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Recycle, reuse: How to get the most out of 'old' e-mail marketing campaigns

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Marketers often view e-mail marketing as a form of broadcast marketing: They create an ad, send it out, hope for the best and move on to the next campaign. However, old e-mail campaigns can be very valuable when planning and executing new ones. Michael DesRochers, CEO of e-mail software provider Salestream Software, and Russell McDonald, CEO of e-mail solutions provider iPost, have several suggestions to help you make everything old new again.
  1. Use well-received e-mails as a template. You may already use a template if you send out e-mail newsletters, but few marketers realize that you can do the same—plug new content into a time-honored marketing template—with one-off e-mail messages or campaigns. “It works to your advantage because if someone is familiar with the look and feel of a message they may feel more comfortable,” McDonald said.
  2. Use older messages to market to newer prospects. Your list may be growing on a weekly or even daily basis. Those new subscribers are a perfect audience for any messages that did particularly well in the past, DesRochers said.
  3. Examine campaign data. Looking at and comparing messages that worked with those that didn’t work may help you refine your overall campaign strategy. If you realize, for example, that all the messages you’ve sent with percentage-off offers had high open and conversion rates, you can design future campaigns using those parameters, McDonald said. Another key metric is the number of forwards, DesRochers said. “People who hit the forward button are helping you spread the word,” he said. “Create special campaigns or exclusive offers to encourage them and keep them sending things along.”
  4. Proof before you click “Send.” You already know that fact-checking and copy editing are best practices when sending a new message, but even if you’ve already done so, you should do it again, DesRochers said. “Call any phone numbers and make sure any links you’ve got in there are still active,” he said. Also, change any dates, product versioning or other time-sensitive data. Last, be sure to recheck your message with any spam score utility you’re using. Even if a message passed muster the first time, it may not today.
  5. Clean up your lists before you resend to people who didn’t open the message the first time you sent it. If you didn’t get opens the first time because of bad e-mail addresses, trying to send to the same addresses twice can land you on a black list. “Your overall bounce rate is going to go up because you’re making your pool smaller, which can be a problem,” DesRochers said.
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