Posts Tagged ‘welcome email’

Every day you face a multi fold challenge in finding the time, the budget and the staffing resources to apply best practice email marketing practices. The big question is how to send hundreds, or thousands of emails, and still manage to ensure they are timely and relevant, and provide the ROI you are looking for?

The answer is to automate! Automated, or triggered, emails are the highest performing type of emails. How do they work exactly? Unlike traditional broadcast emails, such as the monthly email newsletter, these emails involve setting up criteria that when met, a message is automatically sent. They are usually always action based,  which means the driving force behind these emails are around the subscribers behaviours, interests, demographics and buying behaviour.

So incorporating such individual criteria into your triggered emails gives you benefits such as:

Increased relevance – the emails directly reflect the interests or actions of the subscriber, making them inherently relevant and timely for that individual. By providing extra value on an individual level you drive up engagement and open rates because your customers start to look forward to your emails for the valuable content.

Increased frequency
- they are triggered every time someone takes an action they are more frequent than your once a week newsletter, and as the subscriber may not enjoy getting the newsletter every day, they will be happy to receive an email relating to their recent purchase, and their upcoming birthday, two days in a row, because it’s personalised to them and means more.

Increased ROI, and more time for your staff, because everything is automated!

So really it’s not surprising that these automated emails, which are so perfectly timely and relevant, have the highest engagement rates, and they deliver a much better ROI than your usual emails.  And did you know birthday emails have even higher engagement rates than all other types of triggered emails – making triggered birthday emails the most effective of all.

So what sort of triggered/ automated emails should you be sending? We list the TOP 5 below with links to blog posts on each which include all the key information you need to know:


Welcome/on-boarding emails

Cart Abandonment emails

Re-engagement Emails

Reminders or re-order emails

Birthday emails

Want more?

Triggered emails are the workhorse of your email marketing

Why event driven email is awesome

 

We have always talked about the need to remove inactive email addresses from your email list. It has now just become more important than ever.  Yahoo has announced that they’ll be releasing user names that haven’t been accessed in over 12 months and making those names available for someone else to register. This isn’t a one time thing, but a new policy going forward which is in place from 15 July 2013.

 

Why is this important?

Scenario 1: You have a Yahoo user who has subscribed to your list with a Yahoo email… it becomes their email that all their mail subscriptions get sent to, it gets filled up with emails, and after a while they don’t check the address, and they never log into the account. Say a year goes by, and they haven’t logged in. So Yahoo releases that email account and a new person signs up for that old email address. Now a different person who never signed up to your list will potentially be getting your emails. You think they will just hit junk/spam or delete? You bet they will.

Scenario 2: Yahoo turns some of these old addresses turned into Spam Traps. Spam Traps are email addresses which are either never used or retired email addresses that are used to catch spammers and those with poor emailing/list management habits. If you continue email those spam traps…… can you see how this could impact on your deliverability?

 

What should I do?

Here’s the steps you should take for all email addresses (not just Yahoo) on your list and signing up:

  1. All new sign up’s should ideally be double opted-in. This helps to ensure it’s a live email address manned by a human
  2. All new sign up’s should be sent a welcome email or transactional email after they sign up. These emails should make it clear how and where they signed up as well as an easy to click and clear link to unsubscribe.
  3. All addresses that do not take an action (open/clickthrough/share/forward etc.) after about 6-9 months time should be removed from your list. Email activity is the key metric and you should be engaging inactive subscribers at the 3-6 month mark in an attempt to get them active again. If after six months of not opening, it’s highly likely they never will.

 

What should I be aware of as a marketer?

A Yahoo! spokeswoman said that between mid-July and mid-August when the old email addresses become available, Yahoo! would attempt to unsubscribe the old emails from as many commercial lists as possible and all email to those addresses would result in bounce messages. So one solution is to make sure you send a campaign out between mid-July and mid-August so that if it hits any inactive emails you will get a bounce message so you can then you can remove any old emails.

 

This new policy by Yahoo makes list cleaning a must for anyone who manages an email list.

Sources:
http://www.emailmarketersclub.com/forum/topics/another-reason-to-remove-old-email-addresses
http://www.magillreport.com/Another-Look-at-Yahoos-Email-Recycling-Plan/ 

Marketing Sherpa recently released the 2013 Marketing Benchmark report. It’s the latest and most comprehensive collection of email marketing research stats and insights in market.  We bought it and whilst we can’t reproduce it for you due to copyright reasons, we are happy to share some of the findings.  You can also get an excerpt of it here.

As Marketing Sherpa says, “email is a venerable tactic that is often dismissed as being too rudimentary for today’s focus on real-time information. Yet, email continues to endure, and even thrive, under such scrutiny, continually proving its worth through better delivery practices, more advanced design, and strategic integration with other channels”

A few of the key insights from the report are:

60% of organisations using email reported that email marketing is producing a positive return on their investment (ROI)

83% report they are involved with tracking, reporting and analysing their email metrics – yay – no ‘set and forgets’ around here! And the metrics that organisations track the most? Clickthrough rate and open rate are the most popular by far, both sitting at around 90% – the next most measured metric is unsubscribe rate at 75%.

It appears that content is still king – the most effective tactic of all is content and in particular for B2B marketers, whitepapers and other premium content was considered the most effective of all. As we have said before, it is still not worth sending an email unless there is content worth reading, sharing or discussing. And this is shown as a key goal as 67% report that the top goal for the next 12 months is to deliver highly relevant content.

And for the biggest question of all – which is the best day to send? Well the results are in! Tuesday (At 26%) and Wednesday (At 23%) were, by far, considered the most effective days to send overall.  We find that this depends on the business you are in to some degree – read our earlier analysis here.  Further, retail email with a mobile friendly design is showing good results when sent on a Saturday or Sunday.  We see that while the open rates may be slightly lower, the click through and action rates can be very strong indeed.

Despite the rise of ‘mobile’, 58% of people are still not designing emails to render differently on mobile, let alone mobile specific versions of their emails.  However that same 58% recognises the pervasiveness of smartphones and tablets and they expect that mobile will dramatically affect or change their email marketing program in the next 12 months.   And with the continuing rise of the use of mobile as our primary device, it is not surprising to hear most say that they realise all their email designs and strategies need to be revamped for mobile compatibility.

But mobile isn’t everything – Social Media is only 1% behind mobile at 57% as the next most important aspect, and most recognise social media as a primary communications tool and is becoming one of the main ways they interact and engage with their audience.

82% believe their list is growing slowly or not all.  Data ages, people change and your list shrinks.  Without a process for active planning for acquisition and a continual focus on growing your list, your list will shrink and the quality will deteriorate. Keep in mind that both paid search and co-registration programs performed poorly in comparison to other list growth tactics such as offering exclusive content or using the good old website registration page.

And in terms of improving your email deliverability? This area is lacking somewhat. 60% of you provide an easy unsubscribe process, (But that’s still 30% of you who don’t) And only 50% of you remove bounces, and worse still only 40% report they regularly clean their lists. There is some work to be done here!

What about triggered emails? This powerful area of email marketing often brings the greatest results however it is sorely underutilised. Just 50% of respondents report they deploy welcome emails. That is 50% of people who don’t! And most other types of triggered email activity are only being used by 19% – 35% of respondents. Overall, surveyed marketers did not appear to commonly re-engage subscribers, as just 15% indicated their organisations sent win-back emails, and just 9% sent shopping cart abandonment reminders. That leaves a lot of room for improvement.

One of the biggest things that may be stopping people achieving all their email marketing goals is the fact that 54% report inadequate staffing resources, expertise or time, as noted in this comment: “Our greatest challenge is time. We have been doing email campaigning for about 18 months, so we are still learning. We have a robust database but lack time and resources to mine it like we could.”

One other area of concern that came out of this report was a lack of capability to properly segment and target recipients, as little more than half of respondents indicated they could segment their lists by email engagement behaviour (55%) or purchase history (53%), and just 38% said the same about user-declared personal preferences. Even fewer (28%) could segment based on user device habits. “This is telling, as it shows a distinct gap between marketer actions, and the wants and needs of subscribers”

So what’s the bottom line? “Email remains a marketer’s most effective tool in terms of content reach. But, even the widest-cast net won’t produce results if your readers aren’t compelled by your content, or, even worse, aren’t receiving it at all. Proper list growth and management, alongside engaging, consistently delivered content, are the keys to maximizing email effectiveness.”

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.

Seeing as the most searched for topic on our blog is ‘welcome emails’ you might also want to read our ‘welcome 101 master class post,  and then you can view email welcome examples in our top-rated post on ‘8 outstanding welcome email examples’ to get you started.

In this post, we’ve broken down the word “Welcome” as an acronym to provide a little inspiration in bite size chunks on the topic of welcome emails.  We picked the words below to highlight what we think are some of the more important components of a good welcome email strategy. Now, you might have your own words for some of these, and that’s fine. In fact, we’d love for you to add your suggestions in the comments!

W – Why
Why are you sending the email? What are you welcoming them for? This will determine the style of the email, when you need to send the email, and what you require your subscribers to do once they receive the email.

E – Engaging
This is potentially the first email they will have ever received from you – make it great! Make it so wonderfully enticing your recipients open it, and make sure it represents your brand, so that when they get your emails in the future they will know it’s you and they will open it.

L –Love your subscribers
Show them the love! Don’t just send an email saying ‘Thanks for signing up’ – where’s the joy in that? If they have just subscribed, or just signed up to something with you, or just purchased something in store, tell them you appreciate it, say thanks, offer them something.

C – Clickthroughs
Is there a call to action required from this welcome email? (You will get this from the questions in the ‘WHY’ section) Would you like recipients to clickthrough to a voucher, or your website for example? Have a good call to action that makes this obvious.

O – Opens
Good design and good copy is key. Make it relevant, timely, attention grabbing and appealing. That way you will ensure new customers or new subscribers will open your welcome email and get the information they need from you instead of mistaking it for more junk and deleting it and missing that vital new customer 50% off voucher!

M – Mandatory
We say mandatory because we believe welcome emails are that important and that effective. And if you don’t already have a welcome email campaign set up, contact design@jericho.co.nz and our design team can put some concepts together for you.

E – Ever and Ever
First impressions count right? If you want this recipient to keep coming back and showing you the love for ever and ever impress them off the bat and you’re more likely to hold on to them as a subscriber.

S – Series
Plural ‘welcomes’ to us means ‘welcome series’! Welcome series are great for when people visit your website, and generally they have limited time to get the gist of what it is you are great at.  So you use a welcome series to extend the education period. For example you could say ‘Sign up to our monthly news updates and we will welcome you with 5 ways to get the most from us’ then, you can use triggers in SmartMail PRO to deploy a series of emails at set times– perhaps weekly, or twice in the first week then one a fortnight.  Or even better, use the series as your sign up incentive – you could say “Sign up for our newsletter and we will send you our ‘3 ways to save money when you shop.’” How enticing is that?

 

You are welcome!

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.

 

Following on from our last post on the art of the Welcome, we’ve gathered some examples here for you to look at, comment on, learn from and copy for your own welcome email program.

Also check other posts here like “You are not alone – 2 campaigns we love, and why” and one from right back in 2008 “Welcome Warmly“.  In all, there are 22 months of blog posts here at Jericho’s GetSmart Blog to help your email marketing performance.

Welcome messages are so important. A survey published in MarketingSherpa’s Best Practices in Email Marketing Handbook found that:
– 54% of respondents stated that they open and read transactional messages “very often or always.”
– Only 21% of respondents reported opening and reading other opt-in email with the same frequency.
Out-take: The Welcome email is 150% more likely to be opened and read than your email newsletter.

We have underlined key areas of each Welcome email, and each thumbnail links to a larger version of the email image.  Also each company name below links to their website.  (As we have said before one of the best ways to improve your email marketing is to spy!)

Whether it’s the first time someone registers for your e-newsletter, the first time they walk into your showroom, or their first online purchase, first impressions can make a huge difference to whether the prospect is ‘in’ or ‘out’ of your ongoing eDM program – and with lifetime value measurements, your ongoing revenue!

Example 1: A basic email that covers what it needs to and major subscriber engagement – works so well because of the style, and copy, really.  I’ve written about that before, so I’ll just link to that – Welcome to US.

Example 2: Another basic looking email with a value-add which incentivised the registration, The Whisky Shop from Auckland nails a great Welcome on a low budget.


Example 3: Alice.com – I wish we had this in New Zealand.  The shopping site where you can buy all your non-perishables, leaving you free to get your fresh supplies from your local markets.  The Alice.com Welcome email includes clear calls to action to get started – the best place to do this is in the welcome email.  Could improve: They mention emails they will send that are related to your activity, but no mention of what else they will send or how frequently.

Example 4: Anthropologie.com An office favourite here, our design and production teams love the gentle designs and copy in the Anthropologie emails.  The Welcome describes the frequency and content of the emails, benefits first is always good.  They also invite you to help the emails arrive with an action of your own – add to your address book.

Example 5: OldNavy.com An Welcome offer for your first purchase might be just what you are after.  If so, Old Navy is here to help with 20% off your first purchase.  They link to their family of brands, to their Social Media profiles, and offer T&C’s for the promo – BUT – no description of email frequency or content, and no way to share the email to our social network – missing out on the newly engaged readers propensity ot share right when they are most excited to meet you - a useful trick that is overlooked here.

Example 6: KNOW from Positively Wellington Tourism is a top quality e-newsletter that you should subscribe to.  The KNOW Welcome email is on the money in every way.  They set up the anticipation of frequency, describe the content type, remind you of the email address you used to register, invite you to follow and fan them, and link to key content areas with site-matching nav tabs - PLUS they invite you to share the email to your social networksinvite a friend to subscribe too, and they even link back to the subscribe page in case you forward this email – allowing a clear path to subscribe if the friend you forwarded it to wants to sign up too.    I can’t find a thing wrong with email, can you?  (Disclosure: KNOW is a client of our agency, Jericho).

Example 7: RachelZoe.com The Rachel Zoe website earns a special mention before we even examine the Welcome email.   That’s because as you’ll see if you visit the site, the home page is totally about the email registration.  It is unthinkable how many websites I find that force you to search to sign up for email.  The best email marketers (including the GAP family of sites) use the priority real estate of their home page to sell you to the sign up.  If you make money sending email (and you do if you do it right) then your number one goal should be to get the email address of your site visitor.  Sure you want them to look around, but if you get the email address you get the chance to make your case time and time again…  Next blog post = tricks to great subscription forms!  This Welcome email does a number of things right.  It welcomes warmly (she is ‘beyond excited’ to have you aboard).  She sets expectation of frequency, and content.  She covers the housekeeping with how to get the email delivered to you (‘imagine the disaster…’!), and tell your friends, and a nice obvious unsusbcribe too.

Example 8: Outstanding in the wrong way this welcome email misses the mark in almost every way.   Dull,  unengaging, confusing.  It was also sent in the small hours of the morning hours after I had subscribed.   This is a major Government department (the NZ equivalent of the IRS) and although we expect them to be a bit behind there is simply no excuse for emails like this leaving the building.  The newsletter it prefaces is a useful and important communication, let down by this welcome.  Check out the reply email address.  Not only am I unlikely to retain this email for future reference, as am I commanded to do, I am actually a little bit frightened of it!


We would like this to continue to grow into the best resource for welcome email examples on the blogosphere.  You can help!  Comment on these ones, and please send examples of emails you have recieved, good or bad, to us at getsmart@jericho.co.nz

Writing great content about emarketing takes time, and the more people who read it the better, so please help us to grow – and read our other posts – we have lots of original articles here.  Link to our blog, tell your friends about the GetSmart blog and use the SHARE links below to post to Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Need a robust, experienced, trusted email marketing team on your side to help you get email design and delivery right, no matter where you are in the world?



The email you send to welcome a new subscriber or customer is always the most read email you will ever send.

You will never send an email that is read more eagerly than the welcome email.

The welcome email is the most powerful chance you have to achieve every marketers goal of ‘customer engagement’.  Yes, I am being slightly monotone and repetitive – I’m aiming for a hypnosis effect so it gets in!

Because this email is so very important, it is the time when you should concentrate on these key aims:

  • Set the tone of your ‘voice’
  • Establish the terms and boundaries of your ongoing relationship
  • Brief your newbie so they can anticipate your next move(s)
  • Instill confidence and build credibility
  • Take the newbie by the hand and ease them over towards your end goal
  • Request no more than one action, but draw attention to other possibilities in the future

I’m going to look at each of these parts of the Welcome Email, and then I’ll post some examples of welcome emails that get it right.

Set the tone of your ‘voice’

Use the genuine voice of your company, some personality is preferable.  Don’t be too folksy though, this welcome is setting the tone of how your emails, your website, your call centre, and your bricks’n'mortar presence should sound.  In fact I think you should forget about ‘single view of the customer’ until you have established a single ‘tone’ of your organisation.

Establish the terms and boundaries of your ongoing relationship

Make it clear what they have registered for, and how you will use that permission.  Plain english works well here. One of the most comforting things is a phrase such as ‘we will never, ever, share your details with anyone else, or use them for any other purpose other than what you have asked for’.

Brief your newbie so they can anticipate your next move(s)

Seth Godim said it best 10 years ago: ‘Great email is personal, relevant and anticipated’.  Anticipation is key.  No one wants a rude surprise.  Every single email is greeted with a thought process that goes something like this ‘who are you, and why are you sending me this’.   Setting up the terms, and the anticiaption means that the path is clear for you to deliver the goods, and grow that permission, to paraphrase Seth again ‘from stranger, to friend, to customer, to advocate’.

Instill confidence and build credibility

If you are good at something, now is the time to quietly reinforce that. Link to testimonials and awards, use language which makes it clear they have done the deal with just the right kind of people.

Take the newbie by the hand and ease them over towards your end goal

You might like to reinforce what it is that you aim for, in line with your overarching goals for this person.  Do you want them to buy something? Offer a time limited coupon or offer.  Do you want them to advocate for you?  Give them the tools to share to their social networks or refer a friend.  And so on.

Request no more than one action, but draw attention to other possibilities in the future

If you need them to do something, remember this is DM!  Ask for it and make the action, simple, obvious and easy.  If you just want them to look around your website, or sit tight and wait for the next stage of your program, then make it clear that they can do that and entice them with some ‘easy’ steps they can take to view your content, for example.

We have written other posts on Welcome emails in the past, you will find other ideas here:

Underground tips for us – Hall of Fame (a great welcome email example)

Welcome warmly…! (basic tips)

The 1st of 3 Best No-Brainer Ways To Improve Your Email Newsletters (all about spying!)

If you have a brilliant Welcome program then please share it with us with a comment, or if you would like them, our team are ready and waiting to guide you to make the most of the incredible potential that the Welcome email offers you.

To read our weekly blog posts for the most comprehensive posts on emarketing, and email marketing in New Zealand, click the JERICHO logo at the top of the post here, and pick through the menu on the right hand side, or use the Search box.

Yesterday, bright and early, Rebecca reminded 200 or so ‘Jericho Brainy Breakfast’ attendees that digital was the elephant looming in the rear view mirror. ‘… Look out, it’s behind you’.  You’d better start your engine.
Some of her points:

  • No more whinging about not having any budget for digital.  Just stop doing something else that you are doing now.  Snip.  Chop.  Slice.  Hey presto – there’s some cash.
  • Don’t try to get big permission, take a small bite first – just get enough go-ahead to get something low risk started.
  • Talk it up, set goals, get others excited, and prove your results with hard facts.
  • Package your pitch up for each audience.  You might need to tell your story four different ways when you explain it to IT, sales,  CEO, customer service.  And much more… she’s fantastic.

Here in eDM-land, moving budget from one place to another has been our staple.  For years we’ve been saying things like ‘how about you don’t do a billboard and you can fund your email marketing comms audit and redesigns for the next year’.  Well maybe a couple of billboards, or the entire outdoor budget.  But, the point is we were well aware that many companies didn’t even give email a line item in the budget.

Since the recession it is the reality that budgets are likely to be cut, so money has to be moved, as you can see from this chart.  In this study of 1500 marketers, only two tactics showed increases in budget – email and social media.  The reason is clear  – they make money per dollar spent.  Here is the email chart.  Plan to spend less somewhere to make more everywhere, and have more fun doing it.  Get better reporting that proves your point, and then ask for more budget to do it all over again.  How to spend your money:

  1. Audit every email that leaves your company and stop making excuses – if it’s ugly get it redesigned.  It costs the same to send an ugly email as it does a beautiful one, and it’s far less effective guranteeing less pass-along, lower responses and even less deliverability.   See great emails here and scroll and tick to choose to download a whole look-book here.
  2. Automate where you can – life cycle, lead massaging, date and event triggers, tranactional.  Some cost up front in planning and set up, for ultra cheap perfectly timed ongoing communications.
  3. Outsource. If you dont have the resourcing you need, get it from a supplier (like us) who can collaborate letting you either hand the lot over, or just the bits that are in the to-do list but are not getting done.
  4. Audit and improve data capture process and the forms themselves.  I’m going to post on this process again soon.
  5. Review activity, benchmarks and trends at least quarterly and make sure they, and your goals align with eveything else you are doing.
  6. Test and measure – sometimes best outsourced if it’s in your too hard basket.
  7. Get the best software tools. I know I’m biased as heck but if you don’t have the right toolkit a lot of the stuff that can be automated isn’t and it costs you dearly in time and money.