Next, be sure to explain to your customers the advantages to them of providing their email address. When they request a newsletter, send them a newsletter. When they request a shipping confirmation, send them only a shipping confirmation. Show your customers you respect their wishes by providing them the expected content. That is practicing good hygiene. Thus, don’t send your customers an email they did not sign up for.
Finally, make sure you use technology to help avoid the inevitable typos your customers will make while typing their email address. You can utilize an email hygiene vendor to do some of these more sophisticated checks for you, such as providing confirmation of deliverability, proper formatting, and protection from malicious entries.
When selecting a vendor, make sure they have an in-depth scrubbing service. Plus, they should know and understand top level domains and have a mail exchange check. There should also be a real-time configuration, an SMTP or account level validation to confirm deliverability. There should be a correction function as well. And most important, a service should provide protection of your database from spamtraps, honeypots, role accounts, disposable domains, DMA “do not email” lists, and bogus/malicious emails, etc.
Customer re-engagement is such an under-utilized part of email programs, but it can be so valuable. The goal of a customer re-engagement campaign is to bring back previous customers. Depending on how you want to structure your strategy, you can approach this in a number of different ways. One way is to make an offer just to those previous clients who have not made a purchase in some time. The length of the inactive period is really a decision for you to make on your end and is also largely dependent on the industry. For example, car dealerships are going to have a much different inactive period than a shoe manufacturer.
Another route to customer re-engagement is Email Change of Address or ECOA. ECOA is essentially the process of linking old and new emails together. It means having a vendor go through your list and identifying the inactive and bouncing addresses and updating it with their current/preferred email address. ECOA is a very viable, proven method to bring back some of those past customers.
Email segmentation is the final key issue that merits attention in your 2013 marketing plan. The goal of segmentation is to break down your house file into smaller groups that share certain characteristics. In order to create more tailored deployments, you have to know your list.
When segmenting your list, consider customer behavior. If they open every third email you send and click on a link once a month, maybe you should create a file of those whose deployments should be throttled back. If they are reading and clicking on every email and have a strong buying history, create a file of your most engaged customers. Additionally, how many click through to the landing page? What is the time spent reading the email? You’ll be surprised how creating and utilizing segments can reveal pockets of marketing opportunity you hadn’t realized existed previously.
In closing, plan to take your email program to the next level in 2013. Email hygiene, customer re-engagement, and email segmentation can be powerful offerings to really maximize your email marketing return and revenue. Email will remain strong as a marketing channel well into the future and you want to be sure to leverage it to your best advantage!