Posts Tagged ‘preferences’

This email puts much more into the email marketing efforts of Muchmore Music than just the same ol’ same ol’. 

Muchmore Music sent out this re-activation campaign to their subscribers asking if they still wanted to be on their database. Why? Because they noticed that some of the subscribers hadn’t opened their email for the last three email campaigns.

For many of you I think it would be fair to say you may analyse inactive subscribers once every six month’s or perhaps once a month. Have you ever analysed the reports for inactive or unengaged subscribers after just 3 sends?

It is a wise email marketer who asks their audience what their preferences are, if they actually want to be on your database, and regularly running re-engagement campaigns are a key part of any self respecting email comms programme.

 


If you would like to read more about re-engagement here are some of our key blog posts on the subject which should give you some ideas.

Engagement – why it’s important

Creating engagement with birthday and preference emails

Ask your subscribers what they want by doing a survey

Or you can always talk to us :)

 

Hotels.com have recently sent out a campaign, in which they have sent out a survey to find out how their subscribers read their email.

Within their email they had a section with a call to action image saying ‘how do you read your email?’ and that was linked to this survey

 

 

This quiz asked recipients  things like what their email behaviours are like on mobile vs desktop, and asked subscribers about what time of day they are the most likely to read emails on their mobile, what is the most frequent type of emails you read on your mobile, what are some of the most annoying things for subscribers when they try read your email on their mobile,  and what would prevent you from making purchases on your mobile.

It is really valuable to see where and how your subscribers are reading your communications. Not only does it allow you to know what time of day they are reading them, you know if they are reading on tablet, smartphone or desktop, and by learning their preferences, you get a clearer idea on who your subscribers are, what’s the best time to send your email, and you can then start to assess demographic and preferences of your subscribers so ultimately you can send more timely, relevant emails.

So take a page out of Hotels.com ‘email book’, check out their email survey, and start thinking about how much or how little you know about how your subscriber’s read your emails and see how easy it is to find out.

If you’d like to know how to make sure you send mobile-friendly emails download our *free* white-paper here, and of course if you need a hand to redesign our specialist email design team is right here and ready to take your brief.

 


Even though it’s likely you are still focusing on your Christmas ‘recovery’ and easing back to work, it’s never too early to think about your 2013 email marketing program.

For some this year might be about reviewing your budget and allocating more resources towards your email communications program in order to set in place the best of the basics.  If you are already more established and ‘mature’  in your approach to email then you are continually reviewing your email communications program and are evaluating it to see how you can enhance what you’re doing.

Either way if you really want to power up your email marketing, below are some of the biggest shifts and trends at the moment that you should now seriously be thinking about how you could make this work better for you.

1. From mobile optimised to mobile first
Given that most email opens now happen on mobile devices, simply optimising your email message for mobile devices is becoming more of an outdated notion. On the other hand – while optimising designs for mobile is now crucial, don’t forget that context is just as important. And a mobile first approach means that landing pages and your Web site are also designed to convert mobile readers of your email.

2. From dry to juicy
Things have changed in the way customers expect to communicate with companies and what they want from them. Gone is the notion of editing content to within an inch of its life to take out any human presence and get it past the lawyers. It’s now about taking a different approach that involves sending content that educates, informs, engages and entertains. This doesn’t mean you abandon your professional corporate speak for the ‘LOL’-speak, however it’s about balance – customers just want to know they are dealing with humans that care.

3. From 1-1001 to 1-1
Batch and Blasts (where everyone gets everything) should have died out along with the Spice Girls. So it is really time to shift to automating more parts of your email program, where the subscribers themselves determine the frequency and cadence of the emails they receive through their own purchases, check-ins, behaviour and interests. It is those smart cookies that use the data they have to deliver real-time emails with truly dynamic and personal content.

4. From welcome message to boarding program
There is a shift away from firing out a ‘welcome’ message and then dumping subscribers into your main communication feed, to gently warming them up with a series of on-boarding messages that are tailored toward new recipients.

5. From one-off to email series
Did you know cart abandonment follow up emails get the highest engagement rate of all emails? Followed by birthday series emails.  Reports show a three-part birthday or cart-abandonment series always significantly outperform a single email. We have heard of people getting average conversion rates of 22%, 15% and 24% with a three-part cart-abandonment re-marketing series. How much money would it have lost if it had stopped after the first message?

Worth thinking about…. Email or call us if you want to talk strategy and email communications planning for 2013, we are elbow deep into work with many clients already and in the coming months they will be very pleased we did!

 

Dear {first name} – think before you personalise.

This week we continue on from our ‘Top Tips’ post from last week, and discuss clever personalisation of email campaigns.

If you’ve been subscribing to email marketing campaigns for any length of time you’re probably familiar with personalisation. Done well, it can feel like the sender is reaching out to you and you alone, calling you by name and making you feel special by offering relevant content or offers just for YOU. On the other hand, some personalisation can look like it’s straight out of the spammer’s text book. And that doesn’t make you feel very special at all.

Personalisation isn’t a good or bad thing in itself. But when it gets misused for the sake of an extra open or click, it can have a negative effect on your campaigns. In these instances, it generally becomes less effective over time. And it can allow us to think that we’re creating “personal” emails when really all we are doing is just merging a name into the message.

A truly personal email is one that addresses the subscriber’s needs, desires, fears, preferences and other aspects of their lives, and gives them something tailored to them. Click here to see our earlier posts about preference centres.

Truly personal emails look at things like:

  • Which emails an individual subscriber has opened and clicked through from in the past
  • Where on your site they visit
  • How they originally found you and what inspired them to sign up to your list
  • Where they live geographically
  • Whether they like weekly digests, monthly updates, or daily emails
  • When their birthday is so you can send birthday emails
  • Their travel preferences so you can send them relevant updates
  • And many more options

A lot of this isn’t typically considered personalisation – it falls more under discussions of segmentation and targeting which leads us into dynamic content (which we’ll discuss next week).  But I think it’s worth considering that relevance and personalisation are somewhat interchangeable when we think about it from the subscriber’s perspective, and not our own. A relevant email is personal, and a truly personal email is relevant.

So does personalisation really work? Have some people gotten too lazy or too cheeky with it? Some people would argue all personalisation is good personalisation, it all drives up open rates. Done well, yes I agree.  But it would need to be tested to see how effective it was for your campaigns and whether it had any effect on open rates. The other side of it is, are we all about open rates? Or do we think it matters more that we connect with the recipient and create engagement, and an email that people enjoy reading? (We do)

And while merge fields are great for pulling through small snippets of information, such as First Name, Account Number and Email Address, Dynamic Content is used for more complex arrangements.

Next week we look at how you can use dynamic content to further enhance personalisation to customize content depending on your recipient’s preferences/interests.

Top TIPS!

Carrying on from last week’s post about the best tips for your Christmas campaigns, we came up with many more top tips we wanted to share so here are our top 5 tips for right now:

1)       When is the best time to send your campaign?

What we often say to clients is that your audience can influence when your send an email, i.e. Whether it is B2B or B2C, Gen Y or Baby Boomers, Mobile or Desktop, people who work in an office or people who work on the road.

If you want to test the best time to send to a particular audience, use the open rates as a guide, and test the same email across different times and dates over a period of time to see if there is a more definitive best time. 

2)       Get personal and let your customers speak for you

Giving your emails a more personal feel so that they grab the recipient by their name (literally) leaves a great impression that can’t be underestimated.

And go further by giving your recipients personalised content. Try incorporating customer voices into your messages, by including peer reviews, testimonials and comments into your emails. Having your customers talk about your products for you instantly humanizes your brand in a way that even the best promotional copy can’t match.

3)       Surveys, Forms and Clickthroughs

Clickthroughs are a great way to find out what content in your emails your recipients like reading more about – obviously the higher the clickthroughs the better. Use clickthrough reports to see what was popular and then tailor content and links accordingly in future email campaigns.

Take it that step further by including forms and surveys in your emails. They are a great way of asking for more information about your subscribers, for example what they are interested in and what they would like to see more of in your campaigns, that way, you know what they want and you can send more relevant emails, which drives up open rates. After all it’s all about engaging your audience, so give them what they want!

4)      Preference Centres

On the subject of finding out more about your subscribers, preference centres are a great way of getting to know your subscribers better by asking specifically what they are interested in. You can also use it to offer them a way to update their contact details and preferences, so you know you have their correct email address, and you know whether they want that weekly digest or just a monthly update.


Have these tips given you food for thought? Send us your own best email marketing tips!
You can submit them to us at support@smartmailpro.com. Your tip might even get featured in a future blog post!

Had an email sent through yesterday from my friend bwagy who’d been frustrated by a newsletter he couldn’t unsubscribe from.

The email, from a legitimate well-known marketing company, didn’t have an unsubscribe link on the bottom,  it said this at the top:

So, he clicked through to opt-out – but came to this screen, otherwise known as the old login brick wall:

But he didn’t know his password, so he hit ‘junk’ and hoped he wouldn’t see the email again.   Next month, the email arrived in the inbox again.  This is likely to be because the email was sent off a range of IP addresses, and it was from a different one this time, that’s pretty common for smaller databases/senders.

But he still didn’t know his password.  So he clicked Reset it.

The password email never came, or so he thought.  Next day, he told me aha! found it in his junk folder.  Now he could login, change his details, and get off the list. But he’s left frustrated and a bit cross at the messy ‘break up’, palpably colouring the way he feels about the brand.

Moral of the story: unless you have defensible, private information stored in your clients profiles, don’t make them login to update their communication preferences.  Either use a token to log them right on in there, or chuck that login on the fire, and instigate a quick, one click failsafe unsubscribe – click, you are off.  Made a mistake? okay, click to resubscribe.

In marketing it’s so smart not to burn bridges, and when it’s over, you need to let them go.

There  are more comprehensive posts on how to manage unsubscribes here:

4 Tips to improve and minimise email unsubscribes

Unsubscribe don’t send hate mail

Happy to unsubscribe in 30 steps…


Questions? Examples?  Opinions?  Post a comment or fire them over to our team at Jericho.