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MarketingSherpa – Email Marketing: A toxic misunderstanding that could kill your response rates


MarketingSherpa – Email Marketing: A toxic misunderstanding that could kill your response rates




By: MarketingSherpa

Internal challenges are among the hardest to overcome when trying to improve your email marketing. You can know everything about improving results, but if your leaders are unwilling to commit the resources, or have a fundamental misunderstanding about email, then you have some convincing to do.

One of the most common misunderstandings I have heard at our Email Marketing Workshops is that some companies “do not believe in” suppressing parts of their list. The leaders essentially force the marketers to batch and blast, thinking it is always better to have more eyeballs on a message than fewer.

This, however, is a huge misconception. Email marketing is not advertising. If you send a message that is irrelevant to a large portion of your list, then you are encouraging recipients to click “spam” and ignore you in the future. Practiced consistently, this can be toxic to your database.

Email is not direct mail

During a recent interview, Arthur Hughes, Founder of the Database Marketing Institute, explained how this misunderstanding likely came from the world of direct mail. Senior-level marketers, he said, often have a wealth of experience in direct mail and commonly suppress parts of their lists in the channel to save money.

“The whole point of segmenting in direct mail is to avoid paying postage for people who are not going to respond, and saving yourself $0.40 or $0.50 a piece to put stuff in the mail,” he says.

But email is so cheap, Hughes notes, that segmentation seems like a waste of time to some marketers. Why bother excluding a few thousand people to save the company less than $5? Why not email these people and hope a few will respond?

“Because when you segment, the email is more interesting and relevant,” Hughes says. And as MarketingSherpa’s readers should know, increasing email relevance has been proven to increase results and help protect your response and delivery rates.



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  • Profile:  Jeff Ginsberg has 17+ years’ experience and is an industry known authority on email marketing who gets in the trenches with clients and helps them fulfill their marketing objectives, increase revenue and brand engagement. Clients rely on him and his team at The eMail Company to provide them with expertise from strategy to technology and from campaign management to channel integration. Jeff has worked with clients across all spectrums in the financial, automotive, retail and consumer packaged goods space. His experience covers both B2B and B2C markets. He has a strong background in educating and training agencies and clients about email best practices and is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to marketing tools and vendor selection. While Jeff’s team may be small, they know how to solve BIG email marketing problems. Looking for help with your next campaign? Don’t be afraid to give him a call – Jeff and his team ready to help you today. Give me a call: Toll Free: 877-We-eMail (877-933-6245) Local: 416-225-7711 eMail: jeff@theemailcompany.com
  • Website:  http://www.theemailguide.com
  • Twitter:   http://www.twitter.com/theemailguide
  • LinkedIn:   http://ca.linkedin.com/in/chiefemailofficer
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