Tips to drive engagement…

October 13th, 2009

If you’re getting back into email marketing or looking for ways to get older subscribers in your database back on board then MarketingSherpa have a few suggestions:

  1. Test some incentives, use some offers such as vouchers or free gifts to re-engage your users. It’s easy to segment any list on activity using our management tools and then use our automatic split testing app to find the best incentive to use.
  2. Use a quick survey to check that your content is still relevant to the database, over time it is not unusual for your relationship with a subscriber to drift away as their needs change. You could also identify so active users via the management tools and invite them to take part in a more detailed survey so you can see what you’re doing that people like. Knowledge gathering online is inexpensive and a very wuick way of driving strategy, even better when tied in with an incentive – see above.
  3. Invite people to re-register, effectively state your offer again and outline your email communication strategy, reminding people of the benefits of subscribing. Tone of voice is very key here and if you can make people feel that they’ve found an old friend even better. Always good to reward those people who do re-register with something too.

The Big Challenges for Email

October 7th, 2009

According to Marketing Sherpa the big challenges for email marketing for next year are:

- Measuring ROI [still there after all this time!]
- Competing with social networking [or 'complementing' might be a better term]
- Relevance [this will never go away - ever]
- Driving subscription levels
- Managing databases
- Deliverability

Using a system like ours will certainly help with most of those, and talking us about your startegy and onling resources should tackle the rest.

Email marketing is hot, hot, hot!

September 21st, 2009

A recent survey by Emarketer lists the top priorities of US marketers as:

1. Customer acquisition
2. Customer retention
3. Thought leadership
4. Upselling
5. Building customer and prospect community and advocates

With the exception of the first one email marketing is unquestionably the number one method for fulfilling all of these goals, and to be honest you could make a pretty good case for email marketing being part of the mix for customer acquisition as well, especially if combined with pay per click. It’s no surporise that half of those marketers questioned said that they would increase the amount of email marketing they would be doing. Combined with search marketing and some social marketing techniques the trend is definitely for cost effective, high return marketing activity.

Inspiring interaction…

September 21st, 2009

Here’s some tips on getting more out of your regular emails:

1. Keep your database clean, you really only need to be communicating with people who are interested enough to open your emails, using email software like ours its easy to filter out the people who are not opening or reading your emails.
2. Provide multiple points for engagement, give readers every chance to find out more about your business, from links to latest news or company information to balance out the inevtibale links to offers and products.
3. Encourage social networking, linking email content to the main social networks is a great way to leverage the viral nature of online communities,  you can make it easy by adding links to your email communciations.
4. Use surveys and incentivise feedback, and most importantly be seen to act upon on it, share stories about customer’s views and opinions and show how it has affected your business.

Marketers Say Email a Good Investment During Downturn

August 31st, 2009

According to Marketing Sherpa  over 70% of marketers regard email marketing as a key weapon in their armoury when it comes to commuicating with customers and prospects. 

Marketing Sherpa found that “organizations with investment-oriented views of email reap the rewards. They have higher open, click and conversion rates. In addition, they are much more likely to have a metrics-based grasp of how email works for them. Email should be the last place to cut budget and the first place to increase it. Modest investments in testing, best practices, measurement and, most importantly, providing relevant content will generate powerful ROI – especially in a time when selling to existing customers will be a key to survival.”

We couldn’t agree more.

What you can measure you can improve

August 17th, 2009

How old is this adage, I heard it on my first day of work, well real work anyway, they didn’t mention it to me when I was sweeping the floor of the local post office in my summer holidays – funny that! And even now only around of 60% of marketers test their email campaigns [according to e-mail marketing agency eROI in their May–June 2009 survey] which is staggering. We live in an age where marketing is more measurable and responsive than ever before and yet still marketing dollars are being spent without any thought to optimising that spend, in this current economic climate that really is criminal. It is extremely simple to test subject lines, send times, call to action and design, especially when you use a managed system like ours, if you’re not already doing it please do get in touch!

The reasons people unsubscribe…

August 10th, 2009

The main reasons people give for unsubscribing are:

1. Irrelevant content [60% of people]
2. Received too frequently [60% of people]
3. Perception that they didn’t sign up or that their address has been ’sold’ [40% of people]
4. Privacy concerns [20% of people]

We always recommend that it’s made absolutely crystal clear why someone is receiving an email and give them the option to opt out up front, that’s best practice and email subscription is one place where best practice is essential. As soon as anyone thinks they’re being duped then you run the risk of increasing your unsubscribe rates.

Source: eMarketer Inc.

Email v Social Networks

August 4th, 2009

It’s easy to forget that email is used far more regularly than all the social networks . 79% of respondents use email as their primary mode of communication, only 10% use social networks. [Source: Epsilon International via Econsultancy Blog, June 2009]. Email has been around for some time now and is the cornerstone of most people’s relationship with their computer and the internet, social networks are the new kids on the block and have a lot of the novelty factor however it’s important to remember that sites like friendsunited and myspace are now on the wane in favour of facebook and twitter and so it will go on. But everyone still has at least one email address if not more.

Email marketing can have a measuarable impact on a company’s bottom line and brand and it’s still very difficult to quantify the affects of twitter in either case. It’s the tool of choice for all good marketers so if you’re not doing it [atall or well] you really should be.

Bad HTML Can Reduce Your Emails Effectiveness

July 28th, 2009

In recent years many email marketers have avoided HTML emails fearing deliverability issues and lower response rates. But HTML emails only create problems when they are coded or designed the wrong way. HTML problems can easily be avoided by using a system like ours which handles the coding for you. Once your template is set up by our developers it is tested and verified against stringent guidelines to make sure it is clean and suitable for sending. So there’s no excuse to not send great looking emails!

Nailing Your Subject Line…

July 16th, 2009

Here’s some tips on creating stunning subject lines for your emailshots and enewsletters:

1. Remember there’s only 50 characters visible when the email drops in the inbox and sometimes shorter depending on how people configure their desktops so you’ve got to be punchy

2. A great place to learn about the art of writing great subject lines is to scan the newspapers, they’ve developed the art over many years of drawing people in to read the stories.

3. Focus on the call to action, if you want to get people opening the email then give them the incentive up front

4. Don’t leave the subject line to the end of the process, it should be the beginning, when you start the process of creating each and every campaign you need to decide why you’re sending the email and that should drive the subject line

5. Make sure your from address works with your subject line, ensure they’re not repetitive and use the word count as effectively as possible

6. Be compelling – you only have a few seconds to draw people in to reading the email, especially in the early days of starting an ongoing campaign when people may be new to your brand

7. Used with care and caution personalisation can make a difference too, using it in the subject line has some risks attached but should be considered

8. Create some urgency, if using an offer to drive interest put a deadline around it to drive people through to your web site

9. Never mislead your audience, they will pay you back with unsubscribes in their droves and it will ultimately damage your brand!

10. You can use words like free, but carefully, they will pass through spam checkers as long as they are not repeated, capitalized, at the beginning of the subject line or followed with an exclamation point. [Using our spam checking facility will cover you here]

11. What you can measure you can improve, using our content checker software will enable you to maximise your deliverability. Checking your stats and looking for successes and best practice within your own campaigns will also help you to improve your results.