5 Ways to Achieve Email Awesomeness in 2015

“A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.” – George S. Patton

It’s already a week into 2015 and your annual strategic email marketing road map and campaign calendar looks shiny on your desk and maybe even your boss’s desk. Reality foreshadows that great plans can get sidelined easily – especially at a CMO’s whim, sagging stock price, or competitor’s marketing efforts. So make it happen now, execute it “violently,” and proceed onward. Here are five areas you must focus on in 2015.

Acquire Aggressively

Scale means a lot in most business circles and the dollars on the table for many email programs are weighty. Why they don’t get taken off the table by brands is often tied to feeble email subscriber acquisition plans. It’s part political paralysis and part email marketers historical struggle to think big and seize bigger opportunities, but regardless, to get bigger and drive more revenue, you must grow your email database and retailers and e-commerce players have been the best of the lot in recent times. Whether leveraging pop-up boxes, forcing email sign-up before shopping, or displaying retargeting ads driving potential customers to a landing page where the key ask is an email address – go big and start today.

Onboard Like a Champ

New subscribers are often the closest things to customers in waiting for your business. Then why do many brands treat them the same as an unengaged and emotionally unsubscribed subscriber who hasn’t read an email in 12 months? Plot out a lifecycle that puts them in the VIP lane for the first 30 days or so upon their subscription – this is likely going to be their most engaged period in their customer lifetime.

Mobile-First Creative for All Campaigns

Movable Ink said in November 2014 that 48 percent of all email opens were on mobile devices. Yes, some types of customers and businesses convert better on desktop than mobile, but the digital world we live in has changed and mobile is the new reality. Don’t just design and code for mobile, but develop content that is mobile-first (see “5 Reasons Why Content Marketing Should Elevate Your Email Program“). That means different approaches on pre-header text, calls to action, and of course subject lines. And don’t forge to update all of your transactional emails for mobile, especially since so many people will be reading these triggered emails on the fly.

Smarter Segmentation

Forget the promise of big data and think of small and actionable ways to leverage any and all data – whether self reported or behavioral.

According to the DMA’s National Client Email Survey 2014, a 760 percent increase in email revenue came from segmented emails in 2013, up from 55 percent in 2012. So whatever that means, marketers are making more money as the messaging world moves away from spray and pray. So many email programs are dynamic but not in the leveraging dynamic content way. Think social CRM and sign in, preference center data, reengagement, and remarketing (cheat sheet here: “Dos and Don’ts of Email Remarketing“) to get you going and see the beauty of small sends and big sales.

Tariq Shaukat, chief commercial officer of Caesars Entertainment, told Fortune Magazine in response to the old chestnut about what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas: “Yeah, but it goes into my database.” He may be right, but remember it is how you use the database not just the size.

Tell the Story With Swagger

Email marketers have a chip on their shoulder and rightly so. But we need to recognize CMOs are the new stars of the C-Suite and email marketers should be spoon-feeding them key business data and showcasing their influence and impact. Regardless of your role and company’s organizational structure, get CMO buy-in and there should be plenty of that in 2015.

Do as General Patton said today and watch the momentum build. What is on your 2015 plan not mentioned here?

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