Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Response Meter

The Dangers of Too Much Email

While email still remains the most cost effective way of promoting to a subscriber or customer, publishing and media companies can hurt themselves by saturating their customers and advertisers with too many eblasts. There are a number of steps companies can take to alleviate email fatigue and ensure that their messages are getting through to the right people.

In the past, circulators would often send out emails to as many people on their databases as possible, especially if they were in a time crunch and needed to meet specific marketing goals. In the short term, this proved to be somewhat effective, but publishing and media companies found that they weren’t necessarily getting the right people to sign up for their products. By sending emails out to any and everyone, they also found that their IP addresses were being added to company spam filters, which in turn caused open and click through rates to plummet and messages to fail in reaching recipients.

With publishing and media companies fighting for every dollar and name, the smart companies need to segment their lists and have targeted messaging to specific industries or job titles. A healthy, segmented database as well as an integrated database will also allow for cross marketing opportunities and the generation of new leads for promotion. And as the old saying goes, “knowledge is power” and the more information a company has on a current or potential customer, the easier it is to promote to them.

It’s also vital that email databases are updated frequently and that any deletes or changes to email addresses are made in a timely fashion. Otherwise, a company could face potential lawsuits from disgruntled customers who are sick and tired of getting spammed. Frequent updating is also important to ensure that the quality of a company’s email database remains intact.

And lastly, having up-to-date tracking and analytic tools as well as people who know how to decipher them is crucial. That way, messages can be more easily segmented and response rates will increase regardless of whether the message is geared toward promoting an event, generating a sale, or the renewal of a print or digital product.

- Hamilton Maher

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