By Ryan Phelan
I anticipate Christmas and the holiday season as eagerly as anybody. I even look forward to the flood of emails that begins to build in late October. No, I’m not a masochist. I just want to see how today’s email marketers are putting everything they’ve learned about email into practice and sending me emails that are a creative delight and a data-driven joy to open.
And every year, I get disappointed.
That ol’ Christmas letdown continues
Once again, I’m seeing the same old stuff in my inbox. The same old irrelevant emails. They might look a little prettier, but most of them still don’t show me that the marketers who sent them have any idea about who I am, what I want or how they value me.
I’m still getting tons of stuff that doesn’t matter to me. It borders on spam. And I’m an email professional! If it annoys me this much — and after years in the business my pain threshold is high — what’s the average subscriber thinking and doing? No wonder so many go dark on your mailing lists.
A tiny ray of hope
Every once in a while, though, I will run into emails from a marketer who is pushing the envelope in a new way, such as using my customer data to send me not just relevant messages but, rather, messages that appeal to me in new ways, that get me to think differently about engaging with the brand.
That doesn’t happen often enough in my inbox, though. Every day, it’s the same old same old, as if we had learned nothing over the past two decades about how to reach out better to our customers in email.
9 ways to make 2018 a better email year
1. Let’s make 2018 the year we reduce our dependence on batch-and-blast.
You don’t have to abandon it. Just resolve not to do it as often, to rely on it to make money or connect with customers or bring them back to the table.
Sometimes, it does make sense to send undifferentiated email. Sometimes you’re given no choice. But the time comes when you say, “I’m going to do better this year, and I’m going to do it regardless of what my team, my boss and my organization wants.”
We all have the power to make this change. I would like to look at my inbox at this time in 2018 and see a dramatic change — or even an incremental one. Any improvement is worth celebrating.
2. Let’s make 2018 the year we start using incremental innovation to transform our email marketing programs slowly but steadily.
Start in January with one small change, and then build on that change with another change, and then build on those changes with another change. By this time next year, you will look back at how far you’ve come and be proud of your achievement.
3. Let’s make 2018 the year we start using the customer data we’ve been collecting …read more
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