How to Make Your Emails Go Viral

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<p> 1. How to Make Your Emails Go Viral Chad White, Research Director, Litmus @chadswhite Justine Jordan, Marketing Director, Litmus @meladorri 2. We tend to associate going viral with social mediain part because its relatively easy to see and measure the noise of social sharing. @chadswhite@meladorri 3. However, the much quieter email forward is often a much more powerful influencer. @chadswhite@meladorri 4. How consumers referred others, across industries, according to SocialTwist. 5. Distribution of new visitors, by method of outreach of their friends, according to SocialTwist. Although more consumers are reached through Facebook, email results in greater response. 6. Nielsen research found that recommendations from people I know are the most trusted form of advertising. 7. Nielsen research also found that more trusted forms of advertising drive more action in response. 8. The 1-to-1 or 1-to-few nature of email forwards makes them much more personal and much more trustedand therefore more likely to drive action. @chadswhite@meladorri 9. Chad White @chadswhite Research Director at Litmus Author of Email Marketing Rules Written thousands of posts and articles about email marketing His research and commentary have appeared in over 100 publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and USA Today 10. Justine Jordan @meladorri Email critic and popular industry speaker Directs all things marketing at Litmus Recipient of the 2015 EEC Email Marketing Thought Leader of the Year award Organizer of The Email Design Conference 11. To better understand the quiet, often invisible influence of email forwards, we used Litmus Email Analytics to analyze the forwards generated by more than 400,000 email sends with at least 500 opens between Jan. 2013 and March 2015. @chadswhite@meladorri 12. To reduce the impact of list size, we normalized forward activity by calculating the forward-to-open ratethat is, what percentage of opens generated a forward. @chadswhite@meladorri 13. And to understand the drivers of email forwarding, we analyzed more than 200 emails from among the top 1% of viral emails and another 200-plus emails from around the 50th percentilelooking at tactics, topics, and other email elements. @chadswhite@meladorri 14. Over the next half-hour well discuss The Findings from our The Viral Email Report Benchmarks for Forward-to- Open Rates Tactics that Affect Forward- to-Open Rates Email Topics that Affect Forward-to- Open Rates 1 2 3 15. Benchmarks for Forward-to-Open Rates 16. The median email (50th percentile) produced a 0.27% open-to-forward rate. Put another way, the middle-of- the-pack email generates 1 forward for every 370 opens. @chadswhite@meladorri 17. The 1st percentile of viral emails was 17.6 times more viral than the median, generating 1 forward for every 21 opens. @chadswhite@meladorri 18. Email Forwards per Open Benchmark 19. Email Virality Grows Exponentially Vs. Median 20. Tactics that Affect Forward-to-Open Rates 21. Tactics well explore Audience Size Segmentation &amp; Triggered Emails Personalization Share with Your Network Calls-to-Action @chadswhite@meladorri 22. Audience Size Does an email sent to a small audience or a large audience have more viral potential? @chadswhite@meladorri 23. Small audience! The median email among those with 500 to 50,000 opens was forwarded 90% more than the median email among those with more than 50,000 opens. @chadswhite@meladorri 24. SmallAudience Forward-to-OpenRate LargeAudience Forward-to-OpenRate Smallvs.Large 1stPercen=le 5.04% 1.91% 2.6 5thPercen=le 2.29% 0.89% 2.6 10thPercen=le 1.49% 0.60% 2.5 25thPercen=le 0.71% 0.32% 2.2 50thPercen=le 0.30% 0.16% 1.9 Source:Litmus Anditsevenmorestarkamongthemostviralemails @chadswhite@meladorri 25. Segmentation &amp; Triggers Are segmented emails and triggered emails more or less likely to be forwarded? @chadswhite@meladorri 26. More likely! The emails in the 1st percentile were 4.3 times more likely to be segmented and 2.9 times more likely to be triggered than emails in the 50th percentile. @chadswhite@meladorri 27. San Diego Magazine segmented these event promo emails to attendees of last years event and to attendees of another event they held. Both were among the top 1% of viral emails. 28. Personalization Are personalized emails more or less likely to be forwarded? Note: We ignored first-name merges and other superficial forms of personalization. @chadswhite@meladorri 29. More likely! Emails in the 1st percentile were 4.5 times more likely than emails in the 50th percentile to include personalization. @chadswhite@meladorri 30. Share with Your Network CTAs Are emails that include SWYN calls-to- action more or less likely to be forwarded? @chadswhite@meladorri 31. More likely! Emails in the 1st percentile were 13 times more likely to include a share with your network call-to-action than emails in the 50th percentile. @chadswhite@meladorri 32. This highly viral email from Chevy Safe &amp; Fun included a photo taken at an event, as well as prominent share with your network links. 33. Recipients of this segmented email from JustGiving were very happy to spread the word that they were among the top 1% of fundraisers during 2014. 34. Email Topics that Affect Forward-to-Open Rates 35. Email topics well explore Promotions/Deals/Discounts News/Helpful Content Events/Webinars Transactional/Account Change/Action Required @chadswhite@meladorri 36. Promotions/Deals/Discounts Are emails about promotions, deals, and discounts more or less likely to be forwarded? @chadswhite@meladorri 37. Less likely! Promotions were the most common topic among emails in the 50th percentile and were 67% less likely to be the topic of the most viral 1% of emails. @chadswhite@meladorri 38. News/Helpful Content Are emails about news and helpful content more or less likely to be forwarded? @chadswhite@meladorri 39. Less likely! Although very common in the 1st percentile of viral emails, news and helpful content was slightly more prevalent among emails in the 50th percentile. @chadswhite@meladorri 40. Promotions and helpful content are staples of email marketing, so subscribers are only driven to forward those that are truly great. @chadswhite@meladorri 41. Plan your email content calendar so that youre occasionally sending an awesome deal, exclusive news, or similarly impactful content. @chadswhite@meladorri 42. A really good dealcombined with the announcement of store closingsmade this email from Home Decorators Collection highly viral. 43. Presented as an infographic, news that GameChangers app had tracked 800 million pitches for amateur teams went viral. 44. Events/Webinars Are emails about events and webinars more or less likely to be forwarded? @chadswhite@meladorri 45. More likely! Emails in the 1st percentile were 3.2 times more likely to be about an event than emails in the 50th percentile. @chadswhite@meladorri 46. An exciting, controversial topic and a compelling speaker propelled this event email into the top 1% of most- forwarded emails. 47. Transactional/Account Change Are emails about transactions, account changes, and required actions more or less likely to be forwarded? @chadswhite@meladorri 48. More likely! These emails were 4.6 times more likely to be among the 1st percentile of viral emails than among the 50th percentile. @chadswhite@meladorri 49. Two Types of Email Forwards Social forwards build awareness and start others down their own funnels toward conversions. Advice-seeking forwards help the forwarder decide whether to convert. @chadswhite@meladorri 50. Whereas most forwards raise awareness and help convince others to convert, the forwards of this triggered transactional email from Glo primarily helped the forwarder convert. 51. Final Thoughts 52. When your subscribers forward your emails, they expand your reach, increase conversions, and boost your email engagement metrics which is good for branding, revenue, and deliverability. @chadswhite@meladorri 53. Forwards are a powerful indicator of the overall health of your email program, because they are a sign that youre fulfilling your subscribers needs at the highest level. @chadswhite@meladorri 54. Hierarchy of Subscriber Needs 55. If your monthly forward-to-open rate is in the bottom quartile (less than 0.11%), then your email program is probably not delivering experiences that are deeply relevant. @chadswhite@meladorri 56. The Viral Email To explore all of the findings of our report, download it for free at: @chadswhite@meladorri 57. Questions? Please rate our session. Thanks! @chadswhite@meladorri 58. Join Us For Dreamforce 2015 September 15-18, 2015 | San Francisco, CA </p>