Monday, April 23, 2012

Question: Is Email Marketing Dead?

I was recently asked if Email Marketing was now ineffective, useless and a waste of time and money... 

After you read my response, I’d love to hear your viewpoint.

Here was my response:

Email marketing success is affected by many factors.

The lack of success in email marketing is also affected by several factors.

There are many mistakes being made in email marketing but here are the top three success zappers that I have seen all too often:

·         There is an overall belief that email marketing is the only effective tool to acquire customers. As a result, follow up activities and/or other channels are not given funding or attention and tactics that would support the email marketing activity would bring acquisition are not practiced. As a result, the "email campaign" is viewed as ineffective.

·         There is a belief that "the more the merrier”.  As a result of ‘over touching’ prospects by email, they tune you out or just drop you into their junk folder; thereby making email marketing ineffective.

·         Lists play a huge role in email marketing success or failure. Often lists are purchased or gathered in random ways such as contests, transactions, etc. Then email blasts are done, regardless of any correlation to the way in which the list was gathered.

For example, if someone enters a contest for a free vacation, they are most likely interested in leisure activities. Unfortunately, a plumber may use the free vacation ploy as a way to gather a list and then email to those hopeful "free vacation" people over and over again.

 It is very important that the list be segmented and the email that is sent be relative to what the recipient is interested in. Otherwise, it is no better than the "spray and pray" direct mail days and you must have a very large list with a very large budget (due to CAN SPAM Laws, Opt In list are very pricey to acquire). If you take this approach, you can expect a measly 1% response and then you still have to convert them to an acquired customer! This can be a very time consuming and expensive approach.

 There is a way to make email marketing effective as part of a multi-channel marketing approach but unfortunately, the days of email marketing being the silver bullet for acquisition are gone. The space is just too crowded.

Do you have a success story or failure to share that will help others with email marketing? Write and let us know.

Happy Marketing,


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