We want to wish all of our FreshPerspectives readers a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2012! As we close out 2011, it’s a great opportunity to set priorities for the coming twelve months. Whether you’re new to email marketing or an industry veteran, consider these New Year’s Resolutions to help ring in a banner year in 2012.
- Integrate social and email – but do so wisely. More to come on this topic in our January edition, so watch this space… In the meantime, keep in mind that the secret to effective integration is in the implementation. Adding social sharing buttons to your emails might not be the best fit for all content or for every brand. Consider the context, the nature of your content, and your goals for customer engagement, and proceed accordingly. Also note that social media puts another company between you and your customer. Be sure to consider the potential ramifications, given that you’re sacrificing a certain amount of control of your marketing message by leveraging a third-party platform.
- Keep spamtraps out of your database! ISP filters are becoming increasingly stringent, and anti-spam organizations are as vigilant as ever. This is great news for consumers, but it can sometimes spell trouble for even the most scrupulous email marketers. Spamtraps can enter your database through any number of means, so take precautions. Educate yourself (our Spamtrap Primer for Upstanding Citizens is a good starting place), and implement the necessary safeguards. Data hygiene is a must. And consider Real-time Email Address Correction Technology (REACT) to correct registration errors as well as block spamtraps and other problematic emails at the point of registration – before they even make it into your file. Keeping the bad addresses out of your file on the front-end will save you lots of heartburn down the road!
- Grow your list. While reactivating “lost” customers or converting single-channel customers into multi-channel customers is far more cost-effective than acquiring entirely new customers, customer acquisition remains a key component of any robust email marketing program. There are a host of options available to marketers to drive customer acquisition including online events (e.g. webinars), white papers and informative content, paid and organic search, blogs, off-line events/registration (e.g. in-store sign-up), and social media integration – which leads to our next resolution…
- Reconnect with “lost” customers. The start of a new year is prime time for life changes – moving jobs, changing schools, moving to new cities, etc. Keep track of your customers’ new contact information with Email Change of Address (ECOA) services. It’s analogous to the post office’s National Change of Address service – but for email addresses. You can correct hygiene errors and match your bouncing file with known change pairs (e.g. old and new email addresses) to ensure better deliverability and improved ROI on your email campaigns.
- Don’t forget mobile. With 15% of email opens occurring on mobile devices (Litmus, 2011), it’s imperative that your emails are mobile-friendly.
- Invite single-channel customers into the multi-channel fold. Single-channel marketing is so 20th century and yet we see lots of companies with single-channel marketing lists. If you have a strong postal file, consider adding email addresses to those records through an email appending service. Be sure to use a reliable and judicious vendor, as all appending projects are not created equal. Appending can be a valuable tool, however, when implemented with care. Conversely, a postal append might be just the thing to augment an email-only list with multi-channel marketing potential.
We hope your New Year’s celebration is the start to another great year. We’ve enjoyed bringing you our FreshPerspectives Newsletter these past 12 months, and we appreciate your readership!
All our best,
The FreshPerspectives Team
P.S. If you have a moment to spare in the midst of your revelry, we’d love to get your suggestions on topics you’d like to see emphasized in future newsletters. Please check out our Reader Survey, and make your voice heard!