Archive for November, 2012

If you follow the email marketing industry, you know that engagement is quite the buzzword lately.  But Engagement isn’t new at all. It has been a part of the filtering mix for quite a while. ISPs including Yahoo! (Xtra) Hotmail and Gmail are adding clicks, opens and other measures of user engagement to the long list of other engagement metrics that have been in use for a while. All these metrics try to do the same thing — figure out which messages are truly wanted by subscribers.

ISPs are measuring engagement and using it to decide who gets to the inbox, and who goes to the junk folder. In simple terms, the ISP is basically looking at whether or not your subscribers open, click, and in general, “interact” with you. If you send an email that mistakenly goes to the junk folder, then the subscriber moves it back out, you scored some engagement points. If your subscriber clicks your links or hits “reply” to send you a message, you get some engagement points.

Returnpath’s George Bilbrey says to senders:

“Treat inactive subscribers differently: This is probably the biggest change that most marketers need to think about. Mailing to a lot of inactive accounts may actually make your reputation look worse at some ISPs. Segment out inactive users and run a win-back campaign. If you cannot win back these subscribers, you may simply want to stop mailing them altogether.”

Over at Clickz, Jeanne Jennings had this to say about inactive members of your list:

“If these folks really aren’t that into you, they may take the next step and report you as spam. It’s like that shunned suitor who just won’t go away; eventually the victim will consider him a stalker and get a restraining order. Keeping inactive names on your list can open you up to blacklisting and deliverability issues.”

There is an art to deciding who is engaged and who is not.  This will depend on your buying cycle and the types of emails you send. It is good to use an email expert to help you make a matrix for your own business but there are some things you can consider:

Do you have strong calls to action in your emails – so that there is something to click?

Do you have a genuinely relevant and  interesting email stream, sent at least bi-monthly (6 per year)?

If you have a frequent email (weekly or more) do you allow people to control the frequency and type of emails they get using a Preference Centre?

  • From time to time you should dissect your email list to identify who have never opened, clicked or bought something from you. We call them ‘zombies’.  They bring all your metrics down, they impact your engagement measures and they don’t pay their way.  Try to get them to wake up – or kill them off.
  • Next look for who is in a coma – used to engage and now don’t.  Talk to them differently too.
  • Who is on their way out?
  • Who are you best responders?  Make them feel special, use them to spread your word, and keep up the good work!

There is much to this and a good agency can help you do this and come out the other side with a more profitable program.

And worst case is you get to kill a few zombies!

 

 

 

When the DMA and the EEC sent an email to talk about their upcoming conference this morning we were a little taken aback with what we received.

We might be all the way down here in New Zealand but after 12 years we know our way around email design best practice… and this wasn’t that.

Turns out there was some kind of error somewhere, so we thought we’d try to help and jump in and make it look a bit more like email marketers would expect to see from their guiding lights.

Check out the before and after shots below (you need to click to enlarge them to full size) and please let us know what you think in the comments below or via @JerichoCrew on Twitter:

BEFORE:

Click the image to see the full version

Overall, the original design was quite disorganised. The main focus in terms of imagery seemed to be around the location of the conference, rather than the content. And we’re unsure what re-purposing the classic ‘Got Milk?’ advertising campaign adds to the communication.

The images used are quite rough and, in places, have been stretched disproportionately to fit a gap. The headshots used for the speakers are of varying sizes (which again makes the design look rough/messy) and are laid-out in a way that means they aren’t associated with their corresponding text (profiles on the left).

The various logos aren’t given space, making the composition quite cramped. The main call-to-action for this communication should be to register, but although it features at the top of the email, it doesn’t really stand out and is given no more prominence than the other calls-to-action.

 

AFTER:

 

Click the image to see the full version

We looked to simplify the layout and make it easier to follow. The conference name and date are given prominence, with supporting imagery which ties in with the content of the event, rather than the location.

We used a short blurb to explain what the event was about, followed by the call-to-action, in orange, so that it stands out. We placed the speakers’ images with their profiles and gave their logos space to breathe. The speaker section is followed by the same call-to-action. The reason for this, is that we don’t want recipients to have to scroll back to the top to take action – we’re making it easy for them to do what we want them to.

Our secondary calls-to-action (Join EEC and Join DMA) then follow this and are treated in a way that they are still obviously clickable, but they don’t detract from our primary CTA.

What do you think?  We hope they use it, or at least let us have another try at a design they will use.  Watch this space.

When a recipient marks your email as ‘junk’ or ‘spam’ in their inbox, a good ESP (email service provider) will receive that notification via the feedback loop  set up with the ISP.

This will unsubscribe the person so you do not send them any emails again, which is a best practice action and helps preserve your reputation as a good email marketer.

However, what happens when your customer wants to get BACK on your email list?  They have marked the email as spam so it will go straight to the junk folder each time.  Unless they reverse the action and mark it as ‘not spam’ or ‘not junk’.

If you need to pass these instructions on, you can send this page by clicking the title ‘Not Junk’ How to get your email back to someone who has marked it as spam  above, and sending the link to the page.

Here is what they need to do:

  1. Go to the Junk/Spam folder of the email client
  2. Tick the email(s) you wish to un-junk or un-spam
  3. Click ‘Not Spam’ or ‘Not Junk’ as indicated in the screenshots below.

 

GMAIL

 

HOTMAIL

 

YAHOO

Updated 2 May 2013

Apple smartphones are on the decline while Samsung’s star is burning brighter, but the iPhone and iPad manufacturer is still leaps and bounds ahead of competitors in New Zealand, according to mobile ad network InMobi. See the infographic here.

 

Updated Feb 22 2013.

Mobile continues to take over the world and many of us would rather leave the dog, Passport, wallet or hubby at home than our phone.

What proportion of your customers are interacting with your website using a mobile device?

We’ve decided to share the Trade Me browser statistics to this blog, providing a very handy resource for kiwi web and marketing teams who are able to validate their own observations on browser trends in New Zealand. TradeMe have promised to update these every three months.

UPDATE: In 18 months TradeMe website visits on mobile devices grew from less than 10% in July 2011 to 35% today according to their new report – read article here.

Click here to read their mobile and browser use facts

Key points they make:

  • iOS share holds steady at about 50%
  • Android continues on its steady rise
  • The proportion of total site visits that are from a mobile device is over 25% and is growing – that’s all phones & tablets.  We are doing a lot of TradeMe on our lap on the iPad as we watch telly i think.  (N.B. This stat on TradeMe was shared in person from TradeMe at a recent NZ conference I attended, as at October 2012, and is not in the site stats linked here.)

Remember our earlier and ongoing post regarding smartphone use in New Zealand?  Many searches come via queries on that post on mobile marketshare in New Zealand so we will update that too as we have done for well over a year now.