Give Your Email Calendar a Spring Cleaning: Tips for freshening up stale email ideas

Every spring, as we emerge from the cold and darkness of the winter and start enjoying the longer days and warmer temperatures, many of us embrace the annual Spring Cleaning tradition in both our personal and professional lives. We start to think of ways to clean the slate, eliminating the old and stale so we can start fresh.

For email marketers, this is a great time to re-evaluate the email calendar, shedding ineffective strategies and replacing them with new and different approaches to refresh the program. Here are a few of our favorite spring cleaning tips you can follow to freshen up your calendars and reinvigorate your email marketing efforts:

Out with the old.
We recently conducted a survey to examine how retail marketers think about and plan their email marketing calendar, and found that 85 percent of email marketers are relying too heavily on what worked the previous year. Now is the time to eschew the all-too-common strategy of relying heavily on past plans, and instead recognize that consumers are ever-changing, dynamic beings with individual interests and preferences.

To treat them as such, build a library of content that includes a diverse cross-section of your product catalog. Move beyond your best sellers to expose new and different content. Use the data you have from their past email behavior to decide what email message(s) they will receive each week (something we found only 50% of respondents were doing). Provide a mix of content, categories and sub-categories to really engage with your customers and whet their individual appetites.

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.
Reduce your email waste by reusing content via a re-mailing strategy to maximize the value of the content you’re creating. For instance, if an email gets a significant amount of click-throughs, resend that email to the rest of your audience a few days later to see if more customers will open it.

We found in our survey that 74 percent of marketers create emails to be sent on a single day and never reuse/resend those emails. These marketers may wonder why a customer may want to see the same message in their inbox a second time, but that mistaken line of thinking leaves vast amounts of revenue on the table. Stop missing out on the huge opportunity to reuse content assets…and increase customer engagement.

Take a holistic view of your emails.
It’s an unfortunately common misconception that each email exists on its own in a vacuum. That is not true. Rather, each email is part of a content diet that you’re serving to each of your customers. Just like you (most likely) don’t want to limit your daily food selections to a couple of items only, your customers don’t want to be served the same types of emails repeatedly. This lack of variety fails to recognize their evolving interests and tastes. As an email marketer, it’s our job to use what we do know about each customer to help us continue to select the right mix of content, providing a balanced content diet that nourishes them.

One way to do this effectively is to embrace technology that’s designed to help you make sense of your data and put your customer on the path to what they will likely be interested in next – much like ours. Take a holistic view of your emails, and replace merchandise-driven batch-and-blast email campaigns with a customer-centric, data-driven email diet of emails for each customer to generate the most ROI.

By freshening up your strategy for building out an impactful and effective email marketing campaign, you can drive loyalty and near-term revenue – and nurture relationships with those high-value customers for the long term. And what marketer doesn’t want to strengthen their lineup of MVP customers?

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