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The 10 Biggest Email Marketing Mistakes Companies Make (and how to avoid them). Presented by: Bradley Feuer bfeuer@meadigital www.meadigital.com 3-20-03. Discussion Topics. Special Thanks (“The Cannon”) What the Research is Telling Us What’s in it for You Why Me
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The 10 Biggest Email Marketing Mistakes Companies Make(and how to avoid them) Presented by: Bradley Feuer bfeuer@meadigital www.meadigital.com 3-20-03
Discussion Topics • Special Thanks (“The Cannon”) • What the Research is Telling Us • What’s in it for You • Why Me • The 10 Mistakes (and the 10 remedies) • Recap • Take-Aways • Latest & Greatest (if time)
Special Thanks “The Cannon” - Those who have gone before us… • Seth Godin (Permission Marketing) • Kim Macpherson (Permission Email Marketing) • Hans Peter Brondmo (Post Communications) • Debbie Weil (B2B expert, Clickz) • Clint Symons (opt-in-news publisher)
The Research • Two studies indicate marketers’ “Email Marketing” challenges • MEA Proprietary Research: ROI, Qualified lists, Content, Results eMarketer 2002
The Research • Click Through Rates - Industry Research (varies depending on relationship) DoubleClick 2003
What’s In It For You • Validate what you’re doing right • New strategies to consider • New tactics to try • Learn from other’s mistakes • Specific take-aways
Why Me • Online & Email Marketing Veteran – since 1996 (Beyond Interactive, Versity.com, CollegeClub.com, Pointcast) • Built Email Technology & Deployed 100’s Campaigns • Local & National Speaker • Partner – MEA Digital • Email Consumer
Mistake #1: No Email Plan • Have you developed an email marketing strategy? • Current brand objectives • Data capture & management • *Permission* • Message • Implementation • Measurement
Remedy #1: Create a Dialog Map Opt-in Subscribe eNewsletter OPWV Central eMarketing database Opt-in Newsletter Unqualified Lists Future mailings/ 3rd Quarterly Newsletter Data Updates - unsubs & bounce Reports/ Key Findings 2nd Issue Auto- trigger 2nd eNewsletter Links to Website & 1st Issue 2nd Quarterly Newsletter Includes: Forward to a Friend Qualified Lists OPWV Central eMarketing database
Mistake #2: No Clear Message Strategy • Do you have a content plan? • Focus & relevance • Media (Text, HTML, Video, Flash) • Email vehicles • (Newsletters, Promotions, Catalogs, Coupons, ect.) • Communication frequency
Remedy #2: Use a Creative Brief Objectives Relationship Action Think Now New Perception “Ammo” (Incentive) Message
Mistake #3: No Success Metrics Costs • Cost per sale • Cost per lead • Cost per subscriber • Cost per communication Feedback • Analytical tracking & surveys • Content interaction (opens, clicks) • Churn, list growth
Mistake #4: No Technology Criteria • Currently over 2 dozen Email ASP & eCRM technology providers. • They have a wide range of functionality, scalability and financial stability . • Know what you need. Do not buy more – do not buy less.
Mistake #5: No Test Plan • Direct Marketing is about making incremental improvements. • Develop your hypothesis • Test subject lines, offers and lists by sending to a small sub-segment to identify the best variables. • Deploy campaigns based upon test results
Remedy #5: Use a Cell Matrix OF:1 OF:2 OF:3 O: 29.3% C: 4.1% O: 31.2% C: 4.5% O: 34.6% C: 5.2% L1 L2 O: 33.5% C: 5.5% O: 47.4% C: 6.7% O: 42.1% C: 6.3% OF: Offer L: List O: Open Rate C: Click Thru Rate
Mistake #6: Complacency • Use what you learn during cell testing to optimize response. • Regarding offer and creative - It’s not important what you think of it – it’s what your customers and prospects think of it.
Remedy #6: Respond to Feedback BEFORE TESTING AFTER TESTING Increased click-through by over 20%
Mistake #7: No Quality Assurance • 42% of Email sent are rendered improperly* • The email (client application) market is extremely fractured – not to mention version control issues: • Do not assume that the multi-part messaging capability will address all these different standards. *SilverPop 2003
Remedy #7: QA Lab Eudora SilverPop 2003 Outlook https://roomres.aladdincasino.com/CGI-BIN/LANSAWEB?PROCFUN+RAW+RA16+RES+FUNCPARMS+UP(A2560):;seml;?
Mistake #8: No A/B Splits • Any Email technology “worth it’s salt” provides simple A/B split capabilities – take advantage of it. • Keep an archive of subject lines and corresponding open rates.
Remedy #8: A/B Splits Track subject line response… • The Healthy Alternative. • It's not too late to say Happy Holidays. • Premium quality last minute gift ideas. • Holiday gift giving has never been so easy! • Make it a fruitful affair for everyone. • Great gift ideas are now ten percent off!
Mistake #9: No Fulfillment Plan • Test web site fulfillment vehicle(s) • Take the user directly to the desired action • Optimize the necessary steps involved Email Promotion Links to home page
Remedy #9: Landing Pages/Micro Sites 1) Email 2) Dedicated (and pre-populated) landing page
Mistake #10: No Data Analysis • Go beyond open and click rate (the devil IS in the details)… • Final desired action • Churn rate • Click-throughs by URL • Click stream analysis • Time spent per article • Cross-tabs • Cell-test results DoubleClick 2003
Remedy #10: Analyze the Data eNewsletter Response by customer segments
Recap – Ten “To Do’s” • Dialog Map • Message Strategy • Success Metrics • Technology Audit • Cell Testing • Creative/offer modifications • QA Lab • A/B Splits • Landing Pages • Data Analysis
Take - Aways • This process can (and should) be used for email retention and email list rental as well as B2C and B2B email programs. • Email Marketing IS Direct Marketing - with a number of subtle nuances – learn them. • Remember: • Crawl, Walk, Run • “PTO” (plan, test, optimize) • Be ready the email recipients to email you!
Latest & Greatest • Email Referral Programs
Latest & Greatest • Rich Media (Audio, Video & Flash
Latest & Greatest • Compressed eCatalogs
Latest & Greatest • Click-to-Call
Latest & Greatest • Email Branding
Latest & Greatest • Email Coupons