Topic: Viral / Share / Forward

Automated email which is relevant to the recipient, and timed just right to maximise revenue is the holy grail for the email marketer.

But it’s not easy to get right. Everyone does it differently, yet the drive to optimise each customer experience must keep improving.

There are parts of this process, such as the unsubscribe process, which can be the roadblock in an otherwise pleasant journey.

Clearly, the Brads have struck this – prompting 30 frames of genius.

Click through and have a giggle at this cartoon which puts it way better than we could ever write it.

Your thoughts on this are welcome.

The Year of The Mobile? 

Industry pundits have been predicting for some years that “this year” (whichever year they happen to be in) is The Year Of The Mobile. We’re not sure that any year is going to stand up to that sort of hype, but let’s label 2013 “The Year That Mobile Really, Really Matters”.

Why?

Let’s overwhelm that simple enquiry with a deluge of data:

In October 2012, Statistics New Zealand announced that more than half of New Zealanders are now accessing the Internet via a mobile phone. That official benediction confirms what other researchers have been reporting:

  • 36% of Kiwis have shopped online via a mobile device during the past 12 months (NZ Online Shopping Survey, PwC and Frost & Sullivan, July 2012)

Nielsen New Zealand’s “The Year That Was” report on 2012 notes that smartphone ownership has grown by over 11% in 2012 (1.7 million New Zealanders now have a smartphone) and there has been 52% growth in the number of people using their smartphone features. Tablet ownership has more than doubled to reach 395,000 and electronic book readers are now owned by over 5% of New Zealanders.

And from the study “Our Mobile Planet New Zealand”, Google/Ipsos OTA Media CT, May 2012:

  • 59% of smartphone owners access the internet on their smartphones at least once a day
  • 80% of smartphone owners use their phones for communication
  • 55% to stay informed
  • 86% for entertainment
  • 38% of smartphone owners search on their mobiles every day
  • 66% have researched a product or service on their phone
  • 53% have searched for product information
  • 35% for information on restaurants, pubs or bars
  • 27% for travel information

International research (reported in the book Go Mobile by Jeanne Hopkins and Jamie Turner) confirms that mobile means money:

  • 9 out of 10 mobile searches lead to action
  • Over half lead to purchase
  • Mobile coupons receive 10 times higher redemption rates than print coupons

And fast:

  • 70% of mobile searches lead to action within one hour (mobilemarketer.com)

As you’d expect, mobile searches are used for enquiries on the go:

  • 74% of smartphone users use their phone to help with shopping
  • 79% ultimately make a purchase as a result

All in all, it’s now not merely nice to have but essential that your website is mobile-friendly.

How does your website stack up ?

  • Do you have a mobile version of your site that’s designed for today’s modern cellphones? Early mobile versioning software was very text-based, but today’s searchers (the post-iPhone generation) expect visual pizzazz, even on the ultrasmall screen.
  • How does your site actually look on a mobile phone? Does it support or denigrate your brand?
  • How quickly does the site load? 60% of mobile web users say they expect a site to load on their mobile phone in three seconds or less — and 74% won’t wait more than five seconds before moving on.
  • Are there any broken or hidden images? iPhones and iPads don’t display Flash files, so if your website relies on Flash you have a problem.
  • Is the site easy to read on a small device? Users hate having to zoom just to read the basic content.
  • Are links easy to click on with thumbs? We live in a touchscreen world, but human thumbs haven’t shrunk.

A few more numbers to shape your thinking. Yahoo! has assembled a collection of compelling statistics:

  • 75% of customers prefer a mobile-friendly site
  • 76% want mobile pages to fit their screens better
  • 74% want the option to navigate to a full site
  • 69% say they want mobile sites to have bigger buttons
  • 52% say they’re less likely to engage with a company if their mobile experience was bad
  • 48% of users become annoyed with sites that have not been optimised for mobile devices
  • 48% say that if a mobile site isn’t working well, it’s an indication of the business simply not caring [which, when we think about it, is a horrible thing to say]

Okay, we think you get the drift.

Once your website is a mobile wunderkind, however, what else can marketers do to take advantage of mobile opportunities?

According to xAd‘s “Mobile-Local Performance 2012 Year In Review“, advertisers now have the power to reach audiences in the following ways:

PLACE-BASED
When users are in or around specific businesses or locations

POI (POINTS OF INTEREST)
Ability to target users that are in or around areas of interest which may or may not have a stated postal address available for the entire target area such as airports, colleges and universities, marathon routes, etc.

BEHAVIOURAL
The ability to leverage anonymous geo-specific behavioral data, such as past mobile searches and visitation behaviors to target users at the exact moment when they are in need of your products or services.

EVENT TARGETING
Ability to serve targeted ads to audiences that are attending a specific event such as sports game, concert or industry conference.

In 2012, xAd found that the most popular form of mobile audience targeting in the U.S. was, unsurprisingly, Place-Based (67%) followed by behavioural targeting (20%).

What Categories Are Best For Mobile Marketing?

According to xAd, the most-searched-on-mobile categories of 2012 were:

1. Restaurants
2. Travel
3. Health & Beauty
4. Retail
5. Professional Services
6. Financial/Insurance Services
7. Auto
8. Real Estate
9. Entertainment
10. Business Services

So how effective can mobile marketing be?

From xAd:

Calvin Klein used place-based and geo-behaviour-targeted advertising to promote the availability of its products at local retail stores. The resulting campaign exceeded the client’s CTR benchmark by 26% while helping to increase local sales during the campaign period.

From The Drum:

Debenhams UK reported that it had generated an additional £1m in sales in five months through a smart phone app that allows customers to scan QR codes in advertising and store windows, and ‘snap’ product barcodes to display information such as customer reviews.

From MobileMarketer.com:

H&M saw a click-through rate of 2.3 percent when it geo-fenced (i.e. served mobile marketing messages based on the geographic boundaries of) stores locations in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York to generate excitement around the David Beckham Bodywear line.

Credit: Michael Carney, Marketing Monitor

More than anyone else in your team, you know email marketing is a key part of your marketing.   But you’re stymied by the lack of resourcing or budget.  Do you need help to show your business why to allocate more to your email marketing efforts?

Just in time, this new report from the DMA in the UK, a market similar to New Zealand in many ways,  proves the importance of email marketing and highlights some compelling motivators.  Add these to your budget report now!

THE BEST ROI

67% of respondents cite email as the tactic that gives the BEST ROI when compared to all other standard marketing activities, and almost double the ROI of the next best option which is online marketing.  Email clearly has a valued role in marketing, but does your boss know how it compares with other marketing tactics?

BUT… NOT ENOUGH BUDGET

The reported revenue contributions from email marketing are disproportionately large when compared to its budget allocation. Email drives 30% or more organisational revenue for 44% of email marketers, but it isn’t accounting for an equivalent amount of budget.

SO… WILL BE SPENDING MORE

In budget plans for 2012, 63% of email marketers are intending to increase expenditure on email, and only 6% are expecting a decrease. This alone speaks volumes and reflects the changing perceptions around the importance of email marketing. It has migrated from a simple low cost workhorse to a feature rich and flexible marketing tool, not to mention it supports a range of tactics and goals, and reaches and connects a number of channels and platforms.

BECAUSE…  CLICKS AND OPENS UP

Response rates to good email marketing campaigns are improving.  Opens and click rates are steadily rising – 67% of respondents said that open rates held steady or improved, with click rates higher again at 69% improvement, and conversion rates at 63%.

RELATIONSHIP STATUS = ENGAGED

In terms of relationship building, again email is the clear winner, voted by 72% of marketers as being the best marketing tool by far for developing closer and more enduring customer relationships.

RESOURCING

One of the key things the report highlighted was that the biggest barrier to email marketing success is the struggle around put time and resources toward their email marketing efforts. Many businesses have less than one staff hour a day allocated toward email marketing! So increasingly the value of agencies such as Jericho who have the expertise and resource to handle campaigns comes into play.

THE IMPORTANCE OF EMAIL

Overall, this DMA report really highlights the changing attitudes toward email, how it has gone from being the hot new kid on the block, to being the workhorse in the background, and how it’s come a full circle to being strategically important part of business and marketing as a whole.

You can’t put email in a corner.

You can download the full report here

 

 

 

 

When we think about sharing content, we usually think of Facebook and Twitter.

So, would it surprise you to know that more people share by email than by Facebook?

That’s the result ExactTarget got when they surveyed folks for their 2012 Channel Preference Survey.

 

 

Here are their findings.

As seen in the graph above, when you combine all the age brackets, 63% of people use email to share content and only 33% put it on Facebook, and only 5% on Twitter.

The only time social media rules is specifically within the 15-17 age group, so if this is your target audience, by all means stick with Facebook. For everyone else, it looks like it’s time to review the importance of email as part of your marketing campaign.

Email is also the chosen one when it comes to preferred method of contact. 77% of people said they want emails from companies they’re interested in. Direct mail, on the other hand, came in only at 9%.

Email was also the first place people looked for deals from companies they already know. Company websites came in second.

According to ExactTarget, the only place email has declined is as a method of personal communication (45% vs. 66% in 2008). Text messaging is up (36% vs. 16% in 2008), as is social networking posting (13% vs. 3% in 2008).

Also 91% of people say they check email every day and that’s more than any other means of communication.

Social media is great, no doubt. However if you are underestimating the importance, and the preference for, email, particularly when dealing with current customers, you’re missing out.

Want more details? Read the full ExactTarget 2012 Channel Preferences Survey. It’s free.

It’s not about size, it’s what you do with it right?

Well, yes… and no.  Small databases may just be perfectly formed, but your contacts are always changing, so some growth is essential.

The real question is, if your’s is too small, what can you do about it?  Growing your database relies on some MUST-DO’s. But cry, wail, berate though we do (even to *gasp* our own clients) every single day, they are not done, all over the web, on sites from all over the world.

Don’t be one of them.   Here are a few of the MUST-DO’s to grow your email list:

  • Ask. This is direct marketing. You must ask, directly, in many ways – buttons, text links, in-copy prompts, and from landing pages, blogs, Facebook and LinkedIn, etc.  If you are a large business with a busy website this is even MORE critical.  Get someone who has no involvement with your website – you mum for example – and ask them to get their name on your mailing list; watch over their shoulder while they sign up.  Everywhere they attempt to look should have  a text link, button or directive to join.  Note how the GAP family of sites and RachelZoe.com do this right on the home page – their most valuable real estate. And they should know – we’d guess their testing budgets are big…

  • Be attractive and useful. Now is not the time to be coy. Describe how you will help and waggle your benefits right in their face.   Use pain-points that demonstrate you know their difficulties, and can help them solve them.  Use value-adds and bonuses to incentivise their action.   We developed our SmartMail Pro’s email series tools for just this purpose (Get our monthly specials and we’ll send you the ground-breaking tutorial ‘Get the most from health insurance’ in 5 parts, each week for the next 5 weeks, for free’).  Yes your content is worth something but their email address is worth a lot – to you, and, even more to them.  Use examples, testimonials and clear language to exchange value and to minimise their risk: ‘We will never ever give your details to anyone else’.  Are your emails beautiful, and functional?  It costs the same time and money to send an ugly email – but risks less pass-along, poor response rates.  Make it rock.  See email design examples here and ask us for some before and afters to see what a difference design can make.

  • Make it easy. See the Bonus Resource on form design below and the example above of the Metrics Report Download on our own website (fill out your email address and then see the form on the next page) - DO ask for the personal details you can (and that you will) use to vastly improve the customers experience, such as Gender, Location, and broad preference categories.  Date of birth is nice if you will use it to acknowledge their birthday.  We’ve already said Do NOT hide the subscribe button deep in your site – get it out there!  Please don’t ask for a mailing address, unless you really, really need it – it’s very offputting.  If you have a call centre or CSR’s calling customers on the phone, or viceversa, then make sure they are asking for the email address, and getting permssion by explaining why it will be good to recieve emails from your company.
  • Close the loop.  Do what you said you would, when you said you would do it. Fulfilling the promises that you made is key to extend permission and take Seth Godin’s journey from stranger, to friend, to customer and then advocate.  Handing over the email addy is a risk – make the risk pay off and you will have them. and their wallets, right where you need it.
  • Use Advocates.     Pass along, and social sharing using social media is one of the strongest advantages email has over other marketing channels, so use your SWYN tools not to send readers to your Facebook page but to get yourself on theirs, and if you don’t have  these tools get us to set you up. Make sure you have clear path to subscribe in every email you send – we explain that fully here. Check out this post Fan, Follower, Subscriber – which one will buy?, and other previous GetSmart posts on social media and email marketing.

Bonus Resources

-Sign up/Registration form design: I have found a fascinating resource on web design usability that has several posts about form design, I recommend them all – just search their site.  Your goal is to optimise the form, and the path to the form, so you increase the chance that web page visitors will persist and complete your form.   
The first post is about the layout of the form: Vertical arrangement works fastest

-How New York Public Library grew their database by 50%.  A case study.

Do you need plans, extraordinary design creative, and a real life team of global email experts to drive your email marketing and social media? Here we are – down under and always ready for action.


Convincing people to share your news/offers/brands with other people is most likely one of your marketing goals in 2011.  If only because extending the reach of a campaign gets you greater results for the same spend.

Combining email marketing and social media to achieve that is becoming very important – but perhaps it’s no shock that email is key; around two and half times more people share using email than social media.

A new report by AOL and published in partnership with Nielsen, proves what people share, where they share it, and why. Sharing content is the number one driver for sharing both with email and social media.

Brand plays a critical role.  If you need a reason to invest more branding budget in your email and social, here it is:  Nielsen reports that brands play a key role: 60% of all content-sharing messages specifically mention a brand or product name.  That makes sense when you see the reasons people share – they want to share trusted information.

Consumers say trust and a desire to help people are key factors in deciding which content to share:
38% share information from people they trust.
36% share important information that helps others (e.g., traffic reports, how-to, community information).
35% share items about popular culture.
32% share information pertaining to common interests.

Email is the primary content-sharing tool among surveyed consumers (66%), followed social media (28%) and instant messaging (4%). Most People Share via Multiple Platforms.  And, 99% people who share content via social media also use email to share content.   It’s a great report – you can read AOL’s release here.  And Marketing Profs dissect it more, and provide graphs here.

Search the blog for more from our team at Jericho on email marketing and social media (we started for you, below):

Fan. Follower. Subscriber. Which one will actually buy?

4 ways that great web content = free money

Subscribe yourself, share with your network (SWYN) and other missed opportunities


About the study: Findings are based on Nielsen’s NM Incite Social Media Monitoring tools, Online Behavior Panel and Attitudinal analysis, tracking more than 10,000 social media messages; and on a survey of more than 1,000 Nielsen Online panel members for 10 consecutive days, December 14-23, 2010


We have been polishing them for years, but in truth, Email Newsletters are still underexploited.  They offer a simple path for you to consistently demonstrate your expertise, and the care you take in your communications.

By my observation, key to getting them done is that you make the process easy by planning your timing and content.  
Timing: When you have agreed frequency (monthly or bi-monthly is right for most businesses)  then work out the timelines you’ll need for copy, interviews, images, and approvals, and set deadlines for the content and delivery.  Missing your schedule is like standing up a date – and it’s hard to get to 3rd base if you don’t hit first and second.
Content: Adding a theme to sit above each issue makes it easier, then each section can work into that.  Each theme should work to support your overall business goals for the year ahead.  For example, if your aim for 2011 is to get new clients, establish credibility, and emphasise your customer focus,  then plan to intersperse two issues per theme, and you have six months content planning sorted.

Here are some ideas – copy and paste them into excel and add columns for your newsletters – to make your own content plan.

Email Design Requirements
Your email will have some content that is regular, so it’s a good idea to plan this out first so we/you can design around your ideas.  Remember changes can be made as your needs change, and the modular style templates Jericho excels at can be flexible with sections left in or taken out as you like.

Top Section Ideas:
Navigation Bar w Links to Key Relevant areas of your Website
Personalised Greeting, e.g. Hi John
Static Index of Content/Sections (just a list of contents)
Bookmarks Index of Content/Sections (a list of contents that will drop to each article when they are clicked)
Introduction – Generic
Introduction – Dynamic (changes out automatically based on key fields like location, gender, client type, preferences)
Introduction – Personal note from ‘Leader’ e.g. with image/sig

Content Section Ideas:
N.B. all of these can also be dynamic (changes out automatically based on key fields like location, gender, client type, preferences)
Most Popular/Best selling
What’s New
Introducing…
Profile
Customer Interview
Us at Work – use a simple Case Study to show how you work with a client on a day to day basis
Testimonial
Customer Questions/Answer
Customer Ideas/Images/Contributions

Bottom Section Ideas:
Advertising
Logos of our Partners
Our Details – Address, Phone in email footer
Contact Us – link to website
Link to Join
Link to Subscribe (missing a link here means missing new subscribers who have received your newsletter from others via forwarding).
Share this email or part of the content, to your Social Network (SWYN) (read other ways to include your recipients social networks here)  We have a descriptive diagram of how that works here)
Join us on Facebook, Twitter, etc.


As always we are here to help - if you want to look at some modular design  examples or just great email campaign examples, ask us. There are 28 of us here and we email.


Spammers are scummy criminals, yes, but some of their subject lines are pretty catchy.  Tell me I’m not the only one perversely attracted to the copywriting entertainment that lurks in the junk folder.

There is a lot of emarketing blog subject matter there, for another day.   For our growth theme we head straight to pharma.  A few favourite subject lines:

- Hello, Smallest thing of the year, How are you? ; )    
– Hey Comrade, how’s your ramrod?
– Where did you get so small weenie?
- Could you reply why your thing is so short
- Curious thing about your weenie
- You think you have enough size?

Ouch.  As the person in charge of marketing to your databases, whether you have an audience of 5,000 or 5,000,000 you are likely to experience dissatisfaction about your ‘size’.

It’s not the size, it’s what you do with it right? Well, yes… small databases may just be perfectly formed, but your contacts are always changing, so growth is a good idea in any case.  The real question is, if your’s is too small, what can you do about it?  Growing your database relies on some MUST-DO’s. Every single day, they are not done, all over the web, on sites from all over the world.  Don’t be one of them.   Here are a few of the MUST-DO’s to grow your email list.

  • Ask. This is direct marketing. You must ask, directly, in many ways – buttons, text links, in-copy prompts, and from landing pages, blogs, Facebook and LinkedIn, etc.  Get someone who has no involvement with your website – you mum for example – and ask them to get their name on your mailing list; watch over their shoulder while they sign up.  Everywhere they attempt to look should have  a text link, button or directive to join.  Note how the GAP family of sites, and RachelZoe.com do this right on the home page – their most valuable real estate.
  • Be attractive and useful. Now is not the time to be coy. Describe how you will help and waggle your benefits right in their face.   Use pain-points that demonstrate you know their difficulties, and can help them solve them.  Use value-adds and bonuses to incentivise their action.   We developed our SmartMail Pro’s email series tools for just this purpose (Get our monthly specials and we’ll send you the ground-breaking tutorial ‘Get the most from health insurance’ in 5 parts, each week for the next 5 weeks, for free’).  Yes your content is worth something but their email address is worth a lot – to you, and, even more to them.  Use examples, testimonials and clear language to exchange value and to minimise their risk: ‘We will never ever give your details to anyone else’.  Are your emails beautiful, and functional?  It costs the same time and money to send an ugly email – but risks less pass-along, poor response rates.  Make it rock.  See email design examples here and ask us for some before and afters to see what a difference design can make.
  • Make it easy. See the Bonus Resource on form design below - DO ask for the personal details you can (and that you will) use to vastly improve the customers experience, such as Gender, Location, and broad preference categories.  Date of birth is nice if you will use it to acknowledge their birthday.  We’ve already said Do NOT hide the subscribe button deep in your site – get it out there!  Please don’t ask for a mailing address, unless you really, really need it – it’s very offputting.  If you have a call centre or CSR’s calling customers on the phone, or viceversa, then make sure they are asking for the email address, and getting permssion by explaining why it will be good to recieve emails from your company.
  • Close the loop.  Do what you said you would, when you said you would do it. Fulfilling the promises that you made is key to extend permission and take Seth Godin’s journey from stranger, to friend, to customer and then advocate.  Handing over the email addy is a risk – make the risk pay off and you will have them. and their wallets, right where you need it.
  • Use Advocates.     Pass along, and social sharing using social media is one of the strongest advantages email has over other marketing channels, so use your SWYN tools not to send readers to your Facebook page but to get yourself on theirs, and if you don’t have  these tools get us to set you up. Make sure you have clear path to subscribe in every email you send – we explain that fully here. Check out this post Fan, Follower, Subscriber – which one will buy?, and other previous GetSmart posts on social media and email marketing.

Bonus Resources

-How New York Public Library grew their database by 50%.  A case study.

-Sign up/Registration form design: I have found a fascinating resource on web design usability that has several posts about form design, I recommend them all – just search their site.  Your goal is to optimise the form, and the path to the form, so you increase the chance that web page visitors will persist and complete your form.  
The first post is about the layout of the form: Vertical arrangement works fastest


Do you need plans, extraordinary design creative, and a real life team of global email experts to drive your email marketing and social media? Here we are – down under and always ready for action.


The unsubscribe link is a critical part of your relationship with your email reader, and providing one that works is required by law.  Here are 4 things about the unsusbcribe process that you need to keep in mind as you manage your email marketing program:

  1. The Lowdown
  2. The Experience
  3. The Consequence
  4. The Obvious

The Lowdown

Unsubscribing is a nice, simple, clean way for your recipients to control the flow of information into their inbox.  You want people to use your unsubscribe link because the alternatives (delete, ignore, email purgatory, or ‘Mark as Spam’ inbox tools) can affect your bank balance, your sender reputation, and your brand and word of mouth.  To a business, an unsubscribe might cost thousands of dollars or more in loss of the chance to build a relationship with, and extract revenue from that human.  We have written about this before, but the recent six-figure fines at Virgin has prompted another post today. Previous posts include some great stuff, so if you missed them: Unsubscribe don’t send hate mail. Happy to unsubscribe in 30 steps… Subscribe yourself, share with your network (SWYN) and other missed opportunities. Unsubscribe – a quick and painless death?

Legally, the ‘spam law’ in New Zealand, Australia, the EU, Canada, the USA and more, states clearly that your unsubscribe method must work, be free, and be honoured within a few days (5 days in NZ and AU, 10 days for CAN-SPAM).

The Experience – how users see your unsubscribe

People unsubscribe because they can.  How the process works will be important to whether or not they call you next time they are in the market for your services.  A difficult unsubscribe process can be annoying, infuriating, and illegal.   There are three common scenarios.  I’d love your comments, and why.

a) Click to Unsubscribe
Most important – there should be no doubt what you need to do, and whether or not you have done it.  Practising what we preach, we were adamant that our SmartmailPro platform behave in a way that is extremely clear.  One click on the link in the email and you see this message: Success!  Next, it shows the email address you have unsusbcribed, we all have multiple addresses and sometime you’ll surprise even yourself with which you are signed up with, to what.

SmartMailPro Unsubscribe page
















Then you can add a reason if you like, resubscribe if it was an error, or change your other subscriptions.

Usually found at the bottom of an email, we believe that the link should also be at the top of the email.  (Sometimes this link is placed in the side bar which is uncommon and therefore bad.)

b) Phone, email to unsubscribe.
It surprises many of our clients to hear that they have to motnior inboxes and instruct CS staff in how to action unsusbcribes – if someone calls to unsusbcribe, can your staff tell them how to, or better yet, do it for them?

c) Log in to your account to ‘update your preferences’.
If you want people to log in then you are providing a barrier to unsusbcribe, something that is anti-customer, if not illegal.  You can easily add the data to the link dynamically so that they are logged in with their details upon clicking the link.  Yes, if you are a bank, then you might not have any option but to require security steps, however it’s important to offer an alternate method of contact so they can change their preferences even if they can’t access their account for any reason.

The Consequence – Virgin Aussie fined six figures for their non-working unsubscribe

EmailExpert.org recently posted news about the fines levied on Virgin three times now, for spamming.  He relays that in March last year Virgin Mobile was fined $22,000 dollars in Australia, and more recently in the UK, Virgin Media came under fire for spamming,  and in this the latest blow Virgin Blue Airlines has been fined AU$110,000 dollars for spamming by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.  Virgin Blue has since committed to overhauling its email marketing in response to alleged contraventions of Spam Act. How did they fall foul? The unsubscribe links in their email simply did not work.

The enforcable conditions for Virgin Blue are available on the ACMA website, download here.

The Obvious – make your emails relevant

Finally, it’s important to remember that when asked why they unsubscribed, a majority of people respond that ‘it just isn’t relevant to me’.  Making email personal and relevant is critical to keeping your recipients engaged in your content, and ultimately in your organisation.

Relevance can be improved dramatically with the following, which should be considerations in every campaign you plan: 
If you still have time you can read more here Six Truths for Email Marketing (one of our most popular posts ever) Evolve your Email Strategy and here Does your site deliver ?(ecommerce focus).   But perhaps the truth is still, as eMarketer reported last year, Email Marketers plan to get smart at some point just not right now!

Following on from our last post on the art of the Welcome, we’ve gathered some examples here for you to look at, comment on, learn from and copy for your own welcome email program.

Also check other posts here like “You are not alone – 2 campaigns we love, and why” and one from right back in 2008 “Welcome Warmly“.  In all, there are 22 months of blog posts here at Jericho’s GetSmart Blog to help your email marketing performance.

Welcome messages are so important. A survey published in MarketingSherpa’s Best Practices in Email Marketing Handbook found that:
– 54% of respondents stated that they open and read transactional messages “very often or always.”
– Only 21% of respondents reported opening and reading other opt-in email with the same frequency.
Out-take: The Welcome email is 150% more likely to be opened and read than your email newsletter.

We have underlined key areas of each Welcome email, and each thumbnail links to a larger version of the email image.  Also each company name below links to their website.  (As we have said before one of the best ways to improve your email marketing is to spy!)

Whether it’s the first time someone registers for your e-newsletter, the first time they walk into your showroom, or their first online purchase, first impressions can make a huge difference to whether the prospect is ‘in’ or ‘out’ of your ongoing eDM program – and with lifetime value measurements, your ongoing revenue!

Example 1: A basic email that covers what it needs to and major subscriber engagement – works so well because of the style, and copy, really.  I’ve written about that before, so I’ll just link to that – Welcome to US.

Example 2: Another basic looking email with a value-add which incentivised the registration, The Whisky Shop from Auckland nails a great Welcome on a low budget.


Example 3: Alice.com – I wish we had this in New Zealand.  The shopping site where you can buy all your non-perishables, leaving you free to get your fresh supplies from your local markets.  The Alice.com Welcome email includes clear calls to action to get started – the best place to do this is in the welcome email.  Could improve: They mention emails they will send that are related to your activity, but no mention of what else they will send or how frequently.

Example 4: Anthropologie.com An office favourite here, our design and production teams love the gentle designs and copy in the Anthropologie emails.  The Welcome describes the frequency and content of the emails, benefits first is always good.  They also invite you to help the emails arrive with an action of your own – add to your address book.

Example 5: OldNavy.com An Welcome offer for your first purchase might be just what you are after.  If so, Old Navy is here to help with 20% off your first purchase.  They link to their family of brands, to their Social Media profiles, and offer T&C’s for the promo – BUT – no description of email frequency or content, and no way to share the email to our social network – missing out on the newly engaged readers propensity ot share right when they are most excited to meet you - a useful trick that is overlooked here.

Example 6: KNOW from Positively Wellington Tourism is a top quality e-newsletter that you should subscribe to.  The KNOW Welcome email is on the money in every way.  They set up the anticipation of frequency, describe the content type, remind you of the email address you used to register, invite you to follow and fan them, and link to key content areas with site-matching nav tabs - PLUS they invite you to share the email to your social networksinvite a friend to subscribe too, and they even link back to the subscribe page in case you forward this email – allowing a clear path to subscribe if the friend you forwarded it to wants to sign up too.    I can’t find a thing wrong with email, can you?  (Disclosure: KNOW is a client of our agency, Jericho).

Example 7: RachelZoe.com The Rachel Zoe website earns a special mention before we even examine the Welcome email.   That’s because as you’ll see if you visit the site, the home page is totally about the email registration.  It is unthinkable how many websites I find that force you to search to sign up for email.  The best email marketers (including the GAP family of sites) use the priority real estate of their home page to sell you to the sign up.  If you make money sending email (and you do if you do it right) then your number one goal should be to get the email address of your site visitor.  Sure you want them to look around, but if you get the email address you get the chance to make your case time and time again…  Next blog post = tricks to great subscription forms!  This Welcome email does a number of things right.  It welcomes warmly (she is ‘beyond excited’ to have you aboard).  She sets expectation of frequency, and content.  She covers the housekeeping with how to get the email delivered to you (‘imagine the disaster…’!), and tell your friends, and a nice obvious unsusbcribe too.

Example 8: Outstanding in the wrong way this welcome email misses the mark in almost every way.   Dull,  unengaging, confusing.  It was also sent in the small hours of the morning hours after I had subscribed.   This is a major Government department (the NZ equivalent of the IRS) and although we expect them to be a bit behind there is simply no excuse for emails like this leaving the building.  The newsletter it prefaces is a useful and important communication, let down by this welcome.  Check out the reply email address.  Not only am I unlikely to retain this email for future reference, as am I commanded to do, I am actually a little bit frightened of it!


We would like this to continue to grow into the best resource for welcome email examples on the blogosphere.  You can help!  Comment on these ones, and please send examples of emails you have recieved, good or bad, to us at getsmart@jericho.co.nz

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