Enlisting a 10-Point Strategy to Optimize Your Email Program, Part II

Last time, we examined testing approaches, determining the value of an email address, and more. This column looks at five additional essential email marketing strategies to optimize your program. This is the final part of a two-part series.

6. Develop/tailor landing pages. Driving subscribers back to the primary website is generally the preferred tactic of most marketers. However, some programs – including welcome and reactivation campaigns – could require development of specific landing pages. If your organization tailors a site experience by subscriber segment or persona, you may need to customize landing pages to reinforce that email content. You may need to have a few static landing pages added to your website. These will cover campaigns such as welcoming new subscribers and reactivating dormant ones.

7. Optimize content. Managing content and creative often represents the largest part of the production process. Consider how your messages render in a variety of email clients, including those found on mobile devices. Tools make this undertaking easier. But the messaging in that content – and how it renders – is critical to succeeding with the brand-oriented aspects of your email program.

8. Develop seed lists. Determine individuals within your company for placement on seed and proof lists. This ensures that you and your colleagues will get test versions of the mailing for proofing as well as the actual email mailing when it is sent. Additionally develop seed lists that incorporate a wide variety of Internet service providers to measure delivery and message placement (e.g., bulk folder) across a large number of domains. Vendors including Return Path and Lyris offer seeding solutions to monitor delivery.

9. Determine use of multi-channel marketing in early stages of the planning process. Although coordinating and integrating email campaigns and data with marketing in other channels could be a long-term goal, try to determine the use of multi-channel marketing as early as possible in the planning process. For example, the manner in which email marketing data are stored and organized could have particular bearing on the amount of work required to implement integrated multi-channel marketing. Accordingly, marketers might want to use something other than an email address as a unique record identifier. This generic, but unique, customer identification will provide householding and other data management benefits if data from other channels and applications are integrated with email marketing data. You should plan that your email marketing efforts will become a central and integrated part of your overall corporate marketing. Mapping out the data that you want to collect and how it will be organized are vital to ensure success and efficiency down the road.

10. Map out continuity campaigns for leverage. An ancillary benefit of using sequenced strings of messages is that much of the work involved in creating individual messages within campaigns can be leveraged and reused. Coupling this approach with behavioral segmentation strategy will allow you to craft mailings triggered by behaviors and/or events, thus reusing messages designed for other subscribers. This approach is typically used in welcome campaigns for new subscribers, which can consist of three or four stock messages that apply to all new subscribers. This approach is also applied to some of the transactional and service opportunities that we discussed in the last chapter. With the exception of welcome campaigns for most email marketers, triggered continuity campaigns are something to aspire to and not necessarily required on a day one launch. Understanding its role will help you when selecting a vendor.

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