ATLANTA, October 5, 2006 - Now in the midst of planning for 2007 and beyond, marketers should consider a three-pronged approach to building strategic and highly successful email marketing programs that capture the power and breadth of the medium.
Speaking recently at the eMarketing Association Conference in Boston, Elaine O'Gorman, vice president of strategy for Silverpop, offered attendees methods to "truly engage customers by meeting them where they are and on their terms with content tailored specifically to their needs."
The first suggestion is to move toward lifecycle marketing and plan to incorporate more explicit feedback generated from dynamic surveys and polling data. According to O'Gorman, targeted lifecycle programs build stronger customer relationships and outperform offer-oriented campaigns. "They deliver the right message at the right time, based on the customer's needs, not the marketer's," she said.
To fully develop a lifecycle based program, however, marketers must first understand the totality of their electronic messaging to their customers, which is O'Gorman's second suggestion.
"Commercial email has a number of roles in the marketing mix. It's a branding vehicle, a direct response vehicle, an alerting method as well as a delivery vehicle - sometimes all at once," O'Gorman explained.
Making sure your program is coherent and cohesive is a step in the right direction, "but marketers need to take advantage of the vehicles that tend to have the highest readership," O'Gorman recommended. "For example, transactional emails represent significant touch points with customers and are opportunities to up-sell, cross-sell and/or build brand relationships. Surprisingly however, few marketers currently take full advantage."
As a third suggestion, O'Gorman challenged marketers to "start thinking channel-agnostic." New and developing channels such as RSS and SMS offer excellent ways to improve customer response and reduce messaging overload.
"Companies need to be planning now to test RSS, SMS and dynamic landing pages to make 2007's email marketing programs truly successful," stated O'Gorman.
Silverpop is a leading provider of permission-based email marketing solutions, strategy and services, with offices throughout the United States and in the United Kingdom. For the second year in a row, in 2005 JupiterResearch ranked Silverpop as the email service provider with the highest overall value for emailers with lists of over 150,000 recipients. Best practices and white papers are available at http://www.silverpop.com/.