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What do you do if you have a large volume of your customer database which has no email address alongside it, or has an email address that is no longer valid?
You obviously want to find up to date email addresses for these customers and the most popular (cheap) way of doing this, is to use an email append service.
This seemingly innocent process has taken a bit of flack recently, first being soundly thrashed by the Messaging Anti Abuse Working Group (MAAWG for short) and then very publically pilloried by Experian Cheetahmail.
So what has caused this to happen? And what should you consider before embarking on an email append project?
What is the key to relevance in email? Simple… it is knowing what the customer is interested in.
Whilst not wishing to be too prosaic, email marketing is the pursuit of relevance. Relevant emails get read and make money; irrelevant emails go into junk or worse still get unsubscribed (leading to a subsequent loss of lifetime value).
The art of good email is knowing what someone is interested in, and that applying this to all future email communications.
Econsultancy’s Email Marketing Industry Census, sponsored by Adestra, has for the past five years been assessing how companies and agencies are adapting to meet the challenges and opportunities present in the email marketing channel.
With email being rated very highly as a channel for return on investment (second only to SEO), but the effectiveness of ‘batch and blast’ techniques decreasing, it is important that marketers stay ahead of the game to maintain its effectiveness.
There are some very simple techniques that digital marketers can use to check how accessible their communications are to people with disabilities, so I was rather surprised to receive this email from Amazon:
The results of our sixth annual Email Marketing Industry Census 2012, published today in association with Adestra, has shown that companies consider the ROI from email marketing to be higher than for most other digital channels including social media marketing.
In fact, in terms of the company respondents who said that email marketing was “excellent” or “good” for return on investment, email was higher than any other channel except SEO.
This year's study has also found that companies adopting best practice and using ESP platform functionality (beyond basic 'batch and blast'), are significantly more likely to see a strong financial return from their email campaigns.
Being an email marketer, it’s funny how often you bump into something that makes you think of work! A little while ago after visiting the doctor, I received an email about ordering repeat prescriptions.
So far, so good you’d think. Some good targeting going on there.
But when I gave it a read, what struck me were all the missed opportunities. For example, the email ‘from address’ was totally unrecognisable, and there was litte in the way of clever personalisation that you often see in the private sector.
What’s more, it’s the only email (indeed, the only communication of all types) I’ve had from them in the last 18 months or so. It was an interesting message to kick off our e-relationship.
Why be a stranger?
It's an exciting time for the email marketing industry, and no matter what Mark Zuckerberg says, the end is certainly not nigh, according to new research published this week from Econsultancy.
According to Econsultancy's 2012 Email Marketing Platforms Buyer's Guide, the UK email marketing industry grew by an estimated 15.5% last year to a value of £388 million by the end of 2011.
The research highlights that the rise of cross-channel marketing is helping to fuel growth in the email marketing industry. Rather than operating in its own silo, email is now seen as an essential component of a wider campaign. Thanks to the rise of mobile, email is now everywhere, accessible anywhere, at any time and at any location.
How marketers measure email is changing and will continue to change.
Where we used to look at open and click rates, today we are putting in place plans to measure email lifetime value. So what is going on?
I was reviewing results from a split creative test on a basket abandonment email recently (names removed to protect the successful) and it struck me how the methodology for measuring email results can, quite erroneously, determine how we use email marketing and develop marketing strategies.
So I thought I would combine the results here with my recommendations on how to measure email marketing.
It is frankly maddening when I hear marketers talk about how ‘valuable’ email is because it is ‘cheap’.
It says to me this marketer is likely to be banging out high frequency emails to produce orders without due consideration to the real value of email marketing in CRM terms.
RedEye’s latest Behavioural Email Benchmark Report shows that the number of online retailers employing a basket abandonment strategy has doubled from 7% to 14%.
So, I’ve asked the key guys at RedEye for their ideas about how to improve a basket abandonment email campaign. I got the fun of ranking them.
And in the style of Tony Blackburn, I’m counting down starting at number 10!
It’s a commonly believed myth in email marketing that the more email addresses a sender has on their database, the higher their chance of success.
In fact, this is an inaccurate and detrimental approach and many email marketers don’t consider the consequences of contacting people who aren’t interested in their brand or, worse still, don’t exist.
I've seen a lot of advice recently suggesting that 'recency is the key', and all basket abandonment emails should be sent immediately.
I find it quite depressing. Individuals giving this advice assume that all customers are the same. Segmentation, customer analysis, research and even good old fashioned ‘thought’ is ignored for the sake of a headline.
In translation, these vendors are screaming ‘Spam the lot of them immediately!!’