Topic: Engagement

content-is-kingHere are some key content statistics every content marketer needs to know. Let’s comb through some key statistics to shed some light on just how effective good content, especially visual content, really is.

“Drawing in leads is one thing, but getting the kind of engagement that leads to a conversion is where the action is at. Strong content is a leading driver in this area”

Video and e-mail marketing can increase click through rates by more than 90%. (Source: Mist Media)

Viewers are 85% more likely to purchase a product after watching a product video (Source: Captains of Industry)

90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text. (Sources: 3M Corporation and Zabisco)

40% of people will respond better to visual information than plain text. (Source: Zabisco)

61% of shoppers prefer brands that offer custom content (Source: Captains of Industry)

46.1% of people say a website’s design is the number one criterion for discerning the credibility of the company. (Source: Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab)

Posts that include video attract 3 times more inbound links than plain text posts (Source: Captains of Industry)

Publishers who use infographics grow in traffic an average of 12% more than those who don’t. (Source: AnsonAlex)

Posts with videos attract 3 times more inbound links than plain text posts. (Source: SEOmoz)

Companies that blog at least 20 times a month generate 5 times more traffic and 4 times more leads than those who only blog a few times a month (Source: Captains of Industry)

Visual content drives engagement. In fact, just one month after the introduction of Facebook timeline for brands, visual content — photos and videos — saw a 65% increase in engagement. (Source: Simply Measured)

On Facebook, photos perform best for likes, comments, and shares as compared to text, video, and links. (Source: Dan Zarrella)

37% of Pinterest account holders log in a few times every week; 28% said they log in a few times a month; 15% log in once daily; 10% log in numerous times a day. (Source: PriceGrabber)

98% of people surveyed with a Pinterest account said they also have a Facebook and/or Twitter account (Source: PriceGrabber)

Pinterest generated more referral traffic for businesses than Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn combined. (Source: Shareaholic)

Pinterest drives sales directly from its website — of people with Pinterest accounts, 21% have purchased an item after seeing it on Pinterest. (Source: PriceGrabber)

85% of the US internet audience watches videos online. The 25-34 age group watches the most online videos, and adult males spend 40% more time watching videos on the internet than females. (Sources: comScore and Nielsen)

Over 60 hours of videos are uploaded each minute on YouTube. (Source: YouTube)

700 YouTube videos are shared on Twitter every minute (Source: YouTube)

Viewers spend 100% more time on pages with videos on them. (Source: MarketingSherpa)

Mobile video viewing increased 35% from 2010 to 2011. (Source: Nielsen)

25 million smartphone users stream 4 hours of mobile video per month. 75% of smartphone users watch videos on their phones, 26% of whom use video at least once a day. (Sources: Ooyala and Ipsos)

Mobile video subscription is expected to hit $16 billion in revenue by 2014, with over 500 million subscribers. (Source: Ooyala)

Viewers are 85% more likely to purchase a product after watching a product video. (Source: Internet Retailer)

It has been said that ‘email is the Swiss Army knife of marketing’ and is one of the most widely used digital channels in your marketing arsenal. For most marketers, email costs the least but gives the greatest returns. Here are the top few reasons why email is still king.

blogImg_emailWinning

Email is the workhorse of your digital marketing program
One of the greatest things about email is its versatility; that ability for it to reach your customers and drive traffic to your other channels such as your website and social network profiles. It really integrates your channels together. It also wins terms of increasing ROI by utilising it for triggered emails such as welcoming new customers, processing purchases, and all those other good things. I don’t know of any other channel that does that.

Email is like Madonna – it keeps reinventing itself
You can’t beat email for its ability to reinvent itself, to be a platform that can constantly be updated, upgraded, re-designed, re-coded, optimised, and inte­grate with other technologies and channels as they appear.  Look at how email is adapting to HTML and video in email for example, and how already people are seeing an increase in engagement and higher ROI as a result.

Email can actually prove it’s worth to you
For all those data and analysis nerds, you will appreciate one of the best things about the email channel is that you can easily see exactly how your emails are performing, and you can prove your email marketing ROI to management through all the reporting and analytics that are available. After all shiny new apps are neat but at the end of the day what will be appreciated by the keepers of the budget is what really provides returns and value.

Email is still leagues ahead of social media
The report by Custora sheds some light on what is really shaping e-Commerce and Digital Marketing. And the results are quite clear - email still has a massive lead beyond the other channels and is still providing the highest value.

There you have it. Email remains the most effective way to deliver your message, it’s the #1 activity on all smartphones and tablets, it drives the most conversions and consumer purchases more than any other marketing channel, and it’s the preferred communication stream for consumers.

Here at Jericho we really can’t stress enough how beneficial an effective email marketing program is to your business.

Want 11 more reasons why email is so great?

 

 

 

You know when you move out of home and suddenly the washing piles up and the dishes don’t get done and the rubbish hasn’t gone out in a while? And you wonder how it got done before?

When you live at home you tend to take for granted that these things magically get done when you were not looking (Spoiler alert – your mother does it) and when you move out of home you realise that you now need to take responsibility and do all these things yourself, and by taking charge of these tasks you can improve the health and cleanliness of your environment. (Wow!)

Well I guess it’s safe to say most of you have learnt that one, however I’ve got something else to break to you; YOU control your sender reputation of your email marketing – not your ESP or mailbox providers. (What!?)  That’s right – your mother doesn’t work in your deliverability department. To improve your deliverability and reputation, you need to take some control.

There are five key factors that drive deliverability that you can control:
- Authentication
- List cleansing
- Relevant and valuable content
- Active engagement
- Continuous testing

Now I know deliverability can seem like a very complex system of things that need to be optimised and monitored and analysed and that can seem a bit overwhelming. However there really are a range of simple things you can do to improve your sender reputation, and your deliverability.

spam

What can you do right now?

- Honour unsubscribe requests
- Use a ‘friendly’ recognisable from name
- Send relevant content
- Set expectations

A poor reputation drives poor inbox delivery, however as you control your reputation, the sooner you recognise that the sooner you can improve it.

What exactly can affect your sender reputation?
- Spam complaints
- List quality
- Content
- Engagement
- IP Permanence

Recipients can complain because the email may not be of interest or relevance to them, perhaps wasn’t what they expected, perhaps they didn’t recognise the sender, or perhaps they are just receiving too much email or couldn’t find the unsubscribe button. Which is why having a recognisable from name, relevant content and a clearly visible unsubscribe link are SO important.

Firstly, spam complaints can be the #1 reason for decline in your reputation, and is the biggest indicator to ESP’s that your subscribers don’t want your email and this can result in your email being filtered or blocked.

inactivesubscribers

So what can you do to reduce complaints?
- Set expectations
- Honour unsubscribe requests
- Use a recognisable from name
- Send relevant and valuable content
- Enrol in feedback loops

One of the best things you can actively do to increase your reputation is provide valuable and relevant content that your subscribers want to read, the flow on effect being they will look forward to your email in their inbox and they will open, read, and clickthrough, increasing your engagement and over time that helps increase your reputation.

How important is relevance? 25% of subscribers said they have unsubscribed because the email wasn’t relevant. Well I think it’s worth listening to quarter of your entire database don’t you?

The implications of not being relevant are declining ROI and reputation and eventual increase in unsubscribes and/or complaints.

How can you increase relevance?
- Segment your data based on active/inactive subscribers, demographic, location, etc
- Implement a preference centre so the subscribers are in charge of what they receive and how often
- Send a survey asking your subscribers what they want – but be sure to deliver it
- Use dynamic content to change out content based on subscribers preferences
- Use personalisation throughout the email such as name, account number, points balance, purchase activity, etc

Now it’s no use having an email people want to read if people don’t receive it, so ensure you make it a priority to manage your list hygiene, and make that list as clean and shiny as possible. A clean list means you will be sending to actual humans – not spam traps or old inactive email addresses. It also means higher accepted rates, lower bouncebacks, and therefore better deliverability.

relevantemail
How can you improve your list hygiene?
- Review bouncebacks and correct invalid addresses
- Remove inactive subscribers
- Review your data collection process and ensure accuracy
- Grow your list organically – never purchase!
- Implement a double opt-in process
Then once you have implemented these strategies TEST, TEST, and TEST some more. Be continually analysing and testing a range of variables to find out what works, what doesn’t and what can be changed to suit your audience.

What are some things you can test?
- Email frequency
- Subject lines
- Email cadence
- Send day and time
- Personalisation in content

It’s important to get the frequency right because 54% of consumers say they unsubscribe when emails from a particular sender arrive too frequently….  How do you find the balance between too much and not enough? This is where asking your subscribers how often they want to hear from you can be the perfect solution.

Want some further advice? We have deliverability experts, design experts and experienced account managers at Jericho who can answer your questions – email us!

Did you know, a whopping 65 percent of email recipients engage with promotional email in the afternoons and evenings.

conversion-time-of-day-retention-2013
Yet according to a recent report by Retention Science, marketers tend to send emails in the morning.  Well that seems a bit crazy doesn’t it. Why are marketers mostly sending their promotional emails in the morning, when customers are in a buying mood in the afternoon? This means all your beautiful promotional marketing emails are arriving when the consumers are not in the right mind set and have other things on their mind …. This is a seriously big gap between when marketers are sending emails and when they are read, so I think this is is in dire need of a rethink.

Email-Conversion-Rates-Day-of-Week-300x263

So now we know, best time of day to send promotional emails is the afternoon. What about the best days for conversions?  Retention Science advises that emails sent on Tuesdays and Fridays get the most conversions, with 28% on Tuesdays, and 26% on Fridays. Surprisingly Saturday is the lowest performing day of the week with just 3% conversions, Sunday isn’t much better with just 6%.

Hmmm… time for a review of your weekly email marketing activity? Email us!

 

http://www.marketingprofs.com/charts/2013/11894/the-best-days-and-times-for-promotional-email-conversions?adref=nl102313

Consumers are flocking to online video, watching more than four billion videos on YouTube each day. Among 18- to 34-year-olds, smartphones now match desktops and laptops as a video delivery device, facilitating the ability to stream video in email and other message formats.

With consumer adoption of video so high, more marketers are beginning to distribute videos through email, which is still the most popular communication channel.

To date, there have been few solutions available for embedding video in email marketing messages, so adoption has been relatively lo,  however recent changes in some email software clients now make it possible to play videos directly within an email.

The Relevancy Group recently surveyed 266 email marketing executives and found that 25 percent of email marketers are currently using video in their email marketing messages.

This level of adoption of video in emails highlights the increased in email software and mobile email browsers now offering video solutions, and the use of HTML 5 is making video streaming ubiquitous. It is still not available across the board yet however so when the video is incapable of playing in the email software, you should always add a link to view the video on a website.

Adoption of Video in Email Set to Increase

81 percent of the email marketers surveyed said that they are “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to utilise video in future email marketing efforts. Marketers are particularly optimistic regarding video because it has proven to capture the subscriber’s attention, drive engagement, and increase ROI.

Video in Email Increases Engagement, Social Sharing, and Conversion

Video and images have proven to capture the subscriber’s attention, drive engagement, and increase ROI.

It may seem a bit obvious to state that including video and images in emails make them more engaging, but it’s worth re-iterating. Some of the best email campaigns I’ve seen come into my inbox recently include GIF’s, images or video. They are the ones in my memory weeks later.

Video connects people to your message quickly, as they are easy to understand and have a more instant emotional impact than text or static images. But in order to grab a user’s attention and convince them to take action, the video must captivate and activate during the first five seconds.

Video in email boosts revenue

When comparing the performance metrics of emails which include video to those who do not, emails that include video had a much higher ROI (10% higher) than those that didn’t.  The marketers employing video in their emails are reporting higher delivery rates, open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates.

Benefits of including video in email:
Increased click-through rates: 55 percent of marketers report increased click-through rates in emails sent with video as compared to emails without video.
Increased engagement: 44 percent of marketers report that consumers spend more time viewing emails that contain video versus emails without video.
Increased advocacy and sharing: 41 percent state that their emails with video were shared and forwarded more than emails without video.
Increased conversion and dollars: 25 percent of marketers report increases in conversion, sales and ROI for email marketing messages with videos.

The Technical Bit

To implement your own successful video-in-email marketing solution, make sure you use software that supports HTML5 for the deployment of any emails that contain video to ensure that the video plays within the email client. This improves the compatibility of the video in the email, and enables playback across a variety of email client software. Be aware that most desktop and webmail email clients still don’t support automatic video playback within emails so be aware for those on your list who read their emails in desktop email clients such as Outlook, you will still need to place an image of the video within the email and host the actual video on a website and link to it. This is still a great strategy as the call to action increases clickthroughs.

The Bottom Line

With all this in mind, emails video really does show a tremendous return on investment and is one of the most effective and powerful ways to create engagement in your email campaigns.

PRO TIP: To increase sharing and engagement further, always include the ability to share the email content to all the subscribers social networks and include links to your companies social profiles.

This email puts much more into the email marketing efforts of Muchmore Music than just the same ol’ same ol’. 

Muchmore Music sent out this re-activation campaign to their subscribers asking if they still wanted to be on their database. Why? Because they noticed that some of the subscribers hadn’t opened their email for the last three email campaigns.

For many of you I think it would be fair to say you may analyse inactive subscribers once every six month’s or perhaps once a month. Have you ever analysed the reports for inactive or unengaged subscribers after just 3 sends?

It is a wise email marketer who asks their audience what their preferences are, if they actually want to be on your database, and regularly running re-engagement campaigns are a key part of any self respecting email comms programme.

 


If you would like to read more about re-engagement here are some of our key blog posts on the subject which should give you some ideas.

Engagement – why it’s important

Creating engagement with birthday and preference emails

Ask your subscribers what they want by doing a survey

Or you can always talk to us :)

 

I have been reading about the new digital divide between those who own smartphones and those who don’t, and those who have access to broadband, and WIFI, and those who don’t.  Today we look at another digital divide that is occurring – the divide between consumers behaviour on desktop and mobile, and the way marketers are responding to that behaviour.

Mobile, defined as smartphone and tablet usage, has grown significantly in the last few years and is no longer a marketing phenomenon but a prominent fixture in the way consumers interact with brands. However, as mobile continues to grow and becomes a primary mode of email consumption, it remains a puzzle for many marketers.

Just how big is this mobile thing? Well apparently by the end of June 2013 over 70 percent of all activity on Facebook and Twitter was on a mobile device. There are in excess of 219 million mobile-only users on Facebook and this segment is growing by 30 million a quarter! So how about your emails? As consumers integrate smartphones more and more into their lifestyle, and check their emails throughout the day on their mobile device, they are moving away from viewing email exclusively on desktop. Subscribers respond via the most convenient device at the time they receive the message, regardless of device preference. In fact, 61% of users view emails either exclusively on a mobile device or use mobile and desktop interchangeably.

According to Yesmail’s ‘Email Marketing Compass – The Mobile Effect‘ report which was released recently, 61% of consumers are now viewing email either exclusively on a mobile device or using BOTH mobile and desktop devices interchangeably.  What is interesting is that while 49% of email opens happen on a mobile device, the click-to-open (CTO) rate on mobile is significantly lower than desktop’s 21%. What’s interesting is consumers open emails on their mobile device half of the time, but do not take any action. However when consumers open the same email on desktop, they engage and open then at a much higher rate. This significant difference between mobile and desktop click-to-open rates suggests a disconnect between the way marketers cater to consumers who open on mobile vs. those who prefer desktop.

Michael Fisher, president of Yesmail Interactive says “While it may not be surprising that more consumers are opening promotional emails on mobile devices, it is surprising that these consumers are less likely to actually click through those emails. And it is not news that marketers should be increasing their mobile marketing efforts, but what is often overlooked is that reaching consumers via mobile is useless if they’re not reacting”

I think it’s safe to say that mobile-first must become your focus. And ours – while our client’s emails are all tested and designed to look great on mobile our own websites are lagging (and currently being optimised!) as you can see from the slightly embarrassing comment on this blog post!

Social is mobile. Email is mobile. Digital is mobile. Put down your copy of the yellow pages and your brick cellphone. Welcome to the mobile age.

For more on mobile,  see our other blog posts here.

 

I heard something the other day that struck me – someone said their customer service rep ‘put a personal face on a big corporation’.  It made me consider the journey that many organisations take from being small and therefore personal, to greater success and towards the cliche of the big faceless corporation, at which point they see the need to do a full circle right back to providing the personal touch.   Because to your customer, that is all that matters – that personal service. That friendly human face that actually talks to you, helps you, and most of all provides value. That face is often perceived as being ‘your company’ -not your building – not your logo – that personal face. And it is often the difference between a happy customer and no customer.

Being personal applies to every single business and every single industry. People love personalised service, even in this digital world. And email gets closer to people than many other digital channels, via what comes into their inbox.  When you send an email to anyone’s inbox, you are in the ‘golden circle’ of their life, along with emails from friends and family…. it’s like you have just walked into their house and they are having a family party when you arrive. This could be awkward…

So are you going to butt-in and start pitching to them? Only to have them ‘delete’ you and kick you out? Or are you going to be friendly and relevant to them and actually join in the conversation and provide some value to them? You know the correct answer. You know that friend that always comes around and just sits there and helps themselves to your food and your TV then expects you to be grateful to them for their mere presence? I bet you know some emails like that.

Now how about that friend that comes in when they are invited, when you said it’s OK to visit, and they bring your favourite cookies because you told them and they remembered. While they are visiting they also give you some tips, do your dishes and give you some discounts for something you really wanted. Maybe they even tell some jokes and make you laugh. Well obviously that friend is welcome any time! Just imagine if you do your email marketing like that, how much your subscribers would love you.

Well we have an example of an email from a company in New Zealand called Pixel Paint who do just that. Who? Pixel Paint is a canvas printing company based in Wellington and they send the most humorous, friendly emails ever. This month they sent an email out with the subject line ‘We love you so much we made you a mix tape…’ with a link to a retro music mix tape they made on Sound Cloud for their subscribers, just so they didn’t have to endure certain music on the radio. Then they added at the bottom ‘PS – if you want to buy a canvas click here’.  Wow talk about feeling the love from a company who has just gone the extra mile to do something for me. I instantly love these guys. Click on the email and check it out.

Once you have had a look at that awesome email, let’s go back a bit for a second. Email can get technical and can seem like it’s all about metrics, engagement, segmentation, dynamic content, setting up rules, looking at data, vlookups,  exporting reports….. and all that isn’t much ‘fun’ (Unless you are email geeks like us at Jericho) and like housework it’s not the most glamorous part, however, these are all important facets of email marketing and they must be done. Then, when all that foundation work is done, bring the personal side back in. Be human, be personable. Mix up the flavour of your emails and inject some humour into them. The age of using an overly formal corporate voice has gone and we are now all speaking to people in a more natural way.

I love the emails that arrive when I have told them to, I love the emails that open with a funny pre-header or intro, and who use a funny, friendly tone of language. I love those emails that include a pop culture reference, or a joke, or a nice story. Mainly I love those emails that give me my favourite cookies – the products I like and that I’ve told them I like. I love the emails that help me clean and give me advise while they are visiting – that could be anything from whitepapers, to industry advise, discounts, content no-one has seen before… I love these emails and I look forward to them arriving in my inbox. Every single day.

Real-life-humans operate your website, your social media and your email marketing so why not just act like it and embrace the personal, customer-centered focus. Now before you start dropping meme’s into your legal newsletter, we are not saying turn from corporate communication to young funky start-up just to try and be cool all of a sudden. It needs to be done in a way that is genuine and relevant to your company.  If you are a  young funky company like our example Pixel Paint, then you can take this humour and friendliness a lot further than some other companies potentially could.

The moral of this story is if you have made it as far as the inbox, you may as well be a good friend to your subscriber – add value, provide content they will appreciate, send emails your subscribers will look forward to, and they will love you.

Here is a Case Study by Marketing Sherpa that shows how http://www.marketingsherpa.com/article/case-study/e-commerce-eco-friendly-email-content

 

Every day you face a multi fold challenge in finding the time, the budget and the staffing resources to apply best practice email marketing practices. The big question is how to send hundreds, or thousands of emails, and still manage to ensure they are timely and relevant, and provide the ROI you are looking for?

The answer is to automate! Automated, or triggered, emails are the highest performing type of emails. How do they work exactly? Unlike traditional broadcast emails, such as the monthly email newsletter, these emails involve setting up criteria that when met, a message is automatically sent. They are usually always action based,  which means the driving force behind these emails are around the subscribers behaviours, interests, demographics and buying behaviour.

So incorporating such individual criteria into your triggered emails gives you benefits such as:

Increased relevance – the emails directly reflect the interests or actions of the subscriber, making them inherently relevant and timely for that individual. By providing extra value on an individual level you drive up engagement and open rates because your customers start to look forward to your emails for the valuable content.

Increased frequency
- they are triggered every time someone takes an action they are more frequent than your once a week newsletter, and as the subscriber may not enjoy getting the newsletter every day, they will be happy to receive an email relating to their recent purchase, and their upcoming birthday, two days in a row, because it’s personalised to them and means more.

Increased ROI, and more time for your staff, because everything is automated!

So really it’s not surprising that these automated emails, which are so perfectly timely and relevant, have the highest engagement rates, and they deliver a much better ROI than your usual emails.  And did you know birthday emails have even higher engagement rates than all other types of triggered emails – making triggered birthday emails the most effective of all.

So what sort of triggered/ automated emails should you be sending? We list the TOP 5 below with links to blog posts on each which include all the key information you need to know:


Welcome/on-boarding emails

Cart Abandonment emails

Re-engagement Emails

Reminders or re-order emails

Birthday emails

Want more?

Triggered emails are the workhorse of your email marketing

Why event driven email is awesome

 

Quick email is flooding, the promotions tab is going under! Get all your emails to higher ground! Get them into the primary tab! Quickly before every email dies unseen!

No this isn’t the end of days. This is simply another change in a constantly evolving industry.  I agree with MediaPost about NOT asking your subscribers to filter you into their primary tab.

From my perspective, I am seeing more and more senders asking me to put their emails in my primary tab however I am not going to. The primary tab is for friends and family and people that I know in real life and I plan to keep it that way. Marketing and promotional email will stay under the promotions tab. I like having my email divided by type because, like MediaPost says, when people go to their Promotions tab, they’re in the shopping mind-set- they expect to find promotional emails in the promotional tab and that’s what they get, so they can be in that buying mind set instead of flicking from a personal email to a promotional email and back. I completely agree with MediaPost’s statement  “…by asking subscribers to move your email from the Promotional to the Primary tab, you’re essentially closing your store at the mall and deploying door-to-door salesmen that interrupt your subscribers’ conversations with their friends and loved ones. You’ll be more visible, but also probably more intrusive and less welcome”. 

I have received this great email from Archetype showing how easy it is for me to re-tab their emails from the promotions to the primary tab. (Just drag and drop!) If you would like to see it, click the image below to see the full version of the email. If you are planning on sending such an email to your subscribers this is a great example on how to do it.

Apart from my personal preferences and the views of others, are there any other reasons you shouldn’t ask subscribers to re-tab your email? Here are a couple of considerations for you…

- While it is still too early to tell what the impact on open and click-through rates will be, marketers are concerned that emails placed in a separate tab will be out of sight, and may also be out of mind. It is still very early days and it will take a bit of time for the stats to settle down and for us to see some real representative data.

- Tabs only affects a small percentage of your subscribers. On average, according to Litmus, Gmail opens only account for about 4% of total email opens, and less than half (41%) of those opens are occurring in email clients that support Gmail tabs. Also, Gmail’s new inbox only affects the shrinking number of desktop users, not the growing number of mobile users.

- Gmail users are in the learning and adjustment period as much as the marketers are. Some will end up turning off Tabs, others will move email streams around until they get senders’ emails into the tabs that are most convenient for them.

Finally here is some of the latest findings – ReturnPath are reporting that Gmail’s new tabs are making the engaged subscribers open more emails, and the unengaged subscribers open less. So there is an interesting divide starting to show and to me this is more about working on engagement with your subscribers rather than worrying about which  tab you are on.

So don’t panic – your emails will live if they stay on the promotions tab. As long as you continue to send relevant, targeted and engaging emails.