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Long ago, emails were text. No formatting, images or attachments. For alternative fonts, different colours and other spectacle, you turned to web pages.
Then design options began to seep into emails. Gone was the uniform text, now one could choose between colours and other layout options.
With time, HTML emails grew popular, and for a while it seemed as if the walls between web pages and emails were thinning.
Email marketing is an important channel for maintaining a relationship with customers and driving conversions through targeted messages and offers.
Then there’s also the pressing issue of mobile email, as while stats show that 27% of emails are opened on mobile devices results from our Email Marketing Census 2012 reveal that a large number of companies do not have any strategy in place for optimising emails for mobile.
This infographic from Monetate looks at the conversion rate for email marketing compared to Twitter and search, as well revealing ways of increasing sales using email.
Email marketing is an important customer acquisition and retention tool, but as consumers get bombarded with more and more email messages, how do you know whether your campaign should be judged a success?
While the aims and objectives differ for each campaign, it is useful to be able to benchmark results against the industry average.
Email marketing firm Silverpop has published a study that examines email messages sent during 2011 and the first quarter of 2012 by 1,124 brands in its client base.
A broad set of message types was included in the study. From promotional emails and content-based newsletters to notifications and transactional messages sent by companies in a variety of industries.
The full report covers a number of criteria, but here we look at open rates, CTR and unsubscribe rates.
Do you have a mobile optimised site? If the answer is no, then how long can you continue to ignore the lost opportunity as customer preferences shift? And are you interested in maximising the volume of customers who visit this site?
Optimising the Mobile Journey is no longer optional...
What do you do if you have a large volume of your customer database which has no email address alongside it, or has an email address that is no longer valid?
You obviously want to find up to date email addresses for these customers and the most popular (cheap) way of doing this, is to use an email append service.
This seemingly innocent process has taken a bit of flack recently, first being soundly thrashed by the Messaging Anti Abuse Working Group (MAAWG for short) and then very publically pilloried by Experian Cheetahmail.
So what has caused this to happen? And what should you consider before embarking on an email append project?
What is the key to relevance in email? Simple… it is knowing what the customer is interested in.
Whilst not wishing to be too prosaic, email marketing is the pursuit of relevance. Relevant emails get read and make money; irrelevant emails go into junk or worse still get unsubscribed (leading to a subsequent loss of lifetime value).
The art of good email is knowing what someone is interested in, and that applying this to all future email communications.
Econsultancy’s Email Marketing Industry Census, sponsored by Adestra, has for the past five years been assessing how companies and agencies are adapting to meet the challenges and opportunities present in the email marketing channel.
With email being rated very highly as a channel for return on investment (second only to SEO), but the effectiveness of ‘batch and blast’ techniques decreasing, it is important that marketers stay ahead of the game to maintain its effectiveness.
There are some very simple techniques that digital marketers can use to check how accessible their communications are to people with disabilities, so I was rather surprised to receive this email from Amazon:
The results of our sixth annual Email Marketing Industry Census 2012, published today in association with Adestra, has shown that companies consider the ROI from email marketing to be higher than for most other digital channels including social media marketing.
In fact, in terms of the company respondents who said that email marketing was “excellent” or “good” for return on investment, email was higher than any other channel except SEO.
This year's study has also found that companies adopting best practice and using ESP platform functionality (beyond basic 'batch and blast'), are significantly more likely to see a strong financial return from their email campaigns.
Being an email marketer, it’s funny how often you bump into something that makes you think of work! A little while ago after visiting the doctor, I received an email about ordering repeat prescriptions.
So far, so good you’d think. Some good targeting going on there.
But when I gave it a read, what struck me were all the missed opportunities. For example, the email ‘from address’ was totally unrecognisable, and there was litte in the way of clever personalisation that you often see in the private sector.
What’s more, it’s the only email (indeed, the only communication of all types) I’ve had from them in the last 18 months or so. It was an interesting message to kick off our e-relationship.
Why be a stranger?
It's an exciting time for the email marketing industry, and no matter what Mark Zuckerberg says, the end is certainly not nigh, according to new research published this week from Econsultancy.
According to Econsultancy's 2012 Email Marketing Platforms Buyer's Guide, the UK email marketing industry grew by an estimated 15.5% last year to a value of £388 million by the end of 2011.
The research highlights that the rise of cross-channel marketing is helping to fuel growth in the email marketing industry. Rather than operating in its own silo, email is now seen as an essential component of a wider campaign. Thanks to the rise of mobile, email is now everywhere, accessible anywhere, at any time and at any location.
How marketers measure email is changing and will continue to change.
Where we used to look at open and click rates, today we are putting in place plans to measure email lifetime value. So what is going on?
I was reviewing results from a split creative test on a basket abandonment email recently (names removed to protect the successful) and it struck me how the methodology for measuring email results can, quite erroneously, determine how we use email marketing and develop marketing strategies.
So I thought I would combine the results here with my recommendations on how to measure email marketing.