6 Key Steps To Email Success In 2010

We recently conducted a survey of dotMailer email marketing clients to find out how their use of email marketing is changing.

Not entirely surprisingly, our research showed that companies are planning to send out more email marketing messages in 2010 than they did in 2009.

But with increased volume, how will email marketers set their campaigns apart?

Here are 6 key areas that email marketers should focus on this year, for email marketing success in 2010:

1. More focus on relevancy

In 2009, the fact that relevant emails get results really seems to have hit home with most marketers.

From speaking with email marketers at recent events, I can see many are still unsure how to best focus their emails on relevancy and take advantage of the (often very powerful) software available to help them. There’s no rocket science here, but we need a commitment from the industry to focus on best practices this year.

Our system reporting tools show us that there has been a significant increase in usage of our advanced Enterprise features (such as external dynamic content,  segmentation queries, behavioural queries and graphical queries).

Our customers are using these tools to ‘narrow cast’ and target their customer bases much more intelligently and effectively.

2. ROI not click-throughs

As the recession crashed into our working lives in 2009, the focus suddenly turned to making money and, from a marketer’s viewpoint, to ROI.

For email marketing the click-through metric may became almost obsolete with boards only wanting to hear about the outcome metrics (See Skips article in the EMC’s info box: http://2008.dma.org.uk/_attachments/resources/5776_S4.html)

It’s a wise move as we should all be more accountable for how our efforts are meeting business goals. In 2010, with budgets still under strain, proving ROI will continue to be a key focus area for marketers.

However, we must also educate those board level execs and convince them that email marketing value is not only delivered through sales figures.

We hope that more email marketers will consider conversions, data and information collected in their ROI calculations.

We’ll be working on some tools this year that will help those in marketing translate the marketing metrics into C-level figures.

3. Relevant, personalised content

Just as our sending habits have changed in the last year, so have the expectations of our recipients. Personalised emails with dynamic content are now commonplace and will be increasingly expected by recipients.

The challenge in 2010 for many marketers will be justifying the time and money spent on personalising emails or segmenting campaigns. We hope that a reworked definition and better understanding of ROI (see above) can help justify these highly effective campaigns.

4. Social, social, social

Social media was the phrase on everyone’s lips in 2009 and expect 2010 to feature more of the same!

More email marketers will be linking and including social media elements in their campaigns. Hopefully 2010 will finally prove that social media is not the death of email, but that is in another complimentary and integratable channel.

5. Rich data collection

Whilst buying quality lists can be a useful way to build a distribution list, response rates have consistently shown that data collected directly is more responsive.

Because of that, data collection should also be seen as another ROI consideration.

In 2010, our clients have said they’ll be looking at ways to collect data themselves through viral campaigns and buying traffic via search – both natural and PPC.

6. Delivery depends on the data

ESPs always brag about their deliverability records and experience. What we must also remember is that deliverability is hugely dependant on the quality of the data you’re sending to.

In 2010 the focus will be on quality not quantity. We’ll see email marketers looking again at their data sources and ensuring data is up-to-date and all recipients have opted-in.

In doing so, they will maximise open rates and in turn maximise the likelihood of a recipient following a call to action.

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