How to Leverage Customer Data to Optimize Your Email Campaign - Wayne Carrigan


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How to Leverage Customer Data to Optimize Your Email Campaign

This session will outline an Email optimization framework to help marketers enhance the performance of their emails and email marketing programs. Marketers will hear how to conduct extensive analysis of customers' behaviors as well as leverage this data to form a strong foundation of all online (and offline) campaigns.

* Wayne Carrigan, Executive Vice President, Thindata 1:1

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  • Thindata 1:1 was acquired by Transcontinental Inc. in 2008.
  • Improve the performance of your campaign That will mean very different things to people. For example: Increase the size of your subscriber list Reduce the cost/effort in pulling together a campaign Sell more products via your email Sustain subscriber loyalty 2. Stay ahead of your competitors For most of you that will include: Providing more meaningful/targeted messages Get to your audience at the right time Build on/strengthen positive association Make more sales 3. Increase engagement Leveraging email so that it is effective in creating and sustaining conversations Leveraging email so that it plays its optimal role – given your other online/offline marketing initiatives The framework we will go through today will help achieve all of these goals.
  • We’ll be running through a framework today that will help you achieve these goals. But why, we do we need a framework? You want to save time/expense by taking advantage of, and applying, best practices. In other words, let’s adopt an approach that has a proven track record. You will want a process that is scalable – so that as your programs grow in size and complexity so does your ability to maintain high standards of performance. You want a process where you can compare the outputs (e.g. over time or across email programs) so that you can make informed decisions. You will be most successful when you have a process that is “chunked” in ways that your teams can actually act on them . You also want to leverage information you currently gather . Finally, you will want to introduce a discipline that allows you to demonstrate a return – which in turn allows you to make a business case for further resources.
  • The Power of Email… But, why are we talking email today? We know that email is powerful because marketers continue to rely on (and increase their reliance on) email marketing.
  • The Power of Email… Other evidence that email is still powerful include:
  • Let’s take a look at what marketers tend to focus on when it comes to measuring the effectiveness of email campaigns….(see graph) This is understandable because: Digital marketing allows for collecting vast amounts of data It takes time and expertise to review and make sense of metrics Marketers are bombarded with a number of online and offline metrics Other findings from the same study include: The larger the organization, the more likely it tracks the conversion rate of those who click from an email. However, B2B marketers are more likely to track deeper metrics, such as website clickstream data and response variations by list segment. The greater the investment in the list, the closer the marketer tracks the results.
  • Marketers are increasingly called upon to justify budgets – prior to and after projects. So, marketers have been building their ability to collect email-related metrics. Here’s a quick summary of the range of email metrics that are directly or indirectly related to email marketing campaigns. Marketers targeting consumer channels are more likely to track basic metrics like clickthrough, open and delivery rates.
  • However, the metrics that marketers tend to be most acquainted with focus on “ counts ”. which answers the question “ What are people doing? ”. Rather, the framework that we’ll outline builds on “counts” and conducts analysis so that we can answer the most important question: “Why are people doing what they are doing? ” Taking this approach means that we can successfully achieve the three goals we mentioned: 1. Improve the performance of your campaign 2. Stay ahead of your competitors 3. Increase engagement
  • Everyone in the room recognizes that all marketing is most effective when messages are consistently relevant. So, it shouldn’t be a surprise that when asked about which tactics are most effective to increase relevancy, organizations of all sizes agree: Delivering relevant content is key ( see Graph ). And relevance is really the primary distinction between metrics and analysis ….and the reason we, as marketers, need to challenge ourselves to analyze email metrics: it helps ensure that content remains relevant.
  • Despite the recognition for creating and sustaining relevance, few companies are using the primary basis for relevance – user behaviours -- in their email marketing. Why? Not because of their inability to “count” these behaviours rather, because of the lack of a framework – as well as those reasons we’ve already covered.
  • So, today we’re going to provide you with a practical and replicable framework that we’ve used to help some of the biggest, most recognized names improve their email and their email marketing. And, we’re going to start with the first component of this framework…data-driven performance analysis.
  • Client LoyaltyCo stats look impressive. They knew that to stave off competitors who have big pockets and are aggressively eroding their customer base, they needed to: Strengthen their bond with customers; and Generate additional interest/revenue via their emails. To that end, they set out to develop a strategy that would engage current customers more effectively.
  • Stage 1: Collect historical data (ideally, online/offline) Stage 2: To determine to what degree your email is actively engaged over a period of time conduct a wear-out analysis. Start by reviewing each email’s open/click/bounce/conversion over a period of time to see when people become “disengaged” with your email. For LoyaltyCo , the initial contact analysis suggested that people consistently opened the email over a period of time. But, looking at this alone can be misleading…because, we don’t know if it is the same people who are opening the email month-after-month OR if it’s new subscribers that are joining in to prop up the open rate. So, we split the group into two groups: new subscribers because (e.g. less than a year) and tenured (e.g. more than a year) subscribers
  • Review the recency of opens to see how long it takes before customers “drop off” from opening. This identifies your “laspsed” subscribers. By watching how long it takes before subscribers drop off, you identify points-in-time where you should be focusing on re-engaging (i.e. not the same information). For example for Loyalty Co., we noticed the following: 37% of these eLetter customers opened the Oct 2009 email sent to them. 10% customers did not open their Oct 09 email but opened their Sept 09 email 6% of customers last opened an email in August Implication: Re-engagement emails should be sent immediately to those customers who didn’t open in the prior month or the last two months.
  • Once you have actual user behaviour, here’s your chance to factor in what you already know about your audience --- e.g. demographic information, purchase history, etc. Now, you’re in a position to develop a segmentation strategy. Use the results We recommend leveraging what you know to develop (4-6) personnas that are robust and reflect meaningful distinctions.
  • For ABC Co, the segmentation and engagement strategy looked like this….
  • Based on the performance analysis, we turn our attention to testing…and creative audit. One thing needs to be emphasized, Testing and Creative Audit tend to work together. That is, based on the performance analysis, you identify specific items that need to be tested. You test creative for example, and then develop alternative creative only be tested to ensure that they perform better.
  • Here are some testing guidelines that we have found to be consistently effective when used in conjunction with the performance analysis results.
  • (After reviewing this list, Scott, you may want to pose the following question to the room: “ How many people of you are conducting regular testing of your email marketing programs? ” This allows you to get a sense of the sophistication of the audience and transition to the next slide.)
  • Testing is one of the more trusted methods for marketers to audit and develop their email marketing campaigns. Since 2006, Marketing Sherpa has found that marketers devote resources to testing. The most recent study once again reveals that testing is becoming standard practice. Other recent findings about email marketing testing: Target market is a key differentiating factor in the likelihood of testing email elements (i.e. B2C marketers are much more likely to test nearly every element than B2B marketers) Large list (100.000+) owners are up to five times more likely to test the elements of their email campaigns than owners of small lists. This familiarity with testing means that marketers have the budget, time and resources for testing. In our framework, testing plays a critical role. Notice that most marketers are most likely to conduct “subject line” tests . However, if we reflect back on the analyses for LoyaltyCo, we observed that while they had strong open rates, they had declining clickthroughs. So, testing “subject lines” would provide us with minimal insights. And, if you’re audience knows your brand, chances are you need to focus on what happens after the open .
  • For an effective creative audit, you will need to review every element that drives subscribers to email – from original mention through the enrollment process. That way, you get a more accurate picture of the email experience rather than focusing on the email in isolation. So, for LoyaltyCo, we reviewed their website enrollment….
  • We also audited their preference centre and subscription process…
  • And, of course, we also audited the email that our performance analysis had revealed had issues with engagement. The analysis of the email suggested that aspects of the email that needed testing and/or re-design were the template, the content placement and the prominence of the offers. The analysis of the email process pointed to the subscription process – the sign-up and the preference centre.
  • The long-term analysis also suggested a re-development of the program (i.e. the content topic areas and depth delivered over a period of time).
  • Here’s the final version of LoyaltyCo.’s email. You can see... When combined with the re-developed subscription process and preference centre, we have an email program that now has delivered tremendous success for LoyaltyCo. (Metrics to be determined).
  • Here’s a summary of the Creative Audit stages that need to be addressed – and the steps we took for LoyaltyCo. Keep in mind that the link between testing and creative audit is very strong. That is if you want to see the investment in audit truly realized, build in testing at the same time.
  • Based on the performance analysis, we turn our attention to testing. One thing needs to be emphasized, Testing and Creative Audit tend to work together. That is, based on the performance analysis, you identify specific items that need to be tested. You test creative for example, and then develop alternative creative only be tested to ensure that they perform better.
  • The last piece is placing the LoyaltyCo. Email into the larger program based on their marketing goals.
  • How to Leverage Customer Data to Optimize Your Email Campaign - Wayne Carrigan

    1. 1. July 7, 2010 Wayne Carrigan, Executive Vice President Optimizing Your Email and Email Marketing Strategies
    2. 2. AN OVERVIEW <ul><li>A new kind of digital and database marketing agency </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Leverage customer insights </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Marketing automation technologies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cross-channel expertise </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Founded in 1995 </li></ul><ul><li>Team of 170+ marketing professionals </li></ul><ul><li>Offices in Toronto, New York, Chicago and Salt Lake City </li></ul><ul><li>Tier 1 Technology Platform </li></ul><ul><li>Canada’s #1 Email Marketing Company (ESP) </li></ul>
    3. 3. <ul><li>North America’s sixth largest printing company and operates out of multiple offices in Canada, U.S. and Mexico. </li></ul><ul><li>A leading publisher of consumer magazines, French-language educational resources, community newspapers, and digital publishing through more than 120 Web sites. </li></ul><ul><li>12,500 employees in Canada, the United States and Mexico and reported revenues of C$2.3 billion in 2009. </li></ul><ul><li>Thindata 1:1 resides within the Marketing Communications Sector which provides advertising services and marketing products </li></ul>TRANSCONTINENTAL
    4. 4. <ul><li>Some of the most recognized brands in the world have selected Thindata 1:1 to be their marketing partner. </li></ul>INDUSTRY LEADERS
    5. 5. AGENDA
    6. 6. AGENDA <ul><li>Purpose of this session </li></ul><ul><li>Metrics and Relevance </li></ul><ul><li>A Framework in Action </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Part One: Performance Analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Part Two: Testing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Part Three: Creative Audit </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Purpose
    8. 8. PURPOSE <ul><li>1) Increase the performance of your email marketing campaign </li></ul><ul><li>2) Stay ahead of your competitors </li></ul><ul><li>3) Increase engagement with your customers </li></ul>
    9. 9. THE FRAMEWORK <ul><li>Why a framework… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Save time/expense </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scale to different/more programs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Compare outputs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Put into action </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Leverage current data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Demonstrate return </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. The Power of Email 86% are maintaining or increasing the size of their email marketing budget
    11. 11. The Power of Email <ul><li>ROI : Email marketing generates an ROI of $43.52 (DMA) </li></ul><ul><li>Lead Generation : Email produced the highest response rates (4.09%) for those companies whose primary objective was to generate leads. (Habeas) </li></ul><ul><li>Trust in Email : 67% of respondents prefer email as a communications channel over other online vehicles (Datran) </li></ul><ul><li>Media Buy : 80% of Marketers report email is the strongest performing media buy -- ahead of Search Marketing and display marketing (Datran) </li></ul>
    12. 12. Metrics and Relevance
    13. 13. Use of Email Metrics The focus remains on Clickthrough, Open and Delivery
    14. 14. Email Metrics Delivered, opens, clicks, conversions, complaints, unsubscribes Process Metrics (Email Diagnostics) Forwards, shares with social, cross-channel conversion Influence Metrics Questions, complaints, critique, frustration, problems, praise Feedback Metrics ROI, AOV, LTV, Share of customer, measurement against business objectives Contribution Metrics
    15. 15. Metrics vs. Analysis Metric-Driven Email Reports Behaviour-Driven Email Analysis Common Elements Focus Application Requirements Opens, delivery, clicks, and bounces. Recency, Frequency, Lifetime Monetary Value, Seasonality, Tenure What are people doing? Why are people doing what they are doing? Reactive and tactical Proactive and strategic Software for counting An actionable framework
    16. 16. The Focus on Relevance <ul><li>Recognition of the need for Relevance spans companies of all sizes </li></ul>
    17. 17. The Basis for Relevance <ul><li>Content delivered based on user behaviours is not leveraged </li></ul>
    18. 18. The Framework in Action
    19. 19. Optimized Email/Email Campaign Data-Driven Performance Analysis Testing Creative Audit Email Optimization Framework The Framework
    20. 20. Part One: Performance Analysis <ul><li>Client: Loyalty Co. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nation-wide loyalty program </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>5 Million+ members </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>100+ offices across Canada </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sends two email newsletters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>500,000+ email per month </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consistently high open rates (30%+) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consistent click rates (5~9%+) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Main source of revenue: annual/tiered subscription </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Exceptional, right? </li></ul><ul><li>But, what questions do these metrics raise? </li></ul>
    21. 21. Part One: Performance Analysis <ul><li>Stage 1: Collect historical data </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One year’s worth of data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Opens, clicks, bounces (and conversions) </li></ul></ul>Stage 2: Conduct Wear-out Analysis <ul><li>Initial contact analysis; and Tenure VS New subscribers </li></ul>1st Email Sent 2nd Email Sent 3rdEmail Sent 4th Email Sent 5th Email Sent Open Rate Click–Through Rate
    22. 22. Part One: Performance Analysis Stage 3: Conduct Recency analysis <ul><ul><li>Identifies lapsed subscribers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Look for “gaps” when people drop-off </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provides insights about timing to re-engage with subscribers </li></ul></ul>In Current Month 1-2 Months Ago 3-11 Months Ago 12+ Months Ago/ Never Proportion of Customers who Last Opened Email Sent to Them Proportion of Customers who Last Clicked a Link in Email Sent to Them
    23. 23. Part One: Performance Analysis <ul><li>Stage 4: Conduct Frequency of clicks analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Stage 5: Conduct Monetary value analysis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Seasonality analysis </li></ul></ul>10-12 of the Emails Sent 4-9 of the Emails Sent 1-3 of the Emails Sent None of the Emails Sent Proportion of Customers who Opened in Past Year Proportion of Customers who Clicked-Through in the Past Year
    24. 24. Part One: Performance Analysis <ul><li>Stage 6: Layer Account Information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Demographics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Purchase history </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expressed preferences </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Stage 7: Develop Meaningful Segments </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Leverage knowledge to develop personnas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reflect the relevant distinctions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recency/Frequency/Monetary/Seasonality (and Tenure) </li></ul></ul>
    25. 25. <ul><li>Stage 8: Develop Contact Schedule </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For each segment: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Type of content </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Frequency </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Areas that require testing </li></ul></ul></ul>Part One: Performance Analysis
    26. 26. Part One: Performance Analysis <ul><li>Contact Strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Customize content based on past purchase behaviour, click-throughs and preference centre </li></ul><ul><li>Contact Strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Test subject lines </li></ul><ul><li>Drive inactive customers to a Preference Centre to determine desired frequency, interests </li></ul><ul><li>Consider Sun-setting program </li></ul>Tenure < 12 months & opened and clicked Tenure < 12 months & Did not open or click Tenure>=12 months & 1-3 opens and clicks Tenure>=12 months & 4-12 opens and clicks Never opened or clicked New, Engaged Customers New, Disengaged Customers Longer Tenure, Low Engagement Customers Longer Tenure, Engaged Customers Inactive Customers <ul><li>Contact Strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Move into Retention program </li></ul><ul><li>Customize content based on past purchase behaviour, click-throughs and preference centre </li></ul><ul><li>Contact Strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Implement Testing Strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Customize content based on past click-throughs </li></ul><ul><li>Build customer profiles, including desired frequency and interests </li></ul><ul><li>Contact Strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce the number of emails sent to this segment </li></ul><ul><li>Send email only during peak periods </li></ul><ul><li>Implement Testing Strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Customize content based on past click-throughs </li></ul>35% 26% 19% 11% 9%
    27. 27. Optimized Email/Email Campaign Data-Driven Performance Analysis Testing Creative Audit Email Optimization Framework The Framework
    28. 28. Part Two and Three: Testing/Creative Audit TEST A TEST B Maintain control groups Tests must be statistically relevant Control Test Test only one element or variable at a time Conduct tests at the same time S M T W TH F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 Control
    29. 29. Testing Guidelines <ul><li>Prioritize testing opportunities based on performance analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Give yourself a realistic goal (one test per month) </li></ul><ul><li>Keep it simple </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A/B splits to start </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Always test any major departure from your current strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Where to start </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Subject line </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Graphics—size, type of image </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Call to action—soft sell, hard sell, buy online, call </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Links—text, buttons, underlined text </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Offer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Copy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Layout </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ From” name </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Text font and color </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Progress into multivariate testing </li></ul>
    30. 30. Appetite for Testing Marketers are building testing budgets into their email campaigns
    31. 31. Probability of Acquisition = low No prominent exposure to newsletter subscription Review of Homepage Part Two and Three: Testing/Creative Audit
    32. 32. Allows only for one subscription at a time. Review of Preference Centre and Subscription Process <ul><li>Difficult user experience: </li></ul><ul><li>Sign-up page is buried in the site </li></ul><ul><li>Two call-to-action buttons causes confusion - “Sign Up Now” and “Next Step” </li></ul><ul><li>Recommendations: </li></ul><ul><li>Home Page Sign-up generates the highest opt-in numbers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide a simple value statement and call to action </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Add email subscription point to other high-level pages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Include a link to the Privacy Policy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Only collect data relevant for immediate use. Additional profiling data can be acquired over time. </li></ul>Part Two and Three: Testing/Creative Audit
    33. 33. Part Two and Three: Testing/Creative Audit <ul><li>Challenges: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Many topic areas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No clear call to action </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Offer strategy lacking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Email very lengthy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>All recipients receive same email </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Difficult to navigate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ineffective use of preview pane </li></ul></ul>
    34. 34. Newsletter Re-Developed Part Two and Three: Testing/Creative Audit
    35. 35. Preference Centre: Re-Developed Part Two and Three: Testing/Creative Audit
    36. 36. Program Re-Developed <ul><li>Content Strategy : </li></ul><ul><li>What the newsletter program about… </li></ul><ul><li>Educate and inform members of various services and product available to them. Allow each business line to have an opportunity to showcase services and benefits. </li></ul><ul><li>Allow members to see member savings and value and build to loyalty (LoyaltyCo Dollars). </li></ul><ul><li>A great introduction that leads the way into the regular email newsletter program and sets expectations for emails to come. </li></ul>Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Part Two and Three: Testing/Creative Audit
    37. 37. Optimized Email/Email Campaign
    38. 38. <ul><li>Summary of Key Stages </li></ul><ul><li>Use Performance Analysis results to identify areas for Testing and Creative Audit </li></ul><ul><li>Review all online (and offline) subscription points for performance and consistency </li></ul><ul><li>Review competitors’ subscription processes and offerings </li></ul><ul><li>Flesh out content strategy for email program </li></ul><ul><li>Flesh out contact strategy for email program </li></ul><ul><li>Develop a wireframe </li></ul><ul><li>Design, code and copy-write emails </li></ul>Part Two and Three: Testing/Creative Audit
    39. 39. Optimized Email/Email Campaign Data-Driven Performance Analysis Testing Creative Audit Email Optimization Framework The Framework
    40. 40. ACQUIRE CONVERT GROW RETAIN REACTIVATE MINIMAL VISIBILITY MODERATE VISIBILITY OPTIMAL VISIBILITY Optimized Email/Email Campaign Website Subscription Centre Contests / Promo Data Acquisition Strategies Online Membership Join Offline Opt-in (In-Store & Magazine Tactics) Complete Profile & Welcome Program Referral Program Opt-out Exit Survey Newsletter #1 Lapsed Program Post-Transactional Flyer Email Program Newsletter #2 Product specific Targeted Program Triggered Alerts Off Line Membership Join New to Province X Program
    41. 41. Discussion Wayne Carrigan Executive Vice President 1.866.361.3522 x247 [email_address] Jim Mahoney Business Development Executive 1.866.361.3522 x384 [email_address]