ready... Set... OPTIMIZE!
Kudos to Jess Nelson for her article “Why Reciprocity Matters in Email Marketing” (http://goo.gl/TQ5y0M). It's pretty easy to read results from an email campaign relative to its cost to determine that the campaign underperformed. Jess champions the use of a “free” premium and the resultant amazing results. But that’s not a sustainable business model for most. Her “reciprocity” of successful email campaigns dependent on free premiums is a recipe for a short shelf-lived ROI generating house file.
The name of the game with email marketing is understanding to whom you’re deploying. If your house file is built via tricks and enticements, why would you think that deploying offers requiring actual SPENDING of MONEY to bear fruit?!
So let’s look at how to more effectively add quality emails to your house file to then target with your CRM messaging efforts. There's no shortage of prospect email aggregators who can help you reach any demographic target. There are also plenty of response-driven files that represent the ‘type’ of buyer you seek but are priced WAY too high to expect an even modest ROI from those who opt-in to your messaging. So the challenge is to pick from the bevy of email list impostors and invest in those that actually deliver on what they promise.
Start by using the tools at your disposal: Verify the post-campaign metrics provided by the list owner as we do for our clients via LavaMail. See, email list owners have one incentive – provide exceptional results any way possible so that you rent more names from them. Email is cheap for a reason; it takes a LOT of successful in-box deliveries to spur action. Therefore, using opens/clicks as a results proxy is the enticement to get you back for more campaigns. Taking those metrics blindly, as reported by the email list owner who’s incentive is to show the best results possible (e.g. reporting ‘opens’ as those that automatically populate your preview pane) is like betting a 5 team parlay: Sure, you may get lucky once in a while but soon that strategy will sap your bankroll.
Once you figure out those email owners worthy of your campaign investment, now what? In a word, optimize. That word isn’t used often in email marketing circles; it’s reserved for the more clever ‘digital’ efforts that propose to maximize your digital spend so you get 5 clicks instead of 2. But did you realize that large email campaigns are NOT deployed all in one shot? If you’re deploying an email campaign to, say, 1 million prospects, the ESPs will quickly shut down in-box deliveries as they clog their pipeline and generates ‘spam’ or ‘junk’ complaints. Therefore, large campaigns are deployed in stages, thereby allowing for some optimizing from phase to phase. It’s why LavaMail clients enjoy 2x-3x the click performance (verified, no less) compared to campaigns deployed via standard methods.
Now the bad news: You need to have a sizable prospect pool for this technique to work. But you big brands, what with millions of potential customers, stop wasting your money with sub-standard list owners. LavaMail ensures that your acquisition email campaign is executed with full transparency and protects the integrity of your investment.