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10 email marketing resolutions for 2009

12th Jan 2009
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The new year may have started in earnest but there is still time to make a few resolutions to improve your marketing strategies - so why not start in your inbox?

By Kieran Cooper, Lyris UK

Even though 2009 is underway, it's not too late to start thinking about what we should do better this year - so here are 10 top tips to give your email marketing a new lease of life.

  1. Don’t waste good email addresses

    It always amazes me when I give my email address to a supplier or web site and never hear from them again. If a person or organisation has given you permission to contact them by email, don't waste the opportunity.

  2. Include the equivalent of 'forward-to-a-friend'

    This takes no effort and it works. Jupiter Research shows that 25% of online consumers have forwarded permission emails - and there's no reason why this shouldn't be replicated in the B2B environment. If what you're offering is good, your email will be forwarded to other relevant business users.

  3. Make sure it gets there!

    The number of emails not being delivered is still far too high. Not only that, but a significant proportion of email marketers do not know their deliverability metrics. Unless you can afford an in-house deliverability expert and technology infrastructure to measure this stuff, it pays to hire a third-party email service provider (ESP) that can help you make sure your emails are reaching their intended audience.

  4. Think integrated thoughts

    Email is the cheapest form of direct marketing, bar none. Think of ways to integrate email marketing with your more expensive, offline direct marketing campaigns to maximise the overall effect. For example, why not use email to alert your customers to the arrival of new seasonal catalogues?

  5. Plan your campaign flow

    It pays to think ahead. Plan out the sequence of the email marketing flow in order to maximise the opportunities available to further engage the customer. For example, when a customer buys product X, send a thank-you email with 'how to use the product' information within 24 hours. Follow this up with a 'how is the product working out for you?' survey in one week.

  6. Everybody wants a good deal

    Email marketing is a timely promotional vehicle that helps move massive amounts of inventory. Most of your subscribers are watching out for good bargains so utilise freebies and discounts - but do so sensibly and intelligently.

  7. Resist the temptation to over communicate

    Remember the boy who cried wolf? Too many email promotions are overkill. Research shows that users prefer to get email marketing messages weekly or even monthly.

  8. Devise a welcome programme

    Once a user has registered on your site, send them a 'welcome' email. Not only is this common courtesy for anyone with whom you want to foster a professional relationship, it will reinforce the brand and remind users exactly what they have signed up for. It is also a great opportunity to ask them to provide more details, which you can use to send them more relevant and targeted emails.

  9. Use triggered emails

    By combining web analytics and email software, emails can be sent in response to customer behaviour. So, if someone is looking at a specific item on your website, send them an email with more information about it. By looking at the product/service/issue, the recipient has already confirmed their interest so this tactic achieves excellent response rates. However, don't delay – triggered emails need to be sent immediately in order to be relevant.

  10. Practice give and take

    Have your last 10 email campaigns been about pushing products? Mix up your 'product push' email campaign content by providing 'how to' guides or 'tips and tricks' on products your customers have purchased recently.

But even once you have implemented some of all of these strategies, the most important resolution of all if you want to stay successful in 2009 is to stay one step ahead of the game.

Kieran Cooper is managing director of Lyris UK

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