To remedy the problem, e-mail addresses should be part of the customer records, not the transactions. If this is a problem you face, a database reformat is inevitable—and likely expensive.
Although an e-mail address is the only piece of customer data you actually need to do an e-mail campaign, it isn't the only piece of data you use. Also look at customer preferences, merchandise data, promotional history and your current offline contact strategy.
Customer preferences can be managed by a user account system that allows customers to tell you what they want to hear from you and when. This gives them the option to select the topics they're interested in, decreasing the likelihood that they will opt out altogether.
E-mail is a fantastic tool for maintaining customer contact. The medium frequently is used to supplement mail campaigns, particularly with catalogers, who can cut out or decrease a catalog drop in lieu of an e-mail effort. It's the role that the e-mail plays along with the other contact points that makes it so effective. To maximize e-mail efforts, coordinate them with offline promotions and mailings; make them work together.
Evaluate your offline contact strategy along with your e-mail plan so a global plan can be put together.
A comprehensive contact strategy enables you to determine segments, quantities and mail dates. It also allows you to map out a single view of who gets what and when to determine if a segment is being over- or under-contacted.
Look at the data to understand how segments have been promoted to, and to what messages and offers they're most responsive. This will improve the effectiveness of your e-mail efforts. Using the data to test concepts and learn more will make them even better.
Use the Data
Pulling information together to create the best possible campaign can be one of the most exciting parts of the project. Start with a targeted contact strategy that outlines the key elements of the campaign, just as you would an offline mailing. Ask: