NEDMA14: Creating Email Awesomeness! - Nirmal Parikh

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Through this presentation, you will learn about: the email marketing ecosystem, email validation, how to avoid spam traps, delivery and inbox optimization, design best practices, optimizing for mobile, predictive modeling for a better ROI, and more!

This presentation was given by Nirmal Parikh, Founder/President of Digital Wavefront, at NEDMA's Annual Conference on May 14, 2014.

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NEDMA14: Creating Email Awesomeness! - Nirmal Parikh

  1. 1. Digital Wavefront - Your Technology Partner for multi-channel marketing Creating Email Awesomeness! Nirmal Parikh @
  2. 2. Ray Tomlinson Know who this is? @ Wired
  3. 3. Wikipedia 1971 @ Ray used this machine, a DEC-10, back in 1971 to send his first email. And, have we come a long way since!
  4. 4.  3.2 billion email accounts  838 billion marketing messages (2013)  3 out of 4 marketers use email marketing for retention  2 out of 3 consumers have made a purchase as a result of an email  $1 = $44.25 in email ROI  400+ marketing messages per month Source: ExactTarget, Forrester, DMA, ReturnPath Fast Forward to 2013-14! @
  5. 5.  Email marketing can be very effective  It can/does influence purchase decisions and behavior  Email is context-agnostic (no matter where, what, when)  Email has control over us. Yes, it’s true!  We have very little patience & an even smaller attention span  We make decisions based on FROM names and subject lines So, What Does All This Mean? @
  6. 6. @ Modeling Delivery Devices Compliance Development Design Validation Strategy @ <HTML>
  7. 7. @ 1: Strategy There are 3 parts to an email strategy…
  8. 8. @ film.vic.gov.au Part 1. Your Target Audience
  9. 9. @ valuablecontent.co.uk Part 2 – Your Content.
  10. 10. @ ewaydirect.com Part 3: Your Offer.
  11. 11. 2: Validation @
  12. 12. Validation > Syntax Checking jon’_@gmail.com <valid [nirmal]@yahoo.com <valid jenny”o”smith@aol.com <not valid @ This is the most basic form of validation that checks email for syntax errors.
  13. 13. Validation > Spam Traps  Re-activated accounts inactiveuser@yahoo.com  Re-activated domains user@veryolddomain.com  Classic “honeypot” addresses used for seeding donotsend@yahoo.com  Investigative myemail@mycompany.com @ So, why do we validate? Well…one of the reasons is to simply to avoid spam traps set up by ISPs.
  14. 14. Validation > Better Delivery Ratios! Use Case A Start 100 Post-validation 100 Delivered 80 Deliverability 80% Use Case B (validated list) 100 88 80 90% @ -12 Validation is the process of “pinging” an email address w/o actually sending an email; one of the most critical things from a perspective of data hygiene.
  15. 15. 3: Design @
  16. 16. Design > Mobile @ 65% 69% 66% Source: ExactTarget, Forrester, DMA, ReturnPath Of email is opened first on a mobile device. 69% delete emails that don’t display correctly on mobile. 66% of Gmail emails are opened on mobile.
  17. 17. Design > Email Clients @ Client Market Share (based on March 2014 opens) Apple iPhone 26% Outlook 14% Apple iPad 12% Gmail 11% Apple Mail 8% Google Android 7% Outlook.com 6% Yahoo! Mail 5% Windows Live Mail 3% Windows Mail 2% Source: Litmus 53% Mobile email clients have 53% market share.
  18. 18.  From Point & Click to Touch & Scroll  Users are accustomed to scrolling  Long-form content is perfectly OK!  Single-column layout  Design for touch accuracy  Animated GIFs?  Font sizes Design > Optimization @
  19. 19. @ Here are some email designs that were targeted for and maximized for mobile device compatibility. The common theme across all of them is again “long-form” content and big/bold CTAs.
  20. 20. 4: Development @
  21. 21.  Standards-compliant <html></html>  Email client compatibility  Device compatibility  Responsive style-sheets (@media queries, CSS3)  Image ALT tags  Plain-text alternative  Email pre-header or Johnson Box Development > HTML @
  22. 22. Development > Respect the Inbox @ Consider feature advancements and developments with different email clients. Gmail Promotions Tab – List View Gmail Promotions Tab – Grid View For example: your promotional emails may end up in the Gmail promotions tab, but you can maximize that space by designing for grid view.
  23. 23. 5: Compliance @
  24. 24. Content Compliance  Accurate FROM address  Relevant Subject line  Physical address of publisher and/or advertiser Unsubscribe Compliance  A visible and operable unsubscribe mechanism  Opt-out requests are honored within 10 business days Country and Local Legislations • Canadian Anti-Spam Laws (CASL, Jul 1st 2014) • EU Safe Harbor Policies Compliance > CAN-SPAM @
  25. 25. 6: Devices @
  26. 26. Devices > Ubiquity @5-6am 8am 6pm 8pm We live in a “multi- screen” and “multi- context” world, constantly switching devices over the course of the day.
  27. 27. Devices > Context @ Consider the context – when and where your emails will be read.
  28. 28. Devices > Form Factors @ Consider the different form factors you are targeting. From smartphones with 4-5” screens, to mid-sized tablets, all the way to laptops and wide-screen monitors.
  29. 29. Devices > Wearable Tech @ The Next Wave? It’s wearable computing. Your emails are going to have to be “wrist-friendly” in the near future.
  30. 30. 7: Delivery @
  31. 31.  The Subject line is your Elevator Pitch. Master it.  33% of email recipients open email based on subject line alone  Try special characters ()  Keep it under 70 characters  Make it intriguing but relevant  Avoid spammy words and phrases FREE, mortgage, insurance, limited time, click now, open immediately, etc.  And, PLEASE don't!!! USE UPPERCASE, or a lot of punctuation!!! Delivery > Subject Line Optimization @Source: ExactTarget
  32. 32. @http://litmus.com/resources/subject-line-checker Check how your subject line will render across different clients and interfaces.
  33. 33. Delivery > Tactical Considerations  Aligning emails with in-home delivery of direct mail  Response rates 10% - 30% higher*  Acquisition costs 25% - 35% lower*  Time-zone localization  9am EST, 9am CST, 9am PST  Time-lapsed delivery  9am vs 2pm  Weekday vs. Weekend vs. Holiday delivery @
  34. 34. Delivery > Reputation @Source: ReturnPath Inbox SPAM83% One of the biggest influencers of delivery is your ESP’s and/or server’s IP reputation (affecting delivery by 83%).
  35. 35. Sender Score https://senderscore.org Use this as a resource to check your sender score.
  36. 36. Delivery > Calibrating Sender Score  No volume = No reputation = No Sender Score  Sudden influx of email = Potential spam  30 days of mailing = +46  Reverse DNS setup = +16  Complaints > 1.5% = -40  Target: < 0.1%  Bounce rate > 10% = -40  Spam trap = -40 Source: ReturnPath @ 90+
  37. 37. Delivery > DNS Records  SPF (Sender Policy Framework) v=spf1 mx ip4:72.19.227.112 a:me-ss2-6qydu7.mailengine1.com ~all  DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) _domainkey.yourdomain.com IN TXT "t=y; o=~;" k1._domainkey.yourdomain.com IN TXT "k=rsa; p=MIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBAQUAA4GNADCBiQKBgQDk2qnamPIxlqH4q44Y3ZHutl 00nv83vl5wuR+/dkrwwFqENtsf1vk68QjbblRZ/mtfwoFeQcLrsqiuqQIDAQAB“ Sender Scores of 90-100 are 42% more likely to pass DKIM - ReturnPath @
  38. 38. Delivery > Choice of ESPs @
  39. 39. 8: Predictive Modeling @
  40. 40. Predictive Modeling > Why? @  Send fewer, more targeted emails  Model after positive behavior and “look-alikes”  Improve delivery  Gain a better reputation & SenderScore
  41. 41. @ Modeling Delivery Devices Compliance Development Design Validation Strategy @ <HTML> Recap
  42. 42. And That’s How You Create Email Awesomeness! @Digital Wavefront - Your Technology Partner for multi-channel marketing @
  43. 43. Nirmal Parikh www.digitalwavefront.com @BOSMarketer nirmalp@digitalwavefront.com @Digital Wavefront - Your Technology Partner for multi-channel marketing

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