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Twelve Email Marketing Must Haves

Email marketing is an ever evolving art. It morphs and changes from one hot topic — or "must have" — to the next. Below are twelve current hot topics in email marketing listed in no particular order. Any serious or casual email marketer should know what these are and should use as many as them as he or she can in their email marketing endeavors.

1) Welcome or Welcome Series
Everyone likes to feel welcome when they join a group. This is especially true when someone opts in to your email marketing program. Be sure you make these new subscribers feel welcome. Send an appropriate and timely welcome (and maybe an offer) to newbie’s to your list. Better yet, design a Welcome Series. A Welcome Series is a string of welcome emails that not only says hello to the new subscriber but also can provide them more information about your brand and what you offer.

2) Segmentation Strategy
Careful, well though out, and flawlessly executed email segmentation is crucial to the modern day email marketer. The days of loading and blasting your list are over. Take a look at this post by clicking here to learn more about email segmentation strategy.

3) Testing Plan
Testing is one of the most important actions an email marketer can take. Be sure to test frequently and use the results of your tests. Re-testing is another good habit to get into. Some examples of common email tests are subject lines, personalization vs. no personalization, dynamic content, creative versions, time of day, day of week, various offers, gender, offer code in the subject line, and location just to name a few. The options are endless.

4) Survey Campaigns
Email is not a one way medium. Be sure you “talk” to your subscribers and email recipients. Ask them what they like and dislike about your emails and your organization. Pick their brains on new ideas and solutions to problems. Your subscribers can be your best advocates and your worst critics. Be sure to leverage their opinions and thoughts with an email survey.

5) Anniversary, Birthday and Other Special Campaigns
Everyone likes to be rewarded and recognized. Send your subscribers a special email just for them. This could be an anniversary email thanking them for being on your list for a certain amount of time, a purchase history/thank you email, a happy new year email, or some form of a birthday email or other thank you. Get creative with your special emails for your subscribers.

6) Triggered Campaigns
Every time someone initiates a transaction with your website, be sure to capture this action and respond via a triggered, automatic email when appropriate. This could be sending an email when a subscriber updates his or her preferences, places and order, has an order shipped, asks a question, posts a review, etc. These touch points build brand recognition and loyalty. You can also use these one-off emails to entice more people to join your email list.

7) ReMarketing (Abandoned Cart Campaigns)
One especially important and potentially lucrative triggered campaign is the abandoned cart (a.k.a. ReMarketing) campaign. This is an email sent to someone reminding them to purchase items/processes which have been abandoned — or left — in their online shopping cart. ReMarketing is a great way to nudge potential purchasers into converting.

8) Social Media Integration
Everyone seems to be tweeting, Facebooking and doing other awkward sounding social media actions. Be sure you include these important social media outlets in your emails. Allow subscribers to rave about how great you are on various social media sites or browse your corporate social media pages. Email marketing must adapt as the marketplace and subscriber preferences change.

9) Personalization and Dynamic Content
Use personalized or specialized imagery, product placement, or text when you can and when appropriate. Instead of saying “Dear Customer” in your message, it is much nicer to use your recipient’s first name — ‘Dear Balthazar” as an example. Also, utilize the data that you have on your subscribers. Some common dynamic content strategies are using different messaging based on the customer type, location, nearest store, browse or purchase behavior, recency, or email interaction.

10) Opt-down
One great way to save a potential unsubscribe is to offer an opt-down option. An-opt down is when your give your subscribers the option of receiving less email instead of them opting-out completely. This is a win-win. You keep the subscriber in your list, and the subscriber only receives the number of emails they request.

Here is an example of the opt-down from Eddie Bauer. This retailer offers one email per week and one email per month opt-down options.

11) Email Change of Address (ECOA)
ECOA is a list maintenance and hygiene process that keeps your email lists up-to-date by identifying incorrect addresses and updating them with accurate ones. Companies like Experian can take your bounced or inactive email lists, run them through their database, and return you updated email addresses for certain subscribers who match in their database. This helps identify past subscribers who have since switched email addresses but have not notified you of the change.

12)Email Append (eAppend)
Email append is a list growth and acquisition process that takes an offline customer's contact data and appends a valid email address to them. Companies like Experian can take a list of your offline customers, run them through their database, and identify customers with known email addresses to add email to their contact information. This helps grow your email list and reach your known customers through email.  Be sure to use a reputable source for the append.  You do not want to contaminate your list with bad email addresses.

That’s all twelve of them!

What do you think is the most important must have item for email marketers today? Which is the least important? What else is out there that should be included in this list? Share your thoughts below if you think there's something else worth mentioning.

1 comment:

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