Getting the Payoff from Direct Response Mail

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  • We are lured in to the false sense of security we receive when we're told the "right way" to do things. Unfortunately, there is no one right way that works every time for every email marketer.However, you can take a consistent, scientific approach to email marketing optimization that ensures you focus on the right (and most profitable) areas for your organization, while tuning each aspect to best communicate with the specific needs of your current and desired audience.marketing Experiments journal
  • People trust that you are not going to waste their time with messages that do not offer them value – each email you send puts that trust in jeopardy – so limit your sends.Newsletters are great if people are really interested in what you have going on – be realistic about that evaluationOnly send messages to people you can reasonably expect to act on it – no long shots!
  • Colors Add sender id to DNS recordemail authentication.
  • Yet so many marketers drop any commonality they may naturally have with their audience and start speaking in a sales voice, complete with vague terms and outlandish boasts. You're not just a marketer, you're a person. They're not just a prospective customer, they're a person. Find your middle ground and have an open, honest discussion. Speak their language. Shorter subject lines optimize open rates, longer optimize click throughs. Don’t agree w this. Brand examples: Geiko, Priceline.
  • Yet so many marketers drop any commonality they may naturally have with their audience and start speaking in a sales voice, complete with vague terms and outlandish boasts. You're not just a marketer, you're a person. They're not just a prospective customer, they're a person. Find your middle ground and have an open, honest discussion. Speak their language. Shorter subject lines optimize open rates, longer optimize click throughs. Don’t agree w this. Text - readable, deliverable, accurate renderingHTML – better click through, tracking, aestheticsMost campaign programs have multi-part formatting (text + html) sends both at onceReturn path or LitmusApp for serious testing Content must include compelling facts ONLY – no fluff! Justify the need for you and nowClearly highlight calls to actionUse action and immediacy (Register Now, Buy Here, DO THIS!) Reader should be able to identify within 5-10 seconds what the message is telling them to do. Repeat Have a call to action in the beginning, middle and end of your message, and in a sidebar if appropriate.
  • Source: Marketing Sherpa 2009 Benchmark GuideSegmentation is good for everyone, the recipient gets something specific to them, you get a higher level of engagement and your list can get progressively more detailed based on response.1.Click throughs and open rates can be exponentially higher when segmentation is used properly2. Segmentation keeps you from offending or losing folks who your message doesn’t apply to3. Segmentation gives you better data about how a more qualified group of prospects reacts to your messageTime of open (broad groups 10-1 or 1-3)
  • Proper thought sequences are synchronized to the decision patterns of the recipient.If you put yourself in your prospect's shoes, you can see that that final desired action should be nothing more than a click. Your customers don't even want to read your emails, much less be sold to in the actual email.Any good conversation is a two-way street. So you can, by unfolding this discussion in a manner they are comfortable with, convince your audience to invest a click in this conversation. Once they've clicked, use your landing page and the rest of your site to actually sell. Content must include compelling facts ONLY – no fluff! Justify the need for you and nowClearly highlight calls to actionUse action and immediacy (Register Now, Buy Here, DO THIS!) Reader should be able to identify within 5-10 seconds what the message is telling them to do. Repeat Have a call to action in the beginning, middle and end of your message, and in a sidebar if appropriate.
  • People look at the senders name first, then the subject when deciding whether to open. Me: Add in the words that drop emails to the spam box.
  • Personal Introduction “Hi Wes”Gets to the point IMMEDIATELYWithin seconds you know what this is by glancing either at the sidebar or the first line of text.Personal SignoffPoint out calls to action in the intro, sidebar and conclusion. Buttons are GREAT!
  • Put the most important information (and call to action!) first.Personal touch generates positive sentiment – people want to feel important and like the idea that they are conversing with a person – not a machine.
  • Yet so many marketers drop any commonality they may naturally have with their audience and start speaking in a sales voice, complete with vague terms and outlandish boasts. You're not just a marketer, you're a person. They're not just a prospective customer, they're a person. Find your middle ground and have an open, honest discussion. Speak their language. Shorter subject lines optimize open rates, longer optimize click throughs. Don’t agree w this. Text - readable, deliverable, accurate renderingHTML – better click through, tracking, aestheticsMost campaign programs have multi-part formatting (text + html) sends both at onceReturn path or LitmusApp for serious testing Content must include compelling facts ONLY – no fluff! Justify the need for you and nowClearly highlight calls to actionUse action and immediacy (Register Now, Buy Here, DO THIS!) Reader should be able to identify within 5-10 seconds what the message is telling them to do. Repeat Have a call to action in the beginning, middle and end of your message, and in a sidebar if appropriate.
  • Highlight the MUCH higher clickthrough rate on the more segmented (smaller) sends (DC TT emails for customers were all “from” Phil rather than Semphonic)Correct, that was the strongest example. Most of those are from Gary, although the SJ Think Tank is from June and the Mobile is from Greg. What I would emphasize from this slide is the higher CTR for the smaller sends even more than the personal reply-to name.
  • Top Circles – Highlight CTR of offering the Fifth Floor Dinner – “Content Rules” – Offer something great and you’re going to get it opened (Personal email from Gary)Middle Circle – Highlight Greg AMA Webcast – first time people on that list received a message from us (him). High prior engagement = high CTR.Bottom Circles – Highlight higher CTR of identical email to different segments (Clients vs Prospects)
  • Examples of Segments – numbers rise as prospects identify themselves through action.Segments we want to subtract (Staff). Segments which incrementally build. Overall segments. Who can give me a segment?
  • Emails can be successfully used to business intelligence. Using Pardot allows us to track prospect activities, knowing these activities is particularly valuable if someone contacts or calls you – you can cut the (crap) and get right to the offering that you know that they are interested in.
  • Emails can be successfully used to business intelligence. Using Pardot allows us to track prospect activities, knowing these activities is particularly valuable if someone contacts or calls you – you can cut the (crap) and get right to the offering that you know that they are interested in.
  • Yet so many marketers drop any commonality they may naturally have with their audience and start speaking in a sales voice, complete with vague terms and outlandish boasts. You're not just a marketer, you're a person. They're not just a prospective customer, they're a person. Find your middle ground and have an open, honest discussion. Speak their language. Shorter subject lines optimize open rates, longer optimize click throughs. Don’t agree w this. Text - readable, deliverable, accurate renderingHTML – better click through, tracking, aestheticsMost campaign programs have multi-part formatting (text + html) sends both at onceReturn path or LitmusApp for serious testing Content must include compelling facts ONLY – no fluff! Justify the need for you and nowClearly highlight calls to actionUse action and immediacy (Register Now, Buy Here, DO THIS!) Reader should be able to identify within 5-10 seconds what the message is telling them to do. Repeat Have a call to action in the beginning, middle and end of your message, and in a sidebar if appropriate.
  • Targeting the right audience is key to getting response and protecting your listEven if someone doesn’t act on this specific message they should have a good feeling about your brand after reading your email.

Transcript

  • 1. Online Marketing Summit
    SEATTLE| JUNE2010
    Getting the Payoff from
    Direct Response Mail
    Allison Hartsoe
    Vice President of Analytics
    Semphonic
  • 2. Part One: Basics of Email Marketing
    - 10 minutes of PPT tutorial
    Part Two: Tracking Email Marketing
    - 10 minutes of Campaign standard
    Part Three: Marketing Automation Tools
    - 15 minutes of technology screen shots showing what drives our system.
    Part Four: Discuss Your Strategy
    Overview
    2
  • 3. Basics of Email Marketing
    3
    Some rules can be bent,
    others can be broken.
  • 4. There is not one “right” way, but here are some good places to start:
    Mechanics
    • timing of drops, number of drops, legal
    • 5. deliverability
    Content
    • subject line, voice, call to action, message
    Segmentation
    • why, where
    Basics of Email Marketing
    4
  • 6. Timing of drops
    • Shoot for Tues-Thurs afternoon send times for B2B.
    • 7. Evenings for B2C – day depends.
    Number of drops
    • Limit sends to every 10-14 days
    • 8. 10% bounce rate (undeliverable)typical
    Legal Compliance
    • Can-Spam Act
    • 9. Easy unsubscribe
    Mechanics
    5
  • 10. Deliverability
    • Improve deliverability with email authentication #1
    • 11. High image, low text ratio can trigger spam filters
    • 12. Using font larger or smaller than 10-12 point flags spam
    • 13. These words or symbols can cause havoc:
    • 14. money
    • 15. discounts
    • 16. free offers
    • 17. ALL CAPS
    • 18. Lots of !!!! or $$$$
    Mechanics
    6
  • 19. Subject Line
    • Recognizable “from” name. Will need multiple.
    • 20. Subject is brief (20-50 characters)
    • 21. Highlights value, immediacy and offering. No guessing.
    Voice
    • How we build trust.
    • 22. Tendency to speak sales (vague, superlatives).
    • 23. Speak to a person in their “language”.
    • 24. Make a positive emotional/ brand connection.
    Content
    7
  • 25. Call to Action
    • Clear and simple. Understand within 5-10 seconds.
    • 26. Repeat. Beginning, middle, end and sidebar.
    • 27. Action plus immediacy (do this now).
    Message
    • Clear, straightforward message in first 90 words.
    • 28. Compelling facts only. No fluff.
    • 29. HTML vs Plain Text. Use multi-part formatting.
    Content
    8
  • 30. Why?
    • Segmented campaigns produce at least 30% more opens and 50% higher CTR than undifferentiated messages.
    • 31. Avoid list burn-out.
    Where?
    • Start with the list
    • 32. geographic, behaviorial, purchase history, time of open
    • 33. In the subject line can be helpful.
    Segmentation
    9
  • 34. A Brief Walk-Through
    Step 3. Clicked
  • 35. Step 1. Message is Received
    Subject Line and From are doing the work
    • Recognize the sender.
    • 36. Subject is brief.
    • 37. Subject highlights clear value.
    • 38. Subject is timely.
    • 39. Subject is personalized. *
    From: Gary Angel
    Subject: Dinner with Semphonic in SF on June 16
    - 96% delivery rate / 75.86% open
    From: June Dershewitz
    Subject: Semphonic Brings Advanced Analytics Training to San Jose
    – 100% delivery rate / 18% open
  • 40.
  • 41.
  • 42. If you put yourself in your prospect's shoes, you can see that that final desired action should be nothing more than a click. Your customers don't even want to read your emails, much less be sold to in the actual email.
    – Marketing Experiments Online
    Use your landing page and the rest of your site to actually sell.
    Step 3. Link is Clicked
    From: Gary Angel
    Subject: Dinner with Semphonic in SF on June 16
    • 96% delivery rate / 75.86% open
    • 43. 41% click through rate
    From: June Dershewitz
    Subject: Semphonic Brings Advanced Analytics Training to San Jose
    – 100% delivery rate / 18% open
    - 3.77% click through rate
  • 44. 15
  • 45. Campaign Standard
    16
    Standards help you
    go the distance.
  • 46. To track multiple campaigns:
    Create a systematic standard
    Tag your links
    Campaign Standard
    17
  • 47. What goes into a standard?
    Type of marketing effort (email, banner, ppc)
    Business unit
    Audience / Target
    Version
    What does not go in?
    Date
    Confidential data
    Campaign Standard
    18
  • 48. Step 1: URLs need a Query String
    This is everything after the question mark (?)
    http://www.yoursite.com/landing_page.php?utm_campaign=fall-sale&utm_medium=banner&utm_source=boston.com&utm_content=text-only  
    http://www.yoursite.com/?wt.mc_id=ppc-prov_prosp-campaignxyz
    http://www.yoursite.com/?cid=bac-invid_prosp-joinnow
     
    Campaign Standard
    19
  • 49. Step 2: How to build the Query String
    Google accepts the following variables in the query string. The red variables are the most important:
    utm_campaign – the name of your marketing campaign. Keep it short and general.
    utm_medium – method of distribution. This might be all PPC now but you could extend this tracking to email campaigns, banner ads, etc.
    utm_source –who are you partnering with to push the message? Google, Yahoo, MSN, for example.
    utm_content – ad version. Often used for testing one version of text over another.
    utm_term – keyword. Google analytics will pull Adwords data through, but other engines will be lost unless you do further integrations.
     
     
    Campaign Standard
    20
  • 50. Step 3: Tag your links
    Any link anywhere which is part of your campaign should be tagged. For example:
    a PPC campaign run on Google might look like this:
    http://www.yoursite.com/landing_page.php?utm_campaign=sample-campaign&utm_medium=ppc&utm_source=google
    a PPC campaign on Yahoo might look like this:
    http://www.yoursite.com/landing_page.php?utm_campaign=sample-campaign&utm_medium=ppc&utm_source=yahoo&utm_term=dental-insurance  
    a newsletter campaign might look like this:
    http://www.yoursite.com/landing_page.php?utm_campaign=sample-campaign&utm_medium=news&utm_source=campaigner&utm_term=dental-insurance  
     
     
    Campaign Standard
    21
  • 51.  
     
    Campaign Standard
    22
  • 52. Marketing Automation Tools
    23
    I swear, I will
    not kill anyone.
  • 53. Running an Automated System
    24
    Web
    Emails
    Marketing Database
    CRM Database
    Salesforce.com
    Sugar
    Marketo
    Pardot
    Salesfusion
    Genius
    many more
  • 54. Six Reasons Why We Use It
    Email sends and reports
    Segmentation by behavior and geography
    Full web tracking
    Automated lead scoring
    Grade the “ideal” prospect
    Nuture leads with daisy-chain campaigns
    Why use marketing automation?
    25
  • 55. Overall Email Send Statistics
  • 56.
  • 57. 28
    Individual Email Send Statistics
  • 58. Automated List Segmentation
  • 59. Web Tracking through the Cloud
    Website
    • IP lookup let us know companies/ competitors are on and what they did.
    • 60. Refer data tells us what was searched to get to us.
    • 61. Progressive form capture moves anon visitor to individual.
    • 62. Synchronized by email with CRM.
  • Prospect Web Tracking Report
    Pardot syncs
    to Sugar CRM
  • 63. Web Tracking in Real Time
    32
  • 64. 33
    Automated Lead Scoring
    • Form/form handler/landing page success: +50 points
    • 65. Form/form handler/landing page error: -5 points
    • 66. Site search query: +3 points
    • 67. Tracker click (from a Prospect Insight email, plug-in email, or a third-party email that includes a tracking parameter): +3 points
    • 68. Visitor session: +3 points
    • 69. Visitor page view: +1 point (if not customized)
    • 70. Visitor page view specific pages: +5 points
    • 71. Opportunity created: +50 points
    • 72. Opportunity lost: -100 points
  • Six Reasons Why We Use It
    Email sends and reports
    Segmentation by behavior and geography
    Full web tracking
    Automated lead scoring
    Grade the “ideal” prospect
    Nuture leads with drip campaigns
    What we are just starting to do
    34
  • 73.
    • Monthly bits of information
    • 74. Segmented information (xchange, mobile, omniture)
    • 75. Conversional, helpful tidbits
    • 76. Rule of 29
    Drip Campaign Examples
    35
  • 77. Running an Automated System
    36
    Web
    Emails
    Marketing Database
    CRM Database
    Salesforce.com
    Sugar
    Marketo
    Pardot
    Salesfusion
    Genius
    many more
  • 78. There is no one “right” way.
    Focus on building the relationship.
    Different relationships for segmented audiences.
    Aim to make your message something that generates recurring positive sentiment and response.
    Sell on the landing, not the email.
    Use automation tools to make the process easier.
    Set up address to check the actions of your rules.
    Key Takeaways
  • 79. Discussion: Your Strategy
    38
    You’re so money and you
    don’t even know it.
  • 80. Allison Hartsoe
    VP Analytics
    Semphonic
    www.semphonic.com
    ahartsoe@semphonic.com
    503-961-4443
    Twitter: @a8llison
    LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/allisonhartsoe
    39
    Thank You
  • 81. Thank You
    Visit
    www.onlinemarketingsummit.com
    for more information
    Follow us @OMSummit
    40