How to Build a Succesful Email Campaign: From Design to Delivery


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Suzanna Chaplin, Freemax Media, Warrick Lambert, Freemax Media

a4uexpo Barcelona 2012

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  • Not clear what the focus isNo call to action above the foldToo text heavy/small textImage dominates the creative but have no indication of the offer
  • email designers must take into account other factors such as email client and browser limitations, optimizing for the preview pane and call-to-action placement - just to name a few Our advice predominantly focused on acquisition – not all points apply equally to CRM etcCreatives designed on these principles will perform 67% better than those not (based on eCPM)
  • 600px wide due to screen size for laptop/desktopFor mobile it’s important to design in single column to ensure images render correctly
  • From line & subject line are how most people naturally filter emails – getting this wrong can kill off a campaign
  • Not all apply equally need to test to ensure best results (UK examples only)
  • When acquiring data it is best to restrict to data that has either been collected or responded within the last 6 months to protect sending and IP reputation and avoid adding any Spam traps to mailing fileAcquisition so obviously not using own data – 3rd party strategy should be clear from 1st party
  • For things like postcode targeting – demographic works but often behavioural targeting is better as what people say they are is often not what they are
  • How to Build a Succesful Email Campaign: From Design to Delivery

    2. 2. BACKGROUND• Send over 11M emails per day• Run over 120 different advertising campaigns per week in UK, Spain, Italy and France• Test up to 40 new campaigns per week• Generate more than 10,000 clicks per day• Work with 100 different lists
    3. 3. AGENDA• How to design an email to achieve the most conversions• Subject Lines• Data• Targeting• How to code an email• Landing pages• Sending strategy• Ongoing optimisation• Analysing your sends
    5. 5. DESIGNING A CREATIVE• Consider your audience & the intention of your email• Depending on your aims the style, layout & messaging of your email will vary considerably• Getting the right look & feel along with a relevant call to action can have a massive impact on response rates
    6. 6. DESIGNING A CREATIVEPPI AdviceLine• Complicated product so using a text heavy design to convey the message• Use of bullet points to emphasise key points• Call to action positioned directly below• Customer testimonials can be used to add legitimacy to a product
    7. 7. DESIGNING A CREATIVELandrover• Brand focused and aspiration messaging is highlighted by a strong headline image• Despite that their is still a clear call to action• Personalized emails see a much stronger response rate
    8. 8. DESIGNING A CREATIVEDebenhams• Due to their wide product range, retail campaigns can struggle• Debenhams use clear call to action to dominate the page• Multiple links to the channels within the site to broaden the appeal of the creative
    10. 10. 600px Wide Roundels can be a great way of Try to highlightingmaintain a offers50/50 ratio between images &HTML text Main headline Call to Action above 400px fold
    11. 11. Add more information about the product/servic e/ Explain how it works and the benefits to the customer Reinforce the USPs for the product. You can also use additional informationtestimonials/re Secondarylated products call to etc. action
    12. 12. SUBJECT LINES Subject lines are arguably the most important element of an email campaign  If your intended customer doesn‟t like the subject line they won‟t open the email So getting your subject line right is vital Getting a good open rate is important but you need make sure the subject line is relevant to the subject matter  If a customer opens an email and the content is not relevant they will delete and potentially complain
    13. 13. SUBJECT LINES Test everything!  Always split test multiple subject lines to find the optimal text  Use a control group and ensure your sample size is large enough to get a clear reading  Don‟t just look at open rates – consider clicks & conversion too Some examples
    14. 14. SUBJECT LINES• PersonalisationSUBJECT LINE OPEN ECPM DIFFERENCE RATE IN ECPM20 percent off everything but only for limited a £number of days 16.15% 1.49 0.00% £20 percent off Coast, Biba, Ted Baker and more 14.56% 1.43 -4.32%Final call: 20 percent off Jackets, Bags, Shoes £and more 15.05% 0.49 -67.32%Dear Suzanna, get 20 percent off House of £Fraser 16.46% 3.28 119.69%
    15. 15. SUBJECT LINE• BrandSUBJECT LINE OPEN ECPM DIFFERENCE RATE IN ECPMDKNY, Dolce and Gabbana, Clinique - greatsavings, join BrandAlley today 11.54% £ 1.69 0.00%Elle Macpherson, French Connection, TedBaker, Diesel- up to 70 percent off 11.71% £ 2.27 33.95%Diesel, Dolce and Gabbana, Firetrap, TedBaker, Ed Hardy. Up to 70 percent off- Jointoday 11.20% £ 2.26 33.47%70 percent off- Elle Macpherson, FrenchConnection, Ted Baker. Join today 10.61% £ 1.41 -16.82%
    16. 16. SUBJECT LINE• Time SUBJECT LINE OPEN ECPM DIFFERENCE RATE IN ECPMThe British Airways sale is now on! 8.61% £ - 0%The British airway sale ends midnight 20th £Sept – Don’t miss out 8.28% 5.00 500%You should really really look at BritishAirways’ very big sale 9.04% £ - 0%Hurry, British airway’s sale ends midnight £20th September 8.52% 6.84 684%
    17. 17. SUBJECT LINESIt’s not just obvious words & phrases that you should avoidusing in your subject lines• As Seen On… • Click Here• Multi level Marketing • Call now!• Youre a Winner! • Free!• Reverses Aging • 50% off!• Online pharmacy • Compare• Viagra • Act Now!• Casino • Save up to• Double your income • Discount!• Unsecured debt or credit • Buy Direct• Dont Delete • Amazing
    18. 18. SUBJECT LINES DO DON’T• Keep you subject lines • Overuse exclamation short marks!• Use the company or – I really mean it!!! brand name that‟s relevant to your email • USE CAPITALS FOR EVERY WORD• Use features & benefits of the product you‟re • Try and trick the customer promoting into opening an email – make sure the subject• Don‟t forget to give the line is relevant to the customer a sense of email content urgency where appropriate
    19. 19. DATA• Without a strong email list your campaigns will struggle to generate a good return for you• If you‟re using 3rd party data make sure you have the following as a minimum: – Have 3rd party opt-in date – The URL they signed up to – Ideally data no older than 6 months• If the data you‟re sending to is over 6 months old it‟s recommended you send it through a different IP range than you core data to protect main mailing programme
    20. 20. DATA• To protect your data and build confidence in your database there are several steps your can take: – State source of email within the header or footer so that the user will be able to connect why they are receiving this message – Provide links to new cookie law and links to unsubscribe. – Never hide the unsubscribe or make it difficult for people to unsubscribe as they will just mark the email as Spam in the ESP.• Manage any unsubscribes you receive closely: – If someone unsubscribes ensure that they are removed from all future sends - do not send to these people again under any circumstances – Ensure that all ESP and 3rd party spam filter complaints are removed from any mailings
    21. 21. TARGETING• Once you have your data you need to decide which segments to send to• Within each list you‟re likely to have a mix of customers who will each react differently to the campaigns you send them• Broadly speaking there are two ways to target your sends: – Demographic – Behavioural
    22. 22. TARGETING• Demographic targeting – Taking information you know about the data to identify the users most likely to convert – Age/Sex/Location etc• Behavioural targeting – Looking at the past activity of a record and sending them similar/related offers in the future – For instance sending pet insurance offers to users who responded to a cat food campaign
    23. 23. TARGETING• Campaign targeting people interested in gardening.Using Demographics – people who had ticked an interest in gardening: Opens: 1.94% Net CTR: 0.12% Conversions: 3Using Behaviour – people we thought would be interested in gardening: Opens: 13.75% Net CTR: 0.70% Conversion: 8
    24. 24. CODING AN EMAIL• When coding an email you need to consider 2 areas: 1. How it will display across all email clients 2. Ensuring it will be delivered into the inbox• Getting the display right will help with delivery and the key to both is to keep things as simple as possible• 23% of delivery problems are a result of how the email is coded so you need to make sure you‟re applying best practise to all of your creatives
    25. 25. CODING AN EMAIL• Email design is not like building for the web with the sheer number of email client‟s making it more challenging• To avoid running into some of the more common problems you should try to adhere to the following: – Do not use javascript – most email clients will not accept it – All html tags should be closed up and each email should include html, head, title and body tags. (<html>, <head>, <title>, <body>) – Avoid PNG‟s – try to stick to GIF & JPG files
    26. 26. CODING AN EMAIL• Provide fallback colours for background images & alt text for images – protects the format if images are blocked• An increasing number of emails are being read on smartphones (27% of our emails were opened on a mobile device – Nov „11) so width should be less than 600 px• Ensure you have an even text-to-image ratio. If an email is 100% image, email clients will think the sender is trying to hide something within the image as it is not able to read the content and will therefore block it. An email should have at least 3 images in it.
    27. 27. CODING AN EMAIL• In addition to following these guidelines there are several tools you can use to help improve your delivery of emails: – Cloudmark – Spam Assassin – Email on Acid – Litmus – Return Path
    28. 28. LANDING PAGES• As with all online marketing conversion is key so you need to consider the customer journey after they click out of the creative• Simple landing page checklist: Is the product/offer your promoted in your email on the landing page? Are you linking them as close the basket as possible Have you removed as many points of leakage as possible – phone numbers etc.• Your email should have included as much information as possible so the customer has less need to click off to find more on the site
    29. 29. LANDING PAGESDebenhams• The message and style from the Debenhams email we discussed earlier is carried through to the landing page• Sales message is reinforced along with additional incentives to buy “Free delivery”
    30. 30. LANDING PAGESLandrover• Clicking straight from the creative into the lead form ensures there‟s less wastage and a higher conversion rate• Linking directly to the form results in 34% higher conversion rates on average
    31. 31. SENDING STRATEGY• Once you have your email and data in place you need to consider the frequency & timing of your sending• Your first consideration should be if there are any time constraints around the offer you are looking to run – Short term promotions (need to sent within a set window) – Time sensitive offers (for example sending a campaign for pizza over lunch time & after 5)
    32. 32. SENDING STRATEGY• For longer running campaigns you still need to consider how your sending strategy can affect the performance of you offer• Our experience has shown that scheduling campaigns to reach the customer‟s inbox in the morning yields 20% better results than the same campaign sent later in the day – Doing so gives your campaign a better chance of converting as it hits both the morning and evening traffic spikes
    33. 33. SENDING STRATEGY – FREQUENCY• While there are variations depending on product & sector it‟s advisable to schedule your campaign to be sent to the same data up to 3 times to ensure you maximize conversions• By sending your customer‟s a series of emails with tailored subject lines and creative you‟re able to reinforce the product‟s strengths and influence their buying decision• Bear in mind that while this approach works it‟s important to constantly monitor your eCPM to identify when a campaign start to decline
    34. 34. SENDING STRATEGY - FREQUENCY• As you can see from the Campaign Performance Over graphs campaigns tend to April ‘12 spike in performance 12,000,000 £0.90 initially before levelling 10,000,000 £0.80 out and the gradually 8,000,000 £0.70 £0.60 declining as the other Volume £0.50 becomes tired 6,000,000 £0.40• Typically by the 4th send 4,000,000 £0.30 those customer‟s that are 2,000,000 £0.20 going to convert have £0.10 done so and it‟s time to 0 £- April ’12 May ‘12 either change the offer or look for new data to target
    35. 35. FREQUENCY Large Mixed Source List 9,000,000 £0.90 8,000,000 £0.80 7,000,000 £0.70 6,000,000 £0.60 Mixed Activity List Volume 5,000,000 £0.50 450,000 £2.50 4,000,000 £0.40 400,000 3,000,000 £0.30 £2.00 350,000 2,000,000 £0.20 Volume 300,000 1,000,000 £0.10 £1.50 250,000 0 £- 200,000 £1.00 150,000 100,000 £0.50 50,000 Targeted Active only List 0 £- 700,000 £0.45 600,000 £0.40 £0.35 500,000 £0.30Volume 400,000 £0.25 300,000 £0.20 £0.15 200,000 £0.10 100,000 £0.05 0 £-
    36. 36. ONGOING OPTIMISATION & CAMPAIGN ANALYSIS• Once you‟ve got the results from your campaign, analyse results & to inform your future activity• Profitability wise between 10-20% of you base will actively interact with your mailings on a regular basis• These are your key responders, treat them as such since this is where 80% of your profit will be sourced from• The temptation will be to mail this pot and the exclusion of the others but you need to maintain a balance between profit and sustaining the data as over-mailing will increase your unsubs and reduce your long term profit from your list
    37. 37. ONGOING OPTIMISATION & CAMPAIGN ANALYSIS• Create behavioural groups based on what users have opened and clicked on – basing future campaigns on these learnings can increase responses by up to 70%• After your initial send you can follow up non openers with a different subject line to try to get a higher open rate• For opens but non clicks - target them with a different incentive or new creative to try to generate higher traffic• Follow up successful conversions with cross/up-sell messages such as mobile phone insurance, bluetooth devices etc• For repeated inactive customers look to send reactivation emails to non active data to generate interaction / conversions – special incentives etc
    38. 38. Q&A