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Getting the Click: How to Deliver Click-Worthy Content

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Presented at InnoTech Austin on October 20, 2011. For details on InnoTech, visit www.innotechconferences.com

Presented at InnoTech Austin on October 20, 2011. For details on InnoTech, visit www.innotechconferences.com

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  • 1. Getting the Click Delivering Click-Worthy Content in Email Marketing Jonathan Gesinger • jonathan@myemma.com • @J_Gesinger Rachel Farris • rachel@petrelocation.com • @MeanRachel visit us online: www.myemma.com • @emmaemail • facebook.com/emmaemail •Friday, October 21, 2011Hi.
  • 2. Why Email? I hear twitter and facebook killed it.Friday, October 21, 2011Why email is still relevant.
  • 3. Friday, October 21, 2011The topic has moved on from email dying in 2009, because it’s now 2011 and we’re all checking our inboxes stillregularly, to facebook killing twitter, google + killing facebook, and even the babyboomers get their chance toadd to the bloodbath and do some social media slaughtering of their own.
  • 4. Friday, October 21, 2011To be an effective marketer, you have to use all of your channels in unison. Email is still part of the mix:- DMA rates it as the highest ROI performer, with a measurable $43 : $1 spent ROI in it’s 2011 report.- Email still ranks high in the mix of channel commitment. In a September 2011 survey of marketers done by theAssociation of National Advertisers, email falls in line behind search, and before web, social, and mobile.- Nielsen reports in a 2010 study that as social consumption increases, so does email consumption, to the pointwhere the highest responders noted an average of 180 min in each channel per day. And as of note, asconsumption in social media goes down or up, email consumption follows.
  • 5. Design friendlyFriday, October 21, 2011It is a crowded space, and all of those channels are fighting for your eyeball time.Let’s set the table for what email *is* great at...
  • 6. Friday, October 21, 2011Vs. social or other forms of mass marketing, it’s a 1:1 channel that is still very design and brand friendly. Richgraphics, detailed branding, and consistency with your other forms of marketing are all easy to implement inemail.
  • 7. SegmentableFriday, October 21, 2011
  • 8. Friday, October 21, 2011Segment by:Type of contact: Prospects or CustomersTypes of customers (VIP for example...)Demographics (such as in the example)GeographyPurchase historyWhich of your products are portions of your list interested in, specifically?Or drill down even farther and segment by activity with your emails.Have they opened in the past? clicked? deadbeats you need to re-engage?
  • 9. TargetedFriday, October 21, 2011
  • 10. Friday, October 21, 2011At it’s highest level you may send a portion of your list a very unique offer only for them based on data you’vecollected about that specific audience member.Or more simply, you may welcome all of your subscribers to your list for the first time, and give them insight as towhat they can expect to receive from you. Or maybe a birthday or customer anniversary note in the inbox.
  • 11. Social (Really?)Friday, October 21, 2011
  • 12. Friday, October 21, 2011Not just twitter and fb are social. Great example of using email to deliver an audience member to engagecustomers with the rest of your brand followers. The email may be a 1:1 engagement in your inbox, but theoutcome of the click can deliver a very social interaction.Story: Crate & Barrel post-purchase email asking a recent purchaser to visit a review sight and give feedback.Delivery by click.
  • 13. MeasurableFriday, October 21, 2011
  • 14. Friday, October 21, 2011It’s a marketing channel that you can measure - opens, clicks, and other analytics. So you’ll know what’s working,what’s not, and what you can change to get the results you want.And, most of the data is readily available. It’s not something that you need advanced programming or personnelto decipher. It’s at your fingertips in any reputable ESP.
  • 15. vFriday, October 21, 2011When you pair all of these steps in email marketing together it can create timely offers with a high chance forresponse (clicks) from your brand fans.Threadless email:Emailing to a specific group, going after a repeat purchase (targeted).Sent to customers who previously purchased and it dropped them into a specific (action hero) category(segmented).The design and layout creatively features the products (branded/great design).Smartly works in a facebook contest or a youtube interview with a cult hero (social).
  • 16. Getting The Click: --------- 1 - SegmentationFriday, October 21, 2011Let’s drill in a little deeper and focus on 5 ways to get to that click.All of the 5 takeaways are strategies that each of you could start to implement in your own campaigns at somelevel.Segmentation. As marketers we’ve got to get beyond the dreaded “email blast” mentality.You have different types of customers, who purchase for different reasons and in different patterns. Can’t sendthem all the same message and expect a response.
  • 17. Friday, October 21, 2011Start at the beginning...Ask for preferences on a sign up formUse a surveyPull data from your CRM and incorporate that information and data into your audience section of your emailaccount.Segment your list based on that info, and then send accordingly. Commit to it. Set this up so it’s ongoing and youcan continue to segment in your efforts. (ie set up that survey annually, or that data import regularly)
  • 18. Friday, October 21, 2011If this is starting to feel to “big business with big marketing department” consider Mountaineers Books.Mountaineers Books has an overall list of just under 4,000 and a marketing department of a couple people. Butthey’ve committed to email.12 different groups to segment their audience, with 30 additionally segmented lists by activity or preferenceinside of that, plus 127 automated emails that go out based on clicks, new subscribers or other activities.In the sample above, this particular email went out to about 30 customers that specifically responded to aprevious offer on urban farming, and they were able to generate a 93% click through rate. Awesome results.
  • 19. Friday, October 21, 2011Transition Rachel in for a case study of Pet Relocation’s use of segmenting and automated triggers that brought abig email success.In our case, we realized we had a certain segment of potential customers who would balk at the initial idea of hiring a service or paying over a thousand dollars to movetheir pets. However oftentimes when the customer would start the process of moving a pet on their own and find that it was more difficult than they initially anticipated. Wedecided to segment our audience by creating two different levels of service for them - PetRelocation and MyPetRelocation. Whereas PetRelocation.com was our door-to-door service for moving pets, MyPetRelocation is be a free downloadable ebook for the type of customer who might want to move their pet on their own initially.Home page showing the slider that allows people to choose their level of service. Those who select “Free” go intoa certain trigger system.
  • 20. Friday, October 21, 2011Screen shot of the landing page people who select they want a free service go to.The challenge when we launched MyPetRelocation became how to engage these potential customers who might start off wanting to movetheir pet on their own but eventually would need our help. So we set up separate weekly and monthly email triggers that would be sentout to anyone who downloaded our ebook.
  • 21. vFriday, October 21, 2011And that’s what brings us to Mr. Brown.Mr. Brown has two Italian Mastiffs. Those are big dogs.
  • 22. vFriday, October 21, 2011Moving big dogs is never easy and in Mr. Brown’s case, he was moving from Ft. Lauderdale, FL to London, England. So Mr. Brown cameacross our MyPetRelocation eBook and downloaded it.
  • 23. vFriday, October 21, 2011He received a series of trigger emails from Emma.
  • 24. Friday, October 21, 2011He opened both of the MyPetRelocation emails and then in August he opened our monthly PetRelocation postcard.
  • 25. Friday, October 21, 2011He clicked on one of our stories about moving again with pets. He realized this was too much to undertake on his own, going theMyPetRelocation route and needed help. 125lb Italian Mastiffs need things like custom crates, and other stuff.He converted himself to a 1:1 conversation with a sales person vs. handing it on his own.
  • 26. Friday, October 21, 2011He submitted a lead, which put him in a queue requesting our door-to-door services.The typical sales cycle for a door-to-door project is 45 days. Lots of info to digest. Lots of conversations and follow up. But Mr. Browndid all of that in advance on the MyPetRelocation series of nurturing emails. After the initial door-to-door inquiry form was submitted heclosed 8 days later. 37 days faster than a typical lead.End result: $20,715 contract to move his two dogs, door-to-door.
  • 27. Getting The Click: --------- 2 - Be SocialFriday, October 21, 2011Next up is Acting Social in Email. We’ll go two ways with this. First...
  • 28. vFriday, October 21, 2011Provide your content across channels. When you create and send a campaign, make it available on your socialchannels.Post campaigns to twitter and fb by a link. It is *always* ok to repurpose content. We’re not all in every channel,every day. If it’s great content your audience won’t mind seeing it again and passing over it. May even read itagain for more details.An ESP did a study of a month’s worth of emails sent and there was a 55% increase in clicks when they were madeavailable in multiple channels.
  • 29. vFriday, October 21, 2011Next, within emails themselves: a couple often overlooked, simple steps.- Incorporate the brevity of social media into your campaigns when appropriate. People are getting used toshorter bursts of info vs. long email newsletters. (again, good spot to segment instead of put it all in one giantemail to everyone)- Have fun with it (example above)- Clicks can also be a click on the ‘reply’ button. If you’re sending from an “info@” email address, how often doyou check that inbox? Maybe even go so far as to say “hey, hit reply and email us back if you want” when it’sappropriate, or send from a personal email address if it’s appropriate.
  • 30. Friday, October 21, 2011When you can do so, incorporate video in your emails which will deliver audiences to a more social channel.Study: VOX Marketing recently posted a Forrester research study of over 250 marketers that incorporated videointo their emails and had between a 2 - 3x lift in click through rates on video links over non video links.
  • 31. Getting The Click: --------- 3 - AutomationFriday, October 21, 2011Next up is Automating your campaigns.Most ESPs are able to automate campaigns now (yours should) some of them might call them something different,like “triggers”.What you’re after is a way to send a series or a single campaign out based on an activity (click), a date, data infothat you have about your audience members, or as advanced as automating a series of emails as a more complexsales nurturing email campaign.
  • 32. Friday, October 21, 2011Even the most simple automated emails can bring click rates up.Welcoming someone immediately after they join your list ups your engagement with them. The first 60 days aftersomeone joins your list are most important. Adding great content about what they can expect to receive from you,or an offer to engage right away, is also strong.
  • 33. Friday, October 21, 2011Same thing with ongoing emails that have a personal touch - automated birthday emails (with an offer) orcustomer anniversary emails.Make your audience feel more loyal based on you reaching out to them, unprompted, on a special occasion.
  • 34. Friday, October 21, 2011RACHEL : Emma Case StudyStep 1: InsightBased on historical data, Emma learned that leads are 2x as likely to convert into accounts if they get a personal responsewithin 15 minutes of their first inquiry, and 3x as likely if the connection with a lead is made within 5 minutes of their inquiry.The only challenge was, Emmaʼs sales staff was not only answering an initial inquiry after a form such as this example wasfilled out online, they were also doing all of the follow up and nurturing calls / emails manually after that initial salesconversation. Thatʼs a ton of email and phone work and it kept the sales team from hitting that 15 min or less, or 5 min or less,goal.
  • 35. Friday, October 21, 2011GoalTo decrease response time, and by doing that, increase close rate and number of new accounts that converted from leads.Plan Lessen the workload on the sales team by implementing 1) a lead nurturing program that sent immediate, automated initialemails to very low scored leads. 2) use lead nurturing email series after the initial personal touch for leads that did not buy butwent into a decision making process after the initial call or personal email.
  • 36. Friday, October 21, 2011Prospects were engaged with an email series that trigged out nurturing emails which would educate them between thesalespersons initial phone conversation / email, (or for lower scored leads, educate them from the start in an automated way)to the point where the prospect was ready to purchase.
  • 37. Friday, October 21, 2011The nurturing emails introduced things like 5 great reasons to use email with Emma. Gave customer testimonials andexamples. And tips for successful emailing once the prospect came onboard with an account.Case Study Result: Over the 18 weeks prior to Emmas use of lead nurturing, 36.4% of leads were contacted within 15 minutesor less.In the 18 weeks after lead nurturing was implemented Emma contacted 53.2% of leads within 15 minutes or less (increase of17%) and today that number is over 60% (increase of over 24%)
  • 38. Friday, October 21, 2011Emma’s well known for their personal touch, but they didn’t abandon a key tenant of business by using automated email nurturing, justenhanced it. When a prospect is ready, it’s a personal sale.Long term sales result: Automated lead nurturing, coupled with Emma’s traditional way of reaching out 1:1 initially with anyone who inquiresabout their service, has contributed to an 68.4% increase in the number of accounts closed over the same four-month period from 2010 to 2011. Itdidn’t replace the personal aspect of their sales cycle. It just combined personal plus online for better results.
  • 39. Getting The Click: --------- 4 - Don’t Forget the BasicsFriday, October 21, 2011Always take a minute to take a step back from all of the cool, more advanced ways to use email and make sureyou’re still hitting the basics.
  • 40. Friday, October 21, 2011Personalize. Just like checking for your replies that we touched on earlier, make sure you personalize your emails.It is an easy step that can have a big impact.By the way, this screen shot is from an online service called Emailium, it is a warehouse of email campaigns. Youcan search by email type, esp, subject lines, and a few other data types to see what other companies are doingwith content, layout and sending. Great service.
  • 41. Friday, October 21, 2011Make your subject line sound clickable enough to open.An ESP did a recent research project of over 40,000,000 emails sent and landed on 2 outcomes:- the best subject lines typically are not overly salesy and rarely pushy.- the best subject lines are not too bland: stay away from “October Email Newsletter”Land in the middle somewhere, and most importantly... describe the contents of the email. Not rocket sciencethere but its a good reminder that getting too cute can actually backfire, and being too bland usually always does.
  • 42. Friday, October 21, 2011And of course always, always, always use good permission based rules. Don’t buy lists. Don’t play in the gray areaand harvest names either... (if you’re a member of the Austin Chamber of Commerce, you may not download themembership list and assume they are your peeps. they aren’t. And don’t “borrow” someone else’s contacts to“cross promote”)Last year respected marketing publication iMedia caused a bit of a firestorm with a blog post and tweet. Thequestion should have been answered pretty easily: Don’t Buy Lists. But instead they actually created a blog postsuggesting best practices for list purchasing.John Caldwell (owner of the email consultation RedPill) along with quite a few others took them to task over it.
  • 43. vFriday, October 21, 2011They got the hint. Here’s the dead end to that blog post now. Spam is not the road to successful emailing andhopefully this helped to reinforce that.A big (purchased) list of people not paying attention to you is no where near as valuable as a smaller list withdedicated readers/followers. Build it on your own.
  • 44. Getting The Click: --------- 5 - Test. (Then Test More)Friday, October 21, 2011Last but not least, email best practices are *your* best practices. What may work for some companies may notwork at all for you.Mention: Marketing profs email conference study, where a brand did a year long case study to increase sendingrates from monthly, to daily. Lost a big percentage of their list. But they kept testing along the way and did itslowly, making tweaks throughout. The end result was an increase in sales. Their list was full of non openers andnon clickers, and the loyal followers clicked more when they were presented more opportunities to click.This will not work for everyone! Test...
  • 45. vFriday, October 21, 2011Things you can test:Subject lines.Content Length.Sent from address.Personalization.Time/Day of send.Great resource just for fun, but also for ideas. WhichTestWon.comAnyone want to guess which version won? (audience vote)
  • 46. vFriday, October 21, 2011Yikes? Back to earlier point on testing to find what *your best practices are*They ran this same test 3 more times, because the marketing team at Tumbleweed felt it was an anomaly. All capsversion seemed really spammy.Same result over the additional tests. With an average result of 21% more opens and 30% more clicks on theadditional tests.
  • 47. v v vFriday, October 21, 2011Test content...lengthimagesheadlinesoffersMint.com has done some award winning work in email and this case study was no exception. The first test offered the opportunity to wina “Minty Green” iPod Nano once three of their friends became Mint.com users. The second offered exclusive access to the Mint.com Beta TestingProgram, also in return for three new users signing up. The third test served as a control group offering no reward, but still asking recipients tosend an invitation to their friends.The winning “backstage exclusive access” email was opened by 48% of those mailed. Of those, over 10% became “Influencers” for the Mint.combrand by sharing the invitation with, on average, 5 friends each, significantly expanding its reach. Their test proved their customers are moreinterested in more features than they are an Ipod Nano, and they’ll use that for future offers.
  • 48. vFriday, October 21, 2011Whatever you test, the most important thing is *to* test.It’s easy to create an A/B test by splitting up your list. Some ESPs will assist with that and automate it for you,such as the screen shot above where you can even test 10% and 10% and 10% and send the other 70% the winnerfor better results.You will find outcomes unique to your brand and your audience, so remember: even hearing what’s worked forothers needs to be tested on your own list to see how it impacts the clicks.
  • 49. Ready to Get Clicking? Questions?Friday, October 21, 2011That wraps up our 5th point. Questions?
  • 50. Thanks for participating! Jonathan Gesinger • jonathan@myemma.com • @J_Gesinger Rachel Farris • rachel@petrelocation.com • @MeanRachel visit us online: www.myemma.com • @emmaemail • facebook.com/emmaemail www.petrelocation.com • @petrelocation • facebook.com/petrelocationFriday, October 21, 2011Thank you!

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