6 Email Marketing Tips For Beginners

By on December 4, 2017 in email marketing

Email Marketing has been a marketing staple for a long time but it is one that teams and event organisers often overlook since Social Media became the poster child. We all receive emails every day and one of the biggest differences when compared with Social Media is that, emails can sit in the inbox waiting for the Reader. Social Media is often an “in the moment” medium – if you don’t see the post at the time it is posted you may never see it, even more so with the Facebook algorithm impacting visibility and reach.

I’d therefore like to champion email marketing as a valid option and offer 6 tips for beginners.

1) Subject lines are key

What is the first thing you see when looking at your inbox. Here’s a clue – it isn’t the pretty pictures in your email. A great subject line can entice a user to click through to open the email and learn more. Your subject line should be to the point and relevant – being misleading will frustrate the reader and cause cause them to delete or worse, unsubscribe. This can have a major impact on whether your email even reaches the inbox (more on that later).

With subject lines being so important some time and attention should be spent on them. What is going to be relevant to the audience you are sending to and encourage them to open the email? How about things related to membership, tickets, merchandise, behind the scenes footage or giveaways? Also stay away from the super dull “Newsletter – Friday 13th edition” – this isn’t sexy and makes it easier for the recipient to skip your mail.

2) Think about “Above the Fold”

This comes from a time when people thought about being adverts “above the fold” and “below the fold”. In email marketing it is about where the preview pane of your inbox cuts off the email before you have to scroll down to read more. Making a recipient have to scroll to find the best bits increases the chances they will never find it. Use the most important real estate, at the top fo your email, wisely and with purpose.

Some companies use it to highlight the rest of the content in the email, others use it as a place to highlight the most important message and try to drive action straight away. Strike a sensible balance but please don’t waste it on an image that may never load. If you want to use an image at least add some text to it so that readers gain context about the image.

 

3) Don’t confuse the Reader

It can be really easy to confuse the reader with lots of information and lots of buttons or links to click. The more options the reader has the more likely they will be overwhelmed and not click anything. Pick two or three key things to focus on, any more than that should go in a separate email.

If you are an event organiser focus on things like registration, agenda or key speaker profiles. For a team, what is the top news story you want someone to read or what is the one thing you want the reader to do that week?

You can make the argument that different topics or content appeal to different people and that is true but why run the risk of confusing the masses.

4) Personalisation can backfire

You’ve read about personalisation and have seen it in emails you’ve received but trust me, it can go horribly wrong. Yes you may want to include First Name in an email but can you be sure the data you have is accurate? More importantly, do you have any data at all?

Having the wrong name is just as bad as having no name and leaving a space with incorrect punctuation.

Take a look at the data you have available and think about where you got it and how accurate it is before choosing to personalise emails. If you’ve got good data then think about how it can add value to the reader and not about how cool it makes you look by using it.

5) Think about preferences

Sticking an unsubscribe link in an email is a requirement for marketing emails but if a reader clicks that default link you won’t be able to email them again. Instead, think about setting up a preference centre so the reader can choose what to unsubscribe from. They may not want the newsletters but they may love merchandise or ticket offers. Getting a reader to select their own preferences means you can send them relevant emails without the risk of them automatically unsubscribing from everything.

6) Clicks matter more than Opens

Opens are a guide but Clicks are the more important metric when it comes to email marketing. Clicks are a conscious action by the reader while Opens come in many different shapes and sizes. If you have a good Open and Click rate combined your emails are more likely to land in the inbox (or Promotions in Gmail) while a poor Open and Click rate leads you down the slippery slope to Spam, Junk or not being received at all!

You can avoid this by sending engaging and relevant content that encourages the reader to click. This could be registering for an event, taking a look at the brand new merchandise or clicking to watch a behind the scenes video – it all counts.

The 6 tips above are the first things to consider with email marketing and will put you on the path to success while opening up another communication channels with your fans and event attendees.



5 Reasons Teams Need To Own The Merchandise Journey

By on November 30, 2017 in ecommerce

For the past few years I’ve been involved in supporting ecommerce companies understand and optimise their customer journey. This has included ways to convert a new prospect into a customer or trying to win back lost customers. For them their “merchandise” has been about individual products and not branded items but a lot of the learnings and opportunities are the same.

We’ve looked at the frequency of messaging, the data that can and should be captured to support this messaging, choice of channel (email vs. SMS?) and what automated flows can be created so that Marketers can get back their time for other things. When it comes sports and esports I think a number of the top teams are missing out when it comes to ecommerce so I’ve highlighted 5 reasons why they need to take back and own the merchandise journey.

1) Data.

If you direct an audience to a 3rd party where they can make a purchase are they really your customer? Yes they might buy some branded merchandise but it is likely you will have no data about them and nothing you can use in the future to communicate with them.
This becomes a big negative when trying to build a consistent revenue stream. Who has bought your jersey every year? No response. Which country has the largest volume of orders? No response. Is there a period of the year where we see the most orders? No response.
Now I can’t speak for the relationships between 3rd parties and the teams but having seen a lot of esports teams direct people to sites like Metathreads or JINX and moving the customer experience away from the team there’s a big chance the team loses all influence over the customer and any data associated with them.

2) Build recurring revenue.

If you know who your customers are then you are in a better position to make them aware of your jersey for the new season, other branded or partner merchandise and other opportunities like event tickets. This can help you build processes for communicating with those customers and build a recurring revenue stream.
It is definitely better to know that every year you can generate X sales, as a minimum, from your devoted fans. This enables you to look at stock quantities, manufacture lead times, messaging to those fans and how that contributes to your over bottom line.

3) Automated flows.

We’ve all been shopping online and you’ve probably received “we miss you” or “you left this in your cart” emails. These can be built in to automated flows so that you don’t have to worry about remembering to communicate with potential customers. While your 3rd party ecommerce partner might also offer this level of support they might not enable you to review the success of those flows, change the messaging or suggest alternatives. Can you do an A/B test on the messaging? Can you change the cadence of any messages? If you own the merchandise journey yourself it becomes a lot easier to understand what is happening and test to see which bits you can improve. No ownership means no ability to improve.

4) Upsell/Cross-sell.

As a team you may have jerseys, caps, hoodies, badges and a whole range of other merchandise. Owning the merchandise journey enables you to make suggestions to potential customers. It also enables you to decide where in the journey you make those suggestions. When they are viewing the cart page do you suggest a high cost item like a hoodie or something like a keyring?

You can incrementally increase the average size of the cary by testing and understanding what works well.

5) Product knowledge.

The more data you have available to you the more empowered you are to make decisions. This point about product knowledge sits parallel to customer data – both are important.

Which items sell the best and to whom/where? Can you see a level of interest in a product from page views but no purchases? Is there an opportunity to test pricing to see if the number of purchases increases?

These are all things you can determine if you own the merchandise journey and connect with your prospects/customers. From this side of the table I think it is something teams need to look at for the long term.