All About Email - The Last Word in Email Publishing

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Kitchen Sink

I love getting email newsletters - partly for the information, and partly so that I can assess whether they are well put together or not.

So whenever I see the opportunity to subscribe, I do.

Some newsletter sign up forms are very straightforward - name and email. I like those ones.

Others, however, want to know pretty much everything about me - kitchen sink and all. Quite why my postal address is a must fill in I am not sure - I only want email.

The answer is, I assume, one of two things; either the form has been created with no thought at all, or the publisher plans at some stage to utilise segmentation.

Now don't get me wrong - segmentation is a very valid, and excellent email marketing practice - but here in NZ it is practised by pretty much no-one - the old too hard basket again.

"We'll get round too it", say the marketing team, before getting distracted by another online survey email coming through on their blackberries.

So, segmentation; targeted communications - great things, but they need following through.

There is an equation for how you ascertain information about your audience when using email; attract, engage, interrogate is the formula.

First you attract them to sign up - do not make it a chore, keep the information to a bare minimum.

Then you engage them through a series of valuable and entertaining messages.

Then and only then do you try to find out more to enable segmented marketing. Those who are still with you will readily divulge the info you want, and benefit from you targeted messages you subsequently send.

Asking for shoe sizes, mothers maiden names and toothpaste preferences at initial sign up is a bit like hanging a sign in your shop window saying "we are not that interested in your custom" - don't do it.

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