Implementing a Successful Email Marketing Strategy


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This presentation was delivered as part of the PA Economic Development Corporations technology webinar series in October 2009.

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Implementing a Successful Email Marketing Strategy

  1. 1. Implementing a Successful Email Marketing Strategy Tin Cans Unlimited, LLC
  2. 2. Welcome
  3. 3. Why E il? Wh Email?
  4. 4. • Email remains TOP Internet activity with 74% of all adults using email – up 5% from 2008. » Pew Internet & American Life Project
  5. 5. • 42% of nearly 1 000 business leaders 1,000 polled plan to increase their email marketing budgets in 2010 g g • No signs of slow down • Spending expected to increase at double-digit rates for the next five years
  6. 6. Why Email? If email was a country, its 1.4 billion users would make it the largest in the world. Bigger than China, bigger than the populations of the USA and European Union combined combined.
  7. 7. • 247 billion emails are sent each day. That s That's one email every 0.00000035 seconds. • In the time it takes you to read this sentence, some 20 million emails entered cyberspace. • 181: the number of marketing emails it would take to produce enough revenue to buy one share in Microsoft.
  8. 8. 83,689,738,832,367: the number of marketing emails it would take to produce enough revenue to pay the US National Debt.
  9. 9. Why Email? • It’s inexpensive It s • It’s effective It s • It’ immediate It’s i di t • It’ measurable It’s bl • It’s easy
  10. 10. Inexpensive • Stretch a tight marketing budget • No production, materials or postage production costs • Many self-service solutions • More cost effective than direct mail at possibly less than .01 per piece 01
  11. 11. Effective • Proactively communicate with existing customers and prospects • E il t Easily target messages by source, t b interest or list • Enhances both lead generation and customer retention • Permission based – contacting folks who want to hear from you!
  12. 12. Immediate • Self service tools allow anyone to create and send messages quickly • Email marketing generates immediate response • Call to Action is clear • Initial campaign response generally occurs with 48 hours of send
  13. 13. Measurable • Easy to measure results – Opens – Clickthroughs – Track throughs – AB Testing • Email open rates increased 18% in the last three quarters » BtoBOnline
  14. 14. Easy • Many web based email marketing tools web-based available. • If you’re comfortable using MSWord, you re you’re more or less ready to go – little technical knowledge needed
  15. 15. Best Practices 2009 • Make registration easy • Create an effective promotional strategy • Be actionable • Offer opt-out alternatives • Be B more th relevant; b ti l than l t be timely • Less is more • Nothing is free N thi i f • Content is king • Lather, rinse, repeat
  16. 16. Make registration easy • No barriers – don’t make user register for don t a full account if not necessary • Place contextually relevant sign up boxes throughout your site • Allow folks to subscribe to specific content • Keep it simple p p
  17. 17. Create an effective strategy • Who do you want to reach via email and why? • How often do you want to reach them? • Create content of value – don’t just send sale items or coupons
  18. 18. Be actionable • Every message must have a clear call to call-to- action – Use the Rule of 3 • Specific call-to-action (reason for message) • General call-to-action (link to your site) • V l call-to-action (li k to more specific content) Value ll t ti (link t ifi t t)
  19. 19. Offer opt out alternatives opt-out • Make it exceedingly easy for folks to opt opt- out • Too many opt outs? Give subscribers opt-outs? alternatives: – Select more highly targeted messages g y g g – Decrease the frequency of messages – Make it easier to change settings than opt- out – Allow for feedback
  20. 20. Be timely and relevant • Send emails not just based on your marketing calendar, but based on customer behavior • Customize messages to the sales cycle
  21. 21. Less is more • Keep your call to action simple and concise • Avoid long-winded jargon • Avoid too many choices
  22. 22. Less is more…part deux • Take it easy on visuals • Avoid prolonged download times • M More junk = more chances message will j k h ill end up in junk folder • Always include a text version
  23. 23. Less is more…part trois • Assume mobility – More and more business professionals are reading email on mobile devices – Always allow for text only – Add mobile devices as part of your browser detection package k
  24. 24. No such thing as a free lunch • Do not ever use the word “free” in either free your copy or your subject line – number one word programmed into spam filters. p g p – Better choices: • Complimentary • N No-cost t
  25. 25. Content is king • Offering links to content of value almost always draws more click-throughs than discounts – particularly for B2B: p y – Whitepaper downloads draw better than p p heavily discounted products or demo requests – Offer your expertise … offer something to make their job easier j
  26. 26. Lather, rinse, repeat • All campaigns must be integrated • Message should be similar across all media • Don’t make users wonder “if they clicked on the right link when they get to your link” web site • Don’t forget to say “thank you”
  27. 27. Integration • All forms of media must support one pp another!
  28. 28. Developing your list
  29. 29. Developing your list • House list is ALWAYS best! • Offer customers and prospects the opportunity to sign up: – Web site sign up form • Often adds them directly to your list y y – Fishbowl – Special promotions
  30. 30. Developing your list • Always get permission! • Always have a privacy policy! – You can literally do whatever you like with the names on your list – re-sell them, email them every ten minutes, etc. – as long as you inform them in advance of your intentions and they agree.
  31. 31. Developing your list • List buying – A gray area at best – Spam at worst – Only use reputable list buying services • Use firms that will allow you to ‘rent’ the list but send it using your email client d i il li t • • •
  32. 32. Crafting your message • The basics: – Personalization – Branding – Call-to-action
  33. 33. Crafting your message • Personalization – Customized salutations – Base message on recent user activity – Tone
  34. 34. Provide content of value • Newsletter formats work well and have a high response rate
  35. 35. AB A-B Testing • Email marketing is a great way to test messages and subject lines – Split your list and send each half a modified message – Results will show you which way to go
  36. 36. Crafting your message • Branding – Every message must incorporate your brand in some wayy – Logos – Customizes signatures – Tag lines – Each message should be immediately associated with the sender
  37. 37. Crafting your message • Call to action Call-to-action – Every message must guide the user toward a specific action p • Buy • More information • FAQ • Solicitation • Fan us on Facebook • Follow us on Twitter
  38. 38. HTML vs. Text • Ideally BOTH with browser detection – Some companies block HTML messages – Many mobile devices block HTML messages
  39. 39. Playing by the rules • Can Spam rules must be obeyed! – Do not simply apply to bulk mailers – It covers all commercial messages, which the law defines as “any electronic mail message the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service,” including service email that promotes content on commercial websites. – The law makes no exception for business-to- business email. That means all email – for example, a message to former customers p , g announcing a new product line – must comply with the law.
  40. 40. Playing by the rules Each separate email in violation of the CAN-SPAM Act is subject to penalties of up to $16,000, so non-compliance can be costly. tl
  41. 41. The rules are fairly simple… • Don’t use false or misleading header Don t information. – Your “From,” “To,” “Reply-To,” and routing From, To, Reply To, information – including the originating domain name and email address – must be accurate and identify the person or business who initiated the message.
  42. 42. The rules are fairly simple… • Don’t use deceptive subject lines. – The subject line must accurately reflect the j y content of the message.
  43. 43. The rules are fairly simple… • Identify the message as an ad. ad – The law gives you a lot of leeway in how to do this, but you must disclose clearly and conspicuously that your message is an advertisement. d ti t
  44. 44. The rules are fairly simple… • Tell recipients where you re located you’re located. – Your message must include your valid p y physical ppostal address. This can be yyour current street address, a post office box you’ve registered with the U.S. Postal Service, Service or a private mailbox you’ve you ve registered with a commercial mail receiving agency established under Postal Service regulations. l ti
  45. 45. The rules are fairly simple… • Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future email from you. – Your message must include a clear and conspicuous explanation of how the recipient can opt out of getting email from you in the future.
  46. 46. The rules are fairly simple… • Honor opt-out requests promptly. – Any opt-out mechanism you offer must be able to process opt-out requests for at least 30 days after you send your message. – Y must honor a recipient’s opt-out request within 10 You th i i t’ t t t ithi business days. – You can’t charge a fee, require the recipient to give you any personally identifying information beyond an email address address, or make the recipient take any step other than sending a reply email or visiting a single page on an Internet website as a condition for honoring an opt-out request. – Once people have told you they don’t want to receive more messages from you, you can’t sell or transfer their email addresses, even in the form of a mailing list. The only exception is that you may transfer the addresses to a company you’ve hired to help you comply with the CAN- SPAM Act.
  47. 47. The rules are fairly simple… • Monitor what others are doing on your behalf. – The law makes clear that even if you hire another company to handle your email marketing, you can’t contract away your legal responsibility to comply with the law Both the law. company whose product is promoted in the message and the company that actually sends the message may be held legally responsible.
  48. 48. So…who i d i a S h is doing good j b? d job?
  49. 49. Q&A
  50. 50. About Tin Cans Unlimited • Our decades of experience in communication management, public relations and publishing extended to p g Internet development more than 25 years ago, with some of the nation’s first commercial, media and non-profit websites.
  51. 51. String Theory • Visit our blog, “String Theory,” at blog String Theory for the latest thoughts and concepts on marketing in g p g the digital age. • Visit us on Facebook • Follow us on Twitter @tincansllc • Connect with us on LinkedIn
  52. 52. @tincansllc Facebook • laura@tincansunlimited com