We’ve shared a number of frameworks and ideas with you about how to make your email marketing better. Let’s look today at the L/O/C Email Framework created by Nowspeed CEO and WhatCounts customer David Reske. We first debuted this publicly with David at the MarketingProfs B2B Forum in the summer of 2011.
The L/O/C Framework can be described as a way to diagnose what went wrong with any given email campaign. In our shared experience, email campaigns usually fail for three reasons, in descending order of importance: wrong list (audience), wrong offer (value), wrong creative. What’s ironic is that most email marketers spend their time and efforts in the reverse order, focusing all their time on design and creative, spending less time on the offer or call to action, and very little time on building up the list.
Let’s tackle each of these areas briefly.
Do you have the right audience? Are you sending the right email to the right audience? If you don’t know who your audience is, you’re at best sending mass email and hoping someone in your audience is qualified and interested in what you’re offering. Make sure you know your audience first. Collect better or more information on subscription forms, use data appending from third party services, ask your customers for more information using surveys – whatever it takes to get a better idea of who your audience is and what they want.
Do you have the right offer? Even if you’ve got the right audience, the wrong appeal to them will make your campaign underperform. For example, sending a student loan offer to a graduating student makes very little sense, but sending a debt consolidation offer might make a great deal of sense. Look at similar advertisements and campaigns to your audience using publicly available comparison tools like Google Adwords or Spyfu. Look at other sites your audience visits. Look at your web analytics and see where else your audience is coming from, then craft offers that resonate with that audience.
Do you have the right creative? We’ve talked extensively about creative design here on the blog, so we won’t rehash that information except to say that you will want to test the daylights out of every creative you use. Even preferences of a theoretically stable audience can change over time, so don’t stop testing because you think you’ve gotten your audience’s tastes figured out. The only time you can safely stop testing is when you hit a 100% open rate, a 100% clickthrough rate, and a 100% conversion rate. Anything short of that means you still have room to test and improve.
What’s most important about the L/O/C Framework isn’t the individual areas, but the priorities in them. You can fine tune creative all you want, but if the offer is weak, you won’t get more than minor incremental improvements to your campaign performance. You may have the right creative and the right offer, but if it’s to the wrong audience, again, nothing will happen. You must have the right audience first before you can do anything else, so if your campaign results aren’t what you want them to be, start diagnosing with this framework.
Christopher S. Penn