At a recent industry event I heard campaign horror stories ranging from emails without a single functional link to messaging that wouldn’t sell ice in August. The one that really caught my attention was from a marketing manager who had run a variety of simple email marketing campaigns over the past year with good results. Using the website tracking information she gathered over several months, she segmented her database in an effort to send more targeted email messages. With four unique product offerings she was sure she would accelerate her company’s lead-flow with more focused emails and end up with a BIG pat on the back!
Unfortunately, when campaigns cross in the night, it can spell disaster.
The company she works for, which will remain nameless, as well as the marketing solution she used (not eTrigue), sells very high-end equipment. The value of each customer is substantial. Over the past few years they had built some really good relationships starting with their email nurturing program. In fact, a majority of their marketing budget was now focused on email.
And now for the CATASTROPHE!
Running multiple campaigns at once is commonplace. In this case, a slight oversight had a dramatic impact on this company’s ability to market to many of its high priority prospects. The combination of auto-response emails from landing pages, automated follow-up emails from downloaded content, and a slight miscalculation in the design of her newly created email campaigns, resulted in some prospects receiving as many as four emails in one week. And of course — opt-outs! She had just “turned-off” a large number of viable customers. Her VP of Sales panicked and in her words; her CEO was within nanoseconds of turning-off her paycheck.
As this a good example of how Demand Generation platforms, like any other tool, can be dangerous if used improperly or with inadequate attention to detail. The impact can often be huge given the power to email to hundreds of thousands for prospects with the click of a mouse.
Here are some simple points to consider when building your campaigns to help prevent catastrophe:
- Make sure you understand the logic of all campaigns that are currently running. Your platform should give you a view of all active campaigns.
- Include protections just in case you miss something. eTrigue includes the ability to restrict outbound email campaigns by the number of days since the last email, or a specific date range. eTrigue will also allow you to email, or prevent a mailing based on the subject of an email.
- Decide in advance whether it is “o.k.” for a prospect to get a thank you email as the result of an action, i.e. download, “in addition” to your other email campaigns.
- Use more small campaigns vs. complex large ones. It’s often easier to sort out the logic if you break your marketing up into modules.