Six Critical Steps for Successful eMail Marketing


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Six critical steps for the effective management, production deployment and tracking of email marketing programs.

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Six Critical Steps for Successful eMail Marketing

  1. 1. 6 Critical Steps to Maximise Email ROI Presenter: David Shiell Founding Partner, Web Liquid Group 15 th April 2008
  2. 2. Contents <ul><li>Structure & Design </li></ul><ul><li>List Maintenance </li></ul><ul><li>Segmentation Strategies </li></ul><ul><li>Compliance </li></ul><ul><li>Metrics </li></ul><ul><li>Test, Review & Expand </li></ul>
  3. 3. 1. Structure & Design <ul><li>Structure </li></ul><ul><li>Define the Goal of the Message </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Desired action </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create a perception </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reinforce a brand </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Keep it Relevant </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Engaging readers with relevant content </li></ul></ul>Marketers have only three seconds to catch a readers interest ! <ul><li>Message Content </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t overload with too much information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>State key purpose up front </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide a call to action </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide something to click on </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Company logo </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Choose ‘From’ and ‘Subject’ lines carefully </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create shorter blocks of content </li></ul></ul>Relevance “ Maybe nobody goes to your Website because its about you.”
  4. 4. 1. Brand & Design <ul><li>Design </li></ul><ul><li>Formatting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Test designs on multiple email platforms </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Dimensions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One size does not fit all </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. 1. Brand & Design <ul><li>Design </li></ul><ul><li>Images </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid using images for headlines / links / calls to action </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Preview your email with images disabled </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Always use ALT tags with images (image descriptions) </li></ul></ul>No ALT Tags ALT Tags
  6. 6. 1. Brand & Design <ul><li>Design </li></ul><ul><li>Preview Panes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>65%+ B2B / 10%+ B2C email recipients use preview panes </li></ul></ul>Horizontal Preview Pane Vertical Preview Pane
  7. 7. 2. List Maintenance <ul><li>Clean Out List Segments Not Used </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Take a close look at your lists and list segments. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Are there some list segments you are never using; If so, clean them out </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Email Success is About Quality and Not Quantity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Review non-responders and try varying your email contact </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If they still do not respond, consider removing them </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Review New List Segments You Want to Make. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Are there ways to segment/strengthen messages to various groups </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ask Subscribers to Re-register </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Advise them that you want to make sure their info is up to date </li></ul></ul>With email out performing offline direct by 17 percent, data quality is of vital importance to marketers - Internet Retailer
  8. 8. 3. Segmentation Strategies Simply put, people care about what’s relevant to them, and they don’t have the time or inclination to weed through what’s not. <ul><li>Obtain Relevant Data During Customer Relationship </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Enables you to define critical performance parameters: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>customer behaviour </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>customer value </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>customer satisfaction </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Knowledge for Success </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Such parameters provide the necessary ‘Knowledge’ for successful acquisitions, growth and retention strategies </li></ul></ul>KNOWLEDGE ACQUISITION GROWTH RETENTION
  9. 9. 3. Segmentation Strategies <ul><li>Demographics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Also simple e.g. Younger vs. older audiences consume information in different ways </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Email Activity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Try segmenting on email opening, click-throughs or repeat behaviours </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Click-Stream Analysis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Segment based on what a person does after they click on a link </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Geography </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Simple segment to initiate </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. 3. Segmentation Strategies <ul><li>Use Dynamic Content </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Messages can be customised based on variables such as past purchase history, past email activity or website activity </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Conversion/Purchase Activity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Integrate conversion behaviour data into your segmentation processes. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. Adjust resources so you’re dedicating your efforts toward customers who spend the most £ </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Gather Additional Information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Implement incremental data acquisition strategies on each of your recipients </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ask for small bits of additional information </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Utilise email surveys to gather more information </li></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 11. 4. Compliance <ul><li>UK Advertising Regulation </li></ul><ul><li>Advertising industry governed by a self-regulating system comprised of three bodies: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Committee for Advertising Practice (CAP); </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Creates, revises and enforces the British Code of Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing (the CAP Code ) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA): </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Administers CAP Code, investigates complaints and conducts research </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Advertising Standards Board of Finance (ASBOF): </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sets framework for industry policy making, is responsible for CAP and for funding the self-regulatory system </li></ul></ul></ul>The regulatory codes complement the law, and are not a substitute.
  12. 12. 4. Compliance <ul><li>CAP Code Key Points </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure database is up-to-date/accurate and that personal information is held securely and for no longer than necessary </li></ul><ul><li>No sending marketing communications to anyone who expressly asked not to receive them or has not had an opportunity to object </li></ul><ul><li>Informing consumers at the time personal information is being collected, who is collecting, why and whether it will be disclosed to third parties </li></ul><ul><li>Obtaining consumers' explicit consent before marketing by email, unless it is to existing customers who are given a further right to object on each occasion </li></ul>The crucial consideration for compliance is that individuals must fully appreciate that they are consenting and what they are consenting to.
  13. 13. <ul><li>Eight principles of The Data Protection Act (DPA) of 1988 </li></ul><ul><li>Personal Data Must be Obtained Fairly and Lawfully </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do the people whose information I hold, know that I’ve got it, and are they likely to understand what it will be used for? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Legitimate Interests </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do I really need this information about an individual? Do I know what I’m going to use it for? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Adequate, Relevant and Not Excessive Use of Data </li></ul><ul><li>Accurate and Up to Date </li></ul>4. Compliance
  14. 14. <ul><li>Eight principles of The Data Protection Act (DPA) of 1988 </li></ul><ul><li>5. Not Kept for Any Longer than Necessary </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do I delete/destroy personal information as soon as I have no more need for it? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>6. Data Must be Processed in Accordance with the Individuals Rights </li></ul><ul><li>7. Appropriate Measures to Prevent Unlawful Processing or Disclosure of Data </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Duties and responsibilities of staff under the DPA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Policy for dealing with data protection issues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>limited access to personal information </li></ul></ul><ul><li>8. Data Must Not be Transferred Outside of the EU </li></ul>4. Compliance
  15. 15. 4. Compliance <ul><li>Restrictions Specific to Emails </li></ul><ul><li>Prohibit sending of unsolicited email marketing communications to individuals without the recipient's prior opt-in consent </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No opt-in requirement for B2B emails recipients; position may change in the future </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Must ensure emails are clearly identifiable as a marketing communication and states who it is from </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Emails sent to individuals must include a simple and free of charge opt-out mechanism to prevent future marketing </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. 4. Compliance <ul><li>Emailing Your Existing Customer Lists </li></ul><ul><li>Known as ‘Soft Opt-in’; Allowable to a Subscriber Where: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Obtained contact details in “the course of a sale or negotiations of a product or service” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Relates only to your similar products and services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recipient given simple means of refusing the use of their contact details </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>On collection of the address, the recipient is given the opportunity to opt-out and is given chance to opt-out with every subsequent message </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Third Party Lists </li></ul><ul><li>Can Only Use if Obtained on a Clear Prior Consent Basis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>i.e. intended recipient has actively consented to receiving unsolicited messages by email from third parties </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. 5. Metrics <ul><li>The Basics </li></ul><ul><li>Opens </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Open rates are becoming less reliable; </li></ul></ul>Viewing every aspect of your program - from the initial registration to the unsubscribe - can point to countless optimisation aspects. Auto Preview + image enabled = opened? Preview panes can give false positives! Images disabled can give false negatives! Disabled Images = Not opened?
  18. 18. 5. Metrics <ul><li>Bounces </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bounces indicate message delivery , but not acceptance ; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Soft Bounce - Temporary - e.g. email server busy/mailbox full? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Hard Bounce - Permanent - e.g. address doesn’t exist any longer? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Unsubscribes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Required for compliance; can also give valuable insight </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can indicate reader no longer interested in your offering </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Basics </li></ul><ul><li>Clicks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Show specific interest and a related activity. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t just think of ‘links clicked’, think of them as a measure of activity based on categories </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. product information / calls to action </li></ul></ul></ul>
  19. 19. 5. Metrics <ul><li>Advanced </li></ul><ul><li>Visitor to Registration Ratio </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ratio should be close to 1:1 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Subscribe Form Abandon Rate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Completion rate should be close to 100% </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Delivery Rate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nearly 20% of permission email does not get delivered by the ISPs </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. 6. Test, Review & Expand <ul><li>Choose the Best List or Segment to Test </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Simplest form of testing is A/B test & control segments. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vary one element in test segment then optimize future messages accordingly. </li></ul></ul>It’s better to make progress in small, manageable steps than to wait and plan for a long-term change that never comes to fruition. <ul><li>Establish a Test Protocol </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Determine a specific goal or form a theory to accomplish rather than attempting multiple goals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ I’d like to have more people click through to my web site” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Decide what element to test </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ To optimize click-throughs, I’m going to test calls to action” </li></ul></ul></ul>
  21. 21. 6. Test, Review & Expand <ul><li>Measure and Analyze Results to Gain Insights </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ My click-throughs were spread out across areas, topics or actions” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Make Necessary Changes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ I need to increase clickable areas or links” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Test and Review Frequency and Timing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No magic day or time that will work for every type of campaign </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This variable should be tested depending on the mailer. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Never Stop Testing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Commit to making at least one change in each campaign </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Systematic Approach PHASE 1 <ul><li>Generic reporting </li></ul>Information Gathering <ul><li>Data collection </li></ul><ul><li>Customer registration </li></ul>PHASE 2 <ul><li>Refined customer registration info. </li></ul>Reactive & Targeted <ul><li>Click behaviour </li></ul><ul><li>Profiling </li></ul>PHASE 3 <ul><li>Customer knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Prediction </li></ul>Proactive & Personalised
  23. 23. David Shiell t: 020 7253 4133 e: More information available at