According to JupiterResearch, a mere 38% of companies have a single department handling email communication - while a whopping 24% have six or more.
In this article, Loren McDonald explains how and why you should centralize your email marketing efforts:
Why should you centralize your email marketing efforts?
Establishing a core team of email-marketing gurus to service various business units helps you avoid the inevitable erosion of quality that comes from silo email marketing.
You solve today's issues, such as deliverability and rendering, with a team of experts who champion best practices. You also prepare for tomorrow - a dynamic-content future characterized by personalized subject lines, offers, articles, and products.
Your future success depends on having in-house know-it-alls with deep email-marketing expertise!
What is centralization all about?
Centralization is about putting a core team of email-marketing experts in place to handle the complicated and mundane tasks most marketers aren't equipped to handle.
There are two approaches: you can either create a completely centralized group that acts as an internal agency and handles every aspect of every group's email marketing program or you can task a central team with email oversight (business units still produce their own emails, but the centralized function offers advice and oversees execution).
No matter which path you take, you need dedicated gurus who live and breathe email, understand the challenges, apply best practices, and focus strategically on how to use email to drive business results.
So what are the tasks that you should centralize?
The goal of centralization is to free marketers to focus on campaign strategy: better messaging, segmentation approaches, stronger offers, the most effective use of the email channel.
The centralized team should take on those tasks that require email-specific expertise:
- Sharing of best practices, with the centralized team cross-training internal staff, from brand managers to designers to writers to Web site programmers.
- Overseeing permission and privacy policies that ensure compliance with CAN-SPAM, as well as all applicable international, federal, and state regulations.
- Controlling quality—and therefore brand perception—by enforcing email design, messaging, and programming best practices. All business units use complementary templates, along with From and Subject lines that make sense. The central team catches brand-damaging mistakes, such as broken images, expired offers, and incorrect links.
- Production, with a dedicated team refining the process of execution and so achieving greater efficiency to accommodate tight or unexpected deadlines.
- Data management that encompasses the inputs (list rental, email addresses, and demographics) as well as the outputs (reporting and metrics), because collecting the right data points up front is the only way to segment and personalize down the road.
- Reporting ROI and communicating the value of email marketing to management and across departments—in the language the boss understands.
- Conducting market research, such as customer-satisfaction surveys, that give all departments the customer feedback they need to better understand the user and accordingly improve offers.
- Managing vendors, agencies, and technology. As part of the centralization process, many companies discover to their chagrin that they are under contract to multiple email service providers, and are working with multiple agencies or freelancers with varying degrees of expertise.
Continue reading here and find out how other companies have benefited from centralizing their email marketing efforts.