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Best Practices for Your Marketing Tool Spring Cleanup

Guess what? Your marketing system is so organized you do not need to do a thing!

April Fools! (belatedly)

In many marketing systems that fusionSpan audits, there are a number of outdated lists, old email drafts, and unorganized email content. Some of this is to be expected with multiple people working in the same system, so it is important to frequently review the tool to make sure it is organized and up-to-date. When doing a cleanup, think about a new staff member coming on board. They should be able to navigate the system without extraneous or irrelevant information around to trip them up.

On The Surface

Remove Test Data
Typically during the implementation of a new marketing tool, a number of test records are created. This may include test contacts, emails, email templates, automated programs, etc. Search through your system for test records and delete unnecessary ones. You still may want to keep some test records that you are actively working on, but just make sure to remove them when you are done.

Cleanup Marketing Lists
Many associations have a large number of lists used for marketing. Some of these are relevant month after month, but one-time lists will just clutter up your system. For example, there is one for collegiate members who are interested in recurring scholarship opportunities and another is for active members in the Western United States for a one-time webinar. To start the cleanup process, copy and paste the names of your lists into Excel or Word and categorize each one based on the frequency of use. Have all members of your marketing team do this exercise separately, and then compare results. Identify specific unused lists that are no longer needed, and either archive or delete them.

Email Templates and Email Drafts
Using email templates is a great way to have a unified marketing approach across all emails sent. Sometimes you use a template to create a draft email, but then it never gets sent for one reason or another. A year later the draft is still sitting there and you have since updated your templates. In order to reduce confusion about which templates are updated, make sure to clean up your old templates and unsent draft emails.

Pictures and Content
Graphics are a key component of good marketing because, as they say, a picture is worth a 1,000 words. Images and other content can easily be dumped into one main folder in your system. If that is the case, then think about a folder structure that makes sense for your association. Should graphic content be organized by year, type, or by specific events? Also, during this cleanup process, make sure you develop a standard naming convention for the files.

The Deep Clean

Once you have gone through and removed clutter from your system, then you can start thinking about several more advanced topics to ensure your overall marketing strategy is updated.

Segment Audiences Based on Previous Engagement
Review reports for each email you sent over the past month or two. If you see a dip in engagement, open or click rates, then segmenting your audience by previous engagement is an important step. It is important to identify which segment of your audience is contributing to that drop. In many tools, you can create a re-engagement campaign by identifying those contacts who have not opened an email in the last 3 months (or whatever timeline makes sense for your organization). If you send emails out frequently, several times a week, then having a shorter timeframe for engagement makes sense, compared to organizations that send an email once or twice a month. Use this new re-engagement list to funnel those contacts into an automated program designed for re-engagement. This may include a reminder about member benefits or discounts for upcoming events. In addition, add the re-engagement list as a suppression list on your regular email sends so that they do not get inundated with both regular emails and re-engagement emails.

Reassessing Your Marketing Goals
By springtime, many people’s New Year’s resolutions begin to wane. Think about what fresh ideas you had about your marketing strategy after coming back from the holiday break. Were you thinking about redesigning your email templates to ensure they render properly on the email clients your members use most? Did you want to develop a new drip campaign for the large conference coming up in the fall? Maybe you wanted to create cross-channel campaigns where members would receive content via email and social media outlets? Whatever your goal was, make sure that you are still working towards it! Ensure that you know how to evaluate if changes in marketing strategy are driving you closer to your goals.

Making sure to be vigilant in keeping your marketing tool free from redundancies or unused strategies will help to keep marketing costs low and free from preventable issues in the future.

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Susan Baumbach

Susan Baumbach

Susan has five years of experience working in associations and nonprofits, gaining critical experience in data analysis and how data is managed in Salesforce. As a certified Pardot Consultant and Marketing Cloud Email Specialist, she guides the implementation process from discovery through go-live and support. She is committed to creating the best marketing automation solution possible for users and stakeholders alike.

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