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Major Digital Marketing Fails and How to Avoid Them


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Everyone makes mistakes - even digital marketers. Between managing mobile, web and email, you're bound to make a mistake or two. That's why we've pulled together common marketing misses and how to make sure you get it right every time. Check it out!

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Major Digital Marketing Fails and How to Avoid Them

  1. 1. Major Digital Marketing Fails and How To Avoid Them!
  2. 2. Everyone makes mistakes…
  3. 3. Digital marketers are not exempt.
  4. 4. Whether it’s a poorly placed ad or complete email screw up…
  5. 5. Digital marketing can fail us.
  6. 6. Even with the best intentions…. sh*t happens.
  7. 7. Fear not, marketers. We are here to set you straight.
  8. 8. We’ve gathered some examples of digital marketing gone wrong and the tactics you need to avoid slipping up.
  9. 9. Miss: Don’t forget relevancy is a major key.
  10. 10. When you serve the right message to the right audience at the right time, your marketing is relevant. And the relevancy always wins.
  11. 11. But sometimes the right person doesn’t always receive the right message.
  12. 12. You are probably thinking, “Great offer! What’s the problem?” Unfortunately this landed in the inbox of a 32-year old male.
  13. 13. Fix: Don’t sweat it! You can avoid this kind of mishap by collecting better data on your customers at the individual level -- demographics, interests, etc. -- and then segment customers and personalize your marketing messaging based on those attributes. Clearly from this mishap, even the most basic level of segmentation based on gender or geography, would make a big difference!
  14. 14. Miss: I think I’m having deja vu.
  15. 15. If you abandoned your cart while shopping online, chances are that retailer is emailing you a reminder…
  16. 16. But sometimes they can slip up.
  17. 17. This dresser looks well and good (not to mention the “P.S. You’ll Love This…” section).
  18. 18. But it only works if the recipient hadn’t already purchased a dresser over a week ago.
  19. 19. Fix: Avoid this by tracking your customer’s purchases over time. Technology that allows for this data collection will help you to put recommended products/content in front of your customers that is relevant to them at the time you message them, rather than show a product -- or similar products -- they’ve already purchased!
  20. 20. Miss: The Birthday Conundrum
  21. 21. It’s smart to ask your customer for their birthday - this way you can give back on their special day with a gift or promotion.
  22. 22. But it gets tricky when your customers are buying gifts for others. Brands should be mindful of including recommended products to customers buying gifts.
  23. 23. Or in this next case...careful to suggest buying birthday gifts for yourself when it’s out of context.
  24. 24. I’m sure Kristine is thrilled that this brand knows when her birthday is… but I’m guessing she is weary of the suggestion to buy flowers for herself.
  25. 25. A fix for this campaign could be centered around Kristine sending a gift to celebrate herself with a tweak in the messaging, but again it’s all about the data.
  26. 26. Miss: The Gifting Conundrum
  27. 27. So, you are online shopping for a gift for your friend’s baby.
  28. 28. A week goes by and this arrives in your inbox...
  29. 29. This brand did not realize that the item purchased was bought as a gift, even though it was explicitly marked as one.
  30. 30. Here are two fixes to consider: 1. A little personalization goes a long way - according to a recent study, open rates were shown to jump 20% when the email includes a first name. Take that first step towards personalization, with the first name rather than saying “Dear Shopper.” 2. Make sure your email, mobile and onsite technologies can identify when a purchase is explicitly marked as a gift so that review triggers and other emails can be suppressed from gift buyers. It’s a small step that can make a big difference; don’t let your customers feel like you don’t know them or their history!
  31. 31. In the long-run, these digital marketing misses aren’t a huge deal. But you’d be surprised at how much your customers care about the little things.
  32. 32. Because sometimes the “little things” are big to your shoppers. A birthday is a milestone. A dresser is a big purchase and part of your daily life. Show them that you care...
  33. 33. ...and you’ll be in a position to keep your customers around for the long-term, and ultimately increase engagement, revenue and retention rates.
  34. 34. Miss: Data Without Context
  35. 35. If you are retargeting your customers - and let’s face it, almost everyone is - beware of being non-contextual.
  36. 36. These ads for Barney’s New York were served to a husband looking at holiday presents for his wife - which is great! (Lucky lady....)
  37. 37. But the holidays are over...
  38. 38. Well we’ve got your fix...
  39. 39. Consider data decay. Remove data points from high gift giving timeframes, like the holidays, so that you’re personalizing and retargeting within context throughout the year.
  40. 40. Miss: It’s not only about when, but where customers are engaging. (cough, mobile, cough)
  41. 41. Marketing appears virtually on all devices these days, and with the growth of mobile marketing it’s even more critical to get it right.
  42. 42. Knowing your customer is more than knowing their first name or last purchase - it’s about knowing where and how they connect with your brand at every touchpoint.
  43. 43. Account ending in -55008 Hello B. Pierce We love how AmEx is driving customers to their app, but turns out this customer had already downloaded the app...years ago.
  44. 44. The email also has calls to action for both iOS and Android, but she has only engaged with the brand via iOS.
  45. 45. Fix: Consider a cross-channel tech that connects your web and mobile experiences..
  46. 46. That way you're sending calls to action that are worthwhile, instead of communicating that you don’t know your customer at all...
  47. 47. And ultimately may risk them disengaging or opting out from your communications all together!
  48. 48. Have any marketing misses worth noting? Tweet us @sailthru!
  49. 49. Sailthru is the largest sender of personalized email in the world. We are the leading choice for modern marketers and retailers like Alex and Ani, Everlane and Betabrand for campaign management across email, web, and mobile. To see Sailthru in action, contact us at 877 812 8689 or visit for more information.