Particularly this year and at this time of the year, you don't want to squander any selling opportunities. But that's exactly what retailers are doing when they take forever to honor subscription requests.
We have a covenant with our email subscribers. They provide their email address (and hopefully, permission) and we provide valuable content that they find worthwhile. Unfortunately, we email marketers have broken this covenant time and time again. We don't always get explicit permission. Many of our messages are untargeted, poorly timed and irrelevant. We don't bother to customize or take into account the job title, ZIP code or lifecycle stage. We send way more frequently than is meaningful or welcome.
David Baker's recent "Fab 5" article inspired me to choose my own favorite mailers. I get hundreds of marketing emails and many of them impress me individually, but my Fab 5 is made up of marketers who keep me consistently engaged.
I was inspired by David Baker's article last week about his recent "Seat at the Table" meeting in San Francisco. Specifically, this line caught my attention: "thinking outside your channel and into the minds of your customers." After reading the article, I realized I had the perfect segue. Email marketing, as we probably all agree, is not the be-all and end-all. As David said, it's simply one piece of the puzzle: a piece integrated with many other pieces, working together, to build a consumer experience with a brand (online or off).
This year, the grim economy gives you yet another reason to focus on getting the resources to move your email program past the old one-to-many model in order to deliver more relevant messages. One of the best means is to incorporate Web analytics data into your email program. Targeting messages to segmented audiences is usually the first step toward greater relevance. Pairing up Web analytics data with email delivers an even greater return, because it enables you to better engage with customers through their buying history or behavior at your Web site. Once set up, your program can be automated …
It's fourth quarter -- budget time -- and in this economy many of us are focused on maintaining our budgets rather than obtaining approval for additional spend. As marketers, just like our colleagues, we need to step up and contribute. We have to do more with less or make a solid case for how we'll do more with more. Email remains the most efficient direct channel there is. It's time to stand up, pound our chests and make sure senior management knows it!
I'll be the first to admit I'm a major email nerd -- and so it was with more than a political interest that I observed emails from the candidates and political parties as they poured into my inbox this past year. Already, much has been written about President-elect Barack Obama's campaign and its highly effective use of new media and direct marketing tactics to tap into and engage with a wide base of supporters. Many say this strategy gave Democrats the crucial edge needed to win this year's election.
That was the theme of our meetings this past week in San Francisco, where over 100 senior people from our agency met to discuss and share stories and experiences of driving transformational ideas for our clients. I'm continually reminded of the creative minds and business strategists when I participate in these meetings. It's both inspiring and allows me to sit for a few days and think outside of the email and eCRM realm. It's not about communication, it's about engagement. It's not about clicks or impressions, it's about business solutions.
When was the last time you signed up for your own emails? Perhaps better yet, when was the last time that you watched one of your parents sign up for your emails? Would they be able to do it -- or would they get confused about certain elements of the process? Here are some of the problems I found cluttering up the subscription processes of top online retailers....
I know that many of us grow weary of questions about the best day or best time to send email. In short, the best answer is to test it for your program and determine what time works best to drive responses from your subscribers. All of the studies I have seen to date on the topic focus on the results. Important? Absolutely. But they do not give us anything in terms of context. Why does one time work better than another? What is going on in the lives of our subscribers when they read our emails or click through to …