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Higher Ed Boot Camp: Email Testing in NetCommunity
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Higher Ed Boot Camp: Email Testing in NetCommunity

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  • 1. Email Testing Best Practices Margo Anderson – Internet Solutions Client Manager Margo Anderson, Client Manager | Page #1 © 2008 Blackbaud THIS MATERIAL IS STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL. The information contained in this document, and any attachments thereto, is owned by Blackbaud and is strictly confidential. Unauthorized use, disclosure, or copying of such information is strictly prohibited. If the reader of this document is not the intended recipient, please notify Blackbaud immediately by calling (800) 443-9441 and destroy all copies of this document and any attachments. © 2008 Blackbaud
  • 2. Remove distractions from your environment Close mail or other programs you may have opened other than Live Meeting Respond to the polls and questions Raise your hand electronically to ask a question “Netiquette” Margo Anderson, Client Manager | Page #2 © 2008 Blackbaud Raise your hand electronically to ask a question Mute your phone
  • 3. Today’s Session Agenda • Introductions • Before We Start Testing • Testing Strategy • Demonstration Margo Anderson, Client Manager | Page #3 © 2008 Blackbaud
  • 4. About the Host Margo Anderson Internet Solutions Client Manager • Manager of Blackbaud’s internet solutions service bureau offering (Data Management Services for Internet Solutions) Passionate about online fundraising Margo Anderson, Client Manager | Page #4 © 2008 Blackbaud Passionate about online fundraising and email marketing 5 years of experience working with Blackbaud NetCommunity Loves the outdoors!
  • 5. Before We Test Before we start conducting email tests, let’s make sure we create a knock out email message! Segment you email messages Design an attractive template Margo Anderson, Client Manager | Page #5 © 2008 Blackbaud Design an attractive template Create an eye-catching subject line Personalize the email message Make sure you are sending relevant messages Include a call to action/next steps in the email message
  • 6. Anatomy of a Good Email Message Your organization name in the “From” field. Recipients should recognize who the email is from instantly. A relevant subject line (don’t be “spammy”), with your organization or newsletter name in it. The “To:” field of your email should be personalized to the Margo Anderson, Client Manager | Page #6 © 2008 Blackbaud The “To:” field of your email should be personalized to the recipient’s name, not their email address. Your valid, physical mailing address, and as much contact information as possible. The more contact information you provide, the more reputable your email will look. It’s a really good idea to also include some kind of reminder text, like “You are receiving this email because you signed up at our website.”
  • 7. Case of the Subject Line Writer’s Block? The Top 10 List • One of the most consistently successful approaches (it almost always gets opened). • Readers are curious and know they will not have to sift through paragraphs of copy. • Top 10 Reasons • Top Five Priorities • Top Four Concerns • Top Six Issues The Research Subject Line Margo Anderson, Client Manager | Page #7 © 2008 Blackbaud Source: Email Marketing by the NUM8ERS The Research Subject Line • Feature a compelling statistic in the subject line and make it relevant to the reader. • A research headline is less promotional, promises valuable information, and enhances your credibility as a knowledge resource. • Example: “56% of Those Living in Poverty are Women. Help Them Beat the Odds” The Quiz • One of the fastest and easiest ways to engage your audience. • Include one intriguing question in the subject line, followed by the answer in the body of the email. • “Do you know how many children were homeless in the UK last year?” • “How many children go hungry each day in the UK?”
  • 8. Case of the Subject Line Writer’s Block?, cont. The Interview • Interview a well-known Board Member, a loyal supporter, or someone you helped. • People like to read candid remarks from other people; include the most interesting comments first. • "Pastor Jeff just returned from his Mission Trip – Read his story now“ The Personal Message • Try some everyday internal email message subject lines, such as: • Per Your Request • Due Today Margo Anderson, Client Manager | Page #8 © 2008 Blackbaud • Due Today • FYI • Please Review When all else fails, try an old standby • Highlight reader’s pain points or concerns and how your organization can address them. • The Bad News Is... • The Good News Is... • The Best News Is... *Excerpts from the article, "Ten E-mail Starters to Break Writer's Block" by Karen Gedney, April 2007
  • 9. Anatomy of a Good Email Message Includes organization name Once email newsletter timing is determined, always send the same day & timeCreate naming conventions for your email messages Margo Anderson, Client Manager | Page #9 © 2008 Blackbaud Includes organization name Subject line includes organization name and topic Utilize merge fields
  • 10. Anatomy of a Good Email Message, cont. Margo Anderson, Client Manager | Page #10 © 2008 Blackbaud Include links back to your site Social networking links
  • 11. Use merge fields to personalize the message. Merge fields are located on the right- hand side of the WYSIWYG editor Using Merge Fields Margo Anderson, Client Manager | Page #11 © 2008 Blackbaud
  • 12. Use merge fields to create a call-to-action. Using Merge Fields Margo Anderson, Client Manager | Page #12 © 2008 Blackbaud
  • 13. New Addressee and Salutation merge fields (available in NetCommunity v6.10 patch 8) Using Merge Fields Margo Anderson, Client Manager | Page #13 © 2008 Blackbaud
  • 14. New Addressee and Salutation merge fields Administration System Options Using Merge Fields Margo Anderson, Client Manager | Page #14 © 2008 Blackbaud
  • 15. New Addressee and Salutation merge fields Using Merge Fields Margo Anderson, Client Manager | Page #15 © 2008 Blackbaud
  • 16. Now, Let’s Test! Margo Anderson, Client Manager | Page #16 © 2008 Blackbaud
  • 17. Create a Testing Strategy Testing can quickly become overwhelming if you don’t have a plan. 1. Determine what you want to test. 2. Determine how large your sample size will be (# vs. % of list). Margo Anderson, Client Manager | Page #17 © 2008 Blackbaud 3. Determine how you will analyze and track results. Source: Email Marketing by the NUM8ERS
  • 18. 1. What to test? Margo Anderson, Client Manager | Page #18 © 2008 Blackbaud
  • 19. What to test? Which of two subject lines gets more opens? Will the word "Free" help, or hurt? Are longer subject lines better than shorter ones? Which day is best? Are some days better for opens, but others for clicks? • There is no magic formula…so test, test, and oh yes, TEST! Margo Anderson, Client Manager | Page #19 © 2008 Blackbaud • There is no magic formula…so test, test, and oh yes, TEST! • But…the most popular days are Tuesday through Thursday. • Saturday is traditionally the lowest volume email day of the week. What time of day is best? Do people open in the morning, or evening? What "From" name will people respond to most? Will they open if they see your company name, or do they prefer personal names? Or should you use both?
  • 20. What to test?, cont. Email browser testing 1. Manually Test • Create multiple "test" accounts in various email systems. • Some examples: Yahoo!, Gmail, Hotmail/MSN, AOL, Microsoft Outlook, Lotus Notes, Comcast, EarthLink, etc. • Build test lists via imported lists or user defined for quick access. Margo Anderson, Client Manager | Page #20 © 2008 Blackbaud 2. Utilize a paid Testing Service • Most paid services either offer pay-per-use or a subscription-based fee for email preview/rendering service. • You upload your HTML email and it will show you how the email SHOULD render in various browsers; some vendors also offer Spam Checking and link validation services. DISCLAIMER: THERE IS NO 100% GUARANTEE THAT YOUR MESSAGES WILL SHOW UP CORRECTLY IN ALL BROWSERS. • With both methods, the previews are only "best guesses" for how the email might show up. • Browser testing does not take into account any user preferences/settings that may be configured on the recipients’ end (servers or inbox).
  • 21. 2. Test size? Margo Anderson, Client Manager | Page #21 © 2008 Blackbaud
  • 22. Test size? Generally at least 1-2K to be statistically significant. When in doubt, test at least 10% of your list. Margo Anderson, Client Manager | Page #22 © 2008 Blackbaud
  • 23. 3. Analyze and Track Results Margo Anderson, Client Manager | Page #23 © 2008 Blackbaud
  • 24. Analyze and Track Results 50% of people will open an email in the first 9 hours. 75% of people will open an email in the first 48 hours. The remaining 25% may take several days. The average email campaign has its peak open rate in 14 days. Margo Anderson, Client Manager | Page #24 © 2008 Blackbaud days. Need to devise a consistent (and user-friendly) method of tracking results. A/B Split Test – 5% is a popular level of significance
  • 25. Demonstration Margo Anderson, Client Manager | Page #25 © 2008 Blackbaud
  • 26. A Word From Our Sponsor DMS for Internet Solutions allows nonprofits with our Internet products to offload recurring, ongoing functions associated with web/email management and day-to-day operations. Data Services Email Management • Assistance in processing Blackbaud NetCommunity transactions within The Raiser’s Edge. • Configuring The Raiser’s Edge to support new Blackbaud NetCommunity parts • Reporting and List Generation Services • Segmentation and list preparation • Split testing • Copy editing (including conditional email content) • Email template development • Email testing Margo Anderson, Client Manager | Page #26 © 2008 Blackbaud • Reporting and List Generation Services • Email testing • Opt-out and Bounce management Content Management Online Strategic Oversight • Copy editing • Create new pages and templates • Configure and style Blackbaud NetCommunity parts • Maintain and update information architecture • Refresh content and images (i.e., replace expired content) • Share Blackbaud NetCommunity best practices in relation to the organization’s audience and organizational priorities • Provide quarterly updates of internet trends and evolving technologies that impact the organization’s business objectives • Maintain web presence on the leading-edge of solution functionality • Distribute monthly analytics reports of relevant web and email metrics