Chances are, many are talking about what's new in 2011 for email marketing, but let's not forget what you're already doing. The New Year is the perfect time to rethink your old assumptions and take stock of new initiatives.
Sometimes email marketers get caught up in the day-to-day concerns of deliverability and open rates. Now is the perfect time to take a step back and look at some of the bigger picture items. As an email marketing vendor and consultant, the following are three often overlooked areas that we recommend revisiting quarterly. However, if you can only do it once a year, the beginning of a new year is the perfect time to do so.
Revisit your platform
If you've been using the same email service provider (ESP) for a while, it might be time to re-evaluate the relationship. Take a look at your total cost of ownership (TCO) and see what you should renegotiate. Talk to your ESP about upcoming new features and compare them to your organization's roadmap. Are you on the same page with your ESP? Or will you find out midway through the year that those new initiatives you've planned can't happen? Rethink the ESP from a usability standpoint too. Do their tools still match what you're trying to do?
Rethink your assumptions
Certainly you know your email marketing! But email in 2011 means much more, with social media and mobile. What channels have emerged that you haven't tapped into but should? Can your ESP help? Have you really integrated email into your other marketing channels or only skimmed the surface? Do you have metrics in place for measuring your results? Have you thought through mobile? Does SMS make sense for you?
Review your templates
Review your email templates with a fresh eye. Are they old? Are they possibly affecting your email deliverability rate? Is it time to adapt dynamic design? It's always a good idea to test the rendering of your emails in a variety of email clients using a tool like Pivotal Veracity's eDesign Optimizer. Your design might be stale and static, but the ISPs and email clients aren't. Make sure those emails are showing up the way you expect them to, especially if you haven't tested rendering in any of the newer versions like Google's Buzz.
Email is made up of countless moving parts, and there's much more to email than these three areas. But in our experience, these are the areas most often ignored