E-mail Reality Check

  |  November 18, 2010   |  Comments

Are you working on these basics before you pursue the next new thing in e-mail marketing?

Let's take a moment away from the Facebook e-mail news to reflect on other key considerations for e-mail marketers.

At ad:tech recently, I ran an all day in-depth seminar on e-mail marketing. Attendees were engaged and represented diverse backgrounds and situations.

Here are some observations and takeaways for e-mail marketers:

The Permission Division

While the power of permission is what makes e-mail a true powerhouse in the digital world (without permission, e-mail is a mere mortal form of direct marketing), the "what about this" scenarios that many ask show a big divide. They agree that "opting in" is the way to go but it is not often the reality in their businesses. The three-year-old sales lists, sister company e-mail databases, and intriguing yet vague promotional names acquired are often too tempting not to add to their main lists or just use to "test the water." While many an e-mail purist may not agree with this, it is the reality.

Relevancy vs. Reality Question

Many of us preach the need to deliver relevant and compelling messages. Many e-mail marketers in the trenches I talked to said, "that's great but my customers and senior management don't care about relevancy - they want offers and something unique and valuable" (it's up for debate on who these e-mail programs are being tailored toward). The interpretation of relevancy's true meaning may be in the eye of the inbox reader, but these e-mail practitioners I spoke to thought relevancy was, to a certain degree, a no man's land talked about by those not responsible for their own e-mail program.

Pencil These Questions In

It doesn't matter who, when, or where, I find these questions always get asked. No one can dismiss them since they continue to be at the forefront of marketers' minds. Some of them actually can define whether your e-mails get read as well.

  • What is a good open rate?
  • When should I send my e-mails?
  • What makes a good subject line?
  • What should be in my "from" line?
  • How do I grow my list without spending any money?

I love talking to real-life e-mail marketers who aspire for more in their programs and their subscribers' inbox. Sometimes we need to rethink the basics and the fundamental e-mail issues to ensure we all improve - regardless of the latest and greatest threat/compliment to e-mail marketing.

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Simms Jenkins

Simms Jenkins is CEO of BrightWave Marketing, North America's leading email marketing-focused digital agency. The award-winning firm specializes in elevating email marketing and digital messaging programs that drive revenue, cut costs, and build relationships. Jenkins has led BrightWave Marketing in establishing a world-class client list including Affiliated Computer Service (A Xerox Company), Chick-fil-A, Cox Business, Phillips66, Porsche, and Southern Company. The agency was recently ranked among the fastest growing private companies by Inc. Magazine.

Jenkins was awarded the prestigious AMY 2010 Marketer of the Year from the American Marketing Association for being the top agency marketer and the Email Marketer of the Year at the Tech Marketing Awards held by the Technology Association of Georgia. Jenkins is regarded as one of the leading experts in the email marketing industry and is regularly cited by the media as such and called upon by the financial community to provide market insight and consulting.

Jenkins is the author of two definitive and highly regarded books on email marketing; The New Inbox (published in April 2013 by ClickZ/Incisive Media) and The Truth About Email Marketing (published by Pearson's Financial Times Press in 2008). Jenkins is currently the Email Marketing Best Practices Columnist for ClickZ, the largest resource of interactive marketing news and commentary in the world, online or off. His industry articles have been called one of the top 21 information sources for email marketers.

He has been featured in Fortune Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Adweek, Bloomberg TV, Wired Magazine, and scores of other leading publications and media outlets. Jenkins is a regular speaker at major digital industry and general business conferences.

Additionally, Jenkins is the creator of EmailStatCenter.com and SocialStatCenter.com, the leading authorities on email and social media metrics. Prior to founding BrightWave Marketing, Jenkins headed the CRM group at Cox Interactive Media.

Jenkins serves on the eMarketing Association's Board of Advisors among other civic and professional boards. He is also a mentor at Flashpoint, a Georgia Tech-based startup accelerator program. Jenkins is a graduate of Denison University in Granville, Ohio and resides in Atlanta's Buckhead neighborhood with his wife and three children.

Follow and connect with Simms on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, The BrightWave Blog, and his book websites at NewInboxBook.com and SimmsJenkins.com.

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