40 posts categorized "Case Studies" Feed

We're Friendly... Well, Sort of

Wrigley’s website Candystand.com  Is full of fun games and I must admit to spending too much of my free time there playing Candy Drop.  The emails that compliment the site are to the point, easy to read and have a specific call to action.

Candystand_1_2 The email I received last week included a link to a coupon for buy one get one free gum and a link to enter to win a new car.

It seems that Wrigley is on the right track with a request to whitelist, but could take it a step further by actually including the email address in the sentence.  It currently reads "This e-mail was sent to you from Candystand.com. To ensure delivery to your inbox (not bulk, junk, or spam folders), please add us to your address book."

From  a literal standpoint, do I add "us" to my address book and then assume the messages will make it to my inbox?  Of course I know to add the uber-friendly from address, noreply@candystand.com.  Wrigley runs the risk of the majority of their subscribers not adding the address and ups the chances of ending up in the bulk or junk folder.

The footer of the message contains the same "friendly" tone with the following statement "Note: Please DO NOT REPLY to this email. Wrigley welcomes your comments and questions, please click here to view our Frequently Asked Questions or to contact us."

When you send your email message to from and reply to email addresses should be monitored.  And the address should never,ever be noreply@…  Some subscribers may never take the extra step to click to contact.  And it really makes it look like you’d rather not hear what your subscribers have to say.

Make it easy for your subscribers to reach you by using a friendly reply-to email address and by making it easier for your messages to land in the inbox.  When things are more difficult than they need to be, your subscribers will either, opt-out, stop reading or report you as SPAM.

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Why the Newspaper Industry Should Switch to Email

by Josh Nason

A newspaper must have an online presence to even be considered relevant. There has never been a more exciting time to be involved with media than now. There are so many opportunities to do something with all of the various methods of passing along information to the masses. Considering our society is so content-driven, newspapers have a distinct advantage over some of its competitors in that they’re always producing something new on a daily basis.

So why aren’t they using that advantage?

Money is a huge reason as newspaper publishers continue to struggle with how to translate the cash earned from someone plunking down two quarters for a physical paper to someone plunking down their butt and logging onto the online version. I’m not sure why this is such a confounding proposition, but very few newspaper outlets see the big picture. TV and radio have set the bar in terms of giving away free information as you can get the latest information from CNN.com or MSNBC.com within seconds of it happening, all for free. Newspapers have the same capability with a website and email list, yet many do it so poorly. Seemingly, there’s no effective online strategy and it doesn’t make any sense.

Advertising buttons are one way that Big Ink is trying to make some of this cash back they feel they’re losing by “giving away” news. In return, they get a cluttered site that somewhat resembles the outfield walls of a minor-league baseball park. While there is a price to be paid for getting information from trusted sources like your local paper, is it worth being bombarded to that extent? It’s symbolic of an industry struggling to grasp with itself.

So what’s the answer? Emails, of course!

Continue reading "Why the Newspaper Industry Should Switch to Email" »

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VistaPrint's Email Tactics: Do They Work?

Yesterday I read this post on the Email Marketing Voodoo blog. The author claims he/she has received 4 apology emails from VistaPrint this month and is wondering if it's possible to apologize too much.

I too received 4 apology emails from VistaPrint in the last two months and as from the second one I started to feel that it was more of a marketing stunt rather than a sincere apology.

I must say I'm a bit puzzled with their email marketing tactics overall. Last December I purchased some business cards on their website and have received over 60 promotional emails from them since. I received 5 emails from them in February, 8 in March, 12 in April, 20 in May and so far I've received 15 in June... So I'm wondering: is sending more emails to unresponsive/lapsed customers a good tactic? Do they really think it works?

Personally I don't think so. If it weren't out of professional interest I would have unsubscribed long ago.

Legally it's perfectly okay in Europe to send emails to customers, but in my perception I feel spammed to death by them. One email per month to remind me of their existence and keep the brand awareness up would be more than enough. I would even consider purchasing from them again. But now I'm not so sure: would purchasing more products from them trigger more emails? I'm not willing to give it a try!

What annoys me most is that sending practices like this are giving the industry a bad name.

If anyone at VistaPrint is reading this post: do something about it! Please!

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Going Global With Your Email Program

At the last Email Insider Summit I was invited to sit on a panel to discuss what it takes to go global with your email program. The short answer is: it takes a lot of planning, extra time and budget and preferably local resources.

At my previous company, my team was responsible for sending out a newsletter to 12 different European countries -- in the native language. Our corporate headquarters (located in Ottawa, Canada) would come up with the main content for the newsletter, but each country had the chance to add local news. And then the fun began...

Continue reading "Going Global With Your Email Program" »

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Great Example of a "Re-Introduction" Campaign

Ben Chestnut answers this question on his blog:

"I have a list of 9,000 customer email addresses. I haven't emailed them in a while, and now I'm ready to start sending them email newsletters. How can I do this without getting blacklisted, or angering my customers?"

Read here what Ben advises you to do and check out this great example of a "re-introduction" email that Ben received the other day.

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Example of a Great Welcome Email

Found this on the ReturnOnSubscriber blog:

After signing up for an email list, you need to send the new subscriber some type of thank you message while you are fresh in their minds.

This email from Wal-Mart does a great job of stating value, frequency, and messaging options in their welcome email. The "how to add us to your address book" option adds a lot of value, as does the ability to jump back to the site and shop. They also add a opt-out option in case the user signed up in error, as well as their privacy policy.

Dear Wal-Mart Shopper,

Thank you for subscribing to our email newsletters! You'll receive the
latest news from Walmart.com, including Rollback savings and more,
delivered weekly to _______@yahoo.com.

To ensure delivery to your inbox instead of your bulk or junk mail
folder, please add walmartnewsletters@walmart.com to your address book.
Here's how:

Sign up for our other newsletters, including Wal-Mart Entertainment and
Advertised Values, and manage your subscriptions here:

Start shopping today!


If you feel we have sent this confirmation email in error, or if you
would like to be removed from future Walmart.com emails, you may
unsubscribe here:

We value your trust and will never share your information. View our
Privacy Policy:

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The Best Email Campaigns of the Past Year

The best 39 email campaigns of the past year are now ready for your viewing -- and inspiration -- at MarketingSherpa's 2007 Email Awards Gallery. These are the different categories:

  • Best Email Opt-in Campaign
  • Best Email Newsletter for Marketing Purposes
  • Best Promotional Blast -- Direct Sale or Lead Gen Offer
  • Best Single Welcome Letter (to New Subscribers)
  • Best Automated Series (Auto Responder)
  • Best Triggered Personalized Email
  • Best Postcard-Style Campaign
  • Best (or Most Dramatic) Test you Learned From
  • Best Non-Email Opt-in Messaging

Check them out and be inspired!

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Net-a-Porter Ups Conversion Rate After Cutting Email Activity

Online luxury fashion retailer Net-a-Porter.com has cut down the number of emails it sends to customers from up to 10 per week to two. The company had been emailing some customers up to 10 times a week with information including generic updates, highlights from specific designers and details of new products.

They now send each user two automatically generated emails a week that take into account their specific interests and preferences. Product update emails achieve a conversion rate of more than 10% and newsletter emails are opened by nearly half of recipients.

The company sends out around 300,000 emails a week. Email drives 32% of Net-a-Porter's sales and generates more than £1m in revenue each month.

Source: Brandrepublic.com

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How Would You Rank Your Organization's Use of Email Marketing?

Last week, MarketingSherpa's Anne Holland had the honor of meeting a top email vendor's Client Advisory Board. Everyone in the room was a head of email marketing from a well known company, including B-to-B and famous consumer brands.

At the start of their meeting the organizers asked each of them to introduce themselves and say how they ranked their organization's use of email on a scale from 1 to 10. And guess what? No one ranked their company as high as a '10'. Nor even a 9 or an 8. Most felt they were anywhere from 1-5.

Why were some of the top emailers in the world dissing their own programs? Because we all know what can be done with email, and we're nowhere near that glory yet...

Everyone around the table agreed that "the challenge is execution" -- mainly on the IT & staffing side of email marketing.

Read the article here.

I can totally relate to that, especially the staffing part. It's one thing to say that you should segment your database and send relevant messages to each segment and it's another to actually go ahead and do it -- especially if you're just one person handling everything from strategy to content to design to send. There's no way one person can handle all of that. And believe me, I know what I'm talking about...

So how would I rate my organization's use of email marketing? Hmmm... I'm afraid I can't give a high rank either. I'd say we're a 3. Why? Because our email platform is downright pre-historic and we're not good at best practice sharing among the different teams. My major frustrations are the fact that we can't do subject line testing or any other testing for that matter (unless we do it manually but remember the staffing issue?), no easy way to do dynamic content, building campaigns takes up too much time, we need to work on deliverability...

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How Dice Reached a Consistent Delivery Rate of 95%

When considering how important deliverability is to an email marketer's overall success, the adage "Showing up is half the battle" comes to mind. Simply put, you cannot take your delivery rate for granted because each ISP has its own rules when it comes to bounces.

In fact, according to data from MarketingSherpa’s latest Email Marketing Benchmark Guide, 25% of business-to-consumer marketers surveyed said they’ve seen a significant increase in bounce rates.

By altering their delivery methods, Dice, a leading techie career-based Web site managed to reach a consistent deliverability rate of 95%. Read the case study here. (open access until Feb. 5)

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Case Studies on Segmentation Practices

Dylan Boyd posted his notes from a session on segmentation practices at the Email Insider Summit that was held earlier this month.

In this session Michele Souder (General Mills), Betsy Alperstein (General Growth Properties - Large Retail Malls) and Mark Braitsky (Peterson's) discussed how they deal with the following challenges:

  • Capturing the Data
  • Accesing and Segmenting the Data
  • Creating the Versions of the Content
  • Getting the Resources and Budget

Key take-aways:

Most brands are only using simple segmentation and content driven (dynamic data) emails. The reasons being: time, staff, true understanding, and resources (money). Most of the brands are taking this last years data to better shape 2007 campaigns. The reasons being that they are just starting to get enough data to target based on behavior and wants/likes.

Read more here.

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Case Study: National Association of Realtors

Read here how the team behind one of the largest circulation B-to-B newsletters in the world makes sure that their newsletters have consistent open, read & click through rates.

Tip: people only respond to email on an ongoing basis when it's all about themselves. When writing content for your newsletter always ask the "what's in it for me" question. Help your audience solve a paint-point or help them to be more successful in what they do.

Open access until June 18th

Source: MarketingSherpa.com

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Targeting Users That Clicked But Didn't Convert

The marketing people at Greenbrier resort tested sending a follow-up email (with a stronger call to action and a discount) to all recipients of a previous campaign that did clicked through but didn't convert. The results were pretty good, so you might want to give this a try as well...

You can read the case study on the MarketingSherpa website (open access until Jan 23rd).  

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Should You Re-Send Your Email Newsletter to Non-Openers?

On April 29th I published a post about re-sending your email to people that didn't open it the first time. Well, mouse2house, an online retailer providing digital imaging products to the UK market, actually tried it out.

Their promotion was broadcast to the entire database, and then following a three week delay, the promotion was resent to all recipients who had not opened the email -- and with some very good results: across both sends, the newsletter generated a 35% increase in sales from existing customers. Of these all the orders, 31% of them were generated by the second send. View the complete results here.

You can read the extended case study on MarketingSherpa (open access until December 18th).

I agree with MarketingSherpa's comments at the bottom of the article: a lot of email clients (Gmail, Outlook 2003, Outlook Express, Lotus Notes...) are blocking images and if the user doesn't download the images, there is no way of knowing if they opened the email or not. So if you would like to apply this tactic, please do so with caution. You don't want to be perceived as a spammer.

Source: Adestra | MarketingSherpa.com

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Low Budget Email Marketing [Case Study]

You don't always need a big budget, a large list or a three-digit average order to make e-mail marketing work for your organization: in an article called "The Little E-Mail Marketing Budget That Could", Jeanne Jennings explains how a small company on a small budget yields big returns from their email marketing efforts. Definitely worth reading!

Source: Clickz

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Welcome Messages get Highest Open Rates

Big news: chances are more recipients will open your list's welcome message than any other email you ever send them in the future. We've long suspected that welcomes are more important than most marketers believe. Our theory is that response is driven by recency of opt-in. If someone just joined your list a few minutes ago, they're darn likely to open the first few messages they get from you.

Read how can you tweak your probably-standard welcome to take advantage of this extra level of reader attention: four specific tactics tested by real-life marketers.

Source: ExactTarget - MarketingSherpa

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