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How (and Why) to Centralize Your Email Marketing

by Loren McDonald  |  
June 19, 2007

Picture three email campaigns. The first is poorly written, with broken links. The second has a fancy design, but it renders so badly that half the recipients can't see the offer. The third has great content and great design—but gets not-so-great results.

Our third entrant—by all accounts the creative "winner"—in fact loses, because all three emails came from the same company and hit the inbox on the same day.

There's a message here.

According to JupiterResearch, a mere 38% of companies have a single department handling email communication—while a whopping 24% have six or more.

With silo marketing teams running the show and a chronic resource-to-ROI imbalance forcing marketers to juggle email and two dozen marketing duties, it's no wonder that different business units produce dramatically different results.

Marketers in one group may teach themselves how to test, optimize, and segment email; their counterparts in another group may blast away with little concern for what isn't working.

This is why centralized email marketing is emerging as a best practice. Centralization is about putting a core team of email-marketing experts in place to handle the complicated and mundane tasks most marketers aren't equipped to handle.

There are two broad approaches:

  1. Creating a completely centralized group that acts as an internal agency and handles every aspect of every group's email marketing program.

  2. Tasking a central team with email oversight. Business units still produce their own emails, but the centralized function offers advice and oversees execution.

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Loren McDonald is vice-president of industry relations at Silverpop, an email service provider for B2C marketing initiatives and B2B lead-management processes. Reach him via

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