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Guest Author for Madrivo

Website URL: http://www.madrivo.com

09
Oct 2017
In the game of email marketing, quantity and quality are often at odds. Advertisers want to grow email reach and affiliates want to grow commissions—so deliverable addresses are at a premium. At the same time, brands don’t want to be seen as “that company” (the one sending unwanted messages). And affiliates don’t want to risk their partnerships or their paychecks by generating massive amounts of email opt outs every month—so connecting with the right people is also crucial. The following tips will help your brand and your affiliates promote quantity and quality within email lists. Here’s the scoop: Be Honest with Opt In Mechanisms What’s the best way to minimize email opt outs? Start by being supremely honest in how you attract and compel new subscribers to join your mailing lists. Prospects should know exactly what they can expect to receive after offering up their email address. Here are two examples from the super-sleek cleaning brand, method (methodhome.com). Instead of just baiting visitors with a purchase discount, method clearly explains that entering an email address will also be a sign-up for the brand newsletter. They go on to list some typical content features in the newsletter, so visitors can decide if the exchange is worthwhile. In the second example, the email sign-up field offers even more newsletter content information: limited edition products, special coupons, green news, and more. Without these descriptors, subscribers might think they were signing up for discount codes only. Receiving a newsletter about product information or environmental news might frustrate them, lead to an immediate opt out, or even a SPAM complaint. Provide Proven Content Sharing high-quality, highly relevant content with your subscribers isn’t hard. But it does take practice, and a willingness to listen (i.e. test). Every company—from Bloomingdales to Bill’s Dog Grooming—has access to email management tools that can conduct split-test emails and segment lists, while monitoring open rates and click-throughs, etc. (And if you don’t, we know a great email service provider you should check out.) There’s no reason to guess anymore. You can take note of what has worked in the past based on recipients’ post-email behaviors or purchase histories. You can test different content formats, lengths, components, CTAs, etc. Stay tuned for a future blog post on all the various ways to test and optimize your email contentOffer Email Preference Options “It’s not you; it’s your constant interruptions,” said 90 percent of email opt outs… These are your customers, and they’re telling you something important. More often than not, unsubscribes are the result of too frequent emails, or content that isn’t targeted enough. You can help them (and keep them on your mailing lists) with some simple list management. We all know the drill about offering email preference options, right? But are you using preferences to their full potential? See how Old Navy creates the perfect balance between an accessible opt-out mechanism and additional choices that make subscribing more palatable. manage-email-unsubscribes.png Survey Your Unsubscribes Besides their frequency and irrelevance, your emails may be frustrating subscribers in other ways. You won’t know unless you ask. So try adding a brief question to your email opt-out page, something like this example from Ann Taylor: minimize-opt-outs.png For even more detailed insights, add an open field where opt outs can enter their own comments. One quick word of warning: let recipients complete your opt-out survey (or choose not to complete it) on the same page as your unsubscribe mechanism. Do not email survey questions separately, or position your survey as an extra layer between requesting an opt out and submitting the request. This sounds like a no-brainer, but some brands are still getting it wrong. Accept that Some Email Opt Outs Are Necessary They say that if you love something, you should let it go… and see if it comes back again. It makes good business sense to treat email subscribers the same way. People who don’t want to be on your email list are dead weight, at best; they’re potential SPAM complaints, at worst. You should always provide email preference options (alternatives to opting out, as per the advice above), but when subscribers actually say “no thanks,” let them go without a fight. Don’t require passwords to complete the opt-out process. Don’t send unsubscribe confirmation emails. Mainly, don’t be clingy. That way, you’ll preserve the overall relationship and improve your chances of engaging with them across other sales channels. Most important: don’t forget to track and manage opt outsfrom all email campaigns—as accurately and efficiently as possible. We’re always here to help if you have questions on that front. See how our opt-out management platform works.

This article was originally published on UnsubCentral.

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02
Oct 2017
    In the grand list of email marketing KPIs, deliverability - or inbox placement - is one of the fundamentals. To improve any of your other metrics - sales, conversions, clicks, opens - your message first has to land inside the subscriber’s inbox. To improve your inbox placement, follow these five best practices for managing your database:

1. Use subaccounts for email list segmentation

I have yet to meet an email marketing professional who is served well by sending all subscribers the same message. We all  segment email lists to a certain degree and keeping our email list clean is an art (and a science!) in and of itself. Many email marketers use subaccounts to manage different segments of their business. For example, an email marketing consultant may set up a subaccount for each client. A clientside email marketer may use subaccounts for transactional emails vs marketing messages. By using subaccounts for segmenting clients, business units, or mail streams, you can offer a different email marketing strategy to each subaccount. Personalizing your sending cadence, subject line and preview text strategy, sending domains, and other elements makes your messages more relevant to your subscribers and thus improves your reputation and deliverability. Start Your Free Trial

2. Use microsegmentation for higher placement in inboxes

There are many ways to slice your email database for better segmentation and improved deliverability. Consider segmenting by demographics (location, age, gender, education level), persona, or company information (for B2B email marketers). Or, you could segment by activity like past purchases, buying frequency, or content types that have interested your subscribers in the past. Doing so enables you to deliver the right message at the right time to the right person and leads to trust-building and loyal engagement.

3. Optimize ESP management

Often, inbox placement can be improved by optimizing IP routing. In other words, send messages to your most engaged users with the IPs with which you want to build credibility and create the best sender reputation. One surefire way to improve inbox placement overall is to match audience engagement with the chosen SMTP/ESP IP. You may find a need to switch ESPs or simply employ multiple ESP/SMTPs for maximum deliverability.

 4. Learn by tracking unsubscribes

In a previous post, we explored how unsubscribes are not to be feared because they have value that email marketers sometimes neglect. One benefit to having a very clear unsubscribe option is that it limits spam reports. When users who do not want to receive your messages unsub instead of marking as spam, your reputation remains intact and deliverability is not affected. Moreover, it has recently been proven that having more active subscribers improves inbox placement. Keeping only engaged subscribers on the list means you will inbox more messages. Thinking of your unsubscribe funnel as a journey will help you optimize it to better serve your users and help them customize their options to best serve them so that they remain engaged with your mailings.

5. Implement DMARC Authentication

Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance (DMARC) is an Internet standard authentication technology designed to ensure that senders are verified and authentic, thus diminishing inbox penetration for fraudsters. For example, using DMARC authentication, a receiving provider like Gmail can assure its users that that an email received from Ebay did indeed come from Ebay.com By implementing DMARC Authentication on your sending domain, you maintain a “gold standard” of authentic email marketing - in turn, the receiving ISP knows that your messages are protected by SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and/or DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) standards. This gives them the assurance that your emails are authentic, thus greatly increasing their ranking and reputation for inbox placement.

The Steps Toward Deliverability

Recognizing the importance of improving inbox placement is an important first step. Following best practices like email list segmentation, DMARC authentication, and all those listed above is the journey you need to follow to ensure your messages are inboxed so that they can be opened, clicked, converted, and sold!
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18
Sep 2017
The first step in optimizing an affiliate email marketing campaign is to engage in agile email marketing. By engaging agile principles you will: Anticipate your audience’s interests with relevant, dynamic content
  • Automate opt-in forms and unsubscribe requests
  • Use data to pinpoint content and iterate email campaigns
Read below for the basic principles and best practices for micro segmentation in affiliate email marketing and the easy third party integrations you can use to employ them.

Segmentation is a Starting Point

According to their recent article on segmentation, IBM found that segmented campaigns had “94.1 percent more click-through rates and 14.63 percent more opens than non-segmented campaigns.” Segmenting your audience by location, vocation, and interests is a no-brainer in today’s affiliate email marketing ecosystem. Most recipients are inundated with emails with subject lines like this:
  • Katerina, Your Business Cards Need a Makeover
  • 5 Entrepreneurship Tips for you, Deray
While personalization increases engagement and segmenting has measurable benefits over non-topically divided emails, the top affiliate email marketers are using micro segmentation to create dynamic, targeted content in emails that lead to increased clicks and conversions, and loyal email fans.

Advantages of Micro-Segmenting

Micro segmenting: layering segmented groups in a data-smart manner for optimization of available email marketing data to exponential ROI.
Targeted campaigns to groups with up to 150 customers had at least a $1.90 uplift per customer, while target groups of 1,500+ had an uplift of at most $0.50 (almost a 4:1 ratio).
The bottom line: micro segmenting in affiliate email marketing campaigns ROI has exponentially beneficial results for your bottom line.

The Best Micro Segmentation for your Campaigns

The more specific and relevant your content, the higher return on the investment of time and resources in sending an email. Here are four main areas to focus on in micro segmentation, recommended by Jordie van Rijn:
  • Geotargeting: Personalizing content based on location is a goldmine for affiliate email marketing with job search engines
  • Demographics: Age, gender, and occupation can determine a lot in terms of what a person is generally interested in, but needs to be layered with other segmentation to avoid broadly mis-calculating your audience
  • Psychographics: Values, attitudes, opinions
  • Behavior: Intent, buyer stage, life cycle stage, engagement (past, recent, opens, clicks, and other post click engagement data, areas of particular interest based on engagement data)
  • Cross Channel Marketing Data: from your website, social media, and other marketing channel data you might have on your clients that would determine the type of specific dynamic content they should receive 
Each of these segments aids in targeting your audience, but just as a missile uses velocity and temperature to hit its target, micro segmenting your list will help you hit just the right people with your affiliate email marketing campaigns.

Dynamic Content

Dynamic content is one of the more powerful and efficient tools marketers can employ to target micro-segments with tailored specific content for each micro-segment. For example, to target job-seekers, you might segment of all recipients who opened a job-offering campaign you sent them in the last week. That behavior (opening the previous message) may signal that they are actively looking for a job. That segment of active job seekers can still include 100K or maybe even a million subscribers. This is where dynamic content saves the day. With dynamic content, in the same campaign, you can serve tailored job listing content to a micro-segment of coders seeking programming jobs in San-Francisco, while another micro-segment of RNs seeking nursing jobs in Dallas gets a completely different set of job offerings in the very same campaign. In the end, your campaign to 100K subscribers might end up targeting 10K micro-segments in the very same campaign some. The highly dynamic level of serving up tailored content for each micro-segment will do wonders for streamlining your email marketing operations and resulting in tremendous lifts in performance.

3rd Party Content Integration

In a smart affiliate email marketing tool like Ongage, third party content integrations are simple to implement for all of the measureable results described above.

Job Boards and More

Ongage offers a variety of 3rd party content integration to easily serve up tailored content to micro-segments. From AdStation to many of the leading job-board feeds, to CreditAndLoan.com Mortgage Insurance XML Feed, Ongage offers easy setup and usage of highly dynamic content for micro-segmenting About Ongage: The cutting edge Ongage platform instantly transforms email marketing by offering multiple ESP and SMTP providers, improved deliverability and redundancy, and a variety of 3rd party integrations and plugins. The Ongage platform was designed to optimize email marketing performance and effectiveness, reduce sending-costs, automate email marketing tasks, and boost ROI. With Ongage, email marketers can easily switch between delivery vendors in order to ensure that each campaign meets their business needs and budge
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Madrivo empowers advertisers to effectively grow brands online and enables publishers to optimize online media and to leverage customer acquisition channels.

In the constantly evolving and incredibly fast-paced digital era, Madrivo is an integrated online marketing agency that develops efficient marketing solutions, unifies customer acquisition strategies, and develops tactics to successfully move traditional operations to the Internet. The team at Madrivo guides companies, large and small, globally, to establish the most cost effective online presence.

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