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The 3 most important email marketing KPIs that you should be monitoring

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There are many potential key performance indicators (KPIs) that you can be tracking when it comes to email marketing— which is part of what overwhelms so many digital marketers when they first consider this channel. Some of these KPIs include conversion rate, open rate, click through, unsubscribe rate, spam complaint rate, bounce rate, delivery rate, site traffic generated… you get the idea!

It’s important to start with the basics. In truth, if you have a strong handle on the three most important KPIs, your understanding of the others and their significance will fall into place on its own.

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Email marketing and video content: does it work?

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The question of whether or not to include video content in email marketing campaigns plagues some marketers.  The answer to the title question – does it work – is simple enough: Yes, email marketing that incorporates videos works well, when it’s done correctly. However, if it’s poorly executed it can be an unpleasant experience for all concerned and can result in a loss of trust and a loss of subscribers. It’s a fine line to walk.

The engrossing nature of email content has never been in question. By the same token, video in a digital setting has always been considered a highly engaging format. With the acceleration of high speed internet and even high speed mobile device internet, video streaming is more accessible than ever. Many savvy email marketers have long been looking for ways to harness video’s incredible appeal in an email-friendly package.  

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The importance of consistent branding via email communications

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Email gives marketers the opportunity to create and reinforce one-on-one relationships with their target audiences, potential customers and current clients. Consistent branding within your email communications is therefore absolutely critical.

Consistent branding is an important tool in your email arsenal because it can be used to differentiate your organization from others.  You can use it to help create a brand identity which in turn leads to recognition, and that leads to potential customers becoming current customers.  But it’s not just about recognition of course. Branding is also important in terms of helping you more easily relate to customers. It helps to give your business not only an identity but ideally a personality, one that has been specifically designed to resonate with your audience.  Branding is important in terms of reinforcing your key messages as well.

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How Analytics should be powering your email marketing decisions

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Email marketers are constantly faced with a plethora of decisions. What type of content to send? When to send it? And how often? Should a campaign target specific recipients? And if so, what format would be most effective? The list of questions goes on…

Making the best decision for your business can often seem overwhelming. This is where analytics comes in. With data by your side, you can arm your email marketing decisions with cold, hard statistics drawn straight from your previous campaigns.

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Creating newsletters with Mailflow

Owen powis avatar

We've made some changes to how Scheduled sequences work, meaning you can now use Mailflow for newsletters and any other similar campaign. The key difference is being able to add contacts into a scheduled sequence which is already running. Read on for a full breakdown of how the new sequence type works.

 

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What to look for in an email service provider in 2016

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Email marketing is well and truly alive despite the advent of numerous other buzzwords and digital marketing channels snatching headlines. In fact, it’s more powerful than ever. Today, the majority of marketers consider email to be a hugely valuable medium when it comes to communicating with customers.

Don’t believe us? Here are a few statistics to whet your appetite:

    Email marketing is 40 times more effective at winning new customers than Facebook and Twitter, reports McKinsey’s iConsumer survey. When compared to social media in general, it offers 17% higher conversion rates.

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The reasons people unsubscribe from your emails and how to prevent it

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Business owners and marketers alike channel a huge amount of time and effort into getting customers to sign up to email databases. Subscribers are like golden eggs, however far too many senders fail to realize the importance of making just as much effort to retain their contacts. The result? Opt-outs from all angles.

So how can you keep your contact list engaged? Read on for a list of common reasons why people unsubscribe from emails and how to prevent them.

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Event triggered email strategies that go beyond transactions

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So much of digital marketing best in class practice comes down to a handful of variables - relevancy, targeting and timing. Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising was the first channel to pioneer these variables over a decade ago. It offered advertisers the means to target users when they are most likely to convert i.e. at the exact moment they are searching for a specific product or service.

Despite more than 10 years worth of knowledge built on the back of the PPC targeting revolution, email marketing still revolves around sending regular email broadcasts, typically at the same time each week. The element of timing doesn’t factor into the strategic approach much beyond simply finding the day of the week and the time of day with the best open rate. Targeting in email marketing is just as relevant as it is in PPC. It’s a tactic that if taken further, can propel email marketing efforts to a much higher level of interaction and engagement.

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Mailflow now integrates with Mixpanel

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Mixpanel with Mailflow metrics

Lots of us use emails as part of our sales or customer activation funnels. But traditionally, tracking the performance of your emails alongside other business metrics like page views, sales, or sign-ups was a complicated process involving tracking pixels, custom code and, quite often, headache pills.

That's why we're pleased to introduce our new Mixpanel integration. Simply paste your Mixpanel token into your Mailflow account integrations page, and Mailflow will automatically track form subscribes, email opens and email clicks as Mixpanel events. And all without a custom tracking pixel in sight.

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Transactional emails - beginner's tips

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Do you customise your transactional emails? It’s not uncommon to see transactional or action based email processes like sign ups and account confirmation response emails which haven’t been customised. This means the user receives a basic plain text template, rather than a branded or custom creation. Usually these are stock versions as supplied by the ecommerce or user management platform. Transactional emails are a common missed opportunity in email marketing. It’s a mistake typically made by new businesses or those who have changed e-commerce platforms recently. 

Even though a sale has been completed in the instance of a receipt email being sent, or the user has hit the all-important sign up button prior to receiving account confirmation emails, the actual process of issuing the transactional confirmation email is just as important as that desired action. This is all part of the user’s experience with your brand or service and should be treated as such. After all, if you’re sending someone a transactional email, that means you have successfully convinced them to opt in to your mailing list, or perhaps made a sale. Customising your transactional email template removes the risk of making a bad first impression.

Particularly where email confirmation is involved, the user’s opt in isn’t complete until they confirm their sign up. Make sure the welcome and confirmation emails are on brand and immediately recognisable as you. There is a simple reason for beginning with this most basic of tips - with the sheer volume of emails received by modern day online users, you can’t afford to look generic or ambiguous. Be memorable. Stand out. Cement the user’s relationship with your brand, whatever the nature of the transaction, by being smart, strategic and creative with the associated transactional email. So how do you get started?

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Ensuring your email marketing caters for mobile

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As with any marketing activity, understanding your audience is of the utmost importance when it comes to developing an email strategy. Knowing their daily habits should direct how you plan communications with them. It’s not only habits or what your consumers actually consume that you need to keep in mind. You also need to identify their method of consumption as well. With smartphones and tablets now accounting for over half of all web browsing in the USA and UK, modern email marketers also need to know which devices the audience is using and when they are using them.

According to Com Score’s review of 2014 digital consumption, over 90% of 18-25 year olds and 84% of 26-35 year olds in the UK have a smartphone device. The average smartphone penetration across the UK is 75%.

As a result over half of all consumer emails are now opened on a mobile device.

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Lists? Where we're going we don't need lists..!

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Mailflow doesn’t have lists. There is one group of contacts and it’s called contacts. But why don't we use multiple lists like other platforms? In this article we'll go through some of the problems caused using lists and some of the benefits of using a different, more flexible, system.

Duplication and management

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10 features of Mailflow to change the way you do email marketing

Owen powis avatar

Over here at Mailflow things are getting really exciting. So exciting in fact I’d thought I’d share some of the features we are working on and how I think it can change the way that you do email marketing.

Visualise your campaigns

See every email in a campaign on the same page. See how all those emails interact and the relationship between them and a contact takes to get each email. It’s remarkable how much difference it makes when you can do this. Planning and executing campaigns gets so much easier.

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We're all part of an audience. So what emails do we want to receive?

Owen powis avatar

This post is about how we treat our audience, and how we would wish to be treated if we were part of it. So I’m thinking as an individual and part of other marketers' audiences - 'what sort of marketing emails do I want to have in my inbox?'.

For me, there are a few key criteria:

If every marketing email I received passed these basic qualifications I would ultimately receive far fewer emails. However, I would be far more likely to take action of those that I did receive. I’d have a better-looking inbox and be more receptive to the brands in it. So is this just me? Or is it representative of the wider market?

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Why it's not all about the subject line

Owen powis avatar

There's a quote by the marketing great David Ogilvy that often crops up in discussions about email optimisation. It goes like this:

“When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar”.

It’s used to highlight the importance of a good subject line. But the trouble is that in relation to email, it’s wrong. To complete the quote, what Ogilvy actually said was:

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Why you want an inbox full of Pigeons

Owen powis avatar

The first email was sent way back in 1971 by Ray Tomlinson. A quick Google will reveal that he can’t actually remember what the message he sent was. So the inauspicious start to email most likely was “QWERTYUIOP or something similar”.

It’s fair to say then that email has come from pretty humble beginnings. But just seven years later in 1978 a man called Gary Thuerk realised the ‘potential’, sending out the first ever mass marketing email to 400 Arpnet users. Although it took a few years to take off, that was pretty much it from this point on. The genie was out the bottle. Interestingly enough, although the fax had been used in businesses since the previous decade it wasn’t until the 1980s that it became popular for mass sending and the junk fax was born.

Herein lies the trouble with email. It almost lends itself to this form of mass marketing. It has very low costs, it can be sent in high volumes, audiences can be easily acquired via list purchasing and finally, perhaps crucially, there is a very low technical threshold to email spamming - it’s easy to do. All of this combines to make it an attractive option to the average spammer because you only need to make one sale for thousands of sends and a great ROI.

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Email marketing isn't anywhere near its peak - it's just getting started

Owen powis avatar

Email marketing is growing. The toolset is growing, the audience is growing and the amount of email sent is growing (as if 8 billion sent a day wasn’t enough already). This means we now have more tools and techniques available than ever before to connect with our audience.

What makes email unique, and so enticing, is that it’s effectively voluntary marketing, the consumer must opt in to the process. They have to say they are willing to be marketed too. That can be as part of a sign up process, or other indirect mechanism, or a direct action to join a mailing list such as a newsletter.

This makes email a bit special, these are people saying ‘I know who you are and I want to see what you have for me’. It’s intensely personal compared to most other channels. You’re not pushing your ad into a public space where you think they’ll see it. Instead you're being given permission to contact them directly and personally relay your message to them. It’s no coincidence that email has one of the best conversion rates out of any digital channel.

The thing is we need to be more effective in the way in which we communicate with our audience. It seems the lessons fast learn’t in social media have taken much longer to sink in with email. I still get countless emails from companies just broadcasting offers at me, with very little engagement. It didn’t take long to work out that doesn’t work for social, so why do we still insist on it for email? Surely email should be about engagement, forming a connection with members of your audience and creating great brand experiences.

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