All About Timing

One of the major things you hear from most of us is about relevancy and targeting. Heck, you’ve even heard Return Path talk annually about the best times to send a campaign. You would think that with today’s available and leading CRM, MTA, analytics, and ESP technologies that MOST senders would have implemented some sort of process that can tell you when someone either wants to buy OR has bought and the messaging needs to change or possibly even stop an email to a targeted asset when that email is no longer relevant to them.

The wife of my youth, who you all know is always right, brought up an interesting point to me last night about some of the Christmas email barrage she’s getting these past few days. In this case, she had ordered ahead of the rush (YEA!) our Christmas cards from a online source/brand who will remain nameless. A brand that is using also a well known, large, but also unnamed ESP that has been in the business since the late 90′s.

However, after ordering the cards in late November, receiving an email on Dec 1st stating excitedly that our cards have gone to the printer, and on December 4th receiving an email from them with the subject line “Run Out of Holiday Cards? Reorder with FREE Shipping!” she was shocked at the timing. She of course came to me excitedly to tell me about her “bad” email marketing experience (she likes to help me).

Now, I know that many of you here are probably saying “sure, the emails were very close to each other and you can see how the “streams” could have passed each other in mid-flight”.

However, I’m of the opinion that it could have been prevented. In my perfect, but technology driven CRM and email world, what would it have taken for that senders on the day of the order to mark in her asset/account that an order was made and NOT to send any more marketing materials to her for new orders or re-orders. Instead, maybe send something more targeted to her to invite friends to join her JOY (Christmas pun) of ordering Christmas cards and here is a <Ron White> “Coupin“ </Ron White> to send them.

Now I will be honest, the breakdown here could have been in many different places if not at all at once. Senders CRM systems, the ESP’s slowness in sending the second email right after an order had been made, analytical breakdown, or purely non-automation not being used and going on auto pilot batch and blast. Breakdown or not, I feel that this could have been prevented and the Dec 4th opportunity better used vs. wasted.

Folks, this is the time to shine and do some work. Not to rely on quantity. Rely always and during these bigger email seasons on quality.

If you are not able to within seconds make status changes to someone’s online profile you store on them when they’ve done something positive, then you need to go shopping for Christmas items for your company.

Get a new CRM platform, get a better analytics package, get a better ESP that can handle the digital body language of your users and report on it immediately, heck get better people to manage and create effective email marketing campaigns that will deliver them to a specific audience.

Realtime optimizations is critical to sending out the right message and the right time, especially during the hustle and bustle of online Christmas shopping. You need to know from every avenue where your customers are buying from other than email. Is it from websites? offline catalogs? mobile devices, etc. Engagement isn’t also just about email.

Ask yourself about how you track engagement of your users this holiday season and throughout the year.

-Dennis
Eloqua

Don’t Just Send, Deliver!

Dennis Dayman

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