Email World 2013

I love learning, so when the opportunity to go to San Diego to hear the latest in email marketing from people who use it in their business and from a variety of email service providers presented itself I took the plunge. While the event itself didn’t cost anything, it did cost me time being there plus a two hour commute each way, I was fortunate to go with a friend who did the bulk of the driving (thank you Wendy), parking etc. This is one of the things that makes working with me different, the amount of time I invest in ongoing education. In our digital world it seems like things are changing quickly all the time. With the various platforms what was working last year may not be working now.

So what did I learn about email marketing? Email marketing is not dead also, and the main overriding theme was MOBILE. Over and over again we heard about how more and more people are accessing their email on their phones. Think about it, have you accessed your email by from your phone? Now let’s ask, “Is your email mobile friendly?’ Each service provider will vary so check with yours to see what the options are. I use both MailChimp and Aweber, here are some suggestions from Aweber, make sure you have a plain text version of your email. (I think most providers have this option.) Keep your message width short to accommodate small screens and resolutions, no more than 60-65 characters. Brand your subject line for recognition, as some email providers may not show the “from” name on mobile. MailChimp has templates that are designed to fit on mobile. Check your email providers mobile options and make sure you’re using them.

Another interesting thing, was something that has changed. It use to be that when you included the recipients name in the subject line it was more likely to be opened. That doesn’t seem to have an affect either way at this time. As this was a two day event, I won’t do a total recap here, but two other items that were mentioned repeatedly was segmenting your list and doing A/B testing. With segmenting they were talking about not treating everyone on your list the same. The message you send to someone who has bought from you before should be different than the person who just subscribed to your list and doesn’t really know you. With A/B or split testing you send two messages that are identical except for on change, the thing you are testing. So if you’re testing the subject line you send the same message with two different subject lines to see which gets more opens. You can test many things like buttons, copy, etc. but only one thing per test. You also need a list of around 200 to 400 before you start testing to get meaningful results. Lastly was to look and your analytics how many opens, clicks, conversions etc. If you have someone handling your email marketing for you they should be providing you with analytic reports on a regular basis. You might also ask them if they are providing any split testing.

In addition to the service providers we also got to hear from leaders of Digital Marketer the host for the event. One of my favorites was Roland Fraiser. You may have heard of a sales funnel, or a sales machine, however you refer to it, it can sometimes feel nebulous and overwhelming. Roland used a flower pot illustration that made much clearer for me. Going into this could be a whole post by itself.

If you have any questions regarding the above, post them below. This way I’ll know what you want to learn more about.