Posts Tagged ‘email resources’

20 Questions is game for you, your boss, your team members, your clients, your data team, your digital marketing adviser… ask, answer, think, act.   Print it, copy  it off into a spreadsheet or just read, bookmark and check back.  On your marks, get set, go!


What is your overall strategic goal for the use of email marketing?

e.g. we want to be the number one supplier of equipment and the strongest brand in the market.


What actions do you ultimately want?

e.g. we want people to buy our equipment and look first to us as their supplier


What activity supports these?

e.g. content rich communications to support our position, regular product releases, support for our channels


What actions will bring about your key action goal?

e.g. Click to landing page, click to website, click to enquire click to buy, tell other people, forward to the right person,


Who is your target audience(s)?


What type of people read your emails?  What are their roles?


What databases do you have permission market to, what type of emails do you send now, and how often do you use email to speak to them?


How clean would you say your databases are right now?


How do your databases grow?  Is that growth keeping up with, or surpassing, list attrition?


What percentage of your total CRM database do you have email permission for?


What processes do you have in place to manage hygiene such as when people mark your mails as spam, when they unsubscribe, and when they change jobs or their email address changes?


How many regions/variations do you need to communicate with?  What ways do you add regional or segmented personalisation to ensure those recipients feel that you are aware of where they are, who they are, and what they need from ?


How do you currently manage email marketing?


How do you currently measure the results and outcomes of email marketing?


Do you use best practice frameworks such as allocated sub-domain and white-listed IP isolated sending addresses?


What gets in the way of you doing a great job now?


What is good about what happens now?


What is bad?


Where do you see ways to improve it?




Do you have support from upper management to do the best job you can or is email relegated to the ‘tactics only’ list?


Do you think email could deliver more revenue for you now?


So – once you have the answers to these – what are you going to do about it?

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!


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?


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.


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.


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%.


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.


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.


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





Mastercard. Mastercard Moments, in fact. Welcome to the Jericho blog.  Your merge link didn’t merge.  And there is an image missing top right. And there isn’t any contact information in the email which is poor practice in NZ and Aussie, and breaches CanSpam in the USA – a contact us link only works if we’re online and we might not be.

You could have seen the merge didn’t work if you’d done live data testing.  Ditto the image.  And if you had some decent advice you would at least have a phone number in the email.

I’m not sure about what makes the credit card companies such consistent blog fodder.  They have the budgets I’m sure, and the agencies, and the great ideas, and I guess the staff, but what’s missing seems to be the TESTING?  The sign off process?  The expert guidance? The care?  This email’s errors turns us off at the get-go and it wastes hours, creative, copy, coding and ultimately the entire budget they spent.  And, poor dad’s less likely to get his treats if we don’t read the email. If you would like a copy of our bullet-proof Jericho Campaign Checklist, just email to ask for it.

The loveliest thing about the email below is that it’s from the Customer Prevention Unit.  Most days I see businesses send emails that might as well have come from the CPU.  Most are STILL not talking to customers and prospects as though they are the best source of revenue for you.  Most  are STILL not making sure they feel known, appreciated and on the ‘inside’.   I talked about that in the post about the email where the AMEX marketer told me that he’d been a member since 2004 but got my name wrong and didn’t acknowledge that I’ve been a member since 1999!  At least this kiwi bank-wannabe has come right out with it.

Those spammers are sending more engaging copy than ever with their diseases and lotteries and so on.  I’ve been getting a few bank ones lately like this one of this morning.  And I get genuine Kiwibank ones too as I’m a client.  I have to figure which is which when they arrive.

The most important daily challenge for us is ensuring that the emails are delivered.  And spam kings work to make sure their emails look as much like the genuine article as they can.

It’s our job to work with you to make sure your emails are delivered.  But the thing that will get your revenue up is stop being the CPU and use email to drive closer relationships.

Thanks to Michael Carney from for telling the story of our Metrics Report better than us.  We did do all the hard work though.   Hundreds of hours of it, to bring this report to you.  Anyway, you should sign up for his email there, it’s great (and not just because he talks about us).  Take it away, Michael:

“Hot off the press from SmartMail providers Jericho: the first NZ Email Marketing Metrics Report, containing nearly everything you wanted to know about email* (*but were afraid to opt in for).

The Report is crammed full of data (head to jericho for your copy), as you’d expect when you slice and dice 100 million pieces of email — kids, don’t try this at home.

These are the key metrics we wanted to know (and you’ll hopefully find interesting as well).

The Render Rate (aka Open Rate)
How many recipients open that email you’ve sweated blood to create? In the US, Open Rates tend to hover around the 20% rate; you’ll be gratified to learn that in NewZild we average a much more flattering 33.85% (with results in some industries as high as 48%). Or perhaps you’re a glass-half-full kind, in which case you’ll be apoplectic to hear that two-thirds of yuor effort is wasted.

  • Highest Open Rates: Wholesale (48.56%), Agriculture (46.01%),Insurance (43.42%)
    Lowest Open Rates: Hospitality (29.04%), Recruitment (29.06%), Not for Profit (29.64%)

In the middle (but we care about them:

  • Media/Publishing 37.13%
  • Advertising/DM/Web Agencies 35.85%

Click Through Rate (CTR)
Do those who receive emails click on the links therein? Overall, the CTR average was 7.59%. Of course, that average includes those 66% of emails that were never opened in the first place. If we confine our gaze to the clicks contained in opened emails, the CTO (Click to Open rate) is a much more useful 21.1%.

Best CTOs:
Trade / Services 32.97%
Construction 32.30%
IT / Telecommunications 30.06%

Our Mates:
Media/Publishing 26.41%
Advertising/DM/Web Agencies 23.32%

Lowest CTOs:
Local Government / Councils 11.73%
Electricity / Gas / Water / Waste Services 10.58%
Distribution / Freight 10.40%

Best Day To Send
As the fine folks at Jericho note, the choice of day depends on your audience. B2B emails work hardest when recipients are at work and able to receive them; conversely, B2C missives should shake down an audience effectively at weekends. The envelope please.

And the winner: a mixed bag. Wednesdays have the most traffic, by a long shot, and enjoy good open and click through rates. On the other hand, Monday and Friday have the highest open rates and Saturday emails get more clicks per email. If you have to choose, Monday is probably the best day to send, with its mix of good open and click rates.

The Jericho Email Metrics Report also contains a wide range of useful tips for improving your email effectiveness. Get it.”

I know, I know, it’s starting to look like a witch hunt, but let me remind you – I did not start this.  AMEX started it – with the badly designed security threatening competition in April, and then the 4 million points let-down in June.

Now, they have sent this email with a better greeting – not ‘cardmember’ and not the name on my card – which is accurate but definitely unnatural as a greeting.  But the greeting is now the name on my card apparently – see the right hand column here:

This is just a merge field that it wrong, but so far I have had three emails with three different greetings, and whilst finally they got it right-er they also got it wrong-er.

Personalisation should be accurate at least – super clever ideally – or not used at all.

Straight to the Hall of Shame, again, AMEX.

What do you think?

I received this campaign today from American Express New Zealand, asking me to register to win.  American Ex-cess usually takes away not gives, so I thought I would take a look.

They called me a warm friendly ‘Cardmember’ – but in fact they had my name, which you can see in the side bar.  That was the first thing that made me feel special.

Then I click through on the link to register and they ask for my credit card number. 
HINT: 1. I think you know it already.  I’ve scratched it out of the email above but you stuck half of it in the side bar under “For Your Security” heading. 
HINT 2. It’s in the big computer next to you, and I’m not typing it into your entry form.

If American Express email marketing want me typing my card number into online forms to enter competitions then they will probably get their wish, as they incite lots of Eastern Blok types to try this campaign themselves.

We’d been talking about how clever spammers and phishers are getting, just this morning.  We’ve had McDonalds, banks of course, but the bank frausters are getting really good…  at phishing.

I had to take this thing apart to work out that it was genuine.

If Peter Newton had his phone number on the email I would have called him straight up, but he’s probably in his office in Sydney signing off campaigns.

Here is the landing page (you can click to enlarge):

What do you think?

UPDATE:  OOps! You did it again. American Express marketing has since sent me 2 other campaigns with a significant error you can see that here.

The landing page

The landing page

We think that the email marketing industry needs standard reporting and metrics.

Right now, it’s impossible to compare and benchmark response and deliverability rates across the industry because marketers get reports with different terms based on different calculations.

Technological barriers (more on this below) mean that some of the numbers are imperfect metrics but we could all make sure that the name of the  imperfect report is accurate.

Inaccurate or inconsistent metrics impact the credibility of email marketers.  If our metrics cannot conform to benchmarks, we lessen our ability to convince our management and our colleagues of our program’s success.  And that makes it harder to negotiate for resources.

The EEC is the US DMA’s email arm, and their metrics round table has produced a set of standardised metrics they want all email marketers to adopt.  The latest definitions are here.

There are lots of people (okay email freaks/geeks like me) who feel strongly about this.  This article and the comments below about Open Rates are the best kind of argument – considered, intelligent, experienced and a little bit argy-bargy… Which reports are most useful to you?  What do you think they should be called?  You can have your say below.

Loren starts off on the OPEN RATE (proposed rename = RENDER RATE)
“Here are some real-world examples of the inaccuracies and inconsistencies of email opens:
· The email is “opened” (launched), but images are blocked: not counted as an open
· The email is not opened (launched), but images are enabled and is read in the preview pane: counted as an open
· The text version of a multi-part message is read on a BlackBerry. The HTML version (with images blocked) is later opened in Gmail (or other email service/client). The email has been opened and read twice — but zero opens are recorded.
· A text version is opened and read but not clicked: not counted as an open
· A text version is opened and read, but the user clicks a link: not counted as an open with some email software. Others assign an open because the email was clicked on, which assumes an open.

…I think you get my point. With marketers increasingly being held accountable for their marketing spends and actions, do they really want to base performance reports and marketing decisions on such a flawed and inconsistent metric?
Further, the open rate is a process metric that does not measure return on investment or how well the campaign helped you achieve a strategic initiative for your company. Showing how much email contributes to the bottom line, not how many people opened your email, will help you secure a bigger share of the marketing budget.”

In response, we get comments like this from John Calder:

I have to disagree that clicks are a better open indicator. Subject lines cause a message to be opened and read. Value proposition and call to action cause a link to be clicked. What happens after the click causes conversion.
Therefore, a weak subject line with a good value proposition and strong call to action may get more clicks even though fewer people have ‘read’ the message, than a good subject line where more people have ‘read’ the message with a weak value proposition and call to action. From that, which is the better subject line?
The people who buy from you or read your newsletter and really want what you have to offer will turn images on. They will show open rates along with click rates. These people are a good indicator of what people like them are interested in, and if that’s your target market I’d say that there’s some pretty good intelligence to be had there.”

This is a big subject and we’re doing a lot of work on it now.  What is most important to measure and benchmark, how should it be calculated and what should it be called?

I’d love to hear your thoughts with comments here on the GetSmart blog.  We will take all of these into account when we review our reporting layouts.  Our clients and our teams are pleased with our reporting now, but we’d love to be the first ESP in the world with the new standard names and calculations for all our reports.

As you plan for 2010/11 with crash/recovery/crash/recovery circling around meeting rooms worldwide, budgets remain a battleground.
If you need statistics to help you to demonstrate the importance of a well-funded email program – here they are.

Head’s up – the data says: Keep email off the chopping block.

If the recent StrongMail “2010 Marketing Trends” survey is correct, online marketing spending will be up in the coming year. According to the report, 89% of respondents said they will either maintain or increase the amount of their marketing spending in 2010, with 50% of businesses saying they would allocate additional dollars to their marketing efforts. The survey, conducted online Nov. 17–25, surveyed 1,057 business executives.

What will they be spending their dollars on? Social media and e-mail marketing are the top two areas, with 69% of respondents saying they will be increasing e-mail spending; 59% saying they would be increasing social media efforts; and 69% saying they would be integrating social media and e-mail marketing. Among their goals, marketers reported a desire to increase relevancy by adopting segmentation and targeting, cited by 46% of respondents.

New technology that makes it easier to perform A/B testing, should become more important in 2010, she said. “It’s always challenging to come up with two sets of creative, but with subject lines, everyone can do some form of A/B testing,” she said. “These new tools will enable marketers to test on the fly and optimize for winning subject line as a campaign is in flight.” (Blog note: Our new SmartMailPro has A/B split testing tools built in).

Of course, marketers will also strive to make better use of what they already have available to them, Hersant said, with 68% of respondents saying that they plan on making better use of the data they already have.

Silverpop has revealed in a survey that in spite of recession email marketing budgets will increase in 2010. It also found that social media is poised to play a bigger role in 2010.  Four out of 10 marketers reported that their email budgets in 2010 would increase, and nearly half revealed that their budgets would stay the same.  Most of the respondents have agreed that the recession is badly affecting the business and it is likely to continue this way or time to come. More than half of the marketers (52%) have prioritised customer loyalty as top goal for email marketing.

Overall, spending on email marketing in the US will balloon to $2 billion by 2014 — a nearly 11 percent compound annual growth rate — according to a new forecast by Forrester Research Inc. A high return on investment, and growing consumer use of social email accounts will fuel the use of email by Direct Marketing professionals.

And the Small Business sector – far and away New Zealand’s biggest segment -  were asked by VerticalResponse, Inc.on their planned usage and spend for email marketing, social media, search engine marketing and online banner ads for  2010.

Here’s a snapshot of where SME owners said they would and would not be spending their budgets.

  • 74.1 percent will increase their email marketing spend.
  • 68.3 percent will increase their social media spend.
  • 23.8 will avoid search engine marketing.
  • 54.2 percent will not invest in banner advertising.
  • 79.6 percent will not run television ads.
  • 72.7 percent will be not run radio advertising.

Retail and eTail email is consistently critical.  And even those who were already planning to spend, were last year spending more than that.  65% of retailers are planning to spend more on email than originally planned. – Forrester Research and, “Retailing Online 2009: Marketing Report” (2009)

As ever, we have to turn to the US for these statistics, but the point is clear, and there are plenty more numbers where these came from.

Here at our place we see the smartest clients working their email programs harder than ever.

Best practise strategy and execution, segmentation and always, always relevant content is king, no matter what your budget.

As 2009 is winding down, we’re getting ready for the start of a new era – the Decade of Digital Devices. This is Web 3.0 – the promise of a web experience without being tied to a computer and a web experience made up completely of apps that dominate our lives and provide ultimate convenience.

To help you get ready the EEC is going to share a package of best practices, knowledge and tips from 2009. This content was generated by the smartest experts in email: EEC members.  As their gift, download all six reports from their Best of 2009 collection for free (a $935 value!).

At the eec the goal has always been to create and nurture a community where networking and conversation can help you learn and apply what it takes to reach your goals. We succeed when you do and we hope you enjoy this special package of knowledge.  Take a moment to share this gift (email it, tweet it, blog it, or post it to Facebook)  and help the email community grow.

Go to the free download page here.

Free resources include:
List Growth Strategy Evaluation Tool & Benchmarking Guide
Email Checklist Series: Anatomy of an Email Newsletter
Webinar Recording: New FTC, New Rules? Update Your Email & Digital Strategy
New Approaches to Email Marketing; Part 1 of 4: Defining Social Influencers
International Email Compliance Resource Guide
2009 Deliverability Resource Guide

go stock up those brain cells…