E-mail resolutions to attract and keep customers in 2011

When your e-mail program is profitable and running smoothly, don’t get complacent. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and ask yourself, ³Are they bored with the same old campaigns and promotions?²

Take the time to examine key measurements of your list churn and the percent of subscribers who are engaged, and work to develop fresh and compelling campaigns.

This year is a good time to really incorporate social media into your marketing. Social media and e-mail are symbiotic, so leverage the strengths of each to enhance the other. Your marketing should be all about the connections, and socializing your data unifies and integrates your disparate data sources to provide a complete customer view. This deeper understanding enables you to target your e-mail campaigns, increasing their relevancy to drive higher engagement and conversion.

Correlate e-mail metrics with other key metrics ­ purchase history, social buzz, Web, call center ­ to compile a connected view of the customer. Broadening beyond open- and click-rate metrics will paint a richer picture of e-mail performance.

Augment your connected customer view with actionable demographic/geographic data ‹ zip codes, household income and even weather reports ‹ to engage customers with compelling, timely and targeted offers that inspire action.

Cross-pollinate e-mail promotions with social channels by posting and tweeting about them. Enable fans and followers to subscribe directly to your e-mail from your fan page. Create Twitter campaigns featuring landing pages with special content or discounts to encourage future sharing. Identify your brand ambassadors and provide them with unique rewards.

Texting is a popular form of messaging worldwide. Smartphones have even become many customers’ primary interface. In 2011, engage your customers wherever they are located.

Rethink and then redesign your templates for smartphone users. Analyze your open metrics to understand the how, what, where and when of your mobile campaigns and know which devices are popular with customers.

Develop text messaging campaigns and leverage the immediacy and bidirectional, conversational nature of this channel to make special commute-hour offers, confirm appointments and send reminders or renewal and replenishment alerts. Use texting contests to drive growth or reengage customers.

Don’t assume your e-mail service provider’s views and click reports paint the whole picture. Look at your entire e-mail marketing funnel, from subscriber acquisition through inbox delivery to the landing page, and finally to checkout. You may be surprised that the weakest stage in your funnel wasn’t what you thought.

From the January 01, 2011 Issue of Direct Marketing News http://www.dmnews.com/issue/january/01/2011/1953/


Successful e-mail marketing relies on data and timing

Marketing supports two primary business objectives: business getting and business keeping.

Fortunately for marketing professionals, e-mail has firmly established itself as the most cost-effective tool for accomplishing both objectives. To nurture leads and drive purchase, e-mail can provide information that aids the prospect’s decision-making process. To retain customers, e-mail provides content that enhances the customer’s product usage experience, drives repurchase and encourages customers to share their experience.

This year, companies will once again increase spending in e-mail marketing as an effort to attract, engage and retain customers. The difference between the companies that succeed or fail will be data, or more specifically, customer insight.

If we as an industry have learned anything about e-mail marketing, it’s that content relevance and timing are the two biggest factors in driving response. The key to personalizing e-mail content to the needs of individual subscribers is data. When customer insight data is put into action, it can help determine what information or offer to deliver to an individual customer and when to deliver it, dramatically improving e-mail performance.

Companies that truly understand their customers possess the ability use that data to make smarter decisions about what information to provide a prospect. Combined with today’s interactive marketing technology, marketers are able to deliver that information with perfect timing.

Try these 10 tips for improving e-mail marketing performance in the new year including better data and timing.

Website design should engage visitors.

Use search engine optimization (SEO) to attract prospective subscribers to your website.

Deploy direct response text (SMS) at events to make it easy for customers to opt-in to your e-mail program.

Send a welcome e-mail to each new subscriber and thank them for subscribing.

Create a subscriber “preference center,” where customers can provide personal information and interests.

Develop e-mail programs that deliver information and offers invitations that “serve” the customer.

Use e-mail to provide information that aids the customer’s decision-making process.

Use e-mail to enhance the product usage experience.

Leverage social media within e-mail to further awareness of your product and to attract website visitors.

Automate e-mail communications by integrating e-mail technology with CRM and e-commerce systems.

From the February 01, 2011 Issue of Direct Marketing News