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ExactTarget Connections 2010 - The Top 10 Design Lessons of 2010
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ExactTarget Connections 2010 - The Top 10 Design Lessons of 2010



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  • 1. Fast, furious, and inspirational design lessons to improve your own interactive marketing efforts. The Panelists: •  Marci Hower, VP of Interactive Services, Metrics Marketing Group •  Ira Dolin, VP of Digital Strategy and Email Services, Aspen Marketing •  Kris Knowles, Interactive Designer, Digital Evolution Group •  Gil Rodriguez, Interactive Director, Off Madison Ave •  Andrea Smith, Design Consultant, ExactTarget
  • 2. Design Lessons •  Content is King •  Links, Buttons & Calls-to-Action •  Consistency through •  FTAF, Social Media Media Channels & Social Sharing •  Testing & Quality Assurance •  A/B Testing & Strategic Design •  Design for Images Off •  The Mobile Inbox •  Drive Relevance through •  Creative “Play” & Inspiration Headers and Navigation
  • 3. In a newsletter study, subscribers spent only 20 seconds on average selecting which newsletter to read. From name and subject line are crucial.
  • 4. As most newsletters that arrive in an inbox are skimmed, only 19% were read thoroughly.
  • 5. Do your communications easily convey the intended content and help facilitate scanning?
  • 6. Approach marketing through a customer’s eyes. From the shop floor to the channels presented, the message needs to be consistent.
  • 7. Bad QA/QC = Bad Emails Good QA/QC = Good Emails Fact #1: Email clients support different CSS and HTML coding. Fact #2: Internet browsers and email clients can affect how an email renders. Fact #3: Support seemingly changes without notice.
  • 8. Good QA/QC = Good Emails What does it mean?
  • 9. Right-click here to download the rest of this presentation Right-click here to download the rest of this presentation: To help protect your Right-click here to download the rest of privacy, (and cause you to do more this presentation: To help protect your work to see my privacy, (and cause you to do more work message) Outlook prevented to see my message) Outlook prevented automatic download automatic download of this picture from of this picture from the Internet. <Insert the Internet. <Insert whatever else you whatever else you want to say and/or try to get your email want to say and/or try to get your email recipient to read inside this tiny box.> recipient to read inside this tiny box.> Right-click here to … Right-click here to … Join Us Follow Us
  • 10. Source: Your Presenter Source: Marketing Sherpa, 2010 Join Us Follow Us
  • 11. Simple vs. Complex Patterns Using images with simple vs. complex patterns enables the design to remain true when images are disabled. Source: Tourism Ireland Meeting Planner Email
  • 12. Simple vs. Complex Patterns Using images with simple vs. complex patterns enables the design to remain true when images are disabled. Source: Tourism Ireland Meeting Planner Email
  • 13. Formatted Alt Tags An alt tag is an HTML tag that provides alternative text/color when non-textual elements (typically images) cannot be displayed. Design integrity “Triage” ready
  • 14. Formatted Alt Tags An alt tag is an HTML tag that provides alternative text/color when non-textual elements (typically images) cannot be displayed. Design integrity “Triage” ready
  • 15. 27.6% of the overall unique clicks were in the navigation Standard 37.7% of the overall unique clicks were in the navigation Holiday Campaign
  • 16. Men’s Valentine’s Engagement
  • 17. “Buy Now” vs. “Shop Now”
  • 18. The number of unique clicks on “Shop Clearance” nearly tripled the number of “Shop Now” clicks.
  • 19. “Tell your friends” took a more personal approach to the standard FTAF. Revenue increased by 1255% in July and forwarding increased by 64% in August.  
  • 20. Using highly visible social media icons in one email campaign created 36 new social followers.
  • 21. Adding an envelope icon next to the “Forward to a Friend” link doubled click- through rate.
  • 22. ShareThis and Social Forward takes forwarding a step further allowing content to be shared on any of the subscriber’s social networks.  
  • 23. Allow your subscriber base to evangelize your brand on your behalf.  
  • 24. Testing and a strategic redesign resulted in a 65% higher open rate and helped raise $550K to benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure.  
  • 25. Testing that fueled a new results-driven layout yielded a 55% increase in click- through rate.
  • 26. Determine the approach that’s right for your audience.
  • 27. Refresh your strategy.
  • 28. Design Makeover using a non-traditional format: Outperformed the control design’s click-through rate by 26% AND outperformed projected revenue.
  • 29. Recap: Content is King Notes •  Take content seriously. Use design techniques to engage the subscriber through a mix of emotive and rational imagery and content. •  Create easy-to-read and scan-able emails so you don’t overwhelm your audience. •  Utilize testing to find what works. Think about from name, subject line composition, navigation appropriate to email and content, video and image content, using strategy around footer design and links, good content hierarchy, length of email, and text versus image ratios that might change based upon your brand or audience. Resources •  On-site Email Usability Lab: •  New metric to watch: Clicks / Open Ratio will show insight into how effective your call-to-action is.
  • 30. Recap: Consistency through Media Channels Notes •  Email can set the stage for your landing page experience. •  There is a need for brand consistency in both online and offline channels, so make sure that even if executing one channel's campaign, the others are considered. •  A seamless brand experience creates trust to engage and transact. Resources •  ExactTarget Landing Pages give you the tools you need to clearly articulate your online message without relying on your IT department. •  New metric to watch: Landing Page Conversion / Landing Page Impressions will show insight into how oriented and effective your multi-channel experience is.
  • 31. Recap: Testing & Quality Assurance Notes •  Code still matters! Only comprehensive testing will validate successful rendering of design and ensure functional performance prior to sending to the subscriber inbox. •  Since there are no email standards, it is key to be proactive about rendering changes in each major email client. •  Recent changes with Gmail, Yahoo!, Hotmail, and Outlook 2007/2010. Resources •  Design Team Blog: •  Create a personal test list to check for proper rendering firsthand in major email clients like Outlook, Hotmail, Yahoo!, AOL and Gmail. •  Litmus Email Previews:
  • 32. Recap: Design for Images Off Notes •  Are you making a good first impression in the inbox? •  Can your message be read in the absence of imagery? •  The use of background images, background colors, and formatted alt tags can help you communicate more effectively in an images off environment. Resources •  “Three Second Test”: Have a coworker glance at the email. Is the call-to-action immediately apparent? •  New Metric to Watch: “Click / Opens with images” on vs. “Clicks / Opens with images off” will show insight into how effectively your campaign performs.
  • 33. Recap: Drive Relevance through Headers + Navigation Notes •  Create effective headers, navigation, links, recovery modules and footers to provide relevant content to subscribers. •  Email navigation doesn’t have to replicate website navigation – each campaign may be unique in conjunction with content. •  Use testing to determine what elements perform best and which versions are most effective. Resources •  Tip: Update your preheader to include clear language to encourage subscribers to “View this email with images” or “View in a browser”. Consider adding a short preview message of less than 10 words.
  • 34. Recap: Links, Buttons & Calls-to-Action Notes •  Increase engagement through optimized calls-to-action. •  Focus on design treatment, verbiage, placement, hierarchy and color. •  Consider HTML links vs. graphic buttons. •  Don’t guess which application works best – test it! Resources •  Free Button Libraries: ExactTarget 3sixty / University / Design Center •  New metric to watch: “Link Clicks Per Email Quadrant” will provide insight into which quadrants are most engaging for subscribers.
  • 35. Recap: FTAF, Social Media & Social Sharing Notes •  FTAF vs. Social Media vs. Social Sharing •  Social media is a hot topic that's likely here to stay in one form or another, but it’s important to consider if and which approach makes the most sense for your business. •  FTAF is still alive and working - consider testing, placement, and adding icons for recognition and usability. Resources •  Add a link to “Tweet This” link containing a 115 character message. Subscribers will need the other 25 extra characters to “retweet” and add their own flavor. •  New metric to watch: Email Content ReTweets will provide insight into how viral new content is on social networks.
  • 36. Recap: A/B Testing & Strategic Design Notes •  Evaluate what business goals to achieve through redesign and determine what success looks like. •  Test what types of content works for your audience using multi-variant testing. •  Look at the data and let tangible results drive your design decisions. Resources •  Testing: Create two emails in your account, one for each test version. Split your list and send version A to half the audience and version B to the other. •  ExactTarget Services Engagement: Contact your RM for details on allowing us to help you tackle a strategic redesign.
  • 37. Recap: The Mobile Inbox Notes •  Smartphone users are viewing email on their mobile device with increasing frequency. •  Do you have a mobile audience? Determine if mobile versions are appropriate by testing and using industry tools to analyze your audience. •  Create either a mobile-friendly campaign or link to a customized mobile version of the email campaign. •  Test! Let the data shape your future mobile decisions. Resources •  Litmus Email Analytics and Email Previews: •  Coming Soon, New ExactTarget Services Engagement: Email Client Analysis
  • 38. Recap: Creative “Play” & Inspiration Notes •  Refresh your emails periodically and redefine your strategy. •  Foster creativity by looking for design inspiration in other mediums, industries, and competitors. Consider sources outside your normal stomping grounds. •  Emails have quick life cycles, so trends can be considered and even welcomed. •  Get outside. Read a magazine. Sketch and brainstorm. Collaborate. •  Experiment and explore non-traditional formats when it's appropriate. Resources •  Magazines, books, blogs, websites, conferences, nature…the sky is the limit! •  Keep a sketchbook handy for when a great idea strikes. •  Design Toolkit: