The holiday season is upon us! By the end of this month, more than 65% of major online retailers will have started their holiday email marketing campaigns, and more than 20% of promotional emails will refer to Christmas. Campaign planning for the holiday season will get serious over the coming weeks. Here are some trends I foresee:
By now, the ever-earlier holiday selling season is already in full swing. According to Chad White's recently released 2012 Retail Email Guide to the Holiday Season study, last year, 60% of major retailers mentioned the holiday season at least once in their promotional emails before the end of October -- and you can assume that even more retailers are getting a head start this year.
Many email marketers love to hate the preference center. As David Baker wrote in a recent Email Insider, "The problem with the 'centers' is not that they don't work, but they work for such a small population of your customers that engage, the business value is typically negligible." I generally agree with David, but mainly because of the way so many marketers use - or underuse - their preference centers. That doesn't mean you should simply ignore your preference center or just tweak it a little. Instead, I'd suggest you reinvent and rethink the concept of a preference center.
In a recent article, my fellow MediaPost Email Insider columnist George Bilbrey took a look into the future of email marketing analytics and described three new metrics that he thinks practitioners will use in 2013. While I agree that a sea change in email measurement is coming, I believe there are far more than three new metrics that marketers will find invaluable in the months ahead. These include:
The concept of a business maturity model is helpful in a few ways. For one, it allows you to assess your present business circumstances in very particular ways, at the channel level. Second, it allows you to balance this view in a normative manner across an industry or like business circumstances in which you compete. It also allows you to expose potential gaps in what you think you are doing today, versus what you'd like to do in the future.