BlueHornet's 5 Myths of Email Marketing

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Email marketing is arguably one of the most effective digital marketing channels. It’s highly targeted, customizable, trackable and can directly drive site traffic to increase revenue.

Join Kara Trivunovic, BlueHornet's VP of Strategic Services, as she debunks the five most persistent myths that prevent companies from getting the most out of their email program, including:

•Less is more
•Testing a small percentage of a list will demonstrate message effectiveness
•Following email marketing best practices will yield the best results for your program

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  • Thank you all for taking time out of your day today to discuss myths about email marketing. While the email space has continued to mature and evolve over the last decade and a half - the perception that it is “just email” continues. As new people enter the space from other digital marketing channels, it is not uncommon to hear them say, “I had no idea sending good email was so involved…I just thought it was…well, just email.” I mean conceptually it seems that it should be easy enough – but the reality is that doing it right – whatever that may mean for any given brand – is not as easy as it sounds. So today we are going to review 5 commons myths about email marketing – so let’s get started
  • Myth number 1 – too many email will irritate your customers…this statement I have heard repeated in client meetings time and time again – always with the best intentions and often met with a sense of annoyance from executive management teams that believe the “send more email” mantra is more akin to the approach they would like to take. While common sense would tell you that too much of anything is bound to irritate – the fallacy comes from the definition of too much.
  • Even too much of a good thing can become bad – so yes, you need to be mindful of what volume you are sending to an individual, but even more importantly you need to consider the individual. It is possible to over-segment your database, sometimes excluding specific recipients from your select criteria that would have been engaged or would have converted if just given the opportunity to do so. That doesn’t mean that you send full fill all the time, every time, but it does mean that you have to be mindful of just how targeted your audience has become.

    Another factor in determining the right cadence is driven by the relationship each customer has with your brand – highly engaged brand advocates and recent purchasers are examples of customers that are likely more tolerant to increased cadence, especially over a period of time following the most recent engagement. It is also important to consider the other email messages customers are receiving – with the average consumer receiving 6 or fewer branded email per day, you want to make sure you are well represented within the mix without being abusive.

    Monitoring engagement rates along-side frequency can help determine the right volume for an individual to receive, but you have to ensure that the body content and subject lines are fresh, varied and personalized to the recipient. Cadence alone will not likely drive list attrition, but over-communication coupled with irrelevant, lack-luster content is certain to do the trick.
  • Testing is something that every email marketer should be doing, but often times they either don’t do it at all – or they don’t do it properly. Because email still maintains such a high ROI – many are reluctant to do more – because if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But the short tail view of metrics today do not foreshadow what could be by turning a few dials in the right direction. So when testing does come in to play, many marketers just want to test against a small portion of the overall sending environment – understandable since the worry is that the test will not be successful and an opportunity to convert subscribers was missed, but a one time test to 10% of your database does not a result produce. Leveraging larger test groups – or even – GASP – holding out a control group – yields better results. I know, suppressing a portion of your audience for the purposes of learning isn’t always a desirable path, but there is so much that can be learned by doing so. The point here – when it comes to testing less is not more.
  • So this is a funny statement coming from someone who has spent the last 15 plus years talking about channel best practices to customers. But the reality is that what is best for one brand may not be best for another. If everyone followed best practices there would be nothing interesting about our programs. Best practices are a good rule of thumb but should be leveraged as guiding principles don’t jail cells. Get creative and think outside the box. The most successful program I ever had the opportunity to work on broke every best practice….STORY

    Walk away from this remembering that you do need to apply some common sense here – but don’t be afraid to push the boundaries and define your own best practices for your organization.
  • BlueHornet's 5 Myths of Email Marketing

    1. 1. FIVE MYTHS OF EMAIL MARKETING MAY 7, 2014
    2. 2. TODAY’S PRESENTER Kara Trivunovic VP Strategic Services BlueHornet @ktrivunovic 2
    3. 3. FIVE MYTHS OF EMAIL MARKETING 3
    4. 4. MYTH #1 Too Many Emails Will Irritate Your Customers 4
    5. 5. MYTH #1: Too Many Emails Will Irritate Your Customers 5 • Less is not always more. • Find the right cadence for the right customer. • Monitor your engagement rates.
    6. 6. MYTH #2 Testing a Small Percentage of a List Will Show the Effectiveness of a Message 6
    7. 7. MYTH #2: Testing a small percentage of a list will show the effectiveness of a message 7 • Testing a set percentage of a list won’t always produce accurate results. • The larger the test group, the more accurate your results will be.
    8. 8. MYTH #3 Following Email Marketing Best Practices Will Yield the Best Results for Your Program 8
    9. 9. MYTH #3: Following Email Marketing Best Practices Will Yield the Best Results for Your Program 9 • Best practices are great… for breeding mediocrity. • Figure out what resonates with your customers. • Optimize against that, not what the rest of the industry is doing. • Many of the common “no-no’s” don’t apply to everyone.
    10. 10. MYTH #4 You Need a Balance of Text and Images 10
    11. 11. MYTH #4: You Need a Balance of Text and Images 11 • Image-heavy messages make sense for a lot of brands. Keep an eye on deliverability. • Don’t forget to use ALT tags and the snippet text to persuade users to unblock images. • In certain situations, text-based emails can resonate. • Don’t be afraid to experiment.
    12. 12. MYTH #5 All Emails Need to be Short and to The Point 12
    13. 13. MYTH #5: All Emails Need to be Short and to the Point 13 • If you have compelling content, use it. • Follow a visual hierarchy, highlight key points, and keep your email easy to scan. • Understand your audience, and always remember your goal. • Regardless of the length, all emails should contain certain elements.
    14. 14. RECAP 14
    15. 15. FIVE EMAIL MARKETING MYTHS Too Many Emails Will Irritate Your Customers Each business needs to find the right email frequency. Testing a Small Percentage of a List Will Show the Effectiveness of a Message The larger the test group, the more accurate your results will be. Following Email Marketing Best Practices Will Yield the Best Results for Your Program Figure out what resonates with your customers. You Need a Balance of Text and Images Heavy text or image can both perform well. Experiment. All Emails Need to be Short and to the Point Follow a visual hierarchy and keep your email easy to scan. 15
    16. 16. THANK YOU 16 Want to know the reality behind an email marketing myth? CONTACT US AT: BlueHornetCommunications @BlueHornet.com

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