How to recover from an email disaster

Anyone who has ever had to send an email marketing campaign will know “The Fear” – the sense of dread you get when you personally are about to hit the go button on an email that is going to be received by potentially thousands and thousands of people. This fear also never leaves you. I have been sending email for 11 years now and I’m still very nervous when I send out emails. I always say, “there is ALWAYS time for another preview!”. Sometimes even to clients. I often test and retest to myself just to make sure I have got every last mistake fixed before the final send. But mistakes do happen to everyone at some point. It’s how…

How to improve the preheader text in your email campaigns

Preheader text is a small but vital part of every email marketing campaign. If written correctly in conjunction with a concise, benefit focused subject line the two can create a powerful 1-2 combo to greatly increase open rates for your email campaigns. Open rates are arguably one of the most important statistics for email campaigns because without any opens you’re not going to get any clicks. In most email clients within the list of received emails you will see three pieces of information. The From name, the subject line and the second line is the Preheader text. The Subject line is usually darker or slightly larger in size, however most clients allow more space for Preheader text so ideally it…

You can’t send an email campaign without…

Sending emails for businesses can be super stressful. The Sale is about to start, an urgent announcement needs to reach customers, the business needs to match a competitor’s offer. The reasons why it can be difficult are nearly endless, but, and this is a big ‘but!’ – no email campaign can be sent by an email service provider without a few key things. If this list is not met exactly, and every time, the email is just not going to go out. It is impossible. The bare minimum needed to send an email campaign HTML email Text version of the email The links for the email The subject line Sending instructions Preview list The email database Now that’s the absolute…

Gimmicks in email

So, did you arrive at this blog because of the gimmicky link in our email? Or because you searched for gimmicks in email and google sent you here? Let us know in the comments section below. The question going round the display block offices every time a new gimmick comes out or someone uses some kind of obfuscation in their email to get you to click is “Do these things really work, do they just offer a short term uplift and does that hurt the brand in the long run”. The truth is we didn’t have the data to support what is pretty much a universal gut reaction. Gimmicks in email are just that gimmicks and ultimately have no real…

7 Tips for better Email follow ups

If at first you don’t succeed…Resend! Marketers have an edge when it comes to email vs. traditional channels: They know who did or didn’t open the first email, and they can act accordingly by sending more email. Sending more email? When everyone is fearful of over sending? Yes! Send more email! Although every marketer has to determine their own ideal email frequency in order to maximize email marketing ROI without causing a rash of spam complaints or unsubscribes, there is a kind of email that can be done on a case-by-case basis regardless of ideal frequency: the resend. Resending emails to subscribers who didn’t open the first email is a tactic that can increase open rates and click-through rates and…

Sender best practices

In February, the M3AAWG (Messaging, Malware and Mobile Anti-Abuse Working Group) released version 3.0 of their “Sender Best Common Practices”, the first time this document has been updated since 2011. This document is primarily aimed at delivery and compliance professionals at ESPs (Email Service Providers), but there’s a lot of important information and guidelines which I hope to summarise here for a broader audience looking to improve their email marketing practices. Who? The M3AAWG is a consortium founded in 2004 to bring the messaging community together to fight against abuse of the various messaging platforms, specifically things like spam, malware, bots and denial of service attacks. The group’s leaders and members represent some of the largest network providers (Comcast, Time…

A robust testing process for email campaigns

Email testing is vital. Anyone who has worked in email for any length of time knows that sending an email with a mistake is not only embarrassing for you and the client but potentially a large financial risk. Terms and conditions might not be legally binding or worse, you might even lose the client. As the saying goes though people do make mistakes, everybody does. In this article I’m going to quickly run through a solid email testing plan which hopefully will help you know what you should look out for when coding. 1. Get everything tidied up Once you have the HTML and plain text version ready, save everything. Everything from the Photoshop file with the slices, the brief,…

Testing times

When we ask email marketing folks what testing they do when sending email campaigns, the list is usually pretty short. In fact, it’s often limited to subject lines and list segmentation. Whilst segmenting your list is probably the number one type of testing you should be doing, there are many other tests you can do to get a solid understanding of how well your email marketing is doing and where there is room to improve. Start by clearly defining what you want to achieve and set benchmarks so you can keep track of where you are along the way. Typical KPIs are opens, clicks, purchases and revenue. You should also define who you want to test various elements to and…

Open Sesame: Making your subject line more magical

With the subject line being the main driver for getting emails opened, it’s important to understand what makes people open emails. This does, of course, vary based on what message you are trying to get across in your email, how you segment your list and mailing frequency but there are approaches that can be used pretty much everywhere. Short and sweet Being succinct is the first thing to try and achieve, especially so now that so few characters can be viewed on a smartphone. We see between 33 and 72 characters on a smartphone depending on the device and whether it’s viewed portrait or landscape, but aim for the lower end as this covers you for the smaller screens (such…

How much time do you spend on your subject line?

Let’s face it, subject lines to most marketers are an after thought. Hours are spent in the planning stage of your email campaigns, then comes the design which can be 15-30 hours work; getting the images and layout right whilst ensuring everything is optimised for every device – all the while still keeping within the brand guidelines. Then there is the copy. A painstaking process of making sure the message is just right and the grammar correct, usually with multiple edits along the way. It all takes time. You then have to get it coded and that’s another half a day! You render test it across all sorts of browsers and devices  (more time) and then there’s the subject line.…