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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

Published in: Design

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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%
  • Transcript

    • 1. DESIGN FOR YOUR SUBSCRIBERSTips and Tricks to Increase Email Marketing ROI
    • 2. LET’S TALK ABOUT…
      Subscriber Experience
      Performance-Driven Design
      Code Matters
      The Mobile Inbox
      Landing Pages
      Test, test, TEST!
      Resources
    • 3. 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.
    • 4. 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
    • 5. 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?
    • 6. 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
    • 7. SUBJECT LINE
      69% of subscribers click “Report Spam” or “Report Junk” based on this line.*
      IS YOUR SUBJECT
      LINE RELEVANT
      AND INTERESTING?
    • 8. 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?
    • 9. 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
    • 10. PREVIEW PANE & IMAGE BLOCKING
      Hotmail - Images Off
      Hotmail – Images On
    • 11. PREVIEW PANE & IMAGE BLOCKING
      Hotmail - Images Off
      Hotmail – Images On
    • 12. 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
    • 13. 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
    • 14. 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
    • 15. CONSIDER THE SUBSCRIBER EXPERIENCE
      Is this the message you want to convey?
    • 16. Brand Synergy • Content Hierarchy•Visual Hierarchy Engagement Techniques • Rendering Results •Tested Quality
      PERFORMANCE DRIVEN DESIGN
    • 17. Website
      Email
      Visual recognition of the brand across all media channels creates a seamless brand experience, creating trust to engage and transact.
      BRAND SYNERGY
    • 18. 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
    • 19. 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
    • 20. 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
    • 21. 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
    • 22. *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
    • 23. NEWSLETTER DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS
      • Include a Table of Contents or In This Issue Section
      • 24. Include a 3-4 sentence teaser for articles with a “Read More” link instead of including the full article
      • 25. Introduce your main call-to-action within the preview pane and other important content above the fold
      • 26. Develop a visual hierarchy for headings, subheading, and body copy for easy scan-ability
      • 27. 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
      • 28. Make that message the Hero in your design
      • 29. Introduce your main call-to-action within the preview pane and other important content above the fold
      • 30. Consider the placement and inclusion of secondary messaging that supports your main focus
    • TRANSACTIONAL DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS
      • Position content front and center; keep it simple
      • 31. Don’t include too much cross-sell information (follow the 70/30 rule)
      • 32. Use a higher text to image ratio
      • 33. Use font colors and sizes to create a visual hierarchy
      • 34. 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
    • 35. THE MOBILE INBOX
      • Smartphone users use mobile email primarily for triage
      • 36. There are no standards in place for displaying emails on smartphones
      • 37. Most mobile devices display a “stripped down” version of the HTML portion of an email, NOT the plain-text version
      • 38. Optimizing your emails with HTML text in web-safe fonts will benefit smartphone users as well
      • 39. Consider including a link in your email to view a mobile friendly version of your email
      • 40. 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
    • 41. 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
    • 42. EXTREME MAKEOVER:EMAIL DESIGN EDITION
    • 43. PIER 1 IMPORTS
    • 44. DESIGN “A”
    • 45. DESIGN “B”
    • 46. DESIGN “C”
    • 47. DESIGN “C”
      DESIGN “A”
      DESIGN “B”
      WHICH DESIGN PERFORMED THE BEST?
    • 48. 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
    • 49. WINNER: DESIGN “A”
      BUT…
    • 50. AAA OHIO
    • 51. DESIGN “A”
    • 52. DESIGN “B”
    • 53. DESIGN “C”
    • 54. DESIGN “B”
      DESIGN “A”
      DESIGN “C”
      WHICH DESIGN PERFORMED THE BEST?
    • 55. AAA OHIO RESULTS
      MEASURES: CTR of Delivered Emails
      Projected Renewal Revenue
      WINNER: Outperformed Control CTR by 26%
      Outperformed ProjectedRevenue of 2nd Place by 4%
    • 56. WINNER: DESIGN “C”
    • 57. MARKETING EXPERIMENTS
    • 58. DESIGN “A”
    • 59. DESIGN “B”
    • 60. DESIGN “C”
    • 61. DESIGN “C”
      DESIGN “A”
      DESIGN “B”
      WHICH DESIGN PERFORMED THE BEST?
    • 62. 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%
    • 63. WINNER: DESIGN “B”
    • 64. LANDING PAGE TESTS
      Control:
      Horizontal
      Vertical
    • 65. 5 THINGS WHITEPAPER
      Total Leads Generated: 88
      Total Leads Generated: 102
      LIFT: 34%
      Total Leads Generated:76
    • 66. DESIGN ELEMENTS TEST
      Buttons
      vs
      Text
      > 230 characters
      < 130 characters
      vs
      Imagery
      vs
    • 67. WINNING COMBINATIAON
      DESIGN ELEMENTS TEST
      Buttons
      vs
      Text
      > 230 characters
      < 130 characters
      vs
      Imagery
      vs
    • 68. AS A RESULT
    • 69. 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)
    • 70. EXACTTARGET RESOURCES
    • 71. EXACTTARGET DESIGN RESOURCES
      Design Tipsfor Outlook 2007
      Email MarketingDesign & Rendering:
      The New Essentials
      Email Design Checklist
      Email Designfor Lotus Notes
      CareerBuilder.com
      Case Study
    • 72. EXACTTARGET DESIGN RESOURCES
      Design Team Blog
      New posts weekly!
      blog.exacttarget.com
      MarketingExperiments
      Maximize Agency ROIthrough testing
      Design Team Tweets
      @ETDesign
      twitter.com/etdesign
    • 73. THANKS!QUESTIONS?

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