"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."
"Here’s the problem I have with segmentation…most of it – for email marketers – has yet to show that it actually pays in either increased sales or increased customer engagement. People seem to feel that segmentation is good, yet have little proof that it makes a difference. As an email marketer…I like proof."
"When we started this team almost 8 years ago, we were just trying to easily automate our email conversations and scale globally. Looking back on it now, I can see the phases of development to our current model. And, I can see where we are headed."
"The holidays aren’t just about retail. It’s a great reason to connect with subscribers from B2B through Financial as most everyone enjoys some holiday wishes. "
"Basketball season is upon us (and the holiday season), and as a fan of the sport, I was reading about John Wooden who is widely considered the best collegiate basketball coach in history, and one of the best coaches in any sport ever. I walked away thinking that managing and email program is a great deal like coaching a basketball team. Both require the mastery of fundamental skills, dedication, focus, and practice."