Increase Response to Your E-mail Campaigns
By Matt Griffin
Follow these six steps to test along the conversion funnel.
As a cataloger, you spend time testing your circulation strategy, developing creative that will be a hit with your audience and building an image with which your customers can identify. But are you applying the same rigorous work to your e-mail campaigns?
"Merchants test around their catalogs because catalogs are expensive to produce, and they don't want waste," says Eric Kirby, senior vice president and general manager for e-mail solutions at DoubleClick. "But because e-mail always has been cheap, they don't bother to test it as much as they should."
And since e-mail spending will increase by 7 percent this year from 2005, according to a recent forecast by Jupiter Research, it might be time to re-evaluate how you send e-mail to ensure you're getting the most for your money.
Kirby suggests a testing strategy that follows the framework of a customer's interaction with your e-mail program. Here are six steps that can help:
1. Test address acquisition techniques. This is the first time a customer will interact with your e-mail campaign, and you need to make a good impression. Why should the customer give you permission to e-mail her? And more than just seeking permission to e-mail, you need permission to e-mail the correct address, says Rich Fleck, director of strategic services for DoubleClick. Because the average consumer has multiple e-mail addresses, get permission to e-mail the address she most frequently checks.
The best way to get that information is to "clearly state the benefits [customers] receive by providing their primary e-mail addresses," Fleck says. While these benefits should be stated whenever and wherever you collect e-mail addresses — from your site's homepage, to the call center — the benefits themselves can vary.