At MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2013, Jim Ducharme, Community Director, GetResponse, interviewed Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director, MECLABS, about the greatest challenge for email marketers …
You can watch the video above, and here are a few of my favorite quotes from Flint …
“We’ve forgotten that email is a two-way medium. We’ve forgotten that email is a messaging medium.”
“We no longer communicate as if we were expecting some sort of give and take.”
“Email has become another way to interrupt people’s lives. The marketer who sees it as a way to restore relationships and build some sort of give and take is the marketer that will take email to the next level in his organization.”
“We don’t talk to people, we talk at them. There is no dialogue here.”
“People don’t read email because they’re excited to read email. They’re looking through their inbox for any reason not to read your email.”
Once marketers see the results that are possible with optimizing and testing email, their next question usually is … well, where do I begin? How can I prioritize the limited time and budget I have when I start testing? Here is a resource to help you prioritize your optimization efforts.
ec = Email Capture (Channel factor) op = Open Rate ct = Clickthrough lp = Landing Page (Presentation factor)
The symbols between the letters represent a chronological sequence, and the process of optimization should proceed in the reverse order of how customers engage with your email program. So while an email recipient starts at your email capture page, and, ideally, ends up on your landing page, you should begin by optimizing your landing page and move down the line.
It is very costly to drive prospects into a conversion process that is sub-optimal. You should begin by ensuring that when someone arrives at your landing page, the probability of conversion is at its highest.
Once you’ve done this, then you want to ensure that whoever receives and has opened your email message has the greatest probability of clicking through to your landing page. This is done by optimizing the content of your email messages.
Once you’ve done this, then you want to ensure that whomever you have sent your email messages to has the greatest probability of opening that message and reading its content. This is done by optimizing the email envelope fields (i.e., From, To, Subject, etc.).
Once you’ve done this, then you want to ensure that you are sending your messages to a list of prospects such that there is the greatest probability that they represent the ideal customer for your product or service.
eme = email messaging effectiveness index
rv = relevance to the consumer
of = offer value (why)
i = incentive to take action
f = friction elements of process
a = anxiety about entering information
The MarketingExperiments Email Messaging Online Course teaches the full heuristic, but at a very high level, the heuristic helps you focus on the positive and negative forces that can affect your email messaging effectiveness. Let’s see how the heuristic relates to the top two most effective elements from the MarketingSherpa research (MarketingSherpa, like MarketingExperiments, is a MECLABS company).
“There are no expert marketers; there are only experienced marketers and expert testers.” Dr. Flint McGlaughlin remarks from his keynote on day one of the Email Summit echoed through Friday’s post-Summit workshop about email messaging.
According to the 2012 Email Marketing Benchmark Report, the majority of small- and medium-sized businesses do not test or optimize their emails. In fact, 67% of small businesses don’t even dedicate a portion of their budget to testing or optimization.
As we learned through several case studies performed on larger organizations, if you’re not optimizing for your customers, you’re losing a huge chunk of sales revenue from leads who fall out of your funnel. In most cases, a simple change of focus for a landing page or call-to-action on an email capture form was enough to provide a significant lift in sales and conversions.
For the small business owner, simple and effective methods that can produce results without too much manpower are the best methods to pursue. Below are four takeaways from the post-Summit workshop that will help you view your email campaign through your customers’ eyes and effectively optimize for the best results.