Archive for the ‘marketing strategy’ Category
In case you missed part 1 and part 2 of this series, I discussed:
- How and why you should segment your list
- Quick tips on how to capture quality subscribers
- Clean your contact list by optimizing your unsubscribe process
- How to present information that will keep your subscribers engaged
- And one of the most important tips – that spelling matters
In this post, I’m going to discuss avoiding “spam”-like subject lines, and how and when to assess the best time to send out your post.
Hook, Line, and High Open Rate!
9. Get creative with subject lines
Would you open an email with your own subject line? If you are selling a product or service, you will need to be creative in the way you communicate that in the subject line, sparking the readers interest, but without overselling it. Apple, for example, always has great subject lines that entice customers to open their emails (see image below).
“Overselling” or being too excited could otherwise lead your email into their spam folder and never be seen. Avoid using phrases, without qualifiers such as:
- “CLICK HERE!”
- “BUY NOW!”
- You won!
- Don’t delete
- Earn $$
Using ALL CAPS & exclamation marks almost guarantees your email will get lost in spam. Subject lines should be brief but also provide incentive for the viewer to open the email. Apple’s subject line is so great because of its simplicity. Their main goal is to sell the new iPad and they make sure to include the product in the subject line without quick sell phrases.
Check, Check, Ready to Send
10. Time it correctly
Now that you’ve got the right content, audience and subject line – it’s time to send the email. What is the best time to send? After some research, E-Nor finds it best to send out email blasts on Tuesdays and Thursdays around 11am PST for our clients. According to MailChimp, Tuesday and Thursday are the highest volume days. MailChimp (http://kb.mailchimp.com/article/when-is-the-best-time-to-send-emails) discovered that, “more people open email during the day than at night.” Below is MailChimp’s Email Opens by Time of Day Chart. According to the data, subscribers are more likely to open emails after 12pm, more specifically between 2-5pm (see chart below).
However, the real answer is it depends on the nature of your business. If your audience consists of working executives who check their email in the morning at their office, this might be a good time. However, if your audience consists of moms who check emails early in the morning before their munchkins wake up, you might have to adjust accordingly. The only way you will know though is to test, measure, and optimize. Send different types of emails over a few months and gauge what time gets the best open rate.
You may think that time and day doesn’t matter because the email is sent to the customer’s mailbox either way, but it makes a big difference whether a customer deletes the email or takes a few minutes to read it.
Following these tips will help you organize your emails & email lists. Most of them are pretty straightforward and in the long run will benefit your company’s open rate. Be sure to look out for more of our email marketing posts, including tips for email design, and measuring email marketing.
In case you missed the previous post, I discussed
- How and why you should segment your list
- Quick tips on how to capture quality customers
- Clean your contact list by optimizing your unsubscribe process
In this post, I’m going to discuss the actual content, and how to present information that will keep your subscribers engaged.
Let’s Talk Content
4. Respect your subscribers
Your list is now clean. Most of your subscribers have “opted in” – they chose to receive your emails. They already like what you’re offering, so make sure not to bombard them with millions of emails.
Also, when sending emails to your subscribers, make sure your content is beneficial to them and makes their subscription worthwhile.
5. Short & sweet
Be concise and don’t waste your reader’s time. Online readers tend to have a very short attention span so send only the most necessary information. Think of the emails & deals you get daily, do you read every single sentence written? Most likely not.
If your content is more than 2 paragraphs, link the additional content back to your site. Most likely readers skim the contents of their inbox. If something catches their eye, they will read more carefully. So best practice would be to ensure very important information is at the top of the newsletter. If the reader is interested in the content, they will click to your site and read more. To learn more about getting creative with your email subject lines, look out for part three of this series.
6. What can you provide for your subscribers?
Make sure to entice your audience with helpful tips or special offers. For example, every couple months give your clients a chance to win a product or 10% off of a service you provide. To benefit you, send out a short survey to ask your customers how you’re doing, and by doing this sign them up in a drawing for a chance to win something. This will keep your subscribers engaged and helps you in getting feedback from customers.
7. Keep an open conversation
It’s proven that having a conversation with your readers – rather than throwing information at them -makes you more approachable.
The easiest way to engage conversation is through social media. You can ask a question in the email that requires an answer via Facebook or highlight your social media as part of the email. But to get viewers to answer and connect with you via social media, you will have to give them an incentive to join the conversation. Use giveaways like a free iPad, discounts on products, and/or special offers such as two for one deals to sweeten their interest. These types of offers will get your users more engaged on email and social media.
Note: If you use social media, make sure to constantly ask questions and promote your products. And think about sending your readers a poll to gauge your performance!
8. Spelling matters
This is a big one. Make sure your spelling is correct. It’s such a simple tip, but it goes a long way. Having something misspelled on your site, let alone an email, can turn your reader away from respecting you as a viable resource.
Next Post: Part 3
Thanks for reading! Now that you’ve figured out what content to put in your email, it’s time to discuss subject lines & sending your email blast. Check back next week or subscribe to this blog for the next part of this post.
As 2012 was coming to an end, a lot of our customers were interested in sending end-of-year email blasts. It got me thinking about all the email marketing our clients have done and how this has benefited them in different capacities. A year ago, I began trying different ways in approaching email marketing. As long as it’s been around, you may be thinking, “are there really new ideas and tips for email marketing”? Simply put, yes, there really are. Whether it is segmenting customer lists or choosing the right subject line, I’ve found that simply adding the voice of the customer into your email blasts will benefit marketers that much more.
When creating an email blast, as a marketer, you easily remember what’s important to you (conversion, buying your product, signing up for your service, etc) but often you overlook the most obvious thing – what’s important to your audience. When an email encompasses what’s important to both you and your audience it produces the best conversion rate.
As a marketer, obviously your goal is to “sell”. However, the email reader isn’t concerned about YOUR goal – they’re concerned about theirs: “Am I getting a good deal or discount?” “Is this email relevant to me?” “Is it providing relevant and interesting information?” Readers are more likely to open an email if it’s relevant to them, which actually translates into a higher conversion rate for you.
Here are proven tips to best structure – and reap the rewards of – your email campaigns:
Who should I send my emails to?
1. Segment Your List
Customers are more likely to open an email that aligns with their interests. As a marketer, segment campaign/email lists based on people’s backgrounds e.g. their shopping history. As people sign up for your newsletter, separate them into lists by leads, customers, purchase activity, interest, demography or even geography. When it’s time to send emails, all you have to do is find the specific list you want to target and send (most online email marketing services allow you to easily do this). For example, I want to target women in New York. By segmenting my lists, I can filter for and target women that live in New York. Segmenting lists and sending emails to the appropriate demographic will prevent a high unsubscribing rate.
Figure 1 (Image Courtesy of Hubspot.com)- According to HubSpot’s Blog Post about segmenting lists, “39% of marketers who segmented their email lists experienced higher open rates, 28% experienced lower unsubscribe rates, and 24% experienced better deliverability and greater revenue.“
2. Quality is better than Quantity
Many marketers think in terms of quantity but when it comes to sending emails, quality customers are key. It’s better to attract customers organically, rather than buying lists.
- Have a subscribe form on your site, preferably on the home page or somewhere consistent on every page such as the header, footer, or sidebar.
- Add a subscribe form on your social networks if they allow tabs.
- Have a subscribe option on your checkout page when customers fill in their billing information, or even better, when they register to be a user.
3. Clean your contact list
When readers are searching the web, and find something they are interested in, the natural thing is to sign up for the email list. But what gets people to unsubscribe from that email list is that they’re receiving far too many and/or irrelevant emails. This is why tip #1 is very important. Segmenting your list allows you to send different types of emails to different types of viewers. Obviously trying to make sure every email caters to all your customers is virtually impossible but what you can do is optimize your unsubscribe process. When customers click unsubscribe, give them the option to unsubscribe to less frequent emails or only unsubscribe from a certain type of email that you send out, rather than unsubscribing completely. Ironically, by following this process you will find that your customers are happy because they’re only receiving information that they find relevant to them, and your list will be clean, thus proving to have a less unsubscribe rate overtime.
Next Post: Part 2
Thanks for reading! Now that you’ve figured out your contact list, it’s time to tackle the content of your email. Check back next week or subscribe to this blog for the next part of this post about content and how you can best serve your contacts with information that they actually want to read.
You just attended an informative digital marketing and analytics conference and you’re pumped to make it a banner year for your organization. Your analytics and marketing goals are set and now you are serious about making a difference and you want to:
- Better understand your customers
- Improve your site performance
- Squeeze every bit of ROI from your marketing initiatives, and
- Provide valuable insight/recommendations to the business
Lofty goals and they should be. But are they achievable? Yes! Supercharge your marketing by implementing the 6-step Analytics Framework outlined in this post (although, for those of us addicted to data, it seems as though we might benefit more from a 12-step program ).
Before I dive into the framework, and for the (hopefully small) minority that is still getting familiar with analytics, it’s time to get serious about measurement or risk falling behind. Here’s why everyone should jump on the analytics bandwagon:
- Millions of sites, from start-ups to Fortune 25, use enterprise-class analytics solutions such as Google Analytics to improve their site performance.
- Today, analytics literature is abundant. Do a quick search for “web analytics” on Amazon and you’ll get over 200 results.
- Even in this day and age, it seems that only a few companies are serious about measurement and analysis. It’s time to move beyond the basics and treat data as a strategic asset. So if you’re looking for gold, it’s clear where you have to dig. Big companies like IBM can’t acquire analytics companies fast enough!
So we have established that there is more interest in data and more access to enterprise level analytics – but what is missing? We need smart people and commitment to a process. And as importantly, we need practical tips to guide us through the web of analytics. Assuming you have (or can get) smart people who care about the business and ask the right questions, here is a tried and tested framework guaranteed to take your marketing optimization to the next level.
The 6-step Analytics Framework
- Know Thy Channels
- Metrics: Less is More
- Segmentation: Give Me Context
- Intelligence at Your Service
Let’s get started!!
1 – Know Thy Channels
Your traffic is skyrocketing and you don’t know why. Not a good thing. You deserve more visibility. And since you’re smart and up-to-date, you know you can’t measure every channel using old metrics and by using just one tool. Hello Multiplicity! The good old pageviews won’t cut it anymore. Because channels are constantly evolving (did you know of anyone measuring “tweets” three years ago? ), it’s crucial to understand the characteristics of each channel and identify meaningful metrics specific to that channel.
- If you are a content site, and you are busy producing videos, you want to measure the success of this digital content. Look at user behavior and events (play, pause, forward etc) and understand where and when your audience is most engaged with your content.
- If blogging is your forte, measure number of comments, average words per post and average words per comment. Successful blogging is comprised of an engaged audience. We use WordPress’ Blog Metrics.
- If you’re one of the millions on FaceBook, listen to the conversation through comments, ‘likes’, shares, etc. Today, conversations happen outside of your own site.
Power tip: Identify all your channels and document what engagement and outcomes you expect and want to measure.
2 – Metrics: Less is More!
Are you drowning in rivers of data? To prevent sinking, critically examine your load. Just because you have access to large amounts of data and reports in Google Analytics (and the four other tools you have on your site), you don’t need it all. When sorting through data, remember: less is more. Just focus on what keeps your CEO awake at night (or jumping for joy ). Focus on key results, here are recommendations:
- eCommerce: report on revenue, ROAS and compare to expected outcomes
- B2B businesses: report on qualified leads and cost/lead
- Report on conversion rates and what channels are best/worst performers
- If you are just starting your analytics journey and you don’t have your analytics solution fully implemented, reporting on a “basic” yet powerful metric such as bounce rate will help you identify your worst offenders (campaigns and pages) and that’s something you can improve fairly quickly
- If you’re really advanced, develop your own custom KPIs. For example, check out how philly.com has done it. This newspaper website is measuring engagement on a new (and slightly complex) level. They are asking very thoughtful questions to help them understand their user behavior.
Power tip: Identify and trend 2-3 metrics for each of your stakeholders (business, marketing, IT, product, support)
3 – Segmentation: Give Me Context
Last month, you had one million visitors to your site. Sounds good, but is it? Not if you had three million visits two months ago. So always give your data context, segmentation is key. With Google Analytics, you can apply advanced segmentation capabilities to slice and dice your data in almost every other way you need (e.g. paid vs. non paid searches, engaged vs. non-engaged, geography, visitor type, browser, time comparison, etc. you name it). If you are the deep-dive type, you should then zoom in on your segments for more meaningful data and whatever makes sense for your business.
- If you have an eCommerce site, report on sales this month, planned sales, sales last month and sales during the same month last year
Power tip: Review your current dashboard and assess where to add an additional dimension to each report
4 – Intelligence at Your Service
Let computers do all the number crunching. Make faster, smarter decisions with reports that automatically detect and surface significant changes in your key performance indicators. It’s your site and you’re responsible for it. So log into Google Analytics, set your preferences, and let intelligence do the work. As a result, you’ll have more time to analyze and properly present your data.
Power tip: Set Google Analytics custom alerts for each of the KPIs on your dashboard
5 – Reporting
It’s the end of the month again and reports are due and you know that your site is no longer the center of the universe. You have offline data sources, campaign cost data, mobile applications, surveys etc.) So you want to blend the data for a meaningful presentation, insight and actionability. For your Analytics dashboards, bring in data from different sources and organize it under one framework.
Power tip: Trend and report on those 2-3 KPIs you identified earlier
6 – Automation
Better manage your time by automating your reports. Manual reporting can take so long that we eventually neglect properly analyzing the information. Many tools are available to send data to your inbox (or dashboard). So once you have selected your key performance indicators, and to the extent possible, automate report generation. Why you might ask? Trust me, you’ll have much more time to act on the data. But, wait, there’s more!
- Say you run an eCommerce site and you are using Google Analytics, find your favorite tool in the Google Analytics Application Gallery and get that data out of GA and in to your favorite application. Check out the application from our good friends at ShufflePoint who leverage the Google Analytics API to export data into Excel and Powerpoint (we simply are very impressed by what they have done and do recommend their solution to our clients). Done are the copy and paste days. Voila! One click and your data is in Excel! You can then use simple trending/charting options, advanced pivots or more elaborate dashboards as you see in these snapshots. Analyzing the data requires smart people, but getting reports should be a piece of cake. Now, spend your time wisely on important things (like reading E-Nor blog posts ).
To summarize, marketing optimization is not a one time thing, or something that we “set and forget”. You want to “measure.. analyze… optimize” and start again. I encourage you to establish a weekly, monthly and quarterly set of activities to improve your measurement framework. The details will depend on your business and marketing activities but you definitely want to audit what you do to ensure you:
- Stay updated on new marketing channels
- Measure only what matters
- Run reports efficiently
- Dedicate time to analysis
- Upgrade your team’s Excel/reporting/analysis/presentation skill-sets
- Act on findings to positively impact the business and make sure the organization is aware of the impact!
So here it is. The 6-step framework to supercharge your marketing optimization effort! I hope you put it to use and I welcome your input, comments and feedback.