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3 examples of good e-mail campaign


ConferenceCall.com

You can see that action-oriented philosophy at work in a series of e-mail messages written to ConferenceCall.com customers. People only scan your e-mail for a split second. I always want to make sure the message is clear and that the action items are upfront. Nobody has time to read four paragraphs justifying the premise behind the product. If they’ve clicked on your e-mail, it’s likely that they already recognize the need for what you have to offer.

Rather than pile all the information into one long message, the company sends a series of short e-mail messages at approximately four-week intervals that educate and up-sell the customer:

* The welcome letter sets the tone for the e-mail series. What I like about it, and the others in the campaign, is that each bullet point ends with a link to an action item. There’s no unnecessary copy, yet the tone is friendly and helpful. In the sidebar, owners can find all their account information, a plus for those already overwhelmed by too many passwords and access codes.

* In the week four e-mail, the company checks in to see “if you’re getting the service you deserve” — to make sure the account rep has contacted the customer, to introduce the Rewards program, and to offer to extend the service to other users.

* In the week 8 e-mail, the reader learns about a “fun program we have here,” the company’s referral program. That’s a fresh way to position a common feature, especially since it directs readers to an intriguing link called “Free Stuff and Promos.”

Success
A 15 percent increase in conference calling activation rates for new owners, which is extremely successful. The individual e-mail messages generate open rates of 45 to 50 percent.

Here’s another interesting insight: as many ConferenceCall.com customers begin their relationships with the company through its Web site instead of with sales representatives, they embrace e-mail as the preferred method of interaction. Sales representatives are free for more focused efforts where personal attention can be leveraged in the most profitable manner. Read more about this case.

The History Channel

The History Channel, part of the A&E Television Networks, focuses on bringing lives and events of the past to the present. In this campaign, the channel wanted to show history teachers how its resources could be used to teach both in the classroom and at home.

To encourage teachers to assign the TV show “Frontier Homes” as homework, e-tractions created an interactive game (play it here). The idea is to match historical objects with four different types of pioneer homes. From the puzzle page, teachers could download a study guide and e-mail a friend or colleague.

A mailing was sent out to an internal opt-in list of history teachers on a Tuesday afternoon, about a week before the show was aired. The subject line read something like “Play The History Channel Frontier Homes Challenge!” and it directed recipients to the “fun and fact-filled historical challenge.”

Success
Games are a great way to encourage email recipients to pay attention to your message.
The campaign generated a high registration rate. A full one-third of registrants were not on the original mailing list. Teachers thought the game was so much fun that they forwarded it along to friends in huge numbers. In fact, the EnterAct stats showed that about 40 percent of the players weren’t even on the original mailing list, indicating clearly that teachers were passing it along to friends, colleagues and students!. Read more about this case.

Nintendo

How often should you send mailings to your opt-in database? Conventional wisdom says not too often. Rules are made to be broken. Nintendo experimented and came up with its own guidelines. The company found more frequent mailings can be a successful tactic.

Nintendo was able to successfully send not one, not two, but in some cases six messages devoted to that one product. It did this for nine different products. Nintendo carefully considers its core audience and sends some customers most of the e-mail series for each game.

How does Nintendo manage this without overwhelming its members? First, it built a loyal subscriber base of recipients who look forward to e-mail communications.

For the Star Fox Adventure game, Nintendo created a series of six messages:

1. The tease. On October 1, a “coming soon” announcement was mailed a week or so before product launch to a large group of Nintendo’s core audience over the age of 13. A link took recipients to a product microsite.

2. The arrival. Three weeks later, on October 23, a streaming media e-mail message went out. The video invited recipients to “join the adventure.” It played automatically in Outlook. Users with other e-mail clients clicked a button in the message to launch the video.

3. The survey. Nintendo wanted to continue to engage recipients. On November 12, subscribers who expressed interest, by opening or clicking through the previous mailings, were contacted. The survey asked questions such as, “Have you played Star Fox Adventures?” and “Which of the following influenced your decision to buy or play Star Fox Adventures?”

4. The site announcement. On November 24, Nintendo invited its core audience to visit a revamped site and receive game tips and strategy advice.

5. The puzzle and…

6. The bidding auction. Nintendo sent these two mailings on December 10 and December 17, respectively, to a subset of the database: those showing strong interest in the game. These recipients hadn’t just opened prior e-mails; they had either clicked through or even purchased. The idea was to get users engaged. The message was along the lines of, “Here’s a great add-on, hope you enjoy it.”

Success
Open rates were between 21 and 57 percent. Not surprisingly, messages five and six were highest (57 and 46 percent). The lowest open rate was message four, at 21 percent. The first three messages garnered 27, 25, and 36 percent, respectively.

CTR varied widely. Considering the content and who received the messages, you can understand why. It ranged between 4 and 85 percent. Message five, which was sent to recipients who already demonstrated responsiveness, was highest. Messages two and three came in at 9 and 8 percent, respectively.

You’re probably wondering if this multi-message tactic turned subscribers away. It didn’t. The unsubscribe rate was steady at well under 1 percent. The low was 0.04, the high 0.65 percent.

This study illustrates is a loyal audience will stay loyal if you provide relevant content. Nintendo, which knows how to compete in gaming, knows what makes a winner in e-mail marketing, too. Read more about this case.

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Key components of good email marketing programs


Good email marketing program combines specialized marketing skills with best technology to offer solutions and support for highly effective and measurable returns from e-marketing.

SETTING EMAIL MARKETING OBJECTIVES

First you have to set up e-mail marketing objectives

* Evaluating email subject headers
* Determining key content
* Segmenting your lists
* Test marketing different messages
* Designing creative and attention grabbing HTML emails

HTML emails are twice as effective as plain text emails, and over 60% of people can view HTML emails.

EMAIL MARKETING CAMPAIGN MANAGEMENT

List Creation & Management
All the email addresses on lists should be of people who are either clients or who requested information. E-mail marketing programs contain tools to build opt-in list It´s important to determine the most important pieces of information to request from interested parties.

List Segmentation
Segmenting email list allows to target specific groups of people with common interests. This allows to deliver the most pertinent information right to their inbox.

Deliverability
Nothing else matters if the messages are not getting to their intended recipients. Email solution provider should work closely with all major ISP’s to ensure the highest delivery rate, avoiding the dreaded blacklists. ESP should run SPAM checks, AOL compliance checks, and various other tests to make sure messages will be delivered correctly.

REPORTING & ANALYSIS

* Open rates
* Click – Thru rates
* Bounce rates
* Forwarding/referral metrics
* Conversion rates
* ROI determination and analysis
* Subscribes, unsubscribes (opt-outs)

Here´s a simple example of campaign report

Some email service providers: acceleration.biz, simplepixel.com, bronto.com etc

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Key challenges for e-mail marketing


Successful e-mail marketing requires knowledge of Marketing Objectives, HTML Email Templates, Campaign Management + Reporting and Analysis.

Key challeges of e-mail marketing are “spam blocking”, “open rates” and “click-through rate”. Will your massege make it through spamblockers and will anybody ever read or click it?

Header Information

Your e-mail’s header, specifically sender address and subject line, has become the key creative landmine you must effectively manage to generate the response you’re looking for. Gaining permission to e-mail and ensuring the e-mail is delivered are two program prerequisites. Getting readers to remember why they requested your e-mail and inducing them to open it elevates your campaign to a point at which it can be acted upon.

How?
The sender address needs to be a recognizable, trusted name. The subject line should be clear and to the point and allude to the e-mail’s value. Anything less and you risk high deletions. Combined, the sender address and the subject line shouldn’t exceed 65 characters.

E-mail promise

Fail to deliver on your promise once, and the recipient tends to be somewhat forgiving. Fail twice, and over 69 percent of recipients won’t only stop reading your e-mail, they’ll also stop patronizing your organization.

How?
Be clear with your promises and avoid misunderstanding.

E-Mail Database

Revenue generated from database can decline 50 percent in a six-month period due to natural attrition and undeliverable e-mail messages

How?
Replace 10 percent of the original list size each month.


Above-the-Fold Content

The top 145-200 pixels of an email’s height are the most critical. From a design perspective, the most common mistake is to clutter this section with graphics. If stripped out or blocked, they negatively affect your message.

According to EmailLabs recent Survey 69 Percent of B2B Subscribers Frequently or Always Use a Preview Pane; 45 Percent Rarely or Never Download Images

How?
Key information to include above the fold:

* Company logo and link to the home page
* The main call to action, plus a link to act on that call
* A visual that enhances the brand image
* A headline that encourages readers to read the rest of the message

Relevant Content

The ability to access and manipulate operational and behavioral data inside an e-mail is at the heart of its power: the power of mass personalization. No other marketing channel enables you to send one message to 50,000 people with 50,000 personalized sets of content for under $0.10 per message. The cost of a personally relevant relationship is minimal, yet the results in sales, loyalty, and brand affinity are large.

How?
Devide e-mail database to smaller units and operate per unit: region, age, intrests etc – its called multiple segmentation.

Webpage

Webpage should support marketing schemes.

How?
Creative and offer information on landing and home pages should match the creative and offer information in the e-mail message. All home and landing pages should include tags to track from where the e-mail traffic originates and where abandons occur.

Spam blocking

How?
Use good email marketing programs 🙂

Reade more from Clickz.com

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Viral Marketing

What does a virus have to do with marketing? Viral marketing describes any strategy that encourages individuals to pass on a marketing message to others, creating the potential for exponential growth in the message’s exposure and influence. Like viruses, such strategies take advantage of rapid multiplication to explode the message to thousands, to millions.

The classic example of viral marketing is Hotmail.com, one of the first free Web-based e-mail services. The strategy is simple:

1. Give away free e-mail addresses and services,
2. Attach a simple tag at the bottom of every free message sent out: “Get your private, free email at http://www.hotmail.com” and,
3. Then stand back while people e-mail to their own network of friends and associates,
4. Who see the message,
5. Sign up for their own free e-mail service, and then
6. Propel the message still wider to their own ever-increasing circles of friends and associates.

An effective viral marketing strategy:

1. Gives away products or services
2. Provides for effortless transfer to others
3. Scales easily from small to very large
4. Exploits common motivations and behaviors
5. Utilizes existing communication networks
6. Takes advantage of others’ resources

Read more about Principles of Viral Marketing + Viral Marketing Hall of Fame

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Marketing campaign that skype should be running


Summary:
This campaign is proof that if you blatantly appeal to bloggers’ egos and desire for more traffic/attention, they will in turn happily link to you. And if your offer is appealing enough, where a few influential bloggers go, the rest will virally follow.

Bloggers tend to show their personality, political views and support for services they like through badges; and, blogrolls within their blog and consumer generated media can occur instantaneously with a single blog posting.

Idea is to combine two skype campaigns using viral marketing:

1) Valentine´s Day – link to skype and you get skype-out credit + starter kit
2) Skype buttons – Skype buttons can be used on your website, blog or even in your email signature to let other people contact you easily

Campaign Goal: Get blogers to link Skype site and promote Skype (buttons).

Idea: To award Skype user with Skype-Out credit for every new blogger that uses Skype buttons.

Strategy:

1) Improve Skype button with additional link to skype site.

2) Create a tool to generate Skype buttons for your friends. Generated buttons have meta information about the creator.

Promotion:

1) initial influential bloggers
2) e-mail campaign
3) skype client (future)

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