How to Lose a Customer in 10 Days


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Everyone wants to drive revenue through their email programs, but could you be Kate Hudson in disguise and actually be doing something that makes customers break up with you? From your website to email campaigns, marketing strategists Steve DuBois and Greg Zakowicz will show you what you may be doing that can make you lose a customer in 10 days.

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How to Lose a Customer in 10 Days

  1. 1. Customer
  2. 2. The Setup…Day 1: May The Force Be With YouDay 2: You Would Have Had Me At HelloDay 3: The DisconnectDay 4: 1995 Called, It Wants Its HTML BackDay 5: What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?Day 6: What’s My Name? Say My Name!Day 7: Call Me Maybe?Day 8: I am Your Father’s Brother’s Nephew’sCousin’s Former RoommateDay 9: Zagats Gave It a FiveDay 10: You Don’t Complete Me
  3. 3. Day 1: May The Force Be With YouForced Signup
  4. 4. May The Force Be With YouNow I need to supply 800 pieces ofinformation in order to receive moreinformation and now I also have an account.Obstacle to conversion, probably highabandonment rates, and for what?site visit products/services more information
  5. 5. Example: Forced SignupStep 1
  6. 6. Example: Forced SignupStep 2
  7. 7. Example: Forced Signup
  8. 8. Signup TakeawaysYour email signup should:•  Be a signup, not a registrationpage.•  Be visible and above the foldof your website.•  If offering an incentive, be sureto call it out – this willencourage signups.
  9. 9. Signup Takeaways•  Make it easy to stay in touch with you.•  Don’t force people to create accounts. Theymay leave and never return.•  Only ask for information you are going to use tobetter market to people.•  Make information optional to reduce subscriberabandonment. You have a chance to get theinformation later.
  10. 10. Day 2: You Would Have Had Me At HelloBad/No Welcome Message
  11. 11. You Would Have Had Me At HelloI see the signup above the fold and click…20% off, I think I love you. I’m just gonna say it, “I love you!”
  12. 12. Example: Bad/No Welcome MessageSo you know what this messagesays?It says, “aww, that’s nice.”This is unreadable!! Where is mydiscount? What do I do next?Avoid reverse type (textcontrast)
  13. 13. Don’t Be A Tarte
  14. 14. The Proper CourtshipSo we broke up with Tarte. Hey bebe!You’re hot. Looking good and you’re not asking me reallypersonal information from the get-go. Let’s go out. Why don’tyou tell me more about yourself.
  15. 15. Hello?Wait, what’s your name again?Oh, you speak gibberish!
  16. 16. Are You the Same bebe?Hi customer? Is that all I am toyou? That’s not very friendly.Your welcome seems insincere.Nice CTA, but it is the samecolor as the other words, yet Ican’t click on those. Can I clickor not?What’s this mumbo jumbo atthe bottom? More gibberish.Use compelling ALT text, makea clear CTA and be sincerewith people. Don’t treat themas JUST a customer.
  17. 17. Welcome Message Takeaways•  When sending a welcome message alwaysthank the subscribers•  Welcome them to something personal, like acommunity, family, etc. Don’t call it a list.•  Create a subject line that encourages peopleto open. Again, thank/welcome them.•  Avoid reverse-type or painful text contrast•  Test your emails for rendering issues•  Provide benefits of singing up, be friendly andprovide a clear CTA
  18. 18. Day 3: The DisconnectSend-From Name & Address
  19. 19. Send-From Name & AddressInbox Send From Name Send From Address
  20. 20. Make the Connection•  Tell people your name. Your “send from” nameshould be your brand.•  Your “send from” address should reinforce yourbrand. (either in brand name or your voice)•  Don’t make people feel like they can’t contact you.Avoid “Do Not Reply” addresses!
  21. 21. •  Tell people your name. Your “send from” nameshould be your brand.•  Your “send from” address should reinforce yourbrand (either in brand name or using yourvoice)•  Don’t make people feel like they can’t contactyou. Avoid “Do Not Reply” addresses!•  Be consistent – don’t change your send fromname and address all of the timeSend-From Name & Address Takeaways
  22. 22. Day 4: 1995 Called, It Wants Its HTML BackPoorly Optimized Email
  23. 23. A Cry For Help…Is your hair grey,because I can seeyour roots.Don’t make onelarge image asyour message.Use compellingALT text for allimages large andsmall.
  24. 24. Great, Another Tarte Wannabe!Text contrast makes myeyes beg for a gouging!At least their ALT text is notcluttered and providessome value for thesubscriber.
  25. 25. Don’t Stop There…Great, I know the name of yournav bar image! Thanks forsharing.There is NOTHING forme to even click on!No ALT text, nothing!Yep, I sure am having troubleseeing your true colors!
  26. 26. Is This Even a Template?Nice clickableALT textcamouflagedby lots of fineprint.
  27. 27. You’re Better Than That…I don’t knowwhat to make ofthis situationThis email takesmore work todecipher thanlong division!
  28. 28. Good Job, You Saved 5 SecondsI am thinking theycopy and pastedfrom Word.You’re not as smartas you say you are.You might think aStrategic MarketingAssociation wouldknow this cancause an issue.If I only sent a testmessage.
  29. 29. Optimizing Email Takeaways•  Avoid reverse-type or text contrast•  Use compelling ALT text for all images•  Utilize bulletproof buttons (HTML text on top ofHTML background color), especially for your CTAand nav bar•  Make the message scan-able. Let the subscriberopen, scan, and click•  Remember, it is an email, not a book•  Test! Be mindful of how emails will render indifferent clients
  30. 30. Day 5: What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?No consistent send cadence
  31. 31. Is Everything Okay? Are You Mad at Me?3 in march (so far)2 in Feb5 in Jan2 in Dec1 in Sept4 in Aug4 in Nov6 in Oct
  32. 32. Be Consistent With Your Frequency•  Create a marketing calendar to ensure you are touching yoursubscribers on a consistent basis.•  You can always increase or decrease your cadence as longas you make sure it is consistent at that time. If you are goingto increase frequency, let’s just say during Q4, send an emailexplaining why you are mailing more.•  It is a good idea to set expectations inside of your welcomemessage or at the time of signup.
  33. 33. Day 6: What’s My Name? Say My Name!Personalization Fail
  34. 34. Personalization Gone Wrong…Holiday greeting – If you are so friendly, why are you using myentire name?Maybe YOU should have taken some brain health supplementsand remembered to include something for when you don’tknow my nameHow would you like it if I generalized you?
  35. 35. Personalization FailIf I am really your friend you would know my name!So I am preferred, huh? Thanks for making me feel like it!So this is how you see me, as your sugar daddy!
  36. 36. This Is The Real Deal…
  37. 37. Personalization Takeaways•  Personalization doesn’t always make sense.Lifecycle messages are a natural time to use it.E.g. Happy birthday Steve!•  When using personalization always have a valuein case you don’t have the first name•  Don’t use the last name, it seems tacky•  Dear “Valued customer/preferred customer/subscriber” all seem unnatural
  38. 38. Day 7: Call Me Maybe?Not Getting Expressed Permission to Mail
  39. 39. How’d You Get My Number?In this example, I purchasedthrough Amazon, not theirwebsite.I never received a welcomeor other marketing email untilI got this message.It took me some time tofigure out who sent this andwhy they were sending it.Notice the personalization. Iam NOT a Parts Expresscustomer, I am an Amazoncustomer.I marked this as SPAM!!!
  40. 40. Not Getting Expressed Permission to MailMake it clear WHAT people are opting into.Not “to receive messages from related companies”What does this mean:•  Buying lists•  Renting lists•  Email append•  Co-registrationDownsides:•  Blacklisting•  Decreased deliverability
  41. 41. Day 8: I am Your Father’s Brother’sNephew’s Cousin’s Former RoommateIrrelevant Emails
  42. 42. What Does Relevance Mean?
  43. 43. Irrelevant
  44. 44. I am 30 Not 15 & I am Steven Not Stephanie
  45. 45. Turn Relevancy Into Revenue•  Collect segmentationinfo at signup and/orduring the welcomeprocess.•  Use the information tohelp make emails morerelevant. How does thisrelate to me?Irrelevant emails canincrease unsubscribe ratesand/or foster un-engagement.
  46. 46. Irrelevant Emails Takeaways•  Collect info at signup or via manage preferences•  Use the info to better market to subscribers – this canbe as easy as doing different images for the male/female demographic•  Don’t worry about suppressing segments from youremail sends – an email not received may be betterthan an irrelevant email•  Consider having two welcome messages, one formale, one for female (or another criteria that makessense for your company)
  47. 47. Day 9: I Heard Good Things -I Don’t Know, Zagats Gave It a Five!Bad Product Recommendation Emails
  48. 48. I Recommend You Pay AttentionRecommendations…JUST FOR ME!Toys for both boys andgirls…hmmToys for all ages…None of which are suitablefor my child’s age.The next time I get this emaildo you think I will open it?
  49. 49. Preferences Are ImportantWhen I am in my Sundaybest, they certainly knowme.Too bad I already have thathoodie with the elephanthead. Having two is justridiculous!If using productrecommendations makesure you double check youralgorithm to make sure youactually target people withemails that matter.
  50. 50. Product Recommendation Takeaways•  If using product recommendations make sureyou double check your algorithm to make sureyou actually target people with emails thatmatter•  TEST, TEST and TEST again. Being thorough willpay long-term dividends•  If you don’t know, don’t assume you do
  51. 51. Day 10: You ^ Complete MeNo PreferencesDon’t
  52. 52. Redeem YourselfSo I get this email and it just missed theboat. I want to edit my preferences. Ican’t!! Instead, I UNSUBSCRIBE!So I get this email and again, they are not atall what I wanted. I want to tell you what IDO want. Nope, can’t do it! Instead, IUNSUBSCRIBE!
  53. 53. What Are My Options?If I want to let any of these companies know I am interested inmen’s products, I CAN’T. They offer no preference page.I either unsubscribe, check their emails only periodically orsimply ignore them altogether.
  54. 54. Is This The End For Us?
  55. 55. Preferences Please•  Ask for segmentationinformation at signup.•  Keep it simple.•  You can even customizespecific welcomemessages based on theinfo collected (talk aboutrelevant!). CRAZY!!!
  56. 56. You Got The Look•  Create an optimizedmanage preference pageand put the link clearly ineach email.•  The manage preferencepage should includeinformation you maysegment on, such as gender,location and/or productpreferences.•  Only ask for information youwill USE.•  Keep as much informationas possible above the fold
  57. 57. You Got The Look•  If asking for somethingpersonal or unusual, tellpeople WHY you areasking for it.•  Consider running aManage Preferencecampaign one or twotimes each year to makesure people’s interestshaven’t changed. Sendthis only to subscriberswho have not told youany preferences.
  58. 58. Manage Preference Takeaways•  The manage preference page should includeinformation you may segment on, such asgender, location and/or product preferences•  Only ask for information you will USE to bettermarket to them•  Keep as much information as possible abovethe fold•  If asking for something personal or unusual tellpeople WHY you are asking for it
  59. 59. Day 11: Are you single?Don’t Get Dumped
  60. 60. Recap•  Allow customers to easily signup for your emails.•  Send an instantaneous and optimizedwelcome message.•  Use a proper “send from” name and address.•  Optimize your messages for HTML renderingwith images on/off.•  Have a marketing calendar that creates aconsistent send cadence.
  61. 61. Recap•  When using personalization, be sure to have propercriteria for the lack of information•  ALWAYS have explicit permission to mail contacts•  Use segmentation data to send targeted emails•  Double check your product recommendationalgorithm and test to see that they are in factrelevant•  Collect segmentation data at signup and providethe option for subscribers to manage theirpreferences
  62. 62. Tips & Tricks•  Date your subscribers – create a two-waydialogue with them. Speak with them, not atthem•  Don’t create obstacles to conversion•  Test your messages for possible rendering issues•  Audit your customer acquisition cycle•  Review your entire email conversion funnel fromemail, to landing page to shopping cart tomake sure everything is optimized
  63. 63. Thank YouQuestions?Greg ZakowiczMarketing Strategist@whatsgregdoingSteven DuBoisMarketing Strategist@sdubois23