The last months of 2013 are a great time to plan for the year ahead, but you can tackle low hanging fruit today to maximize your return over the holiday season.
While many digital marketers are focused on 2014 planning and budgeting, others are locked in on maximizing the last two months of 2013.
The end of the year is a great time to make some headway on high impact, yet low hanging fruit that could send your email program in the right direction as we turn the corner into the new year.
Here are 5 strategies and tactics to consider:
1. A Thank You Email
...with a survey for your valued subscribers. They are valued as more than a list, right?
I am a proponent of the idea that email programs should be treated like VIP programs and you should thank your best and most interested customers and prospects. A simple and meaningful thank you email with a special offer or note from the CEO can generate further loyalty. When combined with a survey, it allows you to gather crucial data about what your subscribers actually want instead of assuming what they need. A simple five to ten question survey can provide the framework for how to optimize your messaging and planning for 2014.
2. Get Aggressive in Capturing More Site Visitors
A pop-up box can be added, for example, to display for first time visitors (or every tenth site visit) to cleanly capture email opt ins. Don't try to capture multiple fields right away, as it could diminish the number of new subscribers you will get. You can always ask for that data later.
3. Update Your Creative for Transactional Emails.
Everything from your welcome email to your purchase confirmation email can become a bit stale. For those of you who had your IT create these, I would certainly recommend auditing them down to subject lines, pre-headers and cross-promotions, to keep them fresh and user friendly. These emails are often overlooked, yet they usually have a higher response rate and can set the tone not just for your email program, but also for your brand.
4. Create a 5-10 Slide Year in Review
This should outline the successes, opportunities and challenges of your email programs. Do this even if your boss doesn't ask for it. Any email marketer knows getting additional resources (internal or external partners) can be a challenge and selling it in the right way is of paramount importance. Remember, your success metrics are better told when they tie into the business goals as opposed to opens and clicks.
5. Outline a Plan to Build Consensus
...and integrate with other internal groups and your email partners. By redefining (or defining for the first time if need be), you will align key stakeholders and show email as a proactive and crucial communication channel and help move email only as a deployment channel when sales are slow or someone needs to "blast" to the list. Make email the strategic channel it deserves by creating a more team-oriented approach and tearing down the silos that can leave email isolated.
Email is the digital hub and 2013 cemented its place in this dynamic ecosystem. Take some time to reflect and plan accordingly and your 2014 will be in a much better place to succeed.
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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.
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