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Marketers learn from Jeremy Clarkson - things aren't always great the third time round...

Do you remember when Jeremy and co tackled their way to the Pole? Or when they drove through Vietnam on little bikes? This was great tv, their relationships were amusing and the little ones hair got floppier each year. What happened in 2011 that made me force myself to watch the whole hour whilst giving a fake chuckle because it was meant to be funny?

Well, it all got a bit lazy. The writers were relying on the same jokes and foolery, the same choices of car that matched the presenters personalities and the presenters looked like they didn't need to try or were just bored of it.

Learn from the greats

Let's face it after six Top Gear specials they needed to try something a bit different to keep up with the growing expactations of their viewers and they didn't deliver.

Let this be a lesson to all marketers who have used the same great tools and techniques to grab the attention of their prospects. This will not last, you need to up the ante to maintain greatness or your prospects will begin to tire of you and look elsewhere.

Use the tools you've been given

With email marketing you may think that you just need to tweak a visual or amend a subject line but that's not enough. Email marketing providers are firing out new features like Clarkson does handbrake turns and it's our responsibility to use them.

If you're not sure where to start then here are a few of my favourites:

1. Posting to social media tools - you can now share your email campaigns on Twitter or Facebook and track whether people are retweeting them or adding comments.

2. Facebook register apps - another social one but a good way for people to try and build their email lists, these are simple and can provide great data for you to use for segmentation and targeting.

3. Split testing - whether it's subject line testing, best time of day testing or even message content testing, you can now get solid proof of what works in your campaigns so you can increase your conversions.

4. Reporting on steroids - ok so there's more than one tool in this section but I'm loving how you can now report on website conversions, Google goals, opens/clicks by device type and social activity from an email campaign. Simple opens aren't good enough anymore.

5. CRM integration - Salesforce and MS Dynamics are the two favoured CRM integrations from what I've seen but they show just a couple of CRMs that are feedeing data back and forth from email systems so your sale team can have up to the minute information on their prospects activity.

I'll bet that there is a tonne of functionality that you didn't even know existed in your email marketing platform and it will all improve your campaign results if used properly. So have a dig around, test some out and make sure that your campaigns aren't leaving recipients reaching for the off button.