Yesterday morning, while impatiently waiting for my son to finish his hour-long leisurely breakfast so we could get on with our day, I read an article on The Huffington Post’s The Blog called, “The Day I Stopped Saying ‘Hurry Up.'” To give you a quick feel for the content of the post, the author starts by saying, “When you’re living a distracted life, every minute must be accounted for. You feel like you must be checking something off the list, staring at a screen, or rushing off to the next destination. And no matter how many ways you divide your time and attention, no matter how many duties you try and multi-task, there’s never enough time in a day to ever catch up.”
Honestly, it made me tear up because I could relate to the author, Rachel Macy Stafford, a little too well. Often in our hustle and bustle world, there’s just no room for dawdling – a pastime that both her daughter and my young son seem to share.
In a marketer’s world, the urge to “hurry up” is arguably even more intense in the sense that we’re in a rush to generate revenue and prove that our efforts create worthwhile ROI. This reality, in no small part, makes seemingly “quick win” tactics very appealing. And while some have merit, I’d like to call caution to one in particular here – the email resend.
I’m not completely discrediting the idea of reaching back out to a list of folks who have been deemed “un-engaged” in a particular effort. There are intriguing results indicating open rates that are half of what they were on the original send and surprisingly, unsub rates that tend to be slightly lower than those from original emails. This compels some email marketers to enlist the tactic as a general practice. So much so that many email platforms have, at the request of users, made resending campaigns a simple or even automated task allowing for a bit of a no-brainer execution. But I believe that all too often the tactic is used on too many campaigns that are simply not engaging enough in the first place to warrant being placed in the inbox for a second time. It’s a “hurry up and generate more immediate engagement and money by whatever means necessary” mentality, but the ramifications can be brand damaging.
So what’s an email marketer to do? I’ll frame my recommendation around the following quoted lyrics from one of my favorite musical artists, Michael Franti and Spearhead. In their song “Never Too Late” he says, “…don’t be a horse race, be a marathon.” In other words, stop focusing on achieving the quick results and start looking at how to be successful over the long haul. Pick your most important or compelling email campaigns to execute resends and maximize their results by adding urgency, changing some language (the subject line is a great candidate for this type of change), and mixing it up in any way you can think of – try sending on a different day or time. Then measure and learn from your resent emails to be certain they’re not costing you too dearly in terms of negatively impacting your list quality. Ultimately, learn how to strike the right balance. One that best represents your brand and preserves your relationship with your precious subscriber base over time.
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