One of the key features of email marketing is that it is always changing and at a pace that can leave you floundering. Despite the bleak economic outlook this is unlikely to change.
Online technology is developing all the time and in many different ways. There is no doubt whether the move to faster fibre optic connections will change email marketing. The only question is, of course, how. Pick the wrong tablet and you could be in catch-up mode for months.
An application could suddenly be the must-have and if your systems are not able to change immediately then your sales are at risk. A review in a newspaper or magazine can mean that your marketing strategy is planned around what is patently the best system but fashion has dictated that an inferior one is the most popular. Betamax anyone?
So you need to be flexible in your plans. Not so much a Plan B as easy modification. You should not commit yourself to one particular route until all the others have shown themselves to be dead ends, hopefully at the expense of others. But there are some fundamental truths that will not change.
You must look after your email lists, and now more than ever. They are the most valuable asset of anyone engaged in email marketing. There is an old saying that a tortoise gets nowhere unless it sticks out its neck but there was no suggestion is should suck off its shell as well. If anything, the value of your email list will increase in the current financial situation. It would appear that individuals will spend less so you will need more subscribers.
Despite the persistently gloomy headlines of cutbacks and the 20% VAT rise, this is a time of opportunity, certainly for online sales and especially in email marketing. It is said that many high street retailers will be unable to absorb the increase and the consistent trend towards online sales will speed up. It means that we will have customers new to the procedures and you should be ready to get them signed up to your email lists.
This could be big.
One essential is not to lose your nerve. Merely trying to protect what you have is a sure way of losing it. And another is not to change your procedures without good reason, including research to back up your decision.
Those of you who subscribe to the email marketing lists of your competitors and other companies, and if you do not you should, may well have noticed an increase in the rate they appear in your inbox. Once a month has become every three weeks. Offers that have little or nothing in common with the items you bought, or indeed your lifestyle, have started to arrive. This is a dangerous tactic.
What was true for your customers in those times when they bought more will still be just as true when they cut back. If you irritate, pester or bore your recipients they will tick the unsubscribe button and your email lists will shrink.