Thursday, June 5, 2014

Stop the Email! Three Simple Ways to End the Madness
By Larry Fournier

As an accomplished email marketer, I am uniquely qualified, even compelled, to write this blog. Like everyone reading this posting I am assaulted every morning and throughout the day by an avalanche of offers, propositions, survey requests, work-at-home jobs and business proposals. I have made the decision today to filter EVERYTHING as email spam. I long for the same thing that motivated Thoreau in Walden Pond – a little simple peace and quiet!

Everything you do online, every action taken, every order or download, result in a monumental and intolerable build-up of email. Marketers have misused the email media beyond belief. Why do marketers think that “nurturing” means sending me multiple emails every day? Some of the worst offenders are the marketers of email programs themselves. Have you received your invitations today to the next email marketing, or Social Media Webinar?

Early on, I resisted the temptation to use email to constantly bombard customers and prospects. I consciously decided, and my company agreed, to limit email touch points to no more than once per week. There were always Webinars to promote, special offers to extend and products to launch. It was difficult and even painful to live up to this self-imposed email restriction, but we did.

What I didn’t see coming was the great benefit of email restraint. Our audience actually responded to our self-imposed selective communication. Each message was received with interest and correspondingly generated responses, click-through rates and actions taken well above the industry standard. We saw open rates of over 40% in many messages, high registration and event attendance rates. It seems that people actually appreciate the respect shown by limiting the amount of email they received from our company.

Here are three easy to implement suggestions for email marketers that will help reduce the amount of email sent yet still keep the marketing funnel growing and sales pipeline filled:

1.     Determine a maximum number of email touch points that your company is will to commit to, and live by – once or twice per week is a suggestion!

2.     Make sure that there is a single control point (approver) of all messages sent – that way separate departments don’t exceed the email quota.

3.     Use or establish a customer, partner and prospect newsletter that you use to promote multiple events such as Webinars, workshops and  product offers rather than using multiple separate emails. A word of caution here, you should make sure that your newsletter is focused on helpful information and not just selling as this will impact the future participation and open rates. Note that in the next year or so, I may be advising marketers to limit the amount of content spread through Social Media!

A final reminder is please, please, please, Never Buy Email Lists as this will certainly add to spam and could put your company on a spammer black list!

As an email marketer we can all take a lesson from Thoreau to simplify, simplify, simplify!  Making some important policy decisions about how you respect your audience by limiting the amount of email you produce and spew can improve the results you achieve. Who knows, the inbox you spare may be your own! 

For more information about starting, integrating and improving your partner or marketing programs, contact Larry Fournier on LinkedIn or by email at:

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