Getting the Most Out of Your Email Header, Footer and Navigation

For those in the email industry, the header, navigation and footer aren’t new concepts. But what makes these elements good? These pieces are usually repeated in each email you send, so make sure your layouts are effective, beautiful, and easy to … well, navigate.

Space is precious, so choose wisely

First, let’s talk about the entirety of your email from top to bottom. The header, navigation and footer are important − but not as important as the main message. Though your header gives the recipient easy access to your site, it shouldn’t take up more room than necessary. Keep in mind that the more space and time taken up by the header, the likelihood of a conversion drops. Make sure your subscriber sees that main content ASAP and can convert quickly.

A couple tips for your header…

  • Keep your logo smaller. I know, I know. I just contradicted everything that little voice in your head is saying – you want your brand shouted from every mountaintop! But remember your audience; these emails are going to people who already know your brand and style, and can probably tell the email is from you with just a glance. Would you rather use that extremely valuable real estate (especially on mobile) for your logo… or the main content? We think you should use it for the main content.
  • Hide preheaders on mobile. If you choose to have your preheader visible in your email on desktop, hide it on mobile. Why? Because it will still display the subject line in mobile inboxes but won’t take up precious space in the message itself.

Now for that navigation…

  • Consider skipping the top navigation altogether. Navigation is important to give readers one last chance to go to your site after they’ve read the content. So why not give them those options at the bottom of the message as well? Adding a navigation in the footer will still provide access to your site if the main content doesn’t quite call out to them, and it doesn’t take up valuable space at the top of the email.
  • Limit your number of navigation items. Keep your navigation under six items. You read that correctly. Too many options can become overwhelming to a reader, and cause them to ignore the navigation altogether. It can also cause the navigation to wrap to two lines, which would take even more space away from the most important elements.
  • Stack your footer navigation on mobile. It’s hard to tap little links on a phone, right? Make it easier for your readers by stacking your mobile navigation in large, “tappable” buttons at the bottom of the message.
  • Hide the top navigation on mobile. We’ve already mentioned how important real estate is in an email. Do you really want a quarter of the screen to be a logo and navigation? Probably not.

Finally, the footer…

  • Get social! Including social media icons in each send gives readers a way to get to these networks, and encourages brand loyalty and engagement. By adding it to the footer, you’re providing access without distracting from the main message.
  • Follow spam regulations. According to CAN-SPAM and CASL legislation, your email needs to include the physical address of your business, an unsubscribe link and a privacy policy. All these elements fit nicely as a bit of text at the bottom of the email. 
  • Add a “view in browser” link. While not a requirement, this link will make it much easier for customers to view and share your email. If there is a glitch in a reader’s inbox, if they’re having issues on their mobile device, or if they just love your content and want to share the email, this link is important to improving user experiences.

Need some inspiration? 

Here are some of my favorite layouts for your header, navigation and footer.

Option 1 
Features a desktop version with a header, dual navigations (top and bottom) and a footer. The top navigation hides on mobile, stacking the bottom navigation for an optimized experience. This is an extremely common layout to give readers easy access to the website at all points in the email.
Option 2 
Includes a header, single (bottom) navigation and a footer that stacks on mobile. This is a great option to keep a simple, clean layout while offering the reader one last chance to get to your site at the bottom.

Option 3
Features a header, single (top) navigation and footer. On mobile, the top navigation will move to the bottom and stack. Like the previous option, this layout allows a reader access to the site but keeps the email clutter- free. The show/hide on the two navigations allows the email to morph into an equally great experience on both desktop and mobile.
Option 4
If your messages are going to be very focused on specific products, you may want to consider this layout. It foregoes any navigation and simply sandwiches the content between the header and footer. If the customer is not interested in the main marketing message, they do not have a means of getting to the site like a footer navigation. 
Do you think you’ll use any of these tips for your header, navigation, and footer?

Unlocking Data to Boost Customer Acquisition Efforts, Part I

It goes without saying that using data to think about your customers has become inescapable in today’s ever-changing landscape. But even with the sheer amount of data available to us today, retailers are still facing the same core challenges they did a decade ago: Acquisition of new customers and retention of existing customers.

The most recent Forrester Wave report lists acquisition and retention as the top two challenges B2C marketers are facing within the next two years:

For the purpose of this post, we’ll focus on acquisition and how we can use customer analytics to help drive new customer acquisition efforts. Here are a few key questions your marketing team should be asking around acquisition:

In what customer acquisition sources should we invest additional time, money and resources?
The goal is to invest marketing dollars in sources that are generating the highest revenue or LTV for customers. By using something like simple data visualization to overlay LTV alongside Average Days until First Order, we can easily spot trends around current acquisition efforts. 

We can see that customers acquired through Facebook not only have a shorter time frame for conversion, but also have a much higher LTV than any other source. This is a great indicator to invest additional ad budget dollars into Facebook – whether that’s Facebook Leads ads or other re-targeting efforts – this is a channel you should be using to test and learn.

This chart also reveals that the pop-up is doing a poor job at converting new subscribers quickly and the subscribers that do convert tend to have a lower LTV. The solution? The pop-up should be re-designed or the incentive being used should be tested alongside others to see if that improves the performance of new customers being acquired through this mechanism. Breaking this down even further, a marketer should be looking closely at their Decile 1 customers: 

A few questions we may want to ask are: How are we acquiring customers that make it into Decile 1? How long on average does it take to convert those customers? What is my CPL by source?

In the example above, we can see that the checkout and blog funnels are generating subscribers that have a high LTV within the Decile 1 group. These are sources we want to continue to optimize to ensure the subscription process is as seamless as possible. We can also see that customers in Decile 1 who subscribe through SMS tend to have a longer timeframe to make their first purchase. Here’s an opportunity for us to dig a little deeper and understand the messages being sent through SMS/Email and see if there’s room to optimize these to drive that first purchase more quickly.

Bottom Line:
If you’re not using customer analytics to streamline and optimize your email subscription and new customer acquisition strategies, you may be missing out on revenue opportunities and the chance to enhance the customer experience.

In a follow-up post, we’ll look at additional metrics around acquisition that a marketer should be measuring and tracking to ensure success.

Karen DiClemente
Strategy Director, Client Services

Peeling Away the CRM Layers

High-level CRM questions you can ask to gain deeper customer understanding and actionable insights

To truly gain an understanding of your customers and to talk to them on a much more personal level, you need to ask the right questions of your data. Like an onion, once you peel away the first layer, there are many other layers or deeper questions to be asked. Let’s look at few examples and attempt to peel away our CRM onion without shedding any tears:

What are our top performing customer acquisition journeys?

When asking this, we care about more than just contact acquisition. We need to understand the sources and tactics that lead to multi-purchase, revenue generating customers.

Layers of insight – Acquisition Analysis by Source:
  • What sources result in acquiring customers with a higher LTV?
  • How long does it take between initial signup and a first purchase?
  • What messaging resonates with newly acquired customers?
  • Audience Analysis –
    • What brands, categories and products are they purchasing by acquisition source?
    • How engaged is the audience?
    • What is the percentage of one-time buyers vs. multi-purchasers?
    • Where are they located geographically?
Several actionable insights can come from this analysis: Your marketing acquisition budget could be adjusted to generate a better return on overall customer value; adjustments could be made on the time between touches during the acquisition journey; and acquisition strategies and messaging tactics could be adjusted based on identified audience interests and purchase patterns.

How do we identify our best customers? How do we migrate new customers to become loyal customers?

Segmenting our customers by spend and understanding the customer journey of our best customers can help to determine strategies to move other similar customers along in their own customer journey.

Layers of insight – Customer Decile Analysis:
  • How are our customers segmented based on revenue and who are our top decile, best customers?
  • Top Decile Audience Analysis:
    • Who are our one-time vs. repeat buyers?
    • What brands, categories and products are our top customers purchasing?
    • Where were these customers acquired?
    • What did a typical customer journey look like?
    • Are there patterns in their orders over time?
A client who recently performed this analysis was able to find patterns in what categories and products led to their best customers. Using those insights, they created unique campaigns for both their best-performing customers and identified lower decile customers that buy specific products to encourage additional purchases based on their potential value. This analysis lead to identifying several other unique audiences that could be targeted with specific messaging based on their shared interests.

What products lead to a first-time purchase? Of those products, which lead to multi-purchasers or our best customers?

Understanding the initial categories, brands and products purchased that lead to repeat revenue- generating customers can help inform acquisition tactics and early customer journey strategies.

Layers of insight – Gateway Product Analysis:
  • What are the categories, brands and products popular as a first purchase?
  • What are the differences in those products between new customers vs. multi-purchase customers vs. top decile best customers?
  • Of those categories and products, which lead to a higher lifetime value customer?
  • Can you identify patterns in specific high-value segments of customers where the customer journey begins with a specific category, brand or product?

Using these insights, you could promote gateway items that produce a high LTV in welcome series and early customer journey campaigns. You may find that there are specific items that have a pattern of many one-time purchasers but do not lead to quality multi-purchase customers. This data could influence your acquisition messaging and spend.

What questions do you want to ask of your customer data?

These are just a few examples of the types of insights available when your data is stored in a centralized location. There are many more high-level questions that could be asked and deeper layers to be explored. It’s all about knowing your customers and answering your questions with data… then making that data actionable with truly targeted, relevant and personal messages that your customers want to see and hear! Warning - Bad CRM Dad joke incoming:

Knock, Knock…

Who’s There??

Your Customers…

Your Customers WHO??

Exactly!!! With Listrak CRM, you will know your customers!

5 Tips to Prepare Your Business for GDPR

The General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, goes into effect on May 25, 2018. Are you ready? Here are 5 tips you can use to help prepare for GDPR.

Note that in this article we're focused on GDPR's impact on your web properties and cross-channel marketing automation. While Listrak does not provide legal guidance, the goal of this article is to pass along ideas and best practices. Always consult your company's legal team and the European Union General Data Protection Regulation Official Site for advice specific to your business.

Tip 1: Update your privacy policy.

Use clear, concise wording to describe how data is collected, how it will be used, and how long it will be kept. Ask yourself, is my company's privacy policy clear enough that my own family and friends would understand how my company uses personal data? If not, look for ways to simplify the words you use and always be transparent. Put yourself in your visitor's shoes. If you were a visitor on your site, what would you want to know about how your data is being used? Also, make sure your privacy policy is located where it can easily be accessed by your visitors and customers. 
  • Looking for ideas? See how Listrak is handling our own Privacy Policy.

Tip 2: Add consent-gathering steps to customer touchpoints on your web properties.

To determine when and where to ask for consent, you could start by making a list of where and how data is collected on your web properties. Next, make note of how each data point is used.  You are likely to see themes or clusters form around areas in the user journey such as when a visitor first lands on your site or during your checkout process. These clusters become good checkpoints to stop to ask for visitor consent to proceed. A few natural places to consider include the first page a user hits when they land on your site, signup forms, preference centers and the checkout process. Each site is unique, so look to add consent-gathering steps where it makes sense for your business.

Here are two common places you may consider getting consent:
If you use cookies you will likely need to capture express consent from EU visitors when they first land on your site. Your website operator should consult with your attorney to see if this applies to your web properties.

Marketing signup points are another area where you should seek affirmative consent from EU visitors for the collection of data for a specific purpose. To collect affirmative consent you may consider including not only a link to your privacy policy but also clear text that explains how you intend to use the data you are collecting.

You may also consider capturing and storing more robust consent information when someone hits the submit button. You may consider capturing information such as timestamp, IP address and the consent language the user saw when they opted in if you aren't already doing so. 

Tip 3: Make your web properties GDPR-friendly for visitors who do not consent to use of their data. 

In tip 2 we suggested you map out the data you are collecting and how it is used by your company. Now it's time to update your site functionality to stop collecting and processing personal data for visitors who wish to remain anonymous. Update your site functionality to only capture and process personal data for visitors who have given you express consent to do so. 

Tip 4: Touch base with your EU contacts and customers to gain affirmative consent.

Now is a great opportunity to reach out to current contacts and customers in the EU to get affirmative consent that they still wish to get messages from your company. You should also confirm they agree to the ways you intend to continue using their data. It’s important that if you intend to continue marketing to EU subscribers beyond May 25, 2018, that you have a record of how they subscribed. 
  • Check out our THRIVE course on how to set up a one-time reconsent conversation for EU contacts. (
  • Available to Listrak Clients Only. I
  • f you don’t have a login to Thrive, reach out to your Account Manager or Support to get an access code.
  • )

Tip 5: Get your internal processes, technology, and staff ready for GDPR Right to Know and Right to Be Forgotten requests.

Once you've put in the work to make your web properties and marketing GDPR complaint it's important you consider the role your own employees play in protecting personal data. Ensure everyone on your team with access to personal data understands their duties in protecting the privacy of your customers and contacts.
  • Decide now how you will handle cases where a customer or contact asks to see a copy of their data. 
  • Decide now how you will handle cases where a customer or contact asks to have their data erased.

Ask yourself, “Who will take these requests?” “Who will validate the identities of the requesters?” “What steps will they take to validate the identity of the requesters?”

Also, consider whether or not you should build technology to automate the process of finding or erasing data.
  • Listrak has several processes and procedures in place to handle requests related to data access, data edits and data erasure.  Check out our THRIVE course for instructions on where to submit data-related requests. 

In Summary:

Taking the time to make sure your web properties and cross-channel marketing efforts are GDPR compliant is an opportunity to show your visitors, contacts, and customers that you care about their privacy and personal data. For help implementing some of these tips, check out our GDPR Course in Thrive now or contact your account manager.

If you have questions about GDPR, contact

Listrak does not provide legal advice, however, we feel it is important to provide details on how the European Union General Data Protection Regulation will affect your business. We advise you to consult with your company’s legal team for additional details.                 

Is Your Data Accidentally Lying to You?

Imagine sliding a report across the desk to your boss outlining how customer acquisition counts are through the roof and the cost to acquire a new customer is at an all-time low − only to find out that you were actually paying to acquire a second or third email address for your existing customers!

We all know data tells a story. However, when big data is reviewed in little silos, it can sometimes tell a rather inaccurate story. Hidden information, misclassified information, False Positives, data collection bias, missing data, bad data entry, subjective data interpretation, cherry-picked data, sample collection bias, small sample size, logical fallacies: these can all result in off-target decision making. According to a recent insideBIGDATA report, poor data across businesses, organizations and the government contribute costs of up to $3.1 trillion a year to the U.S. economy. To make matters worse, 14.9 percent of marketers claim they do not know what big data is, let alone how to use it. 

At Listrak, we've seen merchants interpret a LOT of data over the years. And we've seen a few common themes where giving our merchants the ability to explore their own data could have headed off missteps in their data analysis. As a result, we've spent time developing a customizable data visualization layer that helps our CRM merchants explore their own data beyond a single data point to really understand what's going on under the hood in their marketing ecosystems.

Here are four suggestions on how to use data exploration to look beyond a single data point to extract more holistic and accurate signals from your data:  

1. Exclude outliers and test data
One common request we get from clients that utilize our Abandonment Solution is to remove outlier carts that tend to skew average abandoned value and other metrics available in our default Abandonment Dashboard. We also see our fair share of test data. Outliers creep into any data set for a variety of reasons, but their presence can make it difficult to understand your average customer.

The Fix: When exploring your data, add filters to exclude outliers or test data points that fall outside of expected ranges.

2. Clarify what you want to know & improve your data collection accordingly.
Order source is another hot issue for multi-channel retailers. We commonly see orders bucketed into two groups: Online or Offline. However, having only two options, orders that are made online but shipped to store or shipped between stores may create confusion for a retailer hoping to analyze their orders by channel.

The Fix: First, clarify what you're trying to track. Second, if you wish to track both purchase source and pickup location with one field, consider creating additional source names in your data to reflect unique shipping situations. For example, instead of only tracking Online or Offline, decide where each shipping situation applies and add sources to bucket that data. For example, use sources such as Online, Online Ship-to-Store, Offline and Offline-StoreTransfer.

3. Explore your data to rule out other possibilities or events.
A simple change to your website can have a ripple effect on your entire marketing ecosystem. When viewed in a silo, individual dashboards don't always provide enough context or nuance to uncover the reason behind sudden shifts in data. When you encounter a shift in data, use that as an opportunity to look deeper.

The Fix: Explore potentially related data points. For example, if repeat buying appears to be down, review your new subscriber acquisition metrics. Did the website team add an irresistible new promotion for new subscribers that resulted in loyal customers entering a brand-new address to snag that first-time-buyer discount?

4. Pick the right data visualization type and add labels
The beauty of data exploration is that you’re in the driver's seat for finding answers to your company's unique questions. However, if you've ever seen deceptive political advertising (...and who hasn’t?), you know that the way data is presented is critical. Since you undoubtedly work with a team, you have great power to help others analyze the information you've compiled.

The Fix: Help your coworkers and boss understand the custom reports you generate by selecting a data visualization type (chart, graph, scatter chart, etc.) that most effectively illustrates your data. Adding labels and a description will also help.

Hands-on data exploration is a great way to overcome data silos and ensure that your data is telling the full story. Have you found creative ways to overcome reporting silos in your organization? Leave a comment to share your ideas.

Wendy Huffman
Product Manager, Listrak