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Why E-mail Marketing Is in Need of a Makeover

  |  January 4, 2010   |  Comments

Rethink everything, reinvent everything. Here are some places to start.

Over the past year, I've cautioned people that older e-mail best practices aren't always the best approaches. Older e-mail best practices haven't necessarily gone bad. They are not applicable today. This realization isn't restricted to just the e-mail channel. As technology and consumer use of technology both evolve, access to information changes. We as marketers -- as we leverage each channel, including e-mail -- must also evolve.

Welcome to 2010 and a new decade. It's the decade of digital devices. In it, e-mail lives on many screens: small screens on cell phones, large screens like TVs, and even via voice thanks to Google Wave. In this new decade, "old school" e-mail marketers are going to find it more challenging to make their tried-and-true methods as effective as they had been. There is a huge upside here. What if e-mail marketers don't have to battle a loss in responsiveness and instead can focus on reinvention that propels results through the roof? Here are two great questions to ask yourself about your e-mail programs as you enter the new year.

Have you considered reinventing your approach to mobile access of e-mail?

With every smartphone now offering access to e-mail applications through their little device and many even streamlining it into your main phone apps, people don't think twice about using their smartphone to message someone or access content remotely. This is very cool. In fact, yesterday I was at a retail store when a man was looking at something and saying he left the coupon that he printed at home. Without a second thought he opened his smartphone, went into his e-mail and pulled it up. He handed the phone to the clerk to get the bar code. There is a whole new world of opportunities for reinvention of coupons.

What about reinventing your welcome strategy?

Over the years many marketers have added welcome messages as part of their routine. Typically, these are pretty e-mails that make you feel happy and good about making a choice to register for a company's messages. But in this new world, what is the true purpose of the welcome e-mail? Consider these new issues: What percentage of people will be at a desk when this e-mail comes in? Will this e-mail be seen while people are on the go, in their hometown, or traveling? E-mail can do so much more when the new world is considered.

My prediction for 2010: the device world is going to evolve so rapidly, we will see new and unique applications for e-mail unveiled later this year that we never thought possible.

Rethink everything, reinvent everything. I am. In fact, throughout 2010 you will see e-mails from me showing exactly what is working for, and not working for our e-mail overhaul with VIVmag.com.


Jeanniey Mullen

Jeanniey Mullen is the vice president of marketing at NOOK by Barnes and Noble, focused on business growth and customer acquisition. 

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