Message in a bottle

Ok, so this week we had to sign up on an email sending platform such as Constant Contact and create an email/newsletter to drive traffic to this blog.

Signing up on Constant Contact was simple, the process is smooth and they make it quite easy. The one thing I did not like was the newsletter templates; they restrict you too much by putting images on the templates according to a theme. So I had to choose a template that was generic in theme. I liked the links to the social media sites and the spam check. My email did not go into people’s junk mail folder, so that was good, but somehow the recipient’s name did not appear on the header, just the generic word ‘Greetings’ L so I have to check that again when I load the list of email addresses I’m sure I have to put people’s name’s first .

So I built my list, it came to about 33 names those were people at my work, friends and people at our agency. In a real marketing campaign you can build opt -in lists by getting customers/prospects to subscribe to your newsletter on your website, complete a form at an event, etc. You will need to offer incentives as most people would not want to receive too many monthly emails from companies. Another option is to get customers/prospects to refer a friend once they have taken up an offer or gave their details on your website.

SPAM and delivery

It often happens that legitimate emails are being blocked or moved to the Junk folder by ISPs. Whatever the cause of the email blocking is, you can take it under your control and adjust your email program to overcome the ISP email blocking challenges in your future campaigns. After you understand why ISPs block some emails and how to avoid the problems, you will be able to improve your email deliverability and increase your email open rate.

Sending your first email to a new base is tricky as you will need to validate those emails as you may get quite a high bounce rate. A hard bounce is an email that comes back undelivered due to the fact that there is a server problem. A soft bounce is an undelivered email due to an incorrect address or that the person’s mailbox is full. The delivery rate on my email was good as it was people’s emails that I knew. One way for marketers to validate email addresses are to have a double opt-in as best practice to check for misspelt email addresses. This is done by sending an email to the address and the customer needs to click on a link in that email to validate it.

SPAM is emails that are unsolicited and sent in bulk. Spam averages 78% of all e-mails sent. My email also did not land up in people’s junk mail folder as the amount of ‘spammy’ looking content in my email was low to none.

Typical ‘spammy’ email content is:

  • unknown email address in the From field,
  • misspelled Subject,
  • Subject lines written in ALL CAPS,
  • large and often bold font size,
  • Pure promotional and sales content
  • Links from blocked domains

 Other reasons:

Too many spam complaints, too many invalid addresses on the list, and technical sending issues. Repeatedly sending messages to invalid email addresses defines you as a spammer and leads to email deliverability challenges.

Spam

There are very detailed Analytics available on emails, such as open rates, click through rates, hard bounces and soft bounces, delivery rates, and most clicked on content or links in the email body (heat map).

Email marketing campaign with Google Analytics integration

Split testing of email marketing campaigns can improve open rates, click through rates and even purchase conversion rates. Split Testing Improves Results up to 191% (Matt Carroll, 2009).

A/B split testing is the testing of different versions of the email to see which one works best. Different versions are sent to a small segment of your list or to your test group (if you have one) and the performance of each version is measured. Only one variable is changed inside the email during one test to see what impact the change has on the email performance. After test versions are sent to a small segment of your list or to your test group, the best performing (winner) version of the email newsletter will be used for sending to the rest of your list.

As an email marketer you understand how important the balance of the email frequency, relevancy, and audience expectations is. Every open and click does matter. Now you can stop guessing what will work and what won’t work in your email marketing campaigns and start split testing your email to improve your campaign response and sales with measurable scientific methodology

Test Various Elements of an Email Message

Almost any content element can be tested. These include:

  • Subject lines
  • Headlines and all other copy, including long copy versus short copy
  • Product images layout and colour
  • Text versus buttons for calls to action
  • Number of products promoted
  • Landing pages
  • From line
  • Email send times –different days of the week or different times of the day. It is shown that the best time to send an email is on a Tuesday between 14:00 and 16:00 in the afternoon.

 Use of email in a modern marketing campaign

Email can be used successfully in a marketing campaign and it can be highly targeted and you can get high ROI as it is very inexpensive compared to above the line media.

It can easily be used to build opt in databases of customers that want to hear about your offering.

Emails can also very effectively be used to get campaigns to go viral if they are seeded correctly.

 

References;

http://www.practicalecommerce.com/articles/1117-Email-Marketing-Split-Testing-Improves-Results-Up-to-191-Percent-

http://www.glockeasymail.com/optimize-email-marketing-newsletter-ab-split-testing/

This blog is being completed as part of the requirements of the Digital Marketing academy.

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