Email Tips and Trends 2010


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Learn email marketing tips and trends for 2010.

-Benefits of marketing via email
-More effective tracking and targeting
-More interactivity for today’s consumer
-How to identify your sender
-Subject line: why should they care
-Plain text vs. html emails
-Design and layout
-Writing with purpose
-Best practices for email
-Improving your results
-Email trends for 2010

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Email Tips and Trends 2010

  1. 1. Email marketing and communications tips and trends 2010
  2. 2. Why email? <ul><li>Cost and time savings </li></ul><ul><li>More effective tracking and targeting </li></ul><ul><li>More interactive for today’s consumer </li></ul><ul><li>More efficient </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Formatted for delivery method </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Less work on the surface for the reader </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content available for keyword search outside of epub </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hits back to your web site —show what else they are missing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Consider hybrid </li></ul>
  3. 3. Back to basics <ul><li>1. Identify yourself as sender – actual person’s name, PLUS company name – does everyone know the name of your CEO or President? </li></ul><ul><li>2. Subject line – why should I care? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;And we're off!&quot; Well, who is &quot;we,&quot; and where are we off to? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Spell it out </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Remember length – Blackberry, smart phone, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>3. Make images optional </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Many email clients and smart phones suppress </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Never put call to action, most impt. info., in image only </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. If you build it… <ul><li>Plain Text </li></ul><ul><li>Works in every email client, web based email providers, mobile, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Loads faster, no issues with images or attachments or size limitations </li></ul><ul><li>Personal, important, late breaking </li></ul><ul><li>Quick to turn around </li></ul>
  5. 5. Plain text tips <ul><li>Keep line lengths short with hard returns at end of a line. Email software has a nasty habit of breaking up lines of text in inconvenient places. Your carefully written sentence can end up like this. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Plain text tips <ul><li>Use the shortest URLs you can. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A broken line of text looks ugly, but a broken URL doesn't work at all. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use redirects on your own server, or a service like http:// / (esp. content management systems – long URLs). </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Make sure you use full URLs (including http://) </li></ul><ul><li>Insert a space on either side of the URL to help email clients find them and make them clickable. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Plain text tips <ul><li>Create headings and sections. A big block of text is hard to read, especially when it's in plain text with no color or different font sizes to help people scan. </li></ul><ul><li>Can use lines of repeated characters underscores (_______) or asterisks (********) to emphasize and break email into sections. </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure the text is well structured and clear – focus is on the content! </li></ul>
  8. 8. HTML format <ul><li>Information laid out like a web page, visually appealing, easier to scan and navigate </li></ul><ul><li>Single biggest advantage is ability to format </li></ul><ul><li>More organized, easier to read and act on </li></ul>
  9. 9. Getting technical <ul><li>Most important content should appear at or near top </li></ul><ul><li>Plain text version should be available for people who can't, or choose not to, view HTML </li></ul><ul><ul><li>And “View as web page” link for full html </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Avoid CSS </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use inline styles to control other elements such as background colors and fonts </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Set the table Using HTML tables is the only way to achieve a layout that will render consistently across different mail clients Percents: Set table width to 98% or smaller – some mail clients need 1% padding on each side. Pixels: Standard pixels wide is between 400 – 600 px Can purchase tested HTML email templates and customize to your preferences, or build an html page from scratch
  11. 11. Design & layout <ul><li>Should be an extension of print and web site's branding </li></ul><ul><li>Image and font styles, colors, etc . </li></ul><ul><li>Single column and two- column layouts work best for small window size </li></ul><ul><li>Design “from the top” – most impt. info. should be seen with minimal scrolling </li></ul>
  12. 12. Design & layout <ul><li>Colors should match website and other promotional materials </li></ul><ul><li>Brand your efforts </li></ul><ul><li>Consistency in color is good. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Enewsletters <ul><li>Header, containing a logo/publication name/company name </li></ul><ul><li>Some navigation links from the parent web site to reinforce branding and familiarity </li></ul><ul><li>Footer with links, can spam requirements, instructions for unsubscribing </li></ul>
  14. 14. Promotional emails <ul><li>Follow similar layout but contain much less in the way of content and links </li></ul><ul><li>Usually one main message or action regarding event/invite/product </li></ul><ul><li>Call to action is key! </li></ul><ul><li>Make use of one dominant image with little explanatory text and links– less reading required </li></ul>
  15. 15. Writing with purpose <ul><li>Your choices will depend on your goals </li></ul><ul><li>If you want to drive traffic to the site, use skillfully-written teasers w/links </li></ul><ul><li>If your newsletter is about building reputation as a provider of information, having the full content in the email might make more sense </li></ul><ul><li>Audience is key – are they motivated to follow a link? </li></ul><ul><li>Don't try to tell too much — make them targeted with exception of an enewsletter and even then limit topics. </li></ul><ul><li>You should have a good idea of what you want the reader to do (Call to Action!) </li></ul>
  16. 16. Test, test, test <ul><li>Outlook, Yahoo!, Google Mail, web-based </li></ul><ul><li>Internet Explorer 6 -- indication of how your email will render in Outlook 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile readers, blackberry, iPhone, smart phones </li></ul><ul><li>Determine domain names in your mailing list. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Improve your results <ul><li>Try, and track, small, controlled changes </li></ul><ul><li>Boring subject lines work only when you have a very strong relationship with your subscribers </li></ul><ul><li>Try action words, Google AdWords “Keyword” or “Search-based keyword tool” (based on your website) for trigger words </li></ul><ul><li>Think first 50 characters </li></ul><ul><li>Days of week and time of day </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid spam triggers such as words (“free”) or empty/spacer image files </li></ul>
  18. 18. More best practices <ul><li>Absolute links, store email IMAGES on web server (for example, /images/email/), and don't delete. </li></ul><ul><li>Set links and pdfs to open in a new window (target=&quot;_blank&quot;). </li></ul><ul><ul><li>And be sure to include “(pdf)” or “download” or the Acrobat pdf icon. </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. More best practices <ul><li>Make sure your email displays with images turned off. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a background image to provide a background pattern or color, with white text over it. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ x” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>alt tags </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Easy to miss <ul><li>Is the subject line correct? </li></ul><ul><li>Dates, times, facts </li></ul><ul><li>Is the contact information correct? Call the number! </li></ul><ul><li>Ask readers to add your “From” address </li></ul><ul><li>Unsubscribe/Privacy Policy/CAN SPAM </li></ul><ul><li>Legal trademarks & third party attributions </li></ul>
  21. 21. Easy to miss <ul><li>What happens when it’s forwarded, when someone downloads your pdf, etc. – Branding! Leave-behinds! </li></ul>
  22. 23. Inspiration <ul><li>Subscribe, Subscribe, Subscribe </li></ul><ul><li>Best way to get new ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Think: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Your Industry (healthcare, real estate, engineering, education) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Your Profession (writing, communications, design, web development, marketing) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Your Interest (pets, reading, cooking, sports) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some of best ideas come from OUT of the box! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Follow links to web versions of enewsletters to look at code -- How did they do that??? </li></ul>
  23. 24. Trends <ul><li>Personalized and Relevant: What’s in it for me? Gain and retain trust, send messages they find most valuable, and market to where they are </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Segment your messages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Action, reaction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Special landing page </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PURLs (Personalized URL) tracked, personalized </li></ul></ul>
  24. 25. Trends <ul><li>Create enews from your blog </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blog-RSS feed-signup– automated every time you post to blog, keeps no-maintenance line of communication open </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Create raving fans </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Allow (ask) readers to comment, give feedback, participate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You learn more about your customer, your members, your client, your audience </li></ul></ul>
  25. 26. Trends <ul><li>Expand communities </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Most effective efforts lead traffic to and from each other: web, social media, blogs, and back </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Make it easier to find you, your products and services </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Postings on FB, Twitter, LinkedIn include links back to your enews content </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Make subscribing to QUICK and EASY </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Web analysis of referrals from social media </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  26. 27. Trends <ul><li>Expand your communities </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Outlook Social Connector : Stay in touch with the people in your network without leaving Outlook </li></ul></ul></ul>
  27. 28. Trends <ul><li>Email Invitations, RSVPs, Surveys and Opinion Polls – register, track and learn about your readers </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mobile email use is rampant . Can track in web stats. People now check their email in the bathroom, the church pew and, well, other places people can't drag a desktop. </li></ul>
  28. 29. Remember <ul><li>An email inbox is a very noisy place </li></ul><ul><li>Subscribers may only read the subject line – action words! </li></ul><ul><li>Permission matters, and Relevance trumps permission ! </li></ul><ul><li>Meet your legal obligations — Federal CAN-SPAM </li></ul><ul><li>Make unsubscribing easy — No point emailing people who are not interested. Auto unsubscribe is best, easiest! “Remove” will work if you actually have someone dedicated. </li></ul><ul><li>Image blocking is common – again, alt tags! </li></ul><ul><li>Remember your audience </li></ul><ul><li>Test, test, test </li></ul>
  29. 30. Resources <ul><li>Small list? Sending via Outlook is ok (Outlook html handout) </li></ul><ul><li>Large list? Dedicated server, consider outside onilne service (see list), get with your IT </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>
  30. 31. Resources <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>CAN SPAM </li></ul><ul><li> Help designers understand why web standards are so important for email, while working with email client developers to ensure that emails render consistently. Community effort to improve the email experience for both designers and readers alike. </li></ul>