7. Build a knowledge matrix. There is a rapidly growing list of things that you need to know about people. Permission is a matrix in and of itself—more than just a single field in a database—because it should be content-specific and include allowed frequency. (If you give people control of frequency, instead of a simple yes/no decision, they almost ALWAYS will give you some permission to talk with them.) You also should start tracking the source of the permission, both to see effectiveness in gaining permission and to deal with compliance issues.
Current capabilities make the old big-bucket segmentation models somewhat trivial. Sure, you still need to segment to target, and you probably need to collapse your one-to-one information back into segments for reporting. But in between, you need a fairly complex matrix of information to deliver relevant communications. You should know prospects’ needs, interests, decision power, opportunity size, where they are in the sales cycle (interested, budget-established, considering, negotiating) and anything else that enables your conversations to be more relevant.
8. Don’t let the sales prevention team run e-marketing. If your CEO gets scared of Can Spam and/or the National Do-Not-Call Registry and turns control over to the legal team, you lose. Legal review (with an opportunity for debate) is fine; legal department control simply is ridiculous. It gets paid to never be wrong, and the only way to do that is to never accomplish anything. You need to be in compliance, and that’s relatively easy. You need best practices and documented “best efforts” at meeting all requirements. But that doesn’t mean stop. It means control.
9. One plus one equals seven. You can increase response by literally several hundred percent by leveraging the strengths of one media with another. An e-mail subject line has limited presence and emotional connection. But what if you received a direct mail piece, one that grabbed you emotionally, and then an e-mail tightly timed to the mail delivery that removed the barriers to action—no need to launch your browser, type in a URL or PIN number—just click a link and you’re there? Then imagine receiving a voicemail that reminded you that you haven’t responded. Each media leverages the other, contributing to the strength of the campaign.