Email marketing effectiveness


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Susanne Wraight, email usability expert at Base One, examines the 5 most common mistakes in email design & why they impact on click-through rates

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  • Only appreciate tail when its open
    No point having a killer offer if no-one reads the email
    Open – full argument of why email is important
    Understood – it’s free/it’s time limited/it’s exclusive? Avoid disappointment
    Clicked – ready to commit
  • Who uses outlook?
    Who uses preview pane?
    Habits in how we use email
    Users are making judgements:
    From someone I know/trust?
    Cold email has more to prove – trust for newsletters
  • B2B considerations - Who uses Outlook?
    Images turned off – how many see your email like this?
    If you don’t read & delete enough times some email inboxes learn that you aren’t interested & move future emails to junk
    Server IP address that gets blocked – so applies to all emails sent from that server – other departments suffer not just you!
    Doesn’t look authentic
    Doesn’t work
  • Is it pushing content down the page?
    Does it need to be that big?
    Does it only serve a purpose when you look at the email as a whole?
    Want to be sure you know who the email is from – with images (logo) turned off
    After questions – might still need a banner but not such a big one.
  • Conflict – splitting users with multiple calls to action?
    Do buttons work?
    Transparency – you’ll see a form, a download, a webpage, etc...
  • Email from Adobe
  • Mobile – image size is an issue
    Background images & gradients don’t work in key email clients (i.e. Outlook)
  • Neilsen Norman Email Newsletter study (2010) - only 25% of users read, not skimmed, parts of email
    Avoid italics – not as easy to read online
  • 50-60 characters ideal
    Related to the email as a whole - Easy to search for
    Not thought of last
    Company name = trust
    Spam – congratulations, free, debt, credit (Porn, Viagra, Large)
    Can use personalisation but not just for the sake of it
  • 300 recipients, via silverpop, link back to website
    David Thomas, Base One Creative Director presents guide to effective visual branding.
    A – 78 characters
    B – 68 characters
  • Open rate
    A – 14.81%
    B – 28.15%
    Click through rate
    A – 3%
    B – 8.2%
    Per delivered
  • URL link – 58%
    Text link – 25%
    Button – 8%
    Header Banner – 8%
  • Larger Header Banner
    Unclear calls to action
    Too many images
    Hard to read copy
    Underutilised subject lines
  • Larger Header Banner
    Unclear calls to action
    Too many images
    Hard to read copy
    Underutilised subject lines
  • Email marketing effectiveness

    1. 1. Creative & layout to maximise click-through rates Examining the 5 most common mistakes in email design & why they impact on click-through rates
    2. 2. One simple goal Emails need to be seen 3 objectives: 1.Get the email opened 2.Get the message understood 3.Get the link clicked
    3. 3. User behaviour Understand how users read/see email: • Subject line • Preview pane Is it a “Cold” email or a newsletter?
    4. 4. Clever email & not-so-clever users • Images turned off • Inboxes/Filters that learn • Spam/blacklisting • Unsubscribing – Easier to delete or move to spam – Bad unsubscribe processes 29/01/15 4
    5. 5. Barriers to conversion Types of barrier: • Quality of Data • HTML Coding • Email broadcast systems • And CREATIVE... 29/01/15 5
    6. 6. MISTAKE NO. 1 Large header banners
    7. 7. Large header banner • Design for the preview pane • Keep important content “above the fold” • Ask – Is it meaningful? – Can you get the message get across without it? – Does it have to be an image?
    8. 8. MISTAKE NO. 2 Unclear calls to action
    9. 9. Unclearcall to action • Display above the fold • Make it prominent • Avoid conflict • Show it is clickable – underlined link – button • Be transparent – Describe exactly what links click through to 29/01/15 9
    10. 10. MISTAKE NO. 3 Too many images
    11. 11. Who wantstheir email to look likethis? Images turned off
    12. 12. Too many images • Images don’t display offline • Imbalance of images and text adds to spam rating If it doesn’t have to be an image don’t make it one 29/01/15 12
    13. 13. MISTAKE NO. 4 Hard to read copy
    14. 14. Hard to read copy Make content scannable • Ensure it’s easy to read – Font style – High contrast • Break up text with: – Headlines – Bullets – Hyperlinks – Bold
    15. 15. MISTAKE NO. 5 Underutilised subject lines
    16. 16. Underutilised subject lines The subject line is seen by everybody • Make certain it’s integral to email message • Keep it short • Mention company name • Avoid spammy words and UPPERCASE words 29/01/15
    17. 17. TESTING A/B test example
    18. 18. Version A Version B Header Banner Call to Action Images Copy A/B Test Want to know how and why big B2B brands invest in their visual styling? Investing In Visual Property: a useful, downloadable Base One guide
    19. 19. Version B Double the open rate Triple the unique clicks A/BTest – the results Version A Version B
    20. 20. What was the most popular link? 58% of clicks were to this link A/B Test – the surprise
    21. 21. Summary 1. Larger Header Banner 2. Unclear calls to action 3. Too many images 4. Hard to read copy 5. Underutilised subject lines 29/01/15 21
    22. 22. In conclusion Get your email Seen Opened Understood Clicked Test and prepare to be surprised! 29/01/15 22
    23. 23. Thank you