January 16, 2013
Most Companies Not Targeting E-mail Marketing Campaigns Properly
By Tracey E. Schelmetic
While there’s still no shortage of direct marketing filling our postal mailboxes (commonly referred to as “junk mail”), we are bombarded by similar digital content in our e-mail inboxes. While some is unsolicited (the ubiquitous Viagra, discount vitamins and other messages), a considerable amount of it is based on a prior relationship.
If you’ve ever placed an order through a catalog or bought a book through Amazon, you will have received follow-up messages targeted toward your interests.
You may have even responded to some of these offers and messages.
Companies engaging in e-mail marketing must walk a very fine line. While targeted e-mails sent at the right frequency to promote sales or seasonal offers may work well for many companies, there is always the danger that company will send too many messages, or messages that aren’t targeted.
In these cases, consumers are likely to request that their names be removed from e-mail marketing lists.
According to a new poll conducted by YouGov and marketing company Emailvision, too many messages are in the latter category. The survey found respondents in general don’t like e-mail marketing. It found that:
- 75 percent reported they would resent a brand after being bombarded by emails
- 71 percent cited receiving unsolicited messages as a reason to become resentful
- 50 percent felt getting their name wrong was a reason to think less of the brand
- 40 percent remarked that getting gender wrong would have a negative impact
Proper targeting and frequency is critical in e-mail marketing. Finding the right message at the right time, and sending e-mails at judicious frequencies can improve these numbers greatly, the survey found.
While it sounds intuitive, the tricky part is actually obtaining the information a company needs to create better e-mail campaigns. Many consumers simply aren’t willing to provide it.
Emailvision’s survey questioned what personal information consumers online would be willing to share in exchange for better targeted offers. Only 28 percent of adults online indicated they would be willing to share their name. Thirty-seven percent of consumers online indicated they would be willing to share their age and just 38 percent would be willing to share their gender with a brand.
This lack of sharing demonstrates that consumers online don’t yet see the value of exposing their information to brands, according to Emailvision.
“When a customer purchases from your in-store business, they give you money in exchange for a product or service,” said Emailvision Director Neil Hamilton . “When a visitor interacts with your online business, they are giving you their data in exchange for a relevant experience with your brand. If a business doesn’t choose to make use of this data correctly, they are missing out on important knowledge that could positively or negatively impact business for years to come. It’s imperative that a customer never becomes ‘just a number’ even in a database of millions. Technology enables all businesses to treat their customers to a personalized experience across multiple sales channels.”
Emailvision offers some solutions to companies that wish to sharpen their campaigns and target their e-mails better to boost response. These include using technology to bridge the gap between a brand and their customers; getting to know your customer; incentivizing your customer; creating better headline and e-mail subject matter lines; and finally customizing your offers.
Today’s e-mail marketing solutions can help, analyzing customers’ activity on websites and previous purchases to help target future e-mails better, and engaging customers in a way that helps e-mail marketing become a two-way process.
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Edited by Braden Becker