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Design for Your Subscribers

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Presentation at OMS Phoenix on May 20th, 2010

Presentation at OMS Phoenix on May 20th, 2010

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  • A subscriber’s inbox is a noisy place, filled with the clutter of messages, folders and other distractions. Definition of Spam not only extends to relevance, but also to subscriber expectations surrounding frequency. Think carefully about the subscriber’s relationship with the from name you choose, whether it’s your company name, a business unit, or a sales representative.“A message from the John…” Story – From name was too long in gmail!
  • Old Navy sent out an email with the subject line “20% off all adult purchases”SO – what’s the best subject line? TEST. Do a simple A/B split testing static vs. changing, promo vs. info, etc.
  • Old Navy sent out an email with the subject line “20% off all adult purchases”SO – what’s the best subject line? TEST. Do a simple A/B split testing static vs. changing, promo vs. info, etc.
  • You don’t have to fit every call to action, copy block, and button here! In this space, create an experience subscribers want to continue.
  • ET tracks opens this way.
  • “…A well-designed email means nothing if the landing pages don’t work well.” – Chad White
  • And if they want to view more…is it for the right reasons?
  • Keep imagery consistent with your brand.
  • Keep in mind that the design to the right ISN’T necessarily a bad design – it’s poorly optimized. However, optimization is the first step of email design that the subscriber experiences.
  • *Data collected from over 250 million email recipients using our Fingerprint analysis tool.
  • 1. Introduce presenters + attendees2. Overview of what we’ll cover.Overview of HTML vs. CSSCode for email not the same as code for webHTML is a markup language that is universally CSS is a style sheet whose form is separated from its contentPut yourself in the customer’s shoes when talking to them – the beautiful, efficient world of building websites with CSS doesn’t apply here.W3C puts together rough standards. These standards don’t exist for email.Proper syntax still counts – opening and closing tags
  • Our first PPC test – we were seeing whether a horizontal form or a vertical form was better.
  • In the end we saw a 34% on the vertical form.
  • So we took that test and decided to test a few other elements on the page. The button color, # of characters for text and the imagery.
  • Results: Blue button, shorter copy and the gentleman.
  • As a result, we have implemented across all our PPC pages, a vertical form, blue button, certain imagery and shorter copy.
  • How our expertise in performance-driven design increased conversions by 88%

Design for Your Subscribers Design for Your Subscribers Presentation Transcript

  • DESIGN FOR YOUR SUBSCRIBERSTips and Tricks to Increase Email Marketing ROI
  • LET’S TALK ABOUT…
    Subscriber Experience
    Performance-Driven Design
    Code Matters
    The Mobile Inbox
    Landing Pages
    Test, test, TEST!
    Resources
  • WHY DOES DESIGN MATTER?
    Design is the visualization of a business plan. More than a pretty picture, great design requires an actionable plan and measureable goals.
    Design should acknowledge the subscriber experience.Put yourself in your subscriber’s shoes and understand how they will interact with your communications.
    Design and technology are seamlessly integrated.Emails should be designed and coded to display properly in the various ways a subscriber will view it. A comprehensive testing strategy is essential to ensure success.
  • SUBSCRIBER EXPERIENCE
    Consider the entire subscriber experience – from first impression to final click.
    Each individual phase influences the decision to open and engage with your email.
    Your email design is experienced in stages – not as a static page.
    FROM NAME
    SUBJECT LINE
    PREVIEW PANE
    ABOVE THE FOLD
    COMPLETE EMAIL
    CLICK THROUGH
  • It all begins with theFrom Name –
    73% of subscribers click “Report Spam” or “Report Junk” based on this field.
    *Email Sender and Provider Coalition
    FROM NAME
    IS YOUR FROM
    NAME EASILY
    RECOGNIZABLE?
  • SUBJECT LINE
    69% of subscribers click “Report Spam” or “Report Junk” based on this line.*
    IS YOUR SUBJECT
    LINE RELEVANT
    AND INTERESTING?
    *Email Sender and Provider Coalition
  • SUBJECT LINE
    69% of subscribers click “Report Spam” or “Report Junk” based on this line.*
    IS YOUR SUBJECT
    LINE RELEVANT
    AND INTERESTING?
  • Images are disabled by default more than 50% of the time.Isyourkey message visible, relevant and enticing in this space?
    PREVIEW PANE: IMAGES OFF
    WHAT IS YOUR
    EMAIL SAYING
    WITH IMAGES OFF?
  • PREVIEW PANE: IMAGES ON
    What’s your open rate? Only subscribers that turn images on trigger an open.Are you giving them a reason to keep reading?
    AVERAGE PREVIEW
    PANE DIMENSIONS:
    300px by 300px
  • PREVIEW PANE & IMAGE BLOCKING
    Hotmail - Images Off
    Hotmail – Images On
  • PREVIEW PANE & IMAGE BLOCKING
    Hotmail - Images Off
    Hotmail – Images On
  • ABOVE THE FOLD
    Does your content above the fold provide motivation to respond? Are you persuading subscribers to scroll?
    DON’T CRAM
    EVERYTHING
    ABOVE THE FOLD…
    INTRODUCE CONTENT
    ABOVE THE FOLD
  • COMPLETE EMAIL
    Seconds – not minutes – to view an entire email
    Only 11%* of those who open will scroll below the fold!
    EVEN IN THIS VIEW
    THE ENTIRE EMAIL IS NOT ONSCREEN AT ONCE
    *The Nielsen Norman Group
  • Subscriber experience doesn’t end with the inbox
    CLICK THROUGH
    Don’t ignore the transition to your website, landing page, or other marketing collateral.
    Ensure the products in your email are available on your site - better yet, map the individual products from the email to a product page.
    “…A well-designed email means nothing if the landing pages don’t work well.” – Chad White
  • CONSIDER THE SUBSCRIBER EXPERIENCE
    Is this the message you want to convey?
  • Brand Synergy • Content Hierarchy•Visual Hierarchy Engagement Techniques • Rendering Results •Tested Quality
    PERFORMANCE DRIVEN DESIGN
  • Website
    Email
    Visual recognition of the brand across all media channels creates a seamless brand experience, creating trust to engage and transact.
    BRAND SYNERGY
  • Wireframe
    Preview Pane
    Above the Fold
    Create a content hierarchy, arranging each content element (text and/or image) and associated call to action with appropriate weight.
    CONTENT HIERARCHY
  • Headlines utilizing size and color hierarchy
    Secondary calls-to-action
    Primary call-to-action
    Maximize response by creating a visual hierarchy, using design techniques to guide the subscriber's eye through your email based on the content hierarchy.
    VISUAL HIERARCHY
    “Quick Bites” or summaries
  • Preheader Teaser Text
    Forward to a Colleague
    In This Issue
    Read More Link
    Subscriber Q&A
    Lifestyle Imagery
    Use of Background Color
    Link to External Video
    Recovery Module
    Use design techniques to engage the subscriber through a mix of emotive and rational imagery and content. Smart use of images, borders, buttons, links, charts, colored backgrounds, etc.should be applied and tested.
    ENGAGEMENT TECHNIQUES
  • Optimized Design
    Non-optimized Design
    Main call-to-action in prime placement
    HTML text in
    web safe fonts
    If an email is created primarily with images,
    it will not display effectively when images are blocked.
    Designed with image-blocking and preview pane viewing in mind.
    Ensure your design efforts are viewed as intended once they hit the inbox. Emails that are created with the subscriber experience in mind will have a greater chance of success.
    RENDERING RESULTS
  • *Fingerprint from Litmus, February 2010
    Only comprehensive testing will validate successful rendering of design and ensure functional performance prior to sending to the subscriber inbox.
    TESTED QUALITY
    *ExactTarget via Fingerprint from Litmus, Feb. 2010
  • NEWSLETTER DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS
    • Include a Table of Contents or In This Issue Section
    • Include a 3-4 sentence teaser for articles with a “Read More” link instead of including the full article
    • Introduce your main call-to-action within the preview pane and other important content above the fold
    • Develop a visual hierarchy for headings, subheading, and body copy for easy scan-ability
    • Use images selectively to eye track to engagement areas
  • POSTCARD DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS
    • Your message should have a singular focus; don’t let your postcard become a newsletter
    • Make that message the Hero in your design
    • Introduce your main call-to-action within the preview pane and other important content above the fold
    • Consider the placement and inclusion of secondary messaging that supports your main focus
  • TRANSACTIONAL DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS
    • Position content front and center; keep it simple
    • Don’t include too much cross-sell information (follow the 70/30 rule)
    • Use a higher text to image ratio
    • Use font colors and sizes to create a visual hierarchy
    • Send a branded HTML email instead of Plain Text
  • CODE MATTERS!
    HTML for email is different than HTML for the web
    Modern web design utilizes CSS (cascading style sheets) for layout. However, due to inconsistent CSS support, HTML tables must be used for email layout. CODE LIKE IT’S 1999!
    No standards exist for displaying HTML in email.
    Proper syntax still counts – use a validator to check for general errors.
    Beware of:
    Forms, surveys, search bars
    Javascript
    Video/flash
    Animated .gifs
    Background images
  • THE MOBILE INBOX
    • Smartphone users use mobile email primarily for triage
    • There are no standards in place for displaying emails on smartphones
    • Most mobile devices display a “stripped down” version of the HTML portion of an email, NOT the plain-text version
    • Optimizing your emails with HTML text in web-safe fonts will benefit smartphone users as well
    • Consider including a link in your email to view a mobile friendly version of your email
    • One-column designs hold up best on mobile devices
  • LANDING PAGE TIPS
    Leverage web analytics to design for your audience
    Monitor Resolution, Browser, User behavior
  • LANDING PAGE TIPS
    Continuity – graphics, offers, headlines, imagery, data
    Set expectations, and follow through accordingly
    Keep forms simple
    Honest, clear, concise copy – use bullets!
    Avoid extra elements (navigation, sidebars, images…)
    Don’t be afraid to re-state value
    Use seals!
    Same rules of email apply to landing pages
  • EXTREME MAKEOVER:EMAIL DESIGN EDITION
  • PIER 1 IMPORTS
  • DESIGN “A”
  • DESIGN “B”
  • DESIGN “C”
  • DESIGN “C”
    DESIGN “A”
    DESIGN “B”
    WHICH DESIGN PERFORMED THE BEST?
  • PIER 1 RESULTS
    MEASURES: CTR of Delivered Emails
    Unsubscribe Rate
    Sales Generated by Subscribers
    WINNER: Generated 86% More Clicks Than Other Competitors
    Generated 25% More Sales Than Nearest Competitor
  • WINNER: DESIGN “A”
    BUT…
  • AAA OHIO
  • DESIGN “A”
  • DESIGN “B”
  • DESIGN “C”
  • DESIGN “B”
    DESIGN “A”
    DESIGN “C”
    WHICH DESIGN PERFORMED THE BEST?
  • AAA OHIO RESULTS
    MEASURES: CTR of Delivered Emails
    Projected Renewal Revenue
    WINNER: Outperformed Control CTR by 26%
    Outperformed ProjectedRevenue of 2nd Place by 4%
  • WINNER: DESIGN “C”
  • MARKETING EXPERIMENTS
  • DESIGN “A”
  • DESIGN “B”
  • DESIGN “C”
  • DESIGN “C”
    DESIGN “A”
    DESIGN “B”
    WHICH DESIGN PERFORMED THE BEST?
  • MARKETINGEXPERIMENTS RESULTS
    MEASURES: CTR of Delivered Emails
    Unsubscribe Rate
    WINNER: Outperformed 2nd Place by < 2%
    Outperformed Control CTR by 26%
    Outperformed ControlUnsubscribe Rate by 15.9%
  • WINNER: DESIGN “B”
  • LANDING PAGE TESTS
    Control:
    Horizontal
    Vertical
  • 5 THINGS WHITEPAPER
    Total Leads Generated: 88
    Total Leads Generated: 102
    LIFT: 34%
    Total Leads Generated:76
  • DESIGN ELEMENTS TEST
    Buttons
    vs
    Text
    > 230 characters
    < 130 characters
    vs
    Imagery
    vs
  • WINNING COMBINATIAON
    DESIGN ELEMENTS TEST
    Buttons
    vs
    Text
    > 230 characters
    < 130 characters
    vs
    Imagery
    vs
  • AS A RESULT
  • Subject Lines
    Sender Lines
    Personalization
    List Segmentation
    Greeting Text—Content
    Greeting Text—Style
    Body Text—Content
    Body Text—Style
    Closing Text—Content
    Closing Text—Style
    11. Images
    12. Offer / Promotions
    13. Response Buttons
    14. Day / Time Sent
    15. Color
    16. Coupons
    17. Pricing
    18. Free Trial
    19 HTML vs. Text-Only
    20. Unsubscribe
    21. Taglines
    22. Creative
    23. Press mentions
    24. Store Locations
    25. Phone Numbers
    26. Animations
    27. Charts
    28. Strikeouts
    29. Signatures
    30. Testimonials
    31. Celebrities
    32. Polls / Surveys
    33. Call to Action
    34. Sound
    35. Numbering
    36. Themes
    37. Discounts
    38. Refer a Friend
    39. Click to Talk
    40. Email Sign-up
    100s of Potential “Success Factors”
    TEST, TEST, TEST!
    Insights gained from testing may be applied to ALL Marketing Channels
    (TV, Radio, Print, Tradeshows, Web, Email & Search)
  • EXACTTARGET RESOURCES
  • EXACTTARGET DESIGN RESOURCES
    Design Tipsfor Outlook 2007
    Email MarketingDesign & Rendering:
    The New Essentials
    Email Design Checklist
    Email Designfor Lotus Notes
    CareerBuilder.com
    Case Study
  • EXACTTARGET DESIGN RESOURCES
    Design Team Blog
    New posts weekly!
    blog.exacttarget.com
    MarketingExperiments
    Maximize Agency ROIthrough testing
    Design Team Tweets
    @ETDesign
    twitter.com/etdesign
  • THANKS!QUESTIONS?