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?
Do you ever get the feeling that you’re being ignored? That despite your best efforts to ensure every email you write is a) highly relevant; b) succinct; and c) blurb-free, your message still gets overlooked?
As consumers, we live in a real-time world. We have the technology to access the information we need, when and where we want it, and the "when" is usually "now."
A new starter in Team SaleCycle recently asked me the following question… “Wouldn't they just come back anyway?”