Q&A with Steve Werkmeister, Director of Marketing, Salem Web Network

We are proud to introduce our first PostUp Q&A session, featuring Steve Werkmeister. Steve is the Director SPW_Imageof Marketing at Salem Web Network which manages the largest Christian websites. 

What is your role at Salem and how is email helping you accomplish your objectives?

I’m the Director of Marketing. Email provides us with a platform to reach our audience with relevant, enriching information on a daily basis and allows us to support our advertising clients with an audience receptive to their promotions and services.

How are you using PostUp to help measure your successes?

PostUp allows us to back into a specific value on our email efforts that we can apply as we look for ways to grow our audience.

What are your biggest challenges as a marketer?

Continuing to grow an engaged audience at a CPA that makes sense.

How does email help you overcome these pain points?

Above all email is an excellent marketing tool to quickly draw attention to a piece of content or offer within a time-sensitive deadline.

What strategies do you use to acquire new customers and grow your email list?

We’re big on growing the user base within by using relevant site promotions, and we also look outside with robust SEM campaigns through Google and Bing, as well as Facebook and co-registrations.

How are you implementing personalization in your email programs?

We’ve historically relied on targeting based on interest, but we recently appended demographic information to our (name, gender, etc.) that we think will help encourage more engagement.

What role does triggered marketing play in your email program?

Frankly we’re a little bit behind in this area, but through the help of PostUp we’re rolling out a reactivation program that we plan to build into a triggered marketing effort.

What are your strategies for developing good copy and subject lines?

Part art and part science. We routinely meet to see what has and hasn’t worked and do a lot of a/b testing to see how small tweaks can impact results. Ideally we like to fire bullets before cannonballs.

How do you align your objectives with others in your marketing department and with other channels in order to create an integrated customer experience?

Fortunately I manage the other areas within Marketing  – SEM, Social, SEO and Analytics – which makes this process a bit easier. We have a specific list of goals that we’re looking to accomplish and each team member understands how their efforts contribute to the division as a whole. For instance, SEO is keenly aware that the more traffic growth they can produce the better in terms of site advertising revenue (short-term rev) and email growth (long-term rev).

What are your email goals for the rest of 2014?

Our number one goal for email is quality growth. Specifically we want to increase the number if mailable and actively engaged subscribers on our file, every single month.