Cross-Team Coordination Imperative for Email Marketing Success

Posted on by Beth Negus Viveiros

Marketing isn’t the only department in your company that sends customers email, and that means coordination is crucial to avoid burning out your database with duplicate messaging.

Customer service, sales, legal, finance and other departments may be reaching out to customers with email, notes Catherine Mears, marketing automation manager at Red Hat. Target audiences overlap, and different teams may feel like they “own” the same contacts.

“It can be difficult to organize,” says Mears, who recently spoke at Litmus Live in Boston.

Teams in different departments—as well as different geographic regions—need to coordinate on their messaging. Emails can be so easy to create that marketers sometimes don’t consider the potentially negative impact of over-sending. “If a CMO is in retail and interested in product X and from North America, she might get four different emails in one day,” says Mears. “How will she interact with the emails? She might report them to spam, or she might opt out.”


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Keeping your subscribers happy and engaged with your email messaging is vital, particularly for B2B marketers. In Chief Marketer’s recently released 2019 B2B Marketing Outlook report, respondents cited email as the channel that generated both the most leads and the leads with the highest ROI.

All teams that send email regularly need access to calendars to know what emails are planned or have been sent, says Mears. And, they should know the unsubscribe rate on emails to understand the impact of poorly timed or targeted messaging.

“If you have overlapping audiences, maybe there are cross-promotion opportunities, but maybe there is not,” she says, noting that brands should have a clear path in place of what happens when a new subscriber comes on board.

Email marketers should be constantly reviewing their opt-in and opt-out practices, to make sure they are in compliance with regulations in every region they’re operating. “Compliance regulations are evolving,” Mears notes. “Look at your contacts and see who is emailable and who is not. Review your rules to determine [when] double opt-in is needed.”

Unengagement thresholds should also be set. Define how long a subscriber is unactive before you consider quarantining them and possibly removing them from your list. “Not all leads stay good forever,” she says. “Two to three percent of contact data goes bad every month.”

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