Four tips for improving e-mail marketing relevance with life cycle management

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Managing the e-mail marketing life cycle is key, especially when messages are part of an integrated campaign that addresses the subscriber's relationship with the brand and his or her most recent brand experience.

All points of the life cycle – subscriber welcome, loyalty program invitation, demand generation, first-time buyer, post-purchase and inactive or lapsed subscriber – need to be carefully managed by marketers to ensure a long-lasting relationship with a customer.

John Rizzi, CEO and president of e-Dialog, an e-mail marketing firm, stresses the value of managing a campaign's e-mail marketing life cycle.

“There is a lot to think about when putting together a life cycle e-mail marketing program, and it is imperative to have someone who can demonstrate the ROI based on previous experience and counsel you on establishing benchmarks as a starting point for implementing e-mail marketing life cycle approaches,” says Rizzi. He adds that ESPs should manage overall contact strategy and message frequency, while applying lessons learned to constantly improve ROI. Rizzi offers more tips on how to successfully manage a life cycle program.

Identify relevant raw materials. Once a marketer decides to move forward with an e-mail life cycle program, it is necessary to identify the right technical resources and marketing expertise. This includes actionable customer data, marketing content, and tools that enable segmentation, analysis, dynamic publishing and automated triggers to maximize the effectiveness of a campaign, says Rizzi.

Overall strategy. A marketer also should determine how the campaign fits into the overall customer contact strategy, what the frequency will be, and the best time to send the e-mail. “One of the best tactics to employ is frequent testing and measurement,” says Rizzi. “You will want to look at how your current programs are performing and establish key performance indicators up front, so you can measure success and continually improve.” 

Don't neglect personalization. Marketers should remember that customers want relevant messages about products or services they have expressed interest in. They should also know the consumer's preferences for communication, whether e-mail, mobile or social media, and make sure the messages connect with him or her. Marketers should try to connect with visitors by asking them to take an action, such as a writing product review or sharing their experience on a social network.

Know the customer's frame of mind. The marketer needs to understand if the consumer is in a good mood – perhaps just back from a vacation, for instance. In that case, a product of a just-purchased shipment could be on back order. “Be sure to tune your messaging to their mood for maximum relevance,” Rizzi adds. “Otherwise, the best you can expect is that your customer will tune out and stop opening and responding to your messages.”

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