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Email Marketing: How Continuous Improvement Is The Key To Success

At Mapp, we work with many online retailers across the globe. One of our clients, an online retailer from Germany, looked to us for creative ways to improve a newsletter campaign. 

What were the challenges?

Our client spends much of their marketing budget on email newsletters. They send two newsletters a week and their subscriber list has increased to 900,000 contacts over the last 7 years. The conversion rate is good, however it was important to increase open and click rates. Mapp’s Campaign Management Team, who executes full-service campaigns for the client, has worked in cooperation with a partner design agency and Mapp’s project and email deliverability experts to identify three key areas of improvement:

  1. The majority of users view their newsletter on their mobile device, however the mobile version was not optimized and not responsive. All buttons were available as image files and were, therefore, not really suitable for mobile display. The product images were too small for mobile devices. All in all, the newsletter looked good on desktop screens, but on smartphones it was lacking in user experience. It was simply reduced in size and therefore not very user-friendly.

  2. In addition, the newsletter design had been used for a long time and was due for a refresh.

  3. Finally, email deliverability had to be checked and improved, because a big portion of addresses were old and inactive.

What was the solution?

1. Focus on mobile version

In Phase One, the existing HTML was not yet optimized, but we could already optimize the header images, including GIF-animations, catchy headlines, and editorials. In addition, the subject lines were tested: with or without personalization and emojis could increase the open rate. Then the newsletter was optimized on the UX level and improved for mobile devices to be fully responsive. It was tested on different email providers, like Gmail. Especially for Outlook, the coding had to be adapted to be sure that it is shown properly. All buttons or call-to-actions that drive to a product were coded as HTML, which ensures that the buttons are big enough and can be clicked well on a smartphone. The results after this first phase were already very promising: by optimizing content and technical features of the existing newsletter, the open rates increased by 8% and the click rate by 4% within a few months.

2. Redesign and new focus

In Phase Two, our client asked for a redesign and new concept for the newsletter. The aim was to maintain the look and feel of the existing newsletter, but focus more on the offerings. The topic, wording, and product selection of the newsletter needed to be reflected in the design and always be consistent. Modules were designed and coded, in order to adapt to each topic and newsletter as a simple and cost-effective solution. Each email was designed and implemented in such a way that the newsletter recipient can quickly find his way through the variety of offers. There are several call-to-actions which the user is simply invited to click and discover the products. Overall, a harmonious picture was created, which again had a positive effect on the opening and click rates.

3. Deliverability check

Parallel to Phase One and Two, an email deliverability project was started. Two IP-pools and two groups, one for active users and one for inactive users, were created out of the big pool of addresses to increase the IP-reputation and the number of opens and clicks. Their email reputation has already been increased after a few months, which has led to further recommendation. Our experts report the progress of the deliverability every month and track any changes and recommend steps (e.g. going through an IP-warmup phase or implementing DMARC).

What are the results?

Thanks to modular redesign, refocusing, mobile optimization, and deliverability checks, the open and click rates have increased by an average of another 22% (OR) and 36% (CR) since Phase One to date. Compared to the initial numbers, this represents an increase of 31% (OR) and 42% (CR).

Need help?

Find out more about Mapp’s campaign management services here or get in touch with our team to see how to boost your own newsletter.

This article was first published by MAPP. Permission to use has been granted by the publisher.

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