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23 entries from May 2005

Email Marketing Strategy: Some Guidelines On How To Get Started

Here are some important considerations when designing your Email Marketing Strategy:

1. Know Your Customer. Different characteristics of your service or product can appeal to different customer segments. When designing an email strategy the first step is to find out what appeals to which audience so you can differentiate your message accordingly.

2. Single-View Email List. Are all customer email addresses and relevant data from all sources channeled into a single email database? A single-view customer database has obvious benefits:

  • Allows you to establish a single and easy to manage opt-in email list.
  • Allows you to address all of your customer segments.
  • Perform ongoing and frequent updates to the email database.
  • Use an appending service to obtain the email addresses of customers for whom you only have a physical address.
  • Identify your most valuable customers with best lifetime value perspective (80:20 principle).
  • Launch email campaigns addressing different customer segments by adjusting a "master template".

Continue reading "Email Marketing Strategy: Some Guidelines On How To Get Started" »

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Integrating Email Into Your CRM Suite: 5 Guidelines

Not all email marketing solutions are built to integrate with CRM products, so there are requirements to consider before making your choice. In an article called "Enhance Your CRM Strategy With Targeted Email Marketing" Tricia Robinson, CMO for Socketware Inc., offers 5 guidelines to abide by when choosing to integrate email into your CRM suite:

Ensure your provider can create dynamic message content
Email marketing isn't just about creating pretty templates and graphics and pushing "send." Your message content should be dynamic and easy to navigate. Your email service provider must have features such as multilevel personalization, viral marketing, conditional content, and subscribe/unsubscribe management. You can have an even bigger advantage if your provider can deliver international language email and personalized or conditional subject lines.

Continue reading "Integrating Email Into Your CRM Suite: 5 Guidelines" »

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Choosing The Right Email Service Provider For Your Campaigns

In this week's issue of MediaPost's Email Insider, David Baker (vice president of e-mail marketing and analytical solutions at Agency.com) speaks about selecting email vendors and offers a few insights on how to protect your company:

  • Negotiate termination clauses. If service levels and escalation procedures are not managed at an acceptable level, you should be allowed to break the contract or refuse payment.
  • Negotiate a loaded CPM. Have your e-mail service provider combine all license fees, monthly service fees, training fees, set-up fees, and delivery fees into one loaded CPM based on your acceptable minimum volume.
  • Always select two providers. Never commit to one. You may not have the budget to do this, but it is a good idea to keep a back-up provider in case you need to make a change.
  • Get a detailed description of what your providers' services include. For example, see if they include account management, professional services, or deliverability services.
  • Confirm there are NO additional, hidden fees. You'll want to watch for fees like deliverability monitoring services per campaign or additional fees for surveying capabilities.
  • Use a local service provider if your program mandates a higher level of service. Nothing compares to the value of face-to-face interaction.
  • Look for value-added elements. Your provider could offer educational opportunities or knowledge sharing; or they might be active in publishing industry best practices.
  • Find a provider that is flexible. If you are a $1 million account, you will get all the dedicated service you need. But if your annual budget ranges between $20,000 and $30,000, you want to find a company that will still provide quality service that meets your expectations.
  • Be careful who you have running your RFP/RFI process. Make sure you have someone with real, inside knowledge of the e-mail service provider industry evaluate your short-list to guarantee you'll get the service you need. You may need to hire someone to do this, but it's worth it.
  • Always create a back-up of your data, campaign reporting, and any segmentation or data setups.
  • Do not commit to more than 12 months with your provider. (Unless you have stock in that company.)
  • Hold quarterly reviews of your e-mail service providers. This will ensure that you are getting the most from them.
  • Build 20 percent of your e-mail budget into an emergency fund. If you find that you need to make a change in providers, there will be costs, and having 20 of your budget set aside will help. If you haven't changed providers at the end of the year, you'll have this budget to do cool, creative things with your e-mail campaigns.
Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!