Final Project for an Email Marketing Class at Full Sail University
Final Project for an Email Marketing Class at Full Sail University
Back in the day when I was working as a loan broker I was working through Real Estate agents to find new loans to do. Things were going pretty good however, I was not getting as much business out of the Real Estate Agents as I would have liked so I came up with the bright idea to start using email to stay in touch with the agents I was working with. So, I created some nice emails and started sending them out, however nothing really changed. One day as I was talking to a realtor the topic of emails came up and I asked if he liked the ones I was sending and he looked at me like I was crazy. Turns out he did not even know he was receiving them due to the emails going to his junk mail folder. I felt like such an idiot. I knew nothing about email marketing and was just shooting blind and in the end wasted my time because I did not take the time to figure out how to do it right. Now years later I am taking the time to learn the in’s and out’s of email marketing. In this pursuit I read an interesting article about deliverability entitled “10 Myths For Inbox Deliverability” by Stephanie Miller and learn the things that I should have figured out a long time ago with my first email-marketing attempt.
I found a couple of the Myths to be somewhat eye opening. The first myth that hit me was “Permission-based marketing messages are delivered to the inbox” What? If someone has given permission to receive an email why would they not get it? It turns out that Stephanie’s company did some digging and found that 20% of legitimate emails in North America do not reach the inbox. That seems like a very high percent to me. She indicated that sender needs to track email delivery and make changes as need and I agree. However should the system used to send out the emails be part of the problem as well? At any rate, 20% should not be overlooked so anything that can be done to improve this should be done.
“My email service provider handles inbox placement for me” was the next myth. Wow–do email service providers do anything? Well, yes, they do a lot and help us understand what happened with reports; well the good ones do at any rate. It comes down to that old saying “Garbage In, Garbage Out”. The service provider works with the data we give them and it is up to the marketer to control the data sourcing, frequency and content.
The last one was not surprising to me, yet it is an important one that can be easily overlooked so I thought it was worth bringing up again. “Changing the content or subject line is a good was to get a block lifted” There are many different factors involved in getting blocked and removing a block. Using a tool like Sender Score provided by Return Path we can see what factors they look at to determine someone’s Sender Score that effects being blocked. They look at things like hostname, other IPS with the same hostname and deliverability risk. Now, this is not to say that content is not important because it is–however being confused as one of the dirty junk mailers because of an IP hostname conflict can really hurt.
Creating great content and having good copy and compelling offers that are relevant to the user are very important to having a good email campaign and doing things right will definitely improve things but you can not forget these other factors that hurt deliverability. The best emails in the world will do no good if they are never seen because they did not go to the inbox of the intend user, just like I faced with my first attempt at email marketing. Learn for my mistakes and look before you leap when trying something out for the first time. I promise it will save you time and money.
“10 Myths For Inbox Deliverability” by Stephanie Miller posted Feb 17, 2010 on Clickz (http://www.clickz.com/clickz/column/1701157/myths-inbox-deliverability)
Email marketing is a marketing channel that is widely used and almost as widely frowned upon as many people think of Spam as email marketing. Spam is a form of email marketing where the Spam gets sent to users email addresses, however I like to think of Spam as the quick and dirty cousin of a true email marketing campaign. Spam email has a very bad rap–well deserved for its shameless promotion of questionable products or services some of which seems to smell bad from the subject line alone without even looking at the email.
Email marketing has been around almost as long as emails themselves and have experienced the good the bad and the ugly and everything in between. Email Marketing has had to go through major overhauls with the CAN Spam Acts of 2003 and again updated in 2008 setting down the law. So the question is: why keep using email as a marketing channel? The answer is quite simple–it works. In the book “Internet Marketing: A Practical Approach” it stated that about 21% of adults have responded to direct email marketing. So it makes sense that if it works don’t fix it.
With smartphones everywhere and more and more people using them for more and more everyday, it makes sense to keep using email to communicate with customers and potential customers. However just sending out any old email will not get you much. Email marketing today is targeted, direct and customized to the brand, customer demographics and reason for the communication. To be effective in email, marketing every step of the way needs to be done with knowledge and care. In this paper we are going to look at the Subject line.
The subject line is the headline used to get the attention of your target audience and get them to open the email. It is a big step and should be done with care. Good copy, the reason for the email, to whom it is addressed and what the expected action is desired all need to be looked at when creating a subject line. Let’s take a look at these points for two variation of a subject line that I created for a fictitious company Laptops For You or Laptops 4 You as I call them.
For the actual copy of the subject line I took a few key drivers from the book “Email Marketing: An Hour A Day” by Jeanniey Mullen and David Daniels. The ones that I tried to incorporate are:
• Keep it short: Around 50 characters
• Convey urgency and importance
• Reinforce the brand
• Don’t use capital letters
Using they principals I came up with the following two variations:
Classes start Soon: 20% of select items for college students from Laptops 4 You!
At Laptops 4 You get 20% of your select items for all your college needs!
Working with a company like Laptops 4 You that sales laptops and other computer accessories the reason for the email is to let past and potential customers know about current product offers to sale more laptops.
These two variations of a subject line are targeted to college students a consumer segment looking to purchase a computer for schoolwork, social and entertainment uses. Taking a look at enrollment projects for the 2012 school year as reported on the National Center For Education Statistics showed that a record 21.6 million students were expected to attend either a 2 or 4-year college. The report also showed that females were expected to make up over half the students with 12.3 million to enroll. Looking at this data and the growing use of computers by college students this is a good consumer segment to target.
Now let’s look at the financial picture of the average college student. In an article by Leyla Norman a contributor eHow money in regards to the average students income it around $14,400. The article also stated that students make up the rest of their financial needs through student aid and parental help. What does this mean? The average college student does not have a lot of money to spend and needs to find ways to save money. Back to school specials are an annual marketing campaign across the US and as such a back to school offer of 20% for college students is direct and something that would be of interest to our target audience. Having 20% off special listed on the subject line is indented to grab the attention of college students and have them open the email to learn more.
In conclusion by knowing why you are sending an email, knowing who you audience is and what you want them to do are all key factors that need to be addressed before starting a subject line for any email marketing campaign. Knowing these things will help give your email campaign the best chance of success.
“Internet Marketing: A Practical Approach” by Alan Charlesworth published by Butterworth-Heinemann in 2009
“Email Marketing: An Hour A Day” by Jeanniey Mullen and David Daniels.
Fast Facts for Back to school statistics posted on the National Center For Education Statistics website (http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=372)
“What Is the Average College Student’s Income?” by Leyla Norman posted on eHow (http://www.ehow.com/info_7934153_average-college-students-income.html)
Over the years I have signed up for a few things that have caused me to receive email on a regular basis. Many of these emails are unwanted like the type you have to enter an email into a sign up form to get information for items such as an ebook or to access videos and things like that. Then the emails start with one offer or another and most of the time it is for things that I don’t care about or unrelated to the thing I signed up for in the first place. They are so annoying and thank goodness for spam filters that keep most of that junk out of my inbox. These type of emails and campaigns are annoying, are hard to stop or get removed from receiving them and because I don’t want more of these type of emails, I am careful of what I sign up for.
For example, a few years back I was looking to relocate to Austin, Texas and was looking at job boards for that area and signed up for one called AustinJobSite.com that would email new job opening to people looking. Well, since then my family and I decided to stay in Utah and I did not want to keep getting these emails so I went through the steps to be removed from the emailing list, yet I keep getting the emails. I have unsubscribed from the service a half dozen times and I still keep getting them and have been getting them for the last couple years.
Not all email-marketing campaigns are bad though. I have signed up for a few that I like and use. One of the emails that I get daily is Nomorerack.com. Nomorerack is a deal website that offers a verity of products from clothes and jewelry to electronics and accessories from anywhere from 40% to 70%. For example today Nomorerack has an offer for a Canon EOS Rebel T3 camera package for $559–a 63% savings and well, I want one and if I had an extra $600 right now I would probable order it today. Nomorerack is one that I will stay with because it does have some good offers with good deals that I can take advantage of from time to time.