7 Steps to Email Greatest

Email is still one of the most cost-effective marketing channels Email Timing Infographicavailable to all sizes of business. The art and science are in getting it right so you don’t land in the spam folder or get too many unsubscribes. If you write at least some portion of your own content, here are some basics for your email strategy that even contributors should keep in mind.

Focus Your Goal
Plan your campaigns strategically for each audience you target. A client engagement campaign will have different content and intervals than a limited offer. What is this email meant to accomplish? (How to measure success is discussed later.)  Each campaign needs to be thought through completely before writing the first line of content.

Which Devices Do Your Audience Use
Knowing the top devices your readers open your email on most frequently will help you make the best content and image choices. Adestra states – 45% of email opens occurred on mobile, 36% on desktop and 19% in a webmail client. While this is a general number, check your own data and KPIs at least quarterly for changes.

Write a Worthy Subject Line
People read what appeals to them. Grab their attention without landing in the spam folder by staying on goal and true to your brand’s voice. This reassures the reader that your content is relevant. A basic refresher from this article will help avoid getting your email labeled as spam.

Use a Relevant or Provocative Image
Once you get your target to open your email, you want them to be interested enough to read it. Your choice of image is an important answer to the reader’s question, “Is this email worth reading?” Sometimes there isn’t an obvious image that conveys your message so you might try something fun or disruptive to make them wonder.

Which Day Is Your Best
While more email is sent and read on Mondays, your best day for this target might be different. My client, Tanglewood Works, sends her new items email every Thursday before the weekend shopping trend to current subscribers. (She now devotes more time to her social media channels on the other days. Smart resource management!) If you have many products that target different audiences consider each one’s reading trends uniquely. It’ important to monitor your audience’s trends and analyze your data often for shifts.

Test One Element With Each Email
Having a written email testing plan will optimize your efforts over time. If you have a large list you can run multivariate tests and gain insights much more quickly. If you are new to testing, try something easy such as subject lines. Advanced users can follow Email on Acid to venture further into geeky tests like variable text headers.

Plan KPIs In Advance

As you plan your email campaign and it’s goals, determine what your KPI should be for each campaign and each email within. Your end-goal might be to get the target to request a product demo. Often, these are part of CTAs within the email. Plan the path you anticipate your target will take. If you can imagine multiple routes to your goal, then you plan those separately. This is a perfect chance to test multiple versions of the same email with different paths.

Before, you could write an email and blast it out to your subscribers. Today with so much noise and competition, being strategic and having SMART goals for your campaigns is the best way to manage your resources, measure results and make sound decisions for your next campaign. If you’re new to SMART marketing, here’s an easy template to get you started.

Contextually Relevant Content or Just Blogging

My clients and future clients sometimes ask why I don’t practice what I preach – blog regularly to help support a larger SEM goal. That would require me to have a personal SEM goal for my practice, I say. However, many bloggers out there just blog to blog. This is a fine strategy if you are building your brand awareness, However, most businesses today whether they wish to reach consumers or other businesses rely on content to perform multiple duties that it isn’t optimized to deliver.

Having a primary goal for your content production is key and while it’s exciting to try to crack the code where your content ticks many boxes, it’s a ton of work that most content teams are not skilled in doing. Perfect content is: interesting to the target audience, creates conversions, helps SERP, helps PPC, helps organic and meets the moving  target of Googles content-rich algorithms. As most companies have copywriters who strive to be interesting, how can this same content also be optimized by the same person or another who doesn’t wreck the message?

This is why I don’t blog often. But when I do, it’s audience relevant.

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What Data, Marketing and Starfish Have in Common

what data marketers and starfish have in common

It’s a common problem for most organizations – large and small. With all this data on our customers, prospects and their behaviors, what can we report on and what can give us insight to make sound decisions? Most marketers are tasked with this balancing act. Management wants to see justification for your spending – as most executives have not fully embraced that marketing is a revenue generating department. Your team needs strategy insight from the data.

Case In Point
Minimizing customer churn is a big focus today as conservative studies show that it costs three times more to find a new customer than it does to sell to an existing customer. There are studies that state up to 15 times greater. The issue stems from not having consistent, quantifiable data from both marketing and sales that produces clues of potential churn. While executives would love this information, prioritization of this analysis usually comes after it’s too late. It doesn’t help that the account managers are reluctant to assist marketing identify these events as it could cast their performance in a bad light.

Root of the Problem
Until sales executives proactively hold account managers accountable (read: commission) to entering data into fields that their CRM can measure we will be severely limited as to what we can both report on and predict.

Crocodiles and Starfish
It takes steady feet and thick skin to be a marketing executive. When sales are down, marketing is told to generate more leads. The budget isn’t increased, but we know that we probably need 3-15 times more money to achieve this goal. Sales is told to close more deals, so funnels get padded. Account management is often the best place for growth to occur quickly, but like all acquisition marketing and sales they plan takes time, money and effort. It’s like watching a starfish. They are moving, but it’s hard to see immediately unless you have good data.


Information vs. Knowledge

In a current conversation regarding the anti-vax movement and measles, a very well-educated person in the field of medicine I know made a comment I found profound. “People often confuse information with knowledge.” The more I thought of the daily exchanges and conversations in my life, the more I was reminded of this statement.

With all the information available on the internet, we tend to find an answer that works for us and rarely consider the source. How many times have you been out with friends where a question occurs to the group without a clear answer and someone says, “I’m Googling it now.” The answer comes and unless it’s really odd, we accept it. We have become groomed to assume the information is correct. Many individuals falsely consider themselves knowledgeable or even educated because of this.

Countless people I know locally (SF Bay Area) identify themselves quite proudly as educated. Some proudly share how they don’t watch television or pay attention to online information. These same people stand firm on their source as providing them superior information.

I don’t shun any source of information as I’m curious to witness what everyone pays attention to most. As for my own knowledge,  that is formed from years of experience and digesting numerous types of information from many sources. Then when required to make an educated decision I can pull from many resources and add my experience to my choice.

I challenge anyone who reads this to think about statements made around them and those you pose to consider the source. Are they educated or just parroting a single source they consider superior information? You may be surprised how many authoritarians in your life are merely informed, not educated.

To Blog is Human…

paula pollock, pollock marketing, pollock marketing group
Watch out. I’m blogging again!

If you are looking for the “old” Pollock Marketing Group site, you are in the right place. As clients know, my marketing assistance is always available alone or with teams. Recently, my skills have been employed alone so I decided to streamline the site to a blog format and use my vast networking resources to share with my connections. The past eight years have been a fun ride full of new clients, new marketing channels and lots of great new friends.

I know my online pals will support this change and are welcome to comment and add relevant posts here.  Help me make this a fun change.