"CSI: E-mail"

Last week Paul Beck shared his and Jeanniey Mullen's experience overseas keynoting at the National E-Mail Marketing Conference of Holland. In reading Paul's column, I was struck by just how much influence e-mail marketers continue to have on marketing plans and strategies. There's global influence, local planning influence, technical influence, and more. "How do we do it?" I asked a co-worker the other day. "We're sleuths. We're like 'CSI.' We deconstruct," was the reply.

The more I think of this, the more I agree. Our clients so often come to us with channel problems, challenges and disasters. There are usually a host of areas we have to look at to arrive at some insight on how to overcome these challenges. Our job is to pick apart the pieces and apply our experience and specialty to figuring out what's broken, and how to fix it.

On the eve of the 2006 OMMA, a quick look at the lineup and agenda shows some heavy-hitting players for e-mail marketing. These panelists and speakers could likely write our own "CSI:E-mail" show episodes. I'm proud to participate on a panel discussing the many touchpoints within a media plan that could be impacted and influenced by e-mail marketing. Joining me will be fellow E-mail Experience Council member Sean O'Neal from Datran Media. EEC co-founders Jeanniey Mullen and Paul Beck are leading a second panel called "The E-mail Liars Club" that features four additional EEC members, Deirdre Baird from Pivotal Veracity, Al Gadbut from Acquireweb, Dylan Boyd from eROI and Austin Bliss from FreshAddress.



Discussions like these are geared toward studying the ways in which we celebrate e-mail's ROI and impact, acting as the backbone of digital media, and find areas to apply our specialization holistically. I am proud to be one of the EEC members and thought leaders investigating these critical topics next week.

Channel integration--If e-mail is the backbone of digital communications, is it working well to link brand positions across channels in the eye of your customers? Do your channels complement each other, or do they get in each other's way?

Creative balance--Do your creative messages and imagery come through in your e-mail dialogues? Are they complete customer experiences with a start and an end or do you leave people hanging?

Reporting and optimization--Does the data you capture drive your programs, or is it out of tune with your media, channel, and message planning briefs?

Governance--Simply put, are your insights and results reinforced in future e-mail programs?

Technology--Are you making the most of your technology? Are you asking too much of it?

Armed with the right approach, we, as leaders in the e-mail field, can identify standards and strategies that can be applied across sectors and industries. On behalf of the EEC, we hope to see you at OMMA next week. (If you miss the show, make sure you check the EEC site to download copies of the panel presentations).

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