Creation of email campaign

To create a converting email campaign it is necessary to follow there steps>

  1. Identify the need of an email
  2. Precise campaign requirements
  3. Produce an email copy
  4. Put the email copy to an email template
  5. Set up tracking of the email
  6. Test the email
  7. Verify the email list
  8. Send the email
  9. Analyze results of the campaign

 

Things to track: opens and clicks.

 

How to test an email in Mailchimp:

  • enter in the preview mode
  • select link checker
  • customize social cards
  • send the test email
  • send to a test list

 

Email deliverability

Getting the email to the email box of the receiver is the ultimate goal. This is the only way to get recognized and receive opens and conversions.

There are several folders (defined by Gmail):

  • primary
  • social
  • promotions
  • junk
  • spam

Factors which affect deliverability of an email:

  • custom authentication
  • single opt-in
  • domain
  • subject lines
  • sort and weight of images
  • URL shorteners

 

What happens when an email is sent without custom authentication:

Once the verified Sender Policy Framework (SPF) is in place, as well as the Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM) settings, email boxes receiving emails have a verifiable cross reference with email campaigns o determine if the email is real. It will be classified to email box not to junk.

 

Difference between single and double opt-in use

Double opt in simply ensures that the user’s email is valid (confirmation of a subscription needed).

Benefits of a double opt-in are:

  • protection against false sign-ups: the user has a chance of opt-out by simply not confirming the email subscription
  • reduce spambots: impossible to verify each address individually
  • builds sending reputation: ensures that only real subscribers want to engage with the content

 

Benefits of using authenticated address domain over free domain:

  • prevents that ISP filters block the incoming emails: ensure that the address domains are those the recipient expects
  • instant recognition: recipients do not have any doubt and you build sending reputation
  • consistent use of the same domain assures that the mail servers recognize the sender

 

How to avoid using unclear or spam-flagging subjects:

Do not:

  • use ALL CAPITALS
  • use excessive punctuation (???, !!!)
  • use symbols when unnecessary (@, #…)

 

What happens if the email has too many images:

  • spam filters can’t read text on images
    • avoid only single image
    • avoid using many images but not much text in the body
    • text to image ratio should be 60% text to maximum 40% images

 

URL shorteners

A short way to land in the spam.

  • avoid using URL shorteners
  • avoid using the full URL as a text
  • create and use a hyperlink
  • ensure that all links redirect properly

 

Main challenges in email delivery

  • bounces:
    • soft: it is a temporary delivery failure. Usually the recipients email box is full, or receiving server was down, or the message was too large
    • hard: it is a permanent delivery failure. Reasons include: typos in email address, the email address is no longer valid
  • complaints: when email recipient reports the email as a spam or junk. It happens when the recipient is confused, unsure why we email him or unable to find unsubscribe link
  • spam traps
  • volumes of sends
  • customer engagement

Types of spam traps

  • typo: email address of the domain misspelled with ISP
  • recycled: email address which was abandoned and then reactivated by ISP
  • pristine: email address which never opted in to any communication

 

Sending volumes

ISP wants to see an established sending history and pattern to determine placement of the inbox.

In the matter of engagement, some ISPs look on the recipients engagement to determine if the email should go to the inbox or spam. The more engaged recipient, the greater the chance that the email lands in the inbox.

 

Campaign delivery management

Test and optimize: subject line, from: name, time of the day

Review previous performance: setn vs. delivered, opens and clicks, monitor unsubscribes and bounces.

Check for blacklists: verify if your email doesn’t have email address on a blacklist, that the domain has authentication, that the email doesn’t contain errors and there there are no broken links.

After sending check for:

  • opens – clicks – conversions – trends
  • opt-outs – unsubscribes – bounces – spam
  • monitor delivery: track the email delivery by observing bounce rates and response rates
  • good list hygiene: clean the list regularly of invalid emails and non-responders
  • use double opt-in: send a confirmation email when the user subscribes to the list

 

Email testing

Emails need always be tested before sending to avoid and resolve potential problems.

Techniques of email testing:

  • seed testing: using a list of composed co-workers, friends and family, who will test the email before the launch. It is wise to include at least 5 recipients and find people who use different email clients and have different mobile devices
  • rendering testing: Litmus, for example allows to send emails to test addresses and see them in various email clients and devices, where is clearly visible where is necessary to make changes. It shows clearly any rendering issues happening only by certain clients.
  • load testing: it is about testing the time of images loading and text to become visible. It is important to verify that, because it may happen that not all images will be downloaded. Big images will slow down the download and produce a negative user experience. Slow download especially affects mobile devices and people with a slow internet connection.

 

Email testing options:

  • Litmus: one of the most popular email testing tools. Allows to: preview an email in 70+ apps available, validate all images, links and tracking, test loading times and view analytics of a campaign performance
  • Email on Acid
  • Return Path
  • 250ok

 

Components to test before the launch:

  1. Subject line
  2. From: name
  3. Pre-header
  4. All calls to action
  5. Social media links and icons
  6. Address at the bottom and unsubscribe link
  7. HTML version vs. text version
  8. Personalization of the body
  9. Footer of the email

A/B testing

It is a method of comparing two different versions of the same email to determine which one performs better.

It looks like that:

 

A/B test best practices:

  • testing only one variable at the time
  • groups need to be split equally and randomly
  • testing needs to be done early and often to obtain best results
  • test a large sample for most accurate results
  • trust visible data collected

Advantages of A/B testing

  • gives better understanding of each segment
  • allows to choose the best subject line
  • allows to select better or improved content
  • increases conversion rates
  • brings more sales

 

Campaign performance

Click-through rate

It is simply a percentage of recipients who clicked on one or more links. It is calculated (total clicks/delivered emails)*100 or (unique clicks/delivered emails)*100. In example: 300 clicks over 10 000 delivered emails * 100 = 3% click-through rate.

Conversion rate

This is a percentage of recipients who clicked a link and after that completed a desired action (usually a purchase). It is measured by (number who completed the desired cation / delivered emails)*100. Like in the previous example.

 

Bounce rate

This is simply a percentage of emails that couldn’t be delivered. It is calculated by the (number of bounced emails / total of emails sent)*100. In example: 100 bounced emails/ 10 000 emails sent * 100 = 1% bounce rate.

 

Share or forwarding rate

This is a percentage of recipients who clicked the “Share” button to post to social media. It is calculated as follows: (clicks on share button / delivered emails)*100. In example: (100 clicks on the button / 10 000 sent emails)*100 = 1% share rate.

 

List growth

Simply growing the subscriber’s list. It is measured by adding the number of the new subscribers per week or month. In example: 5 new subscribers per day = 35 subscribers per week.

 

Overall ROI

It is an overall return on investment for a given email campaign. It is calculated this way:

(($ in additional sales made – $ invested in the campaign) / $ invested in the campaign)*100

In example: ((for a 1000 $ sale – 100$ invested in the campaign) / 100$ invested in the campaign)*100 =900% return on investment.

Campaign performance must take under consideration the non-email engagement as well: web log-ins, store purchases and ad traffic.

Analyzing an email performance it is necessary to take under consideration: recipients, emails delivered, open rate, click rate and average industry opens and clicks.

 

How to optimize open rates:

It is necessary to continuously improve elements to increase open rates.

Well targeted subscriber list: target only subscribers who are interested in the content of the emails.

Familiar sender name: if they know you, and they recognize you, they will interact with you.

Personalization and effective subject lines: target to an individual

 

Optimization of click rates

  • visible and simply CTAs
  • multiple links leading to the same action
  • deals offered only for a limited time
  • test of different colors

 

Optimization of emails for mobiles

  • around 69% people consume media on mobile phones
  • 50% of users check the phone immediately after waking up
  • 81% of people use the phone for email responding

To optimize an email for mobile:

  • the flow should be directly to the landing page
  • images should be of a light weight
  • the email code should be specially for a mobile, tablet and desktop
  • check reports to see behavior of your audience on mobile devices
  • remember to optimize the send time based on the customer information

Minimizing bounces and unsubscribes

Check if the content is relevant and aligned, if the subject line and content match, and if the email content meets the subscriber expectations.

Monitoring:

  • review of the campaign opens and clicks
  • find out the reasons for unsubscribes and compaints
  • understand campaign’s conversions
  • check for deliverability issues
  • adjust frequency of emails
  • specify types of the communication
  • manage the list

 

Marketing automation

Marketing automation refers to a software tools which allow to automate marketing actions related to emailing, social media, landing pages and every other web activity.

 

Benefits:

  • saves time
  • improves marketing results
  • has positive impact on marketing teams
  • allows data synchronization
  • gives a personalized experience

 

Key building blocks of marketing automation

  • action: what the contacts did? What action the user performed? Clicked a link?Downloaded a brochure? Registered for an event?
  • decision: where the user went after performing the action? It should be always completed by a redirection to thank you page and send a thank you email
  • timing: when the response should happen? It guides an email reminder or a call.

 

Action

It is something which is performed by an user: page visit, form submission, answer to an email, clicking the link. Each action should trigger a reaction.

Decision

Happens after the action is performed. In example: if the user submits the form, perform action A,  if not, action B.

Timings

  • certain days of the week
  • wait time
  • need to be based on tags
  • align to “before” and “after” date

 

Marketing automation process

  • web form submission: the action triggers an automation flow
  • tag: if the user is tagged, it is easier to identify him and apply segmentation
  • delay/wait: it is a period if time before getting to the next step
  • send email: sending a specific email to all users who completed the step

How the marketing automation should be used?

  • new user enters the website
  • fills the form to find out more
  • user gets tagged
  • added 5 minutes delay to show the special offer
  • after wait period the user will receive an email with more product infromation