[Originally posted on Linkedin]. I liked it so much as a reply I’m adding it here. The question asked have email blasts gained in respectability. The answer is of course – YES! [Skip to the final two paragraphs to find out why… but I recommend you read it through here].
In my experience somewhere a director has heard about the pluses of email marketing. They hear the word ‘email blast’. They normally ask some junior marketeer to start blasting people as they’re sure the recipients really like to hear unrelated, un-targeted and often irrelevant material.
“Email blasts” is an old school term normally coined AT an emarketing/commerce manager. This professional often rolls their eyes and puts pins in a doll right after the board meeting.
Sadly as the campaign was initiated from a HIPPO [highest paid person’s opinion], there’s little recourse to dissuade them. Well, in my little fiction below I’ve made a story quite funny. It is however based on real-life experiences from emarketers I’ve networked with.
“Where there’s email there’s gold!” I don’t want to paint a black picture…
There’s an obviously great first campaign as recipients wonder who’s sent them an email in the first place.
The emarketer’s report for the first campaign isn’t a great starting point to knock down the Hippo.
“Cool”, says the Hippo: “50% opens and a huge amount of clicks….send more”.
The internal head shaking of the marketing professional continues!
The HIPPO starts to grin and retorts why the marketing manager was so reluctant to send an email at all.
“Hey, if its great with the first one why not send out weekly ones?”, the Hippo sees the virtual gold.
“Oh and those bounces, don’t worry about them I need to send to X,000,000 people per month. Keep them in if you can. Board meeting is next week. There’s a good chap. Fancy a scone?”
Meanwhile in a galaxy not so far away………….
An evil ESP or IT professional starts to notice the beginning signs of blacklisting with blocked emails, high bounce rates and starts to block your ‘blasts’.
Later that day : Sales departments ask why emails are not getting through.
“This contact is in my sales book…”. They end up using gmail to start sending commercial mail ruining the branding plus making the company look like a muppet in a fly by night company!
Meanwhile in the sales department they hear from the commercial manager the success with the ‘email blasts’. Having access to their own contact’s email addresses they too see the benefit in direct marketing.
Later that month… opens are around 5-10% and the domain starts to suffer!
The often jovial but recluse IT manager gets a call at 3am asking why they can’t even send emails internally. He’d better get down to the office now to sort it out.
At the next Business Summit in Geneva.
The sales team are eager to get their teeth into the awaiting delegates, the Hippo wanders over to the VIP area. The Hippo preps his card and does a very fair assessment / sales pitch of his company:
The delegate replies: “Ahh… you’re from X company. I heard from you guys [laughs]. I get your emails on a daily basis.. hahahaha…. hahahahahah…. hahahahaha”.
[fill in your own laughter as it’s a waste of space]
The delegate is very pleased to have made your acquaintance and now has a very important persons card.
No need now to contact the IT or marketing guy… go right for the top and ask the Hippo to stop ‘email blasting’ [insert Spam].
Later that week the Hippo’s email address is Twittered. Cue black spider spam bots that grab email addresses….
The IT manager gets another call from the Hippo. It’s normally virus related. Better send that PC back to Dell!
So, it’s gained in respectability but normally from the top by the uninformed whose company’s reputation suffers, profitability drops and sales database that had great ROI potential, starts to become next to useless.
CASE STUDY FACTS AND FICTION
This story is based on imaginary events or stories heard from 3rd parties at networking events in Barcelona, Germany, and London.
The Geneva event is fictional. However I was very close an actual happenings at an event with a company director who was being shunned at for the remainder of his stay at the event. People were then out for this person’s blood when they found out he was there. It was the talking point at the event.
For an emarketing professional, I believe it is BEST to find out and get references from companies that have practiced this type of formula. If you’re being bullied to make it happen then get a meeting with an actual bad case study on the phone! It won’t make you popular, but you won’t be having any of the problems above. Although I’ve written this article very light heartily its a real threat. Feel free to link this article!