When it comes to email marketing, there’s loads of terminology that we e-marketers use. However, my preferred buzz word may be different to yours. For example: I say use the words ‘suppression list’ but you may use the words say ‘blocked list’. Both mean exactly the same thing – basically a list of people not to email. So do you prefer buzz words, or do you prefer plain talking?
Let’s test it out and see what this looks like with an example…
Would you like to create some adhoc data capture forms to capture additional data on existing subscribers? How about setting up some channel unsubscribes to manage opt downs. Think you could do with some automated, anniversary, content delivery?
All sounds a bit formal doesn’t it? So in this blog let’s do away with jargon and get down to some plain talk. If you like the sound of some, (or all), of the features below that Campaignmaster can help you with, get in touch with your account manager and leave the technical bits to us
Would you like to create beautiful email invitations for your events and receive a notification every time someone signs up with all their preferences listed? [Jargon=Data Capture Forms & Notifications]
Would you like to have all your event sign ups fall into one isolated list that you can target straight away without exporting/importing each time? [Jargon=Data Capture Forms]
Anniversary & Behavioural Campaigns
Would you like to send someone an e-birthday card with a special discount or incentive automatically on their birthday? [Jargon=Automated Campaigns]
Would you like to present your users with options to be reminded of a future event? [Jargon=Scheduled Triggers]
Do you want to strike while the iron’s hot and send a recipient an automatic campaign based on their last email engagement? [Jargon=Triggers]
Would you like a system that can auto generate subscription renewal reminders, so you don’t have to remember? [Jargon=Automated Campaigns]
Collecting New Sign Ups
Do you want a pop up on your website to collect new email subscribers and add this data automatically to your email marketing account and from there be automatically enrolled on a series of welcome emails? [Jargon=Subscriber form in an iFrame with Automated Campaigns]
Do you want to give your users the power to choose which type of e-news content they want to receive? [Jargon=Subscriber Preferences]
Creating Micro Sites or Landing Pages
Did you need to host some content on your website but your web manager doesn’t have the time to update the web page in time for your campaign launch? [Jargon=Global Hosted Pages]
Creating Content Automatically
Would you like to pull live blog content into your campaigns automatically? [Jargon=External Hosted Content]
Would you like to send content thats specific to your recipient’s preferences? For example, their preferred holiday destination, or from their specific account manager? [Jargon=Customised Content]
Have you launched a campaign and realised afterwards that the link or image was incorrect? [Jargon=Link Salvage]
Reports & Analytics
Do you want to run a report on all the email addresses that have not opened or clicked in your emails in the past 6 months to try and re-engage them again? [Jargon=Bespoke Reports]
Or perhaps the opposite and run a report on your top email engagers and reward them with an extra special offer? [Jargon=Bespoke Reports]
Do you want to know many people are printing your emails? [Jargon=Advanced Analytics]
You’re spending a lot of time on making your emails responsive but would you like to know what percentage of your readership is actually viewing their emails on mobile devices? [Jargon=Advanced Analytics]
Would you like to send short text messages to your database highlighting new content or offers available? [Jargon=SMS Module]
Do you want to ensure your sending reputation is not tarnished by another client’s bad list? [Jargon=Dedicated IP Addresses]
Would you like your links and from address to be fully branded? [Jargon=Dedicated Sending Domain]
Would you like to increase the chances of your emails getting opened by adding more to the subject line? [Jargon=Pre-header text]
Do you want to split your data and try out different subject lines and send the best performing campaign to the remaining list? [Jargon=AB Testing]
Do you want to split your data and change different elements of your email campaign and send the best performing campaign to the remaining list? [Jargon=Multivariate Testing]
In Managing Unsubscribes we discussed the different reasons why people unsubscribe and how you can manage your unsubscribe pages. In this post we will delve into examples of live preference centres and unsubscribe pages to see what we can learn from what's currently out there.
First up is Groupon's preference centre. There are a lot of positives here, but those very positives can be construed as negatives, depending on the audience.
Off the bat, as soon as I come to the preference centre, there is too much going on. My eyes need to adjust to the multitude of options available on the page. Now, for someone like me who deals with emails, webpages and forms for a living, it’ is easy to quickly make sense of it. But it might not be as simple for someone less acquainted with the internet.
The page reflects the website, so to a regular subscriber it will be familiar, which is never a bad idea.
The search bar at the top is a good distraction, a way to divert my attention from unsubscribing and instead searching for a deal; who doesn't love a good deal!
The manage subscription options are specific to my location and give me the chance to add another city, which in affect could leave me wanting to receive even more emails than before, even though I came to the preference centre to unsubscribe. Quite ingenious.
The options are broken down well, so as to retain as many subscribers as possible. More importantly, it will help Groupon send me more targeted emails and understand their subscribers better.
So, the various options on this page are great and at times sneaky, given how I am easily distracted, I could decide to visit their website instead of unsubscribing, end up opting in for even more emails then before, or I could simply be put off by all that’s going on here and end up chucking the next email into my junk folder. This in turn would be bad for Groupon’s reputation as a sender.
Moral of the story: if you are creating a preference centre with a multitude of options, keep your layout simple and easy to understand. If you incorporate the design of your website into the page, don’t lose sight of the main objective, which is to give your readership a chance to manage their preferences easily. All in all, keep it simple and easy to use so you don’t end up in a junk folder.
We recently wrote a design spotlight on a Booking.com email. For me, they have hit the nail on the head with their preference centre.
They have incorporated their header, so I get the look and feel of their website with a few options, most of which are specific to me:
Despite this, the focus remains on the preference centre with a nice big heading and centre aligned content:
Each type of newsletter has a unique name, instead of just 'newsletters' and 'events' they use 'lazy Sundays' or 'Tuesday Inspiration ', making the newsletters sound more interesting and appealing.
For one, it’s well laid out and designed, and secondly it shows me a live example of what I could be missing out on. Remember, just because you understand the categories for your email campaigns, doesn’t mean your readership will. So the preview option is an ingenious inclusion.
The apology is a nice, sympathetic touch.
So in conclusion, I think Booking.com have hit the nail on the head, their preference centre is clear, concise and to the point.
Preference centre is not always the way to go when it comes to managing unsubscribes. Yes it may help you retrain a few subscribers but you are running the risk of ending up in junk folders, which is ultimately worse than an unsubscribe.
Londonist have taken a different route. They offer a one-click unsubscribe, which will be a relief to their readership who will be grateful for the easy unsubscribe and hence more inclined to provide the simple feedback request that follows:
This simple feedback form is a great way of understanding why someone has unsubscribed, and though you are not retaining subscribers, you now know what mistakes you made so you can rectify them. Although, I would possibly take a different line of questioning. Maybe ask the recipient if they did not receive what they were expecting when they signed up or if the content was too generic and not for them etc.
In conclusion, feedback questions are a great way of understanding why a recipient has chosen to unsubscribe, and a good way to learn from your mistakes. Almost like asking an ex for feedback at the end of a relationship so you do better next time around!
This is quite a unique take on unsubscribes. Noddle are asking for a second chance, which is in my control. I can decide to, firstly give them a second chance and secondly how long for. It's a good idea, as they make their subscribers feel in control which isn’t easy to do when we receive so many emails on a regular basis that we feel it’s out of our hands.
The page itself is simple, a bit too simple for my liking. There is a lack of branding and no links off to their actual website. They are in affect losing the chance to drive traffic to their website, as a marketer you shouldn't miss out any such opportunities.
- Preference centres are a good idea, but they need to be simple and to the point. It could be your last opportunity to salvage the relationship, so you want to be interesting and unique, but at the same time do not come on too strong.
Have a 'unsubscribe from all' option that is easy to see.
As Booking.com has done, use large headings that get the point across to the user.
Offer options that are specific to the recipient, like Groupon offered me the option of staying subscribed to all communications based on my location.
Mostly importantly, try and understand why the recipient wants to unsubscribe, is it the frequency of emails? Or the lack of relevant content etc.
- Getting feedback will in the long run help you understand your subscribers better, and deliver email communications that lead to a better ROI.
Do you know the difference between a single and double opt in process? Which one should you use to win new email subscribers? Read on for our guidance.
So this is basically a sign-up process where a user does not need to confirm that they signed up to receive email campaigns. The user submits their email address, (and maybe some further details about their preferences), and they’re added to your email marketing database. This can be an instant process if you use Campaignmaster Subscriber Forms.
A double opt in requires confirmation that the subscriber has indeed signed up. This is achieved by sending an instant email notification to the user after form submission. This notification email requires the user to physically click on a link within the email to confirm their legitimate ownership of that email address. What’s more by gently pushing your subscriber to check their inbox, they are also verifying their intent to receive your content. By the way Campaignmaster can handle both single and double opt in’s easily for you.
If you’re still unsure of which opt in process is better for you, I’ve listed the pros and cons below.
Pros of Single Opt-In:
- Gain new subscribers quickly
Cons of Single-Opt In:
- One entry of your email address may not be accurate so you haven’t got a new subscriber after all
- Spambots could submit fake email addresses
- A wrong email address means a hard bounce which over time can affect your sender reputation
- Giving someone else’s email address (ever heard of revenge spam?!) resulting in the genuine owner reporting as spam so again affecting your sender reputation
Pros of Double Opt-In:
- Obviously a cleaner list
- No ‘revenge spam’ attempts
- Further opportunity to up sell at point of verification (discount on verification)
- Higher engagement from genuine subscribers
- Privacy laws are becoming more and more stringent so having full consented, double opted in email data will be more compliant than ever
Cons of Double Opt-In:
- Slower list growth as requires further human interaction
- Verification may end up in the junk box delaying the sign up process further
The question then is which is better? In our expert opinion, it depends on your business and the priorities you place on building a subscriber database. Probably not the straight answer you were looking for, but that’s email marketing for you! Different processes work for different businesses.
Double opt in will gives you a cleaner list but may be slower in terms of list growth but if you find you have high hard bounce rates due to inaccurate email data then I would suggest you opt for double opt in.
If you want to grow a list quickly single opt in is the obvious choice.
Still, I thought I’d share this double opt in process from Richard James to give you further food for thought:
1. A pop up window appeared after around 5 seconds to encourage me to sign up
2. An instant notification telling me the process is not so long and to check my inbox:
3. Here’s the prompt notification in my inbox along with a contact email address if I have any questions about the list I am being added to which is a nice touch:
4. A confirmation email confirming my sign up details, they are very thorough.
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