We get asked by our users to review their campaigns all the time, especially the very first ones. We have observed that there are some common issues with most campaigns. So we have decided to put together this document, describing some tips and best practices, which we believe everyone will benefit from.
List Quality: Assuming that you are sending email to a list, we must make sure that most of the email addresses in the list are legitimate email addresses and are deliverable. Since our release in Feb 2019, we now mark every email in the list as a deliverable or not, through services provided by one of our partners. In your target audience, we recommend that you put a filter to exclude the non-deliverable emails. Based on client feedback, we may do this exclusion automatically in future releases.
URL: If you are sending a direct mail to a Personalized URL, we suggest you purchase a domain and not use the Da Vinci provided domain. This is because the Da Vinci provided domain is long and contains a string of random characters, and hard to type or remember. Of course, if you are using a QR Code or other barcodes to drive people to their PURL, none of this logic appears.
SSL: We always recommend using an SSL with the landing page of your Capture Leads campaigns. Da Vinci provides an SSL with every one of its default domains. If you are using your own custom domain, you will have to purchase an SSL from our support. Please note that regular SSL’s purchased on GoDaddy etc will not work with Da Vinci’s Cloud engine.
Test: Please use the “Send Just This Email To” option for proofreading and formatting an email. For the final test, please use the “Send All Emails in this Sequence To”. This will run through the entire email sequence and allow you to test all triggers and automation.
Unsubscribe: As you test emails, please make sure to test unsubscribes. You should resend the email sequence after unsubscribing, to make sure that the email actually has been unsubscribed. After testing, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to resubscribe.
Pre Header: In the pre-header, please put a meaningful text e.g., “Learn how to qualify for the lowest postage rate and maximize response”. This is the part that shows up as a preview in the mobile device or email client and helps in increasing the open rate of your email. Use a combination of subject and preheader to maximize the open rate.
Social Media: The no-cost option here is simply posting some information in conjunction with your emails – perhaps a few days earlier to set the stage. This will be seen by all that follow your page. Facebook or LinkedIn Ads are the paid options here, you can certainly show ads to people in your list by uploading the list to these social media platforms. Da Vinci will be supporting ads in a future release – for now, you can use Da Vinci to schedule posts on your business page. In any case, there are numerous studies about the effectiveness of Social Media marketing along with conventional email or direct mail marketing. Some of these are in the eBooks that are part of our templates.
Content: Once we have reached this point, we know that we have been successful in making our target recipient open the email. Next goal is to click on that button and go to your landing page and eventually submit their contact information to officially become a lead. First of all, people will need a little more persuasion, some incentives for that – commonly known as the offer. The offer could come in various flavours – some of these options are listed here.
- The cheapest form of offer is a “pearl” of wisdom that is promised in the email and is downloadable once the contact information is submitted via the landing page. I called it a “pearl” because it is literally so – cannot be any simple piece of information that everyone knows about. It has to be some information related to the subject of your campaign and something that benefits your prospects. The eBooks distributed with our templates are good examples.
- Monetary benefit – discount coupons, gift cards, credit to future invoices, raffle – these are examples of
- Referral based – See discussion on “Share Option” below.
Share Option: This involves referral and associated incentives, based on the Send To Friend feature in Da Vinci. Although it could be more complex to manage if executed well it could double your benefits, as you could end up with leads that were not even in your original list. Da Vinci tracks the referrers if you use the Send to a Friend feature, and therefore it is easy to incentivize people. An example of a referral can be “offer for a chance to win something of value (gift card, items like Kindle Fire HD, iPad etc) when they actually shared the campaign with a friend. We have had partners offer incentives based on the number of shares – or instead of the raffle, give the “prize” to the highest sharer.
Schedule: Finally when you are ready and tested the emails and landing pages well – everything works to your satisfaction. You can give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done, and set about scheduling the email to go out. However, it is already 3PM on a Friday afternoon – should you be sending the email out now? This is where some research needs to be done. You can pretty much Google the topic of “Best time to send emails” and get a ton of information on this. We have given here a quick summary based on several research papers.
- Fridays are definitely low response days – so I would not schedule my first email blast on Fridays. Of course, once we have engagement, the engaged group can be emailed at times based on your interaction with them and their expectations. Tuesdays are traditionally considered best days for sending emails, followed by Thursdays and Wednesdays. Mondays are considered bad, probably close to Fridays, for an entirely different set of reasons though.
- That leaves us with the weekend. Saturday morning is still known to have returned decent engagement, but Sunday is not likely to return you any decent result.
- This brings us to the question of what time of the day. There are four specific time slots that are discussed in these research papers. First is late morning – 10AM till just before lunch. Second is after 8pm, to catch those that habitually check emails before going to bed. Some studies recommend a late afternoon slot – but we have not seen a ton of engagement late afternoon with promotional emails. That leaves a large group of people that begin their bed by checking emails in bed. So 6am-7am in the morning is considered effective as well.
- With so many choices, ultimately results may vary depending on your relationship and influence over the target audience, as well as the personal habits of your audience. Also may vary based on the nature of the audience. For example, if you are doing a B2C campaign reaching out youngsters, you may get better engagement over the weekend. So on the issue of “time of day”, we recommend using the above recommendations from us guidelines and do A/B split test to identify what really works with your group.
One final word of advice. Please test your campaigns thoroughly for all features and make sure they are working before launching, even if it sounds trivial. If could be embarrassing to launch a campaign and then hear from your customers that some things are not working. Make sure to pay attention to unsubscribe as well, as you can get a few angry fellows if that does not work!