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Advanced Email Marketing Presentation for Digital World Expo

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  • There is no such thing as an “email marketer”. There is only a “direct marketer”. The channel is incidental. The focus on results is decisive.Taking this one step further, we are not in marketing. We are in sales. We just perform through indirect means. Once again, the channel is incidental.
  • The rumors of email’s death have been greatly exaggerated. Think about this: How often do you get emails from Facebook?
  • According to research conducted by the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing was expected to generate an ROI of $42.08 for every dollar spent on it in 2010. As such, it outperforms all the other direct marketing channels examined, such as print catalogs (reference).A January 2011 survey by BtoB Magazine found 63% of respondents likely to increase spending on email in 2011 (reference).In Datran Media's 2010 Annual Marketing & Media Survey, 39.4% of industry executives said the advertising channel that performed strongest for them was email. This was the top result (reference).A January 2011 survey by BtoB Magazine found 63% of respondents likely to increase spending on email in 2011 (second only to websites) with 29% keeping spend constant (reference).
  • Be the ball. You have to see between the numbers and have a visceral understanding of your customers.Your customers aren’t numbers or statistics. They your wife, your son, your golf buddy. They’re you.K.I.S.S.Better to understand 3 things well than to overload with data.A lot of data will be the same over the course of your campaigns. Don’t look for little changes. Look for the numbers that are really out of whack, good or bad, with the rest of your data and explore those. If you don’t have any of these anomalies, you’re not testing enough.
  • SWAG predictions lets you understand if you understand your list. Your list is your customers. If you don’t understand how your list will react, you are not connected to your customers and you need to reevaluate a lot more than just your emails.
  • What you want to say is not necessarily what they want to hear. You want to make an offer, but they are not sitting around waiting for your offer, so you need to bridge the differential between these two imperatives with your messaging, hence…(next slide)
  • If you can’t make the entire sale in the subject line, don’t try to. Just get it opened.All you want is to open the door to your actual sales copy. Do anything you can to get that door open, as long as it’s not misleading.A subject line is not just “like” a pick-up line. It IS a pick-up line. It opens the door and starts the conversation so you have the opportunity to close the deal.
  • Keeping a subject line under 35 characters was “best practices” for a number of years.Source: Email Marketing Metrics Report, July 2011
  • Whoops!This falls in line with other “best practice” follies like “share with a friend” links.
  • Raise of hands: How many people here have been in direct marketing long enough to remember being excited that you could send direct mail letters and actually merge a person’s name into their letter. That was hot shit at the time.Along the same vein, a few years ago merging someone’s name into a subject line was the schizzle.
  • Wrong again!
  • I can draw stick figures, but that doesn’t make me a graphic designer. In the same way, just because you’re literate it doesn’t make you a copywriter. And don’t think that just because it’s a short email that you can write it. The shorter it is, the more difficult it is to write. Just because it may seem like a routine email, doesn’t mean you can write it. Even transactional emails (e.g. “Thanks for your order!”) can be revenue gain opportunities. In “old school” direct marketing speak, this is the back-end. Use it and don’t take these interactions for granted.
  • The sole purpose of the subject line is to get your email opened.Who can’t open a box of chocolates? You don’t know what’s inside, but you’re still going to open it. But if you say they’re getting chocolate, there’d better be chocolate inside. (And an offer for something chocolate-related.)
  • Howard Gossage, a sage of non-conformist advertising during the “Mad Men” era, and ranked by Advertising Age at number 23 of its 100 advertising people of the 20th century, said that. This sentiment holds just as true today for email marketing. Write what people want to read, and they will.
  • Don’t be afraid of long copy on your emails or your landing page. When developing the sale, on either the landing page or in the email, imagine yourself sitting in front of your prospect—literally—and trying to sell them. Would you want to be limited to 150 words, or would you want to deliver a complete and well-crafted sales pitch?You want to do the same with your email or landing page. Make your whole sales pitch, just make it compelling. Just like sitting in front of someone, if your pitch sounds stale and canned like you’re reading from a telemarketing pitch, your prospect may still be sitting there but they will be tuned out and turned off just the same as if you write stale and compelling copy.
  • I don’t know what Gartner has been smoking, or how bad the original campaigns that they tested against were, but the point stands. Personalized triggers are the present and future.
  • The technology is there. Do you have the data to make intelligent triggers and the organizational willpower to overcome analysis-paralysis and implement? Most organizations don’t. If you do nothing else, champion this one facet of your email marketing and they will write songs about you and kumbaya at company meetings dedicated to you.
  • The thing about best practices is that everyone is practicing them. For example, think about how many emails you get in the morning. Because best practices to send earlier than everyone else, 6am turns into 5am into 4am. But that best practice has left people with a bulging inbox in the morning and they’re more interested in getting it emptied than reading your offer. What about 11am, right before people browse and shop over the lunch hour or 5pm for those who check their email after dinner?
  • People are different. They have different schedules. They check their emails at different times of the day. You need to strike when the iron is how: But the iron is hot at different times for different peoplelDon’t just test different times. Switch it up. Don’t let your recipients get “banner blindness” to your emails.The 3 Magic Times: First thing. Lunch time. After dinner.How many emails do you get at 6am, 5am, 4 am, etc. Why pick a fight with all the other email senders? Think about being single: Where are your odds better? In a crowded bar or the supermarket? What about Saturday morning? That time usually doesn’t work, but what if your list is the exception? It could be a bombshell winner for you.
  • If you run the numbers, what you will find is that most of what you think is significant is not.One headline beats another by 1.5%, and it’s still not a statistically valid difference!?There are plenty of statistical validity and sample size calculators available online.Once you start running the numbers, what you will find is that things that you thought were important are not. If you get a 3.3% CTR versus a 4.1% rate, over the course of several 40,000 email, you have learned nothing.Focus on what really matters. Ignore what doesn’t. These minute differences in results can be a distraction from the real goal of email marketing: Connecting with your customers and prospects in a meaningful way that will lead to conversions.
  • There is actually no such thing as too much email, just bad email. Does anyone here subscribe to Groupon, LivingSocial or Overstock.com?
  • Don’t try to impress your boss (or your employees with the agency you hired). Try to impress your bank account. Many of times, the scrappy agency will work twice as hard for half the money and get you double the results. A typical big agency will charge your company your monthly salary for a creative two years out of school to work on your stuff for 2 days…if you’re lucky.It’s only creative if it sells. Don’t let your personal opinions interfere with your evaluation of copy, design, etc…unless you are the total target market. If you have a meeting at your company and someone says, “I like it!” The only proper response is, “That’s wonderful that you like it. Do you think our market will like it AND convert on it.”
  • It doesn’t matter how many emails you send, you can never forget the basics. They still, and will always apply. Read and re-read these, and other, classics regularly to keep your thoughts grounded in the roots of what works and why. Also, if you want to be a great email marketer you will also need to read heavily in the areas of psychology, design, color theory, layout (minus the writings of Jakob Nielson) and a host of other things that are only tangentially related to email.
  • I’ve gone through a bunch of technical stuff, but these are the two most important things that I know about email…#1. Respect your email list’s time. You are taking their time by sending them an email. At it’s most basic form, the trade-off could be a discount offer or some content (e.g. newsletter). But at it’s most advanced, it’s personalized (such as with trigger campaigns) AND interesting to read so to #2…
  • Don’t talk down to your customers or prospects. Period. And remember that someone may be an accountant or a sale rep or an admin 8 hours a day. But they Are people 24 hours a day. Communicate with people. If you read your emails out loud and they sound like a marketing message, delete and start over. People want to buy stuff, but they never want to be “sold”.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Advanced Email Marketing
      Email Marketing | brian@awayfind.com
      September 2011
      This presentation, with expanded notes, is available at:
      http://www.awayfind.com/blog
    • 2. Advanced Email Marketing
      Email Marketing | brian@awayfind.com
      September 2011
      Warning & Disclaimer:
      I AM NOT AN EMAIL MARKETER
      PS. Anyone who thinks they are should rethink their line of business.
    • 3. “Radio is Dead.”
      Email Marketing | jared@awayfind.com
      September 2011
    • 4. Advanced Email Marketing
      Email Marketing | brian@awayfind.com
      September 2011
      Email is Still
      King of the Hill…
      (Only if you want to make money, that is.)
    • 5. Analytics
      Email Marketing | brian@awayfind.com
      September 2011
      How to Read Between the Lines
      “Be the ball Danny.”
      Your customers aren’t numbers.
      K.I.S.S.
      Look for the anomalies.
    • 6. Analytics
      Email Marketing | brian@awayfind.com
      September 2011
      SWAG Predictions
      (Stupid Wild-Ass Guess)
      How could you possibly benefit from trying to guess what the results of a campaign will be?
    • 7. Subject Lines
      Email Marketing | brian@awayfind.com
      September 2011
      How Not to Write Them
      “Never answer the question that is asked of you. Answer the question that you wish had been asked of you.”
      —Robert Macnamara
    • 8. Subject Lines
      Email Marketing | brian@awayfind.com
      September 2011
      How Not to Write Them
      • Don’t give it up on the first date.
      • 9. If you were selling face-to-face, how many words would you want?
      • 10. First impressions are lasting impressions…or not.
    • Subject Lines
      Email Marketing | brian@awayfind.com
      September 2011
      How Not to Write Them
      Things that will not help your subject line:
      Keeping it Short
    • 11. Subject Lines
      Email Marketing | brian@awayfind.com
      September 2011
      How Not to Write Them
      Things that will not help your subject line:
      Keeping it Short
    • 12. Subject Lines
      Email Marketing | brian@awayfind.com
      September 2011
      How Not to Write Them
      Things that will not help your subject line:
      First Name Merge
    • 13. Subject Lines
      Email Marketing | brian@awayfind.com
      September 2011
      How Not to Write Them
      Things that will not help your subject line:
      First Name Merge
    • 14. Subject Lines
      Email Marketing | brian@awayfind.com
      September 2011
      How Not to Write Them: Yourself!
      You wouldn’t…
      • Fill your own cavities.
      • 15. Change your car’s timing belt.
      • 16. Neuter your dogs at home.
      • 17. Do your own taxes (OK, maybe. But not advisable.)
      If you’re not a copywriter, don’t write copy.
      Takeaway: Bad copy works. Good copy works better.
    • 18. Subject Lines
      Email Marketing | brian@awayfind.com
      September 2011
      How to Write Them
      The subject line is the ad for your ad.
      Period.
    • 19. Subject Lines
      Email Marketing | brian@awayfind.com
      September 2011
      How to Write Them
      “People read what they like. Sometimes it’s advertising.
      —Howard Gossage
    • 20. Copy & Landing Pages
      Email Marketing | brian@awayfind.com
      September 2011
      The Trade-off:
      Does your email or do your landing pages do the selling?
    • 21. Lifecycle & Trigger Campaigns
      Email Marketing | brian@awayfind.com
      September 2011
      Advanced Personalization
      “Gartner finds marketers can achieve a 600% lift in campaign performance over traditional outbound programs via event-triggered techniques”
    • 22. Lifecycle & Trigger Campaigns
      Email Marketing | brian@awayfind.com
      September 2011
      Triggers
      Why isn’t everyone using personalized triggers and lifecycle marketing?
      #1: Data
      #2: Organizational willpower
    • 23. Best Practices
      Email Marketing | brian@awayfind.com
      September 2011
      Best is as Best Does
      What we know now: It’s not what you’ve been told.
      The “best practice” of all: TESTING!
      Why are best practices always changing?
    • 24. Best Practices
      Email Marketing | brian@awayfind.com
      September 2011
      When to Send!?
      Day and night.
      Now and then (Both. No really!)
      The “3 Magic Times.”
      The a.m. inbox fight.
      First in, first out.
      The 3-Second Rule still applies.
    • 25. Best Practices
      Email Marketing | brian@awayfind.com
      September 2011
      Timing: Does it matter?
      Statistical Validity:
      http://www.redhillgroup.com/research-toolkit/accuracy-calculator/
      http://www.surveysystem.com/sscalc.htm#factors
    • 26. Best Practices
      Email Marketing | brian@awayfind.com
      September 2011
      Frequency
      Rule #1: Send more
      Rule #2: Send even more
      Rule #3: Stop sending more only when you see a diminishing return that is devaluing your list more than the increasing incremental revenue.
    • 27. Advanced Options: Agencies
      Email Marketing | brian@awayfind.com
      September 2011
      David vs. Goliath
      Creative vs. ResultsAll-in-One vs. Specialists
    • 28. Must-Read Newsletters
      Email Marketing | brian@awayfind.com
      September 2011
      In no particular order:
      • MarketingVox.com
      • 29. MarketingSherpa.com
      • 30. WhichTestWon.com
      • 31. Clickz.com
      Also: Silverpop.com for great white papers
    • 32. Nothing to do with Email
      Email Marketing | brian@awayfind.com
      September 2011
      READ THESE BOOKS THAT HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH EMAIL:
      • Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy
      • 33. Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
      • 34. Successful Direct Marketing Methods by Bob Stone
      • 35. Being Direct: Making Advertising Pay by Lester Wunderman
      • 36. The Clam Plate Orgy by Wilson Bryan Key
    • All Email is a value Trade-off.You are giving them something in return for the right to email them and (more importantly) for them to take the time to read them.
      Bonus Takeaway #1
    • 37. Write emails you would want to read.The Consumer is not a moron. She is your wife. Husband. Daughter. You!
      Bonus Takeaway #2
    • 38. Who’s In Charge of Your Day? You or Your Email?
    • 39. AwayFind
      Email Marketing | brian@awayfind.com
      Get away from your inbox. Let your emails find you.
      Upcoming meeting
      Deal that is closing
      Your Family
      SMS
      Push
      September 2011
      Voice
    • 40. Email Marketing | brian@awayfind.com
      September 2011
      Thank you. Let’s keep in touch…
      Brian J Smith
      brian@awayfind.com

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