4 Make Simple Design Changes to Increase Conversion
6 Include Clear Calls-to-Action
7 Enable Subscribers to Share Your Emails With Friends
8 Implement a Welcome Email Strategy
9 Extend Personalization From Email to Landing Page
Its beginning to look a lot likethe holiday shopping season. And that means your Email,
Mobile, Social, and Sites campaigns should be in top form to capture the most engagement
and revenuefrom your subscribers. But no one has time to revamp their entire email
program with such little time left until the seasons actually here. Luckily, weve come up with
a list of quick wins you can complete TODAYor even over your lunch breakto make a big
impact without spending more time or resources. Now thats something to celebrate.
TIS THE SEASON FOR BETTER EMAIL
ExactTarget All rights reserved 01-092010
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Its that time of year again. No, not the holiday season itself, but the time to start preparing for it. Every year, retailers across the world prepare for the most anticipatedand most profitabletime of their fiscal year. And as holiday sales for online retail are expected to increase by a hefty 15% this year1, its imperative that companies are prepared with an effective email marketing strategy to capture the most engagementand revenuefrom subscribers.
Already have your holiday email marketing plan locked down? Dont have time to break pace with drastic changes? Not to worry. Our own elves here at ExactTarget have been hard at work to bring you five easy, quick wins that you can complete TODAY to make a big impact this holiday season. This report highlights the easy-to-implement tactics you can make to quickly improve everything from email design, sharing to social networks, and personalization of messages in order to make the 2010 holiday shopping season merry for your companyand your bottom line.
So before you haul out the holly or hang any wreaths, use these five tips to get on the good list and use your interactive messages to win more business this holiday season. Take our word for itthese small things will make a BIG impact on your holiday sales this year.
5 HOLIDAY EMAIL TIPS FOR QUICK WINS AND MORE REVENUE
HOLIDAY EMAIL TIPS
1Deloitte. Deloitte Forecasts a 2 Percent Increase in Holiday Sales. Retail Press Release. Deloitte Audit, Consult-ing, Financial Advisory, Risk Management and Tax Services. 21 Sept. 2010. Accessed 30 Sept. 2010. .
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MAKE SIMPLE DESIGN CHANGES TO INCREASE CONVERSIONAs consumers, were well aware of upcoming holidays. We see evidence of this in stores
everywhere as decorations and holiday-specific products hit the shelves two months (or more) prior to the actual holiday. So between competing print ads, television commercials, and interactive messages, how can you stand out in your subscribers inbox? Design.
By optimizing holiday emails with relevant navigation bars and graphics, holiday shopping will seem more relevant to your subscribers, resulting in increased engagement and revenue. Consider some of these helpful tricks:
ENGAGING SUBJECT LINES. Often, the subject line is the only opportunity you have to influence the subscriber before they decide to open your emailor delete it. Creating interesting subject lines, and giving readers a brief summary of whats inside is imperative for optimal click-through rates, engagement, and (ultimately) profitability. This holiday season, instead of using a generic subject line like Holiday Savings Inside! try a more engagingand enticingsubject line like NAME, We Left A Gift In Your Stocking With personalization, subscribers will feel like they have a better connection to your company, and the edgier copy will leave them more curious to open your email.
PLAYING FAVORITESOur latest SUBSCRIBERS, FANS & FOLLOWERS research reveals that 49% of consumers always open emails from their favorite companies. Become one by delivering relevant content thats specific to your customers interests. Text RESEARCH (space) and your email address to 38767 (e.g. RESEARCH [email protected]) to receive the report today.
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HOLIDAY MOTIF. Help your subscribers get in the holiday shopping spirit by creating winter and holiday-themed graphics and headers. Consider enhancing your color scheme by adding holiday colors or using your own brand colors in a seasonal light. With help from ExactTarget Platinum Reseller Digital Evolution Group, Helzberg Diamonds enhanced their 2009 holiday campaign by optimizing the navigation bar, which generated 37.7% of the overall unique clicks within the email (Figure 1).
HOLIDAY COUNTDOWN. Not only will a Holiday Countdown on your emails excite your subscribers about the approaching season, but it will also remind them that their time to shop is running out. It doesnt have to specifically refer to days until the holiday either. Your countdown can track the days until your free shipping offer runs out or until they can order items and still ensure their package will make it in time for the holidays. Either way, countdowns create a sense of urgency, helping you capture revenue sooner.
Figure 1: Helzberg Diamonds 2009 holiday email campaign performed better by optimizing the navigation bar, which received 37.7% of unique clicks within the email.
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INCLUDE CLEAR CALLS-TO-ACTIONYouve got their interest. Now what? Maximize your subscriber engagement with a clear call-
to-action. What is it that you want readers to do? Visit your website? Check out todays deals? Update their information in the subscription center? Ask and you shall receive. Subscribers wont do what you hope theyll do unless its clear what the objective of the message is. You want your subscribers to take action, so dont be afraid to ask. Messages in the upper left quadrant of the email are seen first and therefore perform very well. Attention-grabbing (but not overdone) colors and graphics, enticing clicks, and relevant copy also enhance the email by drawing the readers eye to a particular spot you want them to see.
Helzberg Diamonds and Digital Evolution Group know that calls-to-action can make or break the success of a campaign. In a promotional email targeted at bridal prospects, Helzberg recognized a significant increase in click-through rates based on the replacement of one word (Figure 2). By encouraging subscribers to Shop Now instead of Buy Now, Helzberg saw a much better response from customers, who were more interested in browsing first than buying right away. But, beware. Simply changing out copy without reason wont produce results for your campaignsespecially since different tactics work for different industries. You must test verbiage, placement, hierarchy, and color of your messages, letting the results of the call-to-action that performed best drive future decisions.
Figure 2: Helzberg tested copy in a promotional email to bridal prospects to find that customers were more responsive to Shop Now than Buy Now
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ENABLE SUBSCRIBERS TO SHARE YOUR EMAILS WITH FRIENDSResearch shows that consumers are more inclined to open an email from a friend than from a
company. And with ExactTarget Social Forward, subscribers can take control of the content you send them by passing it along to their friends on Facebook, Twitter, and more than 20 other social sites. By giving your customers this control, you can extend the reach of your marketing messages, drive deeper engagement with customers and their online communities, and build your subscriber listall with less effort on your part. So how can you start enabling subscribers to share your holiday emails?
SHARE THIS INTEGRATION. Our integration with ShareThis makes it easy for your subscribers to share content to over 20 online networks and communities, while providing you the metrics you need to create a strategy around your social content (Figure 3).
FORWARD TO A FRIEND. Forward to a Friend enables subscribers to include a personal note about your message and send it on to their friends via email (Figure 4). Youll be able to track how many times your message was forwarded and how many new subscribers youve gained as a result.
WANT TO ADD 45,000 FANS ON FACEBOOK?In the first three days of Papa Johns use of ExactTargets Social Forward feature in its NCAA-themed email campaign, the company added more than 45,000 fans on Facebook, bringing the total number to more than 270,000.
Figure 4: Including the Forward to a Friend feature in your email headers enables subscribers to share your content with others.
Figure 3: Within the ExactTarget application, you can easily choose which social networks to include in your emails with Social Forward.
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IMPLEMENT A WELCOME EMAIL STRATEGYAs new shoppers come across your site this
holiday season, they may be interested in joining your email club or signing up for a special offer. How will you engage them and ensure that they wont later opt out? By implementing a welcome email strategy, your customers will feel appreciated and personally connected to your companyencouraging them to continue shopping on your site.
But dont stop there. Use your welcome emails as an opportunity to provide product recommendations, friends and family discounts, and additional couponspleasing your new subscriber and helping you drive more traffic back to your site (Figure 5). Consider capturing user preferences with your welcome emails to help you build a database of subscriber information to keep them engaged all year round.
When youre ready to put your data to good use, make your welcome email strategy even easier by implementing an automatic drip campaign. With automation, you can execute programs without the hassle of manual setup each and every time you send, freeing up time and resources to allocate elsewhere during the busy holiday season.
DID YOU KNOWAccording to a study by MarketingSherpa, your welcome email is likely to be the most-opened email you send. Furthermore, our SUBSCRIBERS, FANS & FOLLOWERS research reveals that 67% of consumers subscribe to email in order to receive discounts and promotions. Take advantage of this consumer motivation by enticing subscribers back to your website with product recommendation, friends and family discounts, and seasonal coupons.
Figure 5: ULTA Cosmetics entices subscribers to open the welcome email by offering a 20% off coupon, helping drive traffic back to their site.
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EXTEND PERSONALIZATION FROM EMAIL TO LANDING PAGEThere never seems to be enough time around
the holidays. And as a marketer, youre probably busy juggling ad campaigns and the stress of meeting rigorous holiday sales goals. So its time to figure out where you can save a few extra minutes. How do personalized landing pages in under a minute sound?
With ExactTarget Landing Pages, creating static, personalized, and dynamic coupons for your subscribers to redeem online or in stores is easy. Rather than leaving subscribers to delete your email or act on their own accord, provide a personalized path to a Landing Page where you can keep them oriented, accentuate your call to action, and capture a greater conversion rate. (Plus, subscribers wont have to waste timeand patienceprinting off your entire email. They can just go directly to a personalized landing page with their coupon waiting.)
Take it from regional restaurant chain Eatn Park, who cut online coupon creation down to less than a minute. With pre-set templates in ExactTarget, all Eatn Park has to do is swap out old content with new information. And because landing pages and email are connected in one place with ExactTarget, Eatn Park can incorporate subscriber attributes into their coupons without leaving the ExactTarget platform (Figure 6). Since taking advantage of ExactTarget Landing Pages, Eatn Park has saved time and boosted click-through rates from 9% to 55%.
5GET PERSONALConsumers expectand deserverelevant communications from you. After all, 41% of U.S. internet users threatened to stop buying from companies that sent irrelevant messages, according to a recent CMO Council study. Personalizing your landing pages is an easy way to ensure customer engagementand with ExactTargets 60+ integrations with the worlds top technology companies, easily accessing the right subscriber data is simple.
Figure 6: With ExactTarget Landing Pages, Eatn Park can add personalization to coupons and birthday messages in under a minute.
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ENOUGH TALK. ITS TIME FOR ACTION.Regardless of your organizations size, industry, or business challenge, these five easy tips leave you armed with actionable ways you can improve your holiday email marketing programTODAY. As the busy holiday shopping season gets closer and closer, dont forget to:
1. Make Simple Design Changes to Increase Conversion
2. Include Clear Calls-to-Action
3. Enable Subscribers to Share Your Emails With Friends
4. Implement a Welcome Email Strategy
5. Extend Personalization From Email to Landing Page
The results will be greater customer engagement despite holiday ad clutter, increased revenue, and boosted ROIall without taking up more of your time and resources.
NEED HELP PUTTING THESE 5 TIPS INTO ACTION? Were here to make it easier for you. Call 1.866.362.4538 or visit www.ExactTarget.com to learn how you can achieve phenomenal business results today.
READY TO GET REAL?The smartest marketers know the key to joining the conversation is to understand who theyre talking tousing real-time data to power all customer interactions across Email, Mobile, Social, and Sites.
With the launch of the ExactTarget Interactive Marketing Hub, every organization will have the power to engage in an integrated, real-time conversation with their customers across Email, Mobile, Social, and Sitesall through a single, elegantly-designed dashboard.
Real [time] Manage campaigns in real time with an at-a-glance look at email status, automations, and customer interactionsright as theyre happening.
Real [engagement] Turn customer data into meaningful interactions through 60+ integrations with the worlds top technology companies.
Real [smart marketing] With instant access to your data, messages and in-process campaigns, youll never have to worry about lost revenue or decreased productivity. Achieve real results with lightning speed and unwavering performance.
VISIT WWW.EXACTTARGET.COM/HUB TO EXPERIENCE THE POWER OF THE INTERACTIVE MARKETING HUB.
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