Email Is a Product, Not an Advertisement
"Don't mistake having a marketing automation platform for having a process, because they're two different things. A CRM system is just a box, and if you choose to fill it with your old processes, you're going to get the old results. If you choose to fill it with new processes that are optimized for the buying behaviors, then you can expect to get different results," he said.
"But if you're missing content from the beginning, you can't even start that process."
By creating content to enable its audience to do jobs better, IHS increased its email clickthrough rate by 1,112 percent.
Idea No. 3: Test to Improve Your Product
Testing isn't new. Savvy direct marketers have been testing direct mail long before the Internet. However, the Internet makes testing faster and cheaper. And perhaps nowhere is it easier to test than in email.
By testing its welcome email, CNET learned customers preferred shorter welcome emails, thus improving its email marketing "product."
"If we're going to take the time to run a special program, like these programs, we're going to test them. If we can't test them, we're not going to run them," said Diana Primeau, director of member services at CNET.
Testing led to a 26 percent average clickthrough rate increase for CNET's welcome and nurturing program.
And because you can test more easily with email, you should not just be running random tests. Your tests should be sequenced to build up a better customer theory to help create a better email marketing product.
For example, we recently ran a subject line contest on the MarketingExperiments Blog in association with the Moz Blog. We asked readers of both blogs to write the best subject line for an email for VolunteerMatch, a nonprofit that helps interested people find volunteering opportunities.
But we didn't ask for random subject lines. We defined categories of value (for example, "Better, more opportunities to choose from") and asked marketers to provide subject lines that best expressed those values.
Daniel Burstein is the Senior Director, Content and Marketing at MECLABS Institute. Daniel oversees all content and marketing coming from the MarketingExperiments and MarketingSherpa brands while helping to shape the marketing direction for MECLABS — digging for actionable discoveries while serving as an advocate for the audience.