Segmentation is Not the Answer

I’m starting to cringe every time I hear the phrase, “We could segment our audience based on that data”. People hear that phrase and eyes light up and heads bob in agreement. In meetings with the CMO/SVP, the phrase is carefully proffered as a goal about to be fulfilled, and the CMO/SVP solemnly nods and pats everyone on the back for having done a good job. What utterly useless, well-intentioned…

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Why I Hate “Did You Know”

A useless Did You Know fact

I cringe whenever a newsletter makes sense for a brand’s overall communication strategy. Not because I dislike newsletters – they have their place, both online and offline – but because in the ensuing conversation someone always offers the line, “we could have a ‘Did You Know’ section”! A few observations on this: It is best practice to always avoid asking yes/no questions. This one begs a “No, nor do I…

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Build an Email Marketing Program from Scratch in 6 Steps

Originally printed on the Only Influencers blog. Over the last year, I’ve had the opportunity to help build out an entirely new attrition program. An attrition program tries to get customers who have left your product or service to come back – and it goes by a different name in every organization I’ve ever worked with. Attrition programs are hard to build, just like any other program, and our fabulous…

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When “Share With Your Network” Makes Sense

Emails are getting cluttered. It’s not enough to have a headline, some copy, and an image or two anymore. These days we need preheaders, snippets, “view this email online” links, and all sorts of social sharing links as well. Some marketers are starting to question whether we need all of these links when most of them drive very few clicks. And first on the chopping block seems to be those…

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Email and CPG Brands

For many Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) brands, ecommerce is out of reach. Not because they can’t figure it out, but because they have chosen not to participate in that channel. The most commonly stated reason is to avoid conflicts with resellers. Without passing judgment on any of these reasons or decisions, we must accept that the enterprise has chosen not to go there. When the ecommerce channel is not available,…

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Maximizing Results When Email Isn’t About Sales

Email is very well known as a direct response tool, and there is plenty of free advice available to help sellers maximize their results and measure them effectively. But what about tips for editorial emails, that are designed with content instead of sales as the primary driver? Here are the top five things you should do to get the best results from your email content: Know your goals. If you…

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B2B Newsletters and Nurture Programs

I was asked recently: “Is an email newsletter part of a nurture program?” Usually we think of newsletters as useful devices to keep customers informed and engaged. And that is, in part, a goal of a nurture program. So a bit of confusion about how newsletters and nurture fit together is understandable.  In fact, newsletters should not be considered part of a nurture program, although they may co-exist with one….

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Should Permission Need to be Explicit?

Earlier this month, the topic of permission spurred heated debate on Inbox Insiders, an industry discussion group in which I participate. One group argued that explicit, up-front permission is the gold standard and that anything less – including eAppends – are unethical. The other group suggested that it should be fine to send an email to someone who has chosen to do business with you and hasn’t opted-out of communications….

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Retailers: How Good Are Your Holiday Plans?

As Holiday 2009 raced to the finish line, I blogged about the disappointing lack of relevance in emails during what is arguably the most important time of the year for many retailers. We’re all about to take our last deep breath before rushing into the fray for Holiday 2010.  So now is a good time to ask: how good are your holiday plans?  Here are three tactics it’s not too…

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Managing Cadence

I’ve heard a lot of discussion about cadence lately. Everyone seems to want a magic frequency number which will cause stars and planets to align and customers to read emails in the kind of loving detail that you normally see only determined children attempt as they sound out dinosaur names. If you have subscribers clamoring for more email from you, consider yourself lucky. For the rest of us, here are…

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