The email deluge: Wednesday’s Daily Brief
Plus video and vertical-based product ads for Microsoft Audience Network.
Good morning, Marketers, are you getting enough emails?
The news that Intuit is in talks to acquire Mailchimp for over $10 billion got me thinking about my own inbox. My free Gmail service has a cap, so I’ve been unsubscribing more.
I like getting emails about books, but I don’t need emails about other things, like furniture, shampoo and eyewear. Yet, every time I buy something online, I get a new string of emails.
Is this sustainable? Email is an important channel for every marketing team, but make sure the audience is really into what you’re sending. It might be a smaller list of core enthusiasts, but it will be more fulfilling in the long run for customer and brand. And you definitely should still communicate with more casual customers, just realize that inbox real estate is scarce, and try developing other channels for those less hardcore purchasers.
Using marketing technology requires great (human) minds. That’s why thousands of senior-level marketers will be convening at MarTech’s virtual conference in only 6 days! We’re particularly excited for Scott Brinker’s keynote on the arrival of “big ops” in marketing. And speaking of big ops stars, Darrell Alfonso’s keynote will certainly demonstrate why he’s such a figure in the community. The agenda and registration link are here. Join us.
Let’s chat about this product
Conversations should be at the heart of today’s B2B marketing strategies. Rather than resorting to the hard sell, taking a conversational approach means noticing where the online purchaser is in their quest to buy something, then tailoring the automated prompts to move towards the sale.
This may mean using AI-driven chatbots early on to offer assistance to customers or answers to their FAQs, but the goal is to qualify the lead before putting a real person in touch with them. Conversational marketing is personalization, but it takes data and dialogue to make it so. And it is better suited for B2B marketing, where there are fewer buyers, but they’re spending more to acquire big-ticket items for their firms.
For example, ABM platform Terminus takes a “crawl, walk, run” approach. Start by acting on data at the home page, which is high-volume/high-traffic. Choose two or three high-intent products, then craft suitable playbook experiences.
As for AI, Justin McDonald, SVP and GM for Conversational Marketing at Terminus is skeptical. “AI is a misused term regarding chatbots and conversational marketing,” he said. The technique is good at providing support but is overkill at the top of the funnel. A good logic tree accomplishes [everything] without having to train AI. “‘If-when’ conditions can drive the chat in accordance with the playbook.”
Video and vertical-based product ads pilots arrive on Microsoft Audience Network
Video ads and vertical-based product ads are now being piloted on the Microsoft Audience Network, Microsoft announced yesterday. In the announcement, the company also revealed disclaimers in ads, new third-party integrations with Universal Event Tracking, flexible insertion orders and inline appeals for rejected offers in Microsoft Merchant Center.
Why we care. While unlikely to be game-changing, Microsoft Advertising’s September announcements offer a variety of quality-of-life improvements for marketers:
- Microsoft Audience Network’s new video format may help brands increase awareness as well as engagement with their ads;
- Disclaimers in ads may help advertisers in regulated industries stay compliant;
- Inline appeals may help decrease the amount of time your team spends reaching out to Microsoft Advertising’s support team. This can be especially useful for resolving rejections during the holiday shopping season, a crucial time of the year for many merchants;
- The new UET integrations may mean a simpler setup process for event tracking; and
- Flexible insertion orders may provide advertisers with a more versatile way to manage their budgets.
Quote of the day
“We don’t have to come back. That’s why there’s Slack!” Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce