If you'd ask me what are my main priorities for 2006, I will answer you: relevancy, segmentation and testing. Neither of them are easy to accomplish, especially if you have limited resources.
Focusing on relevancy means that you first need to segment your database and then target each segment with a message that is relevant for that audience. Easier said than done. So I decided to do it in phases. Phase 1 will be about analysing the database and coming up with a number of relevant segments. So far I have come up with 7 fairly large segments.
Because I have limited resources and being an email marketer in Belgium means that you have to do everything in two languages, I will continue to target these segments with the same message for at least one quarter. This will give me a good idea about how each segment responds to my email campaigns and it will allow me to further refine these segments based on the data.
Phase 2 will be about defining the different messaging strategies per segment. I will gather input through surveys, research into the past behavior of each segment and analysis of campaign data. The last phase of this project will then be to implement differentiated messaging for all segments based on the learnings of phase 2 and 3.
And then there is testing. I've compiled a list of all the things I'd like to test and it's a long list. So I had to cut it down to those things that really have an impact on my company's revenues. First and foremost, I will focus on subject line testing. Simply because that has the most direct impact on our business: if my readers don't open the email, they won't even see the call-to-action, let alone respond to it. So step 1 is to increase open rates. Step 2 will be the optimization of the content and the call-to-actions. I will try different kinds of content combinations and calls-to-action to determine what works best for my audiences.
I'd be interested to hear what your main priorities are and how you plan to achieve them!