Many of us must feel we’ve become experts at noticing when performance has, for no apparent reason, dropped off. We’ve all struggled with such problems all our email marketing life. All of a sudden the percentages are lower, ROI is down and no matter how closely you study the circumstances, you can’t fathom why.
One of the easy outs for a manager who is presented with a problem that one of their staff has no solution for is to say, in as a placatory way as possible, without compromising the annual feedback, ‘You’ll figure it out; you always do.’ That’s just a cop-out. There are straightforward systems and procedures anyone can follow, with modifications to suit, that have proved useful in the past.
The first step, as always, is to establish that all the normal reasons for poor performance, such as technical hold-ups, have been eliminated, meaning the cause must be outside the organisation. The next thing to work out is what has changed. If you’ve been following your normal email marketing procedures, the fault lies outside your control and you must do something to cope with the situation, unfortunately more difficult than changing internal procedures.
It’s your job to discover the cause. This is probably the most difficult part of the process as it is all too easy to get fixated on one aspect. Read what the commentators are saying. Accept neither they nor you are unlikely to know definitely whether what you conclude is correct, but testing will come to your aid. It is tempting to focus initially on easy remedies. That’s not a particularly dangerous way of working. If it proves wrong in testing, you’ve wasted little time.
After you’ve come to a decision, work out if it is long-term, medium-term or likely to end soon. Unless you are a brilliant prognosticator, you’ll have to depend on your experience and, if you can’t make an informed decision, guess. It’s quite likely to be right.
If it’s long-term you should work out a method of modifying your current systems of email marketing and then try out the changes to see if they help via split email marketing list testing. Modification is generally accepted as preferable to radical change, but remember that your competitors will pick the easier route. If you think it worth the risk, go for it.
If it’s medium-term, your decision is whether to apply sticking plaster or run it as a long-term solution, with a Plan B in case. Many prefer a temporary stop-gap solution, with the option of an alternative if it looks like a permanent change. But what about short-term?
If you’ve been successful in the past, and the situation looks to remedy itself in short time, then my favourite option is to clean out my email marketing list. In other words, do those functions which you hadn’t got time for before. The worst thing you could do is change your current setup, losing the effectiveness of your data, if it’s been successful. Hiccups will happen. And we all need dusted email marketing lists.