Good morning, Marketers, sometimes using personalized messaging with consumers is getting too personal.
It doesn’t help when the finer points are flubbed, as you’ll see in our first piece below. Are you setting up these messages to fail with your customers? It might be time to rethink how you’re using data, and we have some ideas about how to begin this process.
If email is one of your preferred channels, you might also want to take another dive with us into our Email Marketing Periodic Table. Today, we get into the elements of infrastructure.
And lastly, you’ll see how Google is using algorithms to crack down on one of the Internet’s most nefarious elements: libel.
Personalization pitfalls: Why now’s the time for a data audit
In his latest article, marketing leader Ryan Phelan describes the annoyance of receiving poorly personalized marketing messages. He writes: “An unsolicited magazine arrived at our house the other day. It wasn’t the direct-mail version of spam – it was about home building and design, and we’re doing both. And then my wife noticed the mailing label. The magazine was addressed to ‘Ryan Winter.’ Now, that’s half right because I am Ryan. But “Winter” was my wife’s name under her former husband. So ‘Ryan Winter’ doesn’t exist at our house.”
He describes the steps marketers need to take, not only to ensure their email marketing data is up-to-date, relevant and accurate but also discusses supplementing your data. “This will be like going on a shopping spree — seeing what information you can pick off the data shelves. Now is the time to do it before holiday 2021 descends and your data requests get lower priority. Smart marketers plan now for the holiday season. Putting these things in play now will pay off in the holiday season because you will have speedy access to the data you need.”
Ryan’s advice is timely. “Now is the best time to do both data and program audits. June through August are usually slow months — even this year when we’re just beginning to see how things have changed. Take this time to reflect on what you’re doing with your data and how to use it.”
Elements of Infrastructure: Breaking down MarTech’s Email Marketing Periodic Table
Emails don’t just get sent on their own. In fact, there is a robust list of elements you need to consider in order to have an effective email marketing infrastructure.
For starters, there’s the Domain Name System (Dn), known as the phonebook of the internet. The DNS maps a domain name to the IP (Ip) address hosting the website and the IP sending mail for a particular entity with a different domain name.
A Mail Transfer Agent (Mt) is the software that transfers electronic messages from one user to another by using a SMTP server (Ss) which enables outbound email. A Mail User Agent (UA) is the software that enables emails to be sent and received. These two separate pieces are key to getting emails through to your customers and prospects.
A Sender Policy Framework (Sf) is also required as an email authentication method that detects forged sender addresses during the delivery of your email. On the other end, the user’s inbox uses a POP3 Server (P3). When subscribers complain, Feedback Loops (Fl) ensure that these complaints are routed to the sender so they can be acted upon.
Typically, your IP address will be associated with a domain name or a subdomain through the Domain Name System. Subdomains (Sd) help your customers recognize your brand’s name through the top-level domain; this prevents phishing attempts.
If you are considering adding BIMI (see the Experimental section in the full report), two critical steps come first. Logo Trademark Ownership (Lt) is a key element that is necessary for implementing BIMI. You also need to apply for a Verified Mark Certificate (Vc). Lastly, for the brand’s logo to be displayed, the email must pass DMARC (Dm) authentication checks, ensuring that the organization’s domain has not been impersonated.
Google demotes libelous content in search through its predatory sites algorithms
Google updated its algorithm to help victims of online slander, wrote Kashmir Hill and Daisuke Wakabayashi for the New York Times. “Websites solicit lurid, unverified complaints about supposed cheaters, sexual predators, deadbeats and scammers. People slander their enemies. The anonymous posts appear high in Google results for the names of victims. Then the websites charge the victims thousands of dollars to take the posts down,” said the NYT authors.
Google has already deployed changes to its algorithms but it plans to continue to make changes to catch these exploitative sites, the company told Search Engine Land. “We’ve had a policy in place for these sites for a number of years and a demotion signal based on valid page removals under this policy,” a spokesperson said.
Google will continue to improve these algorithms and you should see fewer exploitative or predatory websites surfacing in Google Search results for name queries. But, like anything in search, some sites will find methods around the current algorithms and Google will have to address those workarounds with new and improved preventative search algorithms.
Why we care. If you are in the online reputation management space, these algorithms may aid you in helping your clients with their reputation issues in Google Search.
Quote of the day
“If I tweet to a brand, and don’t get at least an acknowledgment, my brand perception decreases. There are still too many brands that believe social media is about marketing, and don’t recognize that it is a customer service channel first — marketing second.” Brett Rudy, Head of Marketing, MedSchoolCoach