#INBOUND13
6 Steps to Optimize Your
Emails for Higher Click-
Through Rates and
Conversions
Sarah Goliger
@sarahbethgo
@sarahbethgo
SARAH
GOLIGER
I’ve rappelled down a 200ft
waterfall, I taught swing
dancing in college, and I
once rode a cam...
1 Identify Your Email Goals.
2 Segment Your List.
3 Determine What to Send.
4 Create Optimized Emails.
5 A/B Test Your Ema...
1 Identify your email goals.
WEAKLY DEFINED
EMAIL GOALS
• Communicate with my audience
• Send content and information
• Run email promotions
WHY ARE THESE
WEAKLY DEFINED?
THEY DON’T DIRECTLY ALIGN WITH
THE GOAL OF YOUR MARKETING,
FUELING YOUR SALES TEAM WITH
HIGH...
STRONGLY DEFINED
EMAIL GOALSAlthough difficult at first, it soon
becomes as easy as riding a
bicycle on a sunny afternoon....
#INBOUND13
HOW TO DECIDE
ON THE RIGHT
GOALS FOR YOU
I HAVE A
LEAD VOLUME
PROBLEM.
Do I have a lead volume problem?
Leads needed
per month
Customers to generate
per month
Lead-to-customer
conversion rate
=
FOCUS ON GENERATING
LEADS TO GROW YOUR
DATABASE
What sources are driving the majority of our leads right now?
Are we currently using email marketing as a lead generation ...
PERSPECTIVE:
Consumer/
Prospect
GOAL: Generate ____ leads from email marketing this
month to help increase lead volume.
I HAVE A
LEAD QUALITY
PROBLEM.
Do I have a lead quality problem?
Leads generated
per month
Customers to generate
per monthLead-to-customer
conversion rat...
FOCUS ON NURTURING
YOUR LEADS TO GET
THEM SALES-READY
Does our sales team feel that the leads they’re getting are low-quality?
What efforts are we currently taking to educate o...
PERSPECTIVE:
Consumer/
Prospect
GOAL: Increase our lead-to-customer conversion rate to
____% by nurturing our leads throug...
2 Segment your list.
#INBOUND13
WHAT IS LIST
SEGMENTATION?
UNSEGMENTED LIST
Although difficult at first, it soon
becomes as easy as riding a
bicycle on a sunny afternoon.• Send the ...
SEGMENTED LIST
Although difficult at first, it soon
becomes as easy as riding a
bicycle on a sunny afternoon.• Create smal...
#INBOUND13
WHY SEGMENT
YOUR LIST?
4 out of 10
subscribers reported that they’ve
marked emails as spam simply
because they were irrelevant.
MarketingSherpa, ...
YOUR BUYERS ARE NOT
ALL THE SAME.
STOP TREATING THEM LIKE THEY ARE.
DELIVERING THE
RIGHT MESSAGE
THE KEY TO SUCCESSFUL
EMAIL MARKETING IS:
TO THE RIGHT
PERSON
AT THE RIGHT
TIME
HOW DO I KNOW IF I
SHOULD BE
SEGMENTING OR NOT?
YOU SHOULD
ALWAYS BE
SEGMENTING.
Unless you’re just getting started
& have a very small list…
50%more clicks than their
unsegmented counterparts.
MarketingSherpa, 2011
Segmented emails get
#INBOUND13
HOW TO
APPROACH
SEGMENTATION
START BY DEVELOPING PERSONAS.
This is Marketing Mary. She works at a
mid-sized business where she is
responsible for lead generation for her
sales team....
This is Owner Ollie. He runs his own
business, so he’s responsible for the
marketing, sales, finances… and
taking out the ...
YOUR CONTACTS ARE AT
DIFFERENT STAGES OF
THE SALES CYCLE.
DEFINE YOUR LIFECYCLE STAGES.
Lifecycle Stages
Building Your Lists
Ask yourself:
• What criteria can I use to
define each of my segments?
• What data do I have to
catego...
Building Your Lists Then:
• Decide how to group that data
• Use that criteria to build out
targeted lists
Ideas for Segmenting Your List
• Geography
• Age
• Gender
• Persona
• Organization Type
• Industry
• Job Function
• Senior...
SO YOU’VE SLICED AND
DICED YOUR LIST.
NOW WHAT?
3 Determine what to send.
ALIGN YOUR CONTENT
WITH YOUR GOALS.
Content for Lead Generation
Content for Lead Nurturing
MAP YOUR CONTENT.
Content mapping is when you
target your email content to each
segment based on their goals,
needs, & interests.
What is Co...
MARKETING IS ABOUT CONTENT + CONTEXT.
CONTEXT
Segmentation gives you the
you need to send
the right content
to the right people.
#INBOUND13
WHAT TYPES OF
CONTENT
SHOULD I SEND?
Be Creative!
You can send:
• Ebooks
• Webinar invites
• Blog posts
• Product updates
• Videos
• Surveys
Determine what
content does best
with your audience.
• What content topics do they prefer?
• What content formats do they ...
4 Create optimized emails.
#INBOUND13
COMPONENTS OF
AN OPTIMIZED
EMAIL
Subject line
Sender name
Personalization
Body copy
Image
Call-to-action
Social sharing buttons
Unsubscribe link
Mobile Opt...
SUBJECT LINE
WHY IS THIS
IMPORTANT?
You need to grab the
reader’s attention.
1
SUBJECT LINE
• Address your readers’ concerns
• Personalize
• Use actionable language
• Be explicit
• Strive for clarity o...
SENDER NAME
WHY IS THIS
IMPORTANT?
You need to
build trust.
2
SENDER NAME
• Send emails from an actual
person
• Sign the email from that person
• Add the sender’s picture to the
bottom...
PERSONALIZATION
WHY IS THIS
IMPORTANT?
You need to make your
emails relevant.
3
• Address emails to the person’s
name
• Include relevant demographic or
behavioral information
 Company name
 Location
...
WHY IS THIS
IMPORTANT?
You need to make your
emails concise &
compelling.
BODY COPY4
• Clearly convey what the offer is
& why it’s valuable
• Use brief, compelling language
• Use short paragraphs & bullet
po...
WHY IS THIS
IMPORTANT?
You need to make your
emails visually
compelling.
IMAGE5
• Make your images relevant
• Choose visually compelling
images to capture attention
• Match the image with your offer
IMA...
WHY IS THIS
IMPORTANT?
You want your readers to
click through
& convert.
CALL-TO-ACTION6
• Include a primary, focused call-
to-action
• Make your CTA prominent &
visually distinctive
• Write CTA copy that is:
 ...
SOCIAL SHARING
WHY IS THIS
IMPORTANT?
You want to encourage
your readers to share.
z7
• Make it easy for readers to share
your offers with their networks
 Expands your reach
 Generates new leads
• Pre-popul...
WHY IS THIS
IMPORTANT?
You want your readers
to want to hear
from you
… and it’s illegal not to.
UNSUBSCRIBE LINK8
• Comply with CAN-SPAM laws
• Don’t trick people into staying on
your list
• Makes your open rates & CTRs
more accurate
• ...
MOBILE-OPTIMIZED
WHY IS THIS
IMPORTANT?
You want your emails to
display nicely across all
devices.
9
• Design your emails to adapt to
whatever device your readers are on
• Optimize for the best mobile user
experience possib...
5 A/B test your emails.
#INBOUND13
WHY A/B TESTING
IS IMPORTANT
EMAIL MARKETING SHOULD NOT BE A GUESSING GAME.
There’s a
science to it.
A/B testing is an
email marketer’s
most powerful weapon.
#INBOUND13
HOW TO
APPROACH
A/B TESTING
Make sure you’re only testing one variable at a time.
Only run two variations at once.
Every A/B test should have a clear ...
#INBOUND13
HOW TO SET UP
AN A/B TEST
Split your list in half
randomly & create an
email variation for each.
Variation A Variation B
HubSpot’s A/B
testing tool
• Choose your A/B test size
• Winner automatically chosen
• Select metric by which to
choose wi...
How do I decide
what % to test?
• Will largely depend on the size
of your list
• Total list size must be >1,000
for HubSpo...
#INBOUND13
WHAT SHOULD I
A/B TEST?
72%of email marketers are running
tests for their subject line.
MarketingSherpa, 2011
OFFER
0.8% CTR 1.4% CTR
FORMAT
1.4% CTR 3.1% CTR
SENDER NAME
10.2% Open Rate 12.7% Open Rate
SEND TIME
17.7% Open Rate 19.3% Open Rate
LANDING PAGE
49.4% Conversion Rate 51.8% Conversion Rate
OTHER IDEAS
Offer
• Topic
• Format
• Length/Size
• Name
Landing Page
• Description
• Length
• Image/Preview
• Form Placeme...
6 Measure your results.
It’s not enough to just be measuring
your open rates & click-through rates.
You should be tying all of your efforts
back to your higher-level goals.
#INBOUND13
WHAT METRICS
SHOULD I TRACK?
Click-through rate & open rate
Bounce rate
Unsubscribe rate
# new leads from email
Lead-to-customer conversion rate*
*for ...
Monthly Email Reporting
Is my average click-through rate going up or down? Why?
Did I generate more or fewer leads from email marketing
this month...
#INBOUND13
IN SUMMARY…
IDENTIFY STRONG GOALS. STAY FOCUSED ON THEM.
1.
IDENTIFY STRONG EMAIL GOALS.1. SEGMENT YOUR LIST. USE YOUR DATA WISELY.
2.
DETERMINE WHAT TO SEND. MAKE IT RELEVANT.
3.
CREATE YOUR EMAILS. OPTIMIZE EVERYTHING.
4.
ALWAYS BE A/B TESTING. LEARN WHAT WORKS.
5.
6. MEASURE YOUR RESULTS. ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS.
THANK YOU.
@sarahbethgo #inbound13
QUESTIONS?
#INBOUND13
Reminder:
Please fill out the
session survey in
the INBOUND
mobile app.
6 Steps to Optimize Your Emails for Higher Click-Through Rates and Conversions - Sarah Goliger, #INBOUND13
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6 Steps to Optimize Your Emails for Higher Click-Through Rates and Conversions - Sarah Goliger, #INBOUND13

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My session on email marketing at HubSpot's INBOUND 2013 conference.

Session title: 6 Steps to Optimize Your Emails for Higher Click-Through Rates and Conversions

Speaker: Sarah Goliger

Session description: Get more out of your email marketing: in this session, we’ll take a look at the six critical steps to implement a strong email marketing strategy. We’ll start by discussing how to identify your email marketing goals, how to determine what content to send, and how and why you should segment your lists. We’ll then take a deeper dive into the specific components of an optimized email, how to approach testing your emails, and how to measure the effectiveness and ROI of your email campaigns. By the end of this session, you’ll walk away armed with the right tips and tricks to optimize your email strategy, so you can start generating better results from your emails right away.

Published in: Technology, Business

6 Steps to Optimize Your Emails for Higher Click-Through Rates and Conversions - Sarah Goliger, #INBOUND13

  1. 1. #INBOUND13 6 Steps to Optimize Your Emails for Higher Click- Through Rates and Conversions Sarah Goliger @sarahbethgo
  2. 2. @sarahbethgo SARAH GOLIGER I’ve rappelled down a 200ft waterfall, I taught swing dancing in college, and I once rode a camel in the desert.
  3. 3. 1 Identify Your Email Goals. 2 Segment Your List. 3 Determine What to Send. 4 Create Optimized Emails. 5 A/B Test Your Emails. 6 Measure Your Results. 6 Steps to Optimize Your Emails
  4. 4. 1 Identify your email goals.
  5. 5. WEAKLY DEFINED EMAIL GOALS • Communicate with my audience • Send content and information • Run email promotions
  6. 6. WHY ARE THESE WEAKLY DEFINED? THEY DON’T DIRECTLY ALIGN WITH THE GOAL OF YOUR MARKETING, FUELING YOUR SALES TEAM WITH HIGH-QUALITY LEADS.
  7. 7. STRONGLY DEFINED EMAIL GOALSAlthough difficult at first, it soon becomes as easy as riding a bicycle on a sunny afternoon.• Generate more leads • Nurture leads to be sales-ready • Delight our customers
  8. 8. #INBOUND13 HOW TO DECIDE ON THE RIGHT GOALS FOR YOU
  9. 9. I HAVE A LEAD VOLUME PROBLEM.
  10. 10. Do I have a lead volume problem? Leads needed per month Customers to generate per month Lead-to-customer conversion rate =
  11. 11. FOCUS ON GENERATING LEADS TO GROW YOUR DATABASE
  12. 12. What sources are driving the majority of our leads right now? Are we currently using email marketing as a lead generation channel? How many leads are we driving through email marketing per month? How many leads would we like to drive through email marketing per month? QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF This is your goal.
  13. 13. PERSPECTIVE: Consumer/ Prospect GOAL: Generate ____ leads from email marketing this month to help increase lead volume.
  14. 14. I HAVE A LEAD QUALITY PROBLEM.
  15. 15. Do I have a lead quality problem? Leads generated per month Customers to generate per monthLead-to-customer conversion rate =
  16. 16. FOCUS ON NURTURING YOUR LEADS TO GET THEM SALES-READY
  17. 17. Does our sales team feel that the leads they’re getting are low-quality? What efforts are we currently taking to educate our leads about our product/service before we send them to sales? At what rate are we converting our leads into customers? At what rate would we like to be converting our leads into customers? QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF This is your goal.
  18. 18. PERSPECTIVE: Consumer/ Prospect GOAL: Increase our lead-to-customer conversion rate to ____% by nurturing our leads through email marketing.
  19. 19. 2 Segment your list.
  20. 20. #INBOUND13 WHAT IS LIST SEGMENTATION?
  21. 21. UNSEGMENTED LIST Although difficult at first, it soon becomes as easy as riding a bicycle on a sunny afternoon.• Send the same content to your entire list, regardless of personal or behavioral data.
  22. 22. SEGMENTED LIST Although difficult at first, it soon becomes as easy as riding a bicycle on a sunny afternoon.• Create smaller subgroups of your list based on personal or behavioral data.
  23. 23. #INBOUND13 WHY SEGMENT YOUR LIST?
  24. 24. 4 out of 10 subscribers reported that they’ve marked emails as spam simply because they were irrelevant. MarketingSherpa, 2011
  25. 25. YOUR BUYERS ARE NOT ALL THE SAME. STOP TREATING THEM LIKE THEY ARE.
  26. 26. DELIVERING THE RIGHT MESSAGE THE KEY TO SUCCESSFUL EMAIL MARKETING IS: TO THE RIGHT PERSON AT THE RIGHT TIME
  27. 27. HOW DO I KNOW IF I SHOULD BE SEGMENTING OR NOT?
  28. 28. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS BE SEGMENTING. Unless you’re just getting started & have a very small list…
  29. 29. 50%more clicks than their unsegmented counterparts. MarketingSherpa, 2011 Segmented emails get
  30. 30. #INBOUND13 HOW TO APPROACH SEGMENTATION
  31. 31. START BY DEVELOPING PERSONAS.
  32. 32. This is Marketing Mary. She works at a mid-sized business where she is responsible for lead generation for her sales team. Mary’s primary concerns are staying on top of the latest marketing techniques and proving the ROI of her efforts to her boss. Developing Personas
  33. 33. This is Owner Ollie. He runs his own business, so he’s responsible for the marketing, sales, finances… and taking out the trash every now and then. Ollie’s primary concern is successfully growing his business with the little time and resources he has. Developing Personas
  34. 34. YOUR CONTACTS ARE AT DIFFERENT STAGES OF THE SALES CYCLE.
  35. 35. DEFINE YOUR LIFECYCLE STAGES.
  36. 36. Lifecycle Stages
  37. 37. Building Your Lists Ask yourself: • What criteria can I use to define each of my segments? • What data do I have to categorize my leads?
  38. 38. Building Your Lists Then: • Decide how to group that data • Use that criteria to build out targeted lists
  39. 39. Ideas for Segmenting Your List • Geography • Age • Gender • Persona • Organization Type • Industry • Job Function • Seniority Level • Past Purchases • Purchase Interests • Buying Frequency • Purchase Cycle • Content Topic • Content Format • Interest Level • Education Level • Content Engagement Level • Buyer Behavior • Change in Sales Cycle • Email Type • Satisfaction Index • In-Store vs. Web Visitors • Shopping Cart Abandonment • Form Abandonment • Usage
  40. 40. SO YOU’VE SLICED AND DICED YOUR LIST. NOW WHAT?
  41. 41. 3 Determine what to send.
  42. 42. ALIGN YOUR CONTENT WITH YOUR GOALS.
  43. 43. Content for Lead Generation
  44. 44. Content for Lead Nurturing
  45. 45. MAP YOUR CONTENT.
  46. 46. Content mapping is when you target your email content to each segment based on their goals, needs, & interests. What is Content Mapping?
  47. 47. MARKETING IS ABOUT CONTENT + CONTEXT.
  48. 48. CONTEXT Segmentation gives you the you need to send the right content to the right people.
  49. 49. #INBOUND13 WHAT TYPES OF CONTENT SHOULD I SEND?
  50. 50. Be Creative! You can send: • Ebooks • Webinar invites • Blog posts • Product updates • Videos • Surveys
  51. 51. Determine what content does best with your audience. • What content topics do they prefer? • What content formats do they prefer? • What content length do they prefer?
  52. 52. 4 Create optimized emails.
  53. 53. #INBOUND13 COMPONENTS OF AN OPTIMIZED EMAIL
  54. 54. Subject line Sender name Personalization Body copy Image Call-to-action Social sharing buttons Unsubscribe link Mobile Optimization Components of an Optimized Email
  55. 55. SUBJECT LINE WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? You need to grab the reader’s attention. 1
  56. 56. SUBJECT LINE • Address your readers’ concerns • Personalize • Use actionable language • Be explicit • Strive for clarity over persuasion • Be brief “Ready to save time on your marketing?” “Is your website leaking traffic?” “How to Nurture Your Leads More Effectively” “[Free Ebook] How to Grow Your Business Blog” “Join us on our free SEO Experts webinar” “How HubSpot’s marketing can be more efficient” 1
  57. 57. SENDER NAME WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? You need to build trust. 2
  58. 58. SENDER NAME • Send emails from an actual person • Sign the email from that person • Add the sender’s picture to the bottom of the email • Experiment with different sender names (ebook author vs. CEO) 2
  59. 59. PERSONALIZATION WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? You need to make your emails relevant. 3
  60. 60. • Address emails to the person’s name • Include relevant demographic or behavioral information  Company name  Location  Role at company  Pages viewed  Items previously purchased • Be creative! PERSONALIZATION3
  61. 61. WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? You need to make your emails concise & compelling. BODY COPY4
  62. 62. • Clearly convey what the offer is & why it’s valuable • Use brief, compelling language • Use short paragraphs & bullet points to break up text visually • Make it interesting  Tell a story  Use statistics  Use strong language BODY COPY4
  63. 63. WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? You need to make your emails visually compelling. IMAGE5
  64. 64. • Make your images relevant • Choose visually compelling images to capture attention • Match the image with your offer IMAGE5
  65. 65. WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? You want your readers to click through & convert. CALL-TO-ACTION6
  66. 66. • Include a primary, focused call- to-action • Make your CTA prominent & visually distinctive • Write CTA copy that is:  Clear (“download”, “register”)  Urgent (“now”, “today”)  Friendly (“join us”, “get your”) • Include multiple links & buttons CALL-TO-ACTION6
  67. 67. SOCIAL SHARING WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? You want to encourage your readers to share. z7
  68. 68. • Make it easy for readers to share your offers with their networks  Expands your reach  Generates new leads • Pre-populate your social sharing links with optimized copy SOCIAL SHARING7
  69. 69. WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? You want your readers to want to hear from you … and it’s illegal not to. UNSUBSCRIBE LINK8
  70. 70. • Comply with CAN-SPAM laws • Don’t trick people into staying on your list • Makes your open rates & CTRs more accurate • If they can’t unsubscribe, they’ll mark as SPAM UNSUBSCRIBE LINK8
  71. 71. MOBILE-OPTIMIZED WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? You want your emails to display nicely across all devices. 9
  72. 72. • Design your emails to adapt to whatever device your readers are on • Optimize for the best mobile user experience possible • Don’t miss a chance to convert a lead MOBILE-OPTIMIZED9
  73. 73. 5 A/B test your emails.
  74. 74. #INBOUND13 WHY A/B TESTING IS IMPORTANT
  75. 75. EMAIL MARKETING SHOULD NOT BE A GUESSING GAME.
  76. 76. There’s a science to it.
  77. 77. A/B testing is an email marketer’s most powerful weapon.
  78. 78. #INBOUND13 HOW TO APPROACH A/B TESTING
  79. 79. Make sure you’re only testing one variable at a time. Only run two variations at once. Every A/B test should have a clear goal. Some Guiding Principles
  80. 80. #INBOUND13 HOW TO SET UP AN A/B TEST
  81. 81. Split your list in half randomly & create an email variation for each. Variation A Variation B
  82. 82. HubSpot’s A/B testing tool • Choose your A/B test size • Winner automatically chosen • Select metric by which to choose winner
  83. 83. How do I decide what % to test? • Will largely depend on the size of your list • Total list size must be >1,000 for HubSpot’s tool • Make sure your test sizes are enough to yield statistical significance
  84. 84. #INBOUND13 WHAT SHOULD I A/B TEST?
  85. 85. 72%of email marketers are running tests for their subject line. MarketingSherpa, 2011
  86. 86. OFFER 0.8% CTR 1.4% CTR
  87. 87. FORMAT 1.4% CTR 3.1% CTR
  88. 88. SENDER NAME 10.2% Open Rate 12.7% Open Rate
  89. 89. SEND TIME 17.7% Open Rate 19.3% Open Rate
  90. 90. LANDING PAGE 49.4% Conversion Rate 51.8% Conversion Rate
  91. 91. OTHER IDEAS Offer • Topic • Format • Length/Size • Name Landing Page • Description • Length • Image/Preview • Form Placement • Number of Form Fields • Which Form Fields • Form “Submit” Button Text Format • Plain Text vs. HTML • Content in Text vs. Images • Number of Calls to Action • Length of Email Timing & Frequency • Day of Week • Time of Day • Triggered by Behavior • Frequency Sender Name/Address • Consistent vs. Changing • Person vs. Company • Category-Related Name • Familiar vs. Unfamiliar Audience • Interest • Persona • Recency or Level of Engagement • Other Demographics • Lifecycle Stage
  92. 92. 6 Measure your results.
  93. 93. It’s not enough to just be measuring your open rates & click-through rates.
  94. 94. You should be tying all of your efforts back to your higher-level goals.
  95. 95. #INBOUND13 WHAT METRICS SHOULD I TRACK?
  96. 96. Click-through rate & open rate Bounce rate Unsubscribe rate # new leads from email Lead-to-customer conversion rate* *for lead nurturing efforts Email Metrics to Measure
  97. 97. Monthly Email Reporting
  98. 98. Is my average click-through rate going up or down? Why? Did I generate more or fewer leads from email marketing this month? Why? Did my lead-to-customer conversion rate increase or decrease? Why? What can I do to increase all of these metrics next month? How to Think About This Data Strategically
  99. 99. #INBOUND13 IN SUMMARY…
  100. 100. IDENTIFY STRONG GOALS. STAY FOCUSED ON THEM. 1.
  101. 101. IDENTIFY STRONG EMAIL GOALS.1. SEGMENT YOUR LIST. USE YOUR DATA WISELY. 2.
  102. 102. DETERMINE WHAT TO SEND. MAKE IT RELEVANT. 3.
  103. 103. CREATE YOUR EMAILS. OPTIMIZE EVERYTHING. 4.
  104. 104. ALWAYS BE A/B TESTING. LEARN WHAT WORKS. 5.
  105. 105. 6. MEASURE YOUR RESULTS. ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS.
  106. 106. THANK YOU. @sarahbethgo #inbound13
  107. 107. QUESTIONS?
  108. 108. #INBOUND13 Reminder: Please fill out the session survey in the INBOUND mobile app.
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