Email Marketing Best Practices by kellena94


									Email Marketing Best Practices

 Kevin Bate, Director of Business Development,

 Alex Heimann, Director of Interactive Marketing

 Chris George, Business Development Associate
Today’s Presentation

   Overview – Key Points
   State of the Email Marketing Union
   Our Campaigns and Other Examples
   Tools Available
   Best Practices
   Summary
   Audience Q&A
 Overview – Key Points
 Subscriber-centric approach (personalization,
  relevance, timeliness)
 Email design for the 5 stages of viewing
 Data powers the email marketing engine
 Test, Test, Test
 Utilize suped-up tools, services, automation and
State of the Email Marketing Union

     Email Marketing Innovation has been ignored.
     Discipline lacking due to affordability.
     Competition encouraged increased volume (noise)
     ―Batch and Blast‖ approach is outdated.
     Testing is lacking.
     One size fits all approach has damaged customer
      relationships, ROI, and perceptions.
State of the Email Marketing Union

     Stronger Data = segmentation and targeting
     Improved tools and techniques
     Increased Automation
     Improved Integration
     Better tracking, metrics
     Improve Loyalty, Engagement, Conversion
     Your competition is weak…outshine them!
Our Campaigns and Other Best
Practices Examples
   Jacksonville
   Tucson
   Indianapolis
   Costco
   Trip Advisor
Downtown Dining Week
email sent to an
un-segmented list (Ebrains)
generated a 26.8% open
rate / 3.8% click thru rate
($0.26 per click)

Identical email sent to a
segmented, organic list
generated a 36.8% open
rate / 9.3% click thru rate
($0.11 per click)
Deals, discounts and
packages are at the
top of the list of
desired content in

BUT, it’s not all about
special offers. Make
sure you’re
connecting with your
consumers with
educational and
nurturing emails.
Relationships are the
best competitive
advantage you have.
The Metropolitan Tucson CVB provides
subscribers with relevant, timely,
interest-specific content.

Through integration, automation &
segmentation/targeting, the MTCVB is
able to easily generate customized
messages based on the preferences of
the subscriber.

In this example, the subscriber has
previously indicated an interest in golf,
resorts/spas, and outdoors/nature.
Using available tools and integrations,
their system automatically generates
a personalized email with interest-
specific content.
On the ICVA website, a
prominent call-to-action to
subscribe to electronic
communications is placed in the
left navigation bar.

When visitors opt-in on the
website, they receive a monthly
email communication.

By taking their opt-in one step
further and completing an
interest profile page, new
subscribers then receive weekly
―Win in Indy‖ emails based on
their individual preferences
ICVA chooses email as its
main marketing channel
when communicating with
meeting planners. Every 1-2
months, meeting planners
receive an email
communication driven with
ExactTarget Dynamic
Content. Including a picture
of a sales representative
helps build the one-to-one
relationship that essentially
helps bring convention
business to Indianapolis.
Additionally, every meeting
planner email contains a
link to a related video.

―If they can see how great
our city is in action, they’re
much more apt to consider
us for their event.‖

Jeff Robinson
Electronic Communications
Manager ICVA
Industry Partner Email Template
Marketers are often
concerned with the
best time of day and
day of week to send
email and test the
optimal timing for their
subscribers. Though
consumers indicate that
they don’t open email
marketing messages
based on the time or
day a message is sent,
they do say that their
interests or needs sway
their email behavior.

What’s the best way for
marketers to capitalize
on subscribers’ most
immediate interests and
needs? Deliver email to
these subscribers when
they’re in the decision

Forrester Research
Julie M. Katz
“Your Email Marketing
Roadmap for 2009”
Tools Available
   CRM
   Enewsletter Application
   Exact Target
   Auto Responder
   Testing Tools (Litmus, eDesign Optimizer)
CRM Email Capability
                  The simpleview CRM system includes inherent
                  mass-email capability (as do the new Partner
                  Listings Application and Consumer Requests
                  Module for non-CRM users).

                  The good? There are no per-email fees.

                  The bad? No tracking available (opens, clicks,

                  Use for emails not requiring tracking.
Enewsletter Application
                The simpleview Enewsletter application is a
                structured tool, allowing email administrators to
                manage the content and links within a formatted

                The good? Clean, consistent formatting;
                automatically creates an archived copy on the
                website; no fee per email.

                The bad? No tracking.*

                *Note, the simpleview enewsletter application
                can be used in conjunction with Exact Target to
                include basic tracking.
Exact Target
                                           “Content Detective” SPAM checking

Dynamic Content & Personalization

                                    List management & segmentation

                                    (Integrate with simpleview CRM
                                    to automate list creation and unsubscribe synchronization)
                                       Detailed Tracking
                                       •Hard/Soft Bounces
                                       •Link tracking

Create templates, or paste from HTML
                                             With CRM integration, lists can be created
                                             and sent to Exact Target, and subscriber
                                             history is pulled into CRM.

With CRM integration, detailed tracking is
pulled from Exact Target into CRM.
Auto Responder
                 The simpleview Auto Responder Application
                 provides visitors with instant gratification,
                 relevant (interest-specific) dynamic content,

                 ….and can serve as a method to promote
                 members and partners via interest/category
                 sponsorships (rev-gen opportunity).
Testing Tools
                Testing Tools such as
                Exact Target’s ―Inbox
                Preview‖, or other
                services such as Litmus,
                allow you to test email
                rendering in various
                common email clients.
General Best Practices
 Top level approaches and strategies
 Data and list segmentation
 Email design for the 5 stages of viewing
 Dynamic Content/personalization
 Testing, Testing, Testing
 Tracking and Measurement
Top Level Strategies
 Relevancy & Timeliness
 Personalization & Dynamic Content
 Integration & Automation
 Deals & Discounts
 Loyalty Clubs
 Incorporate Educational, Marketing &
  Nurturing messages
Top Level Strategies (Cont’d)
 Extend use of metrics & benchmarks
 Improve segmentation, targeting &
 Involve customers in email
 Integrate online & offline efforts
 Time emails to match decision-making
 Utilize transactional emails for up-sell/cross-
  sell opportunities
Data & List Segmentation /
Dynamic Content & Personalization
Segmentation & Dynamic
Content (Cont’d)
   ―Batch and blast‖ / ―spray and pray‖ is dead; be targeted and
   Utilize indicated interests (obtained during opt-in) to send relevant
   Use geographic data to send timely messages (e.g. Southwest
    destinations sending emails promoting golf to subscribers in the
    northern states during the winter months).
   Use demographic data, such as the intelligence provided by RUF, to
    send targeted messages (e.g. a package geared towards families
    with children interested in snow sports).
Segmentation & Dynamic
Content (Cont’d)
   Constantly prune poorly-performing subscribers so to ensure your lists
    stay clean.

   Lists with outdated addresses, unengaged subscribers, or non-
    permission-based recipients will hurt a company’s ISP reputation,
    increase bounce and unsubscribe rates, and erode list value over

   Focus on meeting frequency expectations outlined during opt-in
    and delivering only relevant messages to ensure list health.
Dynamic Content & Personalization
Dynamic content and personalization is about relevancy. Dynamic content and personalization is
how we put into good use the data we’ve been collecting. As noted earlier, 56% of email users
consider messages, even from known senders, as SPAM if they are not ―interesting‖.

In a study by ChoiceStream, 80% of consumers said they want highly-personalized emails that are
relevant to them, and 64 percent said they are willing to share preference data in order to help
marketers identify their needs.

According to Forrester Research, messages that leverage behavioral data garner greater
response, higher conversions, and more revenue. With better data, you can make smarter offers
and won’t have to offer such deep promotions. Better use of data — with precise targeting that
improves over time — will also reinforce stronger, more lasting customer relationships

Dynamic Content & Personalization can include:
         - Dynamic Subject Lines
         - Personalized Greetings
         - Dynamic Content (content insertion based on interests, geography, demographics)
Dynamic Content & Personalization

Dynamic Content & Personalization doesn’t have to be difficult. It does, however, require solid
data and the right tools.

It starts with the data:
             - As much as possible, capture preferences, interests, geographic info, etc.
             - If possible, supercharge your data with enhanced intelligence (e.g. RUF).

The right tools:
            - simpleview CRM / Consumer Requests Module
            - Exact Target
            - simpleview AutoResponder
Based on my indicated interests /
preferences when I opted-in
during a visitor guide request, the
MTCVB AutoResponder sends me
personalized emails with interest-
specific content on golf, resorts &
spas, etc.
Example of Exact Target
Dynamic Subject line
Email Design - Overview
Continuous Improvement: Consider your design an ever-evolving, iterative process. Just when you think you’ve
figured it all out, ―best practices‖ will change.

Effectiveness is key: A common misconception about design is that it’s simply aesthetic—only concerned with
look and feel. The truth is that an aesthetically pleasing email design isn’t always an effective, performance-
driven design due to image blocking and other constraints. However, an effective design can—and should—also
be a beautiful design.

Send in Multi Part MIME: Though most of your subscribers will view the HTML version of your email, some subscribers
prefer to receive the plain text version of your message. Use simplified copy points, different capitalization
techniques, and characters such as asterisks and dashes to create headlines and visually separate areas of

Beware of image blocking: Plan how to best use graphics in your design. Images should act as a supplement
rather than the main focus of your design. Even with images blocked or disabled, your design should be readable
and the call to action clear.

600 pixels wide: Although monitor resolutions vary, we recommend keeping your design at approximately 600
pixels wide to avoid horizontal scrolling and to ensure that your primary message appears in the preview pane.

Beware of rich media: Embedding Flash or video in an email will cause major deliverability issues. If delivered,
these design elements will be stripped or disabled. If you want to use rich media, use a screenshot of the media
linking to the “live” version on your website. Animated .gifs are also alternatives that work across many—but not
all—email clients.
Email Design
for the 5 Stages of Viewing
Stage #1 – “From” Name:

Your email fights for attention in a crowded inbox. Do your subscribers immediately recognize the communication
is from you? According to the Email Sender and Provider Coalition (ESPC), 73% of subscribers click “Report Spam”
or “Report Junk” based on the content of the “from” field. Make sure your subscribers recognize your ―from‖ name
by using the destination name, newsletter name or sender name your subscribers are most familiar with. Keep in
mind, too, that some email clients still use your from email address in the inbox (i.e.,
instead of your ―from name.‖) Make sure it’s also branded and recognizable.

Stage #2 – Subject Line:

After weighing the appropriateness of your from address, subscribers then move their attention to your subject
line. The ESPC notes that 69% of subscribers base the decision to send your message to the spam folder on the
subject line (December 2006). Quite simply, the subject line can make or break your campaign. A simple A/B test
can identify whether your subscribers prefer a consistently-branded subject line, consistent syntax, or varied
wording. Also beware of SPAM triggering subject line content such as ―free‖, ―50% Off!‖; and using quotation
marks, dollar signs and exclamation points in subject lines will frequently trigger mail filters, as well as using all
capital letters.

(Tip: Keep you subject line under 49 characters, and remember mobile users may see even fewer characters.)

                   Source: Exact Target Whitepaper – ―Email Marketing Design & Rendering: The New Essentials‖
Design for the 5 Stages – Cont’d
Stage #3 – Preview Pane:

Your email doesn’t necessarily have to be open for your subscribers to see the content. When present, many
subscribers use preview panes to get a quick look at your message before they open it. As such, it’s important to
make sure your call-to-action is visible in the preview pane. Preview pane sizes vary widely across email clients
and ISPs, but a general rule of thumb is to place branding and the main call-to-action in the top left 4-5 inch
square (between 288-360 pixels) of the email. This square roughly represents the most-viewed area of an email,
based on vertical and horizontal preview panes. This also takes into consideration usability research that’s been
conducted to determine typical subscriber reading patterns for email. Make sure your call to action is in HTML
text; many email clients block images by default. Use web fonts such as Arial, Verdana, Times or Georgia.
(Additional Tip: Avoid terms like ―click here‖ as a link in the body.)

Stage #4 – Opened Email (Pre-Scroll):

So, your subscriber clicks on your email and it opens in a new window. But how many of those subscribers view the
entire email including the content ―below the fold?‖ The answer is surprisingly few. The Nielsen Norman Group
published a July 2006 study that noted only 11% of subscribers read the full email message. What does that mean?
Include plenty of high-powered content including your call to action, “above the fold”. Consider using a table of
contents, bullets, borders, or background colors to engage subscribers to scroll down. The content above the fold
should create enough interest to encourage a subscriber to scroll down and ultimately convert.

                  Source: Exact Target Whitepaper – ―Email Marketing Design & Rendering: The New Essentials‖
Offers / Calls to action are visible in
the preview pane even when
images are blocked.
Design for the 5 Stages – Cont’d
Stage #5 – View Full Email:

You’ve enticed your subscriber to view your entire email. Well done. But what will they see when reading your
entire message? Nielsen Norman Group’s usability study (Email Newsletter Usability— Third Edition, June 2006)
determined that users, once engaged, spend an average of 51 seconds on each newsletter in their inbox. With
such a short time frame, how do you want your subscribers spending their time? Ensure your email is designed to
guide a subscriber’s attention through the email to the conversion opportunity. Don’t overwhelm them with
irrelevant information. If the conversion is to a website, it’s critical to create a consistently-branded experience for
your subscribers through the email and landing page.

Key Email Design Takeaways:
- Be mindful of the stages (From Name, Subject Line and Preview Pane are often ignored)
- Make sure your email is designed to be effective when images are blocked.
- DO NOT send emails that are a single image. This is one of the kisses of death.
- Use HTML text and web fonts, and be sure your call to action is presented in HTML text.
- Create a text version – some users prefer to receive text only messages…Blackberry anyone?
-Make sure your call to action is ―above the fold‖

                   Source: Exact Target Whitepaper – ―Email Marketing Design & Rendering: The New Essentials‖
Testing is KEY!!!
It’s EXTREMELY important to test your design across multiple email clients and ISPs to ensure your
      subscribers see what you expect them to see in both the HTML and text versions. Testing
      design for rendering purposes is important, but it’s also critical to ensure that your design is
      effective—leading subscribers to convert and support the email’s business purpose.

Testing Tips:
- Set up email accounts in as many email clients as possible (Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail, Thunderbird,
     Apple Mail, etc.), and send test emails to yourself. Also test on PC, Mac and mobile if

- Implement A/B subject line testing and A/B Content testing. Have a list of 40,000 subscribers and
    aren’t quite ready for advanced dynamic content strategies? Try sending tests with different
    subject/content combinations to a small sample from your list. Whichever combination
    generates the best results, use that version for the remainder of the list.

-An easy way to test the rendering of your email across several email clients at one time is through
    a service like Litmus or ExactTarget partner Pivotal Veracity’s eDesign Optimizer. By sending
    one email to a seed address, Pivotal Veracity’s report provides up to 25 views of your email in
    the top email clients. ―Views‖ can include screenshots of your email with images on and off, in
    preview panes, and on mobile devices.
Tracking & Measurement
Measure effectiveness, not volume. Forget the days of reporting about the millions of impressions that you
received and patting yourself on the back. You need to let your organization know that impressions are not the
ultimate goal. What you do care about is conversion and effectiveness, which sometimes means the numbers will
be far smaller. To explain it, use this line: “I want us to reach the right 500 people instead of the wrong 5 million.”

Don’t force a comparison between 2009 and 2008. If you feel like the only way to explain something to your
stakeholders is in terms of comparing it to last year, you won’t try something new at exactly the time when you
should. Give them the right reasons and incentives to embrace experimentation.

After sending your emails, use key performance metrics to identify the level of success for each campaign. You
will probably use a variety of data points to determine the success of your email design, including open rates,
click-through rates, or unsubscribe rates.

Conversion rates can also be combined with web analytics to measure an email campaign’s success, in addition
to other statistics including subscriber retention, sales cycle, or downloads.

                  Sources: Exact Target Whitepaper – ―Email Marketing Design & Rendering: The New Essentials‖ ;
                             Forrester Research: Your Email Marketing Roadmap for 2009 by Julie Katz
A Final Note on CAN-SPAM
      What You Must Include in Every Email Marketing Message You Send

 1.) The law requires that your subscribers have a way to unsubscribe from your

 2.) The law requires that you use a valid From email address.

 3.) The law requires that you include a postal box or physical mailing address in
 each commercial (marketing) email you send.

 Although it's easy enough to do, many people seem to forget these rules. But it is
 just good marketing, as greater transparency leads to greater trust by your

 Relevancy is Key
 Test, Test, Test
 Utilize available tools, integrations and
 Design Smart
 Measure Effectiveness, Not Volume
Session Q&A
If you would like to learn more today, please see me
 or contact a member of our Business Development
  team. They will be happy to field your questions or
 help you put what you have seen here today into a
                     plan of action.

 Please remember to complete your session
     survey in the back of the program.

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