Your Targeted Email Campaign Eight Key Drivers for Success

targeted mobile email campaign key drivers for success Your Targeted Email Campaign Eight Key Drivers for Success

The goal of all marketing is to attract interest in, build desire for, and generate sales of your products or services. Email marketing is a perfect medium to pick up where other marketing leaves off. Email marketing is still one of the most cost effective ways to contact prospects and customers. It’s far cheaper than traditional bulk postage mail and in many cases can have a much larger impact on immediate sales and long-term relationship strength than traditional advertising.

When done correctly, email marketing can be an extremely powerful and effective marketing technique. It’s a medium that allows a buyer and seller to freely communicate with one another and build a relationship based on value and trust. When done incorrectly, however, email marketing can be destructive, erode brand equity, and turn your happy clients into litigious flamers.

If you want to meet people at a fancy cocktail party, you don’t come wearing a Hawaiian shirt, shorts and flip-flops. People will either ignore you or have you physically removed. Email marketing campaigns without best practices risk the same sorry result, and become a marketing disaster. You dress your email up in a Panama hat, send it to the crowd you thought might work, and realize too late that it crashed the wrong party. Now that’s embarrassing.

Here are the eight best practices you should employ to make your email campaign turn heads—in a good way.

Email Campaign Key Driver 1: Email Address Acquisition

Acquiring an email address can be one of your easier tasks as an email marketer; however, ensuring that you are adhering to best practices to leverage your site traffic to its fullest for email acquisition will take some trial and error. Besides your own website traffic, you can use a variety of channels and sources, such as list rental, to grow your email list. Additionally, it is necessary to capture the source of the email address—did it come via your website, via your call center, or through some other means? You can capture this information with a simple code that is hidden to the user but that allows you to measure the effectiveness of your different acquisition sources.

Paramount to your email marketing success is balancing the quantity of the email addresses that you will acquire with their quality. Simply acquiring or renting a large list of email addresses may not deliver the return that you are seeking compared to methodically growing your own list over time. Both methods serve a purpose, and this section will provide you with all the necessary tactics to understand acquisition.

Email Campaign Key Driver 2: Creative/Copy

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and that concept is nowhere more important than in properly designed email creative and copy. There are many moving parts when constructing email, and using colors, images, and HTML are often the first things that can trip up an email marketer. The wonderful thing here, however, is that you have the ability to be creative, to strive to make your message stand out from the pack, and to illuminate and reinforce your brand image. Achieving all of this starts with a strong From field and subject line.

Email Campaign Key Driver 3: Making the Data Work

Your ability to segment and target your list will help to make your mailings more successful. Additionally, you need to ensure that your organization is collecting data consistently across all touch points throughout the organization to normalize the data that is collected. Here are some best practices to ensure that your data strategy is effective:

a) Use a unique customer identifier other than the email address. Using a customer record key other than the client’s email address will allow you to have a unique number in which to roll up a variety of customer data. For example, when linking to offline customer data, or enlisting address correction or appending services, it will give you a unique identifier to match the customer record against in the event the subscriber’s email address is different from the one you have on file. Additionally, this will allow what is referred to as house holding— rolling up a variety of email addresses in order to understand that they represent the customer or a number of customers who are residing at the same address. This is becoming increasingly necessary because most customers have at least two email addresses.

b) Collect exactly the same information from your customers and prospects at every acquisition source. Always collecting the same amount and type of information ensures that you will be able to normalize your segmentation schemes across all those customers.

c) Understand language and subscriber location. Increasingly, email addresses from around the world are being added to email marketers’ mailing lists. Use the country domain information that is embedded in the email address, or simply ask what the customer language preference is. This is particularly necessary when launching localized language versions of your website for use in foreign countries. Having language associated with this data will allow you to tie it to the most appropriate foreign language character set when your message is deployed.

d) Use customer behavior as a segmentation attribute wherever possible. Although the addition of website click stream behavior to your email segmentation can be very useful, it is necessary to at least use the email click behavior as an attribute to segment customers over time. You will begin to see patterns emerge of subscribers who are repeatedly clicking your links and those who are not. This will highlight a level of engagement and can be an effective way to create groups of subscribers—those who are engaged and those who are not. Tailoring your message to the list of subscribers who are not engaged is a good tactic to spur your subscribers into action. Popular methods to get this segment’s attention are to send them polls, contests, and more discount-laden messages. Although contests and sweepstakes typically don’t garner great results, they can be effective with dormant subscribers as a means to spur these inactive recipients into action. This approach should be tested cautiously to determine whether contests can drive a high number of valuable subscribers back into action.

Email Campaign Key Driver 4: Multichannel Integration

As you’ve seen, there are many strategies to collect and validate the customer’s email address at the point of customer interaction. However, several additional steps after acquisition can dramatically engage your audience when done correctly. The Internet is a massive driver of influence because it is the primary tool that consumers use to make purchasing decisions regardless of channel. In fact, JupiterResearch reports that by 2014 the number of dollars actually spent online will be dwarfed by the number of offline dollars that are influenced from this online research.

Email Campaign Key Driver 5: Technology (Delivery, Deployment, and Design)

In previous blog posts, I provided a good deal of insight into selecting an email service provider or email marketing technology. You should expect the vendor evaluation stage to take at least three months; for many organizations, it can take as long as six months to ensure that the solution meets all organizational requirements. Once you have selected a vendor (and particularly if it is a hosted ESP-based solution), the deployment can take as little as a month. In some cases, based upon your requirements, it can be deployed in a matter of days. On-premise technology—software or hardware that will reside at your company—can typically take up to a month to deploy and configure. However, one of the key drivers that will aid in the faster selection and deployment of your solution will be how well you have designed your requirements.

Email Campaign Key Driver 6: Reporting/Analytics

Reporting and analytics are the lifeblood of email marketing. The discovery of what is working and what is not working, and the subsequent optimization, are made possible by your reporting and analytics capabilities. Reporting is often complicated by the lack of integrated data from other reporting systems, which is why designing your multichannel data and integration strategies is imperative.

Email Campaign Key Driver 7: Privacy/Governmental Control

For email marketing, the most important legislation that you need to concern yourself with is the federal CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, amended in 2008. (CAN-SPAM stands for “Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing.”) This law was enacted in response to a rise in spam, and it defines how unsolicited emails may function. You can find the complete text of the law at http://www.ftc. gov/bcp/conline/pubs/buspubs/canspam.shtm, and we recommend you read it all. Also, I’m not lawyer, and we emphasize that the following discussion should not be taken as legal advice.

Email Campaign Key Driver 8: Reactivation

There is one thing we can guarantee that will happen to your email list: some portion of the addresses on your list are going to go bad—they will no longer be valid at some point in the future. Considerations for reactivation include the following:

Deliverability. Many Internet service providers (ISPs) are now using dormant email accounts as spam traps. If marketers hit enough dormant accounts, they will likely be branded spammers. List health is typically the primary attribute that mires marketers in deliverability issues.

Business Purpose. Even facing such deliverability issues, publishers often dislike the notion of removing subscribers from their mailings because it would diminish cost per thousand (CPM). Publishers that monetize their lists in this number-of-eyeballs manner must be mindful of shifting interest to emerging action- and performance-based models.

Email Address Value. Understanding the value of email subscribers is necessary before contemplating reactivation tactics such as offline mailings and contact center use. Earlier we spoke of using a contact center and offline store personnel in this manner to recapture email addresses, underscoring the importance of determining your email address value. Once address value has been established, email change-of-address services from FreshAddress and Return Path should also be explored.

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About Rico Buraga

Autodidactic. Bibliophile. CEH ver6. IDPA Shooter. Shotokan Karate & Zen practitioner. eMarketing Specialist & Project Lead at

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