With increasing competition for attention in your contacts’ in-boxes, it’s important to do everything you can to enhance the effectiveness of your campaigns. The subject lines and content of your messages clearly play a crucial role, but there are several other important factors to take into account:
1. Targeting. Sending exactly the same message to all of your contacts isn’t going to give you the best results. Even some basic segmentation into 2 or 3 different contact types will enable more relevant messages, and encourage a better response. Perhaps begin by considering using some basic recency, frequency and value scoring for each contact, and then target basic groups such as ‘high value’, ‘lapsed’, and ‘new recruits’ with more specific campaigns.
2. Co-ordination. If your organisation has more than one database then you may run the risk of sending individuals several different or competing messages within a short space of time. This can damage your reputation and may leave contacts feeling ‘bombarded’ with messages coming from different departments or divisions. Establishing an integrated single customer view across all of your contact data (using a tool such as MasterVision) will help to avoid this particular problem.
3. Cleaning and validation. There’s plenty you can do to validate emails, postcodes and addresses, and this will reduce the cost of sending ‘wasted’ messages, and improve your response rates (since those ‘wasted’ messages are all going to be non-responses). There are also services listing contacts who have moved house or died, and regular checking against these is recommended in order to keep your list clean.
4. Permissions and preferences. Most organisations are aware of the issues related to customer opt-ins, but there’s much to be gained by ‘going the extra mile’ and finding out exactly HOW contacts wish to hear from you. Offering the choice of postal or email contact, and of plain text or HTML emails will certainly increase the chances of your messages being read. If you send frequent campaigns then a choice between weekly or monthly contact may also be worth considering.