Q – Tell us a little about how EmailMoxie.com started.
A- EmailMoxie.com started as a place where I can put down my thoughts, observations, and learnings about email marketing- and share them with anyone who is interested. Email marketing is fascinating because it is always evolving and people are always asking what other people are doing and looking for examples. Email Marketing is like a big game of follow the leader. Everyone is looking at what everyone else is doing and them imitating them. For example, one question many of my clients, co-workers, and network friends would ask me frequently is what is a good creative for a welcome campaign. Instead of providing some sort of vague answer I created a post on my blog that not only displays 45 welcome creatives from the best in the business, but also lists the subject line and other statistics. (see the August 11 2009 post on emailmoxie.com) EmailMoxie.com is a great place to learn more about email marketing. It’s as simple at that.
Q -Digital campaigns, especially email marketing, are thriving despite the recession – why do you think this is?
A- There are many reasons that email marketing is thriving despite a recession. Here are a couple of the most interesting.
1- The first is that email marketing is a much less expensive form of marketing compared to other online and offline marketing. (I don’t want to say email marketing is cheap because that is an overused and inaccurate phrase). More subscribers and customers can be reached for a lot less money using email marketing than mailing print catalogs, purchasing air time on the radio or television, or making a large bill board on the side of the road.
2- The second reason is that digital campaigns and email marketing are a necessity for a business, service, and organization to be successful and competitive. Email Marketing is no longer a luxury or novelty. It is an important and well integrated part of every business from the bakery down the street to a multi national corporation. Email Marketing is here to stay.
Q – What do you feel are the main strengths of email marketing as a
A- The main strengths of email marketing are:
1-Its cost point compared to other types of marketing.
2- Its flexibility. Email Marketing is always changing and improving. Also, email has become an acceptable and often preferred method of communication. Email is comfortable for many people.
3- Its rules and regulations. CAN-SPAM and other regional email regulations are something that all email marketers need to take seriously.
4- Its participation and popularity. There are tons and tons of folks who LOVE email and email marketing. These passionate, and sometimes crazy people, keep email marketing interesting and strong 🙂
Q – What are the 2 most common pitfalls you have seen companies fall into when creating email campaigns? How could they be avoided?
A- Great question. The two most common pitfalls I have seen companies fall into when creating email campaigns are 1- Not segmenting their subscriber list properly 2- Not testing the email thoroughly before deployment.
1- The days of load and blasting (i.e. sending to the entire list each email every time is diminishing). However, marketers need to be sure that the subscriber segments they are sending the mailing to is correct. You don’t want to send a welcome email, for example, to someone who is already on your list. The way to avoid this error is to check your segments and keep your data fresh and clean. Check, check and check them again.
2- It is no fun for an email marketer when an email is sent with an error. Maybe the subject line is not correct. Maybe links do not work or images are not displaying. The way to resolve these issues are to not let them occur. A thorough testing and quality control routine prior to any email being deployed is a must.
Q – I have seen the email marketing industry evolve over the last few years – what would you say has been the most important advancement and why?
A- There have been so many important advancements. Here are two of the biggest ones in no particular order.
Social Media – Email and Social Media seem to be more compatible than many folks give them credit but they do not depend on one another. Facebook (Twitter, Digg, etc.)will exist without email and email will exist without Facebook. Because of this they work well together. Social Media allows like minded friends to not only share their ideas, thoughts and desires but also their emails. This is good stuff for email marketing!
Email Education, Organizations and Best Practices There are quite a few great organizations dedicated to protecting and advancing email. These hardworking people help email and email marketing tremendously. They are always thinking and looking for what is next. Simple ideas like forward to a friend, and playing video in an email, have helped email marketing.
Q – With the number of different email clients out there there have been calls for standardization of email coding, something companies such as Microsoft have so far failed to listen to with their last releases such as Outlook 2007. Do you think this is starting to change as the industry grows?
A- No, I don’t think this is starting to change nor do I think it should. Email clients will always be different. There will never be universal standardization. This is something that email marketers need to both fear and embrace. The fear comes into play when an email renders correctly in one email client and not another or deliverability issues per email client. The positive of diverse email clients is that email will not become stagnant. The Email Clients will always be challenging each other and trying to beat one another. This competition is good for the email clients and good for email marketing.
Q – Do you feel new communication channels such as blogs, twitter and social networking may one day replace the email channel?
A- No, I really don’t. As I said earlier Email and Social Media seem to be more compatible than many people give them credit but they do not depend on one another. Facebook (Twitter, Digg, etc.) will exist without email and email will exist without Facebook. Because of this they work well together. People will always be checking email as long as emails are being sent.
Q – What predictions do you have for the email marketing industry in 2010?
A- I see 2010 as the year that nothing huge happens in email marketing. This is not a bad thing. Email Marketing will continue to grow steadily and will evolve slowly. I do not see a Twitter moment happening in email marketing this year. By a twitter moment I mean having something come along that totally changes the game. This will not happen this year in email marketing. The biggest drive that I see is how to make email look its best on smart phones and how to connect more with social media and email. These two items are in no way groundbreaking but they are important.
Q – Lastly – what is the one piece of advice you would give any company thinking about starting or renewing their email marketing strategy this year?
A – Test, test, test and education, education, education (okay, this was two pieces of advice) Instead of basing ones email strategy on what one thinks or feels will happen, run some tests. Test the subject line, the creative, deliverability etc. Also, keep on top of the latest and greatest in email marketing. One great way to do this is by reading my blog 🙂
Jordan lives in Los Angeles, California and can be contacted by email at JordanLane@EmailMoxie.com or by going to www.EmailMoxie.com