Wizemail provides email marketing software solutions and e-shot HTML templates to a wide variety of clients - SMEs, Corporate and Digital Advertising Agencies alike – all with one common requirement, a dynamic, professional, digital marketing team on hand when required.

At least weekly, one of the Wizemail team will post a tip, trick or general email marketing advice here.

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  • The 10 basic email marketing checks that can save a campaign Aug 22, 2019 at 10:49 AM

    I used to be a police officer. You might think this will not help your email marketing returns, but all will become clear.

    I stopped a car, the driver of which had failed to give precedence at a roundabout. I walked up to the char, following the standard checks of index plate, tax disc and general condition, and opened the driver’s door. I politely told the driver what they had done wrong.

    The woman appeared a bit confused and looked to her left. I followed her eyes to find a young chap who, surprisingly, had a steering wheel in front of him. It was, I worked out, a left hand drive car. I told her to tell the driver what I’d said, and wandered off.

    Once your confidence builds it is easy to assume it’s the more complex facets that need checking and to concentrate all resources on them. Yet the simple things are easy to mess up.

    Before clicking send, check that the answers to the following questions are all ‘Yes’.

    1/ Is the marketing email optimised for mobile?

    2/ Is there a clear call to action above the fold?

    3/ Does it conform to all the GDPR requirements?

    4/ Is there an unsubscribe clickthrough?

    5/ Is the message preview optimised?

    6/ Are all the automated boxes completed?

    7/ Have you segmented your email marketing list?

    8/ Do all the hotlinks work?

    9/ How does the Subject Line read?

    And, finally:

    10/ Have you sent it to yourself?

    Before sending an email to those on your email marketing list, send yourself a copy. You need to look at it with the eyes of a subscriber. Check everything of course, from ensuring that Subject Line reads well, through the From Address being what you wanted and finally, to the much more esoteric question of whether the email gives the overall impression you want. Also check the simple things above.

    We all make mistakes. We all make basic mistakes. Errors of judgement are one thing, but just because the basics are all rather, well, basic, does not mean that they will take care of themselves.

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  • Why were the results of your last email marketing campaign so poor? Aug 22, 2019 at 9:37 AM

    You’ve been in email marketing for a while, and have enough subscribers to make it a worthwhile endeavour. You’ve run a few campaigns, improving a bit each time, but you seem to have reached a plateau. The graphs are not inspiring.

    Let’s assume that, like most people in your position, you’ve checked all the basics are correct. The email is optimised for mobile, you’ve got lots of calls to action, the requirements of GDPR have all been fulfilled, you’ve segmented your email marketing list, and it is nicely personalised. You should be sitting back with your feet on your desk, but instead you’re worrying why you’re not getting better.

    The problem with basics is that they are rather basic. Every one of your competitors will have cracked them as well. You need to go one step further.

    Things to check:

    1/ Is your From Address a name?

    Personalisation goes both ways. It’s no good convincing Andrew that you want to be friends if your From Address is noreply. What does that say to Andy? I mean, apart from you don’t want to hear from him.

    2/ The marketing email is all about the product

    You might wonder what else it should be about. The answer is, the customer. The product team’s role has ended. The marketing team should supply the copy and image. Tell your subscribers why you are sending the email to them specifically. Remind them of something they bought earlier that this current offer will help them enjoy.

    3/ Is it just words?

    Whilst it can be overdone, and so easily, the email should reflect who you are. If it’s your latest product and you are proud of it, tell them why. Your marketing emails will then stand out against those of your competitors.

    4/ Don’t overdo it

    Keep the email as short as possible. Very few of the subscribers to your email marketing list want to spend more than a minute or two reading the email. For those who do, provide additional copy on a clickthrough.

    5/ No text links

    Your team spent hours going through all the free email marketing templates to pick just the right one. The decision as to colour took some 30 minutes. However, just accept that some people prefer text emails. Have a link to the text version above the fold, and later on.

    6/ Timing

    Lots of errors possible here. You need to work out what is too often and what is too infrequently. Further, once you’ve discovered the right number, keep them regular.

    7/ Do your marketing emails follow behaviour

    If someone buys regularly, treat them as special, because they are. If a subscriber requests an ebook, they’ll open it. The likelihood of them opening the next marketing email is high. Work them.

    8/ Relevance

    We’ve all received emails that are well produced, with an intriguing Subject Line, attractive image and engaging copy that have nothing to do with us or our aspirations. Segmenting email marketing lists is an essential. Send the next email only to those who might want it.

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  • A place no one wants to go – your About Us page Aug 7, 2019

    Your website should be a source of leads and subscribers to your email marketing lists. So why clutter it with an About Us page? From what I’ve found when researching this article, most company websites have them. They are often beautifully laid out, the text generally inspired and the images well chosen.

    How irritating is it then, when studying the data from your website, to discover that your About Us page only got three visits last month. One of them may have been me, of course. I’ve been viewing a few.

    Email marketing is all about measurement. If we can’t prove it increases our ROI, we should discard it and try something else. Why, then, do companies persist in having an About Us page despite its lack of response?

    The problem with such pages is that they start from a poor premise. It is, obviously, there to sell the company. They tend to be boastful; a sort of ‘look at us, we’re quality’. It would be great on a CV with your qualifications listed in date order, but few customers want to know your degree grade.

    If you are considering writing, or rewriting, your About Us page, consider not what you want to say, but what your customers want to read about you. Funky can look great as it lends itself to uninhibited graphics, but you need to consider if your head of the email marketing design team on a skateboard will create the right impression.

    One of the common features of such pages is a paragraph, or even three, headed Our Mission. I’m sorry for those who put so much effort into creating them, but they are boring, mainly because they are self-indulgent. Telling people what you want to do conveys little. Doing it is much more convincing.

    On the other hand, a promise, put simply and directly, of how you deal with customers who are unhappy with the service they receive is better. It states, which is a lot more convincing than attempts to convince by empty wishing. I like the idea of photographs of staff, but these need to go on the contacts page. Knowing whose desk your query will make its way to can be reassuring.

    Despite thinking there’s little point in About Us pages, I have them on my websites. I’m not sure why, so in that respect I’m probably similar to most of us. Mine are short, and to the point. I have click throughs to further information, and Calls to Action for specific products.

    Yet what is remarkable is that CTAs were few and far between. We deal in email marketing. CTAs are our meat and drink. A page without such a box is a wasted opportunity. If you boast that you publish the best-selling book in a specific genre then put a click through from your About Us page to the landing page.

    The alternative is to delete the page, take the copy you’ve worked so diligently on, and put it on other pages where it will be seen.

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  • Follow your training and ensure information about yourself will be noticed Aug 7, 2019

    We’ve all got About Us pages. We don’t know why. Visitors are few, and those that do wander into it are probably lost. Some are used to sell the company, but there’s little point if no one is reading. We are data-led in email marketing yet cheerfully ignore the returns.

    About Us pages in websites often demonstrate two basic errors. Firstly, when it comes to email marketing, anything that is not pulling its weight needs to be binned. If your returns show that few people visit that page, and stay only for a few seconds, it is taking up time from a potential customer which could be put to better use.

    The second aspect is all but unforgivable. The clue is in the title of the page. It is about you. The vast majority of customers don’t really care, and this is supported by the data. A website should be about them.

    We want leads and we want sales. If there’s copy on your About Us page that might be useful when selling your products, then it needs to go somewhere else. Good ideas gathering dust help no one. Work out where the copy will be seen to its best advantage.

    If you have expertise in a particular area, and can prove it with endorsements, reviews and such, then you will not want to hide it. If you have been called ‘a Colossus bestriding the net’ then put it on a page on your website where it will be seen. I’d add it to every email marketing campaign as well.

    If your design team have improved a product’s performance, ensure your customers are aware of it by telling them what you’ve done. You need returns from investment. If a list of improvements is the first thing they see on a landing page, then feel reassured they are as well.

    If you’ve got it, flaunt it is a meme that has gathered momentum over recent years. If you’ve got something saleable, then stick it on a marketing email, or prominently on your website. Don’t hide it on an About Us page.

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  • To ensure your customers continue buying, listen to them Aug 1, 2019

    I’ve recently read that the chances of selling to an existing customer is twelve times that of selling to a new prospect. The figure should not come as a surprise. Your email marketing plan should take this statistic to heart.

    Customer retention means higher profits and lower costs. The journey from lead to subscriber to an email marketing list is expensive. Money used to keep a customer is money well spent. Retention should be a high priority. Further, and just as importantly, a customer who is pleased with a transaction is much more likely to recommend you to their friends, those who would be your target audience.

    That is all very well, but what should you spend your well-argued budget increase on? There are two general routes: find out what your customers like about your company, and also what makes them fail to complete. We’ll look to the latter.

    If you have a high rate of churn, work out why. One way is to ask them the reasons they unsubscribed. Most will not answer; they’ll be glad to be rid of you, but those who do might well be irritated enough to fire back with intent to show ‘them’ what they think. They might be rude, but they might also be helpful.

    An FAQ page can be seen as a process that defines your deficiencies. Are you confusing your customers? Perhaps the marketing email was not clear. Maybe the instructions were less than helpful. Whilst you might think that they want you to explain the obvious, it was patently not obvious enough to them.

    What are people searching for on your website? If ‘Contact’ comes up regularly in the search box, then do something about it. Lack of methods of contact is a frequent criticism on product forums. Discover why they need to ask you something.

    Set up a dialogue with those on your email marketing list. An open forum can give rise to difficulties, but one with access limited to subscribers makes it appear they are receiving special treatment. Ensure questions are answered promptly, and that any information on how to improve your service are identified and acted on.

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  • Go against received wisdom in email marketing; ignore the data Jul 31, 2019

    Let me confess from the beginning that all I’m suggesting is that following the data blindly can often be a poor option. For email marketing, data is a tool, nothing more. It needs to be kept sharp, but be careful of stabbing yourself.

    Let’s say that you want to split test a new email design. You have perused your free email marketing templates and decided on one which reflects and reinforces your credentials as a modern and forward-looking company. The returns from your next email marketing campaign will prove or negate its efficacy

    It is difficult to judge how a redesign will be received, but you decide that the click through rate will show if your customers are happy with what you’ve done. You hope your new design will ensure the buying process is swifter, easier to follow and with fewer distractions; the holy grail of email design.

    You will await the returns with interest, so your feelings when the results show the A group’s 1.2% drop over the norm are easy enough to predict. That they are 1.4 below the B group’s returns will ensure you see it as a failure; all that work for nothing. You will wonder if anyone in your company noticed.

    However, much to everyone’s relief, there’s a however.

    Change can be unsettling to customers. If your previous email marketing campaigns looked the same, then some people will be confused by this new style. The whole point of the change was to make things slicker, but your subscribers might have been intrigued by the new style. It is, after all, something that should be transparent.

    You now have a choice: do you persevere with the new style, in the hope that the results from the next campaign will improve, or do you just admit defeat and return to the old one? There’s a third option. You should investigate further, accepting that the data is just that; data. It only function is to show results. Reasons are beyond it.

    Check whether there was a specific group or groups in the subscribers to your email marketing list that had particularly poor click through rates. Try looking at the length of time they had been on the lists. Maybe it was an age thing, or location. You need to discover which, if any, were most perturbed.

    If there was a higher click through rate amongst those who were recent subscribers and those who had been on it longest had the lowest, you might come to the conclusion that it was the shock of the new that gave the lower click through rate.

    Now you have an evidenced assumption as to the cause of the lower click through rate, you have a reason to run your next campaign in the new style. Your established subscribers on your email marketing list will at least be forewarned.

    The data returns give facts. It is your job to work out precisely what they mean. Abandoning an idea before it is fully tested is pointless waste.

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  • Going beyond split testing; your data returns Jul 31, 2019

    You have a brilliant idea that will secure you an increase in completions. You have confidence that it will be something of a revolution but as you’ve been in email marketing for more than a few months you accept that you need to split test your next campaign to prove how good it is.

    Split testing is, after all, an easy enough process. The clue to the method is in the title. Split your email marketing list 90:10 and the returns will, many suggest, prove whether the idea will run or not. However, it is not always that simple.

    Change is not an easy process for most people. There is reassurance with familiarity, one than should be exploited, but not all the time. It’s like the familiar décor in an office. If left unchanged for too long it can give the impression of being staid. Following on from that, a redesign of your marketing emails might produce more positive responses.

    If you’ve been inspired when searching through your free email marketing templates, you might want to show how progressive you are. You might be wary as a significant change to the appearance of your emails can come as a shock to your regulars. They may well become diverted by the appearance and fail to concentrate on completion. How can you tell?

    If the returns from your email marketing software are disappointing, it is possible to calculate, with a reasonable likelihood, whether being side-tracked was the cause. Just check the results to see if there are better responses using one criterion, and worse for another.

    For instance, you might find that the completion rate for those who have recently subscribed to your email marketing lists is higher than the norm for both groups in the split tests. This difference tends to indicate that the change is worth continuing with. Your regulars will soon accept the new appearance and slicker procedures.

    Don’t fall into the trap of accepting the data returns without trying to work out why the returns were different. Email marketing is not just a case of following without thinking.

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  • Awareness strategies in marketing funnels Jul 16, 2019

    I hope it shows that I spend a great deal of time researching these posts, even to the extent of taking reading matter with me on a weekend away. Whenever there’s half an hour or so when there’s nothing on TV and I don’t want to seem greedy by being the first to breakfast, out comes the laptop, and I brave the looks from my wife.

    Like many, I am reluctant to use unknown Wi-Fi connections and tend to download a few articles before leaving home. I can’t be the only person to do this, yet many websites seem to put obstacles, whether intentionally or not, in the way of those who copy and paste their articles.

    When it comes to a quick read on the latest trends in email marketing, it is frustrating to find that some text has converted to white, most of the images are too large, and the fonts are all over the place.

    Some have cracked it though. A number give various options for a reader. Many companies allow the article to be emailed so you can send it to yourself for downloading later.

    One aspect of note was that, when I copied an article from a training website, there was no logo, no internal links in the text for lead generation, and not even a mention of how to subscribe to their email marketing list. You don’t want clutter, but you want them to remember from where they got it.

    Your blog and articles, especially how-to and reports, are valuable assets and you need to wringing every last bit of value out of them. If they are still current and of interest, they can still be exploited.

    One company offers well-produced pdf downloads of the majority of their well-researched reports. One can copy and paste them, and with few formatting problems, but a pdf gives a convenient, and familiar, user interface. Their design adds a bit of credibility for the company. All this on one condition.

    To receive the pdf one has to provide an email address. The promise is that it will not be used for anything other than authenticating other downloads unless the person specifically asks for any other facility. It should sound familiar to anyone in email marketing, but I’ll describe the landing page.

    There are a few boxes to choose, all left unticked. Firstly, there’s ‘Register only’. Second there was notification of further reports, followed by enewsletter subscription.

    The pdfs have a few logos dotted about, and the name of the company is on every page, as you would assume. That apart, the advertising is impressively subtle, with references to other reports produced by the company, all with a hotlink. Nowhere are there any references to the company’s email marketing list subscription, but click on a hotlink and you are asked if you’d like the advantage of selected offers, tailored for someone just like you.

    It’s all very laid back despite it being the start of the marketing funnel. As a lead generator, is it very smooth.

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  • Awareness - the start of the email marketing funnel Jul 16, 2019

    Making yourself apparent to your target audience has always been the difficult aspect of email marketing. No matter how good your offers are, if your customers are not aware of them, they won’t sell.

    The more blanket forms of advertising, such as TV and other types of what we might call scatter-gun methods, have been reported to be in a bad way a number of times over the years. Indeed, its death has been reported on occasion. It can be expensive given the returns, but if you are competing against the biggest, big costs go along with it.

    While there does seem to be evidence to show that TV advertising is not dead, it would appear that there’s a trend away from non-targeted advertising. The various social media methods, the number being a problem in itself, can be easier and perhaps cheaper, to target. With your access to the data on your email marketing lists, not to target would obviously be a waste of resources.

    There are other options. If you are local, or have local outlets, more local methods might be the better option. One that I was involved in a few years ago involved a new branch of a cycle shop opening in my town. It struggled initially as it was tucked away in an historic twitten, but the fortunes changed by a clever, though I say it myself, little initiative.

    The managers started a website giving information on events and attractions in the town and its environs. It provided a base for local individuals, and clubs to spread the word about their particular shows, interests and developments. There were local walks taking in the town’s interesting points, and well-documented longer cycle rides.

    There were product reviews, links to enewsletter subscription and, later, email marketing lists.

    The site became well known locally yet it cost little in the way of effort and investment. Local cyclists would provide reports of routes. The newsletter became the subject of conversation, and, as many cycling routes started near the twitten, the shop gained a large clientele. It’s the awareness stage of the funnel, that's essential for email marketing. It’s thinking small to become big.

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  • Four ways to ensure that you are trustworthy, and your customers know it. Jul 12, 2019

    The trade journals, as well as mainstream news media, have frequent reports on how advertising doesn’t work, and how people believe they are unaffected by it. Both are fantasy, as you will prove. Email marketing is advertising, simple and, hopefully, pure. It works, or else you would not sell.

    Facebook adverts, we are told time and again, don’t give a decent return on investment, and to prove it, 67% of advertisers say so. Is it possible all are wrong? It makes you wonder if this is the same group that reckons email marketing is dead, or at least not very well.

    I can’t help but wonder if those who don’t get an ROI on their Facebook adverts haven’t bothered to target them. All I can use to support this contention is that in our speciality, those who don’t use their email marketing lists to target their advertising would probably say something similar.

    To put it another, and probably more irritating, way is that adverts used to support an email marketing campaign should not be put just anywhere convenient to you, the slot picked because it fell comfortably within your budget. You need to put them where they will be seen by your target audience.

    If we accept that an increasing number of people in your target audience have lost faith in advertising, and I accept it is a questionable premise, what can you do about it? The simple answer, and one that works even if the premise is wrong, is to build trust. There are a number of simple steps you can take.

    1/ Be Trustworthy

    It’s obvious really, so it is a surprise how many companies will use trickery, even on those on their email marketing lists. If your campaigns are honest, clear as to conditions and especially price, customers will come to accept that they don’t have to second-guess you.

    2/ Generate Honest Reviews

    It would appear that customers believe reviews ‘more than adverts’, yet a review is, quite clearly, advertising for your product. Encourage feedback, be overt with it. That way, customers will believe most of them.

    3/ Engage

    I research advertising. I know some of the tricks. I know enough to know advertising affects me. One method which I’m a sucker for is when a company asks me for my opinion. I’ve recently been asked if I’d had any difficulties with a particular product. I had, and I told them so, and they came up with a simple work-around. I felt they were on ‘my’ side.

    4/ Gently Does It

    Don’t be pushy. Let customers work out for themselves that it is a must have. Show the benefits, rather than forcing them down a customer’s throat. Use a countdown clock with a certain discretion. No one likes being rushed.

    You’ve already captured those on your email marketing lists. Trying to wring every last penny out of them might not be the most effective way to go. Work towards them believing what you say, but gently. Be trustworthy and you are more than halfway there.

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  • Good news for email marketing; advertising doesn’t affect your customers much Jul 4, 2019

    99% of millennials, most of whom have an iphone or ipad, reckon that advertising has no effect on them. Anyone in email marketing can see the non sequitur. You will probably want to know the names of the 99%. They are not so much your target audience as have targets on them.

    That they are wrong should go without saying, but you could reassure yourself by asking them why they are not affected. Most will say that they are merely irritated by them. It is best not to come back with the obvious retort that irritation is an effect.

    I entered into a discussion in an online forum on the subject of what is and is not advertising. After putting my point of view, I received the reply that if my contention was correct, everything is advertising. It was more or less the point I was trying to put over.

    From research, and my combatants on the forum, the problem would appear not to be with adverts themselves, but badly executed advertising. One might be able to empathise with them when they complain of shouty, heavy handed and in-your-face material if they weren’t so shouty themselves. Subtle email marketing works.

    I was recommended a certain camera shop near me as ‘they don’t try to sell you stuff’. This came as a surprise as other shops selling similar products in the area had closed or gone online due to this company taking their customers. It was worth going just to see how they were successful without trying to sell.

    Said camera shop has a delightful MO. I went in to buy a particular camera. I was asked why I wanted that model. It was produced, together with one that was slightly cheaper and another a wee bit dearer.

    I was not given specifications so much as the positives and negatives of each for the particular usage I intended. It was all very laid back, but it was also one hard sell. There was no way I was going to leave the shop without the dearest camera.

    Now there’s an idea for an email marketing campaign.

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  • Revert to old styles or try something new in your email marketing template redesign? Jun 26, 2019

    When faced with the choices of free email marketing templates, it is all too easy to panic and pick the next one on the list. That’s the problem with choice. A better way is to have some idea of what will suit your product before a new email marketing campaign.

    It will be no relief to you to realise that it is a problem that afflicts the multi-nationals, except to a greater degree. The big three lager companies, the ones who sell products that might be described as popular, have changed their main campaigns. If you’ve not seen them, it’s time to get your TV fixed.

    They demonstrate two options that face us all at one time or another. These can be described as starting anew or reverting to a tried and trusted theme. There are points in favour of each, all of which are directly applicable to email marketing.

    Fosters have opted for a ‘Back to the Future’ style of campaign. Their humorous Brad and Dan common-sense advice is tried and tested, although they have a new slant on it. The lower-priced lagers have taken a hit over the last few years, with consumers opting for premium brands. Their latest advert mentions ‘le-de-da’ lagers, but not in a supportive way.

    Carlesberg have finally admitted to stretching the meaning of the word probably and are now pushing a new product, a slightly up-market option. A complete change needs careful pricing. Modification is often a safer route, both for products as well as design.

    What will you do in your next email marketing campaign? If you pick an appearance you used in the past, those who’ve just joined your lists will see it as new. Your regulars might well be reassured. If it worked last time, it could do again.

    A complete change can enthuse your subscribers as well as your team. It shows you are not resting on your past successes. It is risky and your next email marketing campaign needs to be costed with care. It can increase your returns for a degree of effort. Go through your email marketing templates for inspiration.

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  • Multiple options can reduce open rates Jun 24, 2019

    We ensure our headlines can be not only read but understood in a fraction of a second. A few words are all that we need in the preheader. Completion must be just a couple of clicks away. Yet we so often allow the subscriber a multitude of choices in the, largely false, expectation that they can define a product that is just what they want. No wonder email marketing campaigns struggle.

    Barry Schwartz’ book, The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less, puts forward the well supported supposition that giving people more choice confuses them and often reduces purchases. The book is worth reading, although the title more or less explains his theory. It is relevant to email marketing and might explain why some customers abandon purchases.

    The book mentions the range of toothpastes on offer on supermarket shelves. A quick research visit to my local Waitrose shows that, if anything, he underestimated the number available to a shopper. He also referred to a hifi shop where there were 6.5 million different set-ups possible from the products on offer. A visit to Richer Sounds will support his contention.

    His counter-intuitive suggestion is that people were happier when they had no choice. For all those of us planning an email marketing campaign, the points he raised have relevance, particularly for the landing page. Who isn’t daunted to see a range of boxes to be completed on many online orders?

    What we must beware of is making the purchasing process frustrating. Often a purchaser might be thinking that they just want to buy it, but are presented with yet another hindrance; a multiple-choice box, and often more than one. Our subscribers might have preferred speed with an email marketing campaign. If they’d wanted to browse, they would have gone onto your website, or perhaps the high street.

    There is another aspect to lots of choices. It can lead to the belief that just the right specification will make the purchase perfect. The norm is that it will a be better option than Hobson’s Choice, but after spending some time going through the various boxes, they might return the item for no other reason than that it is not as good as they expected.

    There’s a dichotomy we have to resolve. Our subscribers to our email marketing lists want choice, but they want the buying process to be over as quickly as possible. The easy way out is to offer both.

    You can do this by splitting email marketing lists and giving choices to those who want it and, conversely, give just a couple of options to those who don’t want to think. There’s an alternative. Have a standard product, perhaps blue, and, ironically, without bluetooth, at a price that is very reasonable. Make it obvious that if they want to spec the item themselves then all they have to do is ‘click here’ for a page that offers them a wide variety of wonderful options. For an increase in price of course.

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  • Too much choice in email marketing? Jun 24, 2019

    I intended to buy a rather expensive item. I researched what was available, read the brochures, and, with girded loins to protect me, I invited my chosen company to send a representative. She left without me having signed on the bottom line and my reasons provide learning points for email marketing.

    Unknown to me the company had special offers, some of which were quite near my preferred selection, but not quite there. One that was nearly perfect had an item that precluded my choice of option. I could have gone for my specification, but it meant a price increase over the ‘not quite’ one.

    It is axiomatic that the greater the choice the better. A plethora of options means that we can always get the perfect product for our needs. We will be totally satisfied. From the point of view of those on our email marketing lists, reality is somewhat different.

    We need to fulfil the expectations of our customers but the way of doing so is not to allow them to specify a product down to the finest detail as the default option. It goes against the basic premise of an email marketing campaign; speed is of the essence. Subscribers want to click and go.

    An option that might appeal to your email marketing list subscribers is an offer of a value-for-money basic product, preferably one that you want to move. Ensure the specification is one that will appeal to the majority on the list but offer a ‘spec it yourself’ landing page for those who don’t mind increasing your profit margin. They can click boxes to their hearts’ content. The rest of us can avail ourselves of the bargain item with just a couple of clicks.

    There is an added bonus, at least according to research. A buyer who has multiple choices when buying a product is much more like to be critical as they expect perfection. When they receive the item they will probably wish they’d chosen something slightly different. Those who buy the bargain product normally do not expect it to fulfil their needs precisely.

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  • Preheader is important to your subscribers Jun 24, 2019

    It is best to assume that the default position is that everyone reads their email on a mobile. In other words, you work back from that premise, personalising your segmented email marketing lists for the few who do not. The natural follow-on is that you should design your email marketing campaigns to ensure all aspects are mobile friendly. That means effective use of preheaders.

    A preheader is that part of the email displayed after the From and Subject Lines. It gives a variable number of characters, upwards of 30, that you can use to convince your subscriber of the advantages of opening the email. The most remarkable aspect of them is that many companies, even the big internationals, do not exploit the rather obvious advantages of preheaders.

    Let’s look at some real world examples of failure.

    On my mobile, the rather narrow Moto G5S, the preheader gives a rather measly 36 extra characters, and on many of my emails the extra text is truncated. Even so, there is no excuse for the one, from my subscription to Kindle, which reads, ‘We have recommendations for you. You…’ This is one of the world’s biggest internet companies apparently not that enthusiastic about their email marketing campaigns.

    I don’t want to pick on Amazon, but a couple of emails down there is a preheader starting, ‘Amazon.co.uk’. In other words, it is identical to the From Line. I already know who it is from. Why tell me again and make me waste my time? In email marketing every little advantage needs to be grabbed.

    I have an email, trying to encourage me to open a newsletter, which states: ‘Mem No. 03-11 *****17’. I’m being told my date of birth and the year I joined the discount club. The asterisks hide the rest of my number, which I have on my membership card. In the past I’ve actually been told ‘It is your birthday next week’. The company isn’t even trying to use the space effectively.

    These are all from my current inbox on my mobile. Those companies, and many others, don’t seem willing to put any effort into email marketing. Could this be you?

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