Dell Inc. was an American owned multinational computer technology company based in round, rock, Texas and United States that refined, sold, restored, and supported computers and related products and services. Eponymously named after its founder, Michael, the company was one of the largest technological corporations in the world, employing more than 103,300 people globally.
Dell sold personal computers (PCs), servers, data storage devices, network switches, software, computer peripherals, HDTVs, cameras, printers, MP3 players, and electronics produced by other manufacturers.. The company has since made additional acquisitions in storage and networking systems, with the purpose of liberalizing their portfolio from contributing computers only to delivering complete solutions for enterprise customers.
Dell was recorded at number 51 in the Fortune 500 list, until 2014, after going private in 2013, the newly confidential essence of its financial information prevents the company from being ranked by Fortune. In 2015, it was the largest pc vendor in the world after Lenovo and HP. Dell is currently the #1 shipper of PC monitors in the world. Dell is the sixth biggest company in Texas by aggregate revenue, according to Fortune magazine. It is the second largest non-oil company in Texas- behind AT&T-and the biggest company in the Greater Austin area. It was a publicly traded company NSDAQ-100 S&P 500, until it was taken private in a leveraged buyout which closed on October 30, 2013.
In this aspiration, Vogel and her team saw an opening in what lot marketers would consider a hassle.
“Dell switched [its] email service provider … As we switched partners and major processes, it [was] a really pleasant time to go back and reassess some things that have been in place,” she said.
The team was trying to find ways to promote across the board as they were recoding email templates “and, of course, seeing for ways to optimize or enhance the template to have it get a renewed, fresh look and enhance all of our key performance indicators, if possible,” she said.
The precise goal they recognized for the effort covered in this case study was to determine the significance of advancing the exemplary email’s top navigation.
It’s a petite change for such a huge company, but the team wanted to drill down to minor aspects to see if they could be a catalyst for greater amendments.
According to Vogel, the team questioned, “You’ll see various brands constitute or organize navigation within their email template, but why? Is it really a ‘best practice’?”
Previously, there was a lot of attention on ensuring a similar email-to-site experience, she added, “but our hypothesis was that moving the customary top navigation to the email footer could lead to greater hero engagement, and eventually increased performance.”
Historically, she said, the header had acquired a lot of browsing clicks, and the objective was not to shake off those clicks but regenerate them to drive better traffic further down the purchase path to a better converting page.
“We have since appareled some innovations like HTML5 video, adaptive content [and] animated GIFs … but was there an occasion to reassess the basics and redirect browsing traffic to converting traffic,” she said.
“Having processed in digital, and email precisely for years, there are so many hot topics when it comes to email. We’re always gazing for the next actual sophisticated thing to integrate … [but] this really was back to the fundamentals,” Vogel said.
There are “bones within every email,” she added, so something as simple as removing a header or creating another tiny change to that apparently rigid template can yield very significant results.
“The theme of the top navigation had been covering for some time and we saw different industry research and case studies supporting to reallocate the placement,” Vogel said.
As a result, the campaign determined to run an A/B split test to learn and understand what the results would look like for the Dell customer segment.
Step #1. Find every opportunity to optimize
According to Vogel, the primary navigation had been the same for “as long as I can remember.”
As the team researched, they explored that “If you look in the commerce, there’s different industry research and case studies. Some support the handling of the header along the top and others take it out. That was something we hadn’t tried before at Dell,” she said.
As a result, the team decided to do an A/B split test to decide what it would look like for Dell consumer emails if the team was to take the navigation out of the header, and either take it out totally or put it in the footer.
“The Control [was] your distinctive top navigation within the header space of the email. This included links to view laptops, desktops, electronics and accessories and more.” The header matched the navigation of the Dell website.
“The trial and error version clearly took this navigational element and moved the real estate to just above the footer,” she said.
She further added that the team also contained iconography within the footer test to give the navigation a more visual look and feel.
“As a result, we were able to reduce noise and see more hero content above the fold. Since this was a creative test in nature, we leaned on our creative resources to aid optimize the user experience,” she said.
The team decided to use navigation as more of a rejuvenation module, to seize traffic not interested in the main message of the email, Vogel said.
“Just to give a demonstration of what it would appear like, it would have the hyperlink to laptop, desktop, tablet, printers, monitors, whichever those key categories were. The test version easily took out that navigational element and elevated that real estate to just over the footer,” she said.
Instead of just hyperlinking words, the team also used more motifs within the footer to give it a visual element.
As a result, “we were deft actually to ease the noise before the recipient would view the key message … you open the email and actually focus on the hero content,” she said.
Since this was an ingenious test in nature, the teams banked on the creative resources to assist execute the design. There are nearly immense examples of Dell marketing materials to look at to influence design, Vogel said.
“When we originally built our Dell templates, our attention then was to affiliate our email with the site experience [using the same] navigation,” she said, when summarizing the email header.
As Dell.com has progressed over time, the team started thinking that the uniformity between the email template and Dell.com wasn’t as vital as the desktop email practice and the mobile email knowledge, “making clear [customers] could navigate effortlessly to their proposed content,” Vogel said.
Step #2. Gain buy-in for operating test
According to Vogel, once the crew came up with the hypothesis and plan for this test, one of the predominant hurdles was getting it certified.
“We normally get sheer traffic in through that navigation panel. I’m convinced this is pretty common for others as well — the top left is a vital zonal for people to click on. By deleting that navigation and going against what we had done for so long, there was certainly some risk. We wanted to retain that to a minimal,” she said.
The test went very well once the team got the go-ahead to execute it, but getting to that point was a “joint effort” that enforced pulling industry finest practices, and adopting heat maps to display where Dell statistically gets a group of people working.
“We don’t really want them to join with our email to just surf with Dell.com. We want them to absorb with the hero message and act against it,” she said, adding that objective clearly required to be delivered to firm stakeholders.
The tactic behind this, she said, “very positively quoting your objectives and cognitive behind this test, more so than just altering color or gloss.”
Step #3. Concentrate on mobile design
An imperative part of this was ensuring that eliminating the navigation in the header was optimized for mobile.
“Eventually, with such a lofty mix of mobile and desktop patents, it is important to optimize for both with all email artistic,” she said.
By diminishing the noise on the desktop and mobile versions by eliminating that header totally, the recital across the board substantially enhanced, Vogel explained.
Especially in mobile, she said, “people want to get to that vital message right away,” so maintaining the minimal buzz will lead them to the key message.
“Who would have assumed eliminating the header would have helped us to drive change throughout all of Dell email worldwide for all of our segments or sectors, for all of our customers? It was that big of a difference just by condensing the noise,” Vogel said.
Email marketers are “always carving the next cool thing,” she said, but this campaign was about some of the fundamentals that testing can go back to.
The key takeaway, she added, is to keep the message transparent and authorize the main call-to-action to do the heavy lifting in compelling engagement.
“It also backed us to refocus on some of the basics. Most often marketers get attracted by the innovations and drift from some of the very basic prospects of successful email campaigns. We decided that it is best to influence navigational elements as more of a ‘recovery module’ that you can incorporate within your mega-footer versus taking up key real estate in the focal preview pane,” she said.
Eventually, the team at Dell was able to succeed “very notable, double-digit raises precisely incorporating this back-to-basics creative template test. I can’t carve up the definite percentage increase, but I will say it was very substantial and built the base of Dell deciding to shift their email template across the globe,” Vogel alleged.
In summing the global rollout, the team is directly ensuring that it continues to drive. Vogel said they have also stated a huge list of other header and footer examining prospects within the creative measuring roadmap.
“There are so many other things that we can do;” she said, generally with, including “space to the side of our logo … Gave an animated GIF in there somewhere, really interactive ways to captivate with us. Have icon-only navigation alternatively of hyperlinks like we used to have. Do we need text at all?”
This campaign prompted her team, that while focusing on the more refined aspects of improving your email channel, “remembering few basics — the subject line, preheader text — that these elements within the email also remain very significant as well,” she said.
“It altogether changed and atated a facelift to our email program. It’s assisting our email be more real,” she concluded.
Image Credits: Dell