Author: Remy Bergsma

Listrak Recommender introduced as omnichannel personalization engine

Listrak Recommender was introduced a few days ago. Listrak has dubbed it its ‘omnichannel personalization engine’.

The new Listrak Recommender was of course announced via email:

listrak-recommender-introduced-demo

Features noted on the product demo page include:

  • Feature product recommendations online and in email campaigns
  • Increase loyalty and retention with more targeted messaging
  • Double email revenue with personalized campaigns
  • Enjoy more control than ever before
  • Deliver personalization in real time

A screenshot of Listrak Recommender in action:

listrak-recommender-introduced-example

The email introducing the new product also notes the following:

77% of online shoppers make additional purchases when presented with recommended products that are personalized for them. And with Recommender, you can not only create and share these extremely relevant campaigns across all customer touchpoints, you have more control and flexibility than ever before.

The tool allows you to create blocks from templates, which in turn can be used in recipes. An example of the blocks with the recipes below them:

listrak-recommender-introduced-block-recipe

The recipes themselves are based on products that have been bought earlier on, remaining stock, order value and such. Listrak notes that by using their Recommender, ecommerce stores can increase their AOV (average order value) and ROI (return on investment). How it actually works in the real world is not shown on the product page however. It does note that platforms included are email, social, web and mobile.

To read more about the Listrak Recommender service, head to the product page here.

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Facebook retires email service

It was recently announced that Facebook retires email service  (as part of the new Facebook Messages). It was launched in November 2010 as the next best thing in online messaging or ‘next generation messaging’. In the end, it just turned out to be email from Facebook. Facebook crew had to give up their coveted @facebook.com email addresses to allow for Facebook users to register theirs. Facebook has reverted to sending emails to those email addresses as a forward to regular registered email addresses as main contact address from now on.

facebook-retires-email-service

Now that it’s the case that Facebook retires email service, we can look at why it wasn’t a success. The reason it never really gotten any serious userbase is probably because its user interface wasn’t very userfriendly. It was lacking for both reading and writing messages. A Facebook spokesperson noted that nobody ever really used their @facebook.com email address.

facebook-retires-email-service

It seemed like such a great idea when it launched: one single message box for all types of online messages: text, Facebook message or email, regardless where someone was. It was a nice vision by Mark Zuckerberg, but without following through with a great message client and further development the project was doomed.  What didn’t help the service either were email scams that began to arrive in people’s inboxes soon after its introduction. Read more on the news on The Verge.

Did you really ever use your Facebook email address? Did you even make one or did you think, I’m fine with the half a dozen or so email addresses I have now? Please tell your story in the comments.

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Kickstarter celebrates $1 billion pledged milestone

How to celebrate a milestone when you are one of the most well-known crowdfunding sites? Kickstarter celebrates the impressive milestone of $1 billion pledged with a simple email.

Here’s the email with which Kickstarter celebrates the joyous event:

kickstarter-celebrates

The link behind the ‘See how it happened’ button heads to this ‘One billion dollars’ Kickstarter page. The pages notes the following:

On March 3, 2014, Kickstarter passed $1 BILLION in pledges.

That’s $1,000,000,000 pledged by 5.7 million people to creative projects.

That is of course great news in itself, and I’m glad Kickstarter took out the time to send out a separate email about it, as well as create that page. Most of the funding was pledged in the past 12 months. The page continues to name some special backers, including Neil Gaiman. Top countries include the USA, UK, and Canada. But proudly in the top 10 (#9) is a little country called The Netherlands – so few residents but still so many projects backed with so much funding. Clearly we Dutch like the crowdfunding principle!

The landing page itself has a nifty but minimalistic design, trying to convey the enormous number of people involved (5.7 million backers) and that $1 billion actually really is a lot of money. It follows through nicely from the email, which is also minimalistically designed but still nice. In case you needed some email marketing design inspiration for celebratory emails and following landing pages, this one should go into your favorites.

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Gmail Shelfie, an elaborate April Fool’s joke

Yesterday the Gmail Shelfie April Fool’s joke was pretty elaborate. The Gmail team introduced the Shelfie, or the shareable selfie. The goal was to have people make selfies, and then use them in Gmail with the custom themes that have been introduced in 2012.

Over the course of the day, the Gmail Twitter account posted many examples from people who made a shelfie, including well known stars like Katy Perry, Blue Man Group and Shakira:

gmail-shelfie-shakira-april-fools-joke

The official announcement mentions the following:

Gmail Shelfie is built on the idea that you shouldn’t be selfish with your selfie. With just a few clicks, your mom, your aunt, or that girl you have a crush on can set your Shelfie as their Gmail theme so they can enjoy checking, reading, and writing emails while seeing your friendly face in the background.

Got an awesome selfie? Upgrade it to a Shelfie! Simply open or refresh Gmail on the desktop and share it with your friends. If you’re looking for inspiration, set your theme to Gmail’s top trending Shelfies. You can also see who’s currently trending on our Google+ page.

A lot of people picked up on the Gmail Shelfie April Fool’s joke, judging from the number of tweets with the hashtag #gmailshelfie. When you’ve uploaded your selfie and hence, made it into a Gmail Shelfie, you can set the theme to Trending Shelfies in Gmail:

gmail-shelfie-theme-trending-shelfies

Good job Gmail on this April Fool’s joke: quite original and fun.

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Unsubscribe hassle: prevent it, or get burned

Every person using email (which is about half of the global population) has come across it. An obnoxious unsubscribe hassle. Either a quirky login is required, the unsubscribe page or form is not working, you get multiple unsubscribe options (while you subscribed for only one thing): the list is large and cumbersome.

Remember, when people want to unsubscribe, make it as simple and painless as possible: not an unsubscribe hassle. It’s not a bad thing to try to win them back (sort of), with examples of opt-down (less frequent newsletters) or selecting another channel. In case of the last option, have people connect on Twitter, Facebook or subscribe to an RSS feed.

After all, the people themselves are in control of their inbox. If you feel like you are not, take back that control and be sure you’re able to handle the daily email load.

Back to the unsubscribe. What inspired this post was a post on Reddit, with the animation posted below (click to view the animation in a new window):

Unsubscribe hassle: prevent it, or get burned

Nobody, except maybe for spammers, should be put through such an unsubscribe process. Why hurt your own business and your subscribers by making it awful? It might be one of the last contact moments for a while between a person and your company – why on earth should it be a bad one? How does that help when they talk about your company or products later on to someone else? Imagine them relating to the last experience they had with your company. It might seem to be like such a little thing: unsubscribing from a newsletter. But if it becomes an unsubscribe hassle, it will backfire.

But for them, it could be the definite ending to a relationship with your company, and not a nice one. That’s not helping your word-of-mouth marketing at all, is it?

If you currently have a complicated unsubscribe process, or it is downright impossible to unsubscribe without jumping through several hoops, rethink and reorganize. Just because someone says bye for now, doesn’t mean they won’t come back. Or even better, come back while bringing others. All experiences with your company should be great and lasting, even when it comes to the unsubscribe. Bonus tip: ask people why they are unsubscribing, it could help you (a lot!) in your email marketing endeavours.

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