The Villain Inside Your Email Program

There is a villain in your email program that you may not even know about.  It’s not inactives, deliverability, on-boarding, preference centers or even your own creative.  In fact, this villain is something that could be so much larger that all the above issues pale in comparison to how much it could affect your program.

This villain is you.  This villain is your company.  This villain is the process within your company to get email marketing done right.  Don’t blame yourself too much as most companies have this villain.  Sometimes these villains are bigger, harder and more complex, but they do the same amount of damage as 36-month inactives do to your program.  Don’t believe me?  Here are some of the key indicators that the villains are there:

1. Image Hell – Do you spend more time in meetings talking about the images in the email vs. testing the images via a comprehensive testing plan?

2. Senior SomthingItis – The last minute senior management approval/change where the only experience and data they have to justify the changes are a spreadsheet and an email account.

3. Too Many Cooks – The 5 week, 28 sets of approvals up to 17 minutes prior to deployment all done through email chains

4. Relevancy Factor – Count how many times the words “relevant email” creeps into a meeting and then ask yourself if the same number of initiatives are in process to become more relevant?

5. The everything is OK Syndrome – The syndrome where everything is ok in the program but it can all be solved by sending another 4 emails a month to the subscriber base.

6. Ready, Fire, Aim – Creating a reactivation campaign that is static because you have identified the “inactives” in your program

7. Last Subscription – The last time anyone on the team signed up and went through the email sign up process on your site

8. Wild Wild West – The marketing department controlled promotional mailings being trumped or overshadowed by Lucy in product management’s desire to blast the user base about release 3.045

9. You own it..but you don’t – The email marketing manager designate who “owns” the program but then is told by everyone outside of email marketing what to do.

Are these just petty process and internal political battles that happen at most companies or are they legitimate scenarios which could act as villains to derail a program that is good and prevent it from being great?  As an email thinker and someone who has spoken around the world, experienced it myself on the client side and blogged a thousand times about what programs need to do, I am beginning to wonder if what needs to change first is the internal dynamics at companies so that stuff like multivariate testing or win-back programs can be looked at as “needs” rather than “nice to haves”.

How many villains do you have?

Andrew Kordek

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Trendline Interactive

Chief Strategist and Co-Founder at Trendline Interactive.

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