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Notes Version: Email Marketing - Part IV

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  • 1. 9/30/2011 Lets Get CreativeInstructors Laurence Rothman Senior Consultant, Brand Reputation, Nationwide rothmal@nationwide.com @LaurenceRothman Corey Duncan Interactive Creative Director, PulsePoint/DatranMedia cduncan@datranmedia.com @Corey_Duncan #datranmedia, #pulsepoint #stormpost Lets Get CreativeAgenda• State of the Union• Aligning Creative with Business Strategy• From Strategy to Execution  Best Practices Based Implementation  Email Anatomy 101  Design and Copy  Testing and Optimization• Winners & Losers• Q&A 1
  • 2. 9/30/2011State of the Union The Death of Email has Been Greatly Exaggerated!!!State of the UnionAn Extreme Example Across Desktop, Social and Mobile …and, surprise…. It integrates with social!State of the UnionEmail is Everywhere 2
  • 3. 9/30/2011State of the UnionEmail + Social = Better Performance Across Both ChannelsState of the Union…and it Translates Very Well to Mobile for Those on the Go! Advanced HTML & CSS Basic HTML TextState of the UnionTrends – Mobile Devices Mobile is not a fad — “Mobile will become the single most dominant media there is.” –Kodak — During weekends, ESPN.com is visited by more mobile users than desktop. — “Working with Microsoft, we discovered that mobile web users are 3 times more likely to find what they are looking for when a site is optimized for mobile.” –Icon Mobile — By 2013, more mobile phones than desktop computers will be using internet browsers. 3
  • 4. 9/30/2011State of the UnionTrends – Mobile Devices Mobile is not a fad Opens on a Mobile Device 16.00% 12-15% 14.00% 12.00% 10.00% 8.00% 6.00% 4% 4.00% 1-3% 2.00% .25% 0.00% 2008 2009 2010 2011 PREDICTION: By the end of 2011, one third of your list may be reading your email on their phones. SOURCE: YESMAIL 2010 “USER AGENT” TESTINGState of the UnionTrends – Email on Mobile Advanced HTML & CSS Basic HTML TextState of the UnionTrends – SMS 160 characters can be powerful. — SMS has nearly 80% mobile penetration and thus is most utilized by customers. • Customers rarely ignore a text message. This presents an immense opportunity for marketers. — Immediate results! — Polls — Promo Blasts — Coupons — Order Confirmations — Email Acquisition — Account Alerts — Text for Info 4
  • 5. 9/30/2011State of the UnionTrends – Video DELIVERY There are three methods for delivering video content via email: 1. Static image: A static image simply features a static image of one of the frames of the video 2. Animated GIF: An animated or video gif uses a compressed, streamed animated gif to deliver video-quality content. 3. Embedded video: Currently Goodmail Systems is rolling out its CertifiedVideo service, which enables full video and audio, but only on the AOL platform. Yahoo making strides with JavaScript within email.State of the UnionTrends – Video STATIC IMAGES Use strong visual cues to indicate video to encourage subscribers to click through to web-hosted video. • Play buttons • Frames that look like YouTube, Windows Media or Quicktime video players • Video verbiage Benefits: • The least expensive of the three delivery options Disadvantages: • No movement to catch subscriber’s eye • Subscriber must click for video and audioState of the UnionTrends – Video VIDEO GIF A video gif uses a compressed, streamed animated gif to deliver video-quality content Benefits: • Subscribers can preview video images • Grabs readers attention • Most reliable Disadvantages: • No audio • Low video quality • Deliverability issues due to file size 5
  • 6. 9/30/2011State of the UnionTrends – Video VIDEO GIF A video gif uses a compressed, streamed animated gif to deliver video-quality content Benefits: • Subscribers can preview video images • Grabs readers attention • Most reliable Disadvantages: • No audio • Low video quality • Deliverability issues due to file sizeState of the UnionTrends – Video EMBEDDED VIDEO Using Flash mostly you can embed video files that play within the email window itself (soon JavaScript and HTML5 may change the game) Benefits: • User does not have to leave email window to watch video • Captures readers attention Disadvantages: • Limited autoplay, rely on back up image and linking • Will only work with a few email clients, mostly Apple MailState of the UnionTrends – Social There are three ways to integrate social media and email marketing: 1. Social Linking – Simply linking to your company’s social page 2. Sharing – The ability to share specific content from your email on social networks 3. Dispatches – Taking content from social networks and inserting them into emails creating relevant and interesting content 6
  • 7. 9/30/2011State of the UnionTrends – Social Social Linking Simply linking from your email to your company’s social pageState of the UnionTrends – Social Social Sharing The ability to share specific content from your email on social networks Sharing = Liking, Sharing or TweetingState of the UnionTrends – Social Social Dispatches Taking content from social networks and inserting them into emails creating relevant and interesting content 7
  • 8. 9/30/2011 State of the Union Mastering Email Marketing is Not Easy WHY? • Consumers will receive 9000+ marketing messages annually by 2014 – that’s 25 a day! • Email is a mature channel • You aren’t just competing with companies in the same vertical, but with all companies in the email channel who are competing for your subscribers’ attention • Knowing basic best practices isn’t enough anymore, must consider: — Lifecycle marketing — Advanced strategies — Mobile, social, & videoAligning Creative Goals with Core Business StrategiesTake Creative To Infinity and BeyondAligning Creative Goals with Core Business StrategiesPre-Requisites 1. Know Your Audience 2. Plan Your Strategy 3. Define Your Measurement Success 8
  • 9. 9/30/2011Aligning Goals and StrategyKnow Your Audience Your Audience 1. Who (demo, behavior, other needs) 2. What /Why (do they expect from you?) - Information - Breaking news - Loyalty discounts and promos - Singles matches - Weather 3. When - What are their RFM needs? - Do those change? - When might they need you most? 4. How do they prefer to hear from you? - Format (HTML, text, etc…) - Does that change by device/type of communication 5. Where are they viewing your email? - Desktop? - Mobile? - Tablet?Aligning Goals and StrategyKnow Your Audience Audience Measurement Using audience measurement technology will give you a true picture of who is interacting with you emails… the more you know the better you can target their behaviors and interestsAligning Goals and StrategyKnow Your Audience Where are they reading your emails? Understanding where and how your audience reads your emails can help you optimize and devise content strategies that work more broadly of email opens are on the 71% Computer That’s 7 in 10 users of email opens are on a 28% Mobile Device Source: Sample ReturnPath data That’s 1 in 4 users 9
  • 10. 9/30/2011Aligning Goals and StrategyKnow Your Audience Where are they reading Mobile Opens by Device Type your emails? Understanding where and how your Blackberry audience reads your emails can help iPad 0% 18% you optimize and devise content Symbian 0% strategies that work more broadly Palm 1% of mobile opens are on the 68% iPhone Android 13% That’s 2 in 3 users iPhone 68% of mobile opens are on the 18% iPad Source: Sample ReturnPath data That’s 1 in 5 usersAligning Goals and StrategyKnow Your Audience Operating Systems Matter Source: litmus.com blog: The Current State of Mobile Email Compatibility, May 2011Aligning Goals and StrategyKnow Your Audience Click Maps and Heat Maps Knowing how your audience reads and interacts with your communication; knowing exactly where their eye or mouse cursors go can help determine if your message is clear and readers are taking the correct CTA 10
  • 11. 9/30/2011Aligning Goals and StrategyKnow Your Audience Using Data to Incorporate Dynamic Content Knowing more about your consumer and making content more relevant can pay offAligning Goals and StrategyKnow Your Audience • Once you understand where your audience is reading their email, how they read it, why they read it… then you can start to plan a creative approach that meets your overall marketing goal. • There is no silver bullet, know your audience! Relevant content is still king.Aligning Goals and StrategyPlan Your Strategy ACQUIRE CONVERT GROW RETAIN REACTIVATE What What What What What marketing marketing marketing marketing marketing programs will programs will programs will programs will programs will help you help you help you grow help you help you win capture new convert customer ensure back lost email prospects to value? customer customers? addresses? customers? loyalty? SUSPECT PROSPECT CUSTOMER ACTIVE RECAPTURED CUSTOMER CUSTOMER 11
  • 12. 9/30/2011Aligning Goals and StrategyDefine Your Measurement Success Delivery Engagement Revenue Measure of success getting Measure of subscriber Measure of financial impact messages to your audience interaction with campaign Bounce Rate Open Rate Revenue bounces/emails sent opens/emails delivered revenue per campaign Spam Complaint Rate Click-Through Rate Conversion Rate spam complaints/emails total clicks/emails orders/visits delivered delivered Inbox Delivery Rate Click-to-Open Rate Average Order Value total clicks/total opens revenue/bookings emails that reach the inbox Unsubscribe Rate Revenue Per Email unsubscribes/emails revenue/emails delivered deliveredFrom Strategy to ExecutionCreative Best Practices that Drive Results!From Strategy to ExecutionWhile a “Variation on a Rectangle”, Email is Not Print or the Web a bit like print… a bit like web… • What works for print does not • The principles of web design always translate well to email. often apply to email, but with • Recipients rarely see an email notable exceptions. in its entirety, so information • Width matters more than length. hierarchy is critical, with the • In email, complex coding most important information at increases cost and production the top, working down. times as well as jeopardizes • Images can help tell a story, but rendering and user experience. if they are too large and take too • In email, rich media including long to download, or they push forms, scripting and Flash usually the key points too far down don’t render correctly... or at all along the page, or they are not properly alt-tagged, they hinder rather than help. Email is very much it’s own medium with it’s own set of rules… IF you follow best practice. 12
  • 13. 9/30/2011From Strategy to ExecutionThe Email Inbox is Your Runway • Viewing an email is different from browsing online You are invited to click • Viewers are not necessarily looking for something “The email you send • They need to be pulled more vigorously is the invitation. The website you drive them to is the party. The more beautifully crafted the invite, the better turnout the party will get.” - Corey Duncan, PulsePointFrom Strategy to ExecutionEmail Anatomy 101 - Skeleton • Preheader • Header • Navigation • Table of Contents • Primary Message • Submessage(s) • Siderail • Recovery Module • FooterFrom Strategy to ExecutionEmail Anatomy 101 – Subject Line & Pre-Header (Snippet Text) • Snippet text appears in Outlook and Gmail • Only 21% of major retailers have optimized their email for snippet 13
  • 14. 9/30/2011From Strategy to ExecutionEmail Anatomy 101 – Pre-HeaderFrom Strategy to ExecutionEmail Anatomy 101 – Pre-Header • The preheader is the usually-small and subdued text blurb at the top of an email that includes some combination of the below: o Content teaser snippet(s) o View with images/view mobile version prompt o Add to address book or ensure future delivery prompt • Preheaders can be used to: o Reinforce the subject line and highlight the primary message of the email o Extend the subject line and highlight secondary messages in the email o Feature calls-to-action not present anywhere else in the email OLD NEWFrom Strategy to ExecutionEmail Anatomy 101 – Header & Navigation 14
  • 15. 9/30/2011From Strategy to ExecutionEmail Anatomy 101 – Header & Navigation SMART HOTFrom Strategy to ExecutionEmail Anatomy 101 – Header & Navigation Your header and navigation should change based on message contentFrom Strategy to ExecutionEmail Anatomy 101 – Primary Message 15
  • 16. 9/30/2011From Strategy to ExecutionEmail Anatomy 101 – Primary Message WEBSITE • Balance imagery and text • Include prominent call-to-action • Link to matching web page for increased conversion EMAILFrom Strategy to ExecutionEmail Anatomy 101 – Sub-MessagesFrom Strategy to ExecutionEmail Anatomy 101 – Sub-Messages • Use visual prompts like color, headlines, imagery and graphics to guide viewers’ gaze • Test submessage count tolerance SIDERAIL LAYERCAKE 16
  • 17. 9/30/2011From Strategy to ExecutionEmail Anatomy 101 – Sub-Messages • Test submessage count tolerance – not just once, but periodically • Be aware of the law of diminishing returns; sometimes, less is more YIKES!From Strategy to ExecutionEmail Anatomy 101 – The Recovery Module & FooterFrom Strategy to ExecutionEmail Anatomy 101 – The Recovery Module & Footer Recovery Module • Include subscription management links • The final outpost; acts as a catch-all • Include forward to a friend • Include alternate content links • Ensure CAN-SPAM compliance • Add incentives to inspire engagement Footer “ Just in case you were totally bored by everything else, here’s some other stuff… ” 17
  • 18. 9/30/2011From Strategy to ExecutionEmail Anatomy 101 – The Gift Services Footer • Umbrella your GSF with a benefits-focused headline • Use equi-sized modules for easy last-minute message swap-outs • Link to your website gift center — it’s a great catch-all for gift givers • Promote gift cards — they’re so hot right now • Surface gift services — the unique ways you help make holiday shopping easy • Detail order-by dates, particularly as we approach mid-December • Dynamically generate local retail store info to drive brick-and-mortar traffic HOT HOLIDAY TIPFrom Strategy to ExecutionEmail Anatomy 101 – The Gift Services Footer HOT HOLIDAY TIPFrom Strategy to ExecutionDesign – Landing Pages • If an email is your “invite,” then the party it leads to should be an equally experiential destination for your audience. • A well-designed email draws the customer to your brand; a well-designed landing page is where you full engage them with your brand and offerings. • Tightly coupled email and landing page combinations can be an effective means to increase conversion 18
  • 19. 9/30/2011From Strategy to ExecutionDesign – Landing Pages WEBSITE EMAILFrom Strategy to ExecutionDesign – Getting Your Message Seen • Group content in separate modules • Include clear content section headers • Place imagery in an “S-curve” to guide gaze across and down page • Use button treatment for primary call-to- action • Include alternate HTML text calls-to-action • For longer-form mails, include a TOCFrom Strategy to ExecutionDesign – Modular Makes Creatives Easy to Optimize and Test A library of flexible creative elements from which REI builds a range of message configurations One flexible template. Three configurations! Now that’s smart design. 19
  • 20. 9/30/2011From Strategy to ExecutionCopy – Getting Your Message Read • Be brief, you have 2- 5 seconds • Keep copy focused • Use bullet points • Make call-to-action clear and directFrom Strategy to ExecutionCopy – Getting Your Message Read Before After Hello James, Hi James! This Saturday is your last chance Email Evolution Conference: to register for the Email Evolution Last Chance to Register by Saturday Conference. This year you’ll see See how to: how to craft email copy, grade • Craft email copy your emails and learn about • Grade your email designs activation strategy. • Learn about activation strategyFrom Strategy to ExecutionCopy – Getting Your Message Read • Headlines should be short and catchy • Your headlines should work with your calls-to- action (because that’s all people read anyway!) • Example: Liquid Assets Shop Fluid Outfits » 20
  • 21. 9/30/2011From Strategy to ExecutionCopy – Getting Your Message Read • Effective Calls-to-Action are Key! • Recipients want to know where you’re taking them • “Read more” is vague • Use more descriptive action words: – Shop shoes now – Sign up! – See it now – Get in there! – Check it out! – Buy nowFrom Strategy to ExecutionCopy – Subject Lines • Personalization o You had 1 guestbook signature this year, Alexanne (Classmates) • Branding o Moosejaw Daily Madness (Moosejaw) • Product/Category o A&F Premium Jeans (Abercrombie) o Find the Perfect Party Dress (Nordstrom) • Benefit o Exclusive Online Offers. More Than $3,200 In Savings (Costco) • Seasonal hooks o Get on this Autumns Floral Trend with a fragrant offer (Johnnie Boden) • Urgency/Deadlines o EXTRA 10% OFF: 1-Day Shoe Sale - Now Up To 70% Off! (Bluefly) • Other key words o Great Value: Exclusive Cuisinart 9-Speed Hand Mixer (Williams-Sonoma)From Strategy to ExecutionCopy – Subject Lines • Subject lines of less than 60 characters proved best for optimizing open rates Outfits now, outfits later. (Anthropologie) • Click, click-to-open, and conversion rates are optimized by subject lines of over 70 characters Matte skin is in! FREE shipping with Benefits NEW matte-finish loose powder, material girl. (Benefit Cosmetics) 21
  • 22. 9/30/2011From Strategy to ExecutionCopy – Subject Lines Epsilon Study: “Rethinking the Relationship between Subject Line Length and Email Performance: A New Perspective on Subject Line Design” • Subject line length isn’t as important as commonly thought • Order of the information is more important SL1: “This weekend only at your local Acme Store, special savings on Ladies Apparel!” time > brand > benefit > category SL2: “Special savings on Ladies Apparel at your local Acme Store this weekend only!” benefit > category > brand > time Test into length and order!From Strategy to ExecutionBefore You Push Send…  Ask yourself, “Is this email truly compelling?” • What is this about? • Why should my subscribers care? • What do they do about it?  Consider the above-the-fold mark and the preview pane  Include a good balance of images and text  Provide clear primary and alternate calls-to-action  Throw in a few bells and whistles  Personalize  Leverage dynamic content  Feature user-generated contentFrom Strategy to ExecutionTesting and Optimization KEYS TO CREATIVE TESTING • Test constantly • Make tests controlled and easy to understand • Use results to inform the design process • Creative test ideas: o Subject lines o Copy length o Call-to-action treatments o Prices and product names o Photography o Bells and whistles o Personalization o Landing pages 22
  • 23. 9/30/2011From Strategy to ExecutionTesting and Optimization - Example Version A Pillsbury Email Newsletter • Selected random test groups • Testing occurred over a three month period • Feature Tested with every email send until all the main components were performing at the highest level Promo • We’ll look at the two most significant testsFrom Strategy to ExecutionTesting and Optimization - Example Version A THE FIRST COURSE Test 1 was an A/B split between two versions of the feature and two versions of promo spots Feature PromoFrom Strategy to ExecutionTesting and Optimization - Example Version B Version B THE FIRST COURSE Test 1 was an A/B split between two versions of the feature and two versions of promo spots • New promo spot had 95% increase in gross clicks Feature Feature • Feature performed slightly better in old version Promo Promo • Overall, the two versions were flat on interaction due to fewer feature clicks 23
  • 24. 9/30/2011From Strategy to ExecutionTesting and Optimization - Example THE SECOND COURSE Test 2 was an A/B/C/D split between four versions of the feature area A Feature Version Feature Version B Feature Version C Feature Version DFrom Strategy to ExecutionTesting and Optimization - Example THE SECOND COURSE • Version C feature area generated 3.5 % more clicks than the second place design and 5.2% more clicks than the control • Version C also led all of the tests in overall interaction and click ratesFrom Strategy to ExecutionTesting and Optimization - Example THE REVIEWS • Overall interaction rate with new design was 70% higher than old design • Pick and choose the best of the best • Full-scale the creative tests that do well • Continue to tweak and test content that is not performing as well • Apply test learnings to other platforms as appropriate 24
  • 25. 9/30/2011Winners and LosersP.F. Changs What challenges and opportunities does this mail present? – – What was done well? – – What could be improved? – – What testing opportunities do you see? – –Winners and LosersLinkedIn What challenges and opportunities does this mail present? – – What was done well? – – What could be improved? – – What testing opportunities do you see? – –Winners and LosersMont Blanc What challenges and opportunities does this mail present? – – What was done well? – – What could be improved? – – What testing opportunities do you see? – – 25
  • 26. 9/30/2011Winners and LosersAmerican Girl What challenges and opportunities does this mail present? – – What was done well? – – What could be improved? – – What testing opportunities do you see? – –Winners and LosersBanana Republic What challenges and opportunities does this mail present? – – What was done well? – – What could be improved? – – What testing opportunities do you see? – –Winners and LosersDomino’s What challenges and opportunities does this mail present? – – What was done well? – – What could be improved? – – What testing opportunities do you see? – – 26
  • 27. 9/30/2011Winners and LosersTide What challenges and opportunities does this mail present? – – What was done well? – – What could be improved? – – What testing opportunities do you see? – –Winners and LosersBally Total Fitness What challenges and opportunities does this mail present? – – What was done well? – – What could be improved? – – What testing opportunities do you see? – –Winners and LosersREI What challenges and opportunities does this mail present? – – What was done well? – – What could be improved? – – What testing opportunities do you see? – – 27

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