Spotlight on Chad S. White

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Spotlight on Chad S. White


This is part of our end-of-year series celebrating our top CMSWire Contributors of the Year for 2023. These are regular CMSWire Contributors whose articles this year greatly resonated with our community of professionals. These Contributors simply serve as great ambassadors of our brand in the world of marketing and customer experience.

The Gist

  • Chad’s recession insights. Chad S. White emphasizes adapting email marketing in downturns: understanding audience discount preferences and balancing value with price.
  • AI and CDP trends. Generative AI for copywriting will dominate among smaller brands, while larger ones focus on customer data platforms for omnichannel strategies.
  • BIMI enhances trust. Adoption of BIMI, requiring full email authentication, is rising, boosting recipient confidence and brand visibility in email marketing.

Have you ever considered the multifaceted world of email marketing and its evolving challenges? Chad S. White, author of “Email Marketing Rules” and a renowned columnist, navigates this complex landscape with the expertise of a seasoned professional. His transition from journalism to email marketing has not only showcased his adaptability but also his ability to apply his skills in new, impactful ways.

Chad’s work in the email marketing sphere, especially his insights into adapting strategies in economic downturns and embracing emerging technologies like AI and customer data platforms, demonstrates his deep understanding of the industry’s nuances. His recent article, “4 Stakeholders Every Email Marketing Program Has & What They Want,” is a testament to his keen awareness of the sector’s multifarious stakeholders and their unique demands.

As the head of research for Oracle Digital Experience Agency, Chad brings a blend of technical acumen and strategic foresight to the table. His approach is not just about leveraging new tools; it’s about understanding and responding to the evolving needs of businesses, consumers and technology in a digital world. Moreover, his personal journey, balancing his love for writing with professional pursuits and now venturing into science fiction writing, illustrates his belief in not losing sight of personal passions amidst career growth.

Chad S. White stands out as a thought leader in the email marketing domain, adeptly guiding others through its complexities while continually exploring and embracing new horizons.

Q&A With Chad S. White

Adapting Email Marketing in Recessions

In your book “Email Marketing Rules” and your columns, you often discuss adapting email marketing strategies to various situations. Can you share insights on how businesses should modify their email marketing approaches during economic downturns like recessions?

Your business and your customers are always changing, so your email marketing strategy and messaging needs to change, too. Here are some tips for messaging during tough economic times:

  • Understand what kinds of discounts your audience responds to most, such as percent-off, dollar-off, and BOGO deals. It may not be the discount that saves them the most money.
  • Understand which subscribers respond to discounts and which don’t. Pay attention to your full-price buyers who actively avoid buying discounted items.
  • Understand that prices are relative, so use price juxtaposition in your messages by putting a more expensive item next to a cheaper item in that same category. For example, that could be putting a brand name shirt next to one of your private label shirts.
  • Understand that value can win out over price. Demonstrate value by highlighting the versatility or durability of an item. If you can convince them that buying one product can save them from having to buy others, they will justify the cost.

Generative AI and CDPs Transform Email Marketing

What are your predictions for the most significant changes or trends in email marketing for the upcoming year, especially considering the evolving landscape of customer data platforms and AI?

Among smaller brands, generative AI for copywriting will be a major trend, whether it’s writing copy from a prompt or taking existing copy and tightening it up, changing its tone, or modifying it for different audience segments. Performance gains (if there are any) aren’t the goal. It’s time-savings and getting things finished so they can move on to the next item on their long to-do lists.

Among larger brands, customer data platforms will be a major focus. These organizations want to use their data for omnichannel orchestration, hyper-personalization, multi-touch attribution, and machine learning and AI for targeting and all the rest. But before they can do any of that well, they need to aggregate and clean their data. CDPs are the foundation of those next-level data-driven tactics.

All brands — but particularly larger ones — will struggle in 2024 with inactivity management as their subscribers using Mail Privacy Protection pass the 2-year mark. MPP makes it much harder to tell if a subscriber is engaging with your emails or not, and two years of inactivity is a red line, as deliverability and legal risks climb when you email subscribers who haven’t engaged in more than two years.

BIMI Boosts Email Trust; Adoption Rises

With the rise of Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI), how do you see this impacting email marketing strategies, especially for larger enterprises?

To take advantage of BIMI, commercial senders must have their sender IP addresses and domains fully authenticated with SPF, DKIM, and DMARC. With Google and Yahoo now requiring senders to fully authenticate (among other things), that puts many more brands in a position to benefit from BIMI, which displays a brand’s logo next to their sender name. While setting up BIMI isn’t simple or cheap, it’s a big confidence booster for email recipients.

Plus, BIMI-powered logos will eventually show up for the vast majority of emails read once Google and Yahoo make the email header changes requested by Apple so they can honor BIMI for emails imported into Apple Mail from Gmail and Yahoo Mail accounts. In late 2022, they’ve said they’ll make those requested changes, but they haven’t yet. Fingers crossed it happens soon. When it does, every company will wish they already had BIMI in place.

Balancing Personal Goals in Career Shifts

You’ve emphasized the importance of not losing sight of personal goals. Could you share how this philosophy has influenced your career path, especially transitioning from journalism to email marketing?

Don’t lose sight of those things that you enjoy most. I’ve been presented with a few opportunities to go in a completely different direction — a direction that would benefit an employer. I’m glad I didn’t veer away from the things I really enjoy.

At the same time, be open to new ways of doing the things you love most. I’m so glad I made the leap from journalism to the email marketing world. Using many of the same skills, it’s given me the opportunity to help tons of people excel at their jobs.



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