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3 Phases to Email Marketing Webinar - eBook - Bridgeline Digital

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Email has become so integrated in our everyday lives that the first thing 58% of adult Americans do in the morning is open their desktop, phone, or tablet and check for new messages. For businesses, …

Email has become so integrated in our everyday lives that the first thing 58% of adult Americans do in the morning is open their desktop, phone, or tablet and check for new messages. For businesses, this is a huge opportunity – especially considering that 77% of customers prefer to receive marketing messages through email over every other channel (and it’s not even close!).
Despite this valuable marketing opportunity, did you know that only 60% of marketers say their Email Marketing initiatives actually produce an ROI? Fortunately, we’ve studied the game film, talked to scouts (industry experts), and put together a step-by-step guide to help you produce winning email campaigns.

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  • 1. 3 Phases to Execute a Successful Email Campaign Bridgeline Digital’s Playbook for Success Author: Erik Gupp Erik Gupp has spent his professional career gaining experience in fields ranging from product marketing, public relations, lead development and digital/online marketing.  Currently, he is a Digital Specialist at Bridgeline Digital focused on helping clients improve their email marketing efforts through strategy recommendations and implementation in order to drive traffic and conversions.  He is also responsible for increasing the SEO growth of client websites through content strategy and adoption of industry best practices. Co-Author: Ryan Hadfield Ryan Hadfield has contributed to TIME, Boston.com (The Boston Globe) and has been featured on MetaCritic for his work. He is the Editor of Bridgeline’s Digital Engagement Blog, where he writes daily about trends in the digital world. Ryan has a Masters degree in Journalism from Northeastern University. Follow us on:
  • 2. TABLE OF CONTENTS: INTRODUCTION......................................................................................................................................... Pg. 1 Reports of Email Marketing’s Demise Are Grossly Exaggerated............................................................. Pg. 2 Email Survives As The Preferred Channel of Engagement..................................................................... Pg. 3 The Cost/Benefit Advantage of Email Marketing.................................................................................... Pg. 4 Cause for Concern: The Email Conundrum............................................................................................. Pg. 5 PHASE 1, TRAINING DAY.......................................................................................................................... Pg. 6 Communication is only necessary when it’s necessary......................................................................... Pg. 7 Answering the WHAT and WHO............................................................................................................... Pg. 8 Types of Email......................................................................................................................................... Pg. 9 The Challenge Flag: Losing Timeouts?................................................................................................... Pg. 10 PHASE 2, GAME DAY................................................................................................................................ Pg. 12 Subject Matter: Writing the Subject Line................................................................................................ Pg. 13 What’s in the Fold: Making a Strong First Impression............................................................................ Pg. 16 Mobile Matters........................................................................................................................................ Pg. 18 PHASE 3, FILM STUDY.............................................................................................................................. Pg. 19 Never Give Up......................................................................................................................................... Pg. 20 More Post-Execution Tactics.................................................................................................................. Pg. 22 If You’re Not Getting Better, You’re Getting Worse................................................................................... Pg. 23 To know thyself is divine – but make sure you know both your strengths and weaknesses................. Pg. 24 Winchester Hospital Case Study: Email A/B Test.................................................................................... Pg. 25 CONCLUSION............................................................................................................................................ Pg. 27 REFERENCES............................................................................................................................................ Pg. 28 ABOUT BRIDGELINE & THE iAPPS PRODUCT PLATFORM........................................................................ Pg. 29 Follow us on:
  • 3. 3 PHASES TO EXECUTE a Successful Email Campaign INTRODUCTION: PREGAME Football and Email Marketing are more alike than you’d think. To be successful, both require precise planning, flawless execution & a desire to constantly improve. This eBook is for designers that are tired of creating the same bland emails, for content marketers who find themselves at a loss while coming up with the right words in their subject line, and, most of all, for frustrated marketing teams that are sick of wondering why their campaigns fail to produce the desired results. Follow us on: Follow us on: 1 1
  • 4. 3 PHASES TO EXECUTE a Successful Email Campaign INTRODUCTION: Reports of Email Marketing’s Demise Are Grossly Exaggerated When you think about the buzz terms surrounding contemporary marketing strategies, what new trends and channels immediately come to mind? SEARCH LOCATION-BASED MOBILE ONLINE VIDEO EMAIL MARKETING INBOUND LINKS SOCIAL MEDIA Just like how sports analysts examine why teams rise and fall in the standings, as each new medium develops, marketers spend meeting after meeting evaluating the potential return that each novel channel might provide. Without question, emerging marketing trends merit their own importance – but even as these new tactics begin to lead the conversation, one fact remains the same: After all these years, Email Marketing is still the most effective and efficient marketing method to engage with potential customers. We’ve heard that social media is going to kill email. But, you do not need to panic, because email is not going anywhere. Ever. 58% of adult Americans check email first thing in the morning. We vote with our thumbs, and 58% of Americans put email first. - Jay Baer, President, Convince & Convert Follow us on: 2
  • 5. 3 PHASES TO EXECUTE a Successful Email Campaign INTRODUCTION: Email Survives As The Preferred Channel of Engagement: WANT TO MAXIMIZE CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT? USE EMAIL. WANT TO ACHIEVE OPTIMAL CUSTOMER SATISFACTION? USE EMAIL. WANT CUSTOMERS TO VISIT YOUR STORE? USE EMAIL. In terms of customer satisfaction, email is like kicking an extra point after a touchdown. Sure, you could mix it up and attempt a two-point conversion by running a Text Messaging or Social Media campaign, but by using email, you’ll always score points by deploying proven best practices . Here’s the bottom line: Customers WANT to interact with your business through email, more so than any 60% OF CUSTOMERS SAY THEY HAVE GONE INTO A STORE AS A RESULT OF EMAIL PROMOTION. other channel. Nearly 80% of US online consumers say they overwhelmingly prefer email as the channel Source: Wanderful Media Chart businesses use to offer permission-based marketing messages.1 RANKING CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT CHANNELS 77% of US online consumers overwhelmingly prefer Email as the channel businesses use to offer permission-based marketing messages – trampling every other source. 2 9% Direct Mail 5% Text Messaging 4% Facebook 2% Telephone 1% Twitter 1% Mobile App 0% Linkedin Source: ExactTarget’s 2012 Channel Preference Survey Follow us on: 3
  • 6. 3 PHASES TO EXECUTE a Successful Email Campaign INTRODUCTION: The Cost/Benefit Advantage of Email Marketing: If you’re anything like us, you’re amazed at how many NFL veterans sign with teams at a discount. Value is value, and across the league team managers look for proven assets, despite perceived wear-and-tear, because building your team with productive players at a bargain cost is a great way to budget the salary cap. While CMOs may not have a salary cap, they certainly understand the constraints of a budget. And due to its relative age compared to other emerging tactics, Email Marketing doubles as a low-cost veteran free agent. Because of this businesses are choosing to invest in their email programs more than any other channel. • 93% of Marketers say their Email Marketing budget will increase or stay the same in 2014.2 • Bargain Buy: Only a mere 2% of marketers rated “leads generated from Email Marketing” as ‘high cost,’ representing the lowest cost per lead channel.3 Follow us on: 4
  • 7. 3 PHASES TO EXECUTE a Successful Email Campaign INTRODUCTION: Cause For Concern: The Email Conundrum Despite its potential benefits, most companies are failing to properly develop and execute email campaigns. Open Rate (Unique) Mean Median Top Quartile Bottom Quartile Overall 20.1% 15.0% 43.7% 8.0% U.S. 19.9% 14.7% 44.1% 7.8% EMEA 20.9% 15.4% 44.2% 8.3% Canada 20.7% 16.4% 40.5% MEASURE YOUR SUCCESS 8.5% Email open rates are slowly floundering. The 2009 version of the study displayed above found that overall open rates stood at just 22%.4 Today, open rates float just above 20%. That is an alarmingly low percentage. Who is satisfied with 20% of something? Looking at it from another perspective, 80% of your entire database doesn’t even care to read what you have to say! Poor results can be attributed to a variety of components, even something as simple as a subject line lacking proper best practices. Regardless of the reason, there are basic ways to circumvent these traps, improve click-thru rates, and ultimately, bolster your Email Marketing Strategy. From developing a Game Plan to Execution to Ongoing Anaylsis, this eBook serves as a playbook to driving customer engagement through your Email Marketing campaigns. Follow us on: 5 ONLY 60% OF MARKETERS SAY THEIR EMAIL MARKETING IS PRODUCING A POSITIVE ROI.
  • 8. 3 PHASES TO EXECUTE a Successful Email Campaign PHASE 1, TRAINING DAY While we marvel at incredible plays as they happen in games, most coaches will attest that the Game Plan developed the week before is just as important. And just like football, Email Marketing relies on many of the same concepts put together in a Game Plan. In Phase 1, we examine everything that goes into a great campaign Game Plan – from how to target customers to specific types of emails you should deliver to meet your goals. Follow us on: Follow us on: 6 6
  • 9. 3 PHASES TO EXECUTE a Successful Email Campaign Phase 1, Training Day Communication is only necessary when it’s necessary. This seems like a simple rule to live by, right? Not so fast. More often than not, marketers ignore or break the Golden Rule of Marketing. Like a quarterback changing a play at the line of scrimmage, you don’t want to send your customers mixed signals. Ask yourself the 2 W’s of Email Marketing: 1. What are your goals? RELEVANT EMAILS DRIVE 18 times more revenue THAN BROADCAST EMAILS. 2. Who is your audience? You wouldn’t believe how often marketers fail to ask themselves these questions. Source: Jupiter Research Maybe it’s lack of time or resources, but studies show that 55% of marketing teams send email blasts that lack proper context, timeliness, or purpose. Avoid these common pitfalls before you write a word of copy, create a banner image, or compile your list of recipients by answering the 2 W’s of Email Marketing. Two-thirds of marketers are broadcasting untimely emails that lack clear purpose. 28% Relevant email communications sent on time to a segmented audience with a clear conversion goal. 35% 20% Email campaigns sent close to the launch date to a partially segmented audience with a somewhat clear conversion goal. Email messages sent after the target date to the entire in-house subscriber list with unclear conversion goals. Source: Marketing Sherpa Follow us on: 7
  • 10. 3 PHASES TO EXECUTE a Successful Email Campaign Phase 1, Training Day Answering the WHAT and WHO To be relevant to your customers, you need to understand the purpose of your email communication and ask pertinent pre-requisite questions: What is the focus of the email? Is the campaign part of a lead generation program for your sales team? Are you nurturing existing leads? Is the communication an attempt to raise brand awareness? These are the same type of high-level questions teams ask themselves while preparing for the NFL Draft. Are we drafting a player out of desperation or to backfill a roster spot? This exercise may seem silly because the questions are so basic, but identifying which of these goals you’re trying to accomplish is the first step towards crafting a clear – and, more importantly, effective – email campaign. Who Are You Communicating To? In football, the NFL Draft is part of a larger process that is vital to ongoing success: Source: Aberdeen Group Roster Management. This is not dissimilar to organized Lead Segmentation in Email Marketing. In terms of distribution, the more targeted the email, the more effective the medium is. If your database segments contact distribution lists by specific criteria such as customers, prospects, verticals, and sales cycle maturity, you can easily market the right content to the right audience on a consistent basis. This goes a long way towards reaching your marketing goals. Studies show highly targeted email campaigns earn a substantially higher return than mass-communicated email blasts. Follow us on: 8
  • 11. 3 PHASES TO EXECUTE a Successful Email Campaign Phase 1, Training Day TYPES OF EMAIL CAMPAIGNS Types of email Goals, Not Messaging, Determine Email Layout WHAT IS IT? Lead Generation Emails that increase business growth by attracting prospects Lead Nurturing Using email messaging to develop and cultivate a relationship with existing, marketing-qualified leads in order help convert them to salesqualified leads EXAMPLES • • • • Promotional limited-time offers Introductory “Welcome” email Product demo invitations Content Marketing Offers • • Promotional limited-time offers Content marketing geared toward product (eBooks, Whitepapers, etc) Product demo invitations Case Studies Tone, style, and content are three aspects that go into putting together an email campaign. But what you’re marketing isn’t nearly as important as what you’re trying to accomplish. The following page outlines the types of email campaigns and their corresponding goals that your marketing team can choose to develop. • • • Lead Gen Marketing Statistics: • 89% of marketers said email was their primary channel for lead generation.5 • On average, there is a 20% increase in sales opportunities from nurtured leads versus nonnurtured leads.6 • Lead nurturing emails get 4-10 times the response rate compared to standalone email blasts.7 • Lead nurturing emails generate an 8% Click-Thru Rate compared to general email sends, which generate just a 3% CTR.8 Follow us on: Brand Awareness Correspondence that builds brand equity through positive messaging and company news Thought Leadership Email that further establishes credibility, authority, and promotes your company as a Thought Leader in your industry Conversion-Based Communication that completes a contact transition from marketing-qualified to a sales-qualified lead 9 • • • • • Publicize Appearance At Industry Trade Shows To Attract Customers Communicate and highlight beneficial company changes Acquisition Announcements Leadership Change Customer Wins Product Updates Other Public Relations News • • • • Webinar or other event promotions Whitepaper offer Blog newsletter eBook promotion • Personalized offers based on events (e.g. birthday, holidays, purchasing behavior – “you may like”) Thank you receipts Product demo invitations • • •
  • 12. 3 PHASES TO EXECUTE a Successful Email Campaign Phase 1, Training Day The Challenge Flag: Losing Timeouts? Inconclusive Evidence: Email Timing. Worldwide Marketing Open & Click Rates by Day We’ve all been there. The game is hanging in the balance, your team needs Monday a big first down, and your receiver appears to come up with a clutch catch 18.2% ... or did he? The refs rule the pass hit the ground, and your coach defiantly 4.2% throws a challenge flag. After looking at the play from roughly 19 different Tuesday angles, the officiating crew determines that the ruling on the field stands 19.9% 4.6% due to inconclusive evidence. Wednesday In our research, the timing of your email distribution offers the same return: 19.0% INCONCLUSIVE EVIDENCE. On one hand, some case studies show that 4.5% emails sent at 6 am receive the best Click-Thru Rate (CTR); however, other Thursday studies show that 1 pm (or any time after the lunch hour) is actually the 18.9% optimal time to distribute email campaigns. 4.7% Friday However, there is data to support which specific days to run an email 19.6% campaign. According to a study from GetResponse, when it comes to the 4.9% percentage of email opens, consumers opened 19.9% of the marketing Saturday emails received on Tuesday – more than any other day in the five-day 16.9% work week. Strangely enough, while marketers sent the fewest number of 4.4% emails on Friday, consumers opened 19.6% of emails sent, giving the Sunday last day of the work week the second highest email open rate of the week. 17.1% 4.5% The best practice here is common sense. Know where your email is going – meaning the time zone – and the audience receiving it. Obviously any Open Rate time after 4 pm is not ideal for reaching the greatest number of targets in a Source: GetResponse as cited in Company blog, Oct 7, 2013 typical workday. Follow us on: Click Rate 10
  • 13. 3 PHASES TO EXECUTE a Successful Email Campaign Phase 1, Training Day The Challenge Flag: Losing Timeouts? (continued) Final Prepping: A Word On ISP Warming … Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are businesses, usually telecommunication companies, that offer back-end networking services. If you have never executed an email marketing strategy, it is necessary to establish a reputation as a legitimate email sender in the eyes of ISPs. If you are operating under a new or unused IP address and are suddenly sending a massive volume of emails, your communication could easily be flagged as spam. The process to remedy the ISP speed bump involves slowly sending out small batches of emails to raise your reputation and ensure that future email campaigns will be delivered. A conservative approach to ISP Warming is dividing your estimated total monthly email volume by 30, and then spreading out your distribution evenly over the first 30 days, based on that calculation. 6am & 1pm Follow us on: ARE OPTIMAL TIMES TO RECIEVE THE BEST CLICK-THRU RATES (CTR) 11 ISP WARMING RAISES YOUR REPUTATION AND ENSURES THAT FUTURE EMAIL CAMPAIGNS WILL BE DELIVERED.
  • 14. 3 PHASES TO EXECUTE a Successful Email Campaign PHASE 2, GAME DAY You put the time into the prerequisite planning and have a strategy and set goals in place – now it’s time to execute. But one fumble or misplaced word can mean the difference between winning and converting or losing the game. In Phase 2, we discuss everything that makes an email great – from design to content, all the way to delivery. Follow us on: Follow us on: 12 12
  • 15. 3 PHASES TO EXECUTE a Successful Email Campaign Phase 2, Game Day Subject Matter: Writing the Subject Line “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” – Benjamin Franklin A subject line is like the quarterback position: It’s the most important part of an email campaign, but it’s also the most difficult aspect to develop. Think of it this way: you can have a great Call To Action (defense) and fantastic content (special teams), but a subject line (quarterback) is ultimately what will either lead you to the promised land or leave you annoyed and scratching your head in disbelief. Down & Distance: Subject Line Length • Open Rates are 12.5% higher when subject lines contain less than 49 characters compared to subject lines with 50 characters or more.9 • Click-Thru Rates are 75% higher for shorter subject lines.9 Open Rates were 12.5% higher WHEN SUBJECT LINES CONTAINED LESS THAN 49 CHARACTERS Follow us on: 13 Source: Adestra
  • 16. 3 PHASES TO EXECUTE a Successful Email Campaign Phase 2, Game Day Subject Matter: Writing the Subject Line (continued) The Ecommerce Sector Open % vs. Avg. Word Choice Is Your Most Important Decision Overall Click % vs. Avg. Open to open % vs. Avg. -4.9% Free 61.7% 53.8% Sale 62.7% 101.7% 23.9% Save 41.5% -18.0% -42.1% campaigns across six different sectors. For illustration purposes, Half price 44.2% 44.7% 0.3% let’s analyze their findings from the eCommerce sector. The study pins % off 61.5% 99.1% 23.3% these words and phrases against the average rate of key email metrics. voucher 27.5% -24.7% -41.0% coupon Word Choice will make (or break) the success of your email campaign. Adestra analyzed nearly one billion emails from more than 40,000 • The slightest misstep in your Word Choice could spell disaster ›› Even synonyms are volatile in effectiveness -·· For instance, “Coupon” and “Voucher” lack impact, but add differentiation and create better attentiveness from your audience. next" is always better than what is here. Case in point: ·· There is no other feature or word to attract an audience 51.7% 75.5% 15.7% -1.6% -19.1% -17.8% Essential 41.5% 52.7% 7.9% -58.4% -47.1% 27.2% -70.7% -51.6% 65.0% 51.3% -46.2% -64.5% 85.9% 88.9% 1.6% 90.9% 104.1% 6.9% £ 34.5% 5.0% -22.0% $ 33.9% 23.1% -8.1% € 43.1% 11.2% -22.3% Personalisation First Name 45.5% 31.6% -9.6% Other Application -70.4% -49.5% 70.6% Enclosed -68.9% -46.4% 72.6% like “New” (88.9% better than average Click-Thru Rate!) and “Everything” (104.1% better than average Click-Thru Rate). Follow us on: -22.4% Everything ›› Customers value the idea of "novelty." The promise of "what’s -35.9% 6.5% New Money -12.3% 37.4% Next day delivery worthwhile – however, seasonal emails (e.g. “Summer Sale!”) 36.7% Available ›› Extreme personalization, like birthday offers, may still be Birthday Party “Sale” and “% Off” show better rates. -26.5% Summer Benefits -68.1% -8.2% Christmas Events -85.8% 24.9% Advance Play Calling: Key Takeaways from Word Choice Anaylsis: -55.6% only 14
  • 17. 3 PHASES TO EXECUTE a Successful Email Campaign Phase 2, Game Day Subject Matter: Writing the Subject Line (continued) Let’s briefly discuss the name that goes next to your subject line. Unfortunately, there is no secret sauce to determine who your email should come from. Best practices are dependent on a variety of factors. For example, a well known brand, like Apple, will certainly experience different results than a start-up would when sending an email from the company name. Examine analytics to see if the name of a high profile individual, company name or brand, or email address works best for your audience – this is where A/B testing can be extremely useful. We’ll discuss A/B testing in detail later. However, it should shed light in terms of from whom your database prefers to receive your emails. 3 & OUT – FINAL ANALYSIS OF SUBJECT LINE WRITING 1. Wise Word Choice is pivotal – and sensitive – to reaching your audience. 2. Concision is your best friend. Write a subject line that is compelling, clear, short and to the point. 3. Offering limited-time sales – either by season, event, or personalized dates – is a proven engagement technique. Follow us on: 15
  • 18. 3 PHASES TO EXECUTE a Successful Email Campaign Phase 2, Game Day What’s in the Fold: Making a Strong First Impression Most email programs give their users the option of using a Preview Pane. This functionality offers a glimpse of the content coming from an email so users don’t have to read each email, one by one, before deleting. The view of a Preview Pane typically provides users is of email content that fits above the fold – meaning users will not see content that requires them to scroll down. Consequently, like the subject line, what content is seen above the fold is critical to successful email campaigns. In fact, your viewers may never see beyond the preview pane. Also like your subject line, the imagery and content above the fold should be engaging, brief, and feature a gripping Call To Action (CTA) that draws customers to whatever you are promoting in the email (e.g. Webinar, Sale, etc.). But before tapping into your design resources, you should first ask yourself if an image is necessary to include in your communication. Not all email types need visual stimulants. If included, make sure not to size your banner image too large – the more space the image takes up, the more content real estate is sacrificed. Finding the right balance is challenging. Per a HubSpot study, 65% of consumers prefer emails that contain mostly images versus 35% who prefer mostly text. 84% Follow us on: OF 18-34 YEAR-OLDS USE AN EMAIL PREVIEW PANE Source: MarketingProfs 16
  • 19. 3 PHASES TO EXECUTE a Successful Email Campaign Phase 2, Game Day What’s in the Fold: Making a Strong First Impression (continued) HTML vs Plain Text: HTML Email A "safety" is when a quarterback is tackled in his own end zone. The play results in the defensive team scoring two points and earning a subsequent possession. It’s a rare occurrence; there are typically less than 10 safetys throughout the course of an entire NFL season. The same can be said for Plain Text emails. While only 12% of readers prefer to receive them, it’s important to be SAFE (see what I did there?) and send both a text and HTML version of your email (this is an out of the box feature in just about every email automation platform).10 This ensures that the recipient obtains the right messaging, regardless of whether their device can view HTML or not. Social Buttons: The importance of Social Media cannot be overstated. It’s changing the Plain Text Eemail way businesses operate. There is a conversation going on out there and, at the very least, your email header should include links to your Social Media accounts. 46% OF ONLINE USERS COUNT ON SOCIAL MEDIA WHEN MAKING A PURCHASE DECISION. Source: Nielsen Follow us on: 17
  • 20. 3 PHASES TO EXECUTE a Successful Email Campaign Phase 2, Game Day Mobile Matters In recent years, more emphasis has been placed on the importance of developing a mobile quarterback — one who can scramble to manufacture plays with his legs as well as his arm. Email Marketing too has seen a rise in mobile use. In the second half of 2012, 41% of commercial emails were opened on mobile devices— up from 27% a year earlier.11 50% MORE THAN HALF OF ALL EMAIL MARKETERS AREN’T DESIGNING THEIR EMAILS WITH MOBILE DEVICES IN MIND OF COMMERCIAL EMAILS WILL BE OPENED ON MOBILE DEVICES BY THE END OF 2013. Source: Knotice Super Bowl XLV Champion Aaron Rodgers is known for his mobility Don’t Get Caught Scrambling: For reasons that remain unclear, digital marketers have not adjusted with their audience. Marketing Sherpa’s 2013 Email Marketing Benchmark Report concluded that more than half of all email marketers aren’t designing their emails with mobile devices in mind. Having a mobile-friendly email is critical. This is not a trend. Smart device adoption rates are soaring. Optimizing your web assets to cater to the Mobile User Experience is no longer an option, it’s expected. A solution to adjusting to the Mobile Revolution is creating Responsively Designed emails. Responsive Design is coding technology that detects the screen size of the device accessing your email and automatically triggers content to adjust accordingly. This way, if a prospective customer is reading your email with an iPad, Android, or traditional desktop, your message will correctly appear, delivering the right experience to the right device. Follow us on: 18
  • 21. 3 PHASES TO EXECUTE a Successful Email Campaign PHASE 3, FILM STUDY Win or lose, there is always room for improvement. Just because the email is in your outbox doesn’t mean our work is done here. In Phase 3, we review the tape to figure out what went right, what went wrong and how we can nurture and retain our loyal fan base. Follow us on: 19 19
  • 22. 3 PHASES TO EXECUTE a Successful Email Campaign Phase 3, Film Study Never Give Up Forget football for a second. In any sport – gymnastics, Chart: Most popular automated email messages hockey, baseball, golf – what’s the accusation that pains players the most? That they gave up. Whether it’s on one play, a game, a match, or the entire season, quitting in sports is 63% Welcome blasphemous. You just don’t do it. 54% Thank you Your attitude about your organization’s marketing goals should be the same. This is where Email Marketing can play a role in embracing a 48% Transactional (e.g. bills, reciepts) "NEVER SAY NEVER" mindset. 32% Post purchase (e.g. product reviews) The chart to the right shows a list of popular triggered emails that companies deploy to improve customer engagement and conversion rates: Deploying automated emails based on customer actions either in an email campaign or through your website is a vital tactic to achieving 17% Win back / Reengagement 16% Event Countdown Triggered based on website behavior Receipts) are standard ways to humanize the online consumer experience. 22% Date triggered optimal ROI. Most of these Auto-responders (Welcomes, Thank You’s, and 24% Activation (e.g. how to) Re-engage with Auto-responders: Shopping cart abandonment What we’re interested in here are Customer Re-Engagement 13% 11% Source: Marketing Sherpa messaging techniques – Upsells (26%), Re-Engagements (17%), and most importantly … Shopping Cart Abandonments (11%). Follow us on: 26% Upsell (e.g. product recommendations) 20
  • 23. 3 PHASES TO EXECUTE a Successful Email Campaign Phase 3, Film Study Never Give Up (continued) Despite easily being able to do so, it is mystifying that only 11% of companies send automated emails to prospective customers who abandon shopping carts before checking out. Before brushing off the tactic, consider the following: • 21% of Shopping Cart Abandoners that receive the auto-responder, re-engage and buy. That’s huge.12 • And even better news. Sometimes, good things do come to those who wait: Converted abandoners spend 55% more on purchases than non-abandoners.12 Let’s review the tape one more time for good measure: A fifth of customers who abandon a purchase before check out will reconsider if you send an AUTOMATED email? Yes, AUTOMATED -- as in it requires no work on your end other than the initial set-up. Moreover, over half of those customers spend more than the typical customer who never abandoned in the first place. The reward for perseverance speaks for itself. But this shouldn’t necessarily come across as shocking. The customer is clearly interested – they took the time to pick out a product and bowed out right before purchase – why not try to re-engage? Yet, all told, even with overwhelming proof of better ROI, according to eConsultancy, the usage of automated emails related to customer events still stands relatively low at 30%. Abandoners spend 55% Follow us on: Source: Marketing Sherpa MORE ON PURCHASES THAN NON-ABANDONERS. 21 21% OF SHOPPING CART ABANDONERS THAT RECEIVE THE AUTO-RESPONDER, RE-ENGAGE AND BUY.
  • 24. 3 PHASES TO EXECUTE a Successful Email Campaign Phase 3, Film Study More Post-Execution Tactics Time-Based Follow Ups: Secondary emails can be sent on a different time schedule based on how a recipient interacted with your initial email campaign. For instance, if a customer opened the email, clicked a link, but failed to complete the desired action, then you can send the next email faster than a user who just opened the email or didn’t open it at all. Content-Based Follow Ups: Beyond the Auto-responders we already highlighted, you can set up a variety of different follow-up emails based on what the user interacts with in an initial email. Let’s say a recipient clicked a link leading to a social site, a follow-up email that focuses on your social media presence (maybe including special deals for “followers” or “friends") would be wise. Or, if they clicked a link to a webinar you offered, then set a second email to talk about upcoming webinar topics. These drilled down methods of communication will key in on what a user is interested in, and ultimately gain more engagement in future campaigns which might lead to more conversions. Follow us on: 22 THE USAGE OF AUTOMATED EMAILS RELATED TO CUSTOMER EVENTS STILL STANDS RELATIVELY LOW AT 30%
  • 25. 3 PHASES TO EXECUTE a Successful Email Campaign Phase 3, Film Study If You’re Not Getting Better, You’re Getting Worse X & O’s: It’s as easy as A/B Testing Every email is an opportunity to improve on the previous effort. A/B Testing measures the impact of a variable change with regard to a goal achievement (click, validation, web form completion, etc.). Unlike diagramming a play in football, the A/B process itself is simple. Once you have your email designed, create a duplicate version and change a small element of it. For instance, an A/B test can be used to test two subject lines for the same eMail by observing Open and Click Rates, or maybe removing or changing the image in your banner. Doing so will allow you to split the distribution of each version and test which version drove readers to respond more effectively. 74% OF COMPANIES WHO A/B TEST THEIR EMAIL REPORT ‘EXCELLENT’ OR ‘GOOD’ ROI FROM EMAIL MARKETING Source: eConsultancy Follow us on: 23
  • 26. 3 PHASES TO EXECUTE a Successful Email Campaign Phase 3, Film Study To know thyself is divine – but make sure you know both your strengths and weaknesses In the world of email Marketing, you’re only as good as your last email. Learning from your mistakes or successes can be accomplished through analytics. Identifying what works and what doesn’t is made more efficient through A/B Testing. For instance, you can juxtapose the metrics of an email with the same content but use different subject lines to gain insight into your database. What is resonating? What isn’t? EXPLAINING THE BIG THREE EMAIL MARKETING STATISTICS WHAT IS IT? WHAT IT MEANS? Email that is returned to the sender because it cannot be delivered due to an invalid address. Hmm. Does your database or CRM need to be cleaned up? High bounce volume could mean email accounts in your database are no longer active. Open Rate Simple, the percentage of recipients who opened your email. • On the peripheral, a bad open rate immediately suggests either the subject line lacked impact, or that the email sender (e.g. a salesperson or company) could be an issue. • A bad open rate may also indicate poor lead segmenting and distribution list management. Click-Thru Rate (CTR) The metric that analyzes the effectiveness of an email campaign based on the number of users that clicked on a specific link. Unlike the Open Rate, the CTR gives validation of the million dollar question(s): Were recipients engaged with your email? Did the CTA gain traffic? Was the copy compelling? In short, DID THE CAMPAIGN SUCCEED? Bouncebacks Follow us on: 24
  • 27. 3 PHASES TO EXECUTE a Successful Email Campaign Phase 3, Film Study Winchester Hospital Case Study: Email A/B Test Purpose Winchester Hospital wanted to increase attendance at their “Finding Dr. Right” event. In this A/B test, they wanted to see what type of copy would better pique reader interest and generate higher registration. The copy in Email (A) was straightforward and directly states the purpose of the event. Meanwhile, the copy in Email (B) was far more provocative, teasing the event as a remedy (pun intended) for common patient issues. Email (A) - Formal Tone Follow us on: Email (B) - Informal Tone 25
  • 28. 3 PHASES TO EXECUTE a Successful Email Campaign Phase 3, Film Study Winchester Hospital Case Study: Email A/B Test (continued) Results- Email (B) Wins!! Takeaways • A/B testing showed that the informal tone used in Email (B) resulted in more engagement with the CTA. • Adjusted Click Through Rate (Clicks to Unique Opens) was 4% higher with Email (B) • Note: The Open Rate was similar (18-19%) as email distribution list was randomized while From/Subject line name was kept the same Follow us on: 26
  • 29. 3 PHASES TO EXECUTE a Successful Email Campaign Final Thoughts Email Marketing is not an exact science. Like anything else, the goal is to improve upon each subsequent campaign. But it starts with using the right tools, metrics, and methodology. According to eConsultancy’s Email Marketing Industry 2013 Census: Take Your Email Marketing the Distance An Email Service Provider is software that includes the functionality discussed in this playbook for success. In short, you cannot execute a successful email campaign without a top-tier Email Service Provider that integrates with other critical Digital Marketing and CRM solutions. At Bridgeline Digital, the award-winning, end-to-end digital marketing platform, iAPPS, features iAPPS Marketier -- our Email Marketing software that allows marketers to easily execute highly targeted email campaigns and optimize ROI. Best of all, iAPPS Marketier shares the same data points as our Analytics, Commerce, Social Media and Content Management solutions and integrates with other CRM programs (like Salesforce.com). If your company is looking for a new ESP or your software is lacking much of the functionality discussed in our eBook, please visit BridgelineDigital.com or contact a Business Development Executive to request a demo of the iAPPS platform, including iAPPS Marketier. Follow us on: 27 • Only a fifth (20%) of company respondents report their ESP as being ‘well integrated’ with their Customer Relationship Management solution (like Salesforce.com) or customer databases. • Meanwhile, 28% said there was ‘no integration’ whatsoever.
  • 30. 3 PHASES TO EXECUTE a Successful Email Campaign References 1. ExactTarget’s 2012 Channel Preference Survey 2. 2013 MarketingSherpa SEO Marketing Benchmark Survey 3. Software Advice Survey 4. Silverpop 2012 Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study 5. Forrester Research 6. DemandGen Report 7. SilverPop/DemandGen Report 8. HubSpot 9. 2012 Adestra Subject Line Analysis Report 10. HubSpot 11. Knotice: Mobile Emails Open Report 12. 2012 Marketing Sherpa Benchmark Report: Email Marketing Follow us on: 28
  • 31. ABOUT BRIDGELINE DIGITAL THE DIGITAL ENGAGEMENT COMPANY the digital engagement company Learn more about Bridgeline Digital’s integrated iAPPS Platform: Bridgeline’s iAPPS® platform deeply integrates Web Content Management, eCommerce, eMarketing, Social Media Management and Web Analytics to help marketers deliver online experiences that attract, engage and convert their customers across all digital channels. Bridgeline provides end-to-end Digital Engagement solutions and boasts an award-winning team of interactive services professionals across our 11 offices worldwide. Stay up-to-date with trends and new blog.bridgelinedigital.com bridgelinedigital.com Award Winning iAPPS Product Platform Contact Bridgeline Digital info@blinedigital.com 1-800-603-9936 Follow us on: 29