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How sophisticated is your email marketing?

Author's avatar By Expert commentator 13 Mar, 2017
Essential Essential topic

Take the test to see what stage your email marketing is at

Email is an amazing marketing channel, and is consistently quoted by reputable sources as one of the best performing marketing channels for return on investment. In their Marketer Email Tracking Study 2017, the DMA found that for every pound spent, the average ROI from email marketing was £30.01. Email marketing has more users than Facebook and Twitter combined and results show that customers actually prefer to view marketing communications via email. Radicati write that that there is predicted to be over 2.9 billion users of email by 2019, which is over one-third of the population. As the digital world is constantly evolving, email marketers need to make sure that they are using the most innovative ideas and embracing change in order to succeed.

Your audiences are changing and your customers are more savvy than they ever were. They expect a relevant, personalised email marketing experience which fits in with all the other channels they’re using. Not just that, but they want it to be specific to them, on the right device, at the right time and on the go.

But how easy is it to achieve this? At a time where resources are stretched, it’s never been more important to put in place a framework to ensure long-term success from the email channel.

This is where we give you The Sophistication Scale.

The Sophistication Scale is a framework to help ambitious marketers progress in their email marketing, by discovering their current level of sophistication and plotting their plan for success. The scale itself will help you to develop your strategy and master the email channel in all its potential - ultimately driving your ROI. It was created through combining over ten years of expertise in email marketing, to help you simplify your plan for progression, identify where you are currently and where you want to be.

How does it work?

Engaging with your customers has never been more key to a successful email marketing strategy. Including content within your campaigns such as personalisation, segmentation and automation sets you apart in the market and increases brand loyalty and readership. Using The Sophistication Scale, you can understand what your customers want to see in their emails and how you can deliver this.

The Scale starts at Stage 0: Hit & Hope. You are at Stage 0 if you send very sales-oriented emails as they are simply cheaper than direct mail, and you are focusing purely on the short term. It then progresses through the various stages; Blasters, Dispatchers, Campaigners, Automaters until you reach Cultured Kings.

Looking toward the top end of the Sophistication Scale, Automaters prioritise the end recipient’s experience in all of their decision making. At Stage 4 you will more than likely have dedicated marketing resource to your email channel and will focus more on gathering quality data to create good quality content than the quantity of emails that you send. The campaigns that you send will be optimised and automated to support your long-term email marketing strategy. The personalisation that you use in your emails will include dynamic content which will be driven from CRM/BI systems. Stage 4 email marketers will have an established email strategy and will want the emails to perform above the industry averages.

Cultured Kings are the email marketers who have a defined email marketing strategy, with multiple customer journeys with a focus to further implement and optimise them. You rely on your CRM system for your personalisation in your email content, with a high level of automation based on defined customer journeys and using multiple tables and mailing lists. Stage 5 Cultured Kings will have a dedicated email marketing budget and performance is key and regularly reported on.

Take the test

Whether you’re at Stage 0 or Stage 5, you can continue to make small changes to make your emails work best for your business goals.

Take the test to see where you currently sit on the scale and where you could be, or download the mini guide to learn more.

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By Expert commentator

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