Email Marketing Best Practices

Email Marketing: Gold that does not glitter

The Hidden Value of Email Marketing

The Hidden Value of Email Marketing

One of my friends called me up last evening to check about some offers running by one popular E-commerce sites. He came to know about the offer through a promotional email sent by the E-commerce merchandiser. I googled the same thing and discovered the same offer and it was quite an exciting, unmissable deal. Eventually, I bought a few things and shared the information in a WhatsApp group. I am sure a few of them in the group would have bought some items too. I am Happy that I saved some rupees with the deal.

But somewhere down the line, something had lost its value; yes, it is the particular promotional Email that actually made me aware of the deal. It failed to get its due recognition from the increased conversions. These conversions were completely out of record. It’s not the inefficiency of the campaign, rather the exclusiveness of the tracking process that led to this information gap; customer behavior not being considered while measuring the impact of the campaign.

Unlike Western customers, Indians are more collectivistic in nature and the contribution of mutual social interaction towards increased conversion is not negligible. With a fast growing Internet population in India, a section of people use emails for communication but they may not be comfortable to transact online in an e-Commerce site.

Let us assume that an email is sent when a company releases a new product. There are chances that a customer orders the product using a link embedded in the email HTML. But we cannot rule out the probability that the person does not buy it by clicking on the mail but visits the website, or he may walk up to a store to buy the same product (Offline Purchase). It can happen to any type of campaigns, it looks like it’s a very small or negligible number of audience/recipients, but it is not insignificant.

Moreover, we do not limit our campaigns only to sell/promote our products, but it is also used for brand building, strengthening customer relationship, increasing the brand visibility and credibility etc.

Things to remember when planning an email campaign.

  • Email reaches more audience than what the numbers in the report actually says
  • A beautiful email creative can fetch you new subscribers
  • Word of mouth advertisement is still significant in India
  • Do not limit the measuring of ROI to the conversions in the Email tracking report. There is a need to see beyond the graphs in the final report. The obvious question is ‘How’. Multi-channel Business Intelligence Solutions might rescue marketers from such a dilemma to a significant extent.

They say “All that glitters is not gold” but this is the gold tha may not glitter if we are blind to it. In this case, Email Marketing is a golden opportunity offering more than what we see.

(Contributed by: Mr. Abdul Razak,Project Manager, Kenscio Digital)

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Animated GIFs in Email

It’s Show Time!

GIFs ‘Graphics Interchange Format’ are becoming the favorite image format for most of the Marketers who want to tag a tad bit of fun to their message. It isn’t a  surprise if we have to believe that GIFs have witnessed increased clickthroughs and customer engagement like Anna Yeaman at Style Campaign demonstrated how an animated video preview that has lifted her campaign’s click-rate by 26%.

This hasn’t stopped the Marketers to take no time in realizing its effectiveness as they carry delight to the campaign and resolutely add elements of fun, surprise; enticing the customers without deviating them from the objective or call to actions.

GIF was first developed by Steve Wilhite of CompuServe in 1987. The popular animated GIFs initially were the waving flags and flames. But what really took them on board is the Web 2.0 evolution that is when people started using animated GIFs in different ways at different places across the internet. In fact GIFs and CSS animations are the only way to add moving images, given the poor video support across the most popular email clients.

Animated GIFs enjoy support in all major email clients, with the exception being Windows Phone 7 and newer versions of Outlook (2007+).The following chart provides a comparison of animated GIF and CSS3 animation.

FireShot Screen Capture #098 - 'Email Client Support for Animated GIFs' - _C__Users_Admin_Downloads_GIF_htmlBid farewell to those conventional static emails and increase the effectiveness of your email campaign with animated GIFs and CSS3 Animation.

To know more, visit www.kenscio.com

(Contributed by: Mr. Monikandan. R, Senior Project Manager, Kenscio Digital)

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The Curious Case of Digital Queues!!

The Curious Case of Digital Queues!!

The Curious Case of Digital Queues!!

 

It was the day of 5 August 1960, a movie called “Mughal e Azam” hit the screens.

It was released and became the reason for widespread frenzy across India. The day before bookings for the film opened, a reported crowd of 1,00,000 gathered outside the Maratha Mandir to buy tickets. Most expensive tickets at that time, were sold for ₹ 100 compared to the usual price of ₹ 1.5 per ticket. Bookings experienced major chaos, to the extent that police intervention was required. It was reported that people would wait in queues for four to five days, and would be supplied food from home through family members. Eventually, Maratha Mandir closed the bookings for three weeks.

We have seen the similar craze for various legends starting from comedian Charlie Chaplin internationally to Indian movie stars like Showman Raj Kapoor to Amitabh Bachchan of 70s when people use to keep standing in queues for catching their shows. Recently DDLJ has completed 1000 weeks in Marathi Kala Mandir.

Gone are the days of such rare blockbusters.

Now the term “blockbuster” itself has been commoditized by media not just in India but across the globe. Every comic-superhero movie with its huge budgets of marketing is termed as a blockbuster. Different analysts are utilizing different criteria to conclude this feat.

The lifestyle of this multinational generation is very dynamic. People are always in motion and don’t have time to spend three four days waiting for a movie. Poor species have only weekends to take their loved ones for the entertainment and leisure.

Even this multiplex going Gen X has many reasons to throng the theaters to catch the movie shows. The rules of the game have been changed since the last decade or so. The first week of the movie is enough to decide the fate of the movie. So there has been a transition from physical queues to the digital queues these days.

The maxim “No second chance for the first impression” holds true to describe the cinema of today

And movie critics’ columns and Internet discussion of movie buffs are agile enough to create the spoiler alerts for your weekend hangouts in every nook and corner of your digital touchpoints – Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, and News columns.

So we see the same Houseful frenzy nowadays in the initial days of movie screenings. And the E-commerce boom and e-ticketing players like BookMyShow.com has made the task of movie buffs a bit easier to handle these digital queues conveniently.

But still due to the extreme dynamism of the people, the void is there in information dissemination to the customer through direct marketing channels. People are not able to pick their favorite events and movie shows as they tend to forget the dates and timings.

Quite recently, BookMyShow.com employed quite an innovation in their digital direct marketing- RealTime Personalisation in Email. They had a series of Email campaign reminders send-outs to their registered active cinema-goers for their Wednesday cinema offer live countdown timer & PeeKay Movie campaign where they showed live seats availability for the suitable show timings within the E-mail based on user’s favourite cinema halls and past purchase history.

(Please see the BookMyShow.com –Live seats availability #Peekay campaign video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6b8sQaWltrQ )

The Real-time Personalisation actually enabled the dynamic content within the email based on time, device & past user-data of user at the time of open. With a use of real-time countdown timer for the said event, there is a sense of urgency which helps user in their decision making.

This has never been done on the Indian soil before, or the whole of Asia for that matter. Now the E-commerce and Online ticketing industry is quickly paying attention to this new trend. Anyways, customers and movie-goers are finally getting much-awaited value in their online ticketing experience.

So what you’re planning to do this weekend? Don’t worry real-time info is at your disposal to help you get pass the digital queue !!

(Contributed by: Mr. Gaurav Tyagi, Senior Manager- Business Development, Kenscio Digital)

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Inbox by Gmail – a User’s and a Marketer’s perspective

Gmail’s Inbox app for email marketers

 

Google just changed the way we look and experience our emails, again. While a few reviews talk about the new Inbox attempting to bring some order to a much cluttered mailbox, I tend to differ here. My Gmail mailbox had 5 very distinct and effective tabs to sort my incoming mail.

Despite the initial fears of adapting to the pre-defined logics of tabs “Oh Boy, now I will have to browse across each of these tabs to read my unread mails”, I am now in more control of the time I allocate to read and action my incoming emails. These tabs allowed me to adapt to a much more productive way of reading, responding to my emails and so is the case with most of the Gmail users. Instinctively I click on the Primary tab to read my regular emails from friends or business mails, or click on Updates for my transactional mails, or move to the Forums to read my daily digests from forum memberships, or move to Social to read social media notifications and move to Promotions to ready my subscribed marketing messages, how much more simple can google make this for me!!

Well, guess what, “Google Inbox” brings more to me – Google Now integration,
• Quick action to move the email out of my screen when I am done reading but still accessible to me in the Done folder
• Snoozing an email or setting a reminder to action an email
• Snoozing an email to wake up at a particular location (how cool can it get, I can now remember to show my wife the latest offer on the 42” Samsung LED from Infibeam when I reach home or remember to discuss the lawyers suggestions with my father when I visit him next)
• Quick tracking of my newly ordered shoes without even opening the mail
• Quick view of attachments (credit card statements, loyalty statements, photos etc.)
• More tabs – Travel, Finance, Purchases to make my life more sorted

google inbox integration

 

Why is Google doing this and how can Marketers can benefit from this? Before we address that let us look at a few trends –
• In India we have already seen that almost 65% of engaged audiences are using mobile devices to open emails
• Procrastination is increasing and the need for Real-time information is the need of the hour
• Value Per transaction of online purchases is increasing but it is becoming a more informed decision too. “Yes, I am interested in this Hidesign handbag but my wife can make a better choice”
• Email is becoming the most non-intrusive yet effective Direct channel of communication
• Google has always been setting higher standards in Email Marketing striving towards pressing the marketers to push out the most relevant content to the most relevant audience at the most relevant time. Thus it is enabling higher conversions and better interactive engagement with their audiences. With the new Inbox from Google, Marketers will be able to creatively showcase Actionable Emails utilizing the new features like reminders, location tags, quick views etc. A new dimension of time and location apart from the subject line is now added for marketers to innovate. “BookMyShow can now send out quick action reminders to movie fans asking them to set reminders to book the 1st day 1st show of the Saif Ali Khan starrer “Happy Ending” when the bookings opens 4 days before release.

Happy Inboxing!

(Contributed by: Mr. Hemal Patel, Director – Data Services, Kenscio Digital)

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A/B Split Testing: An old fish in a Pond

A/B Split testing is no more traditional. Get it done with RTP fied Image Optimizer :)

A/B Split testing for email campaigns is now like an old fish in the pond of email marketing. Email Marketers often ponder about effectiveness of A/B Split Testing and confront some tough questions. Have we really achieved the targeted ROI? Is Split testing really about being a winner and a contender? Have we lost some prospects by choosing to be a winner? Is being a contender a good choice at all?

A/B Split testing is about the competition between Hulk and Batman on two different tracks. So how it would be if we can create a ‘Hulkman’ that embraces the power of both? Nice! Yeah it would be wonderful.
In traditional A/B split testing, we compare the opens or clicks or both and the best performing subject line of Email gets deployed to rest of the consumers. But we wanted to make a third campaign with each best part of both campaigns so we came up with Image Optimizer.
Image Optimizer is a lab where we can create Hulkman. But How?

Image Optimizer optimizes the images used for campaigns based upon CPM. Let’s consider a scenario where, in case of A/B Split testing, the open rate is high for Hulk because of subject line and click rate is high for two images but rest of the images are rarely clicked; whereas in case of Batman, the email is losing because of the subject line and two images could not get much clicks but rest of the images are getting better clicks than Hulk. In this scenario A/B split testing will not send the right campaign to consumers. So, Image Optimizer will optimize all the images for Hulk and Batman and for final campaign optimized images will get served as Hulkman. Eventually, the final outcome will be a high performing Email with a catchy Subject Line and popular contents as demonstrated by the unique feature of Image Optimizer.

(Contributed by: Mr. Ravi Bhusan Singh, Software Engineer, Kenscio)

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Real-time Email Marketing: Social Conversations in Email

Your email subscribers seeing “tweets from your official twitter account” live in your promotional email, how effective will it be? In fact, if you are running a twitter campaign with a hashtag, you can place the latest tweets in your promotional email and send to your subscribers. In that case, even the customers who haven’t logged in to their twitter for the time being, will get to know about this promotion. You can simply deliver the news to their inbox, in real-time, live and with latest tweets updated immediately.

If Social Media is the master of engagement, email marketing is the acquisition maestro. And when both are combined and delivered to inbox, you are actually creating a blend of successful marketing strategy. Social learning (or Social Proof), a human psychology that promotes personal learning and subsequent decision-making based on inputs gathered from surrounding environment (or society, ex: Facebook fans, twitteratti) is the fundamental driver of this feature.

Putting it simply, an email marketer can simply spread the positive words of mouth (people who like us!) about your brand in their inbox.

Uniqueness:

  • Real-time update of Facebook & Twitter Feeds
  • Customize the twitter feeds for account handles as well as for selected #hashtags
  • Customize twitter feeds also for mentions of your brand in twitter
  • Customize the colour/font/background colour as per your email design

For more information, visit http://realtimepersonalisation.com/

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RTP has built several APIs to make it truly platform independent

Hurray! Now RTP has built several APIs to make it truly platform independent.

These are the first of its kind APIs which will help our clients consume the power of Real Time Personalisation without any limitations. You can use any Email Editor, any Email Service Provider, any Email Gateway and still integrate with RTP seamlessly, within seconds.

These APIs will help you get data from any Recommender system you use and show respective recommendations live inside an email. This can be extended to any data available outside the RTP system. The APIs can also be used to extract live data from RTP system.

Some of the APIs can also be used to use the RTP widgets like Timers, Progress Bars, Twitter Feeds, etc. Even without logging into RTP platform. You can make these widgets on the fly & integrate it with any system you use..

Come, make use of these powerful APIs now.

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How optimizing your acquisition through E-Mail with CLV can multiply your revenue?

I will not be getting into the Do’s and Don’ts of acquiring customer through E-Mail and gaining momentum with CLV through various touch points and blah blah blah..

It is so stodgy that it hits my central nervous system badly, reminding me of a forced training and a manual guide of making things work in a way it is written!

Let’s dive into our circadian life, with some very interesting affairs! Everyday (More likely) we go to our nearest departmental store for our daily needs. It could be rice, soap or salt, regardless of the fact that how much square feet of a surface that store has occupied till the time it fulfills my need- Does this statement tie some business knots? Yes! It does. This affirms that we as an end user can go to any of the vendor/advertiser if he supplies/fulfills my requirement. Questionably I may not buy but I will go.

What Next?

Two examples to be cited:

A.)    I visit my nearest store for the very first time and enquire about the product that I need, may be a soap. While glaring at the stacks for my soap, the shop owner scans my eyes concurrently and finds me unacquainted and puzzled. Post that he asks some questions to explore my need. He then suggests the soap, which I like, or which fits my LSM score (Point to be noted, he just made a guess, might be a wild one). Conversation does not end here. He continues with some more questions like where do I live? He has not seen me before. What do I do? Who all are in my family and all! At times the gentleman who is also the custodian of the cash-counter may end the sales with a chocolate, as a freebie with a smile– Is there any core business fundamental you are able to see? You are right- He identified me as prospect, other than the transactions; he explored the future business by asking all relevant questions to me. Taking out time in knowing me, he tried to ensure my future visit. The freebie was an absolute relationship strengthening exercise.

B.)    Have you ever scrutinized your own action during the evaluation of a nearby departmental store on how economic he is! The first thing you do is you tend to ask the rates for products like Sugar, Rice, Flour etc., because, you border on the rates for the mentioned stuffs and then you see the quality.

During my first visit to the nearby grocery store to purchase my monthly household goods, I throw him a list of edibles starting from Rice to Roasted peas and sauce to salt. You know what! He will quote or charge me a very competitive price which I may not get even from the big retail chains for my much needed consumables which are rice, sugar, pulse etc. For rest of the rations, you will be charged a rupee up or down!  – Any business Logic? You guessed it right- just by reducing or being aggressive on my “must” consumable items; he suddenly gained my trust and faith. I have an inclination now. I started believing that he is genuine, competitive and affable. It means, he has calculated the revenue generated with the current purchase and approximated or predicted the future cash flows from me. In marketing, this is what you called “customer’s lifetime value

Regardless to say, on the various touch-points he bundles the product for me, offers something of great value, gives me credit and stuff like that- again, a marketing tactic or a strategy which has been created for me, which is relevant to me and that has been delivered to me in a way I liked it to be.

Relatively, that is the fundamental of every business, it is happening in our everyday life, which goes un-noticed from the core of marketing perspective.

This is being effectuated by a local small grocery store, which would not be catering to more than 250 households (roughly) in metros. Don’t you think it is doable, attainable and can be executed by big entities like yours too?

Why through e-mail is simply because, out of the total Internet population which is 243million as of June’ 2014 (IAMAI & IMRB, 2014), 80% use Internet to access emails.

That’s not all! The benefits of acquiring customer through emails are many. To list down a few: –

  • E-Mail is the most cost effective marketing tool.
  • During a survey done by Forrester Research, Marketers said that they enjoy the ROI by two to three times greater with email marketing than any other direct marketing channel.
  • An immediate attention with multiple links and CTAs are viable
  • The superlative degree of segmentation is possible.
  • Highly measurable which ultimately drives and boost your sales by up sells and cross sells.

 

So what have to be the action points?

  • Find out the right partner who does not require spoon-feeding, who are best in class, who embraces innovation, spends in developing employee’s skill-sets, and treats you as a partner.
  • Create/Source/Rent out the valuable and qualitative e-mail list of prospects. Deliver them the right content.
  • Feed curiosity. Remember you are now dealing with “Generation Z”
  • Get ready with your creative for every dimension.
  • Do multivariate or AB testing (Whatever suits). It’s imperative. Early monitoring is like tasting the food like a chef.
  • Be innovative & reasonable in bringing your customers on board.
  • Create various touch-points.
  • Do research and segmentation. Reduce the manpower dependency. Espouse technology. Remember- your consumer is everywhere and doing the best use of the technology.
  • Convey or communicate what your consumers want to listen to and accelerate their interest.
  • Be relevant and rewarding.
  • Drive engagement.
  • Try to recover the lost opportunities, which might be accountable for as big as 40%
  • Seek their advocacy or evangelize your communications and offerings.

Remember the theory, which has been cited in the aforementioned example, is a proven one. So, do not romance with it, execute it.

Call your mind for that grocery store owner, who, how effectively identified the prospect, probed, suggested, sold, been aggressive on pricing, secured the future business, created multiple touch-points, gave value adds and had thereby owned a customer for a life-time which essentially would be doing his advocacy.

The striking part for you is- Maximize & Multiply your revenue :)

What else? Isn’t it a good food for thought and a lesson to think through?

“Execute nicely or be executed nastily”

(Contributed by: Mr. Kumar Awanish, AVP- Strategy & Innovation, Kenscio Digital)

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First Annual Digital Marketing Report-2014 released by Kenscio

With the successful completion of digital marketing survey “Kenscio Motto 2014” conducted earlier in this year, Kenscio has released an insightful, strategically analysed full length report based on the participant marketers’ responses. Titled “Futuristic Digital Marketing in India”, this report attempts to provide a comprehensive compilation of thought-provoking and action oriented insights for digital marketers.

The survey was based on a set of market-centric inputs derived from Kenscio’s vast experience of serving the digital direct marketing industry in India. After compiling and analysing the responses gathered from more than 250 marketing professionals, many surprising findings popped up out showing significant consistencies and patterns in strategic level of thoughts across industries.

 Digital Marketing Report Cover Graphics

Here is a few interesting and mentionable points:

  1. Higher number of multiple channel oriented marketing activities observed across all industries. 61% of marketers are likely to deal with multiple channels and media with proper optimization proper optimization and smarter budget allocations.
  2. Retention strategy shows a uniform pattern, more than 59% marketers focus on conversions factor, i.e. converting non-buyer and one time buyer to regular purchasers. 35% marketers prefer brand loyalty as a more important factor.
  3. As far as spending pattern across various media channels is concerned, 76% invest in social media followed by Electronic direct marketing (57%)
  4. For maximum client acquisition, both social media and Email marketing receives similar preference (69% in both).
  5. 39% of marketers associated with Advertising/Digital Marketing industry prefer Real Time content personalisation as one important aspect of customer acquisition strategy.

The report has also elucidated key actionable points based on the observations. Moreover, it has extrapolated its findings by revealing some interesting facts from three industries and their marketing strategies including Digital Marketing/Advertising, Online Portal and E-commerce Industry in India.

It is mentionable that around 33% of total participants belong to top level of management hierarchy (Founder, CEO, VP, AVP, and Director etc.) and 54% belong to Mid-level management.

To download the complete report, please click here.

 

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Winners of iPad Mini- Kenscio Motto 2014

A big thanks to all who made Kenscio Motto2014 a splendid success. The compelling reason to drive this campaign was to get an idea on what digital marketing folks have in their mind for this calendar year.

As you all know, that because of a soaring number of entries we have received, we have added another layer to the contest before announcing the final crown (iPAD Mini). In the first round of selection we had 37 winners who have been given a writing instruments as a token of appreciation for taking out their time.

Here are the two winners:

Mr. Boniface Noronha from HDFC Life &

Mr. Inaam Hussain from Interactive Avenues

Kenscio Congratulates to both of you for being part of the contest. We wish you all the luck for your assignments and appreciate your significant contribution and far-reaching vision.

Since a lot of advertisers have burnt their hands in new acquisition (Investing a hefty amount with no sign of CLV and Engagement), now is the time they sincerely feel that retention is the way ahead. We have had some great findings on the basis of the feedback given by all the participants.

On Retention here is the stats how marketers (Who have participated in the contest) have had their road-maps in place for this calendar year.

“Converting Non-Buyers into Buyers” is the focus area for 27% of marketing folks.

–        Out of these 15% want the delivery of relevant and real time content.

–        43% has a vision of doing direct marketing in a highly personalized 1:1 communication.

–        & 42% believe that they should understand the consumer’s behavior, demographics and psychographics in a better way to achieve their marketing objective.

24% marketers feel that “Converting one-time buyers into repeat purchasers” is the first and foremost KRA for them.

–        Out of which 17% has the priority of delivering the relevant and real time content.

–        However, 62% wanted to do the highly personalized and contextual communication.

–         & 21% believe that understanding of Consumer segmentation would be the high intensity objective.

35% Marketing people shown their firm belief in “Increasing the brand loyalty

–        Where 1:1 communication was the priority for 36% of universe.

–        Understanding the consumer segmentation as a whole was the transcendence for 38% of participated contestants.

–        26% of people believe in delivering relevant real time content.

9% of people think that they are more focused towards having the “Repeat buyers with increasing CLV”.

5% want to “Reduce the customer churn rates”.

Let us notify you that the aforementioned retention plan’s stats have been fetched from 12 different and significant industries(Ecommerce, Healthcare, telecom, Banking & Insurance, Travel & Tours, Jobs & Recruitments, IT- hardware, Digital advertising agencies, Retailers, B2B marketplace, Real estate, Education).

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