Utilizing Email Marketing: ContentJam Recap

I recently spent the day at ContentJam in Chicago.  Designed for people who create or curate content for the web, ContentJam is a one-day conference filled with expert sessions in the SEO, promotions, marketing, content strategy and creation arenas.  In the third post of my Content Creation and Management Series, I’ll be sharing with you my notes from the amazing sessions that I attended and crediting the speakers along the way.  Check out the first two posts on Content Marketing and Link Building Techniques That Really Work.  This was the second year of ContentJam, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that there is a 2014 ContentJam.  It was an incredible day of learning!

Content Creation & Management Series: Email Marketing, How to Make It Work For You from ContentJam (www.memyselfandjen.com)Speaker:  Mana Ionescu, @manamica, www.lightspandigital.com

Still see the best returns per investment for email marketing

73% use their smart phone for reading email – and more than for making calls.
72% read email before getting out of bed
62% of British women and 48% of men, admitted to pausing sex to check their mobile phone.
The reality is that consumers are addicted to email.
Email marketing is the #1 channel for permission based marketing:
  • 77% prefer to get marketing messages via email versus phone and SMS
  • #1 channel for sharing
  • 63% prefer to share content with friends and family via email over Facebook and phone.
  • 91% of people use email daily
  • Add people to your email list
  • Take every opportunity to ask people permission
  • How do I get subscribers?
    • Politely ask
    • Make a promise – no spam, they can unsubscribe at any time
    • Set expectations – how often will you be emailing them?
    • Deliver on your promises
  • At the end of every customer flow should be a call to action.  “If you like what you read, get more information straight in to your inbox.  Subscribe HERE.”
  • Every content placement that doesn’t give your customer an opportunity to convert in to a customer in your database is a missed opportunity.
  • If quality and content is good, quality and serves a purpose, they will find it and read it.
  • DON’T – cold email
    • It’s rude and a waste of time
    • Unsubscribe rate will be off the chart -track it!
    • Don’t buy lists
      • Costly
      • You have no idea what you are getting
      • List clean up service – costly and lose a chunk
      • Bounce rate is 40% sometimes after clean up
      • Spam rate is 40% after that
      • 20,000 list – 100 people who were viable that opened the email.
      • Not worth it
  • Have a graphic, short, sweet call to action.  Use a formula
  • Make sure you give them the WHY should they subscribe
  • Why it works:
    • Prominence
    • Value
    • Proof
    • Visible everyone
  • Stop using captcha!!
GET OPENED – sender name, subject lines and timing
  • Open rate is an indicator of a couple of things
    • Is the sender name personalized?
    • no “customer service @”  “info@”.  Make it personal!
    • Make your sender name a human
    • “donotreply@” = bad
    • People will reply to your email address and will reconnect.
    • Make a genuine effort to connect with your audience.  They are your leads!
  • Subject Line
    • What is most likely to cause you to open and read an email from a retail brand?
    • Consumers indicate that a subject line relevance trumps efforts to be clever or overly familiar
    • Mentions a discount or special offer first
    • Promotes a product you are interested in – second
    • Product you recently looked at online – third
    • Don’t know – fourth
    • Humorous – fifth
    • Includes your first name – last
    • Don’t be cutesy with your brand in your subject line
    • MAKE SURE YOU DO TESTING – it’s different for every brand and company
    • Don’t be a bore
    • Keep it:
      • short, descriptive and valuable
      • personalize
      • under 50 character
    • Don’t use the following (they trigger your email being flagged as spam)
      • free
      • help
      • percent off
      • reminder
      • no all caps
      • not too much punctuation
      • cash
      • viagra
      • no $ signs
      • 50%
      • 100%
    • Tell, don’t sell!
      • the best subject lines tell what’s inside and the worst SELL what’s inside
        • real
        • dynamic
        • interesting
  • When to send – no day or time that performed better than others.
  • Play with it and try it out.  what works best for you
  • Unsubscribe rates are must higher on Mondays and Tuesdays,
  • People delete emails faster on Mondays and Tuesdays.
  • Know your customers
  • Don’t spam
  • Increase your text to image ratio – no big picture email.  Text and pictures
  • Make sure your email has an HTML and text version.  This prevents getting tagged by spam filters
  • Google Tabs
    • Primary, Social and Promotions
    • Email newsletters from brands get pushed to promotions tab
    • MailChimp has tested it and there hasn’t been much of a difference in open rate
    • Educate your customer base on the Google Tabs – drag the email to the first tab, and then google with learn to put your email in to the Primary tab.  Demo blog post.
  • Yahoo email recycling
    • What to expect
    • If your list has a lot of Yahoo addresses you may see:
      • More bounce backs
      • More unsubscribes
    • Why?
      • Yahooo will send bounce back emails alerting senders that the deactivated account no longer exists
      • Yahoo will unsubscribe these accounts.
  • Do this LAST
  • Design doesn’t matter as much, usability matters more.  Can I read this on my phone?
  • Most in-boxes and mobile phones turn off images to save on data
  • Build it MOBILE friendly from the beginning!
Mobile Friendly
  • Be mobile or be deleted
  • If you get a mobile email that doesn’t look good, what do you do – DELETE IT
  • The number of consumers who may unsubscribe after receiving a mobile email that doesn’t look good has tripled since 2012
  • The mobile inbox – your first line of text matters!!!!
  • Design your email as if the “click here to see it” doesn’t exist.
  • Over 70% of people read email on their mobile device
  • You don’t want “web version”
  • Make sure your mobile email is actionable!!!
  • Responsive email – don’t do (it’s too difficult for most small businesses)
    • Content on the left
    • Buttons AND links
    • BIG text
    • Use “alt” tags and links for images (rename images)
    • Screens – 320 pixels wide
    • Finger tab is  – 44 pixels wide
Make a Magazine out of your Email
  • 1 featured article
  • Statistic
  • Event,video, etc.
  • Recent projects
  • Other links
  • Look at email marketing as a newsletter
  • Curate:
    • 1 featured article
    • 2 articles from others
    • Promoted ebook
    • Tweets, jobs, etc
  • The more links you have, the more links you get and the more unsubscribes you get.
  • The more links you have, the fewer unsubscribes you have
  • Know your customer
  • Get data smart – Split Your List
  • Subject line
  • Landing pages
  • Message
  • Layout and images
  • Call to action
  • Days of the week
  • Times of day
  • Personalization
  • Target audience**
  • From line
  • Mobile layout and images
  • Measure and Improve from testing
    • Mailchimp will give you the results
  • You don’t see the tracking
  • There’s a transparent email image that’s embedded inside (1×1 pixel transparent image) that’s used as the open rate
  • Most open rate stats are lower than actual because lots of people don’t open images
  • Campaign tracking – google analytics
  • Where there’s traffic, there’s hope!
  • Use bit.lys, url trackers
  • Open rate is a good indicator of subject line and sender
  • Clicks to open is indicator of content
  • Watch your stats
  • Listen for feedback
  • Experiment with landing pages, subject lines, sender name, formatting, topics, timing and layout
  • “Send timely, targeted, relevant, valuable emails to people who ask for them.”  – DJ Waldow, Waldow Social

To see Mana Ionescu’s entire presentation entitled, “Powered By Email”, you can follow Mana on Slideshare, or see it below:

Are you currently utilizing email marketing?  Does this change how you look at the idea of it?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!