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Sorry all, I meant to post this on Wednesday. Apologies to anyone that was waiting with baited breath.

In my previous post,Takeaways from the Marketing United Conference in Nashville, TN, I shared some of the lessons learnt from Marketing United (a digital marketing conference hosted by Emma). I had planned to write everything in one post, but found there was just too much goodness to share in one post. Highlights from additional sessions at Marketing United are below.

The Psychology of Email Marketing

Christopher Lester, VP of Sales at Emma, gave a really interesting talk on the psychology of email marketing… that could really be applied to any marketing. His presentation was titled, The sixth sense of marketing: how our brains rule when and why we click. He talked about great marketing teams like West Elm and JCrew. He had a special awe for JCrew’s email marketing, stating that if anyone knew someone that worked in JCrew’s marketing department he wanted to meet them. He spoke about how they were using lists in email to break up content into easy to digest information. The brain loves lists, he declared. Lists can sometimes cause longer content, but we’re all so used to sliding through content on our phone: thumb slide after thumb slide. He confirmed this with another tweet worthy quote, Gone are the days of worrying about the scroll also citing the #embracethescroll movement on Twitter. He touched on color psychology briefly which I found to be fascinating. Apparently blue makes us feel pretty secure, and yellow can make us feel somewhat anxious. (This Emma guide is worth downloading for more color psychology and other CTA enhancers.) Using this knowledge to be strategic with button colors and other design elements can increase click through rate and engagement. Here are a few other tips that Christopher shared with the audience at the conference:

  • Although there is no rule for the character length of email subjects the Emma team has found 28 characters to be a seemingly sweet spot.
  • The fingertip is approximately 46 x 46 px, so design your buttons accordingly so they’re easy to tap on mobile devices. I remembered reading this before on a useful Emma infographic with 18 must know stats for modern marketers.
  • Fonts should be at least 14px in emails to ensure readability on mobile devices.
  • White space increases comprehension. (White space is my best friend!)

UnSelling: The New Customer Experience

This keynote session with Scott Stratten of UnMarketing was beyond engaging. Scott spoke unapologetically  about the dumb things we do in marketing. He had the entire place rolling with laughter as he pointed out fail after fail in bad marketing that unfortunately we’re all guilty of at some point or another. He also spoke about the importance of having high standards and integrity. Scott and his wife Alison exposed a huge company for having all of their own employees rate their own app with raving reviews. At first it may not seem soooo terrible of a thing to do, but he made an extremely valid point that if we don’t blow whistles on events like this we’ll lose trust in the internet and it will become less and less relevant. I left his keynote feeling like it was more important than ever to be genuine, authentic and transparent. People can see right through bull crap! Scott and Alison lead a weekly podcast called UnPodcast where they talk about being real with customers and poke fun at shameful marketing tactics. We were lucky enough to get to watch a live podcast at the conference (which is what the photo above is from).  A few additional tips from the UnPodcast crew + Jay Baer who sat in as a guest are below:

  • Use your online products like your clients would to make sure the experience is as easy as possible. Test your website on a smartphone. Have an iPhone? Switch with a friend who has an Android and test on that platform too or visa versa.
  • Make it easy for people to connect with you. Creating an email signup form? Try only asking for an email address instead of 5, 10 or 20 fields!
  • Save 10-15% of your budget every year for experimental stuff. New social mediums and online channels are popping up everyday. Anticipate this so that you’re not scrambling to catch up at the end of each year.

Ben Swank was Cool

Ben Swank’s session ignited my creative senses. Ben is with Third Man Records: a recording studio, bizarre-o retail shop, record store, concert venue, archive house and anything goes place of business owned and operated in Nashville by Jack White (formerly of The White Stripes). They constantly strive to do something different and work to bring value and new things to the community. On Record Store Day they celebrated by producing The World’s Fastest Record. They use their genuine eccentric spirits and curious nature to create events, music and swag that will attract attention to their brand which naturally results in revenue.

Email is Millennials Preferred Method of Contact with Brands

Jay Jhun (Brightwave Marketing) and Grey Garner (Emma) had an interview style chat about the future of email marketing in this afternoon session. As a millennial I was able to readily shake my head yes that’s right when they revealed that email is the #1 preferred method of contact with brands among millennials. Jay had several great suggestions, but my favorite was this one:

  • Segmentation doesn’t have to be complicated. Use sleepy pieces of data to talk to specific members of your audience. For example, celebrate when someone has been on your email list for a year by sending them a coupon or gift!

Marketing so Useful People Would Pay for It

Jay Baer wrapped up the conference with a dynamite talk. Jay is the creator of the concept he refers to as Youtility. He described this as marketing that is so useful people would pay for it. He spoke about three types of useful marketing:

  • Self-Serve Information
  • Transparency & Humanity
  • Real Time Relevancy

Self-Serve Information

The idea behind providing self-serve information to prospective clients is that the better you teach the more you’ll sell as quoted from Jay. Use blog posts and other content to teach your clients about your particular industry. Be useful, and people will remember you and this also positions you as an expert in the field.

Transparency & Humanity

Be radically open and honest and people will respect you far more. People do business with people they trust. In the talk, Jay told us about a realtor named Joe who sells homes. Joe wrote an entire guide on his website on How to Sell a House on Your Own. He joked about how many people would download the 60 page guide and start out trying to sell their home on their own, but by page 10 most people realize how hard it is to sell their home on their own… and then who would they think of? Joe!

Real Time Relevancy

Find ways to be relevant right now. Jay told us about a cool thing IKEA did in Quebec, Canada. Apparently all leases end on July 1st in Quebec, so it’s become a crazy moving day for the province. When you’re getting ready to move you know boxes are like pure gold. IKEA very kindly and strategically provided FREE boxes for movers around the province. So who do you think these movers are going to think of when they need a new bed or desk or other piece of furniture for their new place? IKEA we tip our hats to you! Jay also told us about an APP that lets you know when is the best time to go pee during a movie. Seriously… it’s an award winning app called RunPee. You have to check it out!

At the end of his presentation Jay challenged us to start off each day asking, How can I help?

Until Next Year

Overall, the conference was an amazing experience to grow and learn ways to be better at digital marketing, and I can’t wait to attend again next year. There’s something new to learn in this industry everyday, so it’s so awesome to have the opportunity to devote a couple days a year specifically to professional development. I hope the information I’ve shared has been helpful. Use the comments below if you have any questions or thoughts to share!

Toni Eftink

About the Author

Toni Eftink
If Element 74 were a circus, Toni would be the ring leader, juggler and headliner all in one. Outside her passion for E74 Life, Toni likes to hike, run, and spend her weekends downtown at Dynamite, the Farmer's Market and checking out other little shops with friends.

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