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Optimising Email Effectiveness: Cumulo9 Outlines Best-Practice Recommendations on Maximising Campaign Email Responses

Email solutions company Cumulo9 attended the recent Litmus Email Design Conference in San Francisco alongside other worldwide experts in email creation and delivery. Exciting trends and industry best practices have been developed into practical, effective recommendations for the New Zealand campaign email market.

Email for Mobile Devices

With up to 50% of campaign emails now being opened on mobile devices, mobile-first design is now critical to effectiveness with subsequent configuration for outlook and webmail clients. Responsive email design allows the email’s visual design to automatically adapt to the resolution of the email client – even for smaller screens. The size and placement of buttons (large and prominent) to encourage clicking is a key design element, especially for mobile. Cumulo9 already optimises email design from mobile-first for all products.

Timing of Delivery

The optimum time of delivery is dependent on the target audience. For instance, research has shown that wedding vendor emails achieve the best response rate when delivered on a Saturday morning, and venue or bar content is best delivered on a Friday afternoon. Also , many email views are on mobile devices during commuting times rather than 9am on desktops. The optimum delivery time depends on each market, so knowledge of the target market’s habits, behaviours and likely responses is critical to effectiveness.

Landing pages – Keep the Customer Experience Consistent

Unfortunately if the web landing pages for interactions (such as purchases) are not responsively designed or optimised for mobile, then viewers often leave immediately. Keep the customer experience consistent by optimising web landing pages for mobile too

Embedded vs Served Images and Video

Downloading images from remote servers limits email tracking functionality and unfortunately the campaign measurement, whilst embedding images increases file size. Cumulo9 addresses this issue by sending emails with both embedded and served images ensuring a consistent design experience even if the remote image server is not accessible.

With many email clients not rendering video content, videos should be linked not embedded. Basic animation can be more effective than video at increasing response rates because it can be embedded in the email through Cascading Style Sheets Level 3 (CSS3).

Campaign and Transactional Email Separation

Most companies should keep transactional email well separated from newsletter and even regular business email. Servers should be configured separately at different addresses so server reputations are maintained. This ensures that important mail servers are never blacklisted and delivery integrity remains high for mission critical email. For this reason, it makes sense to outsource your email applications to specialist providers like Cumulo9.

Relevance and Frequency

Email communication is an opportunity to build trust between the sender’s brand and the recipient. Relevant content provides subscribers with some form of value from the relationship. Sending an irrelevant email undermines trust and usually results in a surge of unsubscribe activity. Know your audience well and keep them engaged with informed and interesting content.

Email frequency should be dictated by the recipients’ demographics and expectations. Delivery should not be solely based on a set frequency when there’s nothing relevant to offer.

Auto Unsubscribe

Invalid and disengaged addresses should always be removed to improve open rates, click through and conversion rate data. LinkedIn records higher open rates by removing “inactive” (having not opened an email in the past six months) users via a polite ‘auto unsubscribe’ or opt back in email which improves reporting accuracy and resource efficiency.

Email Open and Delivery Rates

Email open rates vary by target market but are generally in the 30 to 40% range for non-spam. Delivery rates are often affected by ISPs and company mail servers rejecting the email as spam or black/grey listing mass email outs. Cumulo9 boasts an industry best email delivery rate of over 99.5% with specialist IP to bypass spam filters and rate limit mass mail outs.

In Summary – Strategic planning and design can have dramatic results

Cumulo9’s overall message is that the use of the above proven recommendations, combined with careful, strategic planning and outstanding email design can positively impact email campaign responses.

About Cumulo9

Cumulo9 provides world class business email services for delivering transactional email documents, marketing campaigns and tracked email signatures. Cumulo9’s email engine features industry best deliverability, tracking and reporting of important business emails. For more information visit cumulo9.com

Chris Hogg
Chris has 20 years experience in Europe and North America working with payment and billing systems. He has held roles ranging from sales support through to managing international operations for US multinationals. Along the way Chris has worked with most major banks and telephone companies in Europe and America as well as their regulatory bodies. He has worked on National EftPos schemes in Europe, implementing Telephone number portability (LNP) throughout North America and setting up one of the first revenue assurance practices in Europe. Chris returned to New Zealand in 2002 and has focused on working with early stage companies looking to make an impact on the international stage.
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