"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;"
"And what's the process for controlling email marketers and taking away the power of the channel? It's easy. Call them a spammer."
"Many companies use cause-related marketing to boost their brand image, build goodwill and create positive PR. This is widely apparent at holiday time and during October, for example, as businesses jump on the breast cancer awareness bandwagon."
"I have been in the direct marketing business a very long time. This means we have purchased a great deal of media to sell products as well as build various businesses owned over the past 30 years. I have also been on the media selling side of the business as well, meaning we sold advertising to both direct marketers and brand marketers."
"The body of knowledge on best practices for email creative has grown exponentially in the time since I started working in online in the late 1980's at Compuserve. Today there are dozens of resources for traditional and cutting edge best practices in email creative. Here are some of my favorites:"
"It’s February, we are over a month into 2014 and the majority of marketers will have already reflected back on 2013 to see what worked, what didn’t and began planning for and executing new campaigns for 2014."
"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? "
"Personalization is touted in email circles as a positive. I tell clients all the time that including a recipient's first name and other personal details in a message has been shown to increase engagement. But there are times when personalization can be creepy."
"Marketers, service providers and app developers alike must protect their data no matter where it resides. This includes holding service providers accountable by demanding they adopt the best practices available."
As we start a new year, let's take a look at Christmas emails past. The 2013 holiday season was filled with promotional emails galore. Here are a few that caught my attention.
"Problem: How do you deal with, and lead, the changes in an organization? Answer: You understand the process of change and apply it to the situation and person."
As email marketers, we cringe over what can possibly go wrong with our deployments - typos, broken images, broken links. And we lose sleep at night over the even bigger bloopers - missing or expired promo codes, products that sell out before the promotion is over, website glitches and more.
"Back in September I wrote a post for this blog about the mindset of great email marketers: that they are always looking at the data and using the quantitative results to improve their future performance."
"The challenge that sales folks face in the email space is differentiating between competitive vendors. It’s hard to do. It’s made more complex by the fact that many times the buyers don’t do a good enough job of identifying their needs and truly understanding the core variables that each vendor brings to the table. The reality is that all of the ESP’s can handle sending email and sending it well. Trying to differentiate between basic features that accomplish this table stakes task isn’t going to yield insight for the buyer. Understanding which sales team is bringing you value, versus the one who is interested in winning the commodity race, can have a huge impact on your decision making."
"After becoming the CEO of a direct marketing company, the magic word for me was “visibility”. I wanted predictable results…predictable processes…and craved the comfort of certainty. When uncertainty reared its head, I felt all that was needed was more information. Just be a little smarter."
"It amazes me how many companies start email “strategies” without putting much thought into the impact of a poor, or typically complete lack of, planning. It’s not easy to start emailing customers, potential customers or subscribers, or to add new campaigns to existing channel strategy – but, it all starts with understanding what they want followed by consistency."
"For the past few years, I’ve had a front row seat to the content marketing revolution. I bought into it hook, line, and sinker. Indeed, a decade ago, I was trying to convince clients to create more video content because “with instantaneous, worldwide distribution, every company is a publisher, broadcaster, and entertainer.” I’m sure many of you had similar conversations."