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Refocusing Email Marketers in 2012

Considerations for making email campaigns more effective

Email marketers spend a lot of time creating email marketing campaigns and informational email newsletters. They analyze past email campaign results, strategize on future campaigns, and conduct tests in hopes of finding the best email subject lines ever.

Some email trends for 2012 are fairly clear, and are dictated by direct changes in technology, while others stem from a focused emailing strategy. Below I have listed for email trends that may deserve more of your attention this year.

Create more exclusivity. The advent of social media gave users the right to choose how they receive content. This has persuaded some users to be more selective with the companies they receive email information from.

If you are noticing users dropping off your email list to follow you through social media, you need to provide value through your email campaigns. If users can get all the same information through social media as they do through email, where’s the value between each medium? Clearly the value of social media lies in its social nature; customers and content subscribers can interact with you directly through these channels. But from a business perspective, it’s typically more difficult selling products through social media.

Tips: Show the value of your email campaigns to users by offering them exclusive discounts on sales, or the more high-level content that you offer.

Segment targeting. According to BtoB Magazine and Bizo, who recently surveyed B2B marketing professionals, 59% of email marketers found the email effective. However, 63% reported not having their sales needs met by email campaigns (this includes those who were unsure or unable to measure their marketing data). Segmenting is a practical approach to better email performance.

Tips: There are multiple ways to segment your marketing list, depending on the time and resources you possess. To begin, your list can be broken into segments for buyers and non-buyers. Industry, location, job title, and user activity are other possible segments that would allow you to create more targeted email campaigns.

Reach out to buyers who have undeliverable email addresses. Once a buyer segment is created for your email list, you can pay close attention to these subscribers, who are owed more attention. They find your brand relevant enough to their lives that they spend money with you, so they are literally worth your time.

Tips: In this digital world, we all too often forget the human touch. If you notice emails to buyers becoming undeliverable, have your customer service representations reach out to these individuals directly by phone (if applicable), so they can attempt to receive a new email address from these key contacts. This personal attempt may be enough to secure a new email address because it shows a certain amount of dedication and appreciation.

If you do not possess phone numbers for these buyers, you can attempt direct messages through social media if that contact information is easier to find.

Plan a thematic email campaign. If you aren’t experiencing the best results from email campaigns focused on a single, one-off product, try developing an email campaign focused on a series. This approach allows the email marketer to leverage all aspects of the product or service.

Tips: Monitor the results so you can determine which type of communication is the most effective. Test this against other campaigns, designed in a similar method. If you are segmenting at this point, it could provide you with good benchmarking data.

Develop your mobile email strategy. According to a recent BlueHornet Report, 69.7% of mobile email users delete an email if it doesn’t look good on their mobile device. Another 18% will unsubscribe from the sender’s email file. Going forward you will need to ask yourself, “What types of email will be most effective on small screens of mobile devices”? Is it a single feature article? Is it a snippet-based email? Does a unique, attention-grabbing image work well as part of a minimalistic email marketing campaign?

Tips: Test the types of content you currently provide, and focus on what works the best with your audience.

Do you have any additional tips on how you are refocusing your email marketing efforts in 2012? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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