Category Archives: Social Media

Content marketing’s underrated rocket fuel

Rocket being launched to represent the awesome power of email to supercharge your content

3, 2, 1…Send!?

When you launch a content campaign, you probably send an email to promote it to your database at some point. You might think that this email will only drive traffic from your current database, however my experience has taught me that by making email the first channel you launch on and with a little work, you can increase the conversion rate for people outside your database – i.e new visitors. And I don’t mean with the forward button.

It’s the momentum gained from that launch email that is so valuable, for 6 key reasons:

Email helps you optimise your landing page
The instant surge of traffic means you can split test, and optimise your landing page so the new customers that get there, are more likely to convert.

Button that says lift offEmail kickstarts social shares
If you carefully encourage your database to share your content on social networks, you can get almost instant social proof (i.e social share numbers displaying on your page) This has been proven to increase your conversion rate.

Email with social can get you indexed
These social shares will help your page get indexed by Google so if it’s optimised for particular keywords you’ll start to rank, and get your share of search traffic sooner.

Email testing helps you optimise all channels
If you’re split-testing, you can use the results of these tests to inform your headline, tweet content, ad creative and other persuasive copy for your webpage via the results of your email split test, to optimise everything!

Email triggers help you nurture content leads better
You can set up a series of automated campaigns that fire once a contact has converted that:

Include related content, so you can gauge interest in other topics and build a richer profile of that customer’s interests. This can help you score your leads.

Promote related products and services – hey, if you’re interested in a topic enough to download something, then you’re a reasonably warm lead – if not right now, in the future. So don’t miss the obvious opportunity to start nurturing them now.

An email campaign used to generate social shares

Click to view the full email

Email can help you get feedback
In addition, you can automate a campaign that asks readers to share your content or provide feedback. This example shown right asks for a Tweet, Google +1, or comment on our ‘Data Driven Email Marketing’ whitepaper. It’s worth asking, and even if it doesn’t result in a share, it at least gets readers onto your social channels.

I may be biased, working for dotMailer, but the numbers show that our content marketing campaigns wouldn’t have been anywhere near as successful without email – via emailing our list and when promoted in 3rd party newsletters. I believe email is the best catalyst for the best content campaigns, capable of getting your campaign the kind of reach that you might pay a celebrity or ‘influencer’ for. Content marketers – don’t overlook it!

LinkedIn: No greater email marketing #fail than over-writing your customers preferences

I just got this  email from LinkedIn  Subject Line “A change to your DMA: Direct Marketing Association (UK) Limited digests” – the 3rd such email I have had this week about a group I belong to.
In it they tell me that they are going to ignore my mailing preferences and unsubscribe me from the group digests of which I get 1 a week a frequency selected by ME! I have now been forced to go and re-subscribe to the weekly digests of groups that I want to hear from 3 times this week. Do LinkedIn really think that is a good use of my time?

Just in case anyone was wondering, while I am not really a FB kind of person I definitely am an UBER LinkedIn user.

- I am a paid subscriber and highly active – I post, place jobs, recommend stay in touch connect etc.
- I have several thousand connections
- I check my page multiple times a day and use it as my primary vehicle for maintaining my business network. I have my preferences set exactly the way I want them for some groups – no email, others weekly and some daily
- I get 10 or more emails a day from linked in and open about 1 in 3 on my desktop and 80% of them on my mobile
- I click on at least one a day and some days 3 or more
- I save all my emails I currently have 2900 in my Linked in folder of which less than half 1427 are “unread”
- I regularly search for old messages or invites and click on them

So how on earth can a bunch of engineers and/or too clever by half marketers come to the conclusion that they know what I want better than me?
The irony is by stopping the DMA group weekly digest, they are going to reduce the chances of me ever visiting again! I wonder how the DMA and other group managers feel about that.

I can’t understand why having gone to the trouble of asking me to set my preferences LinkedIn should choose to expressly ignore the stated preference from a highly engaged – dare I say knowledgeable – paying subscriber. Surely that is as bad as spamming after all what is so different about these 2 scenarios?

1) I use LI preference centre choose to receive 1 email a week – after 3 months LI decide to unsubscribe me for not visiting the group.
2) I use LI preference centre and choose to receive 1 email a week – after 3 months LI decide to send me daily digests or 3rd party emails from partners they think I should hear from

LinkedIn are insulting their members’ intelligence one would think that someone like me would know how to both unsubscribe or hit the spam button. So if I haven’t done either of those things, it’s probably because…I DON’T WANT TO!

EU Data Protection Regulation – The Right to be Forgotten

Continuing with our series of posts reviewing the potential effects of the proposed EU Data Protection Regulation, one of the areas it addresses is an individual’s “right to be forgotten” by a business.  The specific wording is as follows:

“The data subject shall have the right to obtain from the controller the erasure of personal data relating to them and the abstention from further dissemination of such data”

This has clearly been written with Social Media in mind, for example, ensuring that Facebook users are able to completely delete their profiles if they so wish.  However, the effect on email marketers and direct marketers in general could be disastrous.  If somebody unsubscribes, or asks to no longer receive an advertiser’s communications, then clearly that individual’s details need to be held by the organisation in order to suppress them from future comms.  Forgetting them completely, i.e. erasing all their data could have the polar opposite effect from that which the consumer is expecting!  A individuals details need to be held in order for the organisation to “remember to forget”.  Also, industry suppression files, which are there to benefit consumers, could be put at risk by the Regulation.

The problems do not end there.  There would also be an issue with information that has already been passed on to third parties, e.g. via list brokers or through partnerships.  Also, consumers risk being mis-led.  For example, some data in financial services has to be kept for a specific period of time in order to meet with legal and FSA regulations.

In summary, not only does this section of the Regulation risk failing to achieve what it sets out to do, it could also damage consumer trust and increase the complexity and volume of data processing which needlessly increases the financial burden on companies.

Email marketing….because I’m worth it!

Like many of you, I recently received an email from the DMA entitled “Find out what you’re worth”. I opened the email immediately hoping for some long awaited confirmation that I am in fact worth my weight in gold or perhaps to discover that I am being hopelessly underpaid for my job but instead I was confronted with some unexpected results from a recent DMA study relating to the value of direct marketing. The study revealed that the direct marketing industry in the UK is now responsible for 23% of all UK Sales.

Forget what I’m worth – ‘23% of all UK sales’ is a phenomenal amount! For the Travel and Retail industries the figures are higher still, where 30%+ of sales are driven by direct marketing. This reminded me of a recent comment made by the Head of Email Marketing at a major UK travel company who explained to me the enormous battle he had fought within his organisation just to get an email sign-up form included on their website homepage. With rates of success from Direct Marketing so high, it seems strange that a vital tool, such as a homepage email sign-up form would be such a struggle to implement.

You’ll be relieved to hear that the sign up form is now in pride of place on this particular company’s homepage. However, with the kind of results that the recent DMA study has highlighted, it is disappointing to hear how these types of discussions and internal hindrance still take place. As a business, your email database is one of your most valuable assets. It astonishes me that many businesses still don’t understand the value of their database and in fact the individual value of every person on that database. This brings us back to the DMA’s compelling ‘Find out what you’re worth’ subject line that caught my eye.

Earlier this year I tried the ‘What am I worth’ app, which helps consumers to calculate how much they are worth to businesses based on their online behaviour and consumer preferences. It’s a fun idea, but actually the basic idea that a single ‘consumer’ can be given this type of potential value is critical, and every business should focus on being able to attribute a specific value for their business in adding a customer to their database. (According to the app I am “worth” £525 if you are interested!)

It is really only when you know the value of your database that you can set meaningful targets for database growth and measure return on your efforts/spend to grow it. And of course it’s also helpful if you are trying to persuade your bosses to help you grow it, and to communicate that an email sign-up on the homepage of your website is a key asset not a wasted space.

As well as your website, here are some other suggestions on other ways that you can grow your email database:

  • Everyday email – don’t waste easy opportunities!
  • Your company employees each send out around 15,000 normal outlook emails a year to customers and potential customers in the course of their normal work. Adding a newsletter sign-up button to your email signatures will encourage the clients interacting with you to subscribe to your database. Don’t underestimate how much this can contribute- we’ve seen conversion rates of up to 40% with some of our clients.

  • • Use your social media communities
  • Have you integrated your newsletter sign-up with your Facebook page? Are you promoting your sign-ups on Twitter? Also are you using the tools within your email marketing tool to distribute your newsletters via twitter and Facebook directly to your followers and fans. We recommend taking an integrated approach across all your channels.

  • • Search
  • It was also interesting to see, at the end of last year, that Google started testing a new form of Google Adwords with Honda. I believe this is still in testing but the new format included a direct email subscription option, which allows companies to capture an email address opt-in via search, without the new subscriber having to visit the corporate website (and, by the way, the sign-up is pre-populated for logged in gmail users). This type of ‘search and sign-up’ technique will ultimately allow companies to grow ‘targeted’ quality databases through their paid for adverts.

    In conclusion, it is great news that so much value has been attributed to the role of direct marketing in driving sales across all industries, but for Email Marketers the challenge is often convincing the rest of the business of their true worth. It’s clear that we still have some way to go in joining the dots between the value of the sales and the value of the database that drove those sales. Because we Email Marketers know we’re worth it!

    Event DMAEmail+ – bringing a multichannel approach to list growth

    The DMA Email Marketing Council have launched a series of events called DMAEmail+. This series will give you the tools and insight to take a multichannel approach to your email marketing.

    The first in the series looks at list growth and takes place Tuesday morning, 17th of July.  Our  speakers will take you through tips and tactics, plus provide case studies that will give you real takeaways you can use to grow your email lists, including using mobile, social and websites to accelerate your results.

    The event agenda

    Speakers include  Richard Austin of  Silverpop, Kath Pay of PlanToEngage, Tim Watson of Zettasphere and Dave Chaffey of Smartinsights. A wrap-up discussion panel, led by Richard Gibson of ReturnPath, will give attendees the opportunity to put questions to all the speakers. (complete agenda)

    The first part of the event is split into two sessions (you’ll select at registration). One session provides tactics  – both off and online – proven to grow your list. The other session shows you how to prepare and maximise your website for list growth.  Then, all attendees will hear two case studies highlighting  how a multichannel approach works.

    New feature added: Email Clinic

    Something very cool too:  We’ve introduced a new element to these events – the opportunity for companies to sit one-on-one with email marketing experts to get immediate and relevant input on their own challenges.  This email clinic is being brought to you by sponsors Silverpop. Spaces are filling up quickly, so book your session now! contact or 020 7291 3349

    We hope to see you there!

    Event: DMA Email+ – a multichannel approach to growing your list
    Location: 15 Hatfield
    Date: Tuesday, 17 July 2012
    Time: 08:30 am -11:30 am
    Event Fee: DMA Members Free, Non-DMA £ 36


    Event: Email customer lifecycle: List growth, May 22nd

    May 22nd, 2012 8:30 AM   until   11:30 AM
    15 Hatfields, London
    SE1 8DJ, United Kingdom

    The series is back for a third year and is a must for all email marketers looking to improve their ROI and explore the customer journey.

    Join us for breakfast on Tuesday 22 May and hear how HostelBookers and Lucky Voice grew their databases. Speakers will also demonstrate how you can use social media and mobile to enhance your lists.

    This first session is divided into two break outs:

    New tips and tactics for email list growth
    From offline to Facebook, this session uncovers database growth tactics that work. Richard Austin of Silverpop will draw on real life examples, including growth metrics and best practice guidance to help you do more with your next acquisition campaign.

    HostelBookers will then present a multi-channel case study where they generated  a significant database growth!

    How to optimise and test subscriber forms
    Alchemy Worx will go through the most successful strategies for testing and optimising your subscriber forms.

    Tim Watson of Zettasphere will round off this session with an outstanding case study from Lucky Voice. They achieved 112% list growth and you will hear the secrets of their success!

    The day will finish with a lively panel debate where you can put your questions to the morning’s speakers.

    To see the full agenda please click here

    Other dates in the series are:

    Email customer lifecycle: Conversion
    Tuesday 17 July 2012

    Email customer lifecycle: Retention
    Tuesday 18 September 2012

    Email customer lifecycle: Win-back
    Tuesday 20 September 2012


    Sponsored by

    Phone: 020 7291 3349
    DMA member (inc VAT) £ 0.00
    Non-member (inc VAT) £ 36.00

    Join us at the International Email Marketing Summit on May 16, 2012

    Register now for this virtual summit and learn all about the latest trends and best practices in email marketing without leaving your desk!

    And it won’t cost you a penny/eurocent/dollarcent/… 

    The DMA is proud to be a sponsor of this, the very first edition of the International Email Marketing Summit.

    Not only will you be inspired by the latest tactics that work but you’ll also take away a list of action items you can implement immediately.

    Featured speakers

    • Dela Quist, Alchemy Worx
    • Dave Chaffey, Smart Insights
    • Tamara Gielen, Plan to Engage
    • Denise Cox, Newsweaver
    • Riaz Kanani, Alchemy Worx
    • Kath Pay, Plan to Engage
    • Arianna Galante, ContactLab
    • Tom Bailey, eCircle
    • James Bunting, Communicator
    #IEMS speakers

    What’s on the agenda?

    • Beyond just selling: engaging with your subscribers
    • 7 reasons why your subscribers don’t respond
    • Tips & tricks for designing emails for a mobile audience
    • Inactive Subscribers: Prospects or Problem?
    • Creating a successful content strategy for email marketing: 8 Easy Steps
    • and lots more…