Displaying items by tag: Email
Wednesday, 06 May 2015 19:52

Timing and Personalisation

Over the last couple of weeks I have been seriously impressed by a couple of emails that have hit my inbox. One from a huge FTSE company and the other a national charity both of which I have no doubt have significant resources but its the timing and segmentation that makes them impressive. 

Here is the first one… 

Anthony

Like most people I knew of someone running the Virgin London Marathon and I had sponsored them online via Just Giving. When I completed the process it asked if it was ok for them to share my information with the charity, I clicked yes as I was interested to see if the charity used the information in any marketing process. 

 

As you can see from above they did. They figured that like many others we would be watching it on TV in hope of catching a glimpse of the person I had sponsored in the race, and like a lot of people I would be ‘double screening’ (using a tablet or phone whilst watching TV) and they were right on both counts. I was watching the race, thinking what an achievement, when the email popped in asking me to join their team for next year. 

Let me know here if you think I should do it?

 

The second one arrived last night from Betfair an online betting exchange. For week the news has revolved around the general election today, and they have used my personal information in the subject line to capture my attention whilst using a current event to keep it interesting. 

 

Due to the fact I have an account with them they know exactly where I live and that today hopefully more than 50% of us will be casting a vote, so there is a pretty good chance that if they get a great subject line thats personalised as this one is there is a good chance I will engage with the email. 

Betfair Example

How could you use these tactics with your campaigns in the future? 

I wanted to share these two bits of information on timing and personalisation as I predict they they will have had a massive impact on the success of the campaigns.

 

If you want more information on how we can help you with your campaigns call myself or the team on 0845 177 0508  

 

Lee

Published in Delivery
Wednesday, 26 February 2014 13:44

4 Ways to Earn Your Subscribers Trust

Although there are many different methods to protect our email inboxes from being spammed, there are those who subscribe to email lists which promote products, services and sites. The majority of this is done because the subscriber wants to receive more information about what these sites offer and they expect to be kept up-to-date on their interests and what’s new in that particular field.
Businesses that have this type of consumer are extremely lucky. The main element is to earn the trust of these individuals. Once you have the trust of the consumer, you also have their loyalty.
A lot of internet users employ various tools to keep their email accounts spam-free and some internet providers and email service providers offer spam protection and some even screen your emails for you.
With an opt-in mailing list, your intended receiver will be able to view and read exactly what you have sent them, which makes it a far more successful method to transfer your information. In order to do this you have to obtain permission first from your intended recipient and in order to do this, you must also obtain their trust. The internet is know for its lack of privacy and so getting the trust of a potential subscriber you do not know is quite an achievement.

 

For a fast build up of your opt-in list you need to earn that trust quickly. The quicker this is done, the quicker people will hear about your site and the quicker your business will grow.

 

  • Obtaining your customers trust should be a simple and straightforward operation if you have an honest and legitimate business. People often rely on those they know and know what they are talking about.
  • Demonstrating to your customers that you know what you’re talking about will work wonders in getting them to trust you. Additionally, providing them with guidelines and useful tips will further emphasis that you know what you’re doing.
  • Providing guarantees for products and services you are selling will prove to your customers that you do believe in what you are selling.
  • Clearly showing an opt-out option to your mailing list will erase any worries a potential customer has about joining an opt-in list and prove that you are not trying to trap them. Also guarantee them that you will not pass on any of their information to third parties.
Published in Delivery
Wednesday, 12 February 2014 13:46

Become an Authority Figure

Often, when you see people in the street they simply look like an average, everyday individual, but put them on a podium and ask them to talk about something the know, understand and have passion for they all of a sudden have an air of authority surrounding them.
In order to succeed within the field of internet marketing, you too must have this passion and understanding to project a strong credibility to your subscribers and establish yourself as an authority in your particular niche market.
Consider talking about making profit through a product launch. You have to be able to let your subscribers know about your credibility before or after they have opted in to your emailing list.

 

Here are 3 simple ways to establish your credibility:


1. Talk about your online and offline experiences
Whether you have run a business online before or have previously been successful in sales and marketing in an offline business use this to prove you have personally accrued the skills to be successful in this field.
2. Visually prove how much money you have made
Show your subscribers’ screen-shots of how much money you’ve made online or images of cheques you have earned. If you don’t have these resources use photographs of well-known marketers you have had your picture taken with.
3. Let others sing your praises
The power of positive testimonials is absurd. Gather as many strong and flattering testimonials as possible to prove you provide good and consistent results.
With some people it takes time to earn their respect and so a few emails may be required for them to recognise your skills and capabilities. One method of building up your credibility over time is to put together an e-course or a newsletter which will then be sent to your subscribers over the course of a couple of days. The material you send will need to be educational, which will establish you as an expert on that subject matter. As long as the subscriber reads your material over a period of time, whether it be daily or weekly, you will slowly be able to earn their respect and seal of approval.

 

What NOT to do
Building strong relationships with your subscribers’ takes a lot of time and care, so it is important that you do not commit these 5 email marketing mistakes;
1. Spamming
You must make sure you never, ever spam your mailing list. Although they will have given you permission to email them, spamming is a completely different matter. Emails should always be sent at carefully, thought out intervals.
2. Only email them when you are selling
A good email marketer will know what their subscribers do not want to receive emails which only sell. Your subscribers will want to benefit from being on your list by receiving valuable and educational material as well as your sales pitches.
3. Rushed emails
One of the biggest errors to make is to rush your emails. Your subscribers will be reading the material you send out and for them to be able to spot spelling, grammatical and factual errors is a big no! This will not only make you look unprofessional but it will also make you lose their respect. Nothing could be more embarrassing than spelling someone’s name wrong or making a mistake on your affiliate links.
4. Leaving long periods between emails
This is like the opposite of spamming. Not keeping in touch with your subscribers will not only make you look lazy and un-committed but there is also a chance that they will forget who you are.
5. Failing to relate to your subscribers
Some email marketers get too carried away when a new product launches and email to their entire mailing list, forgetting that the product in question is not going to relate to every single one of them. For example, there is no point in selling cat food to someone who does not own an animal.

Published in Delivery
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 16:24

Do you know what E.M.A.I.L. stands for?

An acronym is always good fun and below is a fantastic one for the word ‘email’ to help us remember why an email marketing campaign can be so effective. So here we go:


E is for Engaging
Sending out fresh and relevant content at the correct time is one of the key elements to achieving click-throughs and conversions. But this is not all. You also need to demonstrate to your email marketing subscribers that you know and understand what is happening around you. One way to do this is to set up a calendar which you can employ to help you relate to your audience.
M is for Mobile
With the huge increase in Smartphone sales, which has been predicted to double over the next five years, 2011 has been dubbed the year of mobile marketing. Therefore, not only is it essential that you are offering newsletters and email marketing content which is mobile friendly but you should also be considering the different needs of your mobile subscribers.
The issue of timing changes dramatically when technology is mobile. You might want to considering sending content to your mobile subscribers during their commute time, when they will welcome the distraction from their journey. But, if you are sending information on a Saturday night you might consider changing the format and tone as people’s attitudes and outlook will be far more relaxed than on a weekday. With mobile marketing, relevance to the subscriber and timing become far more critical.
A is for Action
Take a look at the strength of your calls-to-action. Think about what exactly it is you want people to do when they receive your email marketing content. Although you might see that a conversion is clearly the end objective, is this obvious to your subscribers?
I is for Integration
There are numerous social media channels, of which email marketing is just one, and it is smart marketers who employ several of these channels to promote their email marketing campaigns. An email newsletter should include numerous share buttons, for example, and you should always begin content with interesting and teasing introductions to encourage the audience to read on.
L is for Landing Page
One of the vital elements of a successful email marketing campaign is landing page optimisation. Your landing page should be simple, clear and with strong calls to action. Do not force your target audience to have to search for the related items you are promoting in your most recent newsletter. Your landing page should be focused and therefore you should create as many landing pages as you require for every single objective.
It is a sensible idea to build a unique landing page for potential customers who come from links you place on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.

 

So how does your company spell E.M.A.I.L?
Why not try spelling our Email in your own marketing program to assist you in driving sales and increasing your revenue? It may also help you to reduce your marketing costs and raise your brand awareness.

Published in Training
Thursday, 14 November 2013 13:42

8 Easy ways to spruce up your email marketing

It’s easy to feel like you’ve become stuck in a rut when it comes to carrying out your email marketing. Feeling like all you’re doing is sending out the same kind of message, containing the same kind of information over and over again. And, although this may be achieving OK results, it is important to know whether you could be doing more.
Coming up with fresh, interesting and creative ideas time and time again is not the easiest of things, however, if you want the best results possible, it is somewhat crucial.

 

So, here are some of our top tips to help you rejuvenate your email marketing campaign.


1. Obtain a new email template design
How your message looks and feels to the reader is of great importance; but they will also require slight variety from once in a while. So, if you have been using the same template for your message for some time now, try to implement a few changes. However, it is imperative that you seek professional help when doing this as changing a template design is not as simple as it may first appear.
2. Short and snappy copy is key
No one enjoys reading through heaps and heaps of waffling text and peoples’ reading habits are far more impatient online than they are offline, so bearing this in mind, ensure that your sentences are simple and your paragraphs short and direct. Not only will the keep your readers engaged but it will also mean they’ll be more likely to take direct action.
3. Play around with images
Including appropriate images in your emails can help you to deliver far more of a bang compared to simply sending words to your audience. Experiment with using images, however, be sure to keep a record of your open rates when you do as occasionally, if your recipients have their settings so that images are turned off as standard, it may be that they are not able to see the full message the first time it is sent. A good test to carry out is to segment your contact list and find out whether you achieve better results with more or less images. Alternatively, you could also apply for email accreditation and in some circumstances your emails can have the images turned on by default.
4. Use a friendly ‘from’ email address
A great way to encourage confidence and trust from your recipients is to use friendly ‘from’ email addresses and will entice them to open your email. If you are not already using a friendly ‘from’ address it is worth an investment.
5. Segmentation and testing
Breaking up your contact list into different segments and then testing various elements of marketing campaign is a perfect way to discover which parts of your campaign could be improved upon.
6. Make-over your subject line
The first thing your recipient is going to see is your subject line which means it is one of the most fundamental elements with regards to your open rates. In order for your subject line to entice your readers to open your email it must be relevant and interesting.
7. Begin your data collection
In order to carry out the most productive segmentation and targeting, you’ll need to start collecting as much information about your recipients as possible. This can be done by either linking your email marketing platform with your CRM database or by conducting a survey.
8. Make use of social media
Once you have made all the above changes to your email, it is almost certain that your readers will once again enjoy receiving your messages. It is even possible that they may wish to share the information you are providing with their friends, family members and colleagues. To encourage this behavior and allow them to do so be sure to include social media sharing links in your messages. It is also important for you to include a ‘subscribe’ button which will enable new people who read your messages to sign up for your future messages.

Published in Design
Friday, 08 November 2013 16:50

Business to Business email marketing

The current UK regulations state that ‘prior consent’ is not required by B2B marketers who are sending marketing communications to contacts with which they have previously had a customer relationship.

What is prior consent?

The phrase ‘prior consent’ means that the person in which you are sending a marketing email to has formerly ‘opted-in’ to that communication channel i.e. they have at some point notified you, the sender of the email, that you have their consent to email their contact address for marketing purposes.


For a B2B marketer, this ‘prior consent’ requirement does not apply if you are sending a marketing email to contact with which you have a previous customer relationship.


What counts as a previous customer relationship?


A previous, or existing, customer relationship exists if:

  • The email address has been obtained during the course of a sale or sale negotiations of a product or service to that particular individual.
  • Direct marketing is in respect of services or products belonging to you, which are also marketed are like those which are previously provided.
  • Your identity as the sender is clear.
  • The person being targeted is provided with a clear opportunity to withdraw their consent at any given time regarding all forms of communication.

Disclaimer: This article is intended to serve as general guidance only and should not be regarded as legal advice. For more information please visit http://www.ico.gov.uk.

 

 

Published in Delivery

Do you know exactly how many emails you sent out in your last email marketing campaign? Now, do you know how many people actually took the time to open it and read what you had to say? Many have found that sometimes there can sometimes be a significant difference.
An email reactivation campaign can be just the answer. Not only will it help you clear out all the inactive email addresses you have, but it will also enable you to re-energize your emailing list and reclaim some of the expenses you invested when acquiring the email addresses in the first place.
How reactivation works
Your ESP will be delighted when you send out millions of emails for each email marketing campaign, however it may be that you are actually damaging your sender reputation and spending money unnecessarily by sending out emails to people who do not open or act upon them.
Although they may have signed up to receive your emails at some point, they may not be using the same email address now and the mail box has been abandoned, but you have not noticed. Internet service providers will not register something like this and therefore the email will still try to be sent.
Some employ these ‘dead’ email addresses as spam traps which monitor your ‘list hygiene’ and sender reputation. The dirtier your email list is the more likely it is that you will be hunted down and your emails will be sent to junk folders or blocked.
By looking at your contact list you should be able to see which email addresses are dead, who deletes your emails without opening them and who is still interested in what you have to say but for some reason no longer feels compelled to open them.
A reactivation campaign is going to recognize which email addresses you are able to delete from your emails list without the risk of losing live ones and therefore re-establish your connections with previous consumers.
Everyone knows you get the best reactions from your newest email subscribers and so apply these tactics to re-engage and re-entice the inactive contacts on your list rather than spending more money on replacing them.
How to spot your inactive email subscribers
This requires some time being spent on your database. Look at your analytics and build a segment list for all those who have not opened an email or clicked on a message for more than six months. Then send these email addresses a message with the subject field along the lines of ‘We miss you!’ Take pleasure in groveling for them to come back, and include a special offer as extra temptation.
For all those that respond, keep these addresses on your list as active and send them another message saying something like if they do not respond within one week they will be removed from your mailing list. Be firm and if they do not get back to you, remove them. Although this might seem like the opposite of what you are trying to achieve, a smaller more vital list is going to do more good for the overall result of your campaign.
Keep your subscribers interested
Below are a few steps you can follow to re-engage your emailing list and keep them all energized:
Ask them what they want
Although you may have heaps to offer, it is no good if your recipients are not getting what they want. Ask them to questions about what they would like to receive and see how interest is renewed.
Make them an offer
Whether it is discounts, free samples or new products, any offer you can think of will work wonders for renewed interest.
Incentives
Ask your recipients to update their profiles and provide an incentive for them to do so. But be careful, if your incentive is too good people will simply reengage only to hit the spam button and you will become blacklisted.
Threaten a break-up!
Tell your recipients that if they do not open your emails you are going away. It might seem extreme but it should evoke some response. Let them know that if they don’t make you aware they are there, you will drop them from the list.
See what they’re thinking
Asking your readers to fill out simple surveys or questionnaires, with a small incentive, can enable you to find out how they feel about the information you provide and how frequently you send it.
Spice up your format
Look at the format of your emails. Are they too long? Too wordy? By changing up your format you should be able to catch the eye of your recipients once again.
By investing this much effort in your database you will be able to reengage with a vast amount which will enhance your deliverability rate as well as achieving a higher return on your investment.

Published in Delivery

Finally, see below the third and final installment of our quality tips on how to increase the deliverability of your email messages.

  • Always contact an ISP whenever you receive a bounced back email with a black list message attached. Get the name of the contact to speak to them about the listing. Keep a copy of the message to send to them. Be fully prepared to explain your specific policy and ask their advice on how to avoid further black listing.
  • Think about subscribing to a Delivery Monitoring Solution which is going to provide you with constant monitoring of your reputation and black list status. It will also give you snap shots of authentication levels.
  • ESP’s provide their services by default. Using an Email Service Provider to send you emails enables you to benefit from their reputation, accreditation and ISP relationships.
  • Select an ESP such as Yahoo, Hotmail or AOL which is signed up to feedback loops. These loops will send an unsubscribed email to your database whenever the recipient of your email clicks the ‘report spam’ button.
  • Check and check again that the content of your email is not going to be caught by spam filters.
  • Utilize a spam filter to check your content and analyse the findings.
  • Employ an ‘inbox preview’ application to check how the content of your email appears within different ISP inboxes. However, do not use large images which can be scanned by a spam filter.
  • Steer clear from using many different colours, fonts and sizes regaring your text and links.
  • Avoid using a large amount of links within each email. Keep the number of links relative the amount of words you use within is message.
  • Try not to use suspicious subject lines. Keep the title clear and straight forward but avoid including words such as ‘free’ and ‘special offer’ as well as capital letters and exclamation marks.

So there you go, thirty high quality top tips for you to apply to your email marketing campaign to ensure that your deliverability is a high as it can be.

Published in Delivery

For your second helping of useful tips to increase your deliverability rates see below:

  1. Make sure the email addresses which have been collected offline have been validated before you add them to your main database; this means your bounce back rate is not affected.
  2. Include a clear and highly visible unsubscribe link in all the email messages you send. Your unsubscribe link should not require any more then two clicks for the person unsubscribing.
  3. The unsubscribe page should include your company branding such as the name and logo.
  4. The link used for unsubscribing ought to process the requests in real time.
  5. All your offline contact information needs to be available for unsubscribers such as phone number and postal address. These requests also need to be processed within a speedy time frame.
  6. Lists need to be keep up to date and current by deleting hard bounces from undeliverable emails.
  7. Soft bounces should be deleted once 3 consecutive emails have been returned and classes as a hard bounce.
  8. Highlight ‘dead’ contacts and recipients which have been unresponsive for a long period of time. After one test email has been sent and failed stop emailing them.
  9. Spot the main ISPs for your marketing campaign in your email contact database and build a quality relationship with them.
  10. Introduce your new recipients and explain your key messages. Clearly explain your opt-in policy and request any suggestions on how to avoid being blacklisted.

For our final batch of top tips for your email deliverability be sure to catch and third and final blog post.

Published in Delivery
Tuesday, 15 October 2013 13:02

15 Rules to Writing Subject Lines

A typical subject line only allows you 50 characters, including spaces, and this is all that could be standing between you and your reader’s attention. So, how are you going to ensure that this little line is going to work for you and not against you?

A strong subject line will prevent your email being discarded to the junk file or even deleted. Make sure you read through our 15 golden rules to create your own sparkling line for your next email marketing campaign.

Rule 1: Look to your local newspaper

Grab a copy of your local newspaper and take a look at the headlines. You will see that an effective headline clearly states the most important facts about the story in only a few words, and this is exactly what your subject line should do. Tell them what they can expect from your email in a short, sharp and succinct line.

Rule 2: There is not one rule for all

What may work extremely well for one email campaign cannot be relied upon to do the same for every campaign you run. For example, a subject line which is about a discount offer is not going to work for an up-sell or a news update.

Rule 3: Test, test and test again

It is important that you test your subject lines as much as possible to try and determine any trends or patterns which may be occurring.  If possible try and pre-test your subject lines. Why not add an extra day to creating your email campaign in order to try and test the response to various subject lines?

Rule 4: Don’t repeat yourself in the ‘from’ line

Your ‘from’ line allows your recipient to know who has sent them the email and your subject line lets them know what it is about. If your company name is present in the ‘from’ line then there is no need for it to feature in your subject line. However, it is worth thinking about branding your subject line, for example, with the name of your email newsletter. This will enable it to catch your recipients’ attention when scanning their inbox.

Research has found that recipients take a look at the ‘from’ line first before, the subject line, when they choose to open an email.

Rule 5: Most important information first

A subject line will generally allow you a minimum of 50 characters including spaces, although some allow more, 50 is the minimum. Therefore, it is important to employ these first 50 for your most key facts.

Rule 6: Open rates are not 100% reliable for subject-line success

Take a look at all the subject which are associated with your highest conversion rates, these can be click through, sales, downloads etc. If you look deep enough you may find in your web analytics that some things do not add up. You might find that there is an email with a low open rate but received a high sales-per-order rate.

This may suggest that your subject line appealed to a small section of your target audience. It is important to remember that your end goal is no always high open rates but to have the people who do read your email to take the action you desire.

Rule 7: Personalisation

In order to personalize your subject line, base it upon your users’ product preferences, their interests or past purchases. However, it is important not to do this too heavily as they may have bought their last item as a gift for someone else. One technique is to make it easy for your recipients to modify their data and preferences so they receive information they want and will find interesting.

Rule 8: Set a deadline

Creating a sense of urgency in your emails will drive your recipients to act. Include lines such as ‘Order by midnight’ or ‘5 Days left’ to push your readers to purchase.

Rule 9: Beware of spam filters

Experienced email marketers will know that there is not much difference between a ‘catchy’ subject line and a ‘spammy’ subject line. It is important to run your subject line and the email of your content through a content checker. This will act to highlight any ‘spam-like’ words and phrases which you may have used. One thing which will set off the spam filters is using all capital letters in your subject lines and using more punctuation than necessary such as exclamation marks.

Rule 10: ‘Free’ should not totally be avoided

Although employing the word ‘free’ for the 1st word of your subject line will set off the spam filters, using it elsewhere is perfectly fine. It is also true that your recipients will respond well the ‘free’ so it is a shame not to make use of this response.

Rule 11: Always be honest

It is important not to lie to or mislead your recipients with your subject line regarding the content of your email. If you make false claims your recipients will begin to distrust you and either reach for the delete or the report-spam button when you send them messages.

Rule 12: Always plan ahead and test

Most of the time people do not realise the importance of the subject line and throw something together last minute. But this is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. A sharp, interesting, relevant and enticing subject line takes time to create and can have a huge impact regarding the success of your overall campaign.

It is also best practice to test your subject lines, however if you are struggling for time try and use an informal testing group such as your marketing team.

Rule 13: Review previous campaigns

Take a look at the success of your previous campaigns and which subject lines you used. What was your average click through rate? Which campaign led to the highest number of conversions? Look through your web analytics reports to discover which titles attracted the most attention etc.

This information should help you decide what kind of content to include in your future campaigns and which strategies are going to be the most effective.

Rule 14: Don’t go quiet

If you send your emails more often than monthly or quarterly you will be able to build a conversation with your recipients. Viewing your reports will enable you to see just what they are interested in and so featuring this info, keywords etc in your emails and subject lines will enable you to capture their attention more easily.

Also, a higher email frequency enables you to create dialogue which can be continued across your campaign.

Rule 15:  Do your emails pass the must-open test?

It is very uncommon to meet someone nowadays who opens every email that arrives in their inbox, which means that you must appeal to their curiosity to make them open your message.

Referring back to rule 14, if you have been able to build a conversation with your recipients then a reference to the subject should entice them enough to open it up to read the next installment.

A great way to see if your subject line does pass this test is to run the following experiments:

1.The must-read test

This is when a subscriber does not open your email but feels like they have missed out on something special for not doing so and regret their decision.

2.The unbulk bulk-folder test

This is when, if your email ends up in the bulk folder, will the combination of your ‘from’ line and subject line create trust and curiosity to encourage the recipient to place it in their inbox?

Published in Delivery
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