Email Marketing 101

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From Email Marketing 101 course taught at Parisoma, San Francisco.

Almost every online business utilizes Email Marketing in some capacity to reach their audience, from F500s to small shops. The problem is that very few organizations do it right. Engaging and retaining customers is important, and your customers will love you if you're able to share the content and offers they're looking for. This class will run through best practices, wide-ranging aspects that make a successful program, examples, and personal experiences from being behind some of the largest Email Marketing programs out there.

TOPICS COVERED:

* Best Practices
* Goal-setting
* What kind of tools you need
* Deliverability
* Performance Metrics
* Segmenting
* Specific programs around target segments
* Email-specific Testing plans
* Examples and case studies of how the pros are doing it

INSTRUCTOR:
Anish Shah is a sought-after Strategist that has spent the better half of the last decade growing Email Marketing programs for brands and startups. He currently runs Bring Ruckus Marketing, where he has consulted for brands like Shutterfly, Zazzle, University of Phoenix, and Planet Fitness. In a previous existence, he helped grow Snapfish's Email Marketing program over 100% YoY. And a couple lifetimes ago, he worked with brands like Old Navy, Sephora, Microsoft, Intel, Sidestep, and more at the largest Email Marketing Agency of the time.

He also helps companies recruit the right Marketing talent. Because, well...why the hell not? And if you've got a social good project, he will love listening to you about it.

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Email Marketing 101

  1. 1. EMAIL MARKETING 101 Anish shah Class @ parisoma 1/27/2014
  2. 2. WHO AM I? Anish  Shah   Principal  Consultant   Purveyor  of  Growth   WHO AM I? bringruckus.com   @anish_shah   anish@bringruckus.com      
  3. 3. DOZEN TOPICS COVERED TODAY ü  Definitions ü  Other Channels ü  Best Practices ü  Myths ü  Deliverability ü  Tools ü  Performance Metrics ü  Segmentation ü  Goals ü  Testing Plans ü  Creative Testing ü  Mobile
  4. 4. DISCLAIMER Lots of my personal opinions inside these walls. So…
  5. 5. WHY ARE WE HERE? Why do companies send emails? Why do companies over-abuse the email channel? Why is your inbox so overflowed? Why do Junk Mail boxes exist? Why are you interested in learning more about Email Marketing right now? EMAIL MARKETING IS THE CHANNEL WITH THE HIGHEST ROI.
  6. 6. BASIC DEFINITIONS CAMPAIGN Outreach designed to bring about a result §  A campaign can be 1 email or 1 year’s worth of work depending on how it is defined internally Data (list) All available information on your users & customers Data (analysis) The performance of your users & customers database The physical entity that stores all information on your users & customers
  7. 7. BASIC DEFINITIONS CREATIVE copy design HTML
  8. 8. BASIC DEFINITIONS DELIVERABILITY ESP ISP FEEDBACK LOOP
  9. 9. BASIC DEFINITIONS Subject Line From Name Reply-to address Subdomain
  10. 10. OTHER DIGITAL CHANNELS
  11. 11. OTHER DIGITAL MARKETING CHANNELS PAID SEARCH ADS AFFILIATES MEDIA OUTLETS SOCIAL MEDIA SPONSORSHIPS BLOGS
  12. 12. BASIC DIFFERENCES VS. OTHER MARKETING CHANNELS These other marketing channels:
  13. 13. BASIC DIFFERENCES VS. OTHER MARKETING CHANNELS OTHER MARKETING CHANNELS thrive and have their livelihoods depend on the generosity of Marketers.
  14. 14. BASIC DIFFERENCES VS. OTHER MARKETING CHANNELS OTHER MARKETING CHANNELS thrive and have their livelihoods depend on the generosity of Marketers.
  15. 15. BASIC DIFFERENCES VS. OTHER MARKETING CHANNELS These other marketing channels are quick to execute and able to iterate with many versions
  16. 16. BASIC DIFFERENCES VS. OTHER MARKETING CHANNELS THESE OTHER MARKETING CHANNELS ARE mistake-proof     Pause  -­‐>  Fix  -­‐>  Re-­‐launch  with  liDle  damage  done       Almost  impossible  to  reverse  or  fix.  
  17. 17. BEST PRACTICES & MYTHS
  18. 18. BEST PRACTICES = The Safest Route Note: Best Practices were made to be broken. I’ve personally broken each of these rules multiple times.
  19. 19. BEST PRACTICES (AND WHY TO BREAK THEM) §  §  §  §  §  §  §  Don’t mail anybody with no activity for 6 months Include an equal ratio of text:images Email width should be 600px Always include a plain-text version Don’t blast the same email to everyone Send emails when your users are most likely to read them Keep subject line under 55 characters
  20. 20. MYTHS: CONTENT BLOCKING §  Unless the content of your emails include the word porn, Viagra, or something else equally offensive, do not pay attention to content SPAM checkers. * §  85% of blocked emails are due to reputation, not content. §  The rest are due to content are from outdated, dying corporate security firewalls. * Many disagree with me here.
  21. 21. MYTHS: CLICK, CLICKS, CLICKS!! Clicks are everything. They matter, but look deeper.
  22. 22. MYTHS: TECH OWNERSHIP Building in-house offers more stability, technological control, and ability to be nimble.
  23. 23. Repeat it! DELIVERABILITY
  24. 24. WHAT IS DELIVERABILITY? The art and science of delivering emails to the inbox Success: INBOX Setback: JUNK MAIL Failure: BLOCKED
  25. 25. WHY SHOULD YOU CARE ABOUT DELIVERABILITY? 1 in 5 legitimate commercial emails do not make it to the inbox. And this number gets worse every year.
  26. 26. DELIVERABILITY: WHY EMAILS DON’T GET THROUGH §  High SPAM Complaints Rate q  (SPAM Complaints/Total Emails Sent) §  Spamtraps/Blacklists §  Too many emails sent too quickly (no warmup) §  ISPs are overloaded (Graylisting) q  More prevalent in holiday season
  27. 27. DELIVERABILITY: PREVENTING PROBLEMS §  Warm up IP Address and get Whitelisted §  Keep the quantity of “low value” email recipients a low % of total emails sent §  Make it very easy to unsubscribe §  Mail only people on your list (NEVER BUY LISTS!) Repeat it!
  28. 28. DELIVERABILITY: SCOLDING AND PUNISHMENT honeypot Email address posted on forums, websites, and random online destinations. If emailed, anti-SPAM activists know you’re stealing Recycled spam trap ISP de-activates an email address that has been inactive for a long time. Any activity with that email address is punished. blacklist Activist anti-spam organizations maintain “blacklists” of bad email marketers. ISPs use these lists to block emails spamhaus The most well-known, unapologetic anti-spam organization and blacklist maintainer
  29. 29. DELIVERABILITY: I’M IN TROUBLE. NOW WHAT? §  Send emails only to the most responsive subscribers §  Keep send volumes low and frequent §  Watch the offending domains closely for improvement §  Over time and very slowly, grow your send volumes back to normal §  If in a blacklist, send an email pleading
  30. 30. CAN-SPAM ACT OF 2003 §  Focused on content, not on permissions §  UK laws are stricter and require permission Rules Rules: o  Functioning Unsubscribe link. o  All unsubscribe requests must be processed within 10 days. o  Official company name and address must be visible
  31. 31. TOOLS
  32. 32. TOOLS – EMAIL SERVICE PROVIDER High-end High end §  Advanced reporting and campaign customizations w/o engineering §  Better feature set for triggered campaigns and advanced targeting §  Query full database with any combination of data §  Can handle larger sets of data Rankings:  hDp://assets.exacDarget.com/pdf/wave_email_markeIng_vendors_q1_2012.pdf  
  33. 33. TOOLS – EMAIL SERVICE PROVIDER mid-tier Mid-tier §  Most features of high-end, with ~25% less cost. §  Advanced campaigns, with fewer options for targeting. §  Reports allow for less customizability. More focus on standard reports. §  More errors when working with larger datasets §  Fewer dedicated account and support staff
  34. 34. TOOLS – EMAIL SERVICE PROVIDER smb SMB §  Very low price under $1K per month normally §  Able to launch ad-hoc campaigns with easy-touse tools §  Little ability for deep targeting, reporting, or triggered messages §  Canned reporting with basic metrics
  35. 35. TOOLS – EMAIL SERVICE PROVIDER b2b B2B §  Usually cheaper than B2C tools Sales automation §  Focused on simple tools for Sales team to use personalized templates §  Focused on automated messaging instead of adhoc campaigns §  Better for for connecting to a CRM like Salesforce and tracking lead funnel §  Less exciting creative and segmentation tools for campaigns
  36. 36. ESP OR IN-HOUSE? §  Will your emails provide ROI? §  Would you like any complexity to your emails beyond 1-off launches? §  Are your development resources very busy? §  Developers too busy to resolve every issue within 48 hours? §  Developers focused on building your company’s products? YES to all of the above? Go ESP!
  37. 37. TOOLS – DELIVERABILITY Inbox placement §  The last man standing §  2 useful services: q  Uses seed lists and sample inboxes to give insight into inbox placement q  Offers whitelisting to major domains like Hotmail, Yahoo!, Comcast, etc.
  38. 38. TOOLS – CREATIVE Inbox rendering Inbox Shows what your email looks like in various: q  ISPs (Gmail, etc.) q  Browsers (Firefox, etc.) q  Platforms (iPad, Desktop, etc.)
  39. 39. GOALS
  40. 40. GOAL-SETTING The specific goals of your email marketing program will vary depending on: §  The type of business you operate §  What your business model is §  How far along your business is
  41. 41. EXAMPLE OF GOALS Well-funded startup Matured user base Popular b2b company Most companies
  42. 42. Every company thinks they fall into that last bucket, but there are normally deeper business goals §  Before building or optimizing your email marketing program, lay out very specific goals and business problems §  Make sure that every campaign is aligned with those goals.
  43. 43. …BUT BUT BUT …..
  44. 44. LOOK FOR PATTERNS
  45. 45. BUSINESS PROBLEM 1 # of Days between 1st and 2nd purchase (value of 1=20 days) LTV= lifetime revenue LTR = lifetime margins Average lifetime orders Dollar amount spent Both slump right after the 60 day mark # of Days after registration (value of 1=20 days)
  46. 46. BUSINESS PROBLEM 2 §  Drop-offs in first purchasers 15, 30, 60, and 180 days after registrations §  Big jump in first purchases after 365 days Population count – Popula'on  Count  –   Days between first purchase date and registration date  Days  between  First  Purchase  Date  and  Registra'on  Date   12000   10000   8000   6000   Total   4000   0   0   38   76   114   152   190   228   266   304   342   380   418   456   494   532   570   608   646   684   722   760   798   836   874   912   950   988   2000  
  47. 47. PERFORMANCE METRICS
  48. 48. PERFORMANCE METRICS Basic email response metrics
  49. 49. PERFORMANCE METRICS advanced email response metrics
  50. 50. PERFORMANCE METRICS Basic Email Profitability Metrics Basic email profitability metrics
  51. 51. PERFORMANCE METRICS User activity/health metrics
  52. 52. SEGMENTATION
  53. 53. SEGMENTING What is segmenting? splitting up users based on available data Most people segment based on RFM. I like RFMA – recency, frequency, monetization, activity.
  54. 54. SEGMENTING Build Specific programs around specific target segments
  55. 55. SEGMENTING Somebody bought something! Hooray! Now what?
  56. 56. SEGMENTING: CROSS-SELL/UPSELL Catering  and  Chef  2nd  requests   2nd  requests      Total   Grand  Total   xxx   DJ   xxx   Photography   Catering  and  Chef   Wedding   Photography   Entertainment   House  Cleaning   214   74   71   35   35   23   23  
  57. 57. SEGMENTING: CROSS-SELL/UPSELL
  58. 58. SEGMENTING If somebody orders a birth announcement, what do you know about them?
  59. 59. SEGMENTING: LIFESTAGE
  60. 60. SEGMENTING How do you get customers to buy more than they normally would?
  61. 61. SEGMENTING: VIP/LOYALTY
  62. 62. SEGMENTING Our customers have bailed on us. Now what?
  63. 63. SEGMENTING: RE-ENGAGEMENT
  64. 64. SEGMENTING: RE-ENGAGEMENT
  65. 65. SEGMENTING: WELCOME Week 1 Week 2  Breadth       DifferenIators   Targeted  recommendaIons   Week 3 Week 4 Brand  and  Excitement   Real-­‐life  examples   Conversion  Goal:  xxx   CommunicaIon  Goal:  EducaIon,  Excitement,  etc.  
  66. 66. SEGMENTING: WELCOME
  67. 67. SEGMENTING: WELCOME
  68. 68. SEGMENTING: WELCOME
  69. 69. SEGMENTING: WELCOME
  70. 70. THE 4-HOUR STARTUP
  71. 71. TESTING PLAN
  72. 72. EMAIL TESTING PLAN 1)  Make it actionable! 2)  Testing over multiple days can muddy results 3)  Record all results. 4)  Re-do major tests
  73. 73. EMAIL TESTING PLAN Actionable = Leads to planned implementations moving forward.
  74. 74. COPY AND SUBJECT LINE TESTING §  Switch one word or phrase in the SL §  Add an extra element to the SL §  Order of call-to-action placement
  75. 75. CREATIVE TESTING §  CTAs
  76. 76. CREATIVE TESTING §  CTAs •  16% more clicks •  11% more conversions
  77. 77. CREATIVE TESTING §  Length •  V1: Normal Template •  V2: Normal Template with 3 extra tiles
  78. 78. CREATIVE TESTING §  Length •  V1: Normal Template •  V2: Normal Template with 3 extra tiles •  Longer template got 15% more clicks. •  Shorter template had the best conversion rate •  Shorter template made the featured tile perform better
  79. 79. CREATIVE TESTING §  Style •  V1: Short tiles •  V1: Long tiles
  80. 80. CREATIVE TESTING §  Style V1: Short tiles •  8% more clicks •  Slightly higher conversion V1: Long tiles
  81. 81. CREATIVE TESTING §  Related vs. Un-related content V1: Related V2: Unrelated
  82. 82. CREATIVE TESTING §  Related vs. Un-related content V1: Related V2: Unrelated 19% more clicks
  83. 83. MOBILE DESIGN
  84. 84. MOBILE DESIGN: TIMES CHANGE
  85. 85. MOBILE DESIGN: DOMINANCE May 2013 december 2013 +3% -6% +5% +3% 0% +1% -3% +1% 0% N/A
  86. 86. MOBILE DESIGN: REMEMBER §  Every platform, browser, and ISP has their own individual quirks to account for with design+HTML §  Keep design simple and scalable. What looks great in web, may look terrible is certain email ISPs. §  Assume mobile clicks and make sure your landing pages are mobile friendly.
  87. 87. MOBILE DESIGN: TABLETS TOO.
  88. 88. RECAP §  §  §  §  §  §  §  §  §  §  §  §  Definitions Other Channels Deliverability Tools Performance Metrics Segmentation Best Practices Myths Goals Testing Plans Creative Testing Mobile Questions?
  89. 89. THANK YOU.

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