December 23, 2014 Michael Bickerton
I have continued to suggest to you, as well as clients and prospects that email is your primary communication tool; as such contest marketing continues to be your primary email development tool. Email and contest marketing go hand in hand. Now it appears that we are adding a third component to Email and Contests, and that is automation. Email budgets are increasing.
Email automation, also known as triggered emails, is expected to grow in the area of 61% (at least in budget). I noted an article by Al Urbanski, Senior Editor at Direct Marketing News and thought I’d share this and some other insight.
Before we get too far, I always stress that every marketer has to fully explore and evaluate automation. As we say, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should, and email automation and automating your sales cycle needs to be handled delicately. We’ve all had the experience (at least most of us), where we’ve signed up, downloaded, watched, or clicked and suddenly there is an email or a call … we haven’t even reviewed the document or thought much about the next step.
In fact, I once received a call before the 16 page document I downloaded had finished printing. The caller was asking my thoughts and evaluation? So don’t over automate and ensure that you as the marketers are on the list, go through the process to ensure that you are not breaking your prospective clients space. Give them time and enter gently into this area. Automation can do more harm than good if not done properly.
Now that we’ve covered the concerns with automation, let’s look at some of the trends.
As you would expect, this “up up and away” trend will continue as email, social and mobile will start to intersect. Contest marketing continues to be the number one acquisition strategy.
It’s our recommendation that marketers continue to develop email lists, gather data to streamline and segment lists. As noted, automation has its place, yet it’s important to stay in the loop and review customer email experiences very carefully.
Digital budgets will continue to increase at the expense of conventional tactics. If you don’t have a strong email list, it’s best you start building and if you do have a good email list, we suggest you continue to build and develop it.
Michael Bickerton, Raven5 Ltd December 2014
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