When you find the right email marketing partner, they become an extension of your in-house marketing team.
How does that work? Let’s review the topics that will become worry-free when enlisting a great full-service ESP.
Tasks to get email marketing campaigns out the door, obviously
In a previous post I discussed that you do still need to worry about certain issues, even when you have a great full-service ESP or email marketing agency – one that offers expertise on the email medium. Obviously when you have a full service ESP the execution tasks required to get email marketing campaigns out the door, should be largely worry-free.
An agency should take away the worries about:
- Campaign management
- Quality assurance (rendering testing, tracking, and functionality for message templates)
- Data management and list hygiene
- Campaign deployment
Besides the obvious, there are other areas that you should look to your full-serve ESP to deliver on.
1) Figuring out how to get “it” done can be an overwhelming task when you don’t live and breathe email marketing the way your ESP does. Your full-serve ESP should offer the solution to executing your programs, so your team can spend time on other important demands and strategy.
You shouldn’t have to sweat the technical stuff like:
- Using the deployment platform and (re)-training when upgrades are released
- Identifying new technologies that will help to get your campaigns implemented
- Implementing triggered messaging and Email marketing automation
- Dynamic content/personalization
- Conducting A/B testing
- Share with your network actions
- Tracking results and creating reports
2) HTML coding for email differs significantly from coding for web. HTML editors can often add extra bulk in the code that can cause a message to get caught up in Spam filters or be rendered poorly by email clients. To further the complexity, trends for how email clients render HTML as well as coding for mobile device rendering are constantly evolving. Specialized HTML coders are needed to stay on top of these trends.
3) Deliverability to the inbox is vital to email marketing success. Most ESP’s have a team dedicated to areas that are vital to deliverability and manage the following:
- Platform infrastructure (send rate throttling, managing connections to ISPs, handling of bounce backs and feedback loops for complaints)
- Managing ISP relationships, whitelisting, and resolving issues that could arise with greylisting/blacklisting
- Client configuration and email authentication (SPF records, DKIM, sender reputation)
While the above services are usually offered to both full and self-serve clients, full-serve clients should expect to get a more proactive approach that will often include:
- Pre-deployment testing for Spam scores on content and advice on improving templates that score too high
- Advice on managing sending frequency and volume to improve sender reputation
- Feedback on Inbox Placement Rate and recommendations for improvement
4) Proven Email Best Practices can help you craft more successful campaigns. Your full-serve ESP should advise on best practices and make recommendations for how to apply and incorporate them into your program.
Examples of Best Practice topics include:
- Optimizing email template designs
- Components of an effective email program (acquiring email opt-ins, welcome messaging, e-newsletters, customer retention, promotional campaigns…)
- List segmentation and targeting tactics
5) “Keeping current” is identified as one of top two concerns for marketers in a recent research study by Adobe called Digital Distress: What Keeps Marketers Up at Night?
Trends and capabilities in digital channels evolve at a rapid pace and it’s nearly impossible to be an expert on every channel. Organizations that use full-service ESP vendors should take advantage of having an expert resource close. Glean as much as you can from them and ask them to share:
- Information on emerging trends
- New and innovative ideas on email marketing strategy
- Ideas for integrating with other channels and unifying messaging
- Relevant case studies
- Assessment (and opinions) of what is working well, what’s missing, and what could be optimized in your program
While there are many reasons to put your mind at rest when you are working with a reliable full-service ESP, it’s not as simple as finding a great vendor partner and moving on to the next task. The relationship between a brand and its email vendor is one that needs to be fostered and maintained to ensure that campaigns stay on track and that results are achieved.