Commentary

Keep Seeking Ways To Boost Revenue and Efficiency

 I met recently with a client that's an email marketing veteran. The company does many things well with its high-volume retail email program. What frustrates the email/CRM team is that it doesn't control its email destiny, and that limits its ability to innovate.
 
Recognize this scenario?
  • Merchandising decides which products to promote.
  • Retail dictates when to send more promotions to drive traffic to stores.
  • Management dictates cadence to meet quarterly revenue targets (because more email equals more sales, which equals higher revenue, of course).
  • The brand and catalog groups decide creative content.
  • Another group handles acquisition.
Even with all these limitations, the team has been able to launch several successful automated email programs. It also nailed deliverability, which is crucial for a high-volume sender that relies on key seasons.
 
If this team can achieve goals within its limitations, why not yours?
 
Focus on growing revenues and improving efficiency
 
it's helpful to find five to 10 areas to improve or new programs to try.

After meeting with the client I mentioned above, I began to wonder. How can brands -- whether mature and sophisticated or inexperienced and hobbled by lack of time/resources/knowledge -- make more money?

 
So, I started to make lists. Below is what I came up with in just a few minutes.
 
1. Increase email revenue: Some of my suggestions below are obvious; others, not so much. But they all expose your messages to a wider audience, and/or deliver more sales from the customers you already have:
  • Increase your database.
  • Onboard your new subscribers better.
  • Improve subject lines and pre-headers.
  • Improve deliverability.
  • Design for mobile reading and context.
  • Increase and improve segmentation and targeting.
  • Launch or improve remarketing programs such as cart, search and browse abandonment.
  • Launch post-purchase programs.
  • Reduce and reclaim inactives.
  • Redesign emails with a better mix of images, text and calls-to-action to boost conversions.
  • Improve the Web site experience once subscribers click through from your emails.
  • Reduce churn.
  • Add new message streams.
  • Use email data to better inform and target customers via other channels.
  • Improve and add content to increase engagement, brand preference and loyalty.
  • Add dozens of automated messages and programs, such as birthday and purchase anniversary, bounceback, recommendations, best customer, etc.
2. Increase efficiency: This is the flip side of the revenue equation. Get more out of your email programs by reducing the time, resources and budget needed to deploy your programs:
  • Use automation to reduce manually created mailings.
  • Use dynamic content in subject lines and message bodies instead of creating multiple versions of a campaign.
  • Streamline your creative process to reduce the time and people needed for email production.
  • Improve asset tagging, content management and folder structures, and use flexible templates to reduce production time.
  • Create better integrations across your technology stack to reduce or eliminate manual or delayed data syncing.
  • Use advanced testing tools to get better and faster analysis and insights and to reduce manual processes.
  • Train or retrain staff to use email and related technologies more effectively.
Next step: What's possible?
 
Listing ideas is easy. Now you have to figure out your priorities and focus. Another list can help:
  • What's doable in the short term, the longer term or at all?
  • Which programs support strategic business initiatives and would garner management support and resources?
  • Which are quick wins that don't require complex integrations or new processes to launch?
  • Which can be trials to learn from and then replicated in related program types? This is a key point, because it allows you to scale your program by leveraging similar content, data, integrations and skill sets.
No matter which industry you work in, you should ask regularly, "What can we do to make our digital and email marketing programs more successful, more efficient and more valued by customers and management alike?"
 
Do you have other ideas for increasing revenue or improving efficiency? Let me know in the comments section below.
 
Until next time, take it up a notch!
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