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Creating an Effective & Engaging Email Marketing Program


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Research shows a vast majority of consumers want marketing messages via email. Despite all the other forms of communication available to us, email remains the go-to medium. Your nonprofit can use email marketing to share news, recruit volunteers, solicit donors and simply stay in front of your existing and potential supporters. Email marketing is a relatively inexpensive and largely effective way to market your organization.

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Creating an Effective & Engaging Email Marketing Program

  1. 1. Creating an Effective & Engaging Email Marketing Program Holly Fisher | October 2014
  2. 2. We depend on email:  There are more than 4 billion email addresses in the world.  The human race generates 166 billion email messages every single day.  Every web-based service asks for an email address. Source: Forbes
  3. 3. Source: VisibleGains
  4. 4.  81% of U.S. online shoppers are more likely to make additional purchases, either online or in a store, as a result of emails based on previous shopping behaviors and preferences.  68% of consumers find email to be their #1 preferred channel for receiving commercial messages  66% of consumers have made a purchase online as a direct result of an email marketing message
  5. 5.  80% of content marketers use email marketing  55% of companies generate more than 10 percent of sales from email  Marketers consistently ranked email as the single-most-effective tactic for awareness, acquisition, conversion and retention  Email is almost 40x better at acquiring new customers than Facebook and Twitter  42% of businesses say email is one of their most effective lead generation channels
  6. 6.  ExactTarget asked almost 1,500 U.S. online consumers (age 15+) how they prefer to get permission-based marketing messages and 77% said email.  Direct mail - 9%  Text messaging - 5%  Facebook – 4% Source: ExactTarget’s 2012 Channel Preference Survey (now part of Salesforce)
  7. 7.  66% said they’ve made a purchase based on getting a promotional e-mail vs. 65% direct mail Source: ExactTarget’s 2012 Channel Preference Survey
  8. 8. Why Use Email? Marketing Email should be one piece of your marketing campaign … and it’s an important one.
  9. 9. Why Use Email? Small & mid-size businesses allocate the largest share of their marketing budgets to email. More than half spend up to 20% of total marketing $$ on email marketing. Source: iContact Survey | 2013
  10. 10. Source: iContact Survey | 2013
  11. 11. Why Use Email? -Connect with existing customers/supporters -Connect with potential customers/supporters -Stay in front of your audience -Showcase your work, share news -Nonprofit: solicit volunteers or donors
  12. 12. Why Use Email? -Establish your organization as an expert -Share breaking news, specials -Integrate with other forms of communication (social media) -Drive website traffic -Free or low-cost
  13. 13. Source: iContact Survey | 2013
  14. 14. Create Your Company or Organization Email
  15. 15. Determine the Goals -Engagement (volunteers, donors) -Education -Connection (awareness) -Drive website traffic -Inform about event -____________
  16. 16. Determine the Audience(s) How many lists will you have? -Donors -Volunteers -General news list
  17. 17. Generating the Email List -Existing list of contacts -Signup form on website and Facebook page -Include in email signature -Collect emails at events -Contests and promotions More on list building later …
  18. 18. Determine a Schedule - More than 1 time/month but not more than 1 time/week -Weekdays (Tues, Wed, Thurs) - May send additional emails to segmented lists - Early afternoon is a good time -Consider the time zone -Think about what works for your readers -Test – there are always exceptions
  19. 19. Determine What to Say -Create a content calendar -Consider recurring features (project update, product feature, sponsor/donor spotlight) -Repurpose content (blog posts, Facebook photo albums, etc.) Tip: Think back to your goals for the email.
  20. 20. Sample Content Calendar November -Main email newsletter – first Tuesday of the month (Nov. 4) -Nov. 18 send an invite to special event -Thanksgiving donor solicitation (Nov. 24)
  21. 21. Tools -MailChimp -Constant Contact -MadMimi
  22. 22. MailChimp
  23. 23. MailChimp -Nonprofit pricing (15% discount) -Easy to use -Pre-made templates -No need to know HTML -Easy to create web sign-up forms -Good customer service -Lots of storage for photos
  24. 24. Constant Contact
  25. 25. Constant Contact -Nonprofit pricing (save up to 30% with prepay) -Not as easy to use -Web sign-up forms available -Not as many free features
  26. 26. MadMimi Free: 2,500 contacts and send 12,500 emails per month. No support option.
  27. 27. MadMimi -Easy to use -Pre-made templates -No need to know HTML -Easy to create web sign-up forms
  28. 28. Pick Your Tool -Personal preference -Look for email you like – what service do they use -Sign up for the free service/trial and experiment with the program -Switch if you don’t like it
  29. 29. Content for the Email -Engaging, informative -Have some personality -Think about what you can give readers -Short content -Photos (a note about copyrights) -Link, link and link – drive traffic to your website -Call to action (donate, buy, sign up) -Upcoming events -Links to social media channels
  30. 30. Content for the Email Subject lines: -Be engaging -Hint at the content of the email -Avoid odd punctuation, all caps -Avoid sales-driven language -Avoid “spam” words like “free” or “win”
  31. 31. Let’s Look at the Tools …
  32. 32. Building Your List People = Eyeballs Eyeballs = Supporters Always think about how you can grow your email list.
  33. 33. Building Your List - Rules CAN-SPAM Act – 2003 -Sets the rules for commercial email -Applies to “any electronic mail message the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service.”
  34. 34. Building Your List - Rules 1. Don’t use false or misleading header information. “From,” “To,” “Reply-To,” etc. must be accurate and identify the person or business who initiated the message. 2. Don’t use deceptive subject lines. The subject line must accurately reflect the content of the message.
  35. 35. Building Your List - Rules 3. Tell recipients where you’re located. Your message must include your valid physical postal address. 4. Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future email from you. Include a clear explanation of how the recipient can opt out of getting email from you in the future.
  36. 36. Building Your List - Rules 5. Honor opt-out requests promptly (within 10 business days). 6. Monitor what others are doing on your behalf. If you hire another company to handle your email marketing, you can’t contract away your legal responsibility to comply with the law.
  37. 37. Building Your List 1. Social media 2. Email signatures 3. Prominent sign up on website 4. Sign up at events 5. Forward to a friend 6. Contests (enter email to win) 7. White papers/added content
  38. 38. Social Media 1. Share a link to your sign-up form on your social networks. 2. Have a sign-up form on Facebook.
  39. 39. Email Signatures Holly A. Fisher, MMC HAF Creative Sign up for Let’s Be Creative! or Get the latest news from ABC.
  40. 40. Website Sign-Up Form 1. Put it on your homepage. 2. Put it on your About page. 3. Collect just the info you really need. 4. Make it easy for people to find it and fill it out.
  41. 41. Events 1. Collect business cards at events. 2. Offer a giveaway if people sign up for the e-newsletter.
  42. 42. Forward to a Friend 1. Make it easy for people to forward to a friend (built into MailChimp, etc). 2. Offer an incentive.
  43. 43. Contests -Be clear on the fact people will be added to your list. -Tool to use: ShortStackApp (Zombie Pub Crawl example)
  44. 44. Bonus Content -White papers -Reports -Studies -ebooks
  45. 45. Building Your List Don’t buy a list.
  46. 46. Questions? Homework: Bring your newsletter to class for feedback. Or bring an example of good/bad emails.
  47. 47. Thank you! Holly Fisher @hollyannfisher
  48. 48. Creating an Effective & Engaging Email Marketing Program – Part 2 Holly Fisher | October 2014
  49. 49. Questions from Part 1?
  50. 50. Measuring Results & ROI You need to know what’s working and what’s not so you can tweak content, subject line, schedule, etc.
  51. 51. Key Measurements Open rate. Industry average is 20-25%. Was your open rate especially high or low? Why?
  52. 52. Key Measurements Bounces – soft bounces vs. hard bounces Too many bounces can make your email look like spam. Know your provider’s bounce policy.
  53. 53. Key Measurements Unsubscribes You will always have a few, but take note if the number goes up dramatically. And look at the reason they provided.
  54. 54. Key Measurements Marked as spam Take note if this number is high. Consider a double opt-in process.
  55. 55. Key Measurements Click-throughs Can help you determine which content is most interesting/useful to your readers.
  56. 56. Key Measurements Forward to a friend Social shares (add a LIKE button to your email) Tip: Make sure these features are enabled and your newsletter is easy to share!
  57. 57. Mobile Email 2 out of 3 Americans own a smartphone … That means your emails should be mobile-friendly.
  58. 58. What people are doing on their phones, 2013 –
  59. 59. Mobile Email The average person checks their smartphone 34 times a day. 64% of decision-makers read their email via mobile devices.
  60. 60. Mobile Email Design your email for mobile readers. Test it on different devices.
  61. 61. Mobile Email
  62. 62. Choose multi-column vs. single column makes it easier to zoom.
  63. 63. Choose multi-column vs. single column makes it easier to zoom.
  64. 64. Think Thumb Friendly Make links easy to click and not too close together. Social media buttons/links should work. Calls to action should either be left-aligned or 100% width, so it's easier for a left- or right-handed user to reach.
  65. 65. iPhone v. Droid v. Windows Recognize emails may look slightly different on varying devices. Do your readers trend toward a certain device? Toward a certain email client?
  66. 66. Example
  67. 67. Selling the Boss/Board on Email -Refer back to the stats from our first class. -Create a sample. -Stress the low-cost aspect. -Try it and let the results do the work for you.
  68. 68. Examples & Questions
  69. 69. Thank you! Holly Fisher @hollyannfisher