How to liven up your emails on tablets

Today it will be exactly 2 years since Apple rocked the multimedia hardware market by bringing out the iPad.  This nifty device allowed surfers to explore the internet on a whole new level.  Today, this fast-emerging market already offers a lot of choice, with Dell, Asus, LG, Samsung and others also focusing on these compact mobile devices.  No surprise it was one the best-selling items last Christmas.  It has already found its way into14% of households, and there are absolutely no signs of this growth stopping any time soon.

Many email marketers, HTML builders and designers are already used to building emails for PCs and smartphones, but how can we liven up our emails on tablets?  Here are some tips to get you going:

1) Haven’t build a mobile version yet?  Well, do this first.  This has a bigger market share and it is fairly easy to adapt your mobile version to a tablet version.

2) Don’t build something boring.  A tablet is a lean-back device that users use for browsing.  Make sure you build an attractive design to get them to read and click on your newsletters.

3) A lot of tablets don’t support Flash.  You definitely shouldn’t use flash in your emails and you should also make sure you don’t put it on your landing page because a lot mobile readers won’t be able to open it.

4) Make your email ergonomic.  Your CTA’s need to be easily clickable so make them large enough.  You definitely want to avoid putting text links below one another because you don’t have the accuracy of a mouse to work with.

5) A lot of web-based email clients also offer their services through an app version.  They will probably use the same rendering engine but you should check if there are differences in rendering.

6) Your subject line, from name and preheader are still important.  If, for instance, you hold your iPad horizontally, you can see your mailbox and preview your email.  If you hold it vertically, you don’t have a preview version.

7) Adjust the width of your email to the vertical screen width.  Nobody likes horizontal scrolling.

8) Put a link to your online version on your landing page.  If you close your landing page on your PC, your previous frame (your inbox) pops up.  On the iPad, for instance, you have to close your browser and reopen your inbox to get back again.  So make it really easy for your reader to check out other articles in your newsletter.

9) Make sure that your message is trustworthy.  Tablet readers (as well as smartphone readers) can’t hover over a link to see if it seems trustworthy.

10) If you offer discount codes, for a webshop, for instance, make sure you personalize your URL’s with them so they are prefilled on your landing page.  Copying and selecting text is more difficult on a tablet.

11) 2-column designs are less interesting given that your tablet is controlled with either your left or your right hand.  You might cover up a column or CTA simply by controlling it.

Conclusion:  The tablet PC market is growing strongly, so make sure your emails render properly and can be easily controlled with touch screens.

EmailGarage & DBFACT: Email marketing just a click away from your invoicing system

Spreading, distributing and analyzing information efficiently … it’s a challenge faced by many, if not all, small and medium businesses every day. But how do you handle all that data? Exchanging client information between sales and marketing departments within SMB’s often proves to be difficult, let alone using client data for marketing purposes. Exporting contact details may be a piece of cake, but what about filtering data based on last year’s purchase history, for instance? Tough job.

That’s why DBFACT and EmailGarage decided to join forces. DBFACT is commercial administration and accounting software with an installed base of roughly 1600 clients. EmailGarage is a one-stop e-marketing shop.

From now on, it no longer takes a complex and expensive CRM system to provide each and every client with a customized message. By direct data linking, DBFACT users can apply any relevant clients details to well-targeted email campaigns.

Ready-to-send emails based on personal details, purchase history and product categories.

Once they’ve linked their data to EmailGarage, all that DBFACT users need to do is determine the contents of their message. Then they’re ready to send. To help them do that in the most effective way, they have access to all of EmailGarage’s deluxe services: from design to profile enrichment, reporting and analysis.

Want to put your client data to work for your email marketing?

Call +32 2 658 29 58 or send an email to info@emailgarage.com to get started immediately.

7 tips to give your email marketing that human touch

1. Tone of voice

Define the tone of voice of your emails according to the kind of relationship you already have with your contacts. Formal or informal, rational or emotional… don’t know how to get started? Read one of our previous posts on how to team up with a copywriter. http://emailgarage.wordpress.com/2011/09/29/want-to-maximize-response-team-up-with-your-copywriter/

2. Include relevant user-generated content

What people share is often what truly lives in your customer database. Use elements of posts that your readers wrote or inspire yourself with content they have published.

3. Tell your readers who you are

Want to connect with your readers? Well tell them who you are in a short “about the author” note and give them ways to connect with you directly.

4. Contact details

Seems like an obvious one, huh? But you’d be surprised how many emails don’t mention clear contact details. If you want your readers to hook up with you, make sure they know how to do it – in a jiffy.

5. Add social media

Let them know how to connect with you or your brand through social media. This is by far the easiest and fastest way to get a lively conversation going.

6. Let them rate you

Show your reader that you care about what they think of your articles: offer them a way and reason to give you feedback. It will help you make your next emails even better.

7. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes

To err is human. There’s nothing wrong with making mistakes, as long as you learn from them. Dare to take responsibility for a mistake or acknowledge it when something wasn’t relevant. Your readers will appreciate your honesty.

Conclusion:  There are a lot of tactics and adaptations that you can do to make your email more human. The main thing is that you are shifting from a ‘buy this’ principle to a ‘conversation’. If you let go of the quick sales wins and build a relationship, your total ROI will increase significantly. Just try it.

EmailGarage kicks off with 4 email marketing tips for 2012

First of all, we at EmailGarage wish you all the best in your personal life and your professional career for 2012!

Looking back at email marketing in 2011, it’s clear that the merge between email and social has seen a major breakthrough. Our prediction? The love story will get more intense as we can see both channels getting even closer. Exciting times indeed!

Wondering which new trends will become relevant for your company in 2012?
Get inspired by these 4 predictions…

Mobile email
The rise of smartphones has been a hot topic in 2011. This will keep evolving, without the shadow of a doubt. Estimations say that around 30% of your target group has a smartphone, so marketers who act accordingly will benefit from this as early adopters.

Email testing
This feels like kicking in an open door. Testing has been a best practice for years. However, it’s fair to say that the majority of small to medium-sized companies should start testing, and bigger companies should start taking advantage of all testing possibilities. Our prediction is that the true power of testing will rise significantly over the coming months.

Responsive design
Definitely an upcoming trend in web development. Responsive designs allows web designers to automatically adapt the structure of their websites according to the device it is viewed on (PC, notebook, tablet, smartphone, …). This technique – maybe in a modified way – will also be adopted in email marketing.

Best practices suck
Have we lost our minds? Nope: we’re not saying every marketer should cast best practices aside. They still add value to any email campaign. However, an email built with the knowhow drawn from existing best practices isn’t necessarily a good email campaign. In our opinion, emails that stick out from the stack and make us respond, often break with best practices as well. So why not try and come up with a best practice of your own?

How social sharing influences your sending strategy

Fact: today’s email marketing goes hand in hand with social media. Articles can be easily shared and user-generated content is a great source of inspiration for effective emails. But above all, it’s the combination of these two media that impacts your brand awareness strategy.

Use these 3 email sending strategies to improve your social brand presence:

Drip sending strategy
Your message is ‘dripped out’ to your database according to the personal preferences of your readers. Your message will be shared on a stable basis. This is the best choice if you want to stay top-of-mind or work on your brand recognition.

Batch sending strategy
Your database is segmented into different groups that get the same message at different times. This means that sharing will occur at different times too. Which is ideal if you are supporting an on/offline campaign.

Blast sending strategy
Your target group receives the message at the same time. This will lead to a ‘blast’ of shares over a short period of time. This is the way to go if your email drives a campaign that promotes an offer limited in time or quantity.

Conclusion: adapt your sending strategy according to the purpose of your online campaign. It will result in better response and higher return-on-investment.

How to build creative email designs – presentation at the 2011 Email Marketing Forum

Last week Tim Karpisek talked about how to build creative email marketing design at the 2011 Email Marketing Forum.

You can download the entire presentation, filled with tips, tricks, best practices and cases from around the globe, by clicking on the link below.

emailforum_forum_10_11_2011

Don’t hesitate to drop your comment below or share your best practices.

Let your email reports and Google Analytics write your copy.

As a marketer you will definitely have thought about which words you should use in your texts. F.i. providers of industrial commodities can talk about products, materials, goods, objects, articles,… Now, the tricky part is choosing the keyword that your reader will relate to the most.

Why is this important? Well, most readers don’t read newsletters, they scan them. So if you have keywords that your readers can relate to, they will be more triggered to stop and read the entire article. In general there are two tactics that you can use to determine the right keywords:

Emailmarketing reports
Do an A/B split test on a certain keyword and learn which works the best

Google Analytics
Look for the search queries people use to find your site and learn which keywords are used the most. Just remember, Google changed this last week, the search query of people who are signed into a Google service, will not be displayed in the keyword result and will just be displayed as organic search.

As a marketer you will definitely have thought about which words you should use in your texts. F.i. providers of industrial commodities can talk about products, materials, goods, objects, articles,… Now, the tricky part is choosing the keyword that your reader will relate to the most.

Why is this important? Well, most readers don’t read newsletters, they scan them. So if you have keywords that your readers can relate to, they will be more triggered to stop and read the entire article. In general there are two tactics that you can use to determine the right keywords:

Emailmarketing reports
Do an A/B split test on a certain keyword and learn which works the best

Google Analytics
Look for the search queries people use to find your site and learn which keywords are used the most. Just remember, Google changed this last week, the search query of people who are signed into a Google service, will not be displayed in the keyword result and will just be displayed as organic search.

Conclusion: Use your email reports and Google Analytics to determine the right keywords.

How to get influencers to talk about you online

25% of search results from the world’s top 20 brands are links to user-generated content
34% of the content of blogs relates to services and products
78% trust peer recommendations, whilst only 14% trust advertisements

So, what’s our point? User-generated content, customer opinions and peer reviews are clearly taking over the internet. And to top this off, customers care less about what marketers tell them, and more about what their peers recommend. This brings a shift to the way we communicate with our clients. Broadcasting and shouting out your message to your customers has become totally useless. They want a one-to-one dialogue that is relevant to their needs. And let’s face it: aren’t they absolutely right?

Back in the early days your customer would browse the internet looking for good content. Google abruptly ended this by providing a search engine where they could rapidly find what they need. But, nowadays your readers aren’t looking for good content, good content finds them through means of news streams on social media, or RSS feeds that they put together. And here lies one of the biggest opportunities for us marketers: How do we get our message in your target groups news feed? The answer is simple and complex at the same time: Get influencers to talk about your brand.

Here are 4 insights on how influencers can push your products or services forward

Define your influencers
What is their Klout score? Use tools such as Radian6, Social Radar, Scoutlabs to discover who is talking about what topic. Who are the experts in your market? Who has the broadest reach?

Select relevant influencers
An example? If David Beckham talks about buying Adidas football shoes, I believe him. If he recommends stock option plans, I don’t.

Make sure they are reachable
F.i.: Politicians, heads of state, singers, actors mostly have strict PR rules that don’t allow them to promote brands.

Get in touch
Use online and offline media to get in touch with your influencers. Talk about them. Use their content and offer them valuable content in return. Start a conversation. Follow/like them. And why not: try and get them to subscribe to your email list.

Create a segment, adapt your content and make it sharable
Send them personalized relevant messages with exclusive content. Let your influencers be the first to spread news. And most importantly, make it very easy for them to share your content with their network.

Conclusion: Find influencers, get them connected with your brand and reward them with exclusive, sharable content.

How to use a RFM analysis to segment your email marketing database

It’s no secret that a well-segmented database is key to a personalized communication strategy. You can tailor your message perfectly to what your customers need. And as a company, you can quite easily track your campaign objectives.
A popular method is to apply an RFM analysis, which enables you to segment your database according to recency, frequency and monetary value.

Can you track the purchases of subscribers to your email list? Then follow these steps to take it to the next level.

1. Measure recency
When have your subscribers last bought something from you? Divide your subscribers into 3 categories, i.e. purchased over the last month, purchased over the last 6 months, purchased over the last 12 months.

2. Measure frequency
Measure how often your subscribers are buying from you, i.e. purchased +5 products yearly, purchased 2 to 5 products yearly or purchased one product/none yearly.

3. Measure monetary value
How much do your subscribers averagely spend on every sale? Again, divide them into 3 categories according to the pricing of your product(s) or service(s),
i.e. + €500, €250 – 499, €0 – €249.

Now you have a matrix of 9 fields and you can create 27 different segments according to your categories. Next, apply this to your email marketing database. This will help you get clearer insights into your database and you’ll find new opportunities for cross-selling and upselling. The last step is to apply this to your email marketing campaigns, and to personalize your emails according to which segment your subscriber is in. Your subscriber will not only get relevant content tailored to his needs, he will most likely be the one to help you take your email marketing to the next level.

Conclusion: use an RFM analysis to segment your database and to personalize your content according to your client’s needs and your company’s expectations.

Want to maximize response? Team up with your copywriter.

As an email marketer you will more than once have sat yourself behind your text editor, perfectly knowing what you want to write about. But somehow the words just don’t seem to come through. It’s no disgrace to have creative off-day. Sometimes it’s a better option to call in the cavalry: get a professional copywriter to provide you with well-written and structured content for your emails.

An experienced copywriter has the skills to write according to your target audience. With just the right tone to get your message across. A good example is the launch of a new product. You intend to send out both a commercial message and a press message. Both will contain more or less the same information, but the tone-of-voice and the level of persuasion will be strikingly different in each email.

So what does your copywriter need to know to make your campaign a success?

These 4 insights into your company will help him do the job right:

• To help your copywriter understand who he’s talking to, give him a sample list of your database and let him know what kind of people have subscribed and exactly what they’re looking for.

• Gather some links and resources that can help him understand the way your company communicates and which tone-of-voice you generally use.

• Provide clear objectives for your emailmarketing campaign, so the copywriter can adapt his approach to them.

• If you use the copy on other media, make sure to let the copywriter know. If he takes his job seriously, he’ll be glad to offer you adapted versions for each medium.

Conclusion: Set up a partnership between you and your copywriter and make sure that he knows your business and objectives.

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