DON T GAMBLE WITH YOUR S SUPPLY CHAIN ING TACTICS 101

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1 DON T GAMBLE WITH YOUR S SUPPLY CHAIN ING TACTICS CUSTOM COMPLIANCE SOLUTIONS

2 Table of Contents Introduction Making the Most of Your s When Do People Read s When Do Other People Send s How Do I Get My Message Across? Communication is Key The Power of the Subject Line Words to Avoid Subject Line Length Crafting Your Content Identify Yourself Stay Focused Keep it Kind The Top 5 "Don'ts" of Be Ready For Mobile First Citations

3 INTRODUCTION What compliance software sends 1000 s of s every day? Assent of course. Assent has a built in, campaign manager which allows supply chain managers to send custom compliance surveys to suppliers, request compliance info through a 2-click to compliance portal, and query suppliers on anything needed. The campaign manager tracks bounced s, opens and provides campaign analytics. The portal allows suppliers to submit any sort of compliance data you need for your compliance program (IPC 1752A, PDF, XML, etc). It s a great feature that s built into every Assent license. This feature means that Assent is a unique position (we re the only compliance software suite with a native campaign manager) to be able to report back on best practices for compliance managers. After reviewing our own data and also gathering stats from our friends at Mail Chimp we compiled this Ebook. We hope you enjoy. Do you have an easy, scalable way to collect data from your supply chain? If not, hit us up and see how we can help. -Your friends at Assent Compliance 3

4 Making the Most of Your s Even the most experienced compliance managers still ask themselves one important question when it comes to when should I send it? Analysts and pundits have been discussing this seemingly simple question as long as has existed, and a concrete answer still appears elusive. This is because the perfect time to send can vary drastically between industries, and is very dependent upon the purpose of the . Luckily, there are a few solid rules that every compliance manager can follow to maximize their s effectiveness and response rates in any industry and for any reason. These rules of thumb provide excellent guidelines for maximizing the impact of your , and can help ensure that you get the opens you need and the responses you want with more frequency and regularity than if you were just sending out s without a plan. When Do People Read s? Perhaps not surprisingly, studies show that more people open s during the day than at night. This is especially relevant when s are work related, as the vast majority of people won t be checking their work outside the hours of 8am-5pm. To maximize the effectiveness of your , attempt to ensure that it is sent during business hours. Between 1-3pm, or just after lunchtime, is actually the peak time for reading s. So, if you can target that specific window that s even better ASSENT COMPLIANCE DON T GAMBLE WITH YOUR S 4 -

5 When Do Other People Send s? When it comes to sending s that we want to be read and responded to we should turn to the experts in the field: marketers. Marketers will tell you one of the most common reasons that s are never read is because they are lost in a flood of s and get overlooked in a packed inbox. Fortunately, this knowledge translates to compliance managers as well, as utilizing tricks learned by marketers can help maximize their s effectiveness. To avoid having their lost in the suffle, compliance managers should try to plan their s at times when their recipients are least likely to be overwhelmed by other s. Most s are sent during the business week, Monday through Friday. Yet the most s are sent on Tuesday and Thursday. Opens are still very high throughout the week, so try sending your s on Monday or Wednesday. This way opens are high, but the sheer volume of is low increasing the chances that your will make an impact. How Do I Get My Message Across? Compliance managers have demanding jobs and work they need to get done, so stop beating around the bush in your s - be direct. The attention span of the average reader is just seconds long. Don t waste time with flowery language and niceties you sent this for a reason, let that reason be known immediately. If you can hook your reader in the first sentence, and they know what is expected of them, then you have just dramatically increased your chances of receiving a response. Be clear and concise to start, being polite and thankful can be saved for the end of the . Many of these principles derive from marketers, but they can be effectively applied to compliance management as well. By maintaining a clear and concise message and delivering that message at the most opportune time, compliance managers can significantly increase the effectiveness of their s and enhance their and their colleagues productivity through increased communication. 5

6 Communication is Key Compliance managers know that communication is incredibly important to the overall success of their work. Yet one of the most difficult tasks that many compliance managers face stems not from crafting effective communication, but from actually finding the person to communicate with in the first place! Many procurement departments will only publicly list a sales contact, or a generic style address. s sent to addresses like this rarely yield any positive results, and often even go unreturned. So how do you track down the key personnel in a given compliance department so that you can get to work? Luckily Assent has the answer. When you subscribe to Assent s program you are given unlimited access to our extensive master compliance database. Here we have compiled thousands of contacts throughout the compliance industry. This means that the next time you re looking for a specific contact, you can cross-reference it against our database to quickly and easily find the exact individual you re searching for. You can even utilize Assent s substantial database to populate your system with contacts you may need in the future, saving you even more time and hassle in the long run. Communication is key, and Assent can help guarantee that your message reaches the person it s intended for without jumping through any hoops, wasting your time and costing you money. If you need some quick hacks to find addresses though, you can try these: - 1. Use or to get contacts. This is fairly straight forward. You can go to either site, type in the supply name > search for a compliance keyword and find the contact. 2. LeadResearcher finds business addresses and phone number by name and company. All you have to do is type in the Contact name and Company name and LeadResearcher will get you re their contact information. 3. Google VP compliance compliance + company name. > filter for most recent. Often times you ll get the exact contact name you need. Then use Jigsaw, Zoom, LinkedIn or Lead Researcher to track down their info

7 The Power of the Subject Line When it comes to sending s there are few things more important than the subject line. These vital little messages are no less important to compliance managers that are trying to communicate with suppliers, sales people, or even other compliance managers. That brief message is all that most people will see before they make the decision to read your or send it straight to the garbage can. So how can you craft effective subject lines for both individual and mass s? Believe it or not, there are certain best practices established for crafting engaging and effective subject lines. By following these rules you increase the likelihood of your being read, and that means the recipient is more likely to respond. Words to Avoid Some words in subject lines will send your message straight to the spam filter, and that s obviously something every compliance manager wants to avoid. Most of these words are aimed at marketing material, words like free and percent off. But some of them are more innocent, and might easily end up in your subject line without you even thinking twice. These words are reminder and help. Including these words in a subject isn t a guarantee that you ll end up in the spam folder, but they re best to be avoided anyway. FREE HELP PERCENT OFF REMINDER 7

8 Subject Line Length The standard best practice when it comes to subject line length is to make sure it is no longer than 50 characters. You want to convey your message, but not get overly wordy and risk the reader skipping right over it. The only time that this rule seemed to have an exception was when messages were very specifically targeted. So, if you re a compliance manager sending an to one or two suppliers as opposed to hundreds, it may be a good idea to include just a bit more information in the subject line. Subject lines are very powerful ways to convey your message before a reader even opens your . This is what makes them so important to the success of your communications. Whether you re sending an to one individual, dozens, or even hundreds, the subject line is the first point of contact. Many experienced experts suggest that you spend almost as much time crafting your subject line as you do writing your a little attention to detail goes a long way in garnering a response and cooperation from your contacts. Crafting Your Content Alright, you ve got the reader hooked, they ve opened your to see what it is you have to say - now what? This is where what you have to say really matters, this is the meat and potatoes of your whole message. This is where you get things done - but how? Well, luckily there are some very straightforward tips for effectively communicating your message through . By following these tips you ll craft concise, direct s that will get results from even the most stubborn and uncooperative suppliers ASSENT COMPLIANCE DON T GAMBLE WITH YOUR S 8

9 Identify Yourself One of the first things you should do in any is identify yourself, and let the reader know why you are important in their lives. Be sure to include your name, occupation, place of employment, and any other details that you believe might be important to the reader. This may seem like common sense, but it s truly amazing how many people will send a cold and neglect to mention who they are and why it matters. Even though you ve identified yourself in the opening of your , it s a good idea to get into the practice of including your full signature on all s. This extra step can serve to reiterate your name and occupation, and - just in case can be an identifier if you forget to mention your name in the body of the . Stay Focused Stay focused on the topic at hand, and be clear about what you need from the s recipient. If you need a supply chain update from a supplier, don t waste any time getting to the point and explaining what you need and why. If you get distracted and stray off topic, there s a good chance the reader will get distracted as well. Be sure to avoid walls of text. Break paragraphs often and break up the into easily digestible sections. Even though it may not follow traditional grammar rules, it will make your more effective in the long run. Last but not least, proofread! Your doesn t have to be a novel quality piece, but it should be devoid of common spelling and grammar mistakes. A simple mistake can reduce the credibility of your , and make it that much less likely that your recipient responds. 9

10 Keep It Kind Perhaps one particular supplier has been causing you all sorts of headaches, delays, and general problems. You re drafting up an to send their way and you re, rightfully, quite upset. Stop what you re doing and back away from the keyboard. Take a deep breath and reread what you re writing. It s never a good idea to write an angry . Chances are it will simply be ignored, or even worse it will aggravate the recipient to the point that they cause you even more headaches. Keep your cool and calmly explain what you need and how it will benefit both parties. After all, you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar (though I m still not sure why anyone wants to catch flies.) Keep these general rules in mind when you re crafting the body of your s and you ll be well on your way to writing excellent and engaging s that will garner the results you want ASSENT COMPLIANCE DON T GAMBLE WITH YOUR S 10 -

11 THE TOP 5 DON TS OF Now you re a compliance manager armed with the knowledge you need to write the best s possible. You know what you need to do, but what do you need to avoid? Remember, you re focused on creating professional and engaging s that will solicit the response your seeking from your suppliers or other recipients, so be sure to avoid these common mistakes. 11 -

12 1 Don t Use All Caps 2 Don t Use Strange, Unprofessional Fonts THIS MAY SEEM LIKE A GREAT WAY TO DRAW ATTENTION TO YOUR MESSAGE, but all it s really doing is making it look like you re yelling at the person. It looks very unprofessional, and it s likely to put your reader on the defensive before they ever even look at the message of your . If your message is very urgent, simply explain that in clear and direct language early in the . This is a much more effective and professional approach This might seem like another obvious one, but you d be amazed how many people don t follow this simple rule. I can t describe how many s I ve received with mixed colors and crazy fonts (Comic Sans, I m looking at you). Stick to the basics and don t try and get to fancy. It will make your more professional, and it will also make it easier to read and understand (literally). 3 Don t Use Emoticons or Slang 4 Don t Send an Without Understanding the Recipient Again, this falls under the Keep it Professional heading. You may be used to sending casual s within your organization or among friends, but don t let those bad habits creep into your professional s. Slang and smiley faces will make your message seem casual and unimportant, and your recipients will most likely treat is as such. s should be targeted, and this includes mass s. You have to understand your audience in order to get results. Are you sending an to one supplier in order to have them perform a specific task? Then tailor your that way. Is this going out to hundreds of compliance managers? Then it can be less personal and you can get away with using some industry terminology. Knowing your audience can go along way towards helping you craft a solid that your readers will understand and act upon. 12

13 5 Don t Forget the Call to Action All too often it s easy to get caught up in the details and formality of an . So much so that many people will forget to include the reason they were ing in the first place! Keep your message clear and concise and be sure to clearly state exactly what the reader needs to do and how they can get it done. This will help ensure that you get the results you need from the s you send. By avoiding these common pitfalls you will improve the quality of your s and increase their chances at being effective and getting the results that you re after. Be Ready For Mobile First When crafting your content assume that your will be opened on a mobile device first. This means less real estate, a person on the go and limited bandwidth when reading. Venture Beat lists in compeling article that 65% of will be opened on mobile first. The implications are that you have about 8-15 seconds to get your readers attention so anchor your copy knowing this fact. Take 16 seconds to get to the point? Chances are the point will be lost. Happy ing Compliance Folks! 13 -

14 Citations 1. Assent Compliance Data Analysis and Review MailChimp, When is the Best Time to Send s? Link. Published 12/04/ MailChimp, What Are Some Best Practices When Writing Subject Lines? Link. Published 10/29/ Bauer, Jessica. Top 10 Strategies for Writing Effective . Link. Published 5/03/ Whipple, Bob. 12 Do s and Don ts of Communication. Link ASSENT COMPLIANCE DON T GAMBLE WITH YOUR S 14

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