Using e-mail to drive ROI from seasonal campaigns

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Michael Goldberg
Michael Goldberg
Online dating and relationship sites are all competing for the same eyeballs. Since e-mail is the predominant channel for this sector, and it is a much faster conduit for messaging than direct mail, dating networks must rapidly devise, test and execute deeply personalized, relevant, compelling campaigns to their members at precisely the right time. Campaigns must also be uniquely differentiated from the competition, reflect the value of their brand and include a compelling call to action. There is no time allotted for assumptions when executing e-mail campaigns. A/B splits, analytics and random samples must be integrated into campaign deployment. Results, whether tied to a visibility or lead generation campaign, must also be immediately available and then feed back into the business intelligence systems. This data flow enables online dating networks to power successively higher performing campaigns as their information-rich models mature.

So, how do they do it? The good news is most of the techniques that dating sites employ are available to marketers across verticals since they are integrated within inbox marketing tools.

Targeting, for instance, is a very effective method employed by relationship portals that should be used in your e-mail marketing initiatives. Over the past five years, dating portal members have grown accustomed to receiving highly targeted e-mails that are aligned with their preferences. In fact, they expect them. The ability to target based on unique demographic and psychographic data reduces assumption and human error and frees marketing resources to focus on content, branding and strategy versus campaign operations. All businesses should integrate data across e-mail marketing and take advantage of triggered messaging. It is efficient and effective.

Holidays from A to Z: Everyone can leverage seasonality

Before you know it, Valentine's Day will have come and gone and consumers will soon be seeing green as advertisers will be looking toward St. Patrick's Day, the next big marketable holiday. Almost every holiday can be leveraged with a targeted themed campaign. Consumer awareness can be piqued around the holidays with familiar themes and colors and ultimately tied back to a product or service. Whether advertisers craft promotions featuring the founding fathers, the Easter bunny or Santa Claus, inbox marketing seems to work extraordinarily well when it's wrapped around a specific time for buying products and services. So, take heed, especially if your New Year's resolution was to make your marketing programs more profitable.

Michael Goldberg is associate director of marketing at Datran Media. Reach him at

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