The Email Marketer’s Guide to Addressing Time, Resource and Funding ChallengesMarch 14, 2012 By Kathleen Waldvogel
What's the biggest challenge facing today's email marketers? There's no shortage of opinions, ranging from growing and retaining your subscriber list to sending clear and relevant messages to managing deliverability. While there are things that every email marketer needs to accomplish, the real question is how do you get them done?
Many email marketers say a lack of time, resources and funding affect their ability to address tactical challenges, but let's take a realistic look.
- Time: This is a fixed variable for email marketers. There never seems to be enough of it and you can't manufacture more. Therefore, you have to make the most of the time you have.
- Resources: Adding personnel to your team never happens as quickly as it's needed, mostly because of the time it takes to interview and hire new employees. While you look for the next great email superstar, you again work with what you have.
- Funding: Money shouldn't be an insurmountable problem for email marketers. Since email's ability to drive revenue is easy to track, identifying the right key performance indicators and focusing on program optimization should yield positive returns.
If time, resource and funding constraints simply "are what they are," then the biggest challenge you face is prioritizing how to best use your limited time and resources to drive the revenue required to ensure your email marketing program thrives.
Just about every email program has something that needs fixing, so figuring out what's not working is the first step in prioritizing program initiatives. Compare key metrics with industry standards to identify whether problems exist in one or more areas. If you work with an email service provider (ESP), your account team should track these metrics, offer proactive insight and make corrections when needed. If you're a do-it-yourself shop, delivery, open and clickthrough rates are good indicators if something is broken.
Getting your message into the inbox is a precursor to any successful email program. If your messages are being filtered or blocked by large internet service providers (ISPs), this must be your top focus. Poor deliverability can be caused by a number of factors, including lack of subscriber engagement (i.e., poor open and clickthrough rates) and other factors that vary by individual ISPs. If you don't have experts on your team who understand the current and ever-changing deliverability landscape, or if you lack deep relationships with ISPs, engage your ESP or hire a deliverability consultant. It's a solid investment.