Whether you’re a professional email marketer or just want to know what the hottest trends are in marketing and customer engagement, you have to look no further than the annual Marketo Summit for the expert advice and insider perspective. It’s impossible to take in everything happening at the Marketo Marketing Nation Summit, which is why the Twin Cities Marketo User’s Group shared their major takeaways from the 2018 lineup.

What GDPR Means for Us

The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules around data protection went into effect May 25. (That’s why you got a million emails from all of your subscriptions, letting you know they were updating their privacy policy.) While there’s no equivalent in the US yet, these rules affect EU citizens even if they don’t live in the EU – which means, you need to know what it takes to be GDPR compliant. Scott Ryan, a marketing ops specialist for Perforce Software, recommended Michelle Miles’ presentation, “Tips to Thrive Amidst New Regulations.”

The main goal of GDPR is putting control of the data back into the hands of the subject. Consent is the new currency. Individuals have the right to pull their data, and to be forgotten/deleted entirely. It’s important for companies to have a policy and stick to it – an email preference center, privacy policy, and retention policy are essential. Make sure these policies are described clearly and not just in lawyer language, and be sure they include the right to deletion – you can’t keep customer data forever. 

Speaking of lawyers, anyone talking about GDPR that isn’t a lawyer will tell you to get one. There are lots of resources available online, but make sure that you internal legal team is involved – fees can be up to 4% of gross annual revenue, so it’s worth the investment on the front end.

Copy That

“Everyone uses decision-making shortcuts. We like to think that we’re objective and make decisions wisely, but we don’t. Use this to your advantage,” said Nancy Harhut, during her presentation, “The ABC’s of Persuasive Copy.” There are some simple best practices, pulled from the latest neuroscience and psychology, along with vast amounts of consumer data and patterns, that you can employ to level up your marketing copy right now. Beth Holine, Digital Marketing Manager at Edmentum brought back the recap.

First, be sure you’re running tests. Split test your subject lines, headlines, placement – any feedback you can get from a reasonable sample size will only help you moving forward! Rather than guessing what would work, get the data so you can do better.

Second, say the magic words. People only read 28% of web copy – make it count! Draw the eye, and trick the psychology, with these words:

  • “Because”-  gets people nodding along in agreement before they know what’s next. It’s a great trigger of causality and making your point.
  • “New, Introducing, Soon, Now” – novelty works! Our brains are wired for difference, so anytime you can introduce an element of surprise or urgency, go for it.
  • “You” (instead of I or We) – using the second person is so much more engaging. You really feel like you’re in the piece, instead of being at a distance. (See what you felt there?)
  • Names! – People love their names, and in this age of personalization, use them whenever possible. Isn’t that right, [insert your name here]?

Do you want one more copywriting trick? Questions in subject lines are 140-150% more engaging. Have you found that to be true? Because our brains are oriented towards finishing, the start of the question will provoke people to open that email and see what’s happening!

First Look

“We’re competing with cat videos.” The best writing in the world is going to have a hard time breaking through all the cat videos on the internet – especially because 90% of the info our brains retain is visual. Smart marketers can take advantage of this by using charts, graphs, even photos to make copy more credible. Even if your audience doesn’t READ the chart or graph, they just assume the project is more legitimate.

Great visuals are also more accessible across a global scale and help your content be more accessible and transferrable. On a smaller scale, try putting the Von Restorff effect to work for you – thanks to our hunter/gatherer roots, our brains hardwired to notice things that stand out. Use creative visuals for a big impact: did you know emojis in an email subject line get 34% lift in opening? 👏

Get Organized

With marketing getting ever more sophisticated, personalization and data reigning, and new marketing tools coming on the scene, we’re starting to see a lot of decentralized marketing systems. One company shared how they had 1500 landing pages 75 nurture streams and 14 integrations; 198 users dispersed globally… So how does one keep it all together?

Align your team for the organization you have now – chances are, your marketing plan (at whatever scale) was built piecemeal and while it may have all been strategic, now is the time to step back. There is some “late mover advantage” – now that you’ve been working with these tools, processes, and teams, you know more than when you started. Zoom out and reassess, almost thinking of it as a fresh start. What’s working? Where is there redundancy? What is possible?

Give ownership to key people by program or channel – whatever makes sense for your organization – and then that person can tweak, educate, and be a resource. Especially in larger organizations, you want to have the right structure to support all of your activities, but have it spread out enough that the leaders are accessible and have agency to improve and manage their work.

Lastly, make sure that the institutional knowledge is being captured. Extensive documentation is all the rage. Build your company’s internal best practices and share the best results across your teams. Whether that’s an internal wiki or just a message board where teams can learn and collaborate, there’s no need to be re-inventing or re-testing on account of lack of communication.

For more from the Marketo conference, including full recordings of last year’s sessions, check out their website

 

   

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