Email Thursday – Start 2012 Off Right

By EXCLUSIVE team

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I am presenting the Start 2012 Off Right– preparing your email program for success in the new year.

Firstly, I hope that you had a great holiday season, in terms of responsiveness to your email campaigns.

But I hope that customers took note of your amazing and timely promotions, and poured their wallets into the different offers that you sent.

As fun and hectic as the holiday season may get, it’s important to note that it’s drawing to a close.

The best email marketers out there have already moved on from the holidays and have their eyes set on stepping into 2012 with the right foot.

So how can you join the leaders of the pack and groom your email program for success in the new year?

Today, I will discuss three key items on your essential 2012 “to-do” list.

I personally view email marketing as a relay race. During the holidays, marketers are focused on newsletters, and rightly so! But in the new year, when sales are a bit slower, marketers should allow the baton to be passed to autoresponders.

I don’t advocate completely abandoning your newsletter program. Rather, it may be helpful to shift some of your attention to your autoresponders.

You may even find that autoresponders are a great way to stay in touch with your customers from the holidays.

If you position the right message, at the right time, to the right people, you may even be able to generate additional sales well into the new year.

The autoresponder approach works particularly well for complementary goods, such as replacement parts and batteries.

A couple points to note about autoresponders:

As things slow down for email marketing in January, do some clean-up and maintenance.

As they say, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This certainly applies to email marketing.

Take some time to look at your email operation and make changes as necessary. As with change, I recommend taking incremental steps rather than dramatic leaps in different directions.

I think that there wouldn’t be any arguments with this statement: 2012 will not be like 2011.

In a similar manner, 2012’s email marketing program should not be like 2011’s email marketing program.

What I’m trying to say is, “Don’t be afraid to switch up your approach.”

One major area that you can look at is closer integration between social media channels and email.

According to Nielsen’s 2011 Social Media report, 65% of all adult Americans use online social networks – and that number is expected to grow in the upcoming year.

Facebook and Twitter are great platforms to promote your email program, and vice versa. Be sure to tie your marketing channels closely with a coordinate messages. In other words, don’t present offers and messages on Twitter that contradict messages that you promote through email.

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