Had the same newsletter template/design for 12 or more months? It is a good time for a facelift. Here are a few reasons why.
- It’s a good opportunity to do some in-depth analysis on what is working and what is not. If a section of your newsletter is not performing, yank it or change it up in the template. If anything, your readers will appreciate a fresh look.
- It goes without saying from best practices point of view you should always be adapting your emails to contend with image rendering issues etc.
- From a design stand point, try and keep it simple but aesthetically pleasing, and don’t be afraid of white space. It will clearly define your content.
Once you have your new template, now is the time to optimize your newsletter. I think all e-marketers struggle with how much is too much, or too little! Each month I suggest selecting a section of the newsletter and do an A – B test, example, if you have top 10 tips:
1) Version A- Feature 1 tip with a CTA to all 10 tips
2) Version B- Feature 3 tips with a CTA to all 10 tips
This is a great exercise, depending on the content I found anything from a 20% lift in click-through to a 20% decline.
Change is good – here is the header image layout for Gallery Exposure, that was tested well over 4 years:
Obviously empowering your customers does have consequences, if someone has a bad customer experience with your company; it is very easy for them to share that with the world. The good thing is, if you respond quickly and make it right it can turn into a huge positive. Most people will respond to their friends and followers how you went above and beyond to fix their issue.
A large part of our marketing mindset is to be in the customer’s shoes and what they expect from you in social media. Here are a couple of points I have used to good effect:
On a final note you can leverage your customers to be advocates for your company, one’s circle of friends and family tend to carry the greatest amount of social capital in the business context.
As we all know- with any marketing campaign keeping it relevant is the key to success. It’s really no different in with social media, but the great thing is — you can have a little more fun with it. They are a fan for a reason, now keeping your fans engaged, is just like any relationship. You need to work on it!
Here are a few ideas of where to start on messaging:
Once you have an idea of what they are responding to, ask for their feedback (poll app), what they want to see more of and what they haven’t seen!
Check out this great post from The Email Wars Examples of Social Media in Email Marketing.
Next up: the customer perspective and concerns.
Why try social media? Why not? If you haven’t already, it is a no-brainer to have a social presence for your company. I personally think there is no real expert in social media marketing yet! I think it is very much trial and error at this stage, so test, test and test again. So my advice is to you, is to go for it.
Over the next week or so I will be sharing a few simple tips I’ve found helpful in building out a social media program:
Have a clear goal:
Next up: messaging and engagement.
Also check out this great article from Social Email Marketing blog and see why 37% of companies avoid social media.
As a self-confessed Home & Garden TV addict, I think this email from Bed Bath & Beyond is a great example for how to use animated gifs. And what a great way to feature a partner product, like Sherwin-Williams in this example, that truly compliments your own. Although the email is a little busy I think the objective is achieved – inspiration! This variation in color palette definitely motivates me to give my bedroom a make-over.
Using animated gifs is also a great opportunity to have an A – B test, from my experience we saw a 10 – 15% lift in revenue over the standard HTML version. Of course you don’t want the novelty to wear off so don’t over use this option and make sure to keep it relevant to the product you are selling. Animated gifs is still well supported by most email clients.
Want to showcase more products/product designs in your emails?
It is always a challenge for a marketer and designer to create an email that the business requires to showcase a number of new products/designs. One great solution is to leverage the poll/vote functionality that most ESP’s provide; the benefit in this is you don’t only get to showcase what you want but you also get the customers feedback and future targeting opportunities.
Another thought is to use this type of campaign as a teaser to the bigger event and give valuable feedback to product marketers and designers on what products to feature in the new product launch.
I am really surprised I do not see marketers leveraging this existing technology more.
I have not used one myself but there are a number of different poll apps available for FaceBook that would give you a similar result and may even increase your fan base!
Here is a campaign I ran at Kodak Gallery using this functionality:
Just want to welcome Gavin Handley, my former colleague and prize
-winning email marketer. I had the delight to work with him for approximately 3 years at my client, his employer, Kodak Gallery. Gavin’s got a keen awareness of client needs and great creative flair. We were talking yesterday about activity in the email space, and we both realized that it’d be great to open up the discussion on this blog. So I am really excited that he’s able, and interested, to contribute!
Gavin’s started off with his first post, “Engaging Newsletters.” Check it out!
To me a lot of newsletters are just a big promotional email which defeats the purpose of a newsletter. Reviewing a lot of different (one size fits all) e-newsletters, I think a lot of companies miss an opportunity to talk to a broader member base and drive more engagement. A lot of sites have great content that is buried and near impossible to navigate to, and this is the tool to leverage that content.
When I created the Gallery Exposure newsletter for kodakgallery.com some 4 years ago the objective was to have an engaging, inspirational and retention-minded communication. Content was based on user/customer service feedback and monthly polls that featured in Gallery Exposure. We intentionally kept promotional offers to a minimum or not at all in the email with extremely positive feedback, offers do not motivate everyone and the numbers proved it. The message I heard loud and clear “inspire me”.
This award winning newsletter from Olympus is a great example:
The good news, is that one of our posts: Obama Campaign – Stephen Geer Dir. of Email was used in the European Business Review, in an article on the Obama campaign and social media. The bad news is that one of their links back to here didn’t work. One did! One didn’t. I also didn’t check comments on here for a while, so the fault lies in both courts.
The article – Obama and the Power of Social Media Technology by Jennifer Aacker and Victoria Chang. The Review has also disable the right button, so that I can’t copy and paste a snippet here. Still, glad we got the mention. And yes, the devil’s in the details.
It’s a great article, too!
OK- this is a new way of posting/embedding twitter posts into your blog. From Xavier, via Blackbird bookmarket: Publish a tweet in html
sample: (it was a 2-step process, very nice)