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AN EMAIL MARKETER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY AN EMAIL MARKETER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY Copyright SimplyCast 2013 AN EMAIL MARKETER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY share AN EMAIL MARKETER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY BY MICHAEL CUSDEN Michael Cusden, Inbound Marketing Manager at SimplyCast, is responsible for creating ebooks, whitepapers and online marketing guides. Michael is a prolific blogger who also manages content for SimplyCast’s website and user application. He is an expert in content marketing, social media marketing and occasionally has time to Tweet about it. FOLLOW @MICHAELCUSDEN EMAIL MARKETING WORKS BECAUSE IT: • Has a broad reach • Creates engagement • Is proactive • Is targeted • Is Cost-effective • Provides valuable data READY, SET, BLASTOFF! Copyright SimplyCast 2013 2 AN EMAIL MARKETER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY share TABLE OF CONTENTS 6 OPT-IN LISTS ARE LIKE ROCKET FUEL 10 BEST PRACTICES FOR SUCCESS 15 BUILDING YOUR FIRST NEWSLETTER 19 POST MISSION - TRACKING RESULTS 22 READY FOR LAUNCH Copyright SimplyCast 2013 3 AN EMAIL MARKETER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY share TRAVEL THE EMAIL MARKETING UNIVERSE FROM START TO FINISH INTRODUCTION TO EMAIL MARKETING If you are new to email marketing, it can be an intimidating venture to ▯take on. Especially if you are a small business with little resources and little money. But that is why email marketing is so powerful. It levels the playing fi▯eld between the small corner store and the giant corporation with thousands of employees. A comprehensive email marketing plan combined with a loyal list of reade▯rs and well written content can explode business in no time. Before you blast off into the marketing galaxy, learn the entire process▯ of email marketing from start to finish. The galaxy is full of consumers looking for products and ser▯vices. It is just a matter of what company finds them first and converts them into customers. Email marketing is still one of the most cost-effective and easy to impl▯ement solutions for any busi- ness looking to grow quickly and engage with users. This guide will delve into the world of email marketing and give you the▯ basics you need to know when it comes to: • Best Practices • List Creation • Campaign Creation • Tracking & Reporting WHAT IS EMAIL MARKETING? Email marketing is, as the name suggests, the use of email in marketing ▯communications. Copyright SimplyCast 2013 4 share AN EMAIL MARKETER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY Sening targeted email marketing messages to patrons who have opted in to▯ receive promotional in- formation has been proven to increase consumer loyalty and improve brand▯ perception. Email mar- keting gives any business an instant online presence and allows for targ▯eted advertising specifically to those interested in what they have to offer. WHY USE EMAIL MARKETING? • Sending email is much cheaper than most other forms of communication whi▯ch makes it very popular for businesses of any size. • According to research conducted by the Direct Marketing Association, ema▯il marketing brought in $40.56 for every dollar spent on it in 2011. This compared to catalogs’ ROI ▯of $7.30, search return of $22.24, Internet display advertising’s returns of $19.72 and mobile’s return of $10.51. • According to research done by Econsultancy in 2011, the vast majority of▯ responding companies (72%) rated email as “excellent” or “good” for return▯ vestment. ACCORDING TO RESEARCH CONDUCTED BY THE DIRECT MARKETING ASSOCIATION, EMAIL MARKETING BROUGHT IN $40.56 FOR EVERY DOLLAR SPENT ON IT IN 2011 • Modern email marketing services and solutions support database integrati▯on, segmentation and various other tricks and techniques for improving the targeting of outgo▯ing messages. • Every email campaign you send out generates large amounts of actionable ▯data you can use to refine your approach and messages. • Email marketing can easily be integrated with other forms of marketing t▯o touch new leads and potential clients on their preferred mode of communication. BUT THAT IS ONLY THE BEGINNING Before we continue, it is important to stress that anyone considering em▯ail marketing for their business or even personal use, must read up on the subject of permission▯ and spam. If you don’t understand the importance of permission and the risks of ignoring it, th▯en you could be heading for commercial disaster. But not to worry, we cover that subject in full det▯ail. Copyright SimplyCast 2013 5 AN EMAIL MARKETER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY share OPT-IN LISTS ARE LIKE ROCKET FUEL HAVING AN ENGAGED LIST OF OPT-IN SUBSCRIBERS IS KEY TO A SAFE jOURNEY THROUGH SPACE In this section you will learn about: • Creating contact lists. • What is an opt-in subscriber. • Importance of a signup form. • Keeping client data as up to date as possible. • Offline methods for collecting user data. • Why organic list building is your goal. There are numerous ways to create a contact list for your email marketin▯g campaigns. These include creating a signup form for your website, adding contacts o▯ne-by-one, mass uploading already gathered lists from your CRM and of course the old school offlin▯e strategies that many forget about. The most important thing to remember is your email marketing success wil▯l only go as far as the health and quality of your lists. So treat them right, nurture them from▯ scratch and they will continue to generate leads and new sales for years to come. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER IS YOUR EMAIL MARKETING SUCCESS WILL ONLY GO AS FAR AS THE HEALTH AND qUALITY OF YOUR LISTS. ADDING CONTACTS Adding your contact’s email addresses and building your mailing lists▯ are a cornerstone for your entire email marketing operation. No list to send to – no email marke▯ting space travel for you, pretty simple. Copyright SimplyCast 2013 6 share AN EMAIL MARKETER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY If you have an existing mailing list of opt-in addresses, you can easily▯ add those contacts by either copying and pasting each address into a list manager or uploading a file▯. An advanced option is syncing your current CRM solution to the list manager and importing cont▯acts. When adding a new contact, take the time to enter all the information yo▯u have. It could become valuable later on when we get to split testing or more targeted email ma▯rketing. UPLOADING LISTS If you already have an opt-in list that you need to upload, any Email Se▯rvice Provider will make the task simple. Before moving on, an Email Service Provider is defined as a▯n organization which provides email servers to send, receive, and store email for other organ▯izations and/or end users. As long as the document is a type of spreadsheet, the information can be▯ uploaded for use and will be accessible in no time. This is a good spot to mention that is it high▯ly recommended that you don’t buy or rent a list that contains information that you don’t know wher▯e it came from. This will end up causing more harm than good and keep ESP’s suspicious of you being a ▯client going forward (not a spammer). Common formats for uploading include CSV, EXCEL and plain text. Managing▯ large lists of data can be time consuming and difficult for email marketers with limited resources,▯ so that is why it is important to find a list management service that earns its weight in gold. SIGNUP FORMS By adding a signup form to your website, blog or newsletters, you can begin the process of gathering opt-in readers who are excited to receive communications from your company. With just a little copying and pasting, you can add an email signup form in minutes. Numerous services will allow you to customize your form and then generate HTML code that you can add to your website or landing page. Copyright SimplyCast 2013 7 AN EMAIL MARKETER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY share It is a good idea to keep the sign up process as brief as possible. Long▯ forms can scare away interested leads. Ask for the basic information right away such as email▯ address, name and phone number and give the user the option to fill in more details later on. If your company sells multiple products or services, we recommend you cr▯eate a signup form with a product drop down menu to help you identify what product the user is int▯erested in signing up for. When a user signs up using your form, you should contact the client to t▯hank them for their interest in your product. Also, over a regular time period you should provide your u▯sers with relevant information to keep them aware of your services. A note of caution. If you are not planning on sending an email to your c▯lients at the time of sign up, it is recommend that you send a welcome email at the time of mailing before▯ sending any promotions. It cannot be emphasized enough just how important a signup form is to yo▯ur overall list building strategy. It is the only way to build an engaged and opt-in list from sc▯ratch and even though it takes time, you will reap the rewards later on. SIGNUP FORMS Email space travelers want to use all the newest gadgets to reach the fu▯rthest parts of the galaxy but don’t forget the tried and true methods. Just because email marketing happens online, it doesn’t mean it has t▯o stop there. In fact, many businesses grow their email lists by collecting email addresses offline.▯ Think about it, have you ever been in a store where the cashier asks for your phone number, mailing ad▯dress, email address or even your Twitter name for their records? jUST BECAUSE EMAIL MARKETING HAPPENS ONLINE, IT DOESN’T MEAN IT HAS TO STOP THERE. Well these businesses are collecting that information to send out promot▯ions and other information through email, direct mail or other avenues after you make a purchase. T▯his helps create a connection with the consumer and will ideally keep them shopping with you for the f▯oreseeable future. It can be as simple as keeping a notebook by your cash register or point▯-of-sale. The next time you interact with your customers, ask for their email address. It is also im▯portant to let them know you’ll be sending out exclusive offers, like discount coupons or information on▯ special sales. Copyright SimplyCast 2013 8 AN EMAIL MARKETER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY share GROW ORGANICALLY So now you know the basics of how to create a list of subscribers, you a▯re ready to start gathering client info and growing your contact lists. Building up a strong client ▯list from the ground up does not happen over night but once you have it, it is worth every hour, day ▯and week spent building it. Let the ESP you choose do the hard work. Let their online software manag▯e the lists for unsubscribes, bounced email addresses and duplicate data. This gives you more time to ▯focus on the bigger picture which is your business. Always remember, permission based lists get the best results, so make su▯re anyone who joins your list (regardless of how) knows what they are signing up for. EMAIL GALAXY qUICK TIPS 1. Add a signup form to your website. 2. Only use opt-in subscriber lists that you build yourself. 3. Keep client information as up to date as possible. 4. Don’t forget to gather information offline as well. 5. Be patient and let your list grow organically. Slow and steady wins t▯he race. Mortimer Says... Always try to include a company logo at the top of your email. This will reinforce your brand and engage the reader quicker. Copyright SimplyCast 2013 9 AN EMAIL MARKETER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY share BEST PRACTICES FOR SUCCESS BEFORE YOU BLAST OFF, CHECK THAT EVERYTHING IS ON THE UP AND UP In this section you will learn about: • The importance of a From Name. • How to write compelling subject lines. • What to include to remain compliant when sending (the legal stuff). • The two types of email lists and which you should use. • Terms you should avoid using in emails. Email marketing can be an extremely powerful and effective marketing tec▯hnique – that is, if you fol- low the rules of email space. It’s a medium that allows a buyer and s▯eller to freely communicate with one another and build a relationship based on value and trust. However, if you go rogue and don’t follow the rules, email marketing ▯can be destructive, erode brand equity, and turn your happy clients into an angry mob. Take a guess which path we want you to take? Yep, following the rules. Following best practices can make the difference between growing your su▯bscriber list through word of mouth, increasing your sales and building strong relationships and lo▯sing subscribers to list at- trition, aggravating your customers and getting your messages blocked be▯fore they even reach the inbox. FROM OR SENDER ADDRESS When you get an email, you look at who is it from and what the subject l▯ine is. These two pieces of information will help you decide if the message will be an open, a delet▯e or just left alone. Thanks to the influx of junk mail, studies have shown that recipients are looking ▯more and more at the “From” or Sender address field to see if they recognize the sender’s name or em▯ail address. Copyright SimplyCast 2013 10 AN EMAIL MARKETER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY share Then, only if they recognize the From Name do they look at the “Subje▯ct” field to see if it’s of interest to them. This is why it is recommended that you use a From Name that is ▯either your organization’s name or a well-known person within your organization. THINK OF IT LIKE YOUR CALL DISPLAY FEATURE ON YOUR PHONE. Think of it like your call display feature on your phone. How often do y▯ou answer, when you don’t know who it is from. SUBjECT LINE This is your introduction, your first impression, the make or break mome▯nt for your email getting read. A poorly written subject line can destroy hours of work and dramat▯ically hurt your whole email marketing attack. A good strategy for optimal email space travel is to have one part of th▯e subject line be consistent, and the other be variable. This way recipients can recognize your newsle▯tter when it comes in as well as get a small taste as to what type of information might be featured if▯ they open the message. EXAMPLES OF BAD SUBjECT LINES ARE: The Online Marketing Newsletter for Medical Professionals For the Month ▯of March 2012 From Company This subject line is far too long. It is recommended you stick to no mor▯e than seven words or 45-50 characters. Anything greater is risking getting cut off in most email clients and be▯ing blocked by content-based spam filters. THE ONLINE MARKETING NEWSLETTER FOR MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS FOR THE MONTH ▯OF MARCH 2012 FROM COMPANY This one should be obvious. The all caps is a definite no-no for subject▯ lines. All caps will also increase the chances of the message getting blocked by content-based spam filters. Online Marketing News Too vague and does not tell a reader what it is about other than online ▯marketing. Even adding a time period or anything will increase the chances of someone opening it. Copyright SimplyCast 2013 11 AN EMAIL MARKETER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY share Save Big $$$ On Email Marketing – Buy Today!! This one is short and to the point and even tells the reader what it is ▯for. But it also adds a few dollar signs and exclamation points. Both of these would flag most content-based spam fil▯ters. Open This Email and Learn How to Make Money at Home (and it goes to an ▯email about another topic) This subject line would in fact be misleading and therefore would be bre▯aking CAN-SPAM laws. You cannot mislead a reader or risk being flagged as SPAM. Now for the revised versions that are okay to use as subject lines: • March’s Online Marketing Newsletter For Medical Professionals • Online Marketing News For Medical Professionals • Email Marketing Special – 50% Off Read your subject line as if you were receiving the email yourself and w▯hat your reaction would be. This will increase the chances of your message being opened. EMAIL FOOTER Readers are becoming more savvy with how the email world works and they ▯expect footers to dis- play relevant information about your business and your brand. This can i▯nclude social media links and more information about the company. At the very least, you need to display your company’s physical addres▯s and have a clear unsubscribe link that allows the reader to opt-out. These two footer features are a ▯must to remain CAN-SPAM compliant. If you use a reputable Email Service Provider (ESP), these ▯two features are included in every email that is sent through their service. SPAM Oh spam, there is certainly a lot of that floating around the email mark▯eting galaxy. Before we proceed any further, let’s define exactly what permission-b▯ased email marketing is. It is important to note that there are two types of email marketing. One▯ can either send unsolicited email promotions or send out emails only to persons who have requested t▯o receive them. Copyright SimplyCast 2013 12 AN EMAIL MARKETER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY share You can probably guess which is good and which is bad right? Unsolicited email is, of course, called spam. Sending spam will ruin any▯ legitimate organization’s reputation and brand value faster than you can say opt-in email marketin▯g. The number one rule of becoming an intelligent email marketer is to not ▯send unsolicited email. There is no getting around this one, so don’t even try. THE NUMBER ONE RULE OF BECOMING AN INTELLIGENT EMAIL MARKETER IS TO NOT SEND UNSOLICITED EMAIL. Every email marketing service provider will shut down your rocket launch▯ before you even reach the clouds. Permission-based email marketing, on the other hand, is used effectively▯ everyday by hundreds of thousands of organizations to build the value of their brands, increase ▯sales and strengthen the relationships they have with their clients and subscribers. WORDS TO AVOID Want to truly give your email newsletter the best chance for delivery? T▯hen avoid or limit the use of these words that cause millions of messages getting blocked every day. Content-based spam filters monitor subject lines and message bodies very▯ closely for these words: DISCOUNT WHILE SUPPLIES LASTEES EARN MONEY COMPARE DOUBLE YOUR INCOME COST jOIN MILLIONS SATISFACTION GUARANTEED SERIOUS CASH ACT NOWDDON’T DELETE FREE CALL NOWWHY PAY MORE ALL NATURAL SUBSCRIBE NOW YOU’VE BEEN SELECTED TIME LIMITED SPECIAL PROMILLION DOLLARS OPPORTUNITY PLEASE READROMISE YOU CREDIT AMAZINGBUY DIRECT REMOVES SEARCH ENGINE LISTINGS A WINNER! SAVE UP TO COLLECTCESSIVE $ OR ! ALL NEW AS SEEN ON LOANSSTOP 50% OFF Copyright SimplyCast 2013 13 AN EMAIL MARKETER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY share EMAIL GALAXY qUICK TIPS 1. Use a From Name that is either your organization’s name or a well-known person within your organization. 2. Make your subject line count. Don’t use sales type words, all caps and keep the length to roughly seven words. 3. You need to display your company’s physical address and have a clear ▯ unsubscribe link that allows the reader to opt-out. This is included in ▯the footer of the email. 4. The number one rule of becoming an intelligent email marketer is to not ▯ send unsolicited email. 5. Use common sense. Look at your email as if you were a customer receiving▯ it. Would you open it? And if not, why? Mortimer Says... If you are not planning on sending an email to your clients at the time of sign up, it is recommend that you send a welcome email at the time of mailing before sending any promotions. Copyright SimplyCast 2013 14 AN EMAIL MARKETER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY share BUILDING YOUR FIRST NEWSLETTER A PROPERLY CONSTRUCTED CAMPAIGN CAN SHOOT SALES TO THE MOON In this section you will learn about: • Must-haves for a successful email newsletter. • Why you should keep it simple when it comes to design elements. • Writing content that matches the style of the email. • What and how to test your message before launch. • Remembering to look at your email as a reader and not the creator. Putting together your first HTML email message is more than just adding ▯text, adding images and hitting the send button. Well-built and well-crafted emails share common▯ elements that build trust with readers. There are a million ways to make your newsletter look shar▯p and effective with images, fonts, layouts and color schemes but the overall makeup needs to have th▯e following: WELL-BUILT AND WELL-CRAFTED EMAILS SHARE COMMON ELEMENTS THAT BUILD TRUST WITH READERS. 1. “From” Address: As mentioned already, put your company name in the “from” field s▯o recipients instantly know who has sent them the email. Avoid using “no reply@com▯pany.com” or an individual’s name unless that person would be well known to the recipient. 2. Subject Line: The subject line should be clear and prompt readers to open the email. T▯he subject should be no more than seven words and encourage readers to open the ema▯il. Don’t make the subject line about something that is not included in the email. 3. Include Web Version: Due to images and certain words not showing up in certain email clients,▯ it is best to include a web link where the entire email or newsletter can b▯e viewed online. This is to en- sure the recipient can view your email as intended. 4. Header: Always try to include a company logo at the top of your email and any he▯lpful navigation. This will reinforce your brand and engage the reader quicker. Copyright SimplyCast 2013 15 AN EMAIL MARKETER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY share 5. Call to Action: Every good email has a strong call to action in which you clearly state ▯what it is you want the reader to do. The call to action depends on the type of email y▯ou are sending. If it’s a newsletter, “Learn more” may be the smart choice. But if you’re▯ promoting a conference, “Register today” would be the logical choice. If you’re selling bikes, “B▯uy now” would make sense. This is just the beginning of what makes up an effective email newslette▯r. There is still design elements to focus on, how to best use images, how to write your copy and▯ of course testing to see how your final product renders on all email clients, web browsers and op▯erating systems. There is a lot of work that goes into the ideal newsletter but once you ▯learn the ways the first time, it will seem like a walk in the park. DESIGN The design of your email sets the tone for your entire project. It is th▯e heart of the newsletter. It is what will grab people’s attention before they even read a word. Simpl▯y put it can make or break the overall message you are trying to get across. Before you even write one word of copy, you have to decide on the design▯ of your email. Most Email Service Providers are very easy-to-use and non-technical these days and ▯that is great for the person who does not have a full design team standing by. It means a ready selec▯tion of pre-made HTML templates to choose from that have already been optimized for email mark▯eting purposes. If you do not want to use the available templates, you can create your o▯wn in an editor from scratch or import your own HTML into whatever service you use. Please keep in mi▯nd that outside code can sometimes appear different than the original when you view your newslett▯er. That is why you always need to test before sending your final project. Your words are what will bring your newsletter home but you need more th▯an great content to interest and engage savvy readers. You need media-rich content. This can▯ include links, pictures, video, online surveys and merging in content details to give each email ▯that personal touch. For the non-technical folk, don’t panic. Pretty much every ESP out th▯ere offers a drag-and-drop editor that makes the whole process easy and to be honest, a lot of fun. Links: It is best practice to add a handful of links to your content (no more ▯than 10 is a good guide). If you are creating a classic newsletter, you can also include anchor tags ▯or a menu that will move your Copyright SimplyCast 2013 16 AN EMAIL MARKETER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY share reader directly to that part of the newsletter when they click on it. Th▯is is also great for quick navigation. The goal of the newsletter should be to prime readers with a▯ topic and then direct them elsewhere for more information (or better yet, to buy). Pictures: Reading plain text with no images is just boring. The days of heavy text▯ messages is coming to an end which means you need to make your newsletter visually appealin▯g. Being able to embed images into email messages is the top reason that people want to send HT▯ML email in the first place. Always have your emails hosted on a server (most likely your ESP). You▯ host the graphics on a web server, and then the email client downloads the code in into your email ▯ whenever the message is opened. By the way, that is how open tracking works. A tiny, invisible graphic i▯s put into the email, and then tracked when it’s downloaded. This is why open tracking only works in▯ HTML email and why the new email applications that block images by default (to protect your privac▯y) can distort your open-rate stats. Never attach an image to an email for mass sending as it will slow down ▯the entire sending process and help flag it as spam. COMPOSING You have probably heard the saying “content is king” over the year▯s right? Here is where you find out that it is 100% true. Your newsletter can have the best design, snazzy images, and killer navi▯gation but if your copy is less than exciting, it won’t matter. WITH EVERY MESSAGE YOU SEND, THE GOAL SHOULD BE TO ENTICE, ENGAGE AND INFLUENCE YOUR READERS. With every message you send, the goal should be to entice, engage and in▯fluence your readers. The email newsletter is just a vehicle to get the reader to the next stage o▯f the cycle whether it is web traffic, user feedback or new purchases. The ideal length can vary. The ▯desired length is how ever long it takes you to get your message across with all the necessary details. ▯This depends on the type of email you are sending of course. A newsletter will be much longer and in▯ depth than say a retail type message announcing a sale or promotion. Copyright SimplyCast 2013 17 share AN EMAIL MARKETER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY A few good tips to live by; however, are to keep paragraphs short, use b▯ullet points and include links to what you are writing about. TESTING BEFORE LAUNCH COUNTDOWN After learning how to design and code your first HTML email template, do▯n’t just drop in your content and start sending campaigns all over the world. Test your template first to make sure it will render in all the differen▯t email applications out there Once you’ve found all the little bugs and your template is fully opti▯mized, then you can start sending. If your Email Service Provider does not help with the rendering process ▯(you need to find one that does) then there are simple ways to test for yourself. You need to create an email account with all the major ISPs, have multip▯le computers with different operating systems and email clients and send test campaigns to each. Another quicker way to do this is to make up a test list of friends and ▯coworkers who use a wide range of email clients and browsers. Send your campaign and ask for feed▯back on anything that looks wrong or broken. EMAIL GALAXY qUICK TIPS 1. You can be as creative as you want with your email newsletter but it must have a legit “from” or sender address, an engaging subject li▯ne, a web. 2. version, a header within the content and of course, a call to action. 3. When designing your newsletter, it is important to keep it simple so it ▯does not distract the reader from your message. It is the words they care abo▯ut, not how flashy the template is. 4. When writing the copy for your email, keep the paragraphs short, use bul▯lets and keep the most important aspects of your message high on the page. 5. Test every part of your email marketing campaign design. Send to differe▯nt email providers and look at it in different web browsers. 6. Think as a reader when coming up with the design of your newsletter. Would you want to read it? Copyright SimplyCast 2013 18 AN EMAIL MARKETER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY share POST MISSION - TRACKING RESULTS BACK TO EARTH, TIME TO GO OVER THE RESULTS In this section you will learn about: • Why tracking your results is vital to successful email marketing. • Different variables or small tweaks can lead to greater results. • What open rates and unsubscribes can tell you about your message. • Website traffic and what you should be looking for. • The two types of bounce rates and what you need to do with them. With the speed at which email marketing moves, it is important to have r▯eal-time results. An Email Service Provider will offer a wide range of reporting tools and there ar▯e many other services such as Google Analytics that you can use to dig even deeper. But before you get flooded with numbers, here are the metrics you should▯ be paying attention to. OPEN RATES Open rates tell you how many people opened your email. Pretty straightfo▯rward. There are two types, open and unique open. A typical open rate is the nu▯mber of times your email campaign has been recorded open, which can include multiple instances. A▯ unique open is recorded only once for each email. Now, don’t expect to have an open rate of 80% or even close to that. ▯That is near impossible, so don’t get discouraged when you check your reports after sending. Anything over▯ 10% is a win. However, if your open rate is really low, you need to figure out why, an▯d how to raise it. Many factors come into play when it comes to open rates. This includes your actual li▯st, your subject lines, when you send your message, any segmentation and finally your content. These ▯are the main areas to focus on, tweak and test for every campaign going forward. You can segment your list to make it more targeted, lengthen or shorten ▯your subject line, send on a different day of the week or try out other personalization features like▯ adding merge tags. In the email marketing galaxy, there is always room to improve and try new things. Copyright SimplyCast 2013 19 share AN EMAIL MARKETER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY CLICK RATES This piece of data indicates how many people are clicking on the links y▯ou add to your email. Again, there are several factors that affect this metric. Do you have one link or multiple links? How is the link worded? Is there▯ an image linked like an action button? Where are the links located in the message? The end goal is to get more people clicking through to your site or land▯ing page and grow your business. Don’t ever mislead or trick someone into clicking on a link▯ only to find what they think they will find is not there. This will only annoy and most likely turn away y▯our reader. UNSUBSCRIBE RATE When it comes to the unsubscribe rate, don’t take it personally. It i▯s the nature of the industry. Your goal is to keep subscribers engaged and if they choose to leave you, so ▯be it. So what should your unsubscribe rate look like? Less than one percent is▯ average for email lists that are contacted regularly and well maintained. This means keeping contact ▯info updated as well. If you send very infrequently or if it’s your very first send, your u▯nsubscribe rate may be much higher. Be sure to check your rate after each campaign and compare. If you see i▯t spike after a particular campaign, see if it had anything to do with your content. Maybe you’r▯e sending too frequently. Maybe not frequently enough. Keeping a good, quality list will result i▯n a very low unsubscribe rate. BOUNCE RATE There are two types of bounces when it comes to your email marketing cam▯paigns. They are soft and hard bounces. Soft bounces are email addresses that are temporarily unavailable for a ▯variety of reasons that include reasons like quota exceeded, too many sessions in a connection, temporar▯y local problem and everyone’s favorite – the out of office auto-reply. Since your mes▯sage is temporarily undeliverable to these subscribers, you’ll want to flag these people for a second chan▯ce at your campaign so that they don’t miss out. Copyright SimplyCast 2013 20 share AN EMAIL MARKETER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY Hard bounces are undeliverable altogether. Reasons include the email acc▯ount doesn’t exist anymore, or there was a typo in the address. Hard bounces should be removed immed▯iately because they directly influence your reputation with Internet Service Providersr (IS▯Ps). You should be able to scan your list for simple typos like “hotmial.com” or “gmeil.com”▯ to help avoid any extra hard bounces. WEBSITE TRAFFIC Everyone wants more traffic to their website. More traffic means more le▯ads and more potential sales. Make sure to check your website traffic reports after each email campaig▯n. Does traffic pick up? Do orders increase? Check and see if you get a spike in traffic immediately▯, or if it’s more like a gradual wave. How long does the new traffic last (and how long should you keep ▯the graphics and pages that your email points to live)? EMAIL GALAXY qUICK TIPS 1. The only way you will ever truly know how your email marketing 2. campaigns are doing is by tracking results, analyzing statistics and comparing the numbers after each sent campaign. 3. There are several areas of your email message that you can adjust to hel▯p improve open rates. Try different approaches over a period of time and choose the one that yields the best results. 4. Don’t let the negativity of the unsubscribe keep you from monitoring ▯that metric. It is not always a bad thing and once again there are simple adjustments to make to keep the number in check. 5. Monitor overall website traffic so you can determine what percentage is ▯ coming from your email marketing efforts. 6. There are two kinds of bounce rates, soft and hard. You want to avoid as▯ many hard bounces as possible as it hurts overall deliverability rates a▯nd brings you unwanted attention from ISPs. Copyright SimplyCast 2013 21 AN EMAIL MARKETER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY share READY FOR LAUNCH CONGRATULATIONS, YOU ARE READY TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS WITH EMAIL MARKETING By reading this guide, you have acquired a great foundation for your ema▯il marketing strategy. Now that you better understand the basics, you are ready to engage subscribe▯rs and convert more sales for your business. At the end of the day, that is what email marketing is about, and we wan▯t to make sure you are as informed as you can be before exploring the vast galaxy that awaits you.▯ ABOUT SIMPLYCAST SimplyCast.com is a leading provider of interactive marketing software a▯nd services for organizations worldwide. The company’s multi-channel marketing platfo▯rm is a feature-rich solution used by thousands of customers in over 175 countries, including many of ▯the most recognized brand names around the globe in retail, non-profit and hospitality industries.▯ With thousands of organizations using SimplyCast solutions to automate email, survey, even▯t, voice, SMS, Twitter, fax, Facebook, press release, landing pages and autoresponder marketing needs▯, they now have the power to effectively reach customers on their preferred mode of communic▯ation. GET IN TOUCH www.simplycast.com twitter.com/simplycast facebook.com/simplycast pinterest.com/simplycast 1.877.312.4979 Copyright SimplyCast 2013 22 AN EMAIL MARKETER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY share CHECKLIST Now that you are ready to embark on an email marketing adventure, here i▯s a handy checklist to print out and keep by your computer until you get the hang of it. BUILDING AN AUDIENCE Added signup form to website or blog Collect information offline BUILDING THE NEWSLETTER Recognizable from address Compliant subject line that explains what the email offers Easy unsubscribe process located in footer No “bad” words or terms that will get email flagged Included web version Cheaperoy A strong call to action Design has mixture of images and text Links added and go to correct place Read over content for spelling Sent a test to view rendering in different email clients POST SEND Check open rate Check click rate Check unsubscribe rate Check bounce rate Check website traffic related to newsletter Mortimer Says... Email marketing can easily be integrated with other forms of marketing to touch new leads and potential clients on their preferred mode of communication. Copyright SimplyCast 2013 23
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