[FAQ attached below this article]
On August 31, 2020, Marketo Engage will implement a new retention policy specifically for Sent & Delivered Email activities. Under this policy, data for these two activity types will be stored for a rolling 90-day period from the activity date for use in Smart Lists. This is a change from the current default retention period of 25 months, and from the current Extended Data Retention subscription option period of 37 months.
Upon the policy taking effect, data older than 90 days for these two activities will be deleted and no longer available for export. Any Smart List with the “Was Sent Email” and “Was Delivered Email” filters (including NOT Was Sent and NOT Was Delivered) should be updated to ensure the maximum lookback date is 90 days. If the lookback date is greater than 90 days, the Smart List will continue to function, but only activities that are 90 days old or less will qualify.
In 2020, we are improving critical parts of the underlying Marketo Engage infrastructure, including Batch campaign processing, similar to the Trigger campaign improvements made in 2019. This new infrastructure, in combination with the new retention policy, is expected to result in shorter lead time with large email sends and faster segmentation processing to deliver significantly faster processing to our customers. Note, the revised retention policy is one, among several, aspects that come together to deliver this improved performance, but broadly speaking reduced retention helps with faster database look ups and search across the run-time infrastructure.
What's NOT Changing?
Aggregated data – including Reports, Dashboards, and Analytics – will not be affected by this change (unless they reference a Smart List with these activities). The new policy will not affect any activity type other than Sent and Delivered (for example, Was Opened activity data is not affected). Further, this change does NOT affect Engagement Program casts.
What Customer Actions Are Needed?
First, you'll want revisit where and how you're using these two activity types. Audit your Smart Lists and ensure the date ranges for these two activity types are less than 90 days - if you must use a date greater than 90 days, we suggest running a process to export to an external system. You will need to create this before the new retention policy takes effect on August 31, 2020. Information on how to export activities using APIs can be found on our Developers Documentation website.
We appreciate you understanding as we move toward an enhanced Marketo Engage experience for all customers. Please download and review the FAQ attached below for further suggestions, workarounds and additional information.
This is the tool we use to promote and train our sales team on Marketo's sales insight tool. They find it extremely helpful, especially when we ask for there help with marketing campaigns around events.
Over the last few years all these translations have been gathered together by my colleagues. One of them had kindly gathered them into this beautiful display and I thought it was worth sharing with you all. 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Email performance analytics sits at the heart of every digital marketer, you want to be aware of how the performance has been and need the ability to report on the same using various dimensions relative to your marketing. More often than not, all marketing automation systems have a performance issue when it comes to providing analytics quickly with the parameters that you would like. Marketo has also been lacking in this area for quite some time since RCA is sold as a separate product and that also had performance issue till last year or so, when the UI was changed but still performance is not up to the mark and Marketo analytics is not that powerful a feature to suffice the digital needs of today. As a resolution to the same, Marketo has introduced Email insights to provide lightning quick reporting on Email performance with a plethora of dimensions/parameters to filter your report. It works real fast and allows you to report on performance which not only includes batch campaigns but can also include trigger campaigns and operation emails (You can choose to exclude them as well). There are options of choosing performance relative to one/multiple workspaces, you can add parameters such as segmentations, channels and program tags and include them as dimensions and report on them. There’s an option to filter the report on Audience (country and state parameters), Content (email, program, smart campaigns, theme) and Platform (Device OS and Device type). You can generate charts to assess the performance during selected period based on Time (Day, Week and Month) and filter on various parameters. On the right hand side you can also select metrics such as opens, clicks and unsubscribes to check on the performance by parameters of audience, content and platform. You also have the ability to save these reports as quick charts for periodic performance review, you can save up to 20 quick charts. Although it’s a fresh new option for analytics there’s a lot of scope for improvement, for example. The ability to export data/reports/charts is not available so if you want to share the data with anyone outside Marketo you can’t, which is a huge disappointment. There’s no option to report on custom parameters such as conversions, program successes etc. There are only 10 custom dimensions that can be added which makes the set up limited. The ability to report on custom lead filters using smart lists as available in Email performance reports is not there. There’s no email link performance analysis. Overall a fresh new interface and a much needed option for Email performance reporting but still has a lot of scope for improvement. Here’s the Summary: Pros: Lightning quick reporting capabilities. Dimensions and work-space options for reporting. New filter options such as Audience, Content and Device. Ability to create quick charts. Cons: Inability to export reports Only 10 custom dimensions No custom lead filters and custom parameters No Email link performance analysis Here’s an example of how to use Email insights for your reporting purposes, it includes the steps you need to follow to leverage the various capabilities available for reporting. Log into Marketo and click on the tab on the top left hand side to go to Email Insights: This is how Email Insights home screen looks like: It provides you a lot of options of choosing to report on, you can select the Workspaces on which you want to see the performance: In this example, I want to check the performance in Europe, so I’ll choose Europe as the work-space. You can select the dates for which you want to check the email performance: There’s an option of comparing periods as well. You can click on sends on the top left corner to check the various email sends during the period and choose from it the one that you are interested in: If the desired email communication doesn’t show up here, then it could be because it is an operational email, the general settings of Email insights excludes the operational and trigger campaigns, you can change the same in the personal settings: There are a lot of parameters on which Email insights allows you to filter, one of them is Audience. You can filter the audience from country/state and check the email performance for them, for example: If you want to report on email performance during the last month in California etc. You can also filter on specific content, which can be either email sends: Select the email send you want to check the performance. You can also filter on Smart campaigns and the same would reflect in the report: Similarly program filters are also available: A new and fresh addition would be the ability to report device and OS performance, although this option is available as a constraint in Marketo Analytics, this is much better and faster, as it provides you comparative performance views on devices, which is nor the case with Analytics: You can select the Operating systems as a filter as well: There are filters available on your left and right side and you can select either to modify the report/chart: Here’s an example of filtering using parameters on the left side: On your right hand side you have options of choosing filters as well, by default all filter options will show: You can click on Audience, content and device to filter on and analyze the performance further: You have an option of viewing the performance by time as well in the selected time frame, you can select from day, week and month and the report will be modified accordingly: You can also add custom dimensions to these reports which can be used as a filter. To do so, click on the settings option: You can go to System settings to add dimensions, you can add segmentation, channels as dimensions and report the performance on them. Program tags can also be added as a dimension, a maximum of 10 dimensions are allowed with Email insights: Once you are done creating your report/chart based on all the filters and parameters, you can save it as a quick chart for periodic performance review: Name the chart and save it: You can it on the quick charts option on the right hand side, a maximum of 20 charts can be saved: Hope this was informative and helps you in leveraging Email insights for your organization. Your feedback matters a lot to me so if you have any suggestions/comments/queries relative to this, please comment below.
Creating an A/B Test program in Marketo Create a new Program in Marketo: 2. Choose the Campaign folder, provide the program name and choose the program type and the channel: Channel should be Email blast 3. Create a new asset within the program: 4. Choose Email program as the asset: The idea of creating Email program as an asset within a program is to have the ability to track progression statuses in a better way with the original program being the one tracking statuses. 5. Give a Program name and choose the type and channel: 6. Create an email within the email program and approve the email: 7. Go to the Email program created: 8. Choose the email created and approved in the steps above: 9. Add the A/B Test to your email: 10. A/B Testing can be done based on Subject Line, Whole emails, from address and date time: 11. For this example let’s choose subject line: 12. Define the subject lines for the email on which we are trying to test and choose the sample size of the test: In the above example, we chose 20% as the sample size and we have 4 subject lines to test. So 5% of the audience list will each receive email with a particular subject line and the winner will be send to the remaining 80%. 13. Define the Winner criteria based on which the email would be treated as a winner and you can also declare winner manually after viewing the test results: 14. Schedule the test and the winner, choose the email address you want to send notification to: 15. Click on Finish: 16.Verify the details and click on close: 17. Define the smartlist(audience) for this email send: 18. Define the filters for the smart list: 19. The audience details will be reflected in the program now: 20. Approve the program: 21. Once the test is run successfully, the results can be seen as shown below:
In our first post, we discussed the concept of URLs and UTM tracking. Now that those are in place, we will dive into the setup with Marketo. Here are the high-level steps: Create the UTM fields in order to have a place to store the values Add the fields on your form pages as hidden fields, add to a landing page Setup the Marketo programs and/or smart campaigns to process them Test and check to make sure it's working Step 1 - Create UTM fields If you are setting this up for the first time, or you have inherited a Marketo instance, I recommend checking to make sure these fields are not already in place, or they exist, but are named something else. If you have access, go to Admin > Field Management, and search for any fields containing "utm" or "ppc" to see if they are there. In the screenshot below, you'll see that all 5 fields have been created and are currently mapped to the SFDC lead and contact records. *Side note: The mapping is important if you want the values for leads or contacts since SFDC treats them differently. Also, if you are creating them for the first time, make sure to do it in SFDC and wait for the fields to sync to Marketo or you'll have to get it re-mapped. Step 2 - Add fields to your forms Now that you have the fields created, add them to any relevant data forms. There are two main options for this. If your website uses custom non-Marketo forms, ask your web developer to add the extra fields to the forms and make them hidden. In the field management screen, there's an "Export Field Names" button which will export all the necessary fields that you can provide to your developer. The file provides a mapping for the UTM values that need to be written to from the website form field to the Marketo field. There might be other options such as native plugins that might already accomplish this. If you are adding them to a Marketo landing page, drag those new fields onto your forms and make them hidden. In the Autofill property, choose Edit and you'll see options to chose where the field values will populate from. Choose URL Parameter and type in "none" for the default value or anything that you can filter on later to troubleshoot if it's not working. At this point, the landing page is just waiting for a referring visit with UTM values. Consider what happens when someone clicks a link, but does not sign up right away? The values from the URL parameter must be present at the time of submission in order for this to work. So if someone navigates away and the parameters disappear, then the UTM values will not be captured. To solve for this, we have created a tracking script that will store any UTM parameters it finds into a cookie. Now when a visitor fills out a form that contains the hidden UTM values on a form, the cookie will store the UTM value across the main and subdomains. *Technical Stuff: You can upload the extracted file into the images directory or on your web server. Before doing so, take note to make one change to the file and re-save it for it to work. Open the file with any text editor and looking for a line that says "domain=digitalpi.com" and change it to your domain. Once set, it won't expire for another 365 days. The script should be place where your Munchkin script is also placed. It's a simple script that does the following. If UTM parameters are present, store those into a cookie. This means if it comes from a URL and it's the first time seeing it, the script creates the cookie. If the visitor comes back by clicking another link with different UTM parameters, it will replace with the new ones and continue to do so. It's not session specific which means if the visitor closes the browser and comes back at a later date, it will still be in the cookie and keep it for 365 days. Here's a link to the tracking script: dpi-ppc-tracking-script.js.zip So that you can see this process in action, I created a simple form with visible UTM fields on a landing page. When you click on one of the sample links, you should see the UTM values in the UTM fields where they would normally be hidden. If you want to experiment with it, change any of the UTM values after the equal sign and refresh the page. You'll see the new value populated in the field that was changed. Long version: http://info.digitalpi.com/Marketo-UTM-Sample-Page.html?utm_source=blog&utm_medium=email&utm_term=utm&utm_content=utm-tracking-blog-p2&utm_campaign=blog-sub Shortened version: http://goo.gl/O6VyL9 Step 3 - Setup Marketo processing This next part is just ordinary Marketo smart campaign building. Setup the trigger filtering on UTM values. Make sure it's unique enough to process for the individual UTM parameter (campaign, source, medium, etc.). Step 4 - Test and validate Create a few URLs to your landing page and use different combinations of UTM parameters and click on your form submission. Look for the test record and in the custom fields look for the values. If they are there, it's working properly. Keep in mind these values will change each time a new set of UTM values are set. You can run reports on the different campaigns or even down to the add level if programs are setup to track that. This feature is used frequently, so we hope this article saves a lot of time and frustration. Happy Marketing!!
ABM campaigns are about making one-on-one human connections despite the impersonal barriers of big business. If you want to cut through the noise, reach your champion and sway a whole organization you need to act outside of the inbox. Direct mail works and we’ll show you how it integrates with digital channels to make your ABM campaign connect. This guide shares best practices on why and how marketers should incorporate direct mail into their ABM strategies. It includes example campaigns and tips on when to send mail, how to personalize it and how to measure its effectiveness as part of a multi-channel ABM program.
By: Kevin George Posted: July 22, 2016 | Email Marketing As an email marketer, subscriber engagement is undeniably one of the most critical factors that makes or breaks your efforts in converting your subscribers into lifetime customers. Considering that 54% of US and Canadian consumers consider ending their brand loyalty if they are sent irrelevant content and offers, according to CMO Council, what’s the way forward? Repeated surveys have proven that transactional emails are more effective at engaging subscribers and result in greater ROI than bulk emails. In fact, Experian reports that the average revenue per transactional email is two to five times greater than standard bulk emails and that they have almost eight times the open and click rates. Yet, out of all marketers, only 40% are using transactional emails. The Components of a Transactional Email A transactional email, otherwise known as an operational email, is essentially a personalized email that’s system-triggered by a subscriber’s unique behavior during an online transaction (registration, form-fill, purchase, etc.). Here are a few best practices to consider as you’re developing your transactional email campaign: Send it from a recognized ‘From’ address. No one likes seeing emails from email@example.com . Use a subject line that clearly summarizes the purpose of the email. Avoid adding promotional language in the subject line or your email could be flagged as spam. Write copy that acknowledges and thanks the subscriber for their activity and conveys excellent customer service. While the CAN-SPAM act allows a transactional email to be used for promotions, the message of the email should primarily be transactional in nature. Include a recognizable and clickable brand logo and incorporate your brand colors to boost brand recognition. Use links that serve a specific purpose. Be friendly, informative, and timely. If you aspire to join the 40% marketers who are sending transactional emails and seeing serious results, then sending friendly, timely, and informative emails is a must. Here are six types of transactional emails you can send your subscribers based on their behavior: 1. Email Address Confirmation/Registration Emails If a buyer subscribes to your newsletter, fills out a form, or registers for an event or webinar on your website, send them an email to confirm their action. This enhances the customer experience and sets the tone for building a trusting relationship. You can also use these emails as a double opt-in for subscribers to confirm their email address. Some businesses do this to confirm that subscribers enter valid email addressed, which is a great way to keep your database clean. Email address confirmation and registration emails are also a great way to provide your subscribers with additional information they may need like your contact email, phone number, or social media profiles, and it opens the door for them to connect with you in different ways. For example, Best Buy’s welcome email contains various calls-to-action (CTAs) to help subscribers learn more about their different services. 2. Password Resets If your website has a portal for visitors to log into, make sure that when your subscribers request a password change, they receive timely, personalized, and clear instructions regarding the password reset procedure. Moreover, with the prevalence of phishing activities, adding a link or email where they can report unauthorized password requests strengthens your credibility. This email from Treehouse has clear instructions on how to perform a password reset, an alternate link, and a contact email for any issues that come up. 3. Order Confirmation Emails and Purchase Receipts After subscribers make a purchase or register for a conference, follow up with an email that confirms their order and includes their shipping information and tracking links when applicable. Buyers are often eager to view their order confirmation because it provides reassurance that their purchase was processed and gives them information on when they’ll receive their order. This order confirmation email from Fitbit includes a receipt and link to check the order status in real-time. Take advantage of your subscriber’s high level of engagement by showcasing customer testimonials or cross-selling relevant products, services, or events. In fact, Experian reports that transactional emails that include cross-sell items have 20% higher transaction rates than those without.asking for referrals within the email. You can also use order confirmation emails to ask your subscribers for referrals. For example, Skillshare includes a referral code at the bottom of their receipts to encourage their subscribers to refer their friends. 4. Feedback Emails There is always room for improvement, and one of the best ways to improve the customer experience is to understand how your buyers feel. Ask your subscribers for feedback directly based on the proper context (e.g. after they book a trip from your website or 3-months into their software subscription). Since their feedback can be extensive, you may want to provide a CTA to a landing page to collect it. For example, after a game, the Arkansas Razerbacks send attendees an email thanking them for attending, recapping the scorecard, and directing them to click a link to take a survey about their experience. 5. Reactivation Emails Reactivation emails are sent to subscribers who have previously interacted with brand, but haven’t continued to engage. This could include consumers who abandon their shopping cart before making a purchase, email subscribers who haven’t been opening your emails, or existing customers whose subscriptions are expiring soon. Target your offers based on each subscriber’s behavior and lifecycle stage (e.g. send more aggressive offers to subscribers with lower engagement or existing customers who are likely to churn). Reactivation emails are a great way to keep your brand top-of-mind and remind your subscribers about the value your brand provides. You can take a humorous approach like Bonobos or send a clear-cut email that gets to the point like Apple Music. 6. Website/App Extension Emails Increase engagement by bridging the divide between your different channels. By providing in-email functionality that connects to your website or app, subscribers have the freedom to interact with you on their preferred device. For example, LinkedIn sends a CTA email when you receive a new LinkedIn invitation that is personalized and prompts the user to confirm the invitation. No matter what industry you’re in, transactional emails can help you generate more revenue, build brand loyalty, and improve your email deliverability. Are you ready to take them on? Trigger away! Are you currently sending transactional emails in your campaigns? Share your tips and tricks below!
By: Nick Westergaard Posted: July 19, 2016 | Content Marketing Content is king! Content rules! No one is going to tell you in this day and age that you need to create less content. In fact, according to the Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs, 80% of marketers across all sectors (B2B, consumer, nonprofit) are using content in some form. Of those same marketers, 74% have plans to produce even morecontent in the year ahead. And yet, 57% of marketers report that creating content consistently is a top challenge. As very few organizations claim content creation as a core competency, many are wondering how they should go about developing all of these new ebooks, newsletters, blog posts, videos, and images required to engage today’s buyer. Content creation can get real complex, real fast. In my new book Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small, I outline several frameworks, strategies, tactics, and hacks for helping today’s frustrated marketers do more with less. Let’s take a look at four content creation hacks that should be in every marketer’s toolbox, including yours: Hack #1: Relentlessly Repurpose Content In Content Rules, Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman encourage brands to be a “content chop-shop” by always looking for ways to get multiple uses out of a particular piece of content. You should strive to relentlessly repurpose all of the content you create. You can start small by combining smaller pieces like photos, cheatsheets, and blog posts into something larger like an ebook or whitepaper. You can also take a larger piece of content apart and create blog posts, videos, infographics, and social media updates. The possibilities are endless, so get creative! Pew Research Center does this by sharing individual data points on Instagram, which point to a longer article about the research, which then invites you to download the entire report. As expensive as formal research is, it makes sense to repurpose it as much as possible. This also provides an opportunity for you to reach your audience across multiple channels and get your team involved. For example, you can make re-imagining your content an internal challenge by encouraging others to offer ideas on additional forms of content you can create. Hack #2: Utilize Historical Content If your business has been around for a while, chances are there are old photos laying around in some closet or storage facility, or stored digitally. One of the scrappiest things you can do is to digitize this old-school content so that you can give it new life online. Whether it’s #ThrowbackThursday on Instagram or populating Facebook’s timeline feature, these content classics can be a tremendous asset. For examples, check out what Herman Miller is doing on Pinterest with their history board “107 Years and Counting.” Even your old marketing collateral and advertisements offer some nice history. Southwest Airlines has a Pinterest board dedicated entirely to their old photos and ads. Hack #3: Curate Content Beyond finding ways to repurpose as much of your brand’s internal content as possible, there are other sources you can leverage outside of your organization through content curation. With budgets spread thin, curation is a viable part of the mix for many. Some examples include a blog post or email newsletter that rounds up the best articles on a particular subject important to your buyers or industry. There are several tools that can help you streamline the task of finding good content. Some are free or low-cost—like Feedly, Scoop.it, Newsle—and some are geared more toward the mid-market or enterprise level with more functionality and features, such as Curata and TrapIt. One word of caution: Avoid thinking of curation as simply a low-cost alternative to content creation. Bothshould be viewed as complementary approaches to the same overall strategy—providing your community with useful content. Hack #4: Encourage User-Generated Content The final external source for content is from your own community. User-generated content is valuable in more ways than one. First, it’s content you don’t have to create that you can turnaround and share again, which brings me to my second point. User-generated content is powerful as it demonstrates in a very public and authentic way that your audience is engaged. A common misconception is that user-generated content just “appears.” Like all things involving others, it starts with a request from you. Remember, no one (your buyers and community included) will know what to do unless you ask them. More often than not your community will participate if you ask them. For instance, after seeing their fans share photos showing their love and happiness around their product, Ben & Jerry’s put out a call for fans to share their best euphoric photos by using the hashtag #CaptureEuphoria, with favorites featured in print and digital ads for the brand. As you work to do more with less when it comes to your content marketing, these four scrappy content marketing hacks—relentlessly repurposing content, utilizing historical content, content curation, and user-generated-content—deliver big results. Looking to get scrappy with your other marketing initiatives? Register for my upcoming webinar Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small to learn how to create a scrappy marketing strategy to win in today’s complex digital world.
By: Dave Chaffey Posted: July 7, 2016 | Email Marketing I recently participated in a Marketo webinar on Key Email Trends European Marketers Need to Know (that really all marketers need to know). We left some time for questions, and we received plenty of interesting questions on email marketing—from basic to advanced. It was interesting to see how similar these questions were and the common themes that arose, despite the different topics we covered. Because we couldn’t address all the questions in the session, I’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions in this blog. I’ve grouped them into the categories of evaluation, growing and profiling your list, segmentation and targeting, and email frequency: Email Marketing Evaluation Q: What responses should I be receiving for my emails? A: Although most marketers measure their email success with open and click-through rates, a practical tip is to combine these measures to look at the click-to-open rate (CTOR%). This shows you how effective your creatives and offers are for different types of campaigns. To evaluate your email marketing campaigns in a more realistic way and identify ways to improve them, I recommend breaking out your overall responses by: Type of email: Categorize your responses by the types of emails you send. For example, personalized, event triggered emails tend to perform better than untargeted newsletters or 3 rd party email advertising (sometimes known as a solus emails), which can make the average meaningless if you group them together. Lifecycle stage: Emails sent to recipients who are in an earlier stage of the customer lifecycle, like welcome emails, usually work better than emails to long-term subscribers, so you need to break these out accordingly. Segment: Your response will naturally vary by how it resonates with different audiences, so break out your response by the different audience types. Subscriber type: Determine how your responses vary by the subscriber type, such as between Gmail, Live Mail, and iCloud addresses and company addresses. This can help you identify delivery or rendering issues between each type. Evaluating your emails with these factors in mind will give you a much better idea of the engagement your email campaigns are getting and how you can optimize them (if your email provider supports it). Q: Given the increasing number of email clients that download images automatically, how important are open rates as a metric now? A: Email open rates have always been potentially misleading since some email clients may block or download images by default or some users will change their preferences to automatically download them. Today, Gmail and Apple Mail on iOS tend to download images by default, so this doesn’t necessarily suggest interest in your emails, but more so that a reader has clicked on the subject line. However, I believe that open rates are still relevant for comparing email effectiveness between recent email sends. Comparing open and click rates helps you measure the different types of email sends (outlined in the previous answer) to reveal which perform the best. Ultimately, what really matters is whether the emails you send are helping you reach your goals. For some marketers, one of the best measures of effectiveness is sales value generated per 1000 emails sent. How to Grow and Profile Your List Q: What are the best ways to encourage opt-in? A: I recommend brainstorming alternative techniques for capturing e-mail addresses. Map out all the opportunities available for capturing a buyer’s information between your different channels and audience segments (shown in the matrix below) and use this to generate new ideas. Take a look at what you and competitors are currently doing and then do a ‘gap analysis’ to select options you aren’t currently used Here are a few examples you could start with: ￼ Q: Should I be using pop-ups? A: Pop-ups are increasingly being used in many industry sectors, particularly retail, publishing, and travel. This is because, when well-defined and tested, they will almost always give you significantly more new contacts in your database. We discussed this in depth in the webinar, when I described how well they have worked for Smart Insights, increasing the conversion of visitors to leads by 35% on a site where we already use a range of prompts to encourage subscription. Q: What about the quality of the people from pop-ups? A: If you use pop-ups to boost your subscriber numbers, it’s inevitable that there may be some decline in quality—but from my experience, they are still very worthwhile. To maintain the quality, it’s important to be able to profile visitors efficiently. Also, follow best practices to be sensitive to the user experience and don’t display a pop-up too quickly. You can address this by adding a time delay or detecting exit intent (e.g. when movement of the mouse to the navigation bar suggests users are about to leave the page). Q: How much do I need to profile subscribers? A: There’s a balance between asking for too much profile information and thus reducing the number of new contacts added to your database and not asking for enough. Identify two or three ‘killer question’ profile fields to ask subscribers that are most important for enabling your business to send more relevant emails. For example, at Smart Insights, we ask about the subscriber’s role, sector, and the number of people in the marketing team and then tailor our welcome emails based on the responses. Q: How can I target better without asking too many questions? A: A good rule of thumb for this is to ‘watch, don’t ask’ or ‘sense and respond.’ Instead of asking interruptive questions, monitor your recipients’ clicks to better profile them and understand their needs. Then, trigger follow-up communications accordingly. Some examples include: Monitoring click-throughs to different types of content or offers within your emails. Recording which content or offers are browsed on your website and then adding them to the individual’s profile. Recording products or categories searched for and then following up with relevant information. Over time, you should continue to add details about your buyers to gain a better picture of them by asking additional questions or tracking their behavior. For a B2B organization, I recommend defining a common customer profile (CCP), which includes all the data you could potentially collect in addition to the data you already have on a subscriber. I worked with one B2B organization that had three levels of profile and separate goals for each: level 1–basic contact information, level 2–position, market sector, and application and level 3–detailed information about standards and preferences. Segmentation and Targeting In the webinar, we looked at results from different research studies which revealed that detailed segmentation and targeting for email is still surprisingly rare. We also did a poll which showed that around 40% of the hundreds of marketers that attended the webinar didn’t target their audience. So, we received some interesting questions about how to get started. Q: Where can I begin to improve email targeting? A: Ideally, you want to start your targeting with a quick-win technique that is simple, but achieves the best results. Some options you could consider include: Creating two (or more) alternative versions of your standard newsletter. For example, you could create different versions for larger or smaller businesses, staff in different sectors, or male or female subscribers. Changing your welcome email content to be relevant for different audience segments. Sending post-purchase emails to promote similar products or related products in different categories (cross-sell and upsell). You can send these variations by creating distinct rules in your marketing automation or email system. This is a relatively quick win, and while it is efficient, it may not scale to multiple content types. This is where I recommend ‘dynamic content’ insertion (which I’ll cover next). Q: How can I get started with dynamic content insertion? A: With dynamic content insertion, you can add different content to a single section or block within your emails. For example, many emails have a ‘hero’ section at the top email, which often have the biggest impact because they are seen first. Dynamic content insertion will enable you to tailor images and text in this block to appeal to different audiences. Once you roll this out, you can develop a dynamic content marketing model that gives better results. In the webinar, we looked at this personalized B2B email example in which a series of dynamic content blocks were displayed: Hero block content varied based on lifecycle stage (new subscriber vs. engaged subscriber vs. lapsed subscriber) Secondary block content tailored by product category interest Tertiary block content varied by discounts and offers relevant for the audience Frequency for Email Marketing Take a look at this data gathered from UK email marketers that shows a huge variation in the number of emails they send every month. Accordingly, if you send just one email a month to your subscribers, you might be under-mailing and missing out on opportunities. But, if you’re emailing your subscribers more than eight times a month, you’re probably sending too many emails and are in danger of being seen as a spammer. The next question will explore how to get the balance right. Q: What is the best frequency to send emails? A: This is one of those ‘it depends’ questions since email frequency depends on the industry, audience, and what you’re looking to achieve. In retail, it’s common to email more frequently to prompt sales—at least weekly; whereas, in many business sectors, this may be considered too much. Here are three techniques you can use to determine the ideal frequency for your business: Test varying frequencies for different groups. This method will only be practical for larger businesses since it’s far more involved than A/B testing a subject line. You can classify a control or ‘hold-out’ group which has the original frequency and then create different segments for varying frequencies. For one financial services company we worked with, we originally set the frequency to be monthly and then increased it to weekly and fortnightly. In this case, we found that the increased frequency resulted in more product sales without causing a big issue with engagement or unsubscribes. Vary frequency by individuals depending on activity. One of the biggest challenges of email marketing is inactive subscribers. For many businesses, a large proportion of their subscribers haven’t engaged with their emails in the last six months or even a year. While some would argue that you should still regularly email these subscribers to stay top-of-mind and increase the potential of sale, I would argue against this since you could be identified as a spammer, negatively impacting your email deliverability. Instead, if an email subscriber becomes inactive, you can try to win them back to start regularly engaging with you again, and then add them to a different email group that you mail less frequently, but hopefully, with more impact! Vary frequencies throughout time using automation. This is a more sophisticated approach where individual frequency is controlled by the rules in your prospect or nurturing campaign. The emails you send to your subscribers depends on where they are in the lifecycle (new or older subscriber) and their behavior as they interact with different products and offers across your channels. Using this approach, you can increase email frequency (and offer a personalized message) when a subscriber shows more intent or engagement with your product. As you can see, we received a lot of great email marketing questions during the webinar. I hope these insights help you assess your current methods, try new approaches, and improve your email marketing. If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask them in the comments below!
By: Jessica Minasian Posted: June 8, 2016 | Email Marketing Over Memorial Day weekend, I took a road trip with my twin sister through Northern California. Before we embarked on our journey, we prepared for everything we needed (or so we thought): directions, extra snacks, water, and a good road trip playlist. However, nothing could have prepared us for the fact that anything can happen on the road, such as a flat tire or getting lost. Unforeseen incidents and mistakes happen in marketing as well, no matter how much you prepare. And similar to road trips, there’s no magical undo button that can take back whatever just happened, like the moment after you send an email and realize it wasn’t what you intended. But that’s how we learn, right? Usually, it only takes us making a mistake once to learn a valuable lesson. And no matter how bad things seem at first, it can be remediated. Drum roll, please. In the many years of working with marketers at Marketo, Business Consultants like myself have been called in to fix many of these road trip-like blunders. One of the most common email marketing mistakes that we see is when marketers accidentally send the wrong email to a subscriber. It could be sending a Russian email to all English-speaking customers (yes, we have seen this happen). Or sending out an incorrect subject line: “[Replace] with your creative subject line.” Or even offering something that does not exist: “20% Off of Unicorn Sale” (again, this has fallen into our laps, but we wished it was real). At Marketo, we don’t consider marketers battle-tested until they can overcome sending an incorrect email. Sometimes, this is done by sending an apology email. An apology email should be to the point and explain what happened, without risking further damage to your brand’s image. You certainly don’t want them to unsubscribe or lose faith in your brand, so decide if the mistake warrants an apology (this ebook offers some advice on how to determine whether or not to send one), more publicity, and if it actually risked customer’s confidence. And if it does, use the tips below to get back on the road. Here are four steps, written from the road, to crafting an apology email to redeem yourself: Step 1: Turn Around and Fix It Even the savviest of road warriors can take the wrong exit and get lost, but once they address the mistake, they can quickly get back on the road again. For email marketing warriors to do this, you need to first admit that you’ve made an error so that you can fix it. This starts with crafting the beginning of your apology email. There’s no need to overly explain your mistake; just get to the point. If your apology email is brief and sent to your email recipients soon after, you can catch most of them before they open the original email. Then, you can provide them with the correct information before they negatively respond. You could start off by saying, “Today, we sent you the wrong email by mistake.” By getting straight to the point, you are owning up to what happened without sounding overly wordy or concerned (even if you are, save your real feelings for internal conversations). Taking responsibility for the mistake clears the air. And by being clear and concise, you can send a message of confidence, security, and sincerity. Don’t waste any more of your time, or your recipients’, because there are more important things to get to—like continuing your journey. Step 2: Say You’re Sorry Whether you’re sending an email to your customers or on the road with your friends, proper etiquette still applies. One of the rules of the road is to apologize when your actions affect your fellow passengers. So, if you ate the last piece of beef jerky without asking anyone if they wanted some, then it’s time to say sorry. The same goes for an apology email. Ultimately, you need to say you’re sorry. In some cases, sending the wrong email will not raise any red flags for your recipients, but in others, this might be a sign your team is slipping. Depending on your line of work, the type of information you have about your customers (e.g. credit card, sensitive data) a misstep like the wrong email, can put them on edge if they receive an incorrect email. To put everyone’s mind at ease, you can include a section in your email that apologizes for the mistake and explains what went wrong and what you’re doing to ensure it will not happen again. Reassuring your customers of your ability to fix the mistake helps them continue to trust your brand. This section can also be an opportunity for your team to show a little humility. Some apology emails use humor to lighten the tone, but if your company is not known for humor, just stick to the facts. For example, you could write: “We apologize for the mistake. We have addressed the issue with our team and have taken steps to ensure this will not happen again.” You can even customize the subject line to: “Correction,” “Oops,” or “We Apologize.” Step 3: Ask for Forgiveness and Make Things Right Mistakes happen, but it doesn’t hurt to ask for forgiveness when something goes wrong and try to make amends. No one wants a road trip to end on a sad note and neither do your subscribers when it comes to marketing mistakes. Give your subscribers a reason to not only forgive you but also re-engage with your brand. Transform your mistake into an opportunity to re-engage inactive subscribers by offering a great deal. People are more willing to forgive you if you give them a good reason to and nothing works better than offering them a sweet deal. If you’re on a road trip and eat the last of the snacks, offer to pick up the tab for the next batch. As for marketers, the last section of your apology email could look something like this: “Click here to take an additional 10% off.” If you do not have a deal to offer, then you could end with, “Our customers are our highest priority. If you have any questions or concerns, please email us and we will respond to you promptly.” Step 4: Final Pit Stops Before Hitting the Road Again While it’s hard to avoid all the possible marketing mistakes, you can do your best to prepare for them and address them accordingly when they happen. It goes without saying that one of the best ways to prevent a blunder in the first place is by testing and scanning every email and double checking your lists and campaigns. Good email marketers understand that every email should follow a series of different checkpoints before it goes out. Here are some questions that you may want to ask yourself as you review your emails: Will these emails be sent to the right lists and segments? Do the custom fields throughout the email reflect the right information? Is the content up-to-date? Is it free of spelling or grammatical errors? Do the images render properly? Do all the buttons and links hyperlink to the correct URL? These checks and balances ensure that you’ve reviewed your email for mistakes to the best of your ability. And if a mistake manages to slip through the crack, revisit where you made the mistake to prevent it from happening again. The last thing you want to do is send out another wrong email right after the first one. Do you have any email horror stories of your own? How did you overcome them? Share your experience in the comments below!
List uploads is usually critical to account management. Without proper preparation, critical components of lead activity and information can be affected! When preparing a list for upload, the following steps should be taken in order to ensure that existing lead information within the system is not altered, and lead statuses are not affected: Create an email address only list in a CSV file – This will allow the upload of leads without updating any errant fields If there are additional fields that require updating: Create a view within Marketo to include any fields that will be updated Exclude any leads that show data within these fields until further review and approval Alert your Marketo Admin / team (and potentially the SFDC teams) to review and approve the leads in question Once approved, upload ONLY those fields appended to the email list
By: Marissa Lyman Posted: March 31, 2016 | Content Marketing Did you know that grammatical errors are the number one cause of work-related aggression? Okay, that’s a lie–but if everyone cared as much about grammar as I did, I can guarantee that misplaced commas, subject-verb disagreement, and improper use of “your” would top the HR incident list. A degree in journalism, numerous media internships, and nearly two years editing the homepage for America’s most-watched cable news network inadvertently turned me into what I recently told a colleague was “The Grammar Hammer” (copyright pending). To me, editing is like a treasure hunt, and finding each error brings a degree of satisfaction or–if it’s published– immense and somewhat irrational rage. The fact of the matter is that, at their core, typos in collateral undermine a marketer’s credibility with customers and prospects. If your company doesn’t know the difference between “there,” “their,” and “they’re,” how are you supposed to be trusted with the hard stuff, like–I don’t know–revenue generation? (For the record, “there” refers to a place or the existence of something, “their” is possessive–like, “Have you seen their new nap room? I am filled with envy.” and “they’re” should be used any time you can substitute it with “they are”–like, “They are going to be so well-rested! I hate them!”) Yes, typos happen. But if you follow the steps outlined below, you can significantly reduce the number of errors in your work, leading to fame, fortune, and marketing glory: 1. See If It Passes the Jargon Test You basically invented marketing–that’s how good you are. In fact, there is no industry term, TLA (three-letter acronym), or obscure marketing reference that you’re not familiar with. Well done, you! Yet not everyone is an expert like you are, so pumping copy full of jargon runs the risk of alienating those in your target audience who aren’t as technologically savvy as you are. You want to sound smart, not pretentious. Your external communications should be engaging and informative, and a major part of this is using appealing vocabulary. There is a time and a place for all of these “inside baseball” terms–like an in-depth how-to guide. But err on the side of general terms that are easy to read through, especially if it’s on an initial call-to-action. When in doubt, have someone in a different department or job function take a gander at your work. If it leaves them scratching their heads, it’s worth an edit. 2. Let It Sit You just wrote the copy for what, in your opinion, is the world’s most beautiful nurture campaign, and you’re getting ready to set it up for deployment. Your quest to finesse your language means that you’ve been staring at the same two paragraphs for the better part of the last two hours. What should you do? Save the copy and walk away. Do it. Tear yourself away. I know you’ve been itching to get this off your plate, but there’s a high probability that if you set it up for distribution now, you’re going to discover once it sends that it’s riddled with errors. The more familiar you are with text, the less likely your brain will pick up on any subtle inconsistencies. That’s why it’s important to give yourself a break, let your brain focus on something else (maybe this is a good time for a walk or a nap), and come back to the text with fresh eyes. You’ll be shocked by what you catch the second time around. 3. Print, Read Out Loud, Repeat You’ve just awoken from your nap–now what? Reread your work on your computer? You could, but–environmentalists, cover your ears!–I recommend printing out what you’re working on. Whether you’re reviewing plain text or the layout of a new ebook, without all that blue light hitting your eyeballs, you’ll be able to focus better. Errors will jump out of the page as obviously as that whale at the end of “Free Willy.” And once you’ve printed your work (or even if you haven’t–shame on you!), read it out loud. Hearing the words instead of reading them will give your brain a different perspective and help it to catch additional errors. These can range from typos and misspellings to sentence constructions that just don’t sound right. Try it the next time you write an email–this is the type of exercise that helps you walk that fine line between “The webinar is public” and “The webinar is …” You get it. 4. Ask the Experts I’ve lauded the power of Google in previous posts, but it’s worth a mention here too. Google is a wonderful source for your grammar needs and can also help to end any editing debates you might be having. It may take some digging, but you’ll usually walk away with knowing what the most common and widely accepted approach is for spelling or punctuation. Just make sure you’re getting your insight from a reputable site and one that is reflective of the grammar in your geographic region. And think about your internal experts as well, often on your Communications or Content team. Does your company prefer the Oxford comma? What solution names are capitalized? Smart marketing departments will implement a set of brand style guides for everyone to adhere to. WHAT. You don’t have one? Congratulations, you’ve just identified an important, proactive opportunity to make your mark. It’s like I always say, quality control is everyone’s problem. 5. Practice Makes Perfect I have literally spent days of my life editing things. DAYS. Do I wish I had been spending this time on a beach somewhere? Maybe. Would my written words benefit from a rich mahogany glow? Absolutely not. The tips above will help and should become standard practice whenever you’re developing external content. However, the only way you’re really going to step up your error-free game is through practice. How do you do that? Edit everything you can get your hands on. Your stuff, your coworkers’ stuff, your competitors’ stuff–everything. You can even search for practice tests as a fun and informative alternative to Sudoku or Candy Crush. There is no limit to how much practice you can do. Now go forth and conquer typos, you smart marketer, you. Are you a spelling and grammar connoisseur? Share your tips for writing spotless marketing copy in the comments below!
this is an example doc used in [this post] that shows how to create successful nurture programs LNA: Install Snippet Email (EXAMPLE) Overview An email educating and encouraging new leads to install the snippet in the Optimizely product. Hypothesis By sending an email with a humorous subject line about installing the snippet, users will be more likely to open the email than if they are sent a serious subject line. Baseline Conversion Out of all leads that were delivered our "Snippet Install Email" (5,000), 35% of them opened the email (1750). Goal Increase create account conversion by 7% Baseline conversion = 4,900 leads per variation Audience New leads that created a self-serve Optimizely account Content Cadence: 1x week to new leads Notes
By: Jamie Lewis Posted: February 2, 2016 | Marketing Metrics While it may seem like there is a new marketing channel available almost every day (I’m devising my smart fridge strategy as we speak), email marketing, when done right, is still one of the most profitable acquisition and lead retention channels available. To clarify, by “done right” I mean permission-based email marketing with content that is personalized, relevant, timely, and highly optimized. And if you don’t have a great email program like this already, then you’re leaving tremendous value on the table. Be data-cated So how can you craft a slammin’ email channel to drive value to your stakeholders? The answer is actually quite mundane: you need to have the right set of metrics to analyze your email marketing channel and optimize it to stardom. This set of metrics is called your key performance indicators (KPIs) and should be very closely tied to your organization’s primary business goals. In fact, they will be a direct measure of how well you are achieving those goals. Traditionally, email analytics has been hard because all of your demographic data, open rates, etc. resided in your email service provider (ESP) database, while all of your web traffic and conversion data was being tracked by your content management system (CMS) and/or Google Analytics. This was a problem because unifying your end-to-end data is really hard, not to mention time consuming. Nowadays, this problem is being solved by the adoption of marketing automation platforms that unify email and conversion data in an end-to-end fashion. Now let’s talk data. When choosing KPIs that help measure your business goals, it is important that you follow these three rules: keep them very simple, produce them in a timely manner, and make sure they are useful. In other words, make it so that people can view your KPIs, quickly understand what they mean, and then take action on them immediately. This is critical because in today’s world we all need to act fast! There are three categories of data you will analyze when it comes to optimizing your email marketing channel. When creating your KPIs, you need to always be thinking about these things: 1. Engagement Engagement is a category that encompasses email campaign metrics and reveals how your emails are resonating with your target list. It measures things such as: how many emails were sent, who you sent them to, and what the result was. Here are some great KPIs that help measure the business goal of driving deeper engagement within my list: Delivery rate: (# of emails – bounce backs)/ (# of emails) – measures the quality of your lead list. Open rate: (# opened/# emails delivered) – represents the success of your “from” field and subject line. Subscriber retention rate: (# subscribers – # bounces – # unsubscribes)/# subscribers) – measures how well you are targeting your database and if you are delighting them. Click to delivery rate: # of clicks/# of emails delivered – helps you understand the mailing list quality and email content relevance. 2. Behavior Behavior is a measure of what happens after the viewer clicks a link on the email. It answers: what do they do on my site, how well they engage, and do they buy? Here are some great KPIs to measure the business goals of deeper engagement on my website, elevated content consumption, and an increase in Sales Qualified Leads : Bounce rate: (# of clicks to the website with a single page view / # visits) – a great measure of the alignment between email and landing page. Depth of visit: (% of email campaign visits that last longer than xx pages) – especially important for non-ecommerce. Actions completed: (% of visits that took the call-to-action on the landing page) 3. Outcome Outcome is a measure of the goals, conversions, and revenue you drove through your email channel. Tracking all of these conversions and attributing it back to your email programs is critically important. Here is my list of outcome KPIs that measure the business goal of increasing total revenue: Macro conversion rate: (revenue producing conversions / visits) – How successful are you at targeting your audience with the right message at the right time. Avg. revenue per email sent: (total revenue / # of emails sent) – Use this to measure how clean your list is. Profitability: (rev generated – cost – cost of goods sold) / # emails sent) – the “Holy Grail” of KPIs One last thing to note is that there is no one size fits all when it comes to email KPIs, you must be willing to experiment with your campaigns and how you analyze them and change your approach accordingly. Nor is it always possible to track all of these metrics all the time. I find that choosing one from each group may be sufficient. For example, if I wanted to keep it simple I would choose “click to delivery rate” for engagement, “bounce rate” for behavior, and “profitability” for outcome as my top three and go from there. Metrics are critical for building success and identifying what works and what doesn’t. With the right ones in place, you can realize the full potential of your email channel. What KPIs are you currently tracking for your email programs? Share them in the comments below!
this is an example doc used in this post that shows how to create successful nurture programs Lead Nurture: Email Content (EXAMPLE) Drop Date: MM/DD/YYYY Reviewers: Final Approval: Overview Purpose: Audience: Hypothesis: Success Metric: Overall Messaging: General Information From Name Optimizely TEST From Email firstname.lastname@example.org Reply Email email@example.com Tracking Link ?utm_source=x&utm_medium=x&utm_campaign=x&utm_content=x http:// CTA link http:// Emails Email 1 subject_line preheader_text email_header_1 email_body_1 cta_text email_body_2 Email 2 subject_line preheader_text email_header_1 email_body_1 cta_text email_body_2 Email 3 subject_line preheader_text email_header_1 email_body_1 cta_text email_body_2 Email 4 subject_line preheader_text email_header_1 email_body_1 cta_text email_body_2