Marketers work hard every quarter to produce a spike in engagement. Once that spike is achieved, it’s tempting for brands to sit back and reap the fruits of their hard work. However, these instances provide the best opportunity to capitalize on the interest already generated. Marketers are advised to strike while the iron is hot, and take their engagement streak as far as it could go.
Show Customers Respect Through Consistency
No marketer will get very far without offering respect to their consumer base. One form of making the customer feel appreciated is maintaining a consistent outreach flow. “You’ve just sent more messages to them in the last two months than you have all year — you can’t just go radio silent,” writes Huffington Post contributor Seamas Egan. “It’s like having an amazing date and then never calling the other person again. If your campaigns were successful, your customers were enjoying hearing from you, so don’t leave them hanging. Reach out, wish them a happy New Year and kick it off with a great promotion or announcement.”
Use the Data Wisely
While consistency is key to good marketing practices, consumer outreach must be conducted wisely. To this effect, data is a marketer’s best friend. “With the huge abundance of data you’ve collected during the holiday frenzy, it’s the perfect time to evaluate your program from the outside-in, determine what is working (and what isn’t) and identify the best ways to prompt your customers into taking actions that result in your desired outcomes,” offers Egan. “This should really be done throughout the year, but the fresh start offered by the New Year provides a great opportunity to analyze your data and programs with timely information.” An ideal marketing practice is to sort through data based on how relevant and accessible it is. This information can be used to maximize the efficiency of standard email marketing tools such as segmentation.
According to Egan: “Contact centric marketing is touting the ever-elusive ‘secret sauce’ to monetizing the hidden revenue in your existing data. But that strategy is not necessarily helpful when it comes to planning. Big budgets can sometimes just result in big data, which can ultimately result in bigger problems if you aren’t careful and don’t know how to analyze effectively.” Brands must understand the underlying drivers of conversion and revenue, and plan a budget according to those. When it comes to analyzing data, the quality of information is much more important than the quantity.
Mobile is Key
In retrospect, the growth of mobile and how it has impacted — and continues to impact — email marketing is astonishing. “There are more than 345.2 million cell phone users in the U.S., and it’s not just Millennials and Gen Y,” says Egan. “Successful email marketing campaigns should now all leverage responsive design and have layouts that are mobile-friendly, such as big Call-To-Action buttons for easy clicking and fonts larger than 11 points.”
Egan illustrates the point by sharing a personal anecdote: “A friend of mine owns a Cadillac dealership in a small town. He approached me about sending out some holiday messages to his customers, and wanted to include a JPEG. I explained that people can’t see JPEGs on their phones, and that he needed to incorporate responsive design into his email strategy, as many of his customers would view the message on mobile devices. He was hesitant and explained that most of his customers are older and presumably not tech savvy. So what happened after he sent the messages? More than 50 percent were opened on mobile devices, and he saw a sizeable increase in foot traffic during his three-day sale.”