Use Cases & Email Marketing

February 5, 2009
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In the early nineties I wrote business requirements for complex computer systems, part of process was to plot use cases. The idea was very simple, write requirements and break them down into simpler modules, consider all dependencies and you’ll ultimately find it much easier to solve problems. A use case was part of this; it identified all the users of the system (an actor.) The actor would perform multiple roles (or acts) on a system… each act was a use case. For example, how people interacted with the system (novice, advanced etc.) By merging and analyzing all roles you could systematically tackle complex problems through simplification… 


In the early nineties I wrote business requirements for complex computer systems, part of process was to plot use cases. The idea was very simple, write requirements and break them down into simpler modules, consider all dependencies and you’ll ultimately find it much easier to solve problems. A use case was part of this; it identified all the users of the system (an actor.) The actor would perform multiple roles (or acts) on a system… each act was a use case. For example, how people interacted with the system (novice, advanced etc.) By merging and analyzing all roles you could systematically tackle complex problems through simplification.

Email is no longer the simple act of collecting addresses and sending offers, it has evolved to include other channels and in an ideal environment, serves as a vehicle for conversations between recipients and the company (AKA you.) Determine your effectiveness by considering all the possible types of people who sign up for your email campaigns. Consider the various parts of your organization that interest that person/ type of person – by coupling each type with various acts you’ll be able to predict how each series of interactions will play out.

Consider the possible communication streams for each of your emails – draw on your strengths as a marketer – over time you’ll be able to identifying each interaction type and engage the recipient in a dialogue leveraging your interactions to drive them down previously designated paths. The recipient will feel as if each message was designed for them – the bonding, transactional, and even subsequent emails based on their click-through – but in all actuality it’s based on the type of subscriber they are.

Remember, we’ve deemed 2009 as The Year of Engagement, employing use cases is a powerful way to help you with the process.
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