Dear Email Marketers,

First and foremost, congratulations on surviving another year in email marketing. By now you should be mid-way thru the holiday madness and in the planning/budgeting stages for your 2018 email program.  

No doubt you have read trend predictions for 2018 by some of the smartest minds in our industry. Rather than regurgitate the same stuff, I felt it might be better for me to ask you for a big favor in 2018.  

It’s a frank and honest ask. I would like you to commit to adding ONE new thing to your email program next year.  

I don’t mean doing something small, like making an interactive email or doing subject-line testing in Q2. Instead, I am asking you to commit to something monumental that could deliver a big impact.  

Let me unpack what I mean by “monumental.” I am not talking about pie-in-the-sky stuff like integrating a super-dee-duper AI-driven neural-network decision-making engine which will integrate easily with your ESP and all of your data. I am talking about things like these:

1. Analytics upgrade 

Move away from spreadsheets that drive insights and decisions in your program to a more robust and automated reporting solution. By doing this, you will save time from “doing” reports to actually letting the insights from reports help you become a better marketer.  

Besides standard top-line dashboards, look at dashboards that show you optimal frequency, campaign-level performance, contact age analysis, link-level engagement and engagement by segments, just to name a few. If your ESP or agency doesn’t do that for you, ask why not. Then, demand it, or call us up.

2. Rethink re-engagement

Think about re-engaging your subscribers in a whole new way, based on behavior across email programs other than your own. Stop relying on the old models in which you draw a line in the sand at 3 or 6 months to define inactivity and then send a one-off or triggered re-engagement email.

If your ESP or agency doesn’t do that for you, ask why. Then, demand it, or call us up.

3. Operational efficiency

Do an operational audit that evaluates your program’s health for speed, accuracy, and cost. It’s not sexy, and it’s a hard sell internally. But, when was the last time you looked at your process to produce an email? When was the last time you looked at the level of accuracy and what it’s costing your email program?  

Operational audits can uncover many things that can free up time and money that can be used to do other cool stuff, like interactive emails and that special AI project you have always dreamed about.  

If you think you are stuck in a rut with process, and your ESP or agency is holding you back, ask why. Then, demand that change, or call us up.

4. Thousands of A/B tests In 4 weeks

For the last 18 years, we’ve been talking about the need to test in email marketing. Yet, in 2016, a study of more than 1,800 email marketers found only 47% tested SLs on a regular basis. And, it gets worse: Only 18% tested different emails and templates! Are you kidding me?

The only path to a better program is through testing, not just talking about it. If you could perform 1 test that would take the place of tens of thousands of A/B tests in just 4 weeks, would that make you want to try something monumental? If your ESP or agency can’t or won’t do that for you, ask why. Then, demand it, or call us up.

5. Believe the hype on AI, but take a baby-step 

AI is here to take over the way you do things in email, but read our AI blog posts and white paper before you jump into the deep end with a 500-pound weight around your neck.

Then, commit to baby-stepping into it and prove its value. You likely will learn things you can use in your next phase of AI implementation. AI integration should be a chapter-by-chapter novel, not a short story.

People have been predicting the death of email, and email marketing, for decades. Still, it continues to thrive, for many reasons

Email isn’t always the coolest area of the marketing department, but I cannot think of another marketing channel that produces a high ROI and has such a large impact on the customer and the brand.  

I know that you face pressures to perform, and many obstacles stand in your way to success. But, I am confident that committing to one new thing in the new year can and will have a profound impact as you move forward.

 

If you are looking for some help, we would be honored to speak with you. Contact us today.

 

 

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Andrew Kordek