Christmas Office Hours

We will be taking the Christmas Holidays as an opportunity to take a break, and as such our office will be closed from Wednesday 22nd December, reopening on Tuesday 4th January, refreshed & ready to handle your Marketing Challenges through 2001. In addition, we will be operating reduced Office hours at the start of next week as follows: Monday 20th December – 10am – 4pm Tuesday 21st December – 10am – 4pm As usual, throughout the holidays, we will be monitoring our email, so if you need any urgent help over the holidays, simply email support@bsamarketing.com. Can we also take this opportunity to wish you all a happy Christmas & a prosperous new year.

A "new" metric to track customer engagement

I saw another interesting post on the e-consultancy blog this morning. Entitled  A new kind of email metric It looks at a metric that allows you to measure how long recipients are reading emails for. Although I still have one or two questions about how adding the code for this may affect deliverability of emails (key to any campaign) if this is not an issue, this could be an interesting metric.

How good are my email marketing response rates?

Source: BSA Marketing
Source – BSA Marketing
It never ceases to amaze me when new email marketers are surprised to find not all of their carefully crafted emails get opened. “But I only sent my email to my best and most loyal customers. How come they didn’t all read it straight away?” Perhaps a reasonable question in theory but what about practice? Just what level of open-rate and click-through rate should be expected. This is an impossible question to answer without more information as there are so many variables but I found a case study of a campaign by mobile giant O2 which makes interesting reading and gives insight into the levels of email response seen by a big national/international brand. The project involved inviting people to attend an England Rugby International via a dedicated 3D broadcast to one of 40 ‘Mini-Twickenhams’ set up around the UK: Here are how the results reported:

We drove a quarter of a million visitors to O2 blueroom, with the emails seeing a 27% open rate (that’s 50% above O2’s average), and a 22% CTR (150% above average).
We produced a 250% increase in registration for O2 Priority experiences, with those customers spending an extra £4.10 each month. The PR coverage we generated created more than £2.4 million of equivalent media spend. And the campaign paid back immediately with £250,000-worth of tickets sold to O2 customers.

The numbers in the second paragraph are perhaps not too relevant to the average SME – though they validate the programme as a major email campaign! The opening line shows interesting stats. That there were 250,000 visitors to the O2 blueroom website shows this is a statistically valid result. They also laud a 27% open rate as 50% higher than average which tells us O2’s expectation would be an open rate of 18%. Similarly the normal O2 expectation on click through rate (CTR) is around 9% (this is 9% of opened emails, not sent emails) So we can use an Open Rate of 18% and CTR of 9% as benchmarks. If they are good enough for O2 then they are good enough for us – but now we need to try to beat them! Back to my new email marketer: maybe a 53% open rate isn’t too bad after all…. Enjoy.

Quantity v Quality in your marketing mix

As I am sure you know, we keep an eye on relevant marketing forums for interesting information, and today I came across a post on the e-consultancy website that I thought was worth sharing. How restaurants are selling with social mediaPost from eConsultancy blog We regularly discuss the benefits of quality against quantity in marketing, & this post demonstrates this principal at work. It also highlights what I see as of the weaknesses of social media like facebook in the long term. Facebook’s value lies in the quantity of links across its network. The ability for advertisers to access friends & friends of friends to get their message as wide as possible. What users want is quality. As the speaker suggests “How many people have friends on facebook that they would like to get rid of”. Burger King used this to drive a very successful and measurable campaign that was liked by the people who engaged with it (win win situation) , and Facebook got upset & pulled it because it was counter to their objectives. Thsi suggests that their objectives are not in the best interested of advertisers & users….. Not great for facebook. But don’t take my word for it, read the post, watch the video (Which is also interesting from a wider marketing perspecive) & let us know what YOU think!!

Email Marketing Best Practice – Template Design

In the second in our series on email marketing best practice, we turn to template design. On the face of it designing a template for an email campaign may seem similar to designing a web page, but take care as there are many email clients out there and they do not all display html code the same way! Because of this you need to follow a few simple rules to help to ensure that your email will look good in all email clients. The 3 main rules are:

  1. Keep it simple, the simpler the html and CSS the better
  2. Use tables for layout. This may seem a little old hat for many web designers, but for email it is still the best approach
  3. Keep CSS simple, and don’t use shorthand

If you would like a more detailed guide to template design, I have found this post on email template design best practice on Andrew Sellick’s blog, which covers it nicely. In addition, the Email Standards Project website contains detailed information on the issues & compatibility of individual mail clients. A few other matters to consider are:

  • Ensure that your email closely mirrors the design of your website. Email plays an important part in re-enforcing your brand image, so consistency is important
  • Wherever practical, personalise your emails. For example, include a customer’s name or some details of the last job you did for them or product they bought
  • If you are linking to a dynamic website and using Google Analytics tracking code on your email, test links with the codes in place as these can break links to some dynamic sites
  • Never embed images in your email templates, always include them as URL references. Although this means that many recipients will need to actively accept the images, embedding images can significantly reduce deliverability (in fact few email delivery systems will now allow embedding of images)

If you would like to discuss how email can help your business then get in touch, we are always happy to talk.