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Email Marketing: ‘Short Attention Span Theatre’ or Do You Have Sender ADD? by Chris Donald @inboxgroup

Email Marketing: ‘Short Attention Span Theatre’ or Do You Have Sender ADD? by Chris Donald @inboxgroup

Email Marketing: Short Attention Span Theatre

Email Marketing: Short Attention Span Theatre

Email Marketing: ‘Short Attention Span Theatre’ or Do You Have Sender ADD? 

Sometimes I wonder if the whole “Information Overload” we experience in our day-to-day lives keeps us from staying on task.  It seems that all information now is a sound bite, elevator speech, 10 tips to increase your [whatever].  If the subject line in your email marketing isn’t enticing, your email won’t be read.  The “Short Attention Span Theater” subscriber is one battle for sure; the other is sender ADD.

Having been on the front lines of email marketing for the past ten-plus years, I’ve found that real attention to the details of email marketing campaigns are rarely followed from campaign-to-campaign.  I witness it all the time with clients and with other email campaigns and newsletters I receive.

You can almost see it in the email when it arrives that the people behind the scenes have rushed the email out the door because of a deadline that is usually self-imposed.  Real planning, testing and evaluation of campaign reporting starts to fall by the wayside; and with it, their ROI.

Having a 90-day email marketing plan and process in place can make your campaigns much more successful and keep the attention of your audience and make your life as a sender much easier.  Having a plan will always beat the “got to get it out the door” mentality.

Whether you are a lone marketer or have a team, start with a checklist and schedule of your email marketing campaigns.

In no specific order:

  • Create a calendar for your email campaigns over the next 90 days.
  • Create a timeline for creative, content, review and testing.
  • Review past campaigns for results and learn from them.
  • Segment your list(s) for better targeting of campaigns.
  • Don’t treat new subscriber the same as your loyal followers.
  • Ask your subscribers for feedback and listen to them (pay attention.)
  • Trim the fat – subscribers with no actions over a 90-day sampling should be segmented out for more aggressive testing and then removed after 120 days with no results.

Then wash, rinse and repeat.

I understand that sometimes an unscheduled campaign pops-up from time-to-time, but you still must take some time for creative, content, review and testing.

Takeaway: Your subscriber base might be members of the “Short Attention Span Theatre”, but you don’t have to be.  So take some time to plan and you’ll see that it will pay off in better ROI for you and your audience.

Think of it as Ritalin (AKA Riddlin) for your email marketing.

Got to go, it’s time for my medication.

  • Profile:  Christopher Donald is currently a Partner and VP of Sales and Marketing at Inbox Group, LLC based in Dallas, where he oversees U.S. and International sales of the Inbox Group email marketing service (SaaS). Chris has worked on the front lines of internet sales and marketing since 1995 and directly in email marketing since 2000.
  • Website:  http://www.inboxgroup.com
  • Twitter:   http://www.twitter.com/inboxgroup
  • LinkedIn:   http://www.linkedin.com/in/inboxgroup
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Your thoughts here
  1. Great article Chris, we now this already as you’ve drummed it into our heads for 3 years. It is hard to stay on task especially since we are a non-profit and under-staffed. But we try and succeed more often then we fail.

    • Kari,

      Thanks for the compliment and yes I do tend to drive that message home over-and-over again. Glad you are seeing success by having a plan and sticking with it. You all do a great job with your marketing and glad I can be of help.

      Cheers, Chris

  2. Chris,

    Cool post. I really liked your tips about planning 90 days ahead, and especially: “Ask your subscribers for feedback and listen to them (pay attention.)” Yesterday we received a comment that took the position that emails are one way communication, and I completely disagreed.

    Testing what works and asking what works are probably the two best ways to improve an email marketing campaign. Thanks for the tips!



  3. Great article Chris,
    I’m sending this to my boss to help reinforce the need for an email plan and process. We’re tired of all the “got to get it out the door” no planning approach. Just being empowered to make to make the right decisions and do my job would be nice. Thanks again for touching on a subject that all email marketers must battle with on a daily basis.


    Sherry Broskey
  4. Nice post Chris.

    Too many marketers rely on the low cost of email and become stuck in the ‘Easy Button’ mentality.

    Director: “We need more sales.”
    Manager: “Let’s send an email.”
    Director: “No, let’s send 5 emails.”

    It becomes a crutch for other failing mediums or campaigns and gets utilized as an emergency vehicle. The ‘get it out the door’ mentality becomes a bad habit of pumping emails out as fast as possible – No thought, measurement, or true strategy gets created or analyzed. Just another item to check off the marketers list.

    Sad but true.

    • Garin,

      You’re “spot-on” with the “let’s send 5 emails”. The thought that if sending one is good then sending 5 is better, is a common practice when a “No Planning approach” is driving the bus.

      I appreciate your comment, thanks!

      Cheers, Chris

  5. Great post Chris!

    The “just get it out the door” mentality doesn’t cut it. If you want good ROI, you have to invest in and empower the people in your corporation who are on the front lines of online marketing.


    Jim Ducharme
    • Jim,

      Thanks for the comment and you are right on the money, empowering those who are responsible is so important. I’d like to know what other email marketing professionals are thinking on this topic. Do they fight this same battle?

      Cheers, Chris

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