Creating a Global E-mail Campaign (914 words)
How to Create and Implement a Global E-mail Campaign (914 words)
By Stephen J. Eustace
International e-mail marketing is a revolution in communication. With lower development costs, exceptional targeting, greater flexibility and click-through rates ranging from 3 percent to 12 percent, e-mail campaigns can be a direct marketer's dream! Add to that the international component, and you can now touch your target audience in any country and get a response within 24 hours.
Global e-mail campaigns include the same elements as traditional direct mail campaigns: offer, creative, timing, geography, currency, panel tests, etc. Following are some tips to help you create a winning overseas e-mail campaign.
Privacy: opt-in, opt-out?
Overseas data-protection laws are not as prohibitive to e-mail marketing as many marketers may think. True, Europe has tougher data-protection laws than the United States, but opt-out is the industry choice to date in the United Kingdom.
There are many permission-based e-mail lists available, although the word "permission" is open to interpretation. It's more about your comfort level with how the data was collected.
E-mail newsletters are an easy first step into international e-mail marketing, as their circulation is greater than permission-based e-mail lists for solo campaigns. In simple terms, you are placing a small ad within the content of an e-mail newsletter. This advertisement often is placed at the top, middle or end of the newsletter, and priced accordingly.
Although often you only get five lines of teaser copy in various placements within the newsletter, a compelling message to the right audience can generate a 1 percent to 2 percent click-through rate, a standard online measure of success.
With solo or stand-alone e-mails, you have the opportunity to present your exclusive message directly to the consumer. Just as if you were renting a postal mailing list, you can select on demographics, geodemographics and interests.
Unlike an ad in an e-newsletter (where you may get only a few lines of copy), solo e-mails give you more room to present a compelling message to your prospective customers. This can increase your click-through rates from 3 percent to 12 percent depending on the product and offer. The higher the click-through rate the better chance of converting to an order.
Timing and Costs
E-mail is faster and more cost-effective than direct mail. A simple, international, two-color mail campaign may cost you more than $600/M, while an e-mail campaign can cost as little as $250/M. A direct mail campaign will take four months to execute, while an e-mail campaign may take as little as a month. The result is a greater return on your investment, as you quickly focus more dollars on acquiring customers.
The cost of placing an ad in an international newsletter will vary according to country, content and owner. Local European publications charge as little as $30/M for a wide circulation and as much as $120/M for a small, targeted, difficult-to-find audience.
Although international e-mail costs can be greater than in the United States, you often can reach a very affluent, well-educated, English-speaking audience that has proven difficult and expensive to locate using traditional direct mail.
Formats and Testing
E-mail comes in two formats: text and HTML, which can benefit from the addition of Rich Media such as streaming video. The advantages of these formats can be resolved by testing. Generally, a combination of text and HTML is favorable for a multinational offer, as most e-mail service providers use format-sensing and will deliver HTML or default to text where necessary. Understand the user base of the country you are targeting. Many overseas consumers pay Internet fees by the minute, and they tend to download e-mail to read off-line.
Panel testing is a key component of any direct marketing campaign, online or off-line. As such, timing, price, soft/hard offers, currency, country, regions, etc., should all be tested.
More pertinent to e-mail is the subject line, which should be as enticing as teaser copy on a direct mail envelope. For example, words such as "free" can boost the number of e-mails opened, however, it can attract skepticism from a high-end audience. Test!
A call to action is very important, as is the use of more than one URL link. If you've convinced consumers to visit your Web site, give them plenty of opportunity to click through to the offer, or landing page. Test the landing page as well; it's your best chance to convert a prospect to a buyer.
The keys to a successful international e-mail campaign are planning and forethought. Give yourself time to truly understand how your audience interacts with e-mail; it's still a new medium. To ensure success, use all of your direct marketing acumen—and press "send."
Stephen J. Eustace is vice president of mail products with 24/7 Media Inc. He can be reached at (212) 231-7922 or by e-mail at Stephen.Eustace@247Media.com.
Your format of choice will depend on your offer, target audience and their location. Generally, a combination of text and HTML is favorable for a multinational offer.