With endless approaches christened “best practices” and infinite blog posts on the latest email optimization tactics, it can be difficult to determine where it’s worth investing your email marketing money and manpower.
Questions like these abound:
- Does my company need abandoned cart/browse campaigns if we’re not an ecommerce or retail marketer?
- Are reactivation campaigns worth it, or should I just cull unresponsive subscribers from our list?
- How much marketing automation do I need? Do I need an ESP or MA platform?
- Do multi-touch campaigns (like a welcome series) outperform single message-campaigns? Is the extra effort to create a series worth it?
- Would my company benefit from reputation management and delivery services? What’s it worth?
- Does dynamic content really pay off?
. . . and the list goes on. It’s often said
Inspiration from the 2015 Email "To-Do" Lists of Leading Brands
I'm just back from the MediaPost Email Insider’s Summit
at Deer Valley in Utah ski country. Boasting record attendance and the active participation of big brands, the event is always a nexus for email marketing growth, expansion and innovation ideas. With attendees from Wendy’s, Office Depot, Amazon, Bank of the West, Angie’s List, American Airlines
and countless other marquee brands, this time didn't disappoint. In short: everyone’s excited (and in some cases a little daunted by) the email marketing goals they aim to accomplish in the coming year.
Here’s what’s on the 2015 “to-do” list of top marketers and should be on yours as well:
Last month we explored the first of two important digital marketing list subscriber metrics: CPA, the cost to acquire a new list member (see Part 1 here). I also presented a process for determining your maximum allowable CPA – that is, how much it’s worth paying or investing to acquire new subscribers on a name-by-name basis.
This month we’ll explore various approaches to assigning economic value to every subscriber already on your list. Let’s start with the clearest way first: the Revenue-Per-Subscriber method also known as RPS.
I was just paid $16.56 for my email address. You read that right: CVS, the drug and pharmacy chain, paid upwards of $15 to acquire my email address. There I was in my local store buying about $40 worth of health and personal care items when they offered me an instant 20% savings on my purchase in exchange for my email address. So I gave it to the clerk, resulting in a discount of $8.28, which somehow (likely by mistake) was applied twice for a total savings to me (and cost to CVS) of $16.56.
At two recent business events (which did not provide exhibitors and sponsors with attendee lists) I noticed exhibitors actually paying attendees cold hard cash in exchange for their email addresses. Yes, they were handing out the green stuff in a blatant, unmasked trade for data. One business coach offered passers-by $1 for a name and email address and $5 for a completed lead qualification questionnaire. At another event, an exhibiting sponsor held a stack of crisp, fresh dollar bills and asked each visitor if she would like $1 in exchange for her email address. Most attendees cruising the exhibits at these events happily gave up their email addresses and took the money!
Creative Commons License photo credit: mscaprikell
In Part 1 of this series
, I explained that marketing is not simply about hawking your wares. Certainly it’s about communicating what you have to offer, but how
you do that is what makes the difference between feast and famine.
Whether we know it and like it or not, most decisions in life are fueled at least in part by emotion, and that goes for buying decisions large and small.
Our brains are equipped with both reasoning and emotional centers, and each factors into decision making. More often than not, people buy from emotion and justify with reason, so it’s important to know how to emotionally connect with them.
In online marketing, making emotional connections is especially important because the digital world is immediate, urgent and can seem highly impersonal
. It doesn’t give us the time or intimacy to know and trust people like face-to-face interactions do. That contributes to a lack of trust (and unfortunately, fraud) online, so allowing people to get to know you digitally goes a long way toward creating the confidence consumers and business people alike need to buy from you in any channel.
Creative Commons License photo credit: Torley
You might read that title and wonder what in the world emotional connections have to do with online marketing or any
marketing for that matter. Isn’t marketing simply about telling people what you have to offer and letting them know how to buy or work with you?
Certainly it’s that, but much more. Whether you realize it or not, most decisions in life are fueled at least in part by emotion, and that goes for buying decisions large and small.
Our brains are equipped with both reasoning and emotional centers, and both factor into decision making.
More often than not, people buy from emotion and justify with reason, so it’s important to know how to emotionally connect with them.
In online marketing, making emotional connections is especially important because the digital world can be fast, furious, and impersonal
. There is a built-in immediacy in digital communication channels that often undermines or bypasses the opportunity to slow down the sale and deepen the consideration process that older, offline channels delivered. Plus, there’s a huge lack of trust (and fraud) in the digital world so allowing people to get to know you online goes a long way toward creating the confidence consumers and business people alike need before they're willing to buy.
So, is it easy to create emotional connections online? The good news is “YES!” thanks largely to social media and content publishing platforms that are faster, simpler and more accessible than ever before.
So, how do you do it?
It’s no secret that in the United States at least, we’re obsessed with size
photo credit: Berto Garcia
. Perhaps stemming from our pioneering roots we equate bigger with better, have a preference for more vs. less (even if it’s far more than we need), and value limitless expanse. Whether it is due to this mentality or other reasons, a similarly pervasive way of thinking has been the mindset in direct marketing for decades.
Yet in an age of awareness about how unfettered human expansion has negatively impacted the environment, times are changing. Sustainability and austerity are in, conspicuous consumption is out. There’s a clear quality over quantity movement underfoot and already visible in social media. I for one say it’s high time this shift made its way fully into email marketing.