By Edward Weatherall, MD, Concep.
Reputation is the key to email deliverability in 2010 especially around B2B, as SPAM filters place increasing emphasis on reputation over content
Relevance is still key for email, as people consume media from more diverse channels, like twitter and RSS. Think “Why am I sending this content to this audience now?”
Include strategies for those who don’t interact with your email campaigns, whether around re-engagement or adding them to the “do not send” list.
Major ISPs are now taking email interaction such as link clicks into account when filtering email. This means that if a recipient has not recently clicked or interacted with your email campaigns the likelihood of you reaching their inbox may be reduced.
When creating content think about how much time and value the recipient will give your email. If they are unlikely to spend 15 minutes reading an email don’t send one containing 5 relevant articles. Spread them over several communications so people can more readily digest.
If possible, deliver content via video (not within the email), as this is quickly becoming the preferred format to consume information quickly and easily.
This year, educate internal teams and management on the importance of email strategy. Celebrate successful campaigns and learn from poor campaigns. Everyone in the business must understand that email is not a quick, cheap alternative to post, but a key relationship tool.
Email campaigns can also be used as a motivational tool, with recognition campaigns steering away from the boring, long internal newsletter
Make sure your emails are relevant to your clients and support your company relationships. We all know it is cheaper to retain a client than win a new one, so spend time devising client programmes and don’t forget those who don’t view your emails.
Think twice about using email as a standalone acquisition tool. People view unrecognised emails in their inbox as SPAM, even if legally they are not. You may get 15% positive list interaction but that leaves 85% with a negative impact.
Try using other people’s client communications to meet your prospects, e.g. provide an article to a newsletter being sent to someone else’s client base that includes your prospects.
If you use a data provider make sure they can vouch for their data source, are registered with the DMA and remember you get what you pay for. It’s about quality not quantity.
How and where we read our emails is forever changing, make sure you have a web version of your emails as a minimum but also consider designing for smaller screens. Look at your web analytics to see how many mobile browsers you already have on your site.
This is still the most important aspect of email marketing. No matter how sculpted the content or subject line, if the person doesn’t want to receive it or it doesn’t suit them they won’t read it.
A massive drive should be to put in place processes ensuring that your data is accurate and segmented. Your CRM system and IT managers can generally help in this area.
The ICO now has powers to issue fines of up to £500,000 so ensure all data you use is correctly permissioned and you abide by the data protection laws.
A lot of effort and emphasis is put on the creation and aspects of an email campaign, however, once sent, reporting is not fully utilised. Delve deeper into the statistics and share relevant information with critical client-facing business units (account managers, sales) to help them do their job and benefit the business as a whole.
Integration with other channels
Email offers unrivalled levels of personalisation and depth to your online communication, but it also partners well with other areas like Social Media. How can you drive traffic from Twitter to your email sign up page? How about tweeting your best email stories? Use Social Media to drive awareness of your brand, and then migrate some of this traffic to your email programme, where you can start to build more one-to-one relationships.
Email is also not simply a selling medium or quick lead generator, especially in B2B where the sales cycle can be very long. Use it to build relationships with your contacts by sending interesting industry articles or thought leadership pieces to nurture and legitimately keep in touch.
This article also appeared as part of Aprimo’s ‘Thoughts from the front line’ series.
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