bsoco: Legal speak, we say that the opt-in database is mandatory B2C, not B2B. Is this true and can you explain to our readers what an optin?
Amalia Bercot: It’s important to distinguish between the two means of defining “opt-in.”
From a legal standpoint, opt-in requirements (and thus the definition) vary by country and by business type (B2C vs. B2B).
For example, in France, prior consent (opt-in) is required for all email communications sent to individuals (B2C). However, prior consent is not required for business to business communications when those messages are part of the sender’s normal business activities.
Germany however is one of the most strict countries in terms of opt-in requirements; recipients must actually provide consent twice before emails can be sent. When signing up for email communications, the subscriber will receive a confirmation email with a link that must be clicked to confirm their subscription. This process is called a double opt-in.
Alternatively in the United States, no opt-in is required for B2C or B2B communications. Senders are only required to include a means for opting-out and unsubscribing from future emails.
Given the range of legal regulations surrounding the opt-in process, ISPs (Internet Service Providers such as Gmail, Hotmail, etc.) adhere to their own concept of opt-in when managing how their users receive email.
Since ISPs cannot trace the legality of every sender’s opt-in methods (particularly considering various country requirements), their focus is on maintaining the satisfaction and trust of their users, rather than legal details.
When deciding how to deliver messages, they ask the question: “Does my customer wish to receive this email?”
bsoco: Give us 3 key words that symbolize a successful email campaign?
To be successful, an email campaign must be seen! It is essential to maintain a positive open rate. Open rates are highly affected by your email subject line: does it get the recipient’s attention and drive them to open the message? Whether your email is delivered to the inbox or moved into a spam folder also impacts your open rates.
Tip: Compare your open rates among different ISPs. If you see a significant difference between two ISPs, this is an easy way to recognize delivery patterns and which ISPs send your messages to the inbox.
It’s important to recognize if your content is engaging to your recipients. This is typically measured by your click-through rate (ratio of clicks to opens). Aside from creating successful campaigns, responsiveness is key because ISPs consider this metric when determining your sender “reputation” and whether to deliver your emails to the inbox. High engagement means that your recipients are happy with the emails they receive from you, so it naturally factors into your reputation.
Many advertisers stop their analysis after monitoring a email’s CTR. However, it’s essential to also measure the resulting conversions (purchase, visit, etc.) to understand the overall effectiveness of your campaign.
bsoco: Give us the key figures that symbolize a successful email campaign?
Amalia Bercot: It’s difficult to provide a universal answer to this question because metrics will vary greatly depending on the country, sector, target, etc. However, if you typically receive a 40% open rate on a monthly newsletter sent to your most engaged contacts, a 20% open rate for a B2B promotional campaign is a positive result.
In general, a 15% open rate and an unsubscribe rate of less than 2% are good baseline goals for your initial campaigns.
bsoco: How do I know if it’s better to invest in advertisements about Socialising or LDES search engine networks rather than e-mailing campaign tools?
Amalia Bercot: It is sometimes said that "email is dead." However, the facts show otherwise!
Email is still a preferred communication channel for its efficient targeting and low cost. We also see an increasing number of marketers taking an integrated approach with email, social media and SEM.
For example, using email to drive your most engaged contacts to follow your social media profiles (and vice versa) can be very profitable.
The same is true for pairing search engine marketing with email marketing. Start by acquiring relevant leads with your SEM strategy, and nurture these leads with email communications.
To answer the question definitively, it’s essential to invest in a good email marketing tool in order to produce successful campaigns. Narrow your search to tools that will allow you to create well-designed and mobile-friendly emails, to segment your database and target the right contacts, and that will optimize your campaign’s deliverability. It’s also important to select a service that will provide the reporting and integration tools necessary to measure your campaign's’ ROI.
bsoco: Finally, whatever the solution sending e-mail, the key to effectiveness is in the quality of the database. How have the volume and quality?
Amalia Bercot: Indeed, success is definitely reliant on the quality of your database. To effectively scale your success, the next goal is to ensure you have both quality and quantity.
Grow your database by using social media, SEM, SEO, content marketing (such as webinars), etc. to generate email sign-ups. As you expand your subscription efforts, ensure each channel is relevant to your business. (There’s no point to attract leads with an offer that doesn’t benefit your business goals!)
bsoco: Thank you for your answers.