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Best Practice B2C Email Marketing Subject Lines

January 27, 2010 Leave a comment

We’ve been talking a lot recently about ways to improve the emails we do for our clients. In striving to create the best work we’re capable of, we’ve been doing a lot of research in all aspects of email marketing.

One of the most overlooked parts of the email is the subject line. It has to be compelling enough to get someone to read the email, succinct enough to display properly in the recipient’s email client, and worded in such a way as to communicate an offer or incentive without sounding overly cheesy.

Here are some of the best tips I found for writing Best Practice B2C Email Marketing Subject Lines.

Length

Direct Marketing News recommends keeping subject lines at 35 characters or less–subject lines that are much longer may be cut off in certain email clients on screens with smaller resolutions. Keeping a subject line short and to-the-point helps keep emails easily scannable.

(A quick check of my own email client shows that emails are cut off after about 50 characters–but I have a pretty high-res widescreen monitor). It’s important to aim for the lowest common denominator so as not to exclude anybody from your message.

WIIFM?

Gail Goodman at Entrepreneur.com advocates that marketers consider “WIIFM” (What’s In It For Me?) from the recipient’s point of view to ensure the subject lines of B2C emails are enticing enough to click. Is there a special offer or promotion that will peak a consumer’s interest? Think about how your audience will react to your subject line. You want to dangle the carrot without sounding spammy.

Don’t Repeat Yourself

This article suggests not repeating the sender name in the subject line–your reader has already seen it in the “From” field. With the limited amount of character space, it’s best to keep the subject line meaningful and direct without namedropping in the subject line.

Use Your Consumer Data for Good

DJ Waldo writes on the Email Experience Council’s blog about the power of personalization. He received a B2C email with his (previous) location in the subject line and felt inclined to open the email. Depending on the consumer data available, there’s a lot of personalization that can be done to increase open rates.

Make It Your Own

Through testing and tracking, you can test and optimize what works best for your clients’ recipient lists. Find out what calls to action work best. Are they coupons? Contests or promotions? New product announcements? It’ll vary from client to client. Use your best judgment and track the open rates and click-through rates so you can improve further in the future. Your clients will thank you.

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Custom Creative Combined with Email Marketing Best Practices

January 10, 2010 Leave a comment

With more than 10 years of dedicated online marketing experience, DigitalDay has become one of the nation’s leading providers of Email Marketing Services. Through our relationship with Silverpop, we’ve easily delivered 10’s of millions of opt-in email messages on behalf of our clients — all designed to drive traffic back to their websites, promotions or microsites.

To help understand the full range of our email service offering, you can download the PDF DigitalDay Email Marketing Services Jan 2010 which includes:

 Custom Branded Design & Creative Services
 Powerful Delivery & Best-In-Class Technology
 Personalized Landing Pages & Microsites
 Customer Data & Web Analytics Integration
 Email Reporting and Marketing Analytics
 Survey Creation Tools
 Email List/Data Management
 Transactional Emails & Messaging

The Decline of E-mail and the Future of Electronic Marketing

July 17, 2008 1 comment

If teen Internet use is any indication of the future of Internet communication (and I would surmise that it is), it would seem that e-mail is on the way out. In a recent article published in the Miami Herald, author Rachel Leibrock explores the way Generation Y uses the Internet and her results are not surprising. She references a pair of 2007 studies that found that, “while 92 percent of surveyed adults said they regularly used e-mail, only 16 percent of teens made it a part of daily life…” So teens are shying from e-mail—where, then, are they going?

The studies found they’re moving to more instant and mobile means. Text messaging, instant messaging and social network site messaging are all increasingly becoming a part of the daily lives of teenagers.  Messages via these mediums require near-instant attention—it’s far easier to ignore an e-mail in an inbox than a bouncing IM icon on the dock.  Even here at DigitalDay, we’re all connected via Skype.  Its instant message feature has proved invaluable for our interoffice communication.

E-mail is still useful, albeit in a different capacity.  E-mail serves as a way to keep an official time-stamped record of communication. The “CC” feature is a convenient way to include people on projects who may not necessarily be involved but still have an interest in the status of the project.  It also functions as one of our primary ways of contacting clients.

While e-mail hasn’t gone the way of the buffalo just yet, what happens when Generation Y takes their Internet habits with them as they age into certain target market demographics?  What does this mean for the future of e-mail marketing?

Shar VanBoskirk, senior analyst at Forrester Research, a technology consulting and market research company, explains that, “…the focus becomes less on sending out as many messages as you can and instead on running analytics to figure out whom you should be sending messages to, or tech integration so that your e-mail program is better aligned with your customer service or your database marketing efforts.”

As people grow increasingly less dependent on e-mail as their primary form of electronic communication, the future of electronic marketing lies in brains, not bulk. Dynamic elements such as Quova’s geo-targeting will become even more crucial in marketing towards certain demographics. Geo-targeting makes an e-mail relevant to a certain location, enabling the marketer to pinpoint the target’s location down to the zip code.  Testing e-mail blasts and tracking clicks will help electronic marketers find the most effective applications of their strategies.

E-mail marketing will spread past e-mail, thinks Ken Magill, a media watchdog for DIRECT magazine.  Cell phone text messaging services already exist and will probably expand in the future.  Marketing via social network sites may very well be a possibility.

No matter which medium the majority of consumers decide to embrace, one thing is certain: effective marketers will adapt and use relevant content and advanced technology to stay ahead of the curve.

CPG and B-to-B Email Marketing Services

August 19, 2007 Leave a comment

As a full-service interactive marketing agency, DigitalDay offers the full compliment of online marketing solutions to help clients succeed online. Our experience with Fortune 500 online marketers over the past 10 years has helped make us experts in driving site traffic and increasing conversions.

In addition to Search Engine Marketing, Banner Advertising, Online Promotions and Viral Techniques, Email marketing has emerged as one of our core strengths. Today, DigitalDay’s Email Marketing Solution offers online marketers a turnkey solution – from objective-driven strategy through dynamic creative execution.

Based in suburban Cleveland, Ohio, DigitalDay works with CPG and clients nationwide to design and develop email customer-focused marketing programs that generate measurable results.

Our Email Marketing Capabilities
DigitalDay provides email marketing capabilities tailored to your online marketing needs and budgets. Our email solutions include:

  • Email Marketing Strategy, based on business and web objectives, to define and design measurable solutions.
  • Creative Services, from concept, copywriting and best-practices design ensuring the right message is on target with your brand and your customers’ needs.
  • Dynamic Personalization helps tailor email campaigns to your customers’ personal preferences, increasing interaction with your brand.
  • Campaign Automation produces multi-part mailings based on opens and click-throughs to create communication that engages and inspires.
  • Demographic and Behavioral Segmentation not only allows targeted messaging, but also results in groundbreaking analysis through our robust reporting capabilities.
  • Regulatory Compliance and Best Practices experience helps maintain Email Marketing Compliance, adhere to best practices and effectively manage Email Subscriptions and Opt-Outs.
  • Reporting and Analysis to help evaluate ROI and effectiveness.
  • Technical Support & Programming to create or integrate email programs into brand sites, CRM systems, or data warehouses.

Our services don’t just stop at engaging your customers through opens. We can design and implement Landing Pages or Promotional Micro-Sites to increase conversion rates, keep users on your Website and keep them coming back.

Our Email Marketing Partners:
DigitalDay has established partnerships with best-in-class industry leaders to provide a rock-solid email delivery and reporting platform.

  • Silverpop is one of the world’s foremost Email Service Providers and has gained recognition from Jupiter Research as one of the top ESP’s 5 years running. DigitalDay relies on Silverpop’s applications and network to serve as its Email Distribution platform. Silverpop maintains deliverability on behalf of our clients through their systems and by employing their ISP Relations Team to ensure that your messages will continue to get through, even as conditions change daily across the Internet.
  • Email Experience Council is a global professional organization striving to enhance the image of email marketing and communications, while celebrating and advocating its importance in business, and its ROI value. The EEC is committed to regularly conducting a broad series of email initiatives for a variety of organizations that highlight the positive impact and importance of email as a marketing tool, communications vehicle and branding device.
  • Akamai provides a Content Distribution Network for all campaigns sent using DigitalDay’s services. All image content is stored on the CDN so that the content of your emails remains intact in the event of any outage and when your emails are sent they won’t slow or crash your Website because of the influx of activity.
  • Peer1 is DigitalDay’s managed hosting provider. We currently host Websites and Web-enabled applications for Fortune 500 companies and leading consumer and B-to-B brands. We can host landing pages and other online campaign elements to ensure that your Email Marketing campaigns reach maximum exposure and remain intact.
  • Pivotal Veracity helps DigitalDay to provide content scoring of Email Campaigns while they’re being created so that spam filter triggers are alerted before your email campaigns are sent. After being sent Inbox Deliverability is monitored at major ISPs to provide real-time data on success of the sends. In addition, any Abuse Complaints or Unsubscribes through service providers are automatically captured.

Impact of Outlook 2007? Not much.

January 19, 2007 Leave a comment

The 2007 version of Microsoft’s Outlook no longer uses IE to display HTML email. Instead, it uses the less powerful HTML engine built into Word 2007.  Some low-lights:

— with no embedded players, say goodbye to video email, Flash-based email and even animated GIFs.

— worse, is the lack of high-end Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) features like float and position, as well as the ability to fine-tune padding and margins in table cells.

For a complete description, read “Word 2007 HTML and CSS Rendering Capabilities in Outlook 2007”

Fortunately only a small percentage of consumers use Outlook. According to MarketingSherpa’s Email Marketing Benchmark Guide 2006, consumer e-mail client usage is:

  • 4% Outlook
  • 12% Hotmail
  • 15% Outlook Express
  • 19% Yahoo!
  • 20% AOL