Archive for the ‘ExactTarget’ category

Precision Dialogue Awarded Partner of the Year at ExactTarget Marketing Cloud’s 2014 Connections Conference

September 25th, 2014
Partner of the Year for Channel Program

Partner of the Year for Channel Program

We are proud to announce that we have been awarded the 2014 Channel Partner of the Year by ExactTarget Marketing Cloud at their annual Connections conference. The Partner of the Year award recognized Precision Dialogue as a company with high customer satisfaction that is committed to ongoing team growth while exceeding revenue generation goals. Precision Dialogue previously won this award in 2010 and is now one of only two partners to have won this award twice.

Precision Dialogue has been an ExactTarget Platinum Reseller Partner for more than 10 years. Leveraging the digital marketing platform, the Forrester® recognized customer engagement firm has achieved several accolades warranting the award’s distinction, including:

  • Partner of the Year in 2010
  • ExactTarget Consulting Partner since 2011
  • ExactTarget Referral Partner since 2012
  • ExactTarget Services 2012 Program Team of the Year
  • Dedicated ExactTarget team of more than 30 professionals with over 250 ExactTarget certifications
  • 4 certified Solutions Consultants on staff
  • ExactTarget Gold Certified in Scalable Data Strategies
  • Creators of Magento-ExactTarget integration, CONNECT and Code in Color HubExchange app, simplifying the creation and editing of HTML and Ampscript code
  • Architects of dynamic messaging solutions that deliver a unified customer experience through the email and direct mail channels
  • Comprehensive ad-hoc analytics and business intelligence services to support acquisition, growth, and retention strategies
  • Precision Experience LabSM offering usability testing, focus groups, eye tracking analysis, and optimization solutions
  • Award-winning creative team that designs and optimizes responsive mobile, web and landing pages

“Our team has, and continues to work hard to exceed our client’s expectations,” said Jonathan Hill, EVP/Chief Technology Officer, Precision Dialogue. “The ExactTarget Marketing Cloud provides a market leading platform to support customer engagement marketing and our team is proud to be named Partner of the Year for a second time.”

Precision Dialogue applies a scientific and measurable approach to their full service email marketing services. The agency has served over 75 clients and manages the deployment of more than 240 million emails on a monthly basis. Some of Precision Dialogue’s more notable clients include, Office Max, Regions Bank, Midas, Estee Lauder and Sherwin Williams.

Connections is the premier digital marketing industry conference, bringing together the most brilliant pioneers and entrepreneurs in the digital sphere, offering three-days of education, inspiration and networking with speakers from DonorsChoose.org, LinkedIn, will.i.am and more. To learn more about Connections, visit www.exacttarget.com/connections.

Power Your Journey: ExactTarget Connections is the Event for Endurance Marketers

September 18th, 2014

Are your marketing communications relevant, personalized, and behavior driven? Is your marketing program driven by critical data? Do you have a single view of your customer? Are you maximizing all channels?

While these are goals that all marketers aspire to, the answers for most marketers are “no.” (Or for the ultra-sophisticated, the answers might be, “not as much as I would like.”)

If we all know that’s where we want to go, why aren’t we there yet? There are many different practical reasons, but a big, less practical reason is this: As busy marketers, we rarely allow ourselves to take a step back, evaluate our programs, and strategize real-world ways to make these improvements. We may take the time to read an industry article here and there, but do we really take the time to get inspired about what is possible with data paired with the right platforms? And more importantly, how we can apply those concepts to programs we execute? (Or programs that are so amazing, we haven’t even dreamed them up yet?)

Connections LogoExactTarget Connections is a digital marketing event that allows you to do just that. It’s the premier event from the Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud. The theme for this year is Power Your Journey, and the idea here is that Connections is designed to be the perfect mix of inspiration and enablement.

Connections is unlike most industry conferences. It is not a sales pitch. It is not a big party. It features sessions for all levels of experience and for varying areas of interest (with tracks including Email, Social, Mobile, and B2B). Most importantly, each session will give you practical advice and creative strategies for how to improve your program.

Just because it’s practical doesn’t mean it isn’t also a lot of fun! There are many opportunities to socialize and enjoy entertainment. This year’s entertainment line-up includes will.i.am, The Script, and DJ Casey Connor.

Connections is also known for powerful and engaging keynote speakers, and featured speakers this year include Marc Benioff (Chairman & CEO, Salesforce), will.i.am (entertainer), John Green (author), Beth Comstock, (SVP & CMO, General Electric), Gabriel Stricker (Chief Communications Officer, Twitter), and many others.

The conference will be held in Indianapolis on September 23-25. It’s not too late to register! Learn more here.

Email Marketing Case Study: Accelerating Tria Beauty’s Campaigns on a Global Scale Leveraging ExactTarget

August 13th, 2014
Tria Email Example

Tria Email Example

Managing an email marketing campaign on a global scale can be daunting. However, when you blend a team of email marketing experts with a robust platform such as ExactTarget, a wave of encouragement ensues. Learn how we helped our client Tria Beauty, a global retailer of FDA approved laser hair removal and skincare products, elevate their current email marketing campaign to a global scale. Together, we worked to solidify over 130 post purchase streamed emails that targeted customers on an international level.

 

In this webinar, you will learn how we implemented and maintained a full service email campaign with examples of the campaign process, which was comprised of audience selection, creative and HTML production, email quality assurance and campaign deployment.

Register Now

ExactTarget Distributed Sending: Managing Multiple Voices to Deliver a Constant Message

January 10th, 2014

Organizations that are built with dealers, branches, or franchises are uniquely challenged in delivering a relevant message to regional subscribers, while maintaining a consistent corporate brand. With ExactTarget Distributed Sending, organizations can now create and deploy targeted, local email marketing campaigns that still meet corporate’s brand standards.

Benefits

Here’s how it works: ExactTarget sets the client’s account allowing corporate to control the email templates, the images, the subscriber lists, etc. for the dealers, branches or franchisees to use. Individual rep or franchise access can be controlled by either default user roles* or custom roles built off the marketer’s requests.

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Applying these simple features can let corporate give their local reps the ability to deliver professional level marketing campaigns, while avoiding spending the time and resources training them.

Why This Feature Works

Distributed Sending allows those who are delivering messages to do so in the way they see fit for their audience. Account users have the ability to deliver their messages the way their region wants to receive them, which is not always possible when messages are delivered at the corporate level.

For example, if a franchisee has a carnival going on near a certain store and sees the chance to increase business with a coupon, they can create the message in ExactTarget and send it out when and to whom they want. They also have the opportunity to deliver monthly messages with updates on product prices.

Distributed Sending empowers marketers to take their email marketing to the level they see fit; allowing for weekly, monthly or even yearly emails to be distributed at a regional level. The best part about a controlled environment is that it’s completely customizable and can be configured to fit any business structure.

Want to know if Distributed Sending is right for you? Contact us for a demo, or more information please contact info@precisiondialogue.com or 887.332.9222.

What Would Jean Claude Van Damme Do?

January 6th, 2014

If you are an email marketer, you know that throughout the year you have to live different types of experiences (good ones and, not so good ones) and sometimes it’s hard to find a good way to cope with them.

For the new year, I’ve compiled a list of things that happen in the everyday life of an email marketer and answered them with a simple question: What Would Jean Claude Van Damme Do? Or, like I like to say, WWJCVDD?

 

When you hear that someone bought a list of subscribers, breaking all the rules of the CAN-SPAM Act, ask yourself WWJCVDD?

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Click here to learn more about the CAN-SPAM Act.

When your team deploys a very complex email marketing campaign successfully and you feel like celebrating, ask yourself… WWJCVDD?

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Watch this video to learn what we do and why we do it so well.

When you are concerned about being able to balance creative direction with email design best practices, simply ask yourself WWJCVDD?

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Read our three-part blog series on some of the most common and dangerous mistakes Email Marketers can make in their campaigns.

When your QA specialist stays up late to do the last round of tests for a deployment early in the morning and you can’t help but feel love for them, just ask yourself…. WWJCVDD?

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Watch our Email Quality Testing Best Practices webinar to learn more about thorough QA best practices.

When you have to click the SEND button because your deployment specialist is gone for the day and you just don’t want to look, ask yourself: WWJCVDD?

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When you clicked that SEND button and you feel so proud of yourself you just want to celebrate again, just say it… WWJCVDD?

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And lastly, when your client calls you to tell you that your team is doing such a great job and they feel they can count on you, just ask yourself the question: WWJCVDD?

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Learn more about how our Email Marketing team applies their expertise and JCVD philosophy to drive clients to success: http://www.precisiondialogue.com/services/digital/email-marketing

Happy New Year!

 

Part 2: Five Common and Dangerous Email Design Mistakes

November 13th, 2013

Note: This is the second part of a three-part series on some of the most common and most dangerous mistakes of Email Marketing Campaigns. In our last article Part 1: Five Common and Dangerous Email Conceptual/Campaign Mistakes, we took a look at the big picture with some of the most common conceptual and overall campaign mistakes email marketers make in conceiving their campaigns. In this article, we look a little closer at some common email design mistakes.   Dangerous Email Design Mistakes

By design, we’re not talking about how “pretty” or avant-garde your email is. That’s between you and your graphic designers though, surprisingly enough, if you test, test, test as we mentioned in the previous article, you may find that sometime, the prettiest and sexiest emails don’t always convert as well as plain-Jane emails. But there are structural design issues that always seem to hold true and failure to follow these rules can be damaging or fatal to the effectiveness of your emails.

  1. Poor Subject and Pre-Header The handful of words you choose for your subject line and pre-header text may be the most important words in your email. People decide whether or not to open the email by the subject line and in some readers, the pre-header text. If they don’t open the email, it doesn’t matter how snazzy your design and message is.By testing, again and again, you need to determine what words and which presentations get the most opens. Do you personalize it or not, do you say “free gift” or “super opportunity”—depends on your product and your audience. The only way to know is to test but it is of the utmost importance you get this right.

    And, you have to balance your enticement to open against the words and phrases most likely to get you blocked by spam filters or blocked by subscribers who think you are coming on too strong.

  2. Overcomplicating Your Call To Action So let’s assume you read our previous blog post and now you have a Call To Action. It does you no good if your user can’t find it. The design of your email should be such that the user can clearly see how to take the action you want. If it is a button or link, make sure it is prominent and that it looks like a button or a link. That may sound obvious but many cool and avant-garde designs hide the standard underline and ugly blue link color for esthetic reasons or make buttons that don’t look like buttons to a standard subscriber. Steve Krug entitled his classic book on Web Usability Don’t Make Me Think (Berkeley, 2006) and his advice is as good for emails as web pages. People don’t have a lot of time or bandwidth to spend searching your artful but confusing email to figure out how to do your action. If they don’t know where your CTA is, they can easily delete your email.Another common mistake is to have too many CTAs. Think of the email as your opening lines in the conversation with your user, not the entire discussion. You need them to take the next step, to click on the link to your landing page where you can then entice them to buy or act. Don’t expect them to click on the “buy now” button from an email (in most cases). Don’t expect them to hang around your email if there are lots of little CTAs and it is unclear which CTA is the important one. Your email, like your web pages should be more like a funnel than a whack-a-mole game.

  3. Too Much Text How many emails do you get a day: 50, 100, 200? Are you going to read an email that looks like a WSJ article? Maybe if you are already really, really, interested in the subject. Emails are the first step in your conversation with your customer. In most cases, the only real purpose of an email is to get the user to click a link for more information. They should be short, sweet, enticing and to the point. Give the user enough information to get them say “yes” by following your CTA. If they need more information, give it to them on your landing page.

  4. Putting Too Much Text in Graphics Designing emails that look the same in all email readers is a frustrating experience at best and a nightmare when you expect emails to act like web pages. Designers who get frustrated and decide to send everything as one big image or one big sliced up image run into another set of problems.

    • All-graphic emails are more likely to be marked as spam by the spam filters.
    • If your user views emails with all graphics off, you’ve sent him or her a blank email. Many users do this to avoid tracking or to keep their download sizes small.
    • This violates generally accepted accessibility standards, meaning that if your subscribers use a screen reader for need or convenience, you may have well just sent a blank email.
  5. Not Considering Email Size Web designers have settled upon 1024 pixels as the general minimum screen size for web pages so many go ahead and design emails the same way. For many reasons, this is a very bad idea. First, most people do not view web pages in full screen, most people, even on their desktops, view email within a much narrower column.Things get even tighter when you consider that almost half of all emails are now opened on a mobile device (according to Litmus.com). If you’ve designed your email at 900 pixels wide, they will either see the whole page with teeny-tiny fonts and pictures or they will see it 100% and have to scroll and scroll and scroll and scroll to try to read your message. They won’t do that, delete is much easier.

    We recommend an email be no wider than 600 pixels and no longer than it needs to be.

    If you really want the best experience for your subscriber, use responsive design. In responsive design, the graphics, layout and font sizes of your email will adapt to whatever size screen your subscribers is viewing it within. Your subscribers get the maximum experience and will be more likely to read and process your message properly.

Next: In the next article in this series, we will go into the real nuts and bolts of email development and show you production best practices and how to avoid some of the most common HTML and production mistakes.

Making Email Part of the Consumer’s Every Day Process

September 30th, 2013

checking_emailMany of us are used to a common routine – we wake up in the morning, plug-in the coffee pot, pour ourselves that eye-opening cup of brew, shower, get the kids ready and off to school and then we are off to begin a new day. In the midst of all the hustle and bustle, some of us try to squeeze in a moment to check our emails. Whether it’s work, personal, on our mobile devices, or our desktops, emails have quickly become part of our everyday process.

So what is it that we want to see when we check these emails? What catches our eye? Are we skimming & deleting or are we really spending time reading these messages? Within the short amount of time that we have to focus, we need to determine which emails are worth our while.

Below I’ve outlined a few things that I personally look at once I see that email hit my inbox on those busy mornings and what marketers can do to help improve email open rates:

    • Subject Line – The first thing you read. Is it an eye-catching message? Did it encourage me to click through to continue?
      → Tip: Email subject lines are the gatekeepers. The subject alone tells me if it’s worth my time to open. So, keep it simple and to the point.

 

    • Email Content – Ok, so you got past the subject line. Now, what are you looking at?
        • Personalization – Do they know me? Have I engaged with them before? Are they showing me products that I’ve purchased before or a service that I’ve used in the past? If yes, I’m probably more likely to continue reading the message. If not, my attention has already shifted back to my next sip of coffee.
          → Tip:Make your personalization efforts more conversational – for instance, “Hi there, Jen!” or “We miss you, Jen.”

       

        • Relevance (in both body content & audience) – Does the message apply to someone like me? Have I ever shown an interest in this company, service, or organization before? I’m an avid fitness buff, so I would expect to see messages based on nutrition tips or maybe showcasing a new set of workout DVD’s.
          → Tip: Evaluate and apply the data in your database to make your messages more relevant to your audience. Simple demographics such as age and gender can be an easy starting point for marketers to generate more relevant marketing messages.

       

        • Call to Action – What are they asking me to do? If I click here, will it take me to another page full of too much detailed information that I don’t have time to read in my morning? Will I be required to fill out a lot of information? Even if the marketer already knows my information? If yes, they’ve lost me.
          → Tip: Make the CTA simple, make it brief, make it easy for someone to engage in the little time they have in their daily process.

       

        • Images & Copy – Ok, so the subject line and overall content has me interested, but what does the email actually look like? In everyone’s busy morning, we don’t have time to read a bunch of text. We don’t have time to sift through paragraph upon paragraph of detail that really doesn’t directly apply to the CTA or intended message. What images do I see? Do I have to download images in order to make sense of the message? I don’t want to see an extensive amount of copy, or a ton of images that take over my page.
          → Tip: Email marketers should focus on balance. Emails should have an even balance of copy versus images. Want to get it just right? Try usability testing with eye tracking to actually see and hear what your users are saying when they interact with your emails.

       

    • What’s Next? – So, say they got me. The marketer has me engaged. My coffee is getting colder and my husband is screaming for me to get in the car. What can I expect from the marketer next? Will I get another email tomorrow morning? Will it be as relevant and will I want to engage again?
      → Tip: Email marketers need to understand that in order for people to continue wanting their product or service, the stream of messaging must be consistent and relevant. But don’t go overboard and send messages every day for the rest of the year. Make your email part of your consumers’ daily routine. Establish that trust factor, by encouraging them to visit your preference center and letting them determine when and how often they want to receive their emails. ExactTarget has great advice on what to include in your email preference center.

 

Like most people, I am definitely a person of routine. I enjoy process and I thrive on structure. But when it comes to opening and reading my emails, marketers must make it worth my time. They must capture my attention so that their emails remain part of my ‘process.’ Remember, process is hard to break but easy to maintain. Make sure you keep your users in mind to become part of their routine.

Are you ready for some Connections?

September 16th, 2013

Every fall we look forward to participating in the industry’s premier digital marketing conference – ExactTarget Connections! This year, we have not just one, but two of our employees; Patricio Sapir, Director Interactive Development and Marvin Cal, Implementation Consultant, speaking during the breakout sessions, at the conference taking place in ExactTarget’s headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana September 17-19.

Patricio  Sapir, Director Interactive Development

Patricio Sapir, Director Interactive Development

Patricio Sapir, Director Interactive Development will educate attendees on how to build Hub apps and take them to market in HubExchange, the Hub’s integrated app marketplace, on Wednesday September 18 at 2:30pm EDT. Patricio will explain how he created Precision Dialogue’s Code in Color app which allows users to edit HTML and AMPscript code for emails without having to use separate text editor software.

Patricio Sapir is the Director for the Interactive Development Practice for Precision Dialogue, in charge of developing robust, scalable front end and backend technology that enables products and platforms, bringing together the best of cutting edge software engineering. Patricio has over 10 years of expertise as a Mobile and Web applications developer, architect and Project Manager with a focus on Agile Methodologies.  He is a graduate of the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Marvin Cal, Implementation Consultant

Marvin Cal, Implementation Consultant

Marvin Cal, Implementation Consultant will discuss flexible framework designs on Wednesday September 18 at 4:45pm EDT. Learn how flexible frameworks can improve your brand with consistent visuals, production efficiencies and campaign performance.

In  a combined role of Senior Graphic Designer and Production Specialist, Marvin has produced many successful email campaigns for our top email marketing clients. He has been working in the interactive field for more than 10 years and his expertise extends beyond email best practices into web design and development, flash animation, banner ad development and interactive applications.

Are you going to Connections? Follow the conversation on twitter by using the hashtag #ET13.

Precision Dialogue Launches New App for ExactTarget HubExchange to Edit HTML, AMPscript for Email

August 5th, 2013

CodeInColor_logo

Precision Dialogue, an analytics-driven, omni-channel, customer engagement firm, launched its new Code in Color app for ExactTarget HubExchange today, bringing marketers a new solution to edit HTML and AMPscript code for email within ExactTarget’s Interactive Marketing Hub.

Code in Color highlights words in the code such as AMPscript function names, variables, etc., as well as HTML code, allowing developers to easily identify the code they want to update. Updates are saved directly to the email; therefore the developer does not have to leave the application to make any changes.

Additional features of Code in Color give marketers the ability to:

  •  Open existing paste HTML emails, created in the ExactTarget Email application
  •  Highlight HTML and AMPscript based on what you want to edit
  •  Search within code for specific text
  •  Access to a library of AMPscript code snippets
  •  Update email properties such as name, subject line or encoding

“Code in Color was built to help marketers edit code directly through the ExactTarget email application, eliminating the possibility of overwriting code.” Patricio Sapir, Director of Interactive Development and developer of Code in Color. “Our app is intuitive, easy-to-use and ensures that users are writing emails correctly and efficiently.”

Code in Color is the latest innovation from Precision Dialogue. Precision Dialogue’s cross-channel solutions utilize customer intelligence and insights to deliver informed business strategies focused on maximizing and optimizing customer experiences. Precision Dialogue serves a diverse customer base from a broad range of markets including retail, financial services, insurance, telecommunications, pharmaceutical and entertainment. The company is focused on delivering the promise of customer engagement to drive mutually beneficial relationships between brands and the customers they serve. Precision Dialogue embraces emerging technologies and platforms, aggressively seeking strategic acquisitions and partnerships to position the company among the industry’s foremost customer-focused marketing firms.

“We are pleased to welcome Precision Dialogue’s Code in Color to ExactTarget HubExchange,” said Ian Murdock, ExactTarget’s vice president, platform and developer community. “Together with companies like Precision Dialogue, ExactTarget is transforming digital marketing, providing marketers around the world with a powerful platform and ecosystem of integrated applications to create customer experiences that build loyalty and drive results.”

HubExchange is ExactTarget’s app marketplace that enables technology providers to build and deliver integrated applications within ExactTarget’s Interactive Marketing Hub. Much like a consumer purchases and downloads apps on a smartphone, HubExchange enables marketers to access and install ExactTarget and third-party developed digital marketing apps, making it easy to integrate new features or marketing solutions to power marketing campaigns from within ExactTarget.

For a free 10-Day trial of Code in Color or to learn more visit HubExchange

Introducing Code in Color by Precision Dialogue!

July 16th, 2013

Yesterday Scott McCorkle, President of Technology and Strategy at ExactTarget, officially announced the commencement of HubExchange Week, which celebrates the launch of HubExchange, an app marketplace located in ExactTarget’s Interactive Marketing Hub that allows marketers to leverage the ExactTarget platform to create and offer their own applications to ExactTarget users.

Precision Dialogue was lucky enough to be invited to the party, being carefully selected by ExactTarget to help launch HubExchange with our new app, Code in Color!

Code in Color allows users to edit HTML and AMPscript (ExactTarget’s proprietary scripting language) for emails within the Interactive Marketing Hub. If you are already an ExactTarget user, you may be thinking: how is this different from ExactTarget’s Email application?

Basic Application Features

  • Text tab allows the formatting of a text-only version of your email
  • Properties tab allows users to update basic email properties such as Email Name, Subject Line and language encoding
  • Preview tab allows you to preview your changes

Where Code in Color differs greatly from the ExactTarget Email application’s content creation tools is on the HTML tab.

Nerd Alert! Why We’re Excited

Besides giggling over the opportunity to build applications on a new and robust platform, the initial launch of this application is a true app made for developers, by developers! This means that we’ve taken your coding challenges to heart when creating this app, because let’s face it – we’ve been there!

The HTML tab provides multiple color schemes for code display, which can toggle between highlighting AMPscript and HTML for easy editing. A code snippet dropdown includes basic AMPscript code snippets available for insert. A search field allows users to search for specific content or code within the HTML, and line numbering allows users to quickly find the area of the email they need to edit. Finally, there is a full screen option that allows users to make the HTML tab larger.

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Code in Color Roadmap

What sorts of goodies come with future enhancements to Code in Color? Right now, the functionality allows the easy editing of existing emails only. Here’s what we’re adding:

  • Email creation / copy functionality
  • WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) Editor
  • Template support
  • Content area support
  • AMPscript validation
  • AMPscript function library

For a 10-Day free trial of Code in Color, visit your account’s HubExchange today and look for our app!

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For more information on HubExchange Week’s festivities, check out ExactTarget’s 40+ Events!