Newsletter campaigns are the mainstay for many digital marketers. There’s usually significant effort invested into the creation of content however we lose an opportunity to maximise that content if our focus is on a single email send.
There are a few simple tips you can follow that could see as much as a 30% lift in your open rates. In addition, are you maximising the chance people have to subscribe to your various newsletters?
This month is all about using Eloqua to help with the CX surrounding your newsletters
We did not cover how to write content to get people’s attention, we focussed on the mechanics of your newsletters and specifically looked at how Eloqua can help you deliver a richer experience. You’ll find tips below to help you make it easier for people to subscribe to your various newsletters as well as the digital infrastructure that should sit around each newsletter.
Eloqua Email Groups provide a way to manage subscriptions, different to managing “Opt-in” & “Opt-out”.
Email Groups underpin your subscriber base, it’s the way you manage people’s expressed preferences and securely record their interest or disinterest, should they choose to unsubscribe at some future point. Trying to manage subscriptions via manual lists e.g. excel files, is fraught with danger and could potentially be a financial risk to your organisation.
How to build your subscriber base
The number of subscribers you have today will only grow through your marketing efforts. There may be minimal organic growth – but if you don’t make it easy for people to subscribe, nothing will happen organically. The following are some suggestions for you to apply
- Include an offer to “subscribe” on forms where people are accessing similar content. e.g. if they’re downloading Thought Leadership, offer a subscription to “Thought Leadership”. You can use a Single Checkbox on the form to do that.
- Include a “Subscribe Now” call to action on your website. Take people to an Eloqua Landing Page where they can share details about themselves, their interests and subscribe to specific subscriptions.
See how we incentivise visitors from various pages of our website, with calls to action to subscribe to specific subscriptions that relate to the content of the website page.
When you visit this WordPress page, you’ll find details about upcoming events. There’s a button on the hero image with a call to action to “Subscribe now & don’t miss the next event”. Click on that link and you’ll be taken to an Eloqua Landing Page outlining why you should subscribe to our events subscription.
When you visit this WordPress page, you’ll find details about the Eloqua User Group. As you scroll down the page we use some WordPress animation to present a red button with the call to action to “Subscribe to the User Group now”.
The Contact Us menu on our website contains a menu option “Subscribe Today”. That takes visitors from our WordPress CMS to an Eloqua Landing Page. This process require a little more commitment
About this example
Email Group subscriptions sit below your opt-in/subscribed globally construct. A person “opts-in” to your organisation. Email Groups offer a way for people to “subscribe” to specific content you have on offer. In this example you can subscribe to “Events”, “Webinars”, “Thought Leadership” etc.
Our job as marketers is to make it as easy as possible for people to “subscribe” to what you have an offer. They can then control their subscriptions through a “Subscription & Preference Centre“
What do the three subscription status’s mean?
When a new contact first enters Eloqua i.e. a unique email address, they’re assigned the status of “No Status“.
“No Status” means they have neither subscribed or unsubscribed that the email group.
Once the person “subscribes” or “unsubscribes” from an email group, their status will change. They can never return to “No Status”.
Once a contact’s status changes to “Subscribed” against a specific email group, it indicates that the person has proactively told you that they’re interested in that specific topic/subject.
The time and date of that subscription is captured against the Contact and can be viewed in Eloqua.
You can create Segments and filter all subscribed Contacts “as of now”.
When a Contact chooses to “Unsubscribe” from an email group, Eloqua will stop you from sending an email to that person with the same email group.
When you build your segment, you should exclude “Unsubscribed” Contacts from the intended audience. This will deliver more accurate campaign reporting. There’s no point including people in a campaign that you know they will never be sent an email from.
Sending a single email with the canvas is like winking at someone in the dark!
Eloqua’s multi-step campaign canvas is a powerful tool to help you create a little magic in your campaigns. You can tailor the journey based on profile data and a person’s engagement with your campaign or their lack of engagement.
Don’t let repetition drive a poor CX
Newsletters are generally a very repetitive campaign format. Take a moment to step back to revisit the core objective of your newsletter campaigns and have clarity about the audience.
- If your objective is net-new lead generation, why include customers?
- If your objective is lead generation from your installed-base i.e. your customers, then speak to them like you know them. Personalise your communications. If you can’t address them by name, you have bigger data issues that you need to work on.
- If your objective is to keep “people” up to date with what you’re doing, is that message the same for all audiences?
- If your objective is share thought leadership and/or research, will this resonate with all of your audiences?
- If your object is “opens” v’s “click-throughs” you need to ensure the format of the newsletter suits. Short snippets of news would generally require a click-through in order to read the a full article i.e. drive people to your blog or website more generally. Or, including complete articles in the body of the email enables the audience member to enjoy the email without the need to click. Including links in this second scenario is still advisable.
Some radical changes for you to consider
There’s little point pushing the newsletter out to an audience if they’re not engaging with the content. Measure each campaign to see if you can identify any spikes in engagement, perhaps with specific types of news/content or by a specific audience type.
- If someone hasn’t opened your regular newsletter for the past 3 or 4 editions, maybe drop them off the next campaign or send them a different message. Use Segment Filter Criteria to exclude this group from your next campaign.
- Segment your audiences to better understand them and use Dynamic Content to deliver slightly different messaging or even different news articles.
- Always send a repeat of your newsletter to those who don’t open the first one. Just make sure you change the subject line – consider Dynamic Subject Lines and also adjust the Preview Text in your email.
This is a great example of what NOT to do…
The great expanse of space on this campaign canvas equates to a lost opportunity. You could almost compare this to having a 2021 Rolls Royce parked in your garage and you’ve decided to take the 1986 Ford station wagon for a drive. Seriously! Why would you?
Access our newsletter Campaign Canvas examples to get some inspiration about how to create a little more magic in your newsletter campaigns.
It’s easy to miss the innovation that keeps appearing with each release.
We’re right in the middle of the quarterly release cycle which means we don’t have any insight as yet to Oracle Eloqua Release 21B due in May 2021. So this month we decided to take a look back over the past 12 months and summarise some of the enhancements we’ve seen delivered by Oracle.
Release Summary from February 2020 (20A) – February 2021 (21A)
We love this feature, it’s brilliant.
- Release 20B: In the email and landing page Design Editors you can now hide cells in mobile or in desktop view to optimise the experience across different screens and devices.
- You can tailor your templates as well as bespoke aspects of your email and landing page design. If an asset looks too crowded on mobile, you can hide various design components. As at March 2021 this feature is in Controlled Availability meaning you will need to log a Service Request with Oracle to have it activated on your instance of Eloqua. If you’re a Marketing Cube client, we can do this on your behalf.
- Release 20B: You are now able to archive forms. Very helpful, especially if you’ve been using Eloqua for some time.
- Release 20B: You can now embed Vimeo or YouTube videos into your responsive landing pages using a new video content cell.
- Release 20C: You can now easily add a Vimeo or YouTube video preview image into your responsive emails using a new video content cell.
- Release 20C: Eloqua now uses X-XSS-Protection to protect against cross-site scripting attacks. A geeky addition to this list, but a reminder that Oracle is #1 for security, that’s peace of mind. Learn more here.
- Release 20D: Oracle Eloqua’s Advanced Intelligence features use algorithms, data science and machine learning to help marketers achieve superior business results.
- Release 20D: You can now archive emails.
- Release 20D: The Eloqua user interface is getting an exciting new look and feel with “Redwood”. Learn more about Oracle’s new user experience design language.
- Release 21A: Archiving is now supported for folders within the Emails page and Forms page.