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Top 10 tips for email signups

It’s no secret that experts and surveys put email marketing as a ‘must’ for digital marketers looking for effectiveness and return on investment (ROI). 41% of marketers polled rated email as their best performing channel, along with 47% who said that email delivered the most ROI, ahead of social at 19%

 But, how of you get website visitors to subscribe to emails and improve sign up rates over 2%? A survey by global digital analysts Econsultancy provides useful tips and tricks.

 Targeting. Don’t treat all site visitors the same, they aren’t. Detecting them as individuals and personalising the experience will convert more site visitors to sign ups.

 Placement. Think about where the signup will sit on a page. The norm is to run in the footer of each webpage, but this might not be as effective as placing the call to action above the fold. Dynamic methods are more common in the US and also ensure visibility, viewed as a popup or overlay, but can have a negative impact on the user experience.

 Visibility. There are two aspects to making your call to action more noticeable, the look (size, shape, text size, colour and boldness) and the prominence.

 Anything that requires an action, moves or gets into a persons face is likely to get their attention, but this could be for good or bad… Research by Privy found that a banner that starts ‘hidden’ and rolls out on activation had the best conversion rates (2.2%) over email bar (1.34%) and popup (1.31%).

 Timing. Audience targeting and the time the user has spent on a site are the two main types of timing important to email call to actions. The checkout is a retailers’ favourite time to capture sign ups, while a display of a cal to action cold be triggered by time, scrolling or a mouse movement. Further research by Privy found that visitors were 25 times more likely to subscribe when they triggered the signup form themselves by clicking a tab, than if it was automatically triggered by time, scrolling or exit.

 Proposition. You’re more likely to get signups if the individual is persuaded in doing so because there’s a special offer, or something in it for them. Conversion rate by campaign content type found that entering into a prize draw had a conversion of 15%, as opposed to standard sign up 1%.

 Copy. Sell your email like it’s a product! Convince the individual that by signing up they’re going to be rewarded.

 Ease. Keep signups simple! The longer the form, the less likely the signup. Only ask for information you actually need, such as first name and email address. Privy research found that every field added reduces the sign ups by 25%

 Legitimacy. There are three basic elements that must be followed; sending emails to people who did not sign up is bad for brand reputation and can incur legal repercussions, the customer should always feel in control of the relationship and a successful email list is quality of subscribers.

 Clarity. Setting clear expectations of the kind of frequency of emails new subscribers will receive will help reduce opt-outs in the near future.

 Testing. Test different models, by doing so you’ll have a clear understanding of what works and which work better, such as placements, copy, campaigns, etc. A/B testing of alternative webpages can determine effectiveness of various methods. Measure and track results using web analytics and behavioural tools such as heatmaps.

www.econsultancy.com

SNP-Social

SNP won the marketing election

Email service provider Mailjet has analysed the recent general election campaign and found that if results were based on direct marketing performance alone, the Scottish National Party (SNP) would walk away with a clear victory, ahead of Labour in second place and the Conservatives in third place.

Communications sent out by the major political parties were analysed over a four-week period by marketing experts at Mailjet, who then scored emails on seven separate performance indicators including design, personalisation, cross-channel marketing, automation and creativity of content.

With a total of 29 points up for grabs, the research shows all parties are failing to make use of email communications as effectively as they could to reach voters. In fact, the Conservative Party only sent two emails throughout the four week test period, achieving just 10.5 points, compared to the other parties sending seven on average.

Analysis showed that camping leaders failed to make use of personalisation techniques, with the only details required to sign-up for each party’s emails being name, email address and postcode.

All parties bar Conservatives address emails by individual name, with the Conservatives sending emails as a collective group.

Josie Scotchmer, UK marketing manager at Mailjet, commented:  “The generic mass messages being shared by parties in this snap election show no evidence of audience segmentation to increase the relevance of emails to their recipients. The only use of personalisation was using the first name to address readers; parties fail to take advantage of huge opportunities to resonate with voters based on their location and demographic data.”

When it comes to subject lines the Green Party took the lead, with 2.67 points out of 5, with Labour just ahead of the Conservative party with 2.55 points against the Tories’ 2.5 points.

The experts look at the optimum length, word inclusion, whether subject lines are personal and include a call to action, and whether they’re creative. For example, the Green Party shared an email titled ‘OK I admit it. I’m lonely’ where Caroline Lucas calls on the party’s supporters to elect another MP alongside her.

The Labour party’s email subject lines also include snappy statements such as ‘Dodged questions’, ‘Last chance’ and ‘We will be outspent’ to drive open rates and action from the recipient.

In contrast, the SNP won the majority of their points on core content and call to action, scoring 3.0 out of 5 and 3.27 out of 5 respectively. The party’s emails include video content as well as strong calls to action, asking its subscriber base to volunteer and donate highlighted with the design of buttons. Labour also scored well here, sharing their manifesto amidst the news it had been leaked, and offering branded Labour campaign bags for the supporters quickest to donate.

Two other areas of email marketing the political parties are not utilising at the moment are automation and cross-channel marketing inclusion. For example, social media buttons, redirecting to app or website content were only used by the Scottish National Party and Green Party. The Green Party are also the only candidates showing signs of using automation techniques, but even this was minimal.

Scotchmer concluded: “In failing to adopt automation throughout their election campaigns, these political parties have missed a huge trick. Automation can greatly affect relationships with supporters as they now expect engagement from organisations that is tailored to their interests and delivered in real-time. In addition, it’s not expensive to deliver campaigns in this way; the market for this technology is now competitive and it’s increasingly possible to invest in automation at every level.”

www.mailjet.com

Email marketing top of the ROI Charts

The 2017 Econsultancy/Adestra email Marketing Industry Census has revealed that email marketing is top of the ROI Charts for the third year in a row.

Based on a survey of over 1,200 marketers undertaken between February and March 2017, 73% of companies along with 76% of agency respondents rated it excellent or good.

Budget allocated, however, was only 15% of total marketing budget, with a feeling that the growing complexity of the digital marketing landscape still left many marketers confused as to how best allocate funds to create a more complete campaign.

Those marketers who are more tech savvy and able to master the data and successes within email marketing are set to gain business advantages over competitors over the next 12 month period.

“The results of this year’s Census show that marketers are struggling to see the bigger picture and stand by their choices,” explained Henry Hyder-Smith, Adestra CEO. “By getting the fundamentals working together – personalisation, automation, integration, optimisation – they can make the most of the technology available, offer their customers the experience they are looking for, and realise the benefits of becoming First-Person Marketers.”

Monica Savut, head of research services at Econsultancy, said: “Email continues to be one of the most effective marketing channels and it’s encouraging to see that marketers are looking beyond standalone campaigns by embracing marketing automation and personalisation. However, this year’s Census shows that marketers need to adopt a more rigorous approach, keeping a sharp focus on both technology and strategy while never losing sight of the customer.

“The rewards are there for the taking, but reaping maximum value is dependent on two key success factors: investment that is proportional to any potential returns and a comprehensive strategy that focuses on continuous measurement, testing and optimisation.”

The full report can be downloaded here:

2017 Email Marketing Industry Census

Mailjet crowns Waitrose winner of best Christmas email campaign…

The email service provider Mailjet has revealed that Waitrose is ahead of its competitor supermarkets in the email campaign stakes, analysing key metrics including the chain’s subject lines, automation, cross-channel marketing and personalisation.

Reaching a total score of 21.3 points out of an available 29.0, this marks the second consecutive victory for Waitrose in the study and represents a significant improvement on supermarket’s performance from last year, rising 10 per cent overall.

Mid-market brands Tesco and Asda closely followed Waitrose’s success, hitting 20.0 and 19.9 respectively, however, Marks & Spencer struggled to compete scoring just 17.4 in total.

With regards to emails prospecting new consumer audiences, the research places Morrisons and Sainsbury’s joint last as both failed to send any communications to consumers who haven’t yet purchased through their online shopping platforms.

Josie Scotchmer, UK marketing manager at Mailjet said: “Consumers buy from the brands they build emotional connections with, particularly during the Christmas season. With low scores in critical areas for digital marketing like personalisation and automation, many supermarkets are not making the most of their emails to engage consumers with powerful storytelling.

As Mailjet suggests there has been much discussion on the importance of campaign personalisation this year, just two of the total eight supermarkets surveyed registered a score above 0.0. Specifically, Asda fell short on the top spot for its lack of personalisation, losing five points by omitting any room to add personal messaging to the email in favour of a singularly product-focused, visual structure.

Scotchmer added: “Winning greater share of the market in run up to Christmas holiday relies on having an online and offline campaign that fires on all cylinders. There are opportunities for all of these brands to learn from one another and broaden their use of digital strategies to engage and build loyalty with consumers at this critical period in the retail calendar.”

Industry Spotlight: Is this the end of the email discount?

Consumers and marketers alike enjoy a good old email coupon. So much so that various studies have found a staggering 20 – 30 per cent of marketing emails now feature a discount, voucher or giveaway based incentive; and, understandably, evidenced by their tenure as a long time favourite in a marketer’s archive.

The critical factor in the promotional arena is the perceived level of exclusivity to the recipient, and this goes hand-in-hand with how well past data has been used for personalisation. But in the absence of perfect execution, is there still a place for incentive-based email? Here’s a closer look at its pros and cons in today’s digital landscape.

 

The Pros

Quickly gain brand traction: There’s no faster way to boost subscriber rates than by offering a strong incentive or freebie, and is also a great method for brand exposure and starting conversations. Krispy Kreme growth hacked their email list by 71 per cent thanks to their “Friends of…” campaign offering free doughnuts in return for referrals to family and friends.

Boost product uptake: Flooding the market with fast moving consumables is a powerful way to generate recurring demand. Freebie uptake is admittedly less effective in Services and SaaS where tactile value is not immediately realised on redemption. Creating urgency (time limits or download quota) is an effective way to boost uptake in these markets.

* Something to say: Don’t let competitors get a word in – end it with a promotion! Being delightfully creative is one thing but doing it consistently is another. A discount or voucher keeps you in the foreground and provides something worth saying while working on your next marketing masterpiece.

* Build an audience profile: A strong promotion is a big opportunity to profile new and existing data. Carefully consider the requisite fields and leverage that data in future to create a continual improvement cycle.

 

The Cons

* Change in list composition: Yes, you’ve increased subscribers by a million percent but your list composition will be drastically different. One-off giveaways tend to attract low lifetime-value subscribers so solid expectation management and segmentation is essential.

* Demand fulfilment: Even the best laid schemes go awry and with digital especially, things can quickly get out of hand. Oversubscription will turn a potentially positive brand experience into a bad one. Be upfront about quantities and don’t let promises go unfulfilled!

* Effect on brand positioning: Your email subscribers are often your most loyal customers so cheapening the brand with precipitous promotions is ill-advised. If you are positioned as the market premium, then a subtler incentive that does not implicate future pricing and brand perception is required. Don’t over-promote at the expense of brand.

* Risk of escalation: Competitors will soon catch wind of aggressive promotions (they have definitely subscribed to your email) and will soon respond with their own incentivised promotions. Discounts are easily countered and squeeze margins over time, so focus on the experiential, creative and personal instead.

 

Takeaways

Arguably the biggest positive for promotional mailers is the ability to use past insight to make ever-more effective campaigns with a greater degree of personalisation. Choosing not to customise campaigns to the recipient’s exact needs comes with the tacit understanding that everyone is entitled to the same advantages – and where’s the added value in that!

There are still benefits to the old-school, generic incentive but they are contextual, and highly dependent on industry and brand positioning. Giveaways can elevate new brands and quickly establish voice in new channels, but established names beware.

So while the coupon survives to fight another day, its rule as the marketer’s darling is certainly contested. Its day is certainly not up yet, but the mindset must soon evolve to stay relevant. And as other marketing tactics such as native and inbound continue to mature, so must email.

 

Words by Ross Carroll, senior email marketing manager at Fat Media