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5 entries from August 2013

The Best Email Marketing Book I've Read in a Loooong Time

How could I have missed this book when it came out? I just got my hands on a copy of Hillstrom's Email Marketing Excellence and at 72 pages, it's the greatest little email marketing book out there.


You should read it. Now!

As Kevin says himself on his blog: 

What you won't get (there's hundreds of books and millions of blog articles that tell you how to do this stuff):

  • You won't hear anything about opens/clicks/conversions. These metrics do not illustrate the profitability of email marketing, on an annual basis. 
  • You won't get tips for maximizing subject line performance. 
  • You won't learn anything about creative strategies. 
  • You won't learn about traditional best practices. 

You're going to see a different side of email marketing, one where executives fully understand the profit contribution of email marketing, one where you learn interesting facts about how to weight historical transactions for trigger-based programs and multi-version campaigns.

You'll learn how to execute five year sales forecasts, and you'll learn communication techniques that prove email marketing isn't dead.

Thank to Patrick Glenisson for pointing this book out to me a couple of months ago.

Here's that link again.

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

6 Tips on How to Make Email Subscribers React

Earlier this year I spoke at iLive 2013 in Latvia, and presented 7 tips on getting your subscribers to action your emails. The sponsor of iLive, Mailigen has just blogged a nice sumary of the main points of the presentation .

6 Tips on How to Make Email Subscribers React

Focus on email campaign objectives

Email marketers often focus on the opens and clicks of email subscribers, forgetting about conversions which are, of course, most important. An increase in opens and even clicks doesn’t necessarily mean that conversions will also increase. Purchases, registrations, reads, downloads, etc. will increase only if you had set them up as a goal.

If you know exactly what you want your email subscribers to do after receiving your message, it will be much easier to achieve it with appropriate subject linescall to action buttons, images, content and other email elements.

Carefully craft subject lines

“Spend 80% of your time crafting a subject linecall to action and headlines, and 20% writing copy,” highlighted Kath Pay at the conference. Create subject lines and call to action buttons with your email subscriber in mind.

  • Be extra specific, relevant and useful to your customer. Shorter is not always better, so replace the usual “Continue” CTA with something more specific, e.g., “Check availability” in order to get your email subscribers to act on your emails.
  • Be visually different, for example, make your subject line stand out visually by trying square brackets, symbols, etc.
  • Use digits, action words and timely topics, for example, use an end date for a campaign to motivate email subscribers to react to the message right here and now.
  • Use a call to action by asking a question.
  • Make the call to action appropriate to where the email subscribers are at in the buying cycle.

Maximize the golden real estate

When creating your email design, use the golden real estate wisely – the upper left hand corner of a newsletter. As we read in an F-shaped pattern, this is the place where attention is paid first of all. So don’t waste this space for images or logos. Leave it for text where you directly call on your email recipients to act.

Read the full article

You can also view the presentation on Slideshare here.

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

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Which Subject Line Keywords Would Get Your Email Opened Every Time?

Adestra recently published their 2013 Subject Line Analysis Report that presents the key findings of their latest research - a survey of over 2.2 billion emails, from over 90,000 campaigns, to identify keyword trends in subject lines (covering the words and phrases that get recipients to open emails OR are overused and ineffective.)

The research was split into six sectors: B2B publishing, B2C Publishing, B2B Events, B2C Events, Charities & Not for Profit and Retail & Ecommerce.

According to Parry Malm, Account Director at Adestra:

"Subject line strategy should be seen as a series of branding tools over a period of time, not just one-offs to drive short term response. With usability firmly in mind, there are key words and phrases that statistically help drive response in your sector, try them and test them – constant testing is vital to success."

Obviously, we agree with him!

Here are the key findings of their research:

  • Email communication generally is trending towards a better user experience. 
    Brands having a “Sale” will drive response by simple saying so (+23.2% open rate, +60.7% click rate); brands with something “New” must talk about it (+17.2%, +38.2%);  and new “Video” content must be promoted (+18.5%, 64.8%).
  • With the growth in popular content aggregators, many people don’t bother to sign up for a newsletter anymore.
    While the word ‘newsletter’ shows a marginal effect on open rates (+0.7%), but a strong negative effect on click rates (-18.7%.), ‘Alert’ performs much better (+38.1% opens and +61.8% clicks). It’s a great action word, creating urgency among reader and gives the impression that the news is breaking, and cannot be missed.
  • It looks as though one of the big trends this year, Content Marketing, has over-saturated customers, both B2B and B2C, with too much information.  For example, “Report” (-23.7%, -54.8%,) “Learn” (-35.5%, -60.8%,) and “Book” (-4.6%, -25.4%) are trending down.  Email marketers clearly need to focus on differentiating their offering, as delivering content marketing is becoming a competitive area.
  • Creating an expectation to receive scheduled messages works well as customers get into the habit of reading them. Communications that are sent out “Daily” (+27.8%, +100.3%) and “Weekly” (+27.1%, +50.6%) perform strongly. Conversely, “Monthly” (-26.6%, -37.0%) is probably too infrequent, losing the top-of-mind position that brands may have spent years working on.
  • Obviously, people like to save money and everyone loves getting a good deal
    For example, simple things like offering “Free Delivery” (+50.7%, +135.4%), or specifying a percentage off in the subject line (+10.5%, +27.4%.) seem to work a treat.

To get the full picture, download the full report from the Adestra website.

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!