Tag: email

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.

 

 

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Subject Lines in Email Marketing

How important are subject lines to your email campaign? How much time do you spend on deciding an appropriate subject line for your email campaign? How do we go about analysing how effective subject lines are?

email-subject-lines

You may regard your email content for your campaign as the one that matters and the most important, however, if your subject line is not effective then there’s a chance that your email won’t be even read. In today’s fast paced world where people receive hundreds of emails, it is imperative to have an attention grabbing subject line so as to get the users to make that all important decision to open the email. A good subject line is essential for Email Marketing. So what makes a good subject line?

Short and clear- Studies show that the best performing subject lines tell people what they want to know in few words. The ones attracting the most opens and clicks are generally less than 50 characters.

Uniqueness- Having subject lines with a unique hook will persuade users to open the email. Subject lines with common words or clichés will most likely get no attention from recipients. On the other hand subject lines which poses a question or which has a humorous content to it, will entice recipients to learn more by opening the email.

Value Proposition- A good subject line will offer value to the recipient. You need to let them know that by opening your email, they will be able to find out matter that interests them.

Personalization- Personalizing subject lines with recipient’s first or last name will help improve open rates.

Credibility– Spelling and grammar mistakes in your email subject line will harm your credibility. Such mistakes could result your email to end up in the trash bin before it is even read.

There is lot of time spent on creating dynamic email content for marketing your emails, so don’t let an ineffective subject line ruin your chances of getting them read. An innovative subject line will go a long way in increasing your open and click through rates.

Defining success of a subject line is another key question. Many marketers consider open rate as the most important metric to consider while rating a subject line, however focusing only on open rates for subject line tests would be a mistake. The overall objective of the campaign needs to be considered before making decisions based on the metric. The following metrics can be leveraged to define success of a subject line:

  • Open Rate: This metric is considered when the intention of campaigns is to raise awareness. Open rates is an ideal metric for maximising subscriber impressions. Unique opens indicates the overall reach of a campaign whereas total opens gives perspective on whether recipients are opening the email more than once.
  • Click Rate: Focus on click rate when the goal of the campaign is to drive traffic to the destination pages. Unique clicks indicates the recipient’s exposure to the website and landing pages whereas total clicks gives a good indication of how engaged the subscriber is.
  • Click to Open Rate: This metric determines whether the traffic coming into the email was qualified and engaged. High rates indicate that well qualified subscribers are engaged.
  • Conversion Rate: A high conversion rate for a subject line indicates driving high quality traffic to the website. Testing for conversion rate ensures the right subscribers are engaging with the email.

The Goal of all subject lines is to drive subscriber engagement, but one needs to also review metrics that indicates subscriber dissatisfaction. For example subject lines which drive more opens but also contribute in having a high number of unsubscribes may strain relations with both the subscribers and ISPs. These problems should be carefully reviewed to avoid long lasting and detrimental effects for email campaigns.

Jose Stevenson

Business Analyst

Kenscio Digital

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What would be the Major Internet Marketing Trends for 2016?

We must begin looking towards the trends we can expect to see in the coming calendar year.

Here are few forecasts for the ruling search engines like google, changes in mobile traffic, as well as the forecast trends for social networks such as Instagram and YouTube.

Kenscio - Digital Marketing company

Search Engines:

As of October 2015, Google led the explicit core search market with 63.9 percent market share, followed by Microsoft Sites with 20.8 percent and Yahoo Sites with 12.5 percent of all search engine traffic. Ask Network accounted for 1.7 percent of explicit core searches. With no surprise to anyone, Google should continue to rule the search engine competition in 2016, and in the years to come, unless another search engine rolls out a game-changing strategy that none of us were able to see coming.

Mobile vs. Desktop Traffic:

Mobile now represents an impressive amount of online traffic. In 2015, mobile traffic surpassed the quantity of visits from the desktop, marking the turning point on the way to mobile dominance for Google. The algorithm update that Google rolled out this year that penalizes sites that aren’t optimized for mobile will only cause this trend to increase. This mobile trend will only dominate more of the online activity of consumers, who are using their tablets and smartphones.

Social Networking:

Social media platforms are eating every other traffic source’s lunch. Formerly, organic search (i.e. Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) made up the lion’s share of overall visits to sites. So, it became the lovechild of the World Wide Web. Overall, 73 percent of internet users had, at least, one social networking profile in 2015, which is a huge increase from the 48 percent of users that had a profile on 2010. The power of social networking is such that, the number of worldwide users is expected to reach some 2.5 billion by 2018.

Facebook:

Facebook currently dominates social network usage with 45.4 percent of the social networking market share. Facebook traffic is expected to hold a similar percentage of the market share in 2016 in North America, but will continue to gain users in new regions, especially if they are able to break into the Chinese market as expected.

YouTube:

Social media marketing veterans have three top predictions for 2016: video, video and video. Next year will see a greater emphasis on video marketing, streaming video. YouTube currently holds 22.2 percent of the social networking market share, which is a share they may struggle to maintain with all the new video based social networking options that have rolled out in the last few years. One of the ways they are hoping to increase the number of visitors is through YouTube Red, which is a new paid version of YouTube. There has been some scepticism as to whether YouTube users will be willing to pay for a service they have been using for so many years for free, but YouTube is betting on the increased quality of videos, as well as expanded options such as downloading videos, to entice users to buy the service.

Twitter:

Twitter is 10 years old along the way, it has grown and evolved. Twitter has rolled out a lot of major changes this year, including the curated Moments, Native Video Ads, and Embedded Grid, feed, tweet collections, and polls. In spite of these moves, Twitter’s growth was slow in 2015, with only a rise of 11 %, for an overall market share of 4.8 %. Twitter is likely to continue to try new ways to increase their market share in 2016 with new features such as allowing tweets to be edited, offering new emoji tools, enhanced engagement options for events (such as customized emoji’s), and continuing to encourage those with customer service questions to turn to Twitter as opposed to reaching out to companies via other avenues.

Reddit:

The famous online community Reddit, which was launched in 2005, has around 200 million active users each month. Reddit currently accounts for 4.45% of social networking traffic, making it the third most popular social networking site behind YouTube.  Reddit is currently making preparations for a mobile website by testing a beta version of an Android app. It is the first step before the official launch of the app at the beginning of 2016.

Pinterest:

Pinterest had the 2nd largest driver of traffic from social media sites with a 31 % usage rate, but only accounts for 1.34 percent of the market share. When it comes to referral traffic from social networks, there’s Facebook and Pinterest – and then there’s everyone else”. According to a new study by Piqora, a pin generates an average of 78 cents in sales. Acknowledge the fact that a majority of (nearly 80%) Pinterest users are women and 92% of pins are also made by them.  As of the second quarter of 2015, U.S. consumers were more satisfied with Pinterest than any other social networking site, which bodes well for its growth in 2016.

LinkedIn:

The world’s largest professional network on the Internet – LinkedIn holding 1.34 percent of market share, as there is no real competitor in the business networking space. LinkedIn is expected to roll out better ways for recruiters to utilize their data in 2016, which could possibly slightly increase the number of people using LinkedIn to search for employment.

Instagram:

Instagram seeing the fastest year-over-year growth of all the platforms. Experts’ estimate 89 % of marketers will use social networks to increase the visibility of their brands and products by the end of next year. It currently has 1.32 percent of the market share, although that may drop slightly as Instagram rolls out more ads in 2016.

Overall, it looks like there shouldn’t be a big shake-up in market share across search engines or social networking sites, although there are a lot of new features rolling out which could prove to be big game changers.

 

Nikhita

SEO Lead,

Kenscio Digital

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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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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

 

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Real time, Contextual, Agile email marketing with live content in campaigns

There is a lot of news today about email marketing campaigns which can deliver content live from websites and social media based on the recipient behaviour at the time of opening the email, location and device. Delivering such live content in real time and context provides exciting and engaging opportunities for marketers to connect with the recipients and drive them towards further actions.

With such engaging campaigns with live contextual real-time content in email, marketers are seeing higher CTR (click through rate is a measure of clicks generated over the impressions served). As the ROI is a direct measure of CTR, higher CTR will result in higher clicks for the same number of impressions.

From a simple count down or count up timer to drive urgency in recipients, to much more engaging real time or dynamic offers based on recipient behaviour, the email marketing is becoming is much agile in nature rather than static personalisation at the time of sending email.

Recommendations of the products based on location, weather, or offer on the site coupled with recipient behaviour is a much higher value proposition for marketers based on history of all aspects of the recipient data.  Earlier this was possible directly on the web, instead on email owing to complications in serving dynamic content in email.  Several companies are able to deliver this now, including Kenscio.

Real-time content can be fun as well as it can bring in gamification to the  email and social feeds from twitter, Facebook, instagram and such directly to email.  This is lot more engaging to the recipients as they can see live content  that is as fresh instead of stale content, when they see.

Kenscio provides all this fun now in email marketing campaigns. Think of such a situation and give us a call. We are happy to provide a solution.

Visit Kenscio’s Real Time Personalization website http://www.kenscio.com/real-time.php for all the innovations in serving contextual content live in your next email campaign.

 

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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.

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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.

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Why Add-to-Address book instruction is very important in your email communication?

You might have seen in the email newsletters you receive that there is a message at the top asking you  “please add our sender address info@xyz.com to your address book”. Do you know the importance of this message?

It is known that ISPs like yahoo, gmail, hotmail, and etc. have spam filters which will filter mails from reaching your inbox.  These junk or spam filters as often called run a variety of algorithms to check if the mail is needed by you and hence should be put in inbox. If not, they should be placed in junk or spam folder thereby saving your time and botheration.

These spam or junk filters work on message content, sender’s reputation, and your own actions on such messages in the past based on who sent it, subject line of the message, or whether the sender id of the message is in your address book etc.These filters sometime give higher priority to your actions than their generic rules.

Moreover some ISPs like Yahoo and AOL display images in the messages automatically if the sender address is in your address book. Spam email killer Services like Boxbee which works with several ISPs automatically deliver emails to inbox, if the message sender address is in your address book, else the mail will end up either in junk or spam folder.

Gmail spam filter work on how do you interact with the sender message in the past from opening, clicking, responding to the message and seeing the sender address in your address book or contact list to prioritize the message delivery to inbox vis-a-vis to junk or spam folder.

Understanding these issues, most of the smart marketers today have a strong call to action to advice their customers to add their sender address to their address books, so that their messages will be seen more in inbox.  The customers can then take subsequent actions of opening and clicking.

However there is a bigger challenge in educating the customers on how to add the sender address to their address books or contact lists. Each of the ISPs has their own ways to adding the sender address to the address book or contact list.

Kenscio Digital has come with an exhaustive guide to assist customers to add the sender address to the address book or contact list.  Click the link below to find the detailed instructions.  Marketers can insert this link in the message to advice their customers on how to add their sender address to their address book or contact list.

http://www.kenscio.com/whitelist-safe-sender-instructions.php

Also, if you find email from senderaddress@senderdomain.com in your spam or junk folder, please take that opportunity to tell your mail program that it is not spam by hitting the “not spam”, “not junk” or similar button, as that will train your program to whitelist it.

Happy inboxing!

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Found a Crystal Ball yet?

If you are an email marketer you might have started to believe in destiny. With ISPs headstrong to tighten their policies for bulk senders, rubbing the good ol crystal ball and hoping for the best might seem like a good option. We don’t know much about crystal balls but can sure share some good practices that can help you control the destiny of your email communication.

Gmail has listed a set of guidelines and best practices for Email Marketers, when followed should yield favorable results.

Guidelines for Email Marketers

“The way Gmail classifies spam depends heavily on reports from our users. Gmail users can mark and unmark any message as spam, at any time. To increase the inbox delivery rate of your messages, make sure that all recipients on your distribution lists actually want to receive the mail.” – GMAIL

Presuming you do everything by the book i.e. ensure users opt-in to receive your messages, honor un-subscription, follow the best practices for HTML design, monitor bounces, and ensure your subscribers engage with you and so on; you should not need a crystal ball (or Aladdin’s lamp for that matter). That being said, you can request your faithful subscribers to white-list you!

Being white-listed by subscribers ensures:

1. Your mails almost always lands in their in-boxes.

2. Your reputation with ISPs is significantly improved, so consequently your deliverability improves even for the subscribers who have not white-listed you.

We have listed a set of step by step instructions that you can email to your subscribers and request them to white-list you:

White-Listing Instructions

To ensure the success of this exercise you may consider offering incentives!

 

To learn more feel free to get in touch.

Geetika@kenscio.com

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