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First Impressions Email Marketing Study


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You have only seven seconds to make a first impression. This is why we try to look our best when meeting someone new, or why brands create amazing customer experiences. So why should your email marketing program be treated any different?

The answer is, it shouldn’t.

Ciceron is a full service digital marketing agency. We specialize in digital strategy, including email marketing, social media, website design, and brand advocacy.

Published in: Business, Technology

First Impressions Email Marketing Study

  1. The First ImpressionsEmail Marketing StudyCiceron Report, March 2013Sole property of Ciceron, Inc.
  2. You have only seven seconds to make a firstimpression. This is why we try to look our bestwhen meeting someone new, or why brandscreate amazing customer experiences. So whyshould your email marketing program betreated any different? The answer is, itshouldn’t.Look at your email strategy like dating. Whena subscriber says, “Yes, I want emails fromyou” (or, “Yes, I’ll go on a date with you”)the next step is the first date. Or as we call it,the “welcome message.” Sending a welcomemessage shows the subscriber that you’re“into them” and eager to make a goodimpression. So don’t be that guy (or girl) —the one that doesn’t even show up.83% of brands didnot make a good firstimpression, or anyimpression at allWhat’s in a First Impression?
  3. Ciceron has conducted “The First Impressions Email Marketing Study,” an independentresearch project set up to analyze the experience a new email subscriber has with a brand.Ciceron selected 70 companies in varying industries and assessed the first 21 days of theiremail program experience.41%of brands did not send anymessages within the first 48hours of subscribing27%of brands did not send asingle message over thewhole 3 week period39%of brands sent a welcomemessage; 15 of 27 did notmake a good first impressionAbout the Study
  4. Confirmation20%Welcome39%Nothing41% 41% of brands didnot send any messageswithin the first 48hours of subscribingSubscribers are the most engaged within those first 48hours. It is critical that you start to build that relationshipby sending an immediate welcome message to setexpectations and ask them to take the next step.If you are in the 41% sending nothing, you’ve just stood upyour first date – and that is not acceptable.What Are Brands Sending? In First 48 Hours27% of brands continued to sendnothing over the whole three week period
  5. How often should you be sending messages to youraudience? Unfortunately there is not a standard benchmarkwe can provide, because the frequency is dependent onyour audience and content. To learn what is best for youraudience, you should test frequency, offer subscriptionoptions or just ask them what they want.What Are Brands Sending? Over First 3 Weeks1email per weekwas sent, on average,over the whole threeweek period
  6. ere is a right andwrong way to execute aconfirmation messageThe Wrong WayIs to use a confirmation message simply to say “Thankyou” for subscribing, instead take that opportunity to senda branded welcome message. It will create a strongerimpression with your subscribers.!Confirmation20%The Right WayIs to use the confirmation message to have a subscriberconfirm their subscription, complete their profile or setinterests. However, once the subscriber says “Yes,” theyshould still be sent a welcome message. This is no differentthen confirming a time and place for a first date.What Are Brands Sending? Confirmation Message
  7. Famous Dave’s was theonly brand that sent aconfirmation andwelcome messageConfirmation message12 Welcome messageWhat Are Brands Sending? Famous Dave’s Example
  8. 39% of brands senta welcome message,all within 24 hoursof subscribingIt’s time for your first date. So how do you make agreat first impression with your subscribers?Execute these four welcome message must-havesand you will be assured a second date.Welcome39%ImmediateGratificationBrand YourMessageSet ExpectationsInclude aCall-to-ActionWhat Are Brands Sending? Welcome Message
  9. Only 4 of 27 brandshad a great welcomemessage; incorporatingall of the must-havesWhat type of impression did brands make?GreatKey: Fair PoorWhat Are Brands Sending? Welcome Message
  10. What Are Brands Sending? Examples of Great Welcomes
  11. What should you be collecting about your subscribers? Again, the answer is dependent on youraudience and content. But it is important that you only collect information that you will be using toprovide subscribers with relevant content. If you don’t need it, don’t ask for it.NameZip CodePersonal InterestsBirthdayStateGenderWhat Are Brands Collecting?Account76%64%37%33%33%11%10%
  12. Only 37%of brandsasked subscribers forpersonal interestsand/or subscriptionpreferencesCollecting personal preferences from your subscribers notonly ensures you are delivering content that is relevant totheir interests, but has also proven to increaseengagement metrics. You can also use this information fordynamic content and segmentation.Good Examples from Visit Florida and HormelWhat Are Brands Collecting? Personal Preferences
  13. 4 of the 23 brandsthat asked for thesubscriber’s birthdayactually sent them aspecial birthdaymessageIf you have something to offer them for their birthday, this is agreat value add to your program. But if you ask for theirbirthday and send nothing it can damage the relationship you’veworked to build.What Are Brands Collecting? Your Birthday
  14. ConclusionRemember, first impressions are critical to building lastingrelationships; and a welcome message is that important touchpointfor your email marketing program. You want to entice yoursubscribers by sending them a welcome message that encouragesthem to take that next step or “second date.”Having conducted thousands of email marketing andcommunications programs, we know that even the most simpleendeavors can have a huge impact. You can also apply many of therecommendations in this study to your other digital programs. Usethese key takeaways and you too can make a great impression onyour audience. ü  Collect data that you can use to delight subscribersü  Make sign-ups and conversions easy for your subscribersü  Send an immediate welcome message with all the must-havesü  Be timely. And then follow-up again…quickly•  ACME Comedy Club•  AmericInn•  Arctic Cat•  Bloomington CVB•  Bluefin Bay•  Brainerd Lakes Chamber•  Breezy Point Resort•  Buffalo Wild Wings•  Canterbury Park•  Caribou Coffee•  Chanhassen Dinner Theatres•  Choose Chicago•  Christopher & Banks•  Como Zoo•  Cragun’s Resort•  Dacotah Ridge Golf Course•  Dairy Queen•  Enjoy Illinois•  Explore Minnesota•  Famous Dave’s•  Fitger’s Brewhouse•  Gander Mountain•  Grand Avenue BA•  Grand Casino•  Great Clips•  Guthrie Theater•  Hennepin Theatre Trust•  Holiday Stationstores•  Hormel•  Houlihan’s•  Lake Superior Zoo•  Las Vegas CVB•  Lutsen Resort on Superior•  Madden’s Resort•  Mall of America•  Maurices•  Mill City Farmer’s Market•  Minnesota Children’s Museum•  Minnesota Historical Society•  Minnesota Science Museum•  Minnesota Sea Life Aquarium•  Minnesota State Fair•  Minnesota Swarm•  Minnesota Zoo•  Mystic Lake Casino•  Napa Valley CVB•  Red Wing CVB•  Running Aces•  Rush Creek Golf Course•  Saint Paul CVB•  San Diego CVB•  Sleep Number/Select Comfort•  Spam•  Summit Brewing Company•  Surly Brewing Company•  Target Center•  The Depot Minneapolis•  The Preserve at Grand ViewLodge•  The Saint Paul Hotel•  The Wilds Golf Club•  Toro Company•  Treasure Island Casino•  Valleyfair•  Valspar Paint•  Visit California•  Visit Duluth•  Visit Florida•  Walker Art Center•  Willingers Golf Club•  ZubazCompanies included in the study:
  15. About CiceronCiceron is a full service digital marketing, insights, and brand advocacy firm based inMinneapolis, MN. Since 1995, we’ve been helping clients use data and consumer insights toidentify the right digital strategies and tactics to meet their business goals. Whether thosegoals are intended to build brand awareness, generate leads or ultimately, drive revenue andROI, we’ll help you uncover the opportunities to meet the needs of your potential customersby celebrating and scaling the positive experiences of your current advocates.This study was conducted by: Julie Verhulst and Kristina EppingContact Us Ÿ 612.230.3901