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7 questions for email marketing guru Kath Pay

In anticipation of Europe‘s leading Internet and digital marketing conference iLive 2013, we‘ve asked email and digital marketing expert from PlanToEngage, Kath Pay, a few questions about email marketing. She is one of the main speakers at the iLive conference that will be held online on May 9-10.

1. How should a newsletter look when it‘s good to go? Could you name some main checkpoints?

Some questions to ask yourself are:

  • Does your subject line convey value to the audience—is the WIIFM (What‘s In It For Me) clear?
  • Is your call to action obvious and actionable, even with images off?
  • Do the images you use support your call to action(s)?

2. What are the three most common mistakes marketers make in email marketing?

Creating the subject line two minutes before you send the campaign. Subject lines need to be carefully crafted before the actual email is created in order to not rush it.

Humans are task-oriented and most email marketers don‘t set a clear enough task to accomplish for their subscribers—this is generally caused by not focusing on the objective of the email.

Not looking at the email holistically—email marketing isn‘t just about the email, it‘s about the email journey. Meaning that the PPC driving people to your subscription page needs to be tested and optimized as it will affect your results. The landing pages also need to be tested and optimized, as any barriers to conversions here will have an impact on your results.

3. How often should marketers change the email template?

If your current email template is performing well, then a minor refresh would be advisable every 12-18 months or so. On the other hand, if it‘s not performing well, then a major redesign may be required.

4. How important is it to maintain the same tone throughout email campaigns? Is it good to surprise subscribers from time to time?

It is good to “surprise and delight” your readers, as this can help to re-engage them, and sometimes they can become blind to always being “sold to”. This can be achieved by offering them something without anything being asked for in return, or it could be a lovely horizontal designed email telling them a story—there are many ways in which this can be achieved.

5. Which well-known brands or companies perform excellent email marketing? In what way?

Amazon and Sony are two brands that come instantly to mind. They do more than just market via email—they create a personal experience. Sony has an amazing eCRM program, completely based on your purchase, your behavior and where you are within the lifecycle. Amazon tests everything and have immense results because of it. They‘re leaders in this area and for good reason—they don‘t ever assume, but test and optimize continually for the best results.

6. How email marketing is going to change in the next few years?

We marketers are going to get our heads around the fact that mobile devices are here to stay and that we need to make the customer‘s mobile email (and landing pages) experience a positive one.

We‘re also coming to grips with the fact that “actions speak louder than words” and will start to implement more targeted and personalized email campaigns based upon behavior.

7. Can you give us a short insight into your lecture at iLive 2013?

I believe in being persuasive when it comes to email marketing. Often we email marketers focus on the “email” part of our title and forget about the “marketer” part of our title. So this presentation is about how we can use elements of our email to persuade our subscribers to open and take action.

Thank you, Kath, for the interview! Your tips will help our users to grow their email campaign success.

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