email marketing evolution

The Evolution of Email Marketing: Navigating a Reputation-Centric World

The days of using physical mail tactics in the marketing space have all but passed. Modern means of protecting privacy mean that several time-honored tactics are now less effective, if not obsolete. Compared to direct mail or physical mail (p-mail), email represents an inexpensive way for a business to reach consumers. Sounds great, right? The low cost and the adoption of email as a communication standard meant a vast number of recipients could be reached with little capital investment. This caused a flood of messages, both benevolent and malignant, to flow. Yet, because of those malicious actors, providers have enacted measures which result in the complex reality of modern email marketing.

Consider the local restaurant that markets their product by going to surrounding neighborhoods and putting menus in mailboxes. If ads convert enough, they create profit for the business and enough profit means the campaign was a success. The internet made the “neighborhood” the entire world and ambitious businesses cast nets far and wide in a “more is more” philosophy. In those early days, if an address became known, it could become the target of any business – whether desired or not.

It was the malicious and undesired intrusions into the inbox that caused providers to take steps to empower their subscribers with tools like one click unsubscribe or “mark as spam” buttons. Businesses who adapted to these empowered recipients continued to enjoy success, while businesses who still adhered to the “more is more” tactic found themselves blocked, bulked, or otherwise not delivered.

Successful businesses had begun to engage the user in more meaningful ways than ever before. They started to collect data to sculpt offers relevant to the recipient’s history and, as that information became more of a commodity, transactions occurred involving it. Targeted analytics became prevalent and, again, consumers sought ways to protect what they deemed to be their private information. Regulatory bodies are now striving to meet that demand from consumers and legislation such as CASL, GDPR, and CCPA are proposed remedies. The impact of those measures remains to be seen as laws come into force but some businesses have felt the impact of those first policies already.

The modern consumer has more control in their hands than ever before, so if a business wants to reach them, they must engage them meaningfully. Businesses must treat consumer relationships more personally and consider the recipient’s desires in ways that the restaurateur putting menus in a mailbox never had to.

Businesses engage firms and email service providers to help broadcast their message but, fundamentally, all successful campaigns share some common characteristics. First, those campaigns demonstrate revised understanding of consent. The new understanding is that consent should be affirmative and informed. Put in terms of email, this means that a business should first clearly tell a recipient who they are receiving an message from. Frequently, this includes the “from” address as well to enable the recipient to recognize it as legitimate when it arrives in the inbox. In addition, stating when mail will arrive helps the recipient assess mail when it arrives and has a secondary impact that, should mail be mishandled by the provider, the recipient can note it as overdue and look for it. When they find it, their open, click, or marking it “not spam” will help future sends arrive.

So, let’s say that that same local restaurateur now engages in a digital campaign. The restaurant now signs up customers at check out to receive coupon emails. When the customer signs up, they are told to look for an email with a valuable coupon arriving in the next 24 hours. The recipient, enjoying the product, wants that coupon and will look for it (should it not arrive on time). In this instance, the clear statements of what will be sent and when it will be sent serve as prompts from the business to engage with sent mail – all of which providers react favorably to. Once the consumer consents to being sent emails, the business should affirm that consent in a follow up. This helps avoid pitfalls such as unclear language at opt in or typographical errors at the point of contact. It also serves to mitigate the risk of complaint. This is the starting point of nearly every interaction. “May I?” “Yes, you may.”

Secondly, successful campaigns strive to induce engagement with the mail sent recipients. Mail providers today have begun to adopt signs of engagement (i.e. opens, clicks, scroll, etc.) as viable metrics in determining if an email is wanted or unwanted. Once consent has been given, if mail that follows is unexpected or out of line with what the recipient thought was going to be send, that can lead to complaint. If “valuable coupons” the restaurateur was supposed to send turn out to be marketing for a new dish with no coupon, the recipient will feel cheated. At best, they’ll unsubscribe and at worst, they will complain. Sending content that is in line with the permission granted will reinforce the positive status a sender.

These elements of the recipient experience along with technical setup aggregate into a reputation for the sender with a mail provider. Reputation is an expression of the level of trust in the relationship a sender has set up with subscribers of a mail provider. The more recipients trust a sender’s mail and give positive feedback (i.e. open, click, scroll, etc.), the less mail providers are inclined to bulk, block, or delay that sender’s mail.

Because of its aggregate nature, reputation can be murky for senders. Each mail provider conceals the exact measures by which they rate reputation because, were they to be known, malicious actors could use that knowledge to circumvent those protections and arrive unsolicited in the inbox. The Deliverability specialists at Mapp are able to help senders navigate this ever changing landscape by being a part of the industry, technical expertise, and outreach to stay on top of issues that impact email campaign success.

Wrap up

When the intention of an email send out is to generate a campaign with the most successful results possible, senders who take time to consider these elements in the entire lifecycle of a lead find that the relationship suffers in the absence of consent and engagement not only with recipients they target but mail providers as well. The more a business strives to manage the relationship with their consumers, the more meaningful the relationship becomes and the more data is given freely on account of trust – which yields more targeted and effective campaigns.

What Do CMO’s Demand From MarTech in 2019?

As a senior marketing executive, do you believe you’re delivering the best customer experience at every brand touch point? The movement towards digital transformation was supposed to improve the customer experience. But in a new report being published this month, a team of researchers from Forrester Research, Inc. found that “too many CMOs focus on short-term ROI driven decisions. Their teams lack the data and technology skills required to orchestrate the digital delivery of the brand promise.”

Guest speaker, Thomas Husson, VP and Principal Analyst from Forrester Research, and Steven Warren, CEO of Mapp Digital, break down five challenges senior marketing executives in companies of all sizes will face in 2019. Watch the replay of “2019 Predictions: What CMOs Demand from MarTech This Year”.

 

The webinar covers how to:
  1. Drive customer-centricity
  2. Improve your team’s use of data and analytics
  3. Align brand promise with customer experience
  4. Orchestrate channel growth
  5. Improve personalization capabilities

Overcome these obstacles and make 2019 the year you drive your company’s digital delivery. What are you demanding from MarTech this year?

mapp cloud digital marketing platform

New Year, New Mapp

Have you seen it already? We unveiled Mapp’s new brand this week!

With striking new colors, bold taglines, and a rebellious sheep as our mascot, we are relaunching Mapp Cloud as a rad digital marketing platform for companies that want to break away from the pack.

Watch our new video to learn what that really means:

 

With Mapp Cloud, you can then “break away” from your competition by running smarter campaigns that draw from unified customer data – from one simple platform. In case you didn’t see last year’s buzz, we transformed our data architecture into a customer data platform (CDP) to enable this data-driven marketing.

Get caught up with the full press release here: https://prn.to/2QB5PlJ

Are you ready to break away from the pack this year? If the answer is yes, request a demo!
Mapp's new products 2018

Mapp’s Top 10 Product Developments of 2018

Last year was a busy one for Mapp, so we rounded up Mapp Cloud’s top 10 product developments of 2018. Market smarter in 2019 with these new features:

1. Our native customer data platform (CDP) underlying Mapp Cloud

Behind the scenes this past year Mapp has been changing the data infrastructure to allow customers to unify disparate data and dramatically improve marketing execution. Here are a few exciting performance improvements that came as a result:

Marketers, we get your need for speed!

2. The Subject Line Optimizer

A game-changer in email marketing: Mapp can now score subject lines against email distribution lists before send out with the help of machine learning. You are now able to craft subject lines that will statistically drive higher open rates.

subject line optimization

3. Blazing fast segmentation

Mapp’s new Segmentation Builder fetches, calculates, and processes your target audience in the blink of an eye. The simple-to-use, drag-and-drop interface gives real-time counts for even the most complex cross-table criteria.

4. Automated customer journey campaigns

Mapp’s new Whiteboard allows you to design, schedule, and automate cross-channel campaigns with unlimited journey paths. Trigger personalized messages in response to real-time engagement, even based on activity in your mobile app. Whiteboard’s easy-to-use interface provides campaign visuals and performance statistics, such as the number of customers that followed each path or fulfilled a specific goal. Watch this short webinar to learn more.

Mapp Whiteboard

5. More SMS capabilities

Did you know that 50% of consumers make direct purchases after receiving an SMS, QR code, or discount coupon? Mapp continues to add more SMS providers around the world to offer the best connectivity and most exciting mobile engagements at the lowest cost possible. Expand your reach to customers on the go!

6. In-app marketing included in Mapp’s whiteboard

Display in-app messages while customers are using your app. You can also draw them back into the app with meaningful push notifications. Integration with Mapp’s Whiteboard allows marketers to automate cross-channel messages based on app behavior. Pretty cool! Learn more about mobile marketing with Mapp here.

7. Sophisticated lookalike audience builder

Creating retargeting campaigns using Mapp’s data management platform (DMP) has never been easier. Enhancements to Audience Builder allow you to add or remove contacts based on sophisticated behavioral logic, at the moment of purchase, or after specific event triggers – saving you from wasted ad spend.

Mapp Lookalike Audience

8. Cross-channel reporting

Mapp’s Campaign Reporting delivers a unified, near-real-time view of cross-channel campaign performance, which helps to drive faster and more informed decision-making. No more excuses – how many cross-channel campaigns are you running next year?

9. Content Management 2.0

Mapp gives users full control over the creation and customization of emails, subscribe & unsubscribe forms, and microsites with the WYSIWYG editor and drag-and-drop functionality. Current customers are reporting they only need half the time to create email campaigns now.

 Mapp Email Template

10. New data security certifications – you can trust Mapp Cloud with yours!

We are proud to announce that Mapp is ISO 27001 and 27018 certified, which means that we meet the high standard of protecting personal data in the cloud. Learn more in our recent blog post.

 

Don’t be shy if you want to see the features in action – just fill out a demo request here!
Safe Data

Mapp Achieved ISO 27018 Certification for Cloud Data Privacy

We are happy to announce that Mapp recently completed an independent third-party audit to renew its existing ISO 27001 certification and achieve ISO 27018 certification for cloud data privacy.

Achieving the ISO 27018 certification on top of the existing ISO 27001 certification for information security management underscores Mapp’s commitment to the safeguarding of its customers’ personal data. It also demonstrates Mapp’s capability to monitor, measure, and improve according information security and privacy measures and sets us apart from our direct competitors. Security and privacy are an absolute top priority for Mapp and form an integral part of our cloud service offerings – these are not just words, we can prove it!

What is ISO 27001? ISO 27001 is the international standard for information security management and defines the requirements for the introduction, operation, monitoring, and continual improvement of an effective information security management system (ISMS). It systematically ensures that an organization implements and maintains adequate technical and organizational security measures in line with state-of-the-art, industry-specific needs, risk, as well as legal and contractual obligations. The scope of ISO 27001 is not limited to personal data and an organization’s cloud offerings.

What is ISO 27018? The International Organization for Standardization 27018 Standard (ISO 27018) specifically covers privacy protections for the processing of personal information by cloud service providers. It focuses on the protection of cloud service customers’ personal data in the cloud and therefore extends an existing ISO 27001 control framework with privacy specific requirements. This control framework is very well aligned with data protection legislation, such as the GDPR, and is therefore an excellent tool for both implementing and demonstrating compliance with legal and derived contractual requirements.

Why does it matter? We believe that our customers must be in a position to trust us as their marketing technology provider. It’s not feasible for them to audit us individually, so it’s important for us to have independent certification – which is much more than a piece of paper.

Certified compliance with ISO 27018 means that Mapp has effectively implemented appropriate controls for dealing with customers’ personal data. The certification helps our existing and prospective clients satisfy their own legal obligations on assuring the data protection capabilities of the third-party service providers they use (e.g. Art 28 sec. 1 GDPR) – by verifying the scope and validity of the certificates. Since certified compliance with the ISO 27018 requires annual third-party verification, the rigor of this process and the resulting certificate should give customers additional confidence in Mapp as the right marketing tech provider.

Certification details The scope of the ISO 27001 and ISO 27018 certification is Mapp Engage hosted in the EU and Russia. In terms of personal data processing and protecting such, Mapp Engage is the most important element of the Mapp Cloud Suite. All of Mapp follows the same information security and privacy policies and standards, and our information security & privacy team ensures that the entire organization is and remains compliant with these standards.

#MappsolutelyProtected

CSM

BIMI: Use Your Own Brand Logo as an Email Trust Seal

Email is not a safe medium – marketers know that and consumers know that. What if you could put your brand on every email and users could trust it’s you? A new initiative called BIMI, or “Brand Indicators for Message Identification”, tries to fill this need. According to Brand Indicators, “BIMI is an industry-wide standards effort that will use brand logos as indicators to help people avoid fraudulent email, while giving marketers a huge new opportunity to put their brands in front of consumers for free.”

What about SPF, DKIM, and DMARC?If you get an email from Amazon, how do you know it’s actually from the ecommerce giant? One of today’s the solutions is authentication through SPF and DKIM. But do those techniques really help to fight phishing? The truth is no. DMARC, then, combines SPF and DKIM to tell the ISP how to handle mail with failing authentication. However, each domain owner can set up a valid DMARC record without much effort. So the problem still remains: how can we identify whether a domain belongs to an official brand or not?

Can BIMI can actually change that?The central idea behind BIMI is that companies can register their official domain at a “trust center.” Once they are registered and cleared, the brand’s logo will appear next to the email subject line in your inbox and in the upper left corner once you open the message.

Similar to verified Twitter and Instagram accounts (see image below), brands will have a trust seal comprised of their own brand logo.

As mentioned by MarTech Today, “the key idea is that brands will get lots of free brand impressions — there’s no charge to use BIMI — and users get an increased sense of trust about the source of brand emails.”
Want to join the BIMI movement?
The project is currently in beta, but brands can already register on the official website here: www.brandindicators.org. If you are interested in joining the beta program but don’t know how to get started, reach out to your Mapp account manager or email sales@mapp.com!

The Retail Roundup: Resources You Need to Become a Retail Marketing Guru

This month, we put the retail industry in the spotlight. Retail and digital marketing go hand in hand, yet marketers struggle to gain and retain customers in the competitive world of shopping. What marketers do know is that digital-first retailers give others a run for their money.

Retail businesses primarily focusing on online marketing continue to build and harness a loyal and engaged customer base. A report from Internet Retailing calculates that more than £150bn ($187bn) of retail sales are now influenced by digital and that retailers whose services don’t meet customers’ expectations could lose more than £12bn ($15bn) a year.

Retail today isn’t an establishment, it’s an experience. According to HubSpot, “By setting up special shops that only sell experiences, […] retailers can pull customers into delightful, memorable experiences that make much more of an emotional impact than buying a product.” These experience make for a compelling story that consumers will carry with them and be more than happy to share with others.

Explore our newest retail-specific resources to learn about the latest in retail marketing:

1. The Complete Digital Marketing Guide

Our ultimate retail guide lays out the most common challenges for retailers in the digital age. Examine the digital strategies every retailer should be investing in.
Download guide here

2. Webinar Where Retail Giant Tells All

Mapp’s recent webinar featuring a UK retail giant dives into consumer trends and digital strategies to make retail marketing personal. Learn from their successes in the webinar replay.
Watch it out now

3. Exclusive Interview With Mapp’s CEO

Publisher Internet Retailing got the scoop from Steve Warren, Mapp’s CEO, on how Mapp is the only company in the world that gives retailers full control over customer engagement through our unique combination of marketing technology.
Learn more

What are you biggest retail marketing challenges? Share them in the comments and maybe it will be the focus of our next guide!

Making Retail Personal with Real-Time Data [Webinar]

In an era of mass customization and commoditization, great product is simply not enough within many sectors, including retail. Catering to today’s consumer requires an understanding of their unique wants, needs, objectives, and circumstances. Discerning businesses know that personalization makes people pay attention and makes them more likely to engage with your brand. Retail today isn’t an establishment, it’s an experience.

Digital trends are shaping this experience in the retail industry. More specifically, shoppers are becoming savvier, attention span is on the decline, new digital marketing channels continue to emerge, customers are becoming more aware about what is happening with their data – to only name a few. This means that consumers have a plethora of choices when it comes to interacting with a retail brand and they are expecting each of these touchpoints to provide a positive experience. Even more so, digital influences almost every step of the decision-making and buying process. So, are your digital marketing strategies keeping up?

In our latest webinar, a retail group specializing in clothing and home goods, uncovers how they cater to consumers in the digital age across many of their brands.

This leading European clothing and home furnishings retailer has traditionally targeted men and women over the age of 40, however the business has expanded into new markets with a total of 14 brands, ranging from value oriented and high-end department stores, menswear, and home furnishings. Using Mapp Cloud and Mapp’s services, the company directly markets to 3.6 million unique customers across a giant group of multiple well-known UK brands.

5 key takeaways from our webinar:

  1. Balance customer-centricity and merchandising needs
  2. Focus on driving the second sale to mitigate advertising wastage
  3. Personalize retargeting efforts through display, SEM, in-app, and email
  4. Don’t pass up on traditional, non-personalized marketing techniques
  5. Connect the dots between offline and online customers; they are one and the same

To find out more about each of these digital retail strategies, including real-world examples, watch our webinar here:

Email Authentication With SPF, DKIM, and DMARC

The time when you could send an email to a mailing list through the magic “send” button and assume that your message had instantly delivered to the inbox of all the recipients is so far away.

Over the years, it has become clear that email is a powerful communication tool that, if properly used, can not only help but even become the main income source tool for a company. This means everyone wants to get their hands on email marketing – even the bad guys.

The increase in global email traffic, globalization, cybercrime and, who knows, maybe even global warming (it seems to be responsible for everything), have made it necessary to introduce regulations and tools to raise the IT security level. The email world can be a dangerous place and your communications deserve to be protected.

SPF, DKIM, and DMARC are three acronyms with which email marketers will have to get more familiar in order to prevent hackers from using your brand to spam or domain spoof, as well as being informed about phishing attempts through alert notifications.

How do SPF, DKIM, and DMARC work?Instead of drowning in jargon (which we will do later), let’s visit an analogy to explain the concepts of SPF, DKIM, and DMARC. The SPF record is a “document” that contains the name of the only authorized “virtual postman” – let’s call him Pat – who is in charge of delivering your email to the recipient. If done this way, the recipient will accept the message without batting an eye.

Sometimes Pat is sick at home and has to delegate the message delivery to his colleague, Jess. Most recipients will be suspicious of Jess, as they don’t know her. In this case, a forwarded email will lose the SPF features of the initial sender. However, with the help of the DKIM, Jess will also be able to deliver the message, because it will be properly signed by the original sender.

The DMARC dog, thanks to his good sense of smell, knows if the postman and his mail are fraudulent. He will start barking in order to alert the recipient about the upcoming scam danger. However, this smart DMARC dog can be also trained to let the postman pass through safely or, on the flipside, be trained to eat his mail.

This trio of SPF, DKIM and DMARC has now become a global standard, which means that your message can be properely delivered into the highly-coveted email inbox. Almost all providers accept this type of safety measure.

In the remainder of this post, I will dive into the technical specifics, including the utility, application, and functioning of these indispensable email authentication tools.

1. SPF = Sender Policy Framework

SPF is a protocol that authorizes an IP address to deliver to a recipient, put in place to counter phising attempts. This information is added to the DNS area of ​​the control panel sending domain.

When the recipient’s server receives the email, it compares the sender’s IP and the IP in the DNS and, if both are the same, it accepts the message and delivers it to the inbox. Otherwise, it returns a message by stating “Error 550 – Message rejected because SPF check failed” or delivers the message to the junk folder.

Since the SPF record is public data, it is possible to verify its propagation process through a DNS request via web or through some tools available online, such as: http://www.kitterman.com/spf/validate.html.

2. DKIM = DomainKeys Identified Mail

DKIM is usually a 1024 or 2048 bit encrypted key that has to be coupled with the sender domain, used to fight email spoofing. Upon receiving the email from the recipient’s server, it verifies whether the key, published in the email header, belongs to the one related to the sender domain. If not, they assume that the email has been intercepted by third parties and modified.

As for the SPF, DKIM implementation requires publication in the DNS area with the public key and signature visible in the message header.

To reiterate, the possible results of the record check can be:

Further possible errors could be Softfail,Neutral, None, Permerrorand Temperror. Obviously, only the Pass status is to be considered as a record correctly entered. To verify the correct add and propagation of the DKIM key, use this tool: https://dkimcore.org/tools/keycheck.html.

3. DMARC = Domain-Based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance
By publishing a DNS record, you will receive an alert whenever a domain that is not properly configured (doesn’t pass the SPF and DKIM validation) is used as sender. This way you know when, who, and how, your identity is used on the web.

The DMARC record published on your domain will have a similar syntax:

v = DMARC1; p = none; rua = mailto: alias@mydomain.com; ruf = mailto: dk @ bounce.apple.com, mailto: alias@mydomain.com

To check if the DMARC record has been correctly applied to your domain, use this tool: https://dmarcian.com/dmarc-inspector/.

Currently, DMARC is the most effective solution to fight domain spoofing, even if the war to keep the bad guys away from our emails is not completely won. The question that still remains hard to answer is how to be sure that a domain with a valid DMARC signature really belongs to the brand it pretends to. The solution lies with BIMI (Brand Indicator for Message Identification) – read about all about it in our latest blog!

In terms of information technology security, using SPF, DKIM and DMARC is the best response to email spoofing. Mapp uses SPF and DKIM as a default. If you’d like to be supported with DMARC, please contact us, we’re happy to help.

p.s.: No postmen were harmed in the making of this blog post!

witt weiden case study

Witt Weiden Boosts Revenue from Email Marketing by 56% [Case Study]

Witt Weiden, founded in 1907, is a German mail-order house for clothing with a thriving presence in Europe, Russia, and the USA. Catering mainly to women aged 50+, they have generated more than €820 million in revenue in 2017, with a year-over-year growth of 4%. Witt Weiden sends around 250,000 packages every day from the small town of Weiden. The company is part of the OTTO Group, one of the world’s largest retailers operating in 30 countries with online sales of €7.9 billion.

The Challenge: Witt Weiden’s performance in the textile mail-order business is highly correlated with their marketing team’s email abilities. The company’s email marketing campaigns encompass at least 14 newsletters a week. Sustaining the company’s success means executing complex and challenging email marketing campaigns for its eight different brands operating in several countries.

The primary challenge, however, lay with their email marketing platform that was extremely time-consuming. More specifically, it was necessary to manually upload email lists at the beginning of every day, as there was no option to automate emails. Using another tool for newsletters, the team was required to copy-paste HTML code for every email into their email marketing tool. With all these disjointed tools, the chance of encountering errors and issues was very high. Email marketing managers were becoming frustrated, as they wanted to work on creative email ideas, but instead were bogged down by uploading files and troubleshooting HTML code.

According to the company’s Email Marketing Manager Peter Scholzuk, a seasoned marketing professional with 8 years of email marketing experience, Witt Weiden needed a much more efficient content management platform. Scholzuk emphasized that you can have the best marketing strategy, but if you have an incompetent partner or an inefficient tool, those plans might as well not exist. Therefore, this new tool needed to optimize the email marketing campaigns at all stages (i.e. creation, deliverability, management), as well as significantly improve the team’s productivity.

The Solution: After a thorough evaluation of the tools proposed by several providers, Peter Scholzuk and his team chose Mapp Digital as their digital marketing platform. Powered by two solutions, Mapp Engage for email marketing and Mapp Connect to integrate with Witt Weiden’s in-house CMS, Peter’s team was able to get quickly up and running.

The platform has enabled the email marketing team to create newsletters by setting up a template once and then reusing it through the drag-and-drop capability, generating a variety of designs easily. With a unique time-saving prowess, Mapp Engage has done away with the need to code from scratch each time to create multiple newsletters. Mapp Engage also has an efficient reporting system embedded that generates automated weekly reports based on specified KPIs and stated information. Both internal newsletters and external communications with affiliate partners are now done using Mapp Engage, allowing complex email campaigns to be effortlessly executed.

Since its implementation, the growth has been phenomenal and the company is currently sending millions of emails every month. With Mapp Engage, Witt Weiden is planning future digital marketing campaigns that will provide customers with tailored content depending on their location.

The Results: Mapp Engage made it possible for Witt Weiden to automate its email marketing campaigns, putting an end to the manual handling of HTML code that caused numerous problems. Witt Weiden’s weekly newsletters have doubled from 15 to 32 on average after the implementation of the new solution. This has had a significant impact on the revenues generated through these email campaigns, with a significant increase of 56 percent.

Mapp Engage has lived up to the expectations of the email marketing team when it comes to both volume and deliverability, thus ensuring better reach and increased personalization of messages.

Last but not least, working with Mapp Engage, Peter Scholzuk and his team didn’t have to worry about modifying their data processing mechanisms or any other documentation-related issues when GDPR arrived. The email marketing operations carried out through the platform automatically comply with all the regulations enacted by the European Union.

Download the full case study here: mapp.com/case-studies/witt-weiden.pdf