tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/email Latest Email content from Econsultancy 2017-05-02T14:01:00+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69035 2017-05-02T14:01:00+01:00 2017-05-02T14:01:00+01:00 How Lenny Letter used email newsletters to cultivate an online community Nikki Gilliland <p>With 500,000 subscribers and a reported 70% open rate, it has rapidly grown in popularity since its launch in 2015. So, what makes readers race to read it? </p> <p>Here’s a bit more on how Lenny has evolved so far.</p> <h3>Email as an intimate medium</h3> <p>Lena Dunham has famously championed the discussion of feminist topics, including friendship, health, sex and money – previously using the mediums of TV and books to do so. With the realisation that there was an appetite for more in-depth feminist content, she launched Lenny Letter to deliver it direct to women’s inboxes.</p> <p>Lenny takes the form of two emails per week – Tuesdays is for personal essays and short stories, while Fridays is reserved for interviews. Both are lengthy and usually feature illustrations by up-and-coming artists. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5694/Lenny_2.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="820"></p> <p>So, why did Dunham choose to steer clear of the standard website-format, used by the likes of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68121-why-i-love-the-pool-and-its-refreshing-approach-to-publishing/" target="_blank">The Pool</a> and Jezebel?</p> <p>According to editor Jessica Grose, it is so that writers can directly speak to the audience, shining a spotlight on important messages rather than distracting them with a broad selection of articles. </p> <p>What’s more, it is built on the notion that email is a much more intimate and personal medium, with users deliberately opting in to receive content rather than absent-mindedly browsing on a public forum. </p> <h3>Encourages social community</h3> <p>Lenny does have an accompanying website, however, content is published with a delay of 24 hours or so to incentivise subscriptions to the newsletter. This is also done to give the design of the newsletter due attention, with illustrations and composition deliberately aligning with the medium.</p> <p>Like a lot of other publications, Lenny <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68663-why-online-publications-are-ditching-comments-sections-for-social/" target="_blank">does not allow comments</a>, instead encouraging readers to use social media to start positive conversations about topics featured. In turn, Lenny employees are highly responsive, typically replying to Instagram or Twitter comments within the same day.</p> <p>Combined, this has helped the publisher to create a receptive online audience, which has in no doubt contributed to high open rates and loyal readership. </p> <h3>Advertising business model</h3> <p>The main reason for the existence of the Lenny website is to provide a permanent space for display and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67083-is-native-advertising-sustainable/" target="_blank">native ads</a> – the result of a partnership with Hearst Media. The deal involves Hearst selling space for advertising and branded content on the site, as well as promoting Lenny across titles like Marie Claire and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68384-how-cosmopolitan-reinvented-itself-became-the-number-one-women-s-magazine-in-the-uk/" target="_blank">Cosmopolitan</a> magazine.</p> <p>Lenny also stresses that its branded content is just as authentic as its regular features, collaborating closely with brands to ensure the publication’s tone of voice remains strong.</p> <p>For instance, an interview with writer Helen Ellis focuses on what it’s like to be in a stressful situation – and it also happens to be sponsored by Secret Deodorant. Examples like these show how sponsored content can blend seamlessly in with the over-arching brand. Of course, it also relies on the audience’s trust in its reputation and dedication to quality journalism.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5695/Helen_Ellis.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="637"></p> <h3>Branching into other areas of business</h3> <p>Alongside the newsletter, Lenny also has an online shop selling branded clothing and accessories. </p> <p>Described as a place that ‘would rep grassroots feminist businesses’, it’s more of an extension of the brand’s values than a real money-making venture. Likewise, it also builds on the community element, with readers keen to wear subtly branded items like the ‘Dismantle the Patriarchy’ patch set.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5696/Lenny_shop.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="467"></p> <p>Lenny is not averse to expanding its presence in other areas, too. Last year, it began a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68348-three-reasons-brands-are-using-podcasts-as-part-of-their-content-marketing-strategy/" target="_blank">podcast series</a> called ‘Women of the Hour’ and it currently has a video series in the works for HBO Now.</p> <p>Naturally, it will need to tread carefully. While expansion could help to increase new subscribers, even more brand involvement or corporate sponsorship could potentially alienate existing readers invested in the core premise. </p> <p>That being said, as long as it keeps its focus firmly on what women really want to read about, I can’t see it going too far wrong.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Just read <a href="https://twitter.com/lennyletter">@lennyletter</a> interview by <a href="https://twitter.com/oliviaclement_">@oliviaclement_</a> with <a href="https://twitter.com/AnnaDeavereS">@AnnaDeavereS</a> . Lots of gems, but these really stuck with me. 1st on education.</p> — meghan (@meghafon) <a href="https://twitter.com/meghafon/status/852904569432571909">April 14, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p><strong><em>For more on the topic of email, you can download Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/email-census/" target="_blank">Email Marketing Industry Census 2017</a></em></strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3230 2017-03-21T16:49:38+00:00 2017-03-21T16:49:38+00:00 Email Marketing - Advanced <p>Give your email campaigns an injection of fresh thinking in this fantastic email marketing workshop.</p> <p>You’ll gain advanced, strategic email marketing training and get the opportunity to have your email campaigns reviewed by an industry expert who will provide practical tips for improvement.</p> <p>Strictly limited to 10 places, the workshop allows for plenty of interaction and you’ll be able to bounce ideas off other experienced marketers.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3229 2017-03-21T16:48:41+00:00 2017-03-21T16:48:41+00:00 Email Marketing - Advanced <p>Give your email campaigns an injection of fresh thinking in this fantastic email marketing workshop.</p> <p>You’ll gain advanced, strategic email marketing training and get the opportunity to have your email campaigns reviewed by an industry expert who will provide practical tips for improvement.</p> <p>Strictly limited to 10 places, the workshop allows for plenty of interaction and you’ll be able to bounce ideas off other experienced marketers.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3178 2017-03-21T11:39:19+00:00 2017-03-21T11:39:19+00:00 Intensive: Mastering eCRM <p>Implementing a robust CRM strategy delivers vastly improved effectiveness in your marketing programmes. This three day course will help you understand how CRM can help your business and give you the practical skills to apply and assess CRM techniques in the real world.</p> <p>Econsultancy’s intensives are three-day programmes offering you a deep dive into specific digital disciplines. With content drawn from our academically accredited digital certificates, the intensives offer the practical training without the need for long term commitment.</p> <p>Intensives:</p> <ul> <li>Are led by practitioner trainers</li> <li>Include access to resources to support the training</li> <li>Allow delegates to implement and evaluate what they’ve learnt through ‘homework’ and trainer feedback after training</li> <li>Lead to an Econsultancy certificate of completion</li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3162 2017-03-21T11:14:13+00:00 2017-03-21T11:14:13+00:00 eCRM <p>The principles of traditional, offline-focussed, Customer Relationship Management are not up to the challenge of new web channels, social media and mobile engagements. This course will take you through the essentials of the new approach to eCRM - enabling you to execute a high performance CRM solution that drives revenue.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68573 2016-11-30T11:01:07+00:00 2016-11-30T11:01:07+00:00 Seven examples of Black Friday email marketing from retailers Nikki Gilliland <p>Following on from our article on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68557-how-uk-retailers-are-promoting-black-friday-online" target="_blank">how UK brands promoted the event online</a>, here’s how seven retailers executed their email marketing campaigns.</p> <h3>ASOS</h3> <p>Let's kick off with one of the best of the bunch.</p> <p>ASOS executed a pretty heavy email campaign, first mentioning the event nearly an entire week beforehand.</p> <p>While this might sound a little excessive, the emails are still quite subtle, designed to build excitement and get customers in the mood.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1844/Black_Friday_warm_up.JPG" alt="" width="450" height="424"></p> <p>When the real event finally kicked off, ASOS used a discount code with the promise of 20% off all items.</p> <p>Just imagine the regret if you forgot to enter the code at the checkout...</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1845/ASOS_code.JPG" alt="" width="450" height="436"></p> <p>It also promoted the Black Friday offer on top of an existing sale of 'up to 70%'.</p> <p>It's not clear whether the items here were any good, but the email copy sure does makes you want to go and have a look.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1849/ASOS_extra.JPG" alt="" width="450" height="199"></p> <p>Likewise, ASOS's subject lines were nicely done, reinforcing the brand's young and conversational tone of voice.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1846/Asos_subject_lines.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="139"></p> <p><em>For more on ASOS, read our post on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67950-eight-ecommerce-checkout-design-features-that-make-asos-great/" target="_blank">eight checkout design features that make its site great.</a></em></p> <h3>House of Fraser</h3> <p>Unlike ASOS's strong but subtle approach, House of Fraser went overboard on the emails this year, as shown in the screenshot of my inbox below.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1850/House_of_Fraser_emails.JPG" alt="" width="300" height="508"></p> <p>The actual emails were fine - they nicely promoted the array of discounts on offer.</p> <p>It's just a shame they were sent every day for a week, which could be enough to put off even the most loyal customers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1851/HoF_email.JPG" alt="" width="450" height="595"></p> <p>On the plus side, despite going down to 30% off, the emails become get more targeted as the week wore one.</p> <p>The one below obviously takes into account my previous interest in womenswear.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1852/HoF_30_.JPG" alt="" width="450" height="544"></p> <h3>Zara</h3> <p>In contrast to the aforementioned example, Zara took a very restrained approach, only sending out two emails in total.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1853/Zara_black_friday.JPG" alt="" width="450" height="613"></p> <p>As well as being underwhelming (in terms of the discount and the creative) - the subject lines were pretty boring to say the least.</p> <p>With no indication of how big the offer or how long it'd be on for, I'd be surprised if it received many click-throughs.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1854/Zara_subject_lines.JPG" alt="" width="430" height="139"></p> <p><em>For more on Zara, read <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67581-six-reasons-i-love-zara-com-and-a-few-reasons-i-don-t/" target="_blank">'Six reasons I love Zara.com (and a few reasons I don't)'</a></em></p> <h3>John Lewis</h3> <p>Surprisingly, John Lewis wasn't very impressive either.</p> <p>Again, with no indication of the amount of money customers might save, it doesn't give much incentive to click through.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1855/John_Lewis_black_friday.JPG" alt="" width="450" height="563"></p> <p>Another thing I found interesting was that its Sunday email - sent when the weekend event was still running - used an entirely unrelated subject line.</p> <p>This was despite the fact that the email itself was Black Friday related.</p> <p>Maybe the retailer was trying to be subtle? It just felt a bit misjudged to me,</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1857/John_Lewis_subject_lines.JPG" alt="" width="450" height="121"></p> <p>However, with John Lewis <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68512-john-lewis-combines-tv-ad-with-snapchat-lens-and-email/" target="_blank">traditionally more focused on Christmas</a>, perhaps Black Friday was deliberately underplayed.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1856/John_Lewis_black_friday_2.JPG" alt="" width="430" height="528"></p> <h3>H&amp;M</h3> <p>H&amp;M's emails on and around Black Friday were strong.</p> <p>With a bold and concise message of 20% off plus free delivery - customers were left in no doubt as to what they could expect.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1858/H_M_black_friday.JPG" alt="" width="450" height="546"></p> <p>Furthermore, I also like the fact that its emails included editorial-inspired content, motivating customers with how they could style their bargains rather than just promoting the sale.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1859/H_M_2.JPG" alt="" width="450" height="569"></p> <p>The only factor that let H&amp;M down was its slightly dull subject lines.</p> <p>Not bad - just a bit lacklustre. Still, at least they're concise.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1861/H_M_subject_line.JPG" alt="" width="450" height="114"></p> <h3>Debenhams</h3> <p>On to Debenhams, and it demonstrated a good amount of variety in its emails.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1862/Debehams_black_friday.JPG" alt="" width="400" height="559"></p> <p>As well as giving customers a heads up on what was to come, it also included original content, such as a 'Top 10' deal countdown and editorial-inspired imagery.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1863/Debenhams_2.JPG" alt="" width="380" height="287"></p> <p>By incorporating more variety into its messaging, it feels less salesy, meaning customers are less likely to dismiss it as Black Friday noise.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1864/Debenhams_3.JPG" alt="" width="400" height="550"></p> <p>You can read how Debenhams' site redesign led to ecommerce sales growth <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66644-how-debenhams-site-redesign-led-to-ecommerce-sales-growth/" target="_blank">in this article</a>.</p> <h3>Threadless</h3> <p>Finally, an interesting approach from US retailer Threadless.</p> <p>On the Wednesday before the event, it sent out this email offering an exclusive 40% off code that expired before the Black Friday deals began.</p> <p>While this might sound like it'd have limited impact as people would just hold out for Black Friday, it's obviously an attempt to foster customer loyalty for the long-term.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1869/Personal_email_threadless.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="454"></p> <p>By using a personal tone - even sending it from the Founder of the company - it is designed to make customers feel valued.</p> <p>A refreshing surprise just before Black Friday hit, it made for one of the most memorable emails of the week.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1871/Threadless_email.JPG" alt="" width="370" height="147"></p> <p>On to the actual Black Friday emails, and Threadless promoted it with a Christmas-themed creative.</p> <p>This could also prove effective for getting customers to think about the festive period (and why they might want to come back again soon).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1868/Threadless_creative_2.JPG" alt="" width="450" height="487"></p> <p>Finally, hats off to the brand for including an original and humourous subject line in its Cyber Monday email.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1866/Threadless_subject_line_2.JPG" alt="" width="450" height="123"></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68507 2016-11-15T14:36:49+00:00 2016-11-15T14:36:49+00:00 Which vertical sector is the king of the hill for email marketing? Henry Hyder-Smith <p>In addition, 10 years of increased integration between the technologies and channels used now means better segmentation, increasingly sophisticated personalisation and customer-driven marketing.</p> <p>However, in order to make such a tactics and strategy analysis more useful for marketers it’s important to drill down until we reach the sector level.</p> <p>This way marketers can learn from each other and even cherry pick (and test) good ideas that already work in other sectors.</p> <p>Using data collected for the Adestra/Econsultancy Email Marketing Industry Census 2016 – a survey of over 1,100 digital marketers around the world - we looked at the top six sectors: Retail/Mail Order, Print/Publishing &amp; Media, Charities/Government &amp; Non-profits, Financial Services &amp; Insurance, Travel &amp; Hospitality and Technology &amp; Telecoms.</p> <p>We analysed each sector to see which are producing the best return for the budget they spend on email, the tactics and strategies they use, the time spent on them, how they focus on mobile and implement automation, and finally their outlook on the future.</p> <p>I’ve picked three sectors from the report which are notable for being best performing, most improved and showing most growth potential.</p> <h4><strong>Print, publishing &amp; media</strong></h4> <p>Yet again, the Print, Publishing &amp; Media industry has produced consistent results across the board. Publishers have seen email performance shoot up since last year (see fig.1), and they top the chart for total sales attributable to the email channel.</p> <p>They make use of the broadest number of ESP services and lead the pack in optimising email for mobile. It’s not surprising then that there is no other sector that feels more love for their ESP.</p> <p><em>Fig.1 How do you rate the performance of your company’s email campaigns? (Results show Excellent or Good)</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/1327/2016_email_performance_sector_census-blog-flyer.png" alt="Email performance 2016 Sector Census" width="470" height="376"></p> <h4><strong>Charities, Government &amp; Not-for-Profits</strong></h4> <p>From mediocre results last year, the sector with the biggest turnaround has to be Charities, Government &amp; NFP. Their ROI is consistently higher (and now tops the chart at 84%, excellent/good ROI – see Fig.2), email performance has skyrocketed and more time is now spent on strategic activities.</p> <p><em>Fig.2 How do you rate the email channel in terms of return on investment? (Results show Excellent or Good)</em></p> <p><em><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/1329/2016_roi_sector_census-blog-flyer.png" alt="Email ROI 2016 Sector Census" width="470" height="329"></em></p> <h4><strong>Retail/ Mail Order</strong></h4> <p>ROI has grown considerably from last year for the Retail/Mail Order sector, and email performance is just keeping above the overall email industry average.</p> <p>Retailers also score above the industry average for mobile optimisation strategy. While they are keeping time spent on tactical activities down, they have however lost a little focus on strategy.</p> <p>Their use of tactics overall has dropped back since last year, however firms have seen modest improvements in success when implementing automated email programmes. With an eye on the future, retailers are the most innovative sector (see Fig.3), and feel most strongly about innovating with creative behavioural triggers.</p> <p><em>Fig.3 How do you intend to innovate with email in 2016?</em></p> <p><em><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/1328/2016_innovation_sector_census-blog-flyer.png" alt="Email Innovation 2016 Sector Census" width="470" height="339"></em></p> <h4><strong>And the king of the hill is…?</strong></h4> <p>Publishers have produced the most consistent results across the board, while charities have shown a huge upswing in both return and performance as they get to grips with more email tactics and strategies. Travel firms too have upped their game as they adopt more email tactics, data services and mobile optimisation techniques.</p> <p>Retail performance is largely middle of the road, however the sector has a great future potential if it can focus its efforts. While finance firms have experienced a rise in email performance, they are let down by not embracing email tactics or ESP services, and have low email optimisation strategies.</p> <p>Similarly, with few highpoints, tech companies are often trailing the pack in terms of how they use email and (predictably) the return it produces.</p> <p>While we can still highlight individual improvements across the board, some sectors need to use the experience and successes of their peers and look at the opportunities, services and tactics available to really make the email channel work harder for them.</p> <p>It might seem an uphill battle, but experimentation and testing are the name of the game.</p> <p><em>Subscribers can download the full <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/email-census/">Email Marketing Census 2016</a>.</em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68391 2016-10-13T01:00:00+01:00 2016-10-13T01:00:00+01:00 Ten ways to freshen-up your email marketing Jeff Rajeck <p>So, though it seems like email is working well, companies are not increasing investment in the channel.</p> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0002/1.png" alt="" width="701" height="340"></p> <p>One potential reason for this is that email is a legacy technology and many marketers have become comfortable with how it fits into their organisations.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0003/2.png" alt="" width="616" height="379"></p> <p>To others, though, email marketing is still evolving and<strong> there are a number of new best practices which can help even the most jaded email marketer.</strong></p> <p>To find out more about these, we spoke to a number of marketers about email at our recent Digital Cream Sydney and asked for ways to 'freshen-up' a stale email marketing programme.</p> <p>Here are ten tips provided by client-side marketers on the day.</p> <h3>1. Email marketing is a value exchange</h3> <p>One of the first things participants pointed out is that consumers are becoming much more savvy in managing their emails. Often, they pointed out, people have multiple email accounts to manage and ignore commercial emails.</p> <p>Because of this, email marketers should no longer send emails with a simple call-to-action and hope for the best.  </p> <p>Instead, marketers should treat an email as a 'value exchange'. This means that every email sent should answer the customer's unspoken question, 'what's in it for me'. </p> <p>Special offers, exclusive content, and event invites all provide this, according to attendees.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0004/email-2.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>2. Email content must be engaging</h3> <p>In addition to providing value to get clicks and opens, marketers must also provide engaging content in order to be read.</p> <p>According to a <a href="https://litmus.com/blog/mobile-friendly-email-september-2016-email-market-share">recent report by Litmus</a>, <strong>email is most often opened on a mobile device.</strong></p> <p>Because of this, noted one participant, <strong>emails are not only in competition with other emails but with everything else available on mobile.</strong></p> <p>So, when writing emails, keep your user's short attention span in mind and make sure that the content is sharp, relevant, and to the point.</p> <h3>3. Use social media to build email lists</h3> <p>Attendees said that organisations still struggle to get email addresses from potential customers.</p> <p>While buying email addresses is now completely out of the question, many are wondering what to do to increase the size of their list.</p> <p>One participant said that social media can help. </p> <p>First off, educational advertising on social media helps drive high-quality traffic to the site. Then offering a free service or valuable information in exchange for an email address can help increase the list size.</p> <p>Also, <strong>if users need to login to your site for any reason</strong><strong>, use a social login.</strong> Then you should be able to get their email address as well as some demographic information.</p> <p>In either case, another noted, the organisation should still use an opt-in email in order to ensure that the customer is okay receiving promotional emails in the future.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0005/email-3.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>4. Marketers need to get email data under control</h3> <p>Another way companies can improve their email marketing programmes is to look at the data that they use to measure effectiveness.</p> <p>With so many departments having access to email, <strong>there is often no visibility in an organisation about how many times a customer has been emailed.</strong>  </p> <p>This means that marketers have no way to gauge 'email fatigue', one of the most common reasons for unsubscribes.</p> <p>Also, another participant pointed out, <strong>most organisations do not have clarity on what click, open, and unsubscribe rates they should aim for.</strong>  </p> <p>Some do use industry benchmarks, but attendees felt that these were too general.</p> <p>Email marketers should lead the way on the benchmarks and ensure that everyone who uses email knows what data and targets they should aim for and how they can help to avoid over-emailing customers.</p> <h3>5. A/B testing makes a big difference</h3> <p>Delegates were all enthusiastic about the positive effects of using A/B testing in their email marketing programmes.</p> <p>Things marketers test include: </p> <ul> <li>Email receiver's name.</li> <li>Subject line.</li> <li>Amount of content.</li> <li>CTAs.</li> <li>Frequency. </li> </ul> <p>Out of all those, participants felt that subject line was probably the most important and encouraged others to make testing that a general practice.</p> <h3>6. Use responsive design and video in emails</h3> <p>Emails have changed a lot in the past few years. Now that many people view them on mobile email clients which support rich media, they can include HTML5 design, graphics, and even video.</p> <p><strong>Participants agreed that better-looking emails tend to perform better,</strong> but urged marketers to test emails on multiple platforms.</p> <p>One attendee noted that many email platforms still do not use responsive design as standard and so emails may not render correctly.</p> <p>Another delegate said that video has worked very well for their company, but added that <strong>all video in emails should have subtitles as well as audio.</strong></p> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0006/email-4.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>7. Use preference centres, but be careful</h3> <p>Participants said that email marketers should use web pages where customers can update their preferences, also known as 'preference centres'.</p> <p>They can help brands keep subscribers who were about to unsubscribe and get feedback from those who do.</p> <p>Poorly-designed preference centres, however, can cause customer frustration.  </p> <p>Delegates warned that <strong>requiring customers to login to make changes or offering overwhelming options can turn what should delight customers into something which destroys brand loyalty.</strong></p> <h3>8. All employees who use email marketing should be trained</h3> <p>As email marketing has become more widely-understood in organisations, the use of the channel has become more widespread.</p> <p>What this means is that in many organisations, people who are not familiar with marketing principles often send out campaigns without abiding to the principles of good data management and integrity.</p> <p>At best this means that customers will get too many irrelevant emails and at worst, one participant warned, the organisation may be blocked by major email providers for spam.</p> <p>Because the stakes are so high, <strong>anyone who has permission to launch a campaign should be trained in email marketing</strong>.  </p> <p>At the very least they should understand email design, copywriting, audience management, and relevant spam laws.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0007/email-1.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>9. Enterprise-grade email systems are becoming standard</h3> <p>Most participants on the day said that they use, or are in the process of buying, enterprise-grade email systems.</p> <p>Products mentioned included Salesforce, Oracle, and Adobe all of whom include email within their marketing clouds.  </p> <p>Mailchimp was mentioned as a high-quality product for those companies who do not send massive amounts of emails.</p> <p>Along with buying these systens though, attendees said that <strong>marketing teams need to allocate resources to learn and use the system properly.</strong></p> <p>Without proper training, one warned, the advantages of having an enterprise-grade email system will not be realised.</p> <h3>10. Email is not the future</h3> <p>Interestingly, many delegates were keen to point out that email is a legacy technology and will probably not grow in influence.</p> <p>This is because consumers now have so many other ways to find information out about brands and keep in touch with customer service.</p> <p>This means that <strong>email marketers should start to see what other services they can integrate with emails</strong>, such as <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64255-why-do-online-retailers-need-live-chat/">online chat</a>, in order to keep their skills current.</p> <p>That said, another participant pointed out that email will probably never go away completely.</p> <p>To back that up, they pointed out that we still receive physical, direct mail from brands to this day.</p> <h3>A word of thanks</h3> <p>Econsultancy would like to thank all of the marketers who participated on the day and especially the moderator at the Email Marketing table, <strong>Monica Villate Escobar, Marketing Manager at Ventura Health</strong>.</p> <p>We hope to see you all at future Sydney Econsultancy events!</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9893/hosts.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67395 2016-01-13T02:09:00+00:00 2016-01-13T02:09:00+00:00 Three things email marketing leaders do regularly [APAC case studies] Jeff Rajeck <p>In our recent <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/email-census">Email Marketing Industry Census 2015</a>, we discovered that email marketing is still a very popular strategy for brands globally.</p> <p>One reason for this is that email marketing offers great return on investment (ROI).  </p> <p>Two-thirds (66%) of marketers felt that their email marketing ROI was better than average, and less than one in ten (7%) of those surveyed felt it was 'poor'.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/0595/roi_from_channels-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="414"></p> <p>The same group also felt very positive about email marketing's future. The vast majority (78%) disagreed with the statement 'Email marketing will be redundant in five years' and only 9% agreed.</p> <p>So as email marketing is maintaining its popularity, it's useful to review the state of the art occasionally for some best practices.</p> <p>And though it's interesting just to see what everyone else is doing, it's also good to use these best practices to review your own email marketing and see if it is up to scratch.</p> <p>So, for your review and reflection, here are three things which Asia-Pacific email marketing leaders do regularly, each with a relevant case study.</p> <h3>1. They come up with a strategy first, then tactics</h3> <p>When thinking about all the things that you can do with email, it's easy to focus on the tactics. Tactics, after all, are where you provide value to the customer and get metrics to report upwards.</p> <p>And there are plenty of guides to help you with tactics. You can find dozens of blog posts telling you <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64878-45-words-to-avoid-in-your-email-marketing-subject-lines/">how to write a better subject line</a> or about <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62688-six-case-studies-and-infographics-on-the-optimal-time-to-send-emails/">the optimal time to send emails</a>.</p> <p>But without a good strategy, it's hard to know which tactics to use.</p> <p>And once your campaign is finished, it's much harder to analyse the effectiveness without referring to the original strategy.</p> <h4>OK, but what is an email marketing strategy?</h4> <p>There are many types of marketing strategies, but for email marketing one of the best is the segmenting, targeting, and positioning (or STP) approach.</p> <p>For a full explanation of STP, there are excellent resources available (<a href="http://www.slideshare.net/crisanthony/plenus-stp">here's one</a>), but here is a short description of how STP relates to email marketing.</p> <p>There are three steps to this approach: </p> <ol> <li> <strong>Segment</strong>: Divide your email list into exhaustive and mutually exclusive segments.</li> <li> <strong>Target</strong>: Decide which of your offers is most appropriate for each segment.</li> <li> <strong>Position</strong>: Then plan to communicate the value your offer provides to the targeted segment.</li> </ol> <p>How you execute on the strategy, the tactics, should be geared towards capturing the information you need to segment and delivering your offer to the intended target.</p> <p>It's fairly simple, but too often marketing departments lose sight of their original strategy and execute tactics without knowing why they are doing it.</p> <h4>Thai Airways: Strategy in practice</h4> <p>A good example of a company that had a <a href="https://www.marketingmag.com.au/hubs-c/jetting-towards-brand-loyalty/">clear strategic vision ahead of a tactical email marketing campaign</a> is Thai Airways.</p> <p>In order to re-activate its Australian customer base, Thai Airways sent an email to its Australian customers about a contest to win a free trip.  </p> <p>To enter the contest, though, participants had to tell Thai Airways when they were available to travel.</p> <p>But instead of just using this data for the contest, Thai airways then segmented its customer base using the customers' preferred travel dates.</p> <p>Then, it sent targeted emails to each segment with an offer positioned to appeal to each customer's personal travel time frame.</p> <p>In short, Thai Airways </p> <ol> <li>Segmented its customers by travel date preference.</li> <li>Targeted those customers with a travel offer relevant to their preferences.</li> <li>Positioned the fare using a personalized email highlighting the offer and the travel dates.</li> </ol> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/0596/Picture4.png" alt="" width="389" height="656"></p> <p>The results were great. Through using STP Thai Airways was able to increase the average open rate of its emails to 40%, well above the Australian industry standard of 16 to 24%.</p> <p>But more interesting than the results is how the team at Thai Airways: </p> <ul> <li>Thought about what product they wanted to position (time-sensitive travel deals),</li> <li>Worked out how to get the data they needed to segment their email list,</li> <li>And executed using a personalized email. </li> </ul> <p>Thai Airways truly executed a strategy-driven, tactical campaign.</p> <h3>2. They use customer behaviour to trigger emails</h3> <p>Brands gather customer data in other ways besides surveys though, too. Many companies are now using customer behaviour in order to better segment and target their customer base.</p> <p>For example, many businesses now send emails to customers who have 'abandoned' an online shopping cart on their site.  </p> <p>Our email survey indicated that nearly two in five (37%) used this tactic in 2015, nearly twice as many who did so in 2013 (20%).</p> <p>But there are other behaviors which can used to trigger an email to improve customer experience.  </p> <h4>Zuji's behavioural approach</h4> <p>Zuji, an Asian online travel site, <a href="http://www.experian.com.sg/resources/zuji-case-study-overview.html">sends emails which are triggered by browsing behaviour on its website</a>.  </p> <p>That is, when someone registered at Zuji clicks on a link or conducts a flight search, Zuji records the behavior and associates it with the person's email.</p> <p>Then, should Zuji's algorithm determine that the customer needs more information or perhaps a special offer, Zuji's email systems sends a personalized message.</p> <p>According to a recent case study, using behavioural emails resulted in a 50-fold improvement on revenue per thousand emails.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/0597/capture-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="467"></p> <p>But more than just increasing revenue, personalized emails are also a great way of improving the customer experience.</p> <p>Getting relevant, personalized information when you're in the research stage is almost always welcomed by customers.  </p> <p>And it's not surprising that doing so led to more sales for Zuji.</p> <h3>3. They keep their email list clean</h3> <p>And finally, in order for these programs to work continuously, top brands put a lot of effort into keeping their mailing list clean.</p> <p>One big part of maintaining a clean email list is monitoring the bounces when you send a campaign.  </p> <p>Just in case you weren't aware, every email campaign should have a 'bounce report' which tells you why an email couldn't be delivered to one of your customers.</p> <p>Sometimes, things happen out of your control. The customer may have closed their account or moved jobs. Or the company may have gone out of business and the domain is now invalid.</p> <p>But quite often you can fix the problem. The bounce may have been caused by a misspelling or the addition of an invalid character, such as a space. </p> <p>If you monitor your bounce report regularly, you can fix these manually and 'rescue' the email address quickly.</p> <p>But more serious problems can be identified from the bounce report, as well.  </p> <p>Your domain may have been, unknowingly, blacklisted by a major email provider such as Hotmail or Gmail. This means that your emails will either be delivered to spam folders for people who use those services, or not at all.</p> <h4>Estée Lauder: Improving deliverability</h4> <p>Estée Lauder in Malaysia <a href="http://www.experian.com.my/assets/resources/case-studies/estee-lauder-malaysia-case-study.pdf">had a big problem</a>. Its emails had a bounce rate of 14.1% on average and ran as high as 21.6%. This meant that, at times, Estée Lauder was not able to deliver email to one in five people on its list!</p> <p>To improve deliverability, Estée Lauder implemented new email software (CheetahMail) and went to work on reducing bounces.</p> <p>First, the system validated its existing list and then deployed a bounce management scheme which removed emails which frequently bounced.</p> <p>But another problem it addressed was deliverability. This involved working with a high-quality email service provider (ESP) who had good relationships with major email providers and making sure that all of their anti-spam policies were being followed.</p> <p>Then, the emails it sent were far more likely to be delivered to recipients in their inbox, and not as spam.</p> <p>The results were that Estée Lauder reduced its email bounce rate from over 10% to under 1%.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/0598/picture2-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="473"></p> <p>Now, it is easy see this and think you don't have a problem with a bounces. Most companies already have bounce rates under 1%.  </p> <p>But maintaining focus on deliverability is still important as every email which bounces is a lost opportunity for better ROI.  </p> <p>In fact, cleaning your email list is probably one of the most underrated and effective email marketing tactics for improving ROI.</p> <p>It's also a great place for to start looking for issues if you feel like your email campaigns aren't working as well as they used to.</p> <h3>So...</h3> <p>Brands that do email marketing well tend to have strategies before tactics, use multiple data sources when targeting emails, and use many tactics to keep their email list clean.</p> <p>If you could only do one of these, though, conducting strategic analysis of your email list before executing tactics is probably the most important.  </p> <p>You can try all the tricks to improve open and click rates through A/B testing subject lines and body copy, but a good strategy is a much better way to spend your scarce time and resources.</p> <p>This means segmenting your list into meaningful groups, coming up with offers specifically for the segment, and then positioning it in a way which appeals to them.</p> <p>Doing so is the shortest path to improving email marketing ROI and boosting your email marketing program up with the best in the industry.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67306 2015-12-10T11:10:00+00:00 2015-12-10T11:10:00+00:00 Is Pinterest or Instagram better for driving ecommerce? Georges Berzgal <p>However, what hasn’t always been obvious is how to convert these followers into sales.</p> <p>Both platforms recently developed new tools to more easily facilitate commerce across the board.</p> <p>So what are the inherent benefits of services like Pinterest and Instagram, and which provides the best platform for commerce?</p> <h3>Target audiences</h3> <p>It’s no secret that brands looking to target female consumers see the benefits of embracing social media.</p> <p><a href="http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/231970">Women are 10% more</a> likely than men to show brand support and 17% more likely to access offers on social media, although <a href="http://digitalmarketingmagazine.co.uk/social-media-marketing/is-the-social-buy-button-poised-to-take-off/2766">research found</a> that men are slightly more interested in purchasing directly on social networks by using a social buy button than women (33 % vs. 30%).</p> <p>All social media networks, bar LinkedIn, have more female users than male, although women’s domination of social media is not equally spread across all networks.</p> <p>Figures suggest that <a href="http://www.conversedigital.com/digital-strategy/should-my-company-be-on-instagram-or-pinterest">Pinterest’s users are 70% and Instagram’s users are 55% female.</a></p> <h3>Buyable Pins</h3> <p>Pinterest launched <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66529-pinterest-enables-ecommerce-with-buyable-pins/">Buyable Pins</a> earlier this year, allowing consumers to purchase items without leaving the platform, and to pay using Apple Pay or credit cards.</p> <p>With a <a href="http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/pinterest-stats/">user base of 70m</a> made-up largely of consumers who are the most active and engaged, it’s no surprise that Pinterest is often seen as the social network with the highest potential for ecommerce.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/9879/buyable_pins.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="466"></p> <h3>Instagram's buy button</h3> <p>However, the truth, as unveiled by research from member-based business intelligence firm L2, is that Instagram actually <a href="http://business.financialpost.com/investing/trading-desk/how-instagram-is-becoming-a-must-have-for-retailers?__lsa=6904-3bfd">has the highest browser-to-shopper conversion rate</a> of the social media outlets it tracks.</p> <p>This is all the more impressive considering that Instagram only allows brands to link to their website from their profile page.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/9878/instagram_ads.jpg" alt="" width="700"></p> <p>The introduction of the Instagram ‘buy button’ sounded like a shift for the network.</p> <p>It is not available on regular Instagram posts yet, but limited to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66689-how-brands-are-using-instagram-ads/">the recently-introduced ad platform</a>.</p> <p>So if consumers see an item on the brand’s Instagram page they would like to purchase, they still have to search for the item on the retailer’s website to be able to buy it.</p> <h3>So, why is Instagram better at converting browsers to shoppers?</h3> <p>The answer is two-fold. What Pinterest promises is a channel through which brands can speak to women in a way that they like being spoken to.</p> <p>From our experience with clients, marketing messages with gender specific content are five times more successful than unisex messages.</p> <p>Brands understand the need to target consumers by gender, what seems odd is that brands are excited to segregate their female-targeted messages onto an entirely separate platform. </p> <p>Instagram, on the other hand, has a much more level gender split, allowing brands to target both men and women through the same platform by separating their content through gender specific accounts.</p> <p>Apparel retailers like Nike and ASOS are amongst the pioneers of this approach to Instagram, and it makes total sense. Why would you split your product by gender in-store, but then present it all together online?</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/9880/Screen_Shot_2015-12-10_at_11.08.21.png" alt="" width="700"></p> <p>It is more difficult for retailers to push their products openly on Instagram, which is the second, counter-intuitive reason why the platform is better for driving commerce.</p> <p>Brands publish content on Instagram that describes the lifestyle and culture of the company; it is the social network where retailers can forge an emotional connection with consumers.</p> <p>With our own customers we often see marketing messages with an absence of product promotion bringing in the most revenue.</p> <p>Messages promoting the culture behind the brand – be it a tie in with another brand or a connection to the local community – have proven to be extremely effective at driving engagement and revenue.</p> <p>Pinterest has been under pressure to bring commerce to the front of its platform for some time.</p> <p>Buyable pins move Pinterest towards becoming an aggregator of ecommerce, something akin to a digital shopping centre.</p> <p>This is by no means a bad thing, either for brands or consumers, but this evolution also moves Pinterest away from its social origins.</p> <p>Brands looking to tap into Instagram for ecommerce must keep in mind that the logical benefits of a product are often outweighed by a decision based on emotion.</p> <p>Social media allows brands to share their brand story in a way that retail space and owned websites often cannot offer, and for this reason a targeted Instagram account looks to be the better choice for driving revenue now, and potentially in the future.</p>