I just read a great article by David Baker, vice president of email marketing at Agency.com. In his July 10 column for MediaPost's Email Insider, David asks the age-old question: how much email is too much? On one hand, marketers say they want to better understand the email channel and its ability to foster online customer relationships. On the other, they continue to shower recipients with urgent promotional messages that become less and less meaningful over time.
But if marketers know that implementing best practices, strategy and testing are the way to inspire loyalty and ROI, and they have the capability to do those things, why do they do they keep falling back on marketer-driven messaging? The answer seems to lie in basic human nature: it's simply more gratifying in the short-term.
David shares the story of a "more is better" client that has started mailing the same message, only with differing subject lines, to recipients as many as three times a week. The company, which has set ambitious email sales goals with no additional budget to achieve them, is getting good results and sees no reason to stop. David questions whether this short-term success is sustainable. But like so many things in life, it seems that these marketers will have to find out for themselves.
As I mention in my book, "The Quiet Revolution in Email Marketing," the problem with over-mailing is that it can actually work for short periods of time, all the while silently ravaging your brand and any future return. Never forget that recipients will give you the benefit of the doubt right up until the moment they decide to ignore you completely.