E-mail Reality Check

Let’s take a moment away from the Facebook e-mail news to reflect on other key considerations for e-mail marketers.

At ad:tech recently, I ran an all day in-depth seminar on e-mail marketing. Attendees were engaged and represented diverse backgrounds and situations.

Here are some observations and takeaways for e-mail marketers:

The Permission Division

While the power of permission is what makes e-mail a true powerhouse in the digital world (without permission, e-mail is a mere mortal form of direct marketing), the “what about this” scenarios that many ask show a big divide. They agree that “opting in” is the way to go but it is not often the reality in their businesses. The three-year-old sales lists, sister company e-mail databases, and intriguing yet vague promotional names acquired are often too tempting not to add to their main lists or just use to “test the water.” While many an e-mail purist may not agree with this, it is the reality.

Relevancy vs. Reality Question

Many of us preach the need to deliver relevant and compelling messages. Many e-mail marketers in the trenches I talked to said, “that’s great but my customers and senior management don’t care about relevancy – they want offers and something unique and valuable” (it’s up for debate on who these e-mail programs are being tailored toward). The interpretation of relevancy’s true meaning may be in the eye of the inbox reader, but these e-mail practitioners I spoke to thought relevancy was, to a certain degree, a no man’s land talked about by those not responsible for their own e-mail program.

Pencil These Questions In

It doesn’t matter who, when, or where, I find these questions always get asked. No one can dismiss them since they continue to be at the forefront of marketers’ minds. Some of them actually can define whether your e-mails get read as well.

  • What is a good open rate?
  • When should I send my e-mails?
  • What makes a good subject line?
  • What should be in my “from” line?
  • How do I grow my list without spending any money?

I love talking to real-life e-mail marketers who aspire for more in their programs and their subscribers’ inbox. Sometimes we need to rethink the basics and the fundamental e-mail issues to ensure we all improve – regardless of the latest and greatest threat/compliment to e-mail marketing.

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