Aberdeen Shows How to Do Email Marketing Right

January 13, 2011

The new research report from Aberdeen Group “Email Marketing: Customers Take it Personallyhas some very interesting insights. They talk about how the increase in the number of available marketing channels coupled with the resource constraints of most marketing organizations is the toughest challenge for marketers to overcome. If you have just started your 2011 campaigns after battling the budget process, I bet you can definitely see some relation to your own company.

So with all these new channels available, why does email marketing continue to be a top choice for marketers everywhere? According to the research “email marketing’s ability to provide a high quantity of leads combined with direct revenue gains” is what makes it still an attractive channel. Even when compared with social media, the research states:

“83% of all companies surveyed indicate they will leverage email as a core tool in the marketing mix and at a rate 54% more than social media despite that channel’s growth and popularity”

This is definitely contrary to a lot of the predictions of email marketing’s death and the rise of social media as the main communications channel for marketing that we heard throughout 2010.

In their research they also classify companies according to their results in email marketing usage. The leaders of the pack, called Best-in-Class companies, follow some best practices you can also adopt at your own organization:

  • Remove opt-out members from database
  • Remove hard and soft bounce recipients from the database through email authentication
  • Deliver special offers to high value customers
  • Integrate nurturing of existing leads with campaign results
  • Have an organization structure that supports data capture and sharing
  • Measure the impact of email marketing optimization practices and changes
  • Share the activity history of an existing or net-new lead with sales team

And, they add that the real key critical factor is the personalization of content in your emails. They say that “companies that marry high value customers with personalized, specialized offers in their email campaigns produce far greater results on every tangible measure of effectiveness”. Content personalization is not an easy task but according to the research it will likely give you a 38% better open rate and 86% greater click-through rate than non-personalized email messages.

The lesson? Work your way through the list above and start playing with content personalization, even if only for a small segment of your database. It will likely pay off handsomely.

The report has more interesting stuff and  I suggest you spend a few minutes reading it. You can get it for free for a limited time here:

http://bit.ly/fxiUoz

 

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What Makes a Great Creative Brief?

January 7, 2011

A similar question was posted on Quora and elicited a number of different but very interesting responses. It just goes to show that there is still a lot of controversy when it comes to creative briefs in marketing. If you come from the agency side, you are used to a certain format. Big companies and small companies have different needs, and so their briefs are also formatted differently.

From the discussion thread I liked two presentations that were shared, posted below. The first is an interesting research done by Jasmin Cheng (from Twist Image) about creative briefs in the industry, and the second is a presentation by Nick Emmel on how to properly write a creative brief. While they don’t settle the discussion, are good sources for inspiration nonetheless.

And, if you’re interested in looking at some different formats for creative briefs, check out this blog post on creative brief template review.


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