Difference between revisions of "News forum"

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m (French link)
(Removing the news forum)
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The [[Latest News block]] displays recent discussions from the news forum. A course may only have one news forum.
 
The [[Latest News block]] displays recent discussions from the news forum. A course may only have one news forum.
  
==Removing the news forum==
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'''Make your email campaign a success'''
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In the early days of email marketing, most companies viewed it as a faster, better, cheaper alternative to direct mail.
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It was fast, whereas direct mail campaigns took at least six weeks. Since it had higher response rates, it was perceived as better. And it was much cheaper because it involved no costs for printing, paper or postage.
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Today, however, things are no longer so straightforward. "Email marketing looks easier than it is," says Geoff Linton, vice-president of Inbox Marketer in Guelph. It has become more onerous, he notes, because of rules for deliverability, image blocking and spam filtering that change on a daily basis.
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Inbox Marketer  traces its origins to MetaMail, a Richmond Hill email software company. Realizing customers were more interested in using its services than purchasing the firm's software, MetaMail spun off Inbox Marketer to focus on email solutions designed to strengthen client relationships.
 +
Marketers love email because it's measurable. They can easily determine open rates, if emails are forwarded and if recipients click on links. But Linton notes email campaigns have progressed beyond such top of the line metrics as list size and open rates, and are now more focused on bottom line metrics such as transactions.
 +
Deliverability is challenging. Linton cites industry statistics that show only 75 per cent of email gets delivered directly to someone's inbox. About 15 per cent goes missing and 10 per cent ends up in a junk mail box. Best of class email marketers get deliverability of over 90 per cent.
 +
When Linton started in the industry, tracking deliverability, open rates and click through rates on links was expensive. Today he says firms such as Constant Contact or Got Corporation provide such services for as little as $15 per month for small lists.
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While Inbox offers this type of tracking, it focuses on its value-added services. For example, it helps clients to increase deliverability or benchmark their email campaign against industry standards. Comparing your program against others may show that while your open rates are good, click through rates are low.
 +
Using proven direct marketing tactics, Linton says Inbox can help to optimize future campaigns. For example, it can analyse a customer's email template to determine if it is too long, too cluttered or if it contains too many links - a red flag for filters. The company also offers testing for subject lines, body copy, visual elements and eye tracking (the path a person's eyes follow when reading.)
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For marketers, the three biggest email challenges remain: 1) get delivered to the inbox, 2) get opened and 3) get a click or other measurable response such as a phone call. Still, Linton believes that done well, "email is relationship marketing on steroids."
  
The news forum may be removed from a course as follows:
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Whether you are a neophyte or a seasoned marketing veteran, when it comes to running an email campaign you can raise your chances of success by paying attention to the following tips.
#Delete the news forum from the course homepage
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Personalize Email
#In [[Course settings]] set "News items to show" to 0
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Wherever possible, personalize. This may be as simple as ensuring that the "TO" and "FROM" fields reflect the name of the sender and receiver. Including both the first and last name of the recipient will increase the odds of it being opened and read.
#Delete the Latest news block
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Subject Line is Key
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If your subject line is not attention grabbing or sounds like spam, chances are your email will not get opened. Keep it straightforward and short - seven words maximum.
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Research shows that including a person's first name in the subject line lifts response. Linton was skeptical, but says the company tested it with financial services, telecommunications and pharmaceutical companies and found that it increased open rates from 25 per cent to 28 per cent.
 +
Preview Pane Pain
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Your most important message needs to fall above the preview pane cut-off, that is, the part of the message you can read without actually opening it. Linton says click through decreases by 50 per cent on every page you have to scroll, so staying "above the fold" and in the preview pane, is key.
 +
To determine the preview pane area, print out an email and measure five centimetres down from the top. That's all most recipients see of your unopened email, so ensure it includes some content, not just your logo or navigation.
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Test, Test, Test
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Divide your list and test two different subject lines to determine which has higher open rates. Copy and visuals can also be tested in a split test. Links in emails must be tested to ensure they work. To see what your email looks like when images are blocked, turn off your Internet connection and print the message.
 +
Comply with CAN-SPAM
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Be sure to only email to people who subscribe. Always include a link to your privacy policy and an option to unsubscribe. If you use a "forward to a friend" link, remember that you can only add these names to your list if they subscribe.
 +
Always Measure
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The cost to measure email has never been more affordable. Tracking open rates and click through rates can provide valuable information to improve future campaigns.
  
 
==See also==
 
==See also==

Revision as of 10:49, 25 June 2008

Template:Forums The news forum is a special forum that is automatically created for each course and for the front page of the site, and is a place for general announcements. By default, only teachers and administrators may add news or reply to news. By default, everyone is forced to be subscribed to the news forum.

The Latest News block displays recent discussions from the news forum. A course may only have one news forum.

Make your email campaign a success In the early days of email marketing, most companies viewed it as a faster, better, cheaper alternative to direct mail. It was fast, whereas direct mail campaigns took at least six weeks. Since it had higher response rates, it was perceived as better. And it was much cheaper because it involved no costs for printing, paper or postage. Today, however, things are no longer so straightforward. "Email marketing looks easier than it is," says Geoff Linton, vice-president of Inbox Marketer in Guelph. It has become more onerous, he notes, because of rules for deliverability, image blocking and spam filtering that change on a daily basis. Inbox Marketer traces its origins to MetaMail, a Richmond Hill email software company. Realizing customers were more interested in using its services than purchasing the firm's software, MetaMail spun off Inbox Marketer to focus on email solutions designed to strengthen client relationships. Marketers love email because it's measurable. They can easily determine open rates, if emails are forwarded and if recipients click on links. But Linton notes email campaigns have progressed beyond such top of the line metrics as list size and open rates, and are now more focused on bottom line metrics such as transactions. Deliverability is challenging. Linton cites industry statistics that show only 75 per cent of email gets delivered directly to someone's inbox. About 15 per cent goes missing and 10 per cent ends up in a junk mail box. Best of class email marketers get deliverability of over 90 per cent. When Linton started in the industry, tracking deliverability, open rates and click through rates on links was expensive. Today he says firms such as Constant Contact or Got Corporation provide such services for as little as $15 per month for small lists. While Inbox offers this type of tracking, it focuses on its value-added services. For example, it helps clients to increase deliverability or benchmark their email campaign against industry standards. Comparing your program against others may show that while your open rates are good, click through rates are low. Using proven direct marketing tactics, Linton says Inbox can help to optimize future campaigns. For example, it can analyse a customer's email template to determine if it is too long, too cluttered or if it contains too many links - a red flag for filters. The company also offers testing for subject lines, body copy, visual elements and eye tracking (the path a person's eyes follow when reading.) For marketers, the three biggest email challenges remain: 1) get delivered to the inbox, 2) get opened and 3) get a click or other measurable response such as a phone call. Still, Linton believes that done well, "email is relationship marketing on steroids."

Whether you are a neophyte or a seasoned marketing veteran, when it comes to running an email campaign you can raise your chances of success by paying attention to the following tips. Personalize Email Wherever possible, personalize. This may be as simple as ensuring that the "TO" and "FROM" fields reflect the name of the sender and receiver. Including both the first and last name of the recipient will increase the odds of it being opened and read. Subject Line is Key If your subject line is not attention grabbing or sounds like spam, chances are your email will not get opened. Keep it straightforward and short - seven words maximum. Research shows that including a person's first name in the subject line lifts response. Linton was skeptical, but says the company tested it with financial services, telecommunications and pharmaceutical companies and found that it increased open rates from 25 per cent to 28 per cent. Preview Pane Pain Your most important message needs to fall above the preview pane cut-off, that is, the part of the message you can read without actually opening it. Linton says click through decreases by 50 per cent on every page you have to scroll, so staying "above the fold" and in the preview pane, is key. To determine the preview pane area, print out an email and measure five centimetres down from the top. That's all most recipients see of your unopened email, so ensure it includes some content, not just your logo or navigation. Test, Test, Test Divide your list and test two different subject lines to determine which has higher open rates. Copy and visuals can also be tested in a split test. Links in emails must be tested to ensure they work. To see what your email looks like when images are blocked, turn off your Internet connection and print the message. Comply with CAN-SPAM Be sure to only email to people who subscribe. Always include a link to your privacy policy and an option to unsubscribe. If you use a "forward to a friend" link, remember that you can only add these names to your list if they subscribe. Always Measure The cost to measure email has never been more affordable. Tracking open rates and click through rates can provide valuable information to improve future campaigns.

See also