Author Archive

The all new Pinterest inspired Gmail’s Promotion Tab

Yes, you read that right! Gmail is reportedly making changes under the hood to transform the traditional looking rows of emails, with a sweet looking grid of images. This change only comes for the Promotions Tab, and this is what Gmail has posted in it’s official blog:

“Promotional mail has a lot of images, from pictures of snazzy new shoes to photos of that rock-climbing gym you’ve been wanting to try. But right now, those images are buried inside your messages—and with only subject lines to go on, it can be a challenge to quickly pick out the deals and offers that interest you most. To help you find what you’re looking for faster, you can now sign up for a new field trial for Gmail that lets you view the Promotions tab in a more visual way.”

Just to give you an idea of what this means; the new promotional tab will look like this:

instead of the existing traditional view that looks like this: 

What this means for email marketers? Well for starters, this gives you the opportunity to use creativity to entice your customers with relevant visual cues that complement your subject lines. It also allows you to highlight your brand’s logo to add recognition and authenticity. Gmail also seems to allow you to specify what promotional image to show; else it picks up an image automatically from the mailer. Marketers should not only specify what image to show but actually try to personalize that image for every single user! The brand logo though seems to be pulled through the Google+ page, if you still don’t have one you might want to get it setup immediately.

Get in touch to explore what more you can do with Gmail’s new Primary Tab, Google+, your neighbor’s annoying pet, or any other aspects of your email marketing.

 

 

 

Share

Gmail Inbox Issues and what you need to know

Gmail, since yesterday has been sending bug fix notifications to selected users, whose in-boxes might have experienced involuntary fits in the form of mails getting deleted or being marked as spam. It seems that the notice is only being sent to affected Gmail iOS app users, and these users have been requested to scrutinize their Spam and Trash folders.

The official Notice Says:

“You may have been impacted by a recent issue in Gmail that inadvertently caused some actions (e.g. delete, report spam) taken while viewing a message to be applied to a different message,” Google wrote. “The issue occurred between January 15 and January 22 and is now fixed.”

“We encourage you to check your Trash and Spam folders before February 14, 2014 for any items you did not intend to delete or mark as spam and move them back to your inbox,” Google wrote. “We apologize for any inconvenience.”

 

It must be noted that this bug is different from the “Plagued by emails” bug that was reported earlier this month. This specific bug would kick in when Gmail was accessed via Google search; and flood the user’s mailbox with thousands of unwanted emails. Gmail labeled this as a “Technical Glitch” and seems to have resolved this issue now.

Recommendation for Gmail Users:

If you are a Gmail user we suggest you to verify all the several tabs and folders within Gmail to make sure you don’t miss out any important communication (due to incorrect placement of emails). In case you did receive a big fix notification from Gmail; we would suggest you verify other Gmails apps (reported b Gmail to have possible issues) as well for inconsistencies:

Google Apps status screenshot

Recommendation for Marketers:

In light of such issues, we suggest marketers to reach out to their Gmail recipients, and request them to ensure their communication was not accidentally delivered to Trash or Spam. If such is the case, you should give clear and simple instructions on how your recipients can rectify this. Reach out to us, if you need help with such instructions.

 

Share

The death of “Display all Images” and what it means for you

Last week Google took a bold step by letting images load by default (no more “Display all Images”). One might wonder why the option existed in the first place and there is (or was) a very good reason why it did.

Images used in an email message are most commonly stored at a hosting server; which serves the images on request i.e. when a reader opens the message. This mechanism however can be exploited by spammers to plant malicious code on the reader’s machine, making it a very good reason to block images from all senders by default, and letting the reader decide which ones to load.

Google claims to have found a way to close this loophole by creating a filtering layer between the reader’s machine and the image hosting server. In other words, Google will now use internal proxy servers to request for images, host these images on Google Servers and finally serve images to the customer via Google’s internal network (in case nothing fishy is returned from the original hosting server)

As a Gmail User, this means that your inbox will now load images in all messages on its own and you’ll no longer have to click on “Display all Images”. If you are an Email Marketer, the repercussions may be a slightly different.

For starters, customers will now immediately see the entire email content (and not bits of it as before), since both text and images will load automatically. This in theory should translate into a better email experience for customers and create more opportunities for marketers to further improve email engagement.

On the other hand, Google will now intercept all interaction between the customer and marketer’s server; and effectively create a layer between the marketer and the customer. As a result it will no longer be possible to identify the geographic location, device information or multiple open behaviors of customers.

While this may prevent marketers to dynamically change the email content after sending the email, it will still allow them to target customer with geographic and device friendly content. As far as basic email tracking goes; open, click and conversion tracking will continue to work as before, with an exception to tracking multiple opens, which may no longer be possible. However, this would also mean that all opens are actually tracked (and not left out if someone did not select “Display all Images”) removing the discrepancy in numbers of unique openers & clickers.

While these changes in how Google delivers emails to customers may restrict marketers; it also creates opportunities for marketers to improve engagement, by making clever use of text and images.

Get in touch with us to find how you can make the most out of engagement with Gmail based customers.

Share

Landing Page Optimization Tips

When thinking of optimizing customer experience for email marketing, one must consider the entire customer journey, including Landing Pages. Even if you achieve brilliant open and click-through numbers; your email campaign isn’t successful till you lead your subscribers through the end goal. Successful landing pages seal the deal and make all the difference between conversions VS website visits.

We have compiled a list of techniques to help you optimize your email landing pages for conversion:

1. Objective: Traditionally an email landing page has only one objective: Conversion. A conversion doesn’t necessarily have to always result in a direct sale. A conversion could also be a sign up, a download, or any other action desired out of your customers. Keeping this in mind the landing page’s design and content should always be true to its objective.

2. Headline and Context: Always provide a clear and concise headline and list your offer / proposition as clearly as possible. After the headline you should highlight the benefits or value proposition of your landing page.

3. Navigation: Ideally, your landing page should be sufficient enough to provide all the required information to your subscriber, preventing you from taking them to multiple other pages on your website. Mimicking the website with the navigation menu should be strictly avoided, as it’ll only result in taking the focus away from your marketing goal: Conversion.

4. Optimization for Mobile Devices: Recent study (including ones conducted by us) show that mobile usage is on a steep rise and a large chunk of emails are read on mobile devices. Hence, when optimizing for mobile devices, landing pages are as important as the email campaign itself. A non mobile friendly landing page can end up disappointing your customers (or prospects) and result in conversion dropouts.

5. Personalization / Localization of Landing Page Content: Technology allows you to personalize the content of your landing page to suit every customer / prospect. It is also possible for you to passively login your customers who visit the landing page via an email campaign, preventing them from typing their login details. Furthermore, based on the current location of your customers, you can customize the content of your landing page in real time, to show location specific information / deals.

6. Analytics Integration: Landing pages are integral part of your email campaigns. So when considering performance measurement for your email campaigns, you cannot exclude the performance of your landing pages. While our system provides you a wealth of actionable insights on your email campaigns, to analyze your landing pages, you can simply install analytics software (if you haven’t already). However, installation alone doesn’t help and you need to setup an integration between your email campaigns and your analytics software; to behavior you observe on your landing pages can be correctly attributed to corresponding campaigns.

While the above suggestions should guide you towards the right direction; you need to evaluate what technique(s) work best for you. The easiest way to find out is: Test, test and test again!

For a one on one discussion about optimization of your email campaigns, write to us at: info@kenscio.com or for alternatives visit our website.

Share

Mobile Optimization Best Practices

Mobile devices have been increasingly becoming popular for both email and web consumption. In India, Mobile devices represent 62% of web consumption this month; an increase of 15% since the beginning of this year (Source: StatCounter).

Mobile Vs Desktop - Content Consumption 2013 graph

In one of our own recent studies, we explored the market share for various devices when it comes to checking emails. Based on sample data, we discovered mobile devices to contribute to 43% of email opens in India.

Hence, it’s a no brainer to optimize (or start optimizing) email for mobile devices. While the task may seem daunting to some, we assure you that the rewards in form of better customer engagement will make it worth your efforts.

We have compiled Best Practice Tips that are sure to set you going in the right direction:

Identify how your customer’s read emails

This should be the first step that will define your mobile optimization strategy. Find out:

– What is the preferred consumption device? Is it mobile, desktop, or both?

– What is the time when customers read emails: in the morning when they get up, before sleep, or any other time during the day?

– What are the preferred mobile platforms used by your customers? (Android, Apple, Blackberry, windows etc.)

Top Mobile Operating Systems - August To October 2013 graph

Keep it Simple

Fancy and image heavy email messages might look pretty but they might not be preferred by customers on conservative data plans. Furthermore, since the standards in mobile email are still evolving; it’ll be beneficial to stick to simple styling that can work across platforms.

Value the mobile Real Estate

 Majority of mobile devices have small screen sizes (at least smaller than a traditional desktop), so each line, heck every pixel is precious real estate. So instead of beating around the bush; make it a point to get your message across as quickly (and simply) as possible. Keep your sentences and paragraphs short and crisp.

Include Identifiable and Actionable Call to Action(s)

Traditional CTA text or buttons might not be equally successful with mobile devices. Your email message should preferably avoid clutter; if you cannot help it for various branding reasons make sure your CTA stands out from the clutter. Give it room to breathe so that it’s easily identifiable and click-able.

Keep larger fonts

Keep the font large so that it’s easy to read on small screens, however not so large that it ends up taking all the valuable space. For headlines you may use between 20 – 22 points and for copy use 12 – 14 points. It is recommended to use web safe fonts so that your content is displayed as you intended across devices.

Don’t forget the landing page

When optimizing the email user experience for mobile, think about the entire process from Subject Line, Template, Content, Call to Action, and even the landing page. It would be a bummer to have a neatly optimized campaign for email, but have a landing page designed for desktops. A poorly designed landing page can put off your mobile readers resulting in a drop in conversion rates.

The only way to find what works is by Testing it!

It is highly unlikely that your customers use the same device, running on the same platform. Even if you discover that a majority of your customers use Android; Google’s cherished OS comes in several versions and allows Mobile manufacturers to add whatever customization they desire. The implication of this is that unless you test your content, you wouldn’t find how each platform displays and reacts to your email message.

Some interesting Mobile Facts:

Most Popular Activities on Smartphones

Most Popular Activities on Smartphones

Email is the most popular activity on Smart Phones according to IDC & Facebook, Always connected, 2013

How did you receive the message that led to the purchase?

How did you receive the message that led to the purchase?

More than one-half (56%) of US consumers who have made at least one purchase using their smartphone have done so in response to a marketing message delivered via mobile email –  ExactTarget “Mobile Dependence”.

Most Preferred Mobile Email Message

Most Preferred Mobile Email Message

Special offers (27%), vouchers (21%) and realtime tracking (21%) are most preferred email content according to a study by Edialog (“The future of mobile messaging”). Newsletters are the fifth most preferred type with 12% of respondents saying they like to view that email type on their mobile the most.

To find insights specific to your audience / industry or to find out how you can optimize your email marketing for mobile, give us a shout!

 

Share

Email Behavior Insights Q3 2013

While you work on your email marketing strategy for the last quarter of 2013; looking at customer behavior and trends from the previous quarters can offer valuable insight to help you move in the right direction.

From simple metrics such as: opens, clicks, click throughs, conversions to more complex analysis into open rate trends (best time of day, best day of week etc.), subject line key words, click to un-subscription rate, and link categories; are some of the essential figures and statistics you should look at before formulating your email marketing strategy.

We analyzed over 8 million email interactions over the last quarter to identify fundamental trends such as: Best Time of The Day, Best Time of the Week, and Email Device Breakup:

 

Email Open Behavior - Best Time of Day

Email Open Behavior – Best Time of Day, 2013 Q3

 

The data suggests a steep rise in open rates from 6AM onwards, peaking at around noon and gradually receding almost all the way after midnight. To achieve the peaks at around noon, sendout can be started earlier during the day around 8 to 10 AM. If you wish your emails to be in top of your subscriber inbox, You can send just in time at 10 AM. You must perform various tests to evaluate what works best for you.

 

Email Open Behavior - Best Day of Week

Email Open Behavior – Best Day of Week, 2013 Q3

 

Though Tuesday technically obtained the highest scores, Wednesday and Thursday are almost equally close. For all practical purposes though Tuesdays to Thursdays make the most favorable days for sending emails. Mondays and Saturdays are runners up, where as Sunday remains to be the least favorable day.

 

Email Open Behavior - Device Breakup

Email Open Behavior – Device Breakup, 2013 Q3

 

One of the interesting insights into email behavior is how quickly mobile/smart devices are catching up with the traditional desktops. While there are several reports and data that suggest that internet usage on mobile has already surpassed desktop in India (see graph below – source: StatCounter), in our study we found mobile slightly behind desktop when it comes to checking emails. That being said, there is a good chance mobile may end up dominating this space too in the next few quarters. Stay tuned for our future reports.

 

Mobile Vs Desktop

Mobile vs Desktop, Internet usage- India 2013 Q3

 

Even at current figures, Mobile at 43% controls a substantial share of email interaction. If you haven’t already started to work on optimization of email content for mobile, now would be the right time.

Though all the above statistics represent a sizable sample of 8 Million, it is still recommended that you perform such analysis to identify trends specific to your industry / customers.

For more information on how you could easily obtain such insights and use them to optimize customer engagement, get in touch at info@kenscio.com or alternatively contact us via other channels.

Share

Real Time and Contextual Email Marketing & Advertising

Bangalore weather can be quite erratic, especially during late Summer. No one knows this better than street vendors, who are cleverly equipped with eye wear when it’s sunny or umbrellas when it’s pouring. Visit them around December and you might find them selling ear warmers too!

Apart from being persistent sellers, these street vendors make sure their inventory is relevant.

Parallels can be drawn between such street vendors and digital marketers who strive to make their engagement with customers relevant and contextual. Though it is possible to target customers with contextual advertising online and customize the web experience in real time, these often require the customer to actually be looking for stuff online or browsing websites where you may target them with clever ads.

However, what about the one place they spend most of their time online? Their email inbox(s)? Unfortunately, email campaigns once sent remain static and gradually become outdated and irrelevant… Well, only until now.

We at Kenscio, have been working to make email deliver dynamic and real time content allowing email marketers and publishers bring live, relevant and contextual content directly into customer’s inbox. With our Real Time Ads, now it is possible to:

  • Use Countdowns – for limited time / limited offer propositions
  • Give Early Bird Offers – Higher discount / better offers to early birds.
  • Content Directly out of Website – To automatically show latest deals / offers.
  • Serve Coupons – based on a limited number
  • Use Geo-targeting – Server relevant content based on location (availability of offers, store locations etc.

To learn more on how you can use Real Time Ads please get in touch with one of our experts.

Share

Subscribers are like Volcanoes

Subscribers come in all shapes and sizes, however, its not how they look and weigh that is important; but how they behave and interact (with you, the marketer). And it is in this respect that subscribers are very much like volcanoes.

Like volcanoes, subscribers can also be classified as: Erupting, Active, Dormant, and Extinct.

Erupting volcanoes burst with activity and are vital for life and earth’s ecology. Similarly, such subscribers are very important for the success of your email marketing campaigns. They engage, convert and respond to you with least effort.

Active volcanoes have great potential to erupt. Similarly, subscribers who seem calm but have been full of activity in the recent past can easily be re-ignited with the right communication and targeted content.

Dormant volcanoes are volcanoes that used to be active but haven’t shown any signs of activity in the recent past. Such subscribers are like a Question Mark, your efforts should be focused at trying not to lose them. With careful communication and re-engagement strategies you should be able to win some back.

Extinct volcanoes have no history of eruption in considerable past and are not expected to erupt in comparable time scale of future. Subscribers that fall under this category, unfortunately only add cosmetic value to your database (Size!). They are cost heads that hardly provide any return and worse; they can even affect your sender reputation and deliverability.

Identifying such segments is the first step towards defining your communication strategy for your subscribers. By classifying subscribers into appropriate buckets you’ll be able to channel your efforts to:

– Ensure Erupting subscribers stay Erupting

– Push Active subscribers to move to the Erupting state

– Convert the Dormant subscribers to become Active and consequently Erupting

With careful and infrequent communication identify how many Extinct might still be Dormant.

On paper this approach looks simple and elegant, but how do we ensure that at a given time of day we have the most updated information on these segments? In other words, your subscribers will keep jumping from one category to another, how do we ensure that every jump is recorded and tagged in real time?

Well, we have a super awesome magic potion just for this very purpose, get in touch and one of our wizards will fix this up for you in no time.

 

Share

Are you ready for Christmas?

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday just departing on the horizon, they mark the beginning of the Christmas shopping season in the west. However, in India this coincidentally lines up with the auspicious wedding dates.

While gold traders look forward to this time with childish glee, smart marketers plan and strategise to get their share of the festive action!

If you haven’t yet started, your first step is to define what you want out of the festive season?

Whether it is increasing order sizes, acquiring more customers, or turning the non transacting subscribers into customers; now is the time for you to plan to achieve your goals and deliver a strong finish to the year end.

Let us look at some of the possible goals you might pursue (among other things):

1. Sell to more of your prospects (increase conversion rates)

2. Sell more to your existing customers (increase order size)

3. Get more subscribers you can market to (Increase your list size)

4. Maximise the opportunity to talk to your customers as they shop

Whatever it is that your heart (or shareholders) desires; Kenscio is here to help you achieve that. So why not get in touch and ask for your free copy of our Christmas / 2012 year end marketing tips and tricks? :)

Share

Give Customers the Power of Choice

Nothing is permanent except change.

Heraclitus (Greek Philosopher)           

People change and so do their interests, habits, hobbies etc. Hence, it’s safe to assume that your email subscribers will change. The question is whether you can adapt to this change.

Acknowledging this change doesn’t require you to revamp your email strategy every time your subscribers profile changes, instead it requires your email program to be flexible enough to let them choose what is right for them.

Research shows that subscribers (customers) will choose to maintain a deeper and long lasting relationship with you, when they are given the power of choice.

Furthermore, enabling subscribers to make choices makes them feel that they are in control and that they have the ability to dictate what and when they wish to hear from you. This increases the likelihood that they’ll look forward to your email messages and increases the chances that they’ll respond.

This is the power of preferences.

What are Preferences?

Preferences are what that differentiates your subscribers. These are information about your subscribers that allow you to tailor your communication to suit their needs. For example, some might eagerly look forward to a daily promotional mailer, where as other might find these annoying. Similarly, you may have various product or service to offer and your subscribers will prefer some over others.

email preference center

Customer Preferences

What is an Email Preference Center?

An Email Preference Center allows your recipients to easily change their subscription details. This might include content type, frequency, interests in various offerings, ability to opt down or opt out etc.

Hidden Potential?

Preference Center gives you a means to know more about your subscribers. In addition to the basic information that is captured at the time of sign up, your preference center enables you to collect important information that will help improve and nurture your relationship with your subscribers.

Furthermore, marketers who use preference centers are more successful at retaining un-subscribers than the ones who don’t…

——————————————————————————————————————————————-

Get in touch to obtain your copy of the complete whitepaper on Email Preference Center or speak to one of our consultants today to see how you can improve your email marketing programs with the power of Preference Center.

Share

Copyright © 2017 Kenscio Blog. All rights reserved.
iDream theme by Templates Next | Powered by WordPress