SUCCESS TOOLKIT

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1 WHITEPAPER SUCCESS TOOLKIT EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Before you hit the send button on yet another oops message, use this toolkit to prevent mistakes. Included are a Project Brief to help with your process, a Quality Assurance Checklist you can use to organize your testing, a Mitigate the Impact Checklist to remind you what to do if a mistake does slip through, and examples of Oops campaigns for inspiration. CONTENTS 1 PROJECT BRIEF 3 PROBLEM? MITIGATE THE 5 IMPACT CHECKLIST OTHER RESOURCES 2 QUALITY ASSURANCE 4 CHECKLIST EXAMPLE GALLERY bluehornet.com

2 PROJECT BRIEF Below is an example of an project brief. Depending on your specific situation and needs, the contents may vary, but this should give you a great starting point to put some structure and clarity into your process. PROJECT OVERVIEW Template / Campaign Name: Review / Approval Owner: Creative Due Date: Tested HTML Due Date: Launch Date: TEMPLATE / STARTING POINT Design new from scratch Create new from existing HTML/Template If creating from existing assets, please describe: BACKGROUND / BRAND DIRECTION Goal / Objective of this campaign? Who is the primary audience? Tone / Image of template? What are your KPIs / Success Metrics? Specific elements to incorporate into template? OK to Share to Social? If so, which channels? Copy Deck location? Make sure your entire team is on the same page before you begin. When everyone understands the bigger picture the project goals, audience, success metrics it empowers everyone to make the right decisions during the process. Page 2

3 MAKE SURE COPY DECK INCLUDES Headlines and Sub-headlines and CTA button names Body Copy Call-To-Action button names and URLs Links (full URL paths including navigation, social, body links, CTAs, privacy policy, etc.) Snippet View Online / Mobile Verbiage Address Book Verbiage ( if applicable ) The more revisions there are, and the more back and forth there is, the greater the likelihood of miscommunication and mistakes slipping through. Iron out all of the content before it you get it to the design phase. LAUNCH INFORMATION Substitute Name (for personalization) From Name From Reply Subject Line Footer Campaign (if applicable) Bill Code (if applicable) Attributes (if applicable) Test List Addresses Segments to Send to Segments to Exclude (if applicable) Send Date (Month/Day/Year) Send Time (Hour : Minutes AM/PM) A/B Test Details (if applicable) Although it may sound counter-intuitive, conducting A/B split tests on your campaigns can actually help prevent mistakes. With an extra layer of variables in play, people are more cautious and thorough when setting up the . If a mistake does get through, it may only affect a small percentage of recipients. And, of course, you are gathering insight and data to make your future s more successful. Page 3

4 QUALITY ASSURANCE CHECKLIST After your is designed and programmed, QA is your last line of defense against mistakes. This checklist will help give you an idea of how to keep track of all the elements that need to be tested and where the should be previewed before the send button gets pushed. Whenever possible, have someone other than the creator of the copy and design available for testing. A fresh pair of eyes can do wonders. DESIGN AND TEMPLATE Confirm final creative matches creative brief, tone, design, and assets specified. Confirm correct template is being used. TEST MESSAGE RENDERING IN CLIENTS AND BROWSERS Outlook 365 Outlook 2013 Outlook 2010 Outlook 2007 Outlook.com, formerly Hotmail / Windows Live (IE, Firefox, Chrome, Safari) Yahoo! Mail (IE, Firefox, Chrome, Safari) Gmail (IE, Firefox, Chrome, Safari) AOL Apple Mail 6 Apple Mail 5 iphone Android Remember that HTML for is very different than HTML for websites. If your design looks good when you preview it in your browser, that doesn t necessarily mean that it will look good when it gets to the end user. Mobile s have a bigger audience than ever. Take advantage of rendering tools or third parties like On Acid and Litmus to streamline the testing process on multiple devices. BlackBerry Page 4

5 SPECIFIC RENDERING CHECKS Overall layout/readability of message Placement holding of all components: images, paragraphs and spacing, indentations, etc. Font accuracy - style, size, placement, formatting Rendering of special characters Link underlining/color consistency Check View Online version to make sure all content displays correctly Check to ensure Text version mirrors the HTML version with offered links and content View outside of company firewall to ensure images are publicly viewable CONTENT ACCURACY From name From/reply Substitute name Subject line Link underlining / color consistency Snippet copy Headline Sub-headline Body copy Offer (Discount, expiration, disclaimer / fine print, etc) CTA / Button Disclaimer Checking for spelling and grammar at the same time you are reviewing for message tone and clarity is difficult. Instead, read through the a few times, with a different objective each time. Remember that yspell check won t catch everything. A great trick is to read the copy backwards... it forces you to ignore the message and lets you focus on individual words. Custom fields populated correctly Call any listed phone numbers Double check every date (Events, releases, number versus day of the week, etc) Page 5

6 CONFIRM LINKS ALT TAGS Correct path All links are tracked Functionality Links open in new window Variable for duplicate link paths in HTML (if applicable) Accuracy Landing pages are often created at the same time as the , so be sure you don t overlook a placeholder link or a URL intended to go to a specific interior web page that s temporarily directed at the home page. One for each image CAN-SPAM COMPLIANCE Includes physical mailing address Unsubscribe link is working Page 6

7 PROBLEM? MITIGATE THE IMPACT CHECKLIST First you need to truly define what type of error it is. For example, is it revenue impacting or not? There was a big box retailer last holiday season that sent out a message that was selling ipads for the absolutely wrong price. The price was so off that they really couldn t even honor the pricing in the offer so that is a BIG error. But if it is a broken link in the navigation to the contact us page or the view in browser link it probably isn t so monumental. Use this checklist as a guide to help keep your cool and make sure you are thinking everything through under pressure. WHAT TO DO WHEN SOMETHING GOES WRONG Stay calm and assess the situation Will this impact revenue? Identify who you need to involve to address the mistake Determine IF you want to send an Oops message at all. And to whom. IF YOU NEED TO SEND A FOLLOW-UP OOPS , REMEMBER Be timely Maintain your brand voice Be transparent Don t blame anyone else Learn something You can t change any code that s in the sent , but you might be able to change what s on your server that the is pointing to. Depending on how the mistake was made and how your server is set up, you might be able to fix images or links with broken paths. It can be as simple as posting a new file with the mis-spelled name. Or if there s a typo in the image, you can repost an updated image. Page 7

8 EXAMPLE GALLERY The proper Oops response is entirely dependent on the actual mistake that was made, but here are a few examples to give you some ideas should you ever find yourself in need of sending one. KATE SPACE THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE... HERE S A SWEET TREAT PACSUN OOPS, OUR SITE WAS DOWN. LET S TRY THIS AGAIN! Page 8

9 ORIGINAL WHICH WICH? CELEBRATE OUR BIRTHDAY WITH $3 WICHES! FOLLOW UP OOPS WHICH WICH? OOPS... Page 9

10 THREADLESS WE SCREWED UP! THINKGEEK OOPS! THINKGEEK S IN THE DOGHOUSE STELLA & DOT OOPS! PLEASE DISREGARD OUR CONGRATULATIONS Page 10

11 OTHER RESOURCES On-Demand Webinar Did you miss our Preventing the Oops! presentation? Kara Trivunovic, VP of Strategic Services for BlueHornet discusses how to avoid the oops, how to mitigate its impact, and discusses ways to get creative with oops s. Watch it online now... Editable Checklists Would you like an editable Microsoft Word version of any of these checklists to build from? Just with your request and we ll send you the file. BlueHornet 2355 Northside Drive Suite B250 San Diego, CA (866) Page 11

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