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TAKING YOUR HTML EMAIL
COMMUNICATIONS FROM
EW TO WOW
Dave Olsen / @dmolsen
West Virginia University
THE POWER OF EMAIL
204,151
Clicks out to our application
Aug. 1 2018 - Aug. 20 2019
by channel source
SocialEmail
EMAIL DRIVES ACTION STAT #1
Academic deposits by month
October November December January February March
2018 2019
EMAIL DRIVES ACTION STAT #2
$3,000,000+
EMAIL HAS VALUE
THE FOUR INGREDIENTS
FOR SUCCESSFUL EMAILS🍹
1. The Plan
2. The Emails
3. Tracking
4. A Good Reputation
INGREDIENT #1
THE PLAN 🥓
IT WAS SPRING 2018…
THE FLOWCHART
Audiences, stages and funnels (oh my!)
Timing of messaging
Actions we’re trying to drive
Core messaging
KNOW YOUR GOAL WIT...
HOW DOES RESEARCH HELP
ME MAKE A PRETTY EMAIL?
Time Understanding
⏱ 🧠
DOCUMENTING ASSUMPTIONS
SHOULD HELP KEEP EVERYONE
ON THE SAME PAGE.
* May not be valid in higher education.
THE FUNNEL
GET YOUR COPY.
go.wvu.edu/aud-stage
OUR CORE AUDIENCES ARE
THE BASE FOR OUR PLANS.
BE PROACTIVE AND
AGGRESSIVE WITH
AUDIENCE AND CONTENT
SEGMENTATION.
BECAUSE…
YOU CAN ONLY EMAIL
SOMEONE SO MANY TIMES.
Awareness and attract
Nurture
Convert
Convert
Nurture
Sales FunnelEnrollment Funnel vs.
The sales funnel provides another ...
Awareness and attract
January
Junior
August
Senior
January
Senior
August
Enrolled
Leads
Comm Plan
Admits
Comm Plan
Awarene...
TYPES OF EMAILS FOR YOUR PLAN
By send type: one-time or drip
By format: promotional or transactional
Other types: onboardi...
INGREDIENT #2
THE EMAIL 🥩
A CAVEAT:
WE’VE HAD TO OWN THE ENTIRE
EMAIL CREATION PROCESS.
* Our CRM sucks for building email
OUR WORKFLOW
Write copy.
Design in browser based on copy.
Test in Litmus.
Iterate copy and get approvals.
Load HTML into t...
OUR ROLES
Plan owner
Writer
Front-end developer
Various reviewers
THE PARTS OF AN EMAIL
Subject line
Preview text
Body of email
Call to action
Alignalltodriveyourgoal
WRITING TIPS
Use user stories and empathy mapping to
ensure content is on target. Single call-to-
action.
Write in the sec...
hemingwayapp.com
IT’S TIME TO BUILD
THE EMAIL…
caniemail.com
90s HTML and Tech
PRO-TIP:
DON’T USE HTML TO
BUILD HTML EMAILS
EXAMPLE: ACCEPTANCE EMAIL
MJML
EXAMPLE: ACCEPTANCE EMAIL
MJML
EXAMPLE: ACCEPTANCE EMAIL
MJML
EXAMPLE: ACCEPTANCE EMAIL
MJML
EXAMPLE: ACCEPTANCE EMAIL
HTML
EXAMPLE: ACCEPTANCE EMAIL
FEATURES OF MJML
Easy and quick
Responsive by default
Component-based
Use an online editor, local editor or node library
P...
mjml.io
PATTERN LIBRARY LOCAL TOOL
* Not mutually exclusive. Can do both.
Pure MJML + MJML Tool MJML + Mustache + Node
BENEFITS OF EBB2
Separate content from layout.
Pattern-based. MJML + Mustache.
Auto-reload when designing in the browser.
...
JSON
EXAMPLE: ACCEPTANCE EMAIL
DESIGN TIPS
Responsive layout with max width of 600 pixels.
Grid layouts. Single column with rows.
Avoid image-only CTAs. ...
bit.ly/1VN4fKS > F-shaped reading
litmus.com > Builder
litmus.com > Email Previews
PLATFORMS TO TARGET
Gmail
iOS/Apple Mail
Outlook
That's it.
emailclientmarketshare.com
reallygoodemails.com
SECRET SHOP
COMPETITORS AND
YOURSELF.
mailcharts.com
INGREDIENT #3
TRACKING 🍪
WHAT TO TRACK
Email opens
Clicks-through to our site
Goal conversions
* We do this all with Google Analytics
bit.ly/1H1e29S
EMAIL TRACKING TIPS
Develop consistent, flexible format for campaign
names. For example, FR-400-2008.
Use contact record ID...
bit.ly/2dkhHL1
Google Analytics: Goals
Google Analytics: Top Conv. Paths
datastudio.google.com
datastudio.google.com
datastudio.google.com
BE FLEXIBLE
WITH METRICS.
* Not all emails can be measured using the same metrics.
INGREDIENT #4
A GOOD REPUTATION 🍯
SOME SENDER REP ATTRIBUTES
from and reply-to addresses
DKIM, SPF and DMARC support
Sending domain
Sending IP address
Send ...
A GOOD SENDER
REPUTATION EQUALS
INCREASED ODDS FOR
DELIVERABILITY.
SENDER REPUTATION TIPS
User metrics and engagement determine your
reputation. Not your name or how big you are.
Send email...
SENDER REPUTATION TIPS
Send different emails in your plan from
different from addresses.
Advanced: Segment and separate em...
senderscore.org
mxtoolbox.com
REVIEWING
THE FOUR INGREDIENTS🍹
🍪 🍯🥓 🥩
1. The Plan
2. The Emails
3. Tracking
4. A Good Reputation
REVIEWING
THE FOUR INGREDIENTS🍹
THANK YOU / QUESTIONS?
Dave Olsen / @dmolsen

slideshare.net/dmolsenwvu
Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow"
Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow"
Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow"
Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow"
Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow"
Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow"
Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow"
Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow"
Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow"
Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow"
Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow"
Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow"
Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow"
Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow"
Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow"
Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow"
Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow"
Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow"
Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow"
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Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 1 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 2 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 3 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 4 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 5 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 6 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 7 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 8 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 9 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 10 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 11 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 12 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 13 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 14 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 15 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 16 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 17 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 18 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 19 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 20 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 21 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 22 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 23 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 24 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 25 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 26 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 27 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 28 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 29 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 30 Taking Your HTML Email 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Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 61 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 62 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 63 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 64 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 65 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 66 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 67 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 68 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 69 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 70 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 71 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 72 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 73 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 74 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 75 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 76 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 77 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 78 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 79 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 80 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 81 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 82 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 83 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 84 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 85 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 86 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 87 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 88 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 89 Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow" Slide 90
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Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow"

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HTML emails can suck. From the 1990s era code to uninspiring templates to fulfillment and statistics in an alien CRM HTML emails are something that many choose to ignore. Or, at best, develop and deliver outside of a CRM.

In the summer of 2018 University Relations at West Virginia University implemented a new way of delivering HTML emails in support of Enrollment Management. We found we could be more creative and focused in our messaging than we ever expected. Early numbers show we may have influenced our class with our new strategy.

In this session, you’ll follow along with a case study that will cover how we:

• Re-thought our email communication plans from the ground-up
• Helped designers and developers collaborate with Enrollment Management using Litmus
• Built a tool on top of MJML to help speed up our development time, as well as segment copy and imagery, for our emails
• Track the effectiveness of our email communications using a dashboard built in Data Studio

And it’s all CRM agnostic.

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Taking Your HTML Email Communications from "Ew" to "Wow"

  1. 1. TAKING YOUR HTML EMAIL COMMUNICATIONS FROM EW TO WOW Dave Olsen / @dmolsen West Virginia University
  2. 2. THE POWER OF EMAIL
  3. 3. 204,151 Clicks out to our application Aug. 1 2018 - Aug. 20 2019 by channel source SocialEmail EMAIL DRIVES ACTION STAT #1
  4. 4. Academic deposits by month October November December January February March 2018 2019 EMAIL DRIVES ACTION STAT #2
  5. 5. $3,000,000+ EMAIL HAS VALUE
  6. 6. THE FOUR INGREDIENTS FOR SUCCESSFUL EMAILS🍹 1. The Plan 2. The Emails 3. Tracking 4. A Good Reputation
  7. 7. INGREDIENT #1 THE PLAN 🥓
  8. 8. IT WAS SPRING 2018…
  9. 9. THE FLOWCHART
  10. 10. Audiences, stages and funnels (oh my!) Timing of messaging Actions we’re trying to drive Core messaging KNOW YOUR GOAL WITH RESEARCH
  11. 11. HOW DOES RESEARCH HELP ME MAKE A PRETTY EMAIL? Time Understanding ⏱ 🧠
  12. 12. DOCUMENTING ASSUMPTIONS SHOULD HELP KEEP EVERYONE ON THE SAME PAGE. * May not be valid in higher education.
  13. 13. THE FUNNEL
  14. 14. GET YOUR COPY. go.wvu.edu/aud-stage
  15. 15. OUR CORE AUDIENCES ARE THE BASE FOR OUR PLANS.
  16. 16. BE PROACTIVE AND AGGRESSIVE WITH AUDIENCE AND CONTENT SEGMENTATION.
  17. 17. BECAUSE… YOU CAN ONLY EMAIL SOMEONE SO MANY TIMES.
  18. 18. Awareness and attract Nurture Convert Convert Nurture Sales FunnelEnrollment Funnel vs. The sales funnel provides another way of determining what to send and when. MATCHING ENROLLMENT TO SALES
  19. 19. Awareness and attract January Junior August Senior January Senior August Enrolled Leads Comm Plan Admits Comm Plan Awareness and Attract Nurture Convert Convert Nurture MATCHING ENROLLMENT TO SALES
  20. 20. TYPES OF EMAILS FOR YOUR PLAN By send type: one-time or drip By format: promotional or transactional Other types: onboarding, abandoned cart and win back
  21. 21. INGREDIENT #2 THE EMAIL 🥩
  22. 22. A CAVEAT: WE’VE HAD TO OWN THE ENTIRE EMAIL CREATION PROCESS. * Our CRM sucks for building email
  23. 23. OUR WORKFLOW Write copy. Design in browser based on copy. Test in Litmus. Iterate copy and get approvals. Load HTML into the CRM.
  24. 24. OUR ROLES Plan owner Writer Front-end developer Various reviewers
  25. 25. THE PARTS OF AN EMAIL Subject line Preview text Body of email Call to action Alignalltodriveyourgoal
  26. 26. WRITING TIPS Use user stories and empathy mapping to ensure content is on target. Single call-to- action. Write in the second person and use the contact's name. Be explicit with copy related to personalization. Have consistent brand voice. Lean towards a style that's more “social media” and less “print."
  27. 27. hemingwayapp.com
  28. 28. IT’S TIME TO BUILD THE EMAIL…
  29. 29. caniemail.com
  30. 30. 90s HTML and Tech
  31. 31. PRO-TIP: DON’T USE HTML TO BUILD HTML EMAILS
  32. 32. EXAMPLE: ACCEPTANCE EMAIL
  33. 33. MJML EXAMPLE: ACCEPTANCE EMAIL
  34. 34. MJML EXAMPLE: ACCEPTANCE EMAIL
  35. 35. MJML EXAMPLE: ACCEPTANCE EMAIL
  36. 36. MJML EXAMPLE: ACCEPTANCE EMAIL
  37. 37. HTML EXAMPLE: ACCEPTANCE EMAIL
  38. 38. FEATURES OF MJML Easy and quick Responsive by default Component-based Use an online editor, local editor or node library Pre-built templates and clear docs
  39. 39. mjml.io
  40. 40. PATTERN LIBRARY LOCAL TOOL * Not mutually exclusive. Can do both. Pure MJML + MJML Tool MJML + Mustache + Node
  41. 41. BENEFITS OF EBB2 Separate content from layout. Pattern-based. MJML + Mustache. Auto-reload when designing in the browser. Segment copy and imagery. Auto-add tracking information. Fit to your process.
  42. 42. JSON EXAMPLE: ACCEPTANCE EMAIL
  43. 43. DESIGN TIPS Responsive layout with max width of 600 pixels. Grid layouts. Single column with rows. Avoid image-only CTAs. Use big HTML buttons. If using GIFs the first frame needs most important information if it’s conveying critical information. Be creative. Use illustrations and white space.
  44. 44. bit.ly/1VN4fKS > F-shaped reading
  45. 45. litmus.com > Builder
  46. 46. litmus.com > Email Previews
  47. 47. PLATFORMS TO TARGET Gmail iOS/Apple Mail Outlook That's it. emailclientmarketshare.com
  48. 48. reallygoodemails.com
  49. 49. SECRET SHOP COMPETITORS AND YOURSELF.
  50. 50. mailcharts.com
  51. 51. INGREDIENT #3 TRACKING 🍪
  52. 52. WHAT TO TRACK Email opens Clicks-through to our site Goal conversions * We do this all with Google Analytics
  53. 53. bit.ly/1H1e29S
  54. 54. EMAIL TRACKING TIPS Develop consistent, flexible format for campaign names. For example, FR-400-2008. Use contact record ID for uid and cid query string variables. Add ni=1 as a query string variable to make sure email open event isn’t recorded as a page view.
  55. 55. bit.ly/2dkhHL1
  56. 56. Google Analytics: Goals
  57. 57. Google Analytics: Top Conv. Paths
  58. 58. datastudio.google.com
  59. 59. datastudio.google.com
  60. 60. datastudio.google.com
  61. 61. BE FLEXIBLE WITH METRICS. * Not all emails can be measured using the same metrics.
  62. 62. INGREDIENT #4 A GOOD REPUTATION 🍯
  63. 63. SOME SENDER REP ATTRIBUTES from and reply-to addresses DKIM, SPF and DMARC support Sending domain Sending IP address Send volume Email content
  64. 64. A GOOD SENDER REPUTATION EQUALS INCREASED ODDS FOR DELIVERABILITY.
  65. 65. SENDER REPUTATION TIPS User metrics and engagement determine your reputation. Not your name or how big you are. Send email to people who want it (e.g. opt-ins). Your content should encourage engagement. Have a sunsetting policy for people who don’t engage with your emails.
  66. 66. SENDER REPUTATION TIPS Send different emails in your plan from different from addresses. Advanced: Segment and separate emails across different IP addresses. Transactional vs promotional vs onboarding. Advanced: Use a warm-up routine when using a new ESP or when you’ve bought names.
  67. 67. senderscore.org
  68. 68. mxtoolbox.com
  69. 69. REVIEWING THE FOUR INGREDIENTS🍹 🍪 🍯🥓 🥩
  70. 70. 1. The Plan 2. The Emails 3. Tracking 4. A Good Reputation REVIEWING THE FOUR INGREDIENTS🍹
  71. 71. THANK YOU / QUESTIONS? Dave Olsen / @dmolsen slideshare.net/dmolsenwvu
  • JodyBenedict

    Mar. 31, 2020
  • dustinmazon

    Oct. 16, 2019

HTML emails can suck. From the 1990s era code to uninspiring templates to fulfillment and statistics in an alien CRM HTML emails are something that many choose to ignore. Or, at best, develop and deliver outside of a CRM. In the summer of 2018 University Relations at West Virginia University implemented a new way of delivering HTML emails in support of Enrollment Management. We found we could be more creative and focused in our messaging than we ever expected. Early numbers show we may have influenced our class with our new strategy. In this session, you’ll follow along with a case study that will cover how we: • Re-thought our email communication plans from the ground-up • Helped designers and developers collaborate with Enrollment Management using Litmus • Built a tool on top of MJML to help speed up our development time, as well as segment copy and imagery, for our emails • Track the effectiveness of our email communications using a dashboard built in Data Studio And it’s all CRM agnostic.

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