My biggest suggestion for 2015 is to automate! Automate as many campaigns as possible. Not only are you going to save time and trim down your to-do list, but automated campaigns tend to see much higher levels of engagement, nurturing relationships and deepening your value to subscribers. There are so many reasons to automate, so what are you waiting for? Try out automation this year.
Whether your organization runs like a well-oiled machine or you feel like you’re constantly in survival mode, there’s always room for improvement. I work with a lot of very talented marketing experts, so I asked them – what should marketers focus on in 2015? Here’s what the Informz Experts had to say!
Viv Swertinski, Senior Digital Marketing Strategist
January is the month when many of us sort through our closets, taking inventory of what we have, so we can make room for the brand new items we need to find a home for. As we take inventory and think of our current needs, we often find items that used to fit but are outdated and in need of replacing. We also identify things that we need now but don’t have. Our marketing programs can look the same way.
The start of a new year is the perfect time to take inventory of what we have in place, what is working and what gaps we may have. I suggest thinking about the path a prospective member may take to discover your organization, understand your purpose, become interested in joining, and grow into a longstanding loyal constituent. Next, make sure there are applicable marketing communications for each phase of the constituent’s journey. January is the ideal time to identify what is working, what needs to be replaced and what is missing in our marketing closet. (By the way, Informz has brand new shiny features coming that you’ll want to make room for!)
Kevin Allen, Software Operations Level II
While my role at Informz will be much different in 2015, a lingering mission of mine is to encourage our email-designing clients to learn HTML (and the proper syntax for email rendering). I’ve worked with clients who have HTML background and those who lack a basic understanding of markup language. Those who know it realize how easy it can be and how important it is to the email design process. Those who choose not to learn HTML struggle, all because of a misconception that HTML is a complex programming language. If you are struggling with email HTML, ask your advisor about free video resources from 2014 that still provide the basics to get you up to speed. Make it a resolution to learn the basics, and in a couple days you just might be able to check it off your list!
Taryn Morrissey, Executive Advisor
In 2015, I’d like to see email marketers take email testing to the next level. Do more controlled, more purposeful testing. Be able to say out loud what it is what you’ll be testing and what you’ll gain from your tests. For example, “I am testing the use of first name in the beginning of my subject line across new members; if open rates are higher, I will know that first name is a good choice when emailing to new members in the future.” Add the data to your marketing arsenal.
Greg Robinson, Director of Deliverability and Compliance
With deliverability and engagement in mind, I suggest focusing more attention on the true wants and needs of your target audience. I see more consistent success from those who are sending relevant information to individuals who have specifically requested to receive the delivered content. If the content is not relevant or was not requested by a significant portion of the targeted audience, there will be greater opportunity for complications in the delivery process. If you don’t know what or when your audience wants to hear from you, don’t be afraid to ask. Now is the time to request that subscribers update their communications preferences, or perhaps you should create a survey to poll them for new topic ideas!
Seth Carr, Advisor
Segment your lists! Every email marketer has lists of subscribers that they use when sending out their communications, but the real power is in segmenting those lists. The more specific your lists are, the better you can market to your members in ways that they find most meaningful. Sending targeted messages to your subscribers is critical to standing out in the inbox in 2015.
Chris Scavo, eMarketing Strategist
One element I tend to trumpet is knowing your data and utilizing personalized messaging. Utilizing the data you collect to send personalized messages based on a subscribers behavior, interests, or needs is a rapidly growing trend in the association world, as well as email marketing in general. Subscribers are becoming sophisticated enough to know when a marketer is using a mass email to hit the interests of all their members.
Informz includes a powerful and easy-to-use way of accomplishing this by taking advantage of dynamic segmentation — a time saver and a tool for more customized messages. This allows the marketer to build one email, but have multiple versions of each story that can be set to only display for certain target groups (i.e. students versus administrators, versus professors, etc.).
What are your marketing resolutions for the new year? Share in the comments!