There couldn’t be a better time to strategize final changes and improvements to your 2013 email marketing programs as you ready them for launch. In fact, while many of your new year’s email plans may be firmly sketched out, it’s not too late to give them a final polish with these insights and tweaks. Knowing where to amplify, adjust or even contract can take your email marketing programs from “ho-hum” to significantly greater impact on your bottom line in 2013.Here are my top five recommendations for boosting email marketing results and impact in the coming year. Stay tuned in January for even more ideas to make 2013 your email program’s most successful year yet!
When it comes to measuring email marketing results, there’s plenty of undue obsession with tracking basic process metrics like deliverability, opens and clicks. While each of those measures is obviously important, it’s the bottom line contribution of email marketing to your business that ultimately matters most.
There’s an ongoing debate over the role of permission in sending marketing email to customers you have a pre-existing business relationship with. Although in recent years opt-in list building practices have clearly been on the rise, there is still no clear legal mandate for opt-in as a standard email marketing practice in the US and many countries.
Unless you overhear a conversation about porn spam, the words “email” and “sexy” don’t get used in the same sentence very often. Email, the loyal silent workhorse of social media, steadfast driver of e-commerce, overshadowed stepsister of search, is more often likened to Martha Stewart – reliable, conservative and past her prime – than Angelina Jolie – slinky, seductive, and unpredictable – although both have built sizable empires of wealth and influence. That is, until now. Oh yeah, we’re finally bringing sexy back to email marketing.
There’s a heated debate in email marketing over what to do with inactive subscribers and whether or not they can seriously harm a sender’s reputation, deliverability and response enough to justify no longer emailing them. The passion on both sides of this issue – the potential harmful downside of continuing to mail “inactives” juxtaposed with the potential helpful upside of keeping them on your list – makes this argument one worth taking a closer look at.
Given that all things Internet seem to move at the speed of light and come or go overnight, it’s fairly impressive to see commercial email marketing approaching its fifteenth birthday. I remember first becoming involved in email in 1999 and being impressed then with what was creatively and technically possible – even though dial-up Internet connections still outnumbered broadband! Although anti-spam software and abuse-prevention delivery rules have often thwarted the channel’s technical capabilities (even since its early years - video in email was possible in 2000), there is no excuse to still be mailing like it’s 1999.