3 Steps to Effective E-mail Marketing


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Learn three tools to improve E-mail marketing campaigns, increase conversions, and boost your marketing effectiveness. From our friends at BlueWolf and Oracle.

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3 Steps to Effective E-mail Marketing

  1. 1. 3 Steps to Effective Email Marketing CONVERTING FROM BROADCAST TO PERSONAL
  2. 2. Today’s leading marketers know how to balance creative campaign strategy and technical execution to prove ROI from their email marketing 2 | 3 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE EMAIL MARKETING
  3. 3. 2 1 3 89% BEYOND BATCH AND BLAST For too long marketers have taken the easy way out: emailing every campaign to their entire database. While simple to execute, a “batch and blast” approach no longer works in a world where each email competes with thousands of digital, mobile, and social messages. Against this backdrop of marketing noise it can be nearly impossible for your email to stand out and get noticed. But there’s good news: You can cut through the clutter by creating email campaigns that are relevant—even irresistible—to the people you are trying to reach. In this guide, you will learn how to adopt new strategies and techniques that allow you to “convert from broadcast to personal,” completely transforming the way you look at email marketing. HOW TO GET THERE Personalizing your email marketing can be game changing for your business and revenue expectations. Research shows that relevant emails drive 18 times more revenue than broadcast emails. And according to the Aberdeen group, personalized emails improve click-through rates by 14%, and sales-conversion rates by 10%. So where do you start? In this guide, we’ll describe three crucial steps to take before launching your next email campaign. Boost your marketing effectiveness This guide will help to maximize the effectiveness of your marketing by creating personalized and relevant email campaigns using these three steps: TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR DATA SEGMENT YOUR AUDIENCE DEFINE CAMPAIGN SUCCESS of marketers said email was their primary channel for lead generation According to Forrester Research 3 | 3 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE EMAIL MARKETING
  4. 4. Take Control of Your Data Step 1: WHY DATA IS IMPORTANT Although data is hardly a sexy topic, the truth is data is the backbone of your company’s growth strategy. Data is essential to maximizing sales effectiveness, amplifying your marketing messages, and driving increased customer engagement. In Bluewolf’s annual report, we found that the second biggest business challenge—“what keep executives awake at night”—was data (see page five). There is too much data out there, it’s untrustworthy and quickly becomes outdated, and produces redundancy across siloed systems. The longer you wait to take control of your data, the more inaccuracies you’ll encounter, and the more costly it will be to your organization. 4 | 3 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE EMAIL MARKETING
  5. 5. QWhat keeps you awake at night? Responses fell into one of four groups. • • • Hiring the right people Increasing adoption Communicating change •Reducing bad data •Data security/compliance •Trusting data • • • Increasing sales Customer engagement Rapid expansion • • • Integrating systems Budget allocation Ensuring security one people two data three revenue four revenue 5 | 3 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE EMAIL MARKETING
  6. 6. Get a Handle on Your Data Start by taking an inventory of what data and content you can actually access and measure. Your marketing, sales, and customer service departments may maintain different lists which pull from different applications and databases including CRM systems, manual sales entry forms, and list buys and imports. To be an effective marketer, you need to know how data comes into your organization. Remember that different kinds of data are important for different parts of your organization. For your sales teams, customer phone numbers and addresses drive their outreach efforts. Customer service cares more about the number and types of cases and complaints submitted. If you’re a marketer, you worry less about phone numbers and more about what channel they used to find their way into your database. The most efficient and effective organizations have full visibility across their marketing automation and CRM systems. In addition to this integration, they also consider their social data: where it’s being tracked and how they are responding to it. When all of your tools and systems are consolidated into a single view, it fosters a natural alignment and better communications between sales, marketing, and customer services—leading to greater customer satisfaction. three Ways to Clean Your Database Research shows that companies that employ consistent data hygiene generate seven times the number of inquiries and four times the number of leads. Here are three ways that you can clean up your database, normalizing unruly contact lists, and creating a solid foundation for effective email marketing. Research shows that companies that employ consistent data hygiene generate: 7x the number of inquiries 4x the number of leads 6 | 3 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE EMAIL MARKETING
  7. 7. HERE ARE FEW WAYS TO TACKLE DUPLICATE DATA: SMART FORMS These can be used to pre-populate the data you already have of that person, thus avoiding duplicate entries and data-entry errors. CHECK BOXES You can also add a checkbox option on your forms that asks, “Has your email address changed?” This alerts your marketing team to check duplicates for that record and update accordingly. THIRD-PARTY TOOLS Also consider third-party software, such as RINGLEAD or NETPROSPEX, which detect when duplicate records are being entered into the system. Use these tools on a regular basis to reduce duplicates and to run spot checks whenever you update your database. 2 1 25 % OF B2B CUSTOMER DATA BECOMES INACCURATE WITHIN A YEAR think data is underutilized use their data systematically50 % STANDARDIZE FIELDS & VALUES For marketer, successfully tackling data can seem like an uphill battle. Teradata’s reports that nearly 50% of marketers agree that data is the most underutilized asset in their organization, with less than 10% saying they currently use what data they have in a systematic way. One way to simplify things is to normalize data into clearly defined buckets. For example, if your database has multiple titles for the same person, it can make figuring out who you want to talk to an onerous task. Consider standardizing the data using the fields of “Function” and “Role” rather than highly variable fields like “Job Title.” Doing this brings consistency to the contact list by normalizing around single-defined values. DE-DUPLICATE YOUR DATA Research shows that up to 25 PERCENT of B2B customer data becomes inaccurate within a year. Duplicate information is a big part of this, undermining effective customer communications. 10 % 7 | 3 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE EMAIL MARKETING
  8. 8. Syncing Marketing and Sales Data Drive alignment in the data your sales team wants versus what data your marketing team uses. Be aware of all the ways data is coming into your system. Drive home consistency and agreed-upon dropdown menus, data entry, and fields captured. Q A Do you use the same required fields in your customer landing page forms as you do when a salesperson creates a contact in the CRM system? The answer should be YESif you want consistent, accurate data across different channels. ENFORCING CONSISTANCY 8 | 3 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE EMAIL MARKETING
  9. 9. 3 Once you’ve cleaned up your database, be sure to standardize and normalize your data on an ongoing basis. For example, make sure that your white paper downloads and trade show registration forms share the same database fields. If you have a CRM system, ensure that data from your marketing and sales groups are flowing in both directions. Both sets of data need to sync to provide an accurate and current view of the customer. Ultimately, database maintenance should be the responsibility of your entire organization. That means enforcing a consistent data governance program across your business and making it a regular part of staff onboarding and training. You’ll want to meet regularly with your sales, service, and IT teams to make sure that you continue to capture the most important data for each department. Learn how your sales teams are organized. Do they sort leads by region, by company size, or by revenue? The type of information that you capture will need to match these priorities. Bear in mind that these priorities will change over time as your business evolves, so consider holding quarterly meetings with your department heads to stay current with the latest vision. The bot tom line MARKETERS need to engage every line of business to find out how and where they’re getting new data. ALL EXECUTIVE STAKEHOLDERS need to agree on a consistent, company-wide process for uploading and updating customer data. CASE STUDY MEDIAMATH ACHIEVES A CLEAN DATABASE MediaMath offers technologies and services enabling online, digital marketing and media to help their global customer-base execute effective data and metric driven digital marketing decisions. By integrating Netprospex into their marketing automation tool and CRM, MediaMath saw great results in both sales and marketing. Increased SAL (sales accepted leads) to 30% from just 5% previously. Decreased duplicate records from 20% to zero duplicate records. Gained ability to proactively manage data cleanliness including hard bouncebacks and duplicates. DUPLICATES 30% EMBED DATA QUALITY IN YOUR PROCESSES Database maintenance should be the responsibility of your ENTIRE organization 9 | 3 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE EMAIL MARKETING
  10. 10. KELE CLEANS UP ITS CONTACTS Kele, a leading provider of building automation products, was hampered by overlapping and mismatched customer data, specifically around job function and titles. Originally, the company was dealing with more than 30 different job function values – many that were redundant, irrelevant, or not being used. Bluewolf helped Kele create a consolidated Function field containing 11 well-defined values that mapped to all possible versions of a job title. With this normalized mapping of fields in place, Kele reduced the number of blank Function fields by 10%. By putting the data through this “washing machine,” Kele could create 11 clearly defined customer personas and establish clarity around how to market to these groups. HOW DATA NORMALIZATION CAN WORK Data normalization promotes simplicity and consistency in contact lists. Here’s an example of how it works. New “Function” fieldJob Title field contains Marketing Demand Gen Content Marketing Social Media CMO Product Marketing Lead Generation Advertising Brand Database Manager Editorial Digital, Automation Sales Sales Manager Sales Ops Product Manager Account Manager Account Executive Regional Manager VP Sales VP Of Sales Sales Enablement IT Tech Help Desk Cloud Systems Develop CRM VP IT VP Information Technology Technology Innovation Technical Administrator Director Of IT CASE STUDY REACHING MORE PEOPLE After revamping its email marketing, Kele increased its reach by more than 50%, increasing its touch from 40% of its customer database to more than 60% 50%INCREASED REACH 40% INCREASED TOUCH FROM TO 60% 10 | 3 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE EMAIL MARKETING
  11. 11. Implement a Data Governance Strategy Align your marketing with sales and customer service to understand why data inconsistencies are happening. Find the root of data issues before changing processes. THE RISK OF BAD DATA Studies show that if your database contains more than 10% duplicate information, or if your data is less than 70% complete, your campaigns are at risk of underperforming. ! at risk >10% DUPLICATES <70% INCOMPLETE 11 | 3 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE EMAIL MARKETING
  12. 12. QWhat Data Fields Will You Collect? Remember the best way to increase the health of your database is to start at the point of data collection. 100 60 40 EMAIL FIRSTNAME LASTNAME COMPANY CITY STATE/PROVINCE COUNTRY BUSINESSPHONE TITLE CONTACT FIELD COMPLETENESS% 45 50 55 65 70 75 80 85 90 95 ADDRESS ZIPCODE 12 | 3 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE EMAIL MARKETING
  13. 13. Segment Your Audience Step 2: THE KEY TO PERSONALIZATION Segmenting data enables you to group people with similar characteristics such as job function, buying habits or geography. This allows organizations to craft unique messages and offerings that speak to the specific interests and concerns of each customer group. Driving personalized, relevant marketing will help you improve customer response rates, boost customer loyalty and trust, and ultimately capture more revenue. 13 | 3 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE EMAIL MARKETING
  14. 14. Segmentation Reaps Rewards Email marketers that practice list segmentation see... better open rates lower opt-out & unsubscribe rates better email deliverability, increased sales leads, & greater revenue 39% 28% 24% 14 | 3 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE EMAIL MARKETING
  15. 15. Slicing and Dicing There are hundreds of ways to segment your audience, corresponding to business objectives, specific products or services, B2B or B2C, global or regional markets—the list goes on. See right sidebar for just a few of the most popular and effective grouping Another useful way to segment your database is by buying cycle, which looks at your customers’ purchasing habits across the three variables below. bluewolf tip Remember, there’s no single right way of segmenting that fits every customer base. The best method will depend on your particular business, your unique sales cycles, and your marketing goals. 10 examples of audience groupings Here are just a few of the most popular and effective groupings: GEOGRAPHY AGE GENDER JOB FUNCTION INDUSTRY SENIORITY CONTENT TOPIC EDUCATION LEVEL IN-STORE VS. WEB VISITORS RECENT WEBSITE ACTIVITY RECENCY When was their last purchase? Is this a new or repeat purchase? FREQUENCY How often did they purchase over a defined period of time? MONETARY VALUE How much are they buying, and what is their ultimate lifetime value? VARIABLES IN CUSTOMERS’ BUYING CYCLE 15 | 3 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE EMAIL MARKETING
  16. 16. Get to Know Your Personas Segmenting is all about targeting a specific type of customer. It’s important to understand the various personas that make up your customer base. Flesh out effective personas by getting in the mind of that customer type. Do a hypothetical “ride along” with your customers as they interact with your brand during a typical day and encounter the pain points and promises that go with it. Carve out audience segments that match the different personas you’ve created. For instance, you can map buying cycles to each persona and create content that’s relevant during specific cycles. You may want to consider “cross-segmentation” by combining existing data categories, such as job function and geography or buying frequency and gender. CASE STUDY HOW KELE SEGMENTS ITS CUSTOMERS Kele chose to sort its customers according to their purchasing habits, placing them into distinct buying cycle segments. By tailoring messages to each group, Kele increases email relevance, marketing effectiveness, and revenue. EXAMPLES OF KELE’S BUYING CYCLE SEGMENTS NEWBIES Purchased for the first time CATCH-ONS Purchased 3-5 times in the last 3 months PROMOTERS Purchased 6 or more times in the last 3 months WIN-BACKS Suddenly have gone at least 3 months without buying ONE-AND-DONES Purchased 1-2 times, but have not bought since DROP-OFFS Have not purchased in over a year WHITE-SPACE Have never bought before but are in database WIN BACKNEWBIE PROMOTER CATCH ON 16 | 3 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE EMAIL MARKETING
  17. 17. Define Campaign Success Step 3: BENCHMARK YOURSELF Once you’ve cleaned up your data and decided on persona segmentation, review your past email-marketing campaigns and set benchmarks to help you define what a successful email campaign will look like. 17 | 3 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE EMAIL MARKETING
  18. 18. Identify which past campaigns have generated good results, which have fallen short, and note any trends you see with different types of buyers. Look at your key email metrics, such as: OPEN RATE How many unique people “viewed” or “opened” your email. A healthy open rate should be in the neighborhood of 25%. CLICK-THROUGH How many recipients took the additional step of clicking on CTA links in your email. High click-through rates are a good sign that your audience finds your offer interesting. CONVERSION RATE How many recipients “raised their hand” by taking action on your email, such as a filling out a form or signing up for a sales meeting or webinar. UNSUBSCRIBES A few of these are expected and good for database hygiene, but watch out if you see a jump in unsubscribes or email opt-outs. Generally, unsubscribe rates should average about half a percent and rarely exceed 1%. DEFINE WHAT METRICS TO MEASURE Decide what metrics to track and be consistent on measuring these each time you execute a marketing campaign. Track trends and identify ways to increase metrics and engagement. is a healthy email open rate 25 % maximum unsubscription rate examples of measurable data Here are just a few of the metrics that you should be tracking: EMAILS SENT EMAILS DELIVERED EMAILS OPENED EMAILS CLICKED-THROUGH TOTAL FORM SUBMISSIONS FORM CONVERSION RATE TOTAL BOUNCEBACKS FORM ABANDONMENT RATE TOTAL UNSUBSCRIBES 01 % 18 | 3 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE EMAIL MARKETING
  19. 19. Define Success Ask yourself who you want to target and what you want to accomplish with your emails. Your objectives might include things like nurturing promising leads, encouraging new customers to buy more, reinforcing the loyalty of your best customers, or all of the above. Then make sure you’re targeting these groups with the right message. Certain audiences respond better to particular types of content, such as webcasts, thought-leadership pieces, event invites, or a basic discount offering. Ramp Up Remember that it will take time to reach your goals, so set reasonable expectations based on past performance. Even after you’ve cleaned up and segmented your database, don’t expect your open rate or other stats to improve 10% overnight. That will happen as you continue to clean your data, refine your segments and personas, and deliver trustworthy and relevant content over time. Track Performance To know if you’re hitting your goals, you should have a good system for tracking campaigns over time. The best marketing automation solutions come with built-in reports that give you a holistic view of your campaign, including performance measures like revenue and profitability. You can also create customized dashboards that let CMOs and other executives track marketing effectiveness at a glance and make fast course corrections. MEASURE CAMPAIGN EFFECTIVENESS Leading marketers measure campaign engagement, analyze the results and then iterate on both the positive and negative trends that are identified. CAMPAIGN ANALYSIS Overall activity from IP 1000 2000 3000 8000 7000 6000 5000 4000 0 Form Conversion (%) Form Abandonment (%) Visitors TotalPageViews FormSubmissions totalactivitypermonth 19 | 3 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE EMAIL MARKETING
  20. 20. Define Disengagement At a certain point, if people aren’t opening your emails you need to re-evaluate your approach—before your emails turn into spam. As part of your email strategy, define what you consider a disengaged contact. Typically this could be after six months or a year of not opening your emails. Review your previous campaigns for clues to why certain people (or personas) lost interest and consider launching a relevant and educational (non- sales) re-engagement campaign, possibly including special coupons or offers designed specifically for this group. Exercise caution when you do these re-engagement campaigns: Be sure to define your segment properly, include truly relevant content, and expect more than the usual number of bounce-backs. The goal is to generate “opens” and pull these people back into your regular campaigns. But if this effort fails to spark a response, it may be time to remove them permanently from your email strategy. The goal is to generate “opens” and pull people back into your regular campaigns IS IT WORKING? TRY AN A/B TEST What types of emails do your contacts like? Are they more responsive to product-focused emails? Would they prefer case studies, or are they drawn to coupons and discounts? Find out by conducting an A/B test: Compare the response rates between emails with coupons against coupon- less emails, or against an email with lots of helpful product information. It’s a time-tested technique that yields measurable results and builds greater insight into what your customers want to hear from you. A/B TEST VS Coupon Campaign 20 | 3 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE EMAIL MARKETING
  21. 21. Measure Database Engagement When your marketing efforts are relevant and effective, your database engagement should rise steadily over time. Measure engagement and define disengagement as you build new trust with your database. 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC Active contact engagement increased over time % 21 | 3 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE EMAIL MARKETING
  22. 22. Are You Ready? Before Launching Your Next Email Campaign, Here is a Checklist: Email Personalization Checklist SEGMENT FOR SUCCESS Identify the business objectives of your email campaigns Implement the right segmentation strategy to meet your business goals Establish a process to capture segmentation white spaces, continually improving your segmentation strategy DEFINE SUCCESS Set a baseline by benchmarking past email campaigns Create a set of ramped targets for future campaigns Communicate program results to executive management TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR DATA Create a 360 degree view of all customer data sources Standardize data fields and values to ensure data consistency Establish data de-duplication best practices across departments/systems Implement data normalization best practices to deliver accurate and timely information 22 | 3 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE EMAIL MARKETING
  23. 23. LEARN MORE ABOUT BLUEWOLF Bluewolf is a global business consulting firm. Companies across the world choose Bluewolf to help them engage their customers and drive more sales. As the first global business consulting firm born in the cloud, Bluewolf’s strategic consulting, implementation, training, and cloud management services drive business outcomes in weeks, not years. ABOUT ORACLE ELOQUA MARKETING CLOUD SERVICE Eloqua’s innovative solutions power the success of award-winning marketing teams worldwide. They target prospects, easily execute campaigns, send leads to sales in real time, convert more deals, and demonstrate measurable ROI. Transform the way you market in the digital age while delivering an integrated and highly personalized customer experience. SOURCES Bluewolf, The State of Salesforce, 2013-2014 Salesforce, 5 ways to Improve Sales Leads with Marketing Automation, 2013 HubSpot, All The Marketing Statistics You Need IBM, From Stretched to Strengthened, Insights from the Global Chief Marketing Officer Study Teradata, Data-Driven Marketing Survey, 2013 SilverPop, Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study, 2013 Lyris, Annual Email Optimizer Report TAKE ACTION FREE MARKETING AUTOMATION HEALTH CHECK bluewolf.com/marketing Let Bluewolf assist with the discovery and prioritization of your marketing initiatives. Walk away with a strategy to start reducing your backlog and aligning applications to company goals. Eloqua Marketo Pardot ExactTarget 23 | 3 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE EMAIL MARKETING