10 Email Marketing Musts

The year may be winding down, but email marketers are busy gearing up for 2014.

So, in case you missed it, here’s a list of must-see advice you can use in your 2014 planning from 10 email marketers and email industry insiders who shared their stories and opinions with Direct Marketing News in 2013:

Respect customer preferences. “We can expect that deliverability will continue to be a challenge, as [will be] maintaining mailer reputation,” says Jeannette Kocsis, EVP of digital engagement at The Agency Inside Harte-Hanks, adding that “when a customer chooses channels, content, and frequencies, their preferences need to be respected.”
Email: What Should Marketers Expect in 2014?

Be relevant. “We don’t want to bother people with an email about something that’s happening in Texas when they’re in Alabama,” says Kathy Doyle Thomas, EVP at Half Price Books. “You get a better return, and you don’t tick off your customers.”
Channeling the Customer

Keep it fresh. “As a company…we’re relatively risk-averse,” says Jarrod Purchase, email marketing manager at Best of the Best. “But on the flip side, because email is such a strong revenue driver for us, we need to keep it fresh and keep trying new things as a way to stand out in the email world and stand out in the consumer’s inbox.”
–One Email That Packs the Punch of Three

Think (differently for) mobile. “A few years ago we didn’t have to worry about [conversion]. We knew that if [consumers] checked their email they would be at their desktop and it would be very easy to complete a transaction,” says Jordan Cohen, VP of marketing for Movable Ink. “Email on the mobile phone is not at all the same as it is on the desktop in terms of how likely a consumer is to respond to it.”
Not all Mobile Emails Are Created Equal

Don’t fear unsubscribes. Make uninterested folks unsubscribe. The more emails you send that are not opened or clicked, the more ISPs will identify you as a spammer,” says Eddie Howard, senior product manager at Vocus. “Plus, this is a great step in list hygiene: You’re not wasting resources emailing people who don’t want to hear from you.”
3 Counterintuitive Tips to Boost Your Email Marketing

Maintain a good mailer reputation. “Every IP address and domain has a reputation based on factors such as history of hard bounces and spam complaints,” says Kate Nowrouzi, director of product policy at Message Systems. “Domains and IP addresses with a good reputation have a better delivery rate, so building and maintaining a good reputation should be central to the mission of your email operations.”
The Dollars and Cents of Email Deliverability

Use email as a conduit to content. “Our email program has become content leveraged through automation,”  says Nathan Decker, senior manager of e-commerce for online retailer Evo, adding that instead of focusing solely on transactional messaging, “now there’s all kinds of fun stuff in our emails.”
Emailing in Synch With the Customer Lifecyle

Pull the trigger. “Triggered messages like browse emails…, abandoned cart series, and even thank-you-for-purchase emails are extremely effective,” says Liz Gould, director of strategic accounts for cross-channel marketing at Experian Marketing Services. “We’ve seen a 54% lift in revenue when sending a second abandoned-cart reminder, a 3.4x increase in revenue with browse emails, and 13x increase in revenue with thank-you-for-purchase emails.
Overlook This Email Issue and Customers Will Opt Out

Be bold, but brief. “Historically, people spent up to five seconds on a desktop email, but on mobile devices they’re spending less than two,” says Wacarra Yeomans, director of creative services at Responsys. “So you need a combination of copy and images, which can get a complex message across in less than two seconds.”
Email on the Move

Build trust. “There is a penalty for irrelevancy in email marketing that doesn’t exist in other channels called the Report Spam button,” says Stephanie Miller, VP, member relations at DMA. “Clicks on that button, whether the cause is dissatisfaction, ignorance, or annoyance, affect our sender reputation, and thus our ability to reach any inbox at all.”
Email’s Role in Customer Trust

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