Viral? No, Thank You!

Two weeks ago Amy D'Oliveira provided helpful tips for handling and sorting through all the data collected for your email campaigns. What if you are new to email marketing and do not even have an email campaign, let alone data? What if you do not even understand all the industry lingo and are starting from the very beginning? Welcome to my world.

As a newbie to the email marketing industry, I have been overwhelmed with information the past few months as I learn a new language and a whole new way of looking at my inbox. The emails I receive are not just forwarded messages from a friend, or something I subscribe to for news, updates or coupons. My inbox contains well thought-out, (hopefully) expertly crafted piece of marketing. If the senders have done their research, they will know my demographics and will send me information specific to those data points. I know I'm not alone in these adventures, as there are many start-up businesses and people who are trying to adapt to the ever-changing marketplace. For those of you who are email veterans, please be patient with us rookies--we'll get there.



During my first week of Email Experience Council (EEC) duty, I heard the term "viral marketing" tossed around quite a bit. Now, to me "viral" has a very negative connotation; why would I want to participate in a viral email campaign? That sounds like we are going to infect inboxes all over the world. Fear not. Viral marketing is very beneficial to your campaign--the more inboxes your email reaches, the more conversions you will receive and the higher your ROI. Newbie tip #1: Don't take the phrases used in email marketing at face value.

Speaking of acronyms, there are many in the email world: ESP, ISP, IP, CPC, CPM, ASCI, ACSI, pii, RSS, CMS, CRM and on and on! I need to carry a notepad to jot down all the acronyms used in a meeting, then look them up later so I know what everyone was talking about. It's just assumed everyone is up to date with the lingo, and so this shorthand is used quite freely and often without regard to its audience. Newbie tip #2: If you're a veteran, consider cutting down on the lingo. Make sure your colleagues are all on the same page. You do not want rookies constantly referencing their little notepads in order to keep up with the conversation.

To all the people who are on this journey with me, I suggest you ask a ton of questions and always remember you're not alone. To those for whom this is old hat, please take the time to guide us. The sooner you do, the harder we can and will work for you.

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