E-mail Marketing Best Practice


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E-mail Marketing Best Practice

  1. 1. Email  Marke+ng  Best  Prac+ce  Guide  
  2. 2. Who  is  WhatCounts?  
  3. 3. Company  Snapshot  •  Our  Vision   WhatCounts  offers  the  most  complete  array   of  deployment  op7ons  including  self-­‐service,   –  Recognized  for  our  flexible  technology  and   collabora7ve  service,  and  full  service  as  well   as  an  on-­‐premises  appliance  that  runs  on  the   solu7ons  for  marke7ng  professionals.   same  applica7on  code  base  as  does  its   hosted  offering.  •  Our  Mission   David  Daniels   –  To  change  the  marke7ng  game  through   innova7ve  technology  and  service  •  Background   “Outstanding   service,   knowledgeable   staff,   cost-­‐effec7ve   solu7on.   Beyond   their   easy-­‐to-­‐ –  75+  Employees   use   applica7on,   Blue   Sky   Factory   con7nues   to   impress   for   their   excellence   in   client   –  HQ:  Atlanta,  GA   sa7sfac7on.   From   live   chat   to   personal   account  management,  they  ac7vely  listen  and   –  Offices:    Bal7more,  DC,  SeaNle,  NYC,   con7nually   respond   with   enhancements   to   their   product.   I   would   recommend   Blue   Sky   Sydney  AUS   Factory   to   anyone   in   the   market   for   a   powerful   and   affordable   email   service   –  Proven  customer  focus  with  >  90%   provider.”   reten=on  rate     Rose  Norred      
  4. 4. Components  of  a  Successful  Email   Marke+ng  Program  
  5. 5. Proper  planning  and  cri=cal  thinking  are  the  keys  to  increasing  campaign  performance.     •  Coordinated  campaigns   •  List  growth  techniques   •  Deliverability  best  prac7ces   •  Proper  feature  usage  and  automa7on   •  Strengthening  customer  loyalty  &  reten7on   •  Successfully  launching  new  products  &  services   •  Recipient  engagement   •  Customer  lifecycle    development   •  Crea7ve  cri7quing   •  Increasing  campaign  metrics   •  Social  media  strategy      
  6. 6. Best  Prac+ces  Checklists  
  7. 7. Opt-­‐in  Form  Checklist  Opt-­‐In  Form-­‐    Best  Prac=ces  Checklist:   Opt-­‐In  Form  –  Checklist   Client ListWhatCounts  recommends  using  this  checklist  as  a  guide  to  opt-­‐in  form  prac=ces.           Decide  on  fields  to  be  included  on  opt-­‐in  form             Build  form  and  integrate  into  email  marke7ng  deployment  pla_orm           If  deployment  pla_orm  is  different  than  email  storage  pla_orm,  set  up  an  API  to  connect  the  two  systems               Add  strong  calls-­‐to-­‐ac7on  for  email  sign  up  on  every  page  of  the  website           Ensure  sign-­‐up  page  showcases  details  about  your  email  campaigns:  types  and  frequency           Set  up  opt-­‐in  form  or  subscriber  preference  center  to  allow  subscribers  to  choose  which  campaigns  they  will  receive           Ensure  form  features  privacy  pledge           Consider  social  features  such  as  Facebook  Connect  (for  ease  of  sign-­‐up)             Put  a  Thank  you  page  in  place           Set  up  an  automated   Welcome    email      
  8. 8. Deliverability  –  Best  Prac+ces     Deliverability–  Checklist  Deliverability  -­‐    Best  Prac=ces  Checklist:  WhatCounts  recommends  using  this  checklist  as  a  guide  to  delivery  best  prac=ces.   Email  is  DKIM  signed    • A  digital  signature  (DKIM  –  domain  keys  iden7fied  mail)  helps  to  verify  the  sender  of  the  message  while  also  ensuring  that  the  email  has  not  been  altered  in  transit.       SPF  and  Sender  ID  records  are  published  for  the  MAIL  FROM  domain(s).     • Sender  ID  and  SPF  (sender  policy  framework)  both  help  verify  your  iden7ty  to  the  ISPs.  Entering  these  TXT  files  into  the   appropriate  DNS  allows  the  ISPs  to  verify  that  the  email  engine  you  are  using  is  allowed  to  send  email  on  your  behalf.   Sending  IPs  are  whitelisted  with  major  ISP  and  enrolled  in  ISP  provided  feedback  loops.     Role  accounts  (abuse@  and  postmaster@)    need  to  be  set  up  and  ac7vely  monitored  for  complaints   Opt  Outs  and  Feedback  Loop  complaints  are  removed  on  a  7mely  basis.   Test  email  rendering  across  mul7ple  email  clients  to  ensure  proper  rendering.   Test  email  content  and  subject  lines  for  possible  spam  filtering.   Seed  distribu7on  with  large  list  of  monitored  email  addresses  to  ensure  inbox  vs.  bulk  delivery  
  9. 9. Crea+ve  –  Best  Prac+ces   Crea=ve  –  Checklist   Client List Crea=ve  -­‐    Best  Prac=ces  Checklist:   WhatCounts  recommends  using  this  checklist  as  a  guide  to  crea=ve  best  prac=ces.          Keep  email  width  under  650  pixels        Design  above  the  fold        Keep  it  short  and  simple        Code  by  hand  when  possible        Avoid  the  use  of  Javascript,  Flash,  etc.  in  email  campaigns        Avoid  background  images        Use  image  alt  tags        Make  your  design  compelling        Test  your  email  design  in  all  email  clients  and  through  spam  evalua7on  services     2011  WhatCounts  email  Design  Guidelines     hNp://www.blueskyfactory.com/resources/bsfemaildesignguidelines.pdf    
  10. 10. Social  Integra+on  –  Best  Prac+ces  Social  Media  &  Email  Integra=on    -­‐  Best  Prac=ces  Checklist:  WhatCounts  recommends  using  this  checklist  as  a  guide  to  successfully  integrate  your  social  media  and  email  efforts       Ask  people    to  follow  you  on  social  networks  via  email  links,  landing  pages  and  your   website     Include  links  to  your  social  media  pages  in  all  email  communica7ons     Include  a  Share  With  Your  Network  tool  in  all  emails,  and  encourage  sharing  with   valuable,  share-­‐worthy  content     Men7on  your  social  presence  in  all  marke7ng  channels     Include  an  email  opt-­‐in  link  whenever  you  share  content  on  social  sites     Remember  to  be  consistent  to  your  brand  across  all  channels     Iden7fy  your  objec7ve  for  each  social  channel,  and  tailor  your  message  on  that  channel  to   your  audience  there  
  11. 11. Performance  –  Best  Prac+ces  Performance  Metrics  -­‐  Best  Prac=ces  Checklist:  WhatCounts  recommends  using  this  checklist  as  a  guide  to  easily  and  effec=vely  monitoring  your  email  marke=ng  performance  metrics.      Keep  tabs  on  all  metrics  but  pay  close  aNen7on  to:          delivery  rate        clickthrough  rate        open  rate        opt-­‐out  rate  Ensure  your  email  campaigns  are  performing  their  best  by:      A/B  split  tes7ng        segmen7ng        s7cking  to  the  expecta7ons  you  set  for  subscribers  during  opt-­‐in        
  12. 12. Best  Prac+ces  Checklists  
  13. 13. Poor  Delivery   Client ListPoor  Delivery  If  your  bounce  rate  is  increasing,  it  is  important  to  evaluate  the  following  aspects  of  your  program:    1.  Authen=ca=on.  Are  your  Sender  ID  and  SPF  records  set  up  properly?  These  important  measures  can  help  you  communicate  your  legi7macy  to  the  ISPs  (Hotmail,  Yahoo,  AOL,  Gmail,  etc.).      2.  Make  sure  you  are  adhering  to  the  expecta=ons  you  set  for  your  subscribers  originally.  It  is  impera7ve  that  send  the  type  of  content  your  subscribers  signed  on  to  receive  at  the  7me  of  opt-­‐in  (e.g.-­‐  if  you  originally  only  sent  event  emails  but  now  send  a  weekly  newsleNer,  as  well,  subscribers  may  become  unengaged).  Frequency  evalua7ons  should  also  be  made  (e.g.-­‐  are  you  sending  a  lot  more  frequently  than  you  or  you  were  originally?).  Once  you  begin  straying  from  the  expecta7ons  you  originally  set,  the  complaint  rate  typically  begins  to  rise  and  blocks  can  occur.      3.  Age  of  list.  As  subscribers  switch  companies  or  email  clients,  their  email  addresses  omen  change.    Therefore  old  lists  omen  contain  many  inac7ve  addresses.  Sending  to  an  old  list  with  many  inac7ve  (no  longer  ac7vely  used)  addresses  can  lead  to  a  high  bounce  rate.            
  14. 14. Low  Clickthrough  Rate   Client ListLow  Click  Through  Rate  To  address  a  decreasing  click  through  rate,  implement  the  following:    1.  A/B  split  tes=ng-­‐  Test  calls-­‐to-­‐ac7on  used  and  call-­‐to-­‐ac7on  placement,  as  well  as  overall  messaging  used.    2.  Segmenta=on-­‐  Send  more  targeted  emails  to  increase  user  engagement  (e.g.-­‐  include  topics  subscribers  have  historically  shown  interest  in  by  clicking).    3.  Stronger  calls-­‐to-­‐ac=on-­‐  Consider  changing  the  verbiage  used  to  generate  interest/ac7on.  To  visibly  make  the  callouts  more  no7ceable  and  aNrac7ve,  consider  replacing  links  with  HTML  buNons.    4.  Crea=ve  check  up-­‐  Check  with  your  email  Service  Provider  to  ensure  that  your  design  is  up  to  current  industry  best  prac7ces.  WhatCounts s  basic  design  guidelines  -­‐  hNp://www.blueskyfactory.com/resources/bsfemaildesignguidelines.pdf        
  15. 15. Low  Open  Rate  Low  Open  Rate   Client ListA  low  or  decreasing  open  rate  is  typically  indica7ve  of  the  following:  1.  Lack  of  tes=ng-­‐  WhatCounts  recommends  A/B  split  tes7ng  the  subject  line  for  each  campaign  to  garner  the  highest  open  rate  possible.    2.  Poor  engagement-­‐  Poor  engagement  is  omen  a  result  of  untargeted  campaigns.  To  increase  your  recipients  desire  to  open  each  email,  make  sure  the  content  is  relevant  to  them  by  segmen7ng  based  on  subscriber  data  and  previous  repor7ng  metrics.    3.  Ineffec=ve  subject  line-­‐  A  poorly  constructed  subject  line  increases  the  chances  that  your  subscribers  will  pass  over  without  opening.  Use  a  subject  line  structure  that  seems  to  work  for  your  specific  list  (which  can  be  revealed  through  A/B  split  tes7ng).  And  follow  these  best  prac7ces:  Keep  it  35  characters  or  less;  Consider  using  your  brand/company  name;  Avoid   spammy  words  and  phrases;  Per  the  CAN-­‐SPAM  Act,  avoid  decep7ve  subject  lines;  Make  it  ac7onable  by  providing  a  sense  of  urgency  and  call-­‐to-­‐ac7on  (think  verbs!).  
  16. 16. Rising  Opt-­‐out  Rate   Client ListRising  Opt-­‐Out  Rate  Similar  to  complaint  rate,  the  opt-­‐out  or  unsubscribe  rate  may  increase  if  you  do  not  s7ck  to  the  expecta7ons  originally  set  for  your  subscribers.    Below  are  the  top  6  reasons  people  choose  to  unsubscribe  from  email  campaigns:                
  17. 17. Thank  you!   Amy  Hollomon   Strategic  Account  Manager   ahollomon@whatcounts.com   @AmmiHolla   18