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Strong and Effective Email Marketing Requires Effort and Diligence

Email marketing analytics data are critical to monitoring success and effectiveness, but there’s more qualitative measures to be reviewed, too.

The most critical measure of your email marketing’s success is how it completely achieves your marketing goals. This not something that is measured by your open rates, clickthrough rates, or subscriber list growth, at least not directly. All of those metrics are important indicators of your email marketing health and robustness, but they aren’t measures of effectiveness.

For most of us, effectiveness is measured by the revenue our efforts generate, and how cost-effective they are to implement. Clicks, comments, and subscribers are all great, but they’re not what keeps the lights on. Revenue does that.

Of course, for many of us, the sales cycle is more complex and drawing a line between any one marketing activity and a sale can be difficult if not impossible. (John Wanamaker’s quote about knowing that only half the money he spent on advertising worked but not knowing which half is good to keep in mind here. As is the fact that he was probably overestimating his advertising’s effectiveness.)

We can also measure business metrics like the volume and quality of leads generated. These aren’t quite as useful as revenue and profitability metrics, but are far more valuable than process metrics like clickthrough rates.

However, even as we recognize that the buck stops with revenue and lead generation metrics, we should look at our implementation in a more qualitative manner to find ways to improve marketing effectiveness and ensure that we stay on track with our efforts.

Relevance

A regular review of your content, subject lines, and CTAs (calls to action) is critical to any email marketing success. Are you laser focused on your prospects problems? That’s all they’re interested in and the only thing that will keep them from clicking the Delete or Unsubscribe buttons.

Humanity

Remaining relevant is no excuse for a “just the facts, ma’am” approach. Make sure you’re not falling back into the stiff, formal (and often passive) language of yesteryear’s marketing and advertising. This is critical for businesses of every size and in just about every market, whether B2B or B2C.

Authenticity

Critically, the manner in which you humanize your voice has to be authentic to your brand. Coming across as folksy or adopting a “we’re BFFs” persona won’t work if your customer service teams and other public-facing touch-points are cold and impersonal. In fact, they’ll backfire.

Technology

Beyond these foundational elements that will power your email marketing efforts, you should be reviewing the technical details that change more rapidly than any of us would like.

Ensure that your emails are still displaying properly on the most recent versions of popular email programs and apps.

Review your design and content for accessibility compliance. A/B test subject lines and sender addresses.

And make sure you’re staying on the right side of the ever-expanding universe of privacy regulations.

Not all of this is particularly sexy, but staying on top of these details can help ensure that your marketing results are.

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Andrew Schulkind

Since 1996, Andrew Schulkind has asked clients one simple question: what does digital marketing success look like, and how can marketing progress be measured? A veteran content marketer, web developer, and digital strategist, Andrew founded Andigo New Media to help firms find a more strategic and productive mix of tools that genuinely support online brand goals over time. With a passion for true collaboration and meaningful consensus, his work touches social media, search-engine optimization, and email marketing, among other components. He views is primary goal as encouraging engagement. Getting an audience involved in your story requires solid information architecture, a great user experience, and compelling content. A dash of common sense doesn’t hurt, either. Andrew has presented at Social Media Week NY and WordCampNYC, among other events, on content marketing and web-development topics. His technology writing appears on the Andigo blog, in a monthly column on Biznology.com, and for print and online publications like The New York Enterprise Report, Social Media Today, and GSG Worldwide’s publications LinkedIn & Business, Facebook & Business, and Tweeting & Business. Andrew graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy from Bucknell University. He engages in a range of community volunteer work and is an avid fly fisherman and cyclist. He also loves collecting meaningless trivia. (Did you know the Lone Ranger made his mask from the cloth of his brother's vest after his brother was killed by "the bad guys?")

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