We appreciate a good email lifecycle here at Cinder; “acquire, onboard, engage, retain” might as well be our tagline.

Our clients’ marketing departments would be similarly focused when it comes to their email lifecycles. However before we all get too myopic, let’s not forget that these are communications. We’re talking to people: our customers, prospects or just people with a passing interest in our brand. They don’t want to be retained, they just want timely, relevant emails.

With this in mind, it’s worth periodically revisiting our communication plans from the recipient’s perspective (especially important when there is a team of people working in this area, which is often the case). So let’s forget the marketing for a minute. What are you actually trying to say?

Newsletters

Why are we sending this? Informative, interesting, and maybe even funny. These are an opportunity to share what our brand values without the sales pitch.
Why are they opening this? Because the reader appreciates the knowledge we are sharing and is interested in news about the company.
Why aren’t they opening this? Too much text, irrelevant content, too sales-focused. Never signed up (as in, they were opted in after a purchase).

Specials/Catalogue

Why are we sending this? To give the inform the reader about new products and discounts.
Why are they opening this? Because they don’t want to miss a discount,t hey want to know about new stock, they are comparison shopping.
Why aren’t they opening this? Too frequent (ie. sales lose exclusivity), not currently in the market for the products you’re selling, recently made a purchase from you.

Birthday/anniversary sends

Why are we sending this? To say congratulations, show that we’re paying attention, to give a “gift” (discount), to connect with our subscriber in a personal way.
Why are they opening this? Because people love to feel special and are interested to see what the discount is.
Why aren’t they opening this? The date is wrong (make sure your formatting between your preference centre and email system is the same – eg. North American to North American), no longer in the market for your products, timing wrong (too early or late from trigger date).

Abandoned cart sends

Why are we sending this? To give the potential customer a reminder and maybe a discount.
Why are they opening this? Because they genuinely forgot/got distracted and are still interested, because they wanted to wait and expect to see a discount.
Why aren’t they opening this? Bought the product elsewhere, changed their mind or are still undecided.

And so on. Looking at your lifecycle from the recipient’s perspective will ensure content stays on message (again, important when there are multiple contributors to content) and can perhaps even help address why some of it is being ignored. You may also realise some of your sends are redundant/unnecessary.

No matter how dynamic your sends are, you will not please everyone (sorry). However by looking at it from this perspective now and then you will at least make sure the user experience for your email recipients is a positive one.