3 Benefits of Email Preference Center Will Make You Want to Start Now

Have you set up your Email Preference center yet?

Most marketers look at the concept of an email preference center as an unnecessary part of their email marketing activities, and frankly some view it as a waste of resources. But in our privacy-conscious world, and contrary to what many people think, a Preference Center can give you peace of mind. Without these centers, marketers cannot get a self-reported and even comprehensive set of insights and information on their targeted customers. Nor can they identify if they are interested in their products, newsletter, periodic updates content, or other offers.

Here are a few things about email preference centers that can help you to move forward with one – what it is, how it works and how an email preference center can help boost the performance of your email marketing campaigns. In short: a simple way to improve your long-term client relationships.

First things first: Define the email preference center

An email preference center, or a subscription center, should be the first part of an email registration process, because of the unobtrusive way it can help collect information from your targeted customers.

It is a check point where email subscribers can update data about themselves, including their own preferences in receiving emails. By offering this kind of choice, you enable your subscribers to take control over the type of content and information they want to receive from you. Also, they are given choices to decide their preferred frequency in which they want to receive mails and how many mails they want to receive. That will give marketers with useful insights about their prospects, which they can use to personalize campaigns and customize messages, based on subscribers’ preferences, leaving overall powerful impacts on their email campaigns.

For an in-depth look at how an email preference center can benefit and empower your ongoing email campaigns, scroll down and check out these bullets on the advantages of setting up an email preference center.

Benefits of email preference center

1. Lessen incidences of unsubscribes and spam reports:

Often marketers have no idea why their subscribers choose to unsubscribe from their email lists – but with an email preference center, they can collect information on why prospects are unsubscribing from their campaigns. In addition to that, an email preference center also helps marketers by giving alternatives to their subscribers who are contemplating unsubscribing, giving them reasons to keep the relationship at least somewhat intact.

Broadly speaking, there are three things your subscribers do to exclude themselves from your email list and these are

  • unsubscribing from the list

  • managing their email preferences

  • reporting your email address as spam.

With an email preference center, and a “manage your preferences” option, you take a powerful pre-emptive step so that they are far away from clicking the ‘Report as spam’ button. That option to regulate how many or frequently they will receive your communications, and the type of content and information they want to receive, is powerful preventive medicine.

2. Showcase your email offerings:

Another major benefit of having an email preference center is to be able to showcase marketers’ email offers and content. If you have multiple email lists, then take advantage of an email preference center to make your subscribers aware of your multiple email lists. Email preference centers not only allow subscribers to unsubscribe but also, choose the email lists they are interested in to get periodic updates and newsletters. Thus, they can select their preferred and most relevant email list and communications.

Here one thing you need to make sure of: you must have adequate content ready for every email list you have created to maintain a steady flow of good quantity and quality of content for your subscribers. For example, if your subscribers prefer tips and tricks or DIY type of content, make sure you have enough relevant content of that type. Similarly, if you let them choose lists by their professional profile, roles or industry, your content inventory must feed them with relevant content useful for those profiles and industries.

3. Get help in segmentation:

Email preference centers are of great help in segmenting prospects and targeted customers. These centers free marketers from doing the guesswork for their email marketing campaigns by enabling them to give their subscribers choices and personalize campaigns based on their insights on their preferences.

Based on subscribers’ email preferences, it becomes easier to accurately segment them and deliver personalized campaigns to keep subscribers engaged and take actions as stated by CTA. For example, you can create email preference center similar to Groupon which has categorized their centers based on multiple factors that are location, notifications, and types of deals.

Other factors that you can consider for creating email preference center and delivering personalized emails can be –

Type of messages:

Use email preference center to allow your subscribers to self-select their choice of content they want to receive and engage with. By this, we mean that let your subscribers choose topics of content, offers that attract them the most, type of news and their choice of new product updates which will bring them closer to your product and service lineup. Thus, you can target better with an email preference center by sending them customized promotions and product announcements and in return, you will decrease high attrition rates of your subscribers.

Frequency options:

Build an email preference center which gives you the ability to regulate the frequency with which your subscribers want to receive emails from you. That way, you can reduce the risks that your subscribers will become annoyed with too many emails and eventually unsubscribe from the list.

If they have a choice to set frequency, they can now receive emails at their preferred intervals. In the same way, you can use their frequency choice information to set the right timing and automate campaigns accordingly. This insight about frequency can help you determine how many emails they want to receive as double assurance that they won’t hit the “unsubscribe” button down the road.

Preferred channels:

An email preference center will also allow your subscribers to set their preferred channel through which they want to receive content, engage with your brand, and communicate with your campaigns, letting them self-select from various channels such as, websites, email campaigns, social media channels, mobile, paid ads etc.

This way, you can not only reduce bounce rates and complaints about your campaigns, but you can improve engagement rates, email deliverability, and sender reputation with most Internet Service Providers.

Formatting:

Email experts repeatedly recommend this email best practice which is to allow subscribers to choose desired format of emails. And it is another major benefit of email preference center that it lets prospects to choose if they want to receive emails in their preferred version such as, mobile, HTML or text. Thus, you can deliver emails to your subscribers in their preferred readable format and increase engagement with your emails.

Address update:

These email preference centers or subscription centers are extremely beneficial for both subscribers and marketers, also by easing the address update process with the email list. For many reasons, subscribers may want to change their address whether they have relocated, changed of jobs, etc. An email preference center allows updating their contact address, without much difficulty. This can include information such as physical residential address, email address, home phone numbers, work phone numbers and mobile numbers. It greatly helps marketers to stay updated of their prospects and marketers contact details effortlessly.

An email preference center is imperative to enhance your personalization, relevance, email deliverability, and engagement. As well, it will decrease bounce rates, unsubscribe rates, spam reports, complaints and the possibility that you will get stuck with a negative sender reputation.

Now, the question is what type of email preference centers do your email marketing campaigns require? Find out which kind of email preference centers you need, how to create and dos and don’ts to remember while building here – Types of Email Preference Center – Dos and Don’ts of Subscription Centers.

If you’d like some expert professional guidance and assistance to set up a Preference Center, let us know. Call us at (408) 502 6765 or connect and chat with us via social channels Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn – we have it all you need.

10 Good as Gold Email Marketing Tips, Strategies and Best Practices from Industry Experts

A study conducted by eConsultancy on the impact of and dependency on email marketing campaigns in the last year concluded that email is still considered an essential channel for driving revenue growth. About 73 percent survey respondents have claimed this marketing approach as an “Excellent” or “Good” strategy to generate higher returns on their investments in marketing efforts. Additionally, many other studies concluded facts that support efficacy of email including –

  • According ExactTarget, 91% of users keep a tab on their inbox regularly.

  • According to McKinsey & Company, email marketing helps about 40 times more in new customer acquisition than campaigns on Facebook and Twitter.

  • Similarly, a study by Forrester Research has revealed that businesses using email marketing as a lead nurturing strategy help produce 50% more sales-ready, qualified leads at 1/3 less of the marketing costs.

Email marketing as a strategy is far from being abandoned by marketers, and email is still used as one of the key marketing strategies for lead and revenue generation. That’s why we have compiled these 10 “good-as-gold” email marketing tips, ideas, strategies and best practices – as followed by top-notch industry experts – to help you devise the best strategy for your campaign.

1. John Rampton from JohnRampton.com

John Rampton recommends –

“Try sending sales emails on Thursday night at 9PM Pacific. This pings our prospects when they are either in bed or getting ready for bed on the night before Friday: pay day. We’ve found that our prospects are 4x more likely to buy on Thursday night over any other night.”

2. Hiten Shah from Crazy Egg and KISSmetrics

Hiten Shah recommends –

“When I link to content in an email I always try to put my spin on it and provide an opinion. When I don’t do that, I noticed a substantial decline in clicks and even get emails from people requesting I add my opinion back in.

3. Devesh Khanal from Grow and Convert

Devesh Khanal recommends –

“Email is not just for sales and information — it’s also for entertainment. This is something very few brands do and it can cost you enormous revenue that is slowly lost as weeks, months, and years go buy and your stale emails get opened less and less.

I see two types of emails: (1) The sales email — enough said. (2) The “look we’re giving value!” email.

While (2) is important and should indeed be the core of your email marketing, I’ve noticed that masterful brands also include entertainment, fun, humor, and engaging stories in their emails. They include funny links, a personal story, a fun user story, a gif, or anything else to make reading the email pure fun.”

4. Chris Davis from Automation Bridge

Chris Davis recommends –

“Manage your own opt-in process by using tags instead of the built-in double opt-in most email marketing platforms provide by default.

By doing so you can set the exact criteria for what a confirmed contact is and have full control over your list’s hygiene.”

5. Jordie van Rijn from EmailMonday

Jordie van Rijn recommends –

“Before starting, write the main message down in a compressed version with your subject matter and benefits to the reader. Then add the “why now” and “what’s next.” This will help you to define your angle, structure your message and make your email more clear overall.

Exclusive Bonus: Click here to get these tips in a cheat sheet to read later.”

6. Kevan Lee from Buffer

Kevin Lee recommends –

“Number your newsletters. When I run a weekly/monthly newsletter, I like to treat it like a new issue of a publication. I’ll give it a number (e.g., “Issue #37 – Blogging Tips of the Pros”), which does a couple of things: 1) Helps build a bit of momentum in the mind of the reader who sees these emails as an ongoing series that they don’t want to miss (psychology!), 2) Helps establish an air of authority and consistency, if the issue number is high, and 3) is pretty catchy in the inbox.”

7. Matt Antonino from Stack Digital

Matt Antonino recommends –

“Prioritize sending regular emails. It’s not necessarily fun to spend a couple of hours setting up abandoned cart emails, creating that weekly tips newsletter, or starting to outline your nurture stream, but the results are worth it. Social media is the ‘fun’ marketing channel but email done right is the ‘money’ channel.”

8. Peep Laja from ConversionXL

Peep Laja recommends –

“Test your offer. The most important factor for getting more people to opt in to your email list is your offer – how compelling the value proposition is. The actual offer itself and the way you present it (copy + design) can make a huge difference. The offer needs to be relevant to your audience, create curiosity and offer instant gratification. Run lots of tests to find the right one.”

9. Joe Stych from Zapier

Joe Stych recommends –

“Don’t over-promise or mislead your subscribers just to get a click. Remember that the best way to build a list is to build trust—provide value in every message and the rest will take care of itself.”

10. Steli Efti from Close.io

Steli Efti recommends –

“Segment out subscribers that haven’t engaged with your recent emails and send them another email telling them you’re breaking up with them if they don’t respond.

Use a subject line that makes this very clear: “This is the last time you’ll hear from me …” / “I’ll never email you again, unless …” and then in the email ask them to click a link to re-confirm that they want to keep receiving your emails. You’ll maintain a much more engaged, focused and valuable subscriber base.”

Bonus tip: Noah Kagan from SumoMe

“Here’s how you can easily increase your email open rates by 30%. I call it “Double Opens.”

Step 1. Take an email you’ve already sent and change the subject line to something new

Step 2. Email it out a week later JUST TO YOUR NON-OPENS

You might think you have a great email open rate – but the fact is, 50%+ of people are NOT opening your emails.

With my first re-send, I got an extra 7,028 people to read my email, in just 1 minute of work.”

Have questions, or need some help in maximizing your email potential? Call us at (408) 502 6765 or contact us via our Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn to get some fast answers.

How to Create Compelling Apology Emails That Saves from ‘Oops” Email Marketing Mistakes?

The “err is to human” applies to email marketers as much as to anyone else. However, every error lends itself to learning valuable lessons and the possibility of making amends, too and sometimes strengthening the relationship beyond what it would have been if the error had not been made).

One of these “instant fixes” is to offer apology emails to your recipients before the proverbial milk has been spilled over your email assets. However, not all types of email mistakes are severe enough to be braced with a heartfelt apology. Then, when and which kinds of email mistakes need apology emails? How do you craft the most effective apology email that will remedy your accidental errors and save your sender’s reputation? Here is how – keep calm and scroll down!

Apology mails must be a calculated step… not impulsive

If your subscribers are annoyed with the first email error, sending another email back to back could worsen the situation. Instead of sending an instant apology email impulsively, ask yourself these questions to evaluate when you should send an apology mail –

  • Do you think readers will be upset without an apology email?

  • Was the mistake or the misrepresentation of data bad enough to impact bounce rates of your email campaign?

  • Is there a risk of getting your email reported as spam?

If your response to these questions is a “yes”, then you need to consider what kind of email mistake it was and to write an apology mail to remedy the exact pain point.

Accidental typos

Typos are inevitable, and especially difficult when it stands out prominently in your email. Even worse, such shoddy email mistakes could be highlighted by your readers as they would feel tempted to catch it. So, an apology email admitting the typo before they point it out can help you retain your dignity. Moreover, this act of transparency and sincere explanation to acknowledge the mistake on your part will reinforce your customers’ credibility in your brand.

Wrong or invalid offers

Did you just make an offer to your subscribers that they cannot opt for? If you have just sent an offer to a wrong segment of audience or sent out an offer which has already expired can trigger feeling of exasperation – the more lucrative the offer it is, the more irritated your readers can be. In such situations, a heartfelt apology with must be set in motion immediately to deal with the disappointment to prevent further piling up of distrust.

Humor gone awry

If your hilarious email has just hit the wrong note, you can still save your email marketing campaign with an email that makes an admission of guilt. Hence, when you are too tempted to place a humorous email or play prank on your readers during April Fool’s Day or Halloween, take caution while writing your emails so that your campaigns do not stir up panic.

Jokes may take an unpleasant turn to become offensive, to be seen in bad taste, or something to cause anxiety – these email mistakes should inevitably be followed with an earnest email to quiet the confusion. Make sure the apology email will answer all the questions and anxieties which may probably cloud your readers’ minds. Better still, invest a lot of caution and evaluate your email copy beforehand to avoid the commotion caused by your humor.

Misrepresentation of data or incomplete data

Catching every small data error could be too much of a task to keep up with – possibly causing errors that could be daunting and prone to slip ups. In case you have inadvertently skipped any detail which can end up sending the wrong information for your subscribers, you need to be ready with an apology email. Marketers need to take immediate actions to fill the void and share required data by creating an apology email.

If possible, write this email with more personal touches that will make your readers empathize with you and as clear as possible to not to leave any stones unturned. Personal emails will not make your subscribers feel that they got blasted with another email after an erroneous one and you may also go an extra length to add some frills to the offers to compensate the inconvenience caused – chances are your customers would remember the special offer or the privilege while the mistake would fade from their memory.

How about some killer design tips to make the most of your apology email?

  1. The first rule of writing a creating an apology is to be clear, specific and concise about the email goof up and the correction. Be up front and take ownership of the email mistake you made to ensure all your subscribers’ confusions are addressed and clarified and why they received another email. In order to avoid the confusion,

  1. Use the word “CORRECTION” in the subject line so that your recipients will know what the email is about and want to click to open to know the details.

  2. Make sure you begin the email copy with an “APOLOGY” stated at the top of the email is opened to make your earnest apology known and set the message clear.

 

  1. You can make good use of humility and humor to lighten the severity of the situation or the uproar caused by the email mistake. At the same time, you can include emotion in your voice to make the apology sound more human, expressive and personal.

  2. In addition to the expression, you should focus on the solution you can offer to compensate the inconvenience and dissolve your email recipients’ anxiety. Write a simple, short and sweet apology and correction. It will enable you to elaborate the offer you make in exchange, enable your subscribers to better understand the solution and retain their confidence in your brand, despite the email blunder. For this, you can create an email copy stating “PROBLEM SOLVED”, place it in a large frame and position the frame on the top or in the centre.

If you need to use the defense of an apology email, then say it as quickly as possible before your irate subscribers catch the situation, fire you with an email demanding explanation, share the email mishap on social media or even worse, report you as spam.

Do you need help with the template, design or automation of apology emails for your email or nurturing program? Call our email marketing or email automation experts at (408) 502 6765, or chat with us via Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Why Upgrade to Marketing Automation?

Where do exactly email service providers fall short? Where do marketers need to upgrade to a more robust marketing platform? We have outlined some of the factors that may require you to upgrade to marketing automation.

What makes an email marketing campaign most engaging?

 

There are five factors that determine engagement level of email marketing campaigns and successful – these include:

1. Email must be made a credible communication:

Your email communications must be able to meet your subscribers’ expectations and relate their with your products/services – and consistency is the key in meeting subscribers’ needs and preferences.

2. Relevant communications

Only relevant email marketing campaigns will keep your audience hooked to your mails and increase their interest to open mails every time you trigger. So you need to inevitably deliver the right message or content, at the right time, to right audience, tailored to their interests.

3. More conversational, less promotional

Conversational email messages entice and engage customers more than batch and blast email marketing campaigns. Conversational messages strike a chord with the targeted prospects and buyers who find these emails more personalized and less promotional. That’s why marketers need to build their campaigns around the kind of conversational, personalized engagement programs than the typical kinds of batch and blast campaigns that email service providers (ESPs) and vendors offer. These lack the functionalities to enable marketers to initiate one-to-one communication. Though ESPs allow customization, two-way communications with consumers are not easy (and frequently not enabled) with these email marketing services.

4. Multi-channel communication

Make sure your emails are not standalone assets but, well-synced to other channels of communications, such as landing pages, web ads, social channels, banner ads and other channels and other mode of your interactions with your prospects and buyers. With prospects and buyers exploring diverse channels to seek information before they make a purchase, marketers also need to integrate cross-channel interactions with their email communications – traditional email service providers enable only a small level of integration with social channels, but all fail to integrate comprehensive cross-channel marketing communications.

5. In-depth insights

Make sure you have the right metrics in place to monitor and measure performance and effectiveness of email marketing campaigns. Many email service providers tie their comprehensive analytics and measurable metrics to expensive packages that most marketers cannot make use of these must-haves of email campaign musts.

On the other hand …

There are other reasons why vendors fail to create engaging email campaigns include their failure to deliver relevant solutions. Though ESPs may take into account the demographics of your targeted audience, they often overlook buyers’ behaviors and actions when they engage with information, any site or any offline sources. In that way, email service providers fail to connect, engage and establish relations with either new or existing customers.

This lack of automation functionalities is another limitation of email service providers which lead marketers to upgrade to email marketing automation platform. For example, for an event follow-up campaign with email service providers, you need to create two different campaigns, subscribers who attended and who have not attended by manually gathering information, since ESPs do not accumulate such data and send two different mails for both types of subscribers.

With so much valuable time wasted, why not repurpose it and use it to create fresh new strategies and content to engage those who have not attended your events?

So, what do you get with marketing automation?

Marketing automation platforms enable different types of email marketing campaigns, whether batch and blast, personalized campaigns, or real-time campaigns. The wide range of email marketing functionalities of marketing automation that ESPs do not offer include online forms, behavior tracking, social marketing, customer retention, landing pages, event management, campaign management, analytics, CRM integration, cross-selling and upselling, lead generation, lead scoring, lead management, relationship marketing and many more.

Additionally, marketing automation saves time and resources with automated and timely delivery by cutting down manual processes. The improved customer engagement combined with relevant content and messaging really helps accelerate revenue growth.

Need more reasons why upgrade to marketing automation from email service providers?

Here are four reasons:

1. Behavioral Targeting:

Behavioral Targeting is a must, to conduct more relevant email marketing campaigns. Marketing automation enables marketers to segment audience by building behavioral lists. These lists can incorporate data on demographics, browsing activities, history of social sharing, online purchase and transactional among others.

2. Customer relation boosting conversation:

Marketing automation lets marketers track where each prospect and buyer stands in the relationship with the business and lets them send relevant messages to their customers based on that analysis. In this way, marketers can optimize their conversations, which can last through stages of buying cycle and after purchase.

3. Comprehensive analytics:

Strategic and comprehensive analytics with marketing automation provides in-depth analysis of effectiveness of the campaign and scope of revenue growth from campaigns. This email marketing platform brings much more than open rates, bounce rates and click through rates to present essential tools that help understand marketers’ needs to measure engagement, scope of purchase, retention and various revenue metrics to measure the goal of the campaign.

4. Cross-channel Campaigns:

The cross-channel campaign functionalities of marketing automation platforms enable marketers to trace their prospects and buyers across various channels of digital marketing as they hop from one to another, in search of information. This email marketing allows companies to monitor their customers’ behaviors and activities on different channels and optimize campaigns according to the demographics, behavior, transaction history, social media usage, mobile usage, responses to ads and many others.

Additionally, a marketing automation platform puts its users many steps ahead of those who rely on simple email service providers by presenting a comprehensive lead management tools to score, nurture, manage and convert their leads into buyers. So, if you are stuck with your email service providers, you can lose your business to competitors who have already upgraded to abmarketing automation platform.

Are you thinking of upgrading to marketing automation? We can help you to assess your needs, and to assess what type of marketing automation program might work best for you. Call us at (408) 502 6765 or contact us via our social channels Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Do’s and Don’ts of Email Designs to Avoid Pitfalls and Increase Subscribers

All marketers, whether they hail from B2C or B2B market, have a thing for email marketing. Though the digital space of targeted recipients’ inboxes have thrown them challenges from time to time, one of the most desired prizes in marketing is to carve a space there for a long time to come, if not permanently or as long as users are using that account. But competing for a space in inboxes and establishing a long-term association with subscribers is not a cakewalk, given their inboxes are always cramped with mails from different sources – personal circles, work and job search, social updates, forum updates, updates from multiple accounts that of banks, voice connection, data connections, credit cards, and of course, there are thousands of marketers (including your competitors) with their sweet offers, promotions and product updates.

What gets your email clicked and (God forbid) ignored?

Then, which part of an email or newsletter will prompt targeted audience to click and read your mails? What are the email design best practices and must-do things that marketers need to learn to get clicked, opened, clicked-through, and if all things go well, get them decide to make purchase? Similarly, which elements will drive off potential prospects even when they have decided to share their email address? Marketers and businesses end up spending A LOT before they figure out the ultimate mantras of email design – do’s and don’ts of email design that crack the deal and get on the road to email marketing success. Because we’re asked all the time for these kinds of best practices, we have taken the initiative to jot down some winning and losing points of email design with a bunch of dos and don’ts you don’t that want to miss and let your competitors taking advantage of. So let’s get started – first do’s of email designs.

Dos of Email Design

  1. Do make sure that you have done all the email design and styling using inline style attributes within the tags of the email copy content – that is within “<p style=”border:2px solid #db00 font-size:11px>”.

  1. Do try to strike a balanced ratio between image and text ratio since spam filter tools scan mails by this text-to-image ratio to check if a mail has too many images or too much texts – too much of both the element will prompt filters to report as spam

  1. Do keep it simple by using reader-friendly, light background colors instead of using images as background. At the same time, you need to also check how your email will appear on a white background when the background color or image will not load.

  1. Do keep a backup version of your email ready when recipients will face issue in loading image-rich emails – so that you can ensure your mails will load with a colored background instead of an image. HTML will enable designers to include both image and color code under the same tag. So even though images don’t appear, the emails will load with your chosen colorsthan.

  1. Do make sure that subscribers can open the link of the videos on your site from the email. You can include an image with the red, triangular play button (like you see on YouTube before the video plays) on the email and link it with the video in your site.

Don’ts of Email Design

  1. Don’t forget to use a table format in your email to keep multiple sections of your body content distinctive and clear. Also, don’t cram your email with too much content to repel your targeted readers. Content that is brief, well-sectioned and divided into various sections will allow readers to navigate and read content easily. You can simply add hyperlinks to different sections to the content on the landing page, making easier for readers to choose what they want to read.

  2. Don’t forget to place a call to action button – but before planting a call-to-action button, consider what you want them to do – whether to click a hyperlink, download a whitepaper or e-book, join a cause or an event or get product update information. The best place to place a call-to-action is to place it at the top of the email copy where all the eyeballs reach at first after loading the mail or even while the mail is still loading.

  3. Don’t create a top banner in all your email unless it is essential to incorporate in your promotional emails. Emails with top banners are usually marked as promotional and end up landing in the promotional tabs of email clients instead of the main inbox.

Now, it’s your turn – why don’t you share your secret tips in email design that are keeping you at the top of the email marketing game? We are keen to share with and learn from you – so, why don’t you let the cat out of the bag and brag your wisdom in the comments below?