With all of the buzz about Facebook getting into e-mail, kinda, and more, I thought it was time to get serious about next steps with e-mail. So I got together with long-time industry analyst, e-mail guru, great friend, and marketing expert David Daniels, to get his take on the latest trends and tactics that e-mail marketers should be doing. David is CEO of The Relevancy Group, a consulting and research firm focused on marketer education.
Jeanniey Mullen: Regardless of what changes in e-mail in the future, what is the most important thing that marketers aren’t doing that they should be?
David Daniels: I am amazed how many e-mail marketers haven’t determined the value of their e-mail subscriber. With that number, marketers can demonstrate to the rest of the organization how profitable subscribers are and use that number to win more budget for e-mail. For our readers who may not be aware, on the website for the book that you and I authored together “Email Marketing An Hour A Day,” readers can download a template spreadsheet to value your e-mail subscribers.
JM: There has been a lot of buzz this week about Facebook Messages and their entry into e-mail. How worried should e-mail marketers be about that?
DD: It is going to be increasingly disruptive to e-mail inbox behavior. Facebook Messages is the ultimate inbox, bringing together e-mail, text, chat and Facebook messages in one convergent place. Moreover, users can define who gets into their inbox, which will leverage Facebook’s current messaging privacy settings. We have a survey out now and I think we’ll end up seeing about 10 percent of consumers make the switch to a Facebook e-mail address. While that might not seem like a lot right now, understand that consumers will likely be spending more time in the Facebook Messages inbox and less in their traditional inbox, making it harder for e-mail marketers to get the subscriber’s attention.
JM: So what should marketers be doing now to prepare for the launch of Facebook Messages?
DD: Earlier this week in my ClickZ column, I laid out five connected marketing tactics to prepare for Facebook Messages. That is a good place to start. We’ve also set up a dedicated site, AllFBMessages.com, which is a resource for all things related to Facebook Messages. For now marketers really need to understand click-through behavior or their audience. Our surveys indicate that more than half of marketers don’t segment by click-through behavior. Look at click-through data as a segmentation attribute to define which subscribers may be churning off your list. My ClickZ column goes into more detail on why and how to do this.
JM: There has also been a lot of talk here at ClickZ and other places about connected marketing. Isn’t this just a new name for multi-channel marketing?
DD: Somewhat, but not really. Connected marketing is about bringing all of the marketing channels and disciplines together – search, social, e-mail, mobile, direct, etc. The subtle difference in the way that we define connected marketing is that it isn’t just bringing addressable customer data and channels together in a technical manner. It is how the company internally is connected across all of these channels and silos in a manner where marketing performance is measured holistically and the goals are the same. We provide detailed tactics and free research at our Connected Marketing site.
JM: Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me Double D. Is there one last thing that marketers should be doing that they are not?
DD: Test. And then test some more. Not enough marketers are doing testing on a regular basis and we are one of the few professions where the notion of trial and error for the sake of optimization is acceptable and required. Make testing a regular part of everything you do.
So there you have it – thoughts from the “old” expert in e-mail. How many of these five are you doing?
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As an email marketer, I would rather have 100 customers who open and engage with my messages than 10,000 who don't.