Just as superheroes need to know the villains' powers, marketers need data, which can be combined with things like video, and location-based and live content to create dynamic emails.

The Spring and Summer action movie season is in full swing, and big screens everywhere are full of The Avengers, MadMax, and The Fantastic Four, among others. As email marketers, action is what we're all about. We strive to engage consumers, retain them, drive sales and build loyalty. Those are the top three goals according to a 2014 Forrester survey.

Of course, some days driving inbox action seems like Mission: Impossible, but there are recent innovations to help you transform and activate your email marketing program faster than a speeding bullet (no Superhero required).


Data Drives Action

All the action starts with data. Just like the hero needs to know where the damsel in distress is and what the villain's superpower is, we need data on an individual's circumstance to drive contextual communications and desired actions. In reality, most marketers have treasure troves of data that are not easily put into action to drive consumer action. It's in "stored and ignored" mode in many cases.

The process for putting data into action begins with the question - "If we knew X, what would we do differently?" Once marketers are armed with ideas around how data attributes can help provide value to the individual consumer in the form of a more valuable and contextual experience, they are on the way to building out paths to action and conversion.

Inbox Innovations Unite!

Data coupled with inbox innovations are making today's email messaging more action-packed than ever. With live content that personalizes content at the time of message open, we see more and more opportunities to engage consumers and (Read more...) them down the path to action and conversion. Here are a few examples that most email programs can put into fast action to get some key learning heading into the busy post-summer seasons:

Video-in Email

Taking email to the next action level with direct video playback capabilities is a huge opportunity across many industries. This emerging capability dynamically tunes into an inbox provider's functionality to deliver the best experience, ranging from a static image to an animated .gif or fully functioning video in the inbox. With video content driving action and conversion, particularly for personal electronic, automotive products, toys, housewares and fitness purchases, bringing video into the inbox creates new action path opportunities to drive stronger engagement and faster conversion. Marketers should be examining subscriber base data to understand what ISPs are most prevalent as a first step, then testing video-in email to gain learning to apply during busy buying seasons.

Countdown Clocks

Creating a sense of urgency is key to driving action. Countdown clocks provide clear visibility into timing for sale start and end timing, product launches and many other scenarios. Use the tick tock of the clock, like the ticking time bomb in the blockbuster movie, to deliver contextual value to consumers by keeping them in the know.

Real-time countdown clock updates are all about urgency and action in the here and now. Test the ticking time element and start to optimize programs with clear and present urgency in the inbox.

Location-based Content

Location, location, location. Forget real estate, location is important for priming consumers for action with the right message at the right place and time. Consider the contextual value of knowing a consumer's location and delivering a special offer at a nearby location along with a map to get them there before store closing.

Or, the engagement that can be driven by informing consumers of incoming weather fronts that indicate they may need snow tires or a snow cone maker very soon. Also, curate content based on favorites in a certain region or a restaurant recommendation for the active traveler who loves brew pubs. Lots of opportunities emerge that align with a consumer's location to deliver content that will serve them well and deliver location-based value.

With the summer action movie season heating up, strap on that jet pack and get into gear now to create a blockbuster email program this summer. By tapping innovations, you'll round out 2015 with significant learning and maximize the second half of the year with actions and conversions. Bam. Pow. Zap.

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