Here are a few signs that can indicate whether your email program is contributing to a smooth or a bumpy ride for your customers.
I recently spoke at ExactTarget's multi-city Future of Marketing Tour, where the theme that tied everything together was the customer journey. My section covered email marketing trends in today's inbox, as well as what the future of the inbox holds for marketers. This seemed very fitting, as email is an essential tool for helping to start the customer journey and drive desired activity during every stage.
Perhaps even more important than whether or not you're measuring that activity as opens, clicks, or conversions is whether you're optimizing your email program to successfully nurture customers and prospects as they experience their journeys. Regardless of journey stage, persona, segment, or activity, a successful email program can enhance the customer journey. Likewise, a poor program means missed opportunities for increasing engagement, building relationships and brand affinity, or worse - creating detours that delay the customer from taking the next step in their journey or roadblocks that lead to abandonment of the journey all together.
How would you describe the journeys you are creating for your customers? Are they skipping along the Yellow Brick Road or battling Orcs on the road to Mordor? Are your customers on the path to enlightenment or are they experiencing the walk of shame? Is your journey like a game of Candyland or Chutes and Ladders? Now, think about your email program: does your strategy enhance the customer journey or detract from it? Here are a few signs that indicate whether your email program is contributing to a smooth or bumpy ride:
When I think of how email supports the customer journey, the travel app TripIt comes to mind. With TripIt, you can have all of your travel information, reservations, booking updates, and itineraries consolidated in one place. That's how the inbox functions for your customers and prospects as they experience the journeys you create for them. Your email program can either move them forward or set them back. The choice (and their destination) is yours to make.
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As vice president of professional services at email intelligence company Return Path, Margaret Farmakis oversees teams of specialists helping global brands improve the deliverability, response, revenue, and ROI of their email marketing programs. Prior to her six years at Return Path, Margaret spent 10 years producing and managing multi-channel integrated direct marketing programs for Fortune 100 companies, focusing on the financial services and technology sectors.
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