Monday Catch-up: ROI, Send Times, CTAs & Politics

Good Monday morning marketers, and welcome to the first full week of April! Here are a few news items to help get your week (and month) off to a great start.

Email marketing ROI takes a big leap

Marketers saw a dramatic rise in email marketing ROI over the past year, a trend driven by a shift away from “basic email marketing” and toward increased use of “predicative intelligence, personalization and cross-channel input to customize messages,” according to the 2016 State of Marketing Report from Salesforce. The report says that 80 percent of respondents who use email say it is core to their business and nearly half say it’s directly linked to their business’ primary revenue source – up 140% from last year. “As email personalization capabilities grow more sophisticated, the channel becomes even more integral for marketers to deliver a holistic customer journey,” the report says. 

Is there a perfect time to hit “send?”

It’s a question every email marketer has pondered: “What’s the best time of day to send this message?” A recent study suggests there is no easy answer. The research results indicate that most people check their email frequently throughout the day and suggest that timing strategies should be dependent on industry vertical and the type of customers being targeted. “Retail tries to get into the inbox early in the day but that doesn’t mean everybody should,” say the study’s authors.

Need some call to action ideas? Here you go!

As an email marketer, you know how important compelling calls to action are to crafting messages that get results, and how frustrating it can be to come up with exactly the right ones. Well, the folks at Business 2 Community have your back. They’ve done some brainstorming and curated a list of 75 calls to action for you choose from. Examples include “reveal my mystery coupon,” “shop birthday deals” and “book now for early bird prices.” As a bonus, they also share five tips for using calls to action effectively.

Email marketing’s role in the 2016 presidential campaign

Have you noticed there is a fierce battle currently underway to determine who will move into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue next January? (It would be pretty hard to not be aware of that, right?) A pair of Baltimore-based digital marketers are keeping tabs on how the candidates are using email to market themselves, and you don’t have to be a political junkie to find their insights into email marketing in this context interesting. They’ve tracked changes in the tone of messages from Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton as their campaigns have progressed, determined that Ted Cruz is guilty of spamming and found that Donald Trump is “is sending the minimum amount of emails that a person can send running for president.” 

A Wendy’s tray liner inspired an email innovation

The opportunity to add marketing punch to email signature lines now seems rather obvious, but that wasn’t always the case. And while we can never know who the first marketer was to see and exploit that potential, Forbes interviewed an early adopter of the concept. In 2007, Adam Blitzer, now executive vice president of Salesforce Sales Cloud, was enjoying a chicken sandwich at Wendy’s when he realized that “Wendy’s was using all of its free white space, including the tray liner, for its marketing and branding. They were being smart and maximizing the space they had. And I thought, why couldn’t I do that with email?” He took the idea back to the office, and his employer became one of the “first out of the gate with applications that allowed sales reps to add marketing messages to their signature lines with the goal of advancing that sale even just a tiny bit further to closure.”