Posts Tagged ‘new zealand email marketing’

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?

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

Sometimes when you are looking at a blank page and trying to create your next fantastic customer communication, it can feel like you are sitting alone in a vacuum.  But it’s worth remembering that there are a number of people on the planet doing really great email marketing.  And you can learn from them… I call it ‘spying‘. (P.S. You never need to stare at a blank page if you have a good plan)

I just sent these two examples to a friend whose large organisation is doing a clean, sterile, well designed, ticks the boxes, boring, wouldn’t-care-if-you-never-saw-it-again, no one really applies what they read, type of a thing.  Their products are HOT.  They have HOT customers, doing incredible things with those products, and sharing what they do everywhere… but inexplicably, it’s nowhere to be seen in their eDM.

Here are the two:

NZ Gardener

Get Growing aims to ‘grow new gardeners’ and in doing so, sell more magazines.  It is a much-loved phenomenon and it’s sent to 25,000 people each week.

What they do really well: It’s so personal.  The heart of this success is it’s heart.  Warm, non-threatening, collegial (gardening isn’t scary, let’s try this together)…  Sharing readers questions and answers makes for great genuine content (bonus – you don’t have to write it!).   Listing current events and prizes keeps the ‘open rates’ consistent.  Timing - sending on Friday afternoon makes it a treat for the weekend. They always encourage opt-ins and pass-along.  Yes, I know you are thinking – it’s so LONG! It is, and the readers LOVE it! (Disclosure - GetGrowing uses SmartMailPro).

Love gardening? You can subscribe to NZ Gardener here.

Urban Daddy

I came across Urban Daddy when I was going to Miami a couple of years ago and I wanted to know what was hot there.  The content, tone, and attitude, as well as the execution and consistently has just outperformed anything I’ve seen like it.  It’s one you need to subscribe to and keep an eye on week in and week out until you ‘get’ the gist.

What they do really well: Like NZ Gardener they bring it to you, they don’t make you work for it.  Heart and passion for the subject matter shines through.  Great content that is curated in the right way each time so that you build trust in their opinion and follow their advice (tag line – ‘Only what you need to know’).  Trust is established with footer text in every issue (‘Urban Daddy is purely editorial – you can’t buy love from the Daddy’).  Great voice, tone, manner, meeting expectations, personalising with strong  but virtually invisible use of dynamic content and preferences.  Need more?:

Email issues.  This page is insanely good and I’ve never seen one like it – it links from the bottom of their home page – Email Issues

You can subscribe to Urban Daddy here.  its worth it even if you don’t live in the States just to learn from and enjoy.

Their Welcome Email is great – below: Restates your options and sets expectations; use of red carpet and language evokes exclusivity; specifically invites pass-along; simple.  It’s ‘oh so’ personal.  Also note it doesn’t ask for the double opt-in – if you have registered they assume you want it.  I think this is fine in cases where you are clearly registering for an email newsletter – not entering a competition, asking for a down-load or other ancillary activity.

What do you think?  Love it?  Hate it? Comment below.  Forward me your favourites - Attn Roanne to GetSmart at

There are more good examples of Welcome Emails to be seen at another GetSmart blog post here.

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.”

No, it’s not my birthday. But if it was?  This morning I was thinking about the new email automation tools we’ve built, which in turn led me to thinking about the simplest ways to use these to build real, closer relationships with customers.

Like you, I spend my money across a range of organisations every day, and not many of them are stand-outs at making me feel special.  I won’t name names now, but it’s clear that most of them are more interested, still, in the next new customer and not very interested in impressing me.  Yes, of course some of them have retention targets and aim to keep these on track, but I don’t see this trickle through as caring, or even pretending to care if I feel special, noticed, acknowledged or valued.

It’s kind of back to front isn’t it. I care a lot about the companies I rely on to make sure my life ticks along smoothly.  I know if they are there or not, and when it suits them best for me to contact them.   I go out of my way to spend money with them, I often notice if things change for them, and some of them even tell me loudly when it’s their birthday.

Maybe you belonged to a club like I did as a little girl, that sent me a postcard for my birthday.   Along with the cards from my family and friends, this one would arrive and I noticed, and now some years later I smile when I think about how much it meant to me .  As each year ticks by most humans find that our birthdays are less and less special.  We’re very mature about it but, on the inside we dont feel like that’s very fair.  So, I’ve decided to start to talk to clients about Birthday Clubs.

It’s my job to notice this stuff, and in addition to the businesses I pay to run my life, I sign up for so much marketing material you’d think I’d be drowning in it.  Nope.   Many opt-in, purchase, and registration forms request a date of birth, but I can’t think of any that use it well.

I’m telling you because I think there is a lot of room in this space – it’s not a one size fits all, and it’s not likely that any one person will be so inundated with birthday love that they’ll have a freak out.

Automated emails can be set and forget, driven and personalised from a simple data file. They are unbelieveably cost effective, and just plain effective both at engendering loyalty and driving revenue. Use your imagination to jump out from behind your desk and stand in the shoes of your customer or prospect, and think up something that is bang on – relevant, good-natured and valuable to them, and have fun with it.

Construct a program that makes you feel good, and chances are you will spread that feel-good to your database.

I hope that some of our clients might see the opportunity to stand out with a genuine birthday offer and acknowledgement, that’s beautifully designed, high quality, and endearing.  I hope that you do too.  If you have questions or comments please leave them here.

P.S. there is an update to this post here – when it actually was my birthday, who told me they cared?

Here is a recent blog post on Great Birthday Email Examples.

The improbably named Deanie Sultana from Neilsen in New Zealand today says we are all on the band wagon, and the biggest number in the use of social media is for ‘looking at social media profiles’ i.e. 79% of us love to check each other out.

You can see whom what and how often in their press release of today, here.

In the latest MarketingSherpa Email Marketing Benchmark Report (2010), a survey of email recipients found that only 33% have images turned on by default. That means that 67% – or two-thirds of recipients – don’t.

Many popular email clients and webmail providers block images in emails by default for unknown senders, including Outlook 2007 & 2010, Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail. When emails arrive in a recipient’s inbox with images disabled, they will be presented with an alert which gives them the option to ‘click to download images’ which will activate images for that particular email only. Most clients also have an option to ‘Always display images for this sender’ but how this works varies based on the software and version.

In Outlook 2007 for example, the image download settings are managed in the Trust Centre. Based on the settings in here, Outlook will automatically display images for email senders which have been previously added to the safe list (this may happen if an email is filtered to the junk mail folder then marked as ‘not spam’) or from senders which appear in a users address book.

If image blocking is enabled in Outlook, there is no way for an email sender to over-ride these settings. The first instance of any HTML email from a new sender will have images blocked by default until the user vouches for the sender by either adding them to their safe list or address book.

screenshot outlook

There are some certification services which will enable default image downloading in certain webmail clients however this can be a costly exercise and there’s no guarantees. Instead I would recommend following these steps to minimise the impact of image blocking:

- Make sure there is HTML text and key messages visible in the preview pane, avoid relying on images too heavily and don’t use images for call to actions.

- Use the pre-header of the welcome email to encourage recipients to ‘add to safe sender’. Some people link to a landing page which provides an explanation on how to do this in different email clients e.g.

- Use the pre-header to convey the campaign value proposition which encourages recipients to download images

UPDATE 18/08/2011:  How to get around disabled images (2010 article)

Preview Panes, Image Blocking : another great article on blocked images (also 2010 article)

Preview Panes, Image Blocking