The covert approach allows you to send highly personalised messages without crossing the line into unexpected (creepy) personalisation. The result: Serendipity!</p> <p>Example: Browse-abandon emails. These can both overt and covert. You can either show the customer the exact item browsed and link back to the product page, or you can dress up the email like a newsletter with both general content intended for all recipients with specific products for customers on whom you have browse data.</p> <p><strong>Overt example: Crate &amp; Barrel</strong></p> <p>This reminder email clearly is designed to close the sale. Although neither the subject line nor the copy is personalised, the hero image of the browsed product and the "Shop Now" button, which links back to its sales page on the website, appeal directly for a purchase. </p> <p>Despite the impersonal copy, the service focus ("We're here to help" is highlighted rather than the "Shop Now" button) makes the email feel more like a helpful reminder than a sales nudge. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6988/crate_barrel.jpg" alt="crate and barrel email" width="500"></p> <p><em>Crate &amp; Barrel overt personalisation</em></p> <p><strong>Covert example: SecretEscapes</strong></p> <p>This travel newsletter packages up browsed offers in a newsletter format without obvious reminders that they had been browsed. The call to action ("View Deal") invites curiosity rather than asking for a higher commitment, such as "Book Now."</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6991/secret_2.jpg" alt="secret escapes email" width="500"></p> <p><em>Secret Escapes</em> c<em>overt personalisation</em></p> <h3>Conclusions</h3> <p>Marketers continue to tiptoe their way into email personalisation, although the minority who have adopted personalisation as a strategy to enhance the customer experience are more satisfied with their email efforts overall.</p> <p>Personalisation can help you achieve your objective of enhancing each customer's experience with your brand, products and company. Data, content and technology are key ingredients in a personalisation plan; however, strategy must be the force that guides your decisions and allows you to reap the benefits: more conversions, higher revenue, greater return on your marketing investment and a stronger, more loyal customer base.</p> <p><em><strong>Personalisation is one of stage topics at the Festival of Marketing in London in October. <a href="https://goo.gl/nJMlTI">Book your ticket today.</a></strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69171 2017-06-15T10:30:00+01:00 2017-06-15T10:30:00+01:00 10 ingredients for email signup success for retailers Andy Favell <h3>The recipe for email signup success has 10 ingredients:</h3> <ul> <li>Targeting</li> <li>Placement</li> <li>Visibility</li> <li>Timing</li> <li>Proposition</li> <li>Copy</li> <li>Ease</li> <li>Legitimacy</li> <li>Clarity</li> <li>Testing</li> </ul> <p><br>This list was compiled following observations of sign-up techniques on websites, including retailers and email practitioners and conversations with experts at Emma, GoDaddy, Privy and Adestra.</p> <p><strong>First let’s quickly look at some of the numbers.</strong></p> <ul> <li>47% of marketers said email was the digital marketing channel that delivered the most ROI, ahead of social at 19%. (<a href="http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170607005301/en" target="_blank">EMMA</a>, June 2017).</li> <li>41% rated email the best-performing channel (<a href="https://dma.org.uk/research/dma-insight-email-benchmarking-report-2016" target="_blank">DMA Customer Acquisition Barometer</a> 2015).</li> <li>73% rate email as ‘good’ or ‘excellent' in its ability to deliver ROI (<a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/email-census/" target="_blank">Econsultancy</a>, April 2017).</li> </ul> <p>If those numbers are a surprise then, arguably, there's probably something wrong with your email marketing program.</p> <p>Getting hold of website visitors-to-email-signup conversion stats is more difficult. 2% appears to be the accepted industry norm, though some suggests that retail may enjoy sign-ups of north of 7% (<a href="https://contently.com/strategist/2015/07/13/the-magic-content-marketing-ratio-email-conversion-rate/" target="_blank">Contently</a> 2015) because email captures tend to be associated with offers and discounts.</p> <p>Whatever companies may be achieving, there can’t be many digital marketers out there who wouldn’t want to improve their signup rate.</p> <p>Ben Jabbawy, is the founder of Privy, a company that help clients improve email signup rates:</p> <p>“In today's marketing landscape, 98% of website visitors leave your site without completing a purchase, or signing up. Across our network of 100K+ sites, we've seen that number remain true for the most part.</p> <p>“But when sites introduce targeted overlays with incentives they can very quickly begin to break industry standard conversion rates. Then you can forget the usual 2%. Introducing fly-outs, banners, bars or popups, when targeted, regularly push conversion rates to over 10%.</p> <p>“The key word here is targeted. When you display the right offer to a high intent visitor, that means that "popup" is no longer a dirty word.”</p> <h3>1. Targeting – who is the target customer?</h3> <p>You know the marketing mantra: <strong>right person, right offer, right place and right time</strong> - right? A generic “signup to our email” hidden in the links in the footer of your website in no way ticks any of these targeting boxes. But it’s a lot less damaging than throwing up the same massive in-your-face interstitial at everyone that lands on any page of your site.</p> <p>Start to consider email signups in line with the principles (but rarely practice) of targeted advertising – after all, you are advertising a service. Take into consideration what you know about the visitor, the context of the page, the device they are using and the geographical location of the visitor to make your offer more relevant.</p> <p>Colby Cavanaugh, senior vice president of marketing at email marketing provider Emma, explains:</p> <p>"As marketers, we know how to drive traffic to our website... but we are very bad at converting site visitors. The problem is that even though we know site visitors all behave differently, we treat them all the same.</p> <p>"We have to detect them as individuals: Have they been there before? What are they looking for? Personalize the experience, and amazing things will start happening."</p> <h3>2. Placement – where on the page?</h3> <p><strong>The default placement: the footer<br></strong></p> <p>The norm for an email signup is in the footer of each webpage on the website. These vary in size, shape, boldness, wording and style.</p> <p>There are two types: a) a button or text link to a sign-up page; or the much more efficient b) a box inviting the visitor to enter their email address to sign-up.</p> <p>Whatever the type and style, placement in the footer always means the call to action sits below all the content of the page and usually way below the fold. The example of <a href="http://www.selfridges.com" target="_blank">Selfridges</a>, pictured below, could have been a multitude of other e-commerce sites.</p> <p><strong> Above the fold placements: sticky menu; header; drop-down menu, side-bar menu or in-content.<br></strong></p> <p>There are a number of options for placing the call to action above the fold, all surprisingly rare on ecommerce sites, these include:</p> <ul> <li>In the page content such as homepage sliders. This technique is a staple of many B2B sites, but still isn't used much in retail where products take precedence.</li> <li>The page header. Check out the prominent icon top right of every <a href="https://www.lidl.co.uk" target="_blank">Lidl</a> webpage.</li> <li>In the header menu.</li> <li>A sticky footer menu e.g. <a href="https://www.primark.com" target="_blank">Primark</a>.</li> </ul> <p>The Primark sticky menu, pictured below, improves on the default placement in the footer, shown in the Selfridges example. While the call to action, seen bottom right, could be bigger, bolder, catchier etc., it is visible above the fold, on screen at all times, on all pages. This sticky footer is universal across Primark’s international sites.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6775/self.png" alt="email signups" width="615" height="772"></p> <p><strong>Dynamic placement</strong></p> <p>There are a number of alternative dynamic methods to ensure above the fold visibility. The most common of these is the popup or overlay. These are more common on US sites than UK sites (read into this what you will), but are far from the norm.</p> <p>Call to action popups sit ‘in front of’ the webpage, so do not tend not to fall fowl of popup blockers. But they still come with a health warning, as used too frequently or imprudently they can negatively impact user experience, mobile usability (if hard to quit), accessibility (screen reader users) and may ultimately affect search ranking.</p> <p>They can appear, often homepage only, in a number of formats, but most commonly:</p> <ul> <li>A light box with rest of webpage shaded e.g. Topshop (UK); ToysRus (US site, but not UK site); Gap (US and UK); McDonalds (US and UK sites). Note in the screenshot below how the McDonalds popup sits over an on-page email call to action.</li> <li>Bar at the bottom (or top) of screen, similar to a cookie banner, that can be clicked away (least invasive) e.g. Carrefour (French site).</li> </ul> <p>For more on popups and other forms of call to action see the Visibility section of this article.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6776/mcdo.png" alt="email signups" width="615" height="396"></p> <p>The website is only one of many places where companies should be promoting their email program. Becca Brennan, deliverability and compliance analyst at GoDaddy Email Marketing explains:</p> <p>"Common effective placement for subscribe forms or opt-in URLs include:</p> <ul> <li>Directly on the front of the organization website, in a sidebar, or in a popup.</li> <li>On an order page.</li> <li>In a tab on the organization's Facebook page.</li> <li>In your personal email signature.</li> <li>In the footer of the newsletter itself, so that if recipients forward the message to friends (to be encouraged) those friends can subscribe."</li> </ul> <h3>3. Visibility – how to get noticed</h3> <p>There are two aspects to making your call to action more noticeable. The look (i.e. the size, text size, shape, colour, boldness of the call to action) and the prominence i.e. where, when and how it appears.</p> <p>Things that move, appear with an element of spontaneity or purpose, get in your face or require an action are more likely to get people’s attention (for better or worse).</p> <p>There are a variety of methods for making calls to action stand out on webpages, many of which have been borrowed from the ad business. These include the popup, as above, fly outs, or a widget (like the ones commonly used for inviting feedback).</p> <p>Privy undertook some <a href="https://privy.com/state-of-email-list-growth-2016" target="_blank">research</a> over a six month period between 2015-16, A/B testing different call-to-action techniques for email sign-ups:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Popup:</strong> typically displays in the centre of the web page, or sometimes as "fly outs" in the corner. Conversion rate 1.31% (possibly not helped by the irritation factor).</li> <li> <strong>Bar:</strong> A full width bar that typically sits either on top or at the bottom of the site. Conversion rate 1.34% (possibly too subtle).</li> <li> <strong>Banner:</strong> sits at the top or bottom of a site, but starts in a "hidden" state until triggered, then rolls in to sight. Conversion rate 2.2%.</li> </ul> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6712/t2_email_sign-up_triggers_privy.png" alt="" width="615" height="485"></p> <h3>4. Timing – when to deliver</h3> <p>There are two types of timing that are important to email call to actions. The first type relates to audience targeting and contextual relevance i.e. right offer, right person, right time and right place.</p> <p>A lot can be assumed about a visitor and their intention by their browsing behaviour and the pages they choose to visit and dwell upon.</p> <p>If a shopper browses the sale pages for womens clothes the probability is that they are a woman or are interested in purchasing womens clothes and likes deals. So it’s a good time to entice a signup to receive news of other bargain dresses or be rewarded with an additional 20% discount for doing so.</p> <p>The screenshot below is from <a href="https://www.macys.com/shop/coupons-deals" target="_blank">Macy’s Deals and Promotions</a> page, to the right is a call to action offering a 20% discount off the next purchase to new email or text subscribers.</p> <p>Examples of contextually relevant targeting like this are surprisingly rare in the retail sector. With one key exception, the checkout.</p> <p>The checkout is retailers' favourite time to capture signups, rightfully so. The shopper has clear intention to purchase and is already sharing details, including email address. Signing up here is no harder than ticking a box – or neglecting to untick one (see: Legitimacy below).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6777/macys.png" alt="macy's signup" width="615" height="496"></p> <p>The second form of timing refers to the time a user has spent on the site, on a page, or the expectation of departure. The display of a call to action could be triggered by time, scrolling or a mouse movement towards the exit.</p> <p>Such triggered call to actions are not common in the retail space – popups, when used, by retailers tend to be on the homepage and instantaneous when the visitor arrives on the page.</p> <p>An exception is Gap, pictured below, where the popup appeared to be triggered by mouse movement towards the browser navigational keys after dwelling near the signup section of the page.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6714/t2_email_signup_before_you_go.png" alt="" width="615" height="421"></p> <p>The effectiveness of calls-to-action triggered by either a timer, scrolling or exit intent is far from clear. In fact the Privy research found that visitors were 25 times more likely to subscribe when they triggered the signup form themselves by clicking a tab, than if it was automatically triggered by time, scrolling or exit.</p> <h3>5. Proposition – what is on offer?</h3> <p>People need to be persuaded to sign up to your email marketing program: i.e. they need to know what is in it for them. Blindingly obvious? If so, why don’t more retailers make more of an effort?</p> <p>Privy compared three types of campaign:</p> <p><strong>Sign-up campaigns:</strong> the simple 'join our email list' popup that may mention what the subscriber can expect i.e. specials, offers and announcements, but doesn’t offer any specific incentive. Conversion rate 1%.</p> <p><strong>Offer campaigns:</strong> a give-away campaign that promises a specific promotion code, discount coupon, or exclusive content in exchange for email address. Conversion rate 5%.</p> <p><strong>Enter-to-win campaigns:</strong> at the end of the campaign, or (better) periodically, there will be a sweepstake where a winner or winners will be randomly selected to win a prize. Conversion rate 15%.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6716/t2_email_signup_campaigns.png" alt="" width="615" height="416"></p> <p>But before you dust of that iPad, it’s imperative to remember that with email lists the aim is quality subscribers not quantity.</p> <p>Becca Brennan:</p> <p>"People are less likely to share their email address with an organization if they're not given a reason to do so.</p> <p>"Offer an incentive that's relevant to your subscribers and to your goals:</p> <ul> <li>If your organization hopes to increase sales, it's a great idea to offer a discount to new email subscribers. Something as simple as 10% off an order can encourage people to subscribe, open your mail, and make purchases.</li> <li>Occasional deals exclusive to newsletter subscribers can help nurture signups, loyalty, and repeat business.</li> <li>If the goal is to increase traffic to your site, offer exclusive content for newsletter subscribers.</li> <li>Relevant incentives gather legitimate and active subscribers. Offering a free iPad will get you plenty of subscribers, but those folks aren't going to pay much attention to what you send if they don't win.</li> <li>Offering a discount for your product or a free trial of your service will result in more subscribers who will continue reading your mail and interacting with your brand."</li> </ul> <p>Incentive-led email subscription campaigns are often associated with growing retailers. Examples from bigger retailers include:</p> <ul> <li>Macy’s (pictured above): “Sign up for emails &amp; texts. Be the first to know about sales and events! Plus you’ll get 20% off your next purchase.”</li> <li>Old Navy (pictured below): “Subscribe to Old Navy Emails and take 30% of your purchase.”</li> <li>Gap (pictured above): “Join our email list and hear all the latest (arrivals, deals and more). Plus get 25% off reg. price styles online.”</li> </ul> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6717/t2_email_signup_old_navy.png" alt="" width="615" height="435"></p> <h3>6. Copy</h3> <p>The call to action copy must sell the email. You have to convince the shopper in a few carefully chosen words that this is a) an opportunity not to be missed; b) focused on their needs; and c) not just the same old marketing, salesy email claptrap they get from every other retailer.</p> <p>There isn’t a huge amount of variety or innovation in retail call to actions, here’s a sample, with the more informative first:</p> <ul> <li>Sign up today – receive special offers, sales alerts and coupons – ToysRus</li> <li>Sign up for the latest news, offers and ideas – John Lewis</li> <li>Join our email list. For news, promotions, and more delivered right to your inbox – McDonalds (US)</li> <li>Be the first to save! – Walmart</li> <li>Sign up for ASOS style news – ASOS</li> <li>Sign up for Net-A-Porter news – Net-A-Porter</li> <li>Sign up for daily emails – Saks Fifth Avenue</li> <li>Sign up here for our email newsletter – CVS</li> <li>Sign up to our newsletter – Selfridges</li> <li>Subscribe to newsletter – Primark</li> <li>Get email updates – Nordstrom Rack.</li> </ul> <p>Frankly, people, you know you can all do a lot better. Sell your email like it’s a product.</p> <h3>7. Ease – keep signing up simple</h3> <p>There are two types of retailers.</p> <p><strong>Those that make signups easy:</strong></p> <p>A number of retailers allow people to sign-up by simply entering their email and clicking the submit, signup or go button, direct from webpage footer of a popup, these include Saks Fifth Avenue, ToysRus, Walmart, Nordstrom Rack, John Lewis, McDonalds US and ASOS.</p> <p>ASOS has an interesting twist on the norm, by substituting the submit button for two buttons labelled men and women, so it can introduce basic segmentation of signups while avoiding form filling.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6778/asos.png" alt="asos signup" width="615" height="367"></p> <p><strong>And there are those that make signups harder.</strong></p> <p>Subscribing with these retailers requires clicking through from the homepage popup or footer to a signup form, then filling out numerous fields, some compulsory others optional.</p> <p>Examples include: Top Shop, Nike, McDonald’s UK, Primark, CVS, Macys, Net-A-Porter and Selfridges.</p> <p>A number of these retailers add to the frustration by mimicking the easy signup above, but when the email address is entered it links to a form (with the email form prepopulated), e.g. <a href="http://www.topshop.com/" target="_blank">Top Shop</a> (see screenshot below), <a href="https://www.net-a-porter.com/" target="_blank">Net-A-Porter</a> and <a href="http://www.cvs.com/" target="_blank">CVS</a>.</p> <p><strong><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6719/t2_email_signup_topshop.png" alt="" width="615" height="401"></strong></p> <p><strong>The longer the form the less likely the sign up</strong></p> <p>Colby Cavanaugh recommends reducing "signup friction whenever possible to grow your email audience and reach more potential customers where they already are – their inbox."</p> <p>"On your form, only ask for the information you actually need, like first name and email address. According to our friends at Privy, every field you add will reduce signups by 25%."</p> <p>Ben Jabbawy verifies the stat:</p> <p>"We have seen that if your form has more than just the email field, conversion rates decrease usually by 25% for each additional field. Keep in mind if your offer is strong enough, you can play with additional fields and not see such a drastic decrease."</p> <p>Of course, there's a trade off in that you'll have less information about the user, but this can be gained throughout the customer's email lifecycle.</p> <h3>8. Legitimacy – let the customer opt in</h3> <p>There are three elements to email signup legitimacy:</p> <ul> <li>The success of an email list is not the number of people that signup but the quality of those subscribers, i.e. the number of people on the list who a) want to be there (for the right reasons) and b) are likely to turn into loyal and profitable customers.</li> <li>Sending emails to people who did not sign up and/or did not expect or want to receive emails of this nature from your brand, is dangerous for a) brand reputation, b) customer loyalty, c) being marked as a spammer by ISPs, d) legal reasons.</li> <li>The customer should always feel that they are in control of the relationship with the brand.</li> </ul> <p>There are a number of situations where companies may email people who have not explicitly and actively opted in to receive them. This includes the implied opt-in, where a person has given their email when making a purchase or in order to download a piece of content; and they passively opt-in via a ready ticked check box, regularly found at retailer checkouts.</p> <p>We will take an in-depth look at these areas in a subsequent post but the forthcoming <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69119-gdpr-needn-t-be-a-bombshell-for-customer-focused-marketers/">GDPR</a> will do more to outlaw these dubious practices.</p> <h3>9. Clarity – what will be received and how often</h3> <p>Colby Cavanaugh:</p> <p>"Be sure to set clear expectations for the type and frequency of emails new subscribers will receive; this will help reduce opt-outs in the future."</p> <p>Only one of the retailers mentioned in this article gives an indication of how many emails will be sent - Saks Fifth Avenue with its “Sign up for daily emails” call to action.</p> <p>As can be seen from the sample call-to-action messages above, few retailers set any expectation about the nature of the emails – using fluffy terms like newsletter, news, updates. The best subscribers get is “receive special offers, sales alerts and coupons” from ToysRus.</p> <h3>10. Testing – never stop testing and measuring results</h3> <p>The only way to improve the impact of email call to actions is to test different methods, placements, timing, copy, campaigns and so on. Aggregated results from industry surveys and studies such as Privy’s all help to inform what you should test, not what you should implement.</p> <p>A good way to do this is by A/B testing i.e. showing an alternative version of a webpage to one group of visitors, with a single change to the call to action, while the control group sees the original version. Measure and track the results using web analytics and behavioural tools such as heatmaps. </p> <p>Becca Brennan: "A/B testing can be a great way to determine effectiveness of various methods. Depending on who you're marketing to, different audiences will react to different methods." </p> <p>Stay tuned for the next installment on email sign-up legitimacy and opt-in best practice.</p> <p><em><strong>Remember, Econsultancy subscribers can download our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-fundamentals-of-email-marketing/">Fundamentals of Email Marketing</a> report.</strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69099 2017-05-22T11:00:00+01:00 2017-05-22T11:00:00+01:00 A day in the life of... Head of Product at a behavioural marketing company Ben Davis <h4> <em>Econsultancy:</em> Please describe your job: What do you do?</h4> <p><em>Michael Barber: </em>I’m Head of Product at SaleCycle. SaleCycle is a global leader in <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66468-what-is-behavioural-marketing-and-why-do-you-need-it/">behavioural marketing</a>. We work with some of the world’s leading ecommerce brands; IKEA, Ralph Lauren, Virgin Atlantic, Panasonic, French Connection to name but a few.</p> <p>Basically I’m responsible for product management, portfolio management, commercial decisions, strategy and a whole other list of buzzwords. I’m responsible for the future direction of SaleCycle’s products and to do that I try and blend some operational management with longer term planning.</p> <p><strong><em>E:</em> Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?</strong></p> <p><em>MB</em>: I report directly to the CEO/Founder of SaleCycle. I meet with him and our CTO once a week as part of our technology and product management process. When we meet we look at a wide range of topics and subject matters from AI to wearable tech to complex data questions. It's a fairly broad process but we give a lot of focus to the research side of R&amp;D.</p> <p><strong><em>E:</em> What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?</strong></p> <p><em>MB</em>: My background is in strategic marketing, I’m a chartered marketer. Aside from that I’m a bit of a geek and have worked in digital marketing roles in technology companies for the last 12 years. So outside of the strategic experience in brand and proposition building and product management, my other set of skills are digital marketing; analytics, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/email-census/">email marketing</a>, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/paid-search-marketing-ppc-best-practice-guide/">paid search</a>, ecommerce, social media and web development.</p> <p><strong><em>E</em>: Tell us about a typical working day…</strong></p> <p><em>MB:</em> No two days at SaleCycle are the same really, so nothing is really that typical. As a company, we have a blend of agency-style work and working on our software and technology, so I get the best of both worlds.</p> <p>On the agency side I work with a lot of our larger clients on projects and pitches/opportunities. On the technology side, I can be working with our engineers to solve complex problems or with the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68621-ux-in-2017-what-do-the-experts-predict/">UX</a> team working on our interface.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6206/Michael.Barber.jpg" alt="michael barber" width="615"></p> <p><em>Michael Barber, Salecycle</em></p> <p><strong><em>E</em>: What do you love about your job? What sucks?</strong></p> <p><em>MB</em>: Overall I love my job because I get to design the kind of products I would have bought in my previous jobs. Specifically I love the analytics side; we collect and store data for the brands I mentioned earlier.</p> <p>To help us build out features we work closely with clients to really understand what's happening on their website and take a real deep dive into the data. One retailer I worked with looked at all of the abandonment rates for their different products, we examined the ratio of sales per product, looked at the profiles of visitors who bought vs. those who abandoned. This analysis helped us develop new features where we target abandoning visitors differently by product category, price and name, real granular level <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68466-could-ai-kill-off-the-conversion-optimisation-consultant/">conversion optimisation</a>.</p> <p>I could write for hours about more of the stuff I love such as working on new features or products and analysing their performance or integrations with admired third parties such as Trustpilot or Google Tag Manager. But let's leave it as there's lots I love about my job.</p> <p>Not much really sucks. Sometimes when new features we're testing don't work quite as expected it can be a bit deflating but we are really agile as a business and 'everyday's a school day' so what we learn we apply next time and go again quickly.</p> <p><strong><em>E</em>: What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?</strong></p> <p><em>MB:</em> My main goals are to develop the strategy for our product portfolio, the measurement is the growth of our business. We've won national and international awards for how successful our growth has been and I'm lucky to be part of a great team that all focuses on that.</p> <p>The growth piece is important because that's what lets us go and hire more great and talented people who can build products that deliver results for our clients. </p> <p>I also work closely with our head of client services. A few years ago I suggested we use Net Promoter (NPS) to measure clients' satisfaction. For my role it's a key metric, but again I'm lucky because our scores are always awesome so in the rare occasion there's feedback about how our products could be improved then I get to use the detail in that measurement to justify changes. </p> <p><strong><em>E</em>: What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?</strong></p> <p><em>MB</em>: My current favourite is not a tool I use so much, but our product design manager uses Adobe XD and that allows us to build working prototypes of our interface that we can show to our clients and garner their feedback. I used to use a similar product called Balsamiq that lets you easily wireframe websites and software interfaces but Adobe XD has taken it to a new level if, like our team, you have amazing design skills.</p> <p>For managing our projects and product feature requirements we use Trello and Jira. Both great tools. For team communication we use Slack.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6209/virgin_atlantic.jpg" alt="virgin atlantic email capture" width="615"></p> <p><em>Virgin Atlantic email capture</em></p> <p><strong><em>E</em>: How did you get started in the digital industry, and where might you go from here?</strong></p> <p><em>MB:</em> I started my marketing career in a FTSE 100 company. I had a background in IT and in about 2005 the team I worked in started its first ever PPC campaign. I was asked to write the ads content and work with our then media agency to start experimenting with less above-the-line media and start looking at this "Google' thing.</p> <p>After that I worked in a number of roles with different responsibilities such as the company's email marketing programs. I've worked on affiliate programs for the software industry and done quite a lot of consulting on CRM for some of the UK's largest brands. </p> <p>My current ambition is to grow SaleCycle to the same size of revenue and client base as some of the global providers in display advertising. After that I'd like to get into a new technology vertical, having previously worked in business software and now martech, something like healthcare tech seems appealing.</p> <p><strong><em>E</em>: Which brands do you think are doing behavioural marketing well?</strong> </p> <p><em>MB: </em>I'm pretty biased but brands that I work closely with like Tommy Hilfiger and Virgin Atlantic do a great job on the behavioural side.</p> <p><strong><em>E</em>: Do you have any advice for people who want to work in the digital industry?</strong></p> <p><em>MB:</em> Keep learning. I read a lot about the industry from great publications like Econsultancy (cheque is in the post, right?) But also a lot of books on business and creativity. I'm currently reading <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Hunting-Killer-Idea-Nick-McFarlane/dp/1908211342">Hunting the Killer Idea</a>, a book about how to breed creativity.</p> <p>The only other advice I would give would be to try your hand at as much as possible. I worked in search marketing and come back to it time and time again. In 2007 I was a social media ambassador for the large company I worked for and I still remember how to write social media guidelines, how to write an influencer strategy. I'm all for specialism but I feel I benefit from a really broad range of experiences.</p> <p>Also numerical skills and being good with data is important. A Gartner research director told me the biggest challenge facing CMO's from the Fortune 500 companies was finding professionals who could execute great digital marketing who had great data analytical skills. That's stuck with me which is why I always keep trying to improve mine.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69065 2017-05-10T13:30:00+01:00 2017-05-10T13:30:00+01:00 Five advanced data and segmentation tactics for marketing and sales Jordie van Rijn <p>How can marketing effectively play a bigger role in qualifying the leads that are passed on to sales? By scoring those leads and using segmentation.</p> <p>However, one of the key <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69015-three-key-findings-from-the-2017-email-marketing-census/">findings of the email marketing census</a> this year is that advanced segmentation at scale remains elusive for many businesses. While 78% of senders are doing basic segmentation, only one-third are doing advanced segmentation.</p> <p>As far as leading scoring, 29% are scoring their leads while another 25% are only in the planning stages.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5928/segmentation-email-census.png" alt="" width="573" height="353"></p> <p>Segmentation is an effective marketing and sales tactic. One could say that lead scoring is segmentation - we divide our contacts into groups based on their lead score.</p> <p>How can we use segmentation and customer data to bridge the qualification gap and identify the ideal next action? Here are five tips.</p> <h3>1. Set up a segmentation model based on the end result</h3> <p>Segmentation is of little use if you don’t use it. And the best way to use it is to be strategic about it, by starting with the end when you set up your segmentation model.</p> <p>Determine what you want your marketing campaigns to accomplish and work backwards from those goals. When your goal is re-activating lapsed customers, for instance, think about which segments are high value. This means “save-able” versus simply “lost and good riddance”. Then look at which are likely to churn. That might seem like a crude approach, but now you have a starting point from which to gather the data during the relationship to get the segmentation and timing right.</p> <h3>2. Identify the funnel stage</h3> <p>Ask leads where they are in the buying process. A newsletter registration is a good time to do so. For example, a car dealership should always ask about the timeframe within which someone is planning to buy. This helps you gauge how far they <a href="https://blog.pipedrive.com/2017/04/customer-journey-sales-success/">are down the sales funnel and customer journey</a>. You can then match up your actions and content with that stage.</p><p>This also helps you use your content more effectively. Review your assets and ask, in which buying stage does this particular piece of content sit? To which prospects does it appeal and how can it help move him or her to the next stage? That sounds like an advanced tactic, but realize it can be a filter for your lead scoring: you know whom should get an offer for a test-drive vs. a brochure vs. someone who should get a call within a few days.</p> <p>This tactic also helps a company become intentional about messaging, reserving the more costly forms of contact for the higher value and hotter prospects. In situations where a lead is identified as “hot” and “high value,” you might even consider <a href="https://blog.leadfeeder.com/best-sales-follow-up-techniques-emails/">manually writing follow-up emails</a>, as opposed to automating them. The personal touch can go a long way, and your leads will feel the difference.</p> <h3>3. Know one bit of data says a lot about another</h3> <p>Psychographics tell you about lifestyle, interests, opinions, etc., but remember that one piece of data can hold a lot of information about all of those. You can safely assume that a 65-year-old engineer will have very different interests and need for knowledge than an office manager who is just starting out. That means you can derive some information from data you already have.</p> <p>As an example, consider the home address as a data point. You can deduct a lot from an address, such as income level, life stage, climate and weather, and even if they will potentially be interested in what you’re selling. From what I call the <a href="http://www.emailmonday.com/smart-email-marketing-segmentation-the-art-of" target="_blank">pillars of segmentation</a>, a home address has a predictive power to inform information in demographics, psychographics and even behavioral information (like benefits sought or usage intensity).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5931/pillars-emailmonday.jpg" alt=""></p> <h3>4. Be wary of self-reported data</h3> <p>Although it seems like it should be 100% factual, data doesn’t always offer absolute truths, especially for self-reported preference data. If you ask for brand preferences, customers will often point towards the more luxurious brands or ones <em>they like but won’t buy</em>. When buying time comes, they will still go for the economical brand. They like the pizza from that fancy little family owned restaurant, yet they buy the frozen stuff instead.</p> <p>People will tell you one thing, then go do another. Do they simply change their minds? No, they are simply doing what people do. We can blame part of it on flawed self-assessment and what is called the “<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illusory_superiority#Driving_ability" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">above average effect</a>”. For example, a study found that 93% of US drivers rated themselves as better than the average driver. (If you’ve ever driven in the US, you know this can’t possibly be true.) It is human nature to perceive ourselves as the better version of ourselves.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5932/better-than-average.jpg" alt=""></p> <p>So ask your questions wisely. One way to improve is to ask about a customer’s buying or past behavior instead of preferences. A combination of data points will always give you a more accurate view. You can also test how accurate the self-reported brand preferences are. Look at your own database and where self-reported preferences and behavior overlap or contradict.</p> <h3>5. Make sure you can identify your audience across multiple touchpoints.</h3> <p>I know omni-channel is the hot term, but every time I see a 360-degree-customer-view presentation or blog post, a cynical part of me thinks, “Yeah, lame”. Those blogs and presentations seem to be made to make marketers feel bad about their data silos.</p> <p>Software vendors and consultants state, “the industry is doing so bad” and push (a part of) their audiences into a fantasy-state using case studies. The reality is, there is no such thing as a 360 degree customer view. It can be at most 180 degrees, as it will only be the part that customers are letting you see.</p><p>Practical marketers will piece together customer behavior across multiple points to get the biggest possible view. Your email marketing, website, search engine advertising, social marketing, in-store promotions, etc. can all be brought together, allowing you to gather more information across those touchpoints as well as do segmentation at those touchpoints.</p> <p>An identifier like a home address, email, customer number or browser cookie can tie it together. In fact, an email address works well as a universal ID, as email software systems can tie the email address to site behavior for you automatically. The software can carry over the ID from the email you sent through a click-through to the website.</p> <p>A practical use is retargeting in search advertising (often found very effective). These systems can even store anonymous profiles of website behavior and later tie them together. If all of that is done in real-time, it is fancily called a <a href="http://www.emailvendorselection.com/why-a-customer-data-platform-cdp-will-be-the-next-evolution-of-your-marketing-automation/" target="_blank">customer data platform</a>, a fairly new term and something every marketer should read up on.</p> <h3>Conclusion</h3> <p>With marketing being pulled into what used to be the domain of sales, it is a challenge to pass over quality leads to sales and generate the content or offer on the spot.</p> <p>However, if you can start with the end in mind, identify the funnel stage, make sure to use the hidden information in your data set, trust the data you know to be true, and create a bigger picture view of each customer, you will be well on your way to bridging that prospect knowledge gap.</p> <p><em><strong>Now read:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68431-how-to-combine-attribution-and-segmentation-data-to-achieve-marketing-success/">How to combine attribution and segmentation data to achieve marketing success</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68943 2017-04-05T10:00:00+01:00 2017-04-05T10:00:00+01:00 Five tips to maximize your mailing list signups Patricio Robles <h4>Include a signup form on every page</h4> <p>One of the most effective ways to drive mailing list subscriptions is to invite users to subscribe on as frequent a basis as possible. A dead simple way to do this is to include a signup form on every page of your website.</p> <p>Location can vary; some sites feature signup forms in headers, sidebars or in the middle of page content, while others place them less conspicuously in page footers. Obviously, the more prominent the positioning, the more likely it is that users will see the form, so as a general rule, footer signup forms don't work as well.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5071/nytimes.png" alt="" width="339" height="377"></p> <p><em>The New York Times includes signup forms for its email newsletters in article content.</em></p> <h4>Make sure the call-to-action is descriptive if not compelling</h4> <p>The appeal of signing up to your mailing list might be obvious to you, but is it obvious to your users? A compelling call-to-action is an incredibly important factor in driving mailing list signups, but far too many companies still use weak calls-to-action like "sign up for our email list."</p> <p>Calls-to-action should always describe the value provided. For example, "sign up for our email list to receive exclusive offers" or "sign up for our mailing list and get early access to special events" is a reasonably strong call-to-action.</p> <p>High-end retailer Barneys New York might have a well-known brand, but its call-to-action on the email signup form below leaves a lot to be desired.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5073/barneys.png" alt="" width="368" height="273"></p> <p>In some cases, it can be worthwhile to employ calls-to-action that encourage users to subscribe with a direct incentive. For instance, some retailers offer the promise of a coupon in exchange for a signup ("sign up for our email list and receive 25% off your next order").</p> <p>Incentive-based calls-to-action can be incredibly effective, but it's worth monitoring retention of the segment of subscribers who signed up for an incentive to ensure that the incentive is driving quality signups.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5075/bloomingdales.png" alt="" width="382" height="440"></p> <p><em>Bloomingdale's describes why shoppers should hand over their email addresses, and offers them an incentive.</em></p> <h4>Avoid the dreaded popup</h4> <p>Most users agree: popups are annoying. So don't be lazy: if you can avoid using them, do it. Enough said.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/5070/bostonglobe-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="335"></p> <p><em>No-no: the Boston Globe wastes no time displaying pop-ups.</em></p> <h4>If you use the dreaded popup, do it right</h4> <p>To be fair, popups, however annoying, can be effective, which explains why they're still in use despite the fact that they're widely panned. But if you're going to use them, be smart about how you use them. The timing and associated value proposition both need to be right.</p> <p>Many publishers, for instance, hit users with a popup the minute they land on an article page after clicking on a link shared on social media or found through a Google search. This is bad form and generally not very effective in large part because it disrupts the user experience before it even begins. Additionally, in cases where the user is not familiar with the publisher or not a loyal reader, the publisher is asking the user to give up something of value (his or her email address) before the publisher has delivered any value to the user.</p> <p>A better approach is to employ popups based on behavior. For instance, a publisher might display a popup to a user who has read multiple articles across one or more sessions. Or, a publisher that limits users to a set number of free articles each month could give users who have hit the limit access to an additional article if they subscribe to its mailing list.</p> <h4>Use transactional emails</h4> <p>Transactional emails offer great opportunities to convince individuals to subscribe to your mailing list, but they're often under-utilized. For example, retailers frequently invite customers to subscribe to their mailing lists as part of the checkout process. There are a number of reasons that customers don't, but that doesn't mean that they should give up. Instead, transactional emails, such as order confirmations and shipping notifications, are the perfect place to include additional invitations to sign up. </p> <p>The great thing about transactional email calls-to-action is that you will likely have more information about the customer that can be used to more effectively encourage a signup. For instance, a retailer might incentivize a signup with a coupon offering a higher-than-normal discount if a customer placed an order that was well above its average order value.</p> <p><em><strong>For more advice on email best practice:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67872-email-newsletter-sign-ups-how-fashion-brands-welcome-new-subscribers/">Email newsletter signups: How fashion brands welcome new subscribers</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-fundamentals-of-email-marketing/">The Fundamentals of Email Marketing</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3234 2017-03-28T13:11:06+01:00 2017-03-28T13:11:06+01:00 Marketing Automation <p dir="ltr">Align sales with marketing, generate and nurture leads and increase response rates. Marketing Automation (MA) is a growing area of digital that offers big potential for increasing revenue and our training course provide the tools to take advantage of it effectively.</p> <p dir="ltr">You will learn how to match your strategic marketing, demand generation and customer journey with a clear campaign and long term nurture process. </p> <p dir="ltr">No matter if it's your first step, optimising your current platform, or looking to reassess your current goals, this course will help you set clear objectives, to automate and optimise your marketing for maximum success.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3233 2017-03-28T13:10:22+01:00 2017-03-28T13:10:22+01:00 Marketing Automation <p dir="ltr">Align sales with marketing, generate and nurture leads and increase response rates. Marketing Automation (MA) is a growing area of digital that offers big potential for increasing revenue and our training course provide the tools to take advantage of it effectively.</p> <p dir="ltr">You will learn how to match your strategic marketing, demand generation and customer journey with a clear campaign and long term nurture process. </p> <p dir="ltr">No matter if it's your first step, optimising your current platform, or looking to reassess your current goals, this course will help you set clear objectives, to automate and optimise your marketing for maximum success.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68933 2017-03-28T11:43:51+01:00 2017-03-28T11:43:51+01:00 A day in the life of... a data scientist in an AI company Ben Davis <p>Phrasee also happens to be one of the sponsors of <a style="font-weight: normal;" href="http://conferences.marketingweek.com/supercharged">Supercharged</a>, a July 2017 event from Econsultancy which looks at exciting new AI technology in marketing. Do check it out.</p> <h4> <em>Econsultancy:</em> Neil, please describe your job.</h4> <p><em>Neil Yager:</em> My role is at Phrasee is lead 'data scientist'. This is a job that has only existed (at least with its own name) for a few years. A data scientist is someone who knows more statistics than a software engineer, but with more software experience than a statistician.</p> <p>In my case, I’d add ‘research skills’ to the job spec. To me, research is systematically finding answers to problems that don’t have a known solution.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4999/yager.jpg" alt="neil yager" width="300" height="312"></p> <h4> <em>E:</em> Whereabouts do you sit in your organisation?</h4> <p><em>NY:</em> I’m one of Phrasee’s co-founders and work closely with the other founders CEO Parry Malm, our COO Victoria Peppiatt, along with our global team of developers, data scientists, and computational linguists.</p> <p>Together we develop the present, and map out the future, of Phrasee’s technology.</p> <h4> <em>E: </em>What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?</h4> <p><em>NY: </em>It is important to be ruthlessly analytical and data driven. I’m hesitant to take any action if I don’t feel there is enough evidence to support it. This applies to technical problems, but also to high-level business decisions.</p> <p>At times this can make me a frustrating person to work with. However, Parry and Victoria are patient and somehow manage to put up with me.</p> <h4> <em>E: </em>Tell us about a typical working day…</h4> <p><em>NY: </em>There isn’t really a typical day. I spend some days designing and tweaking machine learning models, sometimes I’m doing more traditional software development, and other days I spend reading academic papers to catch up on the latest developments in the field.</p> <p>A lot of my time is spent thinking about stuff. It’s hard to explain what that tangibly is. In a previous role I was an inventor, and my job was to think of things no one had ever thought of before. Ever since then I’ve been pretty happy to stare into space and come up with new ideas. It’s these moments that really drive our innovation.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5000/Le_penseur_de_la_Porte_de_lEnfer__muse_e_Rodin___4528252054_.jpg" alt="thinker" width="500" height="333"></p> <p><em>Image via Jean-Pierre Dalbéra - <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24671002">Le penseur de la Porte de l'Enfer</a>.</em></p> <h4> <em>E: </em>What do you love about your job? What sucks?</h4> <p><em>NY: </em>I love being at the cutting edge of technology. Some of the techniques we are using now didn’t even exist when we founded Phrasee a few years ago. This is a very exciting time for AI and especially for natural language generation. </p> <p>On the down side, I work remotely (from Canada). Most of the time this works well since it allows me to bury myself in a problem and focus without interruption. However, there are times when I miss Phrasee’s legendary office banter and shenanigans. </p> <p>Overall, I think being remote is a benefit. A lot of my job involves experimenting, analysing results and whatnot. So I’ll speak to HQ in London at 8am my time, and by the time they wake up the next morning, I’ll have had a full day to come up with ideas and solutions.</p> <h4> <em>E: </em>What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?</h4> <p><em>NY: </em>Ultimately, Phrasee’s success is our client’s success. Our goal is to help them to get a greater ROI from their marketing budget.</p> <p>This is a double-edged sword. If our product is working, our clients immediately see an increase in revenue. However, if our product isn’t working, there is nowhere to hide. Therefore, my performance as Chief Scientist is tightly pegged to our customer’s results.</p> <p>My personal goals are to use AI to do things people never thought possible. If you had asked me five years ago if AI could write better subject lines than humans, I’d have called you crazy! But here we are... and that’s what ultimately motivates me.</p> <p><em>An intro to Phrasee</em></p> <p><iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/138874258" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <h4> <em>E: </em>What are your favourite tools to help you get the job done?</h4> <p><em>NY: </em>There is a programming language called Python that we use very heavily. We use this for natural language processing, server-side scripting, training AI neural networks, web frameworks, data visualisation, and much more.</p> <p>Python is powerful, but is also a very graceful language that is easy to pick up. For anyone interested in dabbling in data science, I highly recommend doing some <a href="https://www.coursera.org/courses?languages=en&amp;query=python">free online Python tutorials</a>.</p> <h4> <em>E: </em>How did you get started in the digital industry?</h4> <p><em>NY: </em>Prior to Phrasee I was working in computer vision, which was also the focus of my PhD research. I had no experience in the digital marketing area. Therefore, the story of how I got involved in the industry is the story of how I got involved with Phrasee.</p> <p>To set the scene, AI and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67384-how-machine-learning-is-changing-online-retail-for-good/">machine learning</a> have been red hot for a few years now. Researchers with a strong background in these areas are in high demand and short supply. Therefore, I’m constantly approached by people with half-baked ideas for new startups. Normally, the pitch is along the lines of “Hey, I’ve got this great idea. It’s going to be huge! You can run with it and give me a cut.” </p> <p>Phrasee’s CEO Parry is an old friend from university. His pitch was different. He said “I know this problem exists in the industry. If you can solve it, I can sell it.” He was unorthodox (to say the least), but he was driven, well-connected, and clearly brilliant.</p> <p>When he introduced me to COO Victoria there was no doubt left in my mind. She has a remarkable ability to take a grand vision and make it a reality. I knew Parry and I alone would never get off the ground without Vic. The rest is history.</p> <p>At first, I thought my lack of digital marketing knowledge was going to be a bad thing – but it’s turned out to be one of our best assets.</p> <p>I don’t have any preconceived ideas about what’s good and what’s bad. So when my co-founders said, “We think X,” I could say, “Well, what about Y?” It’s this status quo challenging that’s allowed us to continuously innovate.</p> <h4> <em>E: </em>Do you have any advice for people who want to work in AI?</h4> <p><em>NY: </em>From Phrasee’s perspective, AI is a set of tools that can be used to solve specific business challenges. This is a broad definition, and there are multiple entry points for those who are interested in the area.</p> <p>To do AI research and development you need a very specific skill set, honed through both academic and industry pursuits. For example, I completed a PhD in in the area and have worked in AI commercially for many years.</p> <p>This doesn’t exclude non-scientists though! AI companies are going concerns and there are many different ways to get involved. For example, language generation and understanding is a core research area of AI. Therefore, at Phrasee we have computational linguists who help develop this technology.</p> <p>Also, we have sales people, customer success colleagues, and heck, we even have HR and an accountant. As far as I’m concerned, all of these people work in AI. </p> <p>We are constantly hiring people who have AI skill sets, but also those who have other skill sets. AI, believe it or not, is only as good as the people driving it. </p> <p><strong><em>If you're looking for a new position in marketing, advertising or ecommerce - why not check out the <a href="https://jobs.econsultancy.com/">Econsultancy jobs board</a>.</em></strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3231 2017-03-21T16:51:04+00:00 2017-03-21T16:51:04+00:00 Email Marketing - Advanced <p>Give your email campaigns an injection of fresh thinking in this fantastic email marketing workshop.</p> <p>You’ll gain advanced, strategic email marketing training and get the opportunity to have your email campaigns reviewed by an industry expert who will provide practical tips for improvement.</p> <p>Strictly limited to 10 places, the workshop allows for plenty of interaction and you’ll be able to bounce ideas off other experienced marketers.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3229 2017-03-21T16:48:41+00:00 2017-03-21T16:48:41+00:00 Email Marketing - Advanced <p>Give your email campaigns an injection of fresh thinking in this fantastic email marketing workshop.</p> <p>You’ll gain advanced, strategic email marketing training and get the opportunity to have your email campaigns reviewed by an industry expert who will provide practical tips for improvement.</p> <p>Strictly limited to 10 places, the workshop allows for plenty of interaction and you’ll be able to bounce ideas off other experienced marketers.</p>