Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Why Haven't You Joined The Video Bandwagon Yet?

Against everything your mother told you, we'll say it. You should do what everyone else is doing - because it could get you further. We're talking about the video "cliff"; and we're encouraging you to swan dive-DO IT.

Here's what's up

A recent study found that total video views among internet users in the US were up 23% year-over-year in Q4 2012. This isn't just an isolated finding, and to validate it, you only need to take a quick look around your own office. People love to share videos of all kinds. Tearjerkers, funny, colorful, imaginative, gross, you name it. The memorable, sensory exposure of video is a great way to grab attention, positive or negative, and prompt viewers to share it.

What this has to do with email marketing

If you can't see it by now, we have some work to do. Maybe these stats will get the point across:
A 2013 survey of marketing executives conducted by The Relevancy Group found that respondents who had used videos in their email campaigns saw real returns on their investments. Fifty-five percent reported higher click-through rates, 44% saw an increase in the amount of time subscribers spent with an email, and 41% reported an increase in the sharing or forwarding of emails.

If you're not doing it, you're not alone
The same survey cited above found that only one-quarter of marketers had actually used video in email marketing campaigns. Forty-three percent said they didn't use videos simply because they lacked the content, making it the most prominent obstacle to the practice. Take a good look at the bar graph to the right. Most of these obstacles seem fairly easy to overcome if you consider the potential results.

Get your footage together and GO!
It's typically assumed that video clips within email marketing is a perfect match for retailers. But, use your imagination, and this medium applies to just about everything. From spanning, enticing product shots that infect viewers with the shopping bug ... to the smiling faces of your baseball league's division champs, urging non-players to sign up for next season ... to clips of tropical destinations in January offered by your Chicago-based travel agency. It ALL works - and easily grabs attention beyond the written word. The biggest obstacle to video inclusion is lack of footage, and honestly, who doesn't have some kind of video capture device these days. And what you don't have, you can easily grab from business partners who are typically more than willing to share footage.

Inputting video into your emails - is it safe?
There are some limitations with many email clients, with security settings that do not permit "live" content (including video and even JavaScript) to be active within the email body itself. Certainly, we want to be able to get the best of both worlds here, so it's now a common practice to highlight a frame shot from your video and tag it with a hyperlink to an off-email host site. So, connect to your YouTube, Vimeo, or other channel, and email away!

As always, if you have any questions about this blog or any JangoMail feature, give us a shout. Until next week, we hope you're having a great start to summer!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Boost Brand Identity. Trick #1: Establish Your "From" Address

We like you. In fact, we consider our clients part of the JangoMail family. But we also know when it's time to set you free. Sigh.

Time for you to fly?
So, as much as we'd love to see you maintain your default "@jangomail.com" address, it might be time to branch out. Establishing your own "From Address" is a great way to highlight your company's or organization's unique brand. And let's face it - it grabs attention, establishes a sense of familiarity with your email recipients and creates a presentation that establishes you as whole and perhaps even bigger than you actually are. In short, it sets the stage for brand identity that can set you apart from the pack. We hate to see you go - but love to witness the maturation of any brand.

3 options to choose from
  1. Default: your JangoMail username plus "@jangomail.com"
  2. Branded Sub-Domain (recommended): create a brand from your "From" email address with a sub-domain of your company's domain name. If you company's domain name is joebaker.com, you might setup a sub-domain called eat.joebaker.com
  3. Editable: have your email address field set to an editable field, so you type any valid email address you choose, including an existing personal or corporate email address

Not sure which option is for you? Check this out.

Don't stray too far from home
Create your own branded "From Address" but retain ties to the power of JangoMail. Your account can be configured to send from your newly branded sub-domain, but you'll still retain the unsubscribe and bounce handling features of JangoMail. So, you'll enjoy all the functionality of your JangoMail account status, but take all the credit. How cool is that? Just don't forget to call us every once in a while ... we worry.

If you have any questions about this blog or any other JangoMail features, give us a shout. We'd love to hear from you! Until next time, have a great weekend, everyone.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Check Check ... Check Your Email Rendering Or Beware The Results!

Let's consider the dilemma of delivery optimization through quasi real life situation that is, hopefully, somewhat amusing. Hey, it's mid-week, and we could all probably use a joke.

"Zoolander": Supermodel
So, a comedian in the 80s used to tell a story about his friend who married a supermodel. He thought "cool!". In terms of his perception of survival of the fittest, his kids were going to at least look gorgeous. But to his utter shock and disbelief, the fruits of his (or more precisely her) labor were what the comedian referred to as 'crocodile kids". Despite outward appearances, apparently the model wife had had some work done. And the resulting offspring looked more like "model wife 1.0" than "model wife 6.0".

How this relates to email marketing ...
Sure, karma can be cruel. But for those of us email marketers with better intentions, why do the results of our own deliverables sometimes look just as unattractive?

Everything may look good coming together, but in the end, the results can be an ugly nightmare. We're talking specifically about the X design chromosomes and the Y content chromosomes within your campaigns looking great in one email client, and like a hot mess in others. It happens - a lot. The good news is that JangoMail has a comprehensive delivery check feature that lets you preview how your emails will render across multiple email clients.

Preview before you send - it's easy!
JangoMail has integrated with a third-party partner to give you one of the most innovative email preview rendering tools available today. So, you'll see exactly how your emails will look in more than 25 different email clients (AOL Mail, Gmail, Microsoft Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird, Windows Mail, Yahoo! Mail and more). Before you even think of hitting SEND, you'll have time to address any issues and remain top of the pro charts.

This special, sneak peek delivery preview is available as a standard feature with your monthly JangoMail subscription, so you can use it as many times as you like.

As always, if you have any questions about our Delivery Rendering Tool or any other JangoMail feature, just ask us. Until next time, have a great rest of the week!

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Enjoy Your Summer Vaca - Courtesy Of Your Autoresponders

Just when you thought you'd have to respond to all your new email list requests, here come the JangoMail autoresponders to the rescue. Yep - you can actually have your customers and sip that Mai Tai, too. If you're not using this handy feature yet, you could really be missing out on some well-deserved R&R this summer.

This is a great trick for whenever a new subscriber is added to your group after completing a website signup form.

Here's how it works:

1. Simply access the feature in the details section of your list. Follow the simple set-up instructions to craft a message that could include any or all of the following content:
  • Thank new subscribers for requesting admission to your company or organization's list
  • Remind them which list(s) they've subscribed to 
  • Ask them to confirm their contact information (email address) to begin receiving your communications
  • Share with them some of your other email groups they may like to enroll in
  • Share a link to the last communication from this list to get them up-to-speed
  • Offer a link to unsubscribe or change their list preferences

2. Name your autoresponder (i.e. Sales Notifications; Biking Enthusiast Newsletter)

3. Set the time relative to the recipient's "join time" to send your autoresponder. Note that you can create multiple autoresponders at different times (i.e. one hour after; one week later) to request confirmation of their new subscription and then followup with another message if necessary (i.e. "Don't forget to confirm your subscription with us!")

4. Sit back in your Tommy Bahama and take a snooze. You're on your way to seamless, stress-free automation.

If you have any questions about JangoMail autoresponders, just ask us. In the meantime, we hope you're making some stellar plans for the upcoming summer. Remember, even the most dedicated email marketing gurus and enthusiasts need a break every once and a while. So, live it up when you can.

Until next time, have a great rest of the week!