The new path to no-risk e-mail and Web site integration

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Is your Web site like Las Vegas? Whatever happens there stays there, and no matter how hard you pry, you just can't get the scoop on e-mail recipients' site behavior?

If your well-executed e-mail campaign and your Web site just don't exchange data easily, you no longer have to remain in the dark. You can now leverage advanced Web content management features to sync your Web site and e-mail campaigns.

Here's how a new level of integration is playing out between Web content management software and e-mail marketing software.

First, a handful of Web content management system vendors have basic, built-in e-mail marketing functionality for small businesses that send newsletters and mini-campaigns to very small lists. For those with more robust e-mail marketing programs, you can now leverage the Web content management system to create consistent cross-channel branding and share content among your Web site, landing pages and e-mail campaigns. You can create an HTML file that meets best practices for e-mail design in the content management system, then export it to your e-mail marketing software for campaign launch.

The best Web content management platforms make seamless data exchange possible. Any data captured on a landing page or Web form can be transferred to the e-mail marketing software's database -- whether it's information about event registrations, subscriptions, surveys, promotions or newsletters. You no longer need technical skills to transform this Web activity into e-mail marketing intelligence.

In other words, you can now enjoy the kind of lavish marketing sophistication that was formerly reserved for Fortune 500 high rollers. Let's say your e-mail campaign is about visiting Las Vegas. You create the e-mail in the Web content management system using shared Web-site assets, then automatically export it to your e-mail marketing application for delivery. In addition, you create and A/B test a Las Vegas landing page.

An e-mail recipient clicks through, but this particular visitor couldn't care less about what's happening in Las Vegas. This user fills out a Web form requesting information on Grand Canyon tours.

Because you have enabled data integration between the Web form and the e-mail software, this person is automatically added to your Grand Canyon list and sent highly targeted permission-based e-mails from this point forward.

Using a Web content management system that plays nicely with your e-mail marketing software is one way to make segmentation a game of skill, not just a game of chance. Stack the ROI deck in your favor, and hit the jackpot on your next e-mail campaign.

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