Rethinking Your Inbox

Rethinking Your Inbox

There’s nothing as frustrating as being asked the same question over and over again. If it happens at home, it’s usually one of my children who refuses to stop talking and listen for the answer. When it happens at work, it’s usually in my inbox.

I wholeheartedly believe in permission-based marketing, which looks a little something like this:

There are a number of sites whose emails I receive frequently (I’m a big fan of Helpscout, Hail Varsity, Grovemade, and a few design blogs). I linked those sites because I highly value the content they share with me. I place a high value on these emails because the companies that send them clearly place a high value on good content. They’re not bombarding me with useless information over and over again.

I not only don’t mind receiving these emails, I’m actually happy to read (or at least skim) them. Many of these companies have allowed me to select exactly what I want to receive from them, which means that my email preferences have opted me into specific lists. I only get what I want, when I want it. That’s email nirvana.

So what about you? Are you emailing the right people with the right information, or could you be exasperating your recipients with information they don’t want that drives up their frustration level? What I’m really asking you is: Are you segmenting your lists?

If not, it’s time to start. Think about your audience before you think about your content, and then write specifically to them.

Example: If you’re inviting people to a webinar in your email, make sure you aren’t sending that email to people who have already attended or to those who recently signed up. It’s not just confusing to get an email asking you to do something you’ve already done, it’s annoying.

If you are already segmenting, THANK YOU and be sure to use those segments wisely.

Example: If you’re having a live, in-person event, you should segment by location. People in Florida probably won’t make it to your dinner in Massachusetts. Just send invitations to people within a 50-mile radius, or whatever you decide is appropriate. If someone signed up to receive retirement planning tips, don’t break their trust by emailing them articles about investing for business owners.

While we’re here, let’s take a moment to talk about where these emails are going. If your recipient is using Gmail, it is very likely that your email is hanging out in their Promotions folder. That’s a truth that a lot of people find frustrating, but I believe is actually a strength. Here’s why:

You aren’t frustrating your readers. When they click on the Promotions tab, they are expecting to find promotional material. Seeing your information in that folder will provoke one of two responses. They’ll either think, “Oh! This should be in my inbox,” and tell their email provider to send your emails to their inbox going forward. Or, they’ll be ready to take in your email as something they actually subscribed to receive when they click in.

I personally use the Promotions tab and really enjoy being able to consume marketing initiatives on my own terms. Of course, this means marketers have to write compelling subject lines in order to entice me to open them, but that’s the point. The best stuff rises to the top. 

Your emails can rise to the top too. Get your lists right. Write compelling headlines. Offer resources people really want. And don’t sweat the Promotions tab.

Jud Mackrill
Digital Marketing
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Jud Mackrill serves as the Cofounder of Mineral. At Mineral, his focus is helping investment advisory businesses focus on growing digitally through full-scale design, brand de ... Click for full bio

China's Push Toward Excellence Delivers a Global Robotics Investment Opportunity

China's Push Toward Excellence Delivers a Global Robotics Investment Opportunity

Written by: Jeremie Capron

China is on a mission to change its reputation from a manufacturer of cheap, mass-produced goods to a world leader in high quality manufacturing. If that surprises you, you’re not the only one.

For decades, China has been synonymous with the word cheap. But times are changing, and much of that change is reliant on the adoption of robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence, or RAAI (pronounced “ray”). For investors, this shift is driving a major opportunity to capture growth and returns rooted in China’s rapidly increasing demand for RAAI technologies.

You may have heard of ‘Made in China 2025,’ the strategy announced in 2015 by the central government aimed at remaking its industrial sector into a global leader in high-technology products and advanced manufacturing techniques. Unlike some public relations announcements, this one is much more than just a marketing tagline. Heavily subsidized by the Chinese government, the program is focused on generating major investments in automated manufacturing processes, also referred to as Industry 4.0 technologies, in an effort to drive a massive transformation across every sector of manufacturing. The program aims to overhaul the infrastructure of China’s manufacturing industry by not only driving down costs, but also—and perhaps most importantly—by improving the quality of everything it manufactures, from textiles to automobiles to electronic components.

Already, China has become what is arguably the most exciting robotics market in the world. The numbers speak for themselves. In 2016 alone, more than 87,000 robots were sold in the country, representing a year-over-year increase of 27%, according to the International Federation of Robotics. Last month’s World Robot Conference 2017 in Beijing brought together nearly 300 artificial intelligence (AI) specialists and representatives of over 150 robotics enterprises, making it one of the world’s largest robotics-focused conference in the world to date. That’s quite a transition for a country that wasn’t even on the map in the area of robotics only a decade ago.

As impressive as that may be, what’s even more exciting for anyone with an eye on the robotics industry is the fact that this growth represents only a tiny fraction of the potential for robotics penetration across China’s manufacturing facilities—and for investors in the companies that are delivering or are poised to deliver on the promise of RAAI-driven manufacturing advancements.

Despite its commitment to leverage the power of robotics, automation and AI to meet its aggressive ‘Made in China 2025’ goals, at the moment China has only 1 robot in place for every 250 manufacturing workers. Compare that to countries like Germany and Japan, where manufacturers utilize an average of one robot for every 30 human workers. Even if China were simply trying to catch up to other countries’ use of robotics, those numbers would signal immense near-term growth. But China is on a mission to do much more than achieve the status quo. The result? According to a recent report by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), in 2019 as much as 40% of the worldwide market volume of industrial robots could be sold in China alone.

To understand how the country can support such grand growth, just take a look at where and why robotics is being applied today. While the automotive sector has historically been the largest buyer of robots, China’s strategy reaches far and wide to include a wide variety of future-oriented manufacturing processes and industries.

Related: Smooth Tomorrow's Market Volatility With a Smart Approach to Robotics & AI

Electronics is a key example. In fact, the electrical and electronics industry surpassed the automotive industry as the top buyer of robotics in 2016, with sales up 75% to almost 30,000 units. Assemblers such as Foxconn rely on thousands of workers to assemble today’s new iPhones. Until recently, the assembly of these highly delicate components required a level of human dexterity that robots simply could not match, as well as human vision to help ensure accuracy and quality. But recent advancements in robotics are changing all that. Industrial robots already have the ability to handle many of the miniature components in today’s smart phones. Very soon, these robots are expected to have the skills to bolster the human workforce, significantly increasing manufacturing capacity. Newer, more dexterous industrial robots are expected to significantly reduce human error during the assembly process of even the most fragile components, including the recently announced OLED (organic light-emitting diode) screens that Samsung and Apple introduced on their latest mobile devices including the iPhone X. Advancements in computer vision are transforming how critical quality checks are performed on these and many other electronic devices. All of these innovations are coming together at just the right time for a country that is striving to create the world’s most advanced manufacturing climate.

Clearly, China’s trajectory in the area of RAAI is in hyper drive. For investors who are seeking a tool to leverage this opportunity in an intelligent and perhaps unexpected way, the ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index may help. The ROBO Index already offers a vast exposure to China’s potential growth due to the depth and breadth of the robotics and automation supply chain. As China continues to improve its manufacturing processes to meet its 2025 initiative, every supplier across China’s far-reaching supply chains will benefit. Wherever they are located, suppliers of RAAI-related components—reduction gears, sensors, linear motion systems, controllers, and so much more—are bracing for spikes in demand as China pushes to turn its dream into a reality.

Today, around 13% of the revenues generated by the ROBO Global Index members are driven by China’s investments in robotics and automation. Tomorrow? It’s hard to say. But one thing is for certain: China’s commitment to improving the quality and cost-efficiency of its manufacturing facilities is showing no signs of slowing down—and its reliance on robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence is vital to its success.

Want all the details? Download the ROBO Global Investment Report - Summer Brings Best ROBO Earnings in Six Years or visit us here.

ROBO Global
Robotics and AI
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ROBO Global LLC is the creator of the ROBO Global® Robotics and Automation Index series, which provides comprehensive, transparent and diversified benchmarks representing the ... Click for full bio