Begin with the end in mind. This is always good advice, and particularly applicable when you're starting an e-mail program from scratch.
One of the most overused metaphors in marketing is the concept of e-mail as a dialogue. The metaphor is so pervasive that its original meaning is in danger of being lost. Let's get back to the roots of this metaphor and see how understanding the concept can make our programs better.
Every reader of this column knows that e-mail works when it is done right. Consumers want your e-mail, will open your e-mail, and will buy from you via e-mail--if you build a relationship and keep that relationship relevant. Think of it as a courtship--with better odds.
Last week I was gushing about the great e-mail program developed by Daily Candy. In the interest of balanced reporting, this week's column is devoted to a horrible example.
We're already barreling through 2006. So I'm sure, as the responsible marketer you are, that you've purchased the newest benchmark and trend reports. This probably means you now have a stack of reports that you don't have time to sift through. And that's why you're reading this column: you're hoping to find a digestible amount of guidance.
From time to time we like to review publishers who know how to do e-mail right. This week we are going to take a look at Beliefnet. Founded by the former national editor of US News and World Report, Steven Waldman, Beliefnet has a very clear editorial and advertising policy, spelled out on its site.
How do you organically grow a list to over 1 million subscribers? Daily Candy did it by delivering an exceptional e-mail user experience, staying 100 percent true to the brand and ignoring standard success metrics. There's a lesson here for your e-mail program, regardless of your audience or product.
E-mail is a difficult channel because in any business, it belongs to the consumer, the business, the customer service team, the marketing team, the IT team, the Web team and the sales team. Thus, gaining cross-business collaboration or aligning a governance of this channel is virtually impossible.
An examination of the post-holiday e-mail offers from various catalog and retail vendors shows that these e-mail offers were extremely effective in driving traffic, in most cases far outstripping pre-holiday traffic.
There is no more convincing argument for reading an e-mail than a friend's recommendation. If a friend (or colleague) has taken the time to forward something to you, it is likely to be relevant and you are somewhat beholden to read and respond. So make it as easy as possible for friends to forward your e-mail.