Given the timing of this column, appearing just before the Thanksgiving holiday here in the U.S., I did a quick (and very unscientific) survey of 10 B2B e-mail marketers last week. It was a one question poll: "Last year, did you see an uptick in e-mail activity on Cyber Monday, the Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday?"
The answers were rather surprising, and luckily everyone provided additional insight beyond "yes" or "no." Every one of the respondents said that the end of the long Thanksgiving weekend signaled the beginning of an end-of-quarter/year B2B rush. Nearly all (8 in 10) said they send more e-mail messages in December (as they do at the end of every quarter), and that response rates are actually higher for some message types now than in other quarters.
Fascinating! Why should retailers have all the fun?
Here's what I suspect is happening:
How about that -- strategic e-mail marketing works. The opposite -- sending e-mail marketing with abandon -- is always a bad idea. High frequency coupled with low relevance is a death knell -- it depresses response, annoys subscribers, increases unsubscribes, and spikes complaints (counted with every click on the Report Spam button in Outlook, Cloudmark, or Internet service providers (ISPs) like Yahoo and Gmail, which power many small business e-mail). Too many complaints will prevent all your messages from reaching the inbox and earning a response.
To take advantage of the importance of the inbox in this busy season, focus on improving relevancy, timing, and impact.
How are you adjusting for the season this year? Please comment below.
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Stephanie Miller is a relentless customer advocate and a champion for marketers creating memorable online experiences. A digital marketing expert, she helps responsible data-driven marketers connect with the people, resources, and ideas they need to optimize response and revenue. She speaks and writes regularly and leads many industry initiatives as VP, Member Relations and Chief Listening Officer at the Direct Marketing Association (www.the-dma.org). Feedback and column ideas most welcome, to smiller AT the-dma DOT org or @stephanieSAM.
December 12, 2013
1:00pm ET / 10:00am PT