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Webinar: Discovering email marketing

By Will Stevens - March 18, 2015

In this webinar, you’ll learn everything you need to know about email marketing. From why it is such an important tool for small businesses, to how you can run a successful email marketing campaign. Because there’s loads of information in here, you might want to bookmark this page so you can come back and digest everything that’s on offer.

Next steps

If you want to use email to reach new and existing customers, you can sign up for the 123-reg email marketing tool here.

Welcome to the latest 123-reg webinar. Today Matt McNeill will demonstrate how email marketing can help small businesses grow.Hi, I’m Matt McNeill, I’m going to be taking you through the discovering email marketing webinar to show you some basic concepts that you need to know to be successful with your email marketing.

Let’s start by looking at the challenges that face you as a marketer and how email can help you with these. The first question most people really ask is: Is email marketing still relevant? There are so many different digital channels available today and email marketing has been around for almost the longest as any of them. Is it something that should still actually be an active part of your toolkit?

If you take a look at the graph here which shows you the millions of monthly active users for each of the major channels online, you can see that actually email by far away has the biggest impact of any of the other channels. In fact, if you were to stack the users of every social network put together you’re still at only about half the users that you’ve got with email overall. Email has a reach of about 3.3 billion people so it’s most definitely a very relevant part of the toolkit. And in fact, it’s really the only way that you have of directly communicating with an individual, albeit to do that in a mass way.

Don’t just take our word for it though. Econsultancy did a census in 2014 of marketers and actually 68% of those marketers ranked email marketing as having a good or excellent return on investment for them. That was the best overall digital channel of any of them. So it really is a very powerful weapon to have in your marketing arsenal.

So, where are we today? Adobe did a survey in 2014 asking digital marketers to rank themselves on several different criteria. 48% of digital marketers consider themselves proficient so 52% thought that they weren’t actually proficient in digital marketing. Only 40% would actually class their marketing as effective. There is clearly a lot to be learnt here and there’s a lot of things that you can do very easily to actually get ahead of your competition.

So, what are the business challenges that email marketing can help you with? Well, there are four key challenges that you should be aware of and that we’re going to address today. Firstly, it’s increasing revenue and profits – usually the key thing for any business. Then we’ve got growing your customer base and your market share, enhancing the experience for your customers, and finally we’re also going to take a look at compliance, risk and regulatory issues that might affect you and some very quick things that you can do to stay on the right side of the law when you’re emailing.

Permission is the basis of all good email marketing and it can really be summed up with this image. Imagine when you’re marketing that this image is on the inbox of every subscriber that you’re actually contacting. In effect, if you haven’t gotten their permission to contact them, you shouldn’t be in their inbox in the first place.

We call this practice “permission marketing”. It was a term first coined by the world‘s best marketer Seth Godin in about 1999. He defines it very neatly as “the privilege, rather than the right, of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to receive them”. This is the key thing. If you don’t have permission to contact someone, then your email is going to be seen in their eyes as spam. Without permission there’s no difference between your communication, no matter how legitimate you think it is, and unsolicited piece of email in their inbox. So view permission as being the core part of your practice.

So why is permission important? Well, firstly, it’s the law! If you’re operating in the UK or across most of the world now there’s very strict legislation around who you can and can’t email and the practices that you need to follow. In the UK you actually have to be able to have and prove explicit permission from each recipient, unless you meet certain other important criteria.

So, if you don’t have direct permission then you can still email people but you have to meet all of these points. You have the obtain the details either via a sale or via enquiries about a sale, you have to be marketing similar products, you have the offer them the chance to opt out of the point you collected their data, you have to offer them the opportunity to opt out every time you email them subsequently.

The last contact you have with them has to be less than 12 months ago and you must include a variety of company information with every email that you send. So the barrier is set very, very high unless you’ve got explicit permission. It’s much easier to start with explicit permission from the very beginning.

There are a couple of other key points that you need to be aware of as well. In every email message that you send out, in order to comply with legislation you need to make sure that you’re including your company’s legal name, if you’re a registered company you need to include your company’s registration number, you need to include a physical contact address and contact details in every email that you send.

You also need to be aware that if you’re capturing people’s personal data then you might need to be registered under the Data Protection Act with the Information Commissioner’s Office. It’s well worth checking whether you need to be registered by visiting their site at ico.gov.uk and completing their quick self-service questionnaire.

But more importantly than the legal side of things – without permission a message is just spam. Permission is all about developing trust between you and your subscriber. The ultimate goal between any email marketing campaign is to take someone from their initial interest in what you have to say through to being interested enough to find out more about your organisation, to becoming a paying customer and then ideally right the way through to whether a loyal repeat customer and actually referring other people to you. And that’s all about building trust with those customers, and that starts right from the very beginning when you’re first getting permission from them.

The Direct Marketing Association reckons 90% of consumers will subscribe to emails of trusted brands. It’s another fact that loyal customers actually account for 80% of company profit. So, if you’re going to be successful you really need to be looking at the lifetime value of your customer and permission marketing can really help here.

So how do you go about getting permission in the first place then? There are a few key points to remember. Firstly, make sure you’re asking for it. Permission can only be given to you directly, it can’t come from a third party. Someone can’t give permission on someone else’s behalf.

Next, it must be actively given so people have to actually opt in rather than opt out of hearing from you. Most importantly, permission has to be fresh. People have very short memories online so permission has to be given to you and you need to act on it quickly before people forget what they’ve done.

Next, sell it! Ultimately, you’re always asking for people’s most valuable resource – their time. Time to actually opt in in the first place but then time to read your communications as well. So you should treat asking for permission like any other sales process. Make sure that you’re clearly explaining the benefits to people, giving them a real reason to subscribe to you.

Finally, make sure you set expectations. Let people know how often you’ll be in touch with them and get things off to the right start. Remember, it’s all about trust so everything you can do to set people’s expectations and then make sure that you meet them will come in value later on.

Moving on from permission, the next step is data. It’s all about data, capturing information and what you do with it. A key thing to remember is there’s no value in data, in it of itself, the value is in what you do with it.

As KPMG would say, high performing businesses don’t simply gather the data, they gain insights from the data that they already posses. So, as I said, it’s what you do with the information that really counts. But first, we have to go about capturing that data in the first place. So how do you get it?

Using 123-reg’s email marketing tool it’s simple to create data capture forms that you can use on your website and in other areas. Firstly, make sure that you’re using easy to find, easy to fill out and easy to submit forms, and make sure you’re promoting them everywhere that you can. That’s linking to them from your emails, from your website, from your social media channels. Every opportunity that you get to promote the chance to opt-in, make sure that you’re taking it.

When you’re creating your forms, keep them short, make them easy for people to read and understand, and make it really clear what you’re collecting the data for in the first place. This all comes into this idea of promoting trust so tell your subscribers why you’re capturing their information, what they’re opting into and remind them that you’re going to protect their data and keep it safe.

If you can, offer a real incentive to users, give them some value for completing the form. If you’re an online shop that could be providing them with a discount or free shipping, if you’re in the business-to-business space then perhaps it’s giving them a download to a white paper or some information that shows you as an expert in your field. Or, if you’re a service business or a shop, you could have a promotion there that encourages people to either call you or visit you in store.

Lastly, on your form make sure that you have a clear and compelling call to action. So ultimately you want people to hit the button that subscribes them to your list. Make it really clear that that’s what you want them to do. Here’s an example of one of the 123-reg email marketing forms in action on a live customer website. Here you can see there’s a very clear and compelling message, the user knows exactly what they’re going to get, they clearly say that they’re going to keep people’s details safe, and the call-to-action is really clear. There’s a big “Subscribe free” button there so users know exactly what to do in order to be able to subscribe. Forms like these are very, very successful in building a mailing list and building it quickly.

A real way to get maximum advantage when you’re collecting data is to use Welcome emails. This is very rarely done so it’s a chance for you to really get ahead of your competition but welcome emails are actually the most read emails that you’ll ever send. They generally get around four times more opens and five times more clicks than any other email that you send out subsequently. That’s because you’re acting quickly on someone’s response.

With the 123-reg email marketing tool you can trigger welcome emails to be sent immediately after someone subscribes.

The most important thing with your welcome email is to have a clear goal for the email campaign. Understand what it is that you want people to do when they receive that email. If you’re trading online or you have a store, it could be incentivising a purchase, in which case you might want to give them a discount or a special offer, or even just prompt them with information about your most popular product or service.

If you’re in the business-to-business space, then you might want to ask people to whitelist the email address that you’re using to send your campaigns from so that you don’t need to worry about spam filters in the future. Or you might want to use this as an opportunity to capture additional data by linking to another capture form.

Now that someone has already taken the first step and began to trust you, it’s a great opportunity to ask for further information that you can use for your marketing. That could be something like postcode because you can use for location-based searches in the email marketing tool. Or it could be date of birth so you can send birthday offers. Whatever it is, make sure you have a clear reason for requiring that information and spell out to the user what the benefit is for them.

Just to prove how valuable welcome email can be, here’s another live customer example. This online retailer retails niche fitness equipment. Their welcome emails get an 85% open rate, 52% click through rate, and they generate £1.08 in additional sales revenue for every one of these emails that they send. They’re able to track these figures exactly through the 123-reg email marketing platform.

The beauty of these welcome emails is that you put the effort in to setting them up once and then you can just leave them to run. They’re sent at exactly the right time for each new subscriber but you only have to put the effort in upfront. With this example here, they’re building trust with the user by giving them free content in exchange for registering.

They’re also providing them with an additional offer but interestingly it’s not the offer itself that generates the additional revenue, it’s just the mere fact of driving people back to the website after they’ve been given something for free. You get to benefit from the psychological effect of reciprocity here so people are much more inclined to purchase before you’ve already given them something. Try and use welcome emails in a creative way to reward your customers and deepen your relationship with them.

So, how do you go about building high quality data? Firstly, make sure that you’re using data to actually understand your customers. Start as simply as possible when you’re capturing information. Only ask for the bare information that you need because you can always get more later. Generally this means you’re just starting with an email address. Provided you’ve got that, you can use forms and other data capture methods in the future and will automatically be able to match up that data with the same person so that you can add additional information like date of birth and things like that later on once you’ve got more of a relationship going with your customer.

Always remember that the more effort that you ask people to put in by filling in data fields or thinking about what you’re asking for, the less likely they are to complete it. So, if you can, always just start with asking for an email address and then work from there.

It’s also really valuable to move beyond collecting just raw data. You want to focus on collecting insights and we can actually do that in the 123-reg email marketing tool by gathering what we call “behavioural data”. This is information that you’ll be able to gather without having to directly ask your customers for it.

We’re able to look at things like geo-location information so where people are when they’re opening your emails, what they’re clicking in your email campaigns, which can tell you an awful lot about what they’re actually interested in without them having to explicitly tell you.

You can also even look at what they’re doing on your website or they’re buying in response to your email campaigns. Then you can take that data and within the email marketing tool actually use it to be able to segment and target different groups of subscribers based on their interests.

This really helps you with the trust path mission because what you can then do is start to make your communications much more relevant to different groups of subscribers by reflecting what you know that they’re interested in. This builds the trust with the subscriber but also makes them much more likely to purchase from you in the future because you’re respecting their time and you’re making your communications more relevant to them.

Design. Design is what gives you an opportunity to stand out in the inbox. I’m going to take a look at a few key considerations that you need to be aware of when you’re considering email design. We’re going to take a quick look at the importance of mobile in email design; is design actually really important to you in the first place; we’re going to talk a little bit about content and then discuss testing briefly as well.

So, how important is mobile in email marketing? If we look back to 2011, we can see that about 27% of email opens were on mobile devices, so primarily smartphones, and 73% were on desktop at that point. Mobile was starting to become important but desktop was still the primary way that people were reading emails.

If we fast forward to today we see that as of January 2015 51% of all UK email opens were happening on mobile devices so that’s tablets and smartphones. Today, for all intents purposes, email marketing is really mobile marketing. That’s the platform that you need to be most concerned with when you’re creating your email campaigns.

This gives you a real opportunity though because presently only about 18% of email campaigns are actually optimised for mobile devices. So if you can make sure that your emails look great on mobile, you’ve got a real opportunity to stand out in the inbox. To do this, we use what we call responsive design. The neat thing is here that in the 123-reg email marketing tool all the emails that you create using our campaign designer will be responsive from the very beginning.

What responsive means is that your email campaign will automatically re-render itself to be optimal on the device that someone’s viewing on, whether that’s a desktop, a tablet or even a smartphone. The content will automatically resize and reshape itself to give the user the optimal experience. Here’s an example of what I mean by this. This is one of our customer campaigns and this is the same email campaign viewed on a desktop and on a mobile device. As you can see, on mobile it’s automatically rearranged so that a user can just scroll up and down through the content, buttons get bigger, the text is resized, and elements that aren’t essential on a mobile device are removed so that people viewing it on a small screen have an optimal experience.

When you’re designing campaigns like this, always remember that your users have a very short attention span, on a mobile device it’s even shorter, so be very clear about what it is that you want people to do with your campaign, what the key purpose of it is, and try and get that as early in the campaign as possible.

Is design actually important to how people will interact with your email campaign? We like to test things and base things on evidence. In this example here, we took an audience who has previously downloaded a whitepaper and we wanted to let them know that the next version of the whitepaper was available. We decided to test two version of an email campaign: one with the design which is very much on brand and that people would recognise, and the other one with exactly the same content but reformatted, effectively as a plain text or a rich text message so that the only thing that they had to see was the text. There was no design, there was no branding involved there but the messages were exactly the same.

In this instance it’s important to recognise that the people receiving this campaign were already very familiar with the brand, they already knew what the concept was, and we only had one key call-to-action, which was to click and download the new version of this whitepaper. What we actually found here is that the rich text version of the message, without any branding, actually generated 250% – that’s 2.5 time more clicks than the highly designed version.

In this instance, putting the emphasis on design actually distracted people from the core thing in the message. This of course doesn’t apply every time. We also tested this for an ecommerce retailer, and what we found in ecommerce is actually when we included graphics and when we included a very clear “Shop now” call-to-action button, that email campaign generated three times the revenue that a plain text campaign did.

It’s really important to understand the context that the design has on the message, the type of audience that that particular message, what their expectations are. If you have a very clear, simple message, then you can consider sending out a plain text or a rich text email, and using that to cut through and focus people on the core message. But if you have a product or a message that’s very visually driven, which most ecommerce ones are, then graphics will generally play a more important part in your message. It’s very easy to test this though and we’ll talk about it more when we look at analytics.

Content is a very important part of your email marketing and there are four things to be aware of here: there’s copywriting, there are the calls-to-action in your campaign, there’s the importance of style, branding and consistency, and there’s also the subject line. If you’re going to spend time on anything, the subject line will give you the biggest benefit for the least amount of words, and it’s another way to get a real advantage on your competition.

When you’re creating your email and you’re writing your copy, a key thing to remember is to try and be remarkable whenever you can. There are some very simple ways to do this and make sure you stand out from everyone else. The first thing is – whatever you’re writing in your email campaigns, make sure that you’re talking to people individually. You quite often see that people make the mistake of addressing an email newsletter or any kind of email campaign as though they’re addressing a group of people. In reality, you’re always talking to one person, it’s one individual reading your email message so always try and write as if you were addressing them directly. It has a real impact on the way that people perceive your message.

Next, make sure that you always have something worth saying. Make sure there’s a real purpose behind your email campaign. If you don’t have a real reason to be sending that campaign, if it isn’t clear to the end user what the benefit to them is of reading that campaign, then don’t send it. Wait until you have something that’s really of value to them. Again, this plays into the whole concept of trust.

Don’t be afraid of adding personality to your messages either. Remember, you’re talking with individuals, they’re interacting with you as individuals so as long as you can do it on brand don’t be afraid to have a bit of personality and make things interesting.

Finally, remember when you’re writing that people don’t care about you, they care about themselves. So try and frame your content in a way that makes it clear to them what the benefit to them of this content is. Here’s an example of what I mean by this. This is an email campaign sent by a small business based up in the north-west, they run a restaurant, but the way they write their copy is beautifully geared to talk directly to an end user.

They give real examples of how they’re serving you better, they put all the content in the real context of the end user and they write it in a nice, quirky, fun way that people enjoy reading. As a result, they get results that are way beyond the average benchmark for the restaurant sector. They get people really engaged with their campaigns, waiting to receive them, enjoying reading them.

This, as you can see, is really simple to do. You don’t need to have a huge amount of copy to make an impact like that. It’s all about having a little bit of personality and understanding your user.

As another example, you can really appeal to your users by making things easy for them, understanding what it is they want from your email campaigns and how they want to do it. In this example, we have a high-end retailer who doesn’t expect to drive many sales directly from their email campaigns because they’re selling a very high-end product. What they found is that people were saving these emails, they were taking images of the products and posting them onto Pinterest, but they also found that journalists were using these pictures to include in publications as well.

It became very apparent that one of the most important things they could do was to make it easy for people to access high-resolution versions of these images. That’s what people really valued from these emails. So, all they had to do was very simply add a link to download high res copies of the product images to their email and their store got, as a result of this, a massive increase in sales and in people talking about and forwarding on information about their products.

A very, very simple change for them to make that had a significant impact on their business. Again, it’s all about understanding the end user and again it all plays back to this idea of generating trust with your customer and showing that you value and understand what it is that they want to do with your emails.

Testing. When you’ve designed your email campaigns, testing is a really important part of the process that you should undertake before you actually send your campaigns out. There are a number of elements to this. Firstly, make sure that you’re previewing your campaign so you are sending a copy of the campaign. Very easy to do with just one click from within the 123-reg email marketing tool. But that makes sure that you’re actually checking and viewing in your inbox and understanding exactly what it is that your end user is going to see/ get.

Next is inbox testing, something else that you can also do, and that’s will actually get you screenshots of exactly how your campaign will look in the top email clients of your customers. You can see how it’s going to look on an iPhone or in Outlook 2007, and make sure your campaign is appearing exactly as you want it to.

You could also do live testing of your campaigns on your customers. If you have a big enough database, then using splits or A/B testing is a really powerful way to see which different messages perform best with your customers. You can send out different versions of your campaigns to different sample audiences, and then assess the results and send the winning campaign to the remainder of your audience.

This is a great way to test things like different subject lines or different calls-to-action or offers in your email campaigns. You can even use that data to inform other marketing efforts that you do. So going beyond just what you do with email but you can see if different wording would apply and would have an impact on your pay-per-click campaigns or what you put on your website, even the wording that you use on your flyers.

Split testing can give you real insight into what kinds of messages resonate with your audience, and it’s very, very straightforward to do.

Now that you’ve gathered your data and you’ve created your campaign, the next step is actually making sure that it gets delivered to your subscribers. There are a few important steps to understand here. Firstly, what should you expect? If you’ve gathered your data in the right way, you’ve got people to opt in, you should be expecting a delivery rate of 97% or above, assuming that you’re emailing people at least monthly. A good open rate would be around 22.8% based on our latest benchmarks.

This will obviously vary depending on the type of industry you’re in, the size of your lists, the type of communications that you’re sending to your customers but these are good benchmark places to start from.

What actual impacts you getting to the inbox in the first place? There are a number of different factors here. The first and most important one is your reputation with your customers. ISPs actually look at how people are interacting with your campaigns in order to understand whether what you’re sending them is a relevant communication or whether it’s spam. It’s really important to get people opening and clicking through on your campaigns because that will affect how your email campaigns are likely to be delivered in the future.

Another important factor is whether people are complaining about your campaigns. A lot of ISPs now have the “this is spam” button, you’ve probably seen it in Gmail or Yahoo!. That actually directly has a feedback loop and will affect the delivery of your campaigns to other subscribers on those networks as well. Again, this comes back to the idea of trust, making sure that people understand what they’re subscribing to, that they value the relationship with you and that you’re sending them relevant things.

Whitelisting is also very important. As I mentioned previously, if you can get people to add your sending address to their address book, that will actually help you get delivered into their inbox every time and avoid spam filters. So that can be a really valuable thing for you.

Email content is also a big factor in whether you’ll get delivered to the inbox or not. The general rule here is that if it sounds like spam, it’s probably going to end up in the junk mail folder. It’s not so much about individual hot words and things with a campaign anymore, email filters are much more intelligent than that these days. But obviously, if you’re writing content that sounds spammy, it’s not going to give it a good chance of getting through.

You also need to be aware of what you’re linking to, again because of problems of phishing emails and things like that. ISPs are getting really intelligent, they will look at what you’re linking to, and if you’re linking to websites that look malicious then that can affect you getting delivered.

Using a valid reply address is also very important. Avoid, if at all possible, using a no reply address in your email campaigns. You want to have a valid address that people can reply to there. This will affect your delivery but also, if people will engage with you in a conversation that’s a really good outcome for you. Again, that all comes back to the idea of trust.

Finally, you’ve got the quality of the HTML code. If you’re using an email builder like the one inside the 123-reg email marketing tool, this won’t be a problem for you because your code will automatically be optimised. But if you’re creating your own code, make sure that it’s well optimised, it’s not too heavy, your images are nice and optimised, you’re not sending out megabytes of images in your campaigns, otherwise that again will affect your delivery.

There are other technical factors that will affect your deliverability as well but the good news is that these are all taken care of for you behind the scenes by the 123-reg email marketing tool so they’re not anything you need to worry about. We took care of all the technical side of things to make sure that your campaigns have an optimum chance of getting to your subscriber’s inbox.

So, when you get to the inbox, what are the key things that actually impact whether someone will read your emails or not? There are five key factors to be aware of here: sender recognition, subject line appeal, relevance, timing, and content.

Sender recognition is a really easy one to get right. That’s basically making sure that you use a consistent “from” name and email address in every campaign that you send out. This is how people come to recognise that campaigns are from you and so that you can start to build up that reputation with each ISP so they understand that people value your campaigns.

The next factor is subject line appeal. You generally have 30 to 50 characters on most devices that will be immediately visible to someone before they even open your email campaign. It’s really important that you make the most of this. The first question you should be answering in your subject line is “Why? Why should someone open this?”.

Make sure you’re giving people a clear benefit. Again you’re really selling your idea of why someone should spend their valuable time reading your email campaign. Get that to the beginning of your subject line as you possibly can.

Try and avoid being cryptic. This can work occasionally if you want to breakthrough and reengage with subscribers who haven’t opened your campaigns in a while but in general you want to be really obvious with your subject line every time, and in all instances don’t lie in your subject line. Don’t have a subject line that’s not relevant to the content or that will lead users to feel dissatisfied when they open your email because that’s breaking this trust that you’re trying to build with the user.

Also be aware that what you put in your subject line can actually affect what someone does next after they open your email campaign. This is an example of what I mean here. In this instance we sent out split tests of exactly the same email campaign, so the content was the same every time, but the subject line differed. That was the only thing that changed, so we tested three different subject lines.

As you can see here, subject line C, which was the most engaging subject line, actually got nearly the double the number of click throughs of the more basic subject lines. Bare in mind that when they opened the campaign everything else was exactly the same but by having a more engaging subject line they actually primed people and made them more willing to actually click through and go to the destination link that was the purpose of sending that campaign in the first place.

It’s really worth spending some time crafting a well written, engaging subject line because that can significantly impact what happens with your campaign.

Relevance is also a big factor in whether people will repeatedly open your campaigns. This comes to factors like using segmentations and personalisation to make the campaigns most relevant to your subscribers, and make sure that you’re sending them to the right subscribers.

The 123-reg email marketing tool has some really powerful to help you isolate different groups of subscribers and make sure you’re sending them the right kind of things.

It also comes down to writing from the reader’s perspective. Understanding what’s of value to them, writing in a way that appeals to them and to what they want to get from the relationship with you. If you do this consistently, they’ll come to understand that your campaigns are relevant to them, they’ll want to repeatedly open them, and you’re building up this trusting relationship with the subscriber again.

Timing is also a big factor in when people will open and engage with your campaigns. Ideally, you want to be sending to people at the time they’re most likely to be there and actively opening your campaign. You don’t want to be in the inbox below a lot of other campaigns that are competing for people’s attention.

We did a study to actually look at when people are most likely to open email campaigns, and what we found is that in general 3pm is when people are most likely to open a marketing email campaign. We also found that Thursday generally tends to be the most active day for email campaign opens.

Now, of course, this does create the problem that now a lot of marketers are going to watch this and send out their email campaigns at 3 o’clock on a Thursday so you have to be wary that you’ll face a lot of competition at these times.

You can gain another advantage here by actually looking at how your audience in particular interacts with your campaigns, baring in mind how they interact with you as a business. So, if you haven’t got any other dates to base this one, a really good place to start is to look at your website analytics and take a look at when you get peak visits to your website or when you get peak online sales, and aim to send your email campaigns an hour or so before that time.

That would generally be the time when you’re most likely to get your subscribers at the point where they’re able to interact with your campaigns. For example, we find that quite often for people that are retailing to a consumer audience Sundays can be a particularly good time, particularly if it’s a wet Sunday when people tend to be at home, they’re in a good frame of mind, a good position to buy, and actually generally have very little competition during the weekend.

It gets slightly more complicated though because if you actually look at when people interact with emails on desktop devices versus mobile devices, as you’ll see from this graph, people tend to use desktop devices towards the early part of the day whereas as you get towards the evening people are much more likely to be reading your email on a mobile device, so either a mobile phone or a tablet.

You also want to consider how you want people to interact with your campaigns when you’re deciding when to send them. There is another way as well though. Using the marketing automation tools in the 123-reg email marketing tool, you can actually allow people to reschedule an email campaign to be resent to them at a more convenient time.

So, in this example here we actually gave people the opportunity to reschedule a campaign to be sent to them the next day, the following Friday or even next week. All they had to do was click a single link in the email campaign.

That’s really simple to do using the 123-reg email marketing automation tools. You simply assign a rule to the different links in the email campaign and within a couple of minutes you can have this set up, and then you can actually let end users choose when they want to receive your email campaign. It’s far more powerful than you just deciding when you think it’s going to be most relevant time for them.

Let’s talk about performance. One of the really powerful things about email marketing is the level of data that you can retrieve from your campaigns. When you’re sending out a campaign, we can measure all kinds of information. By default in your reports when you send out campaigns using the 123-reg email marketing tool you’ll be able to see how many emails were actually delivered, how many people opened those campaigns, who was clicking on which links and when, who was sharing on social media. If you’ve set up goal tracking you’ll be able to see things like how many sales they actually generated, and you’ll also be able to see how many people unsubscribed from your campaign.

All of this data is really valuable in helping you understand both your relationship with your audience and also how you can improve your campaigns in the future. Open rates are a great way of comparing the performance of one campaign to another when you’re sending it out. Understanding how many people actually wanted to engage with your campaign and interact with it. That can help you understand – are you sending it at the right time of day, was the subject line appealing enough, are you actually going to the inbox in the first place or do you have an issue with spam filters there.

Click through rate is very powerful for helping you understand: is the content of your campaign what people are expecting, are you driving people through to complete the action that you want them to. Are you trying to drive through to your website, are you trying to get them to click through and make a purchase?

Unsubscription rate – generally you want to be keeping this as low as possible, generally under 1%. If it’s higher than that it’s a good indication that what you’re sending out is not what people were expecting to receive so perhaps you either want to reassess what it is that you’re sending or reassess what your expectations were when people first subscribed to you.

That being said, don’t be afraid of unsubscriptions because if there are people who aren’t right for you, you don’t want to be sending them email campaigns because that will ultimately damage your reputation and prevent you from actually getting through to the inbox of the people who do want to receive what you’ve got to say.

So you always want to be making it easy for people to unsubscribe if that’s what they want to do. With the email marketing tool will automatically include usubscription links in your campaign for you so there’s nothing you need to do to enable that to happen.

Click to open rate. Sounds a complicated term but actually it’s very simple. It’s just the proportion of people who opened a particular email campaign and then went on to click a link in it. This is actually a really good way of assessing different email campaigns against one another because it removes the bias of things like open rate of your campaigns, whether it was actually getting properly delivered or not, whether you sent it at a different time of day or not.

So if you’re going to compare the performance of two of your email campaigns with each other, click to open rate is a great way of doing this.

It’s also possible to track what happens after someone has clicked through on your email campaign. You can either use a tool like Google Analytics to see what happens to collective groups of subscribers once they hit your website after clicking through on your email campaign. This can give your a really good group insight into what users are doing once they reach your website.

It’s very simple to do, you just need to tick one option when you save your campaign in the email marketing tool and it will automatically add the tags to make it visible in Google Analytics for you. You could also go one step further and enable our goal tracking if you have an ecommerce website and that will enable you to track actual purchases that comes as a result of your email campaigns and put a hard pounds figure on the revenue that you’re generating from your emails.

It’s really important when you’re looking at metrics to understand what the right metrics are for you, and which ones really matter to your and which ones don’t, and not get obsessed with metrics that aren’t important to your particular campaigns.

Always start by thinking about what’s the goal of your campaign. If you’re an ecommerce merchant and you’re trying to drive sales online, then the most important metric for you is probably looking at goals and the hard revenue that’s driven from your particular campaigns. But perhaps you just want to drive visitors to your website, in which case looking at the click through rate is probably the most important factor for you.

But maybe you’re just sending out a newsletter where the most important thing for you is that people are reading the content in that email and that they’re aware of your company and your brand, in which case open rate is probably the best metric to be measuring.

Either way, try to set a goal when you start and use that as the thing to measure. Benchmark against other industries are all very well but at the end of the day what you want to be aiming to achieve is that with each campaign that you send out you improve your metrics, you get to know your audience a little bit better, you get you improve your open rate or click through rate by making sure that you’re engaging with them and sending them relevant content every time.

That’s it for today’s webinar. Thank you very much for your time. If you’ve got any questions, please do leave them in the comments and we’ll be happy to answer them for you.

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