Katrina Kokoska on DIY Email Marketing at AAF District 10 Conference!

DIY Email Marketing Public Speaking Recap
Over the weekend, our own Katrina Kokoska presented back to back sessions at the annual American Advertising Federation’s AAF District 10 annual Conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma on the topic of DIY Email Marketing.

She covered how to get started with Email Marketing – including things to consider when defining your goals and measuring your success.

Thinking about starting email marketing? Katrina breaks down the what, why, and how of getting started with email marketing!

Check out her presentation slides and presentation highlights below!


1. Why Email Marketing is Effective

  •  People Find it Valuable
  • You Have an Engaged Audience – 40% of consumers enjoy receiving a substantial amount of marketing emails every week –Blue Kangaroo
  • It is Easy to Measure
  • Emails have a Longer Shelf Life than other forms of communications – For instance, only 23.6% of email opens occur within the first hour, A Facebook brandpost will get half of it’s reach in the first 30 minutes.
  • ROI

Shelf Life of Online Marketing Communications

2. Things you Should Consider Before Getting Started with Email Marketing

Define your objective – Why are you doing this?

  • Who is/are your audience(s)?
  • What is a conversion for them?
  • Examples: Loyalty program, Referrals, Lead nurturing, Closing
  • How will you measure success?

Choose your ESP (Email Service Provider)

  • Hosting options: Fully managed, SaaS, In-House
  • We recommend using a SaaS
  • Factors to consider: Price, Commitment, Templating features, Reporting, Reputation

Build your list

Link Building Do’s:

  1. DO: Build your list offline. Add checkbox to offline forms including Business cards, Event registrants, *Recent consumers (see caveat below)
  2. DO: Build your list online. Collect emails on your Website Homepage, Sidebar, Contact Form, at Check out, Event Registration, on Facebook, on your Blog
  3. DO: Segment your list. Emails that have been tailored to specific audiences through segmentation get 50% more clicks than their counterparts. – Marketing Sherpa
  4. DO: Tell them what they will receive
  5. DO: Build trust immediately
  6. DO: Continue growing your list

Email Lists Expire at ~25% per year

Link Building Don’ts:

  1. DON’T: Buy lists
  2. DON’T: Harvest email addresses or copy/paste
  3. DON’T: Precheck the box
  4. DON’T: Add folks to more lists than they agreed to
  5. DON’T: Send to folks you haven’t sent to in at least 2 years
  6. DON’T: Do anything else that sounds shady

Notes on Email Spam

  • Spammy techniques affect your Sender Score/Reputation and your ability to get email through to people’s inboxes
  • CAN-SPAM (Controlling the Assault of Non – Solicited Pornography And Marketing) Act of 2003 protects users from these spammy tactics
  • EACH separate violation of the CAN-SPAM Act is subject to penalties of up to $16,000


  1. Define objectives first
  2. Use a SaaS solution
  3. Build your list thoughtfully across offline/digital properties
  4. Don’t be shady

3. Crafting and Creating Effective Email Messages

1. The Subject Line

  • Do it first
  • Be brief and explicit
  • Not appropriate for the hard sell
  • Sense of urgency
  • Avoid SPAM Terms
  • Localization not personalization
  • Use your company name
  • Test, test, test!

2. The Email Design

  • Your CTA:– Above the fold
  • All roads lead to CTA
  • Short and powerful
  • Redundant
  • How’s your subject line holding up
  • Can you “Share with a Friend?”
  • Have you integrated your other digital properties?

Email Design Technical Considerations

  • How does it hold up across email clients?
  • How does it look across mobile platforms?
  • Can you view in browser and as plaintext?

3. The Landing Page

  1. Never go home
  2. Focused value proposition
  3. Clear request
  4. One step conversion

4. Timing Considerations

  1. Who is your audience?
  2. What timezones are you sending to?
  3. What is it you are asking them do?

Benchmarks on Email Open Rates by Time of Day and Day of Week

4. Management and Measurement


  • Bounce – Undeliverable email
    • Hard bounce–Soft bounce
    • Bounce Rate = # hard bounces/list size
  • Unsubscribe – Opt out
    • Unsubscribe Rate = # of unsubscribes/ list size
  • Unique Open Rate – The # of people who open a message
    • Open Rate = # of opens / emails sent
  • Click Thru – Clicking a link in message
    • Click Thru Rate = # of unique clicks / #of links X recipients
  • Conversion – Someone did the thing you wanted them to do
    • Conversion Rate = # of conversions / #of recipients

Bounce Rate Benchmarks for Email Marketing 2013

Are You Set Up for Tracking?


  1. Bounce/Unsubscribes – List health
  2. Open/CTR – Content
  3. Conversion – Overall performance
  4. TEST!

A big thanks to AAF District 10 for having us at the conference!