Tag: measuring the success of email campaign

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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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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How to accurately measure the success of your email campaigns?

Part II of the article

Click Through Rate (CTR): This is a measure of the action of the recipient seeking more information by clicking the links embedded in the email message sent. This is a measure of the interest of the recipient. It doesn’t necessarily convert to a sale or registration, but it is a step closer.

It is defined as CTR

(Number of unique Emails clicked / (Number of Emails Sent – Number of Emails Bounced)) * 100%

Does your email marketing software or provider give you the measure of both total number of link clicks (for all links, by each link) in the message and unique number of clicks for each link. You should be considering the total number of unique clicks more than the total clicks because a recipient may be clicking the same link twice or thrice doesn’t mean anything for the marketer.
The industry standard benchmarks for the click through rates are between 2 to 3%. If you are getting better than these results through your current email marketing software or provider, you are doing great. If you are getting way too less, you should be seeking answers from your email marketing software or provider.

Strong call to action can greatly improve your click through rates.

 

Unsubscribe Rate: This is the number of unique email addresses that do not want further emails from you. They didn’t have an interest in your message so they unsubscribed. Unsubscribe rates are key to recognizing whether or not your content sucks. Just as important, though, is calculating when people unsubscribe. Perhaps it’s on the 2nd email or perhaps it’s the 4th… you need to
figure that out and ensure that you provide some great content, especially at danger points when people are more likely to unsubscribe.

It is defined as Unsubscribe Rate

(Number of Email Addresses who unsubscribed / (Number of Email Addresses Sent – Number of Email Addresses Bounced)) * 100%

Does your email marketing software provide you the details of unsubscriptions? Does it provide policies for setting the limit on the emails sent to each recipient irrespective of how many campaigns you may be doing? Does it provide policies to unsubscribe across multiple lists? If not, you are dealing with lot of manual effort in unsubscription and may be not effectively taking actions on
unsubscriptions. If you don’t take action on unsubscriptions quickly, your next email marketing campaign may be marked as SPAM by the recipient and complained to ISPs, which could hurt your reputation of being a good marketer.

 

Viral Rate: Hopefully you’ve got some viral component to your emails where they can be forwarded and measured. Don’t dismiss your viral rate… it’s a great way to acquire subscribers who stick as well as add additional revenue to a great campaign. You have to make sure that your method for Forwarding is simple, though.

It is defined as Viral Rate

(Number of Emails forwarded / (Number of Emails Sent – Number of Emails Bounced)) * 100%

Your email marketing software or provider should provide a mechanism to capture all of the forwarded email addresses for later analysis and targeting.

 

Conversions: This is the number of unique email addresses that ’registered’ or ‘bought’. For a retailer, this is pretty simple… it can be the actual registrations or dollar amount that resulted in a web site purchase. For other businesses, a conversion could be different, though. It might be how many people subscribed to your podcast if that’s the call to action. Watching your conversion rate will tell you how well you are ’selling’ your call to action.

It is defined as Conversion Rate

(Number of unique Emails resulting in a Conversion /(Number of Emails Sent – Number of Emails Bounced)) * 100%

This metrics depends on the earlier metrics. If the earlier metrics are good, naturally this metric will improve. This metric also depends on the marketer’s value proposition, attractiveness of the offer and meeting the needs of the customer.

 

Visual Reporting: Providing metrics like clicks visually on your HTML message itself, provides much greater visibility on the performance of your creative in the eyes of the recipients. The marketer can visualize where the interests of the recipients are more or appealing depending on the clicks. The marketer with this knowledge can optimize the creative further for future campaigns.

 

Time Distribution: Do you get to know how are your recipients reading your message over the different hours of the day or days of the week after the message was sent out? Can you recognize a pattern?

The marketing message is all about relevance and timing. Do you want send a campaign that sits in the recipient inbox for hours before they read? It would have lost its timing if it not sent at an appropriate time, when the recipient will have just an hour in the morning 10 AM to read all his personal mails. In today’s world, if your email is not in the first page, then it may not be read at all. With so much spam escaping filtering or irrelevant mails in the inbox, the marketer has to know the recipient reading and clicking behavior during the time of the day and day of the week. The marketer can appropriately time the message during the day or on a particular day.

 

Drill Down Reporting: Can you drill through the opens or clicks by domains, target attributes of the recipients like city, gender, etc., within the email platform itself, so that you can measure the performance of your marketing campaigns based on target attribute values?  Whether males perform for a marketing campaign vs females, or gmail users perform better vs yahoo or hotmail users?

If your email platform doesn’t provide such capabilities, then you would need to extract raw campaign reports in to an analytic system to get these metrics.  It will be an expensive and time consuming solution.

 

Hence working with an email marketing software or provider who provides all the relevant metrics for measuring the success of your email marketing campaigns is absolutely essential. The metrics provide you with all the data to measure the success and returns from your campaigns against the money you spent.

In the recession economy, it doesn’t make sense to waste your money and effort on executing marketing campaigns that doesn’t  yield results you need.

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How to accurately measure the success of your email campaigns?

Part I of the article.

Peter Drucker, the father of ‘modern management’ said ‘If you can’t measure, you can’t control it; if you can’t control, you can’t manage it”. If you can’t manage, you are simply wasting your effort and money both.

This is true with your email marketing campaigns. You are simply wasting your marketing budget down the drain, if you don’t measure the success of your email marketing campaigns! You may also be hurting your brand and reputation eventually!

How do you know if your email marketing program is working? How can you tell if your electronic communications are actually having the impact you hoped for? Is the work you’re putting in worth the effort? Email metrics can help you determine the effectiveness of your communications and fine tune them to improve their efficiency.

There are a number of ways of measuring the effectiveness of an email marketing campaign, and marketers would be best advised to use as many as possible. Campaigns can be made to work far better and executed with a much tighter focus, once we can establish who is interested and to what degree. A considered, cost-effective and result-oriented email campaign will incorporate as many of the suggested  metrics as possible.

Deliverability: This metric gives you the picture of how many emails were successfully sent out by your email marketing software or provider. Ideally you would need 100%. Practically no email marketing software or provider will guarantee 100% deliverability, because of many issues. The issues range from the hygiene of your list, ISP rejections and blockages, recipient’s inbox full, etc.

Deliverability is defined as

((Number of Email Addresses Sent – Number of Email Addresses Bounced) /Number of Email Addresses Sent) * 100%

If you are using a reputable email marketing solution or provider, you should be getting deliverability in excess of 95% to your opt-in list from the first campaign itself. The deliverability for successive campaigns should be in excess of 99%. If you are not getting these numbers, you should be seeking honest answers from your email marketing solution vendor or provider or the hygiene of your opt-in list.

Bounces are categorized into hard bounces or soft bounces.

A hard bounce is an email message that has been returned to the sender and is permanently undeliverable. Causes include invalid addresses (domain name doesn’t exist, typos, changed address, etc.) or the email recipient’s mail server has blocked your server. Servers will also interpret bounces differently, meaning a soft bounce on one server may be classified as a hard bounce on another.

A soft bounce is an email message that gets as far as the recipient’s mail server (it recognizes the address) but is bounced back undelivered before it gets to the intended recipient. A soft bounce might occur because the recipient’s mailbox is full, the server is down or swamped with messages, the message is too large or the user has abandoned the mailbox. Most email service providers will attempt to deliver the email regularly for a few days. If it is still undelivered, it becomes a hard bounce.

You should be checking if your email software marketing solution or provider

  1. Have capabilities to check the invalid email addresses even before sending them out?
  2. Allow defining policies for retrying sending again in case of soft bounce?
  3. Can export the hard bounce and soft bounce email addresses for further validation?

 

Detailed Domain Report: Just getting a consolidated report of emails delivered across all of the domains is not enough for a marketer. Marketer has to get a detailed report of the performance of the email marketing software on how many emails were sent successfully to each of the domains or ISPs (gmail, yahoo, msn, aol, rediff, etc.), how many were rejected and how many were blocked. If you don’t have visibility to these and your email marketing provider doesn’t provide them, your reputation will be badly hurt as you can’t take action on those proactively.

 

Spam Complaint Rate: As you may know, subscribers using many of the most popular web based email services like Yahoo, Hotmail and AOL have an option available at their fingertips to report messages they don’t want in their inbox.  This action is called a Spam Complaint. Spam Complaint Rate is the percentage of the number of such spam complaints to the number of emails sent from each email campaign.  This can be further categorized for each ISP.

This requires your email marketing software or provider has to work with the ISPs to get the spam complaint feedback loops (FBL). Most ISPs don’t entertain such requests, unless your email service provider meets certain requirements. If you don’t have visibility to spam complaints of your ISPs, your email marketing provider doesn’t provide them, your reputation will be badly hurt as you can’t take action on those proactively.

At any given point, your campaign’s spam complaint rate should below 0.1% at most. This is equivalent to 1 spam complaint per every 1000 emails sent to that ISP.

 

Opening Rate: This metric gives you the number of recipients who opened the email message. It is defined as

(Number of Emails Opened / (Number of Emails Sent – Number of Emails Bounced)) * 100%

Does your email marketing software or provider give you the measure of both total number of emails opened and unique number of recipient’ openings. You should be considering the total number unique openings more than the total openings because a recipient opening the same mail twice or thrice doesn’t mean anything for the marketer.

The industry standard benchmarks for the open rates should be more than 8%. If you are getting better than these results through your current email marketing software or provider, you are doing great. If you are getting way too less, you should be seeking answers from your email marketing software or provider.

Targeted lists and Relevant email communications can increase the open rates significantly. Marketers can also test multiple versions of the campaign (different appealing content, varying subject lines, highly personalized and individualized messages) to test audiences and sending the highly performing campaign to the target audience.

 

Look out for the Part II of this article on this blog.

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