MarketingSherpa Email Marketing Summit 2010: a scientific approach on email marketing effectiveness

Marketingsherpa I don’t have to tell you that this week email marketers from all around the world are gathering in Miami for MarketingSherpa’s Email Marketing Summit 2010.

Miami will not be for me this year (maybe Germany?) but luckily I have my man on the spot.

He reports on the pre-workshop, that was hosted by MarketingExperiments, with Dr. Flint McGlaughlin as the keynote speaker. 

Here is what he reports.

Flint McGlaughlin Kenny Van Beeck from Emailgarage met Flint (see picture) 2 years ago, and he writes that every single one of his courses are still an enlightening experience to him.   

“The scientific approach on email marketing effectiveness is not only efficient; it also gives you a clear view and a reference method on each email marketing approach you are setting up”.

Here are some key findings on this workshop as Kenny reports them in a nice overview:

General findings

  • People don’t buy from websites, they buy from people. Use that feeling into your website.
  • Clarity trumps persuasion.
  • Too many of the emails look likes magazine ads. The problem is that many emails are created by agencies that are used to create paper ads.
  • Email marketing effectiveness has to follow this three step approach:
    – Optimizing capture forms
    – Creating effective and relevant emails
    – Creating optimal landing pages

Here are some general rules for each one of them:

Optimizing capture forms

  • Use quantity to promote your company, product or services. Quality has to be proved by others.
  • Don’t use buttons like: Click here, Submit now … but use: Get your free product, Get your valuable content now.
  • Only use images if they add value to the site or guide your users to the important copy.
  • Minimizing friction elements is one of the most effective ways to increase conversion.
    – Make your web forms look short
    – Limit the minimum amount of information
  • A privacy policy line improves conversion. Make it go open in a small new pop-up window. 

Creating effective and relevant emails

  • The most important goal of an email is to generate the click.
  • The first 2 lines of the email are the most important in reflecting the relevance of the email.
  • The frequency of email sending is directly influenced by the relevance of the email message.
  • Testing is the only way to determine what your optimal frequency is.
  • Frequency can differ according to a specific target group on your list.
  • Don’t tell the same story in the email and the landing page. The email needs to motivate people to generate the click and start the conversation.   
  • The relevance of the subject line improves the opened rate. The relevance of the body copy increases the click-through rate.
    Landing Page optimization
  • The headline must convince the reader within 2 seconds to read the first paragraph.

Landing pages

  • When creating a landing page, always ask yourself:
    – What is the objective?
    – What is the best way to achieve my objective?
  • The value proposition is the answer to the relevance question of every email:
    ”If I am your ideal customer. Why should I buy from you, instead of any of your competitors?” If you cannot  formulate a value proposition, every optimizing process is useless. “We are the only company… “are maybe the most important words in a value proposition.
  • You’ve got 7 seconds to convince a visitor to spend more time on the landing page.
    And you have to give him have an answer to his questions:
    – Where am I?
    – What can I do here?
    – What should I do here?  
  • Minimize navigation on the landing page.
  • A two-column lay-out is rarely effective for a landing page.
  • Sometimes it’s better to radically re-design a landing page instead of trying to fix it.
  • 2 elements contribute to friction: length and difficulty.

More from Kenny, and from MarketingSherpa’s Email Marketing Summit 2010, coming soon!

Want more email marketing tips? Click here!

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