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Your Email Marketing Program on Autopilot – 5 Easy Steps

  |  May 2, 2012   |  Comments   |  

Consider these steps to deploy and manage your email campaigns.

My last column, "Internal Marketing: Are We Forgetting Something," touched on the topic of internal marketing.

As promised I'll write about automation and conversions this time, while providing five easy steps, that if deployed, will make your lives (if you are managing email campaigns) easier.

Producing a campaign takes time and effort. It can be tedious work and typically includes: 1. Concept development 2. Collection of details from different departments like prices of products, schedule of events, announcements, and other news 3. Content development (copywriting) 4. Production of visuals 5. Coding it in HTML 6. Confirming drafts with different stakeholders 7. Revising content 8. Checking again with stakeholders 9. Translating content into different languages (hey, it is APAC after all!) 10. And if you are lucky, by this time you'll get to send out the campaign (In many organizations steps 6 to 8 will be repeated for 2 to 3 times minimum).

That's about the typical process of producing a campaign; some companies using different software for communication, others doing it manually, but this is not the point. The point is, is there a better way for technology to help us do it more efficiently?

Yes, there is.

In a nutshell, here is my recommended approach to automation in 5 (easy) steps:

1. Analyze I am sure one of my buddies from the analytics industry in HK will be happy with this part. You have got to know the numbers. There are no shortcuts here – you must collect data and translate it into workable information. - If you do not use metrics, ensure you do. - Your metrics can be: open rates, click rates, or even better, conversions, visitors, new subscribers, purchases, or any other objective. - Now that you have metrics to measure performance, look at the numbers. Did you hit your numbers, were you far off, or on target?

2. Identify Your Customers' Stages Your customers are in different stages of development. Some are new customers, some converted and some are not. Some are loyal customers, etc. At this stage we need to look at identifying the cycles, segmenting them comes later.

Some examples of stages:

Prospects -> first time customers -> established customers -> lapsed customer

Now, we'll match the communication respectively: acquisition->conversion-> growth -> retention and deactivation respectively.

For each stage, you'll need to think of how to drive your customers to the next stage. Provide incentives, for instance, for customers to sign up (acquisition), provide various offers to get them into working customers (conversion), etc.

3. Segment Your Customers  Most of the hard work is now behind us. We've sweat hard looking into details and thinking about the customers' stages. Now that we have this information we can simply segment the subscribers into different groups.

For the advanced among you, you can use and apply an RFM model - if you're not there yet, make sure you try to include behavioral data as well as CRM data in your segments.

4. Implement the Program Time for rock n' roll. Let's set up the programs. To automate your processes, you'll want to use a combination of transactional messages, triggered messages, and reoccurring messages. - For example, let's look at the sign up strategy and come up with incentives to get users to sign up - make sure your form is linked directly to the email database. Registration should be easy and simple. - From there, run an auto welcome message that includes cross/up sell opportunities, and/or a short video or text introducing your services.

And the list goes on, according to the stages identified.

Naturally you'll need to create special HTML and text for each automated message.

5. Reap Your Benefits Now that you're done, pat yourself on the shoulder, wear a big smile on your face, and head to your boss's office to tell him about your greatness and to make sure he remembers it when your bonus is being decided!

You've managed to save time, increased relevancy of content and time for your customers, and you're guaranteed to increase revenues by this - aka higher ROI.

Don't forget to go back to the analytics stage and to tweak your autopilot programs according to the results.

That's all for now. Stay tuned for my next column.

Ohad

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ohad  Hecht

Based in Hong Kong with a diverse marketing and management experience in Asia, Ohad has managed a number of accomplishments in his fledging career. Highlights include creating the patent registered luxury brand Swana. He speaks four languages and is well versed in the interwining his Western management philosophies into the Asian business model. His experience is complemented with establishing core digital strategies with expertise in e-commerce and email marketing. A regular speaker in the industry events. Armed with a B.A. and M.B.A., he now heads the Asian-Pacific operations of emarsys LTD .

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