If you design, develop or deploy email campaigns, we encourage you to read on. If you’re short on time and would like to get straight to the point, click here for a chart of the different components that affect various email metrics.
When it comes to email campaigns, there’s more than meets the eye. Barring other items like design, audience, frequency, etc. the success of your email campaign depends on:
- Subject line
- From Name/Address
Here are 3 email optimization techniques can dramatically increase the performance of your email marketing campaign.
1. Deliver More – Carefully Select Your Subject Line + From Name & Address
One of the biggest email challenge facing companies is successfully delivering the email. With more than 97% of the daily email generated considered spam, your first task is just to get the message through spam filters. Email deliverability can be improved several ways:
a. Carefully select your From Name and Email Address. If the person doesn’t recognize your “from name” or “email address,” he/she is far more likely to delete it upon receipt or for the email to get deleted by spam filters en-route.
b. Setup an SPF [Sender Policy Framework] record for the sending domain [email@example.com]. Here’s a guide to implementing SPF or you may contact your ISP or enlist the help of your IT department, or give us a quick shout!
We had to create an SPF record on a campaign for a large healthcare client, because the emails were being blocked by Postini, a email and web security and archiving service owned by Google and used by our client.
c. And finally, take some proactive measures. If a customer signs up for your newsletter or the occasional promotional email, tell them in advance where the email will originate from [e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org] and request that they whitelist the email address.
Tip: Asking users to whitelist your email address is an easy way to improve deliverability.
2. Get More Opens – Master Your Elevator Pitch
Once your email is delivered, you have to first entice your customer to open it and then give them a reason to read it. With the average person receiving ~100 emails a day, it is important to keep your email short and your content relevant. This helps get your email noticed and cut through the Inbox clutter.
a. Elevator Pitch: Most people have email preview turned ON. Email Preview is the equivalent of an elevator pitch for your message. If you don’t include relevant content and a compelling offer within that prime real estate (7-10 words or so), the email is likely to end up in Trash. Use your company’s elevator pitch to drive the value proposition clearly and concisely.
Tip: If you suffer from low open rates, this is one area to focus on for improvements. Testing different subject lines is another option.
b. Email Format: You could play around with HTML/Text formats, but I’ll save you the trouble. HTML outperforms Text. There will be exceptions to this rule, but more often than not, you’ll be kicking yourself for not sending an HTML message. Our tests have shown a 35% higher response rate (opens) for HTML than Text. For HTML emails, don’t forget to create web-based versions of the email.
Tip: Use a tool like Litmus to verify whether your email will render well across the most popular email clients.
3. Click More with Relevant Content & Offers
Your next job is to get the reader to click on the different call-to-actions within your email. Make sure your content reads well, there are no typos, and your offer(s) are both compelling [e.g. a current case study or an industry whitepaper have proven to perform well] and targeted, in-order to maximize the click-through rates.
Let’s say that your prospect universe is 100k and you aren’t sure which offer will elicit a strong response. We recommend an A/B test to a small segment. In this case, A/B test 2,500 emails with Offer A and another 2,500 with Offer B. Compare which offer performed better and then send the remaining 95K prospects that version.
Although there are no guarantees that your results will match your initial test, at least your decision will be supported with real-world data.
Tip: Change 1 variable at a time, to make sure that you are able to attribute your test results correctly.
In summary, here’s a quick 20-second takeaway!
Landing Pages. Custom Microsites. CLP. You’re familiar with all the variants. No matter what you call them, one thing is for sure. They are ubiquitous. They help improve your marketing ROI from SEO initiatives to PPC investments. Whether you use them (or not) is entirely up to you. If you ask us, we will make a strong case “for” them. If you’re not convinced, we encourage you to read this post, Custom Landing Pages – Your Marketing Wingman, first.
Anyway, here’s the list of the seven habits to create successful landing pages.
- Beautiful Designs
- Targeted Lists
- Thoughtful Offers
- Relevant Questions
- Action-Packed Buttons
- Relevant Content
Read the rest of the article published on the American Express OpenForum.
There’s been a lot of talk around a recently introduced Facebook feature called “Facial Recognition”. In case you missed all the hum-dum, here are some links to bring you up to speed and why you should care.
PC World: http://bit.ly/mFbODj
If you are are a bit skeptical, like myself, fortunately there’s a way to disable the feature. Follow these 4 visual aids and in less than 15 seconds you can disable this feature in your account. So, why wait?
Step 1: Login and click “Account” > “Privacy Settings”
Step 2: Click the “Customize settings” link.
Step 3: Scroll down a bit to the “Things others share” section. Click “Edit Settings” button alongside the “Suggest photos of me to friends” section.
Step 4: In the pop-up window, click on “Enabled” to reveal a drop-down. Select “Disabled” and click “Okay”.
That’s it. You’ve successfully disabled the facial recognition feature in Facebook.
Today financial services providers, whether they are banks, investment firms or insurance companies, want desperately to deepen existing customer relationships. A key driver of deeper customer relationships centers on a trait often labeled “customer advocacy.” Simply put this trait is the perception by the customer that the firm acts in their interests and not just what’s best for the firm.
Unfortunately, today there’s a mother lode of mistrust because too many institutions have looked the other way. And while a customer may not switch providers as a result, persuading that customer to buy additional products and services becomes problematic despite the advancement of marketing tools and technology.
Forrester Research has created statistical models that demonstrate that customers who do business with financial services companies who rate high on customer advocacy are most likely to consider buying more products from that company. Here are 4 common themes demonstrated by these companies along the customer advocacy dimension.
- Simplicity - Help customers simplify their lives – whether it’s offering free financial advice or making it easy to navigate on a website or landing page.
- Benevolence - In many relationships there comes a time sometimes labeled as a “moment of truth.” With insurance providers this often occurs when filing a claim. The best of the best deliver empathy when a moment of truth arrives. They listen, they care and they deliver. The customer remembers that moment for a long time and often shares that moment with others.
- Transparency - It’s all about being straight with customers. This is especially true when it comes to fees and rates. Today many investment companies are still woefully unclear about management fees and other charges levied against holders of mutual funds. Understanding insurance policies can be daunting in terms of exclusions and definitions around what’s covered and what’s not.
- Trustworthiness - This is the toughest one to master because the business models for many firms cause their reps to be selective with the truth or simply not give impartial advice when asked for it.
The good news is that there are some companies who are true customer advocates and their clientele has rewarded them with additional business. My hat goes off to the insurance industry that has made great strides in delivering customer advocacy. Companies such as USAA, AAA Life and Amica come to mind but there are others as well. And banks are beginning to try harder, especially smaller community banks.
While it stills takes great marketing to drive loyalty, delivering customer advocacy makes those efforts all the more powerful and accountable to the bottom line.