Email Marketing Guideline


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Email Marketing Guideline

  1. 1. Best practices and tips to create a successful Email Marketing Campaign
  2. 2. Steps to follow <ul><li>Build a segmented Database </li></ul><ul><li>Schedule your campaign </li></ul><ul><li>Create your email </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Design and Content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technical specifications </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Test your campaign and Improve the deliverability </li></ul><ul><li>Send and Analysis </li></ul>
  3. 3. 1 – Build a segmented database <ul><li>Probably one of the most important factors of success for an Email Marketing Campaign </li></ul><ul><li>A highly segmented database is crucial to leverage results </li></ul><ul><li>Data collection strategy must be thought upstream </li></ul><ul><li>A highly segmented database will allow a high level of personalisation </li></ul>
  4. 4. 1 – Build a segmented database <ul><li>Main aspects: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Consider all touch points and create appropriate strategies of data collection </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. competition on website, registered form on event, part of the identification process at the call centre </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Obtain permission: double opt-in is strongly recommended </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Define your “required” information and make them compulsory </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Depends on the level of personalisation of your campaigns </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Depends on the type of campaigns (a Newsletter may require less data than a commercial email) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. email address, name, postcode, interests </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus equal attention on existing lists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Implement strategies to transform inactive members into active ones </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide valuable benefits: convince potential subscribers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Convey Trust: clearly state privacy/email policies </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>A few tips to build your database: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sign-Up Form on each page of the website (with benefits) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Opt-In incentives: whitepaper, report, ad-hoc analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Add Opt-in check boxes on demo requests and any registration forms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use off-line media: direct mail, catalogs, articles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Include links in employees’ email signature </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Brief call centre and sales team to ask permission for emails </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hand out Sign-Ups forms at public events and seminars </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Implement rented lists and subscriptions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Promote Sign-Ups in all confirmation/transaction emails (e.g. invoices, shipping) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Promote Email/Newsletter in other company publications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Promote Email/Newsletter in Industry Directories </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Distribute Press Releases based on Newsletter Articles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Include Opt-In information on Customer Satisfaction Surveys </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use social media to get new members </li></ul></ul>1 – Build a segmented database
  6. 6. 1 – Build a segmented database <ul><li>The Opt-In Form </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t ask too much information but don’t task too little neither </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Only ask for information you’ll use for personalisation/segmentation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>First and Last Names </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Email Address </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Demographics (gender, age group, location…) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Interests </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Frequency (for sophisticated campaigns) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Split the sign-up process in two steps (e.g. hotdockets) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Compulsory information at a first level </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Nice to Have details afterwards </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Validate the email address </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Double Opt-In & secondary box to re-enter address </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Increase the performance of your emails (open rate, CTR) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Improve the overall quality of the database (deliverability) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Never pre-checked the boxes </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. 1 – Build a segmented database <ul><li>Don’t forget your existing customers: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>20% of emails change every year: churn </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clean your list on a regular basis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use an ECOA service: Email Change of Address Service </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prompt customers to update information (on the website or link into the email) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use Mail or Phone to update information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Monitor delivery rates by domain: track performance for key domains (AOL, Hotmail, Yahoo) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Check Blacklists to find out if you or your email provider haven’t been added </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Remove “Spam” flag addresses: [email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pretest your emails </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understand how the email provider works (bounce process) </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. 2 - Schedule your campaign <ul><li>Integrate email into your complete marketing mix </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Has to be consistent with PPC, social media marketing, mobile, direct mail, telemarketing and trade shows </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Coordinate your communication and mediums </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Communicate what you do across all other departments </li></ul></ul></ul>Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 <ul><li>Define Offer, Target & Objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Define criterion of test </li></ul><ul><li>Set up Tests </li></ul><ul><li>Test design, subject lines and content </li></ul><ul><li>Analyse results and select the winner </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare and send final email </li></ul><ul><li>Analyse results </li></ul>Preparation Testing Sending & Analyse
  9. 9. 3 – Create your email: The Heading <ul><li>Made of the sender, reply addresses and subject line </li></ul><ul><li>Have a direct impact on the open rate &…. Spam  so test them </li></ul><ul><li>Rules to follow: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use a friendly sender’s address and be consistent with your subject line </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make it clear in “from” and subject line that the emails come from you and stick with that choice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>From & reply: deals@  valid email address </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Remind your brand: Great offer on Photo books with mycompany </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus your subject line on objective </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Informational for a Newsletter vs. Call to Action for a commercial email </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>10% higher open rate with a strong Call to Action </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. 3 - Create your email: The Heading <ul><ul><li>Keep it short (50 characters at most) so key information comes first </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personalisation starts here: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use account manager’s name or add specific information in subject line (e.g. postcode) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Urgency drives action </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>e.g. order by midnight tonight; 10% discount for the first 25 people… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tell the truth: do not oversell something in the subject line </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Choose your words: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Fine line between “Catchy” and “Spammy” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Free, Marketing, Discount…” are not necessarily forbidden </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>but… use them with caution as they may increase spamming. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 11. 3 – Create your email: the body <ul><li>Images are required but… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Images are blocked by default on main ISP’s </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Large images take time to load (max: 200ko for your email) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t forget the ALT description </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create an HTML and Text version </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Find the right balance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Should be 50/50 between text and images </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is used by ISP to filter spam </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Place key information at the top </li></ul><ul><ul><li>50% of people only use the preview pane </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use bullet points to highlight benefits </li></ul><ul><li>Always use strong call to action </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Should be at the top right or left hand side </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Repeat it at the bottom left hand side </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. 3 – Create your email <ul><li>Don’t forget to track your links </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use Google URL builder to integrate results to your analytics </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Create an HTML, text and online version </li></ul><ul><li>If you can, use a designer to create appealing design </li></ul><ul><li>A few technical tips: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Always insert table and sub table to arrange the layout </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep email at a fixed width of between 500-650 pixels wide </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Only use inline STYLE attributes, no internal/external style sheet </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid Scripts, iFrames and Advanced Features </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid using previous emails/code </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use automated header and footer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Resize images before embedding them into the email </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Too large images will cause bugs in ISP’s  Refer to Lyris HTML Email Survival guide for further details </li></ul></ul></ul>
  13. 13. 3 – Create your email: Make it personal & awaited <ul><li>Personalised emails will get much better results… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>… hence the importance of a segmented database </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use the right email provider that will allow a good segmentation </li></ul><ul><li>Most common personalised fields </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dear $NAME$ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Find our local stores in $Postcode$ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t forget to set-up default results </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use previous campaigns to target people and adapt communication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dynamic content is the easiest way to personalise emails </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Triggered emails based on actions (advanced automation) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use customer data of your CRM, ecommerce and sales force automation system (refer to Arnaud’s article – self promotion  ) </li></ul><ul><li>Use teaser and create a conversation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Send emails in a distinct sequence of series </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. 3 – Create your email: a few tips for your newsletter <ul><li>Identify core focus of your newsletter and stick to it </li></ul><ul><li>Establish regular columns and features </li></ul><ul><li>Table of contents </li></ul><ul><li>Use short teaser articles </li></ul><ul><li>Use sidebars for specific information </li></ul><ul><li>Have a personality </li></ul><ul><li>Insert a FAQ/Ask the expert </li></ul><ul><li>Insert Case Studies with clear achievements </li></ul><ul><li>Use customer testimonials focused on your added value </li></ul><ul><li>Use CTR to refine the content for next sends </li></ul><ul><li>Consider conducting reader surveys to adapt content </li></ul><ul><li>Subtle self promotion </li></ul><ul><li>Provide a feedback/comment link after each article </li></ul><ul><li>Solicit content from experts or clients </li></ul><ul><li>Engage readers with social media tools </li></ul>
  15. 15. 4 – Test your campaign <ul><li>A test campaign should always precede a send </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Test Subject line, Offers, Date and Time, Segments of your database </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Define minimum sample to be relevant (at least 500 recipients) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Test your emails: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Run your email by a content checker </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Check the layout and visual aspects in all ISP’s </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Create account for main domains </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Or use testing tool: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t forget mobile browsers: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Check the links </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Pointing to the right landing page </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>All tracked </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Test the unsubscribe link </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Check the online version </li></ul></ul></ul>
  16. 16. 4 – Optimize the deliverability <ul><li>ISP increasingly focused on spamming </li></ul><ul><ul><li>97% of emails is spam </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Spam filters will check: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Content of your emails to spot spam-like words </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Text, Subject line, image description… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Discount, Free, $, Order… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The text/image balance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Image with embedded text is identified as potential spam </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use of big fonts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Capital letters, exclamation points, $$$ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sender IP address, Sender reputation and domain names referenced in heading </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sender and reply addresses validity </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. 4 – Technical tips to improve deliverability <ul><li>How email gets delivered: </li></ul><ul><li>Create a reverse DNS on mailing IP’s </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ISP’s check the authenticity of sender. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Set up an SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and a sender ID with your email provider </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sender Policy Framework (SPF) is a way for mail servers to declare themselves as legitimate senders of emails </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sender ID confirms that your email provider is legitimate to send emails on your behalf </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Get your certification (whitelisting) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Get people to add your sender adress in their email safe list </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Register (you & your provider) with return path to get a sender score certification </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Apply to specific Yahoo whitelist program </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Limit sending rate: 150-200K messages per hour </li></ul><ul><li>Accept bounces </li></ul><ul><li>Validate HTML content to avoid malicious code </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid scripting </li></ul><ul><li>Monitor spam complaints and make sure you don’t import previous unsubscribes into your database </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A quarter of marketers do not suppress unsubscribed emails </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>17% are not removing hard/soft bounces </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. 5 – Send your campaign <ul><li>Final checklist: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Default value name </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Text and HTML version </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tracked links </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Check the copy </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tested for Spam </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Heading and footer with right addresses & subject line </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Right spelling </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Online version </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Unsubscribe link </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Define the best time and date: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Based on your tests and the validity of your offer </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Between Tuesday and Thursday before 5pm seems to be the right slot </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Metrics to use: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>75% of emails are opened within the first 24 hours and 95% within the three days </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Open rate: should be above 25% </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>CTR: should reach 3% at least </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>CTR on opened </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Delivered: 95% as a minimum </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Conversion if relevant </li></ul></ul></ul>