Want Better Email ROI? Send Late at Night.

Email ROI and click through rate increase a night and on weekends

In everyday life, most people don’t want to be bothered late at night. But the opposite seems to be true when it comes to email. According to a Q4 2012 analysis by Experian CheetahMail of its North American clients’ email campaigns, emails sent late at night outperformed email ROI sent any other time of day.

Experian found that emails sent between 8pm and 12am generated higher open and clickthrough rates, more transactions, larger orders, and greater revenue per email than emails sent during any other time of day—and by a significant margin. Continue…

12 Must Haves For Newsletters

What makes a newsletter functional? It’s not just about the content when trying to ensure your clients open your newsletters. In this article published by Social Strand Media, Tracy Sestili, gives us a good list of 12 must-haves for your upcoming newsletter. Does your next newsletter contain all 12?

Email is not dead and nor are newsletters. These days you don’t need to be a professional web designer to send out a newsletter. Most newsletter management systems have WYSIWYG editors with templates and plugins to maximize your reach.

There are however some basic rules to creating a compelling newsletter:

  1. Permission. It’s important that you get permission from people to email them. Having them opt-in to receiving your emails will be better received and your click-thru rate (CTR) much higher. Plus you’ll comply with the CAN SPAM rules.

  2. Segmentation. Send people emails that are pertinent to them. If you are having a fundraiser or event in North Carolina then don’t send a “Save the Date” email to everyone in your list because it’s not relevant to them.

  3. Simple Layout. People don’t like to read paragraphs of text unless they are reading a book or a newspaper. So keep it brief. Use a simple layout (2 columns, 2 rows) and make it ready easily, like a list.

  4. Catchy Subject Line. Make it short (less than 40 characters), avoid control characters (@#$%!*, etc), a catchy headline and keep it simple.

  5. Concise Text Formatting. Use bold, bullet points, short paragraphs, few paragraphs. Consider the medium in which the newsletter is being consumed. (i.e. smartphone, desktop, iPad/tablet, etc)

  6. Image Formatting. Use a mail service that hosts the images on a server rather than in the email. This way their email server won’t block the images from appearing. They will appear when the email is opened automatically.

  7. Don’t use MS Word. MS Word has built-in formatting that when you copy and paste from it into a newsletter template, often times you’ll get hidden carriage returns and unwanted formatting. If you want to type up your text first, then use Notepad. Copying and pasting from Notepad will keep the original formatting.

  8. Utilize plugins. Most email campaign management systems allow you to incorporate social media plugins so that people can tweet, email or share your newsletter online.

  9. Create a newsletter archive. Another thing is always insert the option to “Click to View this in a Browser” so that you can easily copy and paste that link to create an archive of your newsletters on your website (and also use that link to post to social media outlets).

  10. Allow easy opt-out. Most programs offer a one-click option that you can place anywhere in your newsletter. Consider placing it in the footer. Also, include a reminder that they opted-in to this newsletter.

  11. Test. Test. Test. And I mean this. Test the email newsletter on different browsers (Chrome, Safari, IE, FireFox) and test it on different smart phones vs how it appears on a tablet or desktop computer.

  12. Regular Frequency. Like with anything else, by establishing a regular frequency you get people accustomed to seeing your newsletter in their Inbox. Most companies can default to a monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly newsletter. Too few newsletters make people lose interest and forget about you and could potentially cause them to opt-out when they receive your newsletter. Too frequent, can become annoying. So find the right balance.

12 Must Haves For Newsletters – Social Strand Media.

Email Marketing Basics: 4 tactics of the incredible email marketer

So what is the difference between a successful cross media marketing campaign and one that doesn’t produce the results you hope for? In this article Daniel Burstein of MarketingSherpa explores the basics of successful email marketer. Think through these from a user perspective- do you come to the same conclusion of what works?

When I went to the movies over the holidays, I saw the preview for the new Steve Carrell movie — “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” — about a magician.

Maybe it’s the fact that a good illusionist has to get the audience to opt in to the performance. Or maybe it’s because the trailer featured many scenes in Las Vegas, site of the upcoming Email Summit 2013.

Either way, it got me thinking of some of the key tactics every email marketer should know. So I turned to MarketingSherpa’s Email Marketing Handbook – Second Edition to pull out some basics.

For example, while every magician should know The Best Coin Fold and The Mystery of Princess Karnac, every email marketer should know …

The Reward Delivery

Email is a perfect delivery mechanism for loyalty and check-in rewards, as well as offers in general. For example, Groupon and other daily deal sites always manage to wrangle my email address from me when I buy a coupon.

Once they have said email address and I receive my coupon, more email promotional messages usually follow.

For example, Tanger Outlets used email to send gift vouchers to customers participating in a social media check-in campaign. After six weeks, they received approximately 5,000 opt-ins.

But, is one opt-in enough? …

The Double Opt-In

Many email marketers can get a single opt-in. But can you secure the coveted double opt-in?

This tactic usually consists of sending a confirmation email that must be clicked once you receive an email opt-in (usually through a form fill).

For the novice email marketer, this might seem ridiculous. After all, it’s hard enough to obtain a single opt-in, any additional friction added to the process will likely reduce conversions. Plus, some customers who don’t know what you’re doing might be unnecessarily annoyed.

However, with email deliverability a continual challenge, the double opt-in might be worth considering, to help you maintain a clean, high-quality database of subscribers who really do want to hear from you.

It can also help you catch problems early. For example, Jack Hogan, CTO, LifeScript, found there are more than 500 ways to misspell yahoo.com, including yahoo.ocom and yahoodotcom (no relation to Kim Dotcom). Collecting and categorizing these bounces can help you find salvageable email addresses (the “confirm email address” field can help as well).

With some email service providers requiring double opt-ins, especially those serving small business, you may be practicing this tactic without really even trying.

Once you get the opt-in …

Read entire article here: Email Marketing Basics: 4 tactics of the incredible email marketer | MarketingSherpa Blog.

Email Marketing Timing

Does time really matter? In the case of email marketing, it most definitely does! What time an email lands in your customers’ inbox can drastically effect whether or not that email gets opened, read in full, or your call to action is completed. Think carefully next time you are scheduling an email blast to get the most results from your particular audience.

Open rates can vary by 6-7% based on time of day

One of the biggest questions email marketers I work with often have is:

What’s the best TIME OF DAY and DAY OF THE WEEK to send my emails?

Here is the simple (but very effective) solution we use to solve this question …

First, because every market is different, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. In some markets, email subscribers tend to consume email content M-F during their lunch hour … In other markets, subscribers read email first thing in the morning.

But, if the name of the game is to MAXIMIZE email open rates and clickthrough rates, sending at the OPTIMAL time of day (and day of week) can have a significant impact.

So, What IS the best TIME OF DAY and DAY OF THE WEEK to send your emails?

In my agency and consulting practice, here’s how we answer this question (and how you can do the same): By split testing.

Here’s what I mean:

If split-testing is a science, then there’s usually an “academic” way of doing things – and the more 80/20 – friendly “pracademic” way of doing things.

Here’s the 80/20 “pracademic” method we use to determine the BEST time of day and day of week to send emails in every market we’re involved in:

Step 1: Upload a broadcast email into your email service provider, and set up a four-way split test to your list. (ESPs like AWeber make this easy to do.)

Step 2: Keep the subject lines and email body copy identical across each variant.

Step 3: Send each split-tested broadcast (all the same email) at different times of the day on the same day. We typically start with a Wednesday, and choose 6:00 AM EST / 12:00 PM EST / 5:00 PM EST / 10:00 PM EST.

Step 4: Track the open rates (and clickthrough rates) for each variant.

Step 5: Whichever variant produces the best Open Rate % / CTR % gives you a good indication on the best time of day to send emails in that particular market.

I’ve found in some markets open rates can vary as much as 6-7%, simply based on WHAT TIME OF DAY the email hits a person’s inbox.

Now, as far as figuring out the best DAY of the WEEK? You follow the same process.

This time you control the “time of day” variable by sending the same broadcast email with the same subject line, at the same time of day (based on your first experiment) at four different days during the week.

We typically send on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

Once you’ve run these two experiments, you’ll likely walk away with one of – if not THE – optimal “time of day” and “day of week” combination to send your emails for YOUR market (and more importantly, you’re making the decision intelligently, based on actual, quantifiable data).

– Ryan Levesque, president, LTP Marketing LLC

Continue reading article here: Email Marketing Timing: When is the optimal time to send your next marketing email?

How to improve email blast campaigns

Reshared post from +Erica Walker

How to improve email blast campaigns

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Email Marketing: 900% more revenue-per-email from Restaurant.com’s automated strategy | MarketingSherpa
Batch-and-blast is often criticized, but is also widely used. Restaurant.com sent generic emails for years, and saw great revenue, but noticed a drop in customer engagement, leading it to dramatically…

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Interactive infographic: A super successful case study

Reshared post from +Erica Walker

Interactive infographic: A super successful case study. Only thing missing is the links to the companies actual infographics.

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Content Marketing: Interactive infographic blog post generates 3.9 million views for small insurance company | MarketingSherpa
As a smaller company with big competition, HCC Medical Insurance Services needed a way to distinguish its content. The company found success in embracing nontraditional and interactive efforts to rea…

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Mixing print and mobile to make reading a magazine interactive

Very cool what this company is doing mixing print and mobile to make reading a magazine more interactive.

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Food Network Magazine
Digimarc Corporation is a leading innovator and technology provider based in Beaverton, OR. We enable intuitive computing by creating persistent digital identities for media objects that computers and…

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