Sometimes, our discussions about optimizing email campaigns can make it seem like our subscribers' shopping process is all about the email. In reality, having an awesome, engaging email program only takes us so far.
I love email marketing. My professional bio includes the fact that I "eat, sleep, breathe and sometimes dream email marketing." There are times when my passion for email marketing drives my wife crazy. I study how she processes and engages with her inbox. I inquire about why she opened one email, yet deleted the next; why she clicked through or purchased something from one company, yet not the next.
I got your attention, didn't I? So of course the subject line still matters. But I propose that if your email program needs a "killer" subject line on each and every message to succeed, you have larger issues to tackle.
Most direct-to-consumer marketers haven't quite figured out what to do with Twitter yet. Is it just a customer service channel? Or is it a place to dump offers? Are customers even listening? Score one for business-to-business (B2B) marketers. The channel fits in well with the kind of news distribution and networking that businesses already do. It's a smart way for you to share articles and information, because it shows off just how knowledgeable you are about your industry. And of course, it's a great way to add content to your marketing emails.
Ten years have passed since the dawn of the 21st century, when Internet users were bracing for the Y2K meltdown. Since then, our relationship with the Web has gone from a hobby to a way of life. Email marketing, too, has evolved from a nice-to-have add-on, to an essential way of doing business for millions of companies. Here's a look back at the top five best practices that have emerged over the past decade, ones that may very well endure into the next.
I have three-year-old identical twin boys and a five year-old daughter. And as you can imagine, bedtime around our house can be, ummm... chaotic. So to avoid the imminent cries of, "Mama, Bubba bit me," from the twins' room, I patiently sit in their room, night after night, in the dark, and wait for them to go to sleep. For entertainment, after we've read books and they are banished to their beds for quiet time, I turn to my BlackBerry On this particular night, I decided I would see what back-to-school and summer-end sales found their way to any one …
It may just be that I'm too sensitive, but it seems there's been an increase in the number of articles berating email marketing. I have no problem with people pointing out issues with email or highlighting changes in the online market. Things are changing and marketers absolutely need to adapt. But I object to the spread of misleading information for the sake of grabbing headlines.
I'm not a fan of partner and third-party emails. It's not that I don't believe they can be effective; it's just that most marketers go about it all wrong. Many marketers: don't ask, they assume; don't provide options; don't make the sign-up process clear; and don't set expectations.
If you had 90 days to reinvent your world, organization, people, process, technology decisions, etc., where would you start? This isn't a year-end mentality, where you ask "How did we do?" It's not a planning cycle, where you ask "What we are going to do next year?" It's a restatement of vision, without bias to your surroundings.
Just when I thought the email-marketing industry had put the "What is the best time to send email?" question behind us, I noticed a couple more blog posts on the topic this past week. Like similar questions such as "What is the average open rate," either these questions are fundamentally unanswerable, or pursuing the answer does not lead you to a meaningful conclusion or action. 'Further, I believe that a question like "What is the best time to send?" is simply the wrong question to ask. More on that later. First, let's look at five factors that make the "ideal …