38 posts categorized "Getting started"

UK DMA Email Marketing Council Issues New Best Practices Guidelines

The UK DMA Email Marketing Council has updated its Best Practice Guidelines to continue to raise standards within the industry.

The Guidelines aim to stimulate the development of email as an effective marketing channel while reinforcing the key legislative issues that marketers should be aware of when using the medium. They also provide practical advice on how clients can maximise their return and combat the prevalence of spam.

The guidelines are all embracing, covering everything from the initial collection and managing of data through to managing response and measuring campaign effectiveness. They cover every facet of the discipline, including:

  • Advice on how to get the best out of the email channel
  • Soft Opt-in and the difference between B2C and B2B
  • How and why data should be kept clean
  • Pitfalls and considerations when renting email lists
  • Communicate with existing customers more cost effectively via email
  • How to get the right message to the right person at the right time
  • How to choose the right subject line
  • How often should an email be sent
  • How to compare email with other media

View or download the pdf here.

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

Using Email Marketing For Customer Lifecycle Campaign Management

"Acquire. Convert. Grow. Retain. Reactivate. These should be the objectives of your email strategy at different stages of the customer lifecycle. You start out with a welcoming campaign with a new customer. You nurture them with loyalty campaigns and grow them with cross-sell and upsell campaigns. You improve the lifecycle and avoid quick drop-offs."

I read the above in an article on the DM News. I very much believe in sending highly targeted email campaigns that reach customers at perfectly timed moments in their own unique lifecycles -- all automated of course. But I also know from experience that it's not easy to get there. You need to have good insights into the behaviour of the different segments in your user base, be able to translate these insights into actionable campaigns, have access to web behavioural data that you can integrate with your existing data in your database...

Just don't get frustrated or overwhelmed by this. Just take one step at the time, work together closely with the person responsible for customer insights and know that you can ask more than 600 fellow email marketers on the email roundtable for advice if you get lost!


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

How To Build And Send Multipart MIME Messages

In this article Melinda Krueger explains how to build and send Multipart MIME messages.

A multipart MIME message is like a package with multiple boxes within it. In your standard HTML + text message, both types of content are sent in the email. Your email client, assuming it understands MIME format, will decide which of the boxes to open and display to you.

It is up to the mail client to determine which content type to display or how to convert the content and format it for its own display (a la mobile devices). It’s also important to note that there is no standard stating that a message must contain either format or that if they do, each part must contain the same content.

Continue reading "How To Build And Send Multipart MIME Messages" »

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

Email Myths: Not Everything You Hear Is True

In this article David Baker, Vice President of Email Solutions at Avenue A/Razorfish, tells us not to believe everything we hear or read about email marketing best practices. He advises us to use best practices, studies, and guidance from the experts as a starting point, but don't consider their advice to be absolute.

You need to adjust your e-mail for your target audience and for what you want to achieve. Most importantly: test, test, and test some more.

The first myth he debunkes is this one: "never create an all-graphic e-mail because no one will see it or it will get flagged as spam. Instead, your e-mails should be in HTML text or even better-text--so none of your graphics are blocked. Just say "no" to graphics".

Wrong. It depends on the situation, your audience, and what you are trying to achieve. Earlier this year the AiMA held an e-mail event where one of the participants talked about an all-graphic versus HTML test they performed for the Olympics. Which e-mail was hands down the more successful campaign? You guessed it, the all-graphic version.

Here are some other favorite myths:

Preview pane

  • What you hear: Ensure your most compelling content is at the top and to the left so it appears in the preview pane.
  • Reality: Test different layouts and designs to see which is most effective for your audience. What may be compelling in your eyes may not be compelling in the eyes of your customers.

Below the fold

  • What you hear: Everything below the fold will not be seen, so the e-mail will not be successful.
  • Reality: You need to define success before you can determine if something is not successful. More often then not, I hear people say an e-mail was not successful because the links below the fold did not receive any clicks. First off, if you are measuring an e-mail's success by the number of clicks it receives, we need to talk. If it is a direct response e-mail, then sales or leads is a better measurement. If it is a reference tool, then measure opens over time. If it is informational, counting the number of clicks makes sense, but you may want to complement this information by tracking time on site and where users go on the site.

Short content

  • What you hear: Make sure your message is short and to the point. No one has time to read a lot of copy.
  • Reality: This is a blanket statement that cannot cover all situations. Especially when it comes to direct response e-mails, the key is to test long versus short and different designs and layouts. The value of some products cannot be conveyed in just a few sentences. The headers tell the story, grab attention and then the copy fills in the blanks for those who need more information.

Thanks for confirming this, David :o)

Source: MediaPost's Email Insider

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

Essential Guide to Email Marketing

The DM News Essential Guide to Email Marketing is now available for download. Topics discussed in this guide include creative tips for copy and subject headlines, integration with other channels, crafting winning opt-in offers, gaining relevancy and winning trust, growing house lists, deliverability issues and the similarities and differences between online and offline direct marketing.

Also included is content on best practices for associations, health care and nonprofits, tips on optimizing transactional email, post-click analysis, Web analytics with email, using purchase behavior for relevant campaigns, designing emails, landing pages, subscription management and preparing for the holidays. And, of course, there are must-read articles on authentication, accreditation and reputation — the rally cry of the industry.

Several case studies exemplify these best practices and tips. Among them are BabytoBee, RE/MAX of Michigan, Tridel, Balance Spa, Road Runner Sports, Avenue You, Studio Arena Theatre and Overstock.com.

Click here to download it.

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

Get Started with Email Newsletters

Email newsletters are now the preferred online mode of communicating to customers and prospects alike. The key challenge for email marketers is keeping to the job at hand week after week-- driving interest. Whether it's sparking interest in a product that ultimately leads to a sale or piquing the reader's curiosity so they click, go to the website and drive up those precious page views, the email newsletter is the "interest starting point" for your customers. Driving these interest starting points edition after edition is all a matter of staying focused.

In this article you can find five ways to do just that:

Step #1: Do you need a newsletter?
Step #2: Set expectations
Step #3: Consider frequency
Step #4: Message before graphics
Step #5: Reduce unsubscribes
Bonus step!

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

HTML Email Design, Coding, and Delivery "Survival Guide"

MailChimp just posted the 2nd edition of their "HTML Email Design Guide." It's a 50-page document that covers the following topics:

  • How HTML email works
  • Designing & Coding
  • Common mistakes to avoid
  • Designing around spam filters
  • Testing & troubleshooting your email designs
  • Email marketing basiscs & best practices
  • Measuring Performance
  • Useful resources
  • Email applications & known issues

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

How To Build An Email Program

Melinda Krueger explains in this article how to build an email program. Her advice is to begin with the end in mind and think about what your ideal program should deliver?

This is the approach you should take:

  • Understand audience needs and preferences.
  • Develop content to meet audience needs.
  • Publish your content.
  • Promote your program.
  • Analyze your results.

Read the full article here.

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

Tips For Hiring Email Marketers

Even though it's typically part of an overall marketing strategy, email marketing requires skills and thought processes that are a little different from the norm. So if you're thinking of hiring an email marketer, you should read these tips provided by Michael Pridemore.

Here are some excerpts from the article:

First of all you need to decide on reporting structures: should the email function report to product marketing, advertising, corporate communications... ?

Then you can focus on the level of expertise you need. According to Michael Pridemore, the minimum requirements for candidates are:

  • Internet/PC literate
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to handle deadline pressure
  • Ability to manage multiple projects at once

but you should also look for the following skills:

  • Ability to write and/or recognize good copy
  • Familiarity with HTML and online design
  • Knowledge of databases and data mining
  • Direct marketing experience
  • Good grasp of email and viral marketing concepts
  • Knowledge of email industry best practices
  • Understanding of spamming issues in your country

Where will you find these candidates? Michael suggests to first of all look for internal candidates from your existing direct marketing or web teams. When searching for external candidates use mainly online channels (eg. monster.com), look for candidates in your network or contact local colleges that offer courses on new media, internet marketing etc.

Read the full article and find out how to structure the email marketing function and what to be aware of.

Happy hunting!

Source: iMediaConnection.com

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

Email Marketing Best Practices Articles

EmailLabs offers a handy guide that contains a collection of articles and quick tips from issues of their Intevation Report newsletter as well as articles from the ClickZ E-Mail Delivery column co-authored by Loren McDonald and Kirill Popov:

  • Conducting Your Email Marketing Year-End Review
  • Don't Be Fooled: 3 Common Email Marketing Misconceptions
  • 28 Ways to Build Permission-Based Email Lists
  • What is the Best Time to Send an Email Promotion or Newsletter?
  • Kick Your Email Marketing Program up a Notch!
  • Optimizing Your Subject Lines for Email Client Programs
  • Email Metrics: Lies, Damn Lies
  • ISP Anti-Spam Measures: What They Mean to Marketers
  • Using Link Click-Through Tracking to Segment Your List
  • 16 Factors to Getting Better Email Open Rates
  • Why Email Click-Through Rates Are So Important
  • 14 Quick Tips on How to Reduce Email Bounces
  • Dealing with Domains
  • Complying with CAN-SPAM in an Era of Customer Control
  • Email Corrections and Why They Make Cents
  • Tips to Double Your Ecommerce and Promotions Email Revenue

Download the Best Practices Guide here.

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

Email Marketing Strategy: Some Guidelines On How To Get Started

Here are some important considerations when designing your Email Marketing Strategy:

1. Know Your Customer. Different characteristics of your service or product can appeal to different customer segments. When designing an email strategy the first step is to find out what appeals to which audience so you can differentiate your message accordingly.

2. Single-View Email List. Are all customer email addresses and relevant data from all sources channeled into a single email database? A single-view customer database has obvious benefits:

  • Allows you to establish a single and easy to manage opt-in email list.
  • Allows you to address all of your customer segments.
  • Perform ongoing and frequent updates to the email database.
  • Use an appending service to obtain the email addresses of customers for whom you only have a physical address.
  • Identify your most valuable customers with best lifetime value perspective (80:20 principle).
  • Launch email campaigns addressing different customer segments by adjusting a "master template".

Continue reading "Email Marketing Strategy: Some Guidelines On How To Get Started" »

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

Direct Email Marketing Guide

I was trying out a new tool called URL Trends this morning - you should give it a try, it's a really great tool which tracks how a domain does over time. Each month it tracks Alexa ranking, Yahoo! backlinks, MSN backlinks, & Google backlinks.

Anyway, when you pull a trend report for a domain name it also gives you an overview of all related sites. In my case there were two results only - of which one was completely irrelevant - but the other one is actually a very interesting website called Direct Email Marketing Guide. This site aims to teach you how to get started with an email marketing campaign.

If you look beyond the ads, there's some really good information on this website. Check it out.

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

Recommended Reading

You might have noticed the list of recommended books in the right sidebar. A couple of days ago, I spent some time to create this list. I hope you find it useful!

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

Email Marketing 101 Webinar Series

Constant Contact offers an on-demand webinar series on its website to educate visitors on the fundamentals of email marketing.

The following topics are covered in short 3-5 minutes flash presentations:

  • Orientation
  • Why Email Marketing
  • Why use an Email Marketing Service
  • Obtaining Permission
  • Building your List
  • Email Campaign Types
  • Newsletters
  • Getting Email Opened
  • Writing Copy
  • Top 10 Email Marketing Do's and Don'ts
  • Best Time to Send
  • Measuring Results
  • Email Bounces

Access Constant Contact's Email Marketing 101 Webinar Series.

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