Home  › Email › Email Marketing

Mature and Improve Your E-mail Campaign in 2011

  |  November 3, 2010   |  Comments

Learn how to maximize subscriber engagement with your e-mail and build trust with your subscribers with these tips.

My previous column covered the fundamentals and advanced marketing e-mail practices that should keep you off the "worst" section of Forrester's lists of "best" and "worst" e-mail campaigns for 2010.

Among other discouraging reports, Forrester found that the average score for B2B campaigns actually dropped since its last review in 2006. So, in this column, let's review tips to mature and improve your e-mail campaigns before Forrester's next review.

1. Optimize your presentation

You can have the best e-mail list in the world, but if you don't nail the presentation, very few will engage in your message. Coordinating your subject line, e-mail pre-header/header, content, offer, call to action, and social integration is the key to maximizing your open and click-through rates.

To maximize subscriber engagement with your e-mail, your message needs to answer three questions:

  • Who is it from?

    As marketers, we know our sub-brands, official product names, and the CMO's full name, but do your subscribers know all this, too?

    Communicate the content essentials upfront. Use a pre-header with HTML-based system text to summarize the content and provide a link to the call action above your official header. This gives your mobile viewers key content at the top of the message without the need to wade through HTML code.

    Optimize your message header for images off. As most ISPs and e-mail clients block images by default, it is key to use system text in your footer without depending on images. Keep your header short and compact. Communicate your brand name and key message points in system text. Include site navigation links as system text to drive the click.

  • What's in it for me?

    Analyze your content from your subscriber's eye as well. Is information relevant? Does it address or solve a pressing business problem? Is it worth my time to click and want to learn more?

    Entice your subscribers with a good subject line. Communicate value and leave them wanting more to drive the click. Don't include all the information they need in the subject line itself. They may not open or click and you will never know if they found your content valuable.

  • How do I take action?

    Evaluate your creative to gauge if it is easily scanned and the call to action is clear. At best, you have no more than eight seconds of your subscriber's attention. Make sure your content is engaging and whets the appetite to click and learn more on your website.

    2. Look to build trust.

    Building trust with your subscribers is one of the most important elements of e-mail marketing. Communicate that you respect their time and strive to provide them with relevant content. If you abuse this trust, recipients will unsubscribe, preventing you from e-mailing them until you rebuild their trust.

    • Will your subscriber recognize your sender name?

      Look at your subject line and header through the eyes of a prospect or new customer. Does the "from" or sender line clearly communicate who sent the e-mail? Would the recipient recognize the brand names, product names, and personal names?

      Avoid using executive names that the subscriber will most likely not recognize. The subscriber has to have a relationship with the sender to make this tactic succeed.

    • Does your e-mail give the subscriber some control?

      Provide a link where subscribers can choose the types of e-mail communications they want to receive or change their address or format.

      Avoid allowing subscribers to manage frequency. They will most often choose a frequency less often than they typically respond.

      Instead, ask yourself if the message you are planning is relevant to your subscribers. If not, don't e-mail.

    • Does your e-mail footer make you look trustworthy?

      The footer is a key element for your subscribers to ensure that your e-mail is legitimate:

      • Include your physical address and phone number (and contact name if possible).
      • State the reason the subscriber is receiving the e-mail and how you obtained permission to send the e-mail.
      • Include links to unsubscribe (including the amount of time for it to take effect), change e-mail preferences, and access your privacy policy.

    The Last Word

    Use these tips and advice to analyze your own e-mail program for gaps and to help your e-mail program mature.

    If you succeed, your program will successfully generate more leads and revenue, and you'll help B2B e-mail marketing get rated number one the next time Forrester analyzes e-mail programs.

  • ClickZ Live Toronto On the heels of a fantastic event in New York City, ClickZ Live is taking the fun and learning to Toronto, June 23-25. With over 15 years' experience delivering industry-leading events, ClickZ Live offers an action-packed, educationally-focused agenda covering all aspects of digital marketing. Register today!

    ClickZ Live San Francisco Want to learn more? Join us at ClickZ Live San Francisco, Aug 10-12!
    Educating marketers for over 15 years, ClickZ Live brings together industry thought leaders from the largest brands and agencies to deliver the most advanced, educational digital marketing agenda. Register today and save $500!

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Mike Hotz

    Mike Hotz is a senior strategic consultant for Responsys, working with clients to design, develop, and execute cross-channel digital marketing strategies that contribute to their cross-channel digital marketing success. As an industry veteran, Mike has worked in e-mail marketing since 1998, designing, building, and executing e-mail and multichannel direct marketing strategies focusing on increasing customer engagement, nurturing leads, supporting sales organizations, and driving revenue for companies such as CDW, OfficeMax, Grant Thornton, and Digitalwork.com.

    COMMENTSCommenting policy

    comments powered by Disqus

    Get ClickZ Email newsletters delivered right to your inbox. Subscribe today!

    COMMENTS

    UPCOMING EVENTS

    Featured White Papers

    Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce

    Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce
    This Magic Quadrant examines leading digital commerce platforms that enable organizations to build digital commerce sites. These commerce platforms facilitate purchasing transactions over the Web, and support the creation and continuing development of an online relationship with a consumer.

    Paid Search in the Mobile Era

    Paid Search in the Mobile Era
    Google reports that paid search ads are currently driving 40+ million calls per month. Cost per click is increasing, paid search budgets are growing, and mobile continues to dominate. It's time to revamp old search strategies, reimagine stale best practices, and add new layers data to your analytics.

    WEBINARS

    Resources

    Jobs

      • GREAT Campaign Project Coordinator
        GREAT Campaign Project Coordinator (British Consulate-General, New York) - New YorkThe GREAT Britain Campaign is seeking an energetic and creative...
      • Paid Search Senior Account Manager
        Paid Search Senior Account Manager (Hanapin Marketing) - BloomingtonHanapin Marketing is hiring a strategic Paid Search Senior Account Manager...
      • Paid Search Account Manager
        Paid Search Account Manager (Hanapin Marketing) - BloomingtonHanapin Marketing is hiring an experienced Paid Search Account Manager to...