Topic: GetSMART

MetricsIf seeing a positive ROI and great analytics is required for your company, then it’s critical the following factors are understood and addressed, in order to see genuine improvement, and your email marketing program being developed into a valuable asset.

Here at Jericho we believe that a consistent improvement in all of these areas is required in order to ensure success:

- Ensuring the content and tone is right, along with the design – does it suit your audience? Is the design in line with your branding? Is the tone of your language appropriate? Is the content right for your audience?

- Create more relevance through segmented data.  Subscribers unsubscribe or stop opening emails are that are not relevant, so make sure you segment and appropriately target your subscribers and share really valuable content.

- Conversely, the number one reason people DO keep opening emails is genuine value offers and as mentioned above, valuable content.  What can you offer your readers, that the readers won’t get anywhere else?

- Ensure you work on getting more qualified recipients.  To get qualified recipients you need to make sure that you are offering genuinely valuable content. And then you need to make sure that you are clearly stating the benefits of that eDM.

Want more advice? We are here to help!

 

 

 

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’s great when a brand sends emails that are so true to it’s brand, that you can almost hear them speaking and taste their product through the email.

One such company is Innocent Drinks, who do the cutest emails and has one of the easiest and funniest sign up, welcome and email processes I have come across.

I thought I would start at the beginning and run through the process, first the sign up, then the welcome email then the newsletter, so you can get a sense of the process in order. (Better yet go to their website and sign up if you haven’t already and get a taste of this for yourself!)

Like every good website should, they have a prominent email sign up facility, and it’s humorous, by enticing me with a comfy couch and love and friendship, (But no pocket money)

Sign Up

I sign up, and immediately a note appears in place of the sign up form saying: ”You will shortly receive an email confirming your subscription. By the way, we will never, ever pass your details on to anyone else, but you knew that anyway, didn’t you. Your information will only ever be used to send you what you ask us to send you. If you would like to leave the family, use the unsubscribe button when you next receive an email from us.”

This is a great way to instantly and effectively confirm that I have subscribed, and assure me they won’t share my details with anyone, and let me know I can unsubscribe from ‘the family’ if I want to, however by giving me the option and not feeling locked in, makes me feel safer and makes me never want to leave…. aww.

Sign Up Confirm

That message the disappears after a short time, and they claim back a bit of space on their website,  and I then receive a cute and welcoming welcome email right away. It’s opens with the subject line ‘Welcome to the innocent family’ which gives me warm fuzzies and makes me feel like I am being welcomed into some big friendly and exclusive family.

I also love that the call to actions point to the ‘ceiling’ and the ‘moon’ and the ‘grass’ and the email includes a polar bear in a snowstorm! Can you see him?

 

Welcome Email

Click on the image to see the full email

After you have digested the entrée welcome email and clicked on all those links and seen where they all go, it’s time to wait for the main course of the email newsletter to arrive into your inbox. And there are many delicious ingredients!

Innocent Drinks

Click on the image to see the full email

Overall I love the use of creative copy and the tone of their brand language in the emails. For example, in the pre-header,  instead of saying ‘click here to view online’ they say ‘If this email looks a bit weird just click here to see it look not so weird’. I also really like the fact they have included a ‘sale’ star in the header that let’s you know the email is free! (Woo!) I know we all know emails are free but something about putting that star there telling me it’s free makes it feel even more like a bonus and my brain is thinking it’s getting a great deal!

There is strong brand consistency between the email and the website, with the same font, logo, colours, so when I do click any of the call to action links from the email to the website, it feels like the same environment.

The content of the email is fun, engaging, has a good mix of bright colours, white space, company news, human interest stories, and fun links to click on, and best of all, in their footer, they say “call us on the banana phone

These guys are really engaging, provide a seamless experience between email, website and social media, they use clever copy, great design and interesting content to deliver fun, fresh and funky emails, and in my eyes they are doing everything right.

email-overwhelmLet’s keep this brief, it’s coming up to Christmas and you are busy, sometimes though we can all do with just a little bit of reminding.

So here is your reminder that the holiday season is almost here (No surprise there) and more people than ever before are shopping via mobile and tablets (No surprise there either) so you will want to have your responsive-design-mobile-holiday-season-email-marketing-strategy-machine firing up and ready to go.  To help you fire up, here are some important numbers for your consideration.

27% of consumers over the last year found a shopping website thanks to an email from the retailer which drove them to the website. 22% of consumers arrived via organic search the rest were already existing customers and knew where they headed. (Not to say an email didn’t help them on their way) Any way you look at this, consumers are largely driven to your shopping website thanks to email. So this holiday season how are you going to utilise email to attract attention and drive consumers to your site?

And remember 49% of all emails are now opened on a mobile device… and 75% of those who read email on their mobile delete any email that doesn’t render correctly… so I can’t impress upon you enough the importance of having a mobile email strategy in place if you haven’t already.

With the average user receiving an average of 70 emails a day (That’s on average – for some it’s a couple of hundred) you need to look at what is unique and interesting and appealing about your email….  think about what value are you offering? How are you segmenting your database to better target subscribers and offer more personalised shopping options? Are you using your tried and tested friendly from name? Are you using short, catchy subject lines? Do you have the hierarchy of your content sorted appropriately? Is there an obvious call to action? Are the links finger-friendly? Are you offering something your competitor is not?

This is really just about getting you thinking about your holiday marketing; I will be following this post up next week with a more in depth look at specifically how you can create successful holiday email campaigns, so watch this space….

In the meantime, do you need some inspiration and ideas? Start by checking out our Jericho Pinterest board full of beautiful holiday email marketing inspiration and if you need some more expert advice – email us!

I came across this great article while I was researching email testing techniques.  It’s from Clickz and it’s called 6 email tests to try.  They suggest that you test the From line, the Subject line, Mobile versions, Data Security, Opt In processes, and SMS functionality.

Here at Jericho we have the responsibility to oversee some of the most beautiful and effective email campaigns in our ‘hood.  To ensure consistent quality, we have built in our own comprehensive testing procedures and have created check-lists such as this Jericho_Email_Campaign_Checklist which we run through for each and every single campaign we do, which includes the following checks:

- Subject Line
- From Name
- From Email
- Reply Email
- Pre-header copy and links
- URL Links
- Mailto Links
- Text Only Version
- Unsubscribe Link
- Preference Centre
- Links to Forms/Surveys
- Social Sharing Links
- Refer a Friend
- Forward to a Friend
- Data /Segmentation/Audience
- Google Analytics Tracking Codes
- Links to Landing Pages
- Footer information and links

There are some fundamental basics in here and there are some features that only some campaigns will include but all these things need to be checked to ensure they are working before you deploy. There are also a host of other things to check beyond the parts of the email itself, such as:

Internal Testing – Have you tested to yourself? Your colleagues? Have you done a test of the emails with your subscribers data to ensure it all looks right and all the data is pulling through correctly? When you have looked at something 100 times, the best thing you can do is have another set of eyes review it before you push send.

Litmus Testing – Have you tested the email across all devices and email clients? Does it pass all spam filter tests? How does the subject line and pre-header look in the preview pane of the inbox? Doing a litmus test allows you to see how your email displays across all email clients and devices and identify if there is any content likely to cause it to get caught up in spam filters.

Mobile Optimised Version – Do you have a mobile optimised version of your email? Have you tested the mobile optimised version on all different mobile devices?  If you have a responsive design that is great. Hopefully you at least have a  mobile optimised version of your email as about half of all email opens now happen on mobile, and if it doesn’t display correctly, and instantly, most people delete the email.

Subject Line – We find the best subject lines are between 5-12 words long, the best of all being under 35 characters long so it fits on the mobile preview pane. Make it catchy, attention getting, funny even, just make sure it says what the email is about. My favourite subject line? ‘Fresh Daily Visual from Visual News’. (5 words and 35 characters long exactly) Just be sure to check the subject line before you push send!

The key thing is to test what is important or prominent for your campaigns and your communication streams. Some people might be comparing send times, while others are testing subject lines, while another might just want to send out a link to a survey – so that link has to work! If your emphasis is on social sharing, make sure the social networking and sharing functionality is a shiny beacon of enticing fun and technical perfection. Just make sure you make time to test all the basics that we should be getting right by now, and then feel free to freestyle from there.

We are looking for the best and worst testing success or failure stories ever! Send them through!

 

 

How hard is email marketing really? I mean, you get a list of people, take a blank email and load it up with pictures and words about your products and services, link to your website and send the email out right?

Um…. only if you have the intent to send really terrible emails that will harm your deliverability, and create a bad perception of your brand for your subscribers.  Email is still one of the most effective marketing channels out there and it can do amazing things for conversions, sales, ROI… if you put just a bit of time and effort into it.

However sadly most people take the ‘slap it together’ approach and this only serves to work against you long term. So seeing as I am always writing about best practice techniques and how to do email marketing better…. I thought I would do the complete opposite and list the ways you can do email really terribly to make my point…

aintnobodygottimeforthat

 

Below I list all the ways that are guaranteed to ensure your email marketing program dies a slow painful death:

Purchase lists and upload them and blast your emails out to everyone – they all want what you have, they just don’t know it yet!
Don’t bother having a mobile version of your email or incorporting a responsive design
Don’t bother including alt text on images to tell people what they are about, people should just download the images
Don’t include an unsubscribe link – these people obviously need to be receiving the information you are sending
Sender score? What’s a sender score? If you don’t know about it, it doesn’t exist, therefore don’t worry about it
Include merge fields and don’t check them – people don’t mind if the email says ‘dear first name’
Don’t worry about testing, it’s enough you lay the email up and make it look good, shouldn’t it just work?
Don’t bother doing any analysis – just a lot of numbers and mumbo-jumbo – just watch the unsubscribes
Getting someone’s business card gives permission to email them so collect, collect collect, and send send send!
Send emails without a call to action – the awesome information in your email is enough
Preference centre – what’s a preference centre? Just have one type of email and one list of people and they all get to receive what you send….
Don’t take the time to identify inactive subscribers – just keep sending them emails, they are probably just busy, they’ll open them eventually
Save out a previously sent email to create a new email, which increases your chances of you sending the email out without updating the links
Keep content boring and be sure to avoid anything interactive, engaging, fun or surprising, just stick to sending those limited time offers
Ask for your customers preferences and then disregard the data  - isn’t the point to ask people what they want, you don’t actually have to do anything about it?
Take all that stuff off the footer – it just takes up extra space and people can Google that stuff anyway
Don’t test in Litmus – it’s not important to see how the email displays in different email clients and mobile devices – I’ll just test to my email address and its good to go
Don’t bother checking any of the links in your email campaign, they’ll be fine…
Send a plain text auto responder welcome email with something bland such as ‘thanks for subscribing’ with no branding or important information
Personalise each and every email subject line and greeting with the persons name just because you have it – subscribers love that
Don’t include a pre-header link – just jump straight into the email itself – it just takes up space, why is it there anyway?
It is all about your marketing goals so remain completely centered on promoting your company and don’t worry about what the subscriber wants
Send as many emails as possible – if in doubt of the most appropriate sending frequency, just email away
Don’t bother including dynamic content (Dynamic content, what’s that?) Just send the same information out to everyone, too complicated to figure out  any form of personalisation or targeting
Include important information and links below the fold (The fold? What’s that?) so that people have to scroll down to the bottom…  people love scrolling
Don’t make it easy for your subscriber to click through to your landing pages or website, or find what they want, and don’t include an obvious call to action, and remove any helpful navigation. (Customer journey? What’s that?)
Make links really small and close together and make it really annoying especially for mobile users who are reading your email on the go. People love a challenge.
Use 14 point font, make some font bold, some italic, even comic sans and non web-safe fonts, and use lots of different colours to really make it stand out, the more attention getting the better
Strip out any recognizable logo’s and be very inconsistent in the look, functionality and branding of your emails from one to the next. Better still don’t use a template or use branding at all!
Even better, just stick an image into a blank email and send it out. No alt text, no template, no branding, nothing. Emailing your PDF flier out as one big JPG is a great idea!
Use a from name that you know who it is but is not obvious to your subscribers, like Barbara Smeath @idaily.co.nz, if you keep them guessing they will have to open your email
Best thing ever – to stop people unsubscribing, link them to a login page so they need to login to the account they made 10 years ago and have forgotten about to unsubscribe. It becomes so hard they don’t unsubscribe! Win!
In addition to that, forgo signing up for feedback loops or ignore the unsubscribe requests for as long as possible and send them more emails in the meantime in case they change their mind

After you have done all of this, be sure to include links to your social profiles so people can connect with you on there and share their terrible experience – just be sure to ignore them and bury those comments…

OK now we have had a walk down bad-practice lane, it’s honesty time folks – do any of the above points sound anything like your email marketing practices? Are you ready to step it up? Email the experts to see how you can dramatically improve your email program, improve your deliverability and make all your subscribers really happy!

How do I love this Upworthy email? Let me count thy ways.

Upworthy

Click on the image to see the full Upworthy email

I love it because it starts with ‘Well, hello there! How do you feel? Because you look great!’ And really who wouldn’t love that.

I love it because the subject line is one of the coolest I’ve ever seen besides being the optimum word limit for subject lines, it is unique and attention grabbing which is the whole point. It says: Welcome To The Upworthiest. Turn On Your Images And Buckle Your Seatbelt!

I love it because the pre-header which besides being a best practice feature is very chatty and friendly and encourages replies and interaction:  Want to say hi back? Reply to this message!

I love it because the content of the email uses humour to set the expectations about what you can expect in future Upworthy emails, it points you to some of the best content on their website to immediately engage you on their site.

I love it because the call to action is big and bold and direct and potentially cheeky but effective and says ‘Want more? We got more. You’ll just have to keep opening our emails!’

I love it because the sign off says ‘Love from all of us at Upworthy’ in big bold letters – so it is both friendly and really obvious who it is.

I love it because of the awesome copy in the footer, which reminds people where and how they signed up for these emails, using visual cues to jog peoples memories, which is in the past, (Because people do forget) they then introduce the welcome email which they are reading, which is in the present, then get the subscriber looking forward to future emails, using humour and emotional appeals, which is in the future, (Because who doesn’t love getting stuff that makes them laugh and cry and share great content) and it ends brilliantly with an obscure question that really gets you thinking, and which got me imaging how much fun the copywriter and designer had making this email and writing the copy, because it is just so brilliant.

Uh oh, you just sent an email out with Hi {Name} as the salutation. Or even worse the names were there but they didn’t match up and Sally got an email that said ‘Hi Bob’.

personalization

This is one of the most common mistakes we see, yet one of the most avoidable, if only everyone took the time to thoroughly test their emails before they sent them out.

If it happens, it’s not the end of the world and you can do things to quickly rectify the mistake.

One example we found was this company who sent an email out with ‘Hi {SubscriberName}’ as the salutation. Oops. However they handled it really well – they quickly followed up with an email acknowledging the mistake, apologising that they forgot the subscribers name, and they started the follow-up email with this very apt subject line as follows:

Subject: Lyndsay, “To err is human, to forgive divine” – Alexander Pope

They then went on to pepper the subscribers name throughout the email, to drive the point home they do know your name and they know how to use it. Below is a screenshot of the intro of the follow-up email. Click on the below image to go through to the full email where you will see they went on to offer a big discount just to drive their apology home.

MAEmailFailSml

 

 

 

 

 

The thing is, these things happen, as emails are sent by humans not machines, so the best thing you can do is follow-up with an email acknowledging the mistake, apologise, perhaps add in a bit of humour or something light, throw in a discount or special offer, and most of the time your subscribers will forgive you.

If you would like more tips, check out this post for the top 5 tips for a great apology email here in our post on sending apology emails

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?

 

 

 

Sometimes at Jericho we get asked ‘where do you recommend we purchase lists from to increase our database?’ And we say ‘Contact George Adugadugwengo‘.

Seriously though purchasing lists is something we strongly recommend against doing, and here is some evidence why it’s a bad idea.

In accordance with the CAN SPAM act and regulations from the DIA, all subscribers on your database need to be subscribed via either express consent, inferred consent, or deemed consent, which all basically mean that they have explicitly asked to be added to your list or implied they would like to be added to your list. To read all about the types of consent, you can read about this here: http://www.dia.govt.nz/diawebsite.nsf/wpg_URL/Services-Anti-Spam-Business-Info?OpenDocument

Part of this act specifies businesses must not use electronic address harvesting software, or lists that have been generated using such software, for the purpose of sending unsolicited commercial electronic messages. Click here to read about this in more detail: http://www.dia.govt.nz/diawebsite.nsf/wpg_URL/Services-Anti-Spam-The-dangers-of-using-email-addresses-from-a-purchased-database

Once subscribers are on your list,  there are best practice guidelines to follow such as clearly displaying an unsubscribe link, a privacy policy, and display your business name and contact details, and telling your subscribers how often you will send emails, which is just being transparent and informing people and keeping in line with best practices. To read all about best practices, how to comply with this act, and avoid accidently spamming people, and read other FAQ’s you can read all about this here: http://www.dia.govt.nz/diawebsite.nsf/wpg_URL/Services-Anti-Spam-Questions-and-Answers
Also every now and then we blog about different SPAM case studies and best practice advise on our Jericho blog, so keep your eye out on there too, for a start you can read this post here about email law: http://blog.jericho.co.nz/breaking-email-law-is-easy-heres-a-quick-quality-control-guide-so-you-dont/

We can also provide a copy of the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act document and answer any questions and provide further advise – contact our expert team.