Research Piece On What Email Marketers Are Focusing On

  • April 11, 2015

    We are pleased to announce that email industry heavy weight Jordie Van Rijn from Email Monday among many other well respected email marketing events, blogs and websites like email vendor selection has agreed to write a series of blogs for display block. The first of which is below. Please make sure you register at the bottom of our home page if you want to be informed when Jordie’s next piece is available.

    This Is What Email Marketers Will Be Focusing On

    There has never been a better time to start with building out your email marketing plan than right now. With that in mind it is interesting to gauge what marketers say are the top focal points for their email marketing programs.

    What Email Marketers Will Be Focusing On

    Nobody can do everything at the same time. So we must make choices – this right choices will lead to (more) success. This heightens the urgency of the question: what will we be focusing our email marketing efforts on? Econsultancy shows what the email marketing community answers in their census study. Which, by the way, reports that email is standing stronger than ever as a very effective marketing channel. These are the answers the marketers gave.


    Let’s zoom in on the top 3:

    Automated campaigns, 
strategy and campaign planning, and 
list and data quality.

    1. Automated campaigns and marketing automation

    Automated campaigns are hot, Marketing automation statistics say that adoption amongst forward-thinking marketers is way up and for good reason. A Lenskold Group study says 78 percent of successful marketers point to marketing automation as a prime responsible tactic contributing to revenue improvements. If you automate the right campaigns they can bring home the bacon even with lower volumes.

    Picking the right automated campaigns

    Picking the right automated campaigns is one of the first steps. Did you think a birthday campaign was too corny or overused? Not. At. All. If it works, it works. You’re looking for high impact campaigns, the ones that increase subscriber engagement and revenues. But that is not the only thing to look for, they should not be big volume per se, but represent enough volume to make sense.

    Phased approach

    In terms of time investment, see your first iteration as a Minimal Lovable Product. The campaign doesn’t need to be perfect, you can later build it out in sophistication, series length and optimize it. An abandoned cart mail can quickly garner results even the most basic one.

    Higher adoption and behavioral email

    Marketing automation works great in combination with behavioral email targeting. Creativity and to come up with an authentic and freshly compelling message is the only challenge nowadays because auto responders are a feature in many even low priced email marketing software tools and there are specialized email and marketing automation agencies that can help you get them realized.

    2. Strategy and the art of campaign planning

    Strategy is a top priority and it always has been the core of effective email marketing. Craft a strategy through an email marketing plan. Write down all your ideas. A marketing plan should be more than “ let’s do exactly what we did last year and try to get the same results we did last year, forward-thinking marketers crave realistic ambition. 

Some plans sadly look more like a wish list of email tactics. Including everything the marketer might want to do or even worse should do, but will never get to. That is not a plan, that is a dream on paper. We have to make both the easy and the tough choices. What will enthuse management at the end of the quarter or year? A solid email marketing strategy describes that outcome in detail and offers the road to achieving it. Catch your outcomes and shape the right email marketing KPIs based on those.

 Perform a litmus test (no not that one, the other one) to see if you running the wise man’s errands. Is management really going to care about an increase in opens if it doesn’t represent better business results? Think beyond email metrics only.

    3. Up-to-data: List and Data Quality

    Clean, pristine and up-to-date data presents many benefits. Data quality can become an issue if not accounted for deterioration, are your contacts really still enthused by personalization on the preferences of their former self that filled in a survey two years ago? 

Possibly the renewed focus on data has much to do with #1, automation because there is little automation on behavior and profiles if the data doesn’t add up.


    Twenty-five percent of marketers say focusing on data and list quality is a prime tactic this year, improving outcomes from their email marketing program. The source of list growth is a big predictor for the quality of your list. So the professional email marketer’s efforts in these are akin to picking the best email list growth touchpoints I wrote about before.

    But if your business goals are set in percentages, will list growth or quality be properly credited for its impact? Percentages for open, click and conversions a great to spot activity trends and compare individual emails. But we want to see absolute results. A 20 percent growth of your active file with the same quality (yes, quality is a returning topic) will simply mean a 20 percent lift of results. Quick win: In the footer of your emails always give the option for them to update their profile.

    Get started now

    Marketers intend to work on Automation, Strategy and List Quality and definitely these are good areas to focus on. It is for the first time that automation has kicked Strategy from the first place, which can be explained by the popular rise of the topic. The runners-up are very close so in my next article I will go into those a bit further into the Insights measurement and analytics bring, Segmentation and Delivering relevant communication.

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