Unique Challenges in Distributed Email Marketing
Choosing an email platform for distributed marketing requires consideration of the field marketers on your team. Most field marketers hope to send a quick message that will drive revenue to their location. They have less interest in learning the various techniques required to create a responsive email or how to select from an A/B test scenario. As a corporate marketer you know there are many more pieces needed to have a successful campaign. This post outlines the unique considerations to help leverage the expertise for your distributed marketing team.
Corporate marketers play an important role in helping distributed marketing be effective, engaging, and easy. In order to be effective from the start, the distributed marketer needs several assets such as logos and photos at their disposal. If not, they will need to be found elsewhere, often at the expense of brand compliance and duplicated resource expenditure. It is important for a distributed email marketing platform to be utilized across the organization. Sharing files is prone to error and a maintenance nightmare, but is surprisingly often the default approach. Another commonality is trying to utilize a small business email platform for distributed marketing. This is better than storing the assets on everyone’s computer, but still falls short of a successful distributed marketing platform.
Once you have an infrastructure for storing and distributing those assets, the next step is to broaden your definition of an asset. For example, CAN-SPAM footers and social sharing buttons can be examples of assets, as well as A/B tested subject lines and headers. A more expensive asset might even be the responsive designs you have spent time on and tweaked until perfect. Make sure to store these assets and make them reusable for other templates.
Consistency is key in order to be “easy.” Another important consideration for the field marketer audience is to work towards achieving consolidation of output channels. Using disparate platforms to accomplish print, merchandising, direct mail and email independent of each other is overwhelming. For a distributed marketer in the field, you need consistency in order to make sending a print document as easy as sending a marketing email. Ensure your platform can do more than just email to encourage your distributed marketers to engage more frequently.
Email templates used to send brand compliant newsletters, offers, and reminders are just the beginning. Investing in responsive templates that work in email programs like Microsoft Outlook as well as mobile devices are also important, but why invest repeatedly to accomplish this? Make a responsive template an asset just like a logo. Leverage the power of storing marketing assets in a central repository by allowing your logos, photos, images and sub-templates to be easily accessed, allowing you to focus on perfecting them. Each send is an A/B test, so leverage that information into a continuous improvement loop. Don’t forget to communicate the changes to your team to help them adopt easily. Choose a platform that can do this seamlessly or timeliness and effectiveness will be at stake.
While these are important foundational steps to achieve an effective distributed marketing program, the clients you are targeting need to be engaged by the emails. There are many best practices to accomplish an engaging email campaign, but as the manager of a distributed email marketing platform, you shouldn’t endlessly train your marketers to write a powerful subject line and hope they will adopt your expertise. Enforce a level of compliance through a distributed marketing platform and do your organization a favor. Treat compelling subject lines and headers as assets, especially if you have invested in A/B testing. Make your CAN-SPAM compliance footer a sub-template and remember to include a social sharing button sub-template. By including these assets, you can add social links and reuse them across all other templates. A single change can propagate throughout your entire portfolio with one click. If you’ve ever updated a copyright date, you have already learned this lesson the hard way. In your platform, make the choices specific to a user or location automatically so they can focus on the choices rather than error-prone data entry.
With these foundational elements successfully in place, it’s time to focus on the message. Personalize it with variable data to improve click-through rates by 15% and conversion rates by 10%. Then focus on your ultimate goal: a call to action. Display your call to action near the top so it is ‘above the fold’. Treat it as a main component of the message. Include some relevant images to entice the audience and make the message engaging. Give the distributed marketer a choice of image and message, as they are unique and have local intelligence to further engage the client.
The next step is to give the distributed marketer a choice in scheduling their email, but also deliver them guidelines regarding time of day and weekend restrictions. You might also implement a rule that restricts how far into the future you may schedule an email to send. Finally, make sure you are managing the frequency a distributed marketer is messaging a particular client or they may begin to unsubscribe. Do this through an automated rule that works across the board; ensuring two locations don’t message the same client in the same period of time.
In summary, a platform that can solve these challenges for distributed marketing organizations needing to send engaging emails is the key to a successful marketing campaign. Contact Saepio to find out how MarketPort can help your team with these challenges.