Pivotal CRM : Analyst Report - Marketing and E Challenge

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"Marketers may have the best of intentions, but sometimes lack the ability to see things from the audience perspective. without the right processes, metrics and methodologies in place to craft compelling offers and measure their acceptance, e-mail marketing can feel like shouting into the wind at best, and relationship-jeopardizing harassment at worst. Our professional services consultants have an
array of services that can help you enhance the effectiveness of your e-mail marketing campaigns
and programs."

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Pivotal CRM : Analyst Report - Marketing and E Challenge

  1. 1. A r t i c l eMarketing and the ‘e’ challengeMarketers may have the best of intentions, but sometimes lack the ability to seethings from the audience perspective. case in point—the newest and dirtiestword in marketing today. Spam. We’d all like to think that the eDirect Mails thatwe release are high-value for those on the receiving end. But without the rightprocesses, metrics and methodologies in place to craft compelling offers andmeasure their acceptance, e-mail marketing can feel like shouting into the wind atbest, and relationship-jeopardizing harassment at worst.E-mail may just be the most powerful tool available to today’s marketers. It is push, not pull. It candeliver highly personalized messages to carefully selected target audiences at a fraction of the costof other media, and provide readily measurable results. Today’s e-mail marketing out-performs thecompetition by a wide margin:• Direct mail – acceptable response rates from purchased lists remain in the 2% range.• Telemarketing – outbound campaigns suffer from increasing difficulty in reaching target audiences. Most cost-effective call centers are inbound and integrated with other online programs.• Web banner ads – the average click-through rate (CTR) has dropped below %. However, targeted (more expensive) ads are producing CTRs in the 4% range.• E-mail – house lists are generating responses as high as 40% while high-quality rented opt-in lists routinely produce responses in the 0-20% range.Like direct mail, e-mail marketing uses databases to generate lists and send messages directlyto people selected from those databases. Due to their many similarities, one would think that thewell-proven principles of direct mail marketing would be readily transferable to e-mail. Some are,but many techniques that are routinely accepted in direct mail campaigns can be disastrous to ane-mail campaign.Direct marketers rate the relative importance of three components of outbound campaigns: the list,the offer and the creative. For direct mail, these factors are weighted about 40% – 40% – 20%. It’salmost the same for e-mail, but one could argue that creative’s increasing importance makes thenew calculus around 40% – 35% – 25%. The right rates are probably still undecided. Still, let’s usedirect mail as a benchmark to discuss what works and what doesn’t work in e-mail marketing. CDC MarketFirst | Article
  2. 2. Marketing and the ‘e’ challengethe list Build trust and credibility. Whenever you ask for an e-mail address, surround your online request withThe world of lists encompasses more than just raw links (Privacy Policy, About Us) or icons (TRUSTe,data. When we talk about lists, we are referring to your BBBonline) that will reassure anyone that may hesitatetarget audience(s) in terms of: to provide their e-mail. This is your first step in building• Their contact information a relationship. Don’t ask for too much. Recognize that when you ask for an e-mail address, your relationship• Their needs and preferences has not yet been built. Don’t be intrusive; consider the• Their key identifiers and segments long-term. As you build relationships, you will get plenty of opportunities to add data to a contact file. If you need• How you use and apply all of the above information to qualify and fulfill an offer, ask for what youAcquiring or building an accurate list of your target need at that time only. Long, detailed response formsaudience is your foundation. Doing it right remains the encourage opt-outs, rather than opt-ins.most important determinant in whether your campaignwill or won’t be effective. The identification of the target Observe proper opt-out protocol. Always format everyaudience, selection of sources for building the list and e-mail according to proper etiquette, with a clearlythe manner in which the list is used will demonstrate located unsubscribe statement and/or link. (See moreto recipients of any resulting messages whether the on opt-outs, below)sender is or is not a savvy marketer. Be cautious about sharing your house list. If youYour e-mail marketing campaigns will be addressed to are approached to sell your house list to a list brokerLists built from your house list supplemented, perhaps, or another e-mail marketer, think carefully. Right now,by lists rented from list brokers. Let’s look at both. e-mail is the only way you can use the Internet to push your message to your target audience and pull them to your website. Don’t abuse the permissions you havethe House list been given.To a marketer, the house list is pure gold. It containsinformation about customers, both current and past, Be cautious when using lists others share withleads, prospects and suspects (as well as, channel you. Your contacts may not have agreed to receivepartners, vendors, investors and even employees). commercial e-mail from strangers. You may be in anA house list that contains e-mail addresses is further alliance or acquire a company with their own housedistinguished by one important factor. By supplying list. To avoid potential headaches, your first e-maile-mail addresses, these people have given you should introduce yourself, explain how you got thepermission, either explicit or implicit, to contact them e-mail addresses you are using and provide opt-outby e-mail. That is why effective e-mail marketing is options up front.referred to as permission marketing. As long as youdo not abuse those permissions or otherwise violate Purchased liststhe accepted rules of netiquette, you will be on your While this section may be more relevant for B2C e-mailway to effective emarketing and generating those high marketers, there may be circumstances when anyresponse rates. Here are a few tips for building and emarketer will consider using a purchased list for anmaintaining your house list. e-mail campaign. List brokers who sell direct mail listsAlways be building. Wherever a first time visitor to any send their customers the lists they will use. In mostonline program is likely to show up, ask for an e-mail cases, e-mail list brokers don’t release their lists.address. This means that you should put an e-mail After you select the lists you want to use from theaddress entry block on your home page and all other brokers’ inventory, you will be sending your creativepages that receive high levels of traffic on you web to them to deliver. Since the broker will be in controlsite(s). Do that for any offline forms as well. Mine for throughout the program, you should be aware ofthat gold! some special implications. CDC MarketFirst | Article 2
  3. 3. Marketing and the ‘e’ challengeVerify the opt-in. Protect your own reputation. If the A web special is a great offer. Web specials pullpeople on those lists haven’t given their expressed your target audience to your site, where its one-to-manyconsent to receive commercial e-mail from strangers, advantages can accrue for you. You can makeyou don’t want any part of those lists. Have the list your target audience feel special with thebroker send you verification of the opt-in status of the personalization features it offers. You can implementpeople in their database. loyalty programs to generate the positive ROI that comes from repeat business.Visit list source websites. Make sure it’s a good fit. Listbrokers let you search through various audience criteria Pointers to web resources are great offers. If youto select your lists. They should also tell you where have migrated many elements in your marketing mixthose lists come from. Spend some time on those to the web, ensure that they are promoted by linking towebsites. You will get a good feel for likely response them in e-mails. It is possible that your target audiencerates from such a visit. does not know that these resources are available online.Ask for e-mail addresses. When migrating recipients to An announcement about anything new isyour house list, include links to a sign-up form on every a great offer. News allows you to continue buildinge-mail that goes to a rented list with a request such as, the relationship.“Please confirm your e-mail address with this link so wecan be sure to send you the information promptly.” Mine the creativefor that gold! In direct mail, creative includes everything associated with building and delivering the offer from the size ofthe Offer the envelope to the format of the message copy. TheA well-validated principle of web marketing is: People time-tested rule for formatting direct mail is AIDA, whichwill come to your site for interesting and useful stands for: get Attention, generate Interest, build Desireinformation, and they will return for new, interesting and and call for Action. Let’s take a look at these rules asuseful information. This principle is complimented by they apply to e-mail marketing and a few others that willanother well-known rule for effective direct marketing: make your campaigns more effective.You can’t get a response without an offer. These rulesshould be your guide for developing your offer. Get attention. The subject line is a powerful gatekeeper. This is what your target audience will lookA newsletter is a great offer. Newsletters give you at to determine whether to open your message or deletean opportunity to build a relationship with repeated it. Use this valuable space to compel your contacts.contacts. You can use your newsletter to providenew interesting and useful information to your target Generate interest. Position the offer high in theaudience as well as pull them to such information on message. Remember that the objective of your offeryour site. However, a commitment to a newsletter is a should be to generate a click to a web response form,commitment that must be kept. Don’t be late, but don’t so structure it appropriately.be irritating (See later tip about e-mail fatigue). Build desire. Explain some of the features and benefitsA web seminar is a great offer. Web seminars give of your offering. This is a good time to emphasize thatyou a chance to move leads through your sales cycle. while long copy works well for direct mail, the oppositeThe power of the web gives your contacts the time and is true for e-mail. Keep messages short. Less is more!space to self-qualify and move through your sales cycle call for action. Make it clear what you’re askingat their own pace. prospects to do, early and often. Just like the rules for voting in some places, do it early and do it often with hyperlinks. Place links to your response form throughout your message, and don’t wait for the final paragraph you would with direct mail. CDC MarketFirst | Article 3
  4. 4. Marketing and the ‘e’ challengethe logistics Be careful about using the word ‘Free’ in your subject line. Without qualifying information, this wordtest. test. then test again. Leverage the capabilities may send a red flag that will be a turn-off to your B2Bof the medium. Send different messages to different contacts. They don’t have time for Get Rich Quick!target segments. You will probably know the results e-mails. Responses will be generated purely by offeringwithin 24 hours of launch. People either respond to useful and interesting information.e-mail quickly or not at all. Test your call-to-action linkplacements with a different URL for each response link. less is more. When it comes to copy in text e-mail, weDon’t be surprised to see that the first links are the ones need to reemphasize this rule: Don’t make your copywith the highest click-throughs. Testing can be effective more than a couple of screen views long. Use spacesfor even small-volume campaigns. to separate information summaries and early hyperlinks to reach your response form.Beware of e-mail fatigue. Think of how it feels to be onthe receiving end of e-mail campaigns. Be considerate. Keep qualifying with every touchpoint. While it isGive yourself a ‘karmic budget’—pretend every e-mail ill-advised to ask for too much, seemingly intrusivedrop costs you a million dollars and treat it as you information with your first response form, everywould if it did. Use sparingly! E-mail campaigns get succeeding e-mail or response form will give you ansuch high response rates because e-mails are received opportunity to obtain the information you will need torapidly. If your list starts to associate your e-mail with provide increasingly personalized communications.uninteresting or unimportant messages, they just won’topen them, and, if they do, it may well be to find your look long term. If e-commerce is your objective, youropt-out link. Avoid the temptation to over-communicate. cost of acquiring a new customer might not be returned with a single sale. You need repeat business for aUse HtMl e-mail. HTML e-mail continues to produce positive ROI. That is why your first steps should havehigher click-through rates than text-based e-mail when the objective of getting permission and obtaining e-mailit is sent to people who can receive it. It’s a good idea addresses. Then use the personalization capabilities ofto have an HTML opt-in button wherever you have the medium to build a relationship and build loyalty anda link on a webpage that asks for e-mail addresses. the sales will flow.However, you can lose all its benefits and more if yourrecipients can’t display it when they receive it. Look Placement of opt-out information is important. Everyto your emarketing campaign manager to determine message should have an unsubscribe option. That said,appropriate formats how you construct it and where you put it are relevantfor your lists. to the effectiveness of you campaigns. While you have to offer it, this is an offer that you don’t want to bePay attention to format in text-based e-mails. accepted. The default rule is put how-to instructionsRecipients will be reading your e-mail with different at the end of the message with an unsubscribe e-mailclients and on different desktops. Apply the rules that address or link. However, if you are using a new list orgood web developers use by going to the lowest confirming an opt-in contact, it’s better to make thiscommon denominator when formatting your messages. offer early in the message. Give consideration to usingSince the wrong word wrap can have an adverse a selective opt-out web form. You can then let youreffect on response rates, play it safe by only using contacts unsubscribe to the current program, but stay24 characters in subject lines and using 64 characters enrolled for others.and a hard return in body text.Use internal banners on your website. Draw walk-intraffic to your programs. If you have created a great leadgeneration program, don’t hide it from visitors to yourweb site. Create a web banner linked to the program’sresponse form to capture additional prospects. Put thebanner on your high traffic webpages. Studies showhigh click-through rates for internal banners. CDC MarketFirst | Article 4
  5. 5. Marketing and the ‘e’ challengeconclusionE-mail offers marketers the most powerful and cost-effective tool that is available for reaching their targetaudiences, generating leads, qualifying prospects,moving them through the sales cycle and then retainingtheir loyalty. CDC MarketFirst provides marketers themost efficient means available to employ e-mail in theirmarketing mix. It automates the process of targetingmarket segments by many criteria and providing tailoredmessages to multiple segments and realizes theone-to-many efficiencies that are possible with e-mailmarketing.However, even the most efficient e-mail campaignswill not achieve their objectives if no one clicks on theresponse links. Moreover, while online relationships takea long time to build, they can be irreparably damagedin one ill-advised campaign. By employing the bestpractices for effective e-mail marketing outlined in thisbulletin, marketers can deliver e-mail campaigns thatare both efficient and effective.For cDc MarketFirst customers ProspectsOur professional services consultants have anarray of services that can help you enhance theeffectiveness of your e-mail marketing campaignsand programs including:• Pre-Launch Assessment – of all program content. Usually customers develop the content they will use in their e-mail programs and send it out upon program launch, but this content can be reviewed prior to launch if requested.• Post-Program Results – report on the results of the program from both quantitative and qualitative aspects with recommendations for improvement.• Integrated eMarketing Support – from the beginning and throughout the development of e-mail campaigns and programs.For more information, please visit www.marketfirst.com or call +1 877-748-6825.Copyright © CDC Software 2007. All rights reserved.The CDC Software logo and CDC MarketFirst logo are registered trademarks and/or trademarks of CDC Software.

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