Email Marketing Overview

There are so many fantastic ways to leverage email and direct mail marketing to your advantage. Figuring out the best way for your brand can be a bit overwhelming. Based on a thorough understanding of your objectives, let Incitrio Branding & Marketing Agency help you build the best tactical matrix for your brand.

  • Database — acquisition, building organic, sourcing paid, scrubbing, segmentation, etc.
  • Email Campaigns — awareness, welcome, lead gen, cart abandonment, win-back, etc.
  • Mobile-Optimized Email Marketing – design & development
  • Personalization — by geographic, demographic, gender, interest, etc.
  • Analytics — sends, opens, soft bounces, hard bounces, click-thrus, unsubscribes, etc.

Email Marketing Process

Whether you have a great organic list that just needs augmentation and appending or you’re starting from scratch targeting a completely new demographic, Incitrio Branding & Marketing Agency can help you acquire and refine your list so that you have a strong foundation to build upon. The right list can mean the difference between a campaign that performs well and one that fails miserably.

Once your list is built or acquired, we’ll begin the scrubbing and de-duping process. This ensures that you don’t pay for the same name twice and that you send to the most recent and accurate email or mailing address. Then, we segment by interests, gender, age, location, industry, and/or whatever additional data we have so that any personalization recommendations are relevant and appropriate.

Email Marketing can be a fantastic way to engage with your audience. Typically, email is used with an audience that already has a relationship with your brand. We highly recommend following “white hat” or CAN-SPAM compliant practices as messaging to an organic list is 10x more effective than soliciting a paid list. Whether you’re looking for an email newsletter design and programming or setup of a complete email marketing campaign and infrastructure, Incitrio Branding & Marketing Agency can help. We’ll tailor our offerings to meet your specific needs. Get support setting up your email branding and messaging plan or getting a new email software platform up and running.

Use your ESP or ours, we’re agnostic. Our only concern is that we steer you towards a platform that is “white hat” so your database and emails don’t get stuck sending out from an IP address on a server that you’re sharing with a spammer. For fun, we’ve even tested our platform vs. a well-known national provider that allows “black hat” methodology. We didn’t change the email design, programming, content, or subject line. We sent the same email via each platform and our recommended software technology garnered our client a 1300% increase in leads. Pretty unbelievable, right? But, it’s true. Sending from an ethical Email Service Provider (ESP) ensures that their range of IP addresses are “white listed” by local ISPs and not automatically blocked by spam filters. That means your email has a much higher likelihood of reaching its intended recipient. As most Fortune 500 companies have already figured out, it’s definitely worth the added investment.

There are so many great options for ways to leverage email marketing. Where do we begin? First, you need to identify your ideal desired outcome. Is it increased brand visibility with an awareness campaign? Or, is it qualified leads for your sales team with a lead gen campaign? Perhaps it’s online engagement with a new customer to strengthen that relationship and help with retention with a welcome campaign. Or, it could be a special offer to entice a customer who abandoned their shopping cart to come back and complete the sale. Or, it could be a win-back campaign with segmented messaging to minimize list attrition. Before you can select your ideal tactic, you must finalize and agree upon your ideal outcome. Only then can Incitrio Branding & Marketing Agency work together with you to create a campaign that is sure to perform.

Designing email marketing for the mobile space, just like designing a mobile website, is completely different from the current, traditional way of organizing information. No longer are we focused on a “Z” or “F” pattern. Now, we consider the size and manner in which the viewer processes information. You can think of it as an up-down rather than left-right reading pattern. Also, the information that the email recipient requires from a mobile email and its order are different because we want to entice the viewer to scroll down and read more. We can’t do that if the entire first screen is taken up with a logo and image. Call to action has to be above the fold and multiple offers need to be organized across several screens to entice engagement and scrolling. Let Incitrio Branding & Marketing Agency help you with both your traditional and mobile-optimized email. Our ESP (email service platform) auto-detects how the recipient is viewing your email and auto-serves the appropriate format for the highest possible optimized email experience, regardless of device.

Need personalization on the email side? No problem. Incitrio’s email platform can take that well-scrubbed list with personalization indicators and “merge” it with a database of email addresses, names, geographies, imaging, and messaging to serve a highly customized email experience on a per-person basis. Tie it all into links that are trackable via custom landing pages per segment with forms backed by Google Goal Funnels and now you’ve got an email campaign that is going to give you way more data than simply how many people opened it and clicked thru.

When it comes to analytics, we speak data. And, we’ll happily translate for you. Instead of telling you simply how many people opened your email, we’ll tell you exactly “who” clicked on specific offers to generate a warm lead list for your sales team. And, if you’ve experience a set of bounces, we’ll tell you which emails had a “soft” bounce vs a “hard” bounce so that you can reach out to customers who still want to receive your messages but may have changed or cancelled their email addresses. Thinking about sending a more compelling offer, but don’t want to alienate those customers who already responded to your first offer? We’ll scrub your list, give you a lead list, and export that new, segmented list back into your ESP for a win-back campaign to help you capture those potentially missed sales opportunities.

Email Marketing FAQs

Variable Data Personalization or VDP is a way of enhancing the performance of a direct mail piece by modifying key elements. For example: If you owned a resort and were sending a special offer to a past guest on their birthday, you might personalize by their name and birth date. You could take it one step further by identifying that this past guest was a woman and giving her a special offer of a massage since that’s what she did last time she was there. Or, if the past guest was a man, you could give him a special offer of a round of golf since that’s what he did last time he was visiting. You could take it one step further and personalize by the age range of the guest like a 30-40 yr-old woman or 50-60 yr-old man. The more detailed the personalization, the better the direct mail piece will perform. Personalization can also be done within an email platform, but it is not called VDP. VDP requires an Excel file in CSV format with additional columns for all the data points, IND or AI file with call outs for personalization elements, and software at the printer’s office tied into their digital printer in order to work. Personalization via email also requires an Excel file in CSV format with additional columns for all the data points and personalization call outs within the HTML file tied into the software of the ESP in order to work.
A Personalized URL or PURL is a tactic that can be used as part of a list augmentation campaign. For example: If you knew that you had someone’s birthday and email address, but you did not have their direct mail address, you could invite them to visit their PURL to augment their profile within your database. In exchange, you could give them a special offer. A PURL is typically a one-off microsite with a URL specific to just that person. It is most often used within a VDP direct mail campaign as the PURL can be a variable that is used for personalization. A sample PURL could be: or The microsite URL is usually completely different and separate from your brand’s parent URL so that it can be modified and tracked for the campaign only. Most PURLs consist of 4 pages: 1. entry/welcome message, 2. 3-4 question page, 3. profile augmentation form, and 4. special offer. Smart brands that are typically consumer facing (B2C) have learned to leverage PURLs as a way to entice their customer to convert or take advantage of a specific promotion. For example: If I was a member of the Zoo, and invited to answer questions about whether I liked pandas or tigers better, then shown a special offer of a behind-the-scenes tour of the tiger enclosure because I indicated that I liked tigers better than pandas, I would be much more likely to convert than if I was shown a generic special offer for giraffes because their data indicated that “everybody” likes giraffes.
A soft bounce could mean that the ISP had a firewall or spam filter that your email hit. It is not as serious as a hard bounce. A hard bounce means that email address likely no longer exists. In the case of a soft bounce, you will want to remove those emails from your database permanently and have your sales team reach out to those email recipients to confirm if they would still like to receive your messages and would they please white list your sending address with their email service provider. In the case of a hard bounce, you will also want to remove those emails permanently. Then, you will want to have your sales team reach out to those email recipients via phone or mail or in-person to see if you can get an updated email address. This is a case where a VDP direct mail campaign tied to a PURL for a larger database of hard bounces could enable you to append that list with the most recent email addresses so that your intended messaging makes it through to the greatest number of potential customers.

This particular sector is constantly changing and evolving, so much so that it is hard to keep up! Some of the latest options for amping up your email performance include: embedding video that plays within your email on your computer, embedding animated GIFs, “real-time”optimization of content and CTAs (Calls to Action), Spamhaus scrubbing of emails prior to sending, and mobile email optimization. Increasingly email marketing is becoming a favorite among “brick and mortar” and online retailers. They are constantly looking for ways to push the envelope and integrate their email campaigns with their POS and inventory data. This space will definitely be one to watch in the years to come.

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