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What’s the biggest challenge in managing your email program? List growth? Privacy? Segmentation? Developing content? Managing frequency? Finding the right ESP?
How about getting buy-in from the executive suite to do what you think is right?
Most email marketers I know have a list of ideas about what they should do with their email program. Unfortunately, people who don’t understand the nuances of email marketing thwart these dreams. Yes, it is frustrating, but email is a victim of its own success; it’s cheap, fast, and profitable. Put yourself in your executives’ shoes. Consider the challenges they face every day: finances, product development, product delivery, sourcing, branding, training new sales reps, and the list goes on. How does “improve the email program” stack up on the company’s list of priorities?
Our mistake is trying to convince management that we need to make improvements. Problem is that everyone receives email marketing messages and everyone has their personal likes and dislikes. No matter how many stats or benchmarks you throw up, people still tend to rely on their gut when making the final decision. If they like the program and the results the program is generating, your claims that things “could be better” fall on deaf ears.
In my experience, the key to overcoming these obstacles is to expose weaknesses about the program that remain unidentified within your organization. The following exercise has been a very effective tool for exposing weak areas and jumpstarting positive changes in existing programs:
1) Administer a short survey of email stakeholders. The survey should consist of general questions highlighting areas that contribute to the success or failure of the program. For example, “We effectively capture and store the information needed to segment our list” or “Our email program successfully reinforces the value of our brand.” Ask all stakeholders to provide an honest grade for each of these statements (e.g., rate on a scale of 1 to 10 where 1 = completely disagree and 10 = completely agree) and ask them not to discuss the survey or their answers with colleagues prior to the meeting.
Originally From “Getting C-Suite Buy-In For Program Changes “| Published March 31, 2010