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Thursday, June 18, 2009

I recently entered into a debate with a Direct marketing guru about email marketing. It's amazing what you're reminded of when you talk to someone with a similar background and a wealth of experience.

When considering a new campaign, we talked about our list. As you probably already know, studies have shown that the success of any direct marketing campaign is comprised of 40% the list, 40% the offer, and 20% creative. I often have to remind people of that stat when they start commenting on design saying that this box should be bigger, the blue should be a different shade, etc. Sorry, I digress.

So anyway, we're having this discussion about emailing the entire list a few times each month or just simply emailing "new" people who have been added to the list - and obviously purging opt outs. My argument was that if an individual didn't respond to the first few emails, they should be suppressed. I mean why keeping Spamming someone if they're clearly not interested.

My friend said that a lack of response doesn't mean they are disinterested, just that they are not interested at the moment. Hmm.. pretty deep but true. When life events happen, people often move from not interested to very interested and it can happen quickly. So if you stop reaching your audience just before a change, life event, or sudden need - and someone else comes in with an offer - you lose.

The motto of the story is that when using email marketing, don't be afraid to reach out to your audience again and again until they opt out. Chance are that if they showed initial interest, at some point they will be ready for your product or service and you want to be there when they are. Vary your message a bit so that people don't get annoyed. However, don't be afraid of over communicating. A valuable reminder to anyone who using direct marketing!


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