Archive for category E-mail marketing

When personalization isn’t so personal!

One thing that E-mail, Web 2.0, and social media enables us as marketers to do is become far more personalized in our communications. E-mails don’t have to read ‘Dear Investigator’, communications can be relevant to consumer interests, landing pages and personalized URLs (PURLS) can enable an extremely personalized experience with a brand. BUT nothing ruins it faster than when data is not carefully monitored for accuracy.

Our biggest asset as a marketer is our database. We work hard generating leads and compiling a house list of contacts that we hope over time will turn into customers that will turn into repeat sales. It is critical that we take the time to monitor our data for accuracy. While this seems so elementary,  I received an email this morning that made me stop and think about how many marketers might continually push this to the bottom of the to-do list. It doesn’t take too long for an ignored database to become riddled with errors and inconsistencies.  The email displayed below showed up in my inbox this morning – and it jumped right out at me – not because the content was so relevant (it’s not – I have a job) or the design was pleasing – but rather because it used personalization with the wrong name. I’m not Don! This turned me off and I hit delete.

We can get so caught up in crafting finely tuned, relevant content so please don’t overlook some of the most basic details – your customers name! After all, no matter how relevant the subject matter may be, if you start with ‘Dear Don’ and I’m not Don, I may not read the rest and be quick to hit the delete button. Thinking about some of our own personal assets that we treasure so dearly (house, car etc), we wouldn’t think about not setting aside time, resources or budgets to keep them maintained. Why then do we as marketers often overlook the importance of database maintenance?

I cleanse my list every 3 months. At a minimum, I encourage you to export your database as an excel list so that you can see if the email address appears to match the name. If not, remove it quick and strive to run an update profile campaign. And PLEASE, stop calling me DON!

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What’s driving traffic to your website?

A recent study by Forrester research shows that traffic generated from social media channels are on the rise, particularly amongst the younger users. Marketingprofs gave a nice overview of the contents of the report, which indicate that natural search and referrals are still the top two traffic generators.  The report finds that 14% of Gen Y (age 18-30) are referred by blog posts while 10% are referred by Twitter, compared to 7% and 5% of all adults respectively.

I took a look at my statistics today to see how I fall compared to the Forrester report. Natural search makes up 71% of my website traffic with referrals (email, blogs etc) referring 8% of my traffic.

This means a few things for me:

  1. I need to maintain my rankings in the search engines as it is currently the way most people are finding our business online.
  2. Our social media strategy is not bringing in much traffic. I have said before that pharma/biotech is more reluctant to use social media so this is likely contributing to the lower statistics for social media traffic compared to the Forrester report.
  3. We can’t lose site of programs such as Email. While it may seem boring and not conversational, it is certainly something that can’t be ignored if it is driving traffic to your site. Upon analyzing my referral traffic closer, 25% of it is coming from our monthly newsletter that we send out.

It is clear that staying relevant in the search engines and increasing my newsletter/blog subscriber base is important. Continuing to add  social media content will become more relevant for my business as the pharma/biotech industry increases its use.

The take home message: don’t get too wrapped up in all the newest things because that’s what everyone else is doing. Make sure you stay focused on the activities that are generating the most business (or potential business) for you. Keep in site the activities that are on the rise so you can ride that wave up as well (such as the social media).

What surprised me about the report is that Radio drives more website traffic than Twitter! I can’t even recall the last time I listened to radio – how about you?

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