Danielle (Dani) Ashery is Vice President of Client Services and is responsible for client management, education and satisfaction. Her development of educational programs gives our clients an edge by providing them with the necessary information to ensure their marketing efforts are successful.

Rejuvenate Your Email Campaigns

If the email component of your marketing plan is in a rut, it’s time to rejuvenate your campaigns. Here are four ways to bring some life back into your messages.

Engage readers by asking them to respond to a poll or survey. Every once in awhile, it’s important to give your readers a way to participate in the message and the organization by including a survey or poll question.  It’s also a beneficial tactic to give a snippet of information to readers. It’s not a scientific study, but you’re not claiming it is.

Design a new template. It’s important to stay consistent with the visual brand of your organization, but don’t shy away from altering the HTML template to attract the readers’ attention.

Add some personality, don’t just personalize.  Personalizing a message with the first name is pretty standard in this day and age, now it’s time to add some personality. Professional, compelling messages don’t have to be devoid of humor, voice, and a unique tone.

Split campaigns – if you’re not doing them, it’s time to try now. If reporting metrics are okay, but not great, try creating split campaigns for you next message and break outside your marketing mold with creative content and a strong call for action.  The results may surprise you.

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Tips for Re-Designing Your Email Template

Your e-mail template is another extension of your overall brand. It needs attention to stay fresh and functional.  Follow these tips to improve the visual impact of your email marketing template.

  • Avoid background images – images help break up text and direct readers to online resource if they’re used correctly so test the message first. Background images often don’t appear in all email clients. Be sure to host any images you use on a Web site. 
  • Image alt tags are your friend – use one or two words to describe what the image is for recipients that have email clients that block images. 
  • Use an HTML programmer – “What you see is what you get” programs add extra code that can disrupt your template.
  • Choose a horizontal layout over vertical – horizontal layout allows readers to scroll down and see more in a preview panel.
  • Honor your brand – your organization has a visual brand represented by your Web site and other promotional materials. Keep your template in line with your brand but remember the reader’s needs.
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Audit your Email Campaigns - 5 Things to Consider

If it’s been more than a year since you took a good, hard look at your email template, metrics, reports or design close the door, shut off the phone and schedule a check up.  Too often marketers spend time and resources setting up their e-mail marketing programs and forget that they need a little TLC (testing, list management, and cleansing) to function properly. 

Here are five things to include in your check up.  

  1. Cleanse the code – review and clean-up the HTML code in your message template. This is especially important if more than one person uses the account. Small changes can flag spam filters and cause formatting issues that discourage recipients from opening it.  
  2. Remove inactive contacts – keep distribution lists clean and manageable by analyzing and possibly removing inactive contacts. Try to find out why they’re not reading your message and brainstorm ways to grab their attention.
  3. Test the opt-in process – do all the links work and take the intended reader to the right place? If it takes the reader too many clicks to sign up or they end up in the wrong place they’re likely to walk away completely.  
  4. Test platforms and email clients – what does the message look like in AOL, Gmail and Yahoo? Does it make it through to mobile devices such as Treos and Blackberries? Don’t rely only on the computers in your office, move testing to off-site computers and servers also. 
  5. Provide a little human touch – if you’re using your ESP correctly all process should be automated, but that doesn’t mean mistakes aren’t made. Assign a staff member to check all mailboxes to ensure that any messages or responses are handled in a timely fashion. 
  6.  Above all…don’t forget the metrics. eLoop has extensive reporting capabilities that help you gauge the success of the campaign. Don’t forget to incorporate them into the email marketing process. 
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Creative Tips For Email Newsletter

Creativity and innovation can make or break your e-publication.  With an online platform, you must write copy and include dynamic content that will stimulate the reader’s attention and, ideally, convince them to forward the message to colleagues and friends widening your readership.  

Below are tips to remind you to cover the basics and explore the publication’s creative side.   

  • Use an HTML template and a text version to ensure your reader’s receive the message. 

  • Implement a double-opt in policy for all subscribers—it’s just good practice.

  • Don’t include long articles, multi-column layouts, unrelated links or gratuitous images.  Keep writing simple and to the point. 

  • Don’t overuse links.  Keep them relevant and make sure they work.

  • Use bulleted lists to break up text and summarize main points for the reader. 

  • Include only two - three subjects per newsletter. More than a few articles will test your audience’s attention span. 

  • Use Variable Data Printing (VDP) to personalize the message (i.e. using your data points to address the message as “Dear Mike” instead of “Dear Sir”).  A small gesture that can lead to higher response rates. 

  • Dynamic content leads to dynamic messages.  Customize the message by region, reader preferences, age or other demographics.  You collected the data for a reason, now use it.

  • Send a welcome message to new subscribers. Give them a reason to praise your customer service and attention to detail. 

  • Include a survey or poll into the message. It is a quick tool to gather general data and include your reader in the message. 

  • Use the expertise available to you.  Brainstorm with staff members who have interaction with your readers and may understand their needs, use the knowledge of your marketing team and call on your email service provider for advice and guidance. 

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New Study Results: Email Marketing Lists, Design, Tests & Deliverability for 2007 - Marketing Sherpa

Marketing Sherpa, a business research company that just happens to focus on the marketing profession, presented the results of its recent study, Email Marketing Lists, Design, Tests & Deliverability for 2007. The report highlights information from four areas: (1) survey of 3,687 e-mail marketers; (2) lab tests and partner research; (3) “best of” research from expert sources; and (4) approximately 600 interviews.

Highlights of the study for your reference are included below:

  • 42% of business-to-business (B-to-B) respondent said the impact of email is increasing slowly.
  • 40% of business-to-consumer (B-to-C) respondents said the impact of email is increasing significantly.
  • B-to-B respondents saw a 22% annual growth rate in their email list.
  • B-to-C respondents saw a 37% annual growth rate in their email list.
  • “Landing Page Copy” had the highest return on investment (ROI) at 43.2%.  Text only messages as the lowest ROI
  • In 2006, 80% of B-to-B respondents indicated that they had commercial filtering applications or appliances. Only 9% reported no filtering applications. Companies typically use filtering applications to decrease the amount of SPAM sent to their employees’ inboxes.
  • “From Line Accuracy” had the highest CAN SPAM failure rate at approximately 57.4%. This means that inaccurate or false information in the from line caused the highest number of SPAM blocks.
  • 83% of respondents indicated that consumers, “at least occasionally activate” images (or click through on images) when they appear in statements and order updates. 35% occasionally activate from unrecognized senders when contents are of interest.
  • Nearly 52% said that they don’t see mobile marketing applying to them in the near future. An example of mobile marketing is asking consumers to send a text message in response to a message.  

The full report is available from Marketing Sherpa by visiting www.marketingsherpa.com.  

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The Email Monetization Playbook
Email Monetization Playbook
69 Must Scan Pages For Publishers!

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Email Monetization Playbook
69 Must Scan Pages For Publishers!