After all the reflection of the past couple of weeks regarding the year past, we now need to look forward and consider what we can do better this year. With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of ten things (in no particular order) you should be thinking about first as we get going with 2010.
These are all “YES YES” points rather than a “NO NO” list.
1 – Review your data
Lock your office door and review your metrics from 2009 break the data out into easily digestible graphs to pass around to stake holders. This is the perfect time to get your agenda in front of the decision makers in your organization. Hit them early with some easy to see information and you’ll get first crack at resources.
2 – Find out what did and didn’t work
Produce two surveys, one for internal stake holders and one for clients/subscribers. Ask both groups what worked and what didn’t. Take those results and make actions items based on that data. Don’t get bogged down by big items – start with the little things first. It could be as simple as a new header graphic, buttons or colour scheme.
3 – Treat your subscribers like royalty
Your subscribers are your most valued resource. You should treat them differently than all your other web-constituents. Make sure you offer them something special – these people are very important to your business.
4 – Clean up your list
Are you being proactive with list cleaning? Set up filters for inactive subscribers, we suggest 180 days as a good limit for this. Consider how to re-engage those inactive subs with a specific campaign to them.
5 – Set up the road map
Create an editorial/content calendar. Include more than just the basic holidays in it and use it as a guide for when to send and when to adjust frequency. Consider such things as school holidays and geo-specific events. For example, if you are marketing to Canada from the USA, are you planning on a special eMail for the May 2-4 weekend or Canada Day? Touching on an event or holiday in an eMail is a good vibe to your subscribers, even if it’s not specific to them since it indicates you are tuned in to what is going on around you and them. Print it off and use it when you look at your results and chart them so you have a quick instant view of your campaign effectiveness/relevancy.
6 – Tune up your susbcription process
Establish a preference centre to offer people the option to opt in, provide more info, “opt-down” or even opt out. Preference centres are a great way to increase subscriber engagement and self management of their own data. Give your subscribers the power to choose how they wish to be engaged by you – this builds trust and loyalty.
7 – Try something different
Book the boardroom and setup a brainstorming meeting. Look at what worked, what didn’t and ask the question: what are we going to do different this year? Then ask the hard question: How are we going to do it?
8 – Mix it up
If you haven’t already started, begin integrating your eMail marketing with social media and start building a community. eMail marketing is a two way communication, give people a way to participate, reward them for doing so and engage them directly.
9 – Close the loop
Look at any means possible to get a true understanding if your subscriber has converted both on and offline. Online is simple but, when it comes to offline we could all do better by providing some kind of conversion reporting at the POS retail level.
If you’re not currently using any kind of web analytics, at the very least use Google Analytics, set up some conversion points: specific landing pages, can you track the number of times they are hitting a specific landing page? Landing pages might include such things as: refer a friend or sign up for a free webinar or white paper.
10 – Get the legal ducks in a row
Check your copy to make sure you’ve updated the new date in footers, headers and anywhere else required. Review your privacy policies and make sure you are compliant. Since most of the anti-spam laws share some commonality (at least at a higher level) you can start with the law pertaining to the country your company is located in and work outwards to the international markets you also serve. PIPEDA, CAN-SPAM, COPA, Bill-C27 etc. With new legislation comes new responsibilities and you want to be sure you are as current as possible.
If you have some suggestions I’d love to add them! Just post your comment!