This week we attended the MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2018 in Las Vegas.
We learned tons, had great meetings with lots of potential new clients, and thoroughly enjoyed the event. Here are our key takeaways:
A big part of what MECLABS (the parent company of MarketingSherpa) is all about is optimization and testing, so that was a big theme this week. Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director and CEO, kicked off the summit with a keynote about using tests and experiments to find better ways to humanize email campaigns, communicate person-to-person, and transcend the digital revolution by continuing to focus on building relationships with people.
Questions continuously revolved around these points:
- How do you use data?
- How do you not make assumptions and actually respond to the results?
- How do you create automated yet human-like connections?
- How do you achieve true relevance in our email campaigns at-scale?
This is really interesting for AVARI because we have defined our technology to answer these questions in an automated way. So we ended up being right smack in the center of the event’s hottest topic, which was pretty cool. Email is sexy again. People are paying attention to email technology again, and the consensus is that it’s time to start taking advantage of all this data in a more intelligent way.
There was also quite a bit of discussion on segmentation this week. Even though it’s been a topic for ages, the dozens of people we talked to believe that most email marketers still don’t do very advanced segmentation. They want to, they see big upside potential, but it’s not easy and it takes too much time. A push for more manual segmentation may not result in deeper adoption, because the barriers are related to resources.
Right now, it’s hard to integrate, it’s expensive, and it’s resource-intensive to create lots of dynamic content variations. It needs to be easier. It needs to be automated. Because of this, I'm hearing people say that a lot of the major brands are still brand-heavy and generic in their emails, rather than segmented, hyper-targeted, or even individually personalized.
This event has been a great learning opportunity for us. The event is well done, well organized, and everything works like clockwork. There are a lot more hands-on opportunities for people than other conferences I’ve attended. Even the big evening event was great, in an amazing, over-the-top rooftop club overlooking the Bellagio Fountains. You really can't get any better than that setting. I was joking around with the team that it's the kind of fancy place that I would never get into otherwise. ;)
To support the event, MarketingSherpa also had a great online presence and put out tons of excellent resources on the Email Summit themselves. You should definitely check out these sites if you’re hungry for more:
- Session Slides from Tuesday, including decks:
- Featured Speaker: Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director, MECLABS Institute
- Featured Speaker: Jonah Berger, Marketing Professor, The Wharton School
- Breakout: Skills Delivering Value: How LinkedIn serves its audience in 5 essential ways
- Breakout: Strategy How to Keep Subscribers Engaged with Your Brand via Personalized Content
- Hands-on Live Test Lab Learn how to improve your already successful marketing
- 2018 MarketingSherpa Award Winner: Best B2B Email Campaign: Ferguson
- Featured Speaker: Jose Palomino, President, Value Prop Interactive
- Featured Speaker: Stephen J. Dubner, New York Times Bestselling Author, Freakonomics
- Breakout: Skills Going Beyond List-based Email Marketing: Combining segmentation and content marketing to win in 2018
- Breakout: Strategy How to Leverage Email to Re-engage Customers as Part of an Omnichannel Strategy
- 2018 MarketingSherpa Award Winner: Best B2C Email Campaign: Finish Line
- Live Email Optimization
- Breakout: Skills How to Build a Relevant Customer Experience Using Data You Already Have
- Breakout: Strategy How to Use Email Behavior Data to Identify and Validate Consumer Segmentation
- Breakout: Skills Quick Tips: Elements of email
- Breakout: Strategy Quick Tips: Technology selection
- BEST B2C EMAIL CAMPAIGN: Finish Line
- BEST B2B EMAIL CAMPAIGN: Ferguson
- READERS' CHOICE EMAIL CAMPAIGN: Microsoft Store
And finally, I’d like to include some highlights of the event and value-added materials that our social media team put together for the conference delegates and shared with them online using the #SherpaEmail hashtag.
First was our white paper, CTOR Revival 2018, which talks about personalization, Dynamic Content 2.0, and why the click-to-open-rate (CTOR) is the hottest email metric of the year. Hard copies were available at the conference, but you can also download it from our website.
As the conference progressed, we created a series of minigraphics to share on Twitter, which captured and illustrated the key points and ideas being circulated.
We also compiled two stories on Storify. The first, #SherpaEmail Inspiration, contains a selection of relevant and engaging shares about #EmailMarketing. The second, #SherpaEmail 2018 - #FunTimes, includes some of our favorite pictures from the event.
It's been an informative and fun week, and we are looking forward to upcoming conferences. See you at SXSW.