December 18, 2007

A New E-Mail Marketing Director, You Chose This Person?

One of the most popular things I've ever written is from last week: "Who Would You Hire To Be Your New E-Mail Director?".

Based on the comments, here is who you would hire, in rank order:
  1. Your current Manager of E-Mail Marketing.
  2. Your current Director of Catalog Circulation.
  3. The Director of E-Mail Marketing at your competitor.
  4. Your current Manager of Online Marketing.
  5. The Director of Client Services at an E-Mail Services Provider.
  6. One of your Store Managers, a person who runs a rogue store E-Mail Marketing Program.
I was surprised that an industry veteran at an E-Mail Services Provider was not more highly considered by those who commented.

I purposely asked about a rogue Store Manager who runs a bootleg e-mail marketing program from his/her personal computer, using Outlook Express. Predictably, those who commented were upset with this "candidate".

One of the genuine opportunities for the e-mail marketing industry in 2008 is to "become more inclusive".

Overall, I've found e-mail marketers to be very bright and talented. But e-mail marketing can sometimes be like a high school clique ... highly specialized folks who are knee-deep in the funk required just to get an e-mail into your inbox. The struggle to simply get e-mails into customer in-boxes comes at a price, however.

That price is inclusion.

Not one person who left a comment asked why the rogue store manager was running his/her own campaign. Not one person asked if the current e-mail marketing team was meeting the needs of this important sales channel.

For e-mail marketing to be successful in 2008 and beyond, there has to be a focus that goes beyond deliverability and versioning and targeting and trigger-based programs and best practices and subject line testing and Outlook 2007 rendering issues and the like.

E-mail marketers must also "include" all business partners. There needs to be less talk about technical issues. There needs to be more talk about the specific needs of a business partner.

I've been associated with e-mail programs that were usurped by "rogue" leaders in other departments. I've seen the back-biting that happens when the "rogue" team gets burned repeatedly by the e-mail marketing team. I've seen the contempt the e-mail marketing team has for the "rogue" team. I've measured the effectiveness of each program.

In 2008, it is time for e-mail marketers to be "more inclusive". It is time for e-mail marketers to raise their profile within our multichannel organizations.

Your thoughts?