With David Kepets, Senior Director, Global Creative Services at Cheetah Digital.
With all the amazing software we have access to at Cheetah Digital, we are sometimes guilty of getting caught up in the clever mechanisms working behind the scenes. To flip an often-used comparison we find ourselves looking at the iceberg’s mass below the water, neglecting the pleasant looking top it has.
Fundamentally what makes the biggest difference to the customers and consumers of the brands we serve is the end experience they are interacting with. When a consumer opens up a brand email, the marketer has mere seconds to capture their attention. The creative accompanying an email is the first thing the consumer sees, and having something innovative, catchy and engaging is imperative to keeping their attention. Does it cut through the noise, does the messaging land? Or is the creative preventing a customer from picking up what’s being laid down?
In this special episode of Uncaged Wisdom — with its own accompanying video! — Kayla and Julian chat with David Kepets, Senior Director, Global Creative Services at Cheetah Digital. The three of them discuss in detail the importance of innovative email design and the accompanying strategies we deliver at Cheetah to make emails come alive.
So, head here to watch the video, whilst keeping this blog up to read along as you go. Alternatively you can also get your normal audio fix through your podcast provider or click on the link at the bottom to listen.
01:07 to 06:41 - David introduces himself and the areas the Creative Services team specialise in including; creative, coding, and strategy. A handy accompanying mantra could be, “How do we make it look good, and look good in a smart way?”
The conversation then turns to how important this is as a subject of discussion and accompanying effort. The simple answer being Engagement — which is at root of what design can bring to a campaign. What are the ways to engage people? Start off with a good headline / byline copy, since if this engages your audience they are more likely to click into the email itself which is where the real fun begins. We also discuss how much time marketers are investing in perfecting these dark arts with testing being key. David explains the different buckets that clients typically fall into here.
07:20 to 32:00 - Screen share Action Claxon STARTS
07:26 to 12:38 - Introducing the world of Cheetah Tap. In this, the main section of this episode, David takes us through the various animated content devices we have to increase interaction and engagement within an email. One key goal — other than the broad objective of increasing engagement — is helping brand marketers to combat Template Fatigue.
On a practical note we cover how these animated and interactive emails work across various devices and within different environments, allowing users to get the best experience available to them.
12:46 to 16:44 - Interactive & AMP for email. David showcases actual examples of how Cheetah Tap can be used within the mobile inbox, and talks us through the latest with AMP for email.
16:46 to 23:18 - Gamification of the inbox and the creative interactive ways to incorporate different products from across the Customer Engagement Suite. In perhaps the most exciting section, David walks us through certain creative design techniques within Cheetah Messaging that can compliment Cheetah Loyalty and Cheetah Experiences. First up, an example of creating a highly personalized micro “Loyalty Hub” within a consumers inbox.
24:17 to 32:00 - Next up the many benefits of adding Cheetah Experiences to your Messaging — also known in the industry as Julian’s GOLDEN GOOSE! (and here’s a cracking accompanying sister podcast of the very subject). How can quizzes or surveys be started in the email, before then linking out to the full experience or another destination? These initial steps of the messaging Messaging-Experience/Loyalty combo are available today! If you’re looking for a real juicy section check out 26:00 where we discuss how we can combine this hat-trick of elements. It’s the #CESinAction — send engaging content and experiences to the right audience and the right time at the right place.
07:20 to 32:00 - Screen share Action Claxon ENDS
32:24 to 35:02 - Rounding off our chat, we talk in greater detail about Cheetah’s industry leading Professional Services org and how clients go about approaching us for help. Our efforts here certainly had Forrester sit up and take note during the last ESP Wave.
What is the approach we at Cheetah Digital, in particular our highly acclaimed professional services org, take when it comes to evaluating a client's current creative approach and how it should evolve?
35:20 to 37:44 - From the perspective of the brand marketer, what are some of the fundamentals with making their emails creatively excellent and what are some of the day-to-day design challenges they are trying to overcome?
32:24 to 35:02 - To close out, David takes us through some of his thoughts around where trends in the industry may be headed next. From "Dark Mode," to ADA Compliance, to further ways to make the inbox truly interactive. It’s a Wild Wild World.
...And as promised, for those of you who want this in audio format:
Back to the rest of the iceberg — you can check out our latest ebook on email deliverability.
Julian is the Senior Director of Client & Vertical Content for Cheetah Digital. Prior to this Julian was the Head of Customer Success & Account Management for Experiences in AMER. Over the past 10 years, he has been focused on making strategies and software really work for brands and the digital marketers trying to implement them. Englishman in NYC, Demo DJ, and the line is a dot to him. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯