Jordan Ayan at Media Post offered good advice on how to work WITH field organizations on e-Newsletters.

Mr Ayan defined “field organizations” as divisions, salesmen, distributors, franchisees, etc., and noted that many of them send email campaigns with little control or input from the parent organization.

I’ve been on both sides of this equation. Working for the parent organization that owns the brand, I know everyone in the field thinks they’re a marketing genius and corporate/home office is just there to get in the way.  Working for the field organization I know how long it can take corporate know-it-alls to get out of their never-ending meetings and get something done (for a change)!

Give a little, get a little

Give a little, get a little

Here’s what Mr Ayan suggested would encourage field organizations’ marketing initiatives while mitigating the “collateral damage” (including CAN-SPAM violations) they can cause:

1.  Let field organizations know your objective is not to shut them down, but to understand what is working, to facilitate implementation of best email practices across the organization, and perhaps even to provide some tools to make doing the job easier.

2.  Audit their list practices. In some cases, the lists field organizations have built are far superior to anything a corporate entity can do because of their proximity to the customer. In other cases, it could be a CAN-SPAM nightmare waiting to happen. This is especially true if they are operating without an effective opt-out process, or worse yet, with no opt-out process at all.

3.  Determine if you can facilitate the email process. The key word here is facilitate, not control. If a field organization feels that you are trying to control them, they will start trying to figure out all the ways to work around you. However, if you make it easier for them to do something that they have already found is effective, you may find that you have a large fan base.

How about it, readers?  No matter which side of the fence you’re on, what works well and what’s a bust?  Do tell.