It’s holiday email season! Right about now is when I start having a hard time managing my personal email – there are quite a few brands in my inbox and while I really do want email from the companies I enjoy, the volume is at times unmanageable and causes me frustration. I know my family and friends feel the same way. How can marketers make sure they are maintaining their brand reputation and inbox placement, while at the same time sending what’s needed to help companies reach their holiday goals? Here are some reminders on how to send smart email and maintain a good sending reputation that will carry you into the New Year.
There may come a time in your career as an email marketer where you’ll be presented with a (legitimate) list that you need to integrate into your database; for example, your company could make an acquisition or you could be taking over marketing activities from another business unit. FierceMarkets has had a flurry of these kind of activities in the last 18 months, and we’ve developed a plan that has been successful so far. I’ll share the main points here to help with any integrations you may face.
"The point I would like to make is that there is a double standard being applied to the email channel and bizarrely this double standard is often welcomed by the email industry. We never seem happier than when someone else moves the goal posts or makes our lives difficult. We seem to think that overcoming obstacles both real and perceived (e.g. being blocked by blacklists creating email addresses out of common misspellings of email address and then blocking you when a clumsy consumer mistypes on registration, Gmail constantly changing the rules) are evidence of how committed we are to permission and privacy. They do not."
The demands and expectations to boost sales during the holiday season are inevitable. Whether your business is retail, publishing, media, entertainment or any online marketing effort involving targeting and sending email, this year’s sales goals are likely higher than last holiday season. As email marketers, we all face the same pressure from our organizations to send more email and drive more traffic.
There are dozens of sources, methods, and tactics to grow your email subscriber list, and we all know that not all of them are equally effective. Marketers have vague notions that organic list growth is best and paid acquisition of sources may yield lower quality subscribers, but there is little data available that gets at the validity of that assumption. I pulled some data from my own subscriber list to help throw some hard data into the mix.
It may seem self-serving for the long time CEO of an email agency to write about how to hire an agency. I certainly recognize that I am biased, but so is everyone. I will be as candid as possible. I also think that having worked for one for the world’s largest agency holding companies (NYSE:OMC — 75,000 employees, $16B annual revenue) for the last 14 years I have an uncommon perspective in the email space.
For many of us in the email marketing profession, customer interaction equals B2C. Tens of billions of marketing emails are sent every day – to consumers. “Buy This!” “Check Out This Incredible Offer!” “Download the Last XYZ You’ll Ever Need!” … the thrust of most email campaigns is planned, designed, targeted, segmented, analyzed, measured, filtered, and executed with one purpose: drive consumers to a website and convince them to take action. So goes the eCommerce engine. And it works.
"11 years ago, back in 2003, I founded a company called eDataSource, the world's first email intelligence company. As a result of the data eDS was collecting, I was able to clearly demonstrate, for the first time, the power of email to drive large spikes in traffic, across the board, and from an independent, 3rd party perspective. To say my jaw dropped open is an understatement."
"While mailing subscribers is indisputably important, there are several reasons why the importance of capturing email addresses has nothing to do with sending your new subscribers another email. And how you obtain those addresses has become critical."
"At FierceMarkets, a digital B2B publishing company, anywhere from 30%-80% of our email newsletter list growth comes from converting web visitors into subscribers. In this article, I’ll share what’s working for us, and hopefully you’ll be able to apply it to your organization."
"MarketingProfs started in 2001 and built up entirely organically a list of mailable email addresses that stands at over 300,000 today. In 2013, we deployed over 10 million such acquisition emails. So, having seen literally hundreds of advertisers trying thousands of offers has given us a great portal into what works in B2B email marketing."
"With leading marketing technologies already established and new technologies emerging on a seemingly daily basis, marketers are faced with making decisions about how to optimize and deliver results with their technologies of choice."
"Each of these titans has been aggressively building and buying their way to deliver on the promise of a CMO-focused, cloud-based, integrated cross-channel platform that places the digital marketing controls squarely in the court of the marketing organization and relieving long-standing resource dependencies on other internal and external organizations. It is a vision that, in most of these and many other competing organizations, has been branded the “Marketing Cloud,” and it is set to be the key driver in marketing technology evolution and decision-making for the coming five years."
"Change is a process. It takes time to simplify, build trust and grow an efficient, centralized organization. Some people and regions are more accepting of change than others. Continue to have respectful conversations with transparency of information, track the data, and keep the priority business goals in mind as you all drive forward together."
"Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the technical term for strategically planning your tests. It’s the active process of defining the metric you’re trying to optimize, creating several hypotheses about what tweaks in your campaigns may increase your conversion rate, and measuring the effect of each hypothesis. It applies equally to email and landing pages, but I’ll limit the discussion here to email as much as possible."
"Serious buyers will ask a lot of questions on a number of topics. They include service, implementation, integration, support, product roadmap, financial information on the vendor, timelines for contract negotiations and other elements that are necessary to make a move. Aside from asking a lot of questions, serious buyers tend to involve more people from their organizations to gain exposure to the platforms. As you work to understand how you may be getting scored by your vendor;"
"When your organization goes through change, it means you have to re-align your business leaders, your teams, your vendors and sometimes, your customers. What steps can you take to get back on track once you realize you are not aligned? "