Monday, October 17, 2011
As we gear up for Connections UK, the learning from Connections 11 in the US certainly continues.
Living up to Joel Book’s claim that B-to-B marketers are some of the smartest marketers around, Laurence Rothman of Nationwide Insurance and Jeff Robinson of the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association led a lively, tips-filled discussion on best practices for email marketing to dealers, franchisees and sales agents. Here are five simple yet effective ideas they shared during a packed session at Connections user conference.
1. From line.
From their own personal experiences, Jeff and Laurence agreed that a customized from line from the sales or account rep will almost always yield better results than a company name or firstname.lastname@example.org. For the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association (ICVA), Jeff goes even one step further by including a picture and signature from each sales rep in the corresponding emails.
2. Understand where your audience is reading your email
Do you know where your email subscribers are? Just because a subscriber signed up to receive your emails from a desktop, doesn’t mean he or she is reading email on one. Determine the number of subscribers who are reading your emails on a mobile device. Then, make sure that your emails are rendering properly. If they’re not, there’s a good chance your subscribers are skipping it (and probably on the verge of unsubscribing).
3. Understand how they read it.
It’s not good enough to know that people are clicking through your emails—you need to know what they’re reading. To continue delivering relevant content, you need to find out what’s important to your readers. And remember, more content doesn’t necessarily make your emails better. In some cases, it can actually make it worse.
4. Understand why they read it.
If you’re still struggling to find out what your subscribers want to see, try asking them if they think your emails are relevant. Include a link to rank your email, but instead of thanking them for the click, direct them to a landing page with a survey where they can elaborate on what they liked or didn’t like in the email.
5. Do something with your preference center.
When Jeff first started with the ICVA, he signed up to other cities’ email newsletter to get a feel for the type of content and frequency at which they were sending. He was astonished to see how many cities asked you to fill out a preference center form only to never do anything with the information. At the ICVA, they strive to understand subscribers’ interests in order to deliver the most relevant content. For example, they would never want to send an email about upcoming arts events in the city to a subscriber who only signed up for the email newsletter to receive information on sporting events.
Did you find these tips helpful? If so, be sure to join us for Connections 2012 for even more great marketing ideas.