Tag: Email best practices

New Research: Email Converts 10 Times Better Than Social Media [Infographic]

By Jamie Turner, Founder, 60 Second Marketer

If you've been hanging around the 60 Second Marketer for any length of time, you know that I'm a huge fan of email marketing. I've made that point on several occasions recently with posts such as "Email Marketing Benchmarks: What To Look for If You're in a Hurry,"  "What is the Average Email Open Rate? New Study Provides the Answer," and "What Are the Best Days of the Week to Send an Email?"The other day, I came across an infographic from the folks at Monetate that drives home the point that email is a very effective -- and underrated -- marketing tool. In fact, one of the key pieces of information is quite stunning -- email converts prospects into customers 10 times better than social media.That's huge!Why is it that email converts prospects so much better than social? Because a visitor that lands on your site via social media is often a first-time visitor with no sense of trust or relationship with your brand. On the other hand, a visitor that lands on your site via email marketing has an established sense of trust and an ongoing relationship with your brand.The result is that the email visitor sticks around and buys more stuff -- at a 10 times higher rate than the social media visitor!There's plenty more data like that in the infographic below. Check it out and let us know about your experiences with email marketing vs. social media marketing in the comments section below the infographic.  

How and Why to Use Images in Email

By Crystal Gouldey, Education Marketing Associate, AWeber

Images look great in emails. People like them, they can make things visually appealing, and used the right way, they can bring in more click-throughs.But images in emails can also be tricky. If a subscriber has images disabled in their settings or reads emails on mobile devices, images can make your email look a little wacky.There are a few simple rules you can follow to ensure your email campaign only reaps the benefits of using images.1. Don't rely on images to deliver your message. While it may be easy to create your message as one giant image and plop it in your email, it's not a good idea. If your subscribers have images disabled, they aren't going to be able to see anything except a blank message. This can be annoying and confusing, which can cause readers to give up and unsubscribe.For example, take a look how this email appears in an inbox with images disabled:And here's what it's supposed to look like:If I'm quickly going through my email, the blank one will be skipped over since I can't see anything.2. Make sure your text contrasts with the background - with or without images enabled. Let's say you have a dark template with white text. If images are disabled, and your template is a background image, that means you'll essentially have invisible text -- and the same problems as the blank email scenario above.3. Use alt text on all images. The images you do include should have alt text, which causes text to appear in place of the image. Instead of having white space, you'll be able to explain to subscribers what exactly they're missing. If the text makes them curious, they can enable images or click to view a web-based version of your email.4. Provide a link to a web-based version of your email. Regardless of how much care you put into the design of your email, you may have some subscribers who still have difficulty seeing what you intended – either because they don't know how to change their settings or they simply don't want to. By including a link to a web-based version, you've provided them with an easier and safer alternative to messing with their settings.5. Don't forget to test. Once you've created your email, don't forget to test it to multiple email clients and make sure it appears as you wanted. You want to make sure all email clients are displaying your images properly, or at least in a way you're comfortable with.If you follow these instructions, you should have an appealing and engaging email that your subscribers will be able to interact with.About the Author: Crystal Gouldey is an Education Marketing Associate at AWeber, the leading email service provider for small-to-medium businesses. Crystal's spent the past three years teaching email marketers how to optimize their campaigns. She currently writes for the AWeber blog, which you can visit for more tips on marketing with email.

Email Marketing Benchmarks: What to Look for if You’re in a Hurry

By Jamie Turner, Founder, 60 Second Marketer

As many of you know, I'm a huge fan of email marketing. In fact, I think it's a marketer's secret weapon. Other social media tools like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest are fleeting. Email allows you to keep an audience engaged and involved with your brand over the long-haul.All that said, I don't have the time (or the patience) to review all the data that's available to me from AWeber (affiliate link). But that doesn't mean I can't get a quick snapshot by comparing my results to industry benchmarks.That's what I did this afternoon and it only took a few minutes. The benchmark data I used for comparison purposes is available in a post we did a few weeks ago called "What is the Average Email Open Rate? New Study Has the Answer." Check it out.In the meantime, here are the results from my own comparison. Perhaps you can use them as a guide for when you do your own review.For starters, I don't worry about averages. Instead, I look at the median. Averages can be skewed by data on the very high side or the very low side. The median gives you a better sense of what the typical benchmark is. Said differently, the median is the mid-point, which is what most people think they're looking at when they look at averages.So, the first thing I look at is the median for the gross open rate. That's the total number of times my email is opened as a percentage of the total people who received it.(Side note: Open rates in and of themselves are a sketchy metric because sometimes an email is tabulated as "opened" simply because the person's email software displayed it on their screen. For all I know, they deleted my email without reading it, so don't hang your hat on your open rate. A better gauge is your click-through rate which we'll talk about in a second.)The median gross open rate for my industry (Media and Publishing) is 21.8% (see below). The gross open rate for the 60 Second Marketer e-newsletter is 49.5%. That means we're off to a good start!Despite those good numbers, in my opinion, gross open rate can be inaccurate because the data often shows people opening the emails many, many times. That's why the unique open rate is more important to me. I believe that the unique open rate is more accurate because it only records each person once for their initial open, rather than for each time they open the email (or, for each time their email browser opens the email).As you can see below, Media and Publishing has a median unique open rate of 14.9%. Mine is 30.1%, so again, it looks as though we're doing something right with our e-newsletter.Once I glanced at those metrics, I dug into the really important stuff. In fact, if you're super short on time, I'd suggest that you could ignore the gross open rate and the unique open rate figures and dive right into the click-through-rate.In my opinion, your click-through-rate is a better indicator of how engaged your audience is because they have to participate. In other words, they have to take action by clicking a link in order to get registered as a piece of data. It's sort of like asking a classroom of people to raise their hands in answer to a question. By raising their hands, they're showing that they're interested and engaged.Okay, with that in mind, let's take a look at the click-through-rate for my industry -- the median is 2.5%. Once again, I've done okay -- ours is 6.8%, which is another good sign that people enjoy our e-newsletter. (By the way, if you're curious and want to see a sample of our e-newsletter, just click here.)But wait, there's one more metric that's even more important than all of these. It's the click-to-open rate, which shows the number of clicks as a percentage of the people who opened the emails. To me, it's a slightly more refined way to see how many people are really engaging with your email.The median for my industry is 17.8% but my click-to-open rate is 13.8%. That's an indicator that I still have room for improvement among the people who are reading our e-newsletter. Despite all the good news in the metrics above, this one indicates that there's still more work to be done.The biggest secret of them all. Okay, we've been through a lot in this blog post. We've discussed the difference between an average and a median. We talked about why the median is what you really want to be looking at. And then we've gone through several benchmarks and compared our results with industry results.Keeping all that in mind, here's the one thing I'd like you to remember -- don't compare yourself to industry standards, compare yourself to yourself. The key thing you want to see is growth and progress vs. where you were a month, six months or a year ago. That's the only way to tell is you're having real success.Look at it this way, if I compared the results of the 60 Second Marketer e-newsletter to industry standards, for the most part I'd be pretty satisfied and might even relax a little bit. But I don't do that (and I wouldn't encourage you to do that, either). Instead, I compare my results to my own benchmarks. That way, I can test my way to success and see growth and improvement over the long-haul.A final suggestion. If you like what I've written above, you might also want to sign up for our free e-newsletter. You'll see a sample on the sign-up page, so you can check it out before you subscribe. And, as you might imagine, we'll never sell, rent or give away your email address.Thanks for stopping by. Let me know if you have any comments about your email metrics. And I'll see you again soon.Jamie Turner is the CEO of social media and mobile marketing firm 60 Second Communications and is the Founder of the 60 Second Marketer.  He is the co-author of "How to Make Money with Social Media" and "Go Mobile" and is a popular marketing speaker at events, trade shows and corporations around the globe.