After nearly 20 years in the industry, it still astonishes me to find how many email marketers aren't doing everything they can – legally! – to acquire high-quality subscribers.
Because email marketers are under resourced, busy people – and often new to the profession or have nobody to show them the ropes – they look to "best practices" as silver bullets that will fix their problems or keep them on the right side the law
Coupled with our history of being associated with spam, it's easy to see why marketers are so focused on following best practices. They use it as a solution to a common problem. The solution becomes a trend, and before you know it, it's promoted to a best practice.
However, I see too many marketers rushing to implement best practices without questioning whether something is truly a best practice, a trend or a bad habit that has evolved into a rule.
Your customer data is a goldmine of information just waiting to be discovered. You know that emails which reflect a customer's data are more relevant and likely to be acted on, but too many marketers stop at basics like name, gender or location.
We talk a lot about how to wake up inactive subscribers and customers, but none of the usual strategies and tactics tackle one of the root causes: Your email's personality doesn't appeal to most of your subscribers.
We already know that email can form the hub of your digital marketing program, with the email address housing all of your information about each customer in your database. Now, I want you to think how email testing can also drive your multichannel testing program to gain insights across your entire customer database.
As you head into the frenzy of the holiday email-marketing season, take a minute to step back and appreciate email's great strength as the original disruptive marketing channel.
Email, in fact, is enjoying a renaissance! Those of us who have made email the center of our work lives can rightly feel vindicated when study after study shows people prefer email for brand communications. As shown below from Econsultancy’s Email Marketing Census 2016, the ROI still outshines every other channel from print to broadcast to direct and social.
The possibilities and potential for machine learning never fail to amaze me, whether they could make my personal life easier (now my kitchen appliances can talk to each other, but do I want to know what they're saying about me?) or open up new vistas for email marketers.