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1 TOP TIPS TO A TIP TOP MOBILE SOCIAL WEB

2 CONTENTS PAGE Introduction... 3 My Top 10 Tips... 4 Tip 1 - Super, Super Subject Lines... 4 Tip 2 - Make Your Call To Action Count... 5 Tip 3 - The Power of Personalisation... 6 Tip 4 - Be Dynamic... 8 Tip 5 - Grow & Nourish Your Data... 9 Tip 6 - Legislations & Best Practice...10 Tip 7 - Be Responsive...11 Tip 8 - Degrade Gracefully...12 Tip 9 - Have a Safe Landing...13 Tip 10 - Test, Test, Test...14 Summary...15

3 INTRODUCTION Hi, I m Lyndsey and I work as a Multi-Channel Consultant at Communicator Corp. With over five years experience in digital marketing, I am keen to pass on some of the invaluable lessons I have learned along the way to help you achieve your marketing utopia! My job is to work closely with clients to ensure that every and text messaging campaign is a success... and, if it isn t, make sure that we learn from our mistakes! There s no exact science to marketing so, inevitably, you won t get everything perfect first time round. In fact, the mistakes that you make in marketing are invaluable, as each one gives you more insight into your target audience and how to get it right next time. I ve put together this ten step guide as a tool for you to learn from the mistakes I ve seen made by many brands, big & small, so you can learn from them and get a head start in your marketing activity. Enjoy! Lyndsey Hepple Multi-Channel Consultant 3

4 MY TOP 10 TIPS 1. SUPER, SUPER SUBJECT LINES A super subject line is a small line of copy which sits at the very top of an . It has two key benefits; to encourage your recipients to open your and to provide them with an introduction to the before the images have loaded. Your super subject line should summarise your and complement your main subject line. Below is a screen-shot taken from an iphone. You can see that both the subject line and super subject line appear in the inbox preview, before the has even been opened. This means that if the subject line is not enough to encourage your recipients to open, the super subject line helps by offering more information. Below is a snippet of an with the super subject line highlighted... Remember: It s important to ensure that your super subject line appears before anything else in your , even the unsubscribe and safe sender links. This ensures that it will appear directly under the main subject line within the inbox preview mode. 4

5 2. MAKE YOUR CALL TO ACTION COUNT Your call to action is one of the most important parts of your entire . After all, this is what will ultimately encourage your recipient to engage with your , whether it s to call, buy, register, subscribe, donate or simply find out more. It s essential to include at least one call to action above the fold ; this is the portion of the which is visible to your recipients without the need for them to scroll down. A good rule of thumb is to consider that the top 400 pixels will display within most clients, without the reader being required to scroll. Try to maintain a good mix of text links, call to action buttons and well linked images, so that there s something for everyone. Using a chevron symbol at the end or beginning of the copy within a call to action box can often help to increase clicks by guiding the recipient to where they should be clicking. However, like with anything in marketing, it is important to test this out yourself to make sure it s right for your campaigns. Research has also shown that changing the wording or the colour of your call to action button can have a significant impact on click through rates. So, get testing! Here are some examples of call to action button testing: Chevron Wording Colour 5

6 3. THE POWER OF PERSONALISATION Personalisation can have a huge impact on results, when used correctly. The most commonly used personalisation is a person s name, for example... Rachel, check out our new dresses! using it well can have positive effects for your brand. For instance, if you stayed at the same hotel each year then receiving an with your name in it would certainly make you feel more valued as a customer, giving it a personal touch. Using a person s name in the subject line or the body of an should always be tested with your audience before it becomes a permanent part of your campaigns. This is because in some cases it has been known to have a negative effect on results; imagine if you receive an from a brand you have never heard of, promoting a product you would never consider using. Now, if that contained your name you may be more inclined to mark it as spam and to be honest, you would probably be a little bit ticked off that they have your information when you hadn t given it to them. On the other hand, if you ve tested use of first name personalisation and you know it works, then Personalisation doesn t stop at a person s name. With the right data structure you can personalise many other elements of a single . An example of this would be a chain of pubs changing the logo, address, copy or images within the depending on which location the customer has selected upon sign-up. One template is used but each placeholder is populated with the relevant information pulled from your data. We call this Dynamic Content which I ll go on to later. As you can see, there are no set rules as to when you should and shouldn t use personalisation, as each audience is different. So, always make sure you test! 6

7 The below shows an example of how Communicator Corp s client, Mitchells & Butlers, use a high level of personalisation within their PUB DETAILS PERSONALISED VOUCHER AMOUNT PERSONALISED SALUTATION PERSONALISED SIGN - OFF PERSONALISED 7

8 4. BE DYNAMIC Dynamic content is one of the most powerful ways to engage your customer, as if it is done correctly, all information included in the is relevant to that recipient. In order to use dynamic content you do need to have a good amount of up to date information regarding your customers. This data can be gathered in a number of different ways, the most common methods being via an e-commerce transaction or through the use of a preference centre. E-COMMERCE TRANSACTIONS Collecting data through an e-commerce transaction can be, in effect, quite simple to do. If you have an e-commerce website then naturally you will be gathering information about your customer, such as; their address, gender and most importantly, transaction history. This data can be used to include dynamic content within an , so that images and copy change according to the information held about each customer. For example, a clothing brand with an e-commerce site could be sending men an regarding their latest jeans promotion and women a respective dress . Information regarding the customer s transactional history will be used to populate a number of the s placeholders with the promotion of items similar to what they usually buy, or to cross sell items that would complement their recent purchase. PREFERENCE CENTRES Preference centres or preference managers are often used by brands who don t have a functioning e-commerce website. This tool is usually presented as a series of questions, used to encourage a customer or prospect to provide information which can help to tailor future communications. The use of preference centres doesn t stop there, though. Even if you have an e-commerce site, you can still use a preference manager to gather further information regarding your customers to add to your existing database, for example by using one to ask your customers how often they want to hear from you. Most preference centres are presented to clients and prospects upon sign-up, but some businesses choose to promote the preference centre to those who have already signed up through dedicated promotional s. Remember data is key! There s no better time than the present to start collecting more data about your customers and prospects. 8

9 5. GROW & NOURISH YOUR DATA Your data is your most important tool in delivering a successful marketing campaign. It doesn t matter how amazing your design or copy is; if your data is poor, your campaign is destined for failure! Here are some best practice tips to data acquisition; Add a data capture form to your website to ensure that you grow your customer base organically. Add a Send to a friend link to your s to encourage data list growth. Position your sign-up form in a prominent and consistent position across your corporate website to increase the chances of people subscribing to your communications program. Use a double opt-in sign-up process to ensure only consenting subscribers are added to your underlying database. At the point of sign-up, aim to collect at least the subscriber s first name, surname and address. You can then use this information to personalise your communications. It s important to make sure that you not only grow your data list, but that you nourish it too. If your data isn t regularly cleansed or kept up to date, you risk annoying your customers, being blocked by providers and even breaking the law. Most Service Providers will do a lot of the hard work for you, by removing unsubscribes and hard bounces from your list, but it s still important to encourage recipients to update their details in order to keep your data fresh and up-to-date. And remember, an unsubscribe is not a bad thing! If a recipient no longer wants to receive your mailings, make it easy for them to tell you this. In the long run, you d rather have a recipient unsubscribe from your list than mark you as spam! 9

10 6. LEGISLATIONS & BEST PRACTICE marketing is governed by a number of different acts, regulations and codes. You can find a quick overview guide by clicking here. The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) has produced a white paper which summarises the key points relating specifically to marketing. The whitepaper brings together the following pieces of legislation; Data Protection Act Privacy & Electronic Communications (ec directive) Regulations (PECR) 2003 (amended 2011). Electronic Commerce (ec directive) Regulations Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations UK Code of non-broadcast advertising, Sales Promotion and direct marketing (CaP) Code. You can find the document here. In order to access your free copy you must register your details with the DMA. The DMA s whitepaper provides a good starting point for those people who want to understand digital marketing regulations. However, it is not an exhaustive legal guide. For full legal regulations and responsibilities, please refer to full versions of regulations and/or codes or alternatively, consult a legal adviser. 10

11 7. BE RESPONSIVE The growth in smartphone usage in recent years makes it more important than ever to ensure that your s render correctly across the full range of clients and devices. At present, 1 in 5 s are read on a mobile device, with mobile internet usage forecast to overtake desktop internet usage by Yet many companies continue to use separate templates for web and mobile, or worse, choose to overlook mobile optimisation and rendering altogether. Responsive Design aims to provide an optimal viewing experience for the recipient, with hassle free navigation across a wide range of devices such as Blackberry, iphone, HTC etc. This approach responds to the end user s environment and device, using adaptable images and layouts to automatically provide for the optimal resolution, image size and text layout. Below is an example of how a responsive would appear on a desktop and a smartphone... The Communicator Corp Responsive Design Guide can be used by anyone wishing to build a responsive template. Guidance is also given to show how to create an using a responsive template, allowing everyone to get the very best out of their campaigns. Click the link above to access your free copy. 11

12 8. DEGRADE GRACEFULLY As the majority of clients require the recipient to download any images before they re displayed, it s critical that your degrades gracefully. This means that, even if none of your images are visible, the recipient will still be able to see what the is going to tell them about. Here are some tips to enhancing your when images are switched off so that your degrades gracefully, like the one shown; Include a View this online link at the top of your so that recipients can view your in their browser with full images. Where possible, use text instead of images for all words in your . Using images may make your words look prettier, but they won t be visible to anyone who has not downloaded them. Use ALT tags so that each image has a text alternative to let the recipient know what should have been there. Don t rely on this heavily though, as ALT tags do not work in some clients such as Outlook. 12

13 9. HAVE A SAFE LANDING It doesn t matter how high your click through rate is, if your landing page is dull or broken, your will have had no purpose. When creating a landing page, consider the following; Ensure that there s no disconnect between the promotion in your and your landing page. Only have one primary task per page don t try to cram everything in. Set your landing page objectives before you create it. Don t make it hard for the recipient make the information they are looking for easy to find and easy to digest. Engage your subscriber if you have the data available, you can direct recipients to a more bespoke landing page by using URL personalisation by age, gender or preferences. The below landing pages have been executed well including the use of personalisation by gender within the hero image. 13

14 10. TEST, TEST, TEST... It s important to understand that, like most elements of marketing, there is far more science than art to successful marketing. Testing can help you to understand audience behaviour and preferences. It can also help you to identify and solve any problems you may be experiencing within your campaigns. The key is to test each different factor of your campaign to truly find out what works for your recipients as well as to understand why. We all have our own opinions of what does and doesn t works in marketing, but the truth is that an opinion is worthless until it has been tested out on your target audience. The recipients within your mailing list are the only people who can determine whether your campaign has been a success or not. Below is a short list of just some of the many elements available for testing; Price points. Discount in value. Discount in %. Free gift/access to content. Bundles. From field. Subject line. First 6 lines. Day of week. Time of day. Text/HTML/Flash/Streaming video. CTA. Segmentation. Design. Layout. Tone of voice. Long/Short copy. Personalisation. Number of links. Landing page. Frequency. Follow-up. Phone response. The list of elements is definitely exhaustive. Speak to your campaign manager to assess the factors you should be testing within your campaigns. And remember, whether it is a subject line, copy, images or design, test, test, TEST! 14

15 SUMMARY I hope this guide has provided you with insight into some of our top marketing tips. It s clear from what we have discussed in this that there are a number of different avenues you can explore to enhance your marketing activity. At Communicator Corp, we use the strategies mentioned to help our clients deliver totally tip top s! This has helped us to maintain an inbox delivery rate of 98% for 2012, 11% higher than the industry average*. Here s some of the brands we do this for... The DMA calculate that the average return on investment for the channel in 2012 was for every 1 spent** - that s over 2000% return on what you put in. This shows just how great the potential is for you to maximise the impact your communications have on your end recipient, your brand and ultimately, your conversion rates. Our Campaign Management team is dedicated to giving clients full support in delivering their own campaigns, or in many cases, handling the entire campaign and data work on their behalf. If you would like to see how we could help you improve your marketing, get in touch. * Based on the Communicator Corp Multi-Channel Benchmarking Report (H2, 2012) ** Based on the DMA s National Client Report

16 facebook.com/communicatorcorp communicatorcorp.com/blog Communicator Corp, Chase House, Rainton Bridge Business Park, DH4 5RA, United Kingdom.

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