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10 great email marketing infographics http://econsultancy.com/blog/7887-10-great-email-marketing-infographics via @Econsultancy

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(Source: twitter.com)

Measuring success

We’re often asked what the industry standard for Opens is, as well as for other measurements of a broadcast email campaign’s effectiveness.

We’ve been providing the service for B2B and B2C clients for nine years now. Here are some findings based on that experience. NB. This data is drawn from broadcasts for firms and companies who have an entirely opted-in audience.

Opens and Unsubscribers
For a B2B newsletter, say a regular monthly update about your Firm/Department and its sector, we’d expect to see 15-20% recorded Opens*. There’s another key stat, and it’s not the number of click-throughs. Take a look at your Unsubscriber numbers. If you’re sending regular updates and a very small percentage of recipients are unsubscribing (we expect a fraction of 1%), then your message is getting through, the communication has been acknowledged, if not read, and it’s most likely that the topic is not of interest right now. Indeed we often see Opens weeks or months after sending. Your emails aren’t necessarily deleted, if your relationship is good, and your content informative, it will be saved for future reference.

For a topical alert or an event invite, we expect the Opens* to be at least 20%, if you’ve got the message and the design right (key information and call to action ‘above the fold’ in the preview window, informative and relevant subject line) then you’re going to get a great response.

For B2C, where an email may include an offer or voucher we expect up to 40% recorded Opens*.

Click-throughs and extended reporting
You expect to report on exactly who clicked-through on which link on your email, and when they clicked.

Did you know you can also easily track the subsequent journey the recipient takes through your web site? And in real time. This is really valuable, as it allows you to see what individuals are interested in, and the popularity generally of different topics/services/products/whatever. You can even use it to measure the RoI of a promotional email.

Profiling
Utilising the data gathered is the most important part of the process. At the least you should adjust your campaigns according to the data you’ve gathered. In time you’ll be able to profile much more accurately, creating only highly relevant, tightly targeted communications.


* Because of the way that Opens have to be recorded by broadcast email systems, the stated figure is often less than half the actual number of Opens.

Online reports

Measurement is the cornerstone of delivering a campaign or message digitally - robust analytics and reporting allow you to gain deep insight into any campaign and gather valuable data for future marketing activity.

From our single web interface, you can see real-time inbox placement results, opens, click-through rates, who clicked what, and when, who’s unsubscribed and which addresses bounced. And you can collect any response immediately in a simple form, with an opportunity to collect more data too.

Most valuably, you can track your customers subsequent online journey, following their clicks through your web site and you can see how much revenue the email campaign has generated by showing how many conversions/purchases there were.

Don’t forget there’s also the option to export all this data to your CRM or external database.

Getting through

The barriers in the way of successful Inbox placement are considerable. An email’s typical journey through the cloud is problematic - tools can track, report on and dynamically block traffic. Then it reaches your recipient’s firewall, filters and mail server, each with its own hardware configuration and software version (not forgetting service packs, patches and updates). Then there are all those checkboxes, with, more often than not, high security and very high anti-spam settings (filters are increasingly defensive and sophisticated by default). Spam blockers look at all sorts of variables, like the area of the email used up by images v text, disallowed keywords, your Subject Title, and the originating mail server. 

That’s before it reaches the email programme on their computer. Taking Outlook as the default example, it’s really no different from the above. The myriad of choices in the form of checkbox customisation and in the name of security make it challenging, to say the least, to predict why mail will or won’t reach the Inbox. As well as the hurdles to overcome listed above, there’s Outlook’s own proprietary set of rules, updated whenever the software is. Legitimate emails can easily end up in the Junk Folder. 

Sep 1

Timely, relevant content

We’re all connected 24/7, knowledge is power, so personalised communication essential. Just how do you go about finding out what your customers, current and potential, are interested in?

You’re already monitoring your web site’s stats, but those metrics don’t tell even half the story. After all, customers sit behind firewalls, spam filters and security settings that mean when they do hit your web site you don’t know it’s them. They’re constantly browsing and downloading, bookmarking, tagging and forwarding and you don’t really know - other than from aggregated results amongst whom your targets are but a few - what they’re interested in.

There are two solutions to gaining this knowledge, the first more obvious (and easy) than the second:

  1. Use social networking sites. Give customers a platform (such as a Facebook group) and actively encourage participation to create a community, monitor (tweet hashtags and tagged blog posts) and respond as you would for any customer service interaction, and incentivise to encourage followers and email sign-ups
  2. Create a smart phone app. If they’re getting their news, offers, updates, commentary and opinion through and from you, you can profile all you like, and act accordingly, when you like. You’ll know precisely what they looked at, and when. btw, this option is not as expensive as you’re thinking it is…

They’re your customers. And they’re a subset of all your potential customers too, so the benefits are wide-ranging, feeding into your broader online messaging. Then, when you have this valuable information send them customised updates and/or offers. Then monitor those responses with RoI Tracking. And learn and repeat. That way you’ll continue to have the highest chance of succeeding.

Keys to successful email marketing

Inbox Placement 
Get through. Past the ISP, the spam filters, the myriad of customisable security settings and the company’s Mail Server Rules, so that the email you’ve sent actually reaches the Inbox. The real test - the click-through rate - is dependent upon the message type, of course, but if you’re not getting 20%+ something’s wrong. And most of the time this is about design.

Design 
Ensure your HTML is optimised and works across different software and platforms - test it rigorously, ensure too that a plain text version is sent alongside the HTML. Treat each like you would a campaign, with a single, clear message, with calls to action above the fold, preferably within the limited space of the preview pane. 

Make it engaging, and appealing, make sure the subject line is relevant and compelling. Keep it short - put all the content you were tempted at first to include on the web landing page or create a microsite to support the message.

Timely and relevant
The benefits of formal or informal commentary on events happening right now, are many. Your customer knows you’re on the ball, and it helps build your brand and reputation, and continues the relationship between sender and client. This is especially so if you personalise the message, not only in the salutation, but within the body of the email - reordering or including content according to their profile.

Reporting
Measurement is the cornerstone of delivering a campaign or message digitally - robust analytics and data allow you to gain deep insight into any campaign. All from a single web interface showing results in real-time.

Profiling
Use the data to see what’s working. Over time you’ll be able to focus on key groups and demographics and get higher response rates from narrower target groups because you’re giving them what they want.