Using shared incentives to improve email acquisition across the enterprise.
As email marketers, we are often siloed into the email channel, rarely interacting in a coordinated fashion with our colleagues in other channels. What's worse is that most organizations don't align channel-centric marketers to common corporate goals. For example, because email is the most cost-efficient marketing tool, you might think that all organizations are using common incentives and goals to increase the number of email subscribers, and/or the number of engaged email subscribers. But they're not.
New data from my company confirms that half of marketing organizations are working in a disjointed fashion that lacks common goals. The bigger issue, however, is on the individual level, as just 14 percent stated that the marketing department is rewarded with the same common personal incentives. It's important to have the same personal incentives across the marketing department to ensure that all individuals are rowing in the same direction. Creating a coordinated and connected corporate culture is imperative to realizing connected marketing and driving specific tasks such as email address acquisition forward. Let's look at some examples.
Collecting and reconfirming email addresses offline. Without shared common incentives, individuals will have competing personal rewards that are in conflict with increasing email address collection. For example, at my firm we often find that when speaking with call center managers or retail store operators that they don't ask for or reconfirm the email address because they're incentivized on the number of calls or register transactions per hour. Their incentives are based on labor efficiency, not marketing efficiency. Aligning the call center manager's personal incentive to also include asking for the email address will help to improve email acquisition. This can be accomplished through quality assurance inspection of calls, which most organizations already have in place.
Leveraging mobile for email acquisition. Aligning mobile advertising goals to email acquisition will also change marketer behavior and ensure email list growth. In a recent survey by my firm, just 12 percent of marketers stated they are using SMS as a means to capture email addresses. This tactic includes using a short code for consumers to text their email address to in order to opt in for email promotions and newsletters. Taking this a step further, some vendors including Pontiflex offer mobile advertisers a cost-per-lead solution that embeds email capture offers into mobile applications. Given the rise of individuals with smartphones and tablets, these approaches are necessary to continue to grow your email subscriber database.
Social acquisition. Using blogs and creating content in social communities can help to improve your organic search engine placement. However, all of those efforts are underutilized if the pages and places that you are driving the reader to don't ask for the email address. We often find that email registration is restricted to a brand's home page and can't be found on other pages across the website. It's important to include a link to your email registration and preference center on every page of your website, including blogs, the brand's Facebook page, and other social sites.
Embracing best practices. Finally, ensure in the email registration process that your firm is asking the proper questions, including capturing country. Dennis Dayman points out in his ClickZ column that country is an important thing to capture, particularly given the changing privacy laws in countries such as Canada.
Bottom line: provide the consumer with lots of places where she can opt in or share her email address with your firm. Make sure the organization is working together to accomplish this goal, sharing common personal incentives where they are rewarded for their contribution to the growth of the corporation's email list.
Until next time,
David is off today. This column was originally published June 6, 2011 on ClickZ.
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For more than 20 years, David has been an industry proponent. Direct Magazine said David is "one of the most influential experts in email marketing, if not the most influential." Co-author of "Email Marketing An Hour A Day," David has held senior level positions at Forrester and JupiterResearch, Apple, Anthropologie, MacWarehouse, Proteam, and retailers that dotted the early days of CompuServe. David advises many industry organizations including the OTA, DMA, eec, and has been a contributor to the Weekend Today Show on NBC. Learn more about connected marketing and download free research with registration here. Follow David on Twitter @emaildaniels and learn more at www.relevancygroup.com.
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