Guest Post By: Heather Cooan,  Marketing Campaign Analyst with Direct Alliance Corporation, Heather works alongside Google employees to create and optimize adwords campaigns for small to medium sized businesses.

Yes, folks, the autoresponder is dead! It has been annihilated by the king, relevance. This is just one of the gems I captured from the most recent AZIMA event that took place this past Tuesday April 13, 2010 featuring Clate Mask, CEO and Co-founder of Infusion Software and Consulting.

With the aroma of sizzling fajitas caressing my senses, Clate gave a very clear and intuitive presentation on email marketing 2.0.Clate is convinced that it is time to marry CRM and email marketing together to create the most relevant campaigns possible. Gone are the days of ‘one size fits all’ email blasts to your entire list, the time has come to treat your customers as customers and not as a list of leads.

Successful email campaigns from here on out will involve paying attention and appropriately responding to user behavior with highly targeted and relevant information that aims to improve the user experience. Contributing value, building, and solidifying relationships and rapport with customers is where it’s at.

Segmentation targeting along with automation tools, like the software developed at Infusionsoft, as well as delivery methods that are more then just email make up the new yellow brick road we should be following to increased customer loyalty and ultimately, conversions. Makes sense to me, why haven’t we always done it like this?

This was my second social event with AZIMA. I thoroughly enjoyed the presentation as well as the networking opportunities with this group. There was ample time for discussion after the presentation and I don’t know about you, but I live for the Q&A portion of presentations, this is where the  best information is. Really great, in depth questions were asked like, “How do we do a better job in email marketing when it comes to mobile devices”?

The networking opportunities at AZIMA are explosive! They even supply you with two free drinks to get your networking mojo flowing and make things a bit easier, a huge bonus for people like me who are fairly new to the industry. I managed though. I met an interesting array of people, including people from the cool little start-ups like Sean Coleman, CEO of OrangeSlyce, a job board connecting students and small businesses, all the way up to members of some of the larger agencies. I met students, and professionals in between jobs, I even scored an invitation to Shwaag from CEO Eric Keosky-Smith!

Oh, and did I mention the nacho bar?

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