Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Gmail Tabs

As an email marketer we work each day to ensure our emails are properly received, viewed, and responded to by our recipients. So what happens when Gmail, now the world’s largest Email Provider, makes a decision that could change how we view deliverability to the inbox? We adapt. Below is what you need to know about Gmail's recent inbox formatting change: TABS.

What is it?
Gmail users now have the option to group incoming emails into tabs like Primary, Social, and Promotions. The primary tab is the first tab seen by users and holds all the important emails while all marketing emails are filtered into the Promotions tab, include Google’s own ads.

The Effect on Engagement
With the original inbox, Gmail’s open rates average at around 13% to 15% since 2012 (according to Mailchimp). Since the introduction and adoption of the new inbox, Gmail’s opens has dropped by about 18% (according to Litmus).

What can we do about this?
Email marketers have tested dozens of configurations and have yet to find a way to get their “Promotions” into the “Primary” tab. At the moment, the only solution is to ask your subscribers to drag your email into the Primary tab manually.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Email Marketing vs. Social Media Marketing

Email marketing and social media marketing appear similar for the following reasons:

1)    Both are online and can deliver messages directly to audiences who have expressed an interest in the company
2)    Both cost comparably less than other marketing tools
3)    Both produce high returns and beneficial results when executed properly

There are, however, numerous aspects that differentiate the two despite these similarities. In addition, there are many examples show that email marketing is still a lot more effective than social media marketing. The main reasons businesses often choose email marketing over social media is that Email marketing can provide real-time trackable numbers.

Email marketing provides a huge range of statistics—from number of emails sent, open rate, click through rate, bounce rate, etc. Although technological leaps are being made to measure user activity online in regards to social media, email marketing still provides the most definitive user statistics. With detailed statistics, email marketers can adjust and improve the marketing contents and strategies for better efficiency.

Check out this inforgraphic for more detailed information

Happy Mailing!

Author: Heejung Kim
Editor: Caitlin Durand

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Email Marketing vs. Direct Mail Marketing

Used by companies large and small today, delivering mail to customers’ mailboxes is still the most popular way to reach your target market. Mail delivery, however, consist of two major types --  direct mail marketing and digital mail or email marketing. While both are a form of direct marketing and are cheaper marketing alternatives to buying a billboard space or running a television ad, the two have major differentiations in how they are sent and received.

Direct Mail

Direct mail marketing entails sending directly to your target audiences’ houses. Direct mail marketing mediums commonly include postcards, letters, catalogues and pamphlets. These materials need to be designed, printed, stamped, and sent through postal service.

One advantage to direct mail marketing is the lists available for purchase that can target the most niche markets out there. Data of households are collected which includes demographics such as age, gender, geography, income, and even their life styles by tracking what kind of magazines they are subscribed to. Another advantage to direct mail marketing is the ability to put a physical copy of a post card or catalogue in consumer’s hands.

However, direct mail marketing has its down side as well. The major one is the hefty cost which includes the design fee, the print fee, the postage fee, the mailing fee and the cost of buying a list. Another disadvantage to direct mail marketing is the lack of accuracy when it comes to tracking ROI (Return on Investment).

Digital Mail

Email marketing uses electronic mail to promote products or a message. Marketing emails can be used for many purposes such as automatically responding to customers, following up with customers, distributing newsletters, keeping in touch with customers and more.

One of the greatest advantages of email marketing is the convenience of delivering and tracking the campaigns. Unlike direct mail, emails can be almost instantly generated and be scheduled to go out as the email marketer sees fit. Also, email marketing enables the marketer to pin point and direct one batch of emails towards one group of audience and another batch to another group of audience. With the right program, it’s also relatively effortless to track opens and clicks which helps with calculating ROI.

While direct mail is great for sending your audience a hard copy of your marketing material, digital mail enables marketers to use more modern techniques, such as animations, in an email. Unlike direct mail marketing, email marketing is prominently more cost efficient. With an ROI of 28.5% compared to direct mail, at 7% (Direct Mail Association), it’s evident that email marketing is unparalleled in its own right.

Despite the wholesome advantages to email marketing, like any marketing strategy, it has its shortcomings. One major weakness for email marketing is the forbiddance of purchasing a consumer list due to the CAN SPAM Act which is intended to prevent email abuse. The appropriate way to go about deriving a list is to compile one by having customers submit their email address on a website or on a form in person which can eventually grow into a healthy, voluminous list.

Whether you take into account the cost, the effectiveness, or the convenience of, email marketing has rapidly surpassed direct mail marketing as a marketer’s must in direct marketing.

Happy Mailing!

Author: Michelle Chan
Editor: Caitlin Durand

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Email Marketing Mistakes

Crucial and Basic Rules that Startups needs to follow in Email Marketing
As a start up, you probably are very excited to send emails out to your customers and share your stories and products. A few crucial rules should be followed by businesses like yours to enhance overall effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns. Here they are:  

1.    Don’t think you represent your target market
2.    Don’t market to “Everybody”
3.    Have a permission from your customers
4.    Don’t purchase email lists
5.    Know the difference between transactional emails and email marketing
6.    Focus on customer wants/needs rather than trying to beat the competitor
7.    Build relationships, rather than sending mass messages
8.    Don’t assume people want to hear from you or know who you are
9.    Test emails across multiple platforms 

Stay tuned in the upcoming weeks for most details on each one of these great pieces of advice. Much more to come…

- The KobeMail Team

Friday, March 29, 2013

Color In Creatives

Colors evoke emotions, influence attitudes, and can ultimately influence behaviors. If you want to get readers to react to your emails, or any marketing material for that matter, you should be considering the colors scheme you are utilizing.

Below are the primary colors you may use, and a list of psychological emotions they may evoke. Keep this in mind while creating your next mailing template to make sure the theme of your message is conveyed through color:

YELLOW is a great color to draw attention to certain topic. It also conveys happiness and energy, but be careful -- too much yellow is difficult on the eyes and can overpower the rest of your content.

ORANGE is another color that embodies warmth and energy. Uniquely, including orange in your email is a great way to portray both creativity and wealth.

RED demands attention. More assertive than yellow, red conveys a boldness, sense of urgency, and power to your readers. Be cautious not to use too much of this color as to not come off as too aggressive.

GREEN represents cleanliness, health, and the environment. One of green’s best attributes is its easiness on the eyes. Use green to create a tranquil, optimistic email creative.

BLUE is one of the most commonly used colors. Blue evokes emotions ranging from confidence, security, cleanliness, and authoritativeness. (Most business apps use the color blue!)

PURPLE is the color of royalty and wealth. Spirituality, power, and luxury can always be depicted through the use of purple. Due to purple’s artificial nature, it is not widely used.

Happy Mailings!

Author: Kayla Sfiligoj
Editor: Caitlin Durand

Friday, March 22, 2013

Optimizing Emails for Mobile Devices

Over the last 2 years, mobile device usage has shot through the roof with more and more users relying on their portable devices to open and read through emails. Have you considered this fact when optimizing your email campaigns? If you’ve never taken email optimizing for mobile devices seriously before, now is the time to start. According to Campaign Monitor, mobile email usage has grown from 4% of the market to 20% in two years.

So the question becomes - How can you optimize emails for mobile devices?
Subject line:  Use 15 characters max to ensure that recipients can read the full header upon opening

Layout: Use a simple, stacked layout as opposed to a multi-column layout

Width: Keep the width to 600px or less so portions of email are not cut off

Buttons and links:  Make buttons and links big and “clickable” by providing padding (whitespace) around them to eliminate “mis-clicks”  

Click-to-call: Use a plain text phone number or a click-to-call button.  It stands to reason that mobile users are likely to have a high conversion rate over the phone. The idea here is to make it as easy as possible for them to do that.

Ergonomics: Remember that ergonomically, you’re designing for people’s thumbs. Keep that in mind as you’re placing important elements such as call-to-action buttons.

General best practices: Most of the best practices for regular email design still apply. Use images wisely, balance images with plain text, use alt text.

 Happy Mailing!
Author: Michelle Chan
Editor: Caitlin Durand

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Increasing Click Through Rates

Follow these tricks to obtain more clicks for your e-mail:
More Links
You can use the obvious linking of
call-to-actions such as “Click Here” but try linking your words within your article or pitch. You might find that people will respond better to more links.

Link Your Headlines
If you write a newsletter and you’ve got headlines for your articles, try linking the entire headline. If you sell a product link the product name.

Link Your Images
People are used to being taken somewhere when they click on an image. If you’ve got an image that relates to your product or cause, link it!

Include a Table of Contents
Let people get to the content they want to see fast by using
anchor tags in your table of contents at the top of your email. Make sure to implement anchor tags properly as programs like Outlook 2007 have strict specifications for proper anchoring.

Tease Your Recipients
Include half the story in your email and link off to the other half. Make sure in your link you tell them there is more to read. A good suggestion might be “Finish reading this fantastic article…” or something of that nature. Then on the page you direct them to, you can include offers that relate to your content.

Link Your Offer
 If you’ve discounted a product make sure you link either the text or the image you use.

Use a Free Gift as Incentive
Give a free gift with purchase or donation, but only tell them what it is if they click on the link. Then you’ve got more real estate on the page to tell your story.

Link to a Customer Video
Perhaps you’ve got a customer who made a video about your business. Why not link to it in your emails? Nothing sells you better than one of your customers plus your customer will tell all of his friends about it.

Personalize Your Links
If you’ve got a special offer, why not try including your recipients name in the link. “John, click here for your special discount” or “Stanley, click here to learn more about how you can save the Bay.”

Happy Mailing!

Author: Michelle Chan
Editor: Caitlin Durand