Once again, the ExactTarget conference, Connections 2012: Inspire the Future, was informative and impressive.
Parthenon is a longtime partner of ExactTarget, an ever-expanding and robust email marketing provider. Their annual conference in Indianapolis is touted as the world’s largest gathering of interactive marketers, and is an amazing collaboration of marketers from around the country. There are attendees representing big corporations, small businesses and start-ups. Some are fellow resellers, while others are new to the products. I learned a lot and am excited to take this new knowledge, improve our current email marketing strategies and develop new ones in the future.
I also want to share four takeaways that can be applicable to any business, no matter where you are in your email marketing strategy.
1. Start simple and grow
Whether you are building a marketing strategy from the ground up or are trying a new, automated email, start simple. You should have a project-management mentality when starting a strategy. Take one idea at a time and let it grow before starting the next project.
2. Optimize user experience
No matter where, or what type of email marketing campaign you are starting or improving, optimize the user experience. Remember these basic design principles:
- Color: make sure it fits the brand
- Type: it needs to be email friendly so it renders across email clients and be readable
- Layout: define style guidelines and stick to them throughout campaigns
- Audience: consider where subscribers are looking at email – on mobile devices, work computers or at home
3. Think beyond opens and clicks
It’s easy to get caught up in “the numbers.” Email marketing providers such as ExactTarget offer a wide range of tools for analyzing email open rates and clicks. It’s important to consider the numbers, but more crucial to use email marketing to solve a business problem.
4. Stop guessing and start testing
That said, sometimes the numbers do matter. For example, if you are unsure which subject line to use, conduct a simple A/B test. Use a small sample of the subscribers to test one subject line, then send the rest of the emails using the second subject line. A/B testing can also be used for content wells, send date and from name.