Digital Marketing experts Jeff Winter & Kiira Toepper discuss the benefits of email marketing and share key strategies needed for successful campaigns.
1. Most organizations know they should be doing more with email marketing, but don’t know where to start. What is the best path to maturity?
KT: An organization will achieve the most value from email when personalization is enabled. With any list size of scale, the best way to start down the path towards a solid email marketing strategy is to have clean, organized, and accessible customer data available as the backbone. The process of defining content variables will reveal data gaps and issues, exposing how much less valuable a giant promotional blast is compared to a more robust email customer experience.
2. What are the biggest factors for deliverability? How can organizations decrease the amount of emails that end up in the SPAM filter?
JW: While there is no surefire way to avoid the SPAM filter for every email service provider (ESP), the old rules still hold true. If marketers consistently create valuable content that subscribers want to open, read, and interact with, while avoiding deceptive practices, they have the best shot of landing in inboxes.
3. Most B2B organizations don’t realize the opportunity for triggered emails to complement interactions with the sales team. Any tips?
JW: Automated marketing (especially nurturing) programs are only ever as good as the data they’re supplied with. If companies can foster a commitment of their sales teams to always be consistently and accurately logging sales interactions in their CRM, emails are more likely to nurture leads through improved personalization and adjusted frequency. Ideally, the customer should not be able to tell the difference between an ESP and a salesperson. Instead, customers will assume their company representative is very good at following up with webinars and whitepapers.
4. In the era of digital analytics and tracking, why hasn’t email analytics evolved at the same pace?
JW: While the manner in which major ESPs track emails (1×1 pixel transparent gifs) hasn’t changed over the years, some companies are starting to find clever ways to expose more detailed interaction with email sends. Vendors such as Litmus have developed methods to track natural client email forwards, printing of an email, and are even able to report back the client and length of time the reader spent on each message.
5. Embedded videos, animations, symbols in the subject line: which design trends are actually useful?
JW: Defensive design, or designing with images turned off has been utilized by a number of large companies recently and is a great example of going the extra mile to get a message across, regardless of how the message is rendered. While the ESP may not be able to accurately count a person who viewed only the defensive version of an email, the sender likely still got their message across, which is the end goal.