Posts Tagged ‘from name’

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!

 

 

Presenting users with a from name they are already familiar with is the most effective way to drive up open rates according to the December 2012 survey of US internet users conducted by email marketing software company Campaigner.

In fact, one-quarter of respondents said the No. 1 influence on whether they would open a promotional email was the familiarity of the sender’s name. Just over 15% said they were most influenced by the email subject line, while nearly 10% said the device on which they were reading the email had the greatest effect on whether they would open the missive.

 

Data from email marketing service provider Blue Hornet found that familiar names had a similar effect on open rates. In their February 2013 survey of internet users in the US, they found that almost seven in 10 said they were likely to open emails from brands whose products they often purchased either on-line or in brick-and-mortar stores.

Which really backs up what we’ve been saying all along - the majority of email users look at the sender from name and address before deciding whether or not to open the email. If they recognise the from name they’re more likely to open the campaign.  Read more on this here and here.


Source

 

If you are not yet running an integrated, segmented, personalized, customized, dynamic, responsive, multi-channel email marketing program… don’t fret, you are not alone! And yes you can still make email marketing work for you.

Most email marketers will always be talking about the most cutting edge developments and recommending you implement all the latest complex technical solutions and best practices. Those solutions are great for those who need and want them. However we realise that implementing these tactics and strategies are not always realistic or achievable for most people doing email marketing within their SMB, or those with just one staff member, a limited budget and 3 hours a week.

We recognise email marketing demands resources, skills or time that often just isn’t available. In the always shifting digital industry and the constant changes and push to get ahead, we sometimes forget to make sure we’ve got the basics right.

So instead of thinking about how to implement the most advanced, complex campaign ever because we told you to, we recommend you walk before you run – start by getting the basics right, and concentrate on what you actually need to do and what your customers want from you.

The basics for you could be as simple as:
Optimising your subject line
Changing your from name to increase opens
Making sure you include pre-header text and your company information in the footer
Implementing a testing process for your email before you deploy it to make sure it’s 100%
Regularly carrying out data hygiene on your list to ensure your database is as clean as it can be
Update your email content so it is shorter, simpler, and more visual. (If that’s what your audience wants)

You don’t need to be the flashiest or most hi-tech email on the block – leave that to the big companies with the staff, the budget and the time. Concentrate on winning over your audience by sending a quality, timely, relevant and targeted email that that your subscribers look forward to opening.

Once you have mastered all the basics and you are seeing consistent improvements in things like open rates, clickthroughs, and engagement for example, then come talk to us about implementing that integrated, segmented, personalized, customized, dynamic, responsive, multi-channel email marketing program you’ve been dreaming about!

Because it’s amazing what you can achieve with a team of email marketing experts at your side.

You’ve spent all that time planning customer segments and creating targeted content for them – so it makes sense to test, to ensure you’re hitting the mark. And the best way to do that is with an A/B test. An A/B split test basically compares two versions of one email campaign where some elements can be different so you can test which is the most effective, and find out what works and what doesn’t for your audience.

Select some key elements and segment groups and A/B testing will give you immediate and clear feedback on how well you’re matching content to subscriber segments. Some of the most crucial attributes you can test are:

- Subject lines: Test everything from your choice of words, to the tone of the language, use humour or be serious, test symbols vs. no symbols, etc.

- From name: A company name may work better than an individual’s name, or vice versa.

- Feature article:

- Offer or Promotion: Test whether having an offer in your email boosts open rates or clickthroughs, and see if your audience respond to discounts or promotions - it may not suit everyone. Keep in mind the experts recommend that you use an incentive only after the 3rd re-engagement or cart abandonment email, so don’t offer things too easily – however when used appropriately they can be effective.

- Send time: Yes there are the well known and much favoured ‘best days to send’ and ‘best times to send’ however it may not necessarily be relevant for your campaign or your audience, so test both these factors.

- Calls to action: The size, colour, placement, and design of the call to action can all have an impact on the effectiveness of your CTA. Too small and people won’t see it…. to bright and colourful and it may look like spam to your readers. The wrong words and it may not appeal to your subscribers. This is an element that can be done in so many ways it pays to test all possible variations.

- Landing pages: Landing pages are perfect for hosting additional content, which means your email can stay nice and brief. Test whether linking to landing pages that hold extra content works for your campaign.

- Email length: Some companies opt for short emails, some longer. Again it depends on your communication, the audience, etc. as to what is most appropriate.
With A/B testing you can test two different subject lines (Or test using any of the other elements mentioned above) and then send that to two test groups and then deploy the campaign with the most successful subject line (or whichever element you used that performed better and this will help maximise your open rates and clickthroughs and you also learn what works with your subscribers for future campaigns.

The A/B testing tool in SmartMail Pro is designed to be managed entirely independently by you. Read more on this here.

Email readership on mobile devices is growing so fast that soon it will be the predominant platform for email consumption, and mobile email consumption may overtake all other platforms even sooner. We are way beyond just ‘planning for mobile’ – it is now imperative to design your campaigns and landing pages to be easy to view and work well on a mobile device.

Return Path’s Tom Sather, senior director of email research, says:

“Looking at the trend lines of our clients, we’ll probably see mobile overtaking web-mail and desktop by the end June as the preferred platform, but definitely by the end of the year.” As a result, Sather said: “Marketers need to wake up and think about their mobile strategy. More than half of all marketers have no idea if people are reading their email on mobile devices.”  

He goes on to say “A lot of people talk about optimizing email for mobile devices, which is kind of a no-brainer, but a lot of people don’t think beyond the email. If they do click on a link and they come to a landing page, is that optimised for mobile as well? Studies have shown that less than 2 percent of people will revisit an email on their desktop or laptop, so you really only have one chance to make a good first impression.”

 However, Sather cautions against discounting other platforms. “But just because mobile is the rage, don’t forget about desktop email clients such as Outlook, as well as web mail,” he said.
We agree Tom. To back that up, here is our list of the most important mobile email design considerations and best practices:

Make sure you optimise your emails and landing pages for mobile. Email open rates have increased since last year and last quarter, but click-through rates have declined. This is most likely because they are abandoned after consumers open them on mobile devices and the messages are not optimised. With mobile you only have 1 chance to get the recipient to read your email and to click through to landing pages. If you are directing people to your website or landing page and it doesn’t look good or load or operate well on mobile, people will leave – and find another site that does work.

Think about where, when and how people read emails on mobile. In a recent survey, it was discovered 70% of users read emails in bed before going to sleep or first thing before waking up. So be mindful of this in terms of your design, and don’t use bright images which might be hard on the eyes for those reading your emails in the dark or as they are just waking up.

Reduce the template width to fit a smaller screen. We recommend you set the width of your email template to 640 pixels or less. Smartphones have screens between 320 and 480 pixels wide, so if your email is 640 pixels wide it is both suitable for desktop viewing, and is suitable for viewing on smartphones too.

From name and subject line become even more important for mobile. We know the from name is important already – but it becomes even more so due to the fact that the very first thing you see on your mobile, is your from name. So this to me becomes the most important facet of the mobile email. This is closely followed by your subject line. Make sure your subject line is punchy, strong, and we recommend no longer than 35 characters. This is how many characters you see.  

Space is at a premium so make it simple and save on real estate. Use one-line pre-header text. Pre-headers are usually 1-2 lines of HTML text at the very top of the email. They are ideal for hand held devices to highlight an enticing offer, making it the first thing prospects read before they even consider downloading images. Keep key content above the fold. (This will be the top 200 to 250 pixels). This area is prime real estate for the 3 to 5 seconds a prospect is focused on your email message, so it needs to have useful, readable text, or a very clear image. Be mindful to incorporate branding and offer-driven text above the fold.

It doesn’t have to be brevity central… if it’s good enough, it will be saved for later. On a mobile you obviously have less space so eliminate unnecessary content and put the focus on the key parts of the message. However don’t strip everything out – creating mobile friendly emails is a balancing act, where your shorter message should be comfortably able to be viewed, read and actioned on a small screen. Longer messages can always be saved for when subscribers get home and can read them in full on a larger screen. Mobile users will delete any long emails that are ineffective, but they will save your email for later if it’s well designed with great content.

Bigger, Bolder call to actions – think of the thumbs! It is crucial you increase the size and padding of text links and call-to-action buttons throughout your emails. A typical adult finger covers 45 pixels, and it is no accident Apple makes all their app icons 44 x 44 pixels! Make sure your calls-to-action are padded by at least 10 to 15 pixels to avoid frustrating and accidental finger tapping errors.

Because it’s on a smaller screen, you can use larger fonts. This is where we do recommend you use a slightly larger font to keep things easy to read. However still stay with web safe fonts, and use a font size of 12-14 point for body copy and headlines at 20-22 point. Keep in mind that the larger font means you’ll have even less space, so keep your content brief.

Please do download the Jericho Mobile Email Whitepaper here now and share with your colleagues.

 

There is obviously a plethora of mobile infographics, links, resources, tips and advice everywhere you look however this is really intended as our list of vital mobile email design considerations that we really want you all to know….

If you have any queries please contact us, and remember we have an expert in house design team that you can contact for advice at any time.