Common Misconceptions and Truths of Email Marketing.
Last Friday, 2 people in our email group were laid off and it got me thinking about a few things. First, email marketing is an emerging channel at my organization and with 2009 in full swing it was incomprehensible to me why they would let 2 people go with so much emphasis being put on our channel. Then in church of all places, I finally realized something: people just don’t “get” email marketing. From marketing planners, to CFO’s, to attorneys, to VP’s and even CMO’s in ALL organizations, email marketing is often a misunderstood channel. With that, I decided to come up with a list of common misconceptions, truths and some general statements that hopefully some folks will read and take notice.
Email is not easy. You just don’t throw up some creative and push a button.
Email is not direct mail.
Email is a science and an art.
Sending more email because its cheap, doesn’t mean you should send more email.
Sending email only for revenue is short term thinking.
The size of your email list doesn’t matter if you don’t take care of your list.
Email is not as easy as it appears to be.
It takes a lot longer than 2 days to put together a piece of creative for an email
There needs to be some sort of ROI model on the email you want to do.
A navy blue background vs. a dark blue background will certainly not move the needle in terms of conversions
Just because you are adding another program or value add for the customer, doesn’t mean that the customer wants to get that email.
You need to always ask for permission from your customer to send them more email from your newly added program or value add.
Don’t have people send email who don’t know what the hell they are doing. Leave it to a professional.
Adding another picture, or banner or another link to your email wont necessarily help your email. In fact it might make it worse.
Anytime you use the words “email blast” you are disrespecting your customer and insulting a professional.
There is no such thing as an industry email standard. You benchmark your email program success against itself and not your competitors.
Email testing is a waste of time, unless you use the data. In other words, don’t test cuz you think its cool or the thing to do. Test. Analyze. Adapt.
Email is not easy. Did I say that already?
Most often, the C-Suite thinks that email is just another channel to advertise for the masses. When was the last time they checked their inbox?
Email should be 25% tactical, 25% analytical and 51% strategic. (that extra 1% is there….I know)
Email strategy should be defined by email professionals who actually are the folks who will execute.
Email experts or strategists who talk about best practices and strategy who have never been on the client side to execute these best practices and strategy should try it sometime. Oh…and tie it to a revenue number as well. Walk the talk folks.
3-7 seconds guys. You have 3-7 seconds to grab the attention of the reader. Are you sure you want to add that extra banner or picture or offer in there?
Just because its legal, doesn’t mean its the right thing to do.
If you do something good in your program, tell the world. Just don’t tell them how you did it unless they want to hire you.
Respect your subscriber. Period.
Don’t assume your subscribers like your email if they don’t unsubscribe.
Don’t let the C-Suite tell you how to run your email program. Stand your ground…or let it run into the ground.
Giving your customers a choice in a preference center will not confuse them.
When you have too many people with an opinion on your email program and most of the opinions are from folks who don’t run the email program, its time for a change.
This list is the best I could think of on a Saturday night with a good caffeine buzz going. I don’t want to seem arrogant with the above, just a realist (or a purist as a colleague of mine once said..thanks M.S.) While it does suck that two of my colleagues are without jobs this evening, I take comfort in understanding why they were let go. In fact, its simple really. When organizations don’t “get” email marketing, its complexities and what it takes run a successful program, people….valuable people are lost.
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