Uncovering the Metrics Behind an Award-Winning Email
BY LAUREN SMITH
Every interaction with your subscribers counts. Send emails that your subscribers want, that are relevant to their needs and interests, that excite them, and (most importantly!) that make them want to take action.
Campaigns that accomplish all the above not only win the hearts and minds of your customers, they’re a win for your business. And we’re particularly proud of one campaign in particular that also won an award: the 2016 EEC Email Marketing Program Award for “Best or Most Innovative Integration with Another Channel.”
That campaign was our save the date email for TEDC15 (The Email Design Conference).
What surprised us? This campaign wasn’t a success because it had the most opens or clicks. In fact, it had much lower open and click rates compared to our other emails.
However, opens and clicks wasn’t our goal. The main call-to-action in the campaign asked our readers to tweet—and, boy, did we get a lot of tweets! It excelled at its stated goals of driving awareness and creating buzz around the conference, and we’re humbled and grateful to have won an award in recognition of those efforts!
A LOOK AT THE CAMPAIGN
After embedding a video background into TEDC14’s “save the date,” we had set high expectations with the community for a follow-up in 2015. As such, the primary goal of the campaign was to surprise, delight, and inspire our audience with a creative use of email, preferably leveraging a technique that is rarely seen or thought to be unsupported in email.
By utilizing innovative techniques in event-related emails, we wanted to demonstrate thought leadership and prove to our subscribers that we have the expertise and skills to teach others at TEDC. Additional goals were to raise awareness and excitement about the event, drive social mentions, and create anticipation for future ticket sales.
After many brainstorming sessions, we opted to announce dates and generate excitement for TEDC15 by embedding an innovative live Twitter feed inside an email.
You can view the full email in your browser, or check out the Litmus test results to see how it displayed in 40+ email clients.
“Save the date” emails were sent to Litmus subscribers and past attendees. Each contained a live dynamic Twitter feed featuring tweets using the #TEDC15 hashtag. As recipients opened the email, live tweets appeared within the email. Subscribers tweeted using the hashtag, then returned to the email to see their own message appear live in the stream inside the email.
MEASURING SUCCESS: WHAT METRICS MATTER?
The campaign garnered widespread attention, resulting in 5,000 new visitors to the Litmus website, 1,000 new prospects, and 750 tweets containing the event hashtag—all within 24 hours.
To date, it’s garnered nearly 1,260 forwards and 350 prints. More than 60% of the people that opened the email spent 18 or more seconds reading the message, the highest duration of engagement of any email we’ve ever sent.
When we launched ticket sales a few weeks later, early bird tickets sold out in 10 minutes for the Boston event and 48 hours for the London event.
Despite being sent nearly a year ago, the campaign continues to drive additional email and social engagement as users re-visit the email and contribute to the Twitter stream.
The goal of this campaign went beyond opens and clicks to draw the email community together and create awareness for the event. Between hundreds of tweets, dozens of forwards and prints, and early bird tickets selling in minutes, it exceeded every expectation.
WHAT’S YOUR MOST SUCCESSFUL CAMPAIGN?
Many marketers focus on open and click rates. While those metrics can be a great way to measure overall engagement, they don’t paint the whole picture of a campaign’s performance, especially when different emails have different goals.
What has been your most successful campaign? How did you measure its success?
Charles R Juarez Jr.