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Reflecting on the EEC Conference: Relevance drives Deliverability and ROI

I had a great time attending and presenting at the Email Evolution Conference in San Diego last week. For starters, you can’t argue with the 80-degree warmer temperatures than I have at home in Minneapolis, but the content and expertise of the attendees at this conference was unprecedented.

Chad White of the EEC just posted his picks for the main takeaways from the conference. After reading this, I noticed a general theme throughout all of the takeaways – list growth and relevance. These two topics/concepts have really dominated the airwaves recently, and for good reason.

Also, list growth and relevance goals are very intertwined. Why? First, lists are made up of people, right?  Simple concept, but this is lost on many marketers. To effectively entice each person on to your list you have to be offering something (information, products, deals, community) that this specific individual is looking for and interested in. Common sense right? Perhaps, but then why don’t more marketers stick with this simple truth? More are interested in saying what they want to say rather than tailoring the pitch by audience.

The same thing goes for relevance. To communicate with people effectively, you have to first be able and willing to say something that each specific someone is willing to hear…and continue with that relevant information over time by interacting with them, watching how they respond and behave to drive the right messaging at the right time and medium.

In my presentation I mentioned that our internal statistics show that the size of a list is more predictive of response rate than any other measure, be it category (B2B/B2C), or industry (retail, news, travel, etc.). That isn’t to say that some senders with millions of addresses on their list can’t have great response rate, it is that they achieve that right by communicating to smaller segments of customers --- or really, smaller lists, and ultimately individuals.

Please see what I mean if you haven’t read Chad’s article yet. Whether it is rewarding loyal customers, as Pepsi has done, taking personalization advice of Scene 7 or authenticating your emails to protect your brand…at the end of the day it is all about making an appeal to an individual’s wants and needs. Didn’t the term “blasting” die yet?  Please let 2008 be the year.

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