What's the Content Strategy? Parse, Manage, Deploy

When your business is selling subscription contacts, you face a set of unique challenges, one of which is called a "stretcher." That's someone who orders a year's supply of contacts but uses them for a longer period of time than recommended so that when you know it's time for them to resubscribe, you meet up with ... reluctance ("I still have a couple of boxes!")

That is what keeps Scott Cohen, CRM Marketing Manager, 1800-Contacts, (second from left) up at night. He was part of a panel discussion Tuesday on content strategy at our Email Insider Summit.

He described several email segments and life cycles, including in-market, post-market, dead file, and haven't purchased over several cycles. Another bugaboo are those whose valid prescriptions have lapsed so they have nothing on file. "Email has been a large driver of that segmentation for a long time, now we're pushing that into other channels more effectively."

Because of privacy laws, the brand can only use some data to segment audiences and message to them. That's one hurdle. Another is multi-member households. "You have parents buying for kids, sports team leaders buying them," Cohen said. "We can have one email address for anywhere between two and 1,000 customers."

1800-Contacts is entirely revenue focused. "We are optimized to get someone to buy contacts as soon as possible. Three clicks to order confirmation." The challenge, he said, is for people that are "pre-market." They're getting "buy now" emails every 30 days until they're ready to come back. "It's not ideal."

The brand's social media director gets great content on Instagram, he said. But the same content on email failed. CTA tests worked on the website but failed on email. "We keep testing nuances while building out other content."

Still, 30% of sales come directly from email. "I wish I could say we have a CMS team. We have an app team and multiple web teams. We could do better talking with each other. We're in the process of building a design system to lay out emails in just one way. We don't want to reinvent the wheel."

Others on the panel were moderator Dan Rosenthal, Senior Director, Contact Strategy, Lands' End (far left); Dana Jones, Email Marketing Manager, Southern Company; and Carrie Ugarte, Associate Director of Marketing Automation, Wiley Education Services.

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