Tag: deliverability

White Paper: Email Throttling and Strategies to Combat it

email-throttling

Whenever it comes to Email Marketing, marketers face a whole bunch of difficulties in terms of deliverability, list hygiene problems, monitoring glitches and many more. A seamless email marketing strategy is difficult to achieve unless these problems are properly addressed. ‘Email Deferral’-a critical case of Email deliverability, arises when some ISPs limit the amount of Emails sent out by a particular sender during a specified period of time. This happens due to a pre-defined threshold in the number of sendouts inflicted by the ISPs.

In most of the time, this is a 400 class error. Due to bouncebacks of the excessive number of emails, the email campaigns face significant drawbacks in terms of deliverability and performance. This can also lead to diminution of email reputation of the senders and can possess a bigger threat furthermore.

This white paper interprets the technical aspects of this issue and how email marketers can avoid the problem of Email Throttling. Although, Email Throttling seems to be too intriguing for Email Marketers to avoid, appropriate strategies can help marketers get rid of this problem.

Read more about it by downloading the White Paper from the link: www.kenscio.com/resources

The White Paper is authored by Mr. Ziaul Hussain, Client Success Manager, Kenscio.

 

 

Share

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)

Share

Cricket Fever with Kenscio’s Thermometer

Zillions of crazy Indian cricket fans were winding up their work in a Jiffy to cheer up their heroes, while we @ Kenscio were busy in developing a count-down timer in an e-mail communication to be sent by Star Sports (We call it Intimate Communication) which gives them a goose-bump with a ticking clock asking them to go home early.

With this they did not require their wife, husband, friends & families to give them a reminder. Along with Star Sports, Kenscio have done this task for them like one of their close acquaintances. We understand the urgency and we make it fine-tuned too.

With  an engaging content, Star Sports wanted their real heroes (Their consumers) to be well and advanced informed. Here is how Kenscio did the fulfillment:

Real Time Personalised Email

Real Time Personalised Email

 

Share

Boost customer engagement via CSAT campaigns

Other than solving world hunger or eradicating AIDS, if you are an online marketer, at some point of time you must have killed your brain cells over the deliverability of your email communication or pondered upon all that you could do to boost customer engagement.

Though we have covered deliverability and engagement as separate topics in several of our articles and whitepapers, in this article we’d like to explore how you could kill two birds (deliverability and engagement problems) with one stone (read on!).

Fundamentally, deliverability and engagement are intertwined. One cannot have good deliverability with poor engagement rates, and if deliverability is poor, you certainly cannot expect first-class engagement. It’s a cruel vicious circle.

Presuming you do everything by the book (have the right infrastructure, best practices in place, do not spam, etc), you could then initiate a CSAT survey program. Why? Because surveys are interactive in nature and require your customers to share their perceptions and opinions (something all customers love!). Hence, as a general rule CSAT surveys have the potential to obtain extremely high responses, some of our clients have obtained as much as over 40% open rates and easily a 60% of CTR (clicks over opens).

These surveys not only boost your engagement, make your email marketing interactive (like it should be) but also give a boost to your sender reputation (the score ISPs assign to you; the marketer). So just one program can:

1. Find out what your customers think of you, your products / services, and share their feedback

2. Give you bonus points in the books of your customers for caring to ask for their opinion

3. Empower you with knowledge that when used wisely can help improve customer retention and long term profitability of your company

4. Get you thumbs up from ISPs

If you think that all this is good, but you might not be able to manage it, think again. Email is the most flexible and powerful channel to manage such automations and Kenscio can get you started and setup in no time. It is possible to:

– Automate the survey campaign

– Automatically exclude customers who have completed the survey

– Only target a segment of customers who have actually bought something from you

– Dynamically populate survey questions based on customer demographics, behaviour or purchase history

Whether you are into e-commerce, publishing, travel, finance, real estate or any other industry for that matter; if you serve customers, you should identify customer perceptions about you. This could be in form of Customer Feedback, Product Review, Service Quality, Event Surveys etc.

Every time you send an email survey, you initiate another opportunity to engage with your customers. Surveys built within an email message have better chances of getting a response, and the more responses you get the better will be your sender reputation with ISPs

So what are you waiting for? Get in touch to kick start your survey campaign.

Share

A solution, a saviour, your new best friend: Kenscio ListCleanr

Email marketers have quite something to look forward to this year, as some of their prayers will be answered.

If email marketing were the Garden of Eden, it would certainly have its share of snakes. There are dangers lurking at every corner. Spam traps, bounces, zombie addresses, costs, etc are some of the perils that top the list.

Kenscio Listcleanr

Kenscio ListCleanr is a solution that has been under development at Kenscio labs, to tackle this very challenge. Kenscio identified that a great deal of email marketers in India, get caught up with fixing reputation & deliverability issues, dodging spam traps, and they put quite a good bit of their time and resources struggling to get past spam filters. All of this can hinder a marketer’s ability to concentrate on factors such as engagement, subscriber loyalty, ROI etc.

In a growing market such as India, it is important for email marketers to be able to scale up at the opportune time. However, it is equally important to ensure that they do not end up being classified as spammers by ISPs, and never see the light of an inbox. So rather than being just another SAAS; Kenscio ListCleanr is a catalyst for email marketers in India.

Kenscio ListCleanr leaves almost no room for guess work. Probably this is why our clients have been able to consistently scale up and save upto 40% of their email marketing cost, while they benefit from an impeccable sender reputation.

To learn what ListCleanr can do for you, visit www.listcleanr.com.

Share

Timing is everything !

Our friends in the Indian eCommerce space are gung ho about the current boom !  Never before have so many Indians – both in India and overseas filled up their shopping carts and proceeded to check out. Never have Call to Action buttons seen so much action.

 

Which brings us to one of the most important communication vehicles these propositions ride on……….daily mailers!

 

Digital direct marketing communication – your one on ones with potential buyers are not  as easy as ABC, but if you have been following our blog, you would’ve picked up the juiciest bits on email template best practices  and  set up a fantastic email template. You know the importance of deliverability and other success metrics and you are sure your recipients are definitely receiving your email campaigns….there’s just one more question you need to ask yourself…. are they reading them?

 

Some of the key considerations which email marketers must take into mind while creating a “read & respond”  campaign are:

 

  • Relevance:  making the content relevant to each recipient. If a recipient knows that when your brand arrives in their inbox, this email is definitely something they have expressed an interest in and want to read, they will act on that.
  • Segmentation: The best way to implement relevance is to effectively segment your database so you know what your customers are interested in and therefore what content will be the most relevant. You read a lot more on relevance on our blog soon!

 

You are now ready with that killer content, a solid Email Service Provider (ESP) behind you – btw choosing an ESP  can be quite a task , here’s hoping you’ve done it right , what next?

 

Ask Usain Bolt,  what the importance of timing is? No seriously, a great proposition, even with A/B split  tested subject lines and creatives  can turn horribly wrong if the timing is off . Common sense – nope …….experience !!  ( The school of hard knocks third semester )

 

A well timed campaign – other criteria remaining the same –  can work wonders on the open rates and further on the ROI of the campaign. Unfortunately, there is no formula or overall ‘ideal time slot’ which you can follow to achieve this elusive ‘golden hour’.  There are a number of factors that go in to your decision: what time is best to hit the send button? ( btw with a good ESP – it would be the Schedule button )

 

Timing – Day and hour depends on the answers to the following questions.

 

Who are your audience?

 

For a B2B audience, it doesn’t take an Einstein  to work out that Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are the optimum days. As we all know, Mondays are spent getting back in to the swing of work after the weekend and Friday sees offices winding down for the next weekend. Saturday and Sunday are redundant as offices are closed. Days before holidays are = Fridays and days after holidays are = Mondays irrespective of what days they fall on !

 

For B2C email marketing, timings are very different.  Very dependant on the demographic of your audience.  One can safely assume most prospects will mainly be checking their personal emails in the evenings, during lunchtimes and over the weekends. However it is best to test which brings us back to segmenting!  B2C sending can be a bit of a gamble without thorough testing of your specific target audience. Homework must be done and learnings interpreted. A great ESP will be able to deliver dynamic content with different propositions scheduled at different times of a day or even different days.

 

Is your campaign seasonal?

 

For the B2B sector, marketers must avoid sending their campaigns over school vacation season, long weekends  and of course  the many holidays that we have !

 

Again advice for the B2C sector is entirely opposite. If relevant, a seasonal approach can boost additional sales and therefore revenue. Most campaigns are timed to address seasonal offers!

 

So much for planned marketing communication…

 

However, there is another aspect to timing in direct digital communication.

 

Timing can never be as important as it is when the ‘Prospect ‘is on the verge of becoming a ‘Paying Customer’ …many a sales person have rued their chances – having communicated a little later than they should have.

 

The optimum time for any recipient to receive your communication is when they have shown an interest in your brand or product. Using Automated mails  or  trigger campaigns, based on browsing behaviour or when they last clicked on or opened an email gives you a clear indication as to when to send the email and what content to include.

 

A typical scenario of such lost opportunities would be apparent in a colleague’s recent experience  on a  very popular  online store. As he described it  “ I was on my way to check out and proceed to pay when I saw this dangling banner in the right column : Sign up for our newsletter and  get 10% off. I paused, thought I could save this 10% by signing up and using the voucher code. So I smartly opened another browser, signed up and waited for the voucher. About an hour later, neither my inbox nor my  spam folder had  any sign of  an email from these guys . I gave up hope and eventually had lost all interest in buying that item at 10% higher than I could’ve”.

 

A simple Triggered email could have, rather, should have been used here  to enable interest being converted to action  at the point when the customer is most engaged.

 

Another cyclic practice is communication with non responders. Winning back non responders should be taken up as a part of your communication calendar and a definite cog in your wheel .

While still on timing, or should I say while there is time – it would be good to remind you to look for patterns in your open and click-through rates or other email metrics. Whether certain offers work better when sent at some time or another? Are there any influences that make your campaigns more successful, like salary days ( beginning of the month ) ? Are you responding to your customers at the optimum moment?

The only way for you to determine what works best for you is to, as always, test, test, test!

 

Share

Win back non responders

The One-Way Conversation

Building active, long-term relationships with your customers should  be one of the prime objective of email marketers. At the core of doing email marketing well is remembering that building a relationship requires conversation.

 So what do marketers do when email recipients aren’t interested in conversing? We found that, as a whole,  marketers showed a lack of conversational skills in dealing width the apparently uninterested subscriber. The idea of email as a dialogue is missing. By pushing out email without regard for consumer interests or preferences, marketers are putting their email reputation at risk. A poor sender reputation, in turn, creates deliverability problems for their entire email program. By moving from a “one-way conversation” to a true dialogue, marketers can re-engage inactive recipients.

Preference Based Subscription

We recommend that email marketers ask subscribers about their preferences for email frequency and email subject matter when they subscribe or make their initial purchase.

Once preferences are known, they should be honored. While this best practice may not be realistic for all businesses, marketers should, at a minimum, make sure that expectations for mailing frequency are appropriately set.

Where customers are not offered the opportunity to express their frequency preferences, they should be offered the option of reduced frequency once a pattern of inactivity is seen.

Message Frequency

While there are some circumstances where an increase in message frequency is appropriate (e.g. before a holiday, to match recent subscriber activity or in response to a purchase), it doesn’t make sense to consistently increase message frequency on a monthly basis to inactive subscribers. If a subscriber does not respond when receiving an email message every day, they are not likely to respond when receiving more than one—and in either case, they are likely to be extremely annoyed. That increases the risk that the subscriber will click the spam button, contributing to deliverability problems for your company’s entire mailing list.

To maintain optimal frequency, monitor subscriber response—opens, click-throughs and conversions – over time. Note the points at which each metric shows a drop-off in response, and put business rules in place to manage your mailing strategy accordingly. For example, you could specify that you will only mail once a month to any subscriber who has no opens, clicks, or response for six continuous months. A re-permissioning policy (discussed below, page 4) should be a part of the overall email marketing strategy.
Deliverability at Risk

The longer marketers continue to mail to large numbers of inactive subscribers, the greater the chances that their entire program will suffer as the result of reputation problems. Lack of response indicates that a subscriber is not interested in the messages. Eventually that lack of interest will lead to spam complaints by subscribers who have reached their saturation point. Spam complaints directly and negatively affect a marketer’s sending reputation, adversely affecting deliverability  to all subscribers.

This risk is compounded when companies fail to include clear permissioning for promotional emails during the initial checkout (sign-up) process. Without clear permissioning, “subscribers” never really subscribed, and they have no expectation of what will arrive in their inboxes. These recipients are naturally less engaged and more likely to complain due to lack of disclosure.

In addition, some ISPs are increasingly paying attention to whether or not their users respond to commercial mail. If a marketer is mailing at a high frequency and receives a disproportionately low response or no response at all over a consistent period of time, their sender reputation could be negatively impacted. This could lead to having all of the company’s email end up in the spam folder or, worse, having it blocked outright.

Missed Opportunities

Marketers are missing the opportunity to increase sales by re-engaging subscribers in the conversation. In addition, they may be interfering with their ability to optimize email content for their entire email list. This occurs because totally uninterested recipients dilute email response patterns, skewing email metrics and making optimization hard to achieve.

Recommendation:

Don’t experiment—ask! Implement a strategy to get subscribers to renew their permission with your email program, ideally in combination with a preference center, to find out what subscribers want to receive, if anything, and when. Testing does have a place in refining your approach to re-permissioning and finding out what approaches are most effective in generating expressions of continued and future interest.

Recommendations

Include win-back messages in your strategy for re-engaging non-responsive subscribers. Use a methodical analytic approach to determining what offers and creative are most effective, as well as identifying the most effective message timing. Consider basing your offer on the subscriber’s previous purchase. The strategy should specify how many win-back messages will be sent, at what intervals, and at what point in the sequence you will send a re-permissioning message.

Former purchasers represent “low hanging fruit” in email marketing, as it is always less costly to reach out to former customers than it is to acquire new ones. By focusing on developing and maintaining a dialogue with subscribers—a dialogue in which the subscriber sets the terms—email marketers can re-engage subscribers who have been nonresponsive, and reap the benefits of increased sales.

Share

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