The From Line
I’m privy to a secret that I’m going to share with you. Publishers and media companies that are successful with their email programs don’t like to share this information for fear of passing on the opportunity for success. Personally, I feel there is enough success to go around and this is why I’m choosing to share it.
The secret is labeled “D.A.R.T.” and it directly affects their ability monetize their email newsletters.
A newsletter’s design is one of the main elements that determines a successful email monetization program. Aside from mobile and multi-client rendering, advertising, both native and display, should FEEL part of the subscriber experience not relegated to the newsletter’s margins. Additionally, newsletters that include full stories instead of teasers are not conducive to monetization as an advertisement placed in these types of formats look awkward and out of place, disrupting the subscriber experience.
If you plan to place one or two ads in your newsletter be prepared for very tepid results. Effective monetization of a multi-story email newsletter requires the proper ad to content ratio which in some cases can be 50/50 or 60/40 depending on how well you’re able to integrate advertising into the subscriber experience.
To maximize revenue, it’s important to go beyond contextual ads and include personally targeted ads as well. Ads targeted using a subscriber’s encrypted email address (MD5#) are usually based on a demographic and behavior profile by the advertiser or ad network helping to yield higher CPMs.
Advances in software automation and cloud computing has propelled mass email technology to new heights yet these advances have also democratized the channel where advanced features are now available to even the smallest publisher. The costs to automate email newsletter programs have dropped substantially. In fact, Gold Lasso offers FREE access and sending from its enterprise email software to highly qualified publishers. Now there is no excuse NOT to automate.
So there you have it. Secret revealed. If you are a publisher or media company and you follow these four simple recommendations, you’ll be on your way to successful monetization!
I'm a news junkie! I admit it! I can't get enough news and analysis on Middle East conflicts, stock market trends, sports picks, and celebrity gossip. I almost always have two news channels running simultaneously in my house and at my desk at work. To continually feed my habit every waking hour, I subscribe to no fewer than 137 daily email newsletters, from big-name publishers to small niche bloggers, and I scan almost all of them on my four-inch iPhone 5s screen.
In general, my daily email newsletter habit saves me a lot of time. It's quicker than jumping from app-to-app or site-to-site to satisfy my fix. However, at times I get frustrated and stumble from the routine of using my right thumb to scroll down and click.
This frustration usually happens when I encounter a mobile-unfriendly newsletter, forcing my left index finger and thumb to start pinching and stretching across my iPhone's screen. My eyes dilate to discern the extra small fonts, while my genetically oversized thumb has to switch from a vertical to a horizontal scroll.
After I get a taste of the initial snippet of an interesting story, my desire to indulge in the rest takes over my brain. I use my thumb to forcefully scroll right, then left, frantically searching for the "read more" link or button, finally seeing the little blue words seducing me into action. As I take a deep breath to lift my thumb, I subconsciously notice the edge of a social media sharing image positioned nanometers from my objective. My thumb hits the screen, and a cold feeling immediately overcomes me with the thought that I missed. Sure enough, my Facebook app opens, with a prompt to share the story I that I'd just wanted to finish reading. "Crap!" I say. After repeating this narrative between 50 and 60 times daily, I've started being more selective with the publishers I interact with.
The phenomenon of online media not accommodating mobile email is not isolated to a small percentage of the industry, nor to a segment of its respective demographics. It's a systemic issue that's a disservice to publishers' subscribers and brand. In an era of fragmented audiences and shortened attention spans, publishers can't afford to marginalize the power of mobile email by ignoring responsive design. More importantly, publishers' lackadaisical interest in mobile email is counterproductive to their cries of low CPM rates and quality traffic.
When I ask publishers why they don't embrace responsive design, their answers range from technical ignorance to outdated design ideology. Whichever their answers, most fit in the confines of a flimsy excuse and are akin to shooting one's self in the foot, purposely!
Fortunately, adopting responsive design is easy, and can be fully integrated into a publisher's repertoire of daily email. The publishers who do eventually make the responsive design jump notice a substantial increase in engagement and monetization. It's not unheard of for open rates to increase by 20% or 30%, and CPMs to reach up to $8 or more for standard display ads alone. Given these tangible benefits, it's baffling why publishers aren't there yet.
The economics of a widely used, open platform like email are such that when there's an issue with functionality, the market rushes in to correct it. Uniform rendering across disparate email clients is a byproduct of trying to fix broken HTML. Publishers should expect similar efforts from developers trying to dictate subscriber experience to their email clients.
With the start of a new year comes new opportunities for growth and change for your business. You already know how important it is to have an effective email campaign in place. A great way to vamp up these campaigns and make them even more effective in 2013 is by changing your templates to include newer, eye catching designs. Why not stir things up a bit in 2013?
How long have you been using your current email template design? If it’s been over a year and you’re still stuck using the same bland format, it’s about time for a change. Do you know if the template you've been using translates as well on smart phones and tablets as it does within different email clients? If you're not sure, it's definitely time to reevaluate and consider an upgrade.
More and more people are using mobile technology to view their emails. In order for your campaigns to be as effective as possible, you need to be able to communicate to your leads efficiently, especially within the mobile platform. When subscribers open your emails on their mobile devices, do you know what they see? If you’re not certain of how your message renders, there is a good chance it could be improved. Worse yet, if your messages aren’t getting through, you can be sure it won't be long until your emails are marked as spam, or your leads unsubscribe from them all together. Optimizing your templates to render properly on mobile devices will ensure proper deliverability and higher open rates. The best email templates to use are the ones that translate well regardless of what device they're used on. Your template should look just as nice on a desktop computer as it does when it's viewed on an iPhone.
Using a revamped email template is also a good way to create new buzz about your business. Do you have a new product or a new service you're offering this year? Even if your merchandise or services are the same, a new email template gives your leads the impression that great things are happening in your business and it encourages them to check out what you have to offer.
Are you ready to make some changes to your email campaign for the new year? It's never too late to start. You already know that email marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach your target audience. Let us help you refine your campaign to get the best results possible. For more information, contact us today.
If your business currently employs an active email marketing campaign, congratulations! You are already taking advantage of an effective and proven strategy. So much so, that according to the Message Systems 2012 Marketing Channel and Engagement Benchmark Survey, email still tops the list as the most popular and successful marketing channel, despite the rise of social media. In fact, 63 percent of their survey’s respondents credited email as their largest return on investment.
Knowing this, it is important for marketers to ask themselves if they are truly getting the most out of their email marketing. Is your email template unique, attractive and eye-catching? Does it generate the interest in your product or service that you are aiming for? Are you able to repurpose templates in an efficient way? In order to make the most of your email marketing campaigns, the bones of the operation have to be top notch.
Creating your own email template can mean many hours devoted to design and coding. Even after all of that effort, you could still end up with a template that fails to connect with prospective customers in a meaningful way. Using a pre-made template limits your options and does not allow for your company's unique character and message to stand out from the crowd. After all, it is unlikely that your company is the only email marketer using any given pre-made template.
Custom email templates allow for more creativity and individuality in your messaging. At Gold Lasso, we can help you create a truly unique and effective email template that will attract attention. Instead of settling for a pre-made template that may already be in use by dozens of other marketers, choosing to employ a template that is professionally designed and coded specifically for your campaign is a proven strategy to connect with prospective customers in a more effective and personalized way.
If you would like more information on our design service for custom email templates or our full line of eMarketing solutions and services, contact us.
Asked by Lauren Rutley, Visual Mining
Answer by Elie Ashery, CEO
Click Through Rates and Open to Click Through Rates
Before any marketer should worry about their overall click through rates, they should first concentrate on their open to click through rates (number of unique clicks/number of unique opens). This stat reveals a lot about your content relevancy, value and creativeness. If your open to click through rate is high but your overall unique click through rate is low, you’re in a much better position than if both stats are low. Assuming your sender reputation is stellar, the reason for this is that it shows the subscribers opening your email find the content relevant and engaging. More importantly, to get additional subscribers to open your email is more of a less costly function of creating compelling and enticing subject lines. With both open to click through rates and unique click through rates low your problem is much bigger. The issues can range from poor email design to content value. From a design standpoint I find that B2C marketers think what works on the web will work in email and from B2B marketers they think what works in direct mail will also work in email. Just as the same rules don’t apply to newspapers and radio the same is true in crossing online mediums.
Since you’re a B2B marketer I encourage you to keep your designs simple, with less words. Especially for complex sales it’s important to focus only on the pain points. Busy executives don’t have the time to sift through fluff. Keep your calls to action easy to find and above the fold. Remember, most people are lazy and don’t like to scroll. Assessing content value is a much more difficult process. It involves surveying your core clients or the new markets you’re after and constant testing. Don’t be afraid to change content formats. What works today will probably not work tomorrow. If your market isn’t downloading your white papers from your email try a click through to a podcast (read your white paper). Executives like to take mental breaks and let someone else do the driving. Creativity is the heart of valuable content that’s palatable. This is where you draw the line with company quants.