I used to work with a company where a mistake at middle management level could end a career. It was a deliberate policy, the hope being to ensure only those who never made errors were promoted. That’s not how it turned out. Those who ended up pristine were either the best at covering their mistakes or never took a risk.
This culture is prevalent in some companies, hopefully not to the level that I experienced, but it should be looked for and then destroyed in anything to do with email marketing as, oddly enough, we can be almost immune to errors in our day-to-day work. You might disagree, given the problems with Covid-19 and Brexit. However, we are not looking at strategic decisions, just those made with regards to email marketing campaigns.
We are spared the problems, and inherent dangers, of products which take months, if not years, to develop and bring to the table. A decision made this time last year might well have produced a product unsuitable for 2021. Getting that wrong could have been disastrous.
We should play to our strengths. We can test an idea or change using split testing and have an answer returned within a day or two showing whether it was a positive, negative or required a bit of work. The immediate feedback ensures that if the modification was not helpful, we ignore it for subsequent campaigns.
You need to build a company culture, at least at email marketing level, where any idea is assessed, looked at logically, and, if there is no evidence against it, such as it being against the regulations, it should be accepted as something to test. It takes a leap of faith to follow a policy that seems so hazardous. However, the benefits can be far-reaching and will give any company using it a head start in the fight for an increase in market share. For instance, the idea, if it proves positive, might well be something that no company has tried before, so you’ll have a head start; you’ll have the field to yourself. That’s got to be good.
It’s not as if validating one of the off-the-wall propositions is going to cost you if it fails. You’ll put it on a split email marketing list and if it proves a non-starter, all you’ve lost is an opportunity to test a somewhat more productive idea. On balance, it’s got to be worth it.
There are any number of other benefits with encouraging your colleagues to float ideas. Firstly, if you’re trying to recruit new staff, who wouldn’t want to work in an environment such as that? I know I do. Further, it allows everyone of whatever level to come up with ways to get an edge in a safe environment, where they know they won’t be slapped down or laughed at, or it negatively affecting their careers, if they suggest something that’s not been tried.
If you give it a go, you’ve got a lot to gain. If the plan doesn’t fly, you’ve lost little.