Midyear Checkup for Your E-Mail Marketing Efforts

It’s the middle of the year and time for a review. Are you making the most of your e-mail efforts? If not, you still have time to mend your ways before budgets and bonuses come around (OK, maybe no bonuses this year).

According to IDC, 1.4 billion people used the Internet in 2008. This number is expected to increase to 1.9 billion, or 30 percent of the world’s population, by 2012. The most popular online activities cited were:

  • Searching the Web

  • Finding information for personal use
  • Using Internet e-mail
  • Accessing news and sports information
  • Accessing financial or credit information

With over 1 billion people using e-mail as a regular communication vehicle (many checking e-mail more than five times a day), your business can’t afford to do without a strong e-mail plan. You can’t afford to roll out a lackluster campaign. Remember to test your way to constant improvement and the stepped-up ROI (define) e-mail can deliver for you.

The inbox is the backbone of the Internet. It’s the tightest link ever forged between buyer and seller. Whether it’s to influence others, drive purchases, extend relationships, or drive consideration, e-mail works. To get the most from your e-mail campaign, make sure you:

  • Know what you are dealing with. Who is in your database and why? Are they buyers? Influencers? Do you speak to them in a way that maximizes their support of your efforts? Are you addressing their needs?

  • Define e-mail’s role for every step of the funnel. Even if you don’t deploy e-mail at each level of the conversion funnel, knowing the role that e-mail can play is key to successfully defining your larger strategy. As a reminder, the levels of the conversion funnel are: awareness, consideration, purchase, usage, and cross-sell/influence.
  • Segment your e-mail list to maximize situational effectiveness. Segmenting your e-mail list these days means much more than running queries by response or demographics. It means segmenting by channel effectiveness as well. If you aren’t including Facebook and Twitter info in your e-mail, you’re missing out on a segment that will impact the bottom line.
  • Bring it home with creative that creates impact. To do so, always put new content in context before the user hits “delete,” and define the e-mail’s benefits to the reader’s long-term goals. Be sure you leverage attention nodes, and use the power of three to succeed (you have three seconds to gain success).

Once you’ve completed your review, create a list of midyear goals to help you stay on track. For any additional insights or suggestions on how to improve your results, you can always browse “E-mail Marketing: An Hour a Day,” which I wrote with David Daniels. (Click on “inside,” scroll through the book, and zoom on any three pages for free.)

Good luck and happy planning.

Join us for a one-day Online Marketing Summit in a city near you from May 5, 2009, to July 1, 2009. Choose from one of 16 events designed to help interactive marketers do their jobs more effectively. All sessions are new this year and cover such topics as social media, e-mail marketing, search, and integrated marketing.

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