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Inbox Advertising Inc.
Think Tank

While not a formal list of case studies, our think tank is where you can find real-life email and subscription applications of our services, used by some of our clients. The concept is to provide inspiration to come up with new and unique methods and uses for email marketing. If you would like to contribute to this list, please visit our feedback page.

  1. Use email to lower your print costs.
  2. Using rental lists, as a way to build your own list.
  3. Email alerts and notifications as a CRM tool.
  4. Email Invitations, with online RSVP
  5. Email polling.
  6. Offer email coupons and discounts.
  7. Cross promotions and concurrent promotions.
  8. Use our Pass Value technology to identify recipients and customize/personalize pages on your web site.
  9. Use our management service to help meet deadlines.
10. Cleanse your lists of hard bounces and reduce your costs.
11. Test your subject line, design and messaging.


1. Use email to lower your print costs.
One exciting application of our services resides in the integration of both interactive and print media strategies, in order to provide cost effective and measurable marketing results. As a cost reduction strategy, why not convert direct mail recipients into email recipients? In doing so, you can generate huge savings in print related costs.

Ranging between $3 and $8 for an average direct mail piece (plus postage and envelope), print costs can soar as you increase your current and potential customer base. By dedicating a portion, or all of your initial marketing through email and then following up with those recipients who could not be contacted via email with a direct mail piece, you can reduce your marketing costs considerably. And don't forget about the additional savings you can gain by re-purposing your digital assets into your email communications!

When using email as a first point of contact, you can effectively reduce your marketing costs on a continual basis. Aside from being more cost effective than direct mail, email campaign results are more measurable and actionable for follow up strategies. By first sending your message through email, you can efficiently filter out recipients, leaving a much smaller list for your much more expensive direct mail piece.

We can also use our automated follow up services, to send secondary messaging to those recipients who did not respond to the initial message. This will increase the efficiency of filtering recipients, capturing a larger email viewing audience and reducing your costs further. You can find out more information about automated deliveries on our Automated Services page.
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2. Using rental lists, as a way to build your own list.
When you market using a rented list, you should be inviting those recipients to sign up for your own list. Once they do, they are YOUR recipients, to market to as you please. We can provide a subscription sign up link that you would include in every email marketing campaign to rented lists. It is also vital to provide a 'viral marketing' mechanism, to assist in expanding your list size.

The sign up link can also be used by anyone else who has the message forwarded to them, like friends of the recipient. Suggesting that a recipient 'tell a friend' or forward the message to a friend, is an important part of a good viral campaign.

We provide all of the necessary services to take full advantage of both the sign up and viral components of your email marketing solution. You don't even need to have your own web site to start building your list. We host all of the technical aspects, leaving you to concentrate on the marketing.
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3. Email alerts and notifications as a CRM tool.
An emerging technique more frequent marketing communications is the use of email alerts and email notifications. Many of our clients see the value of sending their recipients alerts, in-between their regularly scheduled newsletters. These messages help to keep their product/service top of mind, as well as creating an avenue for quick information updates or promotions.

A few of our clients send out alerts every two weeks, promoting an up and coming new product. Each message includes features, benefits and a product shot. Their open rate is consistently above 78%. These more frequent, shorter messages can be very useful for new product/service announcements, sale items or events, feedback forms, service interruption or product recall notices, coupons etc.
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4. Email Invitations, with online RSVP
Corporate invitations, office relocation, new hires, promotion notices, seasonal greetings, client event invites etc. Using email, you can receive your RSVPs online. We can track those who open the email and those who respond, so that you will know who to send follow up direct mail to. By filtering out recipients and by including an online RSVP, you can effectively reduce your print and management costs for each event.
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5. Email Polling
Ask your audience questions, whether they are about your newsletter or web site, or products/services. This type of interaction not only assists you in gathering valuable information, but it will help to solidify the relationship being established between you and your clients/customers. People like to know that they are being heard. By requesting their input, you gain valuable insight into exactly what they would like.

The Link Poll is a great technique for offering a single question poll. Once the recipient clicks on either the image or link, they will be taken to the destination page. It is useful for single questions only, since having the recipient return back to the e-mail to click on subsequent questions would be cumbersome. As an alternative, additional questions or an entire survey can appear on the destination page.

Make note that this is not an html form. Unlike a form, the images and text links are connected to URLs. We also host forms in emails, however, there are some web-based email providers who do not permit their use. In these cases, we suggest using the link poll method. Speak with an Inbox Email Specialist to determine which strategy best works with your list of email recipients.

In either case, when clicked, the link or form will pass a unique piece of information (appended to the URL) that identifies which link was clicked. When used in conjunction with our Pass Parameter Value technology, we are able to pass a unique piece of data through the query string, identifying who clicked in addition to logging which link was clicked.

Destination page options are normally either a single dynamic destination page where the query string data can be read and processed. Alternately, if you do not have any backend processes available, a unique destination page for each option will suffice, such that the results can be segmented. This could also be coupled with your web reporting statistics to track usage.

If you would like us to host the backend and provide poll results as well as data collection, just let us know.
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6. Offer email coupons and discounts.
It has been our experience that people like to receive something for nothing, so to speak. Providing incentives to sign up and maintain their subscription is an effective way of reciprocating with your audience. It also adds value to each mailing that you send, increasing both the open and response rates.

As an example, we have a client who uses this concept, coupled with our Dynamic Content Delivery service, to send out emails, where we dynamically insert coupons and offers into each email, based on the recipients total spending for the prior month. In this case, subscribers who are higher spenders, receive more offers and more coupons.
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7. Cross promotions and concurrent promotions.
Cross promotion refers to offering either other advertisers' products within your messaging, or offering your own promotions for other products/services not addressed by the email (either unrelated or complementary). It is important to realize that your newsletter property is an effective promotion and branding tool.

Another useful marketing concept is concurrent promotions. This refers to running promotions via email, concurrently with all of your other marketing efforts. If you are promoting through broadcast, print and billboards, then you should dedicate some of your budget for retention email marketing to your existing customers. In most cases, our clients are able to repurpose their deliverables from these other media, providing extra cost savings when building your email creative.
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8. Use our Pass Parameter Value technology to identify recipients and customize/personalize pages on your web site.
We pass data from a database through any click URL. When the recipient clicks, the data is passed through the clickstream, enabling the destination server to read the responder's specific data. It is the equivalent of sending the responder to the web site, wearing a nametag, so that you will know their identity. If the client has a pre-existing process for tracking visitors, this can pass the necessary information required to tie into their tracking system. Thus providing the means for seamless tracking of the responder from the email message throughout the web site.

There are many advantages to knowing who your customers are and in being able to customize their experience from the email through to the web site. Some clients have used this option to personalize and customize their landing pages dynamically, while others have offered recipients different content or destination pages, depending on the identity of the recipient who clicked.

We have also used this technology to pre-fill web-based forms with the responders' information (i.e. for an on-line subscription renewal, an order form or application form). For example, one of our clients offers a link in the emails, to a login screen for viewing your 'Airmiles' rewards status. Instead of requesting that each person type in their 13-digit number on the login screen, we pass the ID through the link they use to access the login screen.

This enables the receiving server to pre-populate the login form with the ID (a password is still required to gain access), thus increasing the ease of use (they do not have to physically have their card in front of them), while decreasing the likelihood of a recipient making an error when entering their ID data.
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9. Use our management service to help meet deadlines.
If you offer a monthly newsletter, it is important to deliver a monthly newsletter. The treatment of your audience should be the same as if you were offering a monthly print magazine. Deadlines are vitally important, as newsletters reflect the commitment of an organization as much as any other marketing effort.

You can rely on Inbox Advertising's professional services to assist in expediting all aspects of your email marketing, ensuring that your deadlines can be met. If it is urgent, not a problem, our usual turnaround time for preview launches is minutes instead of days, making sure that your approval process is never held up. We also provide creative, copy and code adjustments as well as a variety of List and Data Management services that are specifically designed to address your email marketing requirements.
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10. Cleanse your lists of hard bounces and reduce your costs.
We have developed a very sophisticated technology that identifies all of your bounced emails. It can even determine the exact reason for the bounce, like a router issue or invalid domain name or improper server protocol. We provide reasons for 50 different possibilities for a bounced email to have occurred.

Our software then applies our automated analytical processing to each bounce result, to classify the bounce as either a soft bounce or a hard bounce. Soft Bounces are temporary delivery errors. Addresses which have produced a Soft Bounce or Unknown error should continue to be included in future mailings, while Hard Bounce addresses indicate a permanent failure and can be removed. Separate lists are created for each and can then be removed from all future mailings.
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11. Test your subject line, design and messaging.
Here is an innovative use of our Dynamic Content Services. We recently had a client approach us who wanted to design a new look and feel for their four monthly newsletters. They had their creative department design two completely different looking emails for each newsletter, where each of the two versions contained the same message and links.

By using our Dynamic Delivery technology, we delivered each message combined with one of three possible subject lines. Our software then tracked all six possible combinations of subject line and message content for each campaign. By using our reporting interface to compare all of the results on a per subject line/message content basis, the client was able to determine the best performing subject line and message combination to act as the new template for the coming year.

This proved to be an efficient and cost effective method for evaluating the performance of both the subject line and the message creative, which ultimately indicated the format preferred by the receipients.
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