Posts Tagged ‘email marketing’

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!

 

 

 

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!

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?

 

 

 

Dear {Generic Subscriber}

Thank you for taking the time to read our long email all about our company even though you have 573 emails to read and you are very busy.

All the information contained in this email is generic and fairly bland although very informative. We are sending the same information out to everyone, so don’t worry we haven’t taken much time looking at creepy data analysing your particular preferences or interests. Why spend time doing that when all 15,679 of our subscribers will enjoy reading the same generic news ins our batch and blast email this week, next week, and every week. In saying that, we may get busy and  just send one really long email with out dated news once a month, which we are sure you will want to read because it’s all about us.

Also it is not mobile optimised as we haven’t prioritised mobile optimisation yet but that’s OK, you still read your emails on a desktop computer right? The email also won’t contain any dynamic content or personalisation which would make the email more about you and your preferences, because as we mentioned we haven’t got the time or budget for that.

We didn’t spend too much time thinking about the subject line, so as you can see that says ‘September Newsletter’ which is exactly what this is. Also we don’t tend to put much emphasis on testing  so there might be a broken link in there somewhere. Just email our esp if you find it.

Also we probably won’t notice how many of you clicked on anything or who is engaged or not engaged because we don’t tend to do any reporting or analysis on our campaigns. And we we will be sending the email at 5pm on a Friday as we don’t really prioritise our email marketing or think about what the best send time is, just as long as we get to send our news out to everyone before we leave for the weekend.

We hope you enjoyed reading our generic email (that you care about even less than we do).

Insincerely and apathetically yours,
Batch and Blast Inc.

BrandsTalk
Sadly the above story is not so far from the truth for many companies. If the whole area of personalisation, engagement and analysis seems like a lot to get your head around, take a moment to read these posts that are bulging with best practice advice on everything from how to really your subscribers, how personalisation can make a huge difference to your readers and how engagement has a flow on effect to your reputation and deliverability.

Do much more than just batch and blast

To personalise or not to personalise

- Here’s how to really show your subscribers some email love

- How and why you should treat your subscribers like friends

- Why engagement is important and how to do it

EmailLove

See, that wasn’t so hard. All it takes is for you to implement a few simple best practice initiatives into your email marketing and you can be seeing a remarkable improvement.

 

Customer acquisition via email has quadrupled over the past 4 years according to the recent Custora eCommerce Customer Acquisition Snapshot Report.

The last few years have seen huge changes in the world of Digital Marketing, and Email Marketing has been a consistently growing and ever more popular channel, with ever increasing numbers of retailers and marketers turning to email to promote list growth, share information, market sales, and more.

The report is an effort to reflect this constantly changing landscape and shed some light on what is really shaping e-Commerce and Digital Marketing. The graph below highlights the massive lead that email has beyond the other channels. Second only to organic search, I think it’s safe to say email is still winning this one.

 

AcquisitionChannelGrowthsml

Acquisition Channel Growth
(Click on graph to view full size)

Customer Lifetime value  (CLV) in this report refers to the future profit a company expects to earn from a customer through their relationship with the business. As we can see in the below graph, Email provides the third highest value out of all channels, again only behind organic search.

CustomerValuebyChannelsml

Customer Lifetime Value by Channel
(Click on graph to see full size)

 

Although I wouldn’t discount the value of social yet I do however think those mailing lists and the value of email is going to trump other digital channels for some time yet.

This month’s email makeover from the expert team at Jericho is…  Grabaseat!

Click the image below to check out the ‘before’ email:

 

Click on the image below to check out the ‘after’ email:

What do you think of our Grabaseat email makeover?

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

 

The recipient of our latest makeover by our expert team at Jericho is….. Flossie!

We all know and love Flossie I am sure so without further ado I present to you the Flossie before and afters.

Click on the image below to check out the before email.

 

 

Click on the image below to see their end result:

 

So what do you think of our Flossie email makeover?

Nearly one in three emails sent in North America during Q1 2013 were opened—the highest number in recent history.

According to the eMarketer report “Email Benchmarks: Key Metrics and Trends for 2013″, Mobile device adoption and the use of marketing automation to send more targeted emails are having the biggest impacts on email performance.

Mobile plays an undeniable role in enabling consumers to check email from anywhere and at any time of day - 71.8% of US email users ages 24 to 40 said they typically read their personal email throughout the day.  Knotice showed mobile phones and tablets accounted for a combined total of 41.1% of email opens. That is even higher for others - Epsilon said mobile now accounts for 60% or more of all opens for most clients.

Pam McAtee, Epsilon’s senior vice president of digital solutions, says  “We can see that they opened an email on a mobile device and then on a desktop, predominantly in that order. They’re using mobile devices to sift through their email and clean up their email, and then they’re going back to a desktop and converting.”

Source: Emarketer 

Last month’s Gmail Tab roll-out has been closely watched by marketers who are all worrying that their emails would be out of sight, out of mind, and many predicted a drop in open rates. Now it seems the opposite is happening. For those subscribers who were engaged, we are seeing open and read rates climb.

This is according to Return Path who have released the Gmail Tabs Analysis, a report on how inbox delivery rates and read rates have changed since the Tabs were implemented. They report that for most marketers, the Gmail tabs feature is in fact a positive change and these stats indicate that.

• Highly engaged users are reading a slightly higher percentage of marketing messages (58.64 percent before Tabs vs. 59.88 percent after Tabs)
• Moderately engaged users are reading a slightly lower percentage of marketing messages. (10.55 percent before Tabs vs. 9.81 percent after Tabs)
• Users who rarely engaged with marketing messages before Tabs are engaging at a significantly lower rate (2.19 percent before Tabs vs. 0.42 percent after Tabs)

The other impact to metrics is the fact tabs are only available on the desktop, not on mobile. So with 44 percent of email being read on mobile, the impact of tabs is only coming from desktop use which accounts for 33%.

Besides that a couple of things really stand out to me. The tabs roll out applies to everyone across the board so no particular group of marketers appears to be disadvantaged. Sure those subscribers who were inactive or disengaged or simply tolerated the promotional emails in their inbox before may now simply ignore their commercial emails since they are filtered off into another tab. On the flip side, those subscribers who are engaged will continue to seek out and read those emails that interest them or provide value, and we are seeing proof of that in the stats.

In fact according to these increased open rates it seems they are more likely to read and react to promotional emails when grouped together, because the tabs categorise email and this makes it easier for certain subscribers to find and read email instead of having to sort and filter through one big pile of email. Potentially also subscribers may be in a shopping mind set when reading all their promotional emails at once on the promotions tab.

Another factor that may determine how subscribers ultimately react is habit. At the moment the tabs are still new and subscribers may be consciously searching every tab for your email while they learn which emails end up where. But once the novelty factor wears off will they still be searching through every tab? Will old habits die hard or will subscribers adapt to this as they adapt to all other changes?

It’s still fairly early days in terms of measuring Gmail tab’s effect on user behaviour or email metrics, however going by these early indications it seems fairly safe to say marketers can stop worrying about Gmail harming their open rates, and continue to focus on engagement and the positive results this provides.