Remember the Email Marketing Insight post ‘How are your basic email marketing skills?‘. I posed that advanced email marketing was all about automation, and high-end about total integration. But looking back to that post I’m actually inclined to say that that total integration part already starts at advanced email marketing.
Here’s why. Imagine having a small email campaign running on your email marketing platform. It’s got some forms, some notification emails and such. The results and effectiveness of that campaign however often do not show up in your webshop platform or your CRM tool. There’s no connection, no integration between the systems: they are silos of data.
What if something goes wrong with the campaign? What if you get odd signups, notification emails are not sent or there’s no followup by your sales people? The only way to keep track of all that efficiently is by having one central point of reporting: a dashboard in your webshop or CRM platform. That way, everything from a simple email campaign as the above example all the way trough to customer lifecycle management campaigns (aka drip campaigns) can be monitored and managed.
If your email marketing results are still lagging after you’ve put in quite some effort, you might want to take a look at personas. For those who are not familiar with personas: they represent different user types based on psychological data. Lets take these four types of personas (the part in parentheses shows the way they behave).
The four personas
- Competitive (logical and fast)
- Spontaneous (emotional and fast)
- Humanistic (emotional and slow)
- Methodical (logical and slow)
By the way, these four types are not just limited to marketing. They are just anywhere and everywhere. Remember the Sex and the city series? All four main characters were based on one of the four types:
The email insight title about this article is about knowledge of all the bigger and smaller principles and factors involved in email marketing. It is said to be one of the best performing online marketing channels out there, but that doesn’t mean it’s simple. The vast amount of work to be done even before you can send out something simple as an email newsletter can be daunting at first. Email marketing vendors and service providers can help, but specific knowledge about your email marketing practices and goals should be in-house.
Imagine having the marketing department solely running the email marketing tasks. In most companies, the marketing department isn’t that big, so email marketing will be a task of one single person, sometimes assisted by another. In other cases it is divided depending on types of communications. However, the knowledge and experience while executing email campaigns is built over time. You cannot go from zero to top speed in a short amount of time like a supercar. Besides, the ride in a supercar most of the time doesn’t take long: either it’s a gas guzzler, the ride isn’t comfortable or you can’t hear yourself think.
Back in the days when I was running a pirate radio station, still in high school and talked mostly about games, hardware and anything-but-pop-music, youth and email were not someting working together a lot. It was about 1997 when I got my first email address at Hotmail (see a 1997 introduction video of Hotmail as webmail here) and I didn’t actually use it much: I was 18 back then. What was I using for online communications? Mostly forums and chatrooms, and for personal stuff ICQ and MSN. Email was for when my aunt in Australia wanted to send me something or for when I needed to setup a reminder for myself (no Google Calendar back then, the company didn’t exist yet). It wasn’t essential nor added enough value for me to use extensively back then.
The point I’m getting at is this: even with all the growth in email services these days (and what you can actually use those services for), not all age groups love it. The post at DM News pointing out the fact that current youth has an aversion to email but that they will grow to appreciate it at a later stage in life is simply more evidence towards the key point that the youth values other means of online communications besides email. Now this is not 1997 anymore: Facebook and Twitter have arrived, smartphones have arrived en masse with apps like Ping on BlackBerry and also WhatsApp on other platforms and therefor the use of chat and IM like ICQ / MSN has been declining with the youth, but the love for email is small or non-existent as well.
Where does this leave email marketing? How do you sell your products and services to people who are between the age of 12 to 23, for instance? Email should not be the only channel you’re doing your marketing with, so when the youth is your target find out where they hang out and what communications platforms they use. Advertise on there, get their (email) optin from there. Andrew Lipsman of comScore noted in the DM News article that there is a new range of options for marketers: I beg to differ and will just say that the options have always been there online, just with other platforms and channels. 14 years ago those platforms were forums, ICQ, MSN and some early bird social media sites (like Lycos, Orkut or here in the Netherlands CU2): these days it is the previously noted heavyweights Facebook, and Twitter but also BB Ping and WhatsApp. Catch them where they are: email will follow as a channel later on, don’t worry.
Scott Cohen has his own take on the youth and email called Email marketing quick take: teen adoption of email, worth a read.