Welcome to the New Year! I hope you've recharged your batteries and are ready to start a successful 2008.
And if you haven't done it yet, now is the perfect time to map out plans for your email program. Any changes you might make in the first few months of the year will stand you in good stead.
Resolve to do your homework
Good planning starts with analysis. Have you compared your overall results with available industry benchmarks? There are many sources for this information, but one to check is email provider Bronto. Though your own metrics are more important, you will have a gauge for how well your program is working in comparison with those of your peers.
Drill down deeper and look at results from the types of campaigns you send. Many email marketers vary the cadence of their messaging. They send e-newsletters, product or service promotions, general-themed promotions, and more. Are there variations in your results? If certain types of emails are stronger, attempt to discern what makes them work. If some campaigns are weaker, you may need to try a new communications strategy for those.
And, take the time to analyze your list. Is your list size growing substantially each year? Is your list showing any fatigue in terms of open and click-through rates? If so, you might want to look at frequency. Have you analyzed performance by the source of the names? Email sign ups from your Web site should be the most productive. Other marketing techniques such as co-registration, contests, or appending may not be as effective. If you find that's so, you might want to tighten your permission practices for those sources.
What percentage of your list has not opened or clicked on a message in four to six months? Possibly a substantial part of your file. Put a plan in place to re-engage them. Some common techniques are to ask recipients to update their preferences, special time-sensitive offers, and text or HTML-lite messages (to overcome potential delivery or image-blocking problems). After one or more reactivation efforts, it may be time to take a big step and selectively prune your list.
Resolve to test new email features or capabilities