10 Ways to Enhance Your Email Program

April 23, 2010
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I – Welcome Emails: You have to send the first message right away. You have to follow up with two to three more messages in an attempt to build up rapport and create a dialogue with your consumer. If you are not doing this – you’re missing a perfect opportunity to set the stage for future campaigns, reinforce the recipient’s expectations of your brand or even convert them to a customer right out of the gate.

II – Private Email Club: If you compare recipients across campaigns, you’ll likely see that there are a handful that consistently open and click. Acknowledge them; let them know they are in your First Responders Club. Give your first responders the perks of receiving offers a couple hours before the remainder of your list; or offers unique to them. This First Responders Club could evolve further, maybe even a Private Email Club – something that could include a paid membership for personalized emails with offers sent before the remainder of the list. Your cost could be based on the shipping fees your repeat customer made in the past year (play with it based on the customer.)

III – Bring out your Dead: Take the Dead (people who don’t open, click, or order


I – Welcome Emails: You have to send the first message right away. You have to follow up with two to three more messages in an attempt to build up rapport and create a dialogue with your consumer. If you are not doing this – you’re missing a perfect opportunity to set the stage for future campaigns, reinforce the recipient’s expectations of your brand or even convert them to a customer right out of the gate.

II – Private Email Club: If you compare recipients across campaigns, you’ll likely see that there are a handful that consistently open and click. Acknowledge them; let them know they are in your First Responders Club. Give your first responders the perks of receiving offers a couple hours before the remainder of your list; or offers unique to them. This First Responders Club could evolve further, maybe even a Private Email Club – something that could include a paid membership for personalized emails with offers sent before the remainder of the list. Your cost could be based on the shipping fees your repeat customer made in the past year (play with it based on the customer.)

III – Bring out your Dead: Take the Dead (people who don’t open, click, or order from your emails) out of your list. Don’t send them every mail you send on a weekly basis, but reduce your sending to them to a bi-monthly or monthly basis. You may be surprised to find that a reduction in frequency could actual spurn a resurrection.

IV – Test, Test, Test: Take the time to test out subject lines, different highlighted products, and content. Just because you think it’s a great subject line, doesn’t mean your customers will. Try testing out these things to no more than 10% of your list, trying maybe three different variables. Then send the most successful performing content/segment to the rest of your list. This takes some planning, but it’s worth it.

V – Segment for Success: Move away from the idea of “blasting” your customers with email, but instead focus on segmenting them and sending them email content that is relevant and interesting to them. This can help to boost your open rates and orders.

VI – Train your people: The best investment you can make in your email program is to train your touch points in the collection process. Start with the people who talk to customers and prospects, ask them to list three to five reasons why people ought to sign up for your email program. Put this list together and make everyone aware of it. Listen to what is being said to prospects on the phone and (if you can) ask the customer/ prospect what they thought about the solicitation for email. Your team needs to understand why you need email, you need to continue to give them updates, listen to their concerns and make it consistent across channels.

VII – Keep Asking: You never know enough! Create various conversation zones with your customers. Start with the sign up process; ask them for more than their email id. Insert a link in every email, soliciting feedback from your subscribers about your company, your service and give them a comment field. Make sure you act upon this feedback because you want to make sure that the customers aren’t ignored. Plan a quarterly email asking them about the style of your communiqués – ask them for direct feedback on ways you can improve your email program. In fact, why not ask them what they would like to see in print. In addition to asking, leverage their actual behavior; compare it with what they said they wanted and use this click data to further improve your email program.

VIII – Speed & Service: Email is fast and people love great service. As a customer service representative many years ago, I enjoyed anticipating events and freaking people out by showing up with what they needed almost immediately. Email allows you to get into the inbox almost immediately, use it to make sure you are providing a service. Take every single customer service communiqué within your organization and see how you can improve it through your email program.

IX – Tie in Social Media: User Generated Content is huge; it gives you the third party endorsement your product/ service needs. See how you can take this feedback and incorporate it into a Web2.0 medium – a community, a blog, videos etc. If nothing else figure out a way to make a presence on the various channels – put your TV commercials on YouTube, post your emails on a blog with a little comment about the campaign.

X – Don’t forget Mobile: Capture the consumers mobile number and use it to give them things that you promised. Mobile on a smarter phone is more personal, can be accessed anywhere, & is immediate. You should look for ways to leverage it into your dialogue.

The future of email marketing lies in a marketer’s ability to create an interactive conversation with their clients and prospects. Leverage your knowledge about the customer, make your people part of your process and excel at service – it is as simple as that!

Join our call next Friday April 30th – ‘What can Mobile do for the Marketer?’ Call details are on the Service in Action site.

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