2012 McPherson Maximizing Email final

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Presentation made to McPherson Group annual user group (PBS)

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  • Open rates declined by 12%Fundraising response rates declined by 19%Organizations lose about 18% of their subscriber base each year.NPOs sent an average of 6 emails to each of their subscribers in December alone.M+R 2011 eNonprofit Benchmark Report
  • For a number of years, we’ve been integrating the topics and timing of some of our online and offline appeals and cultivation message. Not all of them, but a lot of them.We’ve sent emails like this one alerting people to an appeal they’re about to receive in the mail. (24% open rate, 0.06% response rate)We’ve coordinated topics for both appeals to prospects and appeals to donors—so the mailing and email will be on the same topic and will be timed to hit people around the same time and have the same deadlines. We send all donor event invitations via email and mailWe offer donors an email version of our two member publications if they don’t want it by mail.
  • So- how do you get your supporters, and the general public audience’s, attention?
  • Relationship-building tool. Don’t want to weaken it.
  • Mobile messaging/reading is on the rise and mobile email users tend to be young and wealthyAccording to MarketingSherpa.com, "64% of key decision makers are viewing your carefully crafted email on their Blackberrys and other mobile devices ... And, chances are, your email looks downright awful.“
  • Anatomy of an effective email message
  • The “From” line should reflect an identifiable organizational figureDon’t use a random name that people are not familiar with (and don’t assume everyone knows your executive director’s name) Recommend using the organization’s nameAvoid numbers/symbols in the “From” line – they may trigger spam filtersUse consistent “From” and “Reply-To” addresses to build your sender reputation
  • Think about the audienceEstablish ideal tone or editorial “voice” for messagesProvide content that is appropriate for level of engagement, interest, knowledge, etc. Keep content short and to the pointUse headlines and bulleted lists for improved scannabilityEasier to read in a short timeframe; emphasize important pointsUse images to engage readersUse 1 medium sized image that relates to the email’s primary purpose and thumbnail images for additional content. Name people, places, and events just below the image and in the image’s Title tag.Include a screenshot of a video, polls or other functionality that links to related content onlineUse stories to engage readersShare own experiences (or those of supporters) to engage readersUse statistics, testimonials, case studies, and expert opinions to support a pointDemonstrate a clear purpose and a clear call to actionEach (promotional/appeal) email should have one main point, with a clear call to actionGive readers a compelling reason to act now
  • In most cases, the whole point of sending an email is to inspire action
  • Can do more on your website – donate, register for an event, watch a video, explore your website. Give them just enough value to inspire them to click
  • Keeps email content more conciseEmail message can provide highlights/teasers with links to read full article or learn more. Landing page can be updated on-the-fly if readers are clicking (but not taking further action).Lets visitors learn more before they are asked to take actionIf a reader is interested but not sure they are ready to give/volunteer/etc., a landing page gives you more opportunities to build your case for them to take action.Easier to track series of “actions” taken by reader (and when they drop out)Measure open rates vs. clickthroughs vs. conversions to see how many readers progress.Identify “conflict” areas (where participants drop out) and work to refine those over time.Monitor these metrics over time to make sure your clicks and conversions are increasing.Creates a consistent message and “level playing field” for all marketing vehiclesDriving all direct mail, advertising, email, etc. responders to unique (copies of) landing pages helps you identify which vehicles produce the highest returns.Ensure consistency (branding/messaging) across all vehicles which is essential for coordinated online/offline campaigns.
  • One statistic appalls us -- 57% of marketers are not doingany tests to improve their email campaign or newsletterresults.  Even worse, 66.2% of marketers have not testedtheir landing pages or web sites to improve conversions. Whichtestwon.comIf you’re just getting started, start smallDo your readers open the email or not? (Open rates)Do your readers click through or not? (Clickthrough rates)Do your readers actually take action or not? (Conversion rates)Some common elements to testSender linesSubject linesEmail content/bodyEmail results by time/dayLanding page conversionsThe most important factor for success is to KEEP TESTINGIt’s the only way to get smarter over time.Your readers/subscribers will continue to change (as will their needs/expectations)…how else will you adapt?
  • 10% is statistically significant…?? Should be at least 1000 if possible; if needed, repeat testing to smaller groups until you get to 1000
  • 2012 McPherson Maximizing Email final

    1. 1. MAXIMIZING E ‐MAILMark DavisBlackbaudDirector Enterprise Internet SolutionsFriday, January 13, 2012www.netwitsthinktank.com 1
    2. 2. 2
    3. 3. D O N ’ T C O N F U S E C O M M U N I C AT I O NCHANNEL WITH GIVING CHANNEL 3 3
    4. 4. PREFERRED GIVING CHANNEL direct mail other offline email Source: 2011 donorCentrics Internet & Multichannel Giving Benchmarking Report 4 4
    5. 5. PREFERRED COMMUNICATION CHANNEL prefer email prefer another channel Source: The Cygnus Donor Survey 2011 5 5
    6. 6. 4/9/2012 6
    7. 7. 4/9/2012 7
    8. 8. WHAT ARE WE DOING?4/9/2012 8
    9. 9. SUCCESSFUL EMAIL MARKETING 9
    10. 10. “Attention is a bit like real estate, inthat theyre not making any more of it. Unlike real estate, though, it keeps going up in value.” Seth Godin, Seth Godin’s Blog 10
    11. 11. FOUR KEY STEPS TO EFFECTIVE EMARKETING Segment Test Develop Send 11
    12. 12. Step One:Segment 12
    13. 13. AS YOU BEGIN…• Think about your overall goals• Reflect on how email enhances your multi-channel marketing strategy• Decide who to target and when - Age - Member / Non-member - Participant/Non-participant - Interests• Get permission (or at least understand what it means to have it) 13
    14. 14. ESTABLISH A PLAN• Start with a calendar• Think about the types of messages you send• Include every office that wants to send messages• How can messages be combined or complement each other?• What data do you need to collect to improve your coordination? 14
    15. 15. DELIVER TARGETED CONTENT• Click-through rates 2x as high first 30 days*• Open rates (7%) and click-through rates (80%) increased**• Provide value• Connection• Without relevant content, risk: - Level of engagement - Lack of attention - Decreased response - Weakened relationship *MarketingSherpa "Email Marketing Benchmark Guide 2008‖ **MailerMailer 2010 Email Marketing Metrics Report 15
    16. 16. UDM ALUMNI NEWSLETTER School of Architecture Engineering Grads Audience Open rate School of Architecture 23.5% Engineering Grads 18.9% Non-Personalized 1st Paragraph 11.9% 16
    17. 17. Step Two:Develop 17
    18. 18. VOICE AND TONE“Just as you have a unique set of fingerprints, you also have a unique voice…” Source: Barbara Scott TheRovingEditor.blogspot.com 18
    19. 19. FIND YOUR VOICE Familiar Passionate Honest Authentic Reflective 19
    20. 20. CHOOSE YOUR TONE 20
    21. 21. MARKETING YOUR MISSION 101 • What is • Where/how given in do we let exchange people for participate? support? Product Place Promotion Price • How do we •What do we reach out want from to people? people? 21
    22. 22. THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND WITH DESIGN…• Design for the preview pane — align content to the left• Avoid calls-to-action within images• Avoid large blocks of text — work toward ―scan-ability‖• Link to a web-based version of your email at the top• Test emails in multiple browsers before sending, including: - Internet Explorer - Firefox - Safari 22
    23. 23. NOT ALL ABOUT THE PICTURES • Only 19% of your newsletter gets fully read • 35% of readers scan only a small part, often just the first two words of the headline • 67% of readers completely skip introductory text at the top • Average amount of time readers spend after opening: 51 seconds 23
    24. 24. DESIGN GUIDELINES■ Consistent, recognizable send- from address & subject■ Look remains consistent from issue to issue■ Tell A Friend and Donate links above the fold■ Excerpt-style newsletter, with monthly headline feature■ Headlines and features change from month to month■ Speaks to reader through clear calls to action 24
    25. 25. DESIGN GUIDELINES TEMPLATE Branding• Top-priority links & branding consistent from In this Issue month to month Personalization First Headline• Headlines & graphics Donate Link change, but general Graphic & Lead dimensions stay the same Story Copy• Color scheme may Feature #1 change, but structure is Second Headline Feature #2 consistent Feature #3 Graphic & Second Story Copy 25
    26. 26. Source: Morgan Stanley http://www.slideshare.net/CMSummit/ms-internet-trends060710final 26
    27. 27. DESIGNING FOR MOBILE DEVICES• 64% of executives read majority of email on mobile devices• Include a compelling call to action in the first 15-25 characters of your subject line• Avoid ―top heavy‖ images in the design• Use ―alt-tags‖ on images blackberry• In addition to testing email browsers, test messages in handheld devices Source: Marketing Sherpa 27
    28. 28. Step Three: Send 28
    29. 29. CREATE COMPELLING MESSAGESRecognizable ―From‖ or―Sender‖ addressCreative, descriptive & invitingsubject lineConcise, relevant contentCompelling call to actionSupporting landing page(s) 29
    30. 30. RECOGNIZABLE “FROM” OR “SENDER” ADDRESSIf readers don’t recognize you, they are likely to flag your message as spam. 30
    31. 31. HOW IMPORTANT IS THAT HEADER?• 80% of respondents decide whether to click on the "Report Spam" or "Junk" button without opening the actual message• 73% based that decision on the "From" name• 69% based the decision on the subject line Source: Email Sender and Provider Coalition (ESPC) study 31
    32. 32. SUBJECT LINE “DO’S”• Limit the subject line to 25-35 characters• Avoid using "$", "!" and ALL CAPS in the subject line• Personalize whenever possible• Colon Power: Use it to place the most important key word first• Remember, ―the best subject lines tell what is inside; the worst subject lines sell what is inside.‖ 32
    33. 33. CONCISE, RELEVANT CONTENT DESIGNED TO BEREAD ONLINEEven though you aren’tpaying printingcosts, you can’t skimpon careful writing.Excellent content isimportant! 33
    34. 34. CREATING A COMPELLING CALL-TO-ACTION• Your call-to-action should compel your readers to do something• Give readers a sense of excitement and urgency• Use specific, action-oriented language• Say it early and repeat often 34
    35. 35. CALLS TO ACTION• Answer What + Why + Where (or When) Not Compelling Compelling Speak up now Speak up now to stop the bloodshed in Syria Donate now Donate now to feed those starving in Somalia Register Register to ride in honor of cancer patients• Instead of images, use table cells with background color• Include it early, then again• Track where clicks occur (www.nonprofit.org/donate#intro) 35
    36. 36. USE LANDING PAGES TO BOOST RESPONSE• Keeps email content more concise and interesting• Lets recipients learn more before they must decide to take action• Easier to track interest of recipients• Creates a consistent message across all marketing vehicles• Improves search engine optimization 36
    37. 37. Step Four: Test 37
    38. 38. TEST TO MAKE IT BEST• What are your goals? - More readers - Engagement - Donations• Common metrics - Web traffic - Open rates - Click-throughs - Conversion 38
    39. 39. ELEMENTS TO TEST• Subject Line - Length, call to action, personalization• Call-to-action - Placement, number, urgency of language, font/color• Graphics - Position, complexity, style• Landing pages - Pre-population of forms, length, navigation options 39
    40. 40. PICKING A WINNER• Send all email at the same time: - 10/10 then 80• Make clear notes about what youre testing• Wait at least 48 hours before declaring a winner- 75% of people will open an email in the first 28 hours; the remaining 25% may take several days• The more you test, the more youll learn – be sure to use what you learn! 40
    41. 41. We know what you’re thinking….“easier said than done!” 41
    42. 42. FIVE THINGS YOU CAN DO TOMORROW• Audit one of your emails for the four Ps. - Is your value proposition clear? - How about Place and Price? (If you want someone to do something, you need these!) 42
    43. 43. FIVE THINGS YOU CAN DO TOMORROW• Plan a single item to test in your next email. - (Hint: The subject line is easy and sometimes has dramatic results!) 43
    44. 44. FIVE THINGS YOU CAN DO TOMORROW• Check your next (or last) email in a different browser. Bonus points for a mobile device! 44
    45. 45. FIVE THINGS YOU CAN DO TOMORROW• Write (or rewrite) your welcome email. - Does it offer something or motivate a next action? 45
    46. 46. FIVE THINGS YOU CAN DO TOMORROW• Create a new segment to test in your next campaign. - Try a completely unique message to people who have given their email address but never taken action. 46
    47. 47. THANK YOU!Please feel free to contact me:Mark.davis@blackbaud.com@mcdavis7843-654-2575 47

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