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Online Interview with Jordie van Rijn of Email Monday Blog

INTERVIEW NO. 10 in INTERVIEWS WITH TOP BLOGGERS series.

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Really pleased to do a Q&A with Jordie van Rijn. Jordie is an independant marketing consultant with more than 12 years of experience under his belt. He is the founder of the international platform for Email and Marketing Automation Software selection www.emailvendorselection.com. And author of the SmartInsights Marketing Automation Best Practices Guide.

NewsDrillDigital: What is the biggest change you foresee in email marketing in 2014?

JORDIE: What I see getting a lot of attention this year is marketing automation, particularly in B2C, it finally seems to be catching on. Marketers and suppliers realize that automating tasks can save a lot of time.
One of the most heard “hold me backs? is a lack of time or resources. Automation can help reduce the time that needs to be spent on creating and sending emails so that marketers can focus on aspects that actually add more value to their program. An example of this is strategy, which is number two on marketers’ “this is holding me back? list.
If you are doing automation in the form of lead scoring and automated triggered campaigns, these can be far more sophisticated than manual campaigns or newsletters. You can use business rules to make sure the recipient gets the right email and for their timing to be correct (i.e., they are ready to buy). It is also less sensitive to human error, which should help marketers sleep better )

NewsDrillDigital: What are the biggest mistake businesses make in B2B email marketing?

JORDIE: “You can’t shortcut relationships.? Often in B2B you will deal with long buying cycles, so realize that B2B recipients will not buy the instant you email them. This means multiple emails spread over a longer period of time, maybe in the form of well-thought-through, event-driven email marketing geared toward lead nurturing.

Also some companies are pretty full of themselves, especially in B2B that is still too common to talk about the new wallpaper they put up at their office. Everybody wants to know that, right? And a long in-depth intro by the CEO will make everybody jump up, do a little dance and smile, right? No. Nobody cares, so don’t bother. Make it about the recipient and show your personality by example. 
In targeting your B2B email marketing newsletters, a selection based on function title seems attractive. For instance, targeting all managing directors. They call the shots, right? But there is no such thing as a CEO. A freelancer is a CEO, the owner of a local restaurant is a CEO, the managing director of a wall street enterprise is a CEO.
But these CEOs have completely different profiles. There is a huge difference in behavior and a gigantic gap in the type of information they seek. That means you’ll need to mix function title with other selection criteria to find the right audience. On its own, company size turns out to be a much bigger predictor of reaching the right person in your target group.

NewsDrillDigital: How do you test / fine-tune your email marketing campaigns?

JORDIE: First get your email campaigns up to best practice level. Design and write as if you know everything. And after that start testing like you knew nothing from the start. Emailmarketing is very measurable so split test your newsletters to get your lift an improve conversions.
Innovating your own email campaigns generally isn’t technical, but rather a different way to present your message or to reach your goals.
By changing up the creative side of your email you can keep things fresh. An example of creative thinking I like comes from Mudpie. They do a triggered birthday email, but instead of asking for your birthday, you can provide whatever important day you want. So it can be someone else’s birthday (think gifting) or an anniversary, baby shower, etc. This is a way of thinking outside of the box. They are having a bigger effect by reaching people on their important days.

NewsDrillDigital: What is the biggest mistake marketers make in their email message?

JORDIE: Marketers make many mistakes, they almost seem human! My friend BecsRivett has a blog where she lists all the email fails that she sees, those are good for a laugh. I also keep a folder on my computer called ‘This could be so much better’. I actually compiled a comprehensive list with all email marketing No-No’s.

My top three:

  • Have a specific email marketing plan will outline what you want to achieve and how you are to execute it as a part of your online marketing strategy.
  • Do not let your email marketing get boring. Keep it fresh, creative and profitable (so also calculate your email ROI) .
  • Don’t stop improving. It is amazing how often you get it wrong the first time.

More about Jordie van Rijn:
Brands like Unilever, EndeMol, KLM and Heineken turn to Jordie for advice. Next to helping companies improve their email marketing results he is often asked as a trainer and speaker in the field of online marketing. His practical and enthusiastic approach is contagious and will have you improving your marketing the next day.
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