Archive for ‘Email marketing’

October 26th, 2014

How to Use Triggered Emails to Generate a 70.5% Increase in Open Rates

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Did you know triggered email messages average 70.5 percent higher open rates and 152 percent higher click-through rates than traditional bulk messages, according to Epsilon?

Yup. You read that right.

Automation is one of the easiest ways to take your marketing operations to the next level – and make your life easier.

At Emma Email Marketing, we created an e-book about this topic that’s designed to help modern marketers learn how to build an email automation program that gets great results right away. (Interested in downloading the e-book? Click here.)

Of course, every journey begins with a first step – and it just so happens the road to strategic email automation starts with a welcome series.

There are lots of good things about new subscribers. They’re more engaged, they haven’t seen most of your content before and they’re statistically more likely to click and open your emails.

But there’s a problem: The story you’re telling your long-time subscribers in your main marketing emails may not make sense to these new contacts. That’s why you need a welcome series – it puts you in control of how your subscribers are introduced to your brand. In addition, it creates trust and helps you establish a relationship with your customer. First impressions are crucial, and sometimes, a single welcome email isn’t enough to set the stage.

Here are three easy steps to mobilize a welcome series using email automation:

Step 1. Create custom messages perfect for your new subscribers.

It’s tempting to build a welcome series based on the number of emails you think you should send. Instead, start with what you need to say, and then determine how many emails it’ll take to say it.

First, consider the basics. If someone is new to your email list, what do they need to know about your brand?

If you sell a product or service, your series might look like this:

  • How our product or service works
  • How we’re different from our competitors
  • People rave about us (testimonials)
  • A special offer

For nonprofit organizations, a series might include pieces such as:

  • Our history and mission
  • Stories of impact we’ve made
  • A calendar of the year’s events
  • Exclusive perks for donors/members

Step 2. Build a framework for those messages.

Once you know what you want to say, decide when you should say it. Create a schedule of emails, and plan a regular – or random — messaging plan. For example, you might send 4-6 messages every few days, so it feels random. Or if you think more structure is a better fit for your program, consider offering new subscribers a daily tip or weekly “Top Five Tips” countdown.

Don’t forget to keep in mind the length of your sales cycle, too. If your typical subscriber is most likely to buy in the first 48 hours, it might be more effective to front-load your series. If your sales cycle is longer, plan meaningful, periodic touch points over the course of a few weeks.

Finally, identify and schedule the appropriate trigger for each email in the series. If you have planned a weekly series, schedule the first email to trigger immediately after someone new joins your list. The second email should trigger one week from the date the new subscriber opted in, the third email two weeks from the date they joined and so on, until all messages have been doled out.

Step 3. Consider removing new subscribers from your primary contact list until they’ve worked their way through the welcome series.

Have you ever walked into a theater after the movie has already started? That’s often what it’s like for new subscribers. The next email on your calendar might mention campaigns or promotions your newest subscribers aren’t ready for yet, creating confusion or worse, frustration.

To make sure your new subscribers are primed for your primary messages, take them out of rotation until they’ve cycled through the full welcome series. There are several ways to do this depending on your email service provider and list structure.

If it sounds easy – it is. And a welcome series is just one impact device you can deploy to nurture leads through email automation.

(To learn more about how automation can elevate your marketing efforts, download Automation Demystified: A modern marketer’s guide to email automation for free here.)

About the Author: Cynthia Price is director of partner development at Emma, an email-marketing company. With an extensive background in sales and marketing, Cynthia represents Emma at conferences across the country, where she can be found geeking out about everything from subject lines to audience segmentation.

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Archive for ‘Email marketing’

October 24th, 2014

Are You Making These Fundamental Mistakes with Your Email Marketing?

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There are some things an email marketer can do that while they won’t kill you, they will make you dead to your subscribers. They’re innocent enough mistakes and some not totally egregious errors. However, when not taken into consideration … they can mean the difference between email marketing success and failure. Here are five deadly mistakes made in email marketing.

Unbalanced content

Big blocks of text make everybody’s eyes glaze over. They’ll scan for anything in bold and headlines and probably ignore all the copy you worked hard on crafting. All the same, emails with too many photos will probably land you in the spam folder … or at the very least go unseen thanks to inbox clients with images automatically disabled.

Neglecting list hygiene

It’s easy to see the logic that the more people you have in your email list, the more chances you’ll have to make a sale. Bigger isn’t always better, though. Actually, if you keep subscribers in your list that aren’t opening your emails, it can start to hurt your deliverability. Say you send a monthly newsletter. If a subscriber hasn’t opened your last six emails, they probably don’t want to receive them any more. They’re just too lazy to unsubscribe. Clean them out of your list, or at the very least move them to a new list. Try to reengage them with a separate campaign. If that fails, delete them for good.

Stay the same

Say you wear a black suit and white shirt to work everyday. Then one day you come in wearing a grey suit and a pink shirt. Everyone is going to take notice. Switching up your design once in a while will keep your subscribers from getting bored and tuning you out.

Consider the funnel

Email is just one step in a company’s overall marketing plan. It is a touchpoint with customers or leads that is part of a bigger goal. Always keep the ultimate goal in mind. Your email could do the job it’s supposed to, but it won’t matter if the rest of the funnel isn’t in order. If the goal of an email campaign is to bring traffic to your website, make sure your website is doing its job as well.

Doing it all yourself

No, I don’t mean you need a team of employees and interns at your beck and call to do great email marketing. I mean, you should automate as much of it as you can. Autoresponders are a great tool in your arsenal. They’re the Ronco ShHowtime Rotisserie of email marketing. You can just “set it, and forget it!” Things like birthday emails, or triggered email campaigns can do all the work for you after you set them up once.

About the Author: Andy Shore is the Content and Social Networking Manager at Benchmark Email.

 

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Archive for ‘Email marketing’

September 22nd, 2014

How to Use Social Media Insights to Increase Your Email ROI.

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When was the last time you went a day without seeing an article about social media? Just scroll through any marketing blog and you’ll see dozens of posts about what businesses could, should and ought to be doing in social media in order to get a higher ROI.

Hardly a day goes by without seeing an article like that, right?

If you printed every article on the value of social media for business, it would circle the globe several times over. This is due, in part, because it’s a relatively new marketing discipline. It’s also due to the rapid growth of content marketing. And it’s due to the fact that people are still trying to prove there actually is an ROI to social media.

Maybe then if we all keep placing our bets, all keep praying for a good harvest, the sun will shine and there’ll be enough food to get us through the winter.

False Rumors of Email Death

At the same time, the death of email marketing has been widely rumored for a while. And yet, email is alive and well.

According to an Econsultancy 2014 industry census 68% rate email as a good or excellent marketing channel, with 23% of their total sales coming from that channel. Social however, fell behind PPC and content, with only 32% of respondents claiming it to be good or excellent for ROI. A shocking 30% considers it poor, from that same survey.

According to a Marketing Sherpa Survey, email is still the preferred channel for 75% of customers. And the Direct Marketing Association reports that email has an ROI of 4300%, which means for every $1 spent, brands, on average, get $43 back.

A Social Leap of Faith

In a New York Times op-ed, author and technology journalist, Stephen Baker, highlighted the fact that on Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year, social media only played a supporting role. According to an IBM study, ‘a scant 0.68 percent of online purchases came directly from Facebook. The number from Twitter was undetectable.’

Baker compares social media to the arrival of other major technological shifts, like electricity, and a familiar story from the dot-com bubble: thousands of well-funded consumer websites designed to generate ad revenue from “eyeballs.” He feels that, ‘The impact of new technologies is invariably misjudged because we measure the future with yardsticks from the past.’

From a historical perspective, he’s right.

As far as a CMO is concerned, they can’t afford to think in decades. Yes, engagement is great, and yes, it helps to raise awareness when customers are moving along their unique buyer journey; but trying to extract meaningful ROI from those actions and put a dollar amount on them is still proving difficult.

Best of Both Worlds?

At the moment social media still has qualities which, from an ROI perspective, are hard to nail down. Not exactly what a CFO would want to hear, but it’s true. Email however, is doing better than ever. Can the two be combined in a meaningful way?

Consumers want brands who recognize that and align their marketing with their aspirations. Savvy marketers are leveraging technology to make that happen.

Gregarious Narain, Chute’s CTO and Co-founder, worked with Atlantic Records to produce a customer-generated video for the popular movie The Fault in Our Stars. Every image, was crowd-sourced using the hashtag #TFIOSencouragements on Instagram and Twitter, sourced and filtered using the Chute platform. In total 3,800 frames were collected, with the end result — using lyrics by Ed Sheeran — has had 10.8 million views so far.

Narain told the blogger, Ann Handley, “All it takes is consistent engagement and collaboration. Your fans want to hear from you, talk to you and be recognized by you. They are no longer happy just consuming the one-way stream of content brands historically produced.”

In a similar way, customers and prospects want to feel they are taking part in a narrative. Not just one of several million receiving the same email. With social media listening tools it is possible to bring social data, deep customer insight, into that narrative.

What kind of social media listening tools can be used to monitor the sentiments of your customers and prospects? We cover 9 of the top tools (including SproutSocial, BrandsEye and SocialBakers) in a post on the 60 Second Marketer called 9 Top Social Media Analytics Tools to Help You Track Your Success.

Review the post and see which tools might be right for your social media listening campaign. Then apply what you’ve learned about your prospects and customers into your next email marketing campaign. By leveraging both sets of tools, you’ll be able to improve the ROI of your next email marketing campaign.

Dominic Tarn is a content creator for start-ups and is the author of The New Goldrush: A Quick Guide to Startups.

 
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Archive for ‘Email marketing’

June 17th, 2014

Email Marketing Outperforms Social Media in Terms of Reach and Features [INFOGRAPHIC]

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If you’re working on a shoestring budget and are trying to figure out where it would be best used, maybe this infographic can help. Brought to you by Host Papa, it breaks down email marketing and social media marketing to see which outperforms which in what categories. Here are some of the key findings:

  • Social media helps build your audience faster and increases search engine ranking.
  • Email is a fairly inexpensive and easy form of direct response.
  • Social media is growing more, but email is still more widely used.
  • The features and reach on email marketing are surprisingly robust.

See the full infographic here:

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Archive for ‘Email marketing’

June 16th, 2014

Using Multivariate Testing For Enhanced Email Marketing Campaigns

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It is common for companies today to leverage A/B and A/B/C testing when they seek to optimize different variables that contribute to e-mail campaigns. However, most businesses tend to ignore a more powerful tool known as multivariate testing.

Learning about the techniques used in multivariate testing is the first step to reap the rewards this technique can offer versus the more commonly used A/B split test. There are several benefits that can be derived from this test by mid-level marketers.

When you know how to run a multivariate test, you can definitely enhance performance and optimize any e-mail marketing campaign.

What is Multivariate Testing (MVT)?

Trying to define buyer behavior is never easy. If you are a marketer with the intention of boosting sales quickly, then multivariate testing is one of the most powerful tools to determine what influences buying decisions.

Derived from statistical analysis, this technique is quite similar to website testing when determining why customers behave the way they do. This behavior is determined through several techniques to include:

  • Factor analysis – This method is used to examine whether a number of pre-determined variables are linearly linked to a smaller number of unobservable factors.
  • Multiple regression – Regression analysis helps estimate strength and direction between two or more variables. For example, an analyst could look at a company’s sales and profits over several years to determine the actual relationship between the two and if that relationship is a valid one.
  • Multiple analysis of variance (MANOVA) –is an extension of ANOVA. MANOVA allows the examination of more than one dependant variable. ANOVA is a tool that separates the overall variability into two modules: Random and Systematic.
  • Path analysis – is a direct extension of multiple regression. The aim is to provide estimates of the scale and worth of theorized casual relationships between sets of variables.

When talking about variables in the following list, we mean variables within the email marketing campaign. These are elements that can be changed and tested. Some variables that would be good to test, for example:

  • Subject Line
  • Email Personalization
  • Landing Page
  • Call-to-Action

Multivariate testing uses the same core principles of A/B split testing but expands on A/B split testing by testing a higher number of variables. The results try to show how these variables interact with each other.

EmailMan In a traditional A/B split test, traffic is split between different versions, the purpose of the multivariate test is then to measure what the effectiveness of each version combination has on the overall goal.

Testing this way can help you to drill down in to what variables have contributed to having a successful final version. This can also help to identify which variables had the greatest positive or negative impact on your traffic.

When conducting a marketing campaign, it is important to have the best intelligence available or else you cannot do your job properly. In addition, the e-commerce market has stiff competition from all types of competitors that can direct a viewer’s attention elsewhere. Since multivariate testing is a more advanced tool, it allows e-commerce website owners to have the best information in order to make good decisions in regards to marketing campaigns.

Updating content is one of the most important tasks website owners must do regularly to improve SEO rankings and attract repeat customers. In order to choose the best strategy, multivariate testing helps determine conversion results of quantity versus quality. Since many companies attempt strategies that do not examine all information accurately, this is one of the reasons why conversion rates are often low.

Social media has also become necessary if you want to build loyalty, engage customers, and get more referrals. Multivariate testing helps examine the impact of articles, videos, and images to help find which balance is optimal for your marketing campaign. Social media websites are also ideal for companies who wish to test new marketing strategies for incorporating them into a company’s main website.

The Benefits of Multivariate over A/B Split Testing

There are several advantages multivariate testing has over A/B or A/B/C testing. First of all, A/B and A/B/C testing only have the ability to help you determine which creative performed the best at generating the highest amount of conversions. However, these tests do not give any indication to why one creative performed better than the other.

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Multivariate testing allows you to measure the amount of impact creative has in generating conversions. In addition, it provides guidance on where more focus is needed when the test is conducted again.

In terms of saving time and money, MVT is extremely helpful since it tests multiple factor-level settings at the same time. With A/B tests, there is a need to run multiple tests to get the same results.

MVT allows the tester to find quicker optimal settings which results in an increased return on investment. Since timely information is a key factor in any e-mail marketing campaign, a decision-maker who gets the best information in the most cost-efficient manner is one step ahead of the competition.

How to Run Multivariate Testing on an Email Campaign

Thanks to the availability of software that can often be found for free online, multivariate testing can be conducted by yourself, or you can hire a third-party service provider to do it for you.

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Here are the steps to running an MVT test:

  1. Examine previous e-mails and highlight parts that need improvement. Some examples that can be included in the test are: e-mail headings or sub-headings, subjects, banners, or call to action. Is important to examine the most crucial parts of an e-mail to determine if they are used properly to increase conversions.
  2. Create variations for your test by using parts of your e-mail which can be tested together in group elements. Once your group has been decided, you can create specific content and design variations that can be included in the test.
  3. You can now run your test by uploading the variations into your e-mail marketing program or mail manager. Divide your mailing list in half and send one version to one half and the second version the other half.
  4. You can now monitor the results of your e-mail sales leads and click rates using the e-mail manager. When test period is over, pull up the data and examine which variations give the best results. Once you determined which results are best, implement these changes into the next e-mails that you will be sending out to your mailing list.
  5. It is important to never stop testing even if you have found the perfect combination of variations that seem to attract more visitors and increase conversions. As your e-mail list continues to grow and as time passes on, preferences will change so it is important to check your content periodically to make sure your content is fresh and conversions remain high.

There are also many tools on the market that you can choose from that will assist you in using multivariate testing on your email campaigns. You can use tools such as:

Multivariate testing is one of the most effective ways to help any e-commerce marketer increase sales, attract more visitors, and create higher conversions. There is no need for guesswork when determining people’s behaviour on your website when you have the most advanced tool available to help you create the most successful marketing campaign. Remember that it is important to refine your message continuously to generate targeted leads.

 

Owen Sondergaard is an avid data analyst and blogger with over 8 years experience. Owen works with CAMO Software, who specialize in multivariate data analysis.

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