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Pushing One-to-One Marketing Beyond Email

by R.J. Talyor  |  
April 21, 2009

You get it. Email needs to be relevant, timely, and personalized, and it has to arrive in the inbox—not the spam folder. When an email renders, it should load images perfectly, guide the eye through stunning, effective design that drives subscribers to convert—download, purchase, whatever.

But effective one-to-one marketing is more than just email.

Don't get me wrong: Email is critical. If we've learned anything in the last decade, it's that email drives commerce and influences people, and it's a linchpin in marketing programs. In no way am I belittling the power of the email channel.

But as marketers, it's critical to build from—and with—email to create new, multichannel campaigns to engage today's subscribers. Here's why (and this is probably obvious): Your subscribers and customers aren't always staring at their email inboxes. Rather, they're also posting, texting, watching, commenting, and they step away from the computer sometimes, too. But we don't have (legal) methods to track them out there in the world... yet.

Enter digital one-to-one marketing. It can mean a lot of things, but for the purposes of this article, let's assume that digital one-to-one marketing means crafting an experience for an individual subscriber across multiple channels that guides them to a desired action.

If it's done correctly, a subscriber might not even realize that the experience was crafted by a marketer. When it's done correctly, the marketer is some sort of digital Hermes (the Greek messenger god who guided the dead to the underworld in addition to inventing the lyre; seems like the whole way to the underworld might have been a romp!).

In place of the lyre, you have a host of marketing channels as your instruments. Offline and online, you can create campaigns that include not only email but also text messaging, social networking, video, print, outdoor... and so on.

Like a marketer returning inspired from an industry event or conference, you should at this point of the article be exclaiming: Yes! I'm ready to go start taking one-to-one beyond email! Good! Here's how:

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R.J. Talyor is vice-president of mobile products at ExactTarget . Reach him at

LinkedIn: R. J. Talyor

Twitter:  @rjtalyor

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