Saturday, September 26, 2009

Are you jumping off a cliff with that email?

Both Email Marketing and jumping into a rocky canyon have risks. Both disciplines have proven techniques to cope with those risks. Well, at least Email Marketing does. It is manageable if you follow the practices recommended this week. Both experiences have a set of deadly forces at work and a set of life saving forces as well.

Deadly Forces
The erosive power of friction from email frequency can land us in the rocks. Quris (2003, p 10) says that “slow and steady wins the race.” Throughout their article they admonish us to avoid losing customers completely with Email that is too frequent. This is not having customers delete our emails. This is having them terminate the relationship.

Another deadly force is inertial boredom. Its uncomfortable gravity casts a gray pall over our dive or our email, and we will not get full points. Vanides (2009, p. 2) says that this is even truer for B-to-B: messages must be relevant and have substance. Quris (2009, p. 10) observes “Relevant versus boring is of course a subjective judgment.” That is the risk of cliff diving but it’s why people applaud us if our company and we survive and are not paralyzed.

The future for marketers who ignore these warnings is a rocky landing that acts like a meat cleaver, wielded by a client infuriated with the predictable banality of our frequent intrusions.

Life Giving Forces
Things are not completely bleak. Momentum is a force of hope. Quris (p. 10) says that measurement of past behavior lets us gauge email engagement momentum. This gives us the wind direction before we take our leap. They also say that our perspective should be the ocean, the long-term relationship with the customer and not a one-time sales objective.

Vanides (pp 7-8) provides life-giving advice on the form and style of our emails. First make a compelling offer and tell a story that “engages the reader’s imagination.” Stay focused, an email should cover one product or service. Give assurances to the forces of nature with money-back guarantees. Keep the paragraphs short and the tone appropriate to the audience. You may want to have a P.S. Finally, have multiple calls to action.

Quris, Inc. (October 2003). How Email Practices Can Win of Lose Long-Term Business. Retrieved from WVU IMC 626 Week Five Readings on September 13, 2009.

Spiller, L and M Baier, (2005). Contemporary Direct Marketing. Pearson/Prentice-Hall

Vanides, Alexia (2009). Lesson 5: Online and Other Email Marketing Techniques. Retrieved from WVU IMC 626 Week Five Lesson on September 13, 2009.

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