My favorite part of the day is the time I spend on reading customer feedback from our email marketing program! We have a link in our emails: “Tell us what you think!” And we get hundreds of feedback every week.
Many customers told us they loved the articles and tips in our emails as they were extremely valuable advice. Some shared their personal stories, in great details, on how they applied our principles and got excellent results. Some told they they had forwarded our emails to their teams, or had made discussion around our emails a regular topic in their team meetings. I believe this kind of affirmation and appreciation is one of the biggest rewards marketers can ever get!
In addition to reviewing qualitative feedback from customers, we also conduct quantitative analysis on the performance of each email and across emails: open rate, click rate, conversion rate, number of forwards, number of unsubscribes, etc. All results point to the same conclusion – our email marketing program is indeed playing an important role in deepening customer relationships and even generating sales.
Here are some of our lessons learned:
1. Don’t just sell, sell, sell. We want to make sure we have a balanced combination between promotional pieces and value-added editorial content. This way, we are truly building relationships with our customers and prospects, and they WANT to hear more from us. When the timing is right, they will buy!
2. Test and learn. Every week, we review our email performance and we constantly modify our content and design to see if we can increase response. Yes, it is a lot of work, and we are always “tempted” to leave it as is. When something isn’t broken, why try to fix it? BUT we also know with email marketing, we CAN constantly optimize and do even better! So we have to remind ourselves to have the discipline to keep analyzing, testing, learning, and optimizing.
3. Work closely with the subject matter experts. Like many companies, the Marketing Team at Dale Carnegie is given the responsibility to run the email marketing program. But we do need support from the Product Team in order to get the best content to feature in each email. Cross-team collaboration is always easier said than done as people in different teams obviously have different priorities and schedules. What we have done right, I believe, is that we have gotten the Product Team’s buy-in early on: this is NOT a Marketing Team’s program that the Product Team is obliged to contribute to. Instead, this is a Dale Carnegie program that will benefit customers, prospects, and the organization as a whole, and the Product Team is a critical player to the program’s success!
Share with us how your email marketing program is working for you – and your customers!