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Posts Tagged ‘Email Marketing’

Wearing Ten Hats? Can’t Decide Which to Put on Next? Read This.

Monday, December 1st, 2008

Going into 2009, we all are looking for good ways to plan next year’s marketing campaigns. Determining your top priorities is a big challenge when you do this planning. Fortunately, prioritizing your marketing campaigns can be done in less time if you follow a brief set of guidelines.  

Judah Phillips, in an insightful post at Web Analytics Demystified, asserts that the primary criteria for prioritizing web analytics work is: “Is revenue at risk?” Analytics in support of revenue-generating tasks has to be at the top of your list, so when deciding what information you need right now, ask yourself first if any revenue will be at risk if the task is not completed.

This method works equally well for other aspects of your marketing work. Karen Gedney, writing at Click-Z, echoes this viewpoint for email programs. She suggests that, when setting priorities for an email marketing campaign, make sure that everything you spend generates revenue, “and your marketing priorities will arrange themselves.”

If you’re at a small to midsize organization and wear multiple hats, setting priorities is more complex. You may have several priorities on your plate, all of which are revenue-generating. If you sit down at your desk in the morning and have to choose whether to make email, PPC campaigns, social media, PR, analytics, or designing a print ad a priority today, what do you do? The scores of you marketers at start-ups, non-profits, and other organizations where wearing five hats is the norm know what I mean. The more varied the range of tasks you need to prioritize, the more criteria you need to use to determine your top priorities.

Here are five tips for setting priorities in a multi-faceted marketing practice:

  • At least half of what you do in a given week needs to be customer-facing. That means focusing on getting your email campaigns out, tweaking your PPC ads, drafting those print ads, and writing those white papers. You are in the business of communicating your company’s or organization’s message to your clients, and all your work needs to focus on that goal. You may have a lot of work to do that is internal to your company or department, but you must keep the primary focus of your department, namely, communication with customers, in mind.
  •  Do whatever absolutely needs to happen every week first. If you always send out an e-newsletter, work on that early in the week. If a print ad needs to go out by Tuesday, make sure it’s done by the week before. Optional activities, like adding materials to your social media campaigns, will need to be done later in the week. Otherwise, you are always playing catch-up.
  • “Will this shake things up?” At least one thing you do this year should.
  • Incorporate metrics into everything do in such a way that it seldom becomes a part of your to-do list on its own. Part of every email campaign is to check your metrics the evening of day the campaign goes out, and then again one week afterwards. Every morning, you need to watch your web traffic. Every day, you need to see how your PPC campaigns are performing. If you make measurement a part of the whole in everything you do, it isn’t an onerous separate task you need to schedule. This makes scheduling and prioritizing that much more straightforward.
  • Do one thing you really like every day, and one thing that is relatively dull. Don’t schedule all dull days, or you will start to get burnout. At the end of a day doing your least favorite thing, write an article, or design an ad. (Or insert your favorite task here).

Organizing all the tasks before you can seem daunting at first, but it’s actually quite a doable process. Setting your top marketing priorities can be one of the most useful things you can do towards the end of the year. It’s an ongoing process, as well, especially when you are wearing a lot of hats. Thus, starting out with a good list of priorities will pay off throughout 2009.

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Christina Inge is the marketing manager for Spinwave Systems, a Westford-based tech company specializing in energy management solutions. She also serves as marketing and public relations coordinator for the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell. She has over ten years’ experience in communications for both B2C and B2B audiences.

  

So…Looks Like We Are In a Recession. Never Fear Marketers Are Here!

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

Last week’s article Recession Nation: 49 States at Risk pointed out that every state in the country with the exception of oil rich Alaska is either in or at risk of being in a recession.  Working for a marketing services organization, I automatically hear from customers and prospects that their budgets are being slashed.  It’s a common trend I’ve experienced during my 15 years in marketing.  Yet, each and every time I see a recession as an opportunity.  Are marketing people delusional in feeling this way? Are we eternal optimists?  I don’t think so!    No matter what happens in the economy, let’s not forget our customers!  How do we help them if they are in situations where their budgets have been cut?  What do we do within our own organizations when management puts the pressure on us to reduce budgets?  We do what we do best – get creative! 

With all the latest cost-effective on-line technologies, even the smallest budgets can be used for successful marketing campaigns that yield opportunities for revenue.  Here are three cost-effective ways to leverage both traditional and on-line marketing without putting a strain on marketing budgets.

Keep going with email marketing
Despite the challenges marketers face with email marketing, whether deliverability or CAN SPAM compliance, the fact is – email marketing works!  82 percent of the marketers surveyed by Datran Media indicated that they planned to increase their use of email marketing this year.  There are numerous statistics all over the web about how you can use this cost-effective medium to generate leads and up-sell your products and services to existing customers.  The key is to find an ESP (email service provider) that does all the leg work of ensuring that your emails make it to your prospects and customers.  All you need to worry about is your message and call to action. You can send emails for pennies compared to traditional marketing efforts.  Most of you are already doing it.  Those that aren’t, what in the world are you waiting for!

Make your direct mail campaigns work harder by incorporating PURL technology
PURLs or personalized URLs are a fairly new application that automatically generates a separate URL for each person you’re targeting.  The technology works by creating a personalized web page for each direct mail recipient (e.g. www. AnnaBarcelos.CompanyName.com) that is printed on the direct mail piece.  A DMA study a couple years ago indicated that 42% of direct mail recipients prefer to respond on-line.  Capture these recipients by directing them to special pages that contain offers or collect information to help convert them to paying customers.  PURL technology is cost-effective at pennies per recipient, fully trackable and can double response rates.  I don’t know about you, but I recycle most of the direct mail I receive.  Bet I wouldn’t throw one out if it had a PURL on it.  Wouldn’t you be curious to see what awaits you on a web page created just for you?

What about the good ole fashioned telephone?
It costs 8 to 10 times less to generate revenue from existing customers than obtain new ones.  So why do companies still spend countless amounts of money trying to get new customers when there are plenty of existing ones that they can up-sell products and services to?  Take a look at your existing customer base and their current purchases.  I’m sure there are up-selling opportunities, but you won’t know until you pick up the phone and talk to them.  So simple, yet we don’t do it often enough.

These are just three ways to add more muscle to limited marketing budgets.  As marketers, we are smart, creative people.  Let’s use that ability more than ever during these trying times.

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Anna Barcelos has over 14 years of B2B and B2C broad-based marketing experience, both traditional and on-line. She is the Director of Marketing and Business Development for BLI Messaging, a Providence, RI-based email, voice, survey, SMS and fax technologies company.  Anna is currently a member of AMA, MarketingProfs, and SOCAP. She is also a monthly AMA Boston blog contributor.

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The views and opinions on this blog are solely those of the contributors and do NOT necessarily reflect the official opinions of the Boston Chapter of the American Marketing Association.