Posts Tagged ‘good email examples’

Good on Australia’s ACMA for issuing this timely and detailed reminder that set and forget for email marketing best practice isn’t enough – you need to plan, set, check, plan, set… Here is there great clear minded advice on ensuring your email program is high quality and effective.  The ACMA blog post is here.

Many businesses use email marketing templates that automatically incorporate their contact details and an unsubscribe facility; information that is required by the Spam Act. But it’s still important to test your campaigns to make sure everything is working properly. All too often, we encounter e-marketers who don’t know that their unsubscribe or contact details have ‘dropped off’ their template.

One of the most effective ways to protect your reputation is to do regular quality assurance checks of your e-marketing campaigns and processes.

Quality versus quantity

How you conduct quality assurance will depend on a number of things:

>       the nature of your business

>       your systems and resources

>       the nature and number of e-marketing campaigns you conduct.

Ideally, every e-marketing campaign would be quality-assured, but in some cases this may not be possible. You need to weigh up the risks to your reputation if you breach the Spam Act and with the number or percentage of messages that you consider appropriate to review.

Quality assurance 101

Having overseen a number of enforceable undertakings and conducted a lot of investigations, we have a pretty good idea of what you might want to include in your quality assurance. Think about including the following steps.

1.    Audit your campaigns

Your business may not have a single department or person handling all of your e-marketing activity, making it a real challenge to keep on top of the e-marketing rules. So we strongly recommend that your quality assurance includes an audit of all campaigns conducted:

>       Record the total number of messages sent in the period.

>       Keep a copy of each campaign (if possible), including the number of messages sent, format, date, sending address, subject and content.

>       Keep records of which messages were sent to specific electronic addresses.

2.    Confirm consent

A fundamental rule of the Spam Act is that your e-marketing messages must be sent with consent. Consider:

>       how you gather consent

>       what information you give to recipients when you collect consent

>       how your system handles and records subscriptions, unsubscriptions and re-subscriptions

>       how long you’ll rely on consent for, blacklisting, the consequence of making a purchase and your account management tools.

You should also review your current records. They should clearly identify if:

>       A person has given consent—and also show that you have proof.

>       A person has requested to be unsubscribed in the period—and if any further messages were sent more than five business days after that date.

>       There are any patterns to be aware of—like someone consistently re-subscribing and then quickly unsubscribing.

>       A person has bought an item from you—and the date of the purchase.

>       A person has contacted your business.

3.    Show your identity

Each e-marketing message must clearly identify who authorised the message and provide a way to contact the authoriser—either through information in the message or a direct web link.

4.    Test your unsubscribe functionality

Defective unsubscribe facilities are one of the most common reasons people complain to the ACMA. It’s always a good idea to check (and check again!) that your unsubscribe facility is working properly:

>       Confirm that each message includes a functional unsubscribe facility.

>       Establish a process and timetable for testing the unsubscribe mechanism (and listen to complaints to identify any corner cases that your testing might not cover).

>       Keep records of when you tested the unsubscribe facility and the outcome of the test.

5.    Review complaints

Complaints can be a great source of information about potential problems and a chance to engage in direct conversation with your customers. Consider how you investigated each complaint and what you have done to fix these issues.

6.    Offer training

Often problems with e-marketing arise because staff are not aware of the Spam Act. Do your policies, procedures and training need updating?

>       Keep a note of any relevant training you or your staff have undertaken in the period.

>       Consider the need for further training in problem areas identified through your quality assurance.

7.    Form conclusions

Writing up the outcomes of your quality assurance gives you an ongoing record of when you got things right—or wrong. It demonstrates to your management—and to regulators like the ACMA—that you take compliance seriously. Follow these steps to make sure that your business’s e-marketing is above board:

>       Record details of any issues identified in the audit and any necessary changes.

>       Draft an overall outcome/conclusion of your quality assurance.

Any questions?  We can help!  Email us or call Jericho today.

When someone receives an email they skim the From Name, and then the Subject Line in quick succession, which makes these two areas the ‘gatekeepers’ for each message.

If you are a marketer relying on email to communicate with your audience you need to get past these ‘gatekeepers’.

Firstly you need a From Name that ticks three boxes: it must be recognised, trusted and relevant to the reader right now.  An email from my mum ticks all three every time.  With a business it’s a little more complex.  Even if I know ‘Air New Zealand’ and I love travelling with them, this year I am on a tight budget and so right now you are not ‘relevant’ to me. I might think ‘I have no intention of being tempted into reading your email offers no matter how good they are, and I will delete every email you send.’

It’s good to bear this in mind when you review your email campaign reporting as there simply will never be 100% of your database read your message – I’m on holiday, the dog died, this report is due – basically life gets in the way.  I suggest a rule of thumb that the ‘top mark’ possible is closer to 75% so if your open rate is 35% then that’s about half of your possible audience – a great result.

From another angle, it’s good to bear this ‘triage’ behaviour pattern in mind when you undertake engagement analysis of your database – Who reads every email? Who has stopped reading?  It’s important to make sure the ‘zombies’ who are effectively dead to your brand are cleaned out on a regular basis for email deliverability, so we do actively encourage this exercise.   But.  Just because I’m not opening your emails right now doesn’t mean I don’t want you to keep sending them.  I may well just be on a tight budget for a few months.  Arrgggh!  Why does email marketing have to be so complicated!

Assuming your email has passed the above gatekeeping/triage process of the From Name, next up your reader is looking to the Subject line for indication of a value exchange that is in his or her favour.  Their time is worth an awful lot to them.  Your email must deliver more value in order for it to be open and read.  And so your subject line needs to hint at that value as clearly and quickly as possible.

To get a Subject Line right, there are many many many possible approaches to take. The subject line is often promoted as a good thing to ‘test’ and see if your readers respond better to a particular set of words, or tone.  The reason testing is good idea is that the answer to the question ‘What works best?’ is almost always ‘It depends’.  I have seen tests show more words work better to get clicks in the email, and I have seen tests show that less words work best.  Similarly I have seen marketers use a set format for every campaign of a similar ‘type’, and I have seen people change the format for every single email they send, to good result.

Focus on clearly describing the value that is within your email, and then make sure you deliver that value in a way that makes sense and is easy and intuitive to action for your reader.  We have written about good subject lines before – read those posts here and an older post about the importance of your From name is here.

Now you are fully equipped to get past the first two hurdles of a successful email campaign, how do you ensure it makes you lots of money?  That’s fodder for the next article or ten.  See you then.

I know we talk a lot about following best practice, about not having emails that are too long, and not sending image heavy emails, but sometimes it’s good to innovative to go against the rules and do something unique and truly creative. So we provide to you, the following two examples, as examples of how to break the rules in the right way.

 

This promo email for a new 14 story high water slide at Brazilian water park Beach Park is a prime example of this, and boy does it breaks all the rules. (Click on the image to see the full version of this email)

It weighs in at a hefty megabyte, and it’s 12,000 pixels high, so i’t s lonnnnnnnng and requires people to scroll a long way, and it’s 100% image based, but for this campaign it works. Because it is a unique campaign, a one off promo, for something really crazy and fun. Also it might have something to do with the fact that as you scroll down you get to experience going down a 14story high slide yourself first hand – a bit dizzying I must say. But I scrolled back up and went down the slide 2 more times, so it obviously did the trick!

For our second example it is a great email campaign that Chad White over at Retail Email Blog recently posted about. This campaign also breaks all the rules, but it does it in style, and as a result it really stands out from the crowd. (Click on the image below to see the full version of this email)

 

 

This Brooks Brothers email campaign features a huge stack of polo shirts, about 40 of them in fact, in every imaginable color, and presents this stack of shirts as a box set. It goes against the usual ‘best practice’ rules, but in breaking the rules it makes it point. It shows the variety of it’s products, it appeals with humor, and it compels people scroll right to the bottom of the ‘everlasting stack of Polo shirts’ which I found pretty entertaining.

There’s also a lesson here about the way we think everything needs to be above the fold. I have seen a few campaigns doing recently. Instead of packing the top area with call to actions, links, and big shiny buttons, it actually draws you in and compels you to scroll right to the bottom….where you find the call to action. Surprise!

So if you have a concept you want to get across, or just want to create an email that’s out of the box, look to the water slide email, and the polo shirt email, as outstanding examples of how to do it right.

 

Soul Bar’s emails are always well designed; however this one was particularly great so I wanted to share this one with you.

I am not sure what appealed to me more – the color palette or the lure of wine and Tahiti?

Besides the exclusive luxurious competition offer that immediately appeals, the design is clean and simple, and the copy is brief. Both are standard for a promotional email such as this – so remember these elements when you design your next promo email.

I have just suggestion for improvement. The main image could have served well as a call to action. I actually clicked on it a couple of times however nothing happened and it took me a few seconds to find the tiny ‘book now’ in the bottom right hand corner.

Why does this matter? We generally recommend clients link from images as well, as we find that images are generally links and people know this, and they tend to click on images – so use this fact and take advantage of all possible call to actions you can.

Besides this one thing, this is a fantastic example of a great promotional email.

creating email content is hardWe’ve been talking a lot about content lately (and making tools to help) so we were pleased to find this edgy and actionable resource that deals with a fundamental issue affecting businesses.  How to consistently create high quality content that engages, educates, informs and ideally, entertains?

When we ask clients ‘What’s hard?’ about digital marketing, one consistent pain point comes up:  Creating and curating relevant, sharable, high quality content.  Writing is hard.  When we talk to our peers at other agencies, we hear the same thing.

A way to address this critical issue is a fundamental rethinking, restructuring, and re balancing of company culture, resources, budgets and strategy.

This excellent recent report from Altimeter Group introduces a five-step content maturity model, complete with real-world case examples, to move organisations from zero (“standing”) to hero (“running”) with their content strategy.  It includes a useful Content Marketing Maturity self-audit.  It ends with four actionable recommendations, finishing with ‘Design Recombinant Content’…

The report urges us: “Strive to create content that can be redistributed in multiple formats across numerous platforms and channel to maximise value and minimise the resources dedicated to continually creating content from scratch.  Understand how to redistribute and reuse discrete components of longer form content”.

A new seasons product launch for example might turn into a themed landing page, a video, one or more blog entries, tweets and Facebook posts, and an email opt-in incentive in the form a Welcome email reward ‘Join our Inner Circle now and we’ll send you our exclusive How-to-Wear Guide for the 5 must-have pieces for this seasons new looks’.

I strongly recommend that you read this report and consider a content plan for your own business.  Here at Jericho we already have, and it’s a key strategy for working with our clients and in our own business.

Read the report on SlideShare and please share this post with your networks using the icons below. We’d love to see comments below on how you manage, or struggle with, the growing demands for content.

 

It’s great to dissect retail email marketing campaigns to look for ideas.  In past Jericho blog posts I’ve called it spying .  Because I’m an online shopper, I received this targeted campaign from Countdown last week.   Countdown is our local supermarket chain.

‘Shop online and Win an iPad’.

But wait a second…

‘Shop online anytime in the next month and win a 1st Gen iPad’?

Now my consumer and marketer hats do a quick switch, I’m reading and I’m scratching my head.

Why can’t I win a new one?

Why spend multiple thousands of dollars on this campaign to win the superseded model?

As you are reading this, it’s likely we are a lot like you – we have at our core a focus on the ‘art’ of email marketing as well as the science.  So we remind clients and prospective clients many times a day that it costs the same to send an ugly email campaign as it does to send a great email campaign… But the real cost is that of missing the sweet spot – misses hit you in the brand and directly in the pocket.

Or in this case, for the sake of a couple of hundred bucks, every time more money is spent to bring eyeballs to this campaign over the next month Countdown are going to look off the boil, off the ball, so… like.. last month, and yes a little bit cheap.

Everything looks spot on in this eDM campaign, and other than the iPad it’s a great example of a retail email campaign.

Here at Jericho, we love our 1st Gen iPad’s.  But we ‘covet’ the new one.  What do you think?  How much cooler would this campaign be if we were in to win a 2nd Gen iPad?  Worth the extra 1% of budget?


I got an email this morning and checked the links at the bottom… and found this gem…

“To unsubscribe from our mailing list, just send us a reply with the subject: UNSUBSCRIBE
Make sure you reply from the same address that we have in our system, especially if you’ve already unsubbed & are still recieving the messages. Make sure to include a list of all the alternate e-mail accounts linked to your inbox too, so we can remove all of them; as opposed to sending us legal threats and hate-mail because you don’t know how to use your computer properly.”

We get this quite a lot too, which is why we recommend merging the email address into the email like this: “you are subscribed as roanne@Jericho.co.nz”

Also, we display a similar message when you click the unsubscribe button to confirm which email address you are unsubscribing.

When you have a few email addresses it’s easy to genuinely forget which one you subscribe things from. You might even be getting an email meant for someone else entirely, such as an ex colleague.

Have you had any issues with unsubscribes? Love to hear them.

Streams of automated email timed just right to maximise revenue is a kind of nirvana for the ecommerce marketer.

But it’s not easy to get right.  Sometimes simple is safer, but the drive to optimise each customer experience keeps on keeping on. Clearly, the Brads have struck this – prompting 30 frames of genius. This is frame 1 of a great cartoon that sums up the scenario better than anything I could write… click through and have a giggle, your thoughts on this dilemma are welcomed.