I was asked to speak on a panel today to the Triangle Interactive Marketing Association, the Triangle in question being Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill, NC. The subject was best practices in email marketing and about 70 people showed up. I think I was there to represent the skeptics, as everyone else was a devotee.
Don't get me wrong, email marketing can be a good thing. But I had three main caveats:
- Email marketing is best for relationships. Unless you're careful or clever, using it for customer acquisition can be brand damaging.
- The list is king, and a smaller real list is better than a bigger junky list. (Unless you don't agree with number one and want to be perceived as a spammer.)
- You're not in control. Most good campaigns are deleted by 70% of people unopened, so think long and hard about why your content matters to me and when I want to receive it, not when you want to send it. Otherwise, it's going to the trash bin.
I try to do that with my company's e-newsletter. Short, monthly, filled with marketing tips. Want to get on the list? (C'mon, I know you've been wondering where you can get more email!) If so, just leave me a comment with your email address and I'll add you to it.