<!–:us–>Boost Email Relevance: 8 Steps that Drive Results Questions & Answers<!–:–>
Many great topics came up during the question and answer session after our last Webinar. Read on to find out what was on attendees’ minds and how Nello and Dave answered their questions.
Q. What does “email triage” mean?
A. Just as a doctor in an emergency room performs triage to determine which patients need treatment first, triage related to email is about screening all the emails in your inbox and quickly determining which ones warrant your most immediate attention and which ones can wait for later – or never. With as many as 100 emails or more coming in per day, as we mentioned, email triage is an efficient way to stay on top of it all. This is why relevance is so important – if your emails don’t include something your subscribers want or need, they’re going to move
them to the bottom of the pile where they’re quite likely to be forgotten, deleted or possibly even be marked as spam.
Q. What is the best way to get information about your prospects and customers, so that you can be sure to send them relevant emails?
A. Ask them for it! The best way is to use a preference center to collect data from your email subscribers on what kinds offers they want to receive, how they want to receive them and how often. Best practice is to include access to a preference center in a welcome email confirmation. That’s because when subscribers have just opted in, their level of engagement is high, and it’s far more likely that they’ll be willing to provide data about themselves.
The key here is to ask questions that put you in a position to better meet their needs and preferences. You can ask about frequency, topical interest, product interest and special offers. And remember, once you have collected this data, it’s critical to deliver what you promised. If your subscriber signed up for a monthly newsletter, don’t presume that it’s OK to send it weekly. Or, if your subscribers indicate interest in a specific topic, don’t bombard them with content on other topics that aren’t of interest. It’s also a good idea to provide ongoing access to the preference center so subscribers can update their preferences as they change.
Q. How do you use behavioral data to segment your subscriber base?
A. Behavioral segmentation is defined as grouping subscribers into segments based on behavioral similarities rather than just demographics or their self-reported preferences. Because behavioral data is completely objective, it’s an extremely reliable, valuable and predictive component of any segmentation strategy.
The way to capture behavioral data is by applying Web analytics tools that shed light on such things as purchase behavior, browsing history or even shopping cart contents. Overlaying behavioral data adds dimension to your subscriber profiles so you can create the highly-relevant, targeted email messaging that is most likely to deliver the greatest return.
Q. What are some recommendations regarding re-engagement campaigns?
A. If you have a high number of inactive subscribers on your list – meaning they have not opened, clicked, responded or opted out in the last six months – it’s worth your while to develop a win-back campaign to get them to re-engage with you, on their terms. Your re-engagement campaign should have one goal: to spark the subscriber’s interest to come back and engage with your content again. It isn’t necessary to send them an elaborately designed email. Simply ask if they are still interested in what you have to offer. Including an incentive, such as a discount coupon, is also a good idea if you think it will help to entice them to come back and stay engaged with your emails.
Q. In a B2B market, how do you encourage email subscribers to join your social marketing efforts?
Embedding links to social media networks into email campaigns is one of the simplest, easiest and most effective tactics that you can use in social media marketing. But the key to gaining active fans and followers is creating engaging content that they’ll want to share with their networks. Certain types of content are innately “viral.” These are things like:
- Incentives and discounts
- Product reviews from other customers
- Insider information like a new product launch, good deeds such as fundraisers, and donations. Find out what’s being discussed about your company or brand on social networks. And if there are discussions taking place, find out what the topics are and what content, if any, is being shared. You can then use this information to shape future content.
Q. What elements or information should an effective welcome message include?
Q. How is drip marketing different from trigger campaigns?
A. The main difference between trigger campaigns and drip marketing is that trigger campaigns are ignited by subscriber action. Conversely, drip marketing refers to a pre-set series of messages that are driven by you. The biggest benefit of trigger campaigns is the ability to execute timely, relevant responses to subscribers. Drip campaigns are often used as a sales cycle management tool for keeping subscribers in the sales pipeline. This is achieved through providing educative, service-oriented content that builds your relationship over time.
About the Authors:
Nello Franco is Senior VP Of Customer Success at Lyris.
Dave Mossop is Interactive Media Manager at Expedia CruiseShipCenters