Email Campaign Management

When it doesn’t

You have had fun when creating the email. You have followed the excellent advice that came with the email marketing software, the graphics are quite stunning, the list has been generated in-house, and you have told everyone to be ready for the surge in orders. And now you have a meeting with the boss to explain why your figures were so off the mark.

No one wants to be there, trying to figure out what went wrong. The best way to avoid it is to also avoid the basic errors of email marketing campaigns. The person to ask why a campaign failed is not the one who organised it. After all, who tells their boss the whole truth in such situations?

Those who have the answers are the customers, the ones who receive direct marketing emails. We want to know why they did not fall for the enticing prose, why the pictures put them off. Their response is the important one.

The subject has been a target for considerable research and there is a certain agreement in the conclusions. Some of the reasons for lack of response are beyond your control, like the amount of spam and emails in general, but there are plenty of pointers to show you what to avoid.

Security of email addresses
The majority are worried that their email addresses might be shared with spammers and others. A simple but clear endorsement to the effect that this is not done could be helpful.

Difficulty in unsubscribing
This might be seen as self defeating. However, it is a legal requirement and the customer may well come back. Further, just because they do not want direct marketing emails does not mean they will not buy from you.

Emails sent too often
This is a fairly basic error. The optimum frequency of emails depends on many variables but it is better to err on the side of caution.

Recipients complain that the products are not something that interests them, an indications of a lack of targeting. Whilst some emails are bound to be, to a certain extent, speculative, this should be limited. Consideration should be given to retention of email addresses at every decision.

Poor value and price
The most fundamental of faults. Those who make it deserve all they get.

Too hard-sell
A difficult judgement call here. No direct marketing email should resemble an apologetic cough. Readers scan so you need to grab their attention without putting them off.

All these points are variables. Where is the demarcation between too often and missing opportunities? Or that between energetic and too forceful? Much will depend on your product and customers. The only dependable way to find the right balance is by your returns. Your email marketing software will indicate when you have got it right and wrong. The points above are those which have irritated recipients in the past so are warnings of where you need to take care.



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