The best online publishing management team is comprised of subject matter experts, Internet marketers and information technology professionals who share the common objective of maximizing customer lifetime value.
How an online publishing management team learned that “system efficiency” is not always what it seems…
Sometimes, common sense simply doesn’t work.
In direct response marketing, what might seem totally rational, can be counter-intuitive. That’s because human behavior can be unpredictable.
And some efficiency objectives that seem perfectly rational must be subordinated to higher priorities.
Here’s what I mean.
I am currently monitoring key metric dashboards for more than 20 discreet Mequoda Publishing & Marketing Systems who are my clients. Each of these Systems is run by a capable publisher. Each online publishing management team is trying to be efficient.
But the goal of system efficiency is in the eye of the beholder. When the eye in question belongs to a well-meaning IT professional, the key metric they are managing is often not on the Mequoda System Key Metric Dashboard and its optimization often result in suboptimal decisions that compromise conversion rates and revenue per thousand that are the top Mequoda System Key Metrics.
If you are a Mequoda System Publisher, every person on your publishing team, including the IT professionals, must have an understanding of online direct response marketing.
The efficiency of the Mequoda System is judged on its ability to maximize customer lifetime value. Other efficiency goals are subordinate.
Customer lifetime value is the ultimate metric. Every Mequoda Publishing & Marketing System Best Practice is based on supporting, increasing and maximizing customer lifetime value.
Recently I observed a situation that illustrates why every member of your publishing team should be cross-trained on all of our best practices. Here’s what happened and the lessons we all learned.
A publisher’s new Mequoda Publishing & Marketing System is working well. It’s fast. It’s producing great results. Everyone is delighted.
Suddenly, the publisher hears through the grapevine that his email service provider is no longer going to require double opt-in.
Opportunity for greater efficiency? Or marketing disaster?
Our experience shows that of 100 people who sign up for your free email newsletter, about 75 percent will double opt-in. That’s very gratifying, of course, but it’s hard to walk away from those 25 percent that don’t double opt-in.
However, if you analyze them, you’ll discover that many are undeliverable names. In other instances, the user may have given you a secondary email address (e.g. Gmail or AOL or Yahoo) that in fact, may be valid.
The double opt-in process can very quickly help you identify which of these names is going to be genuinely valuable. But a portion of the 25 percent that don’t double opt-in will be undeliverable and useless.
Double opt-in is definitely a best practice.
Unfortunately, an IT professional, upon hearing that the publisher might embrace the single opt-in alternative, made a unilateral decision to turn off the double opt-in mechanism. He also turned off the confirmation email, and deleted the “thank you” opt-in instructions page.
Our research indicates that the email subscribers who double opt-in have a 17 percent greater lifetime value simply because they double opt-in.
It’s a fact. The act of getting them to open their email client to look for the confirming email and respond — before they can download your free report — causes those who double opt-in to be worth 17 percent more in customer lifetime value.
Additionally, by using the double opt-in process, you’ve managed to get many of them to white list you with their email provider — a very good outcome.
Now, the IT professional thought he was doing the right thing — making the IT process more efficient — by turning off the email confirmation process. After all, by doing so he could eliminate displaying one webpage and could send one less email.
But that also meant not confirming the new subscriber’s email address by which the publisher would contact the new subscriber 260 times over the next 12 months.
And so, while the IT professional’s objective was efficiency, he made a suboptimal decision that overlooked the publisher’s overarching goal, which is to maximize customer lifetime value.
In the rush for expediency and efficiency of server and email resources, the IT professional devalued the long-term relationship with the customer by 17 percent.
The Mequoda Publishing & Marketing System is not solely an IT system. It’s an interactive communication system that governs a relationship with an email subscriber and website user over a period of years.
In other words, the goal is to build your email subscriber list, so that you can maintain a constant relationship with your readers through email on a daily basis.
But the Mequoda System has many component parts, all of which have an integral relationship with each other. You can’t tweak one part without affecting the other components.
So when we write Best Practices, we do it with an overview of how they will affect the entire System.
- Is the Mequoda System a marketing system? Yes.
- Is the Mequoda System a publishing system? Yes.
- Is the Mequoda System an IT system? Yes.
- Is the Mequoda System an email system? Yes.
The Mequoda Publishing & Marketing System is all of those, and more.
It’s a complex, all-encompassing set of business processes for managing and maintaining a digital relationship with your customers.
And primarily, more than any other one thing, it’s a customer lifetime value system.
Learn how to build your own Mequoda Publishing & Marketing System at the Mequoda Summit in Boston on October 7-9th.
The content of most how-to industry workshops is perishable. That’s because Internet marketing and publishing best practices continue to evolve and change.
Stay on the leading edge. You can depend on the Mequoda Summit Boston to provide current best practices…little-known secrets…practical strategies…leading edge tactics…and proof.