Cara Olson

Cara Olson is Director of Digital Direct/eCRM at DEG, a full-service digital consultancy based in Kansas City. Leveraging her 14 years of experience and thought leadership in digital direct marketing, she and her team lead email and SMS strategy, integrations, and campaign execution for flagship brands like Crocs, Helzberg Diamonds, MathWorks, Cabela's, Life is Good, and TITLE Boxing. In her spare time she runs half marathons, cheers on her beloved Royals, and drinks copious amounts of coffee while trying to exhaust her eight year-old daughter, five year-old boy, and one year-old golden retriever.

Performance

How To Handle Email Marketing For Franchise Brands

More and more, franchise brands are embracing email marketing to help them on a number of fronts. Often, franchisers deal with a number of different types of franchisees — single location, multi-location, multi-state, small corporations, partnerships, solely owned, highly sophisticated, unsophisticated, etc. Fragmentation is more the rule than the exception, so clear and consistent messaging, […]

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The Disconnect Between Transactional & Promotional Emails

Many major retailers do not send their transactional emails from the same email service provider (ESP) as their promotional emails. In fact, transactional emails are often delivered via an in-house solution or via the company’s e-commerce platform. Brands cite a variety of reasons for this, including: Transactional and promotional emails typically originate from two distinct systems […]

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How Email Marketers Can Make Birthdays Come More Than Once A Year

As you evaluate your 2013 email programs and work on your 2014 initiatives, be sure to take a hard look at how much of your revenue from email is attributed to triggered programs, as compared with promotional emails. From my experience, 20% is a good, general target for the amount of overall revenue that should […]

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10 Ways To Cure The Post-Holiday Email Blues

Now that we’re beyond the volume increase around Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas, are you suffering from the post-holiday email blues? After having sent so much volume to drive holiday sales, you may need to get back on track with relevancy in your email campaigns. Try these strategies for engaging your holiday subscribers in […]

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My Prediction For Email Open Rates In 2014

With Google’s recent Gmail update significantly changing the way it handles cached images, they have also updated the desktop interface to display images by default. This is the most fundamental change in the default view of an email since Outlook and ISPs began blocking images by default more than five years ago. The primary reason […]

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Four Ways to Segment Email Subscribers for the Holidays

The last two months of the year bring an increase in email frequency as retailers try to drive revenue during the busiest shopping season of the year. To help you make the most of your opportunities, here are four ways to segment your email subscribers, optimize your email content, and avoid subscriber fatigue. 1. Your […]

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Why Responsive Email? Making A Case Internally

Even though industry statistics indicate that more than 50% of email opens occur on a mobile device, a brand’s desire to provide an optimal customer experience isn’t always strong enough to convince it to move to a responsive email design. According to BlueHornet, 70% of consumers immediately delete emails that don’t render well on a […]

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Budgeting For Email Marketing: How To Invest In The “Killer App”

Last week at the ExactTarget Connections Conference, I had that the opportunity to meet Forrester analyst Shar vanBoskirk. Like most in our industry, I was interested in her point of view on a question I often ponder, so I approached after her presentation and asked for it: “If email consistently has the highest conversion rate […]

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10 Holiday Gift Guide Ideas For Email

Planning your holiday email campaigns? You should be. There are any number of tried and true approaches to engaging your subscribers over the holiday season. Gift guides, in particular, tend to be high performers. In fact, I strongly recommend that, rather than running just one gift guide campaign, you consider the following ideas to extend […]

Performance

Oops! Email Mistakes Happen

Let’s face it: humans aren’t perfect. And there is definitely a human element to email marketing. From the designer who creates the graphics, to the front-line associate that clicks “Send,” there is a risk of something going wrong. So, on occasion, an email makes it to the inbox that isn’t 100% right. Unfortunately, it can […]

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How To Convert Email Subscribers To Customers

Email is a great vehicle for reducing the time between key milestones for a subscriber. After all, subscribers are great, but customers are even better. Take advantage of email’s automation capabilities with these triggers at various subscriber milestones to create additional purchases. Subscribers That Have Never Purchased The first of these key milestones is reducing […]

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Evolving Your Email Marketing From Crawl To Walk To Run To PR

Now that email marketing has been around for years, every retailer has an email marketing program. But, each program is at a different level of sophistication. The Evolution Of An Email Marketing Program Do you ever wonder where your program ranks compared to others? Need helping mapping out where to go from where you are? […]

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The ABCs Of A/B Testing

Testing should be at the core of your email marketing program. Not only does it help you understand the impact you’re making, but it gives you a much fuller understanding about your customers’ behavior and preferences. It not only tells you where you’ve been, but where you should (and shouldn’t) go with your campaigns. A/B testing is the […]

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Merchandising For Email Marketing — Selecting Products and Promotions

How do you decide what products to feature in your emails or which offers to promote in your emails? If you don’t have a process in place that answers these questions, you should. Merchandising for email should be a collaborative process for optimal results. Setting The Promotional Calendar The promotional calendar should be developed with […]

Performance

When Subscribers Stop Opening Emails

As you continue to send marketing emails over time, your list continues to grow, and your engagement metrics continue to drop. Over time, the number of long-time subscribers on your list increases. These subscribers have a higher chance of becoming uninterested in your email messages, which they express by failing to open or click. This […]

Performance

Four Ways Facebook Can Increase Email Sales

A successful retail email campaign involves much more than just an email. Because it creates customer engagement and results in revenue, a successful email campaign aligns closely with social and e-commerce, resulting in a “trifecta” across all three channels. But, integrating social is more than just asking your subscribers to fan you on Facebook or […]

Performance

Email Marketing Equals Dollar Signs

Open and click-through rates are common metrics used to evaluate the success of email campaigns. But we all know that for retailers, revenue is what really matters. Like every other department in an organization, as the new year begins (or when your fiscal year ends) marketers are requesting and competing for budget. As you prepare, […]