2009 Tourism Summit: Permission Email - Joy Cropper


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Presentation by Joy Cropper about Permission Email Marketing at the 2009 Indiana Tourism Summit

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  • Best role for email is to build relationships with your customers over time.
  • Priority metrics: What are the most important metrics for your email marketing program? If you are a retailer it is probably things like conversion rate, number of orders/emails sent, average order size, etc. For a DMO it could be click-through percentages on specific topics/links and subsequent conversions to literature requests.
  • Review data:Pull together in a spreadsheetfor the past 12 months. Include all relevant statistics from opens, clicks, referrals, bounces, unsubscribes, spam complaints, etc. Calculate your overall averages and determine the best and worst performing message for each metric.Consistency: Are key metrics consistently within a certain percent range? If open rates varied significantly you might have had some delivery issues or variations in your from line and subject lines may have confused recipients. Wide variances in click-thru rates suggest the relevance of your article topics, products, offers or content varied significantly. Highs and Lows: Find your message highs and lows for each key metric and compare to your overall average. If the low or high varies dramatically, then there is likely a lesson - positive or negative - to be uncovered. An off-the-charts conversion rate, for example, would suggest that a promotional email fired on all pistons - timing, subject line, design, offer/price, product relevance, Web site content, etc. Message Metrics Variances: What if you have a combination of great and horrible metrics resulting from a single message? For example, you might have a low open rate, but very high click-to-open rate. This can happen when you have a weak subject line, a delivery problem or change your from address, for example, but the message content has very high relevance (offer, content, etc.).
  • Responsys, Digital Impact, Yesmail, and CheetahMail
  • Many of you surveyed don’t have email marketing budgets at all. Of those that do, budgets range from $500 to $20,000, with the average about $5,000.
  • 2009 Tourism Summit: Permission Email - Joy Cropper

    1. 1. PERMISSION EMAIL: <br />EMAIL MARKETING THAT GETS RESULTS <br />Indiana Tourism Summit<br />September 16, 2009<br />
    2. 2. What is permission email?<br />
    3. 3. Permission email: Email sent to recipients who have opted-in<br />Permission marketing: About building an ongoing relationship of increasing depth with customers. In the words of Seth Godin, &quot;turning strangers into friends, and friends into customers.&quot;<br />Personalized, relevant, expected<br />PERMISSION EMAIL<br />
    4. 4. Better response rates<br />Increased trust and brand affinity<br />Better deliverability<br />WHY PERMISSION EMAIL?<br />
    7. 7. Developing or improving your own permission email program<br />
    8. 8. Analyze what you&apos;re doing<br />Key performance metrics<br />Subscriber feedback / surveys<br />Content &design<br />Draft an improvement plan<br />List building and maintenance<br />Creative<br />Segmentation and personalization<br />Testing<br />Analytics: Reporting & analysis<br />GETTING STARTED<br />
    9. 9. Switch to double opt in; never pre-check the sign-up boxes<br />Deliver on promises you make in the sign-up process<br />Guarantee you will not share address with other companies (#1)<br />Other hooks: tout special pricing, offer first look at new stuff<br />Allow recipients to specify preferences for email content<br />Start opt-in process with a field<br />Optimize forms<br />Minimize fields to increase volume, add fields to increase lead quality / personalization (test)<br />List growth tactics:<br />Incentives, opt-in check boxes, trade shows, offline advertising/direct mail, online marketing/search, call center<br />BEST PRACTICES: LIST BUILDING<br />
    10. 10. BEST PRACTICES: CREATIVE<br />Subject line<br />50 characters or less (or even 35 or less)<br />Use action words (Get your free..., please confirm…, etc.)<br />Resend with different subject line to unopens<br />More links = More clicks<br />Emails with more links get higher open and click-thru rates than emails with fewer links<br />Link = text links, navigation, buttons, images<br />No more than 2 calls to action in an email<br />1 action = 55% CTR, 2 actions = 38% CTR, 3 actions = 5%, 4 actions = 1%<br />
    11. 11. BEST PRACTICES: CREATIVE<br />Make it about the reader, not the sales agenda<br />Provide sense of urgency and clear call to action (think verbs!)<br />Include site navigation in email<br />Cater to skimmers<br />Prime real estate: beginning of paragraphs, first bullet point or two, and first words of titles and subheads<br />Bulleted, bolded, underlined and hyperlinked text all work to spike attention<br />Photograph of a specific person resonates with readers<br />Change images frequently (esp. in newsletters)<br />People don’t mind scrolling, but keep key benefit or offer above the fold<br />
    12. 12. BEST PRACTICES: CREATIVE<br />Design for the red &apos;X’ (43% view emails with images blocked/off)<br />No single-image emails, use ALT tags<br />Design for the preview pane (53% use preview feature)<br />First 2 inches of email are key: Text headline, navigation links, key benefit / offer<br />Avoid large image headers, especially on top or top-left<br />
    13. 13. BEST PRACTICES: SEGMENTATION<br />Segment subscribers into modest number of groups for which you are able to deliver relevant, personalized messages<br />BIG impact<br />Consider:<br />Campaigns by user details (past purchases, web pages viewed, geography, interests)<br />Campaigns by sales cycle (customers vs. prospects)<br />Dynamic content<br />
    14. 14. BEST PRACTICES: TESTING<br />Test, Test, Test<br />Subject lines<br />Mailing times &days<br />Offers<br />Layout<br />Photos<br />Email clients<br />Blocked images<br />
    15. 15. Look beyond open rates and click-thrus & determine priority metrics<br />For ex: click-thru % on specific topics/links, subsequent conversions to requests<br />• Open rate literature <br />• Click-thru rate <br />• Click to open rate (# of unique clicks/# of unique opens) <br />• Bounce rate <br />• Delivery rate (emails sent - bounces) <br />• Unsubscribe rate <br />• Referral rate (“send-to-a-friend”) <br />• Number of or percent spam complaints <br />• Net subscribers (# subscribers + new subscribers) - (bounces + unsubscribes) <br />• Subscriber retention (# subscribers - bounces - unsubscribes/# subscribers) <br />• Web site actions (number of visits to a specific Web page or pages) <br />• Percent unique clicks on a specific recurring link(s) <br />• Number of orders, transactions, downloads or actions <br />• Percent orders, transactions, downloads or actions of emails sent or delivered <br />• Total revenue <br />• Average order size <br />• Conversion rate (number of actions/unique click-thrus) <br />• Average dollars per email sent or delivered<br />BEST PRACTICES: ANALYTICS<br />
    16. 16. Integrate email with Web analytics (google analytics)<br />Regularly review performance data (58.8% of youtrack data)<br />After each send, then 1 week later<br />Look for problems, consider resends<br />Compare over time<br />Create a spreadsheet for past 12 months<br />Look at:<br />Consistency<br />Highs and lows<br />Message metrics variances<br />BEST PRACTICES: ANALYTICS<br />
    17. 17. INDUSTRY AVERAGES<br /> Open Rates Click-thru Rates<br />
    18. 18. Who Do You Use?:<br />Constant Contact (8)<br />Outlook/Entourage (4)<br />Exact Target(3)<br />Emma (2)<br />Vertical Response (2)<br />Blue Sky (1) <br />In-house (1)<br />Delivra (1)<br />CoCoTools (1) <br />mail-bots.com (1) <br />eGov(1)<br />For a comprehensive list, check out: http://www.marketingprofs.com/bg/<br />EMAIL PROVIDERS<br />
    19. 19. IOTD Email Case Study: &quot;Putting the blast in the past&quot;<br />
    20. 20. Situation:<br />One version sent to 122,048 subscribers once per month<br />Avg. open rate: 12.9%<br />Avg. click-thru rate: 4.8% <br />Goals:<br />Increase open and click-thru rates<br />Scrub list<br />Find out what subscribers want<br />IOTD EMAIL EVOLUTION<br />
    21. 21. Email survey to determine:<br />Subscriber demographics, travel habits, favorite activities<br />Desired email topics, frequency, format<br />ASK SUBSCRIBERS<br /> % open rate<br />Upcoming Festivals and Events<br />Fall Travel<br />Trip Ideas by Region<br />Nature and Outdoor Activities<br />Museums and Historic Sites <br />Shopping<br />Performing Arts and Cultural attractions <br />Nightlife / Dining<br />Family and Kid Activities<br />Sporting Events<br />Girlfriend Getaways<br />Riverboat Gaming<br />
    22. 22. Three new monthly emails:<br />Travel Discounts<br />Festivals & Events<br />Trip Ideas<br />New design templates:<br />Created by agency, updated internally<br />Branding consistency<br />Updates to VisitIndiana.com<br />Personalized, relevant, expected<br />IOTD NEW EMAIL PROGRAM<br />
    23. 23. Results:<br />IOTD NEW EMAIL PROGRAM<br />
    24. 24. Costs:<br />$15,000: Subscriber survey, email plan, software upgrade, list management, email writing (trip ideas), template design, analytics integration<br />IOTD NEW EMAIL PROGRAM<br />
    25. 25. 4 Test Cases<br />
    26. 26. 4 TEST CASES<br />On 7/15, I signed up for four emails:<br />Hendricks County<br />Hamilton County<br />Richmond/Wayne County<br />The Children&apos;s Museum of Indianapolis<br />
    27. 27. HENDRICKS COUNTY<br />7/15: received email confirming sign up (double opt-in) – great!<br />8/26: received first email<br />
    28. 28. HENDRICKS COUNTY<br />
    29. 29. HAMILTON COUNTY<br />7/15: signed up<br />8/12: received first email<br />9/15: second email<br />
    30. 30. HAMILTON COUNTY<br />7/15: signed up<br />8/12: received first email<br />9/15: second email<br />
    31. 31. Richmond/WAYNE COUNTY<br />7/15: signed up (nice)<br />7/15: PR email 3 times<br />7/16: PR email<br />8/1: early August events<br />8/19: late August events<br />9/1: geocaching 4times<br />9/10: mid-late September events<br />
    32. 32. Richmond/WAYNE COUNTY<br />
    33. 33. 7/15: Signed up<br />Today: Haven&apos;t received anything yet<br />THE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM<br />
    34. 34. Analyze what you&apos;re doing<br />Key performance metrics<br />Subscriber survey<br />Content & design<br />Draft an improvement plan<br />List growth<br />Creative<br />Segmentation and personalization<br />Testing<br />Analytics<br />GET STARTED NOW<br />
    35. 35. THANK YOU!<br />Joy Cropper<br />Director of Internet Strategy,<br />Williams Randall Marketing<br />Joy.cropper@willran.com<br />