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Dec 30, 2009

EmailSherpa 2009 in Review: Social Sharing, Segmentation, Optimizing Autoresponders, and More

SUMMARY: We continue our review of 2009 newsletters, with a look at how email marketers adapted to economic conditions and optimized their tactics.

Here are links to five EmailSherpa articles from 2009 that reflect the most significant trends in email marketing. Topics include:
o Integrating email with social media
o Optimizing autoresponders and transactional email programs
o Database segmentation strategies
o Attracting high-quality subscribers from list-growth campaigns
In January of this year, it was clear that marketers anticipated an even larger role than usual for email marketing. In a survey MarketingSherpa conducted with Ad:tech in January 2009, marketers cited email as one of their top-two channels for high ROI. And with tightening budgets, the tactics that promised the best return on investment were in the spotlight.

But crowded inboxes called for a special focus on the fundamentals of good email marketing, such as segmentation and use of relevant automated programs. The continued rise of social media made some question email’s importance, but it turned out that email and social media are complementary, not competitive, channels.

Here are five articles from our 2009 EmailSherpa newsletters that highlight these trends, and offer campaign examples and best practices that email marketers can use to stay ahead of the curve:

Article #1. Share-to-Social Buttons Increase Newsletter Interaction: 6 Steps

This year saw a surge in interest for social sharing features, which let subscribers post email content to their social networks. This Case Study showed how a newsletter publisher implemented a social-sharing strategy, and saw a 25% boost in reader interaction and a surge in inbound traffic from social networking sites.

Article #2. Launch, Measure, Analyze, Modify: 4 Steps to Improve Autoresponder Series

Autoresponders can deliver relevant content to subscribers at crucial engagement points. Learn how a marketing team at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University used their autoresponder series to learn more about their prospects’ behavior and preferences. By modifying their communication plan based on that data, they’ve cut the average time it takes a prospect to submit an application 76.4%.

Article #3. How to Refine Your Database: 4 Important Variables to Track for Ultimate Segmentation Strategy

Optimizing a segmentation strategy starts with a careful analysis of your subscriber database. This excerpt from MarketingSherpa’s Best Practices in Email Marketing Handbook outlines the four most important database variables to track for segmentation. It also includes tips on establishing processes to collect and use that information.

Article #4. Protect Your List Part 2: Generate High-Quality Names from Co-Reg, Sweeps, and List Rental

Some marketers told us that this year they felt increased pressure to increase the size their opt-in list -- at a potential cost to list quality. In response, we offered this compilation of best practices for co-registration, sweepstakes, and list rental, with a focus on attracting high-quality subscribers.

Article #5. Transactional Email Overhaul: 5 Strategies to Revive an Older Program

The automated nature of transactional email programs makes it tempting to simply set up campaigns and leave them on autopilot. This article offers tips on how marketers can test and improve their transactional email programs by focusing on metrics, creative, segmentation and testing.

Useful links related to this article

MarketingSherpa’s Best Practices In Email Marketing Handbook:

MarketingSherpa’s Email Summit 2010 is just weeks away. Learn more about the agenda here:
See Also:

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