Email marketing

5 Reason Why Email Marketing So Important

Basically, email marketing is that the use of email to market merchandise and services. however, a far better definition of email promoting definition is that the use of email to develop relationships with potential customers and shoppers. Email promoting is one phase of web promoting, that encompasses online promoting via websites, social media, blogs, etc.

5 reason email marketing

Much of the spam email we have a tendency to all get proclaiming ‘deals’ on this which may be an example of email promoting at its worst; the mindless email barrage.

At its best, email promoting permits businesses to stay their customers know and tailor their promoting messages to their customers.

1.Email marketing keeps your customers informed

Emails have the flexibility to stay your customers hip to. shoppers square measure capable of checking their email once it’s convenient for them. It will offer them a sense that you just square measure thinking of them. This email may be as straightforward as saying: “Hi, you’re on our mind, there could be a special offer! people who have signed up to your email list have already created a commitment to receive these notes. so that they can possibly relish these emails (as long as you offer them one thing value reading) and it’ll boost engagement together with your customers.

2.Email marketing helps you reach mobile users

According to See Why, 62 of smartphone conversions came from email in Dec 2013. the share of shoppers gap up their email on a mobile device is currently larger than 500th. These area units vital numbers to require under consideration once coming up with any promoting strategy. a lot of and a lot of customers area unit victimization their mobile devices to access not solely emails however all different forms of media and data. Hit ’em on the go.

3.Email marketing is action orientating

For a protracted time currently, twenty-two years really, email has been a sort of communication. because the years have passed by, email has quickly become one in every of our main selections of communication. we’ve got all been kept to reply to associate email in some fashion. whether or not it’s to reply, to forward, click through to one thing else embedded at intervals the e-mail, delete, or to shop for one thing, or to sign in. we tend to tend to try to do one thing with the e-mail. Knowing this, you’ll use email to drive individuals to your web site, to select up the phone and decision or the other decision to action. In fact, 23 % of sales last year were attributed to email promoting.

4.Email marketing is measurable

Most email services, like Constant Contact, offer the ability to trace what happens once you’ve got got sent out your email campaign. you may track delivery rates, bounce rates, unsubscribe rates, click through rates, and open rates. this provides you a much better understanding of but your email campaigns as operational, that of them to tweak or that of them to urge obviate altogether. These metrics should not be ignored. they seem to be a vital a locality of your internet promoting campaign as a full. Hub-Spot suggests that 16-30 emails a month is that the “sweet spot” and check out to plan 25th open rate and 100% click via rate (but this can vary by industry) See this list for a lot of correct benchmarks.

5.Email promoting is cheap

Email marketing services like Send Grid prices $0.0006 cents per message at their platinum promoting Email level. Mail chimp permits you to send up to 12,000 emails a month without charge. They conjointly do supply larger monthly plans for growing businesses with up to 600,000 subscribers and high volume sender plans for all the world over that. Another email promoting company, Vertical Response, offers free email promoting up to four,000 emails a month and one,000 email contacts.

 

Skip Promotional Tab in gmail – Send your mail directly to inbox

It’s simple really. The easiest way to guarantee delivery to Gmail’s Primary Inbox, and not the Promotions tab, is to send your email campaigns from Gmail’s own servers. GMass does just that, by turning your regular Gmail or Google Apps account into a powerful email marketing platform. Prepare to impress your boss with the highest open rates you’ve ever achieved.

You Can Add this extension by clicking on this link : ADD NOW

FEATURES

  • Use Gmail to send mail merge campaigns with automatic follow-up emails.
  • Connect to Google Sheets.
  • Personalize. Schedule. Track opens and clicks.
  • Create email lists based on search results.
  • Send emails as replies to the last thread with each person.
  • The killer feature: set automatic follow-up emails to be sent sequentially until you get a reply.

Mail merge with Google Sheets

Mass email based on search results

Use Gmail’s powerful search feature to find messages containing recipients to whom you want to email. Then click the Build Email List button, and a Compose window will load containing the email addresses found in those messages.

Have emails sent as replies

Choose to either have emails sent as new messages or as replies to the last conversation you had with each recipient. The latter will create the impression that you manually replied and typed a message to that recipient individually, which should increase your response rate.

Google Sheets integration with GMASS

After two weeks of development effort, GMass’s Google Sheets integration is complete. You can now send a mass email/mail merge campaign easily to contacts in a Google Sheets spreadsheet.

To get the feature, just do a hard re-load of Gmail in your Chrome browser.

You’ll notice a new Google Sheets icon next to the “Build Email List” button. Please note that we re-named “Compose from Search” to “Build Email List”.

Click the Sheets icon, and after you’ve authorized GMass to access your Google Sheets spreadsheets, a window will popup showing your spreadsheets, and allowing you to choose one.

You do not need to specify which column contains the email addresses, because GMass will auto-detect that and read the other columns in the spreadsheet to allow you to personalize your mass email with any of those fields.

Your spreadsheet needs to be formatted properly for GMass to read from it. The first row should contain column names, like FirstName, LastName, EmailAddress, Company, LastPurchase, and others. The actual data should start on the second row.

If your spreadsheet has multiple worksheets, then a Worksheets dropdown will also appear, allowing you to select the specific worksheet from which you’d like GMass to read. If your spreadsheet only has one worksheet, then this dropdown will not appear.

After clicking the Connect button, GMass will read the email addresses and other data from your spreadsheet and load the email addresses into the To field of a new Compose window.

Clicking on the settings arrow will reveal the personalization buttons, one for each column in the spreadsheet. Click these buttons to insert the personalization fields into the Subject and Body of your email message.

Personalized Email: Whether to Get Personal or Not? Chapter – 20

If you’re actively emailing but aren’t sure if it will improve your campaign to include personalized user information such as a name or a user name in your email, Comm100 explains in this article the pros and cons of personalized email and the best times to use it for the best results.

Personalized Email or Not?

These days, almost all third party email marketing platforms offer the option to send personalized email by including your client’s user name or name. Is this a good idea and can it improve your email marketing results? The answer, of course, is both yes and no.

The Basic Conversion Fact on Personalized Email

Numerous studies have revealed that the more personalized your email is, the better it will convert. The simplest version of this would be to include your client’s user name or name in the intro to the email; while the most complex one would be to send multiple versions of your email with customized offers and products displayed to users based on their on-site behaviors and purchasing patterns.

Let’s assume that, for most of us, we will be operating on the “simple” end of this spectrum. Studies from multiple sources have revealed the following:

  • Using a name or user name in a subject line will improve open rates as users typically assume that this email has come from a trusted source.
  • Using a name or user name within the content of the email itself improves conversion rates and has the added benefit of creating brand loyalty with the user.

 

So, it would seem as though it would be an easy decision to have your email sendings personalized, right? Unfortunately it’s not that simple.

The Issue of Privacy in Personalized Email

Unfortunately, the issue of user’s concerns about email privacy and the use of their information can throw a wrench in your belief that personalized email is the best move for you. Selecting a bad context to use as a piece of personal information in your email can result in the abandonment of users from not only your email list but also your brand. Here are some important elements to keep in mind when deciding whether to incorporate any form of email personalization in your email campaigns.

Would your users want other people to know that they use your product?

There are many numbers of industries out there where clients and users might not be comfortable with others knowing that they use the product or service. This can range from anything as salacious as gambling or adult sites to something as essentially harmless as dating sites, medical information sites and financial advice sites. While, in theory, a personalized email will only be seen by the person it was intended for, it can have the unfortunate side effect of creating uncertainty about the safety of their identity with a user. If you have a reason to believe that any significant portion of your user base would be concerned with the security of their identity, veer away from personalization in your emails.

Test…then test again! Are you tired of hearing this phrase yet? But it’s true. If you’re willing to take the hit that your test may result in some people leaving your list, run two separate a/b email testing. The first test should use a name or user name within the email, and the other one should use that information in the subject line. If there’s any question, you’ll certainly know after that test if your users like personalized email or not. Just remember, pay attention to all four key metrics when you do this: open rate, click-through rate, conversion and unsub rate. It’s one of the few tests where you may see a variation in unsubs that matters!

NEVER use a last name! The one thing that Comm100 can tell you for sure is that you should never use a client or user’s last name as a personalization field. By just about every study ever done that is one step over the line of what people are comfortable seeing being used in a piece of marketing collateral. No last names! We would recommend not even using last initials!

Name or User Name?

One of the large questions of how to create a personalized email is whether to use a client’s actual first name or their user name. Once again, there are arguments for each option.

First Name: Using a user’s first name as your personalization element has the advantage of making your personlaized email, well, even more personal! It takes the user out of being a nameless face or possibly randomized user name and into the area of having a relationship with you or your company. However, the downside is that it’s less anonymous than using a user name, so clients who are uncomfortable about user privacy will have a more negative reaction to it. The other downside is that a first name is actually a more readily available piece of information to a spammer. Spammers regularly buy lists of emails and registered users from list brokers and include the first name field, and a first name is actually a relatively easy piece of information to phish for spammers who scour the internet stealing user information from insecure forums and registration sites, so it can, in some cases, have the opposite impact of creating company trust. However, at base, it’s true that nothing makes a person feel more like they’re in a personal relationship than the use of their name!

User Name: Using a user name counteracts some of the issues that you’ll encounter with using a client’s first names. For starters, it’s a more anonymous piece of information, so clients or users may not experience the same concerns about privacy. Secondly, a user name isn’t a field commonly used or even obtainable by spammers, so you’ll overcome what may be an initial reaction by users to seeing a potentially spam-like message. However, the downside is fairly obvious – a user name is not as friendly or personal as a first name.

Whether you use first name or user name, be careful about where you put that information in the email! Because personalization is designed to improve your metrics, if you’re not including it in the first two inches of the email, you’ve probably negated its positive impact already!

Personalization is an important tool in optimizing your email campaigns, but it needs to be approached with caution and a specific plan. Be sure to monitor your email performance closely once implementing it! And be prepared to test several different versions of personalized emails as well!

Email On the Phone – How Many People Read Email on The Phone, and Why is It Important? Chapter – 19

If you’ve got an active email list that you’re sending to, be aware that many of them will be reading their email on the phone. Comm100 explains in this article how to create an email that will be as effective on a mobile phone as on a large computer monitor.

The Smartphone Phenomenon

Walk into any coffee shop, library, bus stop, gym… honestly walk just about anywhere and you’ll see the masses browsing the web and checking their email on the newest generation of cell phones. Smartphones, as they’re called, are defined as mobile phones that operate with advanced capabilities and operating systems, similar to that of PC functionality. These phones have internet browsers and capabilities, and, increasingly people are completing their internet surfing and email reading on these phones.

Why is this important to my email campaign?

The primary reason that the proliferation of smartphones is important to your email campaign is that your marketing email design (ebook – Email Design: Be Different for Different Email Service Provider Platforms) needs to take into account how it will display on a smartphone. This makes it even more restrictive than it used to be to design email to the phone. We’ll detail the elements of email design that you need to keep in mind at the end of this article, after we familiarize you with the lay of the land when it comes to smartphones.

Types of Smartphones

By the time that you read this article, the information about the most common types of smartphones will probably already be out of date! However, at this moment, the smartphone market looks something like this (according to a 2011 study by Canalys):

  • Android: 48.8%
  • iOS: 19.1%
  • Symbian: 16.4%
  • BlackBerry: 10.5%
  • bada: 2.7%
  • Windows Phone: 1.4%
  • Others: 1.1%

If you email a great deal, it would be worth your time to find somebody in the office with each of these phones to see how your email displays on their various screens and resolutions. It’s becoming as important as checking your email in various email providers.

How many people use smartphones?

According to a recent comscore study, you can expect up to 20% of your email list to be reading their email on the phone, and, if the demographic that you market to involves business professionals, that number will skew even higher. It’s a growing demographic, and one that you’ll need to cater to if you want to optimize your email marketing platform.

How does this impact my email marketing?

The primary way that the emergence of smartphones will impact your email marketing campaign will be to make your design team even more frustrated! We’ve already discussed how design teams can become frustrated with the html limitations and low graphics counts required in good email design. Imagine how your designers are going to respond to you when you tell that that, ideally, you need your email template to still resolve on a three inch by two inch screen. It should be readable on that size screen, and it can’t be dependent on graphics in case they don’t load!

The good news is that you’ll have a better chance of having your email read by users checking their email on the phone! Some studies have indicated that users checking email on the phone do it more during leisure time or “down time” than those who check on a laptop. For example, they check email on the phone while waiting for public transportation or for a meeting to start. So unlike trying to stand out in an inbox that people are trying to clear, you stand of chance of being opened just to that the user has something to read.

So, the keys to remember are that you should keep in mind that a portion of your users will view your email on the phone with a three inch by two inch screen. Then you can hope that you’re on the lucky end of an increased open rate!

Should I segment out my smartphone users and send them a different email template?

There’s been some discussion of the possibility of beginning to ask users when they join your email list if they regularly view their email on the phone. This would be similar to asking users if they prefer to receive their email in html or plain text, and the end result would be to send those users a different email template that was designed to resolve better on a small screen.

We’d recommend against this. Firstly, it’s probably a segment of your list that doesn’t justify the extra resources and list management to create an entirely different list for them. Secondly, even your most avid smartphone users won’t always view email on the phone. So if you’re sending an email that’s designed for a small screen and then the user views it on a normal laptop or desktop, you’ve just sent a highly non-optimized email.

Rather than try to treat regular smartphone users separately, just practice good clean design and be sure your email doesn’t explode into a mess when viewed on a smartphone screen!

Being aware that your users will view your email on the phones is becoming more and more important, and your email program will certainly suffer performance issues if you don’t accommodate it. However, it’s still a growing segment of your list, and your main focus should continue to be on laptop and desktop users.

The Quandary of Email Content Type: Direct Response Email vs. Informational Email Chapter – 18

If you’re considering implementing an email marketing program, of if you’ve already started emailing but aren’t sure if you have chosen the right email content type, this article explores whether an informational newsletter or a direct response sales email will be better for your overall email needs.

Finding the Right Balance Between Email Content Types

Often, in developing your email program, the following question will arise: “Will my customers be offended and stop reading my emails if every email is just a hard sell?” Shortly after that question arises, the next logical question comes to mind. “But if I send only informational content in an email, will my users then follow through to purchase anything or will they just read the email and then delete it?”

Finding the right email content type between providing users with email content that will make them feel that your email marketing is valuable and generating direct sales and ROI from your email campaign can be a challenge. Succeeding at accomplishing the best balance will most likely requires testing on your part. However, there are some basic concepts that you can walk through while developing your email program.

What exactly did Your Users Sign Up for? What do Your Users Want?

The first question that you need to ask yourself when deciding which type of email content to choose is “What exactly content did you promise your users when they signed up for your newsletter?” Does your newsletter sign-up box promise users a weekly tip? Does it promise informational articles? Do users sign-up because you’ve assured them that there are exclusive monthly discounts to members of the email list? The most basic rule of thumb is that your email recipients need to receive exactly what it is that you promised them. So if you’ve incentivized people into signing up for your email list by promising them quarterly white papers or ebooks, then that needs to be what you send if you want to keep your list loyal.

The second half to this question, however, is the more important one. What is it, exactly, that your users want to receive in their emails? And how do you determine this?

There are two ways to figure out which email content type your users really want to receive. The first, creating multiple email list options, is detailed below. The second, however, is to do some simple email testing such as a/b tests. In this instance, you’ll need to change your email acquisition page (whether that’s a separate landing page or a module on your main website) to present a different value proposition for your email product at different times. The easiest way to do this is to change it out at the beginning of a week. So, for example:

– During the first week, when people sign up for your email list, they see the message “Join our email list for weekly tips on becoming a happier person.”

– During the second week, when people sign up for your email list, they see the message “Join our email list for exclusive monthly product discounts.”

At the end of each week, divide the number of impressions that the pages with the email capture form received by the number of sign-ups to the email list in order to get your conversion percentage. The one that performed better is the one that your clients want to receive!

Create Multiple Email Formats to Get the Best of Everybody

An even better option than trying to limit your email list to just one format that appeals to only one segment of your audience is to create different email lists for your users to join. Typically, this would include an informational newsletter, a discount or special offer email and a generic update email list. However, depending on your product or business, there are many other options as well. You may have enough users to create email options that are specific to brands, geographies, and types of news or other segments.

The benefit of offering multiple email lists for your users to choose from is that you’ll always be sure that your users are receiving exactly what they wanted. The downside, however, is that you’ll be producing more email products and your email list management will become harder, track and determine ROI on. The scope of your resources and the importance of email marketing in your marketing mix should be the driver on this decision making.

Also, remember that even if you offer multiple email lists to your clients, CAN-SPAM requires that you offer users the option of opting out of all emails instead of just one list!

What if My Users Want Informational Emails? Can My Email Program be Profitable then?

One of the more common issues we’ve encountered in the email marketing world is the dilemma of what happens when your users don’t actively want to be marketed to but instead want to receive informational emails. While discounts, sales and exclusive merchandise tend to be the primary reasons that people will join an email list, you will find the situation where people honestly prefer the email content type that is information based. In this case, we’d suggest that you keep in mind two factors when evaluating the value of your email program.

Retention Value: In an earlier article, we discussed customer life cycle and how email can be used to extend the time a customer is in a relationship with your brand. While a direct return on an email is important, there’s also value in the fact that your email keeps your brand and product name in the mind of your users even when they’re not ready to make a subsequent purchase from you. Because your email program develops a relationship with your clients, when they are ready to make a purchase again, you’ll be the first option in their mind. Be sure to factor the retention value of your email when evaluating its role in your marketing mix.

Contextual Selling: Also, let it not be thought that it is impossible to generate sales out of an information email. It’s just that doing that means that you need to take the time and effort to create very compelling email content. Contextually mentioning products and linking to those products from your email, when done well, can actually yield better results than a direct sales email in some instances. The key is to relate the product to the information in such a way that users really see how the product is useful to them and then act on that information. Contextual marketing is an entire lesson on its own. However, don’t underestimate the value that can come from it!

Is it really terrible to send a direct response email to a list that’s opted-in to a newsletter or informational email?

The short answer is that it’s not terrible at all! Often your users will appreciate your periodic discount or sales email and respond favorably (and profitably) to it. The key is to limit how many times you send these different email content types and to make sure that the offers that you include in them will truly be perceived as valuable by your clients or users. If you’re sending direct solicitation offers as frequently as informational newsletters, then that’s too often! But sending a special offer monthly will most likely be appreciated by your users.

There’s no hard and fast answer to which email content type your clients want to receive. You’ll need to experiment, listen to your customers and pay attention to what gets the best responses when you send it out. However, most companies will find that walking the line between useful email content and compelling offers will yield the best results.

Email Marketing Tips Checklist: Email Marketing Tips Top 10 Chapter – 17

If you’re considering implementing an email marketing program or are currently emailing but experiencing underperformance, Comm100 provides you in this article with a list of 10 Email Marketing tips that will assure improvement in your email marketing campaigns.

The Top 10 Email Marketing Tips

Despite what you may hear, email marketing is a complicated process with many moving parts. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a successful email marketing program or campaign while keeping things relatively simple. Popularizers has narrowed down the ten email marketing tips that you absolutely must remember. If you follow them, you certainly won’t fail!

Email Marketing Tips No.1: Make Sure Your Email Has Obvious Links

The purpose of your email is to drive traffic to your landing page, product page or website. It’s really that simple to define the main purpose of an email. Without driving clicks to your page or website, users can’t convert to sign-ups or customers. The key to accomplishing this is, quite simple, capitalize on every moment where a user may feel compelled to click. Include lots of links (at least one per paragraph of text) and make sure that your links look like links. Using strong calls to action and even authoritative “click here” messaging will also help you.

Takeaway Message: It’s a best practice to have many links and to make sure that those links are obvious to the user.

Email Marketing Tips No.2: Minimize Your Use of Images

We’ve covered this in great detail in a previous article, but always keep in mind that an email is not a print mail piece. Many (if not most) of your recipients will not see the images included in your email, which means that every image you include can be wasted space. Use well-coded html instead of image heavy design. Never send an email that is simply one big image and certainly don’t put any messaging in an image that a user must see to complete the action you want from an email (i.e. “click here” or “order now” messages).

Takeaway Message: Use images sparingly, rely on html to enhance the look of your email and never use an image to convey a critical or important message.

Email Marketing Tips No.3: Make It Easy to Unsubscribe

It may seem counter intuitive to make it easy for a user to leave your mailing list, but the other option is much less appealing. When users get frustrated while trying to figure out how to remove their email from your list, they eventually just start to flag your email as spam. Every user who notes your email as being spam counts against your sender reputation with email providers and makes it harder (and sometimes impossible) to get your email into the inbox instead of the junk folder.

Takeaway Message: Have clear, easy-to-find unsubscribe links that require minimal action from the user to complete the task of unsubscribing.

Email Marketing Tips No.4: Follow Spam Tips EVERY Time You Send Email!

We’ve also covered in detail the best ways to avoid getting flagged as spam and removed from your users’ inboxes, but we can’t emphasize enough how important it is to follow those steps. More importantly, it’s important to follow them from the beginning of your email marketing effort and to follow them every single time you send. We know that it’s tempting to send a harder sales email that trends against some of our advice for staying out of the spam folder, but it only takes one email that looks like its high spam to keep you out of the inbox for weeks, months or years afterwards.

Takeaway Message: Even if it means your email isn’t as effective as a sales tool, following all of the steps to avoid being flagged as spam is absolutely, unquestionably critical with every send.

Email Marketing Tips No.5: Maximize Your Email Template Dimensions

You don’t have a lot of space in a person’s inbox to convey a message, and most of your users will be viewing your email in a preview pane with the images turned off. Make sure that your html email templateisn’t more than 600 pixels wide and that you clearly get your value proposition and at least one link into the first 100 pixels of height. It won’t look as nice as putting a shiny header graphic up there, but it will yield better results. Also, consider a secondary column on the right or left hand side in order to get more information above the fold of an email preview pane!

Takeaway Message: Design for what your email will look like in a 600×200 pixel space without images loaded! How it looks in those dimensions with that restriction is how must users will see the final email.

Email Marketing Tips No.6: Keep Your Text Short and Easy to Scan

Most users aren’t going to read the full text of your email. They’re going to scan it for key points that they may be interested in. Keep your text short (very small paragraphs or bullets) and use font bolding and additional colors to highlight words or phrases that you know will be important to your users and clients. Too much text will get your email deleted just about as fast as anything, and it creates more risk for triggering spam filters.

Takeaway Message: Less is more! Content may drive the internet, but it doesn’t improve email performance. Write concisely, user trigger and keywords and make sure that your most important messages are highlighted or bolded.

Email Marketing Tips No.7: Keep Your Email List Clean

There’s no value to not taking the time and making the effort to make sure that you’re removing bad email addresses from your house list. Making sure that incorrectly formatted email addresses are caught when somebody signs up and then “pruning” addresses that are returned as undeliverable, non-existent or with full inboxes from your email list before the next send isn’t optional if you want to have a successful email marketing program. If your list starts to show a higher percentage of undeliverable email addresses, email providers will flag you as spam.

Takeaway Message: Even if it creates more work for you, make sure that you’re pruning your list and removing bad emails from it. The result if you don’t will put you in the spam folder!

Email Marketing Tips No.8: Properly Use Alt Text, Title and Linking with Images

Because using images in email can create dead space, maximizing the code behind those images is critical. Make sure that ALL of your images have both alt text and title text as different browsers will read those two types of text differently (Alt text and title text are the text messages that appear when an image doesn’t load or when somebody hovers over an image with a mouse). Also, make sure that all of your images are actually links to your landing page or website. This way, at a minimum, your potential image dead space can still drive traffic to your destination.

Takeaway Message: Make sure that all of your images are properly coded. This means not only making sure that the image height and width is properly defined but also that the image has alt text, title text and is linked to a webpage or landing page.

Email Marketing Tips No.9: Send Test Emails BEFORE Sending to Main List

There’s nothing worse than sending an email and then finding out that it went right to the spam folder or that something in your email layout broke in Hotmail’s email viewer or Outlook’s preview pane. Before you send an email to your entire list, send a test version to a test account using each of the big email providers (Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail/Live/MSN and any account using an Outlook client). If there are any significant segments of your list using another email provider, you’ll want to include that in your test as well. If you catch any errors, there’s still time to start disassembling your email and fixing them, or remove a problematic segment of your email list.

Takeaway Message: Catching an error in an email sent to a seed address is useless if it happens after you’ve already sent to the main list. Use your seed addresses to test send to and check formatting and deliverability before you send to the main list.

Email Marketing Tips No.10: Make Sure to Piggyback a Text Version

We’ve previously discussed how to decide if you should use an html email or a text only email, and our recommendation is that you use both. But, at a minimum, if you are using an html email you must piggyback a text only version of the email onto your send. A number of people do opt to view email as text only, and, increasingly, people are reading text-based email only on mobile phones.

Takeaway Message: Make sure, no matter what, that your html email has a piggybacked text email attached to it! It’s that simple!

Bonus Tip! Always Ask Users to Add You to Their Contact List!

At every opportunity, remind users that they can be assured that they won’t miss out on the valuable information that they love receiving from you if they add your send address to their email contacts list. The more people you get doing that, the better your deliverability will be!

These ten email marketing tips won’t make you a perfect email marketer, but they will certainly make you better than most! Just use these tips as a checklist when putting your email campaign together and you’ll be fine!

The Buzz of Social Network: Is email marketing being replaced by social network? Chapter – 16

If you’re considering implementing an email marketing program but aren’t sure if your resources would be better spent expanding a social network programs, or if you’re considering decreasing the amount of email you send in order to focus more on social network, this article explores whether or not social network is really “killing” email.

The Rise of Social Network

Before the rise of the mass social media networks, communicating with your users or customers was a lot easier. Most of them read email, and they read it frequently. However, now people admittedly spend less time in their inbox and more time on social networks. As a result, many marketers have shifted their focus to social network marketing to the detriment of their email programs. In this article, we’ll explore why social networks haven’t replaced email and shouldn’t alter your email marketing strategy.

The Numbers

Prompt Communications of Boston recently completed a study that revealed that social networks, and Facebook in particular, are replacing email as the most popular way to stay in touch with friends. 96% of respondents regularly use Facebook to connect with friends, followed by text messaging at 93% and email at 91%.

But that doesn’t mean that people aren’t going into their inboxes. Email is still the primary communications tool for work and office related communications. Email is also where people receive their receipts and purchase confirmations for online purchases. People do go into their inboxes, often daily, to transact in non-personal ways. While in their inboxes, people are still able to receive, and often are receptive to, your email marketing campaign. There are some very compelling reasons to keep an emphasis on your email marketing program.

Monetizing From Social Networks vs. Monetizing via Emails

One of the most important reasons to keep your email marketing program in tact is because of the increased viability of direct response marketing via email versus via social networks. How users behave in both environments is very different. In an email environment, assuming that you can get the user to open your email, the user is then involved in a solo activity with no other distractions. He or she can read (by which we mean scan!) your email and be funneled into clicking links or taking other actions. Users are involved in the isolated activity of absorbing and responding to your message.

In a social network environment, however, it’s much more difficult (though not impossible) to generate direct response actions or sales. Though Dell Computers reports great success with their Twitter campaign, most other businesses (and particularly mid-size and smaller business) have experienced challenges with converting social network users to revenue streams. It makes logical sense. In a social media environment, users are not as compelled to follow through with actions. They are in the network to explore information and, more importantly, interact with other users. Convincing a social media user to become a receptive action taker rather than to read your message and then move on to the next opportunity to interact with other social network users is challenging, time consuming and takes a much longer tail to result in action.

Social Network Migration: Why Maintaining Your Email List is Key

Remember just a few short years ago when everybody believe that MySpace would last forever? Today, MySpace is struggling with revenue and much of its user base has migrated to other social networks. Moving your profile and following from one social network to another isn’t challenging. As soon as their friends and contacts start to do it, users will follow them. Just because we believe that nobody would ever abandon Facebook or Twitter today, it doesn’t mean that a better option, using better technology, won’t come along. And when it does, you’ll need to build your social network audience from scratch again.

Conversely, while people do change email addresses, they do so infrequently and often keep the same email addresses for many years. In some cases, even if they change their email address, they’ll still occasionally check their old address. Once you have an email database, though there will be attrition, you have a more reliable and long term method of contacting users.

Also, your house email list is a company asset. In the event that your exit strategy involves having your company purchased, the number of registered email addresses that you have on your house list can be factored into the overall value of your company.

There has yet to be a social network that has proven that it can withstand a decade of use, but many email providers have! Don’t abandon your email list unless you’re willing to take the risk regarding having your social networking strategy impacted negatively by advancing technology.

Better Email Marketing is the Key

Don’t fool yourself though, the fact that users spend less time in their inbox than they used to will absolutely impact your email marketing campaigns. You’ll need to focus on four things to make email marketing in the social networking era work!

Relevant Offers: Inboxes are crowded, and users will want to clear them out quickly. You don’t have the luxury of sending out non-compelling offers to users any more just to benefit from a small percentage response. Take the time to segment your list, study what offers your users respond to and then send only the best offers out via your email campaigns.

Great Subject Lines: Again, because inboxes are more crowded and people spend less time in them, deleting email without even reading it has become more common. Make sure that you spend time and effort on your subject line. You’re competing with more email for fewer resources than you used to. The subject line is the most important step in the process these days!

High Deliverability: This should go without saying. Even if you didn’t make it into the inbox, it used to be that people would occasionally scan through their spam or junk folders. This isn’t the case any longer, so making sure that your sender reputation is clear and your messages are not going to junk folder becomes even more important.

Longer Tail Offers and Content: Because people go longer between checking their inboxes (sometimes days, sometimes even weeks), the ability to use email as a real-time marketing or communications strategy no longer exists. If you send an email that needs to be responded to within 24 hours, you’ll see much lower response rates than you used to. Make offers (or events that your email refers to) have at least a three day tail for taking action.

Social networks are not replacing email, but they are changing out people use it. Make sure your email strategy responds accordingly. Send good, relevant, targeted emails to clean house-lists. You’ll find that email still works best for pure ROI purposes and also comes with a number of other benefits that you shouldn’t overlook.

Right Message Right Person: What Is List Segmentation & How Can You Optimize It? Chapter – 15

If you’ve got a larger or active email list that you’ve been marketing to but you want to improve conversion results from that list, Comm100 explains in this article what is list segmentation and how to segment your list into smaller, more targeted segments in order to drive higher conversions.

The Two Types of List Management

There are two phases to email list management, essentially. The first segment is acquiring a list of good, engaged users. The second segment is managing that list to optimize it. We’ve already discussed how managing bad email addresses and users who want to unsubscribe from the list can optimize your efforts. Here, we’ll talk about how list segmentation can yield better results from your email campaigns.

What is list segmentation?

In short, list segmentation is creating smaller lists, or segments, from your larger list. This, however, can be done in many ways. For example, let’s say that you have an email list of 1000 names. 500 of those people have previously purchased a purple pillow from you, and 500 of them have not. Sending one email to the 500 people who previously purchased a purple pillow and offering them a discount on a matching blanket and a separate email to the 500 people who haven’t purchased the purple pillow that offers a discount when the blanket and pillow are purchased together will yield a better result than sending the same email to all of your users with a more generic offer.

The basic definition is that list segmentation is the process of pulling out portions of your list who are most likely to respond to an offer and then giving them that offer.

What are some good things to think about when defining list segmentation?

In reality, the best way to do your list segmentation is going to be completely unique to you, but there are some common ways to look at when splitting your list up.

User State: Whether a customer has actively purchased or interacted with you in the last week, last month or last year can impact the type of offer, email and creative that you want to use. It’s common to send less generous offers to active customers and larger offers to try to stimulate activity out of lapsed or inactive customers.

Purchasing History: What types of products a customer has purchased in the past can tell you a lot about what kind of offer or email they will respond to. Creating list segments based on similar purchase histories can allow you to create very targeted and successful emails.

Customer Value: How much a customer has spent with you, the average amount of their order size, or how profitable they’ve been for you is also a common list segmentation. More valuable customers, or customers who spend more money don’t necessarily need more generous offers, but they should be spoken to in email in a way that makes them feel important.

Geographic Region: One of the most common methods for list segmentation, splitting your list out by state, or larger geographic region, can allow you to use lingo, references and even graphics that create regionalized emotional responses.

Of course, depending on your business and what data you collect about those on your email list, there are many other logical possibilities for segmentation.

How Do I Get My List Segmentation Done?

Unfortunately, there’s no simple way to create list segmentation unless you’ve built a fairly robust in-house database. This is a worthwhile expenditure of time and effort, however, because targeted marketing (of any kind) is always the best marketing. If you’re just creating your user base now, be sure to build in query tools for data fields that you may want to create segments from. If you’ve already built a database, any good developer can extract the information you want with an SQL query as long as you’ve saved the customer information that you want.

What Are My Next Steps?

If you haven’t been segmenting your list previously, we’d suggest the following as a way to get started.

  • Have a team brainstorm session to think of all of the different groups of customers that you may have
  • Then take those groups and come up with lists of ideas about how they should be spoken to and what offers or content would be most relevant to them
  • Select the easiest segment to extract from your client list or database and then test sending a smaller email just to them.

Always compare the email open and email click-through rate of your list segments to the open and click-through rates when you send to your entire mass list. If the targeted segments are not doing better, then you’ve selected the segment, the offer or the content poorly.

While Email Marketing is, at base, a numbers game, getting the most out of the list that you have requires sending the most targeted messages possible. This is even more important currently, when people’s inboxes are cluttered and they spend less time inside of them as they visit social networks (ebook – analysis: email marketing and social media) with time that used to be spent emailing. Making sure that the email you put in a user’s inbox is something specific to them so that they’ll want to open it is of huge importance these days. Once you have your mass email program under control, list segmentation is the next key to success.

Email List Management: What are the Best Ways to Handle Bad Addresses & Unsubscribers? Chapter – 14

If you’ve got a large and active email list and have previously been emailing to them, even if you’ve only recently started, Comm100 explains in this article the best practices of email list management in order to optimize delivery and response rates.

Why is Email List Management Important?

In the constant struggle to get your email into your subscribers’ inboxes, having bad addresses and not properly managing users who unsubscribe can quickly add up to a deliverability problem. Properly managing the non-viable emails on your email list from the very beginning, as well as throughout you email marketing campaign, can improve not only deliverability but also give you a more realistic view of your email marketing stats.

What Should My Email List Management Metrics Look Like?

The two metrics that you need to concern yourself with when evaluating the quality of email names on your list are the bounce rate and the unsubscribe rate.

Bounce Rate: The bounce rate is the number of email addresses (in percentage form) that you emailed to that were returned to your email server as undeliverable. This could be because the email addresses were mistyped when they were submitted, are deactivated email accounts (or accounts that never existed to begin with), or are email addresses where the user has not checked email in so long that the inbox is full to its maximum capacity. Your bounce rate should never be more than 20%, and that would be considered to be the high end of the scale. You would really prefer, on a house list, to see a bounce rate of less than 10%. Bounce rate is important in terms of making sure that you don’t get flagged as spam because most spam filters will look to see how many bad email addresses an email was sent to. The more bad addresses you send to, the more the spam filters assume that you’re using a bought, stolen or phished list, and the higher your spam score will be.

Unsubscribe Rate: The unsubscribe rate is the number of users (in percentage form) who unsubscribed from your email program when they received a particular email. If you are using an opt-in or double-opt-in house list, this should be no more than 3%, and 3% would be considered high. You are really looking for an unsubscribe rate of less than 1%. Beyond that, the message is that your users don’t like your content and you should begin to revisit what you’re including in your email.

How Do I Prevent High Bounce Rates?

Preventing high bounce rates is just as important as any other element of your email list management. As previously mentioned, high bounce rates can mean problems with your email getting flagged as spam. But there is also a cost factor. If you’re sending email from a system that charges you by the weight of the email or the number of email addresses that you send to, every bad address that you continue to send to will cost you money and impact the ROI of your email campaign. There are three primary methods for controlling bounce rate.

Check for Email Validity at the Time of Sign-Up: Make sure that form on your website where users enter their email, whether that’s during a purchase and registration process or on a newsletter sign-up field itself, is checking for proper email formatting. At a minimum, your email collection script should check for the format something@something.com. However, some scripts can get more detailed and look for common words like “test” or “fake” in the email to throw up warning flags. If you are using a double-opt-in system, you are protecting even further from bad email addresses ever actually being included on your list because the email address needs to actually be delivered to before the customer is ever actually added to the list.

Prune Your List Regularly: “Pruning” an email list means removing bad names, usually after they have been returned as undeliverable a pre-set number of times. Depending on how clean you want to make your list, you can set your pruning parameters to anything from 3 undeliverable emails to 10. Most third party email sending providers offer an automatic pruning option that you can control the number of returns on before a name is removed. If you’re not using a system with an automatic pruning option, we strongly recommend having one of your developers create a script that tracks and removes undeliverable addresses.

Periodic Re-Opt-Ins: This measure in email list management is fairly extreme and can make your list too small and targeted, but if you’re paying to send email by the number of addresses sent to, it may be a good option for you. Some email senders choose to periodically send an email once a year or so to everybody on their list who they can see has not clicked through, or opened, or subsequently purchased from an email send. Recipients are then asked to opt in back by clicking a link, and, if they don’t, their email is removed from the list. The pro of this is that you are sure you are only paying to send email to very engaged users. The con is that you may remove names from your list of lapsed members who at some point would have, in fact, been receptive to your email offer.

How Do I Prevent High Unsub Rates?

Well, the truth of this is that the only way that you can prevent high unsub rates is to use opt-in list gathering and then provide exceptional email content that your users really want to receive. However, there are some other elements to managing your unsubs that you should keep in mind.

Keep Unsubbing Easy: There will certainly be marketers out there who tell you that you should make the unsub link within your email as difficult to use and find as possible so that people have to stay on your list. This is wrong. The reason that it’s wrong is because email providers offer a simple option for people who can’t find the unsub link: Just mark the email as spam and you’ll never see anything from the sender again! Since the last thing that you want is for somebody to mark you as spam, making it easy and simple for them to unsub is your best move.

Offer Unsub Options: If you offer multiple email lists, give users the option to unsubscribe from all emails OR just the individual email list. If you do this, you may be able to keep a user engaged on one list even if they’ve lost interest in another list.

Use a Great Unsub Confirmation Page: Don’t be pushy, but using a great, engaging unsub page to try to re-interest users in signing back up or staying on the email list can actually save sign-ups for you. We think that the best unsub page we’ve ever seen in our lives is right here: http://www.groupon.com/las-vegas/unsubscribed

Be CAN-SPAM Compliant: We’ve discussed this in a previous article, but CAN-SPAM laws actually govern how to handle un-subs quite explicitly. Make sure that you’re compliant!

Process Unsubs Quickly: You want to remove users who have unsubscribed from your list as quickly as possible. While CAN-SPAM gives you an extended period of time, the reality is that if you don’t remove these users immediately and they subsequently receive an extra email from you while they are waiting to be removed, they will mark you as spam.

Should You Use an Unsub Confirmation Email?

This is a highly debated question. When a person unsubs from your email, should you generate an email to them confirming that they’ve been removed? There is data to suggest both sides of this (to send or not send). We personally don’t recommend it. If you’re trying to get them to re-engage, do it on the unsub confirmation page. Once people say that they don’t want to receive email from you, they usually don’t want to receive email from you!

Email list management is a critical component of email marketing that is often overlooked in favor of focusing on acquisition, email creative and activity tracking. However, keeping your email list clean of users who shouldn’t be on it has benefits that can’t be overlooked, and which are elementally important to successful email marketing.