Monday, February 13, 2006

Two Ways to Improve eMail Marketing

The most critical thing about email marketing: it all starts with establishing a profile for an e-mail customer.

Most marketers struggle to optimize this channel -- not because they aren't bright, but because e-mail is a practice that is predicated on multiple kinds of expertise in strategy, technology, creative and analysis. There is no “Hail Mary” play in email marketing. It all stems from placing great importance on each e-mail address. If you don't know this, you are dead in the water. No campaign or creative concept will work without understanding how the persona behind the email address impacts acquisition, activation and retention strategies.

Another key factor: email marketing won’t be effective until you move from episodic campaigns (“hey, our competitor just came out with a new whatever, we better run a promotion”) to long-term, longitudinal thinking about the customer. And don’t confuse this with Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) because there aren’t 10 CEOs in the nation who are likely to fund CLV. But long-term communication with a customer will absolutely improve your results – and it will improve not marginally, but dramatically.

Your enemy is not the customer. It is not SPAM. The enemy is inside the business – decision makers who do not understand the need to build a personal profile behind every email address and to communicate to that address longitudinally, watching and measuring what the customer does when s/he receives your email. Every outbound campaign should have a pre-planned mode of follow-up based on what the customer does. Low click through rates are not an indication of failure, but a lesson on how to improve.


At 4:29 PM, Blogger amy said...

I agree that in email marketing it is very important to consider each email address as an individual. But, I think this is true for any type of customer or client in the field of marketing or PR. Each person should always be considered as an important individual rather than being thrown into the box with all the other clients commonly known as "public." It is important to consider each client separately because they are all looking for something different. It is highly unlikely that two people are going to interpret the same message the exact same way. It is also unlikely that those two people would require the same approach to convince them that a particular product or company is a quality investment. There is no "to whom in may concern" or "fill in name here" template that will be effective in either of these areas. Therefore, I believe that the idea of considering each person, or email address, as an individual is an extremely important concept that spreads well above and beyond email marketing, but to all types of marketing and PR.


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