Day 1 @ the Miami MarketingSherpa Email Marketing Summit 2010

The kick-off of this Miami MarketringSherpa Email Summit started with a pre-workshop hosted by MarketingExperiments. Keynote speaker was Dr. Flint McGlaughlin. I’ve met Flint 2 years ago and every single one of his courses are still an eye opener to me.  The scientific approach on email marketing effectiveness is not only efficient; it also gives you a clear view and a reference method on each email marketing approach you are setting up.

Here are some key findings I took from Flint’s workshop:

General findings

  • People don’t buy from websites, they buy from people. Pour that feeling into
    your website.
  • Clarity trumps persuasion.
  • Too many of the emails look likes magazine ads. The problem is that many emails are created by agencies that are used to creating paper ads.

He also handed us an effective three-step approach to email marketing effectiveness:

  • Optimize your capture forms
  • Create effective and relevant emails
  • Provide smart and crystal clear landing pages

Here are some general rules for each one of them…

Optimize capture forms

  • Use quantity to promote your company, product or services.
    Quality has to be proven by others.
  • Don’t use generic buttons like: “Click here”, “Submit now” … but be specific: “Get your free product”, “Download your full report now”.
  • Only use images if they add value to the site or guide your users to the important content.
  • Minimizing friction elements is one of the most effective ways to increase conversion.
    – Make your webforms look short
    – Limit the minimum amount of information
  • A privacy policy line improves conversion. Let it pop open in a small new window.

Create effective and relevant emails

  • The most important goal of an email is to generate clicks.
  • The first 2 lines of the email are the most important in reflecting the relevance of the email.
  • The frequency of email sending is directly influenced by the relevance of the email message.
  • Testing is the only way to determine what your ideal frequency is.
    Frequency can differ according to a specific target group on your list.
  • Don’t tell the same story in your email and on your landing page.  The email needs to motivate people to click and start the conversation.  
  • When creating a landing page, always ask yourself:
    –  What is my objective?
    – What is the best way to achieve that objective?
  • The value proposition is the answer to the relevance question of every email :
    ”If I am your ideal customer. Why should I buy from you, instead of any of your competitors?”
    If you can not formulate your value proposition, every optimizing process is useless.
    “We are the only company… “ could be the most important words in a value proposition.
  • The relevance of the subject line improves the opened rate. The relevance of the body copy increases the click-through rate.

Landing Page optimization

  • You’ve got 7 seconds to convince a visitor to spend more time on your landing page.
     And yet you get to give him have an answer to his questions:
         –   Where am I?
         –   What can I do here?
         –   What should I do here?
  • The headline must convince the reader within 2 seconds to read the first paragraph.
  • Minimize navigation on the landing page.
  • A two-column lay-out is rarely effective for a landing page.
  • Sometimes it’s better to radically re-design a landing page instead of trying to fix it.
  • 2 elements contribute to friction: length and difficulty.

There you go. I had a great time tapping into the skills and knowledge of some of the
greatest email professionals on the planet. I hope you’ll find this summary helpful.

Next report straight from the Miami MarketingSherpa Email summit coming up tomorrow.
Stay tuned!

Signing off…

Kenny Van Beeck

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