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How Publishers Clearing House Improved its Open and Clickthrough Rates

July 6, 2010 By Joe Keenan
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The high return on investment offered by email drives marketers to the channel, but that attraction also has a downside: The more companies sending emails, the harder it is to differentiate yourself from the pack. Add in the fact that consumer interaction with email is declining, and you can see why marketers are more challenged than ever to be be relevant in the eyes of consumers.

In a session at last month's Digital Marketing Days Conference & Expo in New York City, Chris Marriott, vice president of global agency services at interactive marketing services firm Acxiom, and Josh Glantz, vice president and general manager at Publishers Clearing House (PCH) Online, the internet destination of the sweepstakes marketer, detailed how an integrated marketing approach can still win over consumers’ attention — and wallets.

Consumers are choosing to remain uninformed until they're ready to listen to you, said Marriott. Therefore, reward those who listen to you. Do this by tracking and learning from every interaction you have with them. Calling this his “Groundhog Day” theory of marketing, Marriott drew from the 1993 film where the main character (Bill Murray) finds himself living the same day over and over again. Marketers must recognize customers and treat them like an old friend, he said.

The next step is to seek to understand why customers are behaving in a certain manner (e.g., purchases in-store after receiving an email) so that you can predict their future behavior, said Marriott. Build strategies around gained insight and put that info into future marketing messages. Users want emails from you as long as they're relevant, Marriott added.

And relevance is grounded in consumer recognition. Your company needs to have institutional memory at every customer touchpoint that can be acted upon, Marriott said, because “insight without execution is pointless.” Think “what are they likely to buy rather than what's in the back room that you're looking to get rid of.”

How PCH Drives Clickthroughs
The myth of email is that the CAN-SPAM legislation would reduce the volume of email consumers receive. The reality is that consumers are receiving more email than ever, and 90 percent of that email is junk. For PCH, therefore, maintaining a clean sender reputation is critical. Here are some of the ways PCH keeps a clean sender reputation, despite being a high-volume email marketer:
 

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