In the years I've written this column, few topics have generated as much response as my last one: the formation of an EROI council and the idea that we need to transcend the current industry panel discussions beyond best practices and deliverability issues to real conversations about specific, actionable e-mail strategies that generate revenue and affect bottom lines.
First, it's great to know that when you spend time writing these columns, there truly are interested people who have opinions to share. This last column provoked a few replies from inflamed respondents who felt my piece somehow bashed the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) or the Email Experience Council (EEC). One even included an industry call to action to educate me on my ignorance. Yet most of the e-mail I received was incredibly positive and supportive of the idea of forming a council to provide insight, focus, and direction on strategies and tactics to bring e-mail communications and the programs we deploy into greater ROI (define) clarity.
In fact, I received nearly 100 e-mail messages from folks who simply said, "Sign me up."
Clearly, this topic hit a hot button. What started as a frustrated rant on a hot July day ignited dialogues that illustrate a genuine need for information and exchanges that focus on building positive e-mail ROI. Fact is, we must be laser-focused on leveraging this channel's power to drive incremental sales and volume. While other aspects in and around e-mail are important, none are more critical than understanding the channel's effectiveness against bottom-line objectives.
To view that earlier column as an attack on the DMA or EEC misses the point. And I sincerely apologize to anyone who may have misconstrued my comments concerning these groups. These organizations clearly do purposeful work for our industry and provide invaluable tools for their members. In fact, I proudly sit on a DMA committee. I know the incredible value their industry research, insight, networking opportunities, and events offer to the direct marketing community. But the message from e-mail marketers, including those in the U.K. and Australia, is clear: we need more concrete, actionable information and discussions that focus directly on driving sales and growth through this medium.
So it is with our study of ROI and leveraging the power of e-mail communications. While we've often spoken about the power of the platform and its technology, we must understand the e-mail in every step of the selling, buying, and relationship-building processes.
For all those who desire to be charter members of this yet unformed council, there's a growing group of us committed to moving this idea off the drawing board and into a reality. We'll be providing details and asking for your help building the structure of the group in the coming weeks and months. As this work has begun in earnest, we invite you to join us.
Interested? Drop me a line.
Until next time,
Want more e-mail marketing information? ClickZ E-Mail Reference is an archive of all our e-mail columns, organized by topic.
Meet Your Favorite ClickZ Contributors
Many of ClickZ's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Jeremy Hull, Lisa Raehsler, Andrew Goodman, Bryan Eisenberg, Mathew Sweezey, Aaron Kahlow, Stephanie Miller, Simms Jenkins, Jeanne S. Jennings, Dave Hendricks and more!
Long recognized as one of the direct response industry's premier innovators and a pioneer in e-mail communications, Al DiGuido brings over 20 years of marketing, sales, management, and operations expertise to his role as CEO of full-service digital marketing company Zeta Interactive. Formerly Epsilon Interactive's CEO, DiGuido also served as CEO of Bigfoot Interactive, CEO of Expression Engines, EVP at Ziff Davis, and publisher of Computer Shopper, where he launched ComputerShopper.com, a groundbreaking direct-to-consumer e-commerce engine. Prior to Ziff Davis, he was VP/advertising director for Sports Inc. DiGuido also serves on the Direct Marketing Association's Ethics Policy Committee.
March 19, 2014